ceebeegee: (Columbia)
So we had our history final the Tuesday before Christmas--it was modified open book in that we were allowed to have in hand the last text we studied, Le Livre de la Cité des Dames by Christine de Pizan, and we could even have notes in it, but we were not allowed any other text. (And yet, we were expected to be able to cite and reference those texts.) So, a little different from the exams for Roman History. Naturally of course I studied like crazy for it--I went through the book with a color-coded system, highlighting 8 different themes we'd discussed throughout the semester, like the use of the vernacular, contemporary women's writings' treatment of the body, that sort of thing. This turned out to be VERY useful--once I saw what the essay questions were, I had the quotations and references immediately at hand, I just had to flip through the book, looking for the color-code for that particular theme.

However we also had to reference Roman de la Rose--from memory. Luckily I'd pulled several quotations dealing with most of the course's themes, and as soon as we received the exam I turned it over and wrote down my memorized Roman quotations. This took some time, as did my outline for my essay, so by the time I actually started writing, it was almost 45 minutes gone. But write I did, for the next two hours in a blue book. (Mom asked me if we still wrote in blue books--I said yes indeed, and I always wanted to sneak one ouot as a souvenir. But then through my proctoring I found out that's a common means of cheating--people will take them, write out the answers (presumably to advance essay questions), and then sneak them back in. So now they stamp the blue books with stamps specific to that exam period--it was a red star this past time. I still can't get over how the exams are all proctored--at Sweet Briar and, I'm pretty sure, at Mount Holyoke, all exams were on the honor system with no proctors. Sweet Briar took the honor system VERY seriously--we were required to memorize the pledge (What do you want, it's Virginia!). I still remember the final sentence--I will report myself, and ask others to report themselves, for any infraction of this pledge.) ANYWAY, I think I did okay on the exam; we still haven't gotten them back. He told us that our final papers were in his outbox so after I turned in my exam, I went over to his office and snaked it out of the box--A. Whew!

I did love the Dante, found it fascinating to write about--my topic examined circle imagery in his Paradiso.

Initially Dante’s choice of imagery seems self-explanatory—medieval pre-Copernican cosmology was rife with spheres, with Earth at the center of the universe surrounded by concentric rings wherein the planets dwelled, ultimately topped by the fixed stars, the Primum Mobile and the Empyrean. But a closer examination reveals Dante’s clever and imaginative exploration of this conceit, one which ultimately proves as simultaneously crystalline, musical and absolute as Dante’s vision of the heavens themselves.

Sooooo much to explore there--music (dance and the music's circular tonality--paging my BA in music!), Commedia's rhyme scheme (which is terza rime (ABA BCB CDC)--each triplet is a circle that sets the ground for the second line), even that the term comedy originally meant song. Against that I contrasted the idea of light imagery:

[Dante] is only a visitor to this blessed realm; he cannot wheel endlessly around the heavens basking blissfully in affirmation, he must progress as far as possible until his journey has ended. And so Dante uses light imagery to contrast with his circular musical metaphors—light for music, sight for sound, the challenging for the affirmative, an open-ended straight trajectory for that which is curvilinear and cyclical. Light of course cannot bend, and light as a metaphor for unbending truth and a vehicle by which to ascend suffuses every canto, nearly every stanza of Commedia.

And then held them up against each other:

The inherent push-pull tension between the two constructs of circle/line, music/light (“when each clock-art both drives and draws,” 91, line 142) is brilliantly illustrated by the poetic structure of the poem, those tight little aba, bcb, cdc tercets—one rhyme anticipating the next, a chain mail of circles that advance little by little, forming a rosary of epiphany and transcendence.

When I wrote the paper in early December this was all going swimmingly and I was basically in the clear, just had to write the conclusion--and then I saw that I'd missed something. The professor's notes for the paper specifically said we had to bring in at least one other contemporary writer. I PALED. I was going through all the other mid-late writers--"Who do I know? Can't write about Bacon, I've already done him [I wrote about Bacon in my previous paper]--ORESME, I know Oresme." Seriously, I was pretty much panicking. I was able to get out a few paragraphs, about a page, on Oresme and circles, then got back to Dante and squeezed out a conclusion. So, nice to know that worked out.

