September 28, 2013
So, the Season 5 season premiere of Glee was on the 26th and I’ll have a Glee-cap up eventually… maybe even tomorrow.
Right now, though, I’m super tired so I might just type a little somethin’ somethin’ and then read a bit and then sleep. I realize tonight is the season premiere of SNL, and although Tina Fey (my lady hero) is hosting, I don’t think I’m going to make it. I am beyond exhausted and will likely have to watch the show tomorrow on my phone (because my computer is too slow to stream video… of course).
Today was my day. I did laundry, but then I read for a bit and worked on my book. I’m at 22 pages now (13000+ words). I don’t get much (if anything) written during the week, so I wanted to make sure I got something done today. I’ll try and work on it some more tomorrow. I have to work tomorrow for an hour (insert sad trombone noise here) and then stop at the library to pick up “Will Grayson, Will Grayson.” I just hope it’s better than “Paper Towns.” I’m excited for “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” because it should be more in line with what I’m writing.
I finished reading “Call Me By My Name” this week and was conflicted. There were parts in the book where I audibly expressed my disgust at the protagonist. I kind of wanted to smack him at times since he was so flip-floppy on his feelings for Oliver, but at the same time I got why he was the way he was. All of us overthink stuff at some point… but I thought Elio was selfish during the parts in the book where he got exactly what he wanted but then felt ambivalent (or worse) about it. I was kind of surprised that this was listed as a YA book. Granted, the main character was 17, but it seemed like it was meant for a more mature audience. (Let’s just say that if we were going by movie ratings, it would have been NC-17 for sure… especially the part when Elio was handling Oliver’s bathing suit and then when Oliver ate the peach. You know… The. Peach.) At this point, I’m rarely shocked with the content of what I read… but this book had a few shocking moments even for me.
I started reading Edmund White’s “A Boy’s Own Story,” but I’m only a few pages in. I’m going to put the pause button on this while I read “Will Grayson, Will Grayson.” I need the latter as a palette cleanser after “Call Me By My Name” before launching back into “A Boy’s Own Story.” It’s pretty heavy thus far.
You can’t see me as I type this, but I just let out the biggest yawn. It was actually quite painful, as I have jaw problems. So… I should probably wind this down, go brush my teeth and try to get some sleep. I really wish I didn’t agree to work tomorrow (it’s only an hour… but still…).
I hope you are having a pleasant day 🙂
September 21, 2013
Probably because I had a strongish drink and the whisky is getting to me.
The joke is on you, though, if you think this blog post is going to be chock-full of spelling errors because I’m not even remotely tipsy. Just tired. Really tired.
I stayed up past midnight last night as I was watching Richard II on PBS and then texted with a friend regarding our mutual love of Tom Hiddleston. (He was not in Richard II, but will be in Henry IV and Henry V, which will air on upcoming Fridays on PBS. He was shown in some BTS footage and some interviews. We swooned a bit as we fancy him.)
I thought I would get decent sleep last night as I had no where to be this morning, but a roommate (or someone else in the apartment building at the very least) had a very loud alarm that went off at 7:00am. I was not pleased.
That being said, laundry was done by 9:30am and I spent the rest of the day reading, writing and researching.
This whole upcoming health care thing with registration starting on October 1st will impact me, so I was trying to look up what all that entails. I am the first to admit I have absolutely no idea what any of it means (something that I told my mom earlier this week), but she said that I’m an adult and I need to figure this out. How on EARTH am I to figure this out? Do you know how much “official” paper work I’ve read through this year with regard to health insurance stuff and whatnot? I am a very, very smart girl but I do not understand a majority of the overly verbose crap that is written on those documents. It’s like the government is setting us up to fail. (This isn’t me blaming Obama. I love Obama. This is me blaming the people at the top of the life food chain who make stuff for us peons below much harder than it needs to be.)
I did some reading. I finished reading John Green’s “Paper Towns.” I find myself wholly loving his writing style but getting frustrated with some of his characters. This time I was frustrated with Margo Roth Spiegelman. I mean, I get why she did what she did (to a point), but I thought she was super selfish… and that Quentin deserved better. I need to reread the last chapter (as I was distracted by something that was on my television), but I don’t think it’ll change my opinion.
