Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Typical Week

I can't believe we're at midterms. My training is split into 4 semesters and I'm half way done with one of them. It feels like I've been here for 2 years already. The first month was dedicated to learning the psyche of a pedophilia and figuring out where the student union was.... 2 things that didn't have any relation to each other. I'm now into more a daily groove and I've gotten a lot of emails asking how school is going. So let me see if I can give you a general overview.
Monday: Wake up before 7 am to finish any homework that I didn't get done with over the weekend, which keep reading and you'll see why. I'm pretty tired at this point because I woke up about 7 times throughout the night. One main reason is because I sleep with the fan on and the windows open because by turning the central air off, I save enough money a month to be able to eat. But then I think if I sweat enough, I'll lose weight as if it's a sauna so I can save money on my gym membership. Also, I live next to the dumpster so maybe I can snack out of that and turn the air on and sleep comfortably. So many options. My fellow MFA partner, Kelly lives in my complex with her husband, comes over at 7:45 and we ride together in the morning. We are comfortable enough now that we give each other a forced smile and a grunt upon seeing each other to say good morning. We drive mostly in silence past the Vampire baby orthodontics sign and go pick up Lauren. We drive to campus, passing the mother pushing her daughter who is WAY to big for the stroller, turn the corner, wave to Lauren's crossing guard boyfriend and get to campus. 8:30 is our first class. Movement. The goal of this class is to bring ourselves to a completely neutral place. Many factors play into the tension we hold everyday, the muscular habits we are not aware of, and the fact that we are only using 20% of our breath with purpose. For an hour we do core work, headstands, breathing exercises, release tension that I didn't know I was carrying for 34 years, group ensemble exercises, postural manipulation, and of course, front rolls and dives. In future postings, I'll go into detail what each of these things do and how I am growing because of them, but this is just for the overview. Second is Voice and Diction class at 9:30. It is physical day which means we'll get our body into a completely tension free state, release all holding on, and let sound and emotions vibrate through our bodies while listening to beautiful music and finding what it's like to not censor or judge anything that arises from our deepest soul. We are doing this while the construction workers are putting the finishing touches on the building. They might bleed from the skin, but we bleed from the soul. I like to call this class "dealing with my breakup class". We get a quick break and all head up to the grad office and eat whatever lunch or snack we have. We have purchased a microwave and Be has put her masters degree certificate in the office, so it really feels like a college setting. At 11, we go to acting and because what happens in that room stays in that room, I can't go any further into that. That's where we make our leaps. We tear apart our weaknesses. We tear apart our strengths. It's the class that is the escalator to becoming the next Kevin Kline or Meryl Streep. We have already done Closer and Death and the Maiden in class and now Josh and I start tackling The Pillowman this week. At 1 pm, we have another 30 minute break and sometimes I run to the student union and get Chic Fil A because I sweat that money out of my system the night before. If not, I'll stop by the sperm bank on the way there, which will just make me hungrier. At 1:30, we head to Research and Methods class in the music building, because that is way too much heady stuff for a theater building. It is in this class that my ulcer flares up and I involuntarily sweat all over my papers. We are learning the scholarly approach to writing, studying, and getting our thesis projects in motion. This is the class that my GRE vocabulary is needed. And what is MLA? Did I ever use that? I am now! This is the stereotypical college discussion class that we discuss art, the future of art, our lives in art, and the state of our world. It's usually never much of a positive outcome. 3pm. 30 minute break. I am a TA for the junior directing class with David Lee and usually I leave that class at 5:30 inspired, disgruntled, and wanting more. David has his students do more in this class than I did in 4 years of undergrad. His passion for life, theater, creativity, and education touches every one of his students and his old TA that sits next to him. My question is, do these kids know this, or is it nice hearing someone close to my age talking to me about something I have lived inside for years? I don't know. Day is done. For a month I used to take a nap in the grad office or go to the gym before rehearsal, but tonight, I'll work on my Book Review that is due in Research and Methods in 2 weeks.
Tuesday: Light day. 7:45. We grunt. Drive. "Hello vampire girl" . "Hello way too big girl" and "Hello Lauren's boyfriend"! We get to school, put all the mats together, and depending on your day, you stretch, warmup, or try to get 10 minutes of sleep. Front rolls, front dives, core work. Done. Voice and Diction. Today is Diction day. Kate explains to us how to use our lips and tongue and breath. You think you know it, but you don't. We say words correctly for the first time in years. Her energy is contagious. Her examples make me strive harder to be a better speaker and performer. Vowels, consonants, and words and we're done at 10:30. Personal rehearsal time and what ever else you can fill your time for the rest of the day. I TA a sophomore acting class at 2:30 and by just listening, Mark teaches me things I have either forgotten or never knew.
Wednesday: Grunt grunt. Too many grunts because then I feel awkward around her husband. She's in rehearsals for Dracula so her nights are busy just like mine were last month. Kelly and I discuss doing a 2 person play together if we don't get cast next semester. Movement, Voice, Acting, and Research and Methods keep our day filled till 3 pm. At the end of each day, our MFA class usually have made 3-4 more inside jokes which is tough because we forget all the ones from last week.
Thursday: All the MFA's get to the parking lot and pile into my car, all 8 of us. Why? who cares. We only live once. Only Movement and Voice today. I have to stick around after because I TA the acting class at 2:30, so I always have to find something to keep me busy which is never hard to do. Homework, homework, reading, writing, homework, script work, memorization, singing, gym, homework, network, read, eat, research, homework, stretch, more script work, memorize something else, grunt, eat, homework, and then uh, eat. When I say eat, I really mean, walking behind someone who is eating and scrambling for the crumbs.
Friday: TGIF!!! Hello vampire girl, big girl, and crossing's Friday!!! We park, throw grapes at Josh's car, and move and then speak. And done! EXCEPT....I have to TA at 3:30 so I have to keep myself busy until then. I might go look at Be's diploma as motivation. She probably doesn't know it, but it actually is.
Here is my philosophy that I have learned. If I want to succeed in all of my goals that I placed before I got here, I should never feel like I have nothing to do. There is ALWAYS something to do. Read , read, read. When was the last time you met an actor who knew everything there was to know to make them the most successful they could possibly be? If I have an hour break, I read a new script. I write. Some might call it distracting myself from dealing with things in life, but if that's the case, so what. By June of 2013, I want to be one of the most informed actors in the country. I live for the future. Every day. Every single thing I do makes me a better person, actor, and student. I take nothing for granted. Who knows, one day I might write a movie about Vampire orthodontist girl.
Saturday & Sunday: Cook, clean, vacuum, OSU football, read, write, laundry, dishwasher, homework, gym, sweat, throw out the rotten stuff in the fridge, and try to sleep.

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