Friday, February 27, 2009

Cadbury for all

Because I got out of class early today, and it was lovely lovely weather, I decided to go on an exploring adventure. Hopping on the tube, I headed over to Liverpool Station (which is very nice by the way), to check out two markets Jenny had recommended to me: Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane.
Petticoat lane is pretty straightforward in terms of what you'd expect from a street clothes market: lots of little stalls, clothes on wheely racks, a variety of nice stuff and brand knock-off with suspiciously removed tags. And of course, the vocal vendors, reminding you that everything is "very nice! very cheap!" One guy just kept yelling "Fiver, fiver!" (as in five pounds).

I liked Spitalfields a little more. It has more the feel of an open artfair, with brightly colored stalls packed together in a lovely sheltered but open market area. While some of the vendors were typically aggressive, many were friendly and charismatic. Like my buddy Ric, the print maker/stenciler (I mentioned my friends made stencil shirts to him, he thought that was cool...) Also met a guy who had been to Iowa of all places. I bought a shirt (black...) and a skirt. I also had my first patsy (yum!), AND on the way home Cadbury was giving out free samples of a new dessert, so I grabbed that, and am eating it right now. Hurray.

In five hours my roommate will be waking me up (as she will just be getting home from partying), and I will drag myself on to a train, and then a plane and fly to Paris for the weekend. I'm super excited. Won't be able to check email until Monday, but I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I may be temporarily allergic to my room.

See, my roomate burned something eariler this week (she was cooking and fell asleep while home alone and forgot about the stove...), and now our flat smells faintly burnt all over. Since then, I have been short of breath. Except in the shower- i love it there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

wasted cucumbers and tempting icecream

I just got back from seeing a production of King Lear. Probably one of the goriest I ever hope to see. To give you a hint, the bit where Regan plucks out Gloucester's eye? She does it with her teeth. ...I'll just give you a moment with sit with that. She's struggling with it and then she leans her face in, and there's a popping noise and a blood splatter. I still get the shudders. Apparently one guy opening night passed out in the audience.

Past the shock-factor, though, it was a pretty good show. It was actually the play I wrote my IB paper on, almost four years ago now. It seems like longer. I could hear bits I'd used in my argument, and new piece of diologue stood out to me that should've been in there too, but I didn't understand fully.

In other news, got the much longed for nod of approval from Natalie today in stage fighting. I apparently excell and the volte. Am still floating.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"please come back with a british accent"

I realized over the weekend, I have started to adopt a British accent. But only in one word, "sorry." I now say "soh-ree" instead of "SAR-ree". This isn't a noticable accent, the way a fake Beatles or Cockney accent might sound, but there's a softer quality to it. I also think it's very telling that my first word is sorry. Though really, it's somewhat of a defense mechanism; so that when I elbow someone on the Tube, or pass them on the wrong side (left! it's always left now!), they don't shoot "stupid American" glares over their shoulder. Actually, I get mistaken for French more often. (Which is usually followed by "Good, I hate the French!" when I say no. I think they're kidding...)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday late start!

Derek Jacobi came and talked to us today, that was pretty cool. It made me laugh, because among other things, he was Claudius in the Keneth Branagh Hamlet we all saw senior year, and now here he is, Mr. Pouring Poison in the Ear himself sitting four feet away from me. Naturally I did not address him as thus. But he told us a really wonderful story of how he figured out he liked acting as a six year old, playing dress up in the streets, and how this one time he stole his mother's wedding veil for some game of pretend and ended up ripping it. He said a good play should have the audience come out thinking "what a wonderful journey we were just taken on!", and I really agree with that.

I'm starting to lose my voice a little, it's dropped down an octave to what I usually refer to as my "sexy husky voice", which actually ends up workign great for my Shakespeare class where I'm playing Viola in Twelfth Night (a girl who is pretending to be a guy). Anyways, it really pleased my teacher, which is always handy since she's a little fussy. My roomate says she likes this voice better than my normal voice, which worries me ever so slightly. But on a high note, I got one of the four A's in my theater crtiticism class, wheee!!

