Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Myvery own Reloaded creation!

www.reloaded.mx Beautiful unique clothes by the very talented and very lovely Castro sisters. Pauli is creative director, Claudia is commerce/sales and my gal Cristi is marketing. One of my favourite games is 'sift through Cristi's wardrobe and play dressing up' because she has the most amazing collection of dresses, many of which are Reloaded, so I've been yearning for some of my own since I've known her. I think I like them because they're a good balance of girly and edgy with interesting details, and there's something nonchalant about them which I appreciate.  I also appreciate the fact that this dress makes me look quite skinny but is really comfy.  Hahahar.  Also I know two of these girls (I haven't met Claudia) and know personally that they are too-cool-for-school style queens who have vibes all their own - people whos style can't be copied are the most stylish of all in my opinion. Those are definitely people who I want making clothes for me. Well, not for me, but you know.

Next time it's a sunny day and I wear this dress out somewhere I'm getting some better picture to show the pattern on the skirt and the lace detail at the top and on the back. 

Monday, April 29, 2013


Picture uploading facility is currently unavailable because...well I don't know it just isn't working, which is a shame because I would like to show off some pictures of my beautiful Birthday present from Cristi - a dress from her and her sister's fashion line from Mexico, Reloaded.

Until I can do pix, here is something amazing that is my new favourite thing.
This website www.stateofshakespeare.com has a series of podcasts talking about, yup, Shakespeare - it's hosted by my first semester acting teacher the mighty Jim Elliott, another of my all-time heroes and a total rockstar, and another chap called Garrett Vandemeer.

I am listening right now to the Dan Daily episode because Mr Daily (he, unusually for AMDA, has his students call him Mr Daily until they reach fourth semester when they may call him Dan, however I got 'Mr Daily' drilled so firmly in that I cannot bring myself to call or even refer to him as Dan even though I have now graduated).  It is really fun to sit here and listen to Mr Daily's voice - I frickin love this man (you may have noticed I am in total awe of all four of my acting teachers.  TOTAL AWE) and he has such very clear wisdom on Shakespeare - everything he is saying in this podcast is a lovely refresher course of Mr Daily's Shakespeare for Dummies - 'figure out the ideas that are in the text, they are right there, and Shakespeare's characters say what they mean or if they don't they tell you what they really mean, stop overthinking it you pretentious wannabes'.  There is this thing where people go IT'S SHAKESPEARE WE HAVE TO MAKE IT AS COMPLICATED AS POSSIBLE.  And he's like 'nah - just read it'.
I also really like what he says in this podcast about Falstaff being all about pleasure, hedonism, chicanery - other things that get forgotten about when people think of Shakespeare in lieu of Hamlet and intellect and, well, soliloquising.  It's FUN! These people were out for fun and debauchery
And listen to that voice! And how much tiiiime he takes.  This is KEY.  The first assignment we had in third semester was to, overnight, memorise and perform Julius Caesar Act III Scene 1, Marc Antony's speech
'O pardon me thou bleeding piece of Earth
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers' et al
Funny story - so we were given this task on day 1, and day 2 11.30am class we are thrown into the fire.  I'm lucky in that I am very good at memorising things, somehow, so being word perfect was not a problem, and in fact I was the only person that was, so I should have recieved the only 'A' grade (no mistakes = A, 1 = B, more = fail) however I had inadvertently broken Mr Daily's dress code on three counts so he disqualified me - I remember the look on his face, he just had no idea what to make of me.  I think that lone incident probably sums me up just about as well as anything ever could!
(There were subsequent redemption rounds, and one final performance for the real grade.  I will break my bragging rule because this is the cool end of the story -one of my proudest moments at AMDA was when everyone had taken their turn and Mr Daily said 'Tessa's was without question the best' and that it would have been perfect if I had corrected one particular American Standard sound.  At the end of the class he turned to me with another confused look and said 'so, you can really do some stuff? See, when you get it together...' and know what? Third semester acting was probably the hardest I've ever worked on anything so, I'm going to say that I got it together!)
Anyway...wow massive detour...the reason that I nailed that performance day was because I did the speech over and over and over and over in my room - I did it lying down to allow my breath to drop low thus releasing tension and drawing in resonance.  I did it line by line, repeating and repeating.  And I did it sloo-oo-owly.  People who know me well know that I don't run slowly - my brain and speech go about a million miles an hour and it is really hard for me to slow down because it sounds and feels unnatural to me and my thoughts are still galloping ahead.  Somehow, Shakespeare makes it easy cos the words are full of these big sounds - 'bleeeeeeding piieeece of eeeeeaaarth'.  And that is the key I think because then it sounds like real thoughts are coming out of your mouth, you leave space, you actually have the thought contained in the next line and then you say it out loud.  And that is human speech, more so than a lot of contemporary writing that may be obscure and edgy and choppy with unorthodox punctuation (Neil LaBute I'm looking at you) but it's not pre-programmed to be human speech and tends to lend itself to what Mr Daily scornfully refers to as 'interesting line readings'.
Wow this is just tangent city - in short, Mr Daily is awesome and listen to how slowly he goes and how much it sounds like Falstaff is taking a break from his usual busy schedule of bawdiness and carpe diem to contemplate 'honour'.  That man got me to speak slowly. 

