Missed a day on this diary because things are kicking into gear, with the busiest week of the festival under way. Yesterday I spent about six hours out on the street with the gang outside La MaMa with Marcus and his Nag installation. We were out to promote the festival and give out flyers, and so we did. Nag is very eye catching, a self powering art studio which people can't help being curious about. Basically I got to chat with friendly New Yorkers for hours, which is sweet thing to do when you're new here. It also seemed like good practice for For Your Future Guidance, which is interactive so I can't be scared of the locals. It seemed like most people can understand me, so that's good. Having Nag there was a gift because it self-selected one in every, say, 20 passers-by and gave us only the ones who wanted to talk. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed "hustling", mainly I think because I found it easy to be curious about the people in the area, and people seemed curious about us. Binge's shows are free, so that helps too... I thought about what a friend in Wellington told me recently- you can get the most when you don't ask for anything and just have a chat. I have found people to here to be very friendly on the whole, but maybe that's just cause I'm young and pretty and blonde.
Today we packed in For Your Future Guidance and did some technical rehearsal. We're being well looked after by Sara who runs the space and is who is also an experimental theatre artist and musician. Ran through my script to try and get my head back in the show- it seems like a long time since I last did it, even though it was probably only 10 days. Trying to weed out the language problems- they'll be eggplants not aubergines, and apartments not flats.
Nag in the gallery is looking great by the way. He's powering his own lights, so you'll only be able to read the great love poems on the walls when someone's pedaling. I also saw the big old set for Sleep Wake being winched together in the Ellen Stewart theatre, which is a pretty amazing space and which feels surprisingly large for an old street building. It's got this weird silver pattern on the walls, and a coloured arch. I love the roughness and the lived-in feeling of the theatres here, like the bare brick walls in the First Floor Theatre. Places designed to be used and which aren't too generic feeling.
I have a conspiracy theory about all the people who ask for money or sing or rap or yell on the subway. They are secretly under the employ of the establishment and by corporations to remind New Yorkers of how close they are to ruin and that if they slow down or step out of line, they will be in that position. It keeps everyone sharp and the labour is dirt cheap.
Still astonished by the sheer amount of opulant and giant buildings and the amount of potholes in the road. You sure wouldn't want to be getting around in a wheelchair in this city. Saw a fire engine with "we support our troops" on the windshield, and a cop car with a bumper sticker with a $10,000 reward for cop killers.
First time travelling with a smart phone and I'm enjoying exploring the limits of their powers. Google maps builds the city in 3D for you on the spot. K gave me a phone tour of a few blocks from Kentucky and googled buildings for me, which is fun. Phones find you restaurants and plan your journeys and tell you the weather. You kind of assume they can do anything.The danger is you don't even look up to figure out where you are since you just look at your phone map as soon as you get out of the subway. I wanted a sewing kit today and nearly googled "sewing kit east village" but ended up being directed to a K Mart by the guy at the CVS.
I can confirm that the Freedom Tower is real, if you are like me and can't tell the difference between real pictures of buildings and architectural renderings of buildings or figure out when one turns into the other. It's there, it looks pretty tall.
Up early tomorrow to rehearse our opening celebrations for Thursday. Need to buy some giant eggplants.