Thursday, October 17, 2013

Please don't you cry when the time to part has come

Hello everyone,

So I'm aware that I have not updated this blog in an exceptionally long time and that I should be better about that. News Update: I am currently working on a collaborative project and have just been cast in one of our mainstages (!!!). Very exciting stuff but the thing I plan on writing about today is far heavier.

Today, at about 5 pm my time, a nineteen-year-old boy named Steven Rodriguez passed away from a very rare Stage III Brain Tumor. He had been diagnosed back in February and had a very hard time going through his cancer. Throughout his treatment though, he stayed positive and tried to make the best of the situation on Facebook by saying that Chemo made him look like Walter White. He got support from Bryan Cranston, Arron Paul and Pablo Sandoval and thousands of messages a day on Facebook telling him to stay upbeat and that he would beat this. Today, October 17th, Steven finally decided that it was time for him to enjoy another world and left this one.

Why am I writing about this boy? Heres why:

When I was a Junior in high school, I directed Steven in a One-Act called Manhattan Tales (one of my favorites that I ever directed). Steven was always full of energy and had the magical ability to make you laugh no matter what. He was creative and hard-working and never ceased to make me feel happy. I got to watch him grow as an actor the next year and once I graduated, I still watched his process as he decided that he wanted to be an actor. I had not seen him in quite some time but if anyone asked how I felt about him, I would tell them that Steven was a great and sweet kid who I was very fond of. Steven was the kind of person who was easy to talk to and had a genuine interest in anything you would say. I always lived to see him succeed at life.

It is unfortunate that bad things happen to good people. Steven did not deserve to have cancer but handled his time with grace and bravery that must have been incredibly hard to muster. I regret that I never visited him in the hospital and naturally feel some guilt about that. But Steven would not have judged me, he was a kid without judgement.

I know that dying has a tendency to make saints out of people but I just wanted to celebrate Steven's life. A kid so generous and so kind should know that people will miss him and remember him always.

I did not know you long Steven but I loved you nonetheless. I hope you keep everyone rolling with laughter up in Heaven and (as cheesy as it sounds) I will now know that thunder is just the angels laughing at your jokes.

Rest in Peace Steven. You deserve it after your hard journey. You will be missed.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lights Will Guide You Home

Hello everybody!

This is the point where I assume that everybody consists of one person and their cat. This is the problem I have with blogging is that I write one post and then leave the blog for so long that it turns into a ghost town with tumble weeds rolling down the abandoned streets.

So I'm sorry about that. Please bear with my sporadic nature. My summer was very straightforward. I worked at Murphy's, read a lot, and hung out with family. But it was nothing special. In fact, when people at CUA welcomed me back to the country, I almost entirely forgot that I had been home for four months and instead felt like I had just gotten off the plane from Heathrow. If only that were the case.

So, I'm back at CUA and just finished my first week of classes which in my humble opinion is the absolute worst! I'm still in shock to be in DC and not London and am trying to reconcile my life that exists right now. This means a lot of looking at pictures from the spring, reading Shakespeare, listening to Johnny Flynn and looking at all of my bits and bobs gathered in England.  It also doesn't help that I'm a Senior in college and things are getting serious. Anyone? Any advice on how not to totally die in an emotional wreck this year?

Luckily we have a three day weekend so that gives me a shorter week coming up on the horizon. But as usual, its full of auditions and Forensic Anthropology and mini papers EVERYWHERE!!! It also is stressful to think about my applications for (drum role please) British Drama Schools which I need to start working on.

As you can see, there is a lot happening in my life right now. I'll try to write a bit more but I'm not promising any miracles. But you, big announcements could be in store or a rant or two may be needed.

Well thanks for handling my flakiness.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

Hello everyone,

So I know that I have really dropped the ball on blogging since my return across the pond. I was getting so good at updating everyone on my life.

For me, summer is not exactly one of the most exciting times of my life (I mean, let's be serious, I'm still stuck on London). I have a job working at an Irish pub in Sonoma called Murphy's and I find that this kind of food service is much more bearable then working for a caterer. People are so much meaner to cater staff because we are coming into their territory versus when someone comes into a restaurant, they are coming into OUR territory. But I do find that people love to ask me if I got hired because of my red hair to which I answer "Maybe". I am still on fill-in shifts but am slowly gaining some more.

I have plenty of time to get some reading done and that's about the most exciting thing that has happened all summer.

Well, this is my life as of right now. There is truly nothing interesting going on. Now, enjoy some pictures from my life right now curtsey of my iPhone.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life

Hey everyone!

Sorry I have been MIA, but I was traveling and finishing up LDA. It is not over, I am not back in the US, I AM IN DENIAL!!!!! Anyway, I made it back to the US yesterday and am now in an existential crisis about where I am. Anyway, such is life.

So the last week of LDA, here goes.

Monday began with our final voice class with Simon. My class got the unfortunate luck of the draw and still had class at nine am. That really isn't bad considering we started class at this time every day. We did a little vocal warm up and read out 19th century instructions on how to act properly, in our RP accents of course. And that was it. We were supposed to have an extra long Acting class that afternoon but Kathy was dreadfully sick (my fault) and so the rest of the day was ours to work on stuff.

Tuesday began with another four hour Shakespeare class and we worked on transitions for our scenes and then did a run through of all of our scenes.  Leo then told us that we should not under any circumstances run our scenes until the showing because we were all needing an audience for our scenes to be good. Without that, we were just spinning our wheels until we got that audience. Then we had a little break and then had an exceptionally long Acting class, which we all wanted since we had lost out of the one the day before. I was nervous about my monologue and really wanted to have a chance to work on it. We did a basic blocking of the entire showing and got the room set up for the showing the next day. Kathy was not thrilled with me because I had no idea what my set up would look like and because I accidentally messed up the order. This was not a good way to feel. Then we got our autobiographies back and Kathy hated mine. I was very upset about it and talked with her about it and she said not to worry. Anyway, that's done. Then we were done for the night and some of us had to go to a party at one of the funders of the London Centre. He lived in an incredible flat over at Sloane Square and it was incredible to see something of such wealth. We were only there for about two hours and then we came home to get ready for the showing.

Wednesday, we all decided to have a run-through at 9:30-ish so that we would feel confident for our showing later that day. We were surprised that we all handled it quite maturely and all did our thing. Then we had a lunch break before our showing. Then we got there about an hour before to get everything ready for the showing. Then it was time and we began to do our animals, tempo, and visualizations as people began to meander in for the showing. The weather was beautiful so we had all of the gardens to use for our animals. Mine went everywhere because I was one of the first scenes and needed to keep any eye when we were starting. I got distracted at one point because Leo came up and was standing next to me as I was being a pelican and I was so aware that he was right next to me. Then the showing began and I did my monologue. I did not think that it went very well but the audience loved it and the entire showing. Dee told me that I had a strong presence when I was on stage and that I did great Alexander. Ellen was amazed because we were all speaking, without meaning to, in Standard American. We then had to get the rooms organized for our Shakespeare showings and then Andrew and I had a long conversation with Ellen about the whole experience. I love that woman. Then our Shakespeare class met to do a music rehearsal for the showing and it was a hysterical disaster. This happened when we went on to rehearse "Blue Jay Way" because Leo wanted it hummed and Shea started humming it and it was so off-key that we all dissolved into laughter for the rest of the rehearsal.  We then went into Leo's class super giddy from our showing and rehearsal. We then got our shit together and managed to do a cue-to-cue of our showing and then Leo let us go so that we could go home and not work on our scenes. That night, I watched Mrs.Doubtfire and listened to Monsters Inc while Kyra and Scott watched it. Then I went to bed in prep for the next day.

