The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

And now for something

Completely different. Or not. More of the same. A public life in bullets. (Huh - that'd be a great title to a book I would never write. Feel free to steal.) Regardless:

  • The day after going to see David Cook (see below), I trundled myself off in my car all by my onesies to drive on down to see Kristen in Jersey. Of course, Rte. 90W knowing I was coming greeted me with such thick rain that I was obliged to pull over and spend some quality time with the side of the road before I could continue on. The rest of the trip, however, was uneventful - except in that I could not sing (the usual means I have of staying awake on long carrides) because of said shouting myself hoarse for the previous two nights at the concerts.

    Never to fear, though! Mrs. Kane demanded a rendition of "O mio babbino caro" nearly as soon as I arrived (in return for staying as a guest :) and operatic training came to the fore to get me through the series of high Ab's. Had a beyond magnificent time with Kristen - LOVE YOU, KRISTEN! - wherein we talked of everything and nothing until obscene hours of the early morning (nearly meeting her father on his way out to work on the second morning!), and went to Authentic Jersey Diners (I miss AJD's), got lost, used GPS and Emily's Sense of Direction from Her Mother, met up with our old English teacher from High School (oh, happy day, Mr. Ciervo!) and went into NYC to see a bit of Central Park (the bit that this dehydrated delicate Northern flower could bear to see under the beating sun, anyway, which included a LOT of penguins and a blonde Aida).

    Krissytina was also so good as to let me subject her to hours of YouTube Gaudetery, as well as three different ways of describing Romeo and Juliet to her (that is: backstage shenanigans, me acting out key scenes in her kitchen, and sharing an iPod as we listened to the sound track and I described the scenes by a clever use of napkins, forks and my fingers). We went on walks. We accidentally circled the Cloisters while looking for the George Washington Bridge. We discussed fanfic. We discussed teaching and children and stinky-poo-poo-headed administrations. We discussed her boy. We discussed my sister's boy. We laughed a lot and I couldn't have asked for a better time.

  • For me, though, everything was accompanied by two things that struck me that I had not gone in seeking. The first was that as we were leaving NYC (that's when we were getting lost trying to find the right exit for the bridge), and I was happily in the passenger seat, and we were passing all this beautiful white stone architecture, I was struck by the thought: "I could live here. I could really see living and working here." Which came completely unbidden. Moreso since I've never ever wanted to live in a city my whole life. Suburban girl through and through. Give me cows here, skyscrapers there, me in the middle, I'm set. But there really was a great sense of peace about the thought of setting up a life in NYC for a while. It got me thinking.

    Then Kristen, who has always been and still is one of the best critics I know - honest, honest, honest - was so wonderful to what she saw on the Toob (which surprised me and humbled me) - and so articulate about what she thought and what she saw and the bits that were the direction, and the bits that were the playwriting, and the bits that were the worldbuiling, and the bits that were the teaching and everything - and she said what others have said but which I've never really believed...that she could hardly wait for these plays of mine to be done with "real actors." That is, with actors of the age they're supposed to be. Of the experience they all need to have across the board. She said, and again I'd heard but never seen, that she could see my vision between the scenes - could see what I was striving to show, and that - in the most loving way - I had not achieved the fullness of the vision yet. I've always been defensive whenever anyone's said anything like that to me before: "But my kids have risen above where they were!" I'd whine. "They're much closer to the vision than they had been!" But I finally saw that, no, the vision requires more...

    ...and between those both, I realized, it was okay to desire more, to leave myself no recourse but to strive for more.

    I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

    But I'm going to do it.

    Insert a stronger word than "poot" here.

    And a sense of trembling excitement.

    And a sense of not-quite-goodbye to what I've known.

    Because, I realized that with the exception of the Raytheon year (which was it's own weird and horrible thing that I needed to know I never wanted to experience again), I've spent nearly all my life in academia in some capacity. And now...I'm going. Slightly. Because I'll always be teaching, I know this now. I'm incapable of not teaching, just as I'm incapable of not singing even when my throat's been screamed hoarse, as much as I'm incapable of not having three dramatic projects on the fire and twelve more percolating in my brain and a novel or two besides. So...not quite goodbye.

    My life, lately, seems to have been made up of such not-quite-goodbyes.

    It's getting a bit wearisome.

  • To continue the "What I ought to have blogged about" make-up post. About a week after Jersey, my father's mother suffered a heart attack. She survived, miraculously, although at 91 she was just as happy to have gone or to have stayed (she's an awesome lady, and a woman of great faith), but I for one am glad she stayed if only because Dad and I packed up my good old car and drove all the way back down to Deleware. Rte. 90W realized our urgency and so greated us both ways with good weather and Dad in his urgency actually ended up doing quite a bit of driving, which was very nice. We got to see Johnny (he's moved down there) and a few family members, stayed in Aunt Betty's house, saw Grammy several times, said a rosary with her (a sneak attack rosary - we were talking about Mary and then she pulled out her beads and we all joined in - love Grammy), and then headed back up. On the way down, which was my favorite part of the driving trip, Dad plugged in his phone (oh technology these days!) and went through his playlist which is very chipper and fun. Many Irish jigs.

  • I came back last Tuesday and had a meeting that Wednesday with Kathleen MacKenzie about Hudson High School theatre, which begins very soon. It's good to be back in the swing of things. Met up with several Emerson friends during August as well. Talked playwriting. Watched the Olympics and talked about life. It turns out that Brenda is still interested in directing Cupid and Psyche this Spring, which means I have to finish it, as well as In Memoriam (which was once called Lethe) which I'll be submitting to the NewFest playwriting competition at Emerson. I'll also spend this year working on my thesis, finishing those plays, directing Our Town, musical directing Once Upon a Mattress, bugging dramatic agents to take me on (for the plays I've been writing), and interviewing for positions in actual theatre companies (e.g., last Spring the Kennedy Center was looking for someone to head up their high school outreach program). I plan after writing my thesis to look for a book publisher for it - hence starting the writing process early. I don't know if I'll finish writing all the music for The Stalwart Tin Soldier but I got another piece of the musical puzzle two nights ago, so it's possible I'll have a working copy of the script/score by the end of the year.

    So...I've got stuff to do. Which is good. And a few feet positioned near the door.

  • So, anyway, this year begins next week for me. Like so:

    Monday: Start of classes. Shakespeare's Much Ado and Bob's "Theatre for Young Audiences."

    Tuesday: Auditions for Our Town 2:30-5:00 at Hudson High, joint with auditions for Fools

    Wednesday: Classes and I turn 31 and think, "What the HELL?!?" Some form of mild partying may be had at the Snyder household late at night.

    Thursday: First rehearsal for Our Town 6-9 at HHS. Yes.

    Friday: Second rehearsal for Our Town in the afternoon. Voice in the evening. Week done. Good golly.

    Anywho, so there one is. Oh, dear God, help. Amen!

    Mood: Violently pendular
    Music: Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog naturally!
    Thought: At least my floor is swept.


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Unable to sing.. oh dear Emily. that is a curse indeed (King of Fools... Doh)
    Thanks for keeping this updated, I like to drop in every now and again and look how you are up to. Came today because i'm in a play theory class and needed some pics and info

    best of wishes to you and your family

    thanks, love, and God Bless
    Matt Maki

    7:58 PM  

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