Deep into Sunday Evening..

A no work Sunday means “day off,” but really, is that a real thing in this city?

Well, today was a lovely day off. Slept in til 9a, ample time for Bfast/coffee/and nymag/vulture updates. Then off to YttP for the 12noon 90 min vinyasa (wherein I got the most beautiful, miraculous seated forward fold adjustment from yoga goddess chae chae), then it was a mad dash to Chinatown for my acting class with acting goddess Josie. It was chill class on my end- my scene wasn’t going up, so I just read/talked through my new scene with the class and my partner and then did a bitzy bit of monologue work. But then after class, at this point it being 5pm, I had a little dilemma (side note: I am the most indecisive person I have ever, and will ever meet. Making daily decisions and is daily struggle for me). Anyway, dilemma being…I was tired, hungry and already downtown (i.e. close to Brooklyn where I live), SO, I did NOT want to rush on UPtown to crazy, tourist laden MIDtown and take a Contemporary dance class at BDC that I said I would take, but at that moment seemed like the least thing I wanted to do. Not to mention “spending the money.” But, as one learns from 200 hours of yoga teacher training, the thing you don’t want to do, is the thing you most certainly must do. SO I trekked up to BDC and took my class, WHICH I almost walked straight out of at least 3 honest times because it was one of the hardest dance classes I’ve ever done. I thought, why the heck am I forcing myself to be here?? I’m out of my league, I’m barely getting these steps, and I’m hungry. But I stayed in the room and did the best I could, and there was this switch in the middle of class when the seemingly impossible choreo seemed possible. Not finessed, or perfect, on my part, BUT I got the steps and I was able to work on something. And I left feeling good. So when I got home, and after eating a hardwon dinner of eggs on toast, I watched this cuhRazy intense documentary , called First Position, about young ballet dancers competing in the world’s most prestigious ballet competition, the Youth American Grand Prix. I was blown away by these kids who’s drive, and ambition, and work ethic, and passion were so inspiring. There really is something to hard work and love of the craft.

 

Above was Monday in union square. After a rehearsal at CAP I had time to enjoy lunch in the park. It was the loveliest warm fall day yesterday. Too bad I had the insight to wear my winter coat.

Monday was also Celebrate Michon day! Which I guess is just a CAP21 holiday. But we celebrated it HARD Monday night, as we honored CAP’s and theatre’s living legend Michon Peacock. Don’t know her? Oh, well, here’s a few pics….:

 

 

Yup.

That’s right. That’s Michon dancing with Shirley Maclaine. Nbd.

Michon, is leaving CAP, where she was the conservatory director for I believe 13 years (she was also my adviser!), so Monday night was our chance to celebrate her with videos, stories, performances by faculty and alum, AND Michon did a song and dance number, which was just incredible to experience.

The next day saw an early morning, and two audition day, the first was my theatreworks appt for Click Clack Moo, then I rushed uptown to the Theatre Under the Stars open call- they’re doing Man of la Mancha and Camelot so of COURSE I sang I Could Have Danced all Night. How could I not when Julie Andrews is involved in any capacity. But really, any chance to be Eliza for even 30 seconds, I take it.

Where do you go from there when your two auditions are over by midday? Why you walk from 36th st to Union Square to meet one of your greatest friends, Jacob, for lunch, a biscotti and a cookie, and…..

It was phenomenal  Like really. I loved it. Buuuuut I do have some qualms, like the fact that they dropped two characters together into suuuuuuch an interesting  new and unexpected situation  and it was fun, but not fun enough towards the end. I wanted a little more from the last quarter of the movie. We got a lot, but I wanted more. because I’m very greedy.

Also, Daniel Craig is sexy.

Anyway, after salivating over our modern James Bond, I headed to BK yttp for a vinyasa double, taught by my good friend Scotty, and thennnnnn I taught the 9! Ahhh! Fist time teaching in months. I have to say I was quite nervous, but I couldn’t have been happier, after MONTHS, to say the familiar “child pose, please.” It felt good.

