Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mistaken

In the year 1992 or thereabouts when my brother was about three years old, we, then a family of four, all went to the German Market (Kriskindelmarkt) in Ottawa. I think we were also with my Oma. For the past few years, it had become a tradition to go there every year, or every year we could make it. So, there we are, the four of us, stomping around the Market, looking at trinkets and my parents making sure that we wouldn't knock down any of the fragile figurines or whatnot. Of course, I was petrified of knocking down anything, so I stayed a good distance away from some of the more expensive and fragile things. My brother, however, liked to get really close to practically sniff or maybe even drool on some of the ornaments. Being only two or three years old, he was allowed to be a drooler. Well, I digress.

So, there we were at the German Market. It was always very comforting to hear so much German spoken in one place. After looking at the massive gingerbread house that they made every year, we slowly started to make our way back to the car to go home. We stopped to get our coats back on. As my parents were still talking to Oma and organizing all of our coats and mitts, my brother kept on walking oblivious to the fact that no one was walking with him anymore. Well, it turns out that he thought he was still walking with Mom. In fact, my brother was walking down the stairs to the Market basement, holding onto the coat of some lady. There were a few seconds of panic when my parents didn't see my brother. Fortunately, we caught him just in time, before he went too far down the stairs. I think he had just noticed that this woman wasn't his mother. The woman hadn't noticed until we came up to them! Anyway, it was quite funny, for me especially, that my brother had ran away with this woman that resembled my mother. It was a good thing that the woman had a good sense of humour about the whole thing, rather than think that this kid was pleading for a way to get out of our family.

Something somewhat similar happened to me tonight. I was eating at the community supper. My sister was due to perform her Christmas concert after the supper. My Mom was across the buffet table from me, and we were talking whilst she put food on her plate. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay to watch my sister's play, so I went to give her a hug and a kiss on the forehead goodbye. I leaned into her beside me and was just about to embrace her when I realized that this was not at all my sister. I had gotten close to her and my hand had touched her shoulder. This was some random lady beside me who was helping herself to the food. We both kind of jumped, probably I the most after realizing my mistake. This woman was the same build and had the same hair style as my sister! I felt quite embarrassed and ran over to the table where my sister was sitting. I gave her a hug and a kiss, and the lady exploded with: "You thought I was a kid?"

"Um, I thought you were my sister..." I sputtered.

"It's the height, isn't it, isn't it!" she exclaimed.

"No no, it's the hair, the hair style, yours is the same..." I peetered out.

"Oh, no no, it's the height!" At least she was laughing.

There wasn't more I could say to save face. I grabbed my coat and got the heck out of there. Whew.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My people in a gazebo

I know that if there were teleporters around, I would use MSN less.
Last year, I remember...

It was a cool night; it had just stopped snowing, and I was all buddled up in my puffy red coat. I was walking back alone from somewhere in Lennoxville. I crossed over the bridge, took the short cut by running down the ditch and onto the field. I was making my way back to my residence, and I decided to take the way passing by the library. Beside Bishop's library, there is a very quaint and lovely gazebo.


Unlike this picture taken in the daylight, it was a very beautiful and starry night. The snow was twinkling from the various lights around the library and Divinity house. It was all very peaceful.

I decided, upon coming up to the gazebo, to stop and walk inside. I went in and sat on the bench.

The bench was cold, so I tried not thinking about it. My mind started to wander, and I started to think what it would be like if I could fill this gazebo with all the people that I wanted to talk to right now. I realized how many people I knew that if I could talk to in person, I would. There are some people that I hardly see enough. A few of these people are a result of doing the program Canada World Youth. It is impossible to see some of those people often, specifically my counterpart Olya. Olya was a girl full of integrity, intelligence, and humour. She was hilarious and always had great stories to tell. And was she ever a tower a strength during the program! Olya and I became very close friends; I wish I could have brought her back to Canada with me because I am sure that she would love living here for awhile and my friends would get along with her.

