My family history is full of individuals who wouldn’t tolerate nonsense.
Ancestors on my mother’s side are descended from John Alden. I could have entered myself into Daughters of the Mayflower, if it weren’t for the fact that those same forebears who landed at Plymouth found America to be awful and immediately caught the next boat home. On my father’s side is a group of frustrated Socialists from Finland who transplanted to the Ohio River Valley so they could do their Socialist things free from Finnish reproach (stern scowls, etc.). On both sides there are generations’ worth of teachers, librarians, and professionals who would not have that attitude in his/her classroom/library/boardroom so you just sit down and think about your actions.
One of the great joys of my life is having a large extended family. In particular, on my mom’s side is an enormous brood of two grandparents, six children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. The Ashcrofts (adorably named because they’re descended from chimney sweeps) are a clan in the truest sense of the word. Fights, drama, camaraderie, laughter, wacky road trips where children get left behind at truck stops, the whole bit. It is a complicated group, but a loving one.
And it’s all due to the efforts and love of one man: my grandfather.
We call him Grandpa because he’s our grandpa and not a nonsense word like Pip Pip or Nonnos.
Chuck Ashcroft is the patriarch of our family, in a way that doesn’t really exist anymore. As a child, you only see your relatives within the context of the family; all you know, or care to know about them, is what you pick up during reunions and Christmases. My grandfather is kind. He is opinionated. He is fiercely protective of those who hurt his own. He’s jolly. He likes to fish, loves to golf, and adores a strong drink before bed. Chuck has taken in children after failed careers, boosted them up, and then pushed them back out of the nest for another try. He’s acted as a father figure for some grandchildren. At some point or another, he’s tucked each of us into bed.
Like I said, for the longest time I knew very little about my grandpa’s background. But man, when seen in the context of his entire life, his persona makes so much sense. Chuck is 100% a product of his generation. He was an airman based in Italy in WWII, taking photos of bomb drop sites from above. After that he was a company man for the tire industry, the most old school of old school, the kind that brought clients home for steak dinners, stiff drinks, and big deals. He played the upright bass in his own orchestra (The “Chuck Croft” Band). He can play his own age in golf. As a dyed-in-the-wool conservative he’s held tight to his beliefs but has been extraordinarily understanding of the Barackobots in his brood. He volunteers as a greeter at funeral homes and with the Senior Corps of Retired Executives. Even after his retirement he continued to work, as a jovial chauffeur for Mercedes Benz dealerships. Chuck Ashcroft is the jazz man who married the opera singer.
At the moment my grandfather is ill. He’s had recurring lung cancer for the past few years or so, and recently he made the decision to stop treatment. It’s a bit frightening to imagine life in the family without him. All of his children are extraordinarily pragmatic, probably because they were raised in that manner. It’s a blessing that there are so many people to support each other. Part of me likes to believe that my Grandpa and Grandma planned it that way all along. Surround yourself with family and family will naturally become the most important thing in your life. That motto has trickled down to even the youngest of us, I think. My biggest fear isn’t failing at my chosen career, or falling ill of a mysterious disease: my biggest fear is ending up alone, without the circle of loved ones that was so important to me when I was a kid.
My Grandpa has taught me that it is possible to be fully and completely in love with your life. To find something to laugh about every day, to keep oneself busy no matter what, to be able to call waitresses “looker” without them getting angry. If your life isn’t what you want, have the courage to shove up and make it something worth your time. There’s nothing to lose except the people and things that are bringing your life down.
I love my family. I love my Grandpa. We all do. Thank you for everything.
I’m starting to get that question.
“How far along are you?”
Joke joke joke. (And the answer is negative 3 months.)
The real question is “So, what are you going to do when you graduate?” The amount of fake answers in my tank is dwindling. The good news is that often people aren’t looking for your 10-year career track. They’re asking what it is you’re planning on doing in the immediate year/six months. But somehow “Oh, I’m going to apply to 30 different places and see what happens” doesn’t sound all that impressive. I’m a UF telecom grad! I should be networking with the Nielsen people or ESPN or the IT guys that make HBO’s satellites, right?
This is the problem with wanting to be a professional creative. We want to be able to get to the writing/acting/producing “dream jobs,” but we can’t accept that there is no real concrete track to get there. I’ve spent my entire academic life taking the next logical step, so the prospect of a career track based on guesswork is concerning.