After the final, I could just relax and enjoy the holidays but naturally I've been anxiously checking the SSOL (Student Services Online) to see if grades have been posted. Finally, two days ago, they had--an A for the semester, yeehaw! Now, on to Laws of War (and a byGod TIMELINE) in the Middle Ages!
ceebeegee: (Columbia)

So, we started Dante's Paradiso last week.

I effing LOVE it.  It is beautiful and serene and challenging and I love it.  It is definitely the most interesting text we've had so far--infinitely more interesting than Aquinas's Summa Theologica, or even Sylvestri's Cosmographia.  Once we got into the Aristotelian era, we moved away from dialectic (which I can appreciate but it's not exactly riveting unless you're watching it as performance art) and into contemplation of Aristotle's vision of the universe--which meant that there were a lot more cosmologies being written and maps being drawn.  And the Commedia is like this times ten.  Just listen to this:

Lift up then, Reader, to the lofty wheels
   With me thy vision straight unto that part
   Where the one motion on the other strikes,

And there begin to contemplate with joy
   That Master's art, who in himself so loves it
   That never doth his eye depart therefrom.

Behold how from that point goes branching off
   The oblique circle, which conveys the planets,
   To satisfy the world that calls upon them;

And if their pathway were not thus inflected,
   Much virtue in the heavens would be in vain,
   And almost every power below here dead.

If from the straight line distant more or less
   Were the departure, much would wanting be
   Above and underneath of mundane order.

This took me a LONG time to figure out.  First of all, Dante-the-character is writing this from a pre-Copernican point of view--he still subscribes to the worldview that the universe revolves around the earth.  Then, he's telling you, the Reader, to imagine something--you can't see it, it's a path (two paths) that you have to plot.  What he's asking you to imagine is where the celestial equator and the ecliptic meet.  They are difficult to explain, and I'm not sure I grasp the whole thing anyway, but basically they are two imaginary paths tracing the journey of the sun across the year, as measured against the constellations (specifically the zodiac--the two paths "strike" against each other because the earth is tilted and this is what gives us our seasons.  Paradiso takes place around the spring equinox of 1300, the equinoxes are the two times when these paths meet.)  To blow your mind even further, Dante-the-character isn't even ON the earth when he's saying this--at this point in the narrative, he's still in the sphere of Mars.  So he's far above the earth, asking you to look up from earth and imagine the plots of two paths that the sun makes over the course of the year--but the sun doesn't make it, WE make it because the earth revolves around the sun!  MIND.  BLOWN.

And for all this messing around of perspective and putting yourself in another's position--he's right.  Imagine if there were no tilt?  No seasons? No autumn, no spring?  And almost every power below here dead. Kind of makes you think of...The spring, the summer, childing autumn, angry winter/and the mazed world by their increase now knows not which is which...The universe in all its glory--"no atoms casually together hurled/could e'er produce so beautiful a world."  I cannot imagine how an astronomer could ever be an atheist--to contemplate the perfect wholeness and order of the universe is to see God.
ceebeegee: (rome)
...It is estimated that only about five percent of all the compositions of ancient writers actually survives.

Oh, MAN. Five percent. Unbelievable. We are missing out on so much. Why did that stupid fire have to burn down the Alexandrian library, why? Just imagine what else is out there, that we know about because other writers have referred to it, but don't actually have? I feel sick. I feel like Thomasina, the loss of such knowledge literally sickens me.

Can you just imagine how amazing it would be to discover the literary, Greek or Roman equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls?
ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
So Holla Holla is doing Romeo and Juliet this summer and I'm excited.

I've wanted to do this show for a long time--I've loved it ever since I watched it back in middle school. Holla Holla's first tragedy! I remember reading it in high school, and my 10th grade pre-IB English class went on a field trip to a local DC arthouse to watch the Zeffirelli version. When Romeo drank the poison, someone yelled out "Liquid Tylenol!" We read the play out loud in class, giggling adolescently over the "draw thy sword--thy naked weapon is out" exchanges. I've always loved the first exchange between the lovers at the party and I programmed my very first cell phone (the one I had in Spain when I was on my cruise ship contract) to greet me, when turned on, with the phrase "You kiss by the book." *Sigh.* So romantic.