I’ve said this before on here that I’m trying to read more YA books because I’m writing one. I wrote a few pages today and am up to 11,000+ words. I’m on the sixth chapter and it’s progressing all right. My biggest problem when I write is that I fixate so much on what I’ve written and what’s likely wrong with it that I’m slow to move forward. I’m trying to just keep going. I have an idea of where it’s headed, but there is filler stuff that needs to be written out and that is not my forte. I still feel like I’m in an exposition-y stage and need to explain the different teachers and what classes my protagonist is in, in addition to his progressing attraction toward who will eventually be his BFF/love interest.
The BFF/love interest is likely going to be my favorite character. I feel slightly guilty that I’m building him up as this great person when I know that in a few chapters he has to mess up really badly in order for the rest of the story to unfold. Nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that that person can’t be perfect for someone else. So, for now he’s going to be this golden boy, but I’m going to have to knock him down a little later. But knocking him off his pedestal is going to help the protagonist find his own footing and be able to accomplish stuff he didn’t think he could or would.
I’d apologize for this being so vague, but I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. Not that I think anyone would steal my idea or anything… but this is mine until someday when I hope I will be able to share a finished entity to anyone who wants to read it.
Tomorrow is the Broadway Flea Market. I had hoped to go to a movie beforehand, but the film I wanted to see is no longer playing and the other film I want to see is not playing at a convenient theater/time, so I shan’t be attending a screening (at least not tomorrow). I will go to the flea market (depending on the weather), as I’d like to get some more window cards to hang in my room. There are some from shows I’ve seen that I really want, and hopefully I’ll be able to track down a couple at a reasonable price.
Tomorrow night is also the Emmys. I have a standing text and watch date with my sister, so hopefully we’ll be able to do that. It’s nice to still “watch” something with a sibling even though we can’t actually be together.
I miss my family. I miss them a lot. I talk to my mom almost every day (especially since she and my dad are apart for a couple months while he’s off in a different state for work stuff), but I haven’t seen any family since June. I miss my siblings. My sister was supposed to visit this month, but she couldn’t swing it because of her job. I’m supposed to see my brother and his wife next month, but it’s not a certain. I just hope to God I am able to make it back to see my family for Thanksgiving. I will be an emotional wreck if that does not happen. I need family hugs.
Whelp. My movie is just about over. (I was watching Atonement because I love it dearly and had been aching to re-watch it for awhile.) I think I’ll shut down my computer, brush my teeth and curl up with another book or perhaps continue watching Safety Not Guaranteed (a movie I started to watch on Netflix). I hope to sleep in tomorrow. Should someone else’s alarm wake me up, I cannot be responsible for my actions if I go all Hulk on someone. You wouldn’t like me when I’m (super tired and) angry.
Have a good one
P.S. I got my ticket for Little Miss Sunshine today. I am so freakin’ excited to see this musical. (The cast alone is bonkers amazing… Will Swenson, Rory O’Malley, Wesley Taylor. Granted I’ve seen all of them on stage before, but not all in one show!!!!)
September 14, 2013
My roommate is singing opera really loud in the living room, so my plan to get some reading done has been thwarted for the time being. So, I thought I would offer up some life updates.
I am no longer unemployed.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay – I will now not be homeless in three months.
Granted, I’m still not anywhere close to working a dream job, I can now probably almost completely pay my bills every month, or at the very least be down maybe $100 a month instead of $1200 a month, so that is PROGRESS.
I’m walking dogs. (Yep – see, not a dream job.) BUT, it’s not altogether terrible either. See, I get to play with dogs all day. Yes, I have to walk them, and yes some of them are very high maintenance, but I get to be around dogs for hours and hours a day instead of being stuck behind a desk getting screamed at or worse like at my last job. (Though, one of the dogs and I got a cup of water and then the actual cup thrown at us during one of our walks… and on Thursday some lady shoved me aside so she could get into her car. But I wasn’t hurt or anything. People are just super rude is all.)
