Friday, March 31, 2006

teo torriate

In the great debate of A Day at the Races versus A Night at the Opera, ADATR is winning out, even though ANATO has the groundbreaking "Bohemian Rhapsody." ADATR is just stronger musically and lyrically it is astonishing--you can tell that this was written after Queen's Japanese tour, because the words are so much more evocative and beautiful. And this album is just completely capturing my mood right now. The one song on here that seems to be kind of weird is "White Man" which I can neatly bypass on iTunes, so even that's not so much of a problem. The first song I ever learned to play on guitar is on this album: "You know, I never could foresee the future years. I never could see where life was leading me. But will we be together? Forever? What will be, my love, I just don't know...don't know." Good memories.

In other news, there are riots in Paris again. This time it is disenchanted students who are protesting a new law that lets employers fire people under 25 within two years of hiring them with no reason and no severance package. What makes this protest interesting is that leading it are kids who are 17-19: high schoolers, essentially, who are fighting for their rights once they get out of college. They are, according to all I've been reading, incredibly well-organised, and have a specific goal in mind. This is opposed to the riots from last fall, which was mostly a cry for recognition and help from minorities who have been consistently shut out of jobs, education, etc. These new riots are for middle to upper class people (kids who are planning on going to university) to be treated fairly in their career-type jobs. Which is interesting. I mean, if I lost my job at 26 with no reason, sure I'd be mad, but I would probably say "Better me than the 32 year old with two kids." What strikes me the most about these riots is how young the protesters are, and how organised they are. I mean, I know the French have protesting down to a science, but schools all over the country are being shut down due to strikes. Could you imagine something like that happening in the states? If we could convince, say, half of the high schools and universities in the US to strike or boycott until the minimum wage was raised or teachers were given better working conditions--or anything, really--the whole country would come to a standstill. It would be amazing.

Unfortunately, the 17 year old spokesperson for the new revolution says that the earlier protests are starting up again, and this is diluting the strength of the nonviolent sit-ins, building takeovers, strikes and hunger strikes. Protesters with no interest in the new law are burning cars, repeating earlier demands that the minister of the interior be sacked. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'd kind of like to go to Paris and watch, but I don't have the time right now. It would be interesting to talk to some of these kids and hear what they have to say. I don't know why I feel this way about these protesters and not the earlier set, except maybe I feel like I could talk with people who are organised as opposed to people who are indiscriminately burning cars.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

honey, put your troubles in a suitcase...

I wish I could recommend Sheffield as a holiday destination but...I can't. I arrived Tuesday at about one-fifteen, only to discover the woman who's B&B I was staying at was out. Her daughter seemed nice and offered me a cup of tea (she had no idea what room I was in) which I accepted...until I sipped it and tasted soap. As in, "this wasn't rinsed out very well..." Then, as I was sitting there in the EXTREMELY MESSY and DIRTY living room--the family part of the house, not the guest part--I started playing with the little kitten. I forgot that I'm actually allergic to cats until the little scratches she gave me started to puff up like mosquito bites, at which point I started wondering if I should seek elsewhere for lodging. The answer became a glaringly obvious YES!!! when I looked over and saw Kitty having an accident on the daybed where I was sitting. The woman seemed a little surly and uncooperative when I asked her to call me a taxi...can't imagine why...well, I booked it out of there and ended up staying at the Priory House Lodge, which I am more than happy to recommend. My en suite room was clean, the hostess didn't offer me tea, and best of all--they had a big dog named Charlie. :)

With that start to the festivities, it was no surprize I venutured out that night considerably depressed. I did a little window shopping (I had no heart to buy! That's how down I was!) and ate a Weatherspoon's before heading to the theatre. You'll remember the whole reason I was in Sheffield was to see "Assassins" for my essay. I had also arranged to interview the music director afterward. The Crucible Theatre is a beautiful facility--it actually reminded me quite a bit of North Shore--it's part of a several building complex where they do all kinds of different shows. "Assassins" was amazing to see live. I understood the show better than I ever had before, and had several insights into the text while I was sitting there. My favourite moment had to be when John Wilkes Booth tells Lee Harvey Oswald: "Now, I am an actor, and I am a good actor--" and you could hear every bad review he'd ever had in his voice. Nice. David Shrubsole, the music director, was very intelligent. He offered a lot about this particular production, as well as what he felt the show had to say about American society in general. I think he was a little surprized though when I told him that I didn't belive in Booth's shoes. Too modern.

