Monday, March 30, 2009

Really? huh, damn.

Walking home from rehearsal today, I saw a man carrying a slaughtered pig over his shoulder (sans head- the pig, not him.) It wasn't bloody or anything, but it was definitely raw. Made me almost wish I had my camera- something about how casually he was carrying it. My friend Paige goes, "Well, that's going in the diary." I think she was kidding, but i decided to write about it here anyways.

Couldn't sleep last night. Just lay there, trying to figure out what was going on in my head that was keeping me up. Finally got up around six when the sun was coming through my window at me, and decided to go for a run, since sometimes when I do that I stop thinking. I did, but I still have no idea what was stressing me out so much.

I end with a funny little story: Here I am, on my side of the pond, trying to grasp all new and unfamiliar things to me. So when stuff starts coming up for Mother's Day, like an obedient child, I make my mom a card, and post-haste it to her, without questioning. Now, you Americans who are on top of things, (or are mothers yourselves...) might be thinking "wait a minute, Mother's Day is in May...." Or maybe, you're just going, "Crap, I missed it!" Well, as my mom pointed out for me in her thank you email, "you wrote that you were sad to have missed it, but you didn't. Mother's Day isn't until the middle of May." Turns out this is something else the UK does different. Mother's Day, or Mothering Day, as it's called here, is on the 22nd of March, somehow fitting in with Lent, though I'm not clear why. Now you know.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Being at BADA

As today was a particularly slow day— though it did hail— I thought I’d dedicate this post to a comparison of what it’s like being at a theater conservatory, acting 24/7 versus being at Mac. “Being at BADA”-isms, if you will. I’ll probably revisit this, but for now, here goes:

1) Don’t be late. No joke. Back home, I used to fall prey to the “Macalester Gray Area:” show up in the first five minutes of class and your good to go. (Not every teacher follows this, to be sure. Hell- if you’re Marlon, that means you’re early!) But at BADA, if you’re on time, you’re late.

2) Focus. There’s a lot more of it happening here. Back home, there was always a to-do list in The Notebook. Write a paper, go to work, read these by next class. Here, it’s more straightforward: show up, have your lines memorized. That isn’t to say it’s easy, there’s a lot that goes into each class, but somehow it doesn’t seem as all over the place.

3) Sharing means caring. Food, clothes, gossip, it all seems to get passed around. (Which helps so much when people get sick…) And as for emotional drama, well there are only 31 of us. Between Hig-land and Mac, I’m used to it being a small world, but here it’s even more so. I know who fought with their boyfriend, who just had sex with their boyfriend, who’s on their period, who’s missed it, who got drunk last night, and who burned dinner last night.

4) Personal Space: to put it bluntly, I’ve seen everyone here in their underwear. Changing at your locker is a usual occurrence, though not everyone does it. It does get tricky if David, Noel, Angeline, or I try changing at the same time, though. At Mac, the most physical contact I get is in the lunchroom at rush hour, waiting for tatter tots or curly fries. Here, you’re jumping on people’s backs, rolling around on the floor with them, smacking butts, kissing, or getting kicked by them. My only regret is I’ve missed most of the backrub swapping.
5) At Mac, there’s this thing where we’re all different, but we’re all the same. By which I mean we all have different lives, but we’re all students. BADA makes you very aware of your physical persona. Like, I know that I am the shortest in the program, have the fifth darkest eyes in my play (and interestingly enough I’m the darkest eyed of the white kids– the four in front of me are all African American). I’m aware of how I walk, that I jiggle my knees a lot, and have crappy posture sitting in a chair.

6) Copying is encouraged. Okay, not really, but in the past two months I have copied how classmates walked, talked, even breathed. It’s actually really interesting, and very insightful into both of your personalities.

7) Memorization and rehearsal. At Mac, it’s pretty obvious when you’ve walked in on a study group or a ‘study group”. At BADA, you’re never quite sure. Empty rooms are always in high demand, and people switch from conversation to recitation of lines at the drop of a hat.

So that’s a good beginning. I’ll add more as I discover them. Is there anything you’re curious about?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Birthday Friday

Although I overslept today and had to get ready for class in fifteen minutes, I had a fairly good Friday.

