Thursday, February 19, 2009

What makes me happy?

Being in my body: practicing yoga, elliptical, massage, breathing

Doing things with my hands: crochet, sewing, writing with a pen, folding laundry


Acting; specifically, performing for an audience

Food: cooking and eating

I've noticed that when I'm following a path that leads me away from these things, my cranky alarm goes off. This becomes especially evident when I'm hungry, as anyone who's spend a lot of time with me has probably witnessed.

In San Francisco, I'd exercise for an hour first thing every single morning. It helped me focus, energize, and feel healthy and pretty. These days, I spend 9 hours a day sitting at a desk, answering a phone and doing my thing on the interwebs. I make it to yoga or the gym a few days a week, but always in the evening when I'm exhausted from sitting (How is this possible? It's the same thing with travel) or weekends when my brain is distracted. I've started to develop pain in my lower back and hips that is made worse by sitting and better by moving around. Coincidence? No! Psychosomatic? Entirely possible! This morning I woke up obscenely early (5:45... with the garbage men) and got myself to the gym before work. And wouldn't you know, today I feel great. Yes, still some pain from sitting down, but I have energy to spare and even a bit of joie de vivre at this boring, mind-numbing job. It's an obvious solution nearly every time I have a problem- not just literal exercise, but listening to what my body needs.

There is no self without body, but sometimes there is body without self. And it totally sucks.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What is deep, as love is deep, I'll have
Deeply. What is good, as love is good,
I'll have well. Then if time and space
Have any purpose, I shall belong to it.
If not, if all is a pretty fiction
To distract the cherubim and seraphim
Who so continually do cry, the least
I can do is to fill the curled shell of the world
With human deep-sea sound, and hold it to
The ear of God, until he has appetite
To taste our salt sorrow on his lips.

- Christopher Fry

I've been feeling very uninspired lately. Nine months out of school, the longest I've ever been away (and no return in sight). I've never had so little structure, so few projects, so few demands made on my time and energy. I have a day job that, though it pays enough and asks little of me, is sucking the life and creative spirit right out of me. I sit here and surf the internet, and read, and do crossword puzzles. I want to write. I want to act. I want to take advantage of this time captive at a desk and DO SOMETHING. But I'm an actor, and an actor needs a play. I don't know how to start a project on my own. But of course I do, I've done it before. One just... starts.

Sometimes I worry that I'm not really an artist. I don't know that I have the
need to create that so many others do. I love it, yes. I love the detail work, getting lost in my imagination, being in the same room with someone who is pretending the same thing that you are pretending. I love getting laughs. I love being on a roll and new ideas are just streaming out, because I'm "in the moment" and out of my head. I love the satisfaction of a job well-done. I even love the struggle and the frustrated feeling that comes after, that it could have been so much better and I'll never have the chance again to do it "right."

But as much as all those things are true, there are other truths as well. Like laziness, shyness, lack of motivation and ignorance of how to start. They say not to wait around for work to find you... you have to make your own. But then there's the desire for a comfortable life... marriage, babies, home-improvement projects and nice meals. My "art" doesn't pull and tug at me the way it must for those who sacrifice everything to create. To fight the demons or appease the angels... I just don't have that.

But I know I have some "human deep-sea sound." Everyone does. I have something to say about something, I just know I do. And as Fry says, it's a crime not to say it. I have an obligation, a reason. It seems that the world needs to hear the specific thing that I have to say. And no one can say it but me.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Year's End

January: Muffin- baking

February: Gym

March: Orlando

April: Showcase

May: Graduation

June: New York

July: Harlem

August: California

September: Money

October: Bryan

November: Ruby

December: Snow

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Act I, Scene v

If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smoothe that rough touch with a tender kiss.

Good pilgrim you do wrong your hand too much
Which mannerly devotion shows in this
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do.
They pray, grant thou, lest faint turn to despair.

Saints do not move, though grant for prayer's sake.

Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Not sad but...

My two best friends are going to be in this very apartment within the week, I made $57 in tips last night, and I'm about to go on a D-A-T-E. Besides the disappearance the mini-infestation happening in the cabinet under the kitchen sink, what could be better?