So, yeah, walking dogs. I have two college degrees and now I am walking dogs. This isn’t a career for me, but it will pay bills and it lets me have free weekends and the ability to not be homeless. So, I’ll take it. And it really isn’t so bad. I mean, yeah, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows (like, I got poured on the other day because the sky decided to open up in between clients), but it’s definitely not the worse thing ever. Did I mention I get to play with dogs all day? DOGS.
The pay is pretty decent for how little I actually work, though there is definitely room for me to earn more. I’ve only worked 6 days thus far. It’s exhausting and I’m still working on earning trust from some of the dogs (a few of them instantly have taken to me, but a couple are still a little tentative, but that’s to be expected), but it is rewarding as well. It’s nice to get to spend time with dogs again (I miss my dog back in Minnesota like crazy all the time) and I like the autonomy of it. I’m expected to show up at my clients’ houses at a certain time, take care of their dog(s) and then move on to the next place. I have a set schedule that allows me little pockets of down time to read a chapter or down part of a sandwich before I pick up my next dog. What’s great about the company I work for is that we only walk one dog at a time (or two if the household has two dogs), and therefore only walk for one household at a time. It’s very one-on-one and that makes it a lot less stressful. I mean, it’s still stressful, but it’s more manageable.
Like I said, though, I’m exhausted by the end of the day. In addition to walking the dogs, I walk between clients’ houses and start and end the day with over a half a mile walk to/from my apartment to the subway. So, I’m walking at least 5-6 miles a day and am outside for a majority of the day. A construction guy in the neighborhood I work in has already given me the nickname “Miss Ohio” because I wore a college t-shirt one day. (I’m encouraged to dress comfortably because I’m either on the floor with dogs, out walking them, or picking them up to carry them past crowds or construction.) I’m glad that I don’t have to dress up and can wear whatever I want.
I’m also glad that this job allows me time in the evening and on weekends to write. I’m presently in the middle of Chapter 5 of my book. I plan on writing more tomorrow, but the last thing I wrote was the first official meeting of my protagonist and his eventual love interest.
I’ve been reading as much as I can within the same genre (and totally feel like a creeper every time I got to the library and make a beeline for the YA section – oh well). What I’m finding is that of the four books I’ve read in the past couple weeks, none of them have ended wholly happily for the protagonist. His love interest has either gotten the shit beat out of him and/or died. While I am planning for the love interest in my book to get ruffed up a bit, I’m not going to kill him. That would completely ruin the ending I have planned for my boys… and isn’t it okay to want there to be a happy ending? I mean, their lives aren’t going to be perfect by any means, but I want to end it hopeful as opposed to super depressing or ambivalent.
I just picked up another John Green book (“Paper Towns”), which is YA, but not along the lines of what I’m writing… I just like reading his stuff because I like his writing style (even if I don’t always agree with how his stories progress). But, I’m in the middle of reading “Water for Elephants” (also not in my genre, but I like animals and thought the premise was good even if I thought the movie looked stupid). So, I’m hoping to finish “Water for Elephants” tonight or tomorrow so I can get on with “Paper Towns.”
So much to do, not enough time. I wish there were more days to the week so I could read as much as I want/need to and still have copious amounts of time to write.
See, that’s another thing I’ve been thinking about/talking about with some friends… maybe the fact that I can’t find a for real grown up job is that I’m not meant to have one. Maybe I’m supposed to write. I mean, I write all the time (which I still laugh at because I used to hate it so much… and I still find it frustrating, but a good frustrating), but maybe one day that will actually turn into something. Like, maybe someday people will pay me to write. Or pay me for what I’ve written. I have “publish a novel” and “sell a screenplay” on my Bucket List. (I also have “adapt [insert movie title that I’m not going to reveal] into a Broadway musical” on there, but I need to fax the studio to inquire about rights stuff before I get started on that. It’s so perfect in my head, it’s ridiculous.) I really think that can happen someday. I still have two unfinished screenplays… one of those is good, so I need to finish that and my book. I think those would be my best bets at at least getting my foot in a door somewhere.
The opera music has stopped… which means I can read in peace.
