This week has been a whirlwind of adventure! Sorry to all of you folks who are intrigued enough to be reading these because I haven't had time to put another entry in here yet, but the laundry in the dryer has some time so I thought I would update y'all (and yes, I still say y'all. Still have pride in Texas where I go to school. And of course in Colorado, Mom). I promise I will get better about putting entries in here, but I guess it's good that I'm busy living in Yankee land so much that I don't have time to be watching TV or being on the computer! After all, I only get around 6 weeks here! Speaking of, week 1 is done, and here is how the rest of it happened--
Wednesday: On a whim I decided to join a gym! As if the average of 3 hours of intense tap, ballet, or jazz I have each morning wasn't enough for me, I decided that I needed to exert myself to lift weights and run too. I really do miss running too, and there's just too much traffic, both automobile and human, to comfortably run on the sidewalks or streets though I see people doing it. The guy at the gym cut me a deal though, $24 for 30 days when most people have to pay $150! It's either that "Wilson luck" I have that's making a ton of things work out for me, or something else that I hope keeps up! Class today was wonderful! A whole different set than the Tuesday/Thursday set which is like the system at Baylor. Jazz and Ballet in the morning with AWESOME teachers. The jazz teacher is intense, she's teaching us a Grease combination that's really fast (the scene from the Prom) and she calls me Mormon when she can't remember my name, because she thinks I belong in the musical Book of Mormon. After lunch with people whose names I'm starting to remember...I think...we have Musical Scene Study. The teacher Aimee and accompanist Joel are incredible. They make you feel so good, but I can tell they are going to help me grow so much here as a performer and maybe even as an adult. The rest of the faculty are the same way! Then Business of Acting to finish the day, which is a class where we learn the actual business and how it works. This information is going to be interesting!! After class, I got a bunch of people to go to dinner at a sandwich shop nearby. It was an awesome, hipster, underground-ish kind of place with an awesome atmosphere, but the best part was getting to know my new friends. It was so nice to have people out of their "theatre element" and out of class, and to just be getting to know people my age and what their stories are.
Thursday: We had a really interesting anatomy lesson in Vocal Technique today. An actor's body is their instrument, so you have to know how it works to use it correctly. Tap dancing an hour and a half of my life away was fun too. Acting after lunch was really interesting. We got scene partners and I'm with Jennifer! She's awesome! We are doing a Christopher Durang scene from "Beyond Therapy." We had the option between two scenes, and the other was a much safer choice, but I didn't come here to be safe, did I? You learn by challenging yourself, and if you fail, you fail. But I'm ready to work and get better! Vocal Performance concluded the school day as I'm working on my song that I was assigned. I'm going to keep this one a secret until I perform it because I'm recording it and sending it to someone special and the title completely gives it away. It's a beautiful song though, that much I'll tell you. Then I was off to dinner with Grace close to Times Square and I grabbed a play at the Drama Book Shop. A visit to the gym and sleep was all I needed to fill the rest of this day. Dang. I'm tired.
Friday: How is it the end of the week already? Class flies by, and I have one new class, Audition Technique. I can tell this class is going to be incredible. My teacher Randy is incredibly nice, but not afraid to tell you exactly what you need to work on. Not in a rude way, but he won't sugar coat anything. Basically, this class will be mock auditions, which sounds pretty great to me! Once class is out at 6PM, I rush back to my place and hop in the shower because I'm going to meet Grace at her place in Queens! I take the subway out there and we grab pizza to eat on her rooftop which overlooks the city. What a view! It was nice to get a different perspective of the city because I've been living in between tall building after tall building after hot dog stand after tall building. Grace's place, however, is one of the few tall buildings in her area and it's brand spanking new! Somehow I'll see if I can get pictures on here, because I'd love to share that view with you. After some deep discussions about Art and NYC and life in general, Grace and I begin our journey to an experimental-theatre show called Sleep No More. It's roughly based off of Shakespeare's Macbeth, and it began around 11:30PM. What was interesting was that this theatre company bought an old hotel and remade it to look like a new hotel in the 1920s. Then you get on an elevator, are required to put on a mask, and are asked to be silent the entire time you are in this place. You get out of the elevator when you want, on any of the 6 floors, on which anything can be happening at any point in the story of Macbeth. I'm not going to give too much away, but this experience was amazing. Some of the most interesting theatre i've seen in my life! Grace and I got out of this at 3AM and walked about 25 blocks to get back. We worked off that McDonald's McFlurry that sounded so good at 3:30AM when we saw that it was open 24 hours a day. What a night!
Saturday: After some much deserved sleeping in, I hit the gym and was pleasantly surprised by a text from Grace who invited me to Central Park for the day. I will say, this is one thing I have really been missing. Open space. From storefronts to high rises, I'm constantly surrounded by life and people and I LOVE it! But it is nice to escape to somewhere quiet...with grass and trees and nature. I think those theorists and philosophers of Romanticism were on to something when they discusses the human need for nature. Or maybe I'm just a bit of a romantic idealist myself. Not completely though. Trust me, I'm loving my city life. Anyway, Central Park was MORE than a breath of fresh air. It was like a completely different world there. And I still can't comprehend how large it is. Grace and I went through Strawberry fields, wandered around Sheep Meadow, and just found ourselves strolling through different sections of Central Park while we people watched and just took in all of the beauty of this area. Our favorite spot was this little veranda-like enclosure with benches. Nobody was sitting in it and it was perfectly on the edge of the Reservoir, the lake with the paddle boats and plenty of birds and turtles that most people think of when you think of water in Central Park. It was a nice break from the sun, and a wonderful place to sit and talk. We stumbled upon some sort of strange reading of Hamlet or some version of Shakespeare in the Park, which unfortunately, was not done too well. What's really interesting is that I understand what good Shakespearean technique is thanks to Baylor Theatre and Steven Pounders! #sicem #operativewords #donotstressthenot After a while, we realized that it was June 30th....which meant that Christian Borle would be performing one last show of Peter and the Starcatcher this evening! OH NO! Some of you might recognize him as the composer on the TV series Smash, but he does much more than that. He's a big deal because he won the Tony for this wonderful show that brings many people back to their childhoods as they learn how Peter Pan came to be, and this is Christian's LAST ONE. We have to get tickets. In a hopeful rush, we get to Times Square as fast as we can and head to the theatre. As we get there, who do we pass but Christian Borle himself. Grace was in shock and all she could do was scream "OH MAH...OH MAH....OHMAHGOSH! THAT'S HIM!" For those of you that know Grace...this isn't a surprise, but you know it was kind of loud and left an impression. It was hilarious and awesome. He was incredibly nice and said hello to us as he was giving money to a homeless man. I hope that if I ever "make it" someday, I have that kind of genuine class and kindness. He seemed so normal. I'm telling you. There's something to say about that "Wilson Luck" because Grace and I get standing-room tickets in the Orchestra for $24. That's CRAZY cheap for a the show that is in such high demand! I don't even mind standing, the view will be incredible in the orchestra. We run and grab dinner and are back in the theatre before we know it. And who do I find myself standing next to as I walk up the stair? Megan Hilty...the star of Smash and a long time successful actress on Broadway. I said hello and thanked her for what she does. We actually talked for a couple of minutes and it came out that I'm studying theatre at Baylor and she wished me luck! WHAT?! Finally, Peter and the Starcatcher. Honestly, this may be the best performance and best theatre I have ever seen. It was a flawless execution: the design aspect was stunning, the book (script) was hilarious and touching, and the actors knocked it out of the park. Since this was Christian Borle's last night, the company of the show did some really nice things for him at the end, and then Stage door was CHAOS. Picture Black Friday and some store has a 90% OFF EVERYTHING sign. That multiplied by 4 gets you to what I was in the middle of. I got a majority of the cast to sign my playbill, and Christian Borle signed my ticket. Dang. He's the coolest person. Grace and I told him that we were the people who saw him early and I decided to throw in a joke about Grace being the person who screamed "THAT'S HIM!" at him. He actually thought it was hilarious and said, "That was a new one for me and it was pretty entertaining. If people know who I am and say something it's usually hello, but I don't think I've ever gotten a screaming 'THAT'S HIM' before. I liked it." Again...he's the coolest person. After Grace and I let our theatre-nerd giddiness out because we met so many incredible performers tonight, I recognize some people. I turn around, and half of CAP21 is also at Peter and the Starcatcher. I guess I wasn't the only one who realized that this was his last night. Grace headed home, and I got together with my new CAP friends and we headed to a party about 20 minutes away! It was so fun to get to know everyone and just talk about things not having to do with theatre. I'm getting to know them as people outside of class and performers inside of class. This is phenomenal. I was at this party late and shared a cab home with one of my friends. This may have been my favorite day here so far! Now I better get to sleep so that I can be productive tomorrow and do all my homework but also get a decent nights sleep. I'll need it to go full out during week 2!
Sunday: I sleep a little late and remember that today is laundry and homework day. Awesome! This work is so interesting. I have to read a play, memorize two scenes, and work on 4 songs before tomorrow. I'm absolutely loving this. I've never been so inspired to work on my craft and really dig in to the potential that I have. Bring it on CAP and NYC. Bring it on. Tonight I'm going to see Fuerza Bruta: Look Up tonight with Grace and Victoria. Another new-age theatre performance where the whole thing takes place above the audience...and apparently the entire seating area is a splash zone...this should be interesting. As for now, I'm going to do homework and maybe Skype my family at some point. I miss you guys so much! And Kelly, you're wonderful! Also, maybe I'll get to Skype a couple of people in my second home, Waco. Yes Brittney and Patrick....I'm talking about you. Anyway, I'm going to keep working. I'll update you all soon!
"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." ~ Oscar Wilde