Monday, July 31, 2006


Today, being my day off, I went with Alison to the Natural History Museum to look at the dinosaur exhibit. The NHM was built by those wacky Victorians, which means it is an imposing edifice of dignity and whimsy--the exterior is decorated with little carvings of animals--the overall effect of which is completely destroyed by the herds of wild and unruly children running around inside. Now, I understand that an exhibit featuring (among other things) animatronic dinosaurs, hands on exhibits and dinosaur poo is not aimed at your mid twenties graduate student. BUT STILL. We paid for our tickets and I don't understand why the little monsters (the kids, not the dinosaurs) got to jump ahead of me to play with the electronic excavating game!!! The exhibit, Dinosaur Jaws, was about what dinos ate (plants, fish, one another...) and how scientists figured out their diet from fossils. It was interesting--the best part was discovering that my roommate was a dinosaur geek in a previous life and could correctly pronounce "Parasaurolophus" without looking at the helpful phonetic spelling. Then we walked through the museum's permanent exhibit. Alison was exclaiming over the bones and the displays, I was scanning the dates and geeking out about how the oldest fossil in the place had been dug up in 1780. (1780!! That's, like, DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION!!!) I really enjoyed the museum, it's definitely worth a visit, but perhaps NOT when the kiddies are on summer vacation. I say "wading through waist-high groups of the little buggers" and for once I'm not exagerrating. And don't even get me started on the bloody pushchairs.

For mo' info:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

in sin! in sin!

After three hours of drama, I was looking forward to a nice quiet bus ride home. but no, alas, soon after we got on at Waterloo, a group of youngish people got on and their leader started reading the Bible outloud. "How nice," I thought to myself, "a church group organising an alternative outing for young people on a Saturday. Hm." Then the praying got louder and I realised that this group had a more, uh, invasive mission in mind. The next thing I know, the woman sitting across the aisle from me is praying at the top of her lungs "Jesus, move these hearts of stone on the bus, we are not worthy Lord but we seek you, we SEEK YOU" (I was taking notes at this point in case "Unexpected City" ever needs a rewrite) and they were trying to hand out pamphlets to people who were getting fed up and leaving. I would have been more inclined to listen, but I happened to catch an early part of the "sermon" where the leader mentioned how "white people" waste their time and their money on useless things like Prada and Gucci bags ("and Louis Vuitton!" an acolyte helpfully pointed out) and how we shouldn't be doing things because they are popular, but because it is good in the Lord's eyes. The final straw came when the woman who was sitting across from me (I suspect she was praying for me to say something to her instead of scribbling down what she was saying--talking to me directly would be too difficult) finally leaned across and said "Can I just say something to you?! You have a heart of stone, of stone!" and helpfully held up a balled fist to demonstrate. "You need to SEEK God, SEEK Him." And I finally leaned over and said, "Listen, I'm a Christian. My relationship with God is personal. One to one. Me and Him," thinking that would earn me a "Praise Jesus, you're on the team." But no! Instead she says, "Then why do you not PROCLAIM Him?! If you have a relationship, that's the first step, now you must PROCLAIM Him." Lather rinse repeat, so that I couldn't get a word in edgewise. Convenient, then, that they were getting off at this point as well. I was mad that instead of a nice theological argument I got steamrollered by a righteous girl who had the gall to suggest that my heart was stone and that apparently my "relationship" with God wasn't good enough. Apparently, whatever church this is, "judge not lest ye be judged" isn't a part of the teachings. Geez. Sorry if I sound a little bitter, but I'm doubly mad that a) this group ruined my bus ride home (after SMing a 3 hour play about the Vatican as well, nonetheless!!!) and that b) they had the AUDACITY to SUGGEST that my faith is somehow not adequate because I don't go around harrassing people on Saturday nights. I may not carry around a well-worn copy of the Bible, but I proclaim Him in my own way, and if that's not good enough, I have no time for you.

Friday, July 28, 2006

"While you've been sitting here reading the papers...