So I waxed lyrical about Mr Daily, since this is Jim's podcast I feel that I should cover Jim too.  As aforementioned, he is a rockstar.  If Mr Daily got me to slow down, Jim got me to STOP BITING MY NAILS and STAND STILL.  These guys should have been called when I was a child.  Also Jim told us in first semester that he teaches for sheer love of teaching - he took a teaching job and just fell in love with it.  He also loves directing and, clearly, the Bard.  In his class I very much appreciated his dry wit and no-holds-barred attitude to telling us what we should fix.  Or to be more accurate, how we could think more like an actor and figure out for ourselves what to fix.  My entrance monologue for AMDA was from Twelfth Night and it was not Viola it was Olivia.  And in one of our first classes he had us perform our entry monologues for him, just because.  I'm dead glad I did the one I did because 1) Only Shakespeare of the class.  2) Not the most common one from that play.  (I know that there are more challenging monologues for women in other Shakespeare but I'm glad that at the time I knew my own strength and could deal with the one I chose at a basic level of proficiency - some of the female monologues in Shakespeare are almost too badass).  So we had something to talk about in that class and have been best friends ever since (in my imagination).

I have used more quotation marks, parentheses and Shakespeares than anyone should acceptably (just made that up) use so I have to stop before I become nauseous.

Just...listen to the State of Shakespeare, k?


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birthday week

Well, I am 23.  That feels like a proper grown-up age.  I'm sure I'll say the same thing next year though.

Iiiii had a wonderful Birthday day, took it pretty easy in the morning, made myself nice French toast and a smoothie and as a treat to myself I watched the musical episode of Buffy.  Yes that is a treat.  Moseyed down to the Upper West Side for a bit and bought myself a mini version of a nice product from Sephora the beauty and cosmetics mecca, and picked up my free Birthday ice cream cone from Ben and Jerrys on the way home.  I then cooked a (yummy if I say so myself) lunch for the usual motley crew, who else would I want to spend my day with? And they all came bearing lovely gifts - earrings, flowers, incense, Made-In-England soap, chocolates, Korean products shaped like fruit...y'know.  And in the evening went for drinks! So that was celebration number 1 but as we all know by now I don't do just 1...the big event is on Saturday and I am so so excited.  Everything that gets added to the scavenger hunt list increases it's comedy potential.  I'm really just looking forward to seeing pictures of my friends being ridiculous and hearing about how they tried to turn a pigeon purple, or something.