We're going up later this year--the first three weekends in September. This will help with the heat, and also the Clinton Cove Festival is on one of the weekends, which will bring us a HUGE crowd. The Festival is lots of fun, they have music (before and after our show, but not during) and free food and kayak rides and everything. I can't wait to finish the show and then go and pig out on free food! My favorite shows last year were the 5:00 performances--playing Viola as the light starts to mellow, as the evening starts to spread out against the sky...And I love the idea of performing Shakespeare under the stars. We're doing it at the same park as Twelfth Night, but not in the exact same location--it'll be on the grass, INSIDE the roadway (for those who remember the Gestapo PEP rent-a-cops), on the boulders at the south end of the park.

You can sort of see the stage left end of the space in this photo.

I have the beginnings of a staff lined up--Jason is directing, Nicholas is the fight choreographer and a girl named Stefania Schramm is stage-managing. I will also be hiring a sound designer and possibly a lighting person and costumer. We'll definitely have lights, but I may be able to do it myself. We don't need any kind of artistic design, we just need to make sure we have plenty of it, for the night shows. I've had several meetings with FOHRP--they're actually ponying up a chunk of change for the lights and sound. Woo hoo! They've been communicating with the Board about how awful the PEP officers were last year and were very clear about how that couldn't happen again this year. (Since we're off the roadway, it shouldn't anyway but just to be safe, I'm having the permit tattooed on my back.)

Nicholas and I had a meeting and we discussed the fights. He has some great ideas so far--I want the fights to be great and VIOLENT. My concept of the show is to juxtapose the lyricism of the romance against the senseless brutality of the feud. And since I'm playing Mercutio, I have a vested interest in how good the fights look! Nicholas and I have started training, 'cause I want to look really kickass. We met last weekend at the space and worked on parrying and thrusting positions, and where to place your feet.

Jason and I have been dealing with the auditions--the casting notice went live a few days ago and he's been deluged with skinny young women who all want to play Juliet. We're having the auditions next week, and have booked more time than we usually do, a day and a half. Oy. Il faut souffrir pour ars gratia.
ceebeegee: (Default)
Ha! I finally figured out how to use that userpic factory so as to make an icon of my beloved home state. Take THAT, Technology!

Michael and I saw Eccentricities of a Nightingale on Monday night. It's a (heavily) revised version of my favorite Tennessee Williams play, Summer and Smoke, about the somewhat eccentric daughter of an Episcopal priest in Glorious Hill, Mississippi around 1916. Alma is such a lovely, delicate creature, with Blanche's romanticism and love for the half-light but without her annoying qualities :) (Blanche gets on my nerves sometimes.) She has a line in the original, a quotation of Oscar Wilde's: "We are all of us lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars." She's such a pure idealist, her yearning so strong--I love how she refuses to indulge John's summer of dissolution. John is the doctor's son (and newly minted doctor himself) who lives next door--she has been in love with him since she was a child.

In the original, the action starts in the summer and mostly takes place there. Johnny has just graduated from Johns Hopkins with honors but has no interest in applying himself; he only wants to gamble, drink, hang out. He and Alma have some pretty strongly worded discussions about the soul versus the physical and he makes a clumsy pass at her on the one date they attempt. Later in the fall, she tells him she's changed her mind ("Last summer I was suffocating in smoke, from somethin' on fire inside me...") and he says even if she'd let him before, he wouldn't have been able to--he wouldn't have felt worthy. She has a beautiful line, something about "so you've come around to my way of thinking, just as I have to yours, two people exchanging a call on each other at the same time, and each one finding the other one gone out, the door locked against him, and no one to answer the bell." Oh, it breaks my heart. He ends up engaged to one of her voice students, and she? As Johnny says to her teasingly earlier in the play "Miss Alma is lonely..." and the last we see of her, she is picking up a traveling salesman and about to hit the redlight district with all her brittle charm on display.