Jessica our wonderful, wonderful voice teacher made a visit to rehearsal today, to work with the mechanicals on finding male voices. I suppose I should take a moment, and fill you in: I got Peter Quince in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for our final production. I'm pretty happy with the part; it's a comedic role, and he's the director of the play within a play, which is cool. Anyways, I spent the morning emasculine-ing my walk and voice. We talked about how generally men are more direct and economical in their words and actions. Whereas women's speech generally flies up and takes a somewhat curvy path, a man is very direct in how he speaks, there's an assumed authority. It's pretty interesting. I apparently was one of the best at being a man. When I friend complimented me, I took out my "manly enough" card as a response; she was pretty amused. I have also taken to observing men on my way to school (not to be confused with boywatching, this gets done too, but never while I'm working... my friend David and I have devised our own version of me first. :P). I also got to have a little one-on-one chat with the director, which was much needed, and I feel better now.

This afternoon was pretty chill, though I did go running (don't say anything- you'll jinx it), and worked out for an hour. Didn't work on my paper as planned, though I emailed the teacher, which I think should count for something.

But tonight was great. In celebration of two of my friends at BADA's birthday, we went to this Mexican restaurant, Mestizo. Let me explain something: England does not really believe in Mexican food. Halal meat stands and Subways (with Halal meat) pretty much have replaced Taco Bell and Chipotle here. So basically, I had the most amazing chicken enchilada I have had in a long time. And a mojito. I even spoke Spanish to the waiters... The evening was dampened slightly by one of the BADA boys getting very drunk and having a couple of breakdowns, until he had to be taken home because he was walking around the restaurant in his socks and lifting up the furniture. But we hailed him a taxi and all was well. Then we went to a club called Cargo and danced to a group called "Pack Rat." Minus being trampled at the coat check, it was a nice place. The night bus home (tubes stop running by midnight) was the perfect quiet windown to a busy busy day. And now I am here, writing to you...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

tongue talk

Something I forgot to post before:

I was waiting in the lobby of my building for a friend so we could go to quiz night at the local pub, (it's a British thing- they're really big on it here...), and there was a man, woman, and three little kids sitting on the sofa there, too. When the kids, who are probably around three and four) see me, they instantly call out, "Hello! How are you? Goodbye!" The woman (their aunt) explains to me they're from Kuwait, and this is pretty much the only English they know. (She also says with a smile they are "trouble.") The kids proceed to greet every other person who comes in or out of the building with at least one of the phrases, in no particular order. (Goodbye! How are you!) One of the little girls has also picked up her own version of "twinkle, twinkle" composed almost completely of that one word.
The man invites me to sit on the sofa with them, and he begins saying words in Arabic to the kids to practice in English, like car, or dog. He them repeats them so I can learn them in Arabic. (He said I was really good at it, but of course they're all gone now.)
I realize this must have been how I seemed to the Czech, with my proud little "Prozims" and "Dekujis", or in France, when we were teaching David to count to ten on the train. It's both amusing and a little mortifying. But that's how you learn, I suppose.

J.J. is Amazing

Just came from watching the season finale of Skins- the British equivalent to Degrassi, only debatably more nudity and alcohol. Anyways, a group of us have gotten hooked on it, and while watching today, this commercial came up that even though I've seen before depresses the hell out of me.

Scene opens on a man brushing his teeth in the bathroom. Camera shot over his shoulder shows him turn and see something. Focusing in, we see it's small child, bent up in a funny way. This child appears while he's at work, in the kitchen, and his desk at home, and even when he turns over in bed that night. You're just about to wonder if this is a sequel to "The Sixth Sense" when words come up across the scene: "Control your speed or live with the consequences. Drive 30."

This commercial would probably never fly in the US, (which I'm not entirely unhappy about). It's funny then that they are just now beginning to consider airing condom commercials on main channels, due to a push by the sex education foundation. They are also considering running commercials on abortions to combat the increase in teen moms. I'm curious what effect it will have. Actually, just in general, the commercials are different, here. Sometimes they're funnier, or cheesier, and others they're more bizarre, more abstract, leaving you wondering how they made it off the drawing boards. I wish I could conclude with some deep realization about British vs. American culture via these commercials, but I'm not there yet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pasta and Politics

To those who responded to my domestic dilemma post, thank you. The outcome of my cooking experience was: pasta with chicken in alfredo/pesto sauce. That's right, I am an amazing chef. David and I were quite pleased. Only it was made much more complicated by the lack on dishes in my flat (why, you may ask? because thanks to flatmates everything in our kitchen is in the sink- no joke.), also the pot I put the pasta in was smaller than it should have been.