In other excellent news, I got a job! Again! But this time I know it's for real...I will be the new supervisor at the AMDA student store! It's perfect, hours that I can work and still babysit and go to my rehearsals, I know and like the people there, AMDA is home, I'll get to be around teachers who I look up to, I get a free lunch!!! (I really genuinely love the sandwiches and salads that they have there, this is a big deal for me) and I'll see friends every day! To put a cherry on the cake, the other supervisor is none other than the wacky and wonderful Lauren Downie, my good Scottish friend.  So we won't get to work together ever but between us we will be responsible for other workers.  Which is hilarious really.  And also, the Britons are coming.

I had a good time skyping Theodora today, I haven't skyped anyone in a while and it was nice to catch up, vent a bit, coo over her cat, have fun with googlemaps etc.  S'been a pretty darn good week, may it continue.  Tap rehearsal tonight and then I visit my Luxembourgian pal Michel.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting ready!

What's that? I'm preparing my OWN Birthday lunch for tomorrow? Thaaat's right.  I am turning 23 and I will give a lunch party for my Birthday.  I am a grown up, I am a conscientious hostess, and when we are done with lunch I will find a Happy Hour and get drunk before it is generally considered an appropriate time to do so.

Lemon glazed chicken drumsticks, pasta salad with tomato, asparagus, goats cheese, spinach and onion.  And tortilla chips with pineapple salsa.  I'm excited.

Weirdly obsessed with my own catering. Also this will be picnic style cos I can't keep making Ruth and Joris bring all four of their chairs upstairs everytime I want to have people over.

Note to self: Make pineapple shrimp skewers at some point.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ketchup Catsup CATCH UP

I am sitting on the sofa feeling very full after more Korean food - what we took home from lunch yesterday plus Sena's excellent catering.  Seaweed, sticky rice, avocado and kimchi (Korean-style spicy pickled cabbage) can be rolle together into makeshift sushi. 
Let me just stop an acknowledge for a moment how FRIGGIN LUCKY I am.  I'm from the Hampshire countryside, a million miles away from the culture, music, fashion, amazingly good quality but cheap beauty products and food of South Korea.  Yet here I am IN MY OWN HOUSE sitting down for homemade sushi.  With kimchi.  I had never even heard of kimchi until very recently.  Nor did I know much - anything, really - about Korea.  I thought this at lunch yesterday as well.  I'm extremely fortunate to live in an age where it's possible for me to experience all this stuff.  When you think about the equivalent of me in a previous generation, 100% English homegrown country gal, you wouldn't imagine that they might be sitting with friends from literally all over the world to eat food that they would never have thought of at age 22 almost 23.  Well, maybe the version of me who was 22 in 1968 - she definitely would have been making pilgrimages to Morrocco to hang out in souks with rich hippies.

On a tangent - someone needs to fix geography in schools.  Noone ever mentioned S.Korea to us while I was in primary or secondary school, which is bizarre because it is sort of a frontrunner in many arenas - technological advancement there is far superior to that of the UK or US.  It has a crazy history.  They were always talking to us about deforestation - 'During the first 20 years of South Korea's growth surge, little effort was made to preserve the environment. Unchecked industrialization and urban development have resulted in deforestation and the ongoing destruction of wetlands such as the Songdo Tidal Flat.  However, there have been recent efforts to balance these problems, including a government run $84 billion five-year green growth project that aims to boost energy efficiency and green technology.'  Call me crazy but that seems relevant.  Luckily, I read as a child and continue to do so today.  I love to look at maps of the world.  But it is pretty weird that kids can potentially grow up thinking 'Asia: China, Japan.  India.'  I've definitely heard more than one of my elders say 'when I did geography we learned where places were'.  Amen.

Likewise Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong.  Four Asian Tigers.

