NYC. Got on the A train heading uptown to the Village. I’d already, in my waking hour, gotten ‘lost in NY.’ I took some advice from some of the night denizen-types to go downtown instead of uptown. As they say, you need to get lost first to find NYC – initiation. Now, my stop is @ 14th St. and 8th Ave.
Sittin’ in an open, tall, yellow window-seat at the Bus Stop Café on 8th Ave & Hudson. I’m the first patron. And, with my steaming coffee, the sunrise lights the cool roof tops – a balance: the flowers know the sun is coming below down on Abingdon market. It’s going to be a beautiful day.
Finished breakfast: eggs benedict with salmon, home fries laced with onion & green peppers, sliced fresh strawberries in a sundae dish, water and bottomless coffee by Anna, my Hispanic waitress. Delicious!
The soft music plays and the sun begins to warm the teeming streets: orange taxis, chained bicycles to street signs, lethargic hissing-n-whining buses, like white painted elephants with wheels, single early-risers parading along the winding sidewalks with leashed dogs, or more. The farmer’s market stands, across the street, by size and color, from wooden baskets of vegetables to tested tables surrounding the park, for their audience, on the corner of 8th and Hudson.
How picturesque. From where I sit, a painted self-portrait of the Café. To my left, I view, hear & smell my first NYC Saturday morning in the summer.
I can’t help noticing the petunias protecting me, in their window box, from the harsh city streets; their two-tone garden, of dark and light violets, resonate a softness and easiness that makes dimples into smiles.
The sun is just about to break, like an egg, from the tops of buildings holding back the horizon. The Café comes to life; each table with its own appetite and agenda. Ah! I see the first rays of sun: stripes of light turn the red brick, across Bethune St., from shadows to living color. It won’t be long before I’ll be wearing shades.
If first impressions make a lasting memory, then I’m molded into New York with warm benevolence. I’ll take it. Like any delicious breakfast, the rest of the day will follow. I feel accepted.
HB Studio Office. A possible set-back after introducing myself and requesting to sign-up for the Shakespeare voice – Bath classes. I hear, “ the class is full;” not only at capacity, but over-booked with 22! (How can my favorite number be the bane of my efforts?) At first, I’m told, “ too bad, sorry.” I stand firm. I explain I called earlier to register! On the phone, in Maine, I was told to, ” just come down.” I’m at deaf ears.
I sit down. Katrina, an older actress/teacher, takes the time to fully explain the courses @ HB and how to fully explore the vast curriculums. No matter, my energy to attend this class is at a boiling-point. Like a fresh breeze, Jim Boerlin, acting teacher, walks in. I say hello. Also, another staff member goes down and preps one of the directors for the class, as an edge for me as a stand-in. If this is meant-to-be, I’d better fight. Not only do I feel this travel down to NYC might be in vain; but, if there’s a one-in-a-million chance I am taking it. I love this suspense!
Now, I’m sitting in the staff kitchen waiting until 11:30 to determine my fate. Like the weather, you never know until it happens. Most importantly, everyone turned a negative situation to a stronger positive one; I feel my odds are increasing by the minute. We’ll see…
Lunch was delicious @ Molly Wee’s Irish bar on 8th in Chelsea. It’s next to the Garden. I strolled from HB down 8th Ave. until my stomach and my attitude needed a new adjustment. I dropped in and sat-up to the mahogany bar and cooled down.
Oh! The mystery was solved @ HB. Yes, I did get into the class I came down for! (Plus, made a nice connection with the teachers.) The voice class was monumental. I was able to focus on breathing and speaking from my center (diaphragm) and really feel the vowels & consonants as an actor.
We first practiced loosening-up ourselves; and then, we delved into the unknown. (What a fun and intrepid place beyond being normal.) The light turned-on for me when Ann, one of my teachers, held my head and centered me on the floor concentrating on breathing in letting-go. From then on, Ann centered my breathing and vocal intonations.
The second part of the class was an exercise of announcing and pronouncing vowels & consonants with a haiku. Finding the origins of the sounds in the words, and the breathing “meanings” gave me purpose to reading classic literature. (This will be good timing practicing w/Bill with the Tom monologues of Tennessee Williams.) By the end of the three hours, I realized the importance of strong stomach muscles, and to practice utilizing my diaphragm. What a natural tool! Now, at my disposal I’m grateful to begin re-learning what God gave me. I look forward to tomorrow’s class.
I’m getting good vibes in NYC.