Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Note to self

The more you learn about what you don't know, the more you realize what you don't know.
I don't understand what this means. I don't understand why I am here, looking, searching. I sit, excited about so much, so much, so much more.
But my problem is that I cannot sit still now, here. I am reaching for more.
I'm always reaching for more but people tell me I'm not reaching enough and I-

I don't understand this, or what it means.

I was in a place that I loved, that I wanted to be. That I wanted to be for the rest of my life, more or less, until the next thing would take me.
And what I did was that I tried-
Leapt off this platform onto another one that was supposed to bring me closer to where I wanted to be. But wasn't I there already?
Then, then while on this platform I see another. And it's not richer or greener, but it's different and new and will help me in the long run. I want to hear and learn and fill, but I can't because I can't stay still. I'm on this moving, tilting platform, dodging bullets, hanging on to corners as it flips over and over, and I know I'll be better for it eventually. I know The Next Platform, will say, "You've passed that one, come over here now."
And that platform's supposed to bring me closer to where I wanted to be.
wasn't I there already?

I don't want to pick what's easier, what's simpler. Believe me, I will never settle for less.
But I, I wasn't settling was I? I wasn't telling myself to stay because there was no where else left to go and nothing else left to do.
I loved my life as much as I was in love with it.
It felt like I was there already.

And when I go back, I will be in a better place- I know this. And maybe then I'll find I can sit still longer. Maybe then I can say, "Well I did this one thing, and came back to a fuller, richer version of my life."

So stay, Charis. As long as you can.
It won't makes sense to leave too early.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Is Theatre To You?

I stepped into a blackbox yesterday afternoon.
It was a decent space, although set up as one would a proscenium. The actors had absolutely no training, they came from various background (some performative and some not) and they had one thing in common-
They were studying Pharmacy.

The question of What Is Theatre has been posed to me over and over again since before school began and moreso, when it did. Some people look at poorer spaces and say it is an insult to call the work there "Theatre" and conversely, some people look at the commercialized productions with the big names and big sets and big music and say that is the further away from Theatre than anything else.
I walked into that space yesterday, and by the end of the performance I thought-
"This. This is Theatre and this is precisely what I live for."

Because Theatre, real theatre is something that respects its audience.
It respects the craft and it respects each individual. What worked here was that every single actor was, in their own way, connected to the script.
It's not about crying on cue. Crying on stage does not make one a good actor.
What makes a good actor, what makes for an amazing piece, is honesty. And that is what I saw in front of me yesterday.
As much as I liked the recent staging of Spring Awakening, this tiny devised piece-
The Odd Pea In The Pod, with tickets at a quarter of a price and performed in a space much smaller, with limited sets and no live music and actors who were new to the stage spoke to me so much more.

And here's the thing-
That sure, rehearsals and technique and direction and projection play a huge part. But at the end of the day, what matter was the truth in that performance. No one, no school, no amount of training can teach actors to be truthful if they are not. Yes, Meisner comes close but it's funny how that is a retraining of actors to stop over-dramatizing everything.

All this brought me back to my massively tumultuous week and my love-hate relationship with school. It's not pushed me into staying put for the while, but it served as a beautiful reminder of why I'm here and why, when I go back to work, I will continue to do what I did.
Because working with raw talent and real stories and honesty and a keen-ness that I have seen in every single one of my students-
That is what I call Theatre. That is what I wake up for in the mornings on days that I am running a high fever and my voices sounds like I've spent the night swallowing knives.
Seeing that journey, and watching my kids go through that and change and grow as individuals and to finally, get to a point where they go on stage and make themselves emotionally available to the audience seated in plush seats,
That is Theatre for me.

And I realize, that's what I want.

Pity party

I should stop saying the things I do, even in jest-
It's going to start making me look crazy

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It'll come in the morning

John 16v22
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

I walked in, the scent of freshly brewed coffee filling my person as I climbed up the stairs, and I stepped right back into safety. And that's all I felt; Safe.
That I was somewhere I could breathe, and be. That I was singing with everything I was worth and you know, the Lord didn't give two hoots about whether or not I was using my intercostal muscles (which I was) or breathing into my diaphragm (which I also was) or connecting my breath to the thought (definitely was doing that).

I've been sad. Well maybe not sad, per say, but I haven't been happy and that's been difficult and trying and...
It's difficult to just, to be, y'know?
And boy, it's been a bloody long week if you ask me. I needed today, and I am grateful for today. Because I am reminded that there's just that bit more in me.
Just that bit more.

Amidst The Flowers A Jug Of Wine

Amidst The Flowers A Jug Of Wine

Amidst the flowers a jug of wine, 

I pour alone lacking companionship. 

So raising the cup I invite the Moon, 

Then turn to my shadow which makes three of us. 

Because the Moon does not know how to drink, 

My shadow merely follows the movement of my body. 

The moon has brought the shadow to keep me company a while,
The practice of mirth should keep pace with spring.
I start a song and the moon begins to reel,
I rise and dance and the shadow moves grotesquely.
While I'm still conscious let's rejoice with one another,
After I'm drunk let each one go his way.
Let us bind ourselves forever for passionless journeyings.
Let us swear to meet again far in the Milky Way.

Li po

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today, just today I want very much to say, Fuck You.

I did not need to be talked to like that at the end of the class. No, it's not like I'm doing you guys a huge favour and I won't make it sound as such.
But I just did not need that kind of tone or attitude. Especially not today.

Christ, and I thought I was the one who had started on my time of the month. Dude, really?

