Date: August 7, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 171
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: It comes with a small sense of hesitancy to do this, but I feel like I have to dedicate this crane honestly.
Since yesterday’s Crane was dedicated to Profesora McEwan, I have to link this one also with her.
At the end of that first year of college, as that year-long Spanish class wound itself down, McEwan assigned us to groups of 3 students. For our last project, we were supposed to write a short 10-minute play, all in Spanish, rehearse it, and then perform them for a larger group of Spanish students from other classes.
I was paired with one other guy, a basketball player, and a girl. I can’t remember much about her.
We wrote a scene about two roommates who were in love with the same girl. The basketball player would be the outgoing, popular, athlete (obviously) paired randomly with a socially awkward, introvert (played by myself… obviously typecast, as well).
I don’t remember much about the scene. It was funny. It was absurd. We tried to write it in the style of a Spanish Telenovela. It kinda worked.
To add some weight to the rehearsal project, McEwan brought a director friend of hers into class to oversee the rehearsal process and make sure we were actually doing the work and practicing in Spanish.
I don’t remember his name. I don’t know if I ever knew it. I don’t know what qualified him to be considered a director. He was fluent in Spanish; he could have been another teacher from another university. He could have also just been a friend of hers who had a theater hobby.
What I do remember is him pulling me aside to lecture me on “machismo” and how my sexuality was obvious from my acting onstage. It was a handicap that wouldn’t get me anywhere if I wanted to pursue acting seriously.
Hearing those words directed at me in Spanish, and then again in English when he repeated himself to “make it clear,” was eye-opening. I didn’t know what to think.
The rest of our rehearsals with him were awkward as he kept critiquing me about my sexuality. The basketball player, bless him, eventually came to my defense.
We performed our scene for the group to much laughter and applause. We did get graded well. And that was that.
Much later on, McEwan did call me to apologize when she heard what had happened. She was upset and sorry.
So, I guess this Crane has to go to Profesor Machismo. I never learned his name.
Music I listened to while sewing: I’m listening to the radio. I’ve heard that song “Blurred Lines” twice already in the past hour and a half. Unfortunately, I now get excited when it comes on.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: It really is a question of how you choose to feel sometimes, isn’t it?
I could write that I didn’t get enough sleep last night and that I feel somewhat gross and bloated this morning and so on.
But, you know what? So what…
I’ll get myself to the gym. I’ll take my dog for a walk and sit with him in the park. I’ll choose to work on a project that I’m trying to piece together. I’ll start looking for more work. I’ll try to get myself in bed early tonight.
I am learning to choose to focus on the positives.
I am learning to accept that things won’t always be perfect.
I am learning that this is my life.
I am learning that I do have the power to steer myself how I want to be steered.
I am learning to live with it all.
I’m not perfect. I’m not always happy. Things could be better. But why dwell on that? Why spend my energy reinforcing those feelings and those cycles? Why not spend energy working towards the feelings and people and situations that lift me up?
Today I’m making the choice to be upbeat. We’ll see what happens…