...I've been busy sacrificing myself for the Jews." --Olly, during the second interval to Will who was busy reading my Guardian.

I've been filling out applications for jobs here in London: now that I have some experience under my belt, I feel more confident applying for ASM positions (which are more akin to our stage hands). But all the companies here want you to fill out THEIR application forms, which means I waste a lot of time transferring the information directly from my resumes to a form application. And they're all a little diferent. It's been stressful. Then today I had to hurry into Lewisham, buy a new printer cartridge and some envelopes, hurry home to print out an application to get in the mail, so I left for the theatre feeling cranky. When it's this hot, even just moving fast can get you stressed. Then, as I was going up the escalator at Westminster I tripped--hard--and bruised my leg. Now I've got four lovely little teeth marks on my shin from the escalator step, right below the just-healed scratch from load in. Grrr.

As if that wasn't bad enough, at the theatre I accidentally hit my dresser in the face with the iron plug as I went to put it on a shelf and made her cry.

So I came to the show feeling very put out, despite the fact I had my pre-show done an hour early. I'm very into zen and the art of stage managing, and I'm afraid I might have cast a pall over the show. It went well, but I had to tie myself to the boards and focus to make sure the cues came in the right place. I just hate being stressed and transferring that to the actors. Hopefully they didn't mind me stomping around, being angry with myself for being stupid. I tried to avoid everyone, but when there's only two people on crew... Grr. Tomorrow I'm going to finish up this round of applications which should help, now that I don't have to buy more ink. And I'm going to wear shoes. No more flip flops on the Underground.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The actors took great pleasure tonight in teaching me a new word: "beginners" instead of "places." Then they told me that they weren't going to respond unless I addressed them as "Mr. So and So" AND that beginners should be called five minutes before the top of the show--to which I countered unless I got a 12 year old boy in a newsboy's cap ala "Topsy Turvy" to run around and call places they weren't going to GET a beginners call. But, as with all things British, for the rest of the night when I called "beginners" I got the lovely little "it's different!" zing that I've been missing lately. Ah.

Speaking of "it's different!" I went into the bank today to cash a check, which in the States would take me approximately 5 minutes--six if they decided they wanted to see some ID. But when I rolled up to the desk and explained what I wanted, the woman returned with a blank stare, then the slowly dawning comprehension that comes with "oh, she's FOREIGN, she doesn't understand our RULES." She then proceeded to explain to me that I could deposit the money into my account, and then, after five working days, get it out again with my debit card. Only I never got my debit card. "When did you sign up for your account?" "Uh, September." "You should have come back a week later and gotten your debit card." "Well, look, I don't need to access my account, because there's no money in it, can you just cash these checks?" To which I am treated with a stare that suggests I have just asked to dump a bucket of chum over the couner. "Er, I guess that's a no. Can I get my card now?" "No, it's been destroyed." "Can I apply for a new one?" (long pause) "I GUESS so." She then proceeds to fill out a replacement card form. "Okay, so now I can come back in 5 working days and get my money." "No. You have to come back in a WEEK to get your debit card and THEN you can take your money out of your account."

Ah, good. Because I'm going to need that money for a getaway car...

I thought the bank made no sense until I went to get a doctor's appointment and the receptionist asked me if I was a student at Goldsmiths, registered at any other general practitioners, living in halls, planning on living in Brockley for awhile and THEN why I needed to see the doctor. (Yes, no, yes, God NO, foot pain reaching critical.) Apparently, since I'm not staying in Brockely long term I can only see the doctor as a "temporary" patient, and only then on the second Tuesday during a full moon. Thank God I've perfected my limp, because it might be awhile.

