Oct 27, 2012

City Ghosts NYC #10

I walked down a street of the city and remembered being there before.
What I wore, who I was with, and what we'd done.
A denim skirt with studs down the sides.  Black boots with heels.  An old boyfriend.  
A scary movie.  The liquor store. 

Another day, an encounter in that very starbucks.
How I reacted.  What I was reading.
Flashing a phony engagement ring to the man trying to talk to me while reading the play, "Prelude to a Kiss".  It's summer.  I live in Brooklyn.  I'm not sure if I'm happy.  I'm in my final weeks of my relationship, but I don't know it yet.

But it's now the time I walked to meet a friend at The Public.
My pink coat.  My short hair.  My brown boots.
Back to the starbucks.
Stopping in a vintage store to look at that jacket for my husband.

Ghosts of myself all over the city.

A few days later, a run in the park.  I ran past an old man.  He smelled familiar.
His familiarity hit me that myself and everyone I know has limited time this lifetime.
I will be eighty.
I'll be moving slow through the park and a previous version of me will run by.

My old ghosts exist with my future ghosts and me, presently.

Oct 24, 2012

Two. NYC #9

I titled this post Two, and then remembered bits of a poem I wrote nearly ten years ago.  I went to look for it on my poetry blog, not fully remembering what it was I was searching for.  Then I came across the one called, what else? Two.

I just re-read it and several lines jumped out.  The one that fits best for this blog is,

"there are two eyes and two feel who tailor specifically to their two surroundings.  There are two people in one body (who will never be at peace)".

Then I started to wonder if I was instead thinking of my poem from exactly ten years ago, Shh...can you hear it? The one that says,

"I move around the planet to find her home and I still can't get it right."

Today my dear Kara and I were texting and she said this in regards to having lived in NYC and now living back home in CA,

"I think I've settled in my heart that part of me will always feel I belong there, even when I also belong here...these two things can be true at the same time because they ARE both true."

Exactly.  Exactly how I feel.  I've felt this for ten plus years.  I'm living it, actually living it once more, right now.  I can't ever decide.  I flip and flop, and love two places, and two ways of life, and I want it all, and I want everything, and I want to do everything on earth.  I am not able to decide.  I am not able to tell you one is better for me than the other.  Truly.  I am not able to pick.  So I won't.  I will just say that two things usually exist in me at any given time.  That I am constantly living with internal contradictions and parallels.  And that it just is.  It is just so.  There are always opposites. 

I am afflicted by my wanderlust.  I am constantly pulled.  And to think that my life has been made up of two homes on opposite ends of the country, only two, blows my mind.  All the mystery in between the two that I've never seen.  All that lies outside that I've never known.  

What makes a sense of home? I asked that a few posts back.  I wondered if it is the people or the place? And I don't know.  I don't know because I don't like having to pick a home.  I have places where I feel comfortable.  I have places where I thrive.  In turn these places can suffocate me in very different ways.  I can be too limited or too busy.  I could try it anywhere.  

The problem is, there's not enough of me to go around.  There's not enough time, or enough means.  There are too many things I want.  The reality is I can't do everything on earth.  I can't be everywhere at once.  And I want to.  

I have the hardest time in a human body.  I feel so much more expansive than what I visibly am.  I am constantly constrained.  Always looking for a way to go beyond.  When I'm not aware of my physical body, my mortality, my human ego, I feel best.  I am connected to something else.  Something bigger, something far more real.  

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say or where I intended for this blog to go.  I am supposed to be in two places, too.  Maybe more.  I am supposed to be bigger than I am.  I am supposed to search, to question, to long for all things.  Everything.  

This also reminds me why I connected so deeply to Sylvia Plath, that I tattooed her words of a heartbeat on the pulse of my wrist.

I definitely came to this life with bits of her recycled stardust in me...

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.” 
― Sylvia Plath

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” 
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

“When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know.
"Oh, sure you know," the photographer said.
"She wants," said Jay Cee wittily, "to be everything.” 
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

Oct 23, 2012

Thoughts for today NYC #8

This.  Today for some reason I've been thinking a lot about this:

How it's a fluke we're even here.  What a miracle it is that you are you, and I am me.
That we have today.  How dare we ever think we are owed anything.  