Next item:

I observed a beautiful piece of human kindness on the subway last week.  Subway musicians are extremely prevalent on the 1 line - my main train.  There's the pirate who sings Irish drinking songs with audience participation and 125th St, my new favourite busker at 103rd (more on him later) the ever-changing high standards of Times Square stop, the flute player, the steel drums at 34th...around 96th st the other day, three young men with conga drums and stools boarded the train.  This is no small undertaking as those things take up space and are awkward to manoeuver but they made it happen.  They drummed very well for a few stops and then, as they always do, jump up and dash up and down the car with a hat saying 'have a great day ladies and gentlemen any donations welcome we hope you enjoyed our music'.  So one of them is hustling up and down when he sees this homeless woman with a cart and a bin bag of stuff, and they make eye contact, and he takes the contents of his donations hat and hands it to her.
What a hero.  I don't know how much that guy was depending on that money - I'm pretty sure his sole income can't be hustling on trains.  Nonetheless he and his two bandmates had hauled conga drums on and off trains all day and given away their awesome talent for a pittance.  That can't feel great all the time.  Sometimes they probably feel really frustrated.  Maybe that's the only way they can get to play their music, maybe subway donations are how they pay for rehearsal space or something.  Whatever the story may be, people had donated money to this guy fair and square and without even a thought he handed it all over.  

Back to the 103rd St musician.  He was a gift that life gave me last Sunday when I had a truly terrible day.  I won't go into details because I'm officially making it a day that never happened.  In short, men in their early 20s shouldn't be allowed out without a supervisor, they can't do anything right and I officially give up. 
So I'm trudging home from the middle of nowhere, Central Park.  It's evening, it's getting cold, I'm not wearing a warm coat, I've been sitting on a rock (don't ask).  Trudge trudge trudge, half an hour later I make it to the 103rd St and Broadway uptown train.  Feeling pretty sorry for myself.  Hungry.  Then across the tracks on the downtown platform, I hear the opening bars of 'Time Of Your Life' by Greenday, which is one of those songs that many of my generations will hold in reverence forever.  It was a staple of the 14 year-old me back garden barbecue with friends.  When you have enough guitarists in your group as we did one of them will eventually produce a guitar and inevitably play this Time Of Your Life, Wonderwall, something by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nothing Else Matters by Metallica or at my insistence, Big Yellow Taxi.
To hear Time Of Your Life then was really balm to my soul, transporting me back to more carefree times when me and my pals used to sit on the grass at the rec in Alresford and eat hot dogs from those disposable barbecues bought at the Co-Op, or sit in the Hellard's back garden with a huge supply of Freddos and tinnies.  I couldn't help but mouth along with the words and sway a little on my bench.  The busker spotted me from across the tracks and gave me a friendly nod of acknowledgement, and I enjoyed a true 'human connection moment' as we grinned broadly at each other whilst singing the same song.  When he finished that one he gave me a little bow and then launched into Redemption Song, one of my favourite songs to sing and also attached to many happy memories.  So he starts playing and singing and he looked across at me as if to check that I was enjoying this one too - I was mouthing and swaying again, natch.  Then the train came squealing to a halt blocking my view.  I got on feeling light as a feather and had completely forgotten about how rotten my day was.  I like to think that my obvious enjoyment of his music improved his day as in turn his music improved mine.  
 Lesson 1: Redemptive and healing power of music.  Lesson 2: Connect with someone, even a stranger across a platform, it warms your heart.  Lesson 3: Not a new lesson but good to reiterate - New York is an unpredictable, tempestuous bitch with crazy mood swings.  If you're looking for equilibrium and consistency you will not find it here.  You have to buckle up and hold on til your knuckles are white, that's how you get to the fantastic bits.  Acknowledgements: Thank you to Greenday and to Bob Marley, and to the busker of 103rd St who I have not seen since and am prepared to believe was some kind of guardian angel spirit guide sent by unknown forces to lift me up.