The show went well tonight--the first act dragged a little bit, but during the first scene of act two, two of the actors sort of seized the dialogue and ran away with it, cranking the energy up, so the rest of the show fairly flew by. During the second interval (interval: it's British!) two of the audience members were chatting about how good the show was, and how the acting was very quality for a venue of this size. Which puffed me up no end. (little stagehands have big ears!) I'm so proud of the quality of this show, even if it is "only" "fringe." Of course, if we were a little bigger, then I could have another minion to run down to the cellar and call half hour, fifteen, etc, instead of having to do it myself and getting a workout every night on top of everything else.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

First Review!!!

Time Out had a review for the Representative today--4 out of 6 stars!!! AND the reviewer was nice enough not to mention how bloody hot the theatre was. See the whole thing here: I take full credit for those "discreet" silver goblets, since I picked them out. :) I'm so proud of everyone, especially Kate. This is her baby, and she deserves it! I can't believe a show I worked on has been reviewed in Time Out!!! Rumour has it a reviewer from another national newspaper is coming tonight, so hopefully we'll be getting more press soon. If you're in London COME AND SEE IT because it's an amazing play.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I spent most of today in my favourite position--Drugged Puppy Prone in a Wash of Sunlight, which is the only way to beat the heat when one has no AC. then I cleaned my room, did my laundry, read up on the Middle East crisis and, about 4.28, right on time, my black mood lifted. Amazing. This was helped by the fact that I got a card from mom and dad congratulating me on finishing my MA with a nice new picture of our family inside. Aw. Mom also tells me that she and dad are coming at the end of August, so now I can start planning our vacation--thank God Horatio's refurbishment is done so I can show off Trafalgar Square sans scaffolding.

Tomorrow night is another show. It should be interesting, "maintaining" a run of a show, since I've never done more than seven performances as an SM. Tomorrow afternoon, however, I'm going to see if I can find some new brains, since the ones we have in the show are starting to turn into mud. I love propping in London. You can get ANYTHING here, as long as you keep your Oyster card and your wits about you. In theory far I haven't got a straight bead on a pair of brains, but I'm sure I'll find some tomorrow. 'Cause this is the best damn city in the whole world!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

matinee day

Despite having a really great show thisaft--maybe it was because the actors knew they were getting a day off, or the fact we had a show coming in after us on our heels--but we cut 5 minutes off the run time (3 hours 25!!) and were out of the theatre by twenty after seven. But my depressions are on me again, the melancholy has settled on my shoulders like a cloak of darkness and uncertainty. I broke one of the champagne glasses and cursed at the intern and now I've locked myself in my room until I get a grip again. I HATE being like this. Thank God it only happens every now and again--but I feel like I have to take inventory of every tiny little thing and find fault with it. I'm too fat, I'm fooling myself thinking I can write, I can't get organised, my room's a mess, I'm heartsick over the wrong man AGAIN, it's too bloody hot to be believed, every single tourist here has to stop at the top of the escalators to talk about where they're going when I'm trying to get home, I sweat too much, swear too much, talk too much, drink too much, eat too much, think not enough and I could use a history lesson about the Middle East.

Today it smelled like rain. I waited by the window for act three to start and it occured to me that if I had a garden my sunflowers would be taller than me by this point. The mileposts of summer: tomatoes and sweetcorn: are completely missing here.

Please, everyone, update your blogs or email me. It's been so long since I've heard from most of you. And I'm missing home a lot lately.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

early again

I think tonight's show was the best ever. Even though I've seen it several times already, tonight I was engaged afresh, watching it with new interest. The company is more comfortable with it now, so the show stretches and changes like a living thing--which is what keeps it interesting for everybody.

I'm sad though because this is the point where the show becomes like a regular job. Already our costume and sound designers have finished their parts and stopped coming to the runs, and tonight Kate sat out for the first time. I begin to understand how people can treat this like a regular profession, when you're coming in at a scheduled time, warming up, doing your "job" then heading home for a supper. Soon it will be just me and the actors and our wonderful dressers--and the audience. And I'm going to have to start looking for a real job. sigh. I really love living in London--coming home at night over the Waterloo Bridge lifts my spirits every time. The skyline is so pretty. I'd like to stay here for a while at least, but the uncertainty of being unemployed is crushing. With any amount of luck I'll find a reason to stay. But next Monday--my first full day off in about a month--I'm going to stay in and watch some movies featuring men in breeches. Even if it is "The Patriot." I deserve it, damnit. And if there's sailing ships involved, so much the better.

