04 March 2010

like a bird stealing bread.

My life is just less interesting when I'm not abroad. Or at least less entertaining. Snowpocalypse, despite the cabin fever, was not enough to destroy my infatuation with DC and winter. I love this city. I drifted off for a moment on the bus home from the grocery store last weekend and accidentally shouted "waraj ale" (the Amharic for "stop the bus") as we approached my stop. An Ethiopian guy on the bus recovered from his bewilderment in time to pull the cord for me. I repeat, I love this city. I can't see myself settling anywhere else. I mean, where else can you find random snow sculptures in front of phallic monuments?

In the last month, I've been promoted to a full-time staff member at Dance Place, so I'm in the process of leaving NARAL Pro-Choice America. But don't worry, you'll still get your fill of news on reproductive rights and sex education. (Kudos to the Department of Defense for finally providing emergency contraception to soldiers at overseas bases!).

As part of my new position at Dance Place, I'm overseeing the revival of the organization's blog. Check it out for interviews with artists performing at our theater and other news from the DC dance community. I'm especially excited about this weekend's performance from Tiffany Mills. Based on descriptions and her interview, it's the sort of dance I'd like to be doing if I wasn't so afraid of failing as an artist. However, after a recent conversation with an old college mentor, I'm recommitting to that hazy notion I've always had of venturing into the field of travel writing. Seems spending my days surrounded by artists is a good influence for chasing distant pipe dreams.

I've also started spending a few hours a week in our theater shadowing Technical Director Ben Levine and learning about the wonders of light and sound. Talk about an under-appreciated job! When watching a production, most audience members don't realize how much went into those dramatic lights that accentuate every movement. We spent four hours today rigging lights for a simple show in a small space. Every single light is individually hung, positioned, focused, and wired into the light board that allows the tech director to control them all during a performance. Most also get color gels, frosts, or templates added. Since they're positioned overhead, this involves rolling a twenty foot ladder around the stage and climbing up to adjust every light. So next time you're watching something on stage (concert, play, dance production - anything), take a moment to think about how those lights all got there.

In other news, I found a flat in St. Andrews - two bedrooms, right in the heart of the town, five minutes from virtually everything (If I'm willing to pay, I might also have it all to myself in the summer, so start planning your trip now!). The more time I put into preparing to move to Scotland, the more excited I get. Everyone has only the most positive things to say about the Scots and their country (weather and food excepted, but I can subsist on tikka masala, so I'm prepared for British food), and my experiences have done nothing to shake that warm, friendly image.

And finally, because everyone loves puppies...

It's not actually slow motion video - it's a series of stills from a marvelously high-tech digital camera.



Nadia said...

I didn't realize that you were planning on moving to Scotland! What will you be doing there?

jess said...

I'll be studying for an MLitt in International Security Studies at the University of St. Andrews. Everyone's invited to come visit!