Item 3
I had a thought about why I like to read so much.  It's a little out there so stay with me.  It is EXHAUSTING being in my brain for a long period of time! Does anyone else experience this? I had a very busy day last week and am currently out of reading material.  My iPod needed charging so was out of action.  No book, no magazine.  An entire day spent running from studio to studio, travelling up and down on subways, waiting for things to begin.  With nothing but my own brain for company.  Phew! Never again.  By the time I was on the journey home I wanted nothing more than to find some mindlessly entertaining TV and do something that required physical but no mental attention - untangling knots or painting my nails or something.  
This is also why sometimes it takes me forever to fall asleep, a fact that drives me nuts.  I often resort to audiobooks as something to concentrate on and cancel out any of my own thoughts that might choose 1am to make an appearance.  It is highly inconvenient that inspiration generally strikes me at night.  It's not just me - Charles Pang is a total night owl who's sleeping pattern is often worse than mine, and many more people are the same way.  Something to do with individual's melatonin cycles...and modern schedules do not cater to those of us whose melatonin demands that we be creative and productive at midnight.  Still, melatonin cycles are one thing, being tired out from incessant buzzing and crashing of your brain is another.  It's not a good kind of tired - I feel like I need to shut down but far too wired to do so.  SO new book needed urgently! Recommendations? The last new thing I finished was Beloved by Toni Morrison and I can't put myself through that again - if you read that book, you should get ready to have some mini meltdowns.  Ideally something excellent but lightish, or snarky and funny.

I'm sure there's more stuff from the week that needs documenting but it will have to wait because I must prepare for an evening of work.  I'm going to work at an event that Screme, a gelato company, is catering for.  That's right, the same Screme that I pretty much subsisted on alone for most of the summer months last year.  Uh oh.  This could end up like that possum or whatever it was that got into a bakery and ate everything, and the owners knew what to blame it on cos the possum was so full that it hadn't been able to leave the scene of the crime and was just lying on its back on the counter.
Wish me luck!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Evidence that I have done something since I came to New York!

 Floating around to Foolish Games by Jewel

 Doing...not much really, just making noises with my feets


I have a couple of videos that I've attempted and failed to upload, but they are on their way.

A cultural day today with a trip to Korea Town for some new food and wonderful company

I had a lot of great magical NYC moments this past week which I will share anon...lots to do, lots to think about.  Fairly empty Saturday tomorrow...my main task will be clearing up all the stuff from epic brownie making today:D It was a brownie kind of day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's child

A successful Tuesday with many thoughts accumulating for blogworld.

I wrote them all down on the back of the timetable I made for myself.  At this moment I will deal only with Tuesday.

I was a hair model this morning/afternoon - not something I've ever entertained doing before but I found it on craigslist and they called me and who am I to turn things down? I showed up at 9.30 this morning ready to be hair and makeupped...and sat around waiting for a long time as the hair and makeup people were late.  It's a company that makes extensions and wigs from real human hair, very in demand as a higher quality alternative to synthetic hair.  They are purchased for extensions, wigs, weaves, hairpieces - and the company also donates hair to victims of burns, cancer, alopecia etc.  So it's for a very good cause, the women running the show today were lovely and it was quite an experience for me.  I was very alarmed at the amount of makeup that was plastered on my face - the artist was great, she did fantastic work on all the other girls, but I know my face well and I also know that a very heavy dark winged eye plus a dark red lip plus heavy contouring and colouring is a bad combination - at best, street walker - at worst, drag queen.  After a while I got used to it and it just felt and looked like heavy dance show makeup which I'm more accustomed to - but when I first saw my made-up face I wanted to tell the artist she was crazy and that putting that much heavy dark colour on a very fair girl is not a good idea.  But, whatevs.  It is all for the resume experience and practice.
See what I mean? Crikey
Plus there was the hair extension...it was just clipped in for me and most of the other girls.  My hair is notoriously fine and consequently any hairpieces should be expertly applied, or my own hair will not cover the join.  As is happening on the left of this picture.  I won't lie and say that I was a little amazed at how the quality of some girls' hair and makeup could be so high when mine was really not thought out well - I would have been better off doing it all myself. 
Hmph.  Made it through though, and immediately ran to the nearest chemist to buy makeup remover wipes and scrubbed my face like fury, as I had two auditions to go to neither of which required the Las Vegas showgirl look. 

