Block 179: August 22, 2013

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Yay! I got back to a warm tone! It’s a bit overcast outside, though.

Date: August 22, 2013

Crane: 179

Days Spent on Project: 186

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Am I ready to move beyond Kenyon here? Is it time to go to the next place?

The first semester of my Junior year at Kenyon, I chose to go to London to study with an acting program. I was worried, rightly, that by focusing squarely on an Aristotelian approach to acting and theater, I wasn’t getting a very well-rounded take on the craft. I was correct, in a way. Kenyon was giving me a good foundation to understand and think about it- even practice it- but they’re approach wasn’t necessarily supposed to be complete. There was a lot of living and learning yet to do!

So, I chose to go to London for a little over three months. I had travelled there in the past with parents; at that point in my life, I had been abroad several times, having spent time in England, Scotland, France, Eastern Europe, Greece, and even Egypt. Living on my own in an English-speaking country should be a piece of cake, right?

Well, it was and it wasn’t. I spent the summer prior working two jobs to earn enough money to live over there. Even though I had a little bit of money in the bank, I was terrified of spending any of it, as my parents told me I was on my own when I was out of the country. I lived like a pauper as much as I could. It was the first time I can remember I made the conscious choice to cut meals out of my day to save money. I didn’t go shopping. While many of my friends would take weekend trips to other parts of the country, I would stay in London and see as much as I could. I walked everywhere. I only rode the tube or the bus as a last resort. I ate a lot of bread and hummus that semester. I did drink a lot- A LOT- of cider when I was there though.

It was a small program- perhaps 50 American students- from all over the US. We all were housed in the same apartment complex. I was placed with three other guys for roommates. I didn’t really get along with them very well; I think it was more my fault than anything. They were the alpha males of the program. I was more intrigued with the odd, aloof, artistic, people on the side.

The weird thing about being in class five days a week with the same fifty people, living together in a foreign country, acting all the time, you really do get to know people well and not-so-well. You find your friends. You develop your groups, the hierarchy. While I knew everyone there and got along, for the most part, with everyone, some people really did solidify into good friends that helped me come into my own as an adult there. My first time being an adult on my own, you know?

And I wish I could say it was all rainbows and sunshine while studying there. I wish I could say I was a perfect person. I wish I could say I was the best person I could be. But there were times when I was a little shit. A prick. In my defense, I will say I was homesick. I missed the comfort of my home at Kenyon and my home in Indiana. I was also trying to save money as best I could, so I’m sure I was hungry at times and therefore cranky. I was also learning from real acting and theater professionals. It was my first taste and chance to understand that there were SO MANY actors and theater people out there; I was one in a million and certainly not the best.

The time in London was amazing emotionally. I’m incredibly glad I chose to do that with my time at college. I lived a lot. I learned a lot. I wish I had done some things differently. Hindsight is always great.

So, to start this off, I have to thank all of that program for the time I had there. I know I’m not going to remember everyone there, from the teachers, to the staff, to the students, to the random people I met on any number of misadventures.

We’ll start like this: thank you, British-American Drama Academy.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve had Ricky Nelson’s song “Lonesome Town” going through my head since I woke up this morning. What’s that about?

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Came across this in my reading last night before bed…

“Boredom isn’t stillness. Boredom is sameness.”

That hits the nail right on the head, doesn’t it?

I’ll admit that over the past few weeks, I’ve felt a overwhelmingly frustrating sense of boredom in my life. While there have been pockets of fun scattered about- seeing my friend from Chicago or getting dinner with friends a while ago- it’s been fairly routine lately. It’s been fairly routine all summer.

I know we all experience this: the day-in, day-out rush to wake up, go to work, do the work, go home, check off errands, pay the bills, kill time, go to bed, repeat. I know my frustration isn’t unique to myself.

So, reading that statement kind of summed it up bluntly. I’m not not busy. I’m working. I have things to do.

It’s just the same things. You go to the meetings. You go to the fittings. You swatch the fabric. You organize the info. You make the schedules. You wait for decisions. You facilitate those decisions. I walk the dog. I make dinner. I sew a crane. I watch Netflix. I go to bed.

I would like to have an adventure. I would like to have an accomplice in this adventure. I think that’s what I want.

I’m even considering paying for my friends to hang out with me… I’m growing weary of all my friends saying they’re too broke to hang out. I should NOT be offering to pay for meals or shows for the sake of my own bank account, but I’m tempted.

Ugh. It doesn’t help that I will be working from home today. Another day, just me and the dog in Washington Heights…

Someone is stuck in a funky rut, right?

Okay, off we go! Maybe coffee to get the day caffeinated and started?

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