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Faith in Humanity

What a great fucking night. Wow. I have to write about this because my roommate is in bed and it's 2am on a Thursday morning, I just got home from a play reading that blew my mind and new freinds and a fun bar and amazing connections and what a small fucking world this is. This isn't going to be a coherent post, not because I'm drunk (one red wine and one Blue Moon, tyvm) but because I'm so high on how amaing things can be if you just let them happen and don't think and just talk and act and speak your mind and laugh.

Two months ago I did an EPA for a 6-person Three Sisters that pays nothing and I totally thought I bombed the audition. Two days later I get an email from the guy I read with , who is in the production, saying I thought you were great and I went to ACT too. I was quite flattered and happy. Then a couple weeks ago, he emails me to ask if I'll be in this informal living-room reading of a new play his friend wrote. I said yes of course (my first NY gig! sort of!) and was super stoked. I read it and wasn't crazy about it but the funny part was that I play a Russian coked out stripper (it takes place in a strip club) which is about two baby steps away from Sasha, the last part I played in school last March. Pretty funny.

So I go to the reading and I'm no in the best mood, but I'm wearing my power boots and my favorite green sweater and my red lipstick (I tell you, it's a fucking miracle, this lipstick- makes me think about my mouth which makes me want to talk which makes me want to have opinions) and I feel immediately welcome and friendly and interesting when I get there. he lives i nthis sweet apartment near Columbia, which is pretty close to my apartment and is a really cool area that I want Raife and Alex to live in so we can hang out there. There are two other ACT grads there from earlier years, and everyone is nice and fun. We chat, we start to read, and turns out this play is actually really good, it just needed to be spoken and not readwith eyeballs. The other actors are, for the most part, amazing. Only two or three don't blow me away, out of 11. One was the babka lady from Seinfeld! I love my part, I think I nail it at times, and everyone sort of agrees. I get lts of kudos, NOT THAT THAT MATTERS but it sure as hell feels grat after not acting for 4 months. Just to jump in and play with people and make choices and do a dialect and, well, ACT.

After the reading's done we have this awesome discussion about the play, giving the writer feedback (she's totally cool, my age and a vegan who works at themost awesome vegan restaurant called Candle Cafe on the UES, you have to go there if you ever get the chance) and I was like the polar opposite of how I ever was in Michael Paller's class; I actually had thngs to say that mattered and helped, I hope, and that people either agreed with or disagreed with but who cares, I said them and they were valid and I am a smart artist who can SO FUCKING DO THIS and my faith in my own talent and humanity has bee restored, at least for this one night.

We disband but five of us go to a bar, including the guy who emailed me and the writer and another ACT guy, both from the 90's and we know so many people in common, and have the same work ethic and aesthetic and to make a rambling story a tiny bit shorter, these two guys are like immediate best friends. I feel completely comfortable and fun and interesting with them, which is so rare for me ESPECIALLY with new people. I feel so remarkable. And they're both a little older.35 and 40, but I think that's wonderful and wasn't at all awkward.

All I had to do was trust that I was interesting and funny and smart, and it came true! Since no one knew me before, I coudl be this bold girl and not worry about how it compared to how i was last time, or something. I know that's utterly retarded but it's true; i think it's a big step in my growth. ther is something to be said for saying, fuck it, i am who i want to be, not who you think ishould be, and it maybe was a life-changing sort of night for me in that regard. i doubt it will last much longer, and who knows if any professional connecions come of this, but if only for the sense of energy it put back into my life, i will eternally be grateful and thrilled and remember this as my first sort-of acting job in new york.

*Please excuse the utter lack of grammar, punctuation, or sentence construction in this post. I'm high on life, guys.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

East Village Travelogue

Yesterday after yoga and Sri Lankan food, I wandered around the east village with my much-neglected camera. I hadn't taken a single picture since moving to New York! So I'm going to try and make a habit of taking more photographs. Here's what I found yesterday:

My favorite thing about this roll is that if I hadn't told you, I bet you would never know this was big bad New York City. I love finding these little oases and pockets that refuse to be paved over and boxed in.