Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birthday, Sick, Final Performances, and Home for the Time Being.

Hey guys!

Very long time since I last blogged. I know. But a heck of a lot has been happening since I last posted. So, I'm planning to do a very big post today to make up for all the lost time. So, in the words of Julie Andrews, "Let's start at the very beginning."

First off, I'm now 21!!! It was an amazing day. I first met up with Caleb in the hallway of our dorm and we decided to go out for breakfast at IHOP. But when we got there, it was so packed! The line was making it's way out the door and even a little down the street. It turned out that my birthday happened to be the exact same day as International Pancake Day. Not wanting to wait a long time to eat, because we were going to meet Alli at noon to go shopping, we decided to try to find another place to eat at. Walking around, we happened to come across a KFC joint. So, we decided to eat there. I know fried chicken isn't really breakfast food, but we were hungry, and neither of us had eaten there in a very long time. Though I couldn't help but think to myself, "Chicken for breakfast, how very Texan of me."

After we've finished, we went to Forever 21 to meet with Alli, and our shopping spree began. We went to several different stores, including Forever 21, Victoria's Secret, American Apparel, and the very big Macy's store on 34th street. Once at Macy's, we met up with Danielle, who had just finished work for the day. We hung our for a bit before heading over to Red Lobster for dinner. After a little trouble getting a table, we finally got in and I ordered my first drink. It was wonderful. :) But I was tipsy after one drink, so that's all I got. The entire subway ride home, I was smiling. Whether that's from the alcohol, or the fact that I had the best birthday of my life, I don't know. Either way, thank you Caleb, Alli, Danielle, Ally, and Samm for giving me a wonderful birthday! <3

At Macy's meeting up with Danielle

Red Lobster dinner

My first margarita!!

In March, I got to go home for a couple of days of my spring break. It felt nice to see the family again and to just relax a little before final presentations. But the best part of that week, however, was when I got back. Alli and I got to hang out and go shopping for a day. And then we went to see Alan Rickman (Snape from the Harry Potter saga) in the Broadway show, Seminar, thanks to my mom who gave us the tickets for my birthday. It was so cool to see Alan Rickman perform on stage. Very different from seeing him on the screen and I'm glad I got to share the experience with Alli. We were planning on doing a lot of touristy stuff for the rest of the week, but Alli got sick, so we had to cancel. But it's okay, because I know we'll be spending a lot of time together in LA. :)

For the rest of March and for most of April, it was all school and getting ready for end of year presentations for Acting for Film (The Fighter and Great White Hope), Meisner (Brooklyn Boy), Improvisation, and Scene Study (Cowboy Mouth).  But something horrible began to take place. On the day I got assigned to do Cowboy Mouth, I began to get sick! :( It was the first time I was sick in over a year. Once I was done with Scene Study, I went home early in hopes that this was only a 24hour bug that I had caught and that I could sleep it off. But apparently, there was a case of the flu that was spreading around the student body at NYFA, and I had gotten it. It was not good timing for me to be sick, what with my Meisner presentation two days away and my final film shoots the next week. Luckily, we didn't have classes on Friday, so I got the whole day to rest in bed.

On that Saturday, the day of the Meisner presentation, I had brought my fever down, but my voice was in a horrible condition. It sounded like I had been smoking my entire life! But, the show must go on, so I gargled hot salt water, ate french fries and lemons, drank lemon tea thanks to Temara, and was forbidden to talk until the performance. Thankfully, it went smoothly. Jimmy was amazing to work with, and people said they could hardly tell that my voice had been shot. On the subway ride home, I finally started speaking again, and Caleb and I joked on how I sounded like the Wicked Witch of the West. When I got back to the dorms, I began to feel my fever coming back, so I went to bed.

Sick as a dog, but still willing to press on!!

The day after Meisner, I knew that I had to rest and not talk as much as I could before shooting The Fighter the next day. But I was missing a piece of my costume, so I had to go to Forever 21 to get it. But it was a quick trip and I quickly got in bed again to rest.

