Block 371: March 13, 2014



Woke up at 3am, having had the most intense dream about this summer’s upcoming work… and macaroni and cheese.

I didn’t get anymore sleep and I really want to get to the gym now after dream-eating all those carbs and dairy.

Date: March 13, 2014

Crane: 371

Days Spent on Project: 389

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Yana R.

Yana was a dramaturg student in my class year at the Yale School of Drama. We, as the design students, didn’t really share any classes with the dramaturgs, so I don’t know how and when I met Yana. But, she became an important person (and outlet) in my life for those three years and later on in 2008.

She had these really amazing tattoos on her upper arms of Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations from Oscar Wilde’s version of Salome.

She would also tell me about being in the audience for at least one Alexander McQueen show, “Joan,” which was the collection that climaxed with a woman in a red beaded hooded dress that was engulfed in a circle of flame. (This was before my fan-boy obsession with McQueen, otherwise I would have pumped her for more details)

Yana decided to go to grad school for theater after having spent some time working in television. She had a very high profile boss, if I remember correctly, that made her reconsider what she was doing

My second year at the YSD, Yana asked me to be in a production of Sartre’s No Exit that she wanted to direct at the Yale Cabaret. Not having acted in a few years, I was a bit hesitant but I agreed to do it. And, while doing it and feeling slightly overwhelmed as a designer who was acting with honest-to-God Yale School of Drama actors, I really enjoyed it and remembered that I did like acting at one time. Yana would later cast me in a second Cabaret show, called The Dragon.

My last year at the YSD, Yana asked me to be in a third Cabaret, this time an production of Elfriede Jelinek’s Sleeping Beauty. It had never been performed in North America before, so we were the first people in the US to give it a go: a nine page script, of almost stream of consciousness writing on gender and sex and relationships, it made no sense at first. After rehearsing it for weeks, it became something very physical and blunt and intense.

I would describe being in that show as my most personally “European” theater experience ever.

And people liked it. We sold out all three nights, which didn’t always happen.

Over two years later, Yana got back in touch with me; the Seoul Performing Arts Festival had asked for the production to be remounted that year. In South Korea. So, again, I found myself rehearsing with Yana, but this time in New York at the New York Theatre Workshop and then flying to Seoul for a whirlwind week-long trip.

It was quick and rushed and also a bit confusing, but what an experience to have.

So, in a way, I’m an actor with international credits…


Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Yeah Yeah Yeahs on this morning, and I’m discovering that I really like them. Good discovery to make!

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Last night’s insomnia was brought to us my excitement and a little bit of fear and some disappointment.

I’m excited about the project in California. I want it to go well. I have a Skype meeting with them today. Have I done enough work? Am I prepared? Where will I stay? Is this possible in 2 weeks? Am I crazy for thinking this is possible? Can I lead a room? It makes sense to me, but AM I making sense with this? Will we all work well together in person? Will this go anywhere? Can this go anywhere?

Am I being really irresponsible for doing this? Is this an opportunity to follow or me just ignoring the real world?

Then… what happens if none of the jobs I’m applying for lead to anything? I don’t want to say I’m putting all my eggs in one basket because I’ve got a few leads on jobs, but what if none of them pan out?

What more do I have to do to get the right experience? To get noticed? To get someone to think I’m capable of this work? When does it become just a wee bit easier?

If it leads nowhere, is the universe telling me subtly that it’s time to switch gears? How do you switch gears? How much can I shift gears? What would it mean to give up?

Why am I not taking better care of myself? Why is my body still tired and worn out from my trip to the gym last Saturday? What’s up with that?

Why is my dog snoring so loud?

When can I get a break? What would make me more deserving of a break than everyone else out there?

I have a lunch date with a friend today. I have a feeling I’m either going to start talking non-stop about all these questions and overwhelm him… or I’ll fall asleep at the table.

Yay, Thursday!

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