Friday, July 21, 2006

moral dilemma

I slept until 2PM today. I just couldn't be arsed to get up any earlier. Then I had to go to the theatre to make our camera work--last night it nearly took out an audience member when it fell over. and I needed to buy more edible props. All questions of God and accountability aside, here's a REAL question of morality: if your show is on a budget, does that make it okay to shop at Tesco's where they engage in dodgy sales practicses, ala Wal-Mart? I hope so, because I went there today to restock on milk, lemonade and Febreeze (tha big bottle) even though I swore I would never set foot inside the store. But then, as I was standing on the corner of Earl's Court Road, which is a major thoroughfare, I was suddenly struck by the thought that this looked awfully familiar--and then I realised. This is where Freddie Mercury used to live. And, more importantly, this is where my 19 year old self made the pilgrimmage 5 years ago to visit his house. suddenly, the history of the area included a ghostly ME! which my 24 year old self could grin about in a fond sort of way as she made sure to get some cigars as well.

After the show, Alison and I were hit upon by a very drunk, albeit very hot British man who looked like he was Michael Pitt's understudy in "Hedwig." He was actually quite nice--drunkenly annoying, but nice--but when I tossed out the old tester line "I'm into theatre, do you go?" I got a blank look. Which means he went on the "no" pile. sigh. No, no, I'm flattered, really, no REALLY, but, trust me, I'd probably just be boring unless you were into theatre. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to go grocery shopping, but then again, maybe I'll just sleep in one more day...

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Which is worse? Knowing that there is no God OR that there is a God, but he's ignoring you? I was thinking about this on the way home tonight. It's interesting that in the show the "Doctor" never denies the existence of God, but instead appears very upset that God is taking no notice of him at all, regardless of how many people he kills. I think the answer to this question is: the worst is not knowing which is true. Yes, there is no God. or. Yes, there is a God, but he's ignoring you. Tonight's favourite moment is when the Doctor finally lets his mask of self-assurance slip and asks Father Riccardo if God really spoke to him. David tried it sarcastically at first: "Did you really hear him call? There at the crematoria?" but then he discovered that it worked better as a sincere question. The best part is Father Riccardo doesn't answer. ahhh! So many questions in this play.

Like, where did all these weird little bruises come from?! I have about a dozen random bruises, each the size of a 5p coin, scattered on my person. They're probably a combination of load-in and malnourishment, the latter springing from the fact I haven't seen the inside of a grocery store in about two weeks. But tomorrow I don't have to be at the theatre until 6!! Shock!! So I'm going to go shopping. and not set an Alarm. That's very important. Right now we're in the middle of a massive heatwave--I'm talking 90 plus degrees for the past four days, at least--and the Finburra is a little black oven. We hired some air conditioners, but they can only do so much against the heat producing machines that are stage lights. So add it all up: overworked, heatstroked, underslept, eating rubbish from corner stores and takeaways. Yeah. Not going to get out of bed before noon tomorrow.

It's like I've been saying: this business that we call show is a DRUG. It's the only reason I can see for it. more addictive than heroin and yet still legal!!! But how could we do anything else? Ah. I recall when I was in My Fair Lady and we once stayed up until 4 am workinc scene changes--I was 14 and Mom stayed up for me--when I walked in the door she said "Where were you!" and I said, "At the theatre, we were rehearsing scene changes" and she said, "But why YOU?" and I could only stare at her blankly. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

...that's Nicole M. Lemery MA to you

The news of the world tonight is that I handed in my "thesis," my play Unexpected City, which means that my MA degree is nearly completed, apart from a few odds n' sods. Since I haven't been taken aside and given the "er, look, about your play..." speech, I can only assume that it will be acceptable to the grading gods and with any luck, I'll be tacking on an extra two letters behind my name soon.

