Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On staying put for once

Greetings readers! I know you've missed me... I spoiled you with my three updates in an almost timely fashion. I had to go back to the old Siobhan you know and love.

Very little to report on the audition front, I'm afraid. The intention this week was to hit up Broward Stage Door Theatre on Monday and Literally Alive Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol this Monday and Tuesday, but unfortunately I have been sidelined by a really cute completely disgusting cold. I rarely get sick and therefore I handle it super well, by which I basically mean acting like a huge baby. Regardless, singing is REALLY out of the question at present.

I did audition last night for Monsterpiece Theatre Collective's all-female Richard III - it was just okay. I used a monologue I haven't done in a while and though I felt fine about it, I felt... fine. Nothing special. It was, if I'm being honest, a little one note. Though they kept me in the room for a while to talk about my resume and my training, they didn't ask me to read anything else. I think their callbacks are next week, so I suppose we'll wait and see but frankly I'm not holding my breath. Got five on the schedule for next week though - all open calls but one (boo) - so keep your fingers crossed for me that the all orange juice diet I'm about to embark on makes me actually healthy again.

In healthy living news, I'm getting back serious about the whole gym thing AND I decided to give myself a deadline! Aka, I registered for a race. Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate 5K here I come. It's in December. I'm probably insane. You should all probably be there to watch me cross the finish line and pass out.
Eeee! Here goes nothing.

Now needless to say, because of the aforementioned really gross cold, today's gym adventure took the backseat but never fear. Still on track for tomorrow. And still clocking in at 7.5 miles so far this week... so I think I can give myself a liiiiittle credit.

In the meantime, it's October. Which for the past three years has meant moving time in this household. And yet for the first time in a long time, this nomad finally gets to stay put. It's an odd notion. Perhaps my constant schedule of New Apartment October is what makes me inclined, as I mentioned in the past, to feel as though fall - rather than January - is the real start of a new year.

The trajectory of having to move in October is also a somewhat unsettling one. See, once upon a time in first grown up apartment land, four little girls from NYU decided that living in a depressing prison cell of a two bedroom apartment with bunk beds was NOT worth $1600/month (give or take) per person, and they ventured off into the exciting world of Manhattan real estate. After looking at what felt like a thousand  twenty or so apartments, they settled on living here:

Ah, the glamorous life. Sure, they still had two bedrooms for four people, but they had a doorman and a patio and a schmancy Murray Hill address! What could go wrong?

Wellll... it doesn't work out quite so nicely in person as it does on paper when you run afoul of your next door dwelling super who has a vendetta against you and you aren't EXACTLY within the technically legal limits of your lease. One thing led to another and the super found out that management didn't know four of us lived there and well... bye bye Murray Hill, hello Harlem. And so began the first October moving month.

Meet my next home, the Miles in East Harlem.
Aww, look how much it looks like the luxury high rise it pretends to be from the outside. I've got your number, Miles, and so does every other tenant who's EVER lived there.

Pros: the biggest apartment I will likely EVER live in. The Cons: well... just about everything else. Where do I begin. From the 1 working elevator (of 4) for a building with around 1000 tenants (not an exaggeration) to the frequent police raids to the teenaged potheads in my hallway to the roaches to the mice to the neighborhood, suffice it to say that living here was an... experience. If you don't believe me you can google this monstrosity. Or read any number of scathing reviews on Yelp. (Ugh but the apartment itself... how I miss it). New October, new appointments. Life goes on.
Third apartment complex inside of two and a half years. We have a knack for picking the idyllic LOOKING ones that quickly turn to shit.

After a string of unsuccessful viewings up near City College, determined as we were to leave East Harlem we eventually settled in the no-man's-land known as upper Yorkville. Technically the border of Harlem and the UES, this was a paradise for us. Things delivered, there were (gasp) actual bars (borderline) walking distance away, and best of all, ALL OF THE ELEVATORS WORKED. Soon enough, however, we'd realize we were in another property managed by the same company. And sooner than that, some of us - namely me - would realize what a huge pain in the ass it is to live 45 minutes from everywhere you ever need to go. I need hardly tell you that October rolled around and boom... It was moving season again.

Home sweet Hell's Kitchen, where a little nomad girl can stay put for a while at last.

Which brings me to today. Moving round 4 in 3.5 years was nearly the straw that broke the camels back. Collectively, in that time, I have seen somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 apartments from the West 155th Street all the way to Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I have seen the good, the bad, the horrific, the way over-priced, the gorgeous but inconvenient, the walk through, the "but it's such a good renovation," and the dream apartments I could never have. I am, in short, basically qualified to be a real-estate broker but I'm pretty sure that to do so, you have to sell your soul to the devil. Clearly I'm not going to show you a photo of where I live now because this is the internet and I'd like not to get stalked. But give or take about a block, the above photo is where I live (not in that high rise, sadly).