Then, there are those in the region close to home that I also see far too seldom -- some that I miss very much. Imagine if I could conjure up all of the people that I felt like seeing and talking to at the time and put them in this gazebo for a few hours. Granted, the gazebo was quite cold at the time, and I might have conjured up people just out of the shower, so I would have invited them all back to my residence with me.

It's just a shame that there are so many times that you just cannot be with the people you want. At least for me, there are times like that. Fortunately, I can (just) bare living without those people for the time being, so I am not forced to violently suck people from their warm beds and put them in a frigid gazebo.
Unless, of course, I go crazy and am forced to marry the Ukraine, just to be able to extradite the lovely Olya.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Theatre Adventure, Part 2

Claws

By Lezley Havard

Directed by Miranda Glen

Starring so-and-so as Paula and whatshisface as Jeff.

I can already see it. The play is officially a go, and I am officially the director! I telephone Andrea right away and tell her that I will indeed not be drowning my sorrows in gin or Friends.

The next day, Monday, I am all set for the director's meeting. It's suffice to say that I am ecstatic, considering what a great play this is, what can be done with it, and the fact that I am actually a director in Theatre Activ.

Skipping merrily to the meeting, I run into Anna, who, with a huge smile on her face, congratulates me. Saying she heard from Andrea of my good fortune, she tells me that she is also auditioning for Theatre Activ, so I will definitely see her around. We exchange hugs, and then I run to the
Green Room for the meeting.

I arrive to the meeting at four thirty on the dot. As soon as the last director arrives, we start our meeting. I look around the room, acknowledging and saying hi to the directors that I know. The room is buzzing; I can tell everyone is excited and eager about being a director.

Brent and Niall, our two co-ordinators, start the meeting in a very official manner, stating that they too are excited to co-ordinate Theatre Activ. They tell us that they want the festival to be very group oriented this year. They stressed that, in order to ensure a successful festival, we must all work together. Thinking back on past festivals where directors were getting into fights as to who would get what rehearsal room and such things like that, I was happy that Brent and Niall were into the idea of everyone working together for a strong festival. Even though you want your play to be the best, you also want everyone else's play to shine because, after all, you are all in the festival together. Although things obviously can change and negative feelings can arise, I think we are all starting off on a very enthusiastic and productive foot.

Out of the nine directors, there are three second years including me, whilst the other ones are older. I was also excited, albeit a little nervous, to see that I was the only non-drama major directing.

Everyone had the chance to tell the rest of us what their play is about. Everyone seemed really keen about their scripts. Almost all of the plays sounded really interesting to me, and I was happy to hear that the plays were mostly with small casts (2-5 characters). A smaller cast is always easier to work with, especially in such an intense festival. The only play which exceeded five characters was the French play.

Ah yes, the French play.

Now, as you all know by now, I have absolutely nothing against anything French. In fact, I am a big supporter of French plays. However, the real problem with this play in particular lies with the director. The previous year, she had directed another French play which turned out to be quasi-decent. The only problem was -- she casted herself as the lead. Now, not only is this an extremely vain thing to do, but it is also impractical. It is extremely difficult to properly direct a play when you are playing the lead character.

Considering the flack that the said director received last year, we were all taken aback when she said that she planned to cast herself as the lead again, claiming, basically, that no one else would be good enough or fluent enough in French. Frankly, everyone can see that this is a load of malarkey, as there are plenty of exceptional actors and actresses that have an excellent knowledge of French and some who are francophones themselves.

So, when the French director was explaining her play, she summed it up very briefly, telling us that the title of the play really told you everything. Oh. Then, she went on to say that this play wasn't nearly as good as last year's. She said nothing would ever top it. What?!