Tonight as a treat, two of my friends and I went out to a little funky Italian place for dinner, which was delicous. For dessert we got a treat called The Godfather; basically a massive chocolate brownie sundae with generous portions of everything on top. I felt like I was gonna burst at the seams, but it was so worth it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Metal overload, a taste test

This is a bit of what's going through my mind right now:

Why should I love this gentleman, tis odds
He never will affect me. I am base,
My father the mean keeper of his prison,
And he a prince. To marry him is hopeless.
And I'll lay my life, he deserves your love more than he wants it. Did I not tell you my lord would find a way to come at you? Love's his distemper and you must be the phsyician. Put on all your charms, summon all fire into your eyes, plant the whole artillery of your looks against his breast and down with him!
A thousand knees,
Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting
Upon a baren moutain, and winter still
In storm perpetual could not move the gods to look
That way thou wert.
Once he kissed me,
I loved him the better ten days after!
Would that he do so everyday! He grives much.
He oughta ask that cop who put Eathan in jail if I'm tough. "I'm just trying to teach him a lesson." Well, I let him know what I thought about lessons like that at a hundred and sixty decibels and he goes "stop, stop, you got a voice like an ax, and my head is splitting!"
I suppose, madam, you made him drink plenty of asses milk!
I have made fault, I am sorry for it.
All faults I make when I do come to know them,
I do repent.

...So yeah. When you go to a liberal arts school, you get things like cross disciplinary skills and lots of stress during midterms when you write multiple papers simultaneously. Here at BADA, you just have a million different lines running through your head. As well as a different style of acting for each.

Also, a word on corsets: put on your heels before hand. Putting them on after is nigh-impossible. To clairfy, this is not the satiny numbers you buy at Vistoria's Secret. This is the bonning sticking you in the back, tightly laced up by hand by someone else canvass corsets. We wear them in my High Comedy class. Plus side, I get great cleavage, downside, breathing and memorization are not as enhanced.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

fairy cakes, or, it's a little cold in here...

Valentines Day. It happened.

Actually, it made for a pretty fun couple of days. I went to the National Gallery Friday afternoon to look at artwork, and then went over to Victoria Station to meet up with Tasha Rivera. Victoria Station, by the way, is huge. Four floors huge. It's both a tube station and a train station, so there's lots of commings and going and therefore lots of little shops. It was crazy.

Anyways, the two of us decided to have a very American night, so we went out to a Pizza Hut, (excuse me, Pasta Hut), and later a Baskin Robbins. Fabulous times. Then Saturday morning, we got up and headed over to King's Cross/St. Pancras Station to explore, upon the recomendation of my dad and brother. Saw the little tribute they did to Harry Potter, (yes I took a picture...), as well as (more seriously) the plaque to the bombing victims of 2005 7/7 incident. We ate at a little place called YO! Sushi, which had little plates going back and forth on a track, and you just grabbed the dishes you wanted. Then, because it was Valentine's Day, we went and grabbed these amazing fairy cakes, (known in the US as cupcakes...), that seriously had about four inches of frosting on them. Anyone who knows me knows this is a good thing. I also convinced a mom to buy one for her son who was all but drooling over mine. Then, as we finished up, a man came over and gave us free roses, coupled with these 100 page romance novels. Not sure which I liked better. The books are fabulously awful, by the way.

Then in the evening, the girls in the flat across the hall had a party (this is what happens when you have 30+ girls living together who are either single or away from their boyfriends, tho the BADA boys were also in attendance). Hilarity ensued in the forms of wine, chocolate cake, whipped cream, Shakira, and black lace underwear. Finished off the evening by watching the first half of Stardust with a flatmate. Wonderful evening.