Thursday was the Shakespeare showing and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. We started that morning with a vocal warm up with Simon then we broke into our sections to talk to our teachers.  Leo gathered all of us and told us that “today was a blank slate and you will not know what is going to happen” which for me is one of the most exciting things about being an actor. We had our showing second and so after we talked with Leo, we went downstairs to see the other classes showing and who should be sitting there but Ben Whishaw. It took me awhile to process this information.  It was hard to concentrate on the other classes showing, in which they were doing scenes from Twelfth Night, because we had to stay engaged in doing our own showing and were super nervous about it. Then we had to run upstairs and get ready for our own showing. We could not talk to anyone in the other class and just had to go and do our thing to get ready. It went incredibly well and I was so unbelievably happy with how everything turned out. During Christian and Shea's scene, which was from Measure For Measure, I realized just how much we had all changed in Leo’s class and become formidable actors for our young age.  My Macbeth scene went very well and I had so much fun going through my Lady Macbeth craziness that it took me about twenty minutes to fully come down from the scene. Ben Whishaw was there to see it and told us that we all did excellent work. I was surprised with the amount of incredible compliments I got from audience members such as “a real sense of character” and “force of nature”.  This was one of the best days I had in my time here in London helped by Simon’s (my voice teacher) note that I am “an interesting enough person to hold an audience” along with being great at playing Lady Macbeth., even at the age of 21. If it had not been for Leo, I would never have become all of these things people were describing me as an actor. I was on an acting high for the rest of the day. Then the business school threw us a party which was a nice gesture but super strange at the same time. I was finally able to drink again and enjoyed hanging out with the people I loved and getting free food. Then we decided to go out for our end of showings hurrah. We went to a place called Roadhouse and had an incredible time dancing and singing to all of the songs we loved. Then we traipsed all the way to Trafalger Square to try and get the bus and Becca, Danny and I got bitchy and annoyed and then decided to to take a cab back to Atlantic house. We got back there and then went to bed.

Friday morning began with my evaluation with Leo. It was great because he told me that I did really well in the showing and that I made a huge jump in his class to become a strong actress. He also told me that he really did like me as a person and that I needed to have more faith in myself. He gave me some books to read and later told me that he saw that I really needed to play Lady Macbeth which he saw on the first day. It was nice to talk to him without the pressure of the class. Then we had a break and had a meeting with Ellen in which we evaluated the classes and then we had our goodbye party. This party was super sad and happy because Ellen gave us all gifts and we talked about the term and got food. Dee also gave us cards with notes on our progress through the term. We all dressed up and loved being able to relive moments from the term and I told the story of my crazy audition. Christian had to leave for the airport in the middle of the party and that was when the tears began. I then had a long and very funny talk with Leo about his teaching style and made him laugh a lot. Then the party was over and I returned home to cry and pack. That night, we decided not to go out and instead drink the rest of our alcohol and talk, laugh, the usual. We all managed to reach our goal and then the night was over.

Saturday morning, everyone was getting ready to leave and I helped Summer lug her suitcase to the post office to ship it. My mom was landing at Heathrow that day and I went to meet her at the hotel. The weather was exceptionally beautiful and I wore one of my new London dresses and then we walked around Piccadilly circus and went to Borough market in which we got an incredible meal, because my mother was paying. She was jet lagged so she went back to the hotel and I returned to Atlantic house to see everyone. We all went to dinner in which I partook in Harold Pinter's new play known as Last London Dinner with Mike, Noah and Andrew. It was incredible quiet and awkward and I was really not digging the vibe. We then decided to go to LDA late that night to see the place for the last time and talk about the term, which we never ended up doing much to my chagrin. Then we returned home when the security guard came to the room and told us we had to leave. We continued our meeting down in the common room and started to say goodbye to people that were leaving early in the morning, this being Danny and Kelly and Scott. It was a very sad moment and I hated it. Then I went and said my goodbyes to everyone, just in case, and went to bed.

Sunday morning began bright and early because I wanted to make sure I had a chance to say goodbye to everyone. I wandered around for awhile and talked to people then escorted a large group of people to the tube and met up with my mother at the tube. It was really hard to say goodbye to everyone and I am still very sad about it. Then my mother and I walked around Kensington and went to Da Mario's, the Victoria and Albert, LDA and then took my luggage to the hotel. That was it and I was moved out of the dorm, my London home. We then chilled at the hotel for a little while and then went to the Birthday Whirlygig for Shakespeare's birthday at the Globe Theatre. Johnny Flynn was playing and Laura and Shea and I decided that it would be fun to go. I had to say goodbye to those two there and that was also sad. Then my mother and I returned to the hotel, got some tea and went to bed.

Monday morning, I took my mother to The Breakfast Club and it was amazing as usual. She also loved it. Then I tried to take her to Spitalfields market, but it was less awesome as it usually was and instead we went in Collectif and she bought me a sweater! Then we wandered down Brick Lane which I wish I had done before because it was amazing. There literally was a vintage store every other store front.We then made our way back to the area near the hotel and then walked around Piccadilly and Covent Garden and Lecister Square. I finally went and did Afternoon Tea and got to eat my favorite pizza for the last time. We then ended at the Chandos and made our way back to the hotel to sleep. It was a very nice day.

Tuesday began with us checking out of our room. This was my last day in London. I couldn't believe I had got to this day. We then went to the Southbank and walked around near the National Theatre and Westminster and ate our last London meal at Wagamama's. I managed to fling food in my eye while there. Then we walked up to Covent Garden from there and made it to the Cambridge Satchel Company store. Then it was time for us to make our way to Heathrow for our flight to Dublin. We took the Heathrow Express out of Paddington and that was that. I was gone from London. I'm still dying. I am much better suited to London then I am to the US. I want to go back, why am I in Sonoma?

And that is the end of LDA. So it goes, that's all she wrote, case closed, that's a wrap.  It has been the greatest experience of my entire life and I am having trouble being back in the US. I met incredible people while here and I miss seeing them every day like I have been for four months. I learned I was a great actress and now have the confidence I need to go back to Catholic and kick everyone's asses, even if it is only secretly.  My trip to Dublin will be another post. And that's it for the blogging from London. I will go and cry about this now.

And for you all, a group picture of LDA Spring 2013, in human form.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunshine gives me a lovely day

Hello everyone,

So here I am in my last week at LDA. NO! I refuse for this to be a thing.

Anyway so last week was an interesting week for me.

Tuesday began with my last Alexander session at nine am. It was brutal because I was dying of my sickness and kept coughing and stuff. Dee did table work with me and gave me some cough drops to help me out. Then that was over and my day was over because I had worked on my acting stuff the day before and someone else could have my slot. So I spent all day working on my Dramatic Criticism paper and chilling out and working on acting. I was super sick and needed to chill out. Then my day was over.

Wednesday morning started out with four hours of Shakespeare, in which we worked on Measure for Measure the entire time, as usual. We did an Oprah style talk show in which we asked the Angelo's and Isabella's questions about their lives and tried to help them create characters. I wish Leo would do that with Macbeth, we are seriously shafted in that class. Then we looked at one of the scenes from Measure that we work on every session and the four hour class was over. It was not too unbearable and was kind of fun with the talk show. Then we had SPT in which we talked about Mrs.Warren's Profession and it was like every other class. Through Christian did have to read my speech from Voice and it was super strange to hear someone else say the speech. Then Danny and I rehearsed that afternoon on the scene in Loyola, which is a giant hall not made for rehearsing that scene. I was dying by the end and called it a day after working on that.

Thursday morning started out with Shakespeare as usual and this time, Leo had us broken into times so we could go off and rehearse our scenes. Danny and I had a slot at 11:30, about half an hour before the end of class, and we did exceptionally well in it and Leo kept telling us to "print it" which means to set actions in stone. Leo also told our whole class that he wanted us to sing a song at some point during our showings. Great, we'll just go and figure that out. Then we had a long break because of the faculty meeting and we had our last SPT class ever, in which we were talking about Top Girls. Naturally, it was a straightforward class and then it was over. We then went to see Peter and Alice that night starring Dame Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw. Their acting was both incredible, even though the play was flawed. Then we lucky students of LDA got to meet Ben Whishaw and have a lengthy conversation with him because he was one of Ellen's students at RADA. He is an exceptionally nice man and very down to earth. Sometimes the idea of being a celebrity makes me forget that someone is still a human being and capable of human feelings. Before leaving, I managed to tell him that his Richard II was one of the most incredible things I had ever seen and made me love the play. It was well worth it. Then I went home and had to edit my Dramatic Criticism essay.

Friday morning started with our last Dramatic criticism and we discussed both of the plays we had seen that week. The most enjoyable moment of the class was when we were discussing the use of a live baby in A Doll's House and someone stated that they did not think the baby was a believable enough actor. OK, you got me there. We turned in our journals and papers and that was that. I am going to miss Simon's class a lot and I don't want to think about things ending. Then we had Shakespeare and Acting, except I just had Shakespeare because Kathy was sick and only wanted to look at certain scenes. So Danny and I finished working on our scene with Leo and then we all had to pick out songs to use in our transitions. We decided on "Blackbird" and "Blue Jay Way" by The Beatles for our song. Sense was not used in the decision process. We then presented our songs to Leo and he liked them and wanted to tweak them around as usual. Then my class day was over and I went to the doctor later that day. I decided to suck it up and pay the 65 pounds to see the doctor. It was quite an experience. His office was really just someone's house that was turned into an office. It even had a fireplace and nice looking things in the office. He checked out my lungs and said they were fine and told me that it had to do with my sinuses. He gave me a prescription for some antibiotics and ended my consultation by saying "No fags, no men, and no alcohol; and you will be fine". Sound advice sir, sound advice. I then went to Boots to get my meds and got a hold of them and proceeded to spend the res of my night relaxing and trying to get better.

