It is hardly spring in New York City (it was about 18F this weekend) but it's been a good winter for me so far as compared to my first two winters. Miraculously, I find myself hardly depressed and more calm and patient with how things are going. We are currently busy preparing for our upcoming show, "Cabaret: A Musical Revue." Cabaret is an annual musical show that the third years put up as a culmination of singing classes that have begun in the second year of training. We will share our work at the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Drama Studio, which was the same place we shared our work in Top Girls and Queens Boulevard last semester.
I have prayed for a quiet life for a long time especially in the height of my bed bug stress (that has been such a memorable time in my journey - I am amused that I still keep mentioning it), and even towards the end of the first semester of my third year of training (when I was doing three roles with three dialects again for Queens Boulevard). Now that I have it I am still "working" towards trusting it. A quiet and calm life is unfamiliar territory for me. I am more used to drama, stress, anxiety - or something going wrong. I have been more investigative and curious about other possible ways of living, and have been wanting to move specifically towards more lightness.
Over the past winter break, someone whose wisdom I seek every now and then has advised me to trust the flow of my life. I don't have to work too hard, she said. What I do need to do is to be present, to listen, to hear, to stay open. The flow of my life at present is very mild, quite smooth and calm. There is a part of me that has become impatient lately as there are a few things in my personal life that I want to start going but hasn't yet. When I get those feelings again I remind myself to be patient. There may be some things I want that are not available yet but there are many things that ARE in place. And I am taking the time to slow down and acknowledge them.
Cabaret photos to follow!
First New Year's Eve Alone
I spent my first New Year's Eve alone this crossover into 2018. I was very lucky to have my 3-bedroom apartment on my own (my roommates were out for the holidays) for almost an entire week. Prior to New Year's Eve, I've been staying-in most of the time except for the occasional but minimal brunches, groceries and errands. I turned those 6 days into a sort of silent "retreat" - which is a place I often come to when I am in need of some spiritual replenishment.
I also amused myself watching other people on TV do crazy things during New Year's Eve. There was a couple who were married by an Elvis Presley impersonator in Las Vegas who made me feel like there are sadder things in the world than spending New Year's Eve alone.
When I told a good friend about what I was attempting, he later said this was a kind of "rite of passage." In the future though, I don't mind staying-in during New Year's Eve but I do hope to spend holidays like these with people I love or someone I love (whether platonically or romantically). There are times when being alone is really good and replenishing for me. It is likely that I will continue to find pockets of solitude and retreat in my life as sources of replenishment and healing. However, I feel a growing need to find other things beyond my "training" within the Juilliard building to draw more life and inspiration from. I'm at the last half of my third year of training and thankfully the workload is getting less so I'd have more time to find life beyond the craft and an ensemble of terrific actors.
There actually came a point during the break when I realized that I spend so much of my time getting things done that I began to feel unhappy with my current state even though when I reflect upon my life I know that I have plenty of things to be grateful for. So much so that in the first few days back into classes after Thanksgiving, I felt a certain heaviness and darkness that I often felt when I was back home and began to worry that I might be depressed.
This particular weekend I did not have a lot of homework. And since I have already went up for my last scene for scene study class this semester (hooray!) I no longer had to prepare for a new scene this weekend and so I was able to take the weekend off!
I decided to really just do things to take care of myself or things that made me happy.
There are a couple of youtube videos I've been watching to make me feel better:
BEEN SO BUSY
THREE ROLES AGAIN (this is a good thing, though)
From L-R: Undesirables, Frida Kahlo, Gender Swap, Animal (Owl)
What took up so much of our time was that as soon as Shakespeare scene study class was over we had to transition abruptly into Master classes with Michael Kahn (who is an acting teacher/legend in the Juilliard Drama Division). I just did a scene from The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams (I played Rosa) for that class yesterday!
I am a Graduate Drama student at The Juilliard School from Quezon City, Philippines.
I intend to bring Lincoln Center closer to home, one entry at a time.