New Job: Juilliard Admissions Blogger!
I'm quite happy with this new thing I'm doing outside the craft of acting. My writing "practice" has expanded from private journalling to having my own blog and now additionally - blogging for the Juilliard Admissions blog. It is very amusing to see things evolve this way and only realizing it once things have fallen into place. Prior to this I've applied to a number of different jobs within the school. Most of my choices had something to do with the amount of money I'd be earning and my ideas about the kind of work that were "respectable." I got turned down from those more "respectable" jobs (i.e. teaching fellowships, student leadership positions, resident assistant, etc.). In the end what opened up was more writing - which was more in line with who I already was and what I have already been practicing that has made sense to me for a long time.
The Shitty side of New York City
Last September 26 (Monday), the last of three bed bug extermination treatments finally concluded in my first apartment. I didn't want to write about it until it was over because it was a very distressing experience. In the Philippines, when one got bed bugs the usual procedure was to place one's mattress under the heat of the sun to kill the "surots." In New York City, when one gets those pests one has to place all curtains, bedding, clothes, and belongings in plastic bags and keep them there until the entire fumigation process has been completed. In my case, the pest control company under contract with my landlord had an SOP of having three treatments spread out with 7 days in between. This meant me and my roommates had to have all our belongings in plastic bags for three weeks. This overlapped with showings week as well as the first two weeks of second year. You can imagine what September has been like for me.
There was no question about the pain and trauma of having to wake up with red welts in various parts of my body, not knowing where they've come from. The strain of investigating and moving back and forth between health appointments, the restless nights, the trauma of seeing myself in the mirror, the stress of dealing with the landlord, the pest control company and my roommates, and having to lose my haven and safe space as I embark on the beginning of the school year - all these are not to be discredited.
What is more difficult to ignore, however, was that I did manage to navigate my way through this traumatic experience. I lost my safe space and the view from my window where I sought solace and yet, I got things done. I was on top of my work (at least most of the time). I managed all of that without the usual places I turned to for happiness and security. As I slowly reclaim my haven, I discover that there are numerous other sources of happiness that I can draw from apart from the usual things I clung to for security.
Tribute to Jim Houghton
Last August, I wrote a Tribute to Jim Houghton to honor the man who created the space and the community that is continuing to change and transform the way I approach the work, my relationships and my life. The Juilliard community gathered at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater last Monday, September 26 (the same day of my last bed bug treatment!) to remember and honor a man who has taught us how to live.
I came to the community in 2015 with wounds that I thought I had left behind. I had my own unaddressed feelings of inadequacy as a human being and as a woman. With a year into the program and having witnessed and experienced the depth of human love ingrained within this community, I have cultivated a deeper sense of worth without even pursuing it directly. With Jim's passing, and hearing the members of the community speak about how he has touched their lives, I left the Peter Jay Sharp Theater that afternoon with a deeper resolve to love myself as a human being, and to bring my humanity deeper into my work and craft.
I am a Graduate Drama student at The Juilliard School from Quezon City, Philippines.