Sunday, February 8, 2009

November 23, 2008 - Roberto's England - Vol. 2, Ch. 8

Hello again,

What's my excuse this time for not writing another chapter of my London adventures? This time, and I kid you not, it was not due to laziness. I simply didn't feel there has been anything to write home about. But I also didn't want to leave you, my faithful readers, high and dry (what does this phrase even mean?). So this chapter consists of a motley assortment of happenings.

Let's begin...

My social life is comatose. Still alive, but only technically. Breathing, but barely. Have I become a recluse? Has the Internet finally taken complete control over my life? The reason I have not written about my fun and exciting adventures is because I have not had very many. My internship has taken over my life.

It seems that all I do is review shows or attend them with my boss. Before you can say "Oh, you love it. Admit it," let me say that I do enjoy what I am doing. My total number of published clips are steadily climbing and I'm getting to see a slew of plays (and the occasional musical) for free. And allow me to emphasize the FREE part of the deal. But even theatre junkies need a break.

Take this last week, for example. With the exception of Friday and including today, I had to go to a show every night. I had actually been scheduled to go to a show on Friday too, but a rescheduling spared me one more show. I'm glad that I was able to have a night off because I had not seen any of my friends since last Sunday. I could have been dead for all they knew.

Three notable things did happen during this last week. On Tuesday I reviewed The Walworth Farce at the National Theatre. First off, I absolutely loved this play. But that isn't the newsworthy part. I wrote the review for class, but asked my boss if she wanted it too since she was not able to fit that particular show into her schedule. She told me to send it her way, and so I did. I email it to her the morning and, a few hours later, I get a reply. She loved my review. This is the first compliment she's ever given me. My boss is the most critical person I've ever come across and is never satisfied. She told me it was very well written and that it is the best review I have written. I was giddy beyond words to read her positive comments. But the thrill didn't stop there. I just checked out the published version of my review and found that it had been published unchanged. She felt no need to edit it! She thought it good enough to stand as is. This revelation had me jumping on my bed from joy. I finally did something right. :D

On Wednesday I went to the press night for the new West End musical, "Imagine This." It is a musical about the Polish Jews during the Holocaust. After seeing it, I can now say without the slightest hesitation that this was the worst show I have ever seen in my life. It was 3 hours of utter rubbish. Bad music. Horrendous lyrics. Tasteless jokes. Weak book. I was so relieved to find the next morning that all the other critics agreed with me. We all hated it and were upset for having to sit through that.

Yesterday was a very long day. I had to sit through 5 plays on Saturday. From 11am to 10pm. The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond put on four of Vaclav Havel's early works and his newest one, all of which have never been performed in England. So this was a very special occasion. Unfortunately, Brittany arranged a dinner and some nighttime fun last night. I figured I could stay for 4 of the 5 shows and be back in time for dinner and debauchery. What I didn't count on was my boss blackmailing me into staying. Yes, I said blackmailing. I asked her if it would be ok for me to leave after the fourth show, so I can go home to celebrate my friend's birthday (lie!). Her response: "You need to decide if you want a social life or a career." She didn't stop with just that blow though. She also said she would advise the director of these plays (a man I plan on interviewing for an article) not to speak to me because my being unprofessional makes me unworthy of his time. She had me, and she knew it. I was forced to stay.

On the plus side, fate was on my side. I got home in time to catch the crew right as they were about to leave. I dropped off my stuff and headed right back out. I was pretty tired, but I was in need of a break and some social interaction. We ended up at a club next to LSE (London School of Economics). It was packed with people one would define as looking a hot mess. We had a pretty good time dancing the night away and didn't get home until 3am or so.

We planned on going out on Friday night, but everyone flaked. In the end, only Brittany and I hit the town. We went to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street. It was the most interesting pub. It feels like someone's house. And by house I mean one that has been around since before the Great Fire of London and whose rooms saw Voltaire, Dickens, Twain, and Johnson drink away their troubles. Historical aspect aside, this place was enormous. The multi-floor building has many rooms of all shapes and sizes (some with fireplaces). Brittany and I had a drink in one of the bottom floor rooms, but we had no clear idea as to how far down we were. Can you imagine just how amazing a party you could have in such a place?

What else... Oh, yes. Tonight I burned my thumb. I took a hot baking sheet out of the oven and accidentally touched it with my bare hand. I instantly recoiled my hand, but the heat was enough to scar my thumb. So now my left hand has burn scars on the pinkie and the thumb. My body is going to end up looking like dad's (he's a chef and has many a cooking-related injury) out of pure clumsiness. :(

I thought I could keep writing random happenings, but it seems I've come to the end. I really wasn't joking about not having done much. I work all the time, go to class on Friday, and maybe fit in some rest and fun.

Speaking of rest, I think it's about time I get some of that. Enjoy your lives and have some fun on my behalf.

And before I forget, the crew and I our celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday. Be on the lookout for an account of that event. Ellen is having us play certain traditional roles. I chose to play the drunk uncle. Will I be an emotional drunk or a quarrelsome one? Stay tuned to find out!


- R

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