Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Buckle up this got really pensive and I wasn't planning that

Well I took two dance classes on Friday and my hamstrings are still pretty shredded.
This is upsetting because contemporary and hip hop were both hard work but not especially advanced or intense so should be well within the capacity of anyone calling themselves a dancer. They were, except for the fact that I have to modify so much of just the warm up to get through without really injuring myself due to my uncooperative legs. And even though I modified, I still ended up mad hamstring pain. This is in part due to many years of overstretching and reading muscle fibres because I wanted to - to quote an AMDA teacher - 'be a hero'. I unfortunately learned too late that being a hero in dance class - pushing your body beyond its actual physical capacity - actually benefits no-one least of all you. The compulsion is always there, though - to not push beyond limits feels like admitting defeat, and in dance world it's like an unwritten rule that unless you have an actual broken bone level injury you do not stop, unless you want to be known as a whiny little b****. For girls, as with just about everything, it is far worse. This is also an unwritten rule perpetuated by dancers - your teacher won't tell you to carry on if you're in pain (at least I've been lucky to never have a teacher who did).
The two classes I took on Friday were a solid reminder of all that but it's something I haven't had to contemplate for a while because I haven't put myself in a position where it's an issue.
I had to recently explain to someone why I was rejecting an audition they told me about. It was for a dance company called ALMA. I saw their website, I looked at their videos. I was a frustration combination of jealous and humiliated. I had to explain to this person that I would not get into that company because, as I can see from their videos, they want showgirl-type dancers with long legs and perfect hip rotation to allow them to kick high in any direction. A lot of the pieces were done in character heels - literally dance shoes with a 3 inch heel.  I've learned the hard way too many times how much my knees hurt after just a few minutes dancing in heels.
I had to explain to this person who has actually known me for five years that I can't do that. They said 'you're telling yourself no, why don't you try it and find out, I think it would be great for you'. While it is important to take leaps of faith it's also important to protect yourself emotionally and physically. If I had gone to that audition I would have been a fish out of water - as much as if I'd gone to an audition for an acrobatic dance company. And if by some miracle I'd been accepted, I would have put my physical well being and safety in jeopardy.
It's hard to convince people that sometimes it's ok to know your limits and protect yourself.
It was a weird moment and something I'm clearly still mulling over, don't quite have the answer yet.
But meanwhile the project I'm rehearsing for, 'The Unseen' is giving me wings. That is a company where I absolutely fit - even better, fit and then expand with them.

So I suppose what's so strange about feeling bad about an audition I'm completely wrong for is that there's no need because I'm quite happy where I am. I think this means that while I am finally starting to learn where I do fit in the dance world (for the first time) it will take a bit longer before I can quite let go of the part of me that wants to be a standard conventional chorus line-y type.

Ah growth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Green pastures

Today I danced in a beautiful park overlooking a river.  I also spent time at Tea and Sympathy enjoying chocolate cake, scones and a cuppa.  I lit a candle at home and spent some time in quiet reflection.
Now I'm watching The Vicar of Dibley, which for all its silliness will always feel familiar and not just as nostalgic entertainment.
These things all give bond me in some way to my home and loved ones who I'm thinking of every day.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

PR - Pancake Riot

Just wanted to share my terribly indulgent breakfast - coconut and chocolate pancakes with coconut cream and maple glazed banana.
And yesterday basically all I ate were pastries. Mmmm pastries.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


No this is not a blog about a sea creature encounter in Puerto Rico (sadly, I would've loved to meet a shark)
That blog is imminent fear not. I took mad pics and being a sentimental type I'm having trouble choosing the best out of the multiple shots I took of, well, everything.

This week, I am a shark. Sharks don't stop moving, they are constantly forging ahead. This is good and bad.
Good: I'm getting things done.
This week I went to an audition, worked on an extra project I've been assigned by Troy, dogsat, finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, returned to reading Blood Meridian, submitted for auditions, rode my bike to the library and took out three books, began an art project, filmed a short improvised dance in a cool location, took tap class and worked my two usual jobs.

Bad: I'm not actually a shark so this may not be sustainable long term. I just have the strong feeling that to stop now will be to sink. It's daunting.

In GREAT news, I got the release date wrong - episode one of Keplers Ark by Ben Holbrook is OUT TODAY for your listening pleasure!
You can download and listen free from

If you're not entirely sure what's going on by the end of the first episode, good. It was pretty mysterious to me first time through as well.

If you want to hear me sound tense and stressed, be annoyed with people and ask questions in an incredulous tone, listen to this podcast!
Or, you know, call me on the phone.


