Sunday, July 24, 2011

There are no More Astronauts in America

flying dreams

It seems un-American to take space away from us.

It seems un-American to fire the standing army of scientists, mathematicians, chemists who make the big thing fly. Weren't we told in school that being good at math was important, that there was no more honorable trade than beating the Soviets?

But budgets must be balanced, and dreams must be slashed, like the LaBrea tar pits rendered as a cement hole in the ground. Now being good at Math is important so you can be another hedge fund manager. Lord knows we need more bankers.

This disintegration of the space program feels like a personal attack, somehow. Once again the American child's dream of space flight is in a book, in a science fiction movie. Space has been returned to the land of the imagination.

Thank goodness it's true that any child can still grow up to be the president.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Outfits: the Chautauqua Edition

I have an unofficial competition going with myself to dress cute every day that I am here. I have to be  a little practical since I climb ladders to hoist the iron bag every once in a while, but for the most part, I am living it up- no NYC creeps to avoid, no movement classes requiring hideous workout clothes. I AM FREE! And how glorious it is.

I do find it somewhat difficult to sneak away and take pictures at times, since it kind of embarrasses me, but here we go: the Chautauqua Outfits, so far.

Daily Outfit

Here I am in early June: you'll notice it was still cool enough for jeans and a sweater. I'm feeling practical, but still am overdressed in comparison to most of the carpenters and painters.

Daily Outfit- Gypsy Princess

Here is an average shop day outfit, complete with headscarf which means I didn't feel like washing my hair that day. No lie.

Daily Outfit: Opening Night

And here is the most ridiculous outfit available to me: a glittery gold opening night soiree not-too-sweaty tent. I think it was worth not being able to afford groceries for a week, don't you?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hermits and living here year round

Beautiful Chautauqua Houses

Looking at these houses every day makes me want one, but I'm not sure if I could live in this exact community.

It's quaint, it's scenic, and there ain't nobody here to bother you 40 weeks a year. It's the perfect place to hole yourself up in your attic writing-lair and bang out the next great American novel.

Unfortunately, I am a theater nut, and my visual art inspiration comes from other people- art is the point at which two bodies meet in space and define, change, shape one another. Also, the houses are all shoved up against one another, which is fun for a few weeks in the summer, but probably a little tedious after a while. No yard? Where does one throw the ball with the dog? Where do we put the grill and the hammock? It's not all going to fit on the porch.

I'm glad the season has started. I like to watch the crowds as they stroll past me & my evening beer on the porch. There are other excited people around (maybe sometimes too excited). We run and we fetch and we swim at night, and there is a nonstop stream of inspiration coming at me.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Sunday Morning in Jewett

Daily Outfit- Gypsy Princess

I awake, 8 AM, like a dog expecting breakfast. But today is Sunday, and I am on a shop schedule.

Consciousness returns at 11, the house stirring around me. Laughter bubbles up from the porch. I know Kelly is showering, because the hallway smells of Pert. Keri will shower next, and the smell will be lavender. Brandon blows his nose through my thin wall. Ryan will not return until eventide.

It is muggy here on the second floor. It is always, always muggy, and I don't have enough money to pay off the heat.

The kitchen is the cool morning dark, and the coffee pot still drips, although nobody comes to the kitchen until I have whistled the kettle and set up on this couch.

Today is a day for preparation, for crossing things off the to-do list. A day like any other, really.

A Sunday in Jewett.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Brief Update

Mask Show

I know, I know. I have been gone for a month. It's not because I don't love you: it's because there is only one internet in this whole town. As a result, I use my iPhone for the daily email/facebook/news check, and only get on the computer every great once in a while. This has kept me sociable and busy, but also far from my thoughts and you.

A brief update, then, as I sit in the plaza and type to the sounds of children playing, trying desperately to finish before the battery on my six-year-old laptop runs out (seriously, somebody stop me from throwing this thing in the lake).

Disco Russian Disco

The costume shop here is relatively small: as a result, we rent, borrow, or buy many of our costumes. We made most of the dresses for Three Sisters, if only because the director and designer had a very specific, gauzy vision for this play. It opened last week, and so we are hard at work on the mock-ups for Love's Labors Lost and the New Play Projects.

I am learning a ton: turns out I didn't do very much costume building in Binghamton, and one forgets an awful lot when one does not work for a year. I enjoy my work, and I enjoy the schedule, but I am looking forward to when they put me backstage for LLL. The hustle and crush and being helpful of wardrobe work is what I find most rewarding. And besides, it took me most of the afternoon today to make a bowtie. I am, indeed, the intern, and not a stitcher.

Life in the theater is dynamic: there are five of us in each of the shops (Costume, Props, Set, Electrics, Admin and Stage Management), as well as the actors. Sometimes we have enforced fun, and some nights all 50 of us winds up drunk on the front porch. This is variably amusing.

Chautauqua itself is of course lovely. I don't really have time to go to the classes or lectures during the day, but we jump in the lake at night (unless you, dear reader, work for the institution, in which case we definitely don't do that), and we saw Steve Martin play his banjo the other night. We took advantage of the day off yesterday to Kayak and Lawn Bowl- the old folks seemed especially pleased that we were joining them at their game.

Mostly I am building connections, drawing pictures, and trying to find some time to asses my life and what I think should come next- I haven't. I promise I shall make more of an effort to write in future, but for now the sun is in my eyes and it is time to eat.