Wednesday I had to get up so I could get breakfast. (I love English bacon. It's so much greasier than American bacon--the rasher I had this morning was literally pooling with grease, and the eggs are cooked in oil or butter or something, and they serve it to you on a plate singing, "Screw you arteries! Ah-ha!" Too much grease? Soak it up with your bread, Yankee.) Then I locked myself in my room, drank six cups of coffee and wrote my essay. Well, the first draft anyway--but it's all there. Hurray for writing vacations. Afterward I rewarded myself with a shower, naked naptime and some TV. I've forgotten how to watch TV. When I got back from the show last night I put on some music, opened a book, and it was only when I looked up ten minutes later that I remembered that--hey! I could turn my brain OFF for awhile! (by the way--the British comedy "Green Wing" is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. Like "Scrubs." But British. And therefore better.)

I went to see "Assassins" again last night...after talking with Mr. Shrubsole the show resonated even more. As I was standing in line to go into the theatre, I suddenly realised I was standing next to...John Wilkes Booth. The Slate I had consumed ordered me to say something to him. So, as politely as I could, I said, "Break a leg tonight, Mr. Booth." Which is FUNNY because during the course of the show, the character ACTUALLY DOES BREAK HIS LEG. He looked a little surprized, but he bowed genially and gestured for me to go ahead of him into the theatre. Which he would, because he is a Southern gentlemen, and even if they do have a penchant for assassination, that's the best kind. All of the assassins entered with the audience, which meant they were literally pulled from out of our ranks, reinforcing the idea that anyone can grow up to shoot the president. (all of which, by the way, made it into my notes--which I had to scribble on the back of my hand from the front row as the actors were looking at me curiously.)

Then today was the black hole of sucky train traveling. I can respect that London is a big confusing city, but if you have a group of nineteen people, only none of whom speak English, do NOT stop on the stairs when I am coming behind you with my suitcase and discuss loudly whether or not this is the right platform. I'm so glad to be back. I mean, I'm glad that I went and saw the show (and got a dog fix!) but honestly, right now it just seems like a big hassle. I suppose I'll feel differently tomorrow when I go back and look over the glorious 4,000 words that I managed to bang out, but then's good to be back.

PS: While I was gone, Angus posted some pics of the here it is, the moment you've all been waiting for: the duct-tape corset. Mom, if you don't want to print this one out and show Grandma...I'll understand. :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm leaving

The only reason I'm updating at the unholy hour of 8:42 is because I'm off to catch a train to Sheffield to see "Assassins" and write my essay. See you all in a couple days.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Unlikely Weather

Yesterday I was suffering from the triple sow-cow of depression: post show crash + hangover + crappy English weather. Astonishingly enough, even though it's been sunny lately, the temperature has been freezing, but then it turned warm...and rainy. Most of my flatmates left for Ireland, so it's been the Lisas, Alison and I. We decided to have ice-cream and "The Village" to celebrate not being cool enough to be invited to Ireland and also to distract me from the show being over. Until I remembered that Tommy Gnosis is also in "The Village" and he has a line "They are wicked towns full of wicked people" and I'm sorry, Mr. Shamalyan, but I burst out laughing, completely ruining the tension of the scene. I was not alone in my mirth, however, because when the creatures appeared later, Alision had to say: "If you behave, I may let you shave my back" and suddenly this movie was a lot less scary than it had been. But then again, if you get a roomful of girls watching movies in their pjs and eating ice-cream, what do you expect?

Friday's show went really well. It was a theatre crowd, who were less responsive than Wednesday, but they were more receptive to the dramatic elements of the show. Seeing it out front as opposed to listening to it from the back was nerve-wracking! But exciting. My professor, John, was there, and he had positive things to say about it. I was really grateful he could come and see my work--and give me feedback. The company is already talking about taking the show on the road. Nice thing about living in London--you can do a week of shows and never leave Zone 1. I have about a dozen things I want to work on in rehearsals. Here's a chance you almost never get: getting to see a show, hear the feedback, and then work it some more so that it becomes more polished. I mean, we spent all this money on the wig--might as well, right?