 

Anyway, I’m counting the days until Thanksgiving. I’m ready for a real vacation, not a pseudo hurricane holiday, but an actual family ridden, good food, old neighborhood type holiday…yummmmmmmm.

 

And from the other side of Fall, a hurricane, and a blizzard….

I’ve returned! Its certainly been a long while.

Lets just breeze through the highlights of what I’ve been doing so we can get this place up to date.. …… .

I am NOW working at the CAP21 Theatre Company and Conservatory, my Alma mater, helping to manage the front desk, deal with client bookings, and generally be around wonderful people, artists, and teachers. I couldn’t be more thrilled with this change of job, and so far it’s been wonderfulchallengingbusyandlovelyandilooooooooveit.

I took a looooooong break from teaching yoga. I like to think of it as a sabbatical, during which I plunged myself into auditioning, took acting classes, dance classes, voice classes, and of course,  lots of yoga classes (you cant keep me away). What came of my chosen sequestered immersion? Well, some awesome callback situations, got seen by lots of cds, directors, and theatres,  and had lots of exercise in auditioning, acting, singing, performing. Saw some great theatre. AND (and this is also what I had vowed to do) hung out with friends. Made lunch dates, caught up with people I hadn’t talked to in weeks. There were many exciting moments that only getting the call back can give you, and many, many down moments, that only this biz (and life) can give you. And that’s the biz (and life). and what I’ve learned is, this is my job. And its my number one. Its my career, and everything I do must contribute to that. Nooooo distractions….. Easier said than done. Especially because sleep is my number one distraction. And Downton Abbey. And Anthropology’s online catalogue.

But whats a distraction and whats a contribution? Well, I’m reading Paul Russell’s book called Acting: Make it your Business and in it, he interviews 6 working actors. The question he asks alll of them is, what advice would you give to young actors starting out. And every single one of them replied: become an interesting person. Read the newspaper, go to museums, see a movie, read a book, travel, become knowledgeable of the world, because that is what feeds your art.

Well I think that’s a great sentiment to live by. Until next time (which will be very soon;)).

Yoga time, tea time, home time

With a couple hours to spare, I’m writing from DavidsTea, doing some administrative-life work while at the same time, tasting some of the straight teas that I still haven’t made my way through. I don’t generally gravitate towards green tea or oolongs, but I do appreciate the flavor and healthiness of them. After sampling the Yun Cui- a Chinese green tea, Korean Sejak- Korean green, and High Mountain Oolong, I topped it off with a Matcha Matsu, which is an incredibly delicious green, stone powdered down, so that you are actually consuming the whole tea leaf, so its super healthy for you, and is delicious iced, baked with, mixed with smoothies. My favorite is iced with Soy and Honey. Yum yum.

 

Took and taught the yoga today, and looking forward to an evening at home, organizing my room a bit, and getting to bed early. Tomorrow, I’m going to ATTEMPT a 6:30am hot class. I think its possible. The last time I tried I was almooost successful, got myself ready and had a minute to spare, so I sat down for a minute, and dropped my head to the side, and woke up 10 min later. So now I know, just don’t sit down..

Parents are coming in this weekend which I’m stoked about. Gonna be a busy weekend. Hopefully the weather is nice and warm.

Happy Thursday!

Good people, good places

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That, friends, is officially my old neighborhood. During that manic day when I was packing like crazy, I needed an escape from my hurricane of a room, so I took a run on my favorite route around the Central Park Reservoir. It gives you GORgeous views of the city skyline, and especially in the late afternoon light, it was simply a glorious moment. Kept having to stop to take pictures. Now I just have to find a new route in Prospect Park!

