November 5, 2012

Wisdom and Inspiration

Hello everyone, sorry for the blog delay! These past few weeks at Lafayette have been super crazy! It is hard even to think about all the events that have occurred since my last blog.

Well my wisdom teeth are out and the surgery wasn’t painful but the aftermath was. I came out of surgery with almost no swelling and no pain. I was sleepy but very alert. I even told jokes. ;) Little did I know that the pain would come two days later. By accident, my aunt gave me soup that had barley rice or something in it and immediately it got into the holes in my mouth. It left me in agony. Repeatedly, I would clean out my mouth and rinse with warm salt water but the rice would still win. I tried the pain medication but it made me feel so sick.

When I went back to the surgeon he placed a numbing sponge in the holes. For a brief moment, my life felt as though it was getting back to normal. Then the one of the sponges fell out and the other was accidentally swallowed while I was eating. I headed back to school but I still couldn’t eat much that wasn’t soup without being in pain. I had rehearsals for Noises off and my mouth would still be in agony. Next thing I knew, my jaw was infected. I just couldn’t catch a break. Fortunately, my surgeon sent me an antibiotic and everything felt well in time. Now my mouth is still healing but the pain is gone thankfully.

Roughly three weeks ago, I went to New York City to visit my friend Kesinee Haney. We met in London at Mountview, she was in the postgraduate program and we lived in the same housing center. She was having a showcase in New York City. But, unfortunately, I was recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery so I couldn’t attend. Still, after I caught up with my work, the next weekend I went up for a visit. It felt so good seeing her in my country and the city that I claim to be my home. One of the best parts of the day was her telling me how much she adored and loved the city. This was because when we were in London she claimed NYC was not for her. Now she’s highly and I repeat highly debating moving there, which is great news for me because I’m pretty sure I am going to move there soon enough. Can you say roommates! haha

Still, spending the day with her and her roommates was fabulous. We attended the block party outside of Joe’s Pub. It was there that I fell in love with another superb performer named Sasha Allen. Now for those of you who don’t know she was in the Broadway Revival, Tony Award Winning, musical Hair as Dionne. She has also toured with artists such as Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Christina Aguilera.  Her voice was impeccable and completely versatile. She was singing music from so many different genres such as musical theatre, rock, gospel and pop. And she kept putting her own stamp on each song.

My amazement so increased when she sang Whiney Houston’s, my childhood idol, song I Will Always Love You. Now, normally, I just feel as though Whitney Houston songs are untouchable only because whenever someone sings it Whitney’s voice is in my head. But this woman touched it, went all around it, and blew me out of the water! Little did I know that she’s known to sing all the greats such as Aretha Franklin and Whitney’s songs with such ease that her name will one day be amongst the Diva’s I idolized. It was incredible! AHHHH I really don’t have any words to describe this talent of hers but to this day I’m still in awe.

Sasha Allen’s voice and presence on stage inspired me even more to continue on my path of being a performer. I hope that one day I will be as good as that Ms. Allen. Until then, I will keep on trucking with my training.   It’s just that hearing, walking the streets of New York with all the hustle and bustle, seeing all the different performers and people, making conversation with the new people just makes me want to live there. I feel like I sound like a less extreme version of the character Marta from Sondheim’s musical Company. But she really did have it right. New York City is where it’s at. It the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York, this city makes you feel brand new big lights will inspire you now you’re in New York.” As I told my friend Kesinee, Alicia Keys said it best!

In other news, classes have been going well. They are stressful though because we are always prepping for an exam. I’ve realized that all college academics are about are just passing the test. Sometimes I wonder if I will retain the material afterwards and let’s be honest, I don’t. Still, my next exams are coming up and for Music and History. I think I’ll do fine but I couldn’t really explain what is going on in my economics class. I’m so excited because we may be going to the Met to watch an Opera one weekend. I’ve never been but I have heard that the Opera is amazing. I’ve also heard that you either love it or hate it, however; we’ve been watching videos in class and I love the style of music so I think I’ll enjoy it.

Noises off is shaping up to be an incredibly good show. Even though rehearsals are getting later and later and I keep catching colds.  I think the more we practice the more we become our characters. The amount of energy and physical stamina that goes into this shows especially since we are playing two characters. My concern was that I wouldn’t be able to distinguish the Belinda, the mother hen, and Flavia, the stuck up rich woman, from each other. Especially, since we are always snapping in and out of each character. I had to figure out each of their mannerisms, rhythms and vocal differences.  As well as understanding what makes both of them tick and how to give each of them an arch so that they aren’t one-dimensional. But I guess that’s my job as the actor.

until next time :)

posted in Brandi Porter

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