New Yorkers don't like tourists. Tourists clog up the already jam-packed streets, ambling along in clumps because they've heard horror stories from legitimate sources of how easy it is to get kidnapped and chopped into bite-size pieces--these legitimate sources consisting mostly of Law and Orders and CSIs. Somehow, New Yorkers tend to forget that, while it's annoying that people are too busy looking at the flashy lights to watch where they're going, tourists are most likely the reason they are employed. This week, like the actor I am, I played the part of tourist. My friend Donovan and I went to the Statue of Liberty and to Ellis Island. I looked up some of my family in the records database and found quite a few matches. I'll have to go back and spend some more time there when I've got some more detailed information. We also went to Chinatown, where I bought a cute knitted head scarf, 2 bootleg DVDs, and a Coach purse that a Chinese man pulled out of the ceiling. Go ahead, re-read that last sentence...I promise it's true.
We celebrated my friend Jonathan's 26th Birthday by going to see Where The Wild Things Are at an IMAX movie theatre, then going to the Guggenheim museum on its 50th Anniversary celebration where Kandinsky was on display. Here, I could profess some deep insights on art and Kandinsky's genius. But you all know me well enough to know that I would have copied and pasted something from Wikipedia. In spite of my lack of art knowledge, it was fun at the Guggenheim. After a quick dinner at Tasty's Diner, we headed back to my apartment for presents and Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake.
Jenavene's parents, Adam and Donna, came to visit over the weekend. They fed us and stocked up our pantry. They also got me hooked on a new TV show called Modern Family--if you haven't watched it, allow Hulu.com to introduce you.
Yesterday I spent most of the rainy day playing with GarageBand, a recording software that came with my MacBook. For Memaw's birthday (Happy Birthday Memaw!) I recorded a few hymns. The first 4 tracks I sang all of the parts by myself and just overlapped them, but I wanted the last track to be special. I've recently gotten into studying my family history, and Memaw was kind enough to give me a song that was written by my great great grandmother, Izora, and had never been sung. Jenavene, Jonathan, Seth and I worked on it and recorded it for her. It's a beautiful hymn. A strange mix of pride and humility came with recording this song. I had heard a few things about this distant relative of mine, a woman who was a publish poet, an artist like me. It was a privilege to breathe life into the music written from her heart and indescribably satisfying to connect to someone I like to think I must "take after". You can listen to it here...I had to create a slideshow and upload the song as a video, so here are a couple of pictures from the last month and a half:
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Five a.m. came exceptionally early on Tuesday morning, having slept restlessly due to an all-to-familiar mix of anticipation, excitement and nerves. I had no idea what to expect on a T.V. set, and I was thankful that out of a database of over 25,000 people, my friend Will and I got called for the same job. I like to think that was more than just coincidence. We met at the train platform at 6 am, each lugging our cumbersome suitcases filled with wardrobe changes for the day. One train ride, 5 streets, and 5 seemingly endless avenues later, we were filling out Non-Union Vouchers in the holding room at Pier 92, the first location of the day. Pier 92 was transformed into JFK airport for the first scene. We moved to one other location during the day and had two wardrobe changes. It was cold, we were outside and on our feet for 10 hours (5 of which I spent in 4 inch heels...never again.) and we were not allowed to even wait in line for food at lunch until all of the Union people had filled their plates. And I loved it. Maybe I should get my head checked.
I got on the good side of one of the Production Assistants who was in charge of placing the extras and giving us business to do, so I got seen in pretty much every shot. The show is a new HBO series called "How To Make It In America." So if you have HBO, you may see me walking across your screen during a few of the episodes. Even though we were sort of treated like the JV team and I got a good sense of how the lepers might have felt back in the day, I learned that I like being on a movie set. It's got a cool vibe, it's hard work, and it's something I'll probably try a few more times.
Jen and I will do anything to get out of the house at the moment--the temperature recently took a nose dive and apparently our landlord didn't get the memo, since our heat still hasn't been turned on. Thursday afternoon we had a late lunch with fellow ACU alum Lyndsey Goode, the wonderful woman who let me ASM with her for those Off-Broadway readings last year. We ate at a bistro called "La Pan Quotidian", which is French for "Our Daily Bread". She's currently stage managing a show on Theatre Row, so I may get to watch her show for free pretty soon. Later that night, due to the bleak and rainy weather, Seth and Jon came over for a waffle dinner in our PJ's and "Love Actually".