And today was back to normal. There was laundry to get done, groceries to buy, and a paper to write. I hauled up in Starbucks and wrote 1400 words all in a go. Yup, I'm pretty proud.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

blondies with blades

Stage fighting went well today, there is hope! Natalie did not rip us to shreds! Huzzah! We have now graduated to Phase II of the fight, which unfortunately goes against all previous training. Oh well, my opposite thigh is pleased to be larger part of the workout, (though we'll see if I'm saying that tomorrow...).

This is the fight so far:
Phase I: thrust, thrust, lift and kick. Over the head, armpit, cross. Scratizone (or something equally as complicated means to scratch), thrust, hit, leap.
-------- broken up with walking, stalking, talking, insulting ...y'know, acting)--------------
Phase II: Traverse, switch... (to be continued next week).

The switch, (which may come to have another name, I've forgotten if it does), is a bitch to learn. It involves switching your weight whilst in a lunge, leaping backward and to the left, swiviling your hips to go with your feet, but keeping your face towards your opponent. This is coupled with a blade parry, (as opposed to one with a dagger), and flipping your dagger around in your left hand. This is all done in one move, by the way. simultaneous like.

In other news, I got cast in a scene in Shakespeare as Viola from Twelfth Night. The casting is unsurprising (the crossdressing tomboy as opposed to the lovely lady), but as it is one of my favorite plays, I'm okay with that. Viola's pretty cool.

Monday, February 9, 2009

performace revue- the musical

I've now been here a month, funny how time flies. A month ago I was tossing and turning on an airplane, with one earbud playing Atmosphere's "Music Box", pretending that I'd get some sleep before I landed, and becoming more and more distracted by the rising sun. Inspired by this post, I thought I'd do a little one month review.

Things I now know:
-- Where my flat is. This is crucial information when you go out on a walk your first day.
-- How to successfully flush our toilet. (It hums angrily at you when done improperly).
-- The useful acronym "blood" in stage fighting (balance, leading with the weapon, eye contact, distance)
-- How to use a fan in the Restoration style
-- The nearest tub stops
-- Never to leave without an umbrella
-- To always tell the people you meet you voted for Obama (big points, no joke).
-- What way to look when crossing the street. (mostly- turns still mess me up).

Things I'm proud of/Accomplishments:
-- A sonnet in Sheila's class rated "simply marvelous"
-- Getting advice/critique from Fiona Shaw
-- My navagational skills
-- Salsa dancing
-- Snow! (okay, not my doing, btu certainly my supporting)
-- Grocery shopping on a budget
--Taking on the Tub in heels

Things to work on/Goals:
-- PR, must smile more, they take me seriously here.
-- Stage fighting. Natalie will kill me someday otherwise...
-- Finding somethig good for auditions (three weeks, eeeeeee)
-- More adventures! I've been exploring, but I need to do more outside my norm.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

weekend adventures

fun weekend!

Last night, we went on a historic pub crawl, which was a blast. It was apparently also New Zealand Independance Day, so the first pub we went to was full of people celebrating it. Made my day. I met this cute guy who drew an N.Z. on my cheek, so I got to be an honorary New Zealander. I also talked to a guy from Scotland named Charlie. It was interesting, because he couldn't figure out why we would say that we were Scottish or Irish or what have you when we were clearly American. A bit of culture shock, I guess.

Today my shakespeare teacher had us over for lunch. She made us delicious roasted vegtables and chicken, and then we sat around listening to her tell us stories about her acting days. She knows Judi Dench!, which is incredible but when we gasped about it, she was like "it's not a big deal, we were just growing up at the same time. It's like you guys right now." Which is weird to think about, being the next generation, and how we're all working a this thing we want to do with our lives. The question then is, which one of us is Judi Dench?

Friday, February 6, 2009

it's like wallstreet on water

It's Friday, which makes it a masterclass day. Today we did a workshop on Merchant of Venice with actor Henry Goodman. It was a really good time- he's very funny and very energetic. He talks a mile a minute (all really intelligent stuff, too), and claps his hands a lot.

