June 14, 2011

Paper and News

Well, I found my teacher's comments on this paper pretty awesome, I hadn't expected them to be impressed. I'm kinda used to surprising them though lol. As I am fond of saying, I'm smarter than I look. So here is the text for that then I'll do the news and updates.

Art is an odd feeling of life that emanates from a great work of literature or a painting that captivates. This notion of art is no where typified more than in the theater. The theater is art but it’s alive in a way that a painting simply cannot be. Theater has the capacity to evolve, to grow in response to talent and available resources. Shakespeare can be played on a minimalist stage with very few props or in a grand scale with elaborate sets and elegant costumes and both can take the same scene and make it entirely different. Lighting, too, can change a mood. After all, no one would take the witches of “that Scottish play” seriously if they had little gelled sunflower looking things shining down on them. Any little element can make such a complete change to what the audience perceives.

I’ve always had a passion for theater. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money but my mother sent me to every art day camp she could find for me and my brothers. We got to go to the Nashville Children’s theater summer program many times and whenever the funds were there she would try to take us to TPAC. True, sometimes the seats were so far from the stage all you would get was from the speakers behind you but it didn’t diminish the wonder of it all. Coming from this, it’s easy to see that for me theater takes on a special wonder, something greater than a movie because it can be experienced, it can be lived. The audience is part of this epic story and if its Shakespeare or spamalot, it still has this pull, this life to it. Theater is a living art, every time you see or participate in a performance you realize that every time this curtain rises, there will be a different audience and even timeless works like Shakespeare or antigone can be new and special every performance making its own unique mark. It’s the live actors and the director which bring this life to it. A director will not always make the same choices that others have with the same piece of work and those little changes, the staging, props, costumes, everything that makes up the final show can change and that’s what makes it so special.

Is it art? Well, yes in a way it is. You see a play in and of its self is a work of art before casting ever begins. It takes a lot of talent and hard work to create a script, particularly one which will survive to be produced. A playwright doesn’t, however, always have the opportunity to foresee the problems that may be created when it comes time for actual production, but that doesn’t take anything away from that piece. The ability to tell a story like that, where the audience only gets the information that could’ve been acquired from normal conversation makes it difficult for difficult concepts to be realized. In the play, you can’t take it with you; you can get a real feel for that. You can’t really pick up on the complicated back stories for the characters but somehow the playwright knows that and compensates for it with detailed textual clues. It is the responsibility of the actor to convey these messages to the audience.

The presentation of a show is an art as well. It’s not every person on the streets with the know-how and skill to make one of these shows happen. And it all gets very technical but the art, the part that makes you feel, that is when all the pieces are in place and the audience gets drawn in and cries and laughs and feels for these characters. It’s how the pieces fit together, how all these talented people combining that make it an art, and, in my mind, the only true living art.

But a word of caution, I love the theater, I always have. All I ever wanted was to be an actress, to tread the boards as they say. So I can’t pretend not to be biased towards it, because I know I am. That fear that just ebbs away as the curtain goes up is intoxicating. It’s been years since I was really up there but I remember that feeling, it’s not something anyone could forget. You feel sick and excited and when you’re not on stage you find yourself mouthing the other’s lines and songs because after so much rehearsal, you know it better than you know your homework or anything else and its much more real, to see your name on a cast list, to see the playbill. To know that for a couple of hours, you have the opportunity to create another world and you spend months trying to do just that, and the singing and dancing and when’s my cue and has anyone seen that prop from scene 4 it all makes it so present, so much part of the spirit of an actor that it makes it really hard to be objective about it. For someone who loves theater, you can’t simply ask what makes it great. It’s all great, magical, fantastic and scary all at the same time. Its not one element, it’s the cohesion of all elements, the feelings and emotions, the fire, the essential energy and, at the risk of being overtly repetitive, the life of it.

So now that we all feel uber educated about that topic, moving on to recent news and updates.