Whilst everyone else was raving about their plays and their vision, she was saying that this play wouldn't be as good as last year's. Good God, what a hopeless and unambitious thing to say! Why would you direct a play if you didn't feel passionate about it? Needless to say, I developped a small aversion against her. If there hadn't been eight other excited and enthusiastic directors, she would have drained some of the energy. Luckily, everyone else just sort of shrugged their shoulders and continued chatting excitedly about the festival. I know what they were all thinking (including me): they wanted to work together with all of the directors to make this a fantastic festival... excluding the French director. Although I care if Gordon's or Batman's play is a success, I have already washed my hands of the French play. I'm sorry Madame Director, but attitude like that can end up slaughtering a festival anyway.

After the meeting, I bounced out of the room, practically running up the hill. As soon as I got home, I made a few excerpts of my script that were going to be used for the auditions. The auditions were scheduled to take place the following day, Tuesday, at 11 am.
Oh boy, was I ever excited!


... to be continued...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Theatre Adventure, Part 1

I had been waiting for six days, which were becoming more and more excrutiating as the days went on, to find out whether or not I had been chosen as a director. On the Monday, I had submitted my proposal, outlining why I would be a good director and what my vision was for the play, as well as the play itself.

At the beginning of the semester, I was involved as an actor in the New Plays festival (you can read about it here). Next semester, the school is running a Theatre Activ festival, as per usual. In late August and early September, I was thinking of directing a play myself for the Theatre Activ festival. The difference between the two festivals is that New Plays consists only of student written plays, whilst Theatre Activ is composed only of produced and "professional" plays. There was this play that I had helped to direct in high school, Claws, which I thought would be an excellent play for Theatre Activ.

Let's rewind back to last Sunday evening. I had been getting antsy about whether or not any of the directors had heard if they had gotten in. At intermission time, during the choir show, I inquired to one girl from the drama department if directors had been chosen yet. She said she wasn't sure and asked another guy who had also submitted a proposal. He said he had received an e-mail from the co-ordinators, telling him that they had chosen him as one of the directors.

"Oh", I said, trying to hide my disappointment. I had checked my e-mail merely a few hours ago, and I had received no such message. I suddenly felt really disappointed. I wouldn't be able to be a director.

Trying not to think about the grim probability, I watched the second half of the choir show. After the show, Andrea was forced to hear, again and again, renditions of:

"Oh no, I'm going to have to throw myself off the bridge. Ooh, I'm going to go and drown my sorrows!" I wail.

"Um, Miranda, I don't think you have any alcohol", stated Andrea, also knowing full well that I rarely drink.

"Actually, I do!" I exclame. "I think there is still some gin left from Halloween."

I thought about it and changed my mind.

"Actually, no; I'm going to drown my sorrows in Friends", I said firmly, thinking of the pile of Friends' DVDs that my roommate owns.

Andrea asks if she can come too, but I tell her that this is a very sad moment and the Friends watching must be done in solitutde. She laughs at me.

The nerve!

I get home and run directly into my room. Heart pounding, I check all of my e-mail accounts in hope that the e-mail was sent later on.

No e-mails. No such hope.

I was extremely let-down. I knew that it was somewhat of a long shot to be accepted as a director in the first place, as I had a few things going against me:
- I am only in second year.
- Although I have mountains of theatre experience, I have only directed once before.
-They received over fifteen applications (which is more than most years), and they can only choose nine.
- I am not a drama major.
And lastly, I do not know the drama professor, who makes most of the decisions; therefore, I do not have an in.

I sighed.

After moaning to Alex and to my room for a bit, I decided to telephone the co-ordinators just to make doubly sure. After my second try, I got through to the infamous Brent (who, incidentally, is one of the co-ordinators for this festival). The conversation went something like this:

"Hi Brent, it's Miranda", I said in a frenzy, "howayoudoin?"

"Oh, hi Miranda! I'm doing just great," he boomed.

"I was wondering", I said slowing down," if you had chosen the directors yet."

"Yes, as a matter of fact, we did. I sent you an e-mail to your Bishop's account."

"What?"

"Yeah, to m-g-l-e-n-n zero four," he said spelling it out.