My reach goal? Write funnies for monies. Why reach? Because: It. Is. Hard. There’s no defined way to get to the good positions. You can literally be the funniest guy and still have no chance of breaking into the business. It’s the same song and dance for anyone trying to get paid for their art.
YOU NEED TO:
1. Know the right people.
2. Be in the right place.
3. Have the talent.
What’s important for one and three is PROOF of one and three. You can be really talented, but if you don’t have a portfolio, reel, or spec no one will know. You can be really connected, but if you don’t have the actual numbers or business cards, you’re SOL. This is why it’s hard for me to justify saying “I want to be a writer” to people. I don’t write enough at the moment to merit it, and my friends aren’t famous enough yet for me to ride their coattails.
I swear it, the MOMENT one of you guys lands a development deal I will have it made.
Number two is the simultaneously the easiest and the hardest. Your chances of getting a foothold in the entertainment industry increase tenfold if you are in New York or LA. That is where everything is. There is no argument against that. That’s why it’s so scary. The best thing for my career at this juncture is to move hundreds of miles away from everything I love, no ifs, ands, or buts. That’s terrifying.
Right now I have the luxury of optimism. I can move to New York or Los Angeles and get that totally rad internship/job that I dreamed of! And that internship/job will totally lead to secure but not shitty employment! And I will have enough time to get training in comedy so I can eventually quit that employment to do what I really want! And I will also have a boyfriend and we’ll just kiss each other on the mouth all the time!
But as any twentysomething will tell you, as soon as you graduate your luxuries go out the window.
I’ll probably end up doing this Spring what I did last Spring; apply for all the things and, as stated before, see what happens. I have my preferences of positions, but nothing on my list is “THE” position. (If your dreams are small, its easier on you when they’re crushed.) Last year I literally applied to more than 30 positions. How many interviews did I get out of that? One. I’m hoping for a better hit rate this time around. Having a big company name like Sirius XM helps a lot, as does being on the Stern Show (at the very least as a conversation starter). My chances are better, which is good, because they freaking need to be.
I guess the point of this post is that I want an outlet to keep me honest. If I make the process more public, it’ll help me keep track AND it’ll reflect where I’m falling short. No progress report= no progress. Or some shit, I don’t know. Honestly? I’ll probably adjust my resume tomorrow and then forget about it for another two months.
Someone just make me the next Kenneth. That would be great.
Today I saw a play, “Master Class”, starring Tyne Daly. It’s about, as the title suggests, a master class for young singers given by famed opera diva Maria Callas. It was really fantastic. The characterization of Callas was spot on; an aging singer still clinging to the glamour and ego of her golden years. When Tony nominations come around Daly is almost guaranteed a nod. The supporting cast was great as well; the tenor, Garett Sorenson, was only onstage for about ten minutes but he was really incredible.
The play going audience is much different from the musical going audience. Older, more cultured, and, of course, more pretentious. In the bathroom line you hear conversations about who played a better Blanche and which Stoppard play is preferable. I overheard one of those quips today:
“I hate it that people give standing ovations at every show nowadays. I don’t do it much, I want to preserve the sanctity of the gesture.”
That’s what she said, but this is what I heard:
“I hate showing approval for things I don’t think are up to par. I want people to be able to see that I think they were not good enough.”
I guess I don’t understand what the harm is. A standing ovation is simply a gesture saying that you respect the work someone has done. If you give one to a mediocre performance, what will the effect be? That the performer will gain a little more confidence the next time he or she is onstage? Which will then potentially improve their performance?
An argument against is that an undeserved ovation will give a bad actor false hope. But keep in mind that this person got this role, worked hard in rehearsal at it, and is in an incredibly vulnerable position while onstage. It is up to the performer’s colleagues and directors to tell them they are not good enough. If those critiques haven’t been made, if these people have told the actor “you are good enough”, do you really think you staying seated is going to convince them otherwise?
I hate having to stand up as much as anyone. In fact, if the standing ovation was entirely replaced by enthusiastic “wooing” I would be perfectly happy. But as it exists, I encourage diehard theatergoers to not treat it as a prized jewel. If you don’t want to get up, don’t get up, but don’t look down your nose at the “uncultured masses” that want to show their enthusiasm. The worst thing that could happen is someone will feel a little bit better about themselves.
This city is full of people living the lives I want better than I could ever live them.
