Sunday, September 8, 2019

Monologues, Musicals and Plays, Oh My!

Photo by Marc Brenner
For the past month, I have been going to see pieces on Broadway.  It started with Harold Pinter's Betrayal, directed by Jaime Lloyd. This performance gave me goosebumps.  Tom Hiddleston played Robert, Zawe Ashton played Emma, Charlie Cox played Jerry in a love triangle. Now I know this Pinter play was not one of his strongest pieces but with the direction from Mr. Lloyd and the subtle nuanced work from these amazing was a devastating piece. Weeks later the play is still reverberating in my writer's soul. Tom Hiddleston has one of the most heartbreaking moments and the scene still chokes me up. There is something about the emotional impact that has me tempted to buy another ticket to go see it again.

Then I went to see Bat Out of Hell playing at City Center on a high recommendation from a co-worker. Lord was that a mistake.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE music by MEATLOAF, which was why it wasn't a hard sell for me to buy a ticket to go see this show. Let me start with the positive...the stagecraft/set design was actually amazing. The performance of the songs was a bit cheesy but I went with it since the performers could hold the notes.  But the choreography was laughable. It was so basic and juvenile that it felt more like a school performance than a Broadway show. I was waiting for "jazz hands" to come out somewhere. The story arc felt forced...trying to fit songs into the story line felt a bit random. I love a good rock opera...hello, rocker chick here...but this did not work for me. The one saving grace was Danielle Steers, who played Zahara; that woman could belt out a song.

Photo by Annie Liebovitz, 2019
On Saturday I finally went to see Sea Wall/A Life....Monologues written by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne. Tom Sturridge played Alex in Sea Wall and Jake Gyllenhaal played Abe in A Life.  Both pieces talked about life, death and loss. Tom Sturridge's staccato performance of Alex was a bit rough. I'm not sure if he forgot lines or if his pauses were on purpose but it really pulled me out of the material. Stephens has some really beautiful transcendent lines that felt a bit butchered by Tom's performance.
Meanwhile, Jake Gyllenhaal's performance was quite captivating. He handled the telling of two stories simultaneously in a seamless manner without losing the meaning of either. It was an hour long monologue and he relayed the material with emotional impact. He made me laugh and also welled me up with tears at some of the more poignant moments. Truly an actor mastering his craft.

Why am I on a theater jag I am trying to connect back with my own writing. I want to be inspired, moved, shaken awake...I need "something" to get me going again. I've been dormant for far too long and my inner writer is aching for some creativity. I journal to keep me writing but that's not nearly enough. The writing is slow, thick, molasses-like.  I've put so many years into this craft and the past couple of years there has been so much neglect that I can barely call it up. That might be why I've shown up to my blog again after all this time. Keeps my mind working on short pieces, hoping to spark that ember in my belly, breathe it back to life. I am a bit lost at the moment


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2019 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Bank Holiday

It's a rainy Monday. I slept like the dead last night and woke up 11 hours later. I don't usually sleep that fact it's been quite some time since I've been able to sleep that long. All the windows in my living room are open. A quiet breeze comes through from time to time but this humidity is making me a bit lazy. I am sipping a cup of sweet, milky tea...and I'm almost ready for a second cup. It's early afternoon and I don't really have plans for today. That's not a bad thing.

I'm listening to Ed Sheeran/Justin Beiber's song, I Don't Care. I would put up their silly little video but I can't bear to watch it again. Ooo, I will put up Black Eyed Peas, Be Nice.  It's such a swaggy song that I can't stop listening to it. Enjoy! 
Thunder rumbled in the distance. Storm clouds are moving in. Time to go.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2019 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

10 months away

It's been 10 months since I last wrote on this blog. Quite frankly, I thought I would shut it down and be done with it.  But I was putzing around my apartment  and I wanted to of course the first thing I go do is start cleaning my apartment. 'Cause that's what I do when I want to write...housework. Make sense?  Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to me either.  After I finished washing dishes...the compulsion to clean subsided and I came to my computer to write entry.

I haven't done much writing lately. I have half-hearted attempts at different projects but nothing is kindling the fire in my belly. Something seems to be missing lately. The joy of it seems to have fizzled out, which is a difficult realization. I spent last night talking like a has-been writer with my best friend over watered down gin and tonics. Let's just say I woke up feeling a bit pathetic.

Let me go back a bit since there a whole slew of reasons/excuses why I'm not writing, should I share? Does it really matter? Well here goes anyway: at the beginning of this year, I received a promotion at work. But it's been challenging, learning this new role, having so much on, working Saturdays to try to get ahead of the workload, working at home to organize my priorities for the following day. It's a good decent job and I'm enjoying the challenges, for the most part. We have so much on that the higher ups gave us the nod to add a junior member to our team. We just started the interviewing process, it will probably be late October before the person will be onboarded to the team. In the meantime, I am still trying to learn all aspects of the job. I'm flexible enough to take on new information but there is not much time to process it. Ergh. I feel a bit burnt around the edges lately. All my grey matter has been going to the day job. I have very little left over for anything else.

I spent the better part of this summer working full stop. I've only taken a couple of days off and it was just to help some friends with a home reno'. Even now, I'm looking around my apartment and I can see all the things I have to take care of in the next couple of weeks. For example, re-seal the the window ledge to prevent the winter from seeping in. I have a stack of mail that I need to go through...most of it just needs to be thrown out. There are also all these odds and ends that need to be discarded. A bag full of clothing that I need to bring to one of the donation centers. It's never ending. I just want to simplify things/my life. That usually means scaling things back. Discarding, donating, getting rid of all the superfluous matter in my life.

My mom recently took a look at my closet and commented that I barely have any clothing. She has three walk in closets worth of clothing. Hmmm. I have just enough clothing to get me through 21 days worth of work, play and sleep. And I could still pull out articles of clothing that I never wear but haven't given up yet.  After writing this, I'm probably going to add them to the donation bag. * sigh *

I know this blog today is really a stream of consciousness entry but after almost a year of silence, let's just go with it...shall we?  It's 4 pm in the afternoon and I'm steaming up some leftover black rice with calamari squid for an early dinner.  I just had my third mug of tea and I need another.  I'm trying to figure out if I want to binge something on Netflix or start reading Memoirs of a Geisha.

Anyway, that's all I have for today.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2019 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.