After the show everyone went to the local tavern where we sat around drinking and rehashing the show. I had a great time--there was a DJ there, so I even got to dance (nickilovesdancing) which was great until some guy came up and Tommy Specked me without so much as a handshake. I pushed him away, and when he tried to apologise he BURNED ME WITH HIS CIGARETTE. Even that wasn't enough to get him to leave me alone--luckily I was surrounded by my beautiful girlfriends who managed to get between us. Honestly. It's hard being this hot.

Then this morning I slept for twelve hours--well, thirteen if you count the time change--and I was awoken by a frantic pounding at my door. I stumbled out of bed, threw open the door and there, leaning the doorframe, wide-eyed, hair askew, lit ciggy in one hand stood Roger. My muse. I looked at him blearily and he said, "Come on! We've got writing to do!" and I said, "Whoa, hang on, you've been gone for the past four weeks, and now you just show up and expect me to write?" and he said, "Me? What about you? You've been spending all your time with that stupid show--" and we got into a huge shouting match right there in the hallway about who abandonded who. Luckily we both managed to realise how selfish we'd been and make up, and we went to a coffee shop for a couple of hours. I sat there and typed while he whispered stage directions into my ear. It's so nice to be back together again.

Now, though, I'm back in my room. Roger's gone off again, and I'm busy sending out emails and thinking about the things we need to do to tour Hedwig. I think I might actually cook dinner tonight, seeing as how I have enough time--went shopping yesterday (nothing like shopping with a hangover! in the rain!!! whose idea was this?!?) and I kept putting fresh fruit and veg in my cart, saying with delight: "aha! Now I will have time to cook, instead of having to throw away all the food I bought because I've been so busy!"

Also, I had to sign up for a MySpace account so I could check out the Goldsmith's Musical Society one. It's at Check it out--I stole the song "Just Like the Movies" from our musical director, Matt Winkworth and put it up because it's an amazing song and I can't get it out of my head. And meet Haribo--click on the dog biscuits and then click them up in the air and he'll jump for them. I finally got a puppy! Woohoo!

(edit!! One of the members of the Angry Inch just posted a little clip from our show on the myspace site. See it at

Saturday, March 25, 2006

this business that we call show

l to r: Angus (Hedwig), Stu (drums), Antoin (bass), Emma (Yitzhak), Matt (musical director), Mandi (rhythm guitar)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lift Up Your Hands!!!

It feels very weird to be typing this at 1923 at night, (shouldn't I be in rehearsal?) but after the day we had yesterday, we needed a break! We started off rehearsing in the afternoon, which went much better than the day before. I think it was because we were used to the ridiculously small space--plus there was the added pressure of knowing we were going to do this for keeps last night. We managed to run act two and it went incredibly well. So here's me sighing a sigh of relief. Then we packed it in and headed back to campus--I have been carrying around the Hed-wig on it's foam head back and forth for the last three days, and getting a lot of weird looks. Of course, that was nothing compared to the costume designer who was holding out a still wet fur coat--we forgot to splash the paint on it until four hours before the show. (note: real paint, fake fur. if anyone knows what we can do with a fake fur coat that has paint on it, let me know...)