I remembered something I meant to talk about a few days ago:
Sunday night, a friend of mine was performing in a comedy group in a hotel on the West End, (London's Broadway), so we trouped out to see it. Because he gave us the wrong time, we ended up being "the Americans who were late." The Emcee had a teased us mercilessly all night. "We're gonna talk about vegetables now, for you Americans, that's the thing in your hamburger when you take out the meat and the bread..." and so forth.

Then World War II comes up. Someone calls out, "You Americans, always late for your wars!" And my friend Ian banters back, "Well, we saved your asses." ... There is a slight pause in the conversation, long enough though that I take that moment flight attendants refer to for checking for the nearest exit. Then an old man in back pipes up, "Yes, but now you're the first ones to start them, and you're always fucking them up." True enough. We all laugh, and the show goes on. Still, it's always interesting discussing politics.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Three Little Stories

Looking at myself in the mirror this evening, as I am wont to do (wont is our word of the week, heavy British pronunciation), I realized my shirt was on backwards. This means I have worn my shirt backwards all day and never realized it. huh.

Also, our stove top was being weird, I put water on and went to the bathroom, when I came out it smelled like gas, so I went to investigate. The flame had somehow blown out (just one burner, not the other...), while it continued to merrily pump in gas. My roommate has decided this is a ruse for me to kill her. I figure, there are worse people to go down with.

While stealing internets at McDonalds (the combination of a looming paper and the Cadbury creme McFlurry are just too good to pass up), I put my feet up on the chair across from me at the little two person table. Later, I was asked to remove my feet, as they might offend someone. I understand what they meant, I just found it amusing. Also, we have a rosary group that meets there regularly; a group of twelve or so old men who sit there chatting as they work through their beaded rosaries. I amused by this as well.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend Escape

Mmm, so I finally saw "Australia" today, due to a mistake on my part last week (bought ticket to a show I couldn't go to, so this was my money back). It was awesome, really loved it. (And not just Hugh Jackman either... or the free wine). I felt like it touched on a lot of different class, race, and political issues that make up what Australia is (or at least what I know about it). And then there was also the whole reinforcement of the romantic sap that I am, (lest it be forgotten...)

Yesterday was also a majorly productive day in terns of crossing things off The List; went to Borough Market (picture day to follow soon!), the Tower of London (with her head tucked... maybe only Ben C will get that), and finally Fabric, this infamous London club. Jenny had told me about it last summer, and while it wasn't officially on The List, it was a must, so now it can be crossed off. Wasn't that great of a time. Had fun dancing though, although flat techno is not worth it (nothing against techno, the DJ was uninspired). I had more fun then my friend though, which means I now owe him (I made him come because I needed BADA support to balance out all of my other friend's friends). So now I have to cook him dinner. ...This could get interesting. Thoughts on simple meals?

Friday, March 20, 2009

lovestruck and chocolate

Two random stories, not really related.

After a particularly long week and difficult day, I decided I needed chocolate. So I put on my coat and shoes, grabbed some change and walked to the store. Picked out a new candy and brought it up to cashier, who promptly pointed out i was a pound short. ( I thought the 10p piece was a pound). I apologize and go to try to find a different candy bar. I find a large Galaxy bar for 1.26. I present the new candy bar to the same cashier, half sheepishly, but also proud that I have found a candy bar suitable for my price range. He points out that one pound and to 10 p coins are not sufficient. I now feel incredibly stupid. I think he realizes though that it's been one of those days, and I desperately need chocolate. He tells me just to pay with what I have. An hour later, I am eating said bar, watching Mamma Mia (don't judge!) and feeling better. Points for him.