Saturday began nice and early with some pills and then I woke up and decided to go to the Southbank. The weather was quite nice, though a little cloudy and I had a grand time. I walked from the Embankment tube stop across the bridge to the Southbank and walked past the National theatre (went in the bookstore for the last time), the Globe (and walked into their bookstore quoting Measure for Measure in accident) and then made my way to Borough market. It was a joy to be there as usual and I enjoyed some high quality foods. Then I turned around and walked back the way I came but kept going past the London Eye, which was surrounded by low budget, somewhat strange people dressed as characters (mostly squeaking ones), and crossed the bridge in front of Westminster. It was nice to see the incredible government building from this angle and kept walking to St.James park. I stopped there for a little bit and watched what I believed to be pelicans for a little while. Then I kept walking up to Piccadilly Circus and walked up to Green Park to catch the bus. I am obsessed with the buses in London and will sorely miss them when I leave. Then I made my way home, got some dinner, and continued to relax while my amazing meds continued to rapidly fix my health.

Today began with me waking up and taking meds and discovering that the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Like really, it was 63 degrees and all I needed was a cardigan to stay warm. I wore a skirt and walked around Kensington Gardens for awhile and watched all of the birds flying and the kids playing. I watched one kid get reprimanded by his father for accidentally kicking a soccer ball in the pond with his father saying "See what you've done!" I kept saying this over and over to myself because it was funny. I then ran into Mike, someone from my program, chilled with him for a little bit and then walked home to wait before going to a party at Ellen's. Then we left to go to Ellen's flat for a little party in which most people were cooking food and we got to have a nice homecooked meal for the first time since we had been here. Ellen has a gorgeous flat up at Highgate (near Hampstead) and we chilled out there until late tonight. Most people were drunk when we left but since I'm taking my joyous meds, I am not allowed to drink until Thursday. Well, things could be worse.

Anyway, that has been my week and I go into my last one here. I will cry, so help me god. I feel a lot better health wise and will keep you updated.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Now I've got that feeling once again

Hello everyone!

Sorry this is a day late, but I have been sick all week and sometimes health concerns are much bigger then blog concerns.

Anyway, so our Monday back from our Easter break we had Acting for the last half of the day. It was the only class we had and our class time amounted for about twenty minutes out of the day. I had to finish physicalizing my scene and that was that. It did not go as horribly as the one the week before. This was good for me because I felt like I was slowly dying from the sickness that I had within me. Clearly, this was a very thrilling day for me because of my sickness.

Tuesday arrived and I had Alexander nice and early that morning at nine am. We did our usual thing with table work and other stuff (clearly it was exciting since I remember nothing). Then I had a little bit of a break and then had Acting with Kathy. This time, we dropped the whole physical aspect and just sat and did the monologue with her responding as the plaintiff. It went very well and was nice to just sit and work on it without all the other bells and whistles. Then that was over and I had a bit of a break before my last audition session with Ros ever. I am still depressed about it. We worked on Lady Anne and she really got me to work on not performing it and just being in the moment. It was nice to do because I got to implement all of the things I had learned from Leo's class into the speech. Then we had a rather tearful goodbye and that was that. Later that night, we went to see Trelawny of The Wells at the Donmar Warehouse and it was much better then I was expecting it to be. It is a Victorian comedy that looks at theatre in the 1860s and was both funny and thought provoking. Then we got home and Danny and I rehearsed very quietly in the common room and for not very long because we had had a nice long rehearsal the night before.

Wednesday began and this turned out to be one of the worst days I had had while at LDA. In the morning, we had Leo's class and I was so angry the whole class because Leo had not worked with me for three weeks and we had really only worked on the scene once and he spent this entire class working on a scene that had been worked on many more times. He wanted all the scenes to be top notch for the run-through which was not fair considering how little he had worked with me. So I was annoyed. Then in my Dialects class, I made an idiot of myself by commenting on my work before starting my speech and made Simon annoyed because I had ruined the good work I had done by using humor prior. I was upset about that for myself. Then during lunch, my right ear became clogged like someone had stuck a wine cork in it and while I could still hear out of the ear, I could also hear my own voice within my head. I was super worried about this and had to go to class panicking over my ear. Then in SPT, we found out that we had all read the wrong play and that we had to talk about Trelawney of The Wells, but not the production we had seen but the text itself which is very different. Every time I tried to express an idea, Christopher would cut me off to correct me even though I had not finished my thought. I was annoyed after a while about this. Then class was over and I decided that I would go meet my high school who was going to be down around Covent Garden that day. I met up with them and spent a little bit of time with them before they were going to see Peter and Alice. It was nice to see them after the rough day I had had. Then I went home that night to rehearse with Danny and get ready before the next class, which Leo told us we were definitely working in.

Thursday started out with Leo's class, as usual. and Danny and I were first up to work on our scene. We showed all of our work to Leo first and he said that he could see that we had done a lot of work but that I needed to focus on the structure and the emotional intensity of the material. The structure was difficult for me and Leo worked on the emotions by having me walk around the outside of our circle of chairs and "lash" Danny with my tongue. It was super exhausting and way more then I thought I would need for the scene. Then we were done with Leo after an hours work and watched the rest of the scenes get work done on them. Then we had a break and then a masterclass with Timberlake Wertenbaker, the famous British playwright. She was very interesting to talk to and told us how she managed to get some scenes from the play and her reasons for writing Jefferson's Garden, the reading we had seen. Then this day was done and Danny returned to rehearse our scene once more. I felt bad for Danny because I was getting very frustrated with all the notes Leo had given me and trying to make them all fit along with what I wanted out the scene. The last time we did it, I finally got what I wanted and it turned out well. Then we returned home and called it a night.

Friday began with Dramatic Criticism with Simon in which we were discussing Trelawney of The Wells. We all came to the conclusion that the play judge the characters created in it too much and that it would have been more endearing had they not passed judgement on the play. Then this class was over and we had a break. This day was rough for me sick wise because I had a nasty cough, congested nose and had lost my voice a little bit. We had Acting later that day and Summer and I opted out of our sessions so a scene could finish doing their work. It was nice to have a break from that class for once. Then we had an added Shakespeare class in which we were finally doing the run-through of scenes. I was nervous for this because Leo is so intense and when giving notes after the Measure for Measure run, he told someone he felt that the kid was wasting his time. Then it was time for our scene and I knew that I just had to power through my sickness for my scene. It ended up working in my favor and Leo told me that I had excelled a lot since the class the day before. Then the day was over and I got to go collapse in my room for the rest of the night and try to recover. I ended up just watching movies and such and going to sleep.

Saturday, I had a strange waking up because of my sickness and fever and eventually realized that the day was beautiful and I needed to get up and do stuff because I have so little time left in London. So Laura and I enjoyed the beautiful weather (and my somewhat better feeling self) and went to Abbey Road!! It was amazing to see but the actual crossing is super scary to cross because there are no traffic lights and people keep zooming through. We saw the studios that are there and enjoyed watching all the people try to take pictures in the road and almost getting hit. Then we ventured onto Borough Market and got to enjoy the delicious food present along with the beautiful weather. Then we returned home and Laura went off to see Macbeth (lucky girl......) and I stayed home and rehabed some more. This meant watching movies until I felt ill and went to bed.

Sunday morning started out much the same but once I fell asleep again and woke up, I felt much better. Laura and Sara and I decided to go to Camden Market because we had been meaning to go for quite some time. I found that it was not quite to my liking. Wheres Spitalfields Market and Portobello Road have some unique things and charm, Camden lacks. I may have just been under the weather or not seen enough, but it was just too much for me. I was happy to get on the bus and come home to take my Sudafed. And the night was spent much like that, rehabing.