It feels unreal that I'm done, essentially. My whole raison d'etat for being in London is nearly over. Ironically, I found myself saying today "wow, this is just not what I expected." I don't know what I WAS expecting, but 10 months ago I never could have described my life today. Now I just have to figure out what I'm doing next...

The other big news is that our show is opening officially Friday. I am covered in little bruises, cuts and scrapes (including one on my leg that I used to demonstrate what I wanted an actor's "cut" to look like...) from the load-in, which was hellish. Our scenic designer, who is also doing props, was fiendishly underprepared, which led to me helping him out, which somehow ended in me staying up until 4 and 5 AM on two consecutive nights, which meant that MY job of stage managery suffered. Last night's preview felt like a preview: sloppy, jerky and inelegant. I didn't help much, ringing phones and doorbells in the wrong places--after I had a fight with an actor about props in front of half the company. oy. But it's amazing what seven hours of sleep will do to you. Tonight the run was miles better, and I think everyone is feeling more confident. I know I am. Tomorrow is press night, so we'll have reviewers in from papers, and I'm going in early to get the hang of this damn soundboard. I'm running lights and sound--lights to me left, sound to me right--but it's hard to focus when the show is as amazing as it is. Tonight I literally--literally--almost started crying when Father Riccardo gave the little girl back to her mother, knowing full well they were on their way to be gassed. I completely believed it. This show is filled with moments like that...I could go on for ages. But I think I'd just rather go to bed at this point.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Kids, I'm taking the next week off to work on the show and my thesis, so if you don't hear from me for awhile, you'll know why.

My thesis is due in one week. Huzzah.

The show opens in less than a week. If you're in London and you're interested in coming, check out the Finborough Theatre website for ticket information.

The Representative by Rolf Hochhuth
Directed by Kate Wasserberg
July 18-August 12 at the Finborough Theatre
Send me an email if you have people coming--I can get special deals as long as I book ahead.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dear Kevin Spacey,

I saw a clip of you this morning on the Daily Show, which I watched via the Internet. You mentioned how you've been in London for the past three years, but you watch the Daily Show (when you're not on it, I assume--or then again, do you?) on CNN International. My TV only gets 2 channels so I was wondering if I could come over to your house sometime and watch the Daily Show on your TV? I promise that I won't mention how disappointed I was--gutted in fact--that I wasn't chosen for the Young Vic's New Voices 24 Hour Play Project. Even though I was really, REALLY excited about it...I think that writing, producing and teching a completely new play in only 24 hours sounds really challenging and fun. I'm sure I'll get over it in a day or two. Hopefully.

Anyway, how are you? I see that you're doing the new Superman. That's great! I don't really like Superman, because he's kind of a goody-two shoes, so I'm hoping that you win in this movie. That would be cool. Lex Luthor rulz! I probably won't get to see it though, because I'm poor. Which reminds me, do you want to be in a play I wrote? I think that you'd be really good. As soon as I find a producer, a director and a theatre I'm going to start casting, and you'd be at the top of my list. What do you say? I'll forward you the script as soon as I finish it.

Anyway, I better go, I'm "working" on this "show" and the director gets a little excited if I don't email the designers about her "needs" every night. I'm sure you can relate! Have a good night, and be sure to say hi to Jon Stewart if you see him again soon--tell him I'm gonna vote for him in 2008.

Nicole Lemery, MA Writing for Performance*

*in one week

Monday, July 10, 2006

put your hands up

This morning I picked up the Metro, which is a freebie newspaper they distribute to commuters. It's about 50 percent ads, 25 percent faffy celebrity stuff and the remainder is taken up with articles that are no more than 200 words in length. And Sudoku. But this morning an article caught my eye: in Iraq a group of Shia militants set up a fake checkpoint and demanded the passports of anyone who wanted to get through. Anyone who had the wrong religion stamped on their passport was dragged out of their car and shot.


