Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Birds, Black Mats, and Instruments

So it was almost mid-January of 2012 when I got a chance to hang with this girl that was a new friend. She brought with her a natural smile and nice cheekbones that balanced between a strong nose that made me think of Ashley Simpson for some reason. Say what you will about her music, but the girl is still hot, and so was this one. She had a distinct fashion that could be simple in winter and colorful in summer. What I liked most about her is how she laughs at the end of almost every sentence, which made me laugh, which made her laugh more, and before we knew it, I felt like we just laughed for nothing. So, when she invited me out to hang, I felt like we were stepping out of acquaintance land and entering the friend zone. Well, that and she was inviting me to my first experimental theatre.

Like most of the things I get invited to, birthday parties excluded, I usually go because I want to spend time with the people that invited me. I’ll put aside personal preferences for what I consider fun, because what I consider fun can be anything from napping on my ass to eating on my ass, to writing on my ass…well, you get the picture. I think all the ass sitting comes from living in Jersey (as a disclaimer I live about twenty minutes outside of time square in Jersey, so try not to stigmatize.) My social contacts get me out of the house, so I went willingly.

Her apartment was the perfect precursor to a night of theatre. It was on the lower east side, which always felt a bit like old Manhattan back when it was inhabited by artists and ethnic neighborhoods. There was a certain charm about it. There was still a thick residue of artistic pretentiousness (what a long word to spell out) that felt like a deep puddle at the end of every block, and the journey to go from Jersey to Avenue A even by cab was like a Peter Jackson epic.

Inside her apartment had a Parisian feel, like I could see her eating peaches and plums near an open window, while the breeze blew her silk curtains around her, like in a Ikea commercial. She had this vintage radio near the window that I imagined only played Edith Piaf’s standard hits, and a sink that looked more like a tub.

“I’m going to put you to work a bit,” she said.

This translated to me watching her and her friend (a financial expert who looked like Alyssa Milano’s Turkish, twin sister) set up a plate of cheese, fruit, and crackers, along with some small frozen pizza bagels. I got to help reset the timer on the oven. I exchanged pleasantries with her friends who had trickled in. They say beauty begets more beauty because they were all hot. They had some wine; I had most of the apples and pizza bagels.  

 “So what exactly is this show about,” said the business expert.

 “Well, let’s look it up,” my friend said defaulting to her phone.

 She began to read from the website.

 “Fascinated by different ingredients of simple boundaries,” she stopped.

 “What is it,” I said.

 “I’m skipping to the important parts,” she said.

 “Ah lets see…have collaborated on symmetrical axis of movement, bounding the rigor of the configuration of…cyclical productions…INSPIRED BY BIRD SONGS…were four artists envelope improve-generated compositions,” she finished.

 There was a silent pause in the room. She looked up at us and laughed.         

 “What the fuck does that mean,” said one.

”I recognized the bird song part,” another said.

 “I went to the link you sent me, but the I just looked at the picture. I saw two girls wearing animal heads while one was playing a trumpet I think. Does that mean there will be nudity,” I said.

 “What, were they wearing anything else,” said the business expert.

 “I’m thinking yes, because animal heads wouldn’t be the first thing that I remembered,” I said.

 “Who is in this show again,” asked the other girl.

 “A friend of mine is a choreographer and she is also in it,” she said.

 “It said it was improve though, so how do they choreograph something that’s improved,” I asked.

 “I was thinking the same thing,” said the business expert.

 “I guess we’ll find out when we get there,” my friend said.

 We finished the last of our drinks, and I swiped one more bagel as she collected the lime green paper plates. We headed out into the cold.

 “It’s just a few blocks up the street,” she said.

The name of the theatre was called CRS, which stood for the Center for Remembering and Sharing. I thought it sounded more like a retirement home, but it turns out that when you walk in it had a very Japanese design to it.

According to their brochure, the CRS was started in 2004. The CRS is a place based on the spiritual practices of Yasuko Kasaki a healer and counselor and Christopher Pelham the co-founder who likes to study the spiritual psychology of acting. I don’t know how much Hollywood plays a part in real acting, but it seems like it fucks anybody’s psychology.

I gathered that they help people tap into their creative potential by having them figure out who they are by sharing limitless energy combined with love and inspiration. So that basically translates to Yoga and Belly Dance classes. They have a schedule of courses that are everyday of the week. Things like the Healing Clinic (a sort of mental detox) and the Makiko Method (a balance class) and something called Mommy and Me ACIM, which I would have been sold on if it were an improve performance of Mommie Dearest. Most of the events were about twenty dollars and the place felt like the lobby of a spa upon first entering.

Stay tuned for part 2…

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