Monday, July 28, 2008

New York - 6 Weeks In

So my six weeks at The Esper Studio is almost over and what an experience it’s been. Study aside, my New York experience has been the most relentlessly stimulating and exciting period of my life. I’ve run myself broke, broken up with my boyfriend of 6 years, been solicited for sex, asked for directions several times a day, applied for more jobs in 2 weeks than I have in my entire life, been yelled at, praised, adored and ignored. I’ve changed my hair colour and finally reached a healthy weight (I’ve been underweight for years). I’ve partied with famous actors and seen others in the streets. I’ve watched a Bouffon clown noir performance and a subway rendition of Do Ron Ron.

I’ve questioned my religious beliefs and I’ve rediscovered my love for acting. And, most excitingly, I’ve enjoyed hanging out with myself, and reassessing what that means.

And I still have a month left…

Monday, July 14, 2008

Small Sentences from My Pocket Notebook

On Monday night I was at a Salsa party watching the people, full of joy, dancing together as men and women should dance and a man nearby was wearing my father's cologne and I felt safe and content.

The other day an old man rode by me on a squeaky bicycle and for a moment I thought the squeaking was coming from him.

Yesterday on the subway a lady wearing a cap sneezed and her hat flew forward and landed on the open page of the magazine she was reading. I tried, unsuccessfully to stifle a laugh but thankfully she was so busy trying to make it look intentional that she didn't notice.

More Musings of a New York Experience

All the cars are Armoured. And when I say all, I mean there seems to be a national concern that someone is not only going to gun down their bank and mail trucks, but also their pet supply trucks, their bagel trucks, and worst of all, their cheap polyester Asian ball gown trucks.

American men not only make nice comments about you as you walk down the street, such as "Hey baby", "Look at them beautiful eyes" and "Yo honey wassup?", but can also be relied upon to open doors for you and allow you ahead of them in the Starbucks queue. And I don't mean men you are acquainted with, but complete strangers. This trait could well be the single most endearing quality of the American male.

Good coffee does not exist. You can either have regular coffee (filtered) or the more fancy eXpresso (note, not espresso but eXpresso) which tastes pretty much like filtered coffee but weaker, due to the enormous bowls they serve them in, and with overheated milk.

Despite the fact that I no longer automatically walk to the left side of every walkway, I have found it impossible to let go of my deeply ingrained survival instinct to Look Right, then Left, then Right Again. To avoid certain death I've adopted a method I call Continual Head Swivelling whereby I swing my head from side to side continuously while crossing the street because I just cannot train my brain to remember that they come from the left side first and then the right side.

One of the great delights of catching the subway is the walk you make up the exit stairs before emerging onto the street. It's an ascent full of anticipation and speculation, particularly if you're in a heretofore unexplored area. Will it be bustling or deserted? Will there be bodegas or boutiques? Will it smell like sewerage or halal meat? I can't help but get excited every time I make this climb.