I’m scribbling down words on a sheet of scrap paper I found in the bottom of my purse because in this moment I’m excited by the idea of the internet, a public forum, a blog. And although there is the possibility of finding myself lost in a vast sea of bloggers who waste countless hours sending their thoughts out in to the world of Cyber Space like precious little notes in a bottle, that no one finds/reads (gulp), I decide to continue . . . anyway. Katherine Mansfield said, “Better by far to write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.” And so in the spirit of twaddle . . . I guess I’m now a blogger. I begin in New York City and will eventually write in and about England where I will be spending the next year of my life following in the footsteps of some Greats; Daniel Day Lewis, Ian McKellan, Olivia Williams, Jeremy Irons to name only a few. To be clear, this blog is about acting. It’s about experiencing a different country and culture and their traditions in training an artist. So here it goes . . .
For now I’m still in NYC and I’ve discovered that I love eating alone. I feel content about exactly where I am with a mouthful of (believe it or not) paté. The man sitting next to me (also alone) is from Mexico City. We both got the salmon for our entrees. He asked me if I live around here and I said, “Yes,” and then he replied, “Well, you must be because this is a neighborhood place, you don’t travel to come here.” I disagreed with him immediately as I kept quiet, smiled and finished chewing the BEST piece of salmon I’ve ever had. I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment, a sense of belonging; I’m in a neighborhood place; a secret spot that only the locals know about. I must belong here . . . ? When he got up and left, I was alone again (almost) along the back wall of the restaurant except for an older woman dressed-to-the-nines in a pink tweed suit and pearls. She was deciding on a glass of wine, reading the menu and talking to herself, which from a close distance looked like arguing. At the table in the corner of the restaurant I can hear a loud conversation that at first I find depressing; two couples; one woman bragging about how she “scoured” the bargain racks of Lord and Taylor only to “finally” find the blouse she was “dying” for, for only $198. Can you imagine? What a steal? (Not sure I’ve mastered The Blog and The Art of Sarcasm just yet). The other woman nodded in a compassionate way that looked like the exchange I saw on TV last night between two 9/11 first-responders in a memorial service for James Zadroga. Later I heard the other woman in a thick Irish accent exclaim how much she hated (no “loathed” was the word she used) John Wayne. Her husband, an American man in his seventies, rolled his eyes at the reality that somewhere along the line he has consented to live his life with a woman whom he has nothing in common with, but loves all the same. At another table one married man accuses his husband of sending “illicit messages” to another man on Facebook (seems silly to berate Weiner when it’s all so very human). The accused defended his innocence and said, “He must not have read my profile because it clearly says Living-with-husband-in-NYC.” The other shook his head and spit back, “If the shoe was on the other foot, you would understand,” as he slammed his wine glass on the table so abruptly that I thought he must have broken the stem. It’s difficult to eavesdrop and extract so much detail without getting caught (or am I being paranoid?). In truth I’m procrastinating listening to these conversations instead of learning sides that I have to prepare tomorrow for a casting director that I really want to meet, but am nervous to. I know I should be looking them over now (and I will) but these people (and I maintain) . . . really are interesting. Plus I figure it’s probably good professional practice, (bull-shit butt-shit bull-shit) because how often do actors get sides’ only hours before their audition? I’ll be fine, I chant to myself with my nose deep in the opening of my wine class. Then I over hear the waitress ask the woman next to me if she wants dessert and she says in quite mousey voice like a librarian in the middle of her work day, “No thank you.” Almost as if she wasn’t allowed. I shrug and signal the waitress to order the dessert special. Loud and proud I demand, “chocolate torte with raspberries,” . . . and, “extra whipped cream,” I added as the waitress was already walking away. Why is it that even in a place you’ve been desperate to leave, just when you’re about to, you’re struck with the overwhelming feeling of how much you’ll actually miss it? How alive it is. How full of inspiration! I like eating alone. As silly as it sounds . . . its empowering, and inspiring. It can put you back in touch with yourself, your senses, your palate, and give way to a kind of Boldness. Try it! As the chocolate melts in my mouth I sigh out my nose and think England here I come!