What decade--what century!!!--are we living in?! You could not draw a straighter line between the scene that happened in Baghdad yesterday and the scene from the play we rehearsed today where a Catholic priest and a Jew trade passports: one stamped with the Vatican seal, the other with a big red "J." Jesus. What does it take to teach a generation thou shalt not kill?!

The only solution, as far as I can see, is to Conquer All With Love. So tonight, go tell someone you love 'em. Better yet, walk up to somone who scared you and give 'em a hug. Hey, if you've got their arms pinned, they can't reach for their gun. Love, love, love, love. Where there is love, loneliness, confusion, anger and despair dissipates. So love the hell out of one another. And rest assured, I love all of YOU.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pirates of the whaa the hell?

Nina Simone on the iTunes...freshly showered and smellin' unmentionables...geez, the only thing that is keeping this from being a date night is the fact that I'm drinking tea instead of red wine.

Awright, I went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" today, because I figured I deserved a stupid movie...and man did I get what I deserved. What a dumb movie. I mean, it was fun, it was a GOOD bad movie, but only just. My biggest beef was with the sailing and nautical bits--now I'm not a sailor, I have never been on a ship under sail, but I'm pretty sure they were doing it ALL WRONG. At one point a character goes "actually, it doesn't take that many people to sail a ship..." implying you could do it with three or four, which is FALSE. Have you ever tried to reef in 500 yards of wet canvas?! You're going to need more than four people!!! And don't even get me started on the cannon. If you were going to shoot the cannons effectively on the Black Pearl, you'd need three people per cannon, which, assuming there are six on each side, means eighteen people just to fire in ADDITION to a crew. and THEN you have Orlando Bloom running around shouting orders and instead of someone going "hang on, you're not a captain, you're not a first mate, you're not even a part of the crew, what the hell are you doing giving orders?" And, anyway, where did Orlando Bloom learn to sail?! Apparently he was teaching Keira Knightly how to use a sword because she is lethal in this film--in addition to learning how to wear a corset--so when did he take sailing lessons? I also feel that Norrington's character was completely out of character, but that's a side note. I am glad that someone addressed the "hang on, does that mean Bootstraps Bill is still alive down at the bottom of the ocean?" question presented at the end of the first movie, but I think that someone needed to reign in the CGI effects people with Davey Jones's crew. Overall, I'd give it a C, with a special A+ going out to Geoffrey Rush, 'cause by the time he showed up I was like "Yes! Geoffrey Rush, thank God you're here--save this movie!!"

Saturday, July 08, 2006

26 bits of Me!

[A is for age]: You should never ask a lady her age, whippersnapper.
[B is for beer of choice]: ice cold Point Special
[C is for career]: As Edward Gordon Craig said, "THEATRE."
[D is for your dog's name]: (was) Jingles (may be) something Shakespearian...
[E is for your essential daily item]: Oyster card, for public transport
[F is for favorite song at the moment]: Dude Dude Chick's "Toast of the Century" or Matt Winkworth's "Things You Can't Change"
[G is for favorite games]: Monopoly
[H is for Hometown]: Ashwaubenon, WI
[I is for the instrument you play]: Piano, sometimes, oh, and I sing!
[J is for favorite flavor of juice]: Peach ice-tea
[K is for kids]: As long as they can be transported without a huge SUV-sized stroller...
[L is for last hug?]: I can't remember the last proper one! wah!
[M is for marriage]: If you love someone enough to stay with them, no piece of paper could make that bond stronger
[N is for name of your crush]: Not in a public forum.
[O is for overnight hospital stays]: None so far
[P is for phobias]: Darkness, ironically.
[Q is for quote]: "As you travel thru life Brother, Whatever be your Goal, Keep your Eye upon the Doughnut, and Not Upon the Hole." --from a mug dad gave me
[R is for biggest regret]: Not having come to London sooner.
[S is for status]: In a few weeks I get to stick "MA" after my name! yay!
[T is for time you wake up]: 7:35 on the dot. Bless the snooze button.
[U is for underwear]: Is all going to be replaced tomorrow. Can't stand it anymore.
[V is for vegetable you love]: Green beans! Mmm!!!
[W is for worst habit]: Chewing my fingers
[X is for x-rays you've had]: Teef and torso--someday I'm gonna figure out why my right side hurts when I'm stressed.
[Y is for yummy food you make]: Baklava, roasted aubergines, fried potatoes and egg...
[Z is for zodiac]: Sagittarius, the Archer

