Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekend update

I rarely use my blog as a forum to merely recap my activities (I like to kid myself by thinking people who don't know me might enjoy reading this), but sometimes, a weekend is so epic that it merits some 'logues love. This past weekend involved celebrity sightings, trips to two cities where I used to live, and a lot of singing women.

On Friday, I took the bus to New York City. The purpose of my 16-hour visit was to see
"Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" at the Public, directed by my friend from college, Alex Timbers. Alex is pretty much a celebrity now in his own right -- when the New York Times profiles you and describes your show as "devastatingly shrewd," you've pretty much made it. (Though my personal favorite description of Alex came from performer/writer Mike Daisey, who described him as "a cross between Jesus Christ and Ashton Kutcher"). I had the pleasure of being directed by Alex back in 2006, when I played a roofied-and-raped suicidal rave girl in Hell House:

Another sign that you've hit the big time? When STEVE MARTIN comes to your show. That's right, I saw Steve motherf*cking Martin on Friday night. I walked past him on the way to the ladies' room at the Public. We locked eyes and I gave him my best "I know who you are but I'm going to be cool about it and not say anything or ask for your autograph" smile and he responded with a relieved "I know you know who I am and thank you for not making a scene" expression. We had a moment, it was nice.

The show is incredible -- definitely check it out if you're in the New York vicinity between now and May 9th. I mean, it's an emo-rock musical about Andrew Jackson and the Populism movement. What's not to love?

After the play, I went to a fundraising party for an indie film some friends of mine are involved with. And who walks into the party just after midnight but Zachary Quinto, a.k.a. Spock from the new Star Trek movie (or Sylar, if you watch
Heroes). Now, keep in mind, when I lived in New York, I never saw famous people. Apparently, they don't ride the G train or frequent the midtown Kaplan center. So seeing two in one night was pretty nifty. ZQ was very affable and charming, btw.

So that was Friday night. Saturday morning I boarded a Metro North train bound for New Haven. Now, a lot of people hate on New Haven -- sure, it's a little ghetto and not as shiny and gentrified as, say, Cambridge, but I still love it. I came back to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The New Blue, Yale's oldest women's a cappella group, which was founded in 1969, the first year of coeducation at Yale. New Blue is actually the oldest women's organization of any kind at Yale. And I was lucky enough to be a member, from 1999-2003.

At the reunion, I met women from the original class of New Blue and it was incredibly moving. There was a lot of singing, hugging, and crying. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing there's really no way to describe what I felt singing alongside true pioneers, the first women to graduate from Yale. It sounds cheesy, but they paved the way. And being in a room full of strong, powerful, beautiful, smart women is an experience I can't really put into words.

At one point during reunion, we sang a song called "River of Birds." The lyrics are as follows: "There's a river of birds in migration, a nation of women with wings." Those simple lines are repeated, starting with one voice singing alone and slowly building until there are multiple harmonies and voices. While we were singing, one alum's four-year-old daughter ran up to the stage and started singing along. Not a dry eye in the place, trust me.

So that was my weekend. How was yours?

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