Spring Break, Final Callback Weekend, Shakespeare, My Birthday!
I have a lot of catching up to do! I had a lovely spring break last February 26-March 11. I stayed in New York City and balanced catching up with friends and family with doing some homework (yes we still had homework to do over spring break).
I don't recall following any "makeover TV shows" growing up. I perceive local TV hosts from the Philippines to adapt a kind of deprecating humor that I find counter-productive to self-improvement. That is probably where I have begun to carry a bias against makeover shows that works from an angle of seeing what is wrong and lacking from a person and then proceed to "transform" them - as if what was originally there was insufficient in itself. I love "Queer Eye" (the new one) because the "Fab 5" (Karamo - culture, Antoni - food & wine, Tan - fashion, Bobby - design and Jonathan - grooming) work from a place of seeing the potential that is already there in the person and then digging to see what direction that person wants to take his life next and what may be blocking the person from blossoming into this full potential. The Fab 5 are so generous, gracious, entertaining, kind and talented! I would love for them to makeover my father! (hi Dad)
The last TV series that I paid attention to over the break was "The Imposters." I watch it mainly because one my favorite actresses in the Juilliard Drama Division, Marianne Rendon (Group 45) is in this show and I am so proud of her! In the trailer below she's in the last clip that you'll see.
Final Callback Weekend
Over the spring break, I signed up to work for the Juilliard Drama Final Callback Weekend to find the next 18 people to comprise Group 51. I was lucky enough to be assigned to work at the check-in table during the first day as well as to work as their monologue room monitor - so I was able to meet all 50 candidates.
Romeo and Juliet
Rehearsals began for Romeo & Juliet and Richard II last March 12, 2018. I am cast as Lady Capulet, Lady Montague, among others in Romeo & Juliet which is set to run from May 1-9 at the Stephanie McClelland Drama Theater. A theme I have discovered consistent in my third year of training is that I have been cast in no less than three characters in each show in all of the productions (Top Girls, Queens Boulevard, Romeo & Juliet). Below are snapshots of costume sketches by our costume designers: Jessica Wegener for Romeo & Juliet and Andrea Hood for Richard II.
It was my 29th birthday yesterday! I was determined to set the conditions to make this year's birthday into a better birthday than last year (one of the worst but I can laugh about it now). I finished a lot of life errands last weekend and Monday (which included cleaning, laundry, cooking, tax stuff, etc.) so that I can chill out a bit on March 20, Tuesday. I was released from rehearsals early, got to celebrate with a friend (I got a plant!) and went home to my apartment to find a red velvet cupcake from Magnolia Bakery from my new roommates so a lot of things were already a step up from last year!
I promised Cabaret Photos
From Feb. 5-11, our group (Group 48) was busy singing (and some of us dancing) our hearts out at our annual Cabaret show. The Cabaret is a show that happens at the spring semester of the third year of training that culminates all the singing classes that have begun in the second year of training.
I've been in a couple of musicals in the five years that I've worked as a professional theater actress in the Philippines. In those musicals, I've always been put in the soprano parts in ensemble numbers - for a long time I believed I was a soprano. There was one Filipino composer/musical director who mentioned to me that he thinks I might be an alto all this time. It confused me then, but fast forward to months into my singing training at Juilliard, my singing teacher said that she thinks that my singing voice falls into the alto/mezzo range. For this Cabaret I was cast in alto/mezzo ballad parts and I loved it.
During my late teens and early twenties, I had bought into the notion that a "leading lady" or an "ingenue" was a soprano. I might have unconsciously forced myself into being a soprano because I wanted to be a "leading lady." Much of my Juilliard journey (which includes my casting and my work in scene study classes) have challenged all these ideas of "leading lady," "ingenue," "character actress" and so on. "All acting is character acting," one of my acting teachers said. I am very happy to have begun letting go of this hold to become of a particular mold and embrace my voice and my self and my soul as IS. I love that I am an alto. I love that I can sing deep notes. And I love that I can sing high notes, nevertheless. Having range is good.
One of the great things that I am reclaiming in this journey (framed under the "Juilliard Journey") is my Voice. Not only my inner voice, but my literal speaking and singing voice as well. It feels very affirming, after searching for so long, to arrive at my Self in this way, and to be able to move forward with a sense of more Wholeness.
Last Class with Stephen Mckinley Henderson
It has been a pleasure to be strengthening acting muscles with our Master class teacher for this quarter, Mr. Stephen McKinley Henderson. He's been in a couple of films (Lincoln, Fences, Lady Bird), he was in Group 1 of the Drama Division and was recently the commencement speaker of the 2017 Juilliard Commencement ceremony.
We're now on our spring break and when we come back we're gonna be on the last leg of our third year of training. Most graduate drama schools only have three years of training. Juilliard Drama has four years. We get three full years of pure acting training, and then we'll have the fourth year as the bridge to the profession. If one looks at it this way, I am then approaching the last leg of the real deal, and then the fourth year is probably going to feel very different (or not).
I am a Graduate Drama student at The Juilliard School from Quezon City, Philippines.