Many of us, I would offer all of us, know how detrimental it can be to love someone who doesn't love themselves. The same goes for acting, I think. My discovery has been that as an actor, my self-destruction can impede a living, breathing, character from coming to life.Read More
By nature of living a human being desires more, right? Is it normal to love life only by way of doing? Or is it possible to love life because the peace and stability you seek is in doing nothing? As I sit in the tube (a clean version of the New York subway and a functioning version of the Bay Area Bart -- no shade) I can't help but sit in wonderment that I have been in London four weeks and have done so much, but remember so little. I attest that it is indeed true that taking a picture will make an image last longer for I already feel that I rely heavily on photos of last weekend and the weekend before that and before that...and so forth. What is most...beautiful about this experience is that everything is so new so I find I am constantly relishing in awe of all of it. I'm most definitely full. I've been a sponge and I am saturated in this new and beautiful experience, so it was only natural for me to use my time on the tube to reflect.
How's the program?
Earth shattering. Eye opening. Confirmation. I know that I'm here for a reason but I also know that I'm HERE on this globe for a reason. I haven't felt that everything at home makes so much sense until I've arrived here. Grad school makes sense, the New York struggle---well, gosh, I still don't think that makes sense but I surely see its purpose. Nonsensical as it all feels, I see the light. I've learned how to cope with lacking confidence, really embracing that. As this has been my first approach to Shakespeare's text. Pause. Yes, I've read plays and even had a monologue from Julius Caesar under my belt but I mean this is my first time that I have sought Shakespeare's plays and I am finding his poetry to be freeing. I find that I can both deeply explore characters and moments but I can also rely heavily on the text to inform me as an actress and that liberates me.
I remember this past senester as I wrote my first one act play Sins Have Come: An American Story and how determined I was to make the text poetry. I've always had a love for poetry from writing it to reciting it and I wanted my play to be grounded in depth and for the words to dance on the page. For any who thought my writing was confusing then, watch out! Shakespeare unleashed a fire in my bosom! I'm excited to write once again. I'm excited to act and I am elated to have been provided with the opportunity to do so at a place and within a place beyond my comfort zone.
This is the chapter in my life where I think I have spread my wings. Like the butterfly break its way out of the cocoon. Or, perhaps I am still gestating and growing those wings, yes I think I'm still growing them. But how I desire to spread my wings and fly!
Have you learned a lot?
Why does this blog post have so many different fonts? Formatting or naw?
Naw! : )
How have things changed for you now that you have a little traveling underneath your belt?
Well, I've realized that I can be happy and spiritually prosperous outside of the USA. This doesn't mean that I would relocate, because only time will tell. But, this was my first time out of the country and I have been open to new experiences and even though it's still the Western world, if you will, the way of life is very different, in my opinion. There are some undeniable crossovers but I do not feel like I'm in America. Likewise, I've been able to be more silent on Facebook and versus always stating my opinion about the countless tragedies that seem to be piling up with regards to race relations and politics, I've had to take a step off my soap box and listen to others. In one regard, I feel less involved, but in another I feel like I'm becoming a more well rounded human being and that I can find more ways to be involved artistically and yet affect change in the world. I do not believe that life is fractured. To speak directly towards Shakespeare's text, he addressed the torment both internal and sociologically imposed, that is experienced by "the other." He called this play, Othello. Now, of course Shakespeare deals with a lot of outcasts in his plays, but I after seeing Othello at The Royal Shakespeare Company, I couldn't help but think EVERYONE needs to see this! Yes, I've read it prior to my trip here, but I actually got to HEAR it and SEE it and it is relevant! My heart breaks for the simmering tensions that are happening back home but I intend to live in my truth. What's real to me, and hold true in my life, is that great art can affect change, it can set people ablaze and make them take a look at their way of existing. Both the good and the bad. People can find redemption from the remnants of tragedy.
Heavy subject matter! This is a blog post about your travels... Tell us more....
How are the men out there?
So hot! Well, come on you certainly couldn't believe I was blind to it! I'm a student but I'm a woman -- a very single one, I see them, though William Shakespeare does demand my time. He's deserving, so I can make that sacrifice. ;) Needless to say...handsome faces do abound. Indeed they do abound!
...how was Stratford Upon Avon (The town where Shakespeare was born)?
Please see the photos ---> here. It was beautiful. We saw Shakespeare's birth place, well, we visited it, we didn't just "see" it. Anne Hathaways home and accompanied garden, I had my first afternoon tea (cucumber sandwiches give me life!), we saw Othello, The Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta (a play by Marlow) at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company and for 2.5 days I faced the music of both the blessings of where I am and where I could be. I never thought of myself to be an actor capable of Shakespearean plays, but now I see that his work is much closer to me than it is distant.
