flash // bam

Aida is going well. Rehearsals are getting tough; I can expect to spend close to four hours in the studio every night. As tiring as it may seem, it's fun because of the challenge it presents me. The last week has been dedicated to blocking the two huge ensemble numbers and they're quite the emotional roller coasters. We're expected to call upon all these feelings of hopelessness in relation to the extinction of a nation, things I've never experienced myself. Our actions are supposed to be infused with urgency, as our Artistic Director constantly reminds us. To do that, I've been calling upon the memories of my most intense emotional experiences to guide me through the music. For "The Gods Love Nubia," I think of Angelina and the time we spent together learning our parts to that song for Show Choir in high school. I think of our lives in the aftermath of tragedy, and I can slowly feel myself beginning to relate to these fictional characters with a pain that's so real to me. It's like that for everyone in the cast: struggling to find a place deep inside ourselves and flip it all inside out. Draining. Exhausting. By our fourth or fifth run of the song last night, people had tears streaming down their faces because of the emotional exorcism. I ended each run feeling light-headed and empty, but driven by the thought of how incredible the outcome would be. If we could move ourselves to tears, the audience will have no hope for stability.

I'd recommend Kleenex with aloe, personally.


The job is going well, as expected. I love everything about it: the work, the people, the environment, the culture. As a bit of an introvert, it can be difficult to deal with a large number of performers, most of whom are extroverts, on a regular basis. But I think of it as a way to improve my communication skills and self-confidence. There is always more to learn.

I begin meeting with teachers next week. I'm excited to see how I present myself as a representative of Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs. I really enjoy acting as a representative because of the opportunity it provides to bridge the gap between provider and client, teacher and student, person and person. Plus, it means I get to upgrade my wardrobe.

I learned today that much of the population we serve is Spanish-speaking and requires a translation of our performances. Only two people in our department are fluent in Spanish, and that motivates me to learn the language. Not only to help lessen the work load but to provide myself with incredibly valuable skills as an employee. Learning Spanish will most likely be my next project.

Socially, I am thrilled by the fact that most of my co-workers are from my generation. My biggest fear about leaving school was not being able to make friends as easily because of the lack of association. In this environment, that won't be the case at all. Everyone is friendly and supportive of each other's interests and goals, which are all very similar, given the performance aspect of the work. ETP will be a wonderful place to make my post-collegiate friends.

Words can't even describe how happy I am to be here.


On the way home from work, I was staring idly out the bus window when POOF, there he was. Or at least what I thought was him. I did a double take, but by the time turned back for a second glance, the bus was far down the street and he was no longer in my line of vision. Immediately, my heart jumped into my throat, like it always does, and I could feel my breathing shift from regular to shallow. But maybe that wasn't him. Maybe my mind was so distracted by my post-workday thoughts that I had conjured up an imaginary image of him to slow myself down for a minute. It could not have possibly been real.

When I arrived at my bus stop, minutes later, I walked up the street and stumbled because a hummingbird flew right into my line of vision. I thought to myself, when was the last time I saw a hummingbird this close? It was years ago, when my family and I still lived in our old house on the other side of town. Across the span of time and distance, I can remember what that experience felt like: happy, calm, serene.

Here I am, months, and maybe even years, from where we started. And I still feel the same. Though you may have been imaginary, it is clear that what I'm feeling is not.

I don't know why I've been lying to my friends. I guess it's because I initially left so much of the story out. It's easier to fabricate than to unravel it all and reveal the truth. Because the truth, especially this one, hurts. Regardless of what they know, it's pointless to keep on lying to myself. Some part of me wants the rest of me to accept the reality of the situation.

I just wish there were an easier way to let you know about it.


Caliwu said...

I'm happy for you, Gina! Sounds like things are going really well :)

MattK (Section 2) said...

So does this lucky lad know he's being lavished with such longing?