The next day, fever was gone, but my voice was still scratchy and hoarse. I knew it was far too late to reschedule or anything, so brought lots of water with me as Brad, my partner, and I made our way to New Jersey for a 10am shoot. When Cedric got there, one of the first things he noticed was my voice and quickly made me gargle salt water again. Besides my voice, the shoot was amazing! Brad was wonderful to work with and the bad throat kinda added to my character. We weren't aloud to see the footage, but I managed to steal a couple of glances at some of the shots. They looked really good. We finished and started to head home around 5pm. I was feeling good. Even my throat was beginning to feel better. I went home, not wanting to rest but knowing that I wanted to be in the best shape for Wednesday, my shoot for Great White Hope. So I went to bed early.

However, the very next morning, my fever came back with a vengeance. For the first four hours of that day, all I could do was lay in bed in complete agony. I didn't have very much food in my fridge, or at least food that I could eat without the fear of throwing up, so I didn't eat anything. Which turned out to be a very bad idea. That afternoon, my mom called and she helped me order food from a deli that happened to deliver. Thirty minutes later, they called to say that my food had arrived and was waiting for me downstairs. I got out of bed to go get it, but when I did, I felt like I was going to be sick. I managed to make my way to the elevators and one opened for me. Three women were already inside. Once the elevator made it to the lobby, my vision started to go out and at the moment, I knew I was in trouble. One of the women asked if I was alright, to which I replied that I wasn't. They quickly moved me out of the elevator and sat me down on the floor. Just as they called for EHS people for help, I vomited all over the floor. They quickly decided to call for EMS to come, but I told them I was okay, and I was at the moment. Whatever was in there, and there wasn't much to begin with, it was out of me and I was fine. The EHS people moved me out to different room and out of the mess on the floor. One of the people signed for my food and I dug into the bread and salad. It tasted delicious. Since the EMS people were taking so long to get there, one of the EHS people walked me back to my room where I quickly fell asleep.

About an hour and a half later, I heard a knocking at my door. I got dressed in something decent and answered the door, thinking it was EHS people wanting to check up on me. But to my surprise and delight, it was not EHS who was standing before me, it was Caleb. He asked me how I was doing and I told him about the incident with the lobby, to which he said, "You mean that was YOU!?" Apparently, he had come down two minutes after they moved me and saw what I had left behind. But it was good to see him again and we talked for a bit before I decided to sleep and rest up for the next day. Once again, I have to thank Caleb again for making me smile that day. :)

On the day of the shoot, not only was my fever gone, but so was my sore throat. The only evidence I had to prove that I was sick was a constant cough that ended up lasting another week. At about 8am, I headed out with Frank, my other partner, to lower Manhattan to shoot Great White Hope at a small boxing gym. The shoot went wonderfully. Frank did an awesome job and I managed to hold in my coughs during the takes. In between takes, Cedric gave me his jacket so I could keep warm and not get sick again. Luckily, I didn't have any classes the next day so I could take it to rest and not relapse.

Me and Frank after shooting Great White Hope

On that Friday, I was up and ready to go and work on our next presentation: improvisation. We decided that we wanted to mainly work with scene work and make it like an actual improv show and not just do games. On the day of the performance, we were all sort of nervous. But to everyone's surprise, it went really well and everyone seemed to have a good time.

After the Improv show

For some reason, we had a few Acting for Film classes left after we shot our final scenes. For the first two, we had a lot of improv games that was really fun, and we talked about music choices for our scenes. Then, we decided to go out to brunch and check out Battery Park on our final class. There was a beautiful green field where Steph and Caleb did some tumbling with the rest of us watching. I have to say, that was one of my favorite classes. But at the same time, it was a little sad because that day, for me at least, it began to dawn on us that we were nearing the end of our school year. Some of us would be going to LA for their second year, some would be staying in New York and beginning to work. We took pictures to remember that day before we headed back to our next class.

