he (chekhov) insisted it (the cherry orchard) was a comedy.


{myself as anya with our lovely varya in chautauqua theatre co's production of the cherry orchard directed by ethan mcsweeny}

i went to look it up the other day.


the scene from the cherry orchard that i can't stop thinking about.

and there it was. page 382 of the plays of anton chekhov (the paul schmidt translation).

it's about ten lines long. takes up half the page.

it looks like nothing, this scene.

and yet, that was the scene that brought me to the wings each night. that was the scene i couldn't bear to miss.

the proposal. or rather the not proposal.

you see lopakhin goes in to propose to varya (who knows he's coming in to propose to her) and yet, it just, doesn't. happen.

but it's so full. the scene is so pregnant with the space around the words. with possibility. promise.

and so i would watch each night. from offstage. knowing how it would end. and yet hoping that maybe this time--maybe this time it might go just a little bit differently. that if varya turns around just a little bit sooner or if the final line comes just a little bit later--that it could all end... better.

i remember saying to the lovely gentleman who played our lopakhin (and who i was just ever so slightly, oh you know, just a little bit, in love with) just this once, actually do it. just this once propose, and let's see what happens.

and yet he didn't. he couldn't. and the emptiness that immediately follows the unimaginable fullness of those ten-or-so lines broke my heart night. after. night.

i've been doing this recently. standing in the wings of my own memories. watching the scenes replay. attempting to find the one variation that might just change it all. and thinking that if i can just get the actor playing yasha to call out for lopakhin a little bit later (or whatever my equivalent of that is) perhaps...

but chekhov was a genius. he knew what he was doing. and so i'm gonna choose now, in this moment, to trust that.

post-secret follow up


I thought the end of Ned would be like getting hit by a dump truck, in the best possible way.


It would be a moment--one, single moment--that would knock me on my ass (or damn near kill me {as long as we're going with the dump truck metaphor}) and literally change my life forever. That was the best-case-scenario--that was what I prayed for. 

I'm starting to think it's not going to be anything like that. I'm starting to think it's happening now. And will take a very, very long time. A life, if you will. But it will not be my life--it will simply be one part of it. The end of Ned is a gradual coming to--an ascent into consciousness, the compilation of countless near-obvious realizations.

And I'm starting to think that this whole Ned thing...well, maybe there's a reason it's happened--happening.

For those of you who've read The Time Traveler's Wife, do you remember the scene where (bear with me I've loaned the book out so I have to paraphrase) Clare at twenty has just begun dating Henry. And they're at some club and she wanders off to go to the bathroom and runs into Henry of the future (the Henry she's known all her life--the Henry she grew up with) and she says to him, I miss you, I wish you were the one who was here right now--I don't know this other person. And in return he says, but who you are--this time you spend with the twenty-eight year old Henry is what makes me who I am today--the man you do love so much. I need you Clare. Do you remember this part? I'm absolutely butchering the poetry of it all but I'm just trying to make a point. 

Well, for better of for worse Ned is shaping me. He has made me who I am today. And he is creating the woman my Henry will one day fall in love with. Yes, there was a time when Ned made me unbelievably selfish, unbelievably unreliable and unbelievably unkind. But that time has passed. And for the first time in my life I'm beginning to think that I am, actually, quite strong. 

Now, let's be clear, I am not romanticizing Ned. Ned is bad. Very, very bad. I wouldn't wish Ned on anyone. Ned robbed me of whole years of my life--countless would-be memories. But I am making the choice to be thankful for how I am now responding to 

So, remember this post? Well, my post-secret really was what was written on the card, but there was more--I promised you more and I never delivered on it.

Well, okay, here goes:

About a month ago I decided to stop acting. Not for a long. Just a year. Maybe two. I was having a near impossible time reconciling Ned with the audition process. And I knew as long as Ned is an ever present force in the room with me, I'll never be able to give it a proper go. And I want to give acting a proper go. But I need acting to be my decision. I need to come to it when I am ready--not simply because it's the next step on some pre-prescribed path.

I think I scared my parents. I think they're afraid I won't go back. What I tried to explain to them is I will. That in my gut I believe this is actually the best decision I can make for the future.

And so now I have a year to fail brilliantly and make impossible mistakes. And all I want to do is travel. I have nothing tying me down, so what better time is there?

So I'm looking into teaching English abroad and while I've surreptitiously gathered information from a few of you (thanks girls!), if anyone else cares to weigh in on the subject...well, by all means.