Things have continued to be busy, surprise surprise. But I am so thankful to have been able to dedicate needed hang out time with friends. Last Sunday was my best friend, Su’s, birthday, and we celebrated at this very friendly and trendy rum bar where they serve you giant bowls of rum, mixed with fruit and other such garnishes. THEN, I got to spend Monday night with another good friend- saw Cabin in the Woods (um, cuhRAzy…), and ventured to Williamsburg to see my friends’ band Dirty Chai play a gig at Spike Hill. The show was incredible. I do have the most talented friends. Like, beyond talented. Watch this clip of them performing their original song, Set me on Fire. Loooove.

Tonight, I am heading to the studio, then off for a drink with some very beautiful yogis. I’ll sign off with a couple pics from last week’s mat cleaning, which wasn’t so much a mat cleaning, as a giant, loving, fun yoga party. ❤

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The Sacredness of Space

Another weekend has past, and since last Saturday was my mom’s birthday, how could I not spend it in Baltimore??

Went home Friday night, spent all day with Mom, shopping and nails- the essential birthday activities, had a lovely dinner with the whole family, and topped off the night with two pieces of cake and a couple episodes of House Hunters. Left the next day, and after 4 hours of riding through rain, made it to my East Side Home. A short, but sweet trip.

There’s that skyline, albeit a fuzzy one..

After unpacking a bit, I made it to YttP for our famous Sunday night candlelit class and stayed to help close. I’ve closed the studio quite a few times, with duties that include swiffering and steaming floors, cleaning bathrooms, spray/lay out mats, etc etc, and I have to say, it’s taught me so much about the sacredness of space. How to treat a space with respect and in a sense, thank the space for the home and safety it provides. And you clean the space, not just for yourself because you live and work in it, or for the others who use the space, but because good things happen there, and how we treat our space should honor that.

Same goes for the places we call home, my Baltimore, my NYC, a rehearsal space, the theatre, my tea shop. Places we live, breathe, and work, and where good things happen, and which should be maintained with respect and care.

Now off to take the hot, teach the vinyasa, then finally return to the tea shop!

Yoga to the Tuesday

So in honor of being officially back in the city, I jumped right into my yoga pool, taking and teaching. My first scheduled class actually ended up being a tandem with a teacher trainer, which means someone in the tt program (the thing I did last fall), taught the class, and I was there to observe and jump in to take over the class if needed, and then give notes after class. I actually did pull my tt out, which I was going a little back and forth about while I was watching, but there was that moment when I realized, yes, it’s time to jump in. We had a very good chat afterwards though, and I was inspired by how much my tt cared and wanted this, and it felt good to talk it out with her, get on the same page. Graduation for them is in two weeks!

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Had to snap this^ on my way to the St. Marks studio. I’ve spent a lot of time the past couple days at 38th st and the BK studio, but St. Marks will always feel like home.

Today I had couple hours between classes to chill, so spent it in Madison Square Park.

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It was a beyond gorgeous day out. I feel lucky to have come home to such a green and pretty New York.

I was worried after coming back that my classes would feel foreign, BUT they were actually feeling quite fresh and organic. Kind like coming back to the show after spending a few days off, new things opened up, an easiness in manner started to establish itself, and confidence was starting to build. I still said certain things kind of weird, and called hands feet once, but bodies were moved and people found their yoga. I do find myself in awe of my students every class- watching people find their chair poses, find their edge, and make the choice to breath into it, and stay in it longer than they thought they could. Or traveling through their one breath, one movement, when I see faces soften and peace start to creep in and settle.Or when I finally get everyone in the room to let out a great, big h-a sigh of relief. I feel continually blessed that I get to call myself a yoga instructor. YttP!

…Meanwhile….

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What could the facade of THIS building be? Could it be….my new apartment??

Why, YES, it IS in fact. That’s right, second floor of this baby is the new home of myself and my two new roommates, Josh and Mike.

Pictures of the inside to come…

Into the weekend..

