Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nyctophobic Nicki is scared of the dark

I see I intrigued some of my loyal readers with that little teaser...I was running out of the library to class, but I couldn't leave without a little something-something.

So, the Shunt Collective, a theater group, have a space in London Bridge, the tube/train station, and they "create" theatrical events and I was supposed to go see their latest one, "Amato Saltone" for class. I get to London Bridge and I can't find this place because I don't realise that it's actually THERE in the station, I'm thinking it's down the road or something. Then there are all these squeaky 17 year old boys trying to be all cool and yet somehow so DUMB and I'm getting a little pissed off because I don't like not knowing what's going on. I'm there by myself as well, so when one of the annoying 17 year old boys keeps looking at me, it's all I can do to stop from snapping: "Do I look like a tourist attraction? Then go to hell."

But the door (which is literally a door in a brick wall) opens and I get my ticket and a key with the number 20 on it. And the lady says, "Go on in!" And I realise that I have to walk down this long...long...LONG dark hallway underground. I almost couldn't do it. Any of you who have seen me freak out in the dark can imagine. I nearly turned around and left. Finally I managed it by steeling myself and practically sprinting from one pool of light to the next. I make it into the bar area okay, except my adrenaline is about 300 percent over the max. recommended dosage. The show was supposed to be based on a noir writer from the 50s, but I'm just confused and pissed off and hot and scared and I don't want to be there. So then we all get ushered into the penthouse, which is this room (that's underground!!! I don't care if they have projections of the skyline, it's underground!!!) and the show starts. The actors are moving among the audience, and we get divided up into two groups and move into different areas and the play is enacted around us. Normally I would be very up for this as a different theatrical experience, something I have never done, have never written, and isn't it cool to be a big city where this is possible? But all I could think about was "when are the lights going to go out?"

And then they did.

The only thing that stopped me from having a panic attack was my watch, which, despite having a broken alarm, still has an Indiglo face, so I was able to see...something. Then, all of a sudden the emergency exit sign lights up, and a stage manager comes in and tells us that it's a REAL power cut, not part of the show, and we should follow her. I didn't need to be told twice. After the crew reassured the overexcited 17 year old boys that this WASN'T part of the show, they offered us refunds. I ran out of there as fast as I could, emerging into the comforting fluorescent glare of London Bridge nearly in tears. I had to have a cup of coffee to settle myself down. That was probably as bad as anything I've ever experienced, but luckily the next day my classmates were pretty supportive--even though they asked me when I was going back to see the show. Yeah. Right.

But Friday night I went to a club called Too 2 Much in SoHo and watched a drag act which I liked much better. The gentleman's name was Justin Bond, and although he wore a skirt and makeup, he didn't make a real attempt to pretend to be a woman, and the music that they performed was amazing. his backup band was a piano, a flute and a cello, and they ROCKED OUT. I was so impressed with them--even if it was £7.50 for one cocktail. Ah, the big city.

Yesterday I met up with Melissa from home (hi Melissa! told you I'd put you in my blog) and we went out for dinner at Pret A Manager. It was so good to hear that Wisconsin accent again, don'tcha know. I had to ditch her for a couple hours to go to the National Theatre for a book launch--last year's MA students had compiled their plays into a book and we were invited to schmooze and drink free wine. Afterward though, Melissa and I went to see "the Producers" which was pretty good. I can't believe that that's the first musical I've seen and I've been here for two months! We had a great time at the show though--my only complaint was that someone needed to tell the two leads that they weren't Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and to get their own comedic timing.

So today I again met up with Melissa and Libby, who's here from Germany, and we had some nibbles and then wandered down to Buckingham Palace. I had to leave early unfortunately to come here and do some homework. .(which I'm going to do as soon as I finish this...) I'm very tired, as you might guess, and I'm also fighting a horrible, horrible sore throat which has rendered me unable to speak much above a whisper. Either that or I have to drop my voice down an octave or two which just sounds threatening. "Hi there!" Right.

O no! They just announced the library is closing in 15 minutes, which means I won't get to my homework! O well--at least I got to send a love letter to everyone. If you've sent me an email in the past couple days I've read it, but haven't responded because I'm a horrible person. Tomorrow--when I'm back at the library, grr--I'll try and catch up again.


Chris said...

Oh Nicki, I'm sorry about the dark and all, that must have absoultly sucked. I'm glad you got to meet up with people and hang out, just think in a few weeks your gonna be surrounded by wisconsin accents with all of us.

Laura said...

I'm so proud of you for surviving being underground in the dark! That sounds awful! Much more horrifing than my week which was simply shitty.
Ahh. I remember Pret a Manger...good times. Good memories.
For a sore throat soak a hankerchief or cloth scarf in cold water and tie around your throat, then tie a woolen outdoor scarf around it and go to be (and try not to strangle in your sleep.) Made my sore throat go right away!
YOu might get extra hot sleeping with a scarf on, but it works!