lunes, 9 de noviembre de 2009

DESTELLOS opens this week!

Just got back from taking a spanish certification test in Cordoba, and now it is FULL SPEED until the cabaret I'm directing goes up on Thursday. I feel very rushed, overwhelmed, anxious, but also strange. After this show, I only two weeks left in Tucuman, and only about 6 left in Argentina. In just this show I've seen so many changes in myself. I've found a lot of confidence to be ambitious and forward-jumping. Not only am I organizing and singing in this f'r, I also designed this flyer on my computer, contacted all the press folk, am creating the powerpoint and buying the props, paying out of pocket, and it all feels worth it as I see the show coming together in rehearsal. Now, how will these changes face the context I've spent 22 years growing up with? How will it face competition? debt? I want to make a promise to myself here that I can bring my Argentine "possibility-sight" to the states. Yes, i promise. Here. Now it's on the Internet, meaning that it's practically written in blood.
Cordoba was lonely, and of course, incredible too. I saw two plays almost every night, went to every museum I could until i passed out, talked to strangers about Cordoba's iron-gated elite art society and struggle with this year's drought, ate delicious sweet empanadas cordobeses at bar counters with cold grapefruit soda and a new bag (artesanal!! it has a picture of a detective and his ghost on it!) full of maps, and even spent a day on a tour to the dreamy mountain town of La Cumbrecita with three retired couples. (I was adopted under the nickname "Ohio" and made fun of the entire ride for being the only one continually fighting siesta fatigue) There were times were I felt tired, of traveling and being alone and spending without feeling like I'd earned and worked, but I also saw one of the best pieces of theater I've ever seen in my life and gained further practice in listening real real real close to what I want (lessons I can never be thankful enough for having), so I say it's worth it. Last week of real classes (now off to exams), but really my head is stuck in Destellos (flashes in spanish). I can't believe how fast this will all be over, and how little time I give myself to think of it. Wow, living without persistant analysis and regret...I can't believe how much i've changed! WOOPEEE!!!

miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2009


I honestly don't know what happened. It's like a really amazing friendship that you look back on at some random moment and think, "WhOA FUCKAAAA, what the hell happened to that?? What have I been doing for the past two months??" Ashamed to admit how many times I've let that happen in my life, but proud to say that I REFUSE to let my friendship with this blog fade out just yet. I'M BACK!!!! And with a lot of news.

The first is represented in these pictuhs. One thing that's been keeping me bizzay these past few months is the creation of a workshop that incorporates theater games into English language teaching in primary schools. I had the idea when I got here, but in August it all finally came together with the Ministry of Education. (beaurocracyyyyyyy) The workshop gives a little bit of background about drama education and then suggests 12 games, all of which I made up robbing acting techniques I've learned in other classes and adding a language learning objective. The games are broken up into warm-up, acting and cool-down, and should not only review vocabulary and sentence structure, but also KICK-ASS for shaking up the classroom dynamic.

This workshop has been DA SO BOMBAWESOME, and it's really continued guiding me in the direction of theater education. I've given the workshop now in two southern cities of my province, and here in the center. I also combined it with some playwriting techniques for a two-day workshop at the university. (Oh yes, you TOTALLY HAD TO PAY TO GET IN. I'm not giving out for free no mo') The ministry is also very happy (what matters most...of...course..), and tell me that teachers report incredible changes in their classrooms. (I know, it's like a Disney channel original movie-SO AWESOME), and I'm now being asked for another workshop in November. SOOOO AWESOME!!!

More on the other million projects I'm working on later, but for now I want to continue with some of July's last picture book. Here I am with Sheeva, and our lovely travel companions Andi and Andrew (loverssssss) at the salinas grandes in saltaaaaa. Perfect spot for a facebook photo, friends. AnDA! (translation: get yo' ass onto this continent and into the big field of salt remains!)
Also, I've included the hallmark photo from tren de las nubes, which was ALMOST worth the enclosed space/14 hours/view not as cool as it looked on that national geographic DVD...almost.

Aight, now I'm going to get some sleep because tomorrow I continue with an impromptu playwriting workshop I'm struggling through at the Arts University (fake smile: "IT'S GOING GREAT!) News on that soon. LOVE!

martes, 25 de agosto de 2009

A little something, something

I am down on my knees, begging in full "11 o'clock number" voice for forgiveness for taking so long to update, but I've basically had the work week from my Fulbright proposal's dreams. Creating and presenting a workshop. Setting up plans to present a play in English. Successfully teaching a full week class practically ON MY OWN! I am on an adrenaline high... My body's not quite catching up. And moments of quiet still open ugly doors. But my work to live in the moment continues, and I'm more than motivated with potential projects.