I'm going to do the thing you're not supposed to do and say - NAILED IT!
Two good auditions, two happy panels, one delighted Tessa.  I really think half the battle of this audition biz is finding the people that 'get' you.  I always sort of suspected that people casting for summer seasons of multiple shows would not get me.  People casting for one-off reimagined dance pieces do, as we have seen.  And it seems that people casting original works in independent downtown Manhattan theatres about dystopian future societies and Goddesses - those people get me too.  Who woulda thunk it.  We'll see what happens re scheduling etc.  No matter what I know I hit my stride with these folks today.  Everybody gets a win after a string of loses - and BOY did I have a lose over the weekend which I will detail in the near future.

Love and peacexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PS I am 23 in ONE WEEK!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Learning curve

Practicing the ol' basic chords.

Definitely this filling a void in my life - singing something other than musical theatre! In a non-musical theatre way! Wow!

From the Czech Republic (which some Americans think is in Russia) with love

Our dear Ruth Horackova (hor-atch-kova) just came up bringing us a plate of beautiful and delicious homemade Czech treats called - ugh I forgot what they are called but they are really good, with a chocolate biscuit base and cheesecake middle and chocolate on top.  Light but rich and creamy.  She promised us at brunch last week that she would bring us a delicious surprise and she did! Is this what it's like to live in a cooperative? Feels that way, we do a lot of resource sharing.

2C residents are tired out after a crazy wild night of...ice cream, crisps, charades and that game where you have the name of a person on your forehead and have to ask your fellow players questions to work out who it is.  Jacob and I are charades masterminds and should enter competitions, however the other game was nt a victory for him - not the first round anyway.  Sena gave him 'Hello Kitty' and bless him he asked enough of the correct questions to get it down to 'it's a cartoon cat that represents a brand, originated in Asia though is known worldwide and is very popular' - and then got stuck.  In round 2 he got as far as 'he's a legend who lives on a different spiritual plane, is associated with religion, did not create the world, has been around for centuries, originated in Europe who helps and punishes people' but couldn't make the jump to 'Zeus' for a very long time.  It amazes me that he would be essentially reciting a dictionary definition of the thing he was trying to guess and then wouldn't get it for another half hour.  Both of these games are hugely entertaining, watching people frustratedly ask weirder and weirder questions - 'can I be eaten? No? I thought maybe I was a supercarrot or something' and perform funnier and funnier gestures in charades.  Get a bunch of actors together to play that and it will never be boring.

Speaking of funny, I laughed like a drain the other night when I arrived home lateish with Lola and Sena popped out of her bedroom to tell me 'I found the eggs in my bedroom'.  Sena had asked me earlier that day about eggs that she thought she'd had and couldn't find in the fridge - I apologised profusely and said perhaps they had been inadvertently used up at brunch in which case she was welcome to use as many of mine as she wanted.  But no, the eggs were naturally in her bedroom.  ???

I attended an audition earlier today for a new musical set in a futuristic society.  I am sorry to say that it wasn't my best - having had no indication whatsoever what kind of music it would be featuring, choosing a song to do a cut of for them was no easy task last night and I was still umming and ahhing on the train there today.  In the end I think I didn't make the best choice which is a shame but you can just never tell til it's too late really.  And I also know that I need some better 'legit' pieces (bad slang for either classical pieces or 'pieces that primarily employ the upper range, head voice and soprano register' - I Could Have Danced All Night, or Tonight - both 'legit' in this context) as they asked for one and I didn't have anything good in my book so I took a chance which I wasn't that happy with in hindsight.  However I am happy with how I read and I honestly think I would be a good fit for the role, my accent definitely gives me a different angle as she is supposed to be steely, composed and disdainful and, thank you cultural stereotyping, there's nothing that says those things like a bossy, boarding-school-mistress Southern English accent.  Likewise they need trained dancers with an excellent sense of rhythm and someone who is strong and fit.  Well, I'm not in pique physical condition (snort, understatement of the year) but I am strong and fit with a great capacity to become stronger and fitter.  Keeping up my yoga and pilates videos, it's definitely working.
So - yes, I know when I haven't had a great audition.  Perhaps they will still call me in because they like my look or how I read or something, perhaps not.  The point is I'm finding and going to auditions, it's partly a numbers game.