Between the lines

if the only way I'd stand the slightest chance at surviving the next three years is for me to forget what it means to be the person I am, if it takes losing myself and disappearing, if it means I spend most afternoons like today's where I'm bawling even as I chant shlokas with all of my being, then okay.
Sure, I might think that it'd be infinitely less emotionally draining if I were an accountant and no, I don't even know right now if I'll last.
But it's 6.45pm on a Thursday afternoon and by some miracle, I am alive. So maybe God kinda likes me.
And I'll just keep trying.

Maybe this isn't good. Maybe I'll go act on all those lovely scenes and images I've had playing out in my head as I fall asleep.
But right now I'm still alive and I don't have a knife in my arm.


Most times, your number is the one I'm just about to dial when I feel like this. But then I tell myself it's easier if you didn't know.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

There are some old habits that are sometimes very difficult to outrun.
And what is frightening is the violent urgency with which your body is seized and the bizarre entwined feeling of relief and frustration as you collapse and say yes to yourself.
Yes to what you feel you can't block out anymore because you're just so tired of having to block out all the things that essentially, make you all wrong.

Hot Chocolate

Like good, hearty breakfasts.
Like a warm coffee house in the middle of winter, an hour before midnight and right after a decent run.
Like fireplaces, a large soft couch and Enya playing above the crackling of wood.
Like kisses on your nose, and reaching for each other's hand under the table when you're in public.

Like time, for all of that.
Like tasting the rest of your life on the edge of your lips.
Like wondering where you are and how to find yourself again

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


The problem, I suppose, with accessing one of your loveliest memories that make you utterly happy,
Is that you remember, all too well, what it felt like to honestly be happy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Old best friends

They haven't been for a while now,
So Charis, don't you dare start again.


Tonight I am numb.
I am numb and cold and empty.


I know I made you mad
And in all these things that I might feel,
I just mostly wish I didn't go about things all wrong.
Because it seems I do that a lot when I feel like this.


On promises to yourself that you know you'll break
On the shards of your wrongs that line the soles of your shoes.
Run. Keep running

I'm not unhappy. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
There's a difference between being unhappy and just, not happy. And now I'm just not happy. Although I'm leaning dangerously close to being unhappy.
I don't hate this, not at all. I like it, I like it very much- the learning especially. I love all the new things I'm learning, all these wonderful concepts and history that I wouldn't otherwise have known. And I'm putting it to immediate use too.
But somehow despite that, I'm not happy.

If I said this out loud, some people might tell me to "choose to be happy". I think you can choose, up to a certain point. I never chose to be happy about work, about waking up at six in the morning, about losing my voice every other week. I never chose that. And yet I was happy. I was completely and utterly happy- with my life, with my work with the way I was, with myself as a person.

I miss that you know. I miss just being happy.
Fuck, I'll live on next to nothing, on a pay cheque that either stays at the same low number or one that goes up and down (sometimes down to nothing on some months) if it just meant me being happy again.
My cat could die, and I would walk into the classroom the next day and escape, take myself out of it for a while. I could hold myself together.
The fuck is this? I'm falling apart as I do bloody TaiChi or movement! And not cos my cat died either. In fact my life on the outside is going perfectly. I'm just blanking out for about ten hours a day. It feels like ten hours a day where I cease to exist, as opposed to finding parts of me.
It's like I live for the moments before and after and surely, surely there is something wrong.
Isn't there?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I missed out on my goodnight phonecall this evening. She rang at half ten and I said I'd be with her real quick, and I thought I would except-
I was still rushing work. Homework, to be precise.

I'm not a baby about things like this, or not being on the phone, but I liked that she called just to check in. Mostly, I hate that I thought I'd be done in a tick and I wasn't.
And right now I am sad and upset and frustrated in a most peculiar, mixed up sort of way.

It's just about midnight now.
I'm in bed, and I should sleep. My bag's not packed, and I will tomorrow but. It was my birthday getaway bag this week, when we went off for a few days. Completely unpacking it to put in school things would mean stepping fully back into what makes up my current everyday.
And I am resentful.
I'm hanging on by a thread and asking myself why. Because I miss my life. I really, really do.
I miss stopping to talk to my family, having time for drinks with my friends and cooking with my girlfriend. I miss seeing the sunset. I miss waking up and liking it.
I really miss that.
Just. Y'know, waking up and being really excited about my life and all geared up to go. Ohmyword, I miss that so much.

Because waking up everyday and almost wishing you were dead, that sorta takes its toll on you y'know.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


The way we could sit in the same room- whether at opposite ends or right beside each other and just be there.
Not necessarily talking or even doing the same things but just be in the same space together , y'know?
That's what I've missed.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So, some Tuesday, and what news it brought-
Some of it comes with a breath of relief, some with immense, immense sadness. The sort of sadness that fills the base of your throat and chokes you up even though you're just listening.

More news that I need to get my head wrapped round though is
1) The performance week of Kuttiyatam has been brought forward. This means that it'll be right around the corner from, if not the same week as, Love Song- the musical I'm currently working on with Ethan.
Oh wait, that's not all! The end of Traditional Theatre marks the week of Post Modular Lab which ends in a final performance and assessment upon which we will be graded.
And right after that will be presentation week for all the other modules.

2) I have just found out that I will not have my Christmas holidays and that the third round of Traditional Theatre (Noh) will begin the day after Christmas!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't close your eyes

I haven't done this in a while,
Forgive me,
Give me time to clear my mind

But don't close your eyes
Don't give me the chance to run away
I've got a habit of doing that sometimes
Couldn't we just, hold on a little longer
Don't close your eyes

Monday, March 5, 2012

But it's always getting late

Didn't we say we never wanted to go to bed mad at the other?