Monthly Archives: May 2012
Closer by Patrick Marber: Becoming Alice
A Rough Beginning
The show has come to a close … and what a trip it’s been^_^. Closer was a year in the making – I was the third Alice to be casted, and Simon was the second Dan. When I was approached about the role back in February..or was it March? .. I had been out with my old director celebrating whatever it is we find to celebrate, in her favorite pub downtown. Suddenly I am whisked in between the arms of Stevie (my Streetcar director) and Rach, Closer‘s director. They want me to do the role. Already I am shaking my head because I know that I had already decided not to audition for the role because ….well, have you seen the movie??? Playing a stripper was not something I wanted to do in order to expand my acting capabilities. Stevie and Rach told me to think about it and sent me home to watch the movie.
I realized then who played Alice and almost right away I wanted to pick up that phone and say yes. Natalie Portman is by far one of my favorite actresses. She is a rare find, she is the woman who can weave in and out of an array of characters without breaking a sweat. So of course I had to BE Natalie Portman.
Day 1 I felt like the new kid in school…unsure of what I had walked into, a close-knit group of people who had been doing this for a while now. And here I was, no lines memorized and blankly staring at the script that wasn’t alive to me yet. It took a trip to a Korean BBQ place for us to just sit around and discuss the work. What can I say? I’m an English Lit major, it’s in my blood to try and dissect the work into oblivion.
Becoming Alice was hard, she was the furthest thing from me and yet the most realistic character I’ve played. Some of you may remember how hard playing Stella was, a southern accent was hard to get into and took a few hours prior to the show for me to sound as ‘natural’ as I did. What helped were the wigs (another reason I resolved to do the role lol). The wigs helped me become someone else, and for a bit I was this person who was hurt, cold, endlessly desired love, and used her sexuality to protect herself and get what she wanted.
Putting a show together can be the hardest thing imaginable. Working with such a small cast doesn’t help, and we had to use our networking skills and connections to truly make this show happen. Though it is chaos, though it made me into a walking zombie, there is nothing like the beauty of having something come into fruition on the blood, sweat and tears of dedicated and talented people. Sounds sick… but I’m telling you, you can hear the sigh of relief and content when the show ends and the lights call us for our last bows.
Whether it was being locked out of the theater the morning of the show, or wanting to smash my keyboard after having so many issues with online ticket reservations … these are moments that make the show what it is. You watch us up there, and hopefully we look put together with our makeup delicately caked on our faces, the lights shining just at the perfect angle to create a feeling we wish you to feel, and our lines hopefully said so naturally that you don’t notice a look of fear flicker in our eyes when we realize we’ve skipped a whole page and someone have to go back to relay the important lines we’ve missed.
I leave you with a quote I’ve looked back on various times through this experience of bringing Closer to the Daegu stage. It was an interview with Natalie Portman in regards to her performance in Black Swan.
Given how much pain went into the performance, and how much Portman now stands to gain from it, we couldn’t help asking if maybe, just maybe, sacrificing yourself for your art does pay off in the end? “Exactly,” she said, with something like a coy smirk in her voice. “The glory, the glory.”
A Week in Photos #5
May 11- I got a chance to travel for an over night trip to a pension in the mountain of Unju (운주산). About 20 boys came on the trip, they horsed around and waited for pizza and fried chicken to come. I was super excited about it and then realized I had the same taste in food as 14 year old boys. Niiiice.
While I waited around, I watched an interesting documentary on the Gettysburg address. Rather odd to be watching this on a random mountain in Korea. Also, it was creepy how everyone in the documentary was a real person except Lincoln. He was digitally animated…and it kinda freaked me out.
Taro bubble tea! It exists here! I loooooove this stuff, it is so freaken good. If you have never tried it..you are missing out!
Awesome art made by college students.
A difficult word to translate, the closest I could think of is “Laaaaaaame”. A slang word young people use aaaall the time.
Like I said, this show has been made on blood, sweat and tears. While preparing for a dress rehearsal, I decided to yank off the price tag of a new piece of costume I bought. Little did I know the tag was attached with a safety pin. Oh the irony. I realized it when it hooked my finger in. The agony, oh the agony.
Nothing like the nice warm night air and a walk through a dark alley to make you appreciate life here in Korea. It is just so peaceful.
My students made sandwiches for Home Ec and gave me one. A teacher asked me which did I prefer: American sandwiches or Korean sandwiches. I said American…. all this mayo they put on their sandwiches here gets to be a bit too much after a while.
Flowers from my friends because of Closer
Teacher’s Day with an Athletic Twist
School Sports Day
Teacher’s Day this year was a bit different then last year’s. We started school with Sports Day. The girls got to compete against each other in jump rope, tug a war, and relay races. Of course you can’t show class pride without having wacky fun uniforms to cheer in.
I asked my student what her sign said. Basically it said to NOT hold your bangs down while running so you can run faster. No lie, it cracked me up because I know EXACTLY what she means.
One of my old students who is in 3rd grade now. She was so small and cuuuute when I taught her, and now she’s about to be taller than me. They grow so fast!
Samsung Lions Baseball Game
If you know me, you know I am not a huge fan of sports. But here is a list of why professional baseball games are sooo much cooler in Korea:
- A baseball game ticket was 10,000 WON (about $9)
- You are encouraged to bring food from outside. That is the first thing we noticed. There were fried chicken stands everywhere right outside the stadium. We got a bucket, along with cold beer that they gave us in a small portable cooler that we could keep. A box of chicken plus 4 beer cans and 1 small bottle of soju for 12,000 WON (about $11)
- There are no real nosebleed seats, the field is so close that any seat is pretty darn good.
- There is k-pop blaring every few minutes, usually a player’s theme song.
- Their mascot is an awesome dancer! (I personally found him a wee bit creepy)