Monday morning, today, We had Acting and Voice. In Voice, we were going to be presenting our speeches as our final assessment and since I still had no voice, I thought I would be unable to do it. I realized that I could and it actually turned out quite well for having a sick sound to it. Simon said it actually allowed my voice to be more free. Then I worked with Kathy on implementing the animal work into my monologue and did this until Kathy told me to go rest my voice. Then I went to Boots and got more medicine to take and it actually has made me feel a little bit better. Less coughing! My days been over for a while but we are going to see A Doll's House tonight at the Young Vic and I am excited, especially now that I feel somewhat better.

Anyway, that has been my invalid week. Here's hoping I get better soon.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Life flows on within you and without you.

Hello everybody!

Happy Easter!! Hello Jesus, how was your two day nap?

Anyway, so my time in London is starting to round down and I am so not OK with the fact. So this is what happened in my last week.

Monday started with a rehearsal for our movement showing. Becca and I worked on "Dreamscape #9" and had it where we wanted it for our showing later that day. We then had a very short voice class in which we kind of worked on our speeches and then we had to go downstairs for our Movement showing. They actually were very good and sad and poignant because we were all watching how much we have all grown in the class. Chanelle's movement piece was dedicated to how much she had grown and I almost cried. Becca and I's went very well and everyone loved it. We then had to say our goodbyes to Sue, who was heading out to South Africa very soon. We wanted a picture with her and as a joke, someone suggested we lift her in the air. Sue took it seriously and we lifted her in the air! There is a picture of it somewhere out there. Then we had a break after this and had to get ready for our Period Dance showing. Angela made a massive deal out of the showing and had the whole thing organized out and we turned out to only be doing it for three people. But hey, sometimes that happens in theatre. All of our dances and introductions went well and once it was over, Angela got the hell out of their and we moved onto our Stage Combat showing. Gordan had us rehearse which my partner and I desperately needed. We then did a dress rehearsal which basically was our showing, worked for a little more (in which my partner and I FINALLY got the fight), then did it all over again. Then the day was over and Summer and I booked it over to Piccadilly to see Old Times, the Harold Pinter play. It was amazing and I'm so glad that I managed to get tickets for it. I did not understand one bit but I loved it anyway. Then we returned home and I went to LDA to work on my audition pieces because I had to present all four of my pieces the next day.

Tuesday began bright and early with Alexander at nine am. In this session, Dee and I looked at a picture I had drawn of myself in the first session and compared it with the one I did in this session. She then terrified me because I told her I had some neck tension and she said that I may develop a widow's hump later in my life and would have a hump. She then told me that I had progressed a lot in this short amount of time and it made me feel very good. Then I returned home for a little bit before I went to Acting. In my session with Kathy, I finished doing my actions for my scene which was nice to get out of the way. Then later that day, I had an hour session with Ros which was wonderful. I showed her my three speeches and we worked on Joan and Major Barbara again. We spent the last ten minutes working on Lady Anne which I was very excited to work on. Then I returned home and worked on stuff for Leo and chilled out in my dorm.

Wednesday began as usual with Leo and I did not actually work with Leo at all in the class session. I was rather annoyed about this because it meant that I was not going to work with Leo for two weeks. Then we had our voice class in which we did various exercises to help us with our monologues. Then we sat up and presented them and Simon said that mine sounded lovely, which was nice to hear. Then we had to run toe Leicester Square because we were having a walk for SPT. This time, we were getting a tour of the 19th century theatre, the London Coliseum. It was incredible to see because it is incredibly large and ornate with Roman-like motifs and large symbols of empire. We saw the fly rail, the balcony, the royal box, backstage, the circle, and part of the stage. Then Christopher sat us down and gave us a lecture on the 19th century that started out interesting until he kept repeating himself. Then he led us out to the main theatre road at Piccadilly and we were on our way home to rest before seeing a show that night. We went to see People at the National Theatre and I loved the show, mainly because I found a spirit animal in the old woman Iris, who hid fried potatoes in her pocket and had a hump. Then we returned home to rest before class the next day.

Thursday was a unique day because we had Acting for the entire day. Our autobiographies were also due and I had luckily finished mine two nights before. We started out our morning with all 21 of us working on the Waltz and then moved on to breaking up times we would all work with Kathy on. I dragged in my friend Mike to play the lady plaintiff because I had to physicalize my actions and needed someone there to do it on. My session was a disaster. I had forgotten to bring my picture which Kathy was unhappy about, and then Kathy wanted to add something to my character which freaked me out and then I proceeded to do the exercise all wrong and talk too fast. Luckily I had Mike there with me to comfort me after the session when I was on the verge of tears. Then my day was over and we could celebrate the fact that it was our Easter Break! We went out that night o celebrate Mike and Mia's birthdays which are a day apart and had a wonderful time.

Friday morning, I woke up at 7:50 am and could not go back to sleep. Later that day, Becca and Mia and I went to The Breakfast Club and had brunch for Mia's birthday. We all absolutely loved it and then moved on our day to the Tower of London which we three had all been dying to see. I decided to walk around the Tower envisioning myself as Lady Anne and wondering how scary it would be. There were so many tourists there that it became a bit hard. The weather was also sub-par but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. When then sat in a Starbucks for a little while and talked about our lives with one another. Then we started our journey home, which I broke off from to go to Piccadilly circus. This was because I was going to 3 Saville Row, which was where the Beatles played their famous and final rooftop concert. The building was nothing special and people kept staring at me as I ogled over the building and took pictures. It was incredible to see because I kept seeing the footage of the concert played out in front of me. Then I returned home and watched The Boat That Rocked and The King's Speech that night (trying to stay British) and went to sleep.

Saturday I slept in and got breakfast from the cafeteria with Becca and then it was time for us to go off and see the show The Low Road, at the Royal Court Theatre. We had a mildly nightmare-ish time trying to get there because the Tube was all closed but we got there in the nick of time and got settled to see the show. It was a great play except for the terrible ending which included aliens beaming down to Revolutionary America. The play was shockingly relevant because it dealt with capitalism and sounded exactly like everything that was thrown around during the election. It was a great discussion starter and Becca and Mia and I passionately discussed the play and America over an Indian food dinner.  Then we returned home and did the same kind of vegging out, in which I watched Ian McKellan's Richard III (for some character research you know).

Sunday, Easter, Becca and I decided to go for a walk through Kensington Gardens although the weather was far from Easter-like. We then wandered down High Street and reminisced about the first day we were in London. Then we returned home and she went off to Brunch and I stayed home and worked on Leo stuff. I chilled like this the rest of the day and am doing so now. Jesus had to rest for a little bit too after he was resurrected.

Anyway, that has been my week and I will keep this going for a little bit longer more.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway

Hello everyone,

So consider yourselves very lucky that I am writing this post considering that i have so much work I have to be doing right now.

Anyway, so Monday started out as usual with our four classes of the day. In voice, we did a long warm up and then chatted with Simon about our progress in the class. In Sue's class, we did a little bit of review because we had not had class for a few weeks and we came up with our final movement piece. I am paired with Becca and we had a grand time creating our ridiculous looking piece called "Dreamscape #9". Then in Stage Combat, we worked on our final fights and worked with Gordan a little bit on the fights. Then in Period Dance, we reviewed all the dances and solidified who would be doing what for the showing. Then the day was done and we celebrated because we did not have class the next day. It was also Summer's birthday so we took her out to dinner at this very good Italian restaurant on Gloucester Road. Then we came home and tried not to do any work, convinced that we would do it all the next day.

Tuesday began at a wonderfully reasonable time of 11:30 am with our bus taking us to Stratford-Upon-Avon.  I spent my entire bus ride up there doing work that Leo had just assigned us. We had to go through the entire play and write down everything that was said about our character, everything we say about ourselves and everyone else. The two hour bus ride went very fast when you are trying to complete a lot of work. We got to Stratford around 2 pm and were given a little break to get some sustenance. I have been to Stratford before when I was here my Senior year but it was nice to see again. I did not realize how many stores thrived on some Shakespeare pun of a name. For example, we got tea from a place called Quickly's after Mistress Quickly from the Henry Tetrolgy. We then had Simon Money lead us on a bit of a tour of the major sights in Stratford and ended in front of the Royal Shakespeare Company. We ran into someone that Simon went to drama school with who was going to be working at the RSC in the summer. Simon then proceeded to tell us all that we may one day be working there. We then had a little break before we were going to see Hamlet at the RSC, which I was beyond excited about. The new theatre that the RSC has built is incredible with three levels and a thrust stage. The Hamlet we saw was.....interesting and four hours long. I'm still not sure how I felt about the show. We then boarded our bus at about 11 pm and then took the journey home. Danny and I had to work on our scene so we did that for the first part of the journey. Once we finished that, I tried my best to stay awake so I could finish more work when I got home. I eventually had to give into my desire to listen to Simon and Garfunkel and arrived home slightly lulled. I finished all my work and went to bed by two am, considering that we got home at one am.

