All students living in the Juilliard Residence Hall were required to move out last May 14, 2016. Since finding a room or an apartment in New York City is really tricky and I haven't found a place yet I am currently crashing into 2 of my classmates' apartment in Washington Heights. Meanwhile, the search for a place of my own continues.
I was surprised to be very happy living in an actual apartment. It's as if I am faced with a new adventure: how to survive. I am working part-time in the Juilliard library now to pay for my own expenses. I've done my first grocery shopping even though I do not know how to cook (yet). I'm making things up as I go along. I've never lived my life this way as I've never been in this kind of situation before. I trust that what I will acquire internally from whatever it is I have to go through now will prove invaluable to me in the future.
In the meantime, here is a picture of where I love to run in the morning:
And here is a picture of a salad I made out of greens, assorted nuts, mangoes, turkey slices and canned sausages:
Wrapping up First Year!
Production Exposure: Recording Department
The week after Pecong closed, me and two actors from Group 48 were assigned to the Juilliard Recording Department during our quarterly "Production Exposure." We got to see the people behind the cameras during Juilliard shows and events and how they work their magic. At the end of the session we got to play around in front of a camera and they showed us how they edited the audio and lighting of a sample video like this:
Poetry Open Mic
In the morning of our last day (May 13, 2016) we had a Poetry Open Mic to culminate the year by sharing one of the poems we've selected out of the many poems we've submitted for Poetry class during the first year spring semester. The entire Drama Division community was there to support us first years.
This was the poem I wrote and shared for the event:
I did not ask for my
Everybody thinks I’m supposed to
rescue the fair-skinned woman
And live happily ever after.
That was what we were all taught to do.
Why can’t she save herself?
Don’t eat a red apple from a witch.
Don’t prick your finger with a glowing needle.
Don’t give up your voice to an octopus.
Get out of your fucking stepmother’s house.
It is you,
not a true love’s kiss
It is you,
that will break
Regina De Vera (May 7, 2016)
It is difficult to answer questions such as "how was your first year?" or "what have you learned?"
How does one encapsulate in words a journey that is fundamentally altering and revealing? The deepest changes I've seen in myself consist in how I perceive my own life and my own journey. The idea of a "finished product" once dominated my process and how I saw myself in the context of the work and how I perceived the different phases of my life. What is more important now are the questions, because facts and information always change. The questions that remain within me are no longer viewed as representations of what are "missing" in my life so much as they are puzzles that I allow to come together when they are ready to come together. It is a continuous unfolding. And there will always be puzzles to figure out and grapple with and that is okay. I would take this ongoingness of my life, this continuous going towards something and wouldn't exchange it for a plateau, a desert or quiet Sunday afternoon ever again.
Juilliard Gala 2016: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Participating in the Juilliard Gala was one of the coolest experiences I've had in my first year. I did not know how much of a big deal it was until I went to the rehearsal the day before. Three of us from the Drama Division were selected to escort three Drama Division alumni who were participants of the Gala event. I was lucky enough to be Phillipa Soo's (Group 41, Hamilton) student "fairy" for the event. Two of my colleagues were assigned to Gabriel Ebert (Group 38) and Nick Choksi (Group 39).
The opportunities that this school gives to its students is astounding. One key moment of the evening for me was escorting Phillipa Soo with Steven Pasquale towards the David Geffen Hall "blue carpet" and then seeing Laura Linney (Group 19) right in front of us followed by Jim Houghton (Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division) and his wife Joyce. They were all very kind not in an affected way that could sometimes plague such events but in a genuine way that made me feel part of the community. I remember looking around me and thinking, "this is the best."
We are finally done with our last play for our first year! We performed "Pecong," an adaptation of Euripides' Medea set in a fictional Caribbean island by playwright Steve Carter. We all played several roles and incorporated Caribbean dialects from several Caribbean islands. It was crazy but we got through it.
We've got two weeks of classes left and then we're off for the summer!
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!