Sunday, January 11, 2015

Blasts from the Pasts

I had the unexpected opportunity to visit days gone by twice today.

1) Met with Maite at Magnolia for a long overdue catch up (she's been in Spain for a month) and we ate cake and discussed world issues and politics.  Hahahaha no we didn't we discussed getting in shape and boys.
When we came to part ways she remembered just in time that I needed to give her Anel's keys (I had them because I stayed in their place for Christmas) as Anel returns tonight.  The man working in the news stand that we were standing in front of laughed when he saw us both dramatically cry 'OH YES thank goodness you remembered!' and we turned to him to share the humour.  And it was none other than my old friend, the man from H&M news, the newsagent I used to go almost every day on the way home from school pickup.  The very same man who shook my hand and called me a warrior.  Who gave me free gum every single time.  He hasn't been in H&M news for almost a year and I always wondered where he went to.
We immediately recognised each other and had a warm reunion with handshakes and yes, free gum.  He asked if I'd been to England, he asked after my family.  He asked where I'd been and I asked him the same thing.  Now I know he is there at that newsstand from 3-11 every day.  I can scarcely believe such a thing happened.  Someone who had been a constant in my life in a small but important way had vanished.  And out of the complete azure, boom there he is! Crackers, right? It made me grin and grin.

2) This one needs some context: tomorrow I will be playing the role of Dottie in a reading of a children's musical called Gary the Invincible Boy.  Dottie is Gary's best friend, unrequited love interest and reporter for the school newspaper.  It's super cool.  Anyway it's being held in Queens at the apartment of the director who is my good friend and enabler of good things Katie Pettit.  The last thing I did in Queens was Rockabye Hamlet which began not much less than a year ago.  Katie lives in a slightly different part of Queens which can be accessed by either the N, Q or R trains or the M60 bus.  On the way home after an excellent and fun rehearsal, I opted to walk with some others to the N/Q train station, a longer but more pleasant walk than the R down Astoria's 30th Avenue.
The subway station in question is the same exact one that I used to get to Rockabye Hamlet's rehearsals and performances, which I did for two months a few days every week.  So I was there a lot and the few blocks between the station and the turning for our rehearsal and performance space became very familiar to me.  We were approaching the station from the opposite direction tonight, but as soon as I saw Green Mountain Coffee, my favourite coffee spot from Rockabye Hamlet time, I was taken right back to last March.  Climbing the steps (it's an above ground subway stop) going through the turnstile and standing on the same platform where I spent so many late nights waiting 20 minutes for a train to take me to Manhattan felt like an automatic set of motions, well-practiced and muscle memorised.  And when the train actually came and I was riding along looking out at the same view, my instincts still remembered when the train was about to stop, without looking up from my book.
All of this made me think as I sat there.  Last time I was making that trip I was in a pretty terrible place.  I was freaking out about my visa, my AMDA job had come to an end because of visa stuff so I was down an income, my computer had died, Lola had decided she was leaving, personal life things weren't going well, it was pretty bleak.
I remember it being a time when I had many, many long phone conversations with a close friend who lives in the Midwest trying to battle through all these issues and figure how to fix them.  I remember feeling quite lonely, even when I was riding the train with friends from the cast.  In fact the very last time I took that train from that station, I was with my cast partner and friend who I'd become very close with and who was leaving for Utah in two days so it was a sad subway ride.
BUT fast forward a little less than a year and things couldn't be more different.  Yeah things are never easy and issues will always arise but so much good change has come about for me since then.  Visa. Much more confidence and self-assurance in certain life areas.  New headshots that I'm proud of.  New and well established performer relationships.  My own room.  Even a new computer! It beggars belief.

So that's my two blasts from the past today.  All this AND I had a lovely time with Maite AND I Skyped with Lola for a couple of hours this morning and we had so much fun going through my headshots picture by picture and deciding which are good and laughing uproariously at the ones that are not.  And I went to the gym but sssshhh don't tell anyone, I have a rep to keep up! A rep as a stubbornly anti-gym cake eater.  Ask anyone.

I just checked Facebook from this time last year and 1 year and 1 day ago today my laptop died.
And I was getting ready to do this:


Visually:


How's THAT for growth?? I think so!





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