I have taken lately to reading the "Lovestruck" section of the London Paper, a free semi professional daily paper. "Lovestruck" is a section where people can text mini messages to random people they have seen and have been smitten by. Example, "To the shy blond guy on Wednesday, do we both board the 7.54 from Shepard's Bush? I'm the middle carriage girl, even more shy than you!" Sappy? Yes. Sweet? Most definitely. And some of them have great story potential, like this one: "To the lovely girl on the DLR... You thought I was disabled and helped me with my fold-up wheelchair, which was actually a bike. Trust me, I've got full feeling in both legs." It appeals to the sappy romantic in me, I'd like to think that some of these work out in the end.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Ever have one of those dreams that is so nice that you're a little sad when you wake up? Only you're still in the dream a little bit, so you're happy. I'm sure you have, because I think it's human nature, "a dream is a wish" buisness. But yeah; had one of those, and it made my morning better. I finally bought bread. That's a good start to the day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

drunken lullabies

These past three days I have been on a quest to go buy bread from the store. I am failing miserably at it. Meant to go today but, well... festivities came first.

I love St. Patrick's Day. On Sunday, Trafalgar's Square had a big party (the same place Chinese New Years was), so I slapped on my new sunglasses (yes I'm still immensely proud of them), and went down to party. It was pretty intense, I thought there had been a large crowd at Chinese New Years, I was mistaken. There were a ton of people, most of them genuinely Irish, too. They do that bit differently in England, very little emphasis on heritage since either you're a foreigner or you're a Brit (this is a simplification and generalization, but still you get the point). I can't tell people I'm Czech or Scottish, they just tell me I'm American. Anyways, the street in the square was soaked in beer (non I'm proud to saw was mine), and there was good music. Actually I looked down at one point, and saw a pineapple on the ground. I was still contemplating its existence, when a man ran up and snatched going, (in an Irish accent) "ooh my pineapple!" Still not fully sure what that was about. Anyways, it was interesting being in England, what with all the cultural/historical tensions between the England and Ireland; especially recently with a reprise of violence in Northern Ireland.

We got let out of rehearsal early today, and took full advantage of it. The Earl of Camden, a little pub a few blocks away from school was doing two for one pints of Guinness, so we thought that'd be a good time. We ended up staying until about eight thirty, and had a blast eating and drinking and carrying on. (And in some cases oggling the very lovely looking men). At one point I found myself polkaing with this girl Deniyah (sp?), and in general we were just killing ourselves laughing. My friend David tried to steal a pint glass (klepto...), but he dropped it on the way out, and it shattered. I call that karma. Anyways, a very lovely St. Patrick's Day. Hope yours was the same.

edit: I think my neighborhood may be feeling slightly threatened by all this Irish Pride going on. There has been blasting Indian music and numerous car horns going off.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break Part II: Prague

...Or, Would You Like Beer With That? (lol, kidding, but still...)

Prague was amazing, but a very surreal experience. To start with, when my plane touched down in Ruzyne Airport, the entire flight started applauding. Not really sure why, though I suppose it was fairly foggy. A smooth landing is always appreciated. I then hopped into a shuttle (tried to take the bus like a real person, but had no coins to do so) and drove into the heart of the city.

Prague is beautiful. Like Rome, (and the majority of the large cities worldwide like our own near and dear M/SP), it's built on the banks of a river. But unlike Rome, it's has a different...flavor to it I suppose. Whereas Rome seems very warm and done up in burnt reds, dusty whites, and fiery oranges, Prague is more woodsy, a deep brown feel. Which is funny, because I'm pretty sure the majority of the buildings were pastel... But it's more a feeling I got from walking around. The buildings are gorgeous, with very elaborate rooftops.

The hostel I stayed at, Hostel Emma, was great. I really liked it. My room was very cheery (a nice contrast to the sky outside), almost comically so; the walls were yellow, orange and white, my bed was orange with a yellow bedspread. When I come in, there's a lady lying on the bed across from me who tells me she's from "Aus." Only, I hear "Oz" and stare at her for a good couple of seconds before I figured it out. Anyway, she was very nice, and she and two other Australian guys went out for drinks later that night. Rani (the girl), was quite the chatterbox. Apparently, she had been traveling for almost eight years straight. We had a really good time talking, comparing the US and Australia, and our experiences in the UK. When I lost my camera briefly (it was in the restaurant that didn't open until 11 am...), she recommended I handle the situation the "Aussie Way": remain calm and trust that it will work itself out somehow. Ended up working I spose, since I found the camera again.