Anyway I just listened and its super fun to hear everything mixed and edited with sound FX and music added. 

Here is a picture of me doing what's known as 'serving up some face' post-audition - it didn't go as I wished so a defiant mirror selfie in the next studio over seemed as good a coping method as any.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Step into my booth

Recorded a podcast this week! It's a sci fi series and this week we recorded the first 9 episodes of an 18 episode season.
I had so much fun doing this. For one thing the cast and crew are fun, relaxed and talented so I spent much of the week in stitches. For another, my character is a stone cold badass who digs major weaponry, dominating in hand to hand combat and eating huge plates of meat.
Oh yeeeaaah. More of this please.
Also I don't know what happens next and I really want to find out.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Viva PR

Me voy escribir en español porque yo quiero mas practicar.  Me voy a Puerto Rico en 6 días!!! Y estoy muy contente y excitado.

Tengo un amigo de Puerto Rico y el esta mi guía turística.    Quiero visitar las playas, El Yunque (la selva tropical) y los pueblos pequeños.

I am going to write in Spanish because I want more practice.  I'm going to Puerto Rico in 6 days!!! And I'm very happy and excited.

I have a friend from Puerto Rico and he is my tour guide.  I want to visit the beaches, El Yunque (the tropical rainforest) and the small towns.

Also today I made really delicious chili with sweet potato, black beans and quinoa, did laundry, rode my bike, read, brainstormed some ideas, cleaned, replied to emails and booked a dance studio for Monday morning.  And I'm about to watch The Crucible (with Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder) for essential research for dance theatre piece.  Productive or what!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Two weekends

Just some nice things I did over my last couple of Saturdays and Sundays. Significant because I haven't had a weekend in New York to myself with no commitments or responsibilities since...err...early June.

Last weekend I took myself out for breakfast and enjoyed a quiet hour listening to a podcast while eating. I spent time at home cleaning and tidying and then a bit of lolling around. In the evening I went to the cinema with Rosi and Jeff to see Captain Fantastic with Viggo Mortensen - I liked it a lot, recommend. We went for a frozen margarita afterwards at a great place with a huge outdoor seating area.

Over the last couple of weeks the daytime temperature has been between 85 and 93 degrees Farenheit although I suspect it was actually much higher in some areas. 

Sunday I met Sam, Val and a friend of theirs from L.A. for brunch and a really nice catch up. We ate near their place and I chose to enjoy the sun and walk most of the way back to mine, crossing the park as I did so. I went home to sit on the sofa eating frozen pineapple (my new sweltering heat snack of choice - trust me it's genius) before cleaning myself out to go and meet Natalia and Lauren for a long overdue catch up over some drinks in a Cuban diner and then on the roof of some guy Naty works with. A very pleasant way to spend time with my friends.

During the week inbetween I worked, babysat, chatted with roommates. Also had the second rehearsal for the podcast play written by mighty Ben Holbrook - it's so much fun and I can't wait to hear them once they've been recorded and sound edited. Love my job. I'm also really excited to start work on an immersive dance theatre piece with a choreographer I've been dying to work with for months, not to mention dancers I'm really happy to be in a cast with. Watch this space, we go up in late October.

So this weekend I had a morning at home doing more cleaning and tidying things before going to watch 'Sinners on a Southbound Bus' also by mighty Ben Holbrook which was selected for the New York Fringe Festival. It, like everything he does, is fantastic. Super cool to see his work being fully produced and viewed by so many people, we are proud.
Then I went home and was joined shortly after by David and we enjoyed some chit chat aroind the kitchen table before retiring for the night.

Today (Sunday) I woke up unexpectedly early and got going with all kinds of things. Scheduling my life for the next two weeks, working in dance classes and studio space around work and rehearsals. I ticked a few things off my to-do list the biggest of which was 'retrieve my bike'. I chose - perhaps a little unwisely - to run to Sam's. I should say I haven't done a long run since about mid-June so I was a bit apprehensive. Full disclosure I didn't run the full way - I took a walk break. In fairness it was about 90 Fahrenheit and its nearly 6 miles. But I arrived at his front door running. I hung out with Bobby and Bitbit for a little while, both because I miss them and to catch my breath/cool off before finally rescuing Frances and heading back across Brooklyn.
After a quick clean up and turnaround I'm now on my way to Anel's house because she decided, unprompted, not long ago to cook brunch for a group of friends. Thanks Anel!
After that I will head to the first rehearsal for the new dance project - I'm really looking forward to being in a room with this group of people for the first time.
I'm out!