Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Train Station

I wrote a post about the transition that was my entire life. And the coming out of it.

Today is special.
It is the second last day of my first Semester, and that means the end of semester showing. Each bit of work in the different practices (Voice, Movement and Acting) that the audience will see has been crafted and worked on by us. It was painful and frustrating when it was happening, but it started with us, and with guidance and direction, this is what we have to offer.

Today is special because I have been far from pleased with my entire collection of Acting pieces this entire semester, but I've got something here that sits really close to my heart.
And, I'd like to share it.

wish you were here

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Always at a quarter after one

Days like this are difficult. No, I'm not saying that you are difficult, I just mean days like this.
Because I'm hearing you, feeling you and I can't do one sodding thing about it.

You kinda mean the world to me, you know?
And I want to be around for you, I do. I just want to know how to do it better. Or how to do that when there's a part of me that also just needs to sit down and cry.

In any case,
I'm still here, okay?


I'm not an actor, I'm not a star

(and I don't even have my own car)

Here's a list of some of the things I really want to do:
1) I want to read. a lot. I want to read Peter Brooke's The Empty Space. I want to read And Then You Act. I want to finish reading Grotowski's Toward's A Poor Theatre because I think it is just so soaked in brilliance sometimes that I might cry on the train.
I want to read plays. Just one after the other.
And then I want to read novels. The way I used to read through them like starved people rip through their food when it's in front of them.
And I want to go through my old Western Civilization textbook, and the one on Philosophy. And the one on Psychology. Because it is interesting and because it interests me immensely.

2) I want to watch. I want to watch plays and musicals and productions. I want to want to watch them and watch them for the pure joy of watching them. To watch because I want to, because I want to learn. Because watching plays feels like I'm taking it all in through my eyes, my skin and I can go off still thinking and talking about it.

3) I want to teach. I want to open up doors and worlds to people, for people. For students. I want to tell that teenager, "Hey, y'know, me too."
And you know, it doesn't matter that they won't be on a huge stage in a 5000-seat theatre with a full house. What matters is that at some point in their life, they felt like they could be real and honest.
Which leads me to

4) I want to volunteer. Back at the NEC, with a program I truly believe in. Nothing has sat so close to my heart (and my job) as this program has. And I believe in it with every ounce of my being. I am by no means a horsey person and probably might be a bit slow to realize that I'd get bitten if not for getting yelled out, but I like watching the kids grow and change. And I like walking alongside them for that process.

5) Muay Thai.
It's been too long.

6) Write. and write. and keep writing.
Leela said to me the other day, to just be honest. To be honest with myself.
I don't even know who I've been lying to anymore you know. I don't even...

7) Back in the sanctuary of a tiny little chapel and a book of letters I will never send.
That's where I need to be, and where I will go soon.
Because you know, finding your centre won't always happen in the studio.


I'm tired.
I am tired of myself and all these feelings and all these unanswered questions.
And feeling like I don't know when actually I do, or not knowing when I think I should. I hate feeling this ache- like my insides are wringing themselves stupid and I.
I am pretending that none of this is happening.

And you know, to be quite honest, I wish I'd never said anything to begin with. I haven't for the most part. Blocking things out work out easier than having to deal with it.
I don't know why I even tried to pretend like I could repack a box like this.


8) I want to know exactly where i stand and be happy with that.
Because I miss feeling like that.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The trouble with love is

Why does it feel like this?

It's pretty tough, y'know, getting at the dirt that lines the inside of your body.

Surely, there must be something I can take to pretend I don't feel this way.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Surely not all students feel like this?

It's 3:09 in the afternoon. I am sitting in a studio with two other people who are, I suppose, working on their end of semester acting pieces.
I should do, but clearly I am not.

The afternoon is ours to work with- whether to work on the movement piece or the voice piece or the acting piece, it is entirely up to us. My afternoon started almost an hour ago. To say I've been faffing about would make it sound like I have done nothing. And in regards to work that I actually am supposed to be doing, I haven't, to be quite honest. Instead I started searching.
Maxinne on my lap, and the lights completely off, I have sat, mug of green tea by my side, and searched and looked for things that I want, things that I think I might need, places I think I'm supposed to be in because...
Because some part of me doesn't think I'm supposed to be here.
I wonder if I've been selling myself short, if, like my mother said I might, I am failing to give myself the chance to flourish here, and under these circumstances.

There are things that work for me here.
And, a lot of the time, when I think about what is to come I am excited. Beijing Opera next term, for one. Not that it's been a lifelong dream to learn Beijing Opera but simply that it will be interesting. As will be the harsh hand of Madam Lee. Already my body is remembering what it felt like to be in Chinese classes, but let's not go there just yet. I am afraid, you know. I am. But I am also excited about it because language might make it just a touch easier for me. Not that Kutiyattam wasn't, fortunately for us, our guru spoke English while Madam Lee will speak none.
Maybe it is that childish part of me that figures I might understand just a little bit more. But mostly I am excited because I've never been particularly culturally rooted in the least, and here is something I get to explore.

There will also be psycho-physical training towards the end of the year, and classes on dramaturgy which is what I am most keen on.

Don't you see? There are things that I am looking forward to. So much in the school that I am keen on, that I think I will only benefit from.
But Charis, the Charis who is the lego block that cannot transform quick enough from car to helicopter to dragon, is feeling the ache where bits of myself have been haphazardly lopped off in an effort to make me fit. And I won't say they've been sawed off, no- that implies an amount of time and effort dedicated to pulling an instrument back and forth, applying different amounts of pressure and force, which is most certainly not the case here.