I’ve gotten into the habit of going to a Broadway matinee every Sunday. TKTS is a godsend for getting half-off tickets thirty minutes before the show. Now, there’s tons of great plays on now with huge names, namely Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams, which is closing in the next few weeks. But I just can’t stay away from the musicals. I don’t want to spend money to see just another version of reality. I want hugegayfabulous non-reality.
Two weeks ago was Avenue Q. It’s currently housed in this theater that also features a children’s show about bubbles, but that doesn’t mean its tired. I mean, the thing beat out Wicked for Best Musical. It’s hilarious. I had already heard most of the songs but the book is good enough to stand on its own. The plot about a boy graduating from college who doesn’t know what his “purpose” is hit uncomfortably close to home. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much. The moments of honesty were not only, well, honest, but they were also relevant.
And, y’know, puppets.
(I refuse to buy merch, though. It’s a stupid black T-shirt, I’m never going to wear it, and just because you bought one doesn’t mean you love the show more than I did. I love it too, AND I get to eat tonight.)
Last Sunday I went to see Catch Me If You Can. Not because I’m particularly set on seeing campy remakes of Tom Hanks films (Apollo 13: The Musical!). I saw it for this guy:
Norbert Leo Butz. The original Fiyero in Wicked, originated the role of Jamie in The Last Five Years, and recent winner of a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical. I got a GREAT seat to the show too. Aisle, fourth row, right next to the steps the actors used to get on and off stage. I was quite literally close enough to touch him.It was a great show and he was great in it. All the music is in this great 60s style big band orchestration, complete with a 12-piece band onstage the whole time.
And yes, they had a song about the two mice in a bucket of cream.
I’m sure a lot of you want to know about classes at UCB. They’ve been going really well! My instructor’s name is Patrick Claire, and he’s great. Going into it I guess I forgot that this is indeed a beginners class. I’ve yet to do an exercise or warmup that I haven’t done before. The funny thing is, for all my experience I’m not sure if I’m doing well in this course or not. I mean, compared to the super beginners I am, but I think I set a bar of “stardom” for myself that was impossible to achieve. I’m doing just as well as everyone else. This may be valuable though. Trust is only achieved in a group if everyone feels on the same level. If everyone is equally brilliant, everyone reaches the same brilliant conclusions.
Flaw in theory: Everyone in a group is equal, but equally stupid.
In any case I’m having fun in it. I go straight to the training center after work, which usually means I get home at 6:30-7 after having gotten up at 4:15. That would be an exhausting day even if I weren’t in NY, which is already life-sucking.
A recent update: Looking to get more experience in the radio universe, I volunteered to do phone screening for one of Howard’s sattelite programs, “Jackie’s Joke Hunt”. Jackie Martling is a guy they used to have on the show who would read terrible old jokes; they made fun of him a lot. When Howard 101 came to be he got his own weekly show, in which he does the same thing with three friends of his. Jackie is like that friend of your dad’s that is always too loud and makes all of the wives uncomfortable at parties. The phone screening itself for this wasn’t too bad, basically a lot of button pushing. I got to read a terrible, terrible “man walks into a bar” joke on the air. The icing on the cake was the nickname Jackie gave me, “Staples.” Jackie got to that name because I’m from Naples, which rhymes with Staples, which reminds him of how in Playboy centerfolds there are staples in the middle. All very logical. Matt, the sound booth guy I was sitting next to, kept on apologizing throughout the show. I didn’t mind, it was all in fun (mostly). I might be doing the Joke Hunt weekly, they haven’t gotten back to me about it yet. I hesitate only because that adds another three non-sleeping hours onto my Tuesdays.
In my spare time I’ve been doing a little sightseeing, a little shopping. Its been harder to get motivation during the week to go out and do things. This is partly because of how exhausted I am, and partly because there’s just too much to do. I got over being disappointed about missing stuff a while ago.
I’ve also been developing a natural homesickness. Sometimes for my actual home, sometimes for the people that I’ve left behind. A week ago I was a mess; crying myself to sleep multiple nights in a row, not talking to my roomates, getting sunstroke in Central Park. I’m better now. I feel like I’m developing a stronger, healthier heart. We go through these periods of lonlieness so that we can operate better when we are not alone. We value it more.
I think I would like New York more if there were more places to sit. Sitting is one of my favorite things. Here its just called loitering.
