1. "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" and "John"
Last September 6 (Sunday), the Drama Division gave us tickets to see the matinee show of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" with Alex Sharp playing Christopher at the Barrymore Theater and the evening show of "John" at the Signature Theatre. The two plays were starkly different from each other in terms of treatment and the acting muscles required to pull them off.
2. Juilliard Cruise Day
On September 8 (Tuesday), my cousin Jerel and I went to the North River Lobster Company at Pier 81 to eat some fresh oysters (my first time) during their "happy hour" (which was from 4-7PM) in which we could get oysters for only $2 each. He taught me to squeeze a little bit of lemonade and a dash of ketchup before slurping in the fresh oysters and then putting the shell face-down back at the plate for good luck.
Right before 6PM we headed to Pier 83 (less than a minute walk) for the annual Juilliard Circle Line Cruise. We got on the boat and enjoyed a tour of New York City with a free beverage. We had a really nice spot on the top of the Cruise so we got a nice view of New Jersey, the statue of liberty, and New York City at night.
The Circle Line Cruise ended before 10pm and since I was still hungry and craving for some buffalo wings, my cousin then took me to The Pony Bar along Hell's Kitchen (45th Street). I got my buffalo wings and a taste of "Pumpkin alcohol."
3. Cleaned bathrooms for the first time!
On September 9 (Wednesday), I was assigned to cleaning 2 dorm suite bathrooms. I got gloves and cleaning supplies from the dorm office and proceeding to cleaning bathrooms for the first time. It's not that difficult plus the school made an instructional video for it which was very helpful (and a little loony if you watch it below).
4. Monologue Showings
September 10 was a very important day for us first-year Drama Students (Group 48) because it was our Monologue Showings Day! The Monologue Showings is an annual event for the Drama Division when all its students get to perform monologues in front of the whole faculty and student body of the Drama Division as a "welcome to the new school year" kind of thing. It so happens that September 10 was the Monologue Showings day scheduled for first year (Group 48) and second year (Group 47) Drama Students.
This day was very important to us (Group 48) because it's a sort of "here we are" moment. I performed a piece from Saint Joan by George Bernard Show, which was the same piece I performed for the initial auditions and callbacks for the Drama Division. Overall, the experience of that day was overwhelming. It was an event that required a lot of courage and a lot of heart, to say the least. I felt a lot of weight off my chest after getting through it, and treated myself to a nice Thai dinner along 72nd and Columbus along with Group 48 because we deserved it.
5. Playwright's Festival.
The Juilliard Drama Division has a platform called "Play Labs." It is the closest thing we have to "The Virgin Labfest" back in the Philippines. Each year, the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program admits about 4-5 writing fellows and their plays get to be performed in the "Playwright's Festival." The program is headed by Marsha Norman (author of "'Night, Mother") and Christopher Durang. A description of the program is as follows:
"An essential component of all our work within The Juilliard School Drama Division is the intersection between the actor training and playwriting programs. Working together, playwright and actor learn what their roles are in creating new work through Play Labs, workshops, and productions.
We believe that, in addition to performing the classics in a contemporary spirit, the Juilliard actor should be prepared to work on new plays as a major part of their artistic growth. The Juilliard Playwrights Festival of workshop productions is an annual event for the graduating class, giving them a further opportunity to develop new work and advance collaborations and connections that will expand beyond their time here in school." - Adam Szymkowicz, Literary Manager
I have just witnessed one of the most fulfilling moments that I could possibly experience watching actors do their work onstage through the Playwright's Festival. I am in awe of the work that I have seen and feel content knowing that I could one day grow into the artists that they have become.
6. Juilliard Open Studios
Lastly, The Juilliard School has recently launched a new app available to all called "Juilliard Open Studios." It allows visitors to gain a sneak peak into the different programs of the school and how they work with new pieces and current students. I downloaded it myself but haven't gone to really watching the videos yet. It looks like a pretty amazing app though. Here's a sample of a video:
Anyway, classes (the real deal) will begin in full swing tomorrow. I am bracing myself for the life that I have signed up for.
Here we go.
I am a Graduate Drama student at The Juilliard School from Quezon City, Philippines.