I stole this off of Amada Baker's blog because I'm too uncreative tonight to come up with a witty topic of conversation. I was going to write on "I Wish I Wasn't a Racist" but then I became worried that maybe THAT could be construed as racism...some other time maybe. Tomorrow I have a DAY OFF, so I'm going to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" and go shopping.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My city

My Mrs. Dalloway mood is upon me again...I feel like I should walk through the city, arms full of flowers. I was going to write about David and his scary face but then he said he was going to start reading my blog seooww...maybe some other time.

Exactly one year ago today I woke up to Dad telling me that a bomb had gone off in London. For me the day was strangely disconnected. I went to work as normal, where all the lovely soccer moms were jovially toiling away in front of their computers, only to plug into the BBC radio which had cancelled all it's programming to bring live updates as the day went on. You can picture me, in the middle of office suburbia, headphones on, desperately trying to keep it together as my only link to London--a tiny voice with a strange accent--told me that there had been four bombs on the Tube (my favourite mode of transport!), and the whole city had shut down. As the days passed and I learned more details about what happened, I responded to the attitude of the city, and the feeling of camraderie. There was always a sense of "well, it had to happen eventually" which I believe too...of course living through something like that is a LOT different from talking about it. But London is OLD and has come through far worse than this. The decision not to come never seriously entered my head, although I got asked about it a lot. (Grandma.) :)

And then today, as I was standing by the doors to the Jubilee Line, thinking about that moment, the moment that I realised my city was vulnerable, a call came over the loudspeakers "Mr. Sands, Mr. Sands to the operations room..." Mr Sands, of course, is a code for "Emergency, but we don't want to freak the passengers!" The train pulled in. And as the doors slid back I took a half second and thought "Am I afraid? Am I going to get on this train?" I did. Even though I was a little afraid. The right-wingers may have overused the phrase "Get back to normal or the terrorists have won" but it's still true. It doesn't stop me from being a little afraid every now and then. But if I stop riding my favourite mode of transport and delighting in the fact that Waterloo Station leads directly to France, the terrorists have won. If I avoid Trafalgar Square during political rallies, the terrorists have won. If I don't eat this cake, the terrorists have won. If I don't get up every day and marvel at the amazing world we live in and give thanks I'm still living in it...well, you get the idea.

Damn, maybe I should have stopped for some flowers on the way home...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

talking up my show...

I'm feeling much better tonight. After the rehearsal, Kate and I went over to the costume shop to see how things were going. They are fabulous! Then afterward, we went out for a beer 'n burger 'n bitch. It's weird because I'm sitting there watching everything that's happening during rehearsal, but silent, so tonight when she would say something like "You know what really irritates me!?" I could go "Yeah, I noticed that! How annoying!" So we bonded over shared rehearsal experiences and swapped stories of past shows. Then she said, "Yeah, I was just saying to Susannah [our producer], how I don't know where you came from. You're great." And I immediately flopped down on the floor, presented my belly and went "yes! pet me some more!" No, what I said was, "well, it's really easy when you're working for someone who's as dedicated and committed as you are." Then we proceeded to happily abuse one of the designers who's taking a week to paint four Renaissance masters. Pfft. Seriously though, this show is really amazing. I feel priviledged to work (my a££ off) on it.

