I was chatting today with my friend Sandy (who I’ve been working for since returning to the city and who designs the COOLEST jewelry ever – check out her facebook page here) about the amazing NYC theater experience, Sleep No More. Seriously, I could write pages and pages about how in love with this show I am, but I’ll save that for a rainy day. It’s difficult to explain if you’ve never gone, but it’s an open house cum 360 degree, six floor stage that serves as a setting to a modern and avant garde interpretation of Macbeth. Actors wander the space, creating scenes sporadically and effortlessly, and the “audience,” uniformly clad in spooky masks, voyeuristically inhabits and experiences the world around them. If you’re lucky, and feeling open, you may have the luxury (or personal terror) of a one-on-one experience with an actor or scene. It’s difficult to explain. Basically, get your tickets now. Anyhow, when I went last year, I had not one, not two, but three bizarre experiences that were just for me and my entertainment (or anxiety). Why was I chosen in these different situations? How was I so lucky?
I’ve always been one of the people that tourists, or anyone for that matter, come up to in asking directions, advice, etcetera. I’m generally the one that takes pictures for strangers. That zips up people in Gap dressing rooms. Yes, I shop at the Gap. People frequently ask how they know me because I look familiar “for some reason.” People seem to feel comfortable around me – I’ve had some deep dark secrets confessed to me by people that I hardly know. Whatever all this is, it cracks me up. The more I get to know myself, mainly through my acting classes, singing, living in New York, the more I am realizing that I am truly an “attractive” person. Hear me out. I’m not saying that I’m Charlize Theron. I’m breaking down the literal meaning of the word. Okay – I’ll say it right now: I loathe writers who quote the dictionary – it feels very sixth grade speech competition. (Yes, I used that particular device in my school district second place-winning speech, “I Have A Concern.”) But what exactly does the word “attractive” mean? Cue the cheesy music and groans of all readers donning monocles.
at·trac·tive [uh–trak-tiv] adjective
1. providing pleasure or delight, especially in appearance or manner; pleasing; charming; alluring: an attractive personality.
2. arousing interest or engaging one’s thought, consideration, etc.: an attractive idea; an attractive price.
3. having the quality of attracting.
There’s something outlandish and exciting about this for me. I don’t usually look in the mirror and think, “goddamn I look hot tonight!” But I do often acknowledge the fact that I have amazing people in my life, interesting situations coming at me all the time, artistic opportunities flying at my head, and yes – strangers asking how or from what they know me. That really does make me an attractive person, and knowing this fact is unbelievably energizing. At Sleep No More, I had my bizarre experiences. And I have them every day. I say yes to opportunity and try to remain an open, positive, attractive person. Now. Let’s start attracting that Broadway contract… 😉
How lucky we are to live in New York City…. Or maybe live vicariously through others, whether it’s myself, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha. I’m back in New York again – well okay, I’ve been back now for about three months – but HEY, don’t judge my inability to update the blog. I’m back and ready for action.
Lately, the thing that has really been hitting me so hard is how much about this city, the people, the art, the architecture, the music… just truly pushes me beyond the brink of inspiration. Walking home today from an agent audition, I listened to LCD Soundsystem lament the toils of our city, felt the crisp autumn air hitting my face, watched a laughing family run across the street, and barely made the walk back to my apartment with aching feet. (Why do I wear heels?) And every single little detail, the thoughts of the day, the images of the the past few weeks, just kept budding and building, creating an empire of some epic artistic idea that was swelling inside of me. When I get home… I am going to write a novel! Compose a musical! Send letters to all my role models! Paint a portrait! Vacuum! Cook a feast! Fix my bike! Hang that chandelier! Update my website! Pet the cat! Re-pot the bamboo! Re-start The Artist’s Way! Do yoga! Fix the chandelier that I put up last month! The list is going on and on, louder and louder and louder and louder and
All I can really do, at the end of the day, is take off those fucking heels, pour myself a glass of wine, and keep listening to LCD Soundsystem.
Hey, at least I updated the site. 😉
It’s not that I am a huge fan of riding in subway cars. I’ll be the first to admit that I too frequently take taxis after a late night out, when really I should be saving that money.
Hah, saving money. A foreign concept to New Yorkers my age.
It’s just that… well the subway, at certain times, can be a peaceful retreat from the busy streets above ground. Yes, I know what you are saying… “But Ashley, you work from home. You don’t even have to DEAL with rush hour!” But here is something for you to consider: cell phone reception is completely blocked once in the railway. I would venture to say that about 50% of the talking done by New Yorkers on an average day is into their Blackberry, Chocolate, or various telephone devices named after delicious treats (or not). Once underground, cell phone reception disappears. One might get onto the train, and passengers are silently riding along, perhaps listening to their iPods a little louder than necessary.
Today while riding the train to Park Slope (more on that tomorrow), I noticed a surprisingly peaceful energy in the environment. While observing this, I imagined of the horrific reality that cell phone providers must certainly be making plans to gain reception in these tunnels. Could my peaceful ride to Brooklyn quickly be contaminated by yapping New Yorkers into little boxes of radiation? Ironically, these thoughts entered my mind just as we approached the Canal Street stop in the Lower East Side. Why the irony? After a significant number of individuals stepped inside the train to travel to Brooklyn, the train ascended into the dreary gray sky to cross the East River. As the bleak daylight fell into view, virtually every lemming passenger on the train reached for their respective lemming iPhone and started jabbering away.
My silence was shattered.
I want to be unreachable at times – riding in the subway permits this safe haven. I give it two years before everyone is installed with microchips that work as GPS/phone/internet… that have service underground.