My computer screen got mysteriously cracked. It was really weird and I have no idea how it happened, but I've got to say that I nearly had a meltdown over it on saturday morning. Spent the day driving around the burbs trying to find this computer shop that the guy at best buy sent me to. It was a disaster! I was lost with a dead gps (which also happens to be my cell phone!), needless to say it really wasn't fun. Ended up stopping at a couple places trying to find something to charge my cell. Finally, I did find something (I'm officially calling it my lifesaver). Essentially, I'm sure you've heard of those quick charge things from energizer. Well that's what I was looking for, unaware of the fact that they have to be charged before you can use them, moreover that they must be charged by a computer (which, ironically, was the source of the bigger problem for the day). So needless to say, that didn't bode well for me. So I'm looking around the area where that was trying to find something that would do the trick. To my delight, I did manage to do just that. I found this thing called a scorch solar charger. It had a little solar panel on it which, when it met the 90+ tennessee sunshine, turned out nicely. I was able to get my phone up and running and get the heck out of the suburbs. Little life lesson guys, DO NOT GO TO THE SUBURBS WITHOUT A MAPQUEST PRINT OFF! I mean GPS is nice, don't get me wrong, but apparently entirely unreliable. I did not enjoy stammering to the cute guy at the walmart that I wasn't from around there and had no earthly idea how to get back where I had come from, dude probably thought I was a moron.

Anyway...back to the main problem...the computer...I was able to, after making it back to east and calming down a little bit, find the replacement screen on ebay for like $80 and after a marathon call session yesterday morning, was able to find a tech to put it in for like $50. My friend Mike said I couldn't do that, when I told him the screen had cracked. He basically told me the computer was toast. I shared my little miracle with him, only after the common chastisment of "do you ever get tired of being wrong???" because he has this nasty little habit of telling me what I can and cannot do. 9 times out of 10 I was right in the first place, which makes me wonder why he tries to constantly tell me I'm wrong?

Ackward lunch thing today. Went with a friend and a couple of their friends. It was okay, but there were just a few things that drove me a little batty. Number 1, that this friend of a friend actually thought me and my friend had gone to school together, being as this person is most likely 20+ years my senior, that was kinda weird thing for them to say. I felt compelled to point out that I'm only 22. Also, this friend made a point of mentioning that he couldn't understand how I had managed to get into HFA, and once again, I felt compelled to comment, with one of my favorites, "I'm smarter than I look you know!" He was like "really, so why were you slacking this year" then I said "what are you talking about! I didn't get a score below a "B" last semester." and so on. I don't know where He got the idea that I'm a slacker from, but if I find out someone's going to owe me an explanation.

While it's true, since my thyroid started acting up again, I've had a hard time concentrating, that doesn't mean I'm stupid or have, in anyway, stopped working hard. I'm doing my hardest to manage it as best I can in the hopes that I won't be looking for a repeat of my senior year in high school. Sometimes I have to remind myself to cool down a bit and breathe before I loose my temper. Goodness knows I try. The difference is that this time I know what's going on and Identifying the problem is getting you halfway to a solution. So sometimes I can tell when I'm about to fly off the handle or I"m a little uber hyper which means it's time to breathe a little bit.

Got in a little half hearted argument with another friend of mine who also styles themselves an amateur writer, I shared a little passage of something and told her that I liked it and that it wasn't often that I loved something I'd done from a reader's perspective. I then ended the missive with a little "Sometimes, I pretend to be a writer" well that really set her off. She was like "what are you talking about! How can you read something like that and still say 'pretend'!!!!" Problem is, I'm never really sure if my friends are just saying nice things because they are my friends or if they truly think I've got some semblance of skill.

The biggest issue I have with writing is inspiration. I simply cannot work without that. Meaning I've got a lot of projects in progress and very few finished things. I never really want to finish them though, I think it is perhaps because finishing something means it's over and that's that. I like to leave it open ended so that I can always return if fancy strikes. Like as not though, should I get to a point where I plan to publish, I will have to wrap it up, a daunting notion.

