Monday, June 9, 2014


This morning started off with a very encouraging email from my dissertation chair... so that was really an excellent way to wake up.  This puppy might actually get written after all, damnit!  Add to that a cool, gray, rainy day, and I was feeling pretty good.

On the classroom front, we had a teensy scheduling snafu... in that both our group and the group from Butler had the same schedule.  Oops.  So we decided to go ahead and switch to ballet first with singing second.  And I'll just say it: ballet did not go great today.  I think Renat was frustrated.  Hopefully the gang will knock it out of the park next time around.

Singing, on the other hand, seemed to go very well.  We got through everyone, people sound good, they're learning their songs and generally being awesome.  Marina seemed in generally good spirits... which just makes everyone happy.

After lunch, it was time for our usual acting teachers to emerge!  Sergei and Ilja have been traveling with their students (who are about to graduate), and just returned.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I know exactly when the students got back from their tour, because around 2:00 in the morning, there was a great ruckus outside that involved a lot of yelling about the greatness of MXAT's school, and, for some reason, how much they love America.  So, I think there may have been a touch of celebrating at the end of said tour.  Anyway, my guess is, with the late return, Sergei decided to take the day to himself, leaving the class in Ilja's capable hands.  Since I'm observing rather than participating this year, and since I've known him for several years now, Ilja was super warm in greeting me, which was fun.  I felt all growed up!  Ilja got them started fast, and the group progressed through a lot of exercises today, which is very good.  Since we have a little less time with them than usual due to that first week, I'm glad that it looks like this group is catching on to the training quickly.  That means that they'll have the opportunity to go interesting places.  And speaking of interesting, they start their object etudes tomorrow... which is always great fun!  I can't wait to see them!

After dinner, we gathered again at the MXAT student stage to watch the fourth year (graduating) students do something called ГогольРевизор.  Basically it was a show composed of etudes about Gogol's play The Inspector General.  Since this class is now down to their final performances as MXAT students, the place was PACKED.  While we were waiting to get in, I ran into our film history teacher (who is not teaching us this summer).  Galina actually was the one who grabbed me, asked me about my life... it was so cool!  Look at me with all my cool Russian friends!  Anyway, once we got into the theatre we were slammed in there with people sitting on the floor on pillows, people standing 6 deep in the aisles... it was nuts.  It was almost 2 1/2 hours without an intermission, and I stood through the whole thing because I was way in the back back row.  But let me tell you... it was fantastic!  It was so energetic and wild and creative and fun...and, as a bonus, there was a little audience participation.  First, it was set up as a bar, so one of the actresses was taking (and delivering) drink orders before the show.  Then, there was a great bit where one of the women started getting all amorous any time she heard "Unchained Melody."  The music played and she grabbed one of her cast members and started to kiss him - but when it stopped, she released him.  Then it played again and she grabbed a guy in the audience and planted one on him - but it still could have been a plant or a friend or something.  Then... she grabbed first Luke and then Carl from our group and gave them each a good smoochin'... while the rest of us cheered from the back row!  The final moment of the show ended up being a Russian theatre inside joke... THAT I TOTALLY GOT!  They finished up their evening with a little riff on an element from Butusov's (the director whose Othello we saw last night) famous production of The Seagull that I'm in love with. I felt so in the know in that moment.  I'm ready for my citizenship now!

The rest of the evening was pretty chill. I am still feeling a little worked up from seeing awesome theatre.  But something tells me, once I finally hit the pillow... I'll be gone.

Doppelganger update: So, we've had more than a few.  First, there was Russian Megan Barbour in the Starbucks (Sydney caught a sly picture... it's uncanny).  Apparently there was a Russian Jen...I didn't see her, but I am forming an elaborate plan to take over her life so that I can be in Russia any time I want (I'm sure her friends and family won't find it weird that her conversation is suddenly limited to purchasing theatre tickets).  Russian Brent Griffith played Kochkariev in the production of Marriage that we saw the other night.  And in the performance of etudes surrounding Inspector General tonight, we saw Russian Joseph Gordon Levitt, Russian Brad Smith, and Russian Doug Lubaway.  Oh... and Russian Becky Pierce was in the audience.

Seriously... if we do this right... we could all just live here and no one would be the wiser!

12534 Steps
3.96 Miles

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