Monday, June 2, 2014

Class Begins

Howdy, friends and family and whoever may accidentally stumble upon this blog!

First things first: I found my pedometer, so it's on!

Today we started out slowly with 11855 steps, which is about 3.74 miles. Woo!

Today we began our classes... and boy, were we off and running!  Our first class was singing, with the irrepressible Марина Смирнова.  She took a little time to get to know everyone's voices, and then passed out songs - this year she has focused largely on group numbers, so there are duets and trios, and a couple of solos.  It should be interesting.  Particularly interesting for me, since I had been planning on only observing the class this year, but instead, because there weren't enough people who could sing harmony, I got rolled into a very complicated trio from the musical Company.  For reference - we have to learn this song in pretty much no spare time at all...gulp.

From there, it was ballet, which I am actually observing.  Ренат didn't suddenly feel moved to drag me to the center of the floor to dance with the class or anything.  Though I did get a Привет (informal, familiar Russian greeting) from him in the hallway.  Yeah... he remembers me.  Which is definitely why he wouldn't pull me up to the center of the floor to dance with the class... but whatever.  At any rate, he seems to have more fun with our group each year, getting a bit more impish each time.  He actually seems to be having fun with us, which is nice, since we are definitely not in his league.

After that was our first day of lunch in the MXAT cafeteria, which is always a good time.  The people who dish up the food see us coming a mile away, and I'm sure they just roll their eyes, but they're always super nice about our pathetic pointing and "пожалуйста" ing (that's "please").  Then, we continued on to our first acting class.  Our usual teacher Сергей is out of town with his Russian students this week, so we had a new fellow today: Миша Милкыс (And no, folks from 2011, this is not our Misha).  This Misha is a youngish fellow who studied under Misha the elder, and he will be spending the week doing Michael Chekhov work with us.  The class felt a little haphazard today, but overall he planted some excellent seeds.  Now, I had originally planned on participating fully in the acting classes instead of observing as I have been in some of the others, but it became obvious pretty early that it would be a lot easier for the teachers to deal with an even number of students, which we have if I don't participate.  So I am observing this class too, which is a little bit of a bummer since this is a new teacher for me, and I haven't done much Chekhov work. But, I am definitely drinking in everything that all of our teachers are doing and saying, and I am taking this as my own personal little pedagogical master class.  So, giddy up, y'all!

After class we headed back to the dorm... and that was pretty much that.  There was a lot of activity on the street this evening - a couple in an argument, a guy playing a trumpet for about an hour or so, and I think even a couple of fireworks over the park.  Nothing fancy... but still just kind of cool.  I spent a lot of time online trying to hunt down shows for the group to see, which is proving a little tougher this summer.  Some of the funding has been cut here recently, which means performances are a little fewer and a little pricier.  But I persevere!  Of course, I let myself get way caught up in that, and stayed up too late, when my jet lagged self should really have been in bed a couple of hours ago.  So I bid the interwebs Спокойной ночи!

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