Friday, February 1, 2008

The Way I Am

I hope y'all enjoyed my "Life Soundtrack" that I put up on Monday. I know I did. ;o)

So! News! I've got new glasses. They're black and stylish and make me look smarter than I am, and if I had a picture to show you I would. Too bad I really suck at that whole taking pictures thing. Speaking of pictures, I got lost on Memory Lane last night when I went a-flipping through the (lovely) Kenyon Reveille. I was actually rather pleased by the way my picture turned out, especially considering it was taken by Lily on the fly after I had come back from working out at the KAC. Perhaps looking at all those pictures was a bad idea, though, as it made me super nostalgic and wishing I was still living on campus. That's the way the cookie crumbles, though...

Now it's time to fill you in on those tantalizing leaders that I left for you at the end of my last post. Yuval and I saw the Huntington's production of Third by Wendy Wasserstein last Friday (for free thanks to my friend Kat!). While it's her last play, it's by no means her best, though it did have its moments. I enjoyed all the actors except for the one who played the title role--I just didn't buy him as a college freshman. His movements were all wrong and he had a sense of self-possession that NO college freshman has, especially when faced with an intimidating and famous professor. The play might as well have been set at Kenyon, though, for all it resembled life there: the professors, the super liberal atmosphere, the disdain for conservatism, the marginalization of jocks, the intellectualism, and even the set (lots of rich mahogany and many leather-bound books). It was interesting to see the flip side of liberalism that we all like to pretend doesn't exist: the prejudice and close-minded attitudes we automatically assume towards Republicans and their rightist views. A fun time, though, even if it wasn't the most inspiring piece of theatre I've seen in Boston.

Saturday came with a great dance class in the morning, lots of Battlestar Galactica in the afternoon, babysitting Dylan at night, and hitting The Kells--an Allston neighborhood bar that's very popular with BU students--with Mags, Terrell, Adrienne, Brian Crosby (who was visiting), and Terrell's two friends from out of town. It was a little bizarre for me, seeing as I haven't been in a bar in ages. Fun conversations and laughter were had, but overall it reinforced my conclusions that bars just aren't my scene. At least Yuval is of similar disposition when it comes to bars, so much of our evening was spent poking fun at the other patrons, watching the girls' bags as they danced the night away on the other side of the bar, and having great conversation (which is one of the things we do best, if I don't say so myself).

Okay, I also said something about discussing some life decisions I've made. There are two big ones. The first is that I'm going to stop auditioning for now--I might pick it back up in a year or two, or maybe never, but I'm going to take all of my focus and put it towards my second life decision. Theatre will always be a part of me and I think I'll be involved with it for many years to come, but on a more administrative, "getting the theatre out there for the people" level. Unlike most of my drama friends, I never did theatre in HS or even Middle School. When I was applying for college and starting out at Kenyon, drama never even occurred to me as something to pursue. It was only though happy coincidence, a New Year's resolution, and a great production that I hopped on board the drama train. I think it was really good for me in college, I don't regret it or anything like that. But while I'm passionate about theatre, I'm not passionate about making it my way of life. Life as solely an actress would be rather unbearable for me, having to literally live and die by each possible role and rejection. Also, in the end, acting is an ultimately selfish occupation. I'm not saying that actors are inherently selfish people, don't misunderstand me. But acting in and of itself is, by its very nature, selfish: you're whole world is your character and, by extension, the director's vision. I want to do something with my life where the work is in the spotlight, not myself. I want to know that I'm helping people directly and making the world a better place each time I wake up and go into work. Again, I'm not saying that theatre can't help people or change the world, but it does so by proxy and I want to be more involved than being someone's instrument will let me. (Please know that I mean absolutely no offense to my theatre friends with this. I admire you so much for your passion and drive to create and explore through plays. It's just not for me, I think.)

The second life decision I've made is that I definitely want to go to grad school. I've known that for a while, but never really gave it much thought beyond "Yeah, I want an MA someday." Currently I'm looking at MA programs at BU in public relations, environmental policy, economics, and print journalism. I'm leaning most heavily towards public relations right now, especially after looking over the program and learning what it is I'd be studying. Next week there's a career festival of sorts at BU, and Wednesday is the Non-Profit Sector day. Three BU alum's who currently work for very successful non-profits will talk about their educational fields and how they ended up where they are today. I think that will help me a great deal in figuring out my program choices.

