Saturday, October 6, 2012

40 Days of Birthday: Day Fourteen



The hardest part about writing today is that my (to-be)revised dissertation proposal glares at me when I open my computer, reminding me of the enormous amount of work I need to do just to dig myself out of my current rabbit hole. I could just close my dissertation document—or write my blog on a typewriter—but then I might ignore it altogether. This past week, I’ve put in several hours a day reworking this proposal that I’m meant to hand into my advisor sometime before we meet a the end of the month. Each day I’m more confused than I was the previous. I try to believe that all this confusion means I’m on the precipice of revelation and not doom.

After a frustrating day in the Theatre Studies world, I kissed my family and headed out on my own for adventure. I’m set to teach a performance class in a couple of weeks at Tatwerk, an acting studio here in Berlin, and I asked if I could sit in on one of their regular courses to get a sense of the students’ skill level. The class starts at the incredible hour of 8pm which left me time to buy fabric for the Halloween costumes I’m making for a couple of small humans. I’m building cozy animal costumes for Lennon and his upstairs neighbor and friend, Otis. Also, Otis’s birthday is next week and his mommy is throwing him an animal themed costume party. Guess who will be the best dressed?


Fabric is expensive in Berlin. It’s days like these that I long for Fabric Outlet in San Francisco. I’d even settle for a JoAnn. For my limited searching in Berlin—I buy most of my fabric when I’m in the U.S. and haul it back on the plane—the best bargains can be found at the markets. When you need something specific, however, the markets can be hit or miss. Stoffland is where I headed this evening. The prices on their small, awkward online store seemed reasonable. They claimed to have fuzzy animal type fabric in their brick and mortar outlet, and while they were wildly out of the way of where I lived or where I was going tonight, I made the trek.

Once there, I spent about an hour pondering over fleece versus velour, the difference between auburn and light brown, and how dark a grey I should purchase. Additionally, I started sweating trying to convert my pattern from yardage to meters. The woman who cut my fabric did her best to help but my poor language skills made it rough. I went with my instincts and got slightly less off the bolt of each color than was called for. These are very small humans after all. I came in under budget, stuffed my “Stoff” in my backpack, and headed into the downpour that began as I was being rung up.

My years in Seattle taught me to never forget my umbrella.


The real star of today was the class I observed, however briefly I discuss it here—I’d rather not say too much for fear of diluting its deliciousness. The group was small, just a handful of students, improvising in an open space. The studio looked magical at night and any reservations I had about having to teach at this hour vanished. This was clearly the most ideal time. There was a lot of fruitful discussion and challenging work. I was grateful to have contributed. Really looking forward to not just observing, but teaching. Will be going back again soon.



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