Oct 21, 2012

Week 3. NYC #7

Week three.

Sunday Oct. 14
My friend John that I'm staying with performed his one man show cabaret tonight at Under St. Marks.

On the way to the show we stopped at Atlas Cafe for my second time ever so I could get my favorite energy smoothie.  He won his performance spot by winning Cabaret Showdown, an improv musical gameshow.  We got there early to watch it and it was a lot of fun.

He did a great job.  He had three guests performers.  I was one, and we sang Suddenly Seymour.  A friend from home who recently moved here came and surprised me.

Monday Oct. 15
Shakespeare class was great, a particularly enjoyable class.  Next week we'll be finishing up monologues and moving to scenes.

Toward the end of class all of a sudden I started to think about Chuck.  The worlds "he's no longer in the world" kept piercing me.  My eyes would fill up with tears, it really took me by surprise.  When I left class I found a spot in Central Park where I could talk to my mom on the phone for a long time.  I couldn't stop crying.  It felt shocking all over again.  Surreal.  "A bad Chuck day", is what we call these.  And this day was one.

Tuesday Oct. 16
Went for a jog in Central Park.

Tuesday has seemed to turn into my lazy day here.  The day I do laundry, make the trek to Target for groceries, find the post office, errands, etc.

Wednesday Oct. 17
A jog in the park.

Went shopping for a new audition dress.  With some auditions that are coming up, the two I brought with me didn't seem right so I tracked down what I wanted.

I went to a reading of a play called "Love Poems for Dead Bodies" at a new theatre company called Your Name Here.  Afterward there was a talk back, moderated by Sarah Ruhl!

John, Tyrel and I went to Vintage for nachos and martinis and had a great time.  We didn't come home until 3.  Oops.  After my emotional start to the week, a night out with good friends was just what I needed.

Thursday Oct. 18
My aunt and cousins got into town! Her husband is a lawyer who has meetings and a black tie event over the weekend.  She lived her for ten years so she often comes back to visit.  This was the first time their kids were going to see NYC.  We met for dinner and then went to see their first Broadway show.  They picked Chicago.  I'd seen it on Broadway twice before with Bebe as Velma.  This time I got to see Amy Spanger as Roxie.  It was great.

Friday Oct. 19
Met up with my aunts and cousins again and went to Toys R Us, FAO Schwarz, and out for lunch.

At night I went to see a production of "Taming of the Shrew" with Frog and Peach theatre co.

This is going to sound so simple, and I guess it is, but seeing this much theatre is really teaching me a lot.  I'm reflecting on past productions I've both seen and been in.  Comparing what works and what doesn't and why.  I've also changed my opinions on some productions!

When I came home I checked my email where I'd been contacted from the second audition I went to the first week I was here about being kept on file for their future series of readings.

Saturday Oct. 20 
Ran errands then went downtown with my family for a long lunch at a super cute restaurant.  Bought a ticket for "The Heiress" for next week.

Went to see "Ivanov" at Classic Stage.  Ethan Hawke and Joely Richardson were in it.  The production was absolutely fantastic.  He was so good.  On another level kind of good.  I can't stop thinking about it.  Joely was striking.  You couldn't stop starting at her when she was onstage.  What a presence.  Juliet Rylance was wonderful, as was the entire cast.  It was unexpected, captivating, and interesting.  It was all just so right.  I woke up still feeling very much affected by it.

Two chairs to my right was Christian Carmago...the Ice Truck Killer from Dexter! Watching his wife, Juliet perform.  Um, what a talented pair!

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Don't forget to scroll down for the previous six entries on my NYC stay!
Tweet me: @DeenaMarie
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* * * * * *

Oct 15, 2012

That day. NYC #6

Today was one of those days.  I kept thinking about Chuck.  Out of nowhere I'd feel a stab.  A stab of remembering that he is no longer in the world.  Those are the words that kept gripping me.

On the 27th of this month it will be five months.  Five.  What does that even mean?

Because I'm out of town and not near the loved ones I've been especially close to these last few months, I am not allowing myself to fully go there for now.  I've been focused and busy and compartmentalizing.