Then, THE SHOW. We performed in the student union last night, which was a little scary. The union people had to set up all the equipment, and then the soundcheck took forever. It was nearly seven before I got Angus into makeup and almost quarter to before I got Emma's beard on. Then I almost had a heart attack because when I went out to look at the stage, the table was in the wrong spot, props were missing, and the aforementioned fur coat was hanging over the back of the chair--completely spoiling the gag since the audience was already there! Ah, the thrill of the live performance. I actually didn't see the show last night since I was stuck up behind the projection screen doing quick changes. (for some reason my classmates think the idea of me stripping Angus out of his garters is incredibly funny, which they indicated by giggling like little schoolgirls. Clearly they have never been backstage, fumbling for a bra strap in the dark while...oh, never mind.) I could hear it all, of course, from the applause and cheering for Angus' entrance, to the breathless silence when he finally put everything on the line for love. Being able to sit behind the screen did have one advantage--I could rock out as hard as I wanted, which included me flipping my hair around for "Exquisite Corpse." (oh, I forgot to mention--I got to step in and sing Tuesday when we were rehearsing. So I got to sing "Exquisite" with the full band, screaming into the mike. Highlight of the day.) The show sounded incredible, and from what I looked that way as well. I knew that some of my roommates would be there, but I was pleasantly surprised when two of my classmates turned up as well--and Greta! the lone representative from home. I'm so glad she braved New Cross to come and see it. :) Hopefully she'll have a review from out front soon. This is how I know the show went well--everyone from Alison the diehard Hed-head to roommates who have never heard of Hedwig before liked it. We did it. We really did it. I feel so proud.

After the show we had to hurry and pack everything away--I will say one thing about the show, it's nice to be able to stow all the costumes in one bag--so the union could turn into a club. It was too loud for a proper afters party, plus I had was majorly crashing. For some reason, running on pure adrenaline will do that to you. Liza, Alison and I got home about midnight-thirty, then we had to rehash all the moments of the show. I wanted to hear about how it looked--from Yitzhak's grand entrance as a drag queen to Angus squashing tomato all over the band to Matt's guitar string breaking and delaying the start of "Midnight Radio." And then I, exhausted, fell into bed and slept the sleep of the dead...until I had to get up at 8 to go strike amps from the student union offices. Ah, the life of a stage hand.

Today I had classes all day. I know, right?!?! Classes?!?! How can I go to classes?!? But it's also--whoo hoo!! the last day of the semester. So I had six hours of classes (after a coffee with Matt, Holly--producers-- and Stu, the drummer) then a pint, and now I'm home doing domestic things like laundry, vacumming, updating my blog and wondering where the hell Tommy's silver paint has got to. It's got to be in here somewhere. I finally found my script which was missing for two weeks--turns out it was inside my writing binder. I also had to wash Hedwig's black bra..."Why are there tomato pips clogging up your sink?" "Ummm..." (don't worry, I didn't put it in the dryer.) It's very strange to think that in twenty four hours we'll be performing the show again, and then that will be it. Plans are already afoot to tour...but I think for tonight I'm going to stay in with a nice big cup of TEA.

Liza wrote a review for her online magazine, if you'd like to read what it was like to be out front, check out:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

happy birthday, Sam!

I'm pretty sure I'm late, but many happy returns to our favourite costume designer!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The quiet time of night

I know what you're thinking: Darling, if you're so tired, why not just go to bed? Because I've always found writing to be relaxing. After I get done typing this up I'm going to write in my journal. The muse hasn't been banging down my door lately, so creative works have dried up (temporarily) but I can always write about myself.

Today we had a rehearsal in an incredibly small room. I'm nervous we haven't really run anything in time yet, but then again, if there's one show that would benefit MORE from less tech, it's Hedwig. I have faith. Mel, the person who designed/is running the projections, has been coming, so that's the only major tech thing. Because we couldn't get a door for Hedwig to listen to Tommy through, we're having him "webcasting" and putting my computer up onstage. Just because I like to make Angus nervous about slamming the lid down. (obviously--it still works. Macs RULE.) After rehearsal I went over to the producer's house for a cup of tea which was great. Just detoxing in a domestic environment. I wish we had a living room here. I really miss being able to slouch down on the sofa and watch CSI Miami. Then I had to come home and restyle the wig because it got shaken loose--better now than tomorrow night, Angus--and this time the styling only took me 40 minutes and one Lisa. I seem to recall a certain lecture: "If you lose your wig onstage, there's no recovery..." I have been doing an incredible amount of work for this show, but for some reason I'm not bitter about it. It just seems to fall naturally to me. Goldsmiths does not do practical shows--if you are a performance or design major, you will not be in a show/have a design realised unless you set it up yourself. Which is weird. And the Musical Society was started by a composition major! So to have a full-blooded theatre person come in and say, "right, we're running that costume change again" has been a bit startling, I dare say. :) But I really cut my teeth as a stage manager for Ken Risch for "the Elephant Man" and watching him has influenced me to this day. He was the same way--just doing things when they needed to get done, like ordering props or putting his foot down about the designs. I am trying to do my best, but sometimes I feel like I'm getting distracted from the show. Right now, when the cast needs me most, I am inundated with distractions like programs, front of house, etc, and all I want to do is order actors around. So tonight I have everything set: Wig, styled. Makeup, ready to go. Props, bagged. And I'm going to go to bed! Before midnight...I have to be upbeat tomorrow, so I can transfer my energy to the stage. That's another thing I've learned from working shows: just being there can influence how a show can go. So tomorrow my focus is on the production. I have to let the details go, because there are more important things to worry about right now.