Today Jen, Seth, Donovan (another ACU friend) and I went to a restaurant called Stout to watch the Texas/OU game. This place is 4 stories tall, and it was packed with close to 500 Longhorn fans. We had so much fun! Everyone was very friendly. It made it feel a little more like home knowing that there are so many good old southern folk taking over the city.
Other than that, I'm just job hunting, submitting to auditions, and working on photography. I miss you guys!!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday was another church visiting day. The idea of worshipping idols has always had this distant, antiquated feeling to me. It was a sin that I never really worried about because I never saw myself sitting in front of a golden statue of a cow or giving all the glory to some concrete figurine. It never crossed my mind that the term "idol" could be anything other than the worship of a physical being or object. The preacher at the second church I visited on Sunday put a different spin on it for me. He asked "What is it that you get defensive about? What, if it were taken away from you, would cause you to feel like there was nothing left to live for? Like you were a failure and your life lost its meaning?" He also spoke about how an idol is anything that promises you some sort of salvation, and that New York was the world's number one seller of these life-affirming, dream-fulfilling promises. I wish I had a recording of that sermon because I think it's something I might want to listen to every morning before I leave the house. I'll spare you the dense cloud of thoughts this sermon caused for me and suffice it to say that, among other things, it caused me to evaluate where I put my self worth, what exactly I was striving to acheive here, and what idols I need to dethrone.
I finally, after much trepidation, submitted my first photography assignment to The Photography Institute. My tutor graded it and wrote me back within 24 hours and gave me a 100! I bought myself this amazing cupcake thing from a Greek bakery in my neighborhood and a Diet Coke to celebrate. Also pictures: me --proving that I am incapable of eating anything with whipped cream on it without getting it all over my face.
Also, my roommate just got cast as one of the leads in the Lincoln Center's "Babes In Toyland", so the past week has been quite a successful one for my apartment.
I'm still job searching (I've applied to probably 20 jobs already, to no avail) and I've submitted to about as many auditions. Only time will tell, so keep me in your prayers!
Just for kicks, here's a picture of Jenavene and I:
I'm being reminded, daily, to be humble and grateful for the blessings I've been given. There is a homeless man who stays near my subway stop. His name is Chris, and he is one of the kindest people I've ever met. And he's one of the happiest, too. He's a daily reminder that, although I dream big and make all sorts of plans, God is all I need here. He'll get me to where he wants me, in His time. All I have to do is be patient, serve Him, and take the journey He's prepared for me. It gets hard not to compare my journey to other peoples', not to get impatient or wonder why it seems that some people have it so easy. I have to remind myself that every journey is different, that I'm right where I need to be. My life is a piece of cake. A piece of cake with lots of icing and a cherry on top... :)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
New York decided to skip Fall this year. We've gone from 80 degrees to a blistery 55 in the span of 4 days. The good news? I've got my love to keep me warm.
I've been getting pretty acquainted with my surroundings. Our neighbors who live in the apartment in front of us are Brazilian and spend a lot of their time screaming in Portuguese at the soccer matches on TV. It can be quite entertaining. We found a little cafe that has 25 cent wings on Wednesdays, lots of fabulous pizza joints, and one of my favorite parts--rice pudding is everywhere. I love the Greeks.
I went to a Bible study on Monday night called Haven. It's a group of artists that meet every Monday for 2 hours and look at the Bible from an artistic perspective. We had an hour of worship, then broke into small groups to discuss. The subject this semester is "Seasons", and the topic of the month is "Beauty in Seasons". Imagine that--artists pondering the beauty of things. In my group we had 2 actors, 2 writers, one photographer, one freelance producer, and 2 singer/songwriters. Talk about good networking. They also give you some great ideas for service opportunities as well as ways to get involved in the arts in the city.
I spent about an hour on Tuesday registering with Central Casting Agency, an LA/NY company that hires background actors for film, TV and commercial work. So one of these days, you will be sitting in the dark movie theatre watching credits roll...and somewhere toward the end, you will see "Girl On Bench...Lindsey Lehrmann". Or maybe even something more glamorous, such as "Lady Who Bumped Into George Clooney". The sky's the limit, folks.
We live fairly close to Astoria Park, so I took a jog around the perimeter yesterday and pretty much fell in love with the place. It's quiet, and the view is stunning. However, as winter seems to be approaching rather fast this year, it may be several months before I get to do that again.
Below I've posted some pictures of my friends and I at a restaurant to prove that A) I am alive, B) I am eating, and C)...I have attractive friends. Enjoy!