I’m going to go to bed early tonight, as I need to be up early tomorrow as a friend has tickets for us to see a 10:00am screening of The Wizard of Oz. (It’s not a guarantee, but we’re going to try and get in.)
Oh – before I go – yesterday I got to go to a rooftop bar in Chelsea for a work thing (not my dog walking job, a different part-time job I have). It was on the 23rd floor of this hotel on 26th street and we had a GORGEOUS view of the city. It was breathtaking. And while I was staring out over my city I thought about the people who told me I would never live here, or the people who told me I shouldn’t live here. But I do live here. I did it – I moved here. I’ve been here for over a year. And damn it, I’m going to be here as long as I can because I love New York City and I feel like I belong here. I can’t believe I ever let those people tell me I couldn’t do it. Well, I did do it. I’m still doing it. I’m still here.
All right – shower time and then READINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!
Have a good one 🙂
September 10, 2013
Playbill.com announced that there will be a 10 year reunion/screening for the 2003 independent film Camp at 54 Below on Friday October 4, 2013.
GUESS WHO JUST BOUGHT HER TICKET?!
Yep – me.
You don’t understand… I love this movie. It’s not the greatest movie by any means, but it’s entertaining and full of theater gloriousness. My college screened this movie at our independent theater twice when I was a freshman… I saw it both times. I have the soundtrack. I’ve seen it probably 10-20 times. I love it and now I will be seeing it with the director and some of the cast.
Seriously – it’s just so good.
And the cast! I’m going to be in the same room as Robin De Jesus and Sasha Allen, among others. And they said there will be “special guests.” I cannot wait!
I’m going by myself. The theater buddy who I usually see stuff with has not see Camp (for shame!). But, I’m assuming there will be other Camp fans there and maybe I’ll meet some nice new people.
So, yeah… I’m pumped.
September 7, 2013
Posted by katielabovitz under General Information
| Tags: brian j smith
, broadway play
, broadway preview
, broadway revival
, celia keenan-bolger
, cherry jones
, first preview
, tennessee williams
, the booth
, the glass menagerie
, zachary quntio
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I was fortunate enough to snag a Student Rush ticket to the first preview (Thursday September 5, 2013) of the latest Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.
The Glass Menagerie is one of those iconic American pieces of drama that most people are familiar with because they were forced to read the play in middle school or have caught a production of it somewhere along the way. It’s a simple play in that consists of four characters and takes place entirely within the walls (and balcony) of the Wingfield’s home, but it’s actually so much more in depth and complicated than that. Each of those four characters (Wingfield mother Amanda, Wingfield daughter Laura, Wingfield son Tom, and Gentleman Caller James) are entrusted with complex internal and external issues that are impossible to resolve within a two hour play. Their problems are our own, so we laugh alongside them. We laugh at them. But we also hurt inside just as much as (if not more so than) they do.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the plot of The Glass Menagerie (or just need a refresher), it’s about the patriarch-less Wingfield family (the father is out of the picture, having “fallen in love with long distance”). Amanda desperately hopes for a gentleman caller to call on her painfully shy (and crippled) daughter, Laura, so that Laura will be taken care of and not turn into a spinster. Laura’s brother, Tom, works at a soul-sucking job and is in charge of providing for his family even though he wishes he could be doing something more with his life. When Amanda asks Tom to find someone to call on Laura, Tom brings home a friend from work (James). Laura and James hit it off, but there is more to James’s story than he leads on. Though there are fleeting moments of happiness and joy, ultimately everyone’s dreams get dashed somehow.
Long story short – Unicorns without their horns are just horses. (See what I did there…)
Though it was wrong of me, I had ridiculously high expectations of this production based on the source material, the creative team (a lot of the same people behind Once) and the cast.
I was not disappointed. In fact, I was completely blown away by this production. If it weren’t for the guy next to me laughing at every little thing (regardless if it was funny or not), I would have felt like the only person in the theater. I was that absorbed into the story that I could have easily forgot there was anyone else in the room except for me and that cast.