I'm also looking at the MFA in Creative Writing program, though that one would be entirely for myself and take lots of preparation in terms of getting my writing act together. My mom pointed out, correctly, that the reason I stopped writing was because I finally realized how much work it was. When I was in junior high and high school, I would get an idea for a story and churn out a complete and edited version in a few hours. I'd show it to my teachers and receive lavish praise, enter it in contests and win. It was easy back then for me, because I was usually so far ahead of my peers in terms of skill and vision. But then I got lazy. I came to college expecting the same easy pace, and my first attempt at getting into a fiction workshop failed: my writing was rejected for the first time in my life. After that I clammed up, stopped writing. When I finally got into a fiction workshop, I was never satisfied with my work--the words didn't flow like they used to and, no matter how many times I tried, could not get the ideas in my head to translate smoothly to paper. It was difficult, and because I'm inherently lazy, I shied away from it. But I find myself intensely missing the feeling of creating, of finishing something, and I realized that I need that classroom structure to push me forward, to get me off my lazy ass and back at the keyboard. Who knows if it'll work out, but I hope it does.

I believe I also mentioned something last post about wolves. This past Sunday, Yuval and I woke up early (i.e. 11:00am), got some Dunkin' Donuts, headed back to his place, hopped in his car, and made our way up to Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, MA. They have a pack, currently, of four wolves, and their mission is simply to educate the public about wolves, why they're important, and why we need to protect them. We sat on a set of wooden outdoor bleachers about five feet from the fenced-in wolf enclosure where one of the workers was playing with the wolves. Another worker gave a very interesting 45 minute lecture that included everything about wolves (I learned quite a few things!). The wolves themselves were beautiful, playful, intelligent, commanding...I couldn't take my eyes off them. Why anyone would ever hunt these creatures for the express purpose of killing them is incomprehensible to me. Yuval sent in a volunteer application, and (if they accept him), he'll hopefully get to interact a little with the wolves in a few months--maybe by the time the center gets its new puppies in the spring! Very cool.

We drove back from Ipswich and ate at a yummy burger place in Somerville called Joe Sent Me (a popular code phrase during Prohibition that let patrons into speakeasies). Then it was back to his place for some cuddling and Dr. Strangelove, which I'd never seen before. Brilliant! Hilarious! "You can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" Loved it. Makes me want to watch all the other Kubrick I've never seen (which is most of it). After that, we headed back over to my place where we joined Adrienne, Anthony, Terrell, and Jenifer Drew (Boris) in a yummy chicken pot pie dinner and a viewing of The Pirates of Penzance DVD from Opera Workshop's Spring 06 production. What a fun show--too bad the DVD kept skipping like mad in the second act so we didn't actually get to "watch" most of it. Then I bid goodnight to Yuval (without a kiss, as I had a cold sore--stupid herpes!), shuffled around on the Intarweb, and collapsed into bed.

These past few days have been filled with great long naps, tax information research, W-2 gathering, finishing The Kite Runner (good but a little flawed), going to my accounting class, and downloading season three of Battlestar Galactica off of MiniNova. You know, the usual stuff. ;o)

Of course, this is the only question I've been asking myself since last night: Who are the Oceanic 6?


Cherubino/Carmen said...

You know I have to stick up for social theatre :)

You might find that interesting. Even as a performer, I'd feel like I was making a difference. After all, someone has to bring the arts to life, and the arts are important, especially for kids.

Spelunker said...

I'm not saying that the arts aren't important or that bringing them to life doesn't inspire or bring about change. Theatre *can* do that in an immensely powerful way. But what I'm saying is that, even if homeless people were invited to a special performance of "Brundibar" or "Angels in America" or any one of innumerable important, moving shows, but at the end of the night they're still homeless and in need of help.

Theatre can inspire minds and those minds can bring about change, but the show *itself* is not physically making a direct difference in the lives of its audience. I want to work more with the tangible, though the inspiration for tangible change (in this case, theatre) will always be incredibly important and a part of me.

Cherubino/Carmen said...

I think it's sort of closed-minded to refer only to financial help as "direct". If you want to work with the homeless, no, you probably don't want to work in theatre. But theatre is a different field from public policy, and that does not mean that it cannot have a "direct" effect on the lives of its audience.

Not saying that if you want to make homeless people not homeless you should work in theatre, and that's the decision that you've come to, but I am re-iterating that theatre can have a "direct" effect on people, change their minds, make them see people in a different way, and make them feel emotions which cause them to re-examine themselves and others. That is not "intangible".