That little bugger interrupted my jaunt today through the streets of Cohoes. I always hope that a train will come by when I’m by the tracks, so I was quite excited when I saw it coming. The conductor gave me a little wave as he went by, and then I fell in love with him. But I think he was, like, 70, so that’s awkward.

So something that I MUST share: CAP21 alum Carrie Manolakos, who did Summer Stock NYC with me a couple years back, had a gig the other night at  Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village which I had to miss. THIS video of her cover of Creep just surfaced and I can’t stop watching it. She is UNbelievable. Her voice is effortless and her talent is just unreal. It’s such a moving rendition:

Two show day tomorrow and closing on Sunday! Here’s to hoping my fake eyelashes last through then…

Back to the Boulevard

We have returned! Went on a beautiful drive today to Cohoes, with Josh, Joshua, and Melissa. And of course, after 20 min in, we needed a rest stop for food  and coffee. We’re actors and we need fuel, man.

Got into town around 3:30, and after a spot of yoga, walked down the hill with Catherine for our brush-up rehearsal, then a nice loooong break, so I could warm up, zone in, and make my potion:

Yes that’s pineapple juice in that blue water bottle. Plus honey, a fresh tea bag of pu’erh ginger tea, and my heavy duty thermos. Just add hot water, and magic happens.

Returning to the show tonight, everything seemed very fresh and new. I think this is the type of show that just grows with every performance. And especially after being away for a few days, I felt more of a playful atmosphere onstage. And this is a play, after all. Looking forward to our next show to see if any of our new choices stick or if anything else new finds itself!

Side note: every Wednesday, before midnight, we have to send in our availability to YttP to teach the following week, and yesterday was the first Wednesday in about a month that I was able to send mine in! Yay! Coming back to city Sunday night, so it shall be time to resume my yoga instructor mantle and mold some downward dogs again.

All days end should end with TEA

Well today was FILLED. But not with that very ambitious plan I laid out yesterday.

Morning Pages happened which was good and very needed, but challenging this morning. I think the fact that they were challenging meant they were even more needed.

Afterwards, I skipped down to BK to look at some Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush Gardens places. I’ll have updates on that front hopefully soon….

Needless to say, I finished up around 4p and with no where to really drop my stuff, run in Prospect Park didn’t happen. Instead I went up to DavidsTea (aka the tea shop I work at on the Upper East Side) because One, I wanted to time my commute from BK, Two, I needed to stock up on tea, and Three, most importantly, I wanted to have a nice visit with all those beautiful people who work there.

I determined that it was a 30min train ride, so giving myself 10 min to catch the train, and ten to walk from train stop and clock in, it’s a 50min commute. And THAT is pretty acceptable in my book. (Determined that to Union Square, it’s a 25min ride, so tacking on that 20 ((which I think it overestimating a bit)), it’s 45min to YttP St. Marks. I’ll buy that.)

DavidsTea was beautiful, as always. We got a new tea in called Birthday Cake, which Laura immediately brewed a perfect cup of for me.

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It was. Delicious. It smells like cake frosting, tastes velvety and lightly sweet, with sort of a mocha vibe. The base is a Roobois, which is a South African red tea, naturally non-caffeinated, good for your skin, and abnormally hydrating. The blend includes honeybush, sprinkles (yes, sprinkles), and ice cream bits (yes, “bits”).

Looks like this! vv

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Picked up some more Pu’erh Ginger tea for myself. I love drinking it before, during, and after a show because it works so well to lubricate and soothe my throat so I don’t get vocally tired. I brew it in my steeper for a minute, add a splash of pineapple juice, steep it 3-4 more minutes, add a drop of honey, pour in my little travel thermos, and enjoyyyy foreverrrrr.

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Tonight was ginger tea mug time though, with a little Mad Men and sushi thrown in. Leaving tommorrow with Josh, Ruthie, and Melissa to return to Cohoes for our final weekend. It’s the home stretch! I’m not ready for it to end yet!:(  Must soak it all up.

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