My first year here did not get off to an auspicious start. After an extremely hectic but ultimately successful move in day turned pizza party turned drunken shenanigans, this went down, my roommates went home for Thanksgiving leaving me alone in a still-boxed apartment, my job took a turn for the worse, and I was left feeling... generally adrift. Though I had a new apartment in my dream neighborhood, things were not exactly going according to plan. I felt impotent, and out of control which I really hate... but I did not go shopping, a la Cher Horowitz.
This is not in New York. And so I did not go there to find sanctuary in a place where I could gather my thoughts. And no, I didn't need to look up that quote. I'm just THAT cool. It's fine, I know you're jealous.

Instead, just like any moving year... you adapt. You make a new home. And I'm proud to say that for the first time since 2009, I will be STAYING here for another year. Yep. You heard right. No boxes, no appointments, no brokers, no UHaul, no packing, no security deposits, no Ikea (actually that one's kind of a bummer). Just me, my roommates, and my first ever lease renewal. Yes, this apartment's kind of (really) small, and yes there are issues, but this time we're not cutting and running at the first sign of trouble. And besides, this neighborhood fucking rocks.

...Perhaps my relationship to my apartments could be construed as an extended metaphor with my relationship to commitment. Things to ponder for another time. Is this what adulthood feels like?

So in spite of my couchbed potato sickness day today and the generally crappy weather we've been having, I'm feeling pretty damn good about this October.

Here's to new-old beginnings.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No giving up when you're young and you want some

This post will decidedly focus more on the "madness ensues" part of this blog. It happens.

See, it all started two Wednesdays ago. What was supposed to be "go watch baseball" and have an early night turned into go watch baseball, then go to one's workplace (alllllllways a bad idea after a few drinks since it's not like you're going to end up paying for anything), decide to go home, get sidetracked by a mission for pizza, and end up in one's former local haunt. I blame the half day at work I knew I was having on Thursday.

So I'm not rock solid sure what my excuse for dance party Thursday before my Friday double shift was, but alas, c'est la vie. And then it was a baseball playoff weekend and then... well... the ball was rolling.
I blame the Giants entirely for the decline in my productivity and increase in time spent in bars.

Very little to report by way of auditions except for the Cabaret recap. I sang "You Can Always Count on Me" from City of Angels and in spite of the fact that I've literally been singing it since I was a freshman in college, I have this very bad habit of forgetting the words in audition settings. Or cabaret settings. (I'll refrain from the self aggrandizing inclusion of that video). It's embarrassing, particularly given that 3 years ago this ranked on like EVERY list of overdone songs. I think know I sang the crap out of it at Cabaret auditions, but this little kink doesn't seem to bode well for me and so it was a callback-less audition once again. Once again I was sort of pissed.

It is what it is. Had a full line-up for last Tuesday, but a last minute shift switch Monday night kept me at work until 3 am which rendered getting up at 7 DECIDEDLY out of the question. Weirdly there just hasn't been a whole lot going on, and not just because I've been less than responsible as of late. Have some appointments lined up though and throwing more things on my calendar. Focusing on trying to get Shakespeare Festival auditions as it appears to be that time of year again, and as we all know I love Shakespeare.
Idk, my bff Bill?

Friday night kicked off an eventful weekend, as I reunited with the some of my fellow NYU Cleftomaniacs alumnae (alumna? alumni? I always get confused on the pluralization of this word) and saw Pitch Perfect.
Cleftolove forever. This was taken at my senior concert - literally MOMENTS before it's taking I had been sobbing hysterically. Some of you people have sororities, all of us had acapella. The affectionate joke caption of this photo has since become Phi Beta Clefto.

Alarmingly accurate to my college experience. We all agreed.

Both the reunion and the movie were FANTASTIC. I know I sing all the time at auditions/in my apartment/under my breath at work when I get bored/with Bizarre Noir, but I miss singing in a group a lot of the time, and I really miss being a part of an acapella group sometimes. Anyway, the whole thing was decidedly dorky and fabulous, and much though I love my other friends I was glad to experience this movie with other acapella nerds. Following this was my dear friends' 25th birthday party, which degenerated into an appropriate level of shenanigans and post-mortem brunch the following day. Work, relaxation, and baseball rounded out the weekend - the Giants playing game one of the NLCS on Sunday evening.

On a whim Monday night a friend and I - while watching Giants NLCS game 2 - heard that Mika was playing a show at Webster Hall Tuesday and immediately knew we HAD to get tickets. In fitting with the acapella theme, I was introduced to Mika when we sang "Happy Ending" my freshman year - I purchased his first album that day and it became one of my most played for the next year.
Hey yo Mika - what's the big idea?

The show was AMAZING. I don't really go to a lot of concerts but of my limited experience this was BY FAR the most fun. A perfect mixture of songs from Life in Cartoon Motion, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, and the new album, The Origin of Love. Which I literally purchased on my phone as we left the concert venue. I've been on a Mika binge all day and my love of this artist is totally renewed. And I pretty much lost it when he played "Happy Ending." I tried to stop singing so I wouldn't hear myself on the video, but I kind of couldn't be contained.
Ignore me singing and the less than awesome camera work. "This is the way you left me, I'm not pretending..."

