oxford: week two

to come home, or not to come home: that is the question.

lawn chillin'

lawn chillin'

y'all! i am so happy here! that is not to say that there haven't been plenty of moments of why-aren't-things-going-exactly-as-i-want-them-to-in-this-very-moment, because there have been, but those are so few and far between.

okay, so:

pros-- i am working with a group of people that are all excited about spending four weeks out of their summer vacation working on the man, the myth, the legend: billy shakes.

cons-- not everyone comes from conservatory training, so not everyone is used to being given a scene and being expected to be off book within a day or two for rehearsals and class. it's also very difficult to ask your classmates to work a certain way, especially when it can come off as you telling them that they're not working hard enough. touchy, touchy, touchy.

monday and tuesday passed by pretty uneventfully. class is class. i'm learning and acting my face off, but nothing special.

charlie did not get up when i told him it was time to work-- my kind of horse

charlie did not get up when i told him it was time to work-- my kind of horse

on wednesday, i was finally able to get back to the barn after a week and a half, and i felt like such a smushy lump on a horse. it's the worst feeling in the world, because all of my muscle memory is there, but i felt so off balance, even after only having taken off nine days. but, i jumped 3'6 (1.10m?) for the first time, and i swear i touched the sky. in europe, they'll let you jump as high as you want to and as high as is safe for your horse, as long as you're riding safely and effectively. my leg wasn't perfect, but it was almost as far at the girth as it is when i'm jumping 2'6 back home.

i rode this precious gem named charlie, who did show jumping starting when he was four until he was six. then, he sat in a field for two years, for whatever reason, and then the barn got him and has been trying to get him back to being in a routine again. they've had him for about a year, so he's safe and fun. let me tell you, though, he is just a big awkward moose who cannot change to save his life. ana (my trainer here) asked me to change direction while i was cantering, so i tried to change across the diagonal. obviously it didn't happen, and she then tells me that i should stick to simple changes. so we bop around and we look like awkward moose freaks together, because he's forgotten how to be a horse, and i've forgotten how to ride.

not sorry about my leg

not sorry about my leg

so we look terrible, but i rode effectively and he was so attentive to everything little thing i asked him for. by the end of the lesson, i was galloping (safely, lesley, i promise) around a course, saving time on corners and rolling back right to the center of all of my jumps. by the end of my lesson, i was jumping 3' lowest, and jumping 3'6 at the end of a combination. i haven't felt that good about myself in a very long time. it was nice to let go of having to look pretty, and to just buckle down and get the job. it was also fun to be on a horse who knew he was a moose and just wanted to do his job. of course, i'll jump right back into my normal routine when i get home, but having fun is good for me for now.

wednesday evening we had a master class with john hefferman, and that one was definitely my favorite to date. he basically brought people up, let them do their monologues, had them play a game while they did their monologues a second time, and got incredible results. i mean, wow. easy and fun. theatre is easy and fun. *repeats to self every time i want the ground to open up while i'm on stage because i feel lost*

but anyway.

thursday was pretty chill. tanya and i decided it would be a superb idea to go on a ghost tour of oxford. it was not. here's why:

taking pictures of tanya taking pictures

taking pictures of tanya taking pictures

  1. it was still light out, because the sun sets at 9:30 pm here
  2. ghosts are fucking terrifying

it was also a great idea:

  1. turns out, it was more of a history tour of oxford, with some ghost tour sprinkled it
  2. we got ice cream

i didn't sleep well.

friday, today, hello! today was/is exciting. i went up in shakespeare and did my scene from the tempest and it was so freeing. miranda is a joy, because, as a result of being daddy's little captive for thirteen years, she is poorly socialized and, therefore, a five-year-old at heart. basically, this means she says whatever she wants, whenever she wants, however she wants to. wow. what a magical thing to be able to do. i got to run around on stage and jump from one thing to another without feeling or seeming unfocused because that's what the text allows her to do. ugh. (hipster grunt like some brooklynite who just had really good cold brew that everyone pretends they discovered) i love shakespeare.

i'm going to see hamlet tonight on the west end with my cousin and his girlfriend. i am beyond excited! this post got a little long because once i start talking about horse i just don't stop, so i'm going to leave it here for now.

cheers!

now playing: 'pulaski at night' by andrew bird