Eccentricities of a Nightingale changes the stories and characters considerably--Johnny in particular is much less interesting. He's much more of a mama's boy--they have this weird more-than-faintly Oedipal relationship that diminishes him quite a bit. Alma is muuuuuch more eccentric (some of it was the actor), not an improvement. She's so weird that frankly you wonder what he sees in her!--she needs to have some sweetness to attract him, and us. She's much less vulnerable. Alma's mother's cruelty has been transferred to her father. And most of the action takes place during the Christmas/New Year's season, instead of in the summer. This means one of my favorite exchanges is lost--when Alma has retreated into the rectory after the summer's failure and her father asks plaintively "what am I to say to people who ask about you?" and she replies "tell them I've changed and you're waiting to see in what way."
ceebeegee: (Xmas Tree)
I just got off the phone with the Hudson Current reporter from last night.She asked me a lot of questions, like would I say there's more music in this production of A Christmas Carol than others I've seen (I said well, there are about 15 pieces in this production but they're not set pieces, they're used in a variety of ways--to comment on the action, to underscore certain themes, to add tension, to prepare the audience--so maybe it will feel like more, or less). She asked about my "take" on the show--I talked about our focus on the language, the authentic (and yet not beaten into the ground) music. She wanted to know about the tablework process--I told her about the early rehearsal, talking about classical technique, studying poetry, hearing the cadences. She also asked if I thought my version had more thpoookiness--I said that I was always interested in ghosts and even as a child, my favorite ghost was Future, with the long creepy robes and talon-like fingers*. I said I took some liberties with the Ghost of the Future--I didn't want to give it away but I tried to add thpoookiness there. She asked why did I think Dickens used the ghosts? I thought about it and said perhaps he was saying that some changes are just too big for us mortals to accomplish on our own--you need supernatural intervention. I mean, he does it all in one night! As she was typing this up (I could hear her typing over the phone) something else occurred to me--I said "actually the very first phrase in the book bears this out." I started reciting it and she joined in--"Marley was dead, to begin with." And at the end of the passage he finishes with "this must be distinctly understood--or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate." So he gets in both worldly, inescapable fact of life and death, and the otherworldly miracle with which the story ends--in the very first passage. Alpha and Omega.

The article should be out on Wednesday.

*I was showing Duncan this picture

of the Ghost of the Future--it kills me. I just love that prissy little finger pointing down--it's so precise and showy. Like he just got a manicure and doesn't want to mess it up.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
I've been reading The Decameron lately. I bought it last April at a used bookstore in the Raleigh/Durham airport and have just now gotten around to it. It took me a little while to get into it but now it's a little addictive. Very reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, which I read in high school, and which I should reread.

We had Thyme rehearsal last night at some boys' school called La Salle Academy in the Lower East Side. We were in a rather small classroom, a little bit cramped, but when I wasn't on stage I just whipped out Decameron. Duncan dismissed some of us early, and as Kelly, the guy who plays Lysander, Carlos and I were leaving, some bearded, heavyset guy in shorts and a tee-short confronted us, demanding to know who we were and what we were doing there. Kelly tried to explain to him we were doing a show and had been told we had permission. He seemed very disbelieving, shaking his head and interrupting her and saying "who are you again?" and finally I said "Who are you?" He said "I'm a teacher here" and it was all I could do not to say "you sure don't look like it." He just pissed me off! He was so rude. Kelly handled it well, though.
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
I posted some of Jason's beautiful pictures (his photography is what makes them so lovely) on the Holla Holla MySpace. I really love that setting--it's a tricky space but man, you just can't get a better, more beautiful setting for a play like Twelfth Night than right on the river like that. My lover stands on golden sands...and watches the ships that go sailing...

We had a pickup rehearsal tonight--it was supposed to be a cue-to-cue, finishing up what we'd had to curtail the day before because of the rain, but a lot fewer people were there than we'd planned, so we caught Myles up on his entrances, worked on a few itty bitty things here and there and worked on the ring speech and II, iv (the second Orsino/Viola scene). The lovely and hard-working Miss Elizabeth graciously stood in for Orsino--I'd mentioned to Ben via email Michael's theory that there should be three kisses in Twelfth Night. One between Sebastian and Antonio, one between Orsino and Cesario (in II, iv) and one between Olivia and Cesario (in III, i). I wrote

I don't know if I agree per se--I don't think S & A should kiss because I don't think S
truly loves A (or he wouldn't end up with Olivia). With Orsino and Cesario--I don't think they should kiss, but it could be pushed even further *toward* that, because there's a lot there already. The second half of II, iv, after the song is pretty intense already. I had an epiphany about Orsino--the reason he's able to love Viola at the end is because he already loves her--in the fuller, multi-dimensional way he loves a man, whereas Olivia was just up on a pedestal. It's kind of like Michael Dorsey in Tootsie--"I was a better man with you, as a woman, than I ever was with a woman, as a man." Orsino is a better man with C.--C. brings out the best part of him. If we almost kiss, say before Orsino's and my last lines (like right before "Sir, shall I to this lady?"), that would demonstrate that intense bond.

