Nov 4, 2012

A diary of today. NYC #12

This is the second joint post for myself and JayC Stoddard.  The idea is to blog on the same topic, purely for fun and for two points of view.

We chose to track a random day and write about it.  Pretty simple.  I think this will be a particularly interesting entry to look back on down the road.  When it feels like a lifetime ago.  But like a gem.  Like when you read an old diary and you can suddenly transport...and remember.

Here is nothing more than a few hours recorded in time, from opposite ends of the country.

Here is his link: My Beautiful Day 

And here is my entry.

Saturday November 3, 2012

8:45 My alarm goes off.  I was in the middle of strange, deep dreams about a movement class.  The class I’m supposed to be going to for the first time today.

I am in the bathroom just about to start my makeup when my roommate knocks on the door.  He needs to get in there before he leaves for work.  Believe it or not this is the only time it’s happened to the three of us.  I always build in plenty of time so I'm never late, so it’s fine.  I go start coffee. 

9:20 I have my mug of coffee and I’m almost done with my makeup.  I come back to my room to sit and finish in a small mirror and get my things together.  I turn on hulu.  During Hurricane Sandy I watched many more tv shows than I ever would have normally.  I put on the rest of Emily Owens, M.D. episode three.  Do I like it? No, I say to myself as I can't wait to see how the episode ends.  

10:00 I leave for the subway, a five minute walk.  I need to buy a new metro card.  I had just run out of my month long card, and the past two days were free due to Sandy.  The lines are longer than normal to get a card, but not bad.  I take out an earbud to hear an announcment.  Looks like train service will be restored to Brooklyn soon.  This is good, since I’ve got an upcoming workshop there over the next weekend. 

10:45 I arrive at the studio.  I had tried to go to this class once before.  I know the address is correct.  I see only one possible entrance.  Nobody is around.  I wait.  Nothing.  No students, no teacher.  I keep buzzing.  No answer.  When this happened last time, I was given a cell phone to call.  I call.  No answer.  The mailbox is full, so I can’t leave a message.  I almost want to laugh that this is about to happen twice.  I am determined to take this class, but I don’t know why.  I wait and call again in a few minutes.  The instructor answers, she is on her way from Penn Station.  The conversation is not what I expected and when I find out the class has changed locations and that it was supposed to have been emailed to me, I tell her I’m on my way.  It’s only six streets down.  For a split second I think about not showing up.  Why has there been such miscommunication? But I want to take advantage of everything I can in my time here, plus I need fodder for this blog!

11:03 There are only three women in this class.  One older, the other two around my age, maybe a little younger.  This is it? I think.  This is the class? “Who are you?” One asks a little rudely.  I tell them.  I also tell them it’s my first time there and ask what to expect.  “Ohhhhhh, it’s fun.  You’ll love it…I think.”  That’s the only answer I get.  I had been looking for someone to tell me about the technique, or what previous classes had entailed. But instead I get, "you'll love it...I think"? Oh dear.

I go to the bathroom and when I come back the instructor is there.  She isn’t at all what I pictured.  I’m trying to remember why I have an image of her in my head, maybe from the website? Yes from the website.  She looks completely different.  I have to admit, I am thinking I might need to tell her right off the bat that I’ll only be able to stay for one of the three hours.  But then she walks over to me, takes my hand and gives me one of the warmest and most genuine smiles.  An instructor and a person that really sees you.  You’re not just a generic group.  And I like her immediately. 

I have a wave of “oh dear”, once more when the class starts out with tossing an imaginary ball.  But I tell myself to be open.  When will you ever be doing this again? I think about acting class horror stories, or parodies.  There was only one other time I was asked to do something that I thought, what? Seriously? And that was when I had to pretend to be a tiger at Juilliard.  You heard me. 

I let it go and dive in.  And I’m so glad I do.  It’s fun.  It goes from fun to interesting.  From interesting to great.  And then a whole new world starts to open.  Michael Chekhov technique is nothing like anything I’ve ever studied.  What have I stumbled into?

The heat isn’t on.  When we stop for awhile to discuss what’s happening as we work, we start to freeze to the point of no return.  We almost call the class early.  We end up huddled around a small heater watching a documentary that is, well, kind of blowing my mind.  I need to know more.  But soon the three hours are up.  We all walk out together, I am telling our instructor my story and figuring out the next class I’ll be able to come to, and there is one more before I go home.  It’s a completely different vibe than any acting class I’ve ever been in.  Very much it’s own thing, and it’s great. 

I think about how listening to your instincts and following what compels you even when you don't understand it is the magic of the universe.  You can't be led astray.  

2:01 My mom texts me asking if I can talk.  Perfect timing, I say.  I walk into Dunken Donuts and order a hazelnut latte.  Just as I’m sitting she calls.  I talk to her and then to my sweetheart for awhile and I’m pretty sure my latte doesn’t have any hazelnut flavoring in it.  I pull out a piece of paper to write some thoughts about my class.  What I’ll say in this blog, and what I’ll keep private for me.  A man sits down next to me, and I see he has laid out his lunch.  It’s basically one of everything from the dessert menu.

I’m freezing.  The day before it was warm.  I’m in the same sweater I wore but today I can barely handle the weather and the wind hurts.  I’m not ready to leave the city but I can’t make it without another layer.  I hurry over to the closest H&M and get a cheap jacket.  I leave the tag on so I can return it in a couple of days.

3:39 Now that I’m bundled up, I can start my walk down to Chelsea.  I’m on my way to my favorite Mexican restaurant.  I have tried to go there once a week.  I'm lost in thought.  I think about how I miss my family.  How each person has their our own concept of what's too much, or too little.  One could say I miss them too much or too little.  I think about how I've gone back and forth in the last few weeks between wanting to cry I miss them so much, and having to shut my feelings down to get through what I need to do.  I suddenly remember being in second grade at Halloween.  My mom appears in the doorway dressed as the Phantom of The Opera.  It's a surprise.  I don't recognize her.  "Hi, Deena."  She says.  When I realize it's my mom, I run to her and hug her.  Later my teacher tells my mom that a girl my age shouldn't be running to her mother and hugging her like that.  Excuse me? I'm only in second grade.  And guess what? I'd do the same thing now, and any time.  

4:30 I can’t decide if I want to see “Cloud Atlas” today or head home and get out of this cold.  I decide to head for home. 

On the subway I am wondering why it seems so difficult sometimes to feel like "me" when I'm out of town.  How I don't feel like "I" translate outside of "home".  Sink into myself.  That's what pops into my head.  Why is it sometimes so hard to sink into myself?

I stop at the grocery store.  I’m prepared for the cashier to either be rude, or not say a word, like customer service usually is here.  She drops one of my items and apologizes, like she truly is sorry.  I don’t care, I tell her it’s okay.  She asks for my ID with my card and compliments my picture.  She tells me to have a nice day.  Well that was surprising.  

Today has definitely been a day about letting go of assumptions. 

The rest of the night is spent inside and out of the cold.  Sleepy.  On Face Time with my sweet heart.  Responding to emails.  Watching a couple other things on hulu.  Then my roommate and I decide to catch up on Dexter, 666, and SNL with a bottle of champagne leftover from our Hurricane Sandy Brunch.  

At 1:23 I shut my eyes…

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