It's hard, because since Chuck I've been letting myself live everything as it comes.  I don't want to compartmentalize but I have to for a few more weeks.

Today I feel absolutely every emotion all at the same time.
Sad.  Homesick.  Grateful.  Excited.  You name it, I'm feeling it.

It's real.  It really happened.  That happened kept washing over me.  I couldn't get it to feel real.  It was the closest to the day it actually happened that I've had in a long time.  That was unexpected.  I had moments of thinking I must be going crazy because I felt like I suddenly couldn't make myself understand it.  I couldn't catch my breath.

My eyes kept filling up with tears and it got harder to try to keep them in.

I finally couldn't and cried my eyes out in the park to my mom on the phone and then again to my sweetheart on Face Time.  I feel better letting it some of it out but that doesn't make it any less real.

This is a process.  This will never be over.  This is our new life.  Mine, my loved ones.

This has been the hardest and the best year of my life.


Oct 14, 2012

Week two. NYC #5

Week Two.

Sunday Oct 7
One more day in the city with Kara.  We had dinner at Chelsea Market.  The spot I had lunch nearly everyday I was a student at Atlantic.  I always make a trip to Chelsea Tai for my favorite pad tai.  This time it wasn't as good as I remembered it.  Still, it was so great to have a little more time with her.  There wasn't nearly enough of it.

Monday Oct 8
Shakespeare class #2 with Seth Barrish of the Barrow Group.  We'll be moving from monologues to scenes in another week, and I'm so happy I'll get to work with David Spencer! That night Tyrel, John and I went to "Sleep no More".  This can't be explained.  You just need to experience it.  So weird.  So cool.  When we came out to the bar after, Emma Watson was sitting next to us.  We drank champagne, then went for a late night pizza.

Tuesday Oct 9 
I went to Shakespeare Forum for the first time.  I couldn't believe what a positive, supportive environment it was.  It was one of the few examples I've ever seen of truly constructive criticism.  I'll definitely be going back.

Wednesday Oct 10

My friend Natalie from SLC was in town visiting her sister who's just had a baby.  I met them all for lunch and I'm happy to report I finally got some killer pad tai from Republic by union square.  New favorite.

In the evening I had rehearsal for John's upcoming cabaret with the accompanist.

Thursday Oct 11
I hadn't been to Brooklyn in a zillion years until I had to go for an audition and I didn't get lost! That night I saw "Once".  I had really been looking forward to it and I hate to say it but I came away pretty disappointed.  I saw not the understudy, but the standby for Girl.  I think a lot of things were lost during this particular show, and I was bummed I'd spent that much money on a ticket for what I saw.  I wish I could have a do over! I definitely didn't see the show.

Friday Oct 12
Went to a production of "Pericles" with Animus Theatre Company.  I love getting the chance to see things I would never get to see at home.  I can't get enough.

Saturday Oct 13
This was the day of the all day classical intensive workshop at Red Bull Theater.  I'd really been looking forward to this.  The day was broken down into text work with Liz Smith, acting with Matt Rauch and a mock audition for artistic director Jesse Berger.  For my blog, I'm just focusing on a run down of the week, and for professional purposes I'll be leaving out all details of my classes.  I'm happy to tell you more via conversation, though! I will say that this day was absolutely magical.  I really needed it.  In all aspects.  I left on a high.  Met John at my favorite mexican restaurant (yes, I'm trying to go once a week) and then we met his friend Jill for a drink at Art Bar.  

And as always, missing my family:

NYC #4 Solo Explorer
NYC #3 Week One 
NYC #2
NYC #1 

Oct 12, 2012

Solo explorer. NYC #4

"I prefer to explore the world alone".

That phrase came to me yesterday and inside I yelled, yes! 

It was one of those days where I had some time to just be.  To think.  That combined with a long talk with my mom the night before helped me to sort some things out.

Last weekend one of my very best friends was in the city and we got to spend two days visiting old haunts and catching up.  It was like picking up where it had all left off...except a decade had passed.  I was telling her how I can usually identify what's wrong if I'm having some kind of inner turmoil.  She asked how and I told her it was because I am pretty self aware.  It may take me a minute, but I can always trace it.