So here's a couple pix I stole from our photocall...:

Robert, who's playing the Abbot (on the left) and Jack (the Cardinal) are the most talented actors I have ever seen. Full stop. Watching Jack work through his motivation to get to the heart of his character is astonishing. He is the reason I'm going to stop making fun of actors. (well. for now anyway)

The joy of photocall is that you get to make up scenes. Unfortunately, our Pope never actually meets a Nazi, but isn't this a wicked shot? Steve, our SS officer who's secretly gathering evidence against the Nazis, is the most intense actor in the whole show, and he's amazing. I saw this uniform today, with extra little bits added and it's terrifying.

I was sitting in the office, watching Olly adjust his coat, and I leaned in and said to him, "Olly, is it bad that I think you're hotter dressed up as a priest than in your normal clothes?" And then about three seconds later our costume designer said to me, "Can you cut off a piece of this white fabric and tuck it in for his dogcollar?" So there I was, my arms around a man I had just shamlessly flirted! Interesting note: this coat is actually being used by our Dr. Mengele character. From a priest to a demon...such is the theatre.

See ALL the pritty pics at:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

random expressionist mish Nicki foot

Rehearsals are going well. I'm busy organising and scheduling and we have a production meeting tomorrow--and at some point I need to find a pair of SS Lugers--I'm feeling a little down. Probably just tired. I remind myself that the hallmark of a good stage manager is the ability to not be noticed, but when I'm putting in fourteen hour days, it would be nice for someone to pat me on the head and say "thanks." Mrr. The heatwave has broken somewhat--God Bless Rain!--but the public transport here is just disgusting. Sweat and exhaust fumes coat everything, gets up your nose. Lovely. I treated myself to some "Imperial Leather" soap today, I'm looking forward to a nice long shower.

Yesterday was very weird, being the 4th of July. I allowed myself some genuinely patriotic feelings, not the half-assed "well, despite all our flaws, I still like america, gee..." Because I do think that we live in a great country, and I love it, and when the country goes a little wrong, that's the moment to love it back on the right track. (or the, ahem, LEFT track, as the case may be)

It's's funny that most of my friends here in London comment on how funny I can be, but if you'll let me veer for a's also been two years since my Grandma died, and I was thinking about her a lot recently. If I am far away from you, then how far must I be from her? I miss our midnight kitchen talks, when she'd tell me about growing up in the wilds of western Wisconsin, and teach me the only words of Gypsy I know. "Heska holba gamee hobitchum..." to be phonetically correct. If I believe in heaven...then I must believe she's there...but that doesn't stop me from missing her here.

And I also discovered you can listen to the song "Toast of the Century" 24 times on the commute from Earl's Court to Brockley. Download it here:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

Much better Monday

I just realised this morning that I missed Dad's birthday. Not only did I miss Dad's birthday, but I missed it with STYLE. Even though Mom casually mentioned that Pete and Brenda were coming over for birthday dinner last friday, I completely breezed past it. Then this morning, I was talking to a nice lady about renting a couple of German SS Lugers and I suddenly realised: "O NO I completely forgot about dad's birthday." Not completely forgot about it. It was always in the back of my mind "right, dad's birthday at the end of June..." but it kept getting closer and closer to the end of June and now it's JULY which can mean only one thing. Missed it. Damnit. Sorry dad! You know I love you, even if I didn't send you a card. *smooch*

The trend of being super-organised continues. The show goes on, rehearsals are going well. Today we had kiddies in for the first time, which was fun. I love how this play includes scenes with a Jewish family from Rome just to anchor the lofty solioquys of the other characters and give them some perspective. Not to mention making act 5 all the more horrifying. But it is hot, hot, HOT here in London. O my Lord. And there is nothing quite so disgusting as public transport when it's 90 degrees outside. Since we got done early today I managed to get to Sainsbury's for food, so tonight we're having BLTs. I discovered that they do have real bacon, but it's called streaky bacon here. I was going to bring a treat for tomorrow since it's the Fourth of July, but then decided if I couldn't bring cheese curds, I wasn't going to bring anything. Mrr.