i'm a white writer. in new york. original, no? i've been blogging since october 2002. this blog picks up in october 2008, when i moved from DC to NY...(and then I moved to Maine in 2012)

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Reading of Sofonisba in NYC

Some of you DC readers may remember Michole Biancosino, Artistic Director of Project Y, back from her days in DC. She's in NYC now, and Project Y had a wonderful production last year that the NY Times reviewed.

Anyway, I've been a fan of Project Y since the beginning, because they explore dark and compelling oddities in their work.

So I'm really stoked that Michole and her company have decided to give SOFONISBA its first NYC reading! I'm still working on the play, but I feel that this script is the strongest I've ever written. It feels like all of the things I've been trying to teach myself for the last 4 years about building a play have finally come together.

So for those of you who can make it, it will be Sunday, November 15, at 7pm in Soho at Lilly O’Brien’s. As I understand it, it's a bar with some sort of performance area, and it's at 67 Murray Street @ West Broadway (close to the Chambers stop on the 1-2-3 and A-C lines; and the WTC stop on the E line).

Crumbs from the Table of Twitter

Hello, dear blog.

I spend all my social media energy on The Twitter. For those of you who are not on The Twitter (all two of you), I wanted to let you know what's going on and what you can look forward to here on this blog.

I've just rounded out my first full year in NYC, and I also just moved into my third apartment in Manhattan. (Because apparently that's what you do when you move to New York, you move again. And again. And again.)

Now I'm in a two-year lease in a beautiful studio on the Upper East Side. I have a view of trees in a courtyard, and enough closet space, and hardwood floors, and a giant tub. There's no stove, but I don't cook much anyways.

My last apartment was a nightmare--the ceiling collapsed, there were 16 or so leaks in the kitchen over the course of 8 months, I could hear a child crying for hours on end (yes, I called Child Services because I had a bad feeling in my gut), I heard horrible fights in the hallways, one of my neighbors' apartments was broken into, a cop killed someone on our block, there was a serial rapist for a while (ok that was 15 blocks away, but still), and dog doo on the sidewalk.

I tried politely to get out of the last month of my lease, considering all the leaks, mold and ceiling problems, but my old landlord wouldn't budge. Until I lawyered up, that is. Then they said sure, I could break the lease and still get my deposit back, IF I signed something that I would never sue them for anything. No problem. That's all I wanted in the first place.

So I took my returned deposit and bought a Burberry handbag at a 30% off sale. It's my first purse ever that costs more than $25, and it's kind of awesome.

Anyway, for $300 more a month, now I'm in a neighborhood where the women plastinate their faces, eat styrofoam because it's calorie-free and filling, and shop for $1,500 handbags.

You might think from the above paragraphs that I'm not fitting in here in NYC, but it's actually the first time as an adult that I've felt like I'm living where I belong. See, everything's extreme here--you have the best of everything and the worst of everything all jammed up together. So I'm blending in.

Today is my last full-time day at NBC. Starting Monday, I'll be working 20 hours a week. They were kind enough to give me a 40% raise--I won't be earning as much as before, but I'm pretty sure I'll be okay, especially since all the shopgirls in the Upper East Side boutiques are so snobby that I'm not even tempted to spend my money there.

The big change will be that I will now have time to dedicate to my writing. I feel like I'm in a great position now where I'm happy in my home, I'll be earning enough to get by (and that's all you really need, is enough), and I'll have precious time to write.

I've been meeting people all along this year, but now I'm actually starting to have conversations that are more focused on finding where my writing might make sense in terms of plays and blogging and maybe this memoir idea. I also want to try fiction and start doing some short video projects. So it's really a great thing that my hours will shift and I'll be able to devote concentrated time to fleshing these projects out.

Thanks to all of you who have been reading my This Is Not a Memoir posts. It's been a few weeks since I've posted to that thread, but rest assured, more is coming! I have sort of an endless amount to write. I'm really enjoying writing the posts, and it means so much to hear that they resonate with you guys. Thanks for the support on that.

Some of you may know that I've been giving talks and interviews about the arts and social media--I think most of them are on my home page if you're interested. I did one just the other day about how to find your artistic voice through blogging, and I'll post it as soon as I have a link.

Anyway, thanks for checking in.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

There's Always a Tell

These are the opening paragraphs of my first post for RealMental, which will go live later tonight or early tomorrow.

I’ve always wanted to go to Montana. Remember the film Legends of the Fall? Wrecks me every time. I manage to keep it together while Native Americans are displaced, Samuel dies, and love is abandoned. I start to tip when Tristan’s wife is killed, and I lose it completely when Susannah meets Tristan’s son Samuel. By the time Susannah cuts off her hair and shoots herself, I’m inconsolable, mostly because everyone has put such a pretty, stoic face on their pain.

The only thing saving me from being seduced by all this Grade A romanticized suffering is Tristan’s “good death” at the end, by bear-fight. It’s a fitting and rugged resolution, and it centers me again, reconciling me to all things inexorable, like death, sorrow, and bad sex.

We’re all heroes of our own movies. Some of us may self-dramatize more than others, but I think it’s fair to say we all, at times, present a reductive version of ourselves. Sometimes it’s for the benefit of others.

Often it’s because the truth overwhelms us.

To read the full article, click here.


Since my last post, I moved to a new apartment, I fought (and apparently won, though I'll believe it when I get the check) an argument with my old landlord, and started putting steroid drops in my eyes because apparently I'm allergic to New York City.

I've also been eating a lot of cheese sandwiches and writing a long-ish blog post, my first in a series for RealMental, the beginning paragraphs of which I'll post in a few minutes here.

Thanks for all the wonderfully encouraging comments on the posts I'm tagging "This Is Not a Memoir."