And it's been incredibly sunny. And Project Runway is back. And I had a really intense dream last night about my dad set in a forest-retreat/secret drug warehouse. Now the ideas are just coming out randomly. Let me reconstruct and get back to you.

Want to feel all emotionally see-sawy like me? Try not to get tear-filled shivers while watching thisssss:

lunes, 17 de agosto de 2009

If I may: a moment with my brain

Although I've been handed at least a thousand gifts this week, my mind still can't help but wander into a lost place sometimes. Living in another country is hard, especially at a time when my heart is feeling so ready to push some roots into the ground and start a more permanent stem of growth. Not sure if this is the right thing to do, but I find a bit of comfort in frequent visits to You Tube. Here's one of my current favorites:


Sheeva and I were by no means alone in Tucuman. You may have heard something recently about the Fulbrighter invasion of 2009? My house. July. Don't worry, we survived.

It started the night before Independence Day: July 9th in these parts. The congress that resulted in the declaration of Argentine independence from Spain was held here in Tucuman, and at midnight the event is celebrated here with a march of gauchos on horses, the totally random

manifestation of a crowd-plowing marching band, and FIIIIIIIREWORKS!

The next day, with everything closed and everyone (or at least everyone I've met here) completely indifferent to the fact that the president was giving a speech in the nearby plaza, we celebrated with a Fulbright night of wild peanut-butter binging and giggles. Three Fulbrighters were traveling with siblings (koinkeedink!!), so we took oodles of adorable fotos together, and generally threw around kindness and happy smiles. We had so much fun that we all returned two days later to do it all again over the best pizza on earth. Oh, you didn't know? The best pizza on earth is officially manufactured here in my kitchen by my roommate Gustavo. Something I'd like to bring home from this night: The idea of cooking several small servings of food with large groups of people that are meant to be served one taste at a time over hours. Imagine a group of about 15 starving wine-guzzlers being served one slice of pizza per 15 minutes over the course of two hours, each slice with different flavor and delivered (and eaten) by hand. Thank you to everyone who shared this night.

Before heading out, our crew headed up the nearby mountain of San Javier, a brilliant experience slightly tinted early on by our decision to follow a steep trail that lead up directly up Up and UP for about four hours. The workout was fantastic, but the uncertainty of whether or not we were ever going to arrive, well, anywhere, left the group slightly insecure. Kat, our resident hiking expert, calmed us by recognizing that while we may not have had much water left, at least we have a flashlight and warcm clothes. The speech had a mixed effect. Ultimately, we chose to trek following nature's subtlest of signals: horse shit. Reasoning that horses could only follow a path that led, somewhat, to some type of flat surface, we used the trail of dookie to ultimately reach the top of the mountain. Look at Sheeva's face. Clearly worth it, right?

sábado, 15 de agosto de 2009


After a luxurious suite-bus ride (complete with champagne and bottom-of-the-barrel movies), we arrived in my host city, TuCUMANNN! After a delightful peanut butter and jelly picnic on my bedroom floor, I immediately put Sheeva to work helping me dictate a conversation class. She was rewarded for her hard work with a ride on a moto.

lunes, 10 de agosto de 2009


After an 18 hour smelly-bus ride, and what felt like 3000 years of waiting like a paparazzi outside an international airport terminal, I MET UP WITH MY DAZZLING SISTER SHEEVA!

We spent about 10 minutes standing zombie-like in a hostel, and then we were already out and on the town. Here we are in front of the Casa Rosada, home of the infamous Evita balcony (and consequently famous Madonna balcony). In front of the Casa is a plaza where still today mothers of the thousands that disappeared during the dicatatorship of the 1970s march to demand answers. During this "Dirty War" period, the military took over the government and hundreds of thousands disappeared under suspicion of supporting communism.

After taking in a little history, we ducked into this "fine" cafe for Sheeva's first cafe con leche y medialunas, and for a touch at a little local culture. 50 points to anyone who can figure out why we took this picture and, therefore, why I look so creeped out!Hint: notice anything eerie about the background? group of ladies? dressed up? and alone? at tables by themselves? with waters?
We ran into random Fulbrighters with THEIR siblings!! Shout out to Christine! And we got caught in a creepy hail storm in La Boca (BA's colorful-isimo/dangerous when not on one of three designated touristy blocks), during which we found solace in a small tango club where our new best friend/tango dancuh! hooked us up with plans for Sheeva's first tango milonga. We were making friends everywhere we went!