Wednesday morning was rough because we had to wake up by nine for Shakespeare with Leo. Danny and I were the first to be worked with and the scene came along incredibly well. It's nice to work on a scene that I actually have a passion for in that class. Then class was over and we had voice with Simon. We talked about Hamlet and then did this incredible alignment exercise that left me feeling wonderfully relaxed. We then had a break and then had SPT in which we were supposed to have read She Stoops to Conquer. The discussion at the end of class became a bit heated about female progress throughout the last three plays we read. Then class was over and we were done for the day and came home to work on all of our work.

Thursday began nice and early with Leo's Shakespeare class. We were visited by Ellen and Simon who were going to be helping us with voice work. I worked with Simon on the "What beast was't then" speech and was very happy with how it turned out. It was very nice to work with Simon on actual text and helped further my understanding of the character. Then class was done and we had SPT again, this time reading The Importance of Being Earnest. This class was much more lively because we had all read the play. We then learned that while it is a comedy, there is a very dark edge to the play about identity and Wilde's own problems with sexuality. Then the day was over and I returned home to work on Acting.

Friday began with Dramatic Criticism in which we were discussing Hamlet. We talked about the many ways this play can be done and I remembered the incredible one I saw at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We all came to the consensus about this show that the director tried to do too much with the play because he wanted it to be different from every other Hamlet the RSC has done. Then I had a long break before my Acting class. In class, I worked on my autobiography and activities for the scene. In my session, Kathy and I finally figured out what part of the speech meant and I felt great about progressing throughout the rest of the scene. Then my classes were done and Laura and Sara and I went to the Chocolate Festival! It was over by the Royal Festival Hall and was a bunch of different booths featuring chocolate. I got this incredible wrap that had chickpeas mixed with spices, chilli and chocolate. It was very good. We then walked around the Royal Festival Hall and went into the poetry room and read bizarre children's poems about Goldilocks on CCTV. We then went to the National Theatre and looked at their beyond-incredible bookstore. We then returned home and did a little bit of work and more talking.

Saturday began depressing because it was snowing. It's the end of March, no more snow please! So Summer and Laura and I went to Harrods and Neal's Yard. Harrods was fun to see with other people because we could pass judgement on all of the expensive items and find our Oscar dresses in the evening wear section and our shoes to go along with it. Of course we ended in the toy section because it was incredible. Neal's Yard was beautiful and reminded me so much of San Francisco because it was full of hippie stores and such. We then came home for a little break and then went out to Shoreditch for the night. We wanted to go to this pub that had board games but when we arrived, we found no board games and decided to keep walking. We came across this awesome bar called Roadtrip that was a nice mix of pub and bar. We got cheap drinks and were sitting and chatting when someone offered to buy us a bottle of wine. We said yes and he went off to buy it. Then three guys walked up and asked if they could sit down on the coaches. We said yes and began to talk to them. They were all from Dublin but one was actually French named, wonderfully, Guillaume. The other two were Irish and named Shane and Oshean. They were all mechanical engineers and we spent the rest of the night with them. We never saw the man who bought us the wine ever again. We had a grand time with these three guys and then decided it was time for us to head home. We found a bus that would take us to Oxford Circus and while waiting, we met this British named Micheal who chatted with us all the way to Tottenham Court Road, where the bus driver made us get off. We had no idea where we were and made out way to Green Park to finally find the bus we needed. We finally made it home and went to bed after our fun night.

Today was the most unproductive day of my life. Kyra and I spent about an hour yelling and listening to the Pokemon Theme song in our room before sitting down to try and do our work. And now I am sitting and writing this blog.

It is now my bedtime and I shall say goodnight. 


Sunday, March 17, 2013

She's beauty and she's grace

Happy St.Patrick's Day everyone!!!

So this has been a very busy week for me! Classes have been going along and stuff has been happening.

So Monday started out with Sue's class. It actually was very nice to be back in this class because we had not had it for about two weeks! We worked on making movement pieces using circles and did our handstands and things. Then we had voice with Simon and we did a nice long vocal warmup and then the remaining people read their monologues for dialects class. Then we had a break and then we had Period Dance. My corset was fitting much tighter then usual and it made the class a bit hard. We worked on all of our dances and I finally perfected the Mister Beverage's Maggot! It felt great and is a beautiful dance. Then we had Stage Combat in which we finished choreography our fights and got dialogue for the beginning of the fight. Mine is from a play called The Devil's Law Case by John Webster. Then the day was done and I went home to work on things. My audition class got cancelled for the next day so I had very little work left to do.

Tuesday began bright and early, unlike most, with an Alexander class. It was very relaxing even though we were doing it in Ellen's office. We learned that day that Kathy was snow bound and that we were not going to be really having class but we still had to come in to work on our animals and stuff. I changed my tempo to a flicking person singing "Paint It Black". Then I decided to go to the Old Bailey and had one of the strangest experiences. I got to the building and learned that I could not bring my bag into the building so I had to go leave it at a travel agency down the street. I met a old British man in line who used to work at the CIA and told me about how the British law system worked. When he asked me why I was there, I lied and said that I was planning on studying Law at Harvard and was going to Georgetown. The case itself, I could not figure what it was. But there were eighteen barristers all wearing wigs and robes and collars and there were four women. It was very interesting to see and I was there for about two hours. Then I came home and did all of my work.

Wednesday started with Leo's class and we were supposed to have voice after that but Simon was sick so class was cancelled. I did not work with Leo at all in this class but the work he was doing with people was very good and I thought it was working out well. The best moment of this class was when Leo was trying to help Sara get the gravity of the scene and he kept saying " I have a hamster is condemned to die?" We then had a break and then had Space Place Text, now taught by Christopher. He lectured us about The Rover for a little while which was rather dull and then we acted out Act 3 of the play which was much better. Later that day, we had our second dance workshop for the Waltz and Quickstep and we all did so much better! Then the day was done and I had a lot of work to do on my Leo scene.

Thursday started with Leo's class and I managed to work on my Macbeth scene at the end of class but Leo did not give me any good notes because he only worked with us for ten minutes. The best moment of the class was when Torian messed up a line and Leo laughed so much, he began rolling on the ground. This class never ceases with the random outbursts from Leo. Then we had a break before we had Space Place Text again this week in which we talked about The Beaux Stratagem. We followed a similar pattern to the class before and had an entertaining time with the acting out of scenes because when it comes to casting, gender is disregarded and it makes everything wildly entertaining. Then we had a little break before we had another masterclass, this time with Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who fame. He was very nice and down-to-earth and made it feel like a discussion between friends. Danny, one of the kids in the program, was so thrilled to see him and it was precious. Then the day was done and I went home to do more work.

Friday began with Dramatic Criticism. In this class, we were going to be talking about Port and we then proceeded to have a rousing about this interesting play. I love this class taught by Simon because he reminds me so much of Guillaume, my Moliere professor from sophomore year. Then we had a break and had Acting. We continued to do the breaking up into times to work on the scene and I had the last slot of the class. We found out in the middle of the class that there were giant platters of cheese sitting upstairs and I was so happy that I took a block of cheese home for my own enjoyment after eating several in class. We then learned a lot about the life of the man who works in our front office named Chris. It turns out that he is a painter and wishes he could live in the South of France. Then I had my session with Kathy in which the Ides of March (which was this day) really came out to play. Halfway through, the window flew open and knocked the clock off the sill and scared Kathy and I. Then Kathy's necklace got stuck to he sweater and we spent the last five minutes of class trying to figure out out to detach it. Then I went to the Breakfast Club in Spitalfields later that day and realized that the Angel location is much better. Then I came home and Summer, Laura and I went to Hamley's toy store which has existed since 1760. It is this big massive building with all kinds of toys and we then proceeded to find all of our animals from Acting and take a picture of it (included below). We had so much fun seeing all the toys from our childhood and I even managed to buy a present for Rosie (shh, it's a surprise). We then went to a vintage store called Beyond Retro and I got a pair of vintage Ferragamos for only 16 pounds. It was awesome and I enjoyed my night a lot. Then I came home and ate my cheese, drank my wine and watched A League of Their Own.

Saturday began with me watching Miss Congeniality before going off to a tea dance out in Greenwich at the order of Kathy. It gave us all the perfect opportunity to practice the Waltz and Quickstep. The dance was wonderful and our group brought down the age by about fifty years. It was so precious to see this older couples dancing around and not caring if they were even doing the right steps. We all danced around and had fun and were dressed up. Then the dance was over and we came back home to rest for a little bit. Then we were going out for Summer's birthday, which is technically on Monday. Needless to say, we all had a VERY enjoyable time around Leicester square and at the dorm.

Today, St.Patrick's day, I woke up and went with Summer and Christian and Laura down to where we believed that St.Patrick's Day parade would be. We never found the parade but came across the festival that was happening in Trafalgar Square and enjoyed some Irish cheese and potato crisps. Then we returned home in order to do our work, which instead was me watching parts of the first season of Glee. Then we had a dance and stage combat rehearsal and that has been my night. I have managed to memorize a lot of my Vivie speech and have my entire Lady Anne monologue memorized.

And that has been my week. I hope yours was as enjoyable.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Won't you come see about me?

Hello everybody,

So I just finished my first week of the second half of the term. I can't belive how fast time has gone. It feels like just yesterday that I got to London!

Anyway, Monday started out with a different schedule because we had Physical Theatre all morning to make up for the fact that it ended on Wednesday. People were half asleep and falling all over everything so we knew it was going to be a rough first day back. In Physical Theatre, we worked on neutral mask again and this time we did the "Farewell of all Farewells" which sounds simple but is actually exceptionally difficult because you have to learn how to take all emotion out of your face and place it in your body instead. We then had a break after this three hour class (!!) and moved onto Stage Combat. I tried to take the midterm notes I got into consideration and we got a new part to our combination and were told that we would get scenes by next week. We then moved onto Period Dance where we worked on all the dances and learned a new one called "Mr. Beverages Maggot". It's a very beautiful dance beside it's very strange name.  Then we had a masterclass with Dame Harriet Walters!!! It was incredible and I am so happy that she came and talked to us!! That night, we were all exhausted and stayed in and did our work. I went to LDA and worked on my monologues which made me feel better for audition.

Tuesday started out as usual with our Acting class at 11 am. We had to talk about our activities that Kathy gave us and she was fine with the fact that I was unable to get into the Old Bailey to see a trial. We then talked about our homework from over the break and that was that. We then had a break and I had audition later that day. The work I did on my monologues kind of showed but I needed more time with Major Barbara. I was done with that by 3 pm and later that night, we went to see a show at the National Theatre. It was called Port and was decent but not the most incredible theatre I have seen. The lead actress had a crazy voice that was not helped by the fact that she was speaking with a Manchester accent. Kyra can do the perfect impression of it. It also did not help that I was madly hungry throughout the play and was only finally satiated when I got Tesco sandwiches. I then went home that night and ate my sandwiches.

Wednesday started as usual with Physical Theatre. We continued on with the "Farewell of All Farewells" and I had a chance to work on it in front of the class. It was a very strange activity to do with the masks but was also strangely freeing. Then I had a bit of a laughter break-down during someone elses exercise because the mask made him look like he was in a horror movie and the wave he did looked like less of a wave and more of a move before murder. It was crazy and I felt so bad for just constantly laughing, even when I wasn't laughing at him anymore. We then ended that class with critiques from Alison and she told me that I was progressing a lot and that I have grown since the beginning but I still need work on taking in the space. Then we went to Shakespeare and Leo spent a lot of time with me trying to draw out raw emotion from me which is like trying to squeeze water out of a rock. I kept trying to be open but it wasn't working. He told me that we would get it by the next day and I was not certain. I mean, Rome was not built in a day. We then had a few hour break before we went to a reading at the St.James Theatre at four pm. It was a new Timberlake Wertenbaker play about Thomas Jefferson and it was strange to see a reading about America in England. She is an American playwright and it was obvious except for the British actors doing American accents. Most of them were good except when they said Maryland or Georgia (with an R). It was a very long play but it was one of the first drafts of the play and even still, the writing was beautiful. We then returned home that night and did more work.

Thursday began with Shakespeare. Leo was true to his word and worked with me to get my emotions out which he did. Leo only stopped working with me when I was performing my speech through sobs and tears and a runny nose. It felt great though because it was exactly what I needed. He also was super nice once I was done and let me leave the room to get water. We then experienced all kinds of crazy emotions because at one point, Leo imitated a raven by shrieking exceptionally loud, scaring the living daylights out of us all. Also when he was working on Torian's speech with him, which is when Angelo is threatening Isabella with rape and such,  he shouted out "Your Penis!!" very loud and made Torian believe that he actually had to gesture to it during the speech. We then all dissolved into laughs over this for a long time. We then were told that we would receive our scenes from either Macbeth or Measure for Measure over the weekend. Then we had a break before our voice and dialects class which was nice to have because we had Simon again. He told us that he had been robbed over the weekend which is unfortunate and told us about how he learned this from Max, the local crackhead. We then worked on our speeches in RP and I actually did a lot better then I thought I would. Later that day, I had my Alexander appointment and Dee hit the nail on the head when she said I am too hard on myself and it is present in my body. Then I was done for the day and came back to my humble room.

Friday began with our first Dramatic Criticism class taught by Simon. We were talking about the bizarre play, Playing Cards and the discussion went really well because we learned about Robert Lepage first and got to have outside information. Simon is also a very great discussion person because he also adds to the discussion instead of just having us talk. We then had a nice long break before Acting with Kathy. She had broken the class into four time slots so that she could work on each scene one on one. I had a twenty minute session with her later in the class and I got to really work on both my text and my character. Then the day was done and I came home and passed out for the rest of the night, while working on the SPT paper I forgot we had been assigned.

Saturday morning, I slept in and could not figure out what to do for the life of me. I went to breakfast at the French Cafe and decided that I was going to go visit a store that I had been following online since I was a Freshmen in high school called Vivien of Holloway. It was in a rather nondescript place of London but the store was beautiful and I wanted every beautiful vintage reproduction item that they had. I then went to Borough Market and almost cried over the amount of cheese stands that existed in the area. I ended up getting some fresh made Pumpkin Tortellini, fresh mozzarella and ham on a stick and a heart shaped cookie filled with Jam. They were all amazing and I am dreaming about them now. Then I went over to Harrods just to get a cup of tea. I ended up wandering around the entire store and got no tea but saw all of the super expensive toys and other things. I then returned home and worked on my paper and watched movies that night. No partying for me this weekend. But I did get my scene for Shakespeare and I am playing Lady Macbeth in the scene where she torments Macbeth. I'm excited.

This Sunday morning, Laura and I decided to go to breakfast at a place called The Breakfast Club. The food was absolutly amazing, I have never had such a good breakfast in my life. I want to go back so badly. We went to their branch that was in Angel but they have four more that I plan on hitting up. We had to wait a long time for a table but it so was worth it. I then returned home and have been doing my work all day, much to my own depression.

And tommrow begins the new week. Here we go!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bonjour Paris! And Berlin!

Hey everyone!

So it's the Sunday after my half-term break and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I spent seven days on the continent and went to Paris and Berlin.

So Saturday morning arrived and I had to wake up super early to get to my 8:24 Eurostar train. Laura and I rushed to St.Pancreas to get to train and just barely made it. We didn't really have a window by our seat but I still managed to sneak a peek out of a sliver in the seats. I loved the train ride because I hadn't been on a train journey since I was about six. I got to walk around the train to the food cart and could stretch my legs or whatever. It was wonderful to see the difference between the English countryside and the French. We pulled into Gare Nord station at about noon-ish and had to figure out how to get to our hostel on the Metro which was chaos to figure out. The woman working at the counter did not speak English and we did not speak French. We eventually found our way up to Montmartre and found our hostel after searching the various Rues (streets) around. Our hostel was super cute. Think charming, stereotypical Parisian apartment with carpet going up the stairs and red wallpaper. We were sharing a room with four other girls on the fourth floor of the building with the world greatest view. We couldn't check in until much later that day so we went and walked around Sacré Cœur, which was a five minute walk from the hostel, and wandered around the really touristy area of Montmartre and got macaroons and crepes. It began to snow as we were heading back and did not cease until we left for Berlin.  We then got dinner at an amazing French-Italian restaurant called Babalou and went back to our hostel to check in. We then went to a little cafe called Hope Cafe and sat and read our respective plays for class. We then went to sleep early that night.