The rest of Thursday, after that little adventure was mostly spent in the Prague Castle, Hrad Praha, that overlooks the rest of the city up on a hill. It's a really beautiful bunch of buildings, only my being gunho about learning about Czech culture tried to read every plaque placed before my nose... my brain is still spinning ever so slightly. There are a lot of Patron Saints to keep track of. That night I went to the Old Town to see the Astronomical Clock- this huge clock that tracks the sun, moon, and stars, and at the hour does a little song and saint parade performance. Even though it was cold, I opted to eat outside, and long with the huge portion of meat and dumplings and cabbage I was given, I tried some warm wine, which was a pretty interesting and fairly tasty experience. Steam was just pouring out of my mouth as breath mixed with the cold from outside. Got pretty lost trying to find my way home– the streets of Prague make little to no sense. They twist a bunch, and will just stop abruptly where a different one cuts through it. This makes the majority of shortcuts become loops. The little narrow streets make for fun wandering though.

Friday was an exceedingly busy day, I walked from about nine am to eight that night. I will give you the basic highlights. This Japanese girl named Nami and I checked out the Jewish Museum, which was pretty cool- they have a cemetery that dates back to medieval times. On our way there, we discovered the Pissing Statue. Keep an eye out on facebook, I will try to post it soon, all I can say is it's exactly what it sounds like, and is hilarious. That afternoon I visited the Wallenstien Gardens. I was just sort of wandering through, when suddenly three peacocks came running. Peacocks run funny, incidentally. I had just gotten over my shock when I came face to face with a huge white male peacock in full plume. It was pretty surreal. And to top it off, upon leaving, I met mormons! Two guys from the States, we had a nice long chat. I later took a tram up to Zizkov and Vinohrady, more working class residential neighborhoods, just to see what the non touristy world looks like. I then walked home and basically rolled into bed.

I did a lot of walking on my trip, which I really enjoyed. It was nice to just wander around and take in a new city, making little discoveries. I now know six phrases in Czech, too, I'm quite proud of myself.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Break Part I: Roma

Alright. I believe the best way to write about my European adventures is to break it up into parts, otherwise I think your eyes would be melting out of your sockets and there would be a nice dent in your mousepad/touchpad from scrolling. That's assuming you'd read it all. In any case, my fingers would fall off. So to save us all...

Part One: Roma!
So in true Jamie fashion, even though I did use my time wisely on Saturday to prepare for the weeklong voyage, I still found myself rushing to Paddington Station to catch the train to the airport. And then almost missing it because the very-helpful-but-not-really- janitor or security officer (they both wear vests...) sold me the wrong ticket. I asked him if he was sure it was the right one three times and he keeps saying yes, "But you can ask the ticket counter if you're not sure." Naturally, I did. And naturally, it was the wrong one. But I got to the airport fine, only the flight was delayed. Shocker.

Ayanthi met me and the airport (yay!), which was nice not only to have someone to catch with on the shuttle train to Rome, but also because my hostel was exceedingly difficult to find. Let's just say numbers increasing in order on a street is not necessary in Rome. We saw the Pantheon that night and did a little window shopping before dinner. We ate at a little restaurant where we were the only people there, so we had a little impromptu photoshoot while we waited for our lasagna. Good times. Finished off the evening with Gelato by the Tervi fountain, which was gorgeous. Would've been nicer though if the sketchy Sri Lankan/Indian vendors would've left us alone. They all wanted to hot on Ayanthi, it got old fast. She snapped at one, "Don't disturb." It was pretty great.

The next day we checked out the Jewish Ghetto and the Synagogue/Museum. It was really cool. I would’ve taken more pictures, but because there was an attack that happened in it recently (sorta I guess... ten years ago now), they have more security measures in place. But it was interesting to learn about how the Jews had to deal with having so many different cultural backgrounds and religious sects all smashed together. Seriously smashed too, the streets we walked down were seriously narrow. Actually, to avoid the obnoxious school groups who went in before us, Ayanthi and I just sat outside for a while on a potted flower trench thing catching up. This may have been the best part of Rome, just sitting with an old friend, swapping stories. She also cooked me dinner that night- another best part of the trip!