But we couldn't focus on the sad stuff, because we had one more presentation to do before the end of the year... SCENE STUDY!! The scene I had for that class was most likely one of, if not the hardest scene that Frank and I had to tackle. The language was tricky as well as the subtext. And for me, it was incredibly physical as well. I got to climb up on to the seats and just stare the audience in the eye. Paul worked us to the bone all the way up until the performance day. And I have to say, it was one of the greatest showcases I've ever been in. Everybody was on their A game and I couldn't have asked for better group of people to work with. At the end, I began to cry because it hit me again that I wouldn't be working with this same group of people again for a long time. But I just reminded myself again of all the good times that the twelve of us shared which made me feel a little better.

Wendla (Alli) from Spring Awakening and Cavale (Me) from Cowboy Mouth take time for some photos together

The wonderful cast of The Food Chain (Danielle and Jay), Red Light Winter (Brad and Vanessa), Beyond Therapy (Eva and Jimmy), Spring Awakening (Caleb and Alli), Our Lady of 121st (Steph, Sherline, and Eva), and Cowboy Mouth (Frank and Me)

The next day was our very last day of classes before our graduation. It was very emotional day for everyone. We all got into a circle and one person would get in the middle and everyone would take turns saying something that they admire about that person or a fond memory that they had together. Everyone had something nice to say, and it felt good. Even though everyone was in tears and congested from all the crying by the end of the day. This exercise bled over into our last improv class. And then we watched the improv show we did and commented on how we thought we did.

The very next day was Graduation. I was excited because this would be the first time that any of us got to see our final films. I was busy spending the morning trying to pick out the perfect outfit to wear. It was about 11am when I get wonderful surprise from my mother. It turns out the night before, she had bought a plane ticket to come up to New York and see my graduation!! I'm really glad that she was able to make it. We got to go out to dinner at The Barking Dog before heading over to Union Square. It was the same restaurant we went to when I first moved to New York, so it only seemed fitting to go there. Before the actual ceremony, we all got to mingle with each other, I got to introduce mom to everyone. It was a great Graduation!! All the scenes turned out beautifully, even the one where my voice was terrible. Afterwards, we all went to Jay's house in Jersey for an after grad party. Best party ever!!

Section G

Hugs after the graduation

More hugs!

We did it!!

The certificate!!

When I got back to the dorms that next day, Mom and I decided that it was time to pack up my room. We spent most of the day deciding what comes with me or her on the plane and what would be shipped in boxes. I'm glad my mom was there to help. I don't know know what I would have done by myself. After a couple of hours, I thought it would be cool to take mom out for dinner then a walk in Central Park. We found this cute little Italian restaurant that I had no idea was there. The dinner itself wasn't that great, but the appetizers were delicious. :) After that,  we went and walked around Central Park for a bit. Mom couldn't help but take a few pictures.

Then we made our way back to her hotel where I went to bed at 8:30. I was still tired from Jay's party.
After having breakfast with mom and dropping her off at the airport, I was off to the Drama Bookshop to meet with Alli. After cruising around there for bit, I met up with Caleb and his family, who had also came up for graduation. We all went out to Shake Shack for burgers and to just hang out. Later, we said our goodbyes to Caleb as he left for the airport to Florida.

On the day before I left NY, I decided to go see Peter and the Star Catchers. I heard wonderful things about it and I had to see it before I left. Since Peter Pan was my first show I was in, I felt it was fitting that I go see the prequel to the show that started it all. Oh my god, it was truly amazing! One of the best plays that I had seen in New York. And the seats were wonderful. I was a little off to the side, but I was in the front row. I could actually touch the stage from where I was sitting!! What a great way for me to end my NYC adventure!

Peter and Mollie

Black Stache, Mr. Smee, and a random pirate!

The cast of Peter and the Starcatcher

Now that I'm home, I have to begin the new adventure of finding a job. :( But once I get it, I'll be making the money I'll need for LA. I'm really looking forward to going there to finish my last year of school and begin my new life as an actress. Looking back now, I'm amazed at the journey I've already been on, from starting as Lost Boy in Peter Pan at the DMTC theater in Davis Callifornia, to where I am now.

So, as I'm closing this wonderful chapter of my life, I'm ready to turn the page a begin a whole new adventure. :)

See you there! <3