Ben explored that idea a bit tonight--he said (in his email response) he was more interested in almost-kisses than in kisses, at least until the end, with which I agree. So he added a lot of hoyay between Cesario and Orsino--during Feste's song (which is the big turning point in the scene for me--my mood changes completely after that) he had Elizabeth (as Orsino) take my hand, put her hand on my cheek. It's pretty homoerotic now, as it stands--I think we might want to moderate it a little. Maybe that could come from me--right now I've been isolating myself during "Come Away Death," playing that sadness as a very solitary thing. However Ben wanted me to acknowledge Orsino's gestures more, and take comfort in them which is something I hadn't considered but yes, is more interesting. It'll all come to pass when Kenneth and I play it.

I don't like my ring speech. It just feels mechanical right now. Ben doesn't like the way I'm doing How easy is it for the proper false/in women's waxen hearts to fix their forms/Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we/For such as we are made of, such we be. He thinks the whole sentiment is sexist and borderline misogynistic--Viola's saying "we women are so weak, we'll fall for any pretty face." I said I don't think it's sexist, I think she (I) am talking about the human condition--people fall for a pretty face. Only she's a woman, so she's talking from that perspective, she's being rueful. He disagreed. I said "it's pretty rare that I meet someone even more feminist than I am."

Elizabeth helped me run lines, and at one point she and I bent backwards over our chairs, doing lines and backbends together. A completely new perspective. Our faces turned purple.

I love parsing the minutae of acting, and words, and literature.

I love my cast and my show, and Saturday we are going to be...transcendent.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
You're a literary minded as the Bard himself!
You are a complete literary geek, from knowing the
classics (even the not-so-well-known
and tidbits about them) to knowing devices used
writing, when someone has a question about
literature, they can bring it to you and rest
assured; you know the answers.

How much of a literary geek are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
The Shakespeare showcase is tonight. Duncan, Jason and Paula will be there--yay! There's a champagne reception afterward and then I'm sure we'll get something to eat nearby. I love performing in the Village; I feel very close to the spirit of my grandmother.

Julie said last night that she wants to do The Last Night of Ballyhoo, which is fantastic. I'll be playing Sunny and I think Julie wants to play Boo. I really like this play. I seem to be drawn to what are generally regarded lesser plays by great playwrights--for example, I passionately love The Crucible, which is not considered the great work that Death of a Salesman. Uhry's work is so interesting--who would've thought a whole body of work (Ballyhoo, Driving Miss Daisy, Parade) could be written about Jews in the South? Who even knew they existed? I love Judaism and have Jewish relatives, and even I didn't know there were so many Southern Jews.

I was talking with someone at work today who's Jewish about how very assimilated the family is in Ballyhoo. I couldn't understand how people who self-identify as Jewish could not know what Pesach is, or its attendant traditions. Sunny has a line, talking about the big party--"Ballyhoo is asinine. It's a bunch of dressed-up Jews sitting around, wishing they could kiss their elbows and turn into Episcopalians." And I wonder, why can't they? It's your belief system that makes you an Episcopalian (not a WASP--that's a certain kind of Episcopalian), not your ethnicity. But Katie said being Jewish is more than a belief system, it's a culture which I get but isn't all the cultural baggage attached to the religion? If these people don't really know what Pesach is, they probably don't cook much kugel or gefilte fish. Or maybe they do--the whole mindset is just amazing to me. I think a lot of it can be explained by the time and the place. Even now the South is very conformist, and the '30s were so much more so, even in a sinister way. Even other Christians such as Roman Catholics stick out in the South (read Pat Conroy for more on this) and Episcopalians--well, they don't exactly stick out but they're not the mainstream the way hardcore Protestants are. (Virginia and New Orleans are the exceptions to this--RCs are very prevalent in NO, and Virginia is Hunt Country USA.)

Such a cool play. I'm really happy we're doing it.
ceebeegee: (Default)
Good news: we finished above 10,000 today!

Also good news: I seem to have fixed my TV last night. Crossing fingers, but it was fine this morning.

