This afternoon I arrived in Iowa City to begin my 10 week stay while I intern with The Riverside Theatre as an actor in their production of "Romeo and Juliet." The last few days have been filled with numerous stimuli - the pressure to complete my semester's work a week earlier than scheduled, the joy of coming home to see my family for two short days, the anxiety of moving out of my apartment and ensuring that all will be well during the last few weeks of our lease, and the looming anticipation of today, which has arrived, commenced, and is now coming to a close. Tomorrow is the next step, and I'm glad to say that the fear I've carried with me was washed away with today's spring rain, and I look forward to the new faces, new opportunities, and new self-revelations that this experience is bound to unfold.
Two things so far: this city, and this family. I arrived in Iowa City a few hours ahead of schedule, greeted by wind and rain, and so I retreated to a cafe near the theatre to take a breather and collect my thoughts. For that period of time, a lot of anxieties and insecurities led my train of thought and, for a moment, I felt my inner introvert attempting to take over and send me into panic.
All of that was thrown aside, however, when I got to my host family's home. I am staying with Kevin and Helen Burford, who own a beautiful Victorian home a few blocks from the University Campus, where Kevin works at the Law Library. Helen works for a Historical preservation association and their daughter, Maddy, works in a daycare. The family took me on a walking tour of the downtown on our way to dinner, and I enjoyed their anecdotes about the city, the buildings, and the history of the area. Iowa City is absolutely gorgeous; its a place that vividly reflects the character of its rich history - beautiful victorian homes, neoclassical style buildings, the wonderful campus (all of which Helen had stories about to share!) - but is electrified by the hustle and bustle of today. This family and this city find meaning and wonder in their history, and I appreciate and am overjoyed by that. I look forward to spending time with them (they are constantly working on renovating their beautiful home, and I have offered up my services to them whenever they find them necessary) and learning more about this city and its unique character.
This week will be a hectic one, but I'm looking forward to every second of it; classes with the company actors, hours in the shop, time in the rehearsal hall, and best of all: my days start at noon! This means, I hope, that my mornings will be spent exploring the city and getting to know the Burfords.
If this damn weather ever cheers up, I may even go for a run through City Park.
Long live summer :)