When I first arrived in NYC I was full of anxiety and remained so the first couple of days.  I could hardly eat.  Now, I feel great, open, ready, and appreciative.  But what was that stress manifesting itself physically? Well, a few things.  But in the last two days I traced the main source.  You ready? It will seem to go against what I stand for and what I do.


I totally forgot what it was like to be a student.  If I'd have remembered ahead of time I might have chickened out.  Okay, not really.  I wouldn't have let myself.  And maybe it's for the best to just be thrown back in.

Being a student is completely different from being an actor.  Being a professional actor.  Being in a play.  Being in an audition.  Being in a callback.  Being a student is really hard for me.  It's kind of the worst.  And that's why I know I need it.  It's terrifying.  It doesn't matter what I've done or experienced in my acting career, being in the setting of a classroom makes me feel like I'm inside out.  I feel like me, Deena (not a character) is exposed.  Exposed and under a microscope and open for discussion.  Vulnerable.  And even thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Isn't that interesting? 

What else does that mean? Does it mean I'm comfortable being other people more than myself? Does it mean I don't like to reveal the real me? I don't like to invite in? Maybe bits of all of the above.

One thing I know about myself, is I can't force anything.  I can want to achieve something but until I reach it on my own time, it's not going to happen.  This applies to everything.  In a classroom I can have a bit of a struggle because I want to take the information and mull it over.  Ponder, think, dig deep, take my time.  I can't always make quick changes or conclusions.  Sometimes I can, but usually it gives me anxiety.  I like to let myself be and think first.

I still can take away what happens in the course of a short class and understand time is limited and I'm here for only a little under two months and this is how it is.  I get that.  But I do have some work, or adjustments, cut out for me when in situations that are not comfortable for me.

As much as I can feel anxious over putting myself in uncomfortable situations, I constantly seek them.  Always have, always will.  Again, isn't that interesting?

I am a person who really needs and values my alone time.  I am good on my own.  I will choose it over being with people a majority of the time.  It never phased me when I have taken a trip back to NYC solo.  I enjoy it.  I prefer to explore the world alone.  Sometimes literally, and more often, in my own thoughts.

This time, what I'm learning is that I have grown quite accustomed to the partnership my life has been over the course of the last seven years.  I've almost reached the two week mark of being away from home which is the longest I've been away since I've been married and had pets.  I had to have a little talk with myself the last two days on how it doesn't mean weakness, it means support.

I miss the support of my husband, family, and animals around me.  Being suddenly removed from them is so weird.  Something vital is missing for me.  I have gotten used to being surrounded my by support system.

I guess what I've learned is I am capable of getting on without it, but I'd prefer to be in it with them.

I keep thinking of my sweetheart with everything I'm getting to see and do, almost through his eyes.  How much he'd enjoy it, what he'd think, what he'd say.  Not in a co-dependant way, but a loving way.  Wishing it for him almost more than myself.  That says a lot about our relationship.

I have never believed "absence makes the heart grow fonder".  I did, however believe "out of sight, out of mind".  Until now.  I like that I've learned a new lesson and my mind has been changed.  It means growth.  Willing to learn and change my opinion.  I know there are so many things I'll take from my stay here that I may not even fully realize into the far future.  What a gift.  WHAT A GIFT!

I've also been mulling over what a sense of home means.  If my sweetheart was here, would it feel like home? Is it the people that make the home or the place? I'm still thinking.

Another observation has been that all the people I do know be it on one end of the country or the other, are having the same struggles.  You go far away to learn again and again that we are all so much more similar than we think.  I have had similar conversations with friends regarding struggles in their lives in the last couple of weeks.  The same problems in totally different parts of the country.  I have overheard snippets of conversations from people I don't know that are universal no matter where you are.  "Things changed once I took control of my life".

It's been making me think about some of the reading I'd done a couple months ago on archetypes.  In Deepak Chopra's "Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles" you are guided through a meditation to find what archetypes you identify with.  I fall mostly into a long line of Athena's.  A warrior destined to always fight my way through.  "The protector of civilization with commitment to knowledge, wisdom, the arts, and scientific knowledge.  A true spiritual warrior dedicated to destroying any ignorance that impedes the expression of truth."  A bit of the Sage and the Cosmic Alchemist are in me, too.

I see what others who are very close to me are.  I find it fascinating that we (people) fall into one or some of these again and again and again.  Recycling.  I wonder what all the differences could possibly feel like going through life as an Aphrodite? A Dionysus?

We are all so different and so much the same.  Same themes.  Same stardust.  Same place.  Where we came from and where we're going to.  I find great comfort in that.  I find a sense of belonging in identifying mine.  Where I fall into the history of the world.  It explains myself to me.  Why I experience the concept of happiness the way I do.  Why I perceive the world and my existence as I do.

That the long line of other "me's" have been here far before me and will be here long after me.

"We're all just walking each other home"- Ram Dass

Thanks for reading...

Don't forget to scroll through the last few entries for more on my NYC stay!

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie
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Oct 7, 2012

Week one. NYC - #3

Week one.

Sunday Sept. 30
On just a few hours sleep after closing "The Winter's Tale" on a two show day, I was off to the airport.  I felt like a zombie.  As we were landing (and I was opening my eyes) in Houston where I had a layover the lady next to me started to gently elbowing me.  "You was so sleeping!" She says.  Then tries to explain if I hadn't been, I could have had a drink.

Seeing the Statue of Liberty as we were coming in choked me up.  I was trying to get pictures out the window, but they weren't turning out.  "Is this your first time here?" Asked the lady next to me.

John & Jared taking me in as a temporary roommate is the ideal situation.  I love them and they are making me feel so welcome and comfortable.  My room is so cozy and the apartment is great.
We had a toast, ordered pizza and caught up.

Monday Oct. 1 
First day of Shakespeare with The Barrow Group.  As I was sitting in the lobby I began to get nervous.  I started wishing I had a friend in class with me.  I was still feeling out of sorts with how sudden and overwhelming everything was since closing a show and arriving in NYC.  At that moment, in walked David Spencer. David I knew from the theatre community back home, he moved to NYC several years ago.  What are the odds? The world is so big and small.  I felt a relief wash over me.

I was the first to volunteer with a monologue.  We got to spend a good chunk of time on it.  Nothing like a NYC acting class to make me feel like I know absolutely nothing.  I keep reminding myself to stay open, and that I'm here to learn things I didn't know.  It's okay to not know.  The perfectionist in me struggles with that one.

I always have my headshots printed and sent from Reproductions.  This time I was able to go right to the office to get them.

I met up with Scotty and Tyrel, two more friends from home who recently moved here for lunch and a trip to the Disney store after.

That night John, Jared and I went to Under St. Marks to see Folsom Prison Shots presented by aMios.  It's similar to an event like SLAM with Plan - B, except they have two weeks to prepare.

Tuesday Oct. 2 
I woke up bummed out, wiped out, and over it.  I wanted to be home in my own bed.  I wanted to do absolutely nothing.  I wanted to catch up on sleep and have the comfort of my sweetheart and pets.  I walked to Target, not realizing how far it was.  When I got there I bought too many groceries for not having a cart with me and a downpour had started outside.  Walking home with heavy bags soaking wet was not fun.  I was ready to call it quits.  Once I was back home and gave myself a lazy day I started to feel a little better.  John and I watched tv and I stayed inside the rest of the day, hoping to give myself time to reset and get in a better mindset.

Wednesday Oct. 3
I had an audition for "The Crucible".  I paid my upcoming November equity dues at the AEA center and got my new card.  So funny to be doing these things in person.  On the way home I suddenly decided to go into a movie theatre for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower".  I loved it.  They really did the book justice.  Then I ran home to change and go back into the city where I met Chrissy, a friend from facebook in person for the first time before heading down to the Atlantic Theater to get a ticket for "Harper Reagan".  While I was paying my mom text me to show me the picture of Chucks headstone that had just come in that day.  Things bottomed out for a minute.  Every time I see it in writing it hits me hard, like proof.