Sunday began early because we were planning to go to Versailles. We got to the Metro stop and that was when the mayhem began. We talked to the man working about how to get a ticket for Versailles, which is outside of the city. He helped us but accidentally got us the wrong ticket. We then had to go to a new station in order to get the right ticket. Except we went out the wrong way and had to use our tickets to get back in. The lady did not really speak any English and told us that we couldn't refund our tickets. We were then planning on just going to the Musee D'Orsay and went to that stop. We asked the lady at the counter about Versailles tickets and she sold them to us. So we went. And it was amazing! And because I was an Irish citizen, I got into every museum for Free!!! I'm so glad we went. Versailles is beautiful and way more then I ever expected. I had always wanted to go and I finally reached my history nerd mecca. The Hall of Mirrors was my favorite because it was absolutely gorgeous. Versailles is even more beautiful in the snow. We then left and went to the Musee D'Orsay which was one of my favorite museums when we went to Paris when I was seven. It still was just as good as I remembered and I was so excited to see the Impressionists but I had not had caffeine all day so I was slowly drifting away. We then returned to the hostel for a little bit and got dinner at a Parisian cafe right next store. It was wonderful and I managed to get some tea! We then trekked out to the snow and went to see the Eiffel Tower from the famous viewing point that everyone and their mother has taken pictures from. We got crepes and then returned home to go to sleep after our very full day.

Monday morning also began quite early because we were planning on packing a lot in. We started out by going to the Louvre museum because one does such things. We only managed to see about a fourth of the museum but we saw the Mona Lisa and I got to replicate a picture from my youth. People kept shoving when we were looking at it which was annoying because it is only a painting, not a cure for cancer. We then got some tea and coffee and made our way down the Seine to Notre Dame. Along our way, we stumbled across the famous Lock bridge which was amazing to see because there are literally locks upon locks upon locks. We then found Notre Dame and went inside to see the 850 year old church. It was incredible as always. We then searched for Shakespeare and Company, the famous Lost Generation bookstore and could not seem to find it so we were all set to leave when we stumbled on it. It is the world's most incredible place, I died and went to heaven when I saw it. I ended up buying a copy of A Moveable Feast because Hemingway talks about that bookstore in the book, so I couldn't resist. We then returned back to our neighborhood and went to Babalou again for dinner. We then returned to Shakespeare and Company only to learn that they were closing for an hour for a reading, so we went and sat in a little cafe for the hour right across from Notre Dame. We were finally feeling settled in Paris on Monday and were sad that we were leaving for Berlin the next day. We then returned to Shakespeare and Company for a bit and went home to get to sleep.

Tuesday rolled around and I woke up early to finish packing my non-existent suitcase and get ready to go. We left our hostel at about eleven am for our flight out of Orly and made it with plenty of time. We then boarded our flight at about 1:30 and were on our way to Berlin. We landed in Berlin at about 3 pm and had to find our way to our hostel. Since I took Spanish for about seven years, I could figure out a bit of French but once we landed in Berlin, I couldn't read a thing. We managed to find our way to our hostel and were immediately regretting our choice. Our hostel was this big building next to the train that was across from a bunch of grey office buildings in the outskirts of former East Berlin. It was miserable. We tried to get out of their as soon as possible and found our way to Alexanderplatz, a big square by the TV tower. We wandered around there for a while and got much entertainment out of the Germans attempts to use English on clothing and such. We then went back to our hostel and mourned the loss of our charming Parisian hostel. We then went to bed.

The next day, Wednesday, we woke up in time to go to a free walking tour of Berlin since both of us really knew nothing about the city. The walking tour really made us feel better about our choice to come to Berlin. We got to see the Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag, the Holocaust memorial, the site of Hitler's Bunker (which is appropriately not mentioned  in a single way, it is a parking lot), a section of the Berlin wall, the site of the book burnings of 1933 and Museum Island. It made me realize that Berlin does have some beautiful places to it while still needed a little work after the damage the 20th Century had done to it.  It definitely is an interesting city, but not a beautiful one like Paris. We then went into one of the museums called the Pergamon museum which was named after the Alter that was from said city. It was a very cool museum because it had a lot of large structures from antiquity that were cool to see although not related to Germany at all. We walked down to the Brandenburg Gate after this and then returned to the hostel for a little bit. We decided to go that night to the neighborhood called Friedrichstrad and walked around there until we settled on a nice resturant to eat in.  While walking around, we stumbled upon the Berliner Ensemble which was Bertolt Brecht's theatre. I had a moderate freak out about actually seeing the theatre and the general public had to listen to be shriek about Brecht. At the restaurant, we tried Berliner Wisse which is this incredible beer that has a syrup added to it that makes it sweet. It was delicious. We then returned home and went to bed.

On Thursday, we woke up and wanted to do another one of the free tour but got to Brandenburg gate too late for any of them. We then wandered over to the Reichstag to see if we could walk up to the glass dome above the building but that fell through too. We then walked through the Tiergarten which was right next to the Reichstag which is this large park in the middle of Berlin. It was quite beautiful even in the dead of winter and we came across a statue of the famous German composers. It was moderately creepy because when the statue was fixed after World War II, they didn't cover up the bullet holes so you can see where chunks of the marble are missing making it very obvious that war happened. That's the case with the entire city, they are very serious about making amends for the Nazi party and their time under Soviet rule. But back to the present. We then walked down the park to the Victory Column which lies in the middle of the Tiergarten. We got to go up to the top and got a nice view of Berlin. We then returned back to the Gate and made our way to the East Side Gallery, which is a large part of the Berlin Wall that artists have painted. We got kind of lost on our way there and ended up in a rather sketchy area but soon got the hell out of there and found the Gallery. It was very cool to see and we ended this tour with a stop at Pirates Berlin, this strange pirate themed restaurant on the river. Then we made our way over to West Berlin for the first time of the trip and saw how dramatically different the two sections are. We came across what I believed to be a solely DC restaurant called Vapianos and just had to eat there. The chef in the restaurant thought that I was British and I didn't try to tell him otherwise. I guess we English speakers can't hear the difference in German accents so why should they hear our differences.  We then went to a piano bar we had seen the night before called Van Gogh and enjoyed more Berliner Wisse and the piano music. We then returned home and went to bed on our last night.

Friday morning, our last day on the continent, we woke up and decided to go to the Neues Museum which was right next door to the one we went to before. This museum is famous because it has the bust of Nefertiti. In this audio tour, we learned that basically every room in this museum was destroyed by bombs during World War II. Super depressing. We then finished there and went back to the neighborhood in Wes Berlin we were in. We wandered around there and then came back to the hostel before realizing that our flight was earlier then we thought by 45 minutes. We rushed to the train and had to wait ten minutes before the airport-bound train showed up. I was beginning to freak out at this point because I have serious anxieties about time and missing a flight is one of my biggest fears. We made it to check in about a minute before they shut it down and had to sprint through security to get to our gate. I ran through part of the airport with no shoes on, just socks. We were told that final boarding was at 5:30 and at this point it was 5:15. We get to the gate and they had not even started boarding yet. Needless to say, I was annoyed. We then had a nice flight back to London Gatwick and scarfed down Marks and Spencers sandwiches while waiting for a bus back to Victoria. We got back to Atlantic house at about ten pm and I was so happy to be home because I missed London while I was gone. I chilled out the rest of the night and went to bed.

Saturday morning, I slept in to about 11 and began work on my silly Dramatic Criticism paper. I managed to get 2/3rds of a way through it before I had to leave to go see a show at the Almedia: The Turn of the Screw. Based on the story by Henry James, it was an amazing show that scared me a lot but luckily, I had no nightmares. We then had a chaotic tube ride back home and chilled out and greeted everyone that came home from their various trips.

Today, Sunday, I woke up early and finished my paper and decided to go to Spitalfields market. The weather was beautiful today and it felt like spring. I had a wonderful time at the market and came home to finish doing work and the like. I wish that this weekend back could have been longer but alas, I got to travel around Europe, which was fun.

I hope you all enjoyed this very long post! And now, some pictures!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

All around the Cathederal

Hello everyone!

So I know that this is deviating from the normal Sunday night post but that is because this Sunday, I will be partaking in my Half Term break and will be in Paris that day! Very exciting!

So here is my week thus far.