Speaking of a healthier heart, I’ve been working out a lot. Its not because I’m that keen on working off delicious city calories. My two roommates are incredibly active. One is on the swim team at Georgetown and the other is training for a 10K at the end of July. Their activity forces me into mine. I’m making pretense that this is a completely normal part of my routine, this bike-riding and stair-mastering. Maybe by the end of summer I’ll have a nice set of shame abs.
Here’s to a happy Fourth of July weekend everyone! Be safe and don’t be dumb! Kisses!
I just closed out my second week of work, with a long weekend to look forward to. I have Fridays off, so I have gotten into the habit of having a nice day to myself while everyone else is working. And walking around naked while my roommates are gone.
Where to start, where to start….
Last I talked about work I think I had just finished my second orientation. So, lets get into work itself! The first week was a bit tough…like I’ve said, it was a trial-by-fire kind of deal. They threw us into our shifts and let us figure it out on our own. The interns’ jobs are to answer phones (we don’t answer the main hotline, we deal with the more direct one) and log (transcribe) shows. Not word for word, but close. Most of the logging is for shows on the extraneous channels, like stuff on Howard 101.
I however, lucked out. Tracey assigned me to be Jason Kaplan’s intern; all that really means is that instead of logging the other shows I specifically get to log the Stern show. He does it during the show but he misses spots, so I go in and fill in what he missed. It’s more detailed to write, but a LOT better to listen to. Plus, now I’m more special!
The first week was a little rough, but fine. I only had one show shift. During the show you actually don’t do that much. You still answer the phones, but logging is nearly impossible since everyone’s listening to the broadcast. Every other Thursday there’s no Stern show (Howard’s on vacation hours) but the interns still have to come in at 6 AM. But usually during that time no one is there, so we can drink coffee and read the paper and then start work when everyone else piles in.
What’s crazy about being in the offices is the Howard TV guys. Howard has a cable channel, I don’t know on which service, but the main content is a behind-the-scenes show. These guys are always in the office. Always. They turn on the cameras when something interesting happens, and otherwise just prowl the halls looking for things to shoot. You have to pretend they’re not there and do your work, but make sure you stay out of the shots they need to get.
One of the newscasters, Lisa G, was interviewing Ronnie the Limo Driver (who is really the security guy) and I turned the corner, stared right into the camera, turned and looked at the wall for five seconds, remembered that I was supposed to pretend they weren’t there, and then quickly walked by them. I probably ruined that shot and looked like a ‘tard at the same time. Two for two!
While week one was good, week two was GREAT. Getting to know the office staff, kidding around with them, being less awkward, going with the flow better…all good things. I also had my first celeb sighting!
Based on the amount of people who said they were going to kill me, most of you already know I met JJ Abrams. Well, you’ll be less impressed when I tell you that it was really only for less than a minute. When guests come in they wait in the green room, and then Ronnie comes and gets an intern to bring them a release. I thought I had missed JJ, I thought he had come in on Monday. But, Ronnie got me at around 7:30 to do a release for JJs makeup person. I started flipping, because that meant HE was going to be there soon too! So about twenty minutes later he came in, and I had to grab forms for him and his two assistants. (Everyone needs to sign releases in case they get caught on the HTV cameras.) So I went in and there he was, getting his makeup done. He actually didn’t fill out his own form, he had an assistant do it because he couldn’t write while they were doing his makeup. So as soon as I had the forms in hand (and had gotten coffee for his assistants) I scooted. We’re not allowed to fraternize with the guests in any way. I did manage to get in a “good luck” to JJ though. He was really nervous! He’s plenty adorable in person, and took it well when Howard started yelling at him about the end of Lost. Honestly, if I don’t do any more releases by the end of the summer I’ll be fine; I’ve gotten my geek fix.
Speaking of sightings, here’s my rundown. I haven’t met or seen Howard yet. I met Robin in the elevator last Tuesday. I see Gary all the time because his office opens into the Intern Bullpen. Otherwise, I only see the associate producers and office guys. Us kids are pretty secluded from the rest of the compound. It makes sense though, if we were any closer to things we would probably fuck something up. Also, I think in the past they’ve gotten a few crazies in the intern pool, glory hogs who just want to get on the show. The more hands off the actual show cast is, the less chance they’ll have to deal with a potential whacko.