The show was great and the set was one of the coolest things I've seen.  Simple, folding down and sliding away as the play went on to reveal the layers and scenes.

Thursday Oct. 4
Watched some tv with John and got ready to head to the East Village to meet Lauren and Tia.  Two more friends from home who just moved here.  This was the day that things finally started to settle for me and I started to feel good, truly good about being here.  I love the East Village and I purposely took a long walk to meet them.  We ate at Atlas Cafe, which was delicious and being in the area reminded me how much I can and do love NY.  We went to Ella Lounge after to see Lauren's friends' band and then to Bar 82.  So much fun!

Friday Oct 5
Patrick Page was kind enough to message me and offer tickets to the Cyrano matinee for Saturday afternoon.  Cyrano was my first professional show nearly ten years ago.  I had a tiny role and Patrick played Cyrano.  I was very much looking forward to seeing this production.  That started the day off on a great note.  I went to another audition where I read with the playwright and it went really well.  I also had an email for a "Twelfth Night" audition for the next day, so I came home to re-read the play and start preparing my sides.  Using what I learned in class earlier that week made it especially fun.

That night John, Jared and I went to see something called Prelude at CUNY, where Jared is studying.  It was the last night of this festival, and we saw The Return of the Singspeil.  Five short pieces all involving music.  My favorite was the first with two rap battling wizards, one on stage, one on video.

Post show drink at Bettibar.

Saturday Oct. 6
This was a day I was really looking forward to.  It felt like Christmas.  Kara, my good friend who I met at Atlantic years ago was coming to the city and we were going to spend the day together.  It was our ten year anniversary of being here at the same time! We went to Cyrano together and both loved it.  It was everything I love about theatre.  A truly perfect production.  I kept getting chills and choked up.  The beautiful poetry, the grand sets and costumes and wonderful performances.  Just great.  My love for the classical has been rekindled tenfold.

I ran to NYU after where the "Twelfth Night" audition was taking place and it went really well.  There was plenty of time spent, doing the scene three different ways and then a song.  Nothing better than leaving an audition and honestly thinking that it was fun.

Met back up with Kara and we went right to our favorite mexican restaurant where we spent many nights ten years ago.  I always go when I'm in town and I order the same thing.  I ate every last bit of food on my plate.  

We went across the street to the old after school bar next where you can draw on the tables.  Whenever we'd go I'd always draw the two of us and she still has the drawings! I made our ten year anniversary picture.

There was a pet store right next door and we went in for awhile where I held a baby chihuahua.  A little girl.  I named her Sweetpea.  I miss Noodles so bad I can't stand it, so I was really needing to hold a little chi! She was so sweet I could barely give her back.  Isn't she photogenic?

One last night cap at Flute, a favorite bar of mine.  It's amazing how being in the city ten years later can feel like we're picking up where we left off.  Just like riding a bike, Kara said.

I'm feeling lucky and grateful to be able to spend this time here, now.  And coming back to the apartment after a great night last night only to see this in my email makes it me feel it even more so.  In all aspects.  Look what I get to come home to!

My beloved family!

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie
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Oct 6, 2012

NYC - #2

I have definitely settled in since my last entry.  In fact, it happened right after I wrote and posted...as it often does.  It also didn't hurt that after writing I went to one of my favorite parts of the city with some of my favorite people for good food and a night out on the town.

Since then, the magic has been back and I've relaxed.  It took a couple days to adjust to the whirlwind of leaving/starting but I'm on top of it now.

There are so many little stories and details of each day I want to write and I've decided that while I'll be updating along the way, at the end of each week on Sunday night I'll do a quick rundown of what I did that week and bits of the adventures that have happened.  This will be great for me to have a place to store it and see it whenever I want in the future, and for friends and family to read what I'm up to.

I'm excited to tell you more tomorrow...

Previous entries:
NYC - #1

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Deena Marie

Oct 4, 2012

NYC - #1

My concept of time has been all sorts of askew since landing here Sunday night.  I've felt a little out of sorts and unsettled more often than not and I'm working on figuring out why.