Like, have the tomatoes I bought going to be too big?

See, practical questions...

Monday, March 20, 2006

new hair

As promised. Now for some soup and a peanut butter sandwich.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's a shame you went and destroyed the door

I told you it was, just kidding, of course this is me practising Yitzhak's makeup. Yitzhak is played by a woman, so he really needs to have a beard...this is why I do makeup trials, because now I know that I need to make everything darker--I wasn't thinking, yesterday when I was getting my hair cut to save some of the darker pieces. Oh well. I'll just magic marker some of the hair I bought...

I'm not putting a real picture of myself up today because I am scrubby. Sarah-Hed and I spent six hours yesterday sewing on costumes. Thank GOD we had a sewing machine, because otherwise we'd be there still. I think my favourite piece is a corset that I made out of gaff tape. Sarah-Hed wanted a corset, but we had no budget for it...but we had a budget for three rolls of tape. tada! Now all we need is a string to hold it together and it's a fabulous, cheaply made costume. How perfect.

I can't believe that this is the last week of the semester. I feel like I've been working harder than I ever have before--after I finish this I have to do my homework for musical class--and then next week when we don't have classes I'm going to see Assassins so I can write my essay. I have all the research and reading ready to go, I just need to write the damn thing.

Also, do you-all remember me ranting about a play called "My Name is Rachel Corrie" about an American girl in Palestine? I really liked the play, which was going to be transferred to New York this spring. But now the theatre that is putting it on has "postponed it indefinitely" which means, basically, they cancelled it because they were afraid of offending people--Rachel has a very pro-Palestine stance, but she differentiates between the Israeli governement and the Jewish people. The theatre which was due to put it on released a statement saying they had made the decision after conferring with several community and Jewish groups. Which brings up an interesting argument: here in Britain this play was government-subsidised (there is an organisation here called ArtsCouncil which gives out grants to theatres and theatre companies so they can put on work. This means theatres here aren't wholly reliant on box-office takes. so you can do things that are more challenging. The National Theatre, for example, is 70% subsidised.) and in America, where theatres are SO reliant on appeal of plays, they can legitimately say that this show will not be performed simply because it won't sell. Even if there are larger political motivators at work.

Anyway, of course the theatre community is up in alls--and there is a call for short plays dealing with the censorship and freedom of speech issues surrounding this play. So I'm trying to think of something I could bring to a conversation. I feel I have kind of a unique angle on this, since I have seen the play in England as an America, interviewed the "author" and written a thesis on it.

--ooh, that reminds me, I finally got my essay back. B! Go me!

Right. Back to Hedwig. Next up: styling THE WIG.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The traditional St. Patricks Day After

I wasn't even celebrating St. Patrick's day...just the fact I made it through a long week. The Hedwig team went out yesterday for a pint and, well, long story short, let's just say I'm talking very quietly today. But I had a great time. It was so nice to have a little fun for a change. I went to yoga yesterday for the first time in about a month, which felt really good. I hadn't realised how much I missed it! Then on the way home I stopped at a hairdresser's place and got my hair cut and dyed. It's amazingly different, but I love it. I'll have to post a picture as soon as I get my camera batteries charged. I'm off now to work on the costumes with Sarah-Hed, so I'll update more later.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Monday, March 13, 2006

