Saturday, July 14, 2012

Conquering A Fear and A Competitive Biker

This week has been completely chaotic in the most wonderful way. I have hit that point in my CAP21 experience, the half-way mark. I have no clue how I've been living in this city and studying my passion here for 3 whole weeks, and it feels like I only blinked. Now, I did have to neglect my blog a bit so that I could fully experience this week and make sure that I was really on top of things, but now it's Saturday and I have 45 minutes free to catch you all up. Yes, even though it's the weekend, I'm on a schedule because I have already made plans! (Would you expect anything else of me?) This whole experience has gone by in a flash, and I need to REALLY live in the moment every single day for the next three weeks. This kind of lifestyle has the speedometer set at "flying by in a new york minute." I now fully understand that term, but I'll take a pit stop to be reminiscent of how amazing this week has been for me.

Monday: Staples is a very interesting and resourceful establishment. However, things get complicated when their software on their computers is older than me. Maybe that's a tad hyperbolic, but my generation knows technology pretty well and it's not complicated to UPDATE your computers, especially if they are for public use. I'm at Staples at 7:30 to print off sheet music for my Audition Technique class that afternoon, and I buy the sheet music online, but then printing the sheet music is where the nightmare begins. "The action you are attempting to perform requires a more updated version of Adobe Software. Would you like to download this free software now?" Thinking I would be helpful in that most people update their Adobe software at home to work with corresponding technologies, I clicked 'Download and Install Now'. After 5 minutes of waiting at a screen that looked like it was doing nothing, I minimized the screen to find a notice that said "You are not authorized to perform this action. An administrator on this computer must perform this action." I ask for help, and after 3 employees didn't know what to do, I head to another Staples because this is NYC and I know that there has to be someone who can help me. Besides, other stores will probably have more updated computers and I'll be able to get on with my wonderful morning! 2 Staples later, making a total of three incompetent stores later, I give up and head to CAP. Luckily, I was smart enough to budget extra time in my morning for something to go wrong thanks to my parents raising me to be prepared. I get to CAP 45 minutes before class and ask the front desk desperately for help. She reluctantly said I could use her computer, but after all this, I GOT THE SHEET MUSIC! No harm done, except maybe a lowered opinion of the establishment known as Staples. I guess there's a reason it's not called PrintMasters. Anyway, classes go really well today! Ballet, Jazz, Audition Tech, and Acting! I keep realizing how wonderfully talented my peers are and I am so beyond blessed to be amongst them! Class gets out and a bunch of my group decide that we want to go get sushi! We find this really cool, lofted Japanese restaurant and sit down for a nice meal. Then I walk the 15 blocks home and hit the gym. I'm loving all this physical activity! Everything is so accessible on foot and I'm young and could use the exercise. Today was wonderful, but I feel a little homesick. ESPECIALLY because I'm not at home to help celebrate my wonderful mom's birthday! To try and make up for it, I called her and sang her a song, which I NEVER usually do because I'm self-conscious about that sort of thing. However, it was really nice to catch up with the fam and I owe my mom a special day when I get back! I also got to talk to my brother and Skyped my best friend Patrick! As usual, I do homework until I realize I'm exhausted and it's after midnight.

Tuesday: With coffee and an early start to my morning, I head to CAP just to take in the city with the leisurely walk there. The smells, the people, the architecture, the cabs that nearly hit you even though you have the right-of-way on the crosswalk. I love it all and I try to create a mental montage of what my walk is like every morning, taking in the physical sensations of the 15 to 20 blocks there. The Walgreens on the corner of 23rd and Park Ave where that strange man with the green hat and shopping cart sometimes is, the line out the door of Starbucks on 23rd next to the stairs to the subway, the 3rd grate that I always walk over that clicks when I get over the second half of it because the weight shifts, the sidewalk that is always wet from being hosed off every morning, etc. A simple walk, but so much to take in. I get to CAP, stretch, and dive right in to Tap. I love this class, and I'm pretty darn good at it! I go downstairs for Vocal Technique when I have my first light bulb. We are learning about singing in our higher ranges and opening our palette/equalizer tubes when I finally understand what it feels like to properly sing really high. I only get it a couple of times, but I get it. FINALLY! It'll take some work, but I need to keep striving for that proper singing technique. Vocal Performance is later in the afternoon and I have another light bulb moment. I'm singing a song and REAL emotion actually comes out. SUCCESS. The whole class was crying in everyone's songs. This is awesome! Then I go to acting to finish the day, walk home, hit the gym, and head to bed.

