End of Spring Break
Highlights from the last week of Spring Break 2016: The Woodsman Play, Julie Delpy Talk, Jeepney (Filipino GastroPub)
It's only the first week out of spring break and we are already deep into our work in rehearsals for Pecong and Scene Study class.
"Pecong" is Steve Carter's adaptation of Euripides' "Medea" and is set in a fictional Caribbean island. Roles are split among different actors throughout the entire play as in our Discovery Project: Pericles.
For Scene Study class I was assigned "Gittel Mosca" in "Two for the Seesaw" by William Gibson. It is a beautiful play with only two characters (Gittel Mosca and Jerry Ryan). Ann Bancroft (The Graduate) and Henry Fonda originated the two roles in the original Broadway production.
I am thrilled to be working on those two plays and I am grateful to be in a program that casts actors "outside of the box." I think that the program and I are on the same page in terms of being cast not according to one's "look" but according to possibility and who one can become.
I am grateful to have finally found my tribe in Group 48 and in my extended Juilliard family, I am grateful to be in a program that encourages me to continually draw from who I am, I am grateful to finally have the space, independence and freedom to choose what I want to include in and exclude from my life.
One of the things I've always loved doing even when I was still in the Philippines was wandering through the city following my curiosity. I was thrilled that I can do more of those in a bigger city such as New York especially during spring break.
Before I left for New York I saw myself as a relatively independent woman who knew what she wanted. Upon coming here I realized there is still so much to learn not just about the world but also myself.
I guess learning to be alone is like learning to ride a bike: you get better at it with practice. It would be a pain if someone else pedalled the wheels for me. It is my bicycle, my life after all.
I feel I am getting better and better in finding out how I want to fill my time in a fruitful way given a ton of freedom.
Poetry in the Park
We still have a ton of homework to do over spring break and one of them was to do a "Public Act of Poetry." Having this homework and the thought of doing it brought discomfort and agitation in me so I decided to get it over with as soon as possible. So on noon of Sunday (March 6, 2016) I headed over to Central Park, picked a bench where a considerable amount of people passed by and set up the place to do my "public act of poetry." Using an Ifugao skirt and headdress and a makeshift "Park Poetry" sign using a recycled cardboard as my "backdrop," I grabbed a book of poems by Mary Oliver and read it out loud as people walked by.
There were at least two people who stopped (my eyes were fixed on reading so I could only see through my peripheral vision). The poem that made them stop was "Wild Geese." This was not surprising to me because this was one of Mary Oliver's most beloved poems. They didn't finish the poem though. They left half-way as soon as I felt I was going to tear up. I cannot imagine how many people must've thought I was crazy, but then again this is New York.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Regina De Vera
I am a Filipino actress alternating between New York and Manila. I received my acting training at The Juilliard School. Take a look around!