1. Public Act of Poetry
Last Tuesday (April 12), we had to do a Public Act of Poetry during Poetry class. All 10 of us MFA first year Drama Students together with out poetry teacher and her friend took the 2 train from 72nd street to 14th street and back. We selected a subway cart for the whole trip and we each shared either a poem or a song in front of strangers. It was exhilarating. It takes a different kind of chutzpah to perform in front of an audience that chose to enter the same performing space as you have and quite another to enter into a public space and share your work there without an explanation.
Last Wednesday, (April 13) Mask class was cancelled and so we had an extra one hour and 30 minutes free! My scene partner and I decided to run through our lines in Central Park and it became one of the highlights of my week! This is my first spring and last Wednesday was my first spring in Central Park! As I saw the open green grassy lawn I screamed and lay down on the grass facing the sun (with my iced latte nearby).
I am also looking for a room in NYC for the summer (and most likely for my second year of studies). So if you know anyone who is renting out a room in Manhattan do let me know.
I'm going to hunker down now because I am recovering from a fever which I got last Sunday. We'll have our showings next week and we all have to be in good shape health-wise.
I am at my most calm thus far this school year, which is a relief. I've been so accustomed to worry and drama in my previous life that even though I find this newfound "ease" unsettling in the beginning, I have chosen to welcome it as a new and unexplored colour into my life.
1. "How to Crowdfund Your Way to Juilliard"
Last March 31, 2016 I did a presentation for "Point-of-View" class. Basically we were all assigned to give a 20-minute presentation about any topic we think we may know more than the people in our class. My crowdfunding feat immediately came to mind when I first heard about this new assignment. The #GoFundRegina campaign was in its own way a culmination of all my curiosities about building websites and the power of social media.
This has been a more emotionally-balanced quarter of the school year so far because I am slowly learning to incorporate self-care in the midst of this specifically rigorous program. I don't have that much time to read other than all the plays or articles assigned in the program so the books that I bought over spring break have to hold. What's really helping me in my "me-time" nowadays are podcasts. I can listen to them while I'm getting ready for school or folding clothes from my laundry. I often play them in the evening after I've done all my homework to get ready for bed.
Here are my favorites so far:
Dear Sugar Radio
"Dear Sugar" is a weekly podcast by writers Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. This is an offshoot of Cheryl Strayed's weekly advice column which was eventually turned into a book called, "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life by Dear Sugar." The letters that they read and mull over are honest, brave, human, complex and poignant and their responses to the letters are equally such (with empathy).
I found that I have subscribed to numerous narratives growing up that has taken root into my how I see certain aspects of the world like love, beauty and human beings. Some of these were not helpful (i.e. the heroine finding a prince at the end of the dark woods). Listening to real people's problems in this podcast helps me update my narratives in a way that is more in tune with the complexity that lies within all human beings and experiences.
I've been listening to "Dear Sugar" every day for the past two weeks that I've forgotten that I've also subscribed to this other podcast which interviews non-fiction writers. I've been listening to this podcast a lot over spring break and I discovered that I do gain a lot of insight by listening to writers talk about their craft. It is helpful to me to move out of my field from time to time and listen to other artists from other fields talk about their processes and find the ways in which certain principles intersect, continue to be true regardless of the form and also how things differ because of the medium.
3. Scene Study
I just wrapped up the first-round of my scene study assignment last Friday (April 1, 2016). I have to admit I was sad to let "Two for the Seesaw" go in the meantime but I was truly grateful to have been assigned that play by the universe. My next scene study assignment is "Lady" from "Orpheus Descending" by Tennessee Williams. I am so excited for this because Orpheus Descending was the play from which the 1960 movie "Fugitive Kind" starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani was based on. I saw the movie over winter break and found Anna Magnani's character "Lady" particularly complex.
I am a Graduate Drama student at The Juilliard School from Quezon City, Philippines.