I met up with BADA friends David and Anna Tuesday morning because Yanthi had class. We checked out the Vatican. The Vatican is pretty cool, it's a nice and open square with beautiful columns and many statues. St. Peter's Basilica (the huge church in the center), is well, huge. Being in it made me feel very small. The artwork in there is pretty unbelievable. I saw the Pieta statue, which after having seen it in so many history books, was pretty exciting to meet in person. On a sidenote: a large part of the Vatican is made up of red marble, which is now extinct. My guide told me about how there used to be a lot of red marble in the Forum (Ancient Bev. Hills of Rome), but not after the Vatican was built. The Vatican calls this "recycling"...

After seeing the BADA guys off on their way to Florence, I went to the Coliseum. That's pretty incredible. You walk out of the metro station and it's literally right in front of you. Kinda surreal. It's connected to the Forum that I mentioned before, which is a really cool place to explore. It's all these ruins on a beautiful grassy hill. It's like one minute you're admiring the scenery, the next the guide is saying "oh, and here's the oldest temple in Rome..." (incidentally, the original key still works in the lock). And then there's another layer because Mussolini decided he wanted to live there too. Further proof that he was absolutely off his rocker.

I got horribly lost that afternoon trying to find the Piazza de Navarro, but I wound up on the Spanish Steps at sunset, so I must've done something right. That was one gorgeous view. Also, because of my new contacts, I was able to purchase my first pair of sunglasses since I was about five years old. I don't think you understand how cool that was. The shopkeeper definitely didn't. Eating alone that night was a little tricky (something I never like unless I'm reading a good book.) The waiter was like "Why are you all alone?" It was like the relatives asking "but why are you still single?" bah. He got extra points though when I told him I was from Minnesota. He scrunches up his face, and I start trying to explain that it's in the Midwest and then he goes, "...The Vikings!" hah, yes.

I got to see the Vatican Museum before I left on Wednesday morning. No line again, score! Only I totally made up for it in karma points because I got lost again and wandered down some street that everyone and their dog it seemed had used as their bathroom. No joke. But the museum was lovely. I wish they hadn't prohibited people lying on their backs looking up at the Sistine Chapel... I think that would be the best way to experience it. After that, Yanthi and I said our goodbyes over some final gelato (yum- my goodness will I miss that) before I hopped on the train to board the train too... Prague (to be continued...)

To sum up though- Rome was great. It was sunny and lovely and sixty degree weather. It was great seeing all this old history stuff and catching up with Yanthi at the same time. Rome has a quality about it, too, the colors and the...flavor I guess. That's the best way to describe it. It grew on me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I'm baaaaaackk!!! What a dizzingly amazing week. Updates to come- I'm still processing it all in my mind, trying to decide whether or not the week actually happened. In the meantime, a little silliness:

My roomate, Lena, often brings her lunch to school and eats it up in the greenroom. One day last week, she felt lazy and didn't want to walk her spoon three floors down to the kitchen when she had finished eating, so she drops it in David's lap, saying "no give backs!" or something to that effect. And so David (a guy in my group, btw), was left with a spoon. Later during a break in Theater History, another girl in my group, Anna comes up looking confused and hands Lena a spoon saying, "David wanted you to have this..."

So that night I go to see a play with David and Noel, called "Fucking Men" (more on this another time...) and we've ordered drinks at the pub beforehand. David reaches into his pocket to pay and pulls out... that's right, a spoon.

So now it's officially on, the spoon war. Only, then we all leave for break. A week in various countries all over Europe. Naturally I forget about it all. Then tonight, there's a knock at the door, and when I answer it, the front desk guy, Tibi (i think??) is there holding a spoon. Only David's in Liverpool, so lord knows how it ended up in our hall. So Lena has decided it's clearly my fault, and now I'm "my own team" in the spoon war. Oh, and she and Anna have started calling me Jaimiqua. It's a new one to say the least...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cadbury eggs ... because it's almost easter, riiiight?

Whoo! I'm officially on spring break! (As we say at BADA, "Spring Break '09, Whoo!" followed by miming flashing someone. Not sure how that got started...)

But yes. My classes are done, which I can't really believe yet. I still expect to have another play to read for Theater History, another monologue for Shakespeare. I still think I'm gonna have to get suited up in my corset for High Comedy, and sweat under a mask in Modern Physical. Not to mention the new moves I would be practicing for Stage Combat.

Finals went mostly well. A little stressful on Tuesday, but it all came together. Botched my Shakespeare scene a bit, and fell apart in Stage Combat, but we all did- our brains are so full we actually cannot function anymore. Apparently this is normal, Natalie just laughed at all of us. She said Noel (my partner) and I really had improved, and that she was proud of us, so yay!

