Friday, June 17, 2011

Bears on Unicycles

Today was madcap and non-stop.  First, half of us had our singing class.  The highlight of this class was when I sang “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and Marina told me that she wished I were one of her students.  I mean… damn.  This crazy Russian woman who meows at us and punches me in the stomach has really reminded me how much I love to sing, and how much I need to make opportunities for myself to do just that.  So there’s an assignment for me when I get back to Detroit this fall. Our acting class was a little low key today.  We did our etudes (the other group did a pretty brilliant Ouija board etude – ours was a race and was fine… it just wasn’t as awesome as the Ouija board) and then we discussed Three Sisters for a while before launching back into our person etudes.  I still haven’t done mine – I’m not sure why I’m so nervous.  But hey… it’s just a couple minutes of my life.  And I’ll be channeling my niece… so you know that’s a good time!  There was no show planned for the group tonight, but Aaron, JT and I headed off for another piece directed by Dmitri Krimov – this one was called Сметь Жирафа (Death of a Giraffe).  The play began with four people coming out, setting up a rickety table and drinking cups of hot tea which they then left on said table.  They then proceeded to lift this table and place it on brightly colored blocks that got taller and taller with each level.  The process of building these legs was crazy tense… the performers were amazing!  Eventually – once they had balanced the table about 6 feet in the air, and after they gave it a head, neck and tail – the conglomeration of elements had become a Giraffe.  A circus erupted around this tenuous giraffe – first with a lion tamer act involving a tiny puppet lion that eventually went mad and attacked the whole cast.  Then there were a pair of little bear toys – one of which was a bear on a unicycle.  This made me extremely happy, since my brother had sent me THIS CLIP from The Family Guy before I came to Russia.  The basic gist: all Russians are bears on unicycles.  And I saw one!  Huzzah!  Then a woman came out as if she were going to do an acrobatic routine, but all she had to do was jump and the giraffe came crashing down as the lights went to black.  Then we met the mourners.  I have no idea what any of them were talking about (except for the one who spoke a few lines in English, which was an exciting surprise), but it was extremely engaging.  For one thing, the giraffe in a wheelchair costume was to die for!  There were these crazy projections involving dead flamingos and fish and a magical mystery tour through the solar system or something.  I think there may have been some sort of sales pitch for visiting Paris.  And I am fairly certain that the one-legged clown who inhaled helium from a giant tank each time he spoke is going to feature prominently in every nightmare I have for the next five years.  Then, just as the show was ending, just as we thought we had seen it all, a boy who looked about six years old walked across the stage in a backbend.  The end.  I kinda felt stoned as I was leaving. Once I got back to the dorm, no one seemed to be around on my side of the hallway, so I enjoyed the me time… until suddenly, this weird chime sounded and a Russian voice started saying something over a loudspeaker that I didn’t know we had.  This happened twice in about 20 minutes, and the second one sounded a little like it might have been a Russian rap.  I have no idea what was going on, but it sort of creeped me out.  I felt a little like I was in the LOST bunker or something.  So, I grabbed my $15 ice cream, sat in my room, and blogged before heading to bed.  So… good night!

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