As it is AWESOME PEOPLE BIRTHDAY MONTH I am going to talk a little about this year's extravaganza.  I am proud to present


Teams of two to four
Photo-based - once you've found the list item, you take a picture
Prizes awarded for quantity of things ticked off the list and also quality of things: if the list item calls for a photograph of a famous person, the team who get the closest - or get a picture of team members actually with famous person - win the quality point.
The funnier and weirder the list items the better
Time limit - as yet undecided
Start and finish rendevouz points also yet to be decided but will both be some kind of dive bar
Impartial gamesmaster (probably Maite who will be in her showcase so can't make the beginning of this) will judge at the end
etc etc etc!

I am very very excited about this, I don't think I've ever actually been in a scavenger hunt but it just sounds so funny to send everyone madly scrambling around the whole place and trying to find ridiculous things.  And as one of the most intrepid city explorers of my group of friends, I think I stand a good chance in the rankings! Plus I will get to see some faces I haven't in a good while and when we've finished hunting enjoy a good old knees up at some 20-something centric place on the Lower East Side.

Contributions to the scavenger hunt list warmly welcomed!

Have to take a nap before heading out for the evening, my fellow Brit bonny wee lass Lauren has had her boyfriend Mark here for the last three months, a good long stay after they didn't see each other for almost a year cos he went to Australia, but he's off home tomorrow so she's holding a goodbye bash for him.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Family portrait

When you've lived together a little while, sometimes you all wake up in the morning and decide to wear burgundy.  Apparently.

Projects, bits and pieces, potential leads...as always, life is spontaneous, unpredictable, precarious but in all the best ways.

I should talk a little about Slaughter On Tenth because we had our first rehearsal almost a week ago and it was so wonderful.  I realised abut halfway through that really, this is my dream first project.  Who is my favourite choreographer and one of my all-time favourite anythings? Matthew Bourne - Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Car Man, Edward Scissorhands to name a few plus Mary Poppins West End and Broadway.

What is he best known for? Reworking traditional ballet pieces (see aforementioned) and making them into fresh, vibrant, endearing, comical, heart-rending, multi-faceted, newly enriched works that bring people flocking, even those who normally would run a mile from the words 'all-male Swan Lake'.

What am I in? A reworking of a ballet piece originally choreographed by the mighy Balanchine.  Reimagined by Michael Blevins who - let's review - played Paul in A Chorus Line the movie and originated a role in The Tap Dance Kid among other things.  And now that we've had our first session I know that it's been reimagined into sharp, dynamic, fun to watch and dance, zippy piece that tells the requisite story with a Matthew Bourne-esque sense of humour and what I'm going to call 'sense of the pedestrian'.  I LOVE when choreography really harnesses pedestrian movements and turns them into dance movements - good choreograpy does not equal something packed with sensation, high kicks, multiple turns and tricks.  NOOOOO.  Those are wonderful but I strongly feel that they should punctuate and enhance a piece rather BE a piece - big leaps held together with interesting pirouettes only goes so far.  Mr Blevin's SOTA does not have this problem.  Watching this version I feel like you won't see terrifyingly athletic dancers, fortunate enough to be born with near-superhuman flexibility, doing otherworldly movements supposedly telling the story of SOTA.  You will see a crowd of New Yorkers pounding the pavements and reeling at the horror of another shooting - choreography that looks like real people dancing instead of spectacular but distant, unrelateable leaping robots.  That quality is very important to me.