On Monday, we had the usual day. It was exhausting and long. In Movement, we came up with little movement pieces that Sue filmed and in Voice we read our poems again and Simon gave me the same note I've gotten in every class, too much tension in the neck and back. In Stage Combat, we worked with the swords some more and in Period Dance we reviewed "Jenny Pluck Pears", which meant that we got nice little breaks between the long dances. Then we had an hour before we had to run to a show that was up near Camden Town. I could have done without seeing this show but the highlight was that I got to meet Timberlake Wertenbaker, one of Britain's best modern playwrights. It was a totally unexpected but great experience.

Tuesday started with Acting and we did our character object exercises that Kathy had asked us to do. I thought that mine went really well but Kathy told me that I didn't have the oilyness of the character yet, which she realized she had never told me about. Then in the afternoon, we had a master class with two of the actors from Privates on Parade. We were worried that we were going to have to talk about the play but we actually heard all about their careers and it was very interesting.  We then had a boring meeting about traveling and called it a day.  

On Wednesday, we had our physical theatre class and we finally got to do mask work! We worked with neutral masks and got to experience what that is like, which is very strange.You have to keep your face and body extremely simplistic which is actually more difficult then one would imagine. Then I had my Shakespeare class which was one of the most frustrating I have experienced in a long time. Leo wants us to stop using our brains so his way of doing this is to throw five things for us to do at the same time, which is just a lot to deal with. At one point, I began to cry but Leo told me to just let it out so I could keep going. It really did help to just release my emotion. Then after an hour of working with me, he said I could finally stop. Later that day, I had a meeting with Ellen who had just gotten back from her tour of the US. I told here about how I was, frustrations and all, and that was that. While I was waiting in the office, there were a bunch of Americans from Fordham who had come to visit the program. It was strange to hear American accents in a world of Brits. Later that day I had my audition class and we worked on Major Barbara and picked which Lady Anne speech I'm going to be doing. Act 4, Sc 1 here I come!

Thursday morning started with Shakespeare once again and I managed to successfully avoid having to work on my speech again after Wednesday's emotional roller coaster. After that class, I had Alexander Technique in which we worked on me sitting and standing properly. Then I was done for the day. Later that night, we went to see Timberlake Wertenbaker's play Our Country's Good. It finally was a great show again after the last three moderate flops. We then got to stay and talk to some of the actors from the show which was cool because we got to hear about their lives and what they want out of their careers. Then we had to get back early because we had class starting at 8:45 the next morning.

At 8:45 Friday morning, we began our Dramatic Criticism class with a discussion about Timberlake Wertenbaker and her play. I thought that everyone liked the play but it seems people didn't like the fact that it had no resolution and very low stakes. I still enjoyed. No one can take that away from me. The we finished class early due to early start and had a break before we went onto Acting. In this class, we talked about the relationships between the characters in the scene which was hard for me considering I don't have another character in my scene. Then we talked about units and the last two Stanislavsky questions. Then I had to run to go do my Acting homework. It was such a mess of me getting to the Old Bailey that I already had a great story including not having my oyster card, the ticket machine taking forever, the train being impossibly late and all kinds of fun things. I went and found the Old Bailey and walked in and asked about the public viewing gallery. I was told that it closed at 3:30 (it was 3:45 right now) and that the website had been wrong. I was so annoyed that I decided to walk across the Millennium Bridge and wander around Bankside by the Globe. My day ended better but I was still worried about when I could do my homework since it is due the Tuesday we get back and I am gone until next Friday. Right now, I am just chilling in my room before my early start tommorow morning for Paris!

I'll keep you updated on Half Term travels after I get back!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

Hello everybody!

So here I am just finishing up my fifth week of classes! What the hell happened?

Monday started out as the usual torture of exercise day. We started the morning happily with Simon's class and did voice work and such. Then we moved onto Sue's class in which I was partnered with another kid from Catholic named Christian, who was our local celebrity for class because he was good at doing stuff. We then moved onto creating poses using counter weight. Christian and I's were named "Saturday 3 AM, Siamese Dogs, Last Twelfth Night Ticket, and Icecapades". They were true works of art. Later that day, we had Stage Combat in which we came up with a little combination with the swords. We ended the day with Period dance in which we learned a new 17th century dance called "Jenny Pluck Pears". The name might be the best part. Then we were done for the day but not for me! I had a Skype audition at 1 am with the Great River Shakespeare festival in Minnesota for a summer apprenticeship. It actually went really well and I liked that way of doing an audition. Then I passed out that night and slept well.

Tuesday started as usual with acting and we went straight ahead to doing the animal work. I was the Brown pelican and Kathy finally said it worked! No more searching for animals. We also did our tempos and Kathy said mine was ok, but the overall consensus was that Kathy and I both needed to analyze my character. Then class was over and we had SPT in which we finished talking about The Duchess of Malfi. It was actually quite an interesting class and I enjoyed it. That night, we went to see a show in the West End called Privates On Parade. I got to Lecister Square early and walked around and discovered some cool little things around the theatre. Then we saw the show which was starring Simon Russel Beale and was a conflicting show because I enjoyed it when I first saw it and then not later after analysis. After the show, a group of us went back to the Chandos to celebrate Sara's, another girl from Catholic, birthday.

On Wednesday, we found out that our physical theatre class was cancelled and we did not have to start our classes until 11:45 am. It was magical. We had Shakespeare and Leo gave us our speeches. It was a bit of a let down because they are all from Measure for Measure and I have one of Angelo's, a role I will never play. Then Leo went around and worked on them with us, except me, which was equally as frustrating. The we had our break and I had audition with Ros later. This made me feel better because we finished working on my Restoration piece and are now moving onto to Major Barbara and after, Richard III!!!! I am so excited about this now. That night, we had a dance workshop in which we learned the Waltz and the Quickstep at the order of Kathy. It was kind of difficult but I seem to be getting the hang of these dances.

On Thursday, Valentine's Day, we started out the day with a tour of Middle Temple, which was one of the inns of court were Twelfth Night was first staged. The tour did not start out so well because the porter told us that he didn't know or like Shakespeare and didn't know how we, as Americans, could possibly could. After that moderately insulting start, he told us some very interesting things. We then poked around Middle Temple and left to go get food. We ended up on Fleet Street, which the Musical Theatre Nerd inside me was freaking out about because Sweeney Todd is my favorite musical. I ended up stopping at a place across from a very large Judiciary looking building and ended up in the Twinings Store, which was enjoyable. I was also super happy because the weather was beyond beautiful. I then came home for a very long break in which I began my bizarre Valentine's Day tradition of watching The Departed. I then had my Alexander session in which I learned that my back and everything around it are exceptionally sore from class and my horrid bed. I did not leave this session feeling relaxed. I then returned home to finish watching my movie and do some work.

Friday morning began well with Dramatic Criticism in which we analyzed Desolate Heaven. I need not talk about that play ever again. Then we had a break and then an Elizabethan Song workshop which I was really excited about. It was the biggest let down of my life because we only sang for five minutes out of a 2 hour class!! Waste! This made me feel annoyed throughout acting when I could hear the other group singing. In Acting, we then went through two more of the Stanislavski questions and it kind of felt like the first day again. Kathy did have some good insight that I most definitely will use.  Then the day was over and that night a group if us went to a place on High Street for Rockaoke, which is Karaoke with a live band. A bunch of us sang (including me doing a great version of Cleo Green's F*** You!!) and had a great time cheering on the other people that sang. When we left, me and Summer and Laura and Mike wanted to go into Kensington Gardens which was closed and accidentally ended up on Royal grounds that no one is meant to go on. Then we came home and called it a night.

The next day, Saturday, me and Laura and Kyra went to Portobello Market and spent the whole day there. The market was massive and stretched for what felt like miles along one road. There was everything imaginable from vintage jewelry to old cameras and food. I wandered down what I believed to be the whole market and returned home happy and wishing I was wealthy. Then I spent the night in and did some work on essays (of which we now have two, thanks universe) and reading as well as watching Dirty Dancing. Then I went to bed.

Today, me and Summer and Laura and Becca went to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard which was much less exciting then we were expecting it to be. It was still amazing to be at the palace and made me happy to be in London. Then we returned home and later that day, because the weather was so exceptionally nice, went for a walk up to Kensington Palace and sat and worked on my Angelo speech out in the beautiful sun. Then I went to Wagamama and came home feeling quite flushed from my very spicy food. Then we had a rehearsal for all of our dances and combat and am now home writing this post.

And that's been my week. Onto the sixth week here!

Bye Bye!