Auditions went pretty well, too. I got cast in A Midsummer Night's Dream for workshop. I should say I was put into- there's no casting yet. Hopefully, I find out who I am by next week. All I know is I need to read the play (again...) over break, and that the director hates the word "faeries." They are henceforth to be known as "Supernatural Beings" which I shortened down mentally into S.B.s (not to be confused with B.S. ...)

And now? Break! In 12 hours I will be on my way to Rome to see the lovely Ayanthi! (and the lovely Italy). I stay for three days and then go to Prague. I'm super excited. Though flying alone really stresses me out. This means though I will not have internet mostly likely for a whole week (I know, right?) So enjoy yourselves without me, I look forward to catching up on your blogs upon my return.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Next Stop is... Waterloo

This is "That Post." The one I write when I'm stressed out about what needs to get done. This is my last week of classes, finals time. I know that seems quick to all of you, but consider it's been eight weeks of class 9-5 daily, with very few breaks. I am wiped out. The second half of the semester is a full-out production performed in a professional venue. So this could be considered my Midterms, too, I suppose. Either way I am running out of time.

Tomorrow I perform my Twelfth Night scene for my Shakespeare class, and then present four monologues in my one-on-one tutorial. I also have my last rehearsal for my scene in High Comedy which gets presented on Thursday. At some point, I also need to work on imitating one of my classmates which I present to the rest of the class on Thursday as well. I just got back from seeing a play for my Criticism class (Dancing at Lugnasa, very enjoyable), and then went straight to a group meeting to write our paper for Stage Combat. Group projects are very difficult when people are too tired to work on them. Or when you're the only one who remembers the blocking for the fight. I'm terrified I remembered wrong, and so I'll have single-handedly have fucked up my group.

Everyone's a bit on edge right now, I'm doing a lot of tip-toeing around. I got in the middle of a semi awkward outburst, where one girl was confronting another about how rude she had been to us, "You were really rude to Jamie and to me," while I just sort of stood there looking at my feet because really it hadn't bothered me all that much... and on top of everything I burned my arm while turning off the stove. Ouch.

Ideally I will also have spent some time working on my audition and learning useful phrases in both Czech and Italian, (since I'm going for spring break), but at this point it's a one step at a time. I have some chocolate in the cupboard, I think I'll make it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

oui, merci!

Just got home from the airport- Paris was amazing. I can't believe I was only there 36 hours, it felt like so much longer. In fairness, I think some of the surrealness comes from leaving at the crack of dawn to get there, but still, a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend.

After checking in to our hostel, David and Sarah and I separate from Alex, who's off to see a friend of hers for the day. I should mention that Alex is the only one of us who actually speaks French. I've got a handful of phrases, and David learned how to count to ten on the train, so the fact that we got anywhere at all is truly a feat of its own. That said, the majority of the French speak English (if you're nice to them), and are very helpful. Saturday we saw Notre Dame, the Seine, Luxembourg Gardens, and the Eiffel Tower (we walked up 800+stairs to get up there... dios mio!). The night was filled with good food, a dash of alcohol and dancing. Walking out of the club these guys were complimenting me, but I hadn't a clue what they were saying... I also met up with Ben's (one of my oldest friends, basically a brother) dad who I hadn't seen since I was eight. Also very surreal.

This morning was lots of walking around, hot cocoa and croissants, rude waiters (ah well), and the Louvre! (with no line to speak of!). We then wandered down the Champs de ElyseƩ and saw the Arc du Triumph, which is much bigger in person, (so to speak...). Ended the trip with gelato. On our flight home we remet this nice guy from Arizona (I had taken his picture earlier today at the Mona Lisa). Turns out he's been scattering his mom's ashes around Europe. What a son... the five of us were really amused by a sign in the airport that said "no firearms. no weapons. no endangered species." One feels like there's got to be a story there.

And now I'm home. With only my pictures, beginnings of blisters, and a souvenir to prove this weekend actually happened. Bit of a fairy tale, really. As much as I love London with all its edginess and history, France has its own history, in a more whimsical way. It brings out the dreamer in me. And possibly the fairy princess in me a bit, too. :P

pictures to follow... somehow.