Phew, now that I've gotten all of that out of my system, maybe words will come a bit easier now.
 






quote found at this little blog
which i've just discovered and
am falling in love with

25 before 25

Inspired by the amazing Carolyn over at My Thirty Before 30 Journey, I decided to make my own list. I said I needed a change? Well, it's in my hands to make it happen. My half birthday is April 4, so I have a year and a half to begin these--to make them a priority. I've lost sight of how much fun goals can be (I say this now, we'll see how I feel three months, six months, a year from now {though I have a feeling I'm going to love these--how hard some of them are--how much of a challenge they'll present})



1. take a trip abroad

2. read 25 new books
3. fall in love with running
4. give up soda and coffee (and yes, that mean's saying goodbye to starbucks)
5. figure out how to get some swimming into my life
6. host a dinner party
7. finally start a book club (stop talking about it and just do it)
8. get a job that i truly love (even if it's only temporary)
9. see the elephants walk through manhattan
10. see the yankees play in the new stadium
11. explore and document different nyc neighborhoods
12. write a little. every day. stretch those creative muscles.
13. choose 15 of shakespeare's great female monologues. disect them. figure them out.
14. speak a little poetry--a little shakespeare out loud every day
15. improve my spanish speaking skills
16. stop buying tabloid magazines
17. unleash my inner fashion mavin
18. lower my cholesterol
19. figure out what my happy weight is
20. eat at least five fruits and veggies each day
21. treat my body with the respect it deserves 
22. get my finances in order
23. become a real--working--professional actor
24. say goodbye to ned. for good.
25. fall in love




What would you put on your list? Do you all have any suggestions?

i hate when people use their headshot as their profile pic for facebook. hate it.


But because you all gave me insight into what top I should wear, I thought I'd show you the end result. And since it's not on facebook, I'm not one of those people that I dislike so much, right?

Oh and the top that won out? Well, I got it for $7 the day of at H&M. Go figure.

I like this photo because I think it looks just like me and it captures my energy (well my energy devoid of all my neurosis). 



What do you think? I'm a lucky girl to know Joseph Moran (he took the photos), no?


The quest for the perfect top to wear in my headshot. OR...an outlet in which to place all my neurotic, unfortunate, uncomfortable, ridiculous thought

s. Thougts, that is. The title of this post got so long that google blogger wouldn't let me finish it. I like that. Maybe all my post titles should be that long. A little act of rebellion on my blog's part.




Okay, so I've been going a little batty. When I first signed with my agent (or rather, just before) he ooohed and ahhhed over my headshots taken by the oh-so-lovely-and-talented Joseph Moran (did you see the New York Magazine cover with Caroline Kennedy {it was a month or so back just after she pulled out of the race}? He did that). 



The following picture is one that Joseph took in January of 2008. For some reason it's the only one I have on my computer. He had fashion photoshopped it--meaning it was high gloss, high glamour--not what one would use for a headshot, and sent it to me just for fun. I then put it through the poladroid program. {Just for fun.} And wha-la...


It is highly, highly edited, but you get the idea. Last go round I had about three tops to choose from--basic Ann Taylor knits. One in a reddish color, one in blue, and then just a simple, basic black t-shirt. Turns out I photograph really well in black. Agents don't really like this. They like color. The like pop--they like you to look as "commercial" as possible (please don't ask me what that means, I'm still figuring it out for myself).  


This is all to say that many moons ago my agent asked me to get new headshots. Not so serious. More fun. A little lighter, he said. And no helmet hair. 

Ouch.

I've been putting it off. Standing in limbo. 

No more. Action is being taken. I'm getting my headshots done again. Tomorrow. By Joseph, because I love him and would trust him to do anything with that camera of his. 

So, about a week and a half ago I began the search for the perfect top. I worried. I fretted. All other cares fell at the feet of this grand pillar of importance. East, West, North, South...I searched high and low and came up with these...


{purple top from Anthropologie}

{a pinkish/orange top from the Gap. simple. i love that}

{a mermaid green BCBG dress. i fell desperately in love with the color}

{a very fancy maroon dress from Theory}

{and finally, a navy top from Urban Outfitters that I wouldn't ever wear in real life but might just photograph beautifully. or hideously...we'll see...}


I did my best with the tops. But then of course there is the issue of my adult onset rosacea which is marring my once near perfect skin. I've used my metrogel. I've stuck to the course of antibiotics. It disappeared there for a time. But it's come back. I know, I know it can be photoshopped out. I know. But it's about how you feel...you know?




It's silly to worry about a photo. It's just a photo. I think what I'm really worried about is that in the time between when I first got my headshots taken and now...what have I really accomplished? What do I have to show for myself? The camera can't capture the changes that have taken place inside me. But perhaps Joseph can...

Here's to hoping! Happy Monday.