There is SO MUCH to celebrate!!!
I kind of can’t contain myself. Let’s just try to count the things.
1. I have returned to blog-land!
Oh man, I’ve missed you guys. This week marks the completion of my 3rd semester of grad school, and I’m pretty sure that they were actively trying to kill us this time. It has been an incredible 16 weeks, but I am so thankful I get to come up for air for a month before diving back into the deep end again. So now I just get to enjoy…
2. Christmas time!
Even though it is a “frigid” 50 degrees and sunny here in Los Angeles, it still feels like Christmas for some reason. I don’t know if it’s my newfound Christmas Break freedom or what, but I literally want to kiss everyone I see and sing love into their hearts. Wait a second, I know where this “joie de vivre” is coming from…
For the past two months, I have had 70-hour weeks at USC. And for the past two months, all I’ve wanted to have is 70-hour weeks in Britt‘s arms.
MY BESTIE IS IN LA, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even handle it.
We were too busy hugging each other in our rare spare time to write any blogs together, but we’ve got something in the works, never fear. But one thing that is so exciting to me now that I have a moment to catch my breath is how fuckin’ PROUD I am of my girl. Britt is KILLIN’ it, y’all. She would be the last person to say that probably, as she is keenly aware of her own struggles and challenges, as are we all, but seriously, she is DOIN’ it. Moving to LA is hard. I don’t think I felt at home in LA until… right now. Or at least not until the last couple of months. It wasn’t until I had struggled to adjust for 9 months, spent 2 months in India, and then all my best friends moved here. So really, I just got lucky because I got to go to India and then move in with my best friends. LA is a whole can o’ worms… Oh! But this leads me to…
4. The house!
Oh. My. God. We have a home. I believe Britt has introduced you all to our roommates: Suzzane, Dean, and last but not least, Napoleon. You know.
Just kidding. Napoleon is a dog. He IS ACTUALLY a stud though. If anyone wants their dog to be mounted by a purebred Pomeranian, go ahead and contact us through our blog. Seriously, Dean could use the money. We’re ready to start whoring out the dog.
As exhausted as I am, it has been a hell of a semester. My ensemble, the Class of 2015, The Ten Commandments, The Ten Fingers, The Bad News Bears, whatever the hell you want to call us, put up it’s very first full production. The ten of us tackled William Saroyan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1939 script The Time of Your Life. Our ensemble of 10 took on a cast of 25 characters who float in and out of Nick’s Pacific Street Restaurant, Saloon, and Entertainment palace. We cut a few characters, but long story short, I got to play a boy…
AND a girl….
…within one two-hour play. My Mom touched my hair wistfully after the show and said, “It was interesting to see what you would’ve looked like if you were a boy…” Aw comeon, Mom, didn’t you like having a daughter? Just kidding, I know that you don’t secretly wish I was a boy. …Right? But I also had one gay dude and two straight girls say that I was hot as a boy. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. And I tricked my Grandmom completely–my Mom had to tell her who I was.
But in all seriousness it was actually a really incredible experience. Willie Faroughli spends almost the entire play onstage playing a pinball game, and Elsie Mandelspiegel has one love scene right in the middle of the play. So I got to go from this young, driven, focused, ambitious, determined guy with nothing better to do in Depression America than conquer a marble game, to this extremely sensitive, feminine, nurturing, compassionate young woman who sees the tragedy of the Depression. The experience of going from this incredibly masculine, prideful outlook on life to an incredibly feminine, gentle outlook on life and then back again was actually kind of life-changing. It was an incredible reminder of why I love acting so much. The opportunity to explore all these parts of yourself and all these viewpoints on the world. The opportunity to be explore the masculine and the feminine. The opportunity to breath life into a character and allow their story to live. The opportunity to enter a state of communion with the audience and with the other actors. The opportunity to channel your own ego through the ego of another. It’s so fucking fun. By the time we were done with the show I felt like I was ready to do a six month run of it. But, as my Britt has said, these things are transient, which is part of what makes them beautiful.
There are other worlds that I am bidding farewell to now that the semester is winding down. I’m saying Goodbye to the life of a desperate housewife in Depression America in our black-box studio work on Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty. I’m saying farewell to Hedda Gabler, Pussy Riot, a Bakersfield Bimbo, and other characters from our work in movement class. I’m saying See You Later to Chekhov, until tackling that son-of-a-bitch again next semester. I’m going to miss our film class with the inimitable John Rubinstein,
I live in Los Angeles, I’m a Master’s Acting student, and I know next to nothing about film. But I’m working on it! Stage and Screen are two different mediums for the same kind of transformative acting that I’m interested in doing, and the differences between the two are just technical things. The art form is different, and I’m developing a real itch for it. My body understands live storytelling, and I want to understanding storytelling through film in the same way. We are taking two more film classes next semester, so the exploration will continue!
Speaking of transformative, I think the most transformative acting experience of this semester was actually the doing my Solo Performance piece. Despite the number of roles I’ve explored in the last few months, the experience of going deeper into myself, finding my own story, determining the story that I needed to tell… That experience was life-changing. And despite it being a “solo performance” experience, it bound together my ensemble irrevocably. We shared pieces of our souls and helped each other shape them into pieces of art, and we culminated in a 90-minute performance during which each of us shared a piece of our solo work.
But enough about art! I am on VACATION. (Which apparently means drinking a lot of booze and thinking about the art that I want to be making.) In the meantime I am going to figure out how to make gluten-free baked goods, enjoy sweating like a construction worker in December, and kick it with these crazies.
So in honor of being HALFWAY DONE with my MFA in Acting, here is this guy, who was my Muse this semester. This is what commitment looks like.
OHHHHH WE’RE HALFWAY THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!