Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NY Times- the lost post

For those of you who don't know, I was asked by the NY Times to be a guest blogger about my experience in the NYMF festival's production of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. They published two o my posts but the third one i sent them last week did not get posted before it became too dated for them. I wrote a new post that will be posted on the NY Times website tomorrow but for those of you who are interested in what the 'lost post' said- feel free to read below. Whee!


September 6, 2011

We conclude our union meeting by electing a Deputy (an always reluctant liason between the cast, management and AEA), and the rest of the Pride and Prejudice company comes back in for the “Meet and Greet”. I jump in a few publicity shots before slipping out to find a quiet place to pump my FLB (freakishly large breasts). The show’s team has graciously agreed to schedule in 20 minute maternity breaks for me every two hours, affectionately referred to as “Boobs O’Clock”. Unfortunately, they can’t guarantee me a place to pump or an electrical outlet so I’ll have to take what I can get at Studios 353 and hope that twenty minutes is enough time to find a space, set myself up, pump (two handed for maximum effect), measure the milk, pour it into a bag, label the bag, put the bag on ice, find a sink to rinse everything, dry everything, put it all away and get back to rehearsal without looking like I’ve run through a sprinkler.

Of course it’s a full house at Studios 353 this morning, so the stairwell is my only option. The filthy, nasty, dark, remarkably busy, probably haunted, only place anyone apparently gets cell reception stairwell. Awesome. New at this pumping thing, before I know it I’ve dropped pretty much every part of my pump on the floor within 90 seconds. This is clearly not going to work . I’d be better off pumping in a TB ward and no matter which way I’m facing there’s always someone coming from behind getting much more than they bargained for. I head to the bathroom and there’s a line ten people deep. Because, why wouldn’t there be. I momentarily consider skipping this pumping break altogether until I experience the ‘let down’. That’s when your milk comes in to your breasts which feels like someone dumping a ton of hardening cement into your chest and then lighting it on fire just for funsies. Now hunched over in excruciating pain, I shuffle back to Room #3.

I peek in, catch our director (Igor Goldin) in mid ‘welcome’ speech, circle my breasts with my index fingers, then open and close my hands in a squeezing motion all the while furiously shaking my head (the universal symbol for “I’m already a huge pain in your ass, and it’s only the first day.”).

By the time I return twenty minutes later from behind (no joke) two ferns in the lobby, I’ve missed the rest of Igor’s welcome speech, departmental introductions and discussions of the set, lighting and costume designs. However, I am just in time for the full read/sing-through of the show. Finally! This is always one of my favorites parts of the process. It’s like opening presents on Christmas morning and is nothing short of thrilling.

It’s a big company, a big score and a big show; three things that are not hallmarks of NYMF productions because it’s hard enough to do a small show with the limited rehearsal time, space and money NYMF provides. However, this team has so many NYMF vets who know the drill (Igor, our choreographer Jeffry Denman and half of the acting company) we may just pull this off, toi toi toi. So let it be known that in my opinion, this whole team is swinging a large set of brass ones and as I listen to the classically trained voices bounce off the walls with a warm intensity that’s just not applied anymore in contemporary scores, the goose bumps on my arms tell me I can’t wait to see just how we all pull this ‘old school’ baby off.

To be continued…