#Personal | Evensong, #BoycottHamilton, Rusty Writing, LOTS-of-Beer-That-Jess-Can't-Finish & Other Dreadfully Existential Pre-Birthday Thoughts

As my previous post might have suggested, the last couple of months have been nothing short of a whirlwind -- from joining the APAC team in October, to gearing up for their mainstage production Evensong's run a month later; to gatherings with family and friends, upcoming birthdays; to, oh yeah, some writing in-between, too -- it's all been a bit hectic, if in the best way possible.

I'll give a short update on Evensong: a play by Christina Quintana about NYC's working homeless (based upon her own experiences volunteering at The Friends Shelter), it ran from November 3rd to the 19th -- and rather successfully.  For two Saturday matinees, we held talkbacks with Christina, the director David Mendizabal, and Friends Shelter coordinator Katy Homans, both of which we broadcast via FB Live.  Throughout the run, we also tried out Instagram takeovers by the cast, insightful Q&A posts on our Facebook page, and behind-the-scenes posts from various cast and crew on our blog.  I definitely had my work cut out for me by play's end, but it was great learning process nevertheless, and I'm glad that Evensong was the first play to help usher in my time with APAC.

(And if you can, please follow us at our aforementioned platforms -- we're making some great community-oriented theatre and would love to welcome more to our audience!)

Throughout all this, I somehow also managed to get not only some personal reading done (I got really obsessed with The Secret History by Donna Tartt, as evidenced from all by reblogs over here), but some writing, as well!  Last month, as the whole #HamilPence/#BoycottHamilton debacle was taking place, I was asked to write a piece about it on Esha Ray's blog Casually Political, which you can read here.  It's admittedly not my best work -- I'm not the most political person, and I'm still struggling to get back into the hang of a 48-hour deadline after my nearly year-length hiatus.  Still, it's the mark of a great editor -- a massive, inordinate amount of thanks goes out to Ms. Ray for her words of encouragement and just generally keeping her cool -- that I managed to plug through it.  Hopefully, as 2017 comes and rolls along, I'll find myself expanding the scope of my work more and more.

In the meantime: yes, About That Night is still a thing I'm doing, and no, I have not slipped out of my extreme case of Writer's Block and General Existential Dread, yet.  But...things are looking up?  I recently started blogging again over at Starts & Stops, as well as made a separate Instagram (follow me pls!), with the idea that if I start documenting my writing process more, the more I'll...well, write????

Okay, perhaps that sounds a bit counter-intuitive -- but blame it on my obsession with "bookblrs" (yes, that's a thing, too), I guess -- between Duke of Bookingham and Liberal Arts Society, I've been inspired to get back to my creative writing (if you're a book nerd, I highly recommend these blogs).  Unfortunately, it's been slow-going, but hopefully all shall solve itself once Winter Hibernation Mode kicks in...that is, if I can peel myself away from the temptation that is Netflix first!

Speaking of Winter: the holiday season kicked off into high gear this year -- with not only Thanksgiving to cap off the last month (which was spent with relatives in Staten Island), but also a joint birthday-party-slash-housewarming for my aunt and uncle (siblings, both of whom share the same birthday, if you can believe it!).  Then, just a few days afterward, we all met up again for a surprise birthday party for another aunt of mine at Aperitif  (captured below).  Phew! 

As much as I love my family, the past couple months' non-stop activity definitely warranted some much-needed Girl Time -- definitely satiated by seeing Crystal at Austin Pub, where we drowned our post-Election sorrows with a couple o' pints and...a cheese plate, of course.  (Because when faced with the doom-and-gloom that is to come after Inauguration Day, one must imbibe and partake in beer and cheese.  Because beer and cheese.)  Naturally, we avoided any mention of the results and instead chatted, mainly about guys -- the ones we were dating, and er, not dating, which is always good fun, I think.  Further rounds of Instagram-stalking may or may not have followed, perhaps only made worse by further rounds (well, okay, just one, actually) of beer -- courtesy of some promo girls who moseyed over to our table, offering us each a pint of Stella/Coors Light/Whatever-Light-Beer-It-Was  (I can't remember --  but no matter, as I didn't even finish whatever it was they gave.)

Which brings me up to this past weekend, when I finally got to do a bit of celebrating myself, if a bit early (my birthday, in case you're wondering, is this Thursday hint-hint-wink-wink).  Got to spend some time with Kawa at Station House for some brunch and drinks, before heading over to Red Pipe Cafe to sober up with a cappuccino or two (pictured, right).  Then, it was into the city I went -- the first time in a long while -- for an event organized by arts collective The Arctic Group (comprised of Word Play playwright Ran Xia & actors Charlotte Arnoux and Adrian Burke) at Bunga's Den.

It was a night of some crazy experimental theatre, and I was glad of the chance to once again just sit and enjoy people creating art, without any outside pressures.  Shortly afterward, I met a couple of fellow attendees, one of whom I ended up having a long-winded conversation with.  We talked about that undeniable wench, NYC-centrism, 20-something independence, Being An Artist and What It Takes, and everything in-between.  Synapses were definitely firing, and hopefully more connections past that night will be made with equally passionate fervor.

Not to get cheesy or anything, but between the steak and eggs that morning (which were yummmmmmmmm) to the quasi-philosophical musings later on, everything about this past Saturday just...hit the spot.

It's been an interesting 2016, to say the least.  Hopefully 2017 will prove to be just as satisfying.