Would you move to London? Will you after you graduate?
Truthfully, I believe God only knows. I know the sky is blue, I know I feel joyous and happy and most of all, healthy. Cliche as it is, I have no idea what the future holds. I will continue to build my future block by block, brick by brick, stitch by stitch. In nine months from now, when I graduate, I hope I run into this blog post again. There are many things that I want to do, that I long to do, but I do understand that there is a process in seeing that these things come to fruition. I'm in the midst of my process. I have been able to triumph over my fears of being less qualified or less equipped and used those fears to drive me forward. While experiencing these emotions I have done my best, not always successfully but my best, in converting the fears into energy and passion to learn. I must say, I am, yet again, more grateful and thankful and humbled and blessed to know so many people have supported this trip from donations ranging from $5 to $50 and above. Regardless of the amount, I can never repay any of you for what you have done. The blessings I feel are intangible, but what I do know is that my goal has been to work hard, to be a student first and foremost and then bring my knowledge back home.
Tomorrow is the last day of my time at LAMDA. I'll be in London for 4 days after and plan on enjoying the remainder of my time. They say time is of the essence. I acknowledge that. I believe this to be time very well spent. I also think time is essence. It is the very essence of life. <3
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.” - William Shakespeare,Richard II
Today marks the one week anniversary of my start in the Shakespeare Four Week Course at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). It also marks TWO weeks since the start of my trip in London. Wow! So, let's do some catching up. Well, first of all, I have to say that I had butterflies like crazy last Monday. I was so unsure of myself and thought "wait, why did I decide to do this again?" Along with, "Oh my goodness, all of these people back in the states believe in me and I can't even muster up the COURAGE to believe in myself?" Geez. I have never been more aware of my noisy thoughts than now.
Still, I've grown strong enough over the last week even to find ways to keep those thoughts in check. I'm elated to say that my experience here thus far has taught me more but I've also been able to utilize all of my training that I've gained in Grad School. It's beautiful to know that my educational pursuits are complimenting one another and so that there is no confusion about dogmas in my mind from one to the next. Anyhow, it feels normal to be back in the world of academia but of course this is much more condensed, seeing as we are slowly approaching only 2.5 weeks of the program. I digress -- I need to live in the moment.
So, back to THIS moment... we got the wonderful opportunity to see Richard II at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on Wednesday. It was miraculous and being The Globe seems surreal. I mean, it is surreal. We'll see one more show there next week, I believe, so I can experience that wonderful space again. I am grateful that I got to see, hear, and be submerged in Shakespeare at the place that it was created for. By the way, groundling life rocks! I know that they're technically not the VIP seats, but they sure felt like it. The play was happening around us, behind us, (LITERALLY within the groundling crowd) the fourth wall was being broken and everything! I left feeling on top of the world and thanks to Dr. Scholl's my feet felt just fine!
This past weekend I did not see any theatre, but my Shakespeare cohort and I (I believe there's about 60 of us in total) are leaving on Wednesday-Friday to stay in Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Avon. We'll be attending workshops and seeing more plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company. I'm ELATED! I will most definitely bring my camera and take plenty of HD photos. ; )
I DID enjoy sight seeing this weekend with my friend Chlo. I love the idea of being able to squeeze in theatre but also take in London Town. I'm not sure what the future holds within the next ten months or so, but upon graduation in May 2016, I will most definitely keep my options open with regards to living here if this is where my artistic pursuits take me. It feels great to live life a bit free. Not because I have the means to, but because I mean to live it. Life, that is. <3
Ciao! I'll be back on Wednesday night to give you all updates on my first day in Stratford-Upon-Avon! <3
Oh wait! How could I forget? I visited a gallery at the Black Cultural Archives Museum in Brixton (it's a neighborhood in London) and I felt so happy and proud. Why? Well, it was great to see that so much African American history directly correlated with that of Black British history. I feel a certain unity in identity here and I think it's a wonderful testament to the fact that a nation can overcome its woes from the past. It's also a testament to the beauty of human differences without dehumanization as a result of our differences. Well, this got me started again because I really began to think about all of this after my stage combat class last week. I began to really think about how our differences are beautiful. Additionally, I thought about how the CLASSIFICATION of those differences as a means to create separate groups or categories of human beings is dangerous. Yes, I had all of these in depth thoughts due to a profound stage combat class. That's the dramatic arts for ya! I often wondered why I've been called to be an artist and if this is even the life for me. Well, but of COURSE it is because nothing else comes close to satisfying my insatiable need to learn and be entertained while doing so.
This stay in London is particularly special because I am being reminded that is okay to be me and all of me. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith to be led to who you are, I am glad I took that long leap across the pond. <3