into the ether

I'm very sad to think that Hedwig is going to be over in a week and a half. It crept up on us all suddenly, so we find ourselves in the last haul. I have meetings all afternoon tomorrow up until rehearsal, and I volunteered to sew Hedwig's (pink!) satin robe for the beginning of "Wig in a Box." Lest you think I am a picture of housewife domesticity, I did most of it while Lisa and I watched "Boogie Nights." Am debating taking it to school tomorrow to wow my classmates with my sewing skills again. It's been so much fun working on a show again. I was thinking about doing one this summer--drama in this school is a right pain in the a££, but as long as produciton values are low, you can get away with anything. I'm just thinking how all of the people I have come to know and befriend through the experience are going to melt away in the ether again, and scheming about how to keep working together. There's nothing like a show to for making friends.

"Don't worry, it'll happen. It always does."
"How?! How does it always happen?!"
"I don't know, it's a mystery."
--Shakespeare in Love

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Suddenly routine...

Lest you think I spend all my time pondering weighty political issues, after I posted that I went out shopping with my roommate Lisa. I had a tax refund to spend, and a need for undergarments without cartoons on them. We did Oxford Street, which is the heart of Consumer-Land. After awhile it became kind of a running joke: look at this bag of consumer goods which I have just purchased! Oh, this bag of consumer goods is becoming heavy! (In my defence, I did not buy nine handbags, like some lady who was in the Guardian last week) I found a new pair of jeans, a new top and some unmentionables...I nearly bought a pair with some cherries on them until Lisa SLAPPED them out of my hand and reminded me I wasn't looking for cartoons, remember? Anywho, while we were walking down the street--or should I say, being carried along in the human flood of people--I suddenly spotted a fruit vendor and bought a small sack of dates to munch on whilst we walked. And I was struck by how this seemed perfectly normal. That now I know what a date is, that I think it is a delicious treat, and that I am able to buy them on the street, whearas a year ago they were weird expensive things in the supermarket. Look at me, I'm a city girl. Pffft. :)

Also, check out this flash cartoon...I can't remember if I put it up or not, but it perfectly expresses my feelings about all the bloody pigeons in this city:

Suddenly routine...

Lest you think I spend all my time pondering weighty political issues, after I posted that I went out shopping with my roommate Lisa. I had a tax refund to spend, and a need for undergarments without cartoons on them. We did Oxford Street, which is the heart of Consumer-Land. After awhile it became kind of a running joke: look at this bag of consumer goods which I have just purchased! Oh, this bag of consumer goods is becoming heavy! (In my defence, I did not buy nine handbags, like some lady who was in the Guardian last week) I found a new pair of jeans, a new top and some unmentionables...I nearly bought a pair with some cherries on them until Lisa SLAPPED them out of my hand and reminded me I wasn't looking for cartoons, remember? Anywho, while we were walking down the street--or should I say, being carried along in the human flood of people--I suddenly spotted a fruit vendor and bought a small sack of dates to munch on whilst we walked. And I was struck by how this seemed perfectly normal. That now I know what a date is, that I think it is a delicious treat, and that I am able to buy them on the street, whearas a year ago they were weird expensive things in the supermarket. Look at me, I'm a city girl. Pffft. :)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Everybody's Got the Right