In the last two weeks I've managed to hit the gym approximately three times... epic fail. But I managed to make it today and kick my own butt a little, and I'm re-doing a week of my training plan. It's kind of nice to know that I am making strides (hah. pun not intended) even with my intermittent schedule; I'm still not the future marathoner of my dreams (hahaha. joke) but my endurance is definitely growing and I can feel myself getting stronger.

My tentative goal is to find a race to run in late November, before it gets SERIOUSLY cold in New York. I also MUST get to BDC to get a new club card so I can start dancing again.

Next week I have two A Christmas Carol auditions on the calendar (ah, October), an all-female Julius Caesar (uh. fun!), and hopefully a bunch more things besides when people start responding to my emails. In the mean time, I'll continue to try to have a balanced approach to the fun and living like an adult. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A little attitude check

Now I KNOW we've hit some kind of record. Don't keel over in shock, readers Kitty Kat. I'm updating my blog twice in a week.

Out here in audition-land, yesterday I went to the open call for Prather Entertainment Group, who do the casting for several large dinner theatres and regional theatres across the country as well as national tour producing, and an appointment for a new musical based on the music of Lady Gaga entitled Lives on the Edge.
Prather Logo looking all official and shit. Not at all intimidating.
Gaga frankly also looking a little intimdating. Am I the only person who thinks that meeting her in person might be terrifying? Like pretty cool, I guess, but also most likely terrifying.

The Prather open call proved to me that last week's good luck was short lived; I arrived at 8 am to find myself number 113 on the list. Not horrible, but also not great. Womp womp. Sat around, drank my coffee, ate my egg&cheese on an English muffin (whoops), read my book (finished The Hunger Games triology for the second time... I really need to re-read less and first time read more), and when they announced they expected to get through 40 people an hour, I decided around 10:15 that I might as well leave for my 11 am appointment.

I mosey over from Chelsea Studios to DANY Studios for my Lives on the Edge appointment, at which they'd like us to dance first.

For those of you in the know, I reeeeeally dislike that. It's not that I can't dance. It's not even that I'm not a good dancer. But I'm not a fast learner of choreography and that tends to be my downfall in an audition setting. Plus I get all in my own head about not being a "dancer" and no matter what I try to think my face just reads "oh god please tell me I'm getting all of this right and look semi-competant." Plus like dancers in their real dance clothes (okay yes, I own those) and LaDucas just intimidate me.
LaDuca character shoes, aka the musical theatre world's answer to the red soul on a Christian Louboutin. Ah, one day.

Anyway. The choreography wasn't so difficult (as the choreographer/director pointed out, if he could do it in skinny jeans we ought to have no problem) and it was to a song of Gaga's I legitimately enjoy (I have a complicated relationship to her music... in that some songs I like and am ashamed to like, some songs I unabashedly love, and some I just don't get and think are horrible and the general population seems to adore). I learned quickly by lurking through my group of 10 that we represent a myriad of skill levels, which also mellows out my dance jitteriness.

We get through it, it goes as well as can be expected, and then out of those 10, they kept 7 people. Note that I don't say "of us." Yes, dear readers, I was among the only 30% not kept. And as I watched who they did keep, there were DEFINITELY people I was better than. Womp womp.

I walked out feeling cranky and unsettled and just generally put out when I realized something... I was pissed off to have not gotten a callback. Duh, right? But hear me out. The last two weeks have been so much more about getting back on the audition wagon that the outcomes have been less important to me than the act of actually doing the auditions. My disappointment, in it's way, was refreshing - and frankly sort of a relief - because I'm starting to get over the hump and actually, you know, start really caring again.

Went back to Prather and learned that though they were collecting headshots for my group, they weren't going to see us after lunch. Genius that I am, I had left my keys at home so I returned home for a snack and a bitching session with my roommate. Went back to Prather and remembered why I shouldn't on a whim decide to sing songs in my book that I don't usually do, and was unsurprisingly not called back there either. Again. I was pissed on my way home... I was pissed all the way from 27th and 7th to 47th and 9th until it dawned on me that this should be a productive emotion. Yeah. I'm pissed off. But it means all I want to do is do better. And in a way, that's a comforting thing to know.

I didn't exactly succeed at that today, though. When my alarm went off at 7 am for the Disney Cruise Line call it just wasn't happening. I didn't sleep well and I turned my alarm off like a zombie before I even really knew what I was doing. It happens. I think they call that listening to your body. But I was in the gym by 10 am (and knocked out 5 miles between the treadmill and the elliptical) and had cleaned my whole apartment by 2:30, so we can't call today a total loss.

Tomorrow is a new day: Cabaret time at Westchester Sandbox Theatre. That disappointment thing sucks, so let's go rock it out.
I'm channeling my inner Sally Bowles as we speak. Watch out, y'all.