Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The sun shines bright here but I'm already sick for the mountains...

My response to pretty scenery is strong enough to land me there for good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Central Time Livin'

My emotions are mixed as the last days of my time in here in The Great Midwest near. It's been real. It's been flat. It's been real flat.

The towns we've visited have reminded me of home in an indirect kind of way; that small-town hosptitality, forever questionable in its sincerity...just with a different accent. Well let's be real, a different language.

We're currently finishing up in Milbank, a town that has hosted MCT for almost thirty years. Jim Caron has been here, as has Michael McGill... a little daunting to a "new veteran" like lil' 'ol me. We have two Friday shows, which is usually a sugary sweet treat. Friday shows=Free Saturdays=Exploring Day for Jes. This week I feel like maybe we're just not ready. Maybe it's because we had such a nearly flawless week last week, but I hate feeling like I've sold the kids short, or worse, rushed them. I remember that about being a kid, I hated being rushed when I was having fun. These kids are also pretty competitive with each other, which I don't remember about being under twelve. Jealousy's a disease for silly old people in bad relationships, not kids.

In the end, it all falls together.

So I've been in the Real World for almost six months now, and I feel like I've not been working really, but dillydallying. Like, there's a huge project or dissertation due at the end of all this, and I haven't started.


Sometimes I feel like I need pretty scenery to breathe. That's dramatic.

Sometimes I feel like I need pretty scenery to be happy.

On average, how many times do we fart a day? 14.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Back in Mazowla...from Faaahhhrgoh

Our week in Fargo was full of thrills, chills, and exciting adventure!!! A constant party, really..

Just kidding.

We worked with our youngest cast yet,the oldest were our two eleven-year-olds. and it made for a keerrraaazzzzyy week. It was like... a toddling version of The Little Mermaid. I was also groped by a five year old. Gracious me.

MazowlaMissoula was funsies, a week full of laughs, beer, and candy. I needed that bad. I was reminded of how terrible I am at office work. Good to know. It was great to see my birthday buddy and Mallory, and to see Kim, Dylan and Don. I also had a great Halloween. Pizza..... pizza.

Mostly, though, I was completely content in the middle of the Western mountains. I think I might be meant to end up there. The pretentious hippies might annoy me, but the mountains would keep me there...me and my dog...and my porch...and my batch of snickerdoodles.

We're currently in Oakes, ND, having a week that rivals some of our best. The kids are talented, smart, and nice. They're actually fake.

But really, our homestay is wonderful. we're provided dinner each evening, and the show is golden. I'm a happy girl. A happy, hungry girl. A happy, hungry girl who's about to be on the radio!

We're in

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lebanon, Indiana has been one of those weeks that requires a constant smile and graciousness. It seemed like there wasn't time to just BE. This is good though, after being off for so long, I needed a trying week to snap me back into the groove of things.

We stayed with an absolutely lovely 83-year-old woman who made sure we had everything we needed, fed us, and treated us like her own. She has hosted many exchange students, Up With People members, and even random travellers. She LOVES to have guests, which became immediately apparent when upon our arrival she gave us each hugs and a "Welcome, honey." She has lived alone for over twenty years, and being around her helped me to develop a whole new respect for being alone, something I've been struggling with for the duration of my time with MCT. I'm normally a solitude monger, and I'm slowly relearning how to be good at being alone.

The time I spend actually working helps. I love my job:)

Monday auditions were interesting; we had our first dealings with kid bodily fluids. Everything was going relatively well, we weren't having trouble casting, and were ahead of schedule. Then I am called, "Jen? I mean...Jes? I had an accident...I didn't know it was coming!" She had a small puddle around her, and was soaked. I asked her quietly who her parent was, who, once addressed, had come prepared with an extra pair of pantalones. God bless discussion topics.

Sometimes, when I'm teaching, and I have a group of adolescent eye-rollers, I have to remind myself that this isn't everyone's passion, as it is mine. This week tested my ability to do just that. It was a difficult week, but was made better by the fact that by the end of the week, the eye-rollers were the cast members most determined to work together and put on a great show. I don't know when they started to care...maybe they did all along, it just took an outside source to make it okay for them to care. I think I remember that about being thirteen...

Another week off. I'm at home to get my braces adjusted. The kids think my braces are cool. I think they're cool, too. My bling.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Allow me to abbreviate a potentially long introduction to my new blog; I've decided to chronicle my travels.

I knew the first week back on the road seemed too easy...

After a two day drive from Gainesville, Florida, with a stop to pick up Kristin in Chicago, we arrived in Calumet, Michigan, our first residency of the Fall tour. We were met by cold and rainy conditions, specific to Calumet's October. They call it the "grey season." Having been in 95 degree weather just two days before, I allowed myself one big violent shiver, and then began to enjoy the autumnal weather. I started to really dig the idea of a traditional Fall. The vibrant foliage on our way up made the weather-shock much easier to deal with...so did the super cozy Oak Street Inn where we are staying...so did all the pumpkins everywhere:).

Calumet is a wee town (technically a village) in the Keeweenaw peninsula. Look it up on a map. Its placement is what we call in North Florida "Reeeaaalll Nawth." It's an old copper-mining town with lots of underlying history. Everything is brick with green trim. Even the streets! While it is one of the most quaint places I've ever visited, there's a certain sadness to the town that greets me when I wake up here and before I retire here. Everything in Calumet has a slightly chapped look to it, as if Lake Michigan has thrown too many harsh Winters its way.

Despite the melancholy atmosphere, this place is absolutely beautiful. If you head ten minutes north from here, you will run into Buckie's Beach, which offers an incredible and up close view of Lake Michigan. The waves are giganto and the rocks are colorful and smooth and the trees (right on the beach) are flashing their oranges and reds and yellows...trying to show up the Lake itself.

The kids this week make life easy...or they did. The first half of the week went as planned, with auditions going smoothly (even though we had to cut more then half of the kids that showed up) and super-productive rehearsals. This is a cast full of kids who are ready to work.

Then something happened that shook the entire cast and crew; a racist comment from one 8-year-old to another. Basically, one of our kids is ESL, and he and his family just moved to Calumet. The offending 8-year-old declared that said ESL 8-year-old shouldn't be in the play "because he's not an American." He threw out some other vindictive comments later. The bigotry continued throughout the evening, all stemming from this child who somehow thought that there was nothing wrong with what he was saying. Let me remind you, he is only 8 years old. The victim of the intolerance is the younger brother of one of our assistant directors, who was very upset by the whole situation, and who also got some of the heat from the offending 8-year-old. The little boy's negative energy effected each and every cast member, and rehearsal, once efficient and on schedule, turned into an unfocused mess.We are still in the process of dealing with this situation, one that I lost sleep over last night. As hurtful as his comments were, I can't help but feel that this may be one of the only positive experiences he has, and that to take it away from him would only further instill his obvious anger towards others. He's 8 years old...were his words cognitively formulated or was he simply repeating something he had heard from another source? And then there is the victim of his apparent hatred..also only 8 years old, and completely undeserving of this. After talking to his mother, we realized the kid's comments were completely uncharacteristic. Still, it came from somewhere, and no 8 year old should have those kinds of comments in their heads. I know he's a good kid.

Either way, the show must go on.