Thursday, August 6, 2009

Double wammy Thursday...

I thought I'd throw another post on here that might shed some light on what I've been doing lately, rather than just gushing about personal epiphanies and the like.

It has recently occurred to me that my summer is about three weeks away from completion. My contract is up on the 29 of this month and then it will be time to pack up the very few belongings I took with me on this journey and make my way back across to the state to Racine to begin another school year.

To be more specific, it's my senior year. Kind of. There is no way I'll make it out in two semesters if I want to graduate with a Theatre major and a minor in, well, anything, really - but for the moment I'm hoping for graphic design. The art department at Parkside, much like at any school I would imagine, is very popular. It is host to a slew of talented professors from all over the country who have somehow found themselves nestled between Milwaukee and Chicago at this small Wisconsin public school. From what I see and what I hear, the program is great and provides many great resources, and I think I could learn a great deal from their graphic design professors. Getting into the program is proving difficult, at least for now. I waited until the end of May to ditch my English minor in favor of this more "useful" one (though truly my reasons for leaving English behind have nothing to do with use, but more to do with academic/creative engagement and stimulation), and now nearly all the art classes are overflowing with students, leaving me with a handful of classes that, if I do make this switch into the art department, will be useless to me. With only three weeks to go and a newly-received email from Parkside announcing that their online system will be down for most of August, I'm a little panicked about changing my schedule around and figuring out what exactly is happening with my fall semester.

At the same time, though, I don't feel too bothered. It will be what it will be, and I guess if I really get screwed over I can take a bunch of online classes to fill the void. I'm trying not to get too worked up over it. As long as I can take the art classes at some point and get out of Kenosha before 2011, I'll be satisfied.

Earlier this week I experienced a bit of a breakthrough in my writing - I abandoned my short stories (for the moment) in lieu of a play that began to fester in and eventually overwhelm my thoughts this past Monday. I wrote about 15 pages out hand-written the other night, most of which are just quick short-hand descriptions of key scenes and characters. It's slightly influenced by Tracy Letts and Sam Shepard, but I have a feeling that my writing won't be nearly as dark. It will be a family drama with some comic moments, but ultimately a coming of age story about two siblings who are ripped apart by adolescence (sexuality, the ever-looming "real world," and an increasing gap between parent and child) who, through each other, must find a way to regain individual identity in order to find bigger and better things (though they know not what, at least for the time being). For now, the working title is "Far from the Tree." We'll see where it goes. I'm really excited about it, actually! I think that writing plays is exceedingly difficult, mostly because I know that as a writer I tend to focus on details that relate to developing locations and moods; I use metaphors too much and (as I've mentioned in a previous blog) I tend to let the action stagnate. Writing a play requires not only the ability to create action, but to do it primarily through dialogue - a very daunting task. But I'm doing it, and will keep working with it for as long as I can. My hope would be to find some Parkside actors to workshop bits and pieces of it with me during the first semester so that I can spend a portion of my winter break refining it and working toward tieing together loose ends. Cool!

This week has been a relaxing one, as far as work goes. Last week Noel Coward's Hay Fever had its tech rehearsals and first preview performance, and this week marks tech time for Henry V. I am not involved in either of these shows, so I've worked, at most, about 3 hours a day. I spent most of my time sleeping in order to catch up on some z's and also cure a bit of a cough I aquired a few weeks ago. I also discovered a new television show on Discovery Channel called The Colony, an experiment which puts a handful of strangers in a post-apocolyspse scenario in which they must rebuild their "society" and survive without outside help. It takes place in what appears to be a gaint abandoned industrial park in California. It's really interesting. Oh, entertainment.

I've also been taking walks a lot, disappearing on my own to just be away from everything. I've really come to enjoy living a more "simplified" life - as simplified as things can be in this day and age at any rate. It's just good to be away from the malls and department stores and all those other things I'm used to cushioning my life with. I cook for myself, get a lot more exercise every day than I normally would in a city where I can drive right up to any building I want to enter, and the fresh air has done wonders for my nerves. I am much more at peace these days. There is a lot less anxiety. Perhaps I'm just letting my brain float away into la la land, and my re-entry into "regular life" this fall will be some kind of weird jolt to my senses, but I doubt it. For now I'm enjoying appreciating a quiet existence, and I hope that this ability to simply be content with my thoughts and a good book to keep me company will stick with me when I return to the chaos.

On my most recent walk I took some pictures with my shoddy digital camera - I used photoshop to try and spruce them up a bit, but I'm definitely ready to upgrade my camera (didn't I just say I'm happy living a more simplified life? Oops). The photos were taken near my summer residence in Plain, WI - I will post them sometime soon, once I figure out the best place to post them online. It's a beautiful place, and a lovely sight every morning when I wake up to get ready for my day.

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