Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One down!

  Last night, I successfully completed "Voice I" at Studio and was recommended to proceed on to Shakespeare. My final went well, despite a couple of small hitches, but overall I got an "excellent" from the instructor. The poetry I recited was a piece called "The Anchorite," and here it is, for your reading pleasure:

The color of his walls, like ham or kisses
Was just too carnally pink
So he painted it over in rusty brown, like stale blood.

He sat in his solitary cell
Banished the cat as too female and familiar
Then shaved his lady's curls from his conscience
And pried her hands from his heart
One red-nailed finger at a time.

Weeks went, and he stopped seeing
Her hair in grocer's daffodils
In forsythia, lining the wet expressway.
The sound of her laugh drowned in traffic.

But some night, later than temptation
He will remember a forgotten knock
And dreams will pour through his door
Like a river into a desert
Her hair catching on everything
Sticky, and yellow as honey

  I'll be taking this next semester off to audition, and hopefully get into some shows. A friend of mine, who is going to be the assistant music director on a staging of the Mel Brooks show "The Producers" told me that they are holding auditions on the 5th and that I really should try out for one of the leads. I'm just now starting to find my legs vocally, and the show would require a lot of singing. Not sure if I'm quite up to it, but I will audition. Couldn't hurt, right?

Sunday, December 20, 2009


   Late Friday night, as you all know, the East coast got hit with a wicked Nor'Easter. It was loudly being hailed as the end of the world on all the local news stations, and it had everybody running for cover. After I was off the clock Friday, I decided I'd stop by the supermarket and grab a few things on my way home so I wouldn't have to venture out into Hell the next day. When I pulled into the parking lot, I was surprised (for some reason) to find that everybody else in the natural world had the same idea.
  I immediately tried to get out of the lot, but it was too late. All the entrances were jammed up with cars and every spot in the place was taken. It took about fifteen minutes before I could even turn up one of the aisles, and by grace, I found an empty spot. I took it and ran inside, where the chaos was even worse.
  Every aisle was stuffed full of carts and rude people, and the shelves were already going bare. I started laughing at how riduclous it all was. Up in Spokane, a snow like this was a weekly occurrance during December. At one point, I walked away from my cart for a minute to look for something and when I came back, it was gone. I quickly tracked it down one aisle over where some crazy lady was pushing it along and shopping. I said, "I think you have my basket, ma'am." She looked at me, completely dumbfounded and said, "I didn't think it belonged to anybody." I retorted, "You see all those things in it? That should have been your first clue." I was now officially in the group of Holiday Assholes. Bravo.
  As my patience wore even more thin with folks, I finished my shopping hurriedly and then stood in line at the self-checkout lane for about twenty minutes. I bagged up my stuff, ran the twenty minute parking lot gauntlet, and finally made it home.
  As I unpacked my groceries, though, I found something missing. Then something else. Pretty soon, I discovered that about half the stuff I had put in there was gone. Crazy lady had dumped half my cargo, and I hadn't even noticed. Unfortunately, she had picked things like coffee, which I was very much looking forward to drinking the next morning during the freezing blizzard. Such is my luck. There was no way I was going to venture out into that mess again. I battened the hatches and prepared for the "Storm of the Decade."
   And storm it did. When I woke up the next morning, I had about a foot, and the snow was still coming down hard. It snowed all day long, eventually dropping a good two feet on Springfield and slightly less on DC proper. My rehearsal that afternoon was obviously cancelled, so I didn't venture out once. Sunday, however, I did.
  It was exactly as I suspected. I didn't have a snow shovel, but getting out of my driveway was fairly easy with the Jeep. All my neighbors were busy shoveling and shoveling, and our street hadn't even been plowed. I had some business in lower Springfield to take care of, and then I was going to try to buy a shovel and pick up the rest of my groceries.
  It was like a whole different Virginia out there. I mean, it was really unrecognizable. The streets were fairly deserted, and it just looked like a warzone. I saw cars off the road, people shoveling and snowblowing, and there was even a Policeman stranded, trying to put chains on his patrol car. Remembering the local PD's penchant for ticketry, I didn't stop to help him.
  At Home Depot, as I expected, there were no more shovels left. My bad mood was lifted on the way back to the store, though, when I saw two little kids standing atop a snowplow pile as high as their mailbox. One of them had a snowball in his hand and he shook it at me defiantly and yelled as I drove past. It made me laugh out loud.
  I got what I needed at the store (again) and then came home, glad to be in one piece. After putting everything away, I went next door to my 80-year-old neighbor Chuck and asked if he had a snow shovel. He did, and I offered to shovel his driveway for him since he's got heart problems and has no business doing it himself.
  For the next couple of hours, I shoveled his drive and part of mine. Then, I wrapped up the day by catching my hand in the rolling overhead door of my garage and nearly breaking it. That's what you get for being in a hurry. It wasn't the crushing blow or the pinching open of skin that hurt the most- it was the fact that my bare hand had been exposed and was freezing!
  Tonight is the final for one of my classes down at Studio. I'm performing a spoken word piece called "The Anchorite." I'm a bit nervous about it, if only because it's for Voice class, and every single word has to be perfectly enunciated and pronounced, but also be performed with believeable emotion. Tougher than it sounds. It's actually possible to say "The" wrong for two different reasons, I found out last week. It's the first word of the piece, and I was stopped twice for not enunciating it properly. Yikes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's all starting to pay off

  At least in some regard, the punishing schedule and compulsive multitasking are starting to lead somewhere.
  Last night, one of my instructors at Studio gave me a fantastic compliment when she told me I was "very castable." This is high praise from a woman who is notoriously ruthless with her students. She's had a lot of really great things to say about me lately, and said that the staff all knew who I was and how many things I'm in and how hard I'm working. That made me breathe a relative sigh of relief.
  My primary scene partner and I put our scene up again last night (the one we've been struggling so much with) and finally made some breakthroughs. We got a lot of really good notes and we were given an additional scene to work on as a reward/progression. We'll be performing both of them for an audience in January. My secondary scene partner and I will be putting our scene up tonight, and I think it's in great shape, too.
  Unfortunately, a head cold has robbed me of most of my voice this week, so practicing for my voice lessons has been pretty much zip. I have until tomorrow night to get over it, but I'm still a little hoarse. The worst part is, I'm going to miss two lessons this month when Angela's out of town, which cuts down on our rehearsal time for that big recital I'm going to sing for in January.
  I could go on about the multitude of other things that have to get done this week, but I think it would start to sound like complaining. More than anything, I'm looking forward to having a couple of days off from work next week!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Plan.

  It's my goal to move to the UK next fall and study acting full time. I have narrowed down my choices of schools to four: Oxford School of Drama, London Academy of Music and Drama, Central School of Speech and Drama University of London, and London Dramatic Academy Fordham University. Right now, Central is my top pick. I'll be auditioning for these schools in February in New York.
  This will certainly cause a lot of changes in my life, but I'm no stranger to that, nor am I afraid. I'm looking at apartments here in VA right now so that when my lease is up at the end of January, I can move out of my house and cut my rent in half. That way I can put a little extra money in the bank and square all my accounts in a shorter time. In the fall, when my work contract is up, I'll be free to fly over to the UK and begin the semester. Likely most if not all of my posessions here will be sold. What little personal items remain will be put into storage and I will retrieve them in three years when my degree is complete and I come back to the states.
  Lofty goals? Certainly, and there's a major chance that it won't happen. All the odds are stacked against me right now, it feels like, but I want this, and I deserve it. I've worked damn hard, and I've proven to myself time and time again that I'm capable. I've thought this through, come up with alternatives and looked at the consequences. Now, all that's left is to go for it, and that's exactly what I'm going to do.