So why is this my dream project? Ever since I first saw Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker on TV one Christmas I have wanted to do something like that because not only do I connect do it very strongly on the basis of its aesthetic and style, but because I get that kind of thinking.  'What if we did this, but like this?' 'What if I wore this floral dress but with holes in my tights and zebra boots?' 'What if this song was electro with multilayered harmonies?' 'yeah but what if my hair was TWO colours?'
Why not? You know when you're headed utside the box.  It's good to go and see what you find out there.  I found a fantastic piece of work that I'm very happy to be a part of!
It's very common for people in my position to do kid's theatre or a summer season at a rep theatre.  Makes sense, those both require a lot of young people, fresh faces, people they can throw in an ensemble and expect to ask how high when they say jump.  All good learning, honing your craft, getting to know people in the industry, seeing how they put up a show in three weeks, etc.  Some of my friends have booked these jobs - Sena, for example, who goes off to do South Pacific in Pennsylvania in the summer - and I'm dead proud of them.  Any of those jobs would be great.  I can however say that I am doing the kind of work that I've wished for for a long long time.  How many people get to say that?

In other news I had a lovely if exhausting time babysitting on Saturday for Jada's 8th Birthday party - helping mum Jodi keep things running, entertaining the twelve 7/8 year olds who assembled (loudly) in her compact but lovely apartment, serving ice cream, supervising glitter glue...y'know.  I was very flattered to be told that I looked like a total pro at these tasks by a friend of Jodi's - well, when you've done enough Birthday parties, dance classes of 3 and 4 yr olds and backstage helping, you kind of feel like a total pro too.  I think it was the garnishing of several bowls of ice cream at the same time with M&Ms, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and sprinkles without missing a beat that really impressed them - proud of that, I am.  (Luckily not many of the girls could manage a lot of their ice cream sundaes because WOW what a sugar high that would be).
And then at the end after the non-sleepover guests had gone home, I got to watch Pocahontas, with the remaining four.  All Disney gals should be like Pocahontas, she runs around the forest with no shoes and jumps on rocks - I realise that I'm not Native American but still, whenever I'm in a position to say which Disney princess I would be, I pick her.  We have those favourite activities in common.

See? Uncanny.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Extra extra read all about it

Not going to lie - I haven't watched the whole series

Don't really know what's going on

I DO know that about halfway through, we find ourselves in a bathroom, and girl at bathroom mirror is ME

Also a little later on girl looking at record while someone snorts coke off the surface beside her is also me. So here it is folks, I'm an extra in a webseries. That is going on the resume.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


As an official welcome back for Lola, today I did brunch for some friends/neighbours. These are my 'before' pics. I did some prepping last night, and this morning I got up first to bake the carrot and courgette muffins, add some final decorative touches and of course ready myself for hostessing duty with today's creative hairstyle.

-Orange juice
-English muffins
-Carrot and courgette muffins
-Scrambled eggs
-French toast bites
-Syrup -Jam
-Strawberries with yogurt and honey

Myself, Lola, Jacob, Maite, Anel, Joris, Charles and Ruth

Right out of the oven

Tea tray


Brunch table

Dance break

Lola also took pics during -

2C presents: Welcome Back Lola

'So noone told you life was gonna be this wayyyy....I'll be there for you!'

Carrot and courgette muffins in close-up

We have limited seating but we made it work

I am the hostess with the mostest with a bow

Oh yes and I have bought a guitar. Craigslist, very cheap, Yamaha. I am so happy. I have been feeling like something was missing and I think that might just have been what it was because...not sure why, but I am definitely happy to have one in the house. I got pretty good at teaching myself songs a couple of years ago, and it's been almost that long since I had access to a guitar. So I will pick up where I left off, and this way it will be easy for me to fulfil my daily creativity quota. But for now the 'business' of being actor must continue as I trawl through backstage.com and playbill.com for auditions. Laaaaazy Sunday afternoooonxxxxxxx