They keep on providing us with great opportunities though. Every Wednesday on the second Howard channel, 101, they have the Intern Show. We talk about behind the scenes stuff, interesting things that happened, who we met, etc. It’s a ton of fun. Steve Brandano, the host, is nice and makes sure if callers get too crazy to cut them off. We played “Marry, F***, Kill” with the office staff, and I had to go first. I had to choose between Howard, Gary, and Jon Hein. Now, in MY logic I don’t want to talk bad about the people that I literally see every day. So, I say right of the bat that I would kill Howard. Fuuuuuuuuuck. I literally threw my boss under the bus. I thought it had blown over until Mary Anne from Brooklyn, a “Whack Packer” called in and called me stupid and an idiot. I got flustered and then angry, and told her quite firmly that I wasn’t stupid. After the show ended I freaked out about it, but it turned out it was no big deal. Plus, Mary Anne called today specifically for me, to apologize for getting me upset. That was nice!
So that’s my work experience so far. I was going to tell you about my other adventures here too, with UCB and city-hopping, but that would make this way too long. I’ll catch you later, probably this weekend.
If anyone wants to send me nice things or postcards just message me and I’ll give you my address. Then I’ll reciprocate with lovely packages of my own. (Yeah, yeah, blah blah, penis, “what’s in the box”, etc.)
Everyone shut up and let me talk about it.
How I ended up at the Foxwoods Theatre for the Sunday matinee of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is beside the point. The fact that my seat didn’t actually exist when I got there and they had to install it as the show was starting is also beside the point.
The point is that I got a (good) ticket to what was supposed to be the biggest shitshow in town.
Let me give you a little background. Back when Spider-Man was in early previews, it wasn’t getting bad reviews just because of all the injuries. Critics were reaming it because it made absolutely no goddamn sense. The review that I read of it said that the story was long, dense, and just plain freaky. It was an odd frame story in which the Greek figure Arachne actually existed in real life, and lived long enough to actually be Spider-man’s creator, make him fall in love with her, and cause doom and destruction in New York, while somehow both create and be at war with the Green Goblin; something to do with killing Mary Jane or having Peter sacrifice his body to her had something to do with it as well…I can’t find a full synopsis of it.
Like I said, I was promised batshit.
About a quarter of the way through the first act, it was clear that the crazy I was promised was not going to be delivered.
With the info I know now, it TOTALLY makes sense. Most of what I know I got from (ironically) the guy who played J. Jonah Jameson in the autograph line. The show had a choice to make after the shellacking it got in the press; pack it up or start from scratch. Julie Taymor may be a good director, but by all accounts her book was poor in dialogue, story structure, and sense. So, the producers brought in screenwriter Glen Berger and writer/Marvel consultant Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to rewrite the show. They rewrote the entire script in three weeks. An entire Broadway show in three weeks.
Like I said, this makes sense now that I know. In its new iteration, the show is incredibly disjointed. The themes in the songs don’t match up to the story ideas or dialogue at all. This happened because they were literally cutting and pasting the old songs to the most appropriate part of the new plot. And, of course, the dialogue sounds like it was written in three weeks. The plot is now just an amalgamation of the first two movies. Peter gets his powers, chooses between Mary Jane and his power/responsibility, Norman Osborne turns into the Green Goblin, Peter fights the Sinister Six, saves the day, etc. The dialogue is stilted and unrealistic, with cheap references in place of jokes. There’s a serious disconnect between the tone of the first act and the tone of the second act. The Green Goblin, while entertaining (several times serving as comic relief), makes a nonsensical character arc. What these guys did was take an artsy weirdo braingasm and turn it into a Universal ride on ‘roids.
Now, ignore everything I just said.
I have never seen anything like this show. Every single scene had something insane, giant, and cool in it. Unnecessary? Sometimes. Overblown? Totally. But it was such a spectacle that honestly, I didn’t care. The show is a technical triumph. Giant video screens as sets, a revolving platform, an elevator platform, at least thirty flies, hundreds of costume changes, break dancers, acrobats, a HUGE hydraulic seesaw platform that ramped both ways, a moving walkway, not to mention the gigantic flying rigging attached to both the stage and theater itself.
And here’s the thing: I don’t care how jaded you are, how adult you are, or how much of a theater priss you are. When Spider-Man himself flies through the air, and lands right in front of your face and points right at you, what do you do? Scoff? No. You squeal like a little girl.
The 40-year-man next to me certainly did.
