November 30, 2008

"Never Gonna Give you Up..."

I am pleased to announce that I have experienced my first American Thanksgiving, and it was a very good time. Gio and I started off our day by waking up bright and early and trudging our way through police barricades and crowds of crazed tourists toward the world famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Security was super tight thanks to a bomb threat on the Long Island Railroad and an attack on high volume tourist centers in India. The national guard were out in full force in and around the subway, but they were very fly-on-the-wall unless you had a large bag.

Post parade, we trekked a couple of blocks to a friends place at the New Yorker hotel where we wound down and let the crowd disperse. After a quick nap, a shower, and some dolling up G and I were treated to a very nice Thanksgiving dinner by the school. The dinner included a tasty appy, some great turkey, and a dessert. Our table, through the combined charm of one Brit, one southern gentleman, two Viennese, and two Canadians, also scored two massive plates of mac n' cheese. After a quick grace lead by the aforementioned southern gentile, we tucked in to our taste bud's delight.

The weekend of course was just beginning: a night of some friendly American beer drinking preceding a trip on the Staten Island ferry at night was a high point. The New York skyline is absolutely breathtaking. I was debating taking some pictures, but then what incentive would you have to come and visit?

The last two days of our weekend have been spent Christmas shopping, and let me tell you this much: MACY'S IS INSANE THIS TIME OF YEAR. As we descended the wooden escalator onto ground floor after a successful nab of a few gifts, we gasped in horror as we watched the grotesque mass of panic ridden shoppers trying to hold onto that last fifty percent off Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater.

Our final event of the weekend involved doughnutplantnyc -- probably my favourite calorie loaded sweet shop in the city. I have been trying to get a hold of the fabled Peanut butter and jelly doughnut for some time now, and this trip proved fruitful. It was incredible. It actually had my heart racing, which could also have been the fact that it was my second doughnut...
Well, Christmas is less than a month away now, so I hope I'll get to see you.

No reservations,

November 22, 2008

"What's your favourite curse word?"


That's all I could possibly mutter after watching A FOUR hour spectacle of James Lipton and Josh Brolin on Inside the Actors Studio. It's definitely an experience for anyone who has ever had any sort of interest in the craft. If you don't watch the interviews when they make their way on the air, I really suggest that you do. If not for the intense interview questions regarding the craft of acting, or the spontaneous moments of hilarity, I suggest you watch this program at least for the famous 'favourite curse word' question. Let me tell you, having only witnessed one taping (though G and I will be going again on Monday to watch Mr. Lipton interview Conan O'Brien), it is definitely better to witness the uncensored version if at all possible. Watching Josh Brolin (of The Goonies, No Country for Old Men, and 'W') tell us that "fuckingshit" is much better when whispered, was a high point in my life.
Another high point, of course, was watching the alpaca pictured beside Giordana fight off a ewe, two goats, and some pigs in order to eat the fifty cents worth of feed in her hand.

We went to the Central park Zoo.

And I met Gus the Polar Bear.

My. Life. Rocks.

November 09, 2008

Photo Update!

Greetings from Times Square in New York City! Gio and I have been bouncing around the city a little more than usual lately. We've been finding more and more that with our weekday mornings occupied by school, any second with which we can explore our new home is to be cherished. This Thursday we met up with a classmate and went to our second Broadway show of our endeavor. Going on a recommendation by another classmate, we purchased two front row student rush seats for twenty-seven dollars each, to Gypsy. Now you may be confused as to why such "prime" seats were so cheap, as was I, until I realized I could not see anything but a floating head when an actor moved more than two metres upstage, but hey, when Patti LuPone drifted downstage to address the audience and I could see the blood vessels in her eyes, I was a happy boy. The show itself was quite good (personally I found the first act somewhat shallow and boring, but the second act more than made up for it) and Miss LuPone's performance was incredible -- more than worth our meager fee.

Our first weekend after a full week of school was super lazy. Saturday was a 'sleep in till two forty five' day, as well as laundry day and bathroom scrub day. Sunday was a little more action packed: It included a trip to the Metropolitan Museum followed by a stroll through an autumn clad Central Park. I just had to explore the "Arms and Armour" wing of the maze-like museum and hooooooo daddy, did I ever feel badass.

There were rifles and swords and crossbows and samurai swords and Shields and spurs and armour and halberds and pikes and spears and bows and arrows and horse armour and old timey pistols and and and....

I was a kid in a candy store. What I would have given to don some of that armour and waltz around the museum while challenging the occasional black knight to a joust...

Afterward, a hot dog was bought from a vendor on our walk to the great lawn. Central Park is shedding its skin this time of year, and the weather was pleasantly brisk. Beyond the foliage, there was much to watch in the park. Father and son football passing seemed to be the theme of the day -- I could not help but understand the quintessential American dream.

November 04, 2008


School has kicked it into high gear.


Movement has become a disco dancing ordeal: we're learning the hustle and all sorts of funky moves in what Robert Tunstall (our larger than life instructor who is very well liked...even loved) calls the "across the floor exercise". It's so amazing to watch a group of people with such mismatched talent just give in to the groovy music -- at one point it devolved from an exercise to an all-out class dance party. This, by the way, is well deserved after "ab time". Oh and "push up club"! That is our new little method of torture, in which we count out forty push ups in varying silly voices. We're also starting to put together our "All That Jazz" Chicago routine, which is getting progressively more difficult. It is also getting progressively more sassy.

Acting is starting to get interesting, to say the least. Our instructor is very grounded in the method style of acting. This is to say that she is very into the moment, and on stage honesty. This creates some interesting exercises. Today we were asked to bring toys to class -- I, of course, purchased a Batman figurine and spent the entire two hour long acting class reliving my childhood. I even told the "Paper Bag Princess" to the class. Now, I know you may be thinking I just blew a large sum of tuition money on a school that sounds an awful lot like preschool, but I promise it did have a point. It was very interesting to watch the class gradually shift from pretending to be five, to actually being five. By the end of the class, we were playing hide and go seek, singing "I'm a little tea pot" and pushing around hot wheels without feeling dumb or judged. I can only recommend it to everyone: if you're ever feeling stressed, or fake, or what have you, go out and buy a toy that your five year old self would have loved and play with it.

George and I are both learning to ween out our Canadian accent in favor of a neutral North American one. To set an example: say Orange. Now say Aw-range. That second one is how we are supposed to pronounce it. It may feel weird, and it sure as hell sounds it, but hey.... all in the name of theatre?

OK, now that I've bored you all with details about class, I can move on to the fun bits about the city! More importantly, the BEST and I mean the undisputed top dog Pizza in New York city. And it's not what you would have expected.

It's just a little place in the East Village with a hell of a lot of tastiness. Nothing but Italian ingredients including fresh buffalo mozzarella (the only real mozzarella), tomatoes from Napoli and ample basil and garlic. All fired in a wood burning brick oven in under two minutes. If anyone decides to drop by, this is where we are going for dinner.

And then we'll go get cupcakes.