alumiere (alumiere) wrote,

grad school

so i decided to go to grad school for technical theatre as that was the field i was actually working in and enjoying... by this time i figured out who i was and was happy with life, so things went way more smoothly... i had a nice, cheap apartment in baltimore, i had a reasonably functional car that i loved (a 1970 vw kharman ghia convertible, lumiere - i miss her), and between working at umbc, tending bar, and student loans i was able to pay for everything... 1st semester was rough at times because we were finishing up the season for Shakespeare on Wheels (Othello, i think) til late October, but i did fairly well and even managed to work on a few shows at college park; didn't really enjoy the theatre history class i had to take... twas kinda dry and boring after we got past the greek comedies and got stuck in the middle ages/comedia-del-arte/etc but such is life... really enjoyed the lighting design and rendering courses i took that semester, and started to build a good working relationship w/ dan wagner and david kriebs who would be the people who taught me the most there... 2nd semester was more theatre history, scene design with jim kronzer (a great designer), and technical design with david... good classes all... plus a good set of spring shows for umbc's dance company including a brief tour of some maryland locations... happy busy life, but i was still going out regularly and had begun to finally get to know people at tracks (i'd been going there for years, but went to dance; since i hardly new anyone, and i wasn't very outgoing, i didn't know many people)... did a really fun production of antonin artaud's le jet de sang (spurt of blood - theatre of cruelty piece - violent, loads of blood, fake/animal guts, gunshots, frogs and other things falling from the ceiling onto the audience) for the theatre history class - it was great... as part of that piece we shot a film we called naked and afraid... artsy black & white film, i still have the original somewhere and a video copy at home... decided that my thesis would be on multi-media performance... combine my love of film with the theatre i was also beginning to love... sometime during the spring of that year i met zooom for the 1st time, at an "i phelta thi" party at zooom & phil's house... decided he was very cute, and i wanted to sleep with him at some point, but we were both dating other people at the time... also that winter/spring i started rock climbing with my friend richard - fell in love with the sport and eventually got emily and mark into it too... met some very cool people through climbing also, used to drag shaine out with me for saturday's at ballroom - goth/industrial night...

summer arrived, time for another tour with shakespeare on wheels... much ado about nothing - set was a nightmare, and our technical director was pretty terrible, so in addition to being stage manager i had to do set up and supervision every day... lots of work, but still a good tour for the most part... school started, more classes, was tending bar part time at a restaurant in baltimore, dated/casual relationships with several guys including a recent graduate of the maryland institute college of art - ted... fabulous paintings, fabulous sex, no committments... kept occasionally running into zooom, still wanted to sleep with him, but he was in a relationship by then... also went to my 1st con, it was a very boring weekend, but i met a gorgeous boy, asian michael who i went out with on occasion... he even helped me build a model set for one of my classes one night (he thought it was fun)... shows that year included the misanthrope (tech designs), assistant lighting design (with dan) for national players tour (equus/much ado about nothing) and the opera company's turn of the screw (fabulous dark twisted opera - in english), lights and set design for a friend of mine's production of prometheus bound (2 dumptrucks full of sand, scrap metal and scaffolding set)... also got badly hurt at work that year - a door (4'x2' glass with wood frame) on the serving station fell off it's hinges onto me, fractured the outer socket of my hip... i now have arthritis due to that (yuck)... one more thing... idiot turned left without looking at a light, took out the front drivers side of my ghia... i was so mad, but her insurance company wouldn't repair it (car worth about $500, repairs over $1000 - no more ghia)

end of school - last season of shakespeare on wheels - i only did build, went on tour dates when i wanted to to help out/hang out with my then boyfriend who was on crew... show was hamlet, not bad, but not as good as othello... found an office manager's job working for one of my friends parents (mom was nuts - can you say manic/depressive?) which was pretty decent, good money, and they worked with my school schedule... 3rd year of grad school was tough - advanced design classes, too many shows, and graduate level theatre theory classes made life somewhat difficult - wound up with a cousin of mono during the build of into the woods - i was assistant scene designer and props manager (and i'd never really done props design before) and wound up failing my scene painting class (elective, didn't really need it, and something had to give) and losing my assistanceship because of that show... my boss, dan conway didn't care that i had been ill (i had medical excuses and documentation), only that he wasn't happy with my performance (although everything was done by deadline and the show went very well)... after that and some arguments with catherine (head of the grad department) because i disagreed with her in a graduate seminar - she was teaching the theory of african american theatre from secondary texts because the class was overwhelmingly white and she thought that it was more important to read what the white critics had to say than what the african american artists like baraka and wilson wrote which i thought was bullshit (big mistake to tell her so though) - i began to question whether i wanted to stay in the program or not... rest of fall and spring semester was much better though, worked on 2 shows with dan wagner - sondheim's passion at signature which won a helen hayes (dc equivalent of tony) and a show at studio theatre (can't remember which though)... also bought my 1st new car - a saturn sc2 (mistake - loads of problems, endless repairs and loaner cars)... finally got to go on a date with zooom in february - met him at ballroom saturday after a rehersal at studio, went to breakfast then back to his place for sex/sleep before i had a tech rehersal the next day... great night, started dating, somehow, we went from casual sex to serious dating to me moving into the house he was living in at the end of the summer...

decided to take the summer off from theatre, worked the office job and partied... took a few road trips (one to florida to see our friend bill, another with my best friend emily to north carolina for lollapollza - closest date rage against the machine was playing, some climbing at the new river gorge with shaine) and generally had a great time... even got paid vacation... decided to go back to school in the fall, basically all i had to do was one more show and write my thesis... kept working full time as an office manager and did my thesis production (multi-media staging of sondheim's company - with video, film & photos shot in nyc)... of course i couldn't get my thesis past catherine... decided to give it one last shot in the spring... re-wrote, added volumes of new reserch material (multi-media theatre was the hot new thing that year), still no dice... decided that paying $3000/semester to have catherine shoot down my thesis was a bad expenditure; tried to go over her head, but no luck there, so i gave up on the masters degree (no big deal - i learned what i wanted to learn while i was there)... kept doing lighting designs with dan wagner that year - the little prince at olney theatre, another design for national players, another opera, worked with him at the shakespeare theatre at the lansberg too... made a bit of money doing theatre work, but was supporting myself w/ the office job... gotta make ends meet somehow

that wraps up grad school (well except for all the student loans - i'll be paying for college for the rest of my life, and i probably won't pay it off before i die at this rate)... basically it was a good period in my life, i learned a lot intellectually and about myself, i made some really good friends (and i've managed to keep them around) and i met zooom, whom i plan to happily spend the rest of my life with... up next, life with zooom
Tags: creativity, dancing, history (aka life pre-lj), life with zooom, medical, on the east coast

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