Friday, July 21, 2017

All things considered


This morning I was walking to the train and a guy skateboarded into me.  I took a step back and felt someone crash into me then saw him stumbling over and a skateboard shot past my feet.  He was behind me and should definitely have been far enough away in the first place that I could take a step and not get hit.  Naturally I apologised profusely to him and asked if he was ok then as I walked away
I thought 'wait...he was behind me...he could see me...he skateboarded smack into me...'

At Steps things were a little wacky.  The guy who was supposed to take over from me at the front desk at 12.30 didn't show up so I was still ringing people into class at 1.  Managers let me sign out even though it was the middle of a big rush (because I had two shifts today so I needed the time) so everyone else had to stretch themselves thin.  That guy should have showed up on time.

I managed to rush my way into a theatre jazz class (arriving late at 1.15pm due to aforementioned late arriver) and was feeling good but half way through one of the times my group danced the routine, my knee tweaked and there were shooting pains and it couldn't bear weight.  I stepped out and sat down, someone brought me ice, I stayed in the room watching for the final 10 minutes of class.  I hobbled out and the other Work Study girls were very kind and sweet.  I sat with more ice for a while then returned to the front desk for my second shift of the day.

Someone was late again, not for me this time thankfully but it made everything generally crazed and confusing for a while.  We had a lull - Friday afternoons/evenings are slow.  A lady called at 7.15 who turned out to be someone infamous at Steps, banned in fact from taking classes, because she is possibly mentally ill and always extremely abrasive and venomous to staff, faculty and management. She calls almost every day and demands to be allowed to speak to the owners (they're not here, it's 7.15 on a Friday).  She called my friend Madelyn, who had to deal with her on the phone, incompetent.  Very unpleasant.

I had to skip the second class I planned to take today because I was afraid of my knee screwing out again.  It feels fine to walk on and it can comfortably take all my weight.  It was tap with one of my favourite teachers and someone of my favourite frequent classmates, and I had to sign them all in and answer 'not today' when they said 'are you taking class?'

For such a sad list of things, I feel pretty great - tired, and cautious, but I spent 12 hours in my happy place today and now I'm chilling with Game of Thrones and a dopey retriever in another happy place so...that's alright! Huge love to all my lovesxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Still young still fun!

So that was last week.  I did tech, dress and performances, worked at Steps four days in a row, worked at ASG every day, babysat, took classes when I could and just about every day saw me leaving the house at 7.30 and coming home at 10 or 11.

All of which meant that when Saturday evening rolled around and I finished up my cafe shift at Steps at 6.30 and made my way to the Village to settle into my dog sitting digs (me and Maverick for the week, yay!) I felt compelled to revel in an evening free of commitments, completely unscheduled...it's almost overwhelming when that happens, so unaccustomed am I these days!

I made plans to have dinner with a friend in Brooklyn in my old beloved neighbourhood and I spent a leisurely time enjoying the space and sunlight bestowed upon me by the dog sitting gig before going to Mayfield where we ordered a series of small plates so we could have lots of options and avoid indecisiveness - mushroom ravioli in cream sage sauce, French fries, collard greens with bacon, fried oysters, spoonbread (I had never had spoonbread, I have now had it and oh. my. goodness - it's a very soft corn based bread that almost feels like you're eating some kind of flan but with the mealiness of semolina, absolutely delicious) and had a great catch up.  It was amazing to feel for the first time in weeks that I am in fact a 20 something and I can wear nice clothes and go to nice places and enjoy the nice things in life without needing to worry or feel guilty about something.  I truly earned rich food and a charming setting (we ate outside on a small greenery-decked back patio).