Working on Merchant made me remember ninth grade with Ms. Moe, who thought that six ninth graders couldn't possibly have the mental capacity to read an act of Shakespeare out loud in half and hour. We had such a good time with it, too. We were practically killing oursleves laughing, I remember, making up all these side little stories. Made me smile.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Three Days of Snow

It has snowed in London. The most it has snowed in 18 years, I'm told. Which by my count is 6 inches or so. Some schools have gotten a two day snowday.

It was pretty to walk around in though, all these old buildings blanketed in white. And the park is covered with snowmen, they're just everywhere! And yesterday it was perfectly accpetable to walk around with a snowball in hand. I had two hot coccoas and a good snowball fight.

It's good the snow cheers me up, because today was a rough day. For some reason everyone was just in a bad mood, myself included. Which is a shame really, considering I saw this great play, "Three Days of Rain" last night. I walked out of the theater nearly crying in happiness, which was a lovely feeling. One of the three actors was James McAvoy, Mr. Tumnus in Narnia, (among other things). I got his autograph after the show- he has a lovely burr in his accent, all the funnier because he speaks with an American accent onstage.

The snow made me wonder though. There are students here who have never really lived in snow before. Never experienced it. What must that be like, to experiance for the first time? Perhaps a bit like my classmate Noel, who has never seen nor read Romeo and Juliet. What must that have been like to see? To know the story, (or to know the general concept of snow), but never have experienced the details?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Very Berry Trifle

What a lovely weekend it has been! Technically festivities began Thursday, when my flatmate Leanna and I scoped out a salsa bar called Salsa! (go figure). I only had two hours of class on Friday, (which can sometimes make it seem pointless to walk all the way there, but this Friday it was lovely so I didn’t mind).

Friday, a whole group of us trooped out to Salsa!. We split a couple pitchers of margaritas and then stole the abandoned alcohol from a bachlorette party where the girls all wore red sparkly heart shaped antennas. The bar is actually not too different from Famous Dave’s, a little larger, with more dance space, and thankfully a slightly younger crowd. I danced with at least six guys, and only one of them was icky. Had to save another BADA girl, though. Her partner then tried to dance with us, but I told him “She’s all mine.” Dancing felt really good, it’s probably when I feel best about myself. My feet were angry with me for being in heels two nights in a row, but it was worth it.

The next day I got up and went to a soccer game with my friend, Katie. It was a Fullham/Portsmouth game, which funnily enough was the same match up as the game I saw four years ago. A good game, though. We (Fullham- they’ll always have a special place in my heart), won 3-1. The opposing fans were really funny- they brought a beach ball and an inflatable banana which they passed around until it got all wrinkly and deflated.

Today I was good for a while and did some homework… by which I mean read a book I found in the library, and then I bussed over to Trafalgar’s Square for the Chinese New Year celebration. It was a lot of fun, though really crowded. People are really rude, they just keep pushing you or whack you with their camera as they try to shoot pictures (no, my head is NOT a suitable stabilizer for your camera!). It was a very impulsive buying day, I bought lo mein, bubble tea, a red bean moon cake (yes, I know it’s the wrong holiday), lychee juice, and then stickers and two Olympic pins (score!). Once it got dark, they set off fireworks. Because we were in the heart of the city, they obviously couldn’t be that high, but they were really pretty all the same. And loud- the noise was just ricocheting off the surrounding buildings.

It snowed today, at first just light flurries, but now it falling hard and the sky is nearly lavender with all the falling snowflakes. I went out with the Californians and we had a snowball fight and made a little snowman, no bigger than a foot tall. We named him Yorrick and snuck him on the elevator, and after showing him off to all the BADA flats, we dumped him out the window, a hero’s death. Some of the BADA kids are bussing tomorrow because they’re afraid it will be too cold with the snow, I just laughed. As I write this, I can hear people out on the streets running and playing, and just now there was a little bagpiping. It makes me smile, I’d forgotten how much snow cheers me up.