I read on today that Slobodan Milosovec died in his prison cell. I don't know much about Milosovec beyond a hazy "wasn't he involved in that Bosnian war thingy?" a couple years ago and what the BBC saw fit to include in the article. It mentioned that he was being held in prison for "war crimes" but it also said that he "held office" in Bosnia for fourteen years. Which got me thinking about the nature of power and who gets to wield it over others. Naturally, being me, I started by thinking about Napoleon and how two hundred years ago, you just COULDN'T put an Emperor on trial for "war crimes" because a) the concept didn't exist, and b) he was an Emperor and therefore better than you. But with today's idea of democracy and everybody is equal (or, at least has a chance to be equal) it means that anyone can be held accountable for their actions--well, if your protective shell of government breaks down, anyway. So now we have a man who was "elected" to lead Bosnia being held to account for the war crimes he committed while he was "in office." Being held to account by who? Who gives the judges, the lawyers, the jury the "right" to try him? It feels like (and I'm also thinking of the current issue with Mr. Saddam Hussein right now...) that the "winner" of these conflicts gets to do whatever they want with the "losers..." I can hear people howling--and yes, of course, murderers should recieve justice--but what is it that gives other people the right to bring leaders to account? Is it a moral highroad? President Bush can go into Iraq and say "out out damn Saddam" because he has a moral obligation to? Because "God told me to invade Iraq?*" Because he has bigger guns? Why now? There are no easy answers, and I'M certainly not qualified, being neither an emperor nor a judge, but I can't help, again, thinking of the example of Napoleon. If the trial machine that is currently operating to try Saddam Hussein (and, ostensibly, the one which was set up for Milosovec) rules to excute him...doesn't that make us the same as him? When the US first set up it's governement, this great creaky machine we like to call democracy, the first couple elections (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson) were breathtaking affairs. Mostly because no one knew if it would be a peaceful turnover of power--and the fact that it was was kind of amazing. Think of all the kings and queens who have been deposed at the edge of a sword. Yet, somehow we (Americans) managed to move past all that. Why we now feel the need to put such a final coda on the reigns of the terrible men smacks of hypocrasy. I don't know why I feel the hand of American justice behind these two trials, except at this point we do have the biggest guns--so that must mean we have the moral right as well.

*I wish I was kidding, but this was in the Guardian last January.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Musicals Run My Life

I was not updating my blog to protest people who don't update their blogs (and therefore suck) but then I realised no one knew it because I hadn't blogged it...and since I wasn't updating I therefore sucked. *sigh*

Having internet in my room I can now finally get the track names for the CDs that I've put into my computer, so today I made a discovery: I was listening to a certain show which has one of the best love songs I've ever heard. Who knew John Adams could be so passionate? I had listened to it before going "who IS this guy? I know this voice!" And today I found out who it was. Imagine my suprise when I realised--well, no, I won't tell you, but I will put a picture up. Prizes if you can guess who this is (and no fair Googling):

Not a lot to report really...I haven't missed much by not blogging...I went and saw "Capote" yesterday. Philip Seymour Hoffman deserved every inch of that Oscar. It rained today, but the rose bush in the quad is in bloom, making me think of John Cameron Mitchell in "Secret Garden" singing "winter's on the wing, here's a fine spring morn..." I think that show was largely responsible for my attitude about England. I was expecing crocuses and majick and fountains of roses...then of course when I got here I adjusted my attitude to include cement and rubbish. I mean, it's just a show, right? But then...yesterday...when I was out walking I saw "clusters of crocus...purple and gold." Can it be long before there are "blankets of pansies, up from the cold...lilies and iris, safe from chill...?" I'm going to go buy myself a bucket of pink roses and scatter them around my room. I need more flowers in my life. The Secret Garden IS such a spring musical...and I guess it's that time of year to get it out and start listening to it. It's only March! But...spring, I say!

I'm also frantically putting my website together so that you can all read my works and things. Hopefully it will be ready to go before Hedwig opens. Then I'm really not going to know what to do with myself.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

*Original pen and ink sketch courtesty of Leigh Kimmel.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I am very upbeat--strike that, INCREDIBLY NATURALLY HIGH!!! right now because tonight was the first rehearsal with the band. And it was amazing!!! I was a little concerned with Angus' singing, since he's not primarily a musical theatre person (as opposed to Emma (Yitzhak) who IS and can outsing him on the backing vocals without even trying!!) but once we had him in front of a mike all my fears were allayed. It was incredible to get into a room of musicians who were rocking out on the songs--the energy level was through the roof. Myself and Holly (another "producer") were sort of treated to a private concert, and we applauded and cheered throughout the rehearsal. It was pretty rough--this was the first time the band had seen any of the music, and I don't think we got any of the song ends right--but the intent was there. Now if we can just get Angus off book... Another thing that made me happy: Afterward some of the band and I went out for a pint (British bonding) and they told me that they were enjoying themselves and the liked the music, which was thrilling. So often in theatre you get musicians who are doing it for the money, or who are bored with the same old shows, so having a group of people who respond to the music not only as musicians, but emotionally is great. I want this show to be fun. If it's not fun--what's the point? Too often we get into that tech week slog where everyone looks at one another and goes "why are we doing this again?" At first I was afraid that because this show was so unsupported in the college and finding rehearsal space was so difficult that it would be impossible to take it seriously. But now I've learned to go along with the bumps--I'm not so uptight about starting on time, for example (ok, bad example)--and now I find myself with an incredibly dedicated core of people who are all committed and having a blast. YES!! This is what theatre is supposed to be about!! Hedwig lends itself to this "guerilla rehearsal" process very well. I can't wait for opening night. I only wish I could get up onstage myself!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Unholy Historical Triumveate of Obsessive Interest