From there I went back to Manhattan now to the Lower East Side to join the housewarming party of my friend Connie.  Connie is a fantastic Oxfordshire transplant who I met in April when she performed in the Peter Shaffer Memorial that Sam and FTP put together - I don't remember now who it was that brought her in for that but I'm so glad they did because she's an excellent new friend.  Nice to meet someone from a home county and not London.  Apart from being a very gifted actor and singer she's great company.  We clicked the first time we met and haven't managed to hang out since so we pretty much had our own party for the night.  She'd also come to see my first night of Dickless preview and was very kind and supportive re: that.  Once again, a house party full of people my own age is an unfamiliar setting nowadays and this one had all the bells and whistles: cup sport-based drinking games, vodka jelly, endless supply of beers and spirits, crisps, someone who overindulged and threw up, extra guests in the form of upstairs neighbours who the hostesses had never met before and people sneaking into someone's bedroom to smoke plants.  Like, if you're going to have a house party might as well tick all the boxes, right?
I got there at 12.30, and at 4am (after the sick person had been dispatched in a taxi with another, slightly less sick person) we headed to a bar that shall remain nameless because it's known for having the odd lock in.  No details but I eventually walked back into the dog sitting apartment at 6am, ordered some carb-heavy breakfast foods from a cheap corner store that delivered, scarfed them down in three bites and conked out for four hours.  No hangover to speak of - it's not the drinking that I enjoy about revealing in my 20-somethingness, it's just the being there and celebrating the moment and seeing the wrong side of a sunrise for the first time in a couple of years.  Brilliant time with a new friend, a well-deserved night of cutting loose and to top it off an absolutely blissful New York day.  They come along once in a while, the kind of day touched by magic that makes you feel like the protagonist of a beautiful film or charming book.
Glorious blue sky, a walk with Maverick, a nice languid start to the day and even managed to get some things done like emails and laundry.  Then a visit to Lauren at work, Tea and Sympathy, where I knew I'd be able to get some nosh and a coffee - chef Miguel indulged me with a Welsh rarebit and Lauren and I caught up from the two days its been since we saw each other last.  She also thinking and moving a bit slow today as she celebrated her final show by going to a party on a boat - rocking boat combined with a glass too many of wine, picture at your own risk. After setting the world to rights for a bit with Lauren and Tash the other girl working today, went and lay down on the grass in the nearest park for an hour's snooze (covered in suncream natch) and on the neighboring patch of grass in a deckchair was John Cameron Mitchell reading a book.  He's the creator of the recent Broadway hit formerly a cult movie/musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  V. cool.
After a bit of shut eye, a walk to my current favourite purveyors of ice cream La Newyorkina, Mexican style and flavours such as horchata (cinnamony rice-based drink), cajeta (goat's milk caramel), cactus pineapple and coconut lime.  Eating my ice cream as I went, strolled my way through sunny streets back to Maverick and took him for his evening walk before prepping for the thing I've been waiting for since last spring - the return of GAME OF THROOOOONES
Fellow GoT nerd friends and I have had our tin foil hats on theorising and speculating all week (which is half the fun of the show honestly) and I curled up with some snacks, a Mav and my phone on silent for an hour of thrills and chills.
Perfect end to a perfect day - and I will sleep WELL tonight, I guaranzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz






Gun Show

Some snaps from Dickless previews at East to Edinburgh.
Phew! We did it.

I went up on Tuesday and Thursday, Lauren on Wednesday and Saturday.  I preferred my Tuesday to my Thursday but overall happy with how both of them went, especially considering some weird circumstances (old people nodding off, people being incredibly rude and loud - we break the fourth wall so not just audience looking at us, we are looking at them, difference is we didn't pay to look at them whereas they did pay to look at us so you'd think they'd try to do it properly!) and doing both my nights on the back of a looong day.  I had a blast.  As with all performances but especially performances that utilise direct address and fourth wall breaking, you can truly never get a real handle on it until you do it for a full house of strangers - that's when the adrenaline pumps, you have people to tell your story to and you discover new things by really living in the story you're telling, because the stakes are higher now that there are people who need to understand it.  The feeling of being so fully immersed in a role that you do new stuff you never did it rehearsal as an instinct of the character rather than of you - that's a pretty spectacular sensation.
It was well received by most people as far as I can tell and I had a pretty full audience both nights, the strangest part being that there were so many strangers - I'm so used to audiences made up mostly of my friends!

It was a stressful and exhausting week but satisfying and triumphant. I am glad now to be able to take a deep breath and relax a bit.  We will be having a couple of rehearsals between now and Edinburgh and some when we get there to re-set in a new space.  

A frequent FTP photographer got some good snaps of us in dress rehearsal, most of which certainly captured the intensity of the play.  It's a raucous ride. And its no wonder I lost my voice two weeks ago! Surprise breakout star of the show was apparently my arms as at least five times in the past week people have commented on them, some specifically in reference to the show and a couple just randomly out in the world - I think I've maybe been doing stress-induced sleep press ups? Either way, POW POW GUN SHOW

So that's the past week, I'm very proud of myself Lauren and Jamie for our work and very grateful to the rest of the team who did everything else required to put it together.  






L-R Virginia producer, Downie co-star, Stacy lighting and sound booth technician and warm up/vocal/diction coach, Jamie director, Myself, Aisha playwright

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Roots

Two angles same song - Thanks to the gracious invite from the excellent Jessie and Kiley, this is what I sang in a laid back cabaret at Thalia Bar, and the cross-fire hurricane that has been life for the past few weeks made me want to do something familiar and comfortable that I have been singing to myself for a long time. It should once again be noted that the TLOGs played a gig on the same night and while Wild Horses isn't part of their standard repertoire it fits in perfectly so it was like my own little satellite gig.

It's ON


In two days I'm gonna be doing some stuff a bit like this ↓
on stage at 59E59 Theatres.  I am v. excited.






Last night I sang Wild Horses in a cabaret hosted by two friends.  It's called Family Liquid Dinner, it was a lot of fun they are super cool girls one of whom will be coming to Edinburgh also with her own crew and their show.  So, technically ALL the Old Gits had a gig last night!

I just gave myself the precious gift of lots of sleep in the form of a lie in, and I'm working at the Steps Cafe this afternoon, and somewhere along the way I'm getting myself some kind of carbohydrate heavy breakfast foods.  

Pray for me and my blisters!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

1000%

I am EXHAUSTED

I am VERY OVERSCHEDULED

I am FRAUGHT

I am PROUD OF MY WORK

I am GRATEFUL FOR MY SUPPORT SYSTEM

I have BEEN THIS BUSY AND STRESSED BEFORE SO I KNOW HOW TO DO IT

I am GETTING THINGS DONE

And very importantly I TOOK MYSELF OUT FOR AN HOUR LAST NIGHT TO EAT CHIPS AND ICE CREAM AND THEN NEARLY FELL ASLEEP ON A PARK BENCH CAME HOME WENT TO BED AT TEN AND SLEPT FOR TEN HOURS

Woohoo! Time to subletmyroomgetmyshiftscoveredatstepswashmydanceclothesfindsomecostumepiecesfordicklessdepositsomecashpaysomebillstakeacoupleofdanceclassesearnsomemoneydrinkwaterkeepcalmandcarryon






Saturday, June 24, 2017

You Are.

Today during class, in between exercises, Ray Hesselink said to me (and he pointed to me and looked me right in the eye and it came from the blue) 'You are a beautiful performer, you can see that you have so many different styles in your body'
and I honestly almost cried.

Then someone from the front desk came to take the register of who was in the class today, and when they called me I said 'here' beaming all over my face and I caught his eye and he gave me a little wink.

I can float on that for what feels like forever.

I really needed to catch a break this week, and I'm truly delighted by this small piece of recognition, and I am proud of myself and I absolutely deserve to be.  I work very hard and I try to do right by everyone, and I don't give up.  So, thanks be to Ray, it truly meant a lot to hear that and I feel great after a long and tough week.