Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gun Show

I have the nickname 'Taco' due to a joke made at Womad festival one year...
My delightful boss in production (current job) Dan has latched on to this nickname more than anyone else - he now refers to me only as Taco.  I'm ok with this, I like tacos.

This is me being a 100% pure Beef Taco.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The lucky ones

I babysat tonight and because it was a late one, the mother insisted on calling a car service to take me home. So, while I would not have minded schlepping home on the subway, I was more than happy to cruise up Columbus Avenue in the back of a nice warm clean car watching the city disappear behind me through the rain on the rear window.  Nothing like feeling safe and cosy AND fabulous simultaneously.

And now I am literally watching one cat give the other cat a massage...also there's a plate in the sink that I don't remember using...what are these guys doing while I'm out all day??? They're organised...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I'm on Teresa's sofa (catsitting time) with a happy purring cat pawing at me, cracking up to myself - I have inadvertently ended up on MTV.

MTV is pretty much the pinnacle of all that is wrong with American TV (and America) - I suppose it's sort of like how The Sun is all that is wrong with UK newspaperland.  Vapid reality shows where anyone using a word over 2 syllables would be noteworthy.  And...err...I am now in the opening sequence of an episode of a show called - I kid you not - 'Girl Get Your Mind Right' - if I were able to explain the meaning of this I would.  Anyway it's the result of something I did a while ago.  AMDA did a mass mailout
to all the girls a while ago saying there was an MTV thing about some new 'dating show'.  We turned up, we talked on camera about relationships (I would like to thank my friends from whom I anonymously pinched my topics) and were told that they would pick a few to use in opening credits of each episode - it transpires that the 'dating guru' (err...yeah...I will stick with following my own instincts however poorly they might lead me) scrolls through clips of different girls chatting on cam and 'mmhmms' her way through a line of advice for each clip before picking one around whom the episode will be based.  All of us assumed we just wouldn't end up being used as there were so many MTV-friendly girls at the call, but my friend Serena informed me that she had seen me on the show, a fact which amuses me endlessly.  Although, I'm not so far above anything that it won't go slap bang on my resume, yes sirree!

A few more days with the kitkats and then I leave this side of Harlem and return to my own tree-lined street in friendly, salsa-music blasting, pavement-picnicking, Spanish-speaking, papaya-juice drinking deckchair-filled helado-vending Washington Heights.  The difference in neighbourhoods is striking.  And comforting - the other day when I made the trip home to watch the Tonys with everyone, I felt myself visibly light up when I got off the train and walked the 2 blocks to my street.  Little things, little things.

A cloudy day on Googlemaps

That to the right, the blue-grey building, is mine.  And that bottom level of the fire escape right above the door is my place.

And that's the view from the top.

I think it's better in the sun - it's a Dominican, Puerto Rican and Mexican neighbourhood, three cultures that are borne of sunny climates.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I don't mean to seem like I care about material things

Yes, it is still quiet in my blogosphere...but that doesn't mean it's quiet in my head!

I realised today that not only am I busy working at AMDA, going through the rituals of day-to-day life (recycling, sweeping, carrying tables and chairs on the subway), audition hunting, trying to improve self by working on Spanish etc, but I am busy EATING LIFE WITH A SPOON.  Today was one of those wonderful days which I will look back on and everything will be sepia-tinted, full of heat, laughing a lot, trying new things and most importantly friends.
And it's important that we do that as we stumble along.  I love blogging and reflecting on my little life but if I blogged all the live long day as some do in this internet age, I suppose I wouldn't have anything to blog about.  Today as I sat on the train home with Lola, Joris and Lauren, I had one of those 'this is it, right now' moments where I just looked at my friends sleepily swaying in their seats and felt like I had just about reached the pinnacle of existence.

I am writing this sitting at our new kitchen table complete with four chairs (of the aforementioned subway ride, absolutely free courtesy of yet another generous voice teacher) as it has just started to pour with rain outside.  After a week of raging heat, it's a wonderful sound and though the window is wide open beside me it is deliciously warm.  I worked a lot this past week, I will be working a lot in the next couple, yet somehow I still have the feeling that I am on holiday in some hot country.  Coming home on sunny days certainly feels like arriving in a hybrid of various Latin countries - on our street, people are having barbecues on the pavement, sitting on the steps outside their building, blasting salsa, selling helado on the corner.  It's blissful.  The older I get the better I get at enjoying the little things IN THE MOMENT and not worrying about, well, everything.  Big worrier.  Getting older's brilliant.
To round off this sentimental splurge I will just acknowledge, again, the fabulousness that is my group of friends out here.  We are definitely our own little family who take care of each other in innumerable ways.  Because the majority of my close circle here are fellow internationals, there is always the issue of the time limit hanging over our heads, knowing that some day we will all have to scatter to most corners of the earth - I think that's another reason why I am so determined to EAT LIFE.  Forget the spoon, I need a shovel.   Although these are lifelong bonds I've made here, it is always hard to leave people, or when others have to leave so it's important to me that while we can, while we are young and healthy and free, we have the best fucking time anyone's ever had together.

Speaking of people leaving, I previously mentioned that we had to bid a sad and sudden farewell to Mighty Maite.  Drum roll...SHE'S BACK ON THURSDAY! A resolution was found to the thing that took her home in the first place so she is returning to pick up where she left off.  The amount of joy that we are all feeling at this news and the fervour of our 'welcome back Maite' planning is testament to the friendship that I am so obsessed with today.

Also obsessed with the new thing I tried today:

It's a deep fried Oreo! I know my arteries should clog up at the mere though but my gosh are these things delicious.  It's ok, me and Lola went halfsies on a serving of 6.

I am floating in a bubble of total contentment and, as has been proved to us in the last 2 weeks, you never know when life will throw you a curveball.  Maite's departure was one, and the other big one was what befell Anel a few days later.  She cut her hand and, because it didn't stop bleeding for hours, she went to the hospital where she was told she would need to see a specialist to check for and repair any nerve damage.  So she was very anxious at the prospect of dealing with that, her parents' arrival, performing in her showcase with one non-functioning hand, the traumatic experience of a hand that won't stop bleeding and a hospital visit by herself (she named me her emergency contact which gave me a strange sense of pride) etc etc.  Now however the feeling is returning to the fingers that we were worried about and she can move them all.

In conclusion, carpe diem, no regrets and live in the moment because who knows what the next one will hold.  Yes, I know, everyone knows that, these are phrases that get bandied about everywhere.  But I don't think they mean anything until you've really found a reason to believe them and I don't think that comes at 12, or 16, or even 18 when we think we are fully adult.  I mean, I'm still not now.  I wish 16 year old me had known that eventually it would start to all make sense - on the other hand, if she had known then maybe she wouldn't have made so many mistakes or had so much fun because she would have had nothing to learn.

I am rubbish at conclusions, much better at tangents.

Congratulations to Anel for a wonderful, knock-it-out-of-the-park performance in her showcase today and her new status as an AMDA graduate.

This great song is where today's blog title comes from and it is actually about the frontman's wife and daughter, but I don't know - when I listen to it I think of MY girls (and guys) who are not wives or children but certainly family.

And speaking of family, countdown to Dad: 17 days!!!!! And more Happy Birthdays!