For now though, my biggest focus is on my music. This past spring has been one of the most creative periods of my life, I've written dozens of songs, stories, plays, nerdy little fan stories and more things by virtue of amazing inspiration. The problem is, for me, inspiration requires stimulous. I'm kinda doing the same thing all day every day and it isn't inspiring me. True, there are moments when being outside and seeing something or feeling something new will do it, but the monotony isn't good for my creative muse. I almost miss being on campus everyday right now, I mean not the weather or the walking or the creepy dude from european history, but the concerts in the strange music building. They were like a shot of NEW into the system, every time I went, yielded 2 or 3 or sometimes more new material. There was something very electric about that kind of environment, the new music was something I needed to spur myself into createing something unique. It wasn't really that it was in the style of what I was presented with but the activation of new receptors because of the new material certainly had a stark influence on me.

My Aunt Doris called me the other day to invite me to come visit her at her lake house in monticello, Indiana. I really would like to go but my folks have made it pretty clear that my car is really THEIR car and that it shant leave the state. I'd be hard pressed to get them to agree to let me go to dollywood. I can't really tell if it is a lack of faith in me or in my car. Either way, it isn't fun.

Another fairly recent tidbit comes curtesy of a girl I went to high school with. I won't use names because I don't want to get anyone in trouble in case someone reads this that shouldn't (shocking but I actually had like 127 views as of late, I was like WHAAA where did these people come from lol I'm really not all that interesting) Anyway, girl a tells me that a girl from our school, hereafter refered to as girl b, had taken up an unsavory occupation. Moreover that girl b had done so under an assumed name. Now, the new name thing, I had heard that. But that girl b had chosen this new venue for her *cough cough* talents was something I hadn't heard. I felt foolish for not knowing when girl a did, because, I had thought girl b and I were friends, stupid now I guess, but we talked about stuff, I asked advice and she shared stuff, apparently condecendingly but I didn't know that at the time. So I hadn't heard from girl b in a year or two. She had given me a new email addy but I couldn't find it after she gave it to me so I hadn't used it. ( I know I had it somewhere but my brain is a little scrabbled sometimes). So Idk if that made her angry or if she's just so committed to her new lifestyle that she'd rather not remember the people who knew her before she made this decision (yes I know I'm being vague but I can't really get more detailed without making people angry so there lol ) So I tried to add the new-and *cough* improved girl b on facebook, figured that was non-confrentational. Now normally, I don't send out requests, kinda don't get agressive about it because, let's face it, if people want to contact you they will do so, it's simple as that. But I did, attaching a message I read over many times to make sure it didn't sound accusatory or something and sent it. Well that was over a month ago. I feel like I should feel humiliated that someone in *cough* such an unusual career should reject me. And I guess that's why I don't send requests in the first place, I'm really not good with rejection. I felt like what had I done that someone like that wouldn't want to talk to me? I had never been anything other than honest and understanding with her, listen to crap for years, and a couple slights at my person I have to admit. Because that's what you do for friends, right? I mean you have little tiffs once in a while but generally a friend will be able to understand that the other was just upset and saying things they didn't mean. I never meant to give any of my friends the impression that I didn't care or that I wouldn't understand. All the same, I feel like it's my fault that she doesn't want to talk to me, like I did something wrong. It kinda feels personal. Well, that and her new bleach blonde do, that feels REALLY REALLY personal. Like a slap in the face if I must be honest.

It reminds me of a story, if you will indulge. When I was in high school, I was never particularly appealing, I admit it and have come to grips with the fact that it was only after I dumped my boyfriend of three years that I actually started to CARE again. Anyway, let's just say I was often dissheveled. Well, I knew guys in school, as anyone must, and I tended to speak to guys often, again as anyone must. I was accused of flirting with them (which I honestly never did, didn't really know how, if I must be frank) and this "faux flirting" got me in trouble with some girls I also knew. Now I would push this question to the guys I went to high school with, with no fear of judgment by me if they answered, did they ever, I mean ever, feel like I was "flirting" with them, because I didn't really do that, as I said, I'm not quite sure how to do that. As I have mentioned previously, I was never terribly agressive when it came to guys. Call me old fashioned or simply a ninny but I never really think that girls should chase guys. I'm serious! I like to think if they like me, then that's nice but if they don't then whatever. True, I do tend to attract mostly crazy loosers but that really isn't the point. Granted, I probably have no right to be picky but a girl has to have her standards. You can't just settle for every tom, dick and harry that comes your way. You know what I mean?