I watched my DVD of Shakespeare in Love last night and today. I can't adequately express how much I love that movie. It's simply perfect. There's not one thing, not one scene, one character, one joke, one line I'd change about it. I love the way it parallels Romeo and Juliet--I'd caught some of it when I first saw it, especially with that lovely exchange "'Twas the rooster--believe me, love it was the owl" (this is rendered into "'Twas the lark--believe me love, it was the nightingale" in the play). But I noticed a lot more this time--Will first sees Viola at a party, where she meets the man with whom her parents have arranged a marriage. Will dances with Viola at the party, then overhears her talking on her balcony. Viola has a nurse. One lover is falsely informed of the death of the other.

I love how layered the movie is, how even if you don't know Shakespeare all that well, it's still enjoyable. Geoffrey Rush is hilarious with his deadpan English delivery. "How refreshing." And it's so charming and engaging at first--the leads are beautiful, and brilliant (I have no idea why Joseph Fiennes didn't get a Best Actor Oscar nomination), the writing is so clever. Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard are amazing--the plot is so well constructed and planned, into finally, perfectly, Viola is Juliet and Will is Romeo, and art is life. And when Viola and Will first become lovers, it's the best mixture of romantic and sexy--the scene when they're making love as they're saying their lines to each other is incredible. And then gradually, like a fine mist, things turn darker and darker: "It is not a comedy I'm writing now. A broad river divides my lovers..."

And oh God, that luminous, lovely ending, as they spin heartbreak into something rich and strange, spun gold, a tale to last the ages. "You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die...It will be a love story, for she will be my heroine for all time. And her name...Viola." I wept at this. There's something about it that touches me so deeply--it's simply perfect. The artist turning heartbreak into art, because that's what we do, that's what makes us artists--we gather up our emotions and experiences and press them into clay, to turn them into something finer.
ceebeegee: (Default)

Will we hit 10,000 today?
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
I've been watching all these specials this week about the Kennedy assassination. I've never known too much about the murder itself but the family has always interested me--there are some parallels between Dad's family and the Kennedys: lots of kids (Dad has 7 siblings overall, vs. nine Kennedys), big smiles (which I've inherited--thanks, Dad!), lot of blondes, a "hidden" child (Dad's youngest sibling, my aunt Maudie, who died at 6 months vs. Rosemary Kennedy, the third child and oldest sister who was developmentally disabled--I surmise because she was born in 1918, the year of the Great Flu Epidemic), both wealthy families. Of course we are not Roman Catholic (Episcopalian) and we are not Irish (English, Scottish, and a bit of Norwegian). Anyway. Always liked to read about them. But I don't know much about the assassination and have always been a bit put off by the cottage industry that has sprung up about it. But from watching these specials, and especially the films that were shot during the motorcade, it's unbelievable that anyone accepted the single gunman theory (the Warren Commission). All the films clearly show JFK's head/body being pushed to his left--and Oswald was behind and above him. That alone seems to invalidate the single gunman theory. Why hasn't the government followed up on this more? I can see why they didn't in the immediate aftermath but surely 20 years later was safe enough.

As I watched these specials, I thought about a line I read in an article about Hitchcock's Psycho, about how horrifying that shot was with the swinging lightbulb and seeing Mrs. Bates for real. The line (in the article) said something about how it made you realize for the first time how horrifyingly random the universe is--we think there's order and structure but it's really just chaos, and how we have to suppress this knowledge to stay sane. ("No human can survive long under conditions of absolute reality--even larks and katydids are supposed by some to dream..."--The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson)

JFK landed at Love Field around 11:00...and three hours later he was a corpse in a dark coffin being loaded into Air Force One again, and there was a new President. Three hours later. He steps off the plane, this handsome man, leader of the Free World, his beautiful wife by his side, seemingly all the forces of...whatever...working for him--and three hours later he's nothing. His naked body, missing most of his brain, is being manhandled at the foot of Air Force One, its electrodes and energy slowly dying off little by little, cells are dying, reflexes are shutting down, the brain and body, the human vessel that little more than a year earlier led us through the Cuban Missile Crisis is gradually starting to decompose...and the nation is starting to fall apart, as it gathers for a storm both literal (it rained incredibly hard that night, all over the country--my mother, living in New Orleans, said their doorbell shorted out and could never be fixed) and metaphorical.