"Assassination Vacation" by Sarah Vowell is the one of the reasons why I'm so interested in history. It is an amazingly funny yet in-depth look at three of America's assassins, Booth, Guiteau, and Czolgosz. It is the reason I can spell "Czolgosz" without looking it up. But, last summer I took the hardcover book back to the store because I needed the money. Now, yay, it is available in paperback, so I treated myself to a new copy. I'm looking forward to reading it again and rediscovering what makes our country so damn great. I bought it when I was in the library, working on my essay topic (at last). This may not seem so incongruous, since you'll remember that I am writing about Sondheim's "Assassins," another corner of the unholy triumverate. The third reason is Edwin Booth who is (despite being dead) absolutely fascinating. Edwin understands why I cheated on him with Nelson. We're good now.

Anywho. Class this morning was cancelled, only I forgot until I got to school. Hence me working on my project in the liberry. This afternoon we workshopped a final piece from my classmate Andrew E., which was interesting. I have to admit, when we only got 12 pages I was wondering "what are we going to talk about?!" But it turns out we had plenty--the themes and images that we pulled from his piece were innumerable. I hope it helped. I'm a little worried now, looking at my piece that it's too fluffy and/or autobiographical. but then, aren't they all? Rehearsals for Hedwig and I'm back home. I can't believe it's only nine o'clock. I feel like I've been up for three days. See, this is what happens when I get out of bed before noon.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Then I'm not interested

I know modern art isn't my thing, and I think I've figured out why: there are no breeches involved. Breeches (esp. satin ones) may be the sexiest single garment ever donned by man, but they are very scarcely represented in any modern art. Hence, interest: lost. Bare-chested, loin-clothed, full on nakkies? Yawn. Yet, give me an ill-rendered chap in breeches and I'm paying attention.

So today I managed to get to the Tate Modern which is currently undergoing refurbishment. Their entire collection is squeezed into a few small galleries, so you have all the people in half the space. And all my loyal readers know how much I detest a crowd. Add to that, about a dozen over-sugared school groups given the assignment of drawing the Picasso and I was about ready to leave five seconds after I got there. I did stick it out and got through it all (albeit quickly), with a few sit downs to observe people moving through the galleries. The most interesting notes I took were while sitting next to a man who was drawing one of the paintings. A schoolgirl asked him: "Are you an artist?" "Yes." "Are you in here?" "Not yet." You go, Artist Guy. The artist I really responded to was a man named Lawrence Weiner, who does phrases that are printed out on a variety of different medium. This one kind of smacked me on the forehead:


Afterward I stopped in at the Globe, where I was informed by an unhelpful guide that I could buy a ticket for a tour and get the exhibit for free, but I couldn't go into the exhibit unless I went on the tour. When I tried explaining I had done the tour (I didn't mention how useless it was unless you're a total pleb) and didn't need to go again, he just stared at me blankly. Moving onward at a brisk pace to keep warm, I did the Clink Museum which was okay interesting. There was FAR too much reading on each wall, and the exhibits looked a little melty-dusty. I also didn't appreciate the "kids involved!" things to do which suggested: "Think how much it would hurt to sit in an Iron Maiden!" "Stand in the Iron Maiden and have your picture taken!" I enjoyed the brisk sea air off the Thames ("O water spirits, console me!") as I trotted onward, and finally landed at London Bridge. It was too cold to really enjoy Southwark, but at least it kept most of the tourists at bay.

Here is a sample of Weiner's work. Note the absence of breeches: