I have a thing with New York City.
I first thought of moving there when I was fresh out of college and job hunting. They always said in school that NYC and DC were the two places for international relations jobs in the United States, and I was curious about the city’s multicultural reputation. So I applied and was accepted to CityYear in NYC, figuring it was a good backup plan for anything else I could come up with. Eventually, I found a better paying job that kept me in Seattle and I never had to use my back up plan.
I have had the great fortune to see several plays that I absolutely loved this month for free: some through ushering, others just by asking. (I want to be clear that these plays are 100% worth the money and my goal is to have the resources to financially support theatre. But in the meantime, I’m grateful I have opportunities such as these to see the plays anyway.)
I love theatre. I love its immediacy and that while you can’t touch the actors on stage, there’s something about the energy in the space when you’re in the same room breathing the same air. I love that theatre, more so than film, has been more successful at diversifying the stories we get to see.
Darlings of the Internet!
If you, at any point, were a “regular” reader of my blog, you may have noticed that my posts slowed to a trickle after moving to Washington, DC.
Well, Cat, you may have thought, amiably. You settled down in one place. You weren’t careening all over the face of the planet, having wild adventures. It’s ok, I forgive you for not updating your blog for awhile.
And I would say, NO, darling reader, NO. That’s not why I stopped writing. I stopped writing because my life after Asia back in the United States SUCKED for two effing years.
There I said it.
Standing in a future fulfilled, by the end of 2017…
1. I have spoken with my Mom/family at least once per day.
2. I have made a few short films (at least 1 or 2, but really want 3 or 4).
3. I have danced more.
About half as many as the last couple of years, but accomplishing these things would have such massive ripple effects in my life. Let’s go!
It’s time to check what I said at the beginning of the year and whether I accomplished it or not.
I haven’t said this here before, but I’ve been taking acting classes for more than a year at Studio Theatre. The last time I really wrote at length about my acting ambitions was when I did the twisted fairytale in Ulsan. That had been so much fun, it was a natural progression to dig deeper, sign up for an acting class, and discover what this acting thing really was.
What I thought was acting, from the little bits I did in Korea, was more akin to finger painting and stick figures. Taking classes and learning all this technique has allowed me to refine my work to be more realistic, a sharper aping of real life.
(I attempt to take my acting from the metaphorical equivalent of nonsensical toddler gashes to the masterful strokes of Vincent Van Gogh.)
After my last dance class, I knew I needed to do more dancing as soon as I could. It felt so good to be that active, to be called on to show up so physical and powerful. I was hooked on a fantastic drug that was actually good for me.
The twist was my schedule. I was coaching a Self-Expression and Leadership Program until November and had signed up for an acting class and improv class. This effectively shut down three of my evenings, not to mention all the extra work involved in preparing for them. Where was I going to fit the dancing? Did I have the money for it? Was I being too crazy not focusing and committing to one art?
I set that all aside and followed my gut. And my gut took me to The Washington Ballet. While the Joy of Motion taster had been beyond scrumptious, their drop-in classes weren’t designed for absolute beginners like me and their intro classes were sequenced at inconvenient times that would mean I would need to be absent for several classes. And I don’t want to miss a single chance to dance.
The Washington Ballet concentrated on one form of dance, had a generous schedule (ballet every day!) and had similar pricing to Joy of Motion. They didn’t have a series of classes, just drop-ins so I could show up and not show up and still get all the ballet I ever wanted. Continue reading