"Oh oh, well that's wrong; it's-it's m-g-l-e-n zero four, only one 'n'," I said almost hyperventilating.

"Oh, I see", he said.

"Um, so, am I picked as a director?" I said making sure he wasn't forgetting the issue at hand.

"Well," he said annoyingly slow,"unfortunately..."

What! Oh n--

"You're in," he said. I could almost hear him smiling.

Omigod! My heart leaped with joy.

"I'm in? I'm in!" I squealed.

He then told me when the first director's meeting was and if I could attend. Of course I could attend and would be very glad to.

After hanging up, I danced around the apartment, shouting yes! yes!. I was elated. I would be directing this superb play next semester.
The auditions were on Tuesday, and I could hardly wait.

... to be continued...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Disaster

Oh no.

My watch battery is dead. I will not have a working watch until I return to my home home!
This is going to be very difficult, considering that I am already lost enough as it is.

Looks like I won't be making it to my exam today.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mystery

Most people, if not all, love surprises. Heck, I know I do. Although not all suprises are necessarily good, they all come to you with a sort of shock or excitement.

I think a word related to "surprise" is "mystery." Having a secret or keeping something from someone comes as a surprise once it is revealed. Many people conceal things about themselves in order to be "mysterious", "spontaneous", and "unsuspecting". Many of these said people want to show how different they are, how many secrets they keep, and how extremely interesting they are. They are mysterious so they are able to hide much and to surprise people at any given moment.

I am, by no means, condemning mystery. I used to be very attracted to people who seemed to harbour much dark mystery around themselves. I loved the way that you never quite knew what was up with them and how they would keep you guessing. Conversations with them were usually very exciting because you'd always feel you were getting closer and closer to knowing this person. Someone who just says completely honestly who they are leaves us with less of a challenge.

Mystery is fun, but what I've realized lately is that people who are so-called "mysterious" more often than not really play up the act. Mysterious people simply want to be perceived as intriguing, interesting, and who others regard in awe.

Unfortunately, I'll have to admit that I myself am still a little awed by mystery. Well, I am sure we all do like a little mystery and surprise. I suppose I am more referring to people who are coined as "mysterious". There is something quite appealing to having to figure out the mystery... and there really is something attractive on not quite knowing what the person will do next.

But, frankly, I'm tired of it now. Although I still kinda sorta like it, I am moving farther and farther away from it. I find people go out of their way to appear to be "mysterious", and that can be downright irritating. I am realizing that I really like honesty, and I like to be able to laugh with someone, make fun of them, and exchange jokes and anecdotes. It's difficult to do that with a "mysterious" person because they cannot and do not show much of themselves. The unfortunate part is that it can really inhibit a friendship from growing.

Heinrich Heine, born right after the French Revolution, was a very influential German political poet. He was a very interesting man -- very literate and well read. He wrote quite beautiful poems, whilst at the same time commenting on the social and political situation. The funny thing about him is that he surrounded himself all of his life in mystery. He often made up historical facts and would embellish things just to make himsself more interesting. He would tell people that he slept with all of these girls, even though he didn't. He even tried to convince people that he got syphilis (which was something to be proud of then, if you were "that" type of guy), just to prove as to how many girls he had been with. He was a guy who apparently enjoyed having people talk about him, especially if it was about something scandalous.

The other night, I was at a drama party quoted "for drama majors, drama minors, and everything in between". Since I was part of the latter gourp, I was allowed to attend. I had a very good time, although I witnessed a strange three-way kiss. Anyway, I was outside getting a breath of fresh air at some point with some people. As soon as we stepped outside, this guy asked us if we had a cigarette.

No, sorry.

He looked down melancholy and started rubbing his knuckles frantically.

Um, are you okay? one of the guys asked. He said "yes" under his breath, walked up to the door, opened it with a flair, and dramatically walked back into the bar.

Pfff! I started chuckling. Oh, what drama!