All four members of the cast brought something to the table. Cherry Jones is a national treasure. Seriously – if you have not seen this woman on stage you are missing out. This is the second show I’ve seen her in (I also saw her in The Faith Healer in 2006… also at The Booth) and I am in complete awe at her talent. She commands the stage and is deserving of the attention. While Amanda could be seen as a selfish character, Jones gives even the most ridiculous monologues a sense of purpose. There are always layers to anything Amanda says and it’s fascinating to see this woman go on and on and on… as if she needs to keep talking to fill the air or someone else would have the opportunity to cut in (which Tom does sometimes…). Amanda tells stories to remember the good times, but her stories also remind her (and the audience) about the reality of her present and her fears for Laura’s future. Her mistakes won’t become Laura’s mistakes, but their futures would likely be the same. Self-preservation gives way to looking out for her daughter, but try as Amanda might, Laura’s future remains uncertain and it’s a painful truth for the entire family. If Cherry Jones does not earn a Tony nomination next year, I will eat my hat. This woman is a force on stage and it is always a privilege to see her do what she does best.
Celia Keenan-Bolger plays Laura with such care and grace. (I saw her once before in Peter and the Starcatcher, as her undertstudy was in when I saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee years and years ago.) Though the character could be perceived as naïve, Laura is very self-aware. (Self-aware to the point that her own self-esteem is as crippled as her foot.) She shies away from people, instead feeling more at home with her collection of glass figurines (hence the title of the play). Her favorite piece is a little glass unicorn (that is on display for the whole of the play… because symbolism). Laura stands up for herself when she needs to and let’s people in when she feels safe. Watching her gain confidence is inspiring, but coming off of that high is downright heartbreaking. CKB is an amazing actress and she brings such an authenticity to the characters she plays.
Brian J. Smith (The Gentleman Caller) was the only cast member I was unfamiliar with. As announced in Tom’s opening monologue, The Gentleman Caller only appears in the last part of the play, but plays an important part. That he does… that he does. Though we only see him on stage for a short amount of time, The Gentleman Caller is the missing piece to the other three characters’ puzzles… but he still doesn’t quite fit their needs. For Amanda, he’s a solution to her daughter’s impending spinsterhood. For Laura, he’s the first (and only) person she ever loved. For Tom, he’s a colleague and perhaps something more. (I’ll delve into that when I discuss Zachary Quinto as Tom in a couple paragraph…) However, The Gentleman Caller manages to get everyone’s hopes up and then spectacularly dashes them all. However, as an audience member, I didn’t hate him (even though I felt like I should). Perhaps it’s because Brian J. Smith was so charming and likeable on stage, or perhaps it’s because I’m a grown up now (as opposed to the 6th grader I was when I read the play for the first time… young children will never understand the complexities of a Tennessee Williams play… I sure as hell didn’t). I understand now that The Gentleman Caller was never supposed to be the thing that solved the Wingfield’s problems – he was supposed to highlight them and make the family (and each individual member of it) deal with the realities of the situations they were facing. Smith’s “aw-gee” presence on stage was needed to give the weighty issues we all were thinking about some levity. Even though he brought on just as much (or more) pain than he eased, The Gentleman Caller is a necessary character to round out the Wingfield trio.
And then there was Tom. This was Zachary Quinto’s broadway debut and I felt really lucky to be a witness to the start of what is sure to be a successful Broadway career (should he wish to continue to act on the Great White Way). I was mesmerized by his stage presence and his presence on the stage. What I mean by that is that he commanded the stage (he has a screaming match with Jones that will make your eyes go wide), but you could also see him in the moment. I was lucky enough to have a 7th row seat and because I remembered to wear my glasses, I could clearly see his facial expressions throughout the scenes. There was this one moment when he was watching Jones give one of her monologues and I swear to you that his eyes were sparkling – like he was thoroughly enjoying this spectacle of a story that Jones was weaving. In that moment, though, I couldn’t tell if it was Tom listening to Amanda or Quinto watching Jones. To me, it seemed like the latter – like Quinto was just beyond pleased to be watching Jones shine from just a few feet away. Or maybe Tom was just really interested in one of his mom’s stories… (which somehow I just don’t buy, given their relationship).