I don't know if I can do it, but I want to stay the year, I do.

We are made up of a collection of choices, and every choice will have a consequence. Yes, sure, there is a whole lot waiting for me right outside. It's sitting on the edges of this construct and waiting, begging me almost, to come back to it. And I want to, oh believe me, I want to. And yet I am shackled to the thought of, but what happens when all of that runs out? What happens when my children are heading to University and half the century that is my life has gone by, and I don't know how much I can afford for them?
At the same time, you've either got it, or you don't right? If this isn't for me, no matter how hard I work, I won't be able to get as far as those who work just as hard but simply "have it".
Or maybe I'll get better as I go along. And getting better doesn't mean sitting here for the next three years.

You know, I keep trying to tell myself that three years is nothing, and will be nothing in the grander scheme of things, in comparison to the rest of my life and the years I will spend working.

But this is the thought I woke up with today:
If a car came hurtling toward me and left me for dead, would I be okay with leaving?

They always say that you reap the seeds you sow. And so, sow healthy lovely seeds, tend to them everyday, piling on just the right amount of fertilizer, of water, or sun. And then, when the time is right, you will harvest much.
But what if I never got to my time of harvest?
If I didn't get to my end point, I'd like to know that I was well on my way.
And technically speaking, yes I am now, just in this more formal setting.

I used to think, not too long ago, that if it was time for me to go, it'd be a huge shame but, even if I hadn't gotten to the full set up of my school and company, and didn't have my amazing children, and hadn't yet gotten an off-broadway project that I was working on, I was well on my way there.
And yes, this is supposed to be part of it, it is, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it. Well most times. And most times I just feel sad and find myself thinking about the next step, the next step, the next step.

And now I'm thinking,
if a car came hurtling toward me and left me for dead, I want to know that I tried my damnedest to get to a place I had in mind, even if I was taking a longer route, instead of knowing full well, that I'd woken up that morning wishing for that car to come at me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I need cuts that I can watch bleed and bruises that I can feel

Ugh, it's disgusting

Stop being so bloody sad already

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The wrong bed problem

There are things that I want. Or rather, would like to have. Things that I have looked forward to all my life, or for as long as I can remember.

But then I'm looking at furniture, thinking about the blender and the sheets (solid colours, preferably white, black or, I could do with grey too). And it's just a little bit silly, but just a little bit not.
I can fit myself below your left collarbone and know that we'll come back to it when we want to. And most often, we do.

And I realize, that I don't mind the adventure, as long as I get to take it with you.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Like wind, creeping through leaves and brushing promises on its veins

Have I told you, no I probably haven't, that I've spent the last few months shying from mirrors- letting my eyes skim over reflective surfaces, not staring longer than I need to.

I'm afraid.
I'm afraid that if I take a good proper look, I won't recognize the empty eyes, the paler skin, the tension sewn in just underneath the collarbones.
But more than that, I'm afraid that when I do finally stare into the mirror, I won't see anyone at all.
Sometimes I wonder if things work for us only when we deliberately make it harder for ourselves.

When I was in LA, classes at The Acting Corps started at Ten everyday. And everyday, I chose to go for the optional hour-long Daily Actors Workout that started at half past eight.
This might not seem like a lot, and no, compared to what's happening here, it wasn't a lot in terms of contact time. In fact, the intensity of The Acting Corps was close to nothing when put beside what I've got here. It is the equivalent of just one class of the classes I have during my days here.

But it added to my person. That's what the situation did for me, it stretched me as a person because it made me stretch myself. I would wake up between 4/4.30am every morning. One, so I could talk with my girlfriend before she went to bed and then Two, so I could work out and go run and shower before I got picked up. And yes, San Gabriel to North Hollywood was considered "close by" because without traffic it would take us a half hour to forty-five minutes. However, the freeway we took always promised us a jam, which meant we always had to give ourselves more time for the drive.
And coming home after classes would take up the rest of my afternoon. Yes, I do mean that it would take me three hours, because it did.

Frankly, I didn't have much of a life either in that it wasn't like I had time to go out and party or any of the sort. There'd be time for late lunches with classmates but if you ask my family where I was, I most certainly wasn't with them for the most part.
But I never really complained, and yes, I was relieved when it was all over but not because I'd lost myself.

I never lost myself there.

And if circumstances make things easier here and the only difficult thing is the life and I'm the only one in the way,
then how is that I'm always scrambling to see if the mirror still shows me the person I remember?

Sunday, May 6, 2012


"But if you're thinking, 'at what expense to my mental well-being?' then get the hell out."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Looking for something I'd actually already found

Being happy, that's actually all I need. I don't need to be rich or thin or beautiful or married, I just want to be happy. And I've never had to go looking for things to make me happy either.
I was, and I wasn't looking to fix myself by coming here, or to find a means to end up happier. None of that, I just thought that it was time to start adding new ingredients to the stir-fry that was my life and myself.

Today, during Humanities, as I listened to all this research and presentations done by my peers, as I listened to my teacher expound on things I'd never imagined before, as I tapped away at Maxine, and let myself absorb all this information, I was happy. I was happy and I wanted more- to learn more, to hear more, to understand better.
I think this is what I was looking for. And what I looked forward to. This sort of learning and discussion, this is what I wanted. Of course I see now how it is balanced out nicely or heavily by the practical side of the work. And now that I see it, perhaps it is something to come to terms with. Or maybe it is just an acknowledgement I need to make before making my leave.

Because now, whenever I go to a happy place in my head, I am left too sad for words, and breaking apart so quickly that you wouldn't have imagined I was having a lovely day.