Sometimes it's a good thing for me to go directly into one adventure after another, and sometimes if I don't have the chance to feel through what's happened and catch up with myself it leaves my insides feeling too busy, which is not a good thing for me.  New York makes my insides busy enough.

I know there are two things I'm dealing with.  The first, is that I'm here for a long chunk of time.  Nearly seven weeks vs the 4 - 5 day stay I've done over the years.  When I know I'm here for only a few days, I am relaxed.  I feel free the minute my plane lands and my time here never seems long enough.  This time around, all I could focus on was the impending length of time.  The time I won't have access to my things, my home, and most importantly, my family.

As in my sweetheart.  My pup.  My cat.  My parents.

This is funny because I know on paper this trip is a blip on the timeline of my life.  I know as soon as I come out the other side I will be thinking how fast it went.  But what is it that Steve Job said in his talk to Stanford? Looking back, we see how the dots connect but we can't see it looking forward.

Aye, there's the rub.

I knew I'd be dealing with the new meaning of goodbye and a sense of separation anxiety.  And I am.  It is so different to be staying in an apartment with friends this time rather than a hotel.  Much more of the feeling that I'm temporarily living here more than I am just a visitor.  Buying groceries.  Commuting home.  Oh yeah.  This was what it was like all those years ago when I was a student here.

In the months since Chuck I have come to understand appreciation.  I can't believe how lucky I am in this life and I can't believe there are times when I forget that for so long (I hate the human ego!).  I have learned a big lesson in making conscious decisions rather than feeling trapped by the decisions I make.

I would and do choose my life at home a thousand times over.  

I would never want to live the NYC life again.  I'm saying truly live it, as in move here and make this my home.  Been there, done that.  I know where I feel settled, where I thrive, the lifestyle that makes feel comfortable and gives me a sense of home.

I love my home.  There is no place like home.  Truly.  I didn't think I could appreciate any more, but turns out I can.

Another thing I realized and I've been waiting to put into words was my experience with "The Winter's Tale".  I haven't felt like this about a show in a long time.  I have had very special shows.  Just about all of them have been amazing roles and challenges and once again, I am so grateful.  But once in a while it's like your acting dreams all line up for you and you get handed something that is pure magic.  These times are so rare that years go by in between.  That was this one.  It helped heal me.  It moved me forward.  It put me in a different place than I'd started this year out in.  It saved me, reinvigorated and inspired me.  I'll never get over it.  I didn't want to say goodbye.  I almost have no words for what happened to me on some of those nights on that stage, or the process of putting that one together.  I want to cry when I think about it.  That I got to do it.  That it is a part of the story of the history of me.  

Art as a healer.  Huh.  Now that it's done and I've found myself taken into another new world, it feels abrupt.  Not bad, not good, just that.  Abrupt.  A lot to process.  It can be hard to think here.  Especially because I haven't had much down time.  I took tuesday to try to rest and regroup but I think I need a few more of those.  This afternoon might just be one.

I also don't mean to come off as though I'm not capable of enjoying my time here.  That's not the case.  I've already seen two plays, a movie, and at the end of the week a total of eight friends.  I've started my Shakespeare course and imagine my surprise when there was a familiar face from home in the class! This world is so small and so big.  Time is so long and so short.  Opposites.  Always opposites.

I've got tickets to upcoming shows I've been wanting to see.  Upcoming classical workshops and a mask course.  Friends and family coming in to the city while I happen to be here.  The serendipity of it is not lost on me.

My sweet friends, my roomies are so wonderful.  My room is cozy and they have gone to great lengths to make sure I'm at my most comfortable.  What a generous thing it is, to open your home and take someone in! How do you ever begin to repay something so big, so kind?

Theatre is my love.  Always has been and always will be.  I always want to know more.  I want to be better with everything I do.  I'll always feel that way.  I've said time and time again that's why I love acting.  We're never done.  It's always changing.  That's why I'm here.  To put in some time to get some education I feel like I can't get anywhere else.  To put myself in a new classroom with a new instructor and try to crack open further.  To learn lessons.  To have a month and a half experiment.

To me it's worth it.  It's important.  Crucial.  But my heart will stay heavy for home until I'm back with my family I'm oh so attached to.

Until then...