I found Tom to be the most tormented character in the play because he was caught between wanting things for himself and needing to provide for his family. He wants to write, but is stuck working in a job he doesn’t love to be able to support his mom and sister because his father is no longer in the picture. Each night he goes to the movies and doesn’t wander back home until a few hours before he has to get up for work. It’s a vicious cycle that he doesn’t break, but it’s wearing him down more and more. He snaps at his mother, is protective of his sister and wants more for his life than the hand he was dealt. When he does do something for himself, everyone else suffers. The lights literally go out. When Amanda confronts her son what he does each night, he constantly explains he goes to the movies. There’s a lot that’s not said here, but as the play wore on, I interpreted Tom’s late-night entertainment was going to the movies, but then perhaps seeking comfort elsewhere. He was no stranger to drinking, but I was under the assumption he was looking for a gentleman caller of his own… or at least someone (or someones) to help him relieve some tension.
Now, before I started typing this up, I actually Googled if Tom Wingfield is specifically written as a gay character. I found no concrete “yes” or “no” answer, but there were several opinions and pieces claiming that because Tennessee Williams was gay, and that in The Glass Menagerie Tom is a fictional stand-in for Williams, that Tom is gay. There’s even an article in the back of the Playbill about Zachary Quinto (“In Glass Houses” by Harry Haun) that quotes Quinto as saying “To play Tom – which is the clearest distillation of Tennessee Williams himself – at this time in my life is perfect.” (Quinto came out in October 2011.) Though Tom’s sexuality is not at the forefront of the play, it does affect the interpretation of this character. Remember, the play takes place in 1937…
Though the play is set almost 80 years ago, its themes still very much resonate today. Family responsibility, employment, financial security, individuality, disability and then some are all things we’ve either dealt with ourselves or tangentally through a loved one. That’s what makes this play so easy and so hard to watch – we can relate to these people probably more than we care to admit.
This is a fantastic show. Simple as that. The cast is great. The minimal set is perfect. (There’s some furniture, a fire escape, a glass unicorn and a typewriter… because you know, symbolism.) It was just icing on the cake for me that The Glass Menagerie is playing at The Booth (where I saw my very first Broadway show – The Pillowman – nine years ago).
Now in previews, The Glass Menagerie opens on September 26, 2013. (They do a student rush – $35. You are allowed 1 or 2 tickets and must show a student ID.) It’s playing at The Booth, which is located on 45th St between 8th Ave and Broadway.
Stagedoor – I did go to the stagedoor after the show. (This is my experience/what I saw and not a guarantee that it’ll be like this each night.) The cast had a lot of guests (as it was first preview), so they didn’t come out to sign until about an hour after the show. All four cast members came out and signed. (It was announced that they would only be signing Playbills and show posters, so the people who only had Star Trek stuff and headshots had to leave.)
Quinto was the first person out and he looked legitimately surprised and overwhelmed at the crowd at the stagedoor. (I thought this was cute, as there were not really that many people there compared to other stagedoor experiences I’ve had after other shows.) He signed for people and took pictures (make sure to have your cameras ready when it’s your turn). I didn’t get a picture, but as he was signing my Playbill, I congratulated him on his Broadway debut and he looked up and made eye contact with me before thanking me for coming to see the show. And it wasn’t even just a “Thanks for seeing the show.” It was a heartfelt and extremely grateful/gracious “Thank you so much for coming to the show.” It was almost as if he was surprised that so many strangers were that receptive and appreciative of his work. He deserved it, though. He was great as Tom (albeit a little quiet in spots… I’m glad I had a close seat, else I would have missed some of his dialogue) and definitely made an impact on me. His sincerity and general niceness to me and the crowd has earned ZQ a spot on my list of actors who I respect even more having met them in person. (Darren Criss and Zachery Levi hold the top spots, but ZQ is definitely in the Top 5.)
The crowd at the stagedoor thinned out considerable after Quinto and CKB signed, but I hung around for the other two. I really wanted to talk to Cherry Jones, but some guy started talking at her and their conversation carried over through when she was signing my Playbill, so I didn’t even get a proper chance to thank her. She’s amazing. Like, amazing. Brian J. Smith borrowed my Sharpie to sign my Playbill and commented that it (the marker) was green, like that was some huge surprise.