Sunday, August 06, 2006

Three Chinatowns

Above--Chinatown, San Francisco
I've been in three Chinatowns in a month. Pretty cool. Went down to NYC yesterday to see a show that I designed in the spring be part of a Play Festival. So I've had costume design in NYC--Woohoo! It's my set too, but they really couldn't take many pieces so it wasn't really much of a set by the time it got there. One of the actresses had strep this week and I wondered if they might ask me to step in (I did once before for a read thu, and I know they respect me as an actress), but she took antibiotics and recovered and I'm glad. It's her role and she's fantastic in it, plus I'd have to still be there and not getting back until midnight tonight and I have a mammogram in the morning--blech. TMI, TMI! But still, I'd have been acting in NYC. Once upon a time (at about 18 or so) I thought that would be my life, but in college I realized I couldn't live with that poverty and constant uncertainty so instead I've vascillated through 10 years and am still poor and only moderately in theater and I don't know what lesson to impart from that--do it with all your heart? embrace being poor? don't do it (as I was told). I met the aspiring actress daughter of a friend recently and I didn't know what to say to her. I didn't want to discourage her but I didn't want her to have vague pipe dreams as I did at her age--that hard work is enough. It's not. All of the actesses in this show I designed are very talented, reasonably attractive and some have worked damned hard at marketing themselves as actresses (as opposed to me) and none of them has ever been able to support herself as an actress for more than 6 months at a time or without a loving and wealthier partner.
We stayed in the apartment of a friend of one of the actresses--a former Bostonian actor who married the man of his dreams and they live in a studio in Chelsea. I kid you not--I have a good apartment, an amazing apartment for Boston and for the rent I pay but nothing staggering--and their entire apartment could fit in my kitchen plus my laundry room. Welcome to NY.
I found New York walkable (well, until I tripped in the road and skinned my knee trying to get to my bus out) but like San Fran. I was really only in mid-town not trying to get from uptown to downtown on a regular basis. Took the fabulous Fung Wah bus home (rather than staying until after the show tonight and riding with them). The Fung Wah bus runs from Chinatown to Chinatown--New York to Boston and back every hour on the hour, approx. four hour trip for $15.00. Pretty damn good. Unfortunately I had to run through the New York Chinatown to catch the bus and made it, dripping sweat with a sore knee with a minute to spare so really only had time to register the table upon table of knock off junk lining the streets, home of the $10 Rolex. Arrived in my Chinatown (Boston) at the tail end of some festival likewise with tables of stuff. Welcome to America.

Not sure what this one is about, but felt it worth noting.

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