Wednesday: I'm beginning to feel that physical lifestyle take it's toll. I'm an active person normally, but here it's like that amount of physical activity has been put into hyperdrive. I get to CAP by 9AM and have a really nice rehearsal with my friend Lyndsey for our Guys and Dolls scene later today. Then it's off to dance class again. In Ballet, I'm really beginning to show some growth. My turnout is decent and my technique is getting better and better. Meredith would be so proud! (That's my dance prof. at Baylor for those of you who don't know.) Jazz is HOT because the AC breaks again, and this city sure does like the warmth. It's alright, I'm preparing for the fall in Waco, which is usually hotter than this. Lunch at the local natural market Sunac which I really like, and then we're off to Musical Scene Study. Every MSS class, we begin with this warm up that always inspires me. Picture an inspirational soundtrack to your life which is live-streaming from the piano in the room by our wonderful accompanist while our other teacher is motivating us to be the best we can be. One thing she said that really stuck with me was, "Believe in yourself. You are an incredible artist and you offer something to this artistic community that nobody else does, so own this summer's experience to the fullest. You have to believe you belong here. Even if you're self-conscious, you would not be here if you didn't think you had something extraordinary to offer." WOW. Now read that quote again and put on some sort of inspirational music. Don't worry, I'll wait to continue the story for when you get back.......Welcome back. I hope that was as inspirational for you as it was for me. MSS class is awesome, and that warm-up happens twice a week! To finish the day, I head to Business of Theatre class which is really incredible. It's fast paced and I'm going to learn a ton. After, I go to a diner with some CAP friends I don't normally spend much time with, and I'm always up for meeting new people! We go to pay the bill, and they won't split the check. WHAT?! We all have to get cash out and somehow figure this out. I've found this a common trend with most restaurants in the city. It's kind of silly once you think about it, though. In the same era where we have touch screen phones and personal TV screens in the seats on airplanes, it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to split a check at a diner in NYC. How does that make sense? Who knows. To end our night on a positive note, we go to a frozen yogurt place called 16 Handles which was delicious. I walk a pretty long ways home and decide that I want to go to the gym and memorize lines. I find an open stationary bike and get myself situated. Another guy comes to the stationary bike next to me, and we begin to bike at the same time. I'm sitting there working out, kind of zoning out while I memorize my lines, when I realize that this guy next to me is starting to compete with me. Are you kidding me? What's the point? Is this really going to prove you are more macho than me or more in shape than me? I continue on my merry way on this bike while I memorize my lines, but every time I speed up because I realize that I'm getting lazy, so does this guy next to me. I'm not indulging in the competition, and the best part is I still "won." I guess that's what you get growing up at 7000 feet and dancing 3-4 hours a day, STAMINA! Feeling kind of happier that I didn't compete and still out-lasted this guy, I finish my 10 miles on the bike (I lost track and didn't mean to go that far! I wasn't going to stop until I had those lines memorized!) I get back to my place, shower, do homework, and that pillow has never felt so GREAT!

Thursday: You know, in a Starbucks that is more narrow than usual and crowded to the New York limit, it's alright that they didn't get my coffee order right. What was interesting was that I didn't say anything about it. I knew it wasn't right...and I didn't correct them. Small lesson learned: If you want something fixed, you have to actually speak up and kindly point out a mistake. Oh well, I tried something new and found out I kind of liked it! I head to CAP around 9 as usual for another rehearsal for my acting scene with Jenn. It goes really well and then I'm going to Tap. The rhythm in my body is a little off, but that's alright. Everyone has off days! Vocal Tech I learn another difficult but AWESOME lesson. Then I head to Acting to perform my scene, which went well, and I finish the day with Vocal Performance. I cannot say enough, as I'm sure you've noticed, how WONDERFUL my group is. Everyone keeps blowing me away with their personal stories and talents. We get new scene partners today because this is the week of new material, and I get paired with a girl named Kelan! She's AWESOME and I'm excited to work with her. I hit the gym, drop by the restaurant I consider "my place" to grab food to go, and I eat dinner in my room. I wanted a really relaxing night, and I got one! I catch up with one of my close friends Brittney back in Texas, and I have a really nice night to myself!

Friday: I think it's funny how as human beings, we surprise ourselves with out capacity to grow in our potential. I never thought I could be a good dancer, but I'm getting better! I keep learning and surprising myself when I correctly do something I thought was really difficult. It still is difficult, but what surprises me is that I am capable of doing it without thinking it is a hard task. One of my favorite parts of the day is Musical Scene Study class. We do a warm-up, but this isn't like any that we have done before. It's much more emotional. Our teacher points out that we are half way through this program. WOW. This is it. This is the end of Week 3 and I'm half-way through CAP. It's a bit of a shock, and it's amazing how close I am to my Group 4. She tells us to audibly and loudly make 3 promises to ourselves so that we will not have any regrets about this summer, whether they involved CAP or not. She reminded us of how precious each day is and we don't have time to waste any of them. Then we had to get in a circle and admit to each other what our hardest promise to make to ourselves was. There were alot of tears for people, but we all feel so close to each other and so connected, that nobody cared at all. In fact, it almost felt more special because we have only known each other 3 weeks yet we are all completely willing to be open with each other. That's hard to do! Audition technique finishes the day, and I go to Times Square with a bunch of my friends to see if we can grab tickets to a Friday night show! It's Kelan, James, Steven, Jenn, and me, all still with our CAP21 stuff in backpacks stuffed to the seams. We get tickets to the Gershwin classic Porgy and Bess which was PHENOMENAL. An amazing story and some incredible talent. Audra McDonald won the Tony for Best Actress in the role of Bess, and I fully understand why! She was GREAT! After the show, Kelan, Steven, and I head to our friend Megan's apartment to hang out for the night. We get there and spend a long time just hanging out with to other people in our group, Megan and Jonathan! I'd say this was a GREAT day.

Saturday: Finally, a morning to sleep in. I did some homework this morning, but I'm really excited for my weekend plans! I'm going to go spend some time in the Drama Book Shop off of Time Square to see if I can find a scene from a play to direct this fall at Baylor, because I need to have one by August and what better place to look than a store filled with plays in the city of theatre? After that, my group is going to have an adventure and we are going to Long Island for the remainder of the weekend! One of the people in our Group has a house there and they are hosting us! I'm looking forward to some AWESOME memories here! I love these people! I love this place! I love my life!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kevin, so glad you got to see Porgy & Bess. I had the opportunity to work with Audra on several albums and she's always impressed me, both as a singer and a person. This production has been a big deal for her and I love how they've really dived into it - much like you're dived into your experience in NY. Great job making the most of every moment! Uncle Ric