I just shook my head at the absurdity of it all. So many people, guys especially, in the drama department strive to be the most mysterious and emotionally deep people in the world. A lot of girls go for that, so that is perhaps why they do it. I find it funny, more than anything. Who are they kidding?

A few years ago, a psychology major was thinking on doing her thesis on finding connections between drama kids and emotional trauma as youth. She never did do it, but I doubt she would actually find anything. Remember, for many drama people, life is a show, so they have no problems hamming it up!

Oh, and I should point out now that I do not include myself in the "drama people" or "drama kids" groups. So, I should also mention that not all theatre inclined people are in those groups either.

Now, let me end this entry with a quote from our ever so loved, Heinrich Heine:

"Love is a matter of money, not heart."

Ha! It reminded me of a certain couple I know in which the girl does not want to get married unless it is for money. Too bad I can't make this work with Leonard Cohen anymore.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Alone?

After reading an entry about the appeal of doing things alone (in Sarah's blog), I decided that I myself would write something about it. I have thought about this numerous times; though, as many things, I have just not written it down yet.

All throughout high school, I was annoyed with girls who could not go to the bathroom on their own. They always needed to have another girl with them. I dreaded hearing the words,

"Come to the bathroom with me!"

It was always said in such a way that I found extremely pathetic. I mean, if you can't even go to the bathroom on your own, a very personal activity, then it shows how little you can really do alone. Then again, a lot of people cannot shine like me when it comes to self-confidence in high school, so I really can't blame them.

Although I really enjoy being around positive and fun people, I also treasure my alone time very much. Sometimes, I just need to take a midnight walk by myself. Sometimes, I just need to sit by the river or play music alone in my room. Sometimes, I also enjoy sitting out on the balcony and singing. Another great solace is playing the piano -- something I can do solo for hours on end until I literally collapse.
Alone time is superb. It gives you a chance to think, relax, and just cultivate your aloneness. I am not saying that it isn't relaxing with other people; it is just sometimes very nice to withdraw yourself for a bit.

I also enjoy doing things alone, sometimes in the interest of meeting new people. Particularly at Bishop's, I like to arrive at the cafe, a club, or a meeting alone, just to be able to do something that I want to do, not relying on anyone else. And, who knows? Sometimes I will get into an interesting conversation with someone, sometimes I will just sit back and listen, and other times I will leave early. It's up to me, and I like that; there's no pressure.

I enjoy shopping usually with just one other person. I enjoy eating with others, and I like to have interesting discussions. I do like being around people, but there simply are times that I would prefer to be alone, in a room filled with cushions, paper, pens, and a grand Steinway piano.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Edukators

Perk number one of having an ushering job at Centennial theatre: being able to watch cool movies.

Tonight, I was privy to the late show of the film, The Edukators. It is a superb German film, very poignant and real. When the movie first started, I wasn't quite sure if I was going to like it, as they seemed to be dipping quite often into clich├ęs. It is a movie about young people living a difficult life, who often feel exploited by capitalism and rich people. They are the new age hippy; they support animal rights, crusade against child labour, and whine and complain about how the rich have sucked out all of their potential.

The film becomes interesting when the three main characters kidnap a very rich guy who supposedly exploits the young girl. The four of them temporarily live in a small wood cabin in the heart of mountains. They are surrounded by stunning views, grassy knolls, and fresh rivers; it is simply beautiful. I thought the pace of the movie was very well done, the characters seemed realistic, although quite idealistic, and the music choice was amazing. I am completely speechless when Hallelujah, my number one favourite song, is played. Jeff Buckley sang it in this movie. Then again, perhaps I was completely enthralled by that song and disregarded the movie altogether, so who really knows, right?

Regardless, I found the movie to be quite moving, and I recommend it to those who will not get too bogged down by the initial view of risky and irresponsible youth.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Something "HA!" worthy

The only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there's nobody to talk to during an orgasm.

Brilliant!