Of course there’s still remnants of crazy. The whole “Birth” Ballet is full of puppets in the place of real people, and Arachne, though her part has been slashed to bits (poor T.V. Carpio) still appears randomly in Peter’s semi-sexy dream sequences. But besides that, and the mind-boggling visuals, Spider-Man is an excessively normal musical. The Bono music is unmemorable besides the main theme, the actors are just okay, and the resolution is quick and unsatisfying.
I could go on and on, but here’s the simple conclusion.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is the best Broadway musical I have ever seen. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is the worst Broadway musical I have ever heard.
Its just Friday, right?
This is has been the longest few days. Lots to update, lots of things I’ve already forgot. When I left y’all my Dad was still in town and I was going to move in to my place in the morning. Pop dropped me off and said goodbye. I got a little teary. I’m sick of saying goodbye to people! Sick of it!
Got my internet working, and then got dressed and went out. There’s no point in moping in your room when you have no one to mope at. I walked over to Central Park, which is a skip and a jump away from my building, and walked around. It was a perfectly American summer day: baseball games, cookouts, picnics, dog walkers…it made everything seem so normal.
It has been hot as hell this whole week (except for yesterday), and Monday was no exception. You can’t dress pretty ‘round here and expect to be anywhere near comfortable. I want to give those guys in the huge heavy suits on the subway a handshake for sucking it up but our palms would be waaay too sweaty. I walked down to the Guggenheim and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I didn’t go inside either; this week I haven’t been doing touristy things so much as I’ve been getting my bearings. If I know where the landmarks are I can find my way around the city better, no? Yeah, so after that I went home, changed, and met up with Tope and Jessica for Chinese food and some more walking around. We accidentally ended up at the courthouse….very Law and Order. Stopped at Rockefeller Center for nigttime viewing, and then went home. After handling a minor crisis with the TSF website, I went to bed.
Tuesday! First day of work! I dressed up in my pretty professional wear and got on the train, which was full of similarly busy and important well-dressed people. BTW, listening to Girl Talk on the way is pretty great for getting you pepped up to kick some intern ass. That is until you get out of the subway station and you completely don’t know where you are. Good thing I left an hour and a half early. (I’ve been doing that a lot. I have no concept of time when it comes to commutes.) Eventually I got to the McGraw Hill Building, and eventually I got up to the Sirius office (which is separate from the Stern office). There were fourteen of us there, about half of which were Howard’s interns.
We all looked so young. While we might be the same age as our intern comrades employed at GE or Merrill-Lynch, we certainly didn’t look it. I guess radio, and media in general, attracts a much more casual type of person. I quickly figured out that there’s no real dress code here. I don’t care, I’m still going to come in every day looking nice. I like being fancy.
In the intern meeting they went over the Sirius procedures and intern guidelines. I have to do papers for them too, as well as for UF. But we also get a free three-month subscription to Sirius XM, so there’s that. Once that was done, they took the Stern interns over to the studio to meet with Tracey, our boss there, and sign paperwork and take pictures. That’s also where I got my sleepy-time Sirius ID badge. If I were going to be employed longer than two months, I would probably “lose” it and get a new one.
By 11:30 we were done. A herd of interns banking on being there all day with naught but instructions to come back on Thursday for our “show” orientation. Mostly everyone scattered to go back home and sleep. I decided I had a whole day to kill, and I looked good, so the longer I stayed out the better. I walked over to the NBC Studios and bought a ticket for the tour. That didn’t start until 4:30, so I had about four hours to myself. I walked up and down Fifth Avenue, bought myself a cheap/cute dress and some books at Barnes and Noble, over to Times Square, then down and up the streets there so I could find out which shows were playing where. Did you know Robin Williams is in a play, and Jim Gaffigan, Keifer Sutherland, and Chris Noth are in another, and that Ben Stiller is playing the lead in House of Blue Leaves? Huh! Kept walking, eventually made it back to the Center. It was 2:30.
Unless you’re DOING something, there’s nothing to DO. Just walking around gets tiring very fast. And places to just sit and people watch or read are hard to find (besides the park). That’s what I’ve learned this week. If you’re trying to kill time, have a plan for it.
Eventually I got on the tour. Lots of you will probably eventually go on it, so I won’t go into details. Remember…TV is lies. All of it.
