This is the title of my first blog, unless you count that LiveJournal I had back in 2000...
When I moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn, I told myself that I would start a blog or a newsletter, something to stay in touch with all of the friends and inspirations on the east coast. Somehow, it has happened that I am nearly finished with graduate school and emails have been few and far between, and I certainly have not kept up with any sort of blog.
So now, six months from graduating with an MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts, I am reaching out to reconnect and say hello. The past two and a half years have flown by, and CalArts has given me everything I wanted out of grad school and then some. In my time here, I have worked with artists from Uganda, Rwanda, France, Scotland, South Korea, Mexico, and more.
A brief rundown of my life in Cali so far:::
My first year in California was focused primarily on retraining my brain to be a student again. I was often in school from 9am until 11pm, doing everything from scenic and video design to puppetry to Shakespeare and Euripides. I also worked as an assistant director to Travis Preston, dean of the theater school, on a new translation of Prometheus Bound at the Getty Villa in Malibu, one of the most beautiful venues I have ever worked in (outdorr ocean views all day). In addition to this, I assistant directed for Emily Mendhelson, the Ugandan Fulbright Scholar, on the US premiere of Cooking Oil by Deborah Asiimwe.
The bulk of my second year project was spent working on the world premiere of a new play by David Gaitan, a playwright from Mexico City. I collaborated with him and an amazing scenic designer from Spain his modern adaptation of Crime and Punishment to bring to life, something that turned out to be one of the most rewarding and eye opening directorial experiences of my life. I also worked on another new play in development, Separate Parts by John Michael Johnson.
There has been little rest so it was straight out of that into pre-production for the most ambitious project of my time in California, a retelling of Nikolai Gogol's Government Inspector, written in 1836. Collaborating with video designer Daniel Jackson and scenic designer Mark Kanieff, I directed a mammoth production which included 23 actors, 18 live-feed video cameras, a dozen television monitors, and four stories worth of playing space.
In the middle of all that, I went to France where I directed nine actors in a new play by the wonderful Aleshea Harris at Ecole de Comedie de Saint-Etienne. More on all that later.
I hope you'll be back to read more, I've got plenty of stories to share.