I can't stop thinking about that--how the world could change so much in three hours. That's nothing. That's no time at all.
ceebeegee: (Default)
It's breezy and cold again today. Still, I stubbornly insist upon wearing a sleeveless outfit--it is June, dammit, I will wear skimpy clothes. Last night I tried out Duncan's Blue Blower--it's a bit noisy but it seems to cool down the loft nicely. It was nice sleeping on a mattress again.

Last night another rehearsal for Aria da Capo, the one act play by Edna St. Vincent Millay that Duncan is directing. Jason and I play Pierrot and Columbine, commedia dell'arte characters who perform comedy improv and are kicked off the stage for a tragedy improv--that turns out to be real. The play is quite interesting. Apparently Millay wrote it about World War I, and wanted to make the statement that comedy is used to distract "the people" from tragedy. I hope Duncan includes notes in the program about that--I love context before seeing an abstract play like this.

I love working with Jason and Duncan. Jason is enormously talented (of course I knew that) and respectful to his fellow actors. And fun and funny, as well. Duncan provides a lot of scholarship which is very helpful with this play, especially. I came in a bit before nine and came upon the other two actors, who play the tragic actors, who end up actually killing each other during their "game." I was daydreaming a bit and didn't catch the notes he gave to them--but as a director, I wanted to tell them to make it more stylized, less natural. I felt they were acting a bit too much like regular, everyday guys--the language is heightened, it's in blank verse, and it's okay to play that. The trick is to stylize it, without losing a sense of the "real" emotions underneath. But I'm not sure what level of experience these two have--they seem pretty good as instinctive, basic actors, and maybe they just have no experience with that kind of style.

The hell?

May. 1st, 2003 12:13 am
ceebeegee: (Default)
The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Extreme
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

I'm a vixen, for Chrissake. I'm an artist's model. I sleep with men. The chagrin...the chagrin...[/Colonel Willard]

I knew it.

Mar. 5th, 2003 10:24 am
ceebeegee: (Default)
As soon as I started checking off the answers, I had a feeling I'd get this result.

George Gordon, Lord Byron
You are George Gordon, Lord Byron! The
prototypical bad boy, you'll sleep with
anything that can give consent and maybe even a
few things that can't or won't. Your ethics
could use some work (nine year old girls?), but
outside of the sex question, you're a grand
partier and the bipolar, shady hero of your own
story. The wittiest of the Romantics, you're
mad, bad and dangerous to know. Scandalous!

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla

*Shy smile.* I'm scandalous.

But Keats is my favorite Romantic poet. I did my senior honors project on him in college and visited his grave in Rome. "Here lies one whose name was writ in water."
ceebeegee: (Default)
I knew I'd get this--I love all of them (especially TWW and TLB--but

The only book which doesn't take place in Narnia at all, per se, you're the story of a voyage to find the end of the world and hopefully the Seven Lost Lords (remember Rhoop!). You contain some of the most unique people and places and beautiful descriptions of the whole series.

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

...is my favorite. I love that book. Just love it. The best part is the Island Where Dreams Come True.

"Fools! This is the kind of talk that brought me here!" Not daydreams. Dreams.
ceebeegee: (Default)
While walking home from the gym tonight, I came across a torn clear plastic bag lying by the sidewalk that obviously at one point had held a bunch of playbooks. I picked up several scripts including Tribute by Bernard Slade, Misalliance by GB Shaw, Greater Tuna, Three Sisters and Baby with the Bathwater. Oh, and The Canterbury Tales. Heh, heh, heh. I love getting something for nothing. Recycling in the most organic way.

Good workout tonight. My ass feels all tingly in a good way.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
Watched more of Hamlet last night but I didn't have time to watch the whole thing. I turned it off during Ophelia's funeral. I really like the very medieval feeling of the shoot. Love the way the castle dwarfs its inhabitants and how gloomy everything is. And there are a couple of party scenes that make me think of that Anglo-Saxon poem about the bird flying through the hall and how narrow the boundary is between warm and cozy on the inside, and cold and friendless on the outside.

I went through Midsummer Night's Dream today to find some Titania stuff for the showcase. I think I'm going to do the "These are the forgeries of jealousy" passage in Act II. Some beautiful stuff there.


ceebeegee: (Default)

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