Went home, PJs, sleep. I’m usually worn out enough to go to bed by 11 or 12, like a normal human. My bed is terrible, but hey, its just for the summer. My roommate is nice; she’s working for CNBC, on a full work schedule, so whenever she comes back from work at 6ish she finds me exactly where she left me, in bed and on the computer. I have to somehow convince her I’m not a terrible person.
On Wednesday I decided to brave my fear of subway transfers and make my way to UCB. The easiest way I could figure was make my way to Penn Station and walk…the theatre is somewhere on 26th Street. Now here was a more accurate taste of the city. A lot busier, more regular working people, slightly dingier. Its certainly an interesting area to walk through. There’s a HUGE post office across from Madison Square Garden, if you were interested.
I expected it to be humble, but boy, it is Humble. Its tucked underneath a grocery store, with barely a storefront to announce it. I went downstairs to see if I could buy a ticket to a show but no one was there. It was just…huh. That’s not to say that I’m less intent on visiting there often, or taking classes (Tuesdays from 3-6!). But dang man, it brings home that there really is no money in improv.
Walked back up past Penn Station and decided to keep walking. Eventually, without realizing it I made it back to 42nd Street. Just goes to show you that if you’re not aware of what you’re doing you can end up completely opposite of where you intended to. I did notice walking past the New York Times Building. It smelled of paywall.
I walked through Times Square again, and past the Jerry Orbach/Snapple Theater. It’s a little tiny theater that you have to go up a flight of stairs to get to, just across the street from Mama Mia. The Fantastiks (a minimal but well-reviewed musical) has been running there forever and a day. The tickets are half the price of anything else on Broadway, so I thought why not? I bought a single for Friday.
By this time it was windy, gloomy, cloudy, and muggy all at the same time. Apparently there were tornado warnings? Got on the train and got home. NEVER TRY TO GET ON THE SUBWAY DURING RUSH HOUR. IT IS THE WORST. Also, apparently someone got crushed by a train at the 77th Street station that day. Not a good day for commuters.
I’m getting used to the fact that all of the cool things I see happening in the news and online are actually happening HERE. Sarah Palin visiting with Donald Trump? Here. Tim Tebow on the Daily Show? Here. Random ImprovEverywhere dog flashmob? Here. I’m also getting used to the idea that while I’m much closer to all of these events I still am SO far away. We’ll see if that changes once work really starts. There’s just too much coolness for me to investigate!
Thursday me and another girl got called in to the studio to get a quick runthrough of our office responsibilities and get our building passes. Quick was right. The outgoing intern, forgot his name, spent 30 minutes going over what we needed to do and that was it. I’m guessing he’s right, there’s not much to transcribing shows and answering phones, but I can’t help thinking we missed something. The entire intern staff is new next week though, so I guess they’re counting on us making mistakes. Its cool, I got a Stern show email as well as a Sirius one, and a login and everything. My first shift is on Monday at noon, so I’ll let you know how that goes.
Oooooh! Celeb sighting! On our way to the basement we saw Niecy Nash from Reno 911 and current HGTV something or other in the lobby. That was fun! She looks pretty much the same in person.
There’s also a Chipotle in the lobby. I don’t think I’ll be eating there though…I have never, ever seen a line that long for food.
Orientation done again, a whole day of nothing to do again. I walked over to Central Park, sat and sunned on a rock, walked over to David Letterman, walked to Columbus Circle, walked to Lincoln Center, sat and sunned on a fancy lawn, walked back through Central Park, sat and sunned by the Boat House and the Bathsheda Fountain, and then walked to the subway to go home. I got a blister. Me and Tope then went out for food and convinced Jessica to come out and walk through Central Park at night with us. Then, home and sleep.
And that’s where you find me now. I gave myself a break today, slept in and did computer work. I’m going out tonight to the show, and I’ll probably get some pizza before that. You might be worried that I’m doing so much alone, but I like the independence of it. Though, I will admit its been hard sightseeing by myself. Shared experiences make traveling much more fun; its harder to justify going places or doing things, and there’s no one to talk about what you’re seeing with. I’m homesick, for sure. I’m trying to make friends, but its slow going. The good news is, I don’t feel terrible yet. I’m still excited and stimulated…talk to me in a few weeks, when the crushing loneliness has finally registered.
Anyway, if you want my address here to send postcards or whatnot just message me. I’m going to start doing shopping for people this weekend! Hit me up!