My first week in Italy has been full of beautiful sights and many moments where I said aloud “Wow! How did I get here?”
In the words on Inigo Montoya “Let me splain… No. There is too much. Let me sum-up.”
I found out about this program in August from a friend who is teaching English and Theatre in Asia. I had been hanging out in Cedar, feeling too old and single to socialize much, spending my weekends watching Netflix alone, loving my job, but knowing, in my heart-of-hearts that it was time to move on. I’d been praying for an opportunity, and waiting to be pushed in a new direction.
I decided to apply after sitting in church and hearing the words, “God can’t direct your steps until you move your feet.” Duh! Almost immediately in my journal I wrote “I am going to do this. I am applying!”
That week I applied via email and auditioned via YouTube. I was very busy at work again by then with Christmas Carol auditions and preparing for a conference in Virgina, so I tried not to think about the possibility of being gone in a few months, and prepared myself for another winter in Cedar. I was offered the job on my birthday. I fell on my knees and said thank you. Then I panicked for an hour, and Michael took me to my birthday lunch, as planned, and within the hour, I had made up my mind.
By the end of that week I was selling apartment contract and all my furniture (pulling in a decent profit on Craigslist, I might add), putting myself through the heinous process of getting a Visa, closing up my 5 year-long position with the Festival, and applying for Grad school so that I might have something to come home for. Needless to say that from that day till Christmas was a bit of a whirlwind. Many headaches, tears, recommendation letters, last minute flight purchases, goodbyes, and Christmas presents later, I found myself getting off a train in Sanremo, Italy: my home for these three weeks.
Here is what I was greeted with:
A kind and welcoming staff of cool UK/Euro Zone people who live and work and drink lots of wine in this beautiful sea-side town.
Two adorable roommates. They are both Veggies, and beautiful, and great at conversation, and heavy sleepers who don’t seem to mind my late night blogging habits.
This is a seriously classy old hotel. Some of the furniture and carpets could use some restoration, but the staff is very kind and English speaking. They seem to primarily cater to three 80 year-old classy dames who seem to do nothing but move from dining room to lobby in their fur coats every 5 hours. It’s wonderful.
I was also greeted by the 31 other actors that will be touring this spring. They are an amusing collection of accents from several places I have visited/lived, and not been, including Manchester, Perth, Bath, Wales, Tanzania, Melbourne, BC, St. Lewis, and Wagga Wagga. There are only 6 Americans, I think. Not counting the Canadians, because who would. I had forgotten how much I love the way these other English speakers talk. It’s great to be reminded, and to slip back into using phrases and words like ‘had done, fringe, jumper, and can’t be bothered.’
We use the hotel ballroom, and I do mean ballroom in the Von Trapp sense of the word, as our rehearsal space. It’s pretty amazing.
We get fed breakfast and lunch by the hotel. It’s a very orderly thing. In that way, it’s reminiscent of the M.T.C. We have a very set schedule times for most things between 8am and 6pm. But no one is checking how I made my bed, thankfully.
Once the training time is over I will be traveling by car around Italy with a curtain just like this one. I will be a group similar to the one pictured here. I think I will not be acting as much as those pictured here, since I have requested to be placed in the one group that goes to middle and high schools focusing more on directing kids in comedy sketches, a REALLY cut down Chicago, and some “Shakespeare” (I do mean quote-unquote) scenes. But I am hoping to know a little more about that, and who is in my group tomorrow. I’m very excited to get up and work on my feet and get ready to knock some Italian kids around.
So far so good. Any questions, comments, rude remarks?