Updates from Texas

I interrupt your regularly scheduled blog-skimming for a short announcement: You may have noticed a new “site” tab at the top of this page. You probably didn’t. So I’m telling you now: I’ve been putting together a website for my dance and writing work, so check it out here!

Some other things I’ve been making in the couple few weeks:

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Yeah, I had  a lot of time on my hands . . .

But so much not any more! I’m currently in Texas getting ready to be an RA at a Joffrey Ballet School program. (Slash professional pokemon-tracing artist.)

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Things I Did In Paris

The Shmoop version:

  • Spent time wandering through parks and sitting on benches and lingering in cafes not feeling bad about not being productive like I do in New York.
  • Improv-ed a lot.
  • Found my groove. Forgot where I left it and lost it again. Found it. It ran away. Chased it around.
  • Krumped.
  • Choreographed in a park.
  • Learned to like journaling.
  • Wine.
  • Had some late night w(h)ine and feelings conversations that dug deep.
  • Needed friends. Found them.
  • Cried in public.
  • Cried in private.
  • Had about four and a half identity crises.
  • Ate snails. Didn’t hate them.

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    Garlic can fix anything.

  • Almond croissants.
  • Macarons.
  • Monoprix brand chocolate mousse.
  • Saw seven performances, which I loved, hated, and felt meh about, sometimes all at once.
  • Noticed which moments from those performances (whether love, hate, or meh) still stuck with me after a few weeks.
  • Was impressed at the size, diversity, and casual-ness of theater audiences. Realized that subsidized tickets probably have something to do with it.
  • Developed an appreciation for NYC’s 24-hour subway service after 2am.
  • Dealt with some transportation strikes.
  • Learned to get around using actual maps instead of just Google Maps.
  • Took dance classes in French. Was thankful for ballet terms and body language.
  • Was an open class junky as usual.
  • Really felt like I was hitting a wall with my performance (in that I literally ran into the wall during a performance).
  • Got good at saying “je voudrais”” and “pardon” and “Je ne parle pas français.”
  • Gave directions in Arabic once (which is a big deal for me given that I rarely have competent directional knowledge or language skills, let alone both at the same time).
  • Got lost in museums.
  • Wondered why I was in museums and theaters when the world is a mess.
  • Went to more museums.
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Posture jungement.

  • Spent a long time looking at art and an equally long time looking at graffiti. Tried to figure out the difference.13494989_10208692991714392_1993365495488247232_n
  • Wandered around cemeteries looking for famous dead people. Wondered about the non-famous dead people I saw along the way. Tried to Google their names. Found nothing.

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    Nijinsky though…

  • Decided that I should to make a resume section for every airport security additional screening test I pass (It’s senior year–gotta pad that resume with something).
  • Realized how quickly I can get comfortable in new cities.
  • Didn’t necessarily leave with the feeling that I need to move to Paris, but with the feeling that I could move there, or a whole lot of other places, and find bits of home-ish.

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Thoughts on Journaling

As my month is Paris is winding down, I thought I’d post some bits from the journal I’ve been keeping here, starting with some feelings about journaling itself (so #meta, right?)


It’s weird for me writing on paper. Usually I like to write on my laptop so I that I can start at the middle, if I need to, then work to the beginning, then shuffle it all up until it makes sense. So I can leave blanks when I don’t know how to say it and come back to it when I find the right word. So I can iterate over a sentence, making little tweaks until it finally says what I mean.

I’ve heard that journaling is supposed to be more “raw and authentic,” “stream of consciousness,” and I see how there’s something in in getting thoughts down as they come out, with minimal editing. But usually, my consciousness doesn’t work like a stream, flowing constantly and unidirectionally down one line (as meandering as that line may be). It jumps around and disappears and stops and runs backwards and circles back on itself and sometimes flies away.

Maybe that’s why I have an easier time choreographing than I do with improv. I like to return and reorder and readjust, but it’s something else to make movement flow out on the spot in order. I guess I just have to get used to the fact that things don’t always come out just “right,” and get on with it.

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What am I Doing, Anyway?

Well after a few weeks chillin in California…

and some last minute attempts to absorb all of the French language by osmosis…

 

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I’m here in Paris for a month…

to study…

 

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Breaducation.

Bread! Ehrm, wait–I meant dance!

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A highlight so far was watching the Hofesh Schecter company perform Barbarians–one of the most skillfully wacky emotionally haunting pieces I have seen in a while–and then getting to take class–improv and repertory– from some company members. The class got me working on “finding my groove” without getting stuck in my “loops,” (which also happens to be something I need to figure out in my life in general).

More updates to come. Au revoir peeps!

Things I Learned This Semester: Round 6

Another semester, another batch of vague bite-sized Junior Wisdom:

  • Distinguish between what you’re interested in and what you’re truly excited by. (A comment from my friend’s advisor on thesis topics which has got me reevaluating lots of life choices).
  • Buying the larger size leggings is always the better decision.
  • Being okay with being seen doing things you’re bad at is a skill that gets better with practice (i.e. Me taking hip hop. And classical variations).
    • It’s also a really awesome skill which expands the range of experiences you can say yes to and things you can learn.
  • You don’t have to make yourself stop caring about what people think. You can just start caring so much about what your doing that it overrides that other stuff.
  • Taking fewer classes and actually having enough time to think about them is a good setup, if you can make it happen.
  • Coffee is not the same thing as sleep. Only sleep is sleep.
  • If you don’t know, ask the question. If you kinda know but maybe not, ask the question anyway.
  • Activism doesn’t have to have a particular form or tone to count. Activism can (and should) look like a lot of things.
  • Even super legit arts organizations and nonprofits which appear to have their finances together actually don’t. Which is really depressing from a systemic perspective, but maybe a little bit comforting personally to know that your financial issues are not a reflection of your value, talent, or legitimacy.
  • If you wait until you have it all figured out to start talking, you’re gonna be silently waiting for a long time.
  • Caring is the new Not Caring.
    • *(Not really–Not Caring is still probably cooler, but I’m trying to make caring happen.)
  • I’m way better at dealing with problems when they’re other people’s problems.
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I didn’t learn how to draw, but I did get really bored this week…

Sparks

You’re probably not wondering where I’ve been for the last week or so, but the great thing about blogging is that I’m going tell you anyway. Or at least the SparkNotes version:

    • Gave a lecture for the Intro Psych class I TA (Or half a lecture, anyway).
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We’re in it for the citations.

    • Wrote a thing about sarcasm:

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      I dedicate a disproportionate amount of my paper-writing energies toward making bad puns.

    • Wrote a thing involving the Polar Express, high-fashion prosthetics, and point-light displays of yoga. School is weird.
    • Stopped sleeping, fell apart, and started sleeping again.
    • Danced in a show and another show.
    • Ripped most of my toenail off onstage while dancing in a show.
    • Taped it togther and danced again.
    • Danced with a dinosaur: