Posted on February 26th, 2015 by Kevin Berry.
‘sup? I’m just sitting here. Shivering. Because it’s hella brick out. It’s SO COLD. Have you ever been walking through a parking lot next to a tall building on the side of a hill on a college campus in Saratoga Springs, New York, and been thinking “Wow, it’s actually nice out, it feels like it’s 18 degrees out and that’s warm, because it was -2 degrees yesterday, so this 18 is like shorts weather” and then the wind starts to blow and it feels like you’re being pelted with tiny invisible knives made of ice? I sure have. I also got blown to the floor by the wind last week. It’s SO COLD, and I knew what I was getting into from my accepted students’ day tour here before my freshman year here, when it was late April and there was still like a foot of snow on the ground in some areas of campus, like I knew what was up with the cold, I knew it was coming. Doesn’t mean I don’t hate it. Sometimes the cold is nice, refreshing. Other times, it’s HORRIBLE. This winter, with 4 feet of snow on the ground, it’s been HORRIBLE.
So what’s up with you guys? You’re warm? Cool. Really cool.
Senior spring is going. Can’t quite tell if it’s the best or the worst thing ever. It’s surreal. I go to classes, I eat, I rehearse for hours, I sleep and during my sleep I think about my show. That’s it. My life is my show right now, and I love every second of it.
I’m going to Florida for spring break. As soon as I found out, I started doing ab workouts. Gotta look hot to hang out by the pool at my grandparents’ living community! Maybe some old dudes will hit on me! A gay can dream!
My dad came last weekend which was a total hit. We took advantage of Saratoga’s great downtown bar scene and had a lot of fun.
This week has been a lot of Breaking Bad and subsequent heart palpitations.
I’m so close to being done – with Breaking Bad, with school. So close.
Tonight is burger night at d-hall. Tonight is also Kev night at d-hall. My night, my holiday. I love burgers, yo.
Tomorrow is Chicken Finger Friday! I love chicken! And fingers! And Fridays!
I’ll write soon.
Measure in Love,
Posted on February 10th, 2015 by Kevin Berry.
Holy heck has it been a long time. So much has happened.
When we last left off, it was the close of last semester. And now look at me, I’m a senior in my second semester, and I’m gonna fly! I’m gonna get out of this one-light town, Mama, and I’m gonna fly. I’m gonna FLY, and you and Papa, you and Papa, Mama, you ain’t never gonna stop me.
Well, Senior Fall happened, didn’t it. My sister came to visit at the end of the semester, to see my Collaborations Class Final Performance, which we called Awake(n): a surrealist circus. We threw it together last minute after our first draft of the piece was categorically ripped apart by our professors. The final draft was a massive, semi-immersive show, and was actually a total hit.
After that, it was just straight writing during finals week: I wrote a 30 page capstone in Gender Studies, which I did very well on, and two 15 page papers. 60 pages of writing. Wow!
So I got home on December 18th or 17th or something and climbed into bed until 2015. Not really. I actually was v busy with mad family things, like Christmas and Christmas Day. Have you ever celebrated Christmas? Is this an inappropriate question for a distinctly secular bloggy-blog? For New Year’s Eve, I celebrated in Brooklyn with a gaggle of graduates from Skidmore, and it was a total hit and a half.
I saw some cool theatre over break, and some very bad theatre, too. Oh well.
After the New Year, I hung out at home, mostly, and then went to Chicago! What the heck! I was there for a week and it was amazing. I stayed with my friend from my hometown, Jeremy, but he was always at work while I was out there, so I didn’t see too too much of him. Anyway, being out there gave me the opportunity to experience the following: deep dish pizza, the amazing and welcoming Chicago theatre scene, blistering cold, the Art Institute of Chicago and my favorite painting by Georges Seurat, Sears Tower’s Skydeck at Sunset which was JAWDROPPING, what it feels like to have your tears freeze, some really cool neighborhoods, and the strongest and most pretentious cup of coffee I’ve ever had. I packed way too much into the six days I was there, but it was so worth it, and a great city to consider moving to once I graduate in May! Eek!
Otherwise, break was pretty restful, if you count SEVERAL panic attacks brought on by Breaking Bad which I am finally catching with modern times and realizing how fantastic the story and cinematography and acting are like wow what masters and evil geniuses.
When I got back to campus, I realized how fun my class schedule is this semester: I’m taking Feminist Performance Art which is cool, American Gangster Film and Theatre and Culture II both of which are taught by my hero and main man Gautam Dasgupta. In addition, I’m taking Senior Theatre Company which requires I take on a leadership position in the department, and doing an independent study in Drag Performance Theory with my gender studies advisor, the joyful and incredible Kate Graney.
This seems like a lot, but it’s very manageable, compared with my final class, which is technically an independent study. My Senior Thesis in Theatre. My show, which I’m defining as a Party, is called The Bootleggers present WILD TIMES 20/80!!! (stop it you lazy prohibition sluts) and is about a 1920s speakeasy party. It’s a ROMP. Since getting back, it’s pretty much all I’ve been working on. It’s amazing to have all the time in the world to be able to self-produce this exciting show that I’ve really created from the bottom up. I have a cast of 18 and I’m NUTS for doing it, but it’s going to be so worth it in the long run. It’s been such a fun rehearsal process.
This semester, so far, has been a total hit. Saturday night was the 100 Days Dance, which celebrates(?) that we have 100 days to find full time jobs before being sent out into the world as graduates of Skidmore. Let the Wild Rumpus begin am I right?
Alright, time for rehearsal and dinner.
Measure in Love,
Posted on December 7th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Whoa, what the heck, it’s been more than a heckin’ month since I last posted. I didn’t post at all during November what the heck! Probably because I was too busy focusing on No Shave November or Movember and trying to grow a massive beard that made me look like a sexy November Lumberjack. Mr. November, am I right? Just kidding I wasn’t focusing on growing a beard, you guys. I was SICK for all of NOVEMBER and am still feeling the REPERCUSSIONS of coughing nonstop for FOUR WEEKS. #BruisedRibsBerry. Anyway, I’m feeling back, fresh, and in the flesh, ya feel?
So, what’s happened since right before Halloween? Well, Halloween happened, and I was Little Edie Bouvier Beale, a gay icon immortalized in the documentary Grey Gardens. Basically my costume was a large swath of fabric fashioned into a large hooded tunic dress type thing with a hood and okay, it sounds ugly and it was but I looked just like Little Edie and it was a HIT and I was HOT.
In addition to dealing with a case of the bubonic plague for the entire month, my academic Black Death also occurred with me working myself to the bone, trying to get two papers completely done before Thanksgiving break (I didn’t) and writing half of another (I did). I went to Health Services one time, and the nurse told me I seemed too stressed and to take a few days off from homework (like a weekend), so I did, and that helped a ton. I think the key here is just to relax a bit and let myself de-stress so that I don’t go CRAZY or DIE. Don’t wanna die, right?! Yeah, right. Don’t wanna die. Defs not planning on that!!!
So I relaxed a bit and saw my friends and loved them a lot.
Then it was Thanksgiving which is like hey whoa it’s my birthday too. I ate a lot of food and saw people from home and saw a bunch of plays, one of which was incredible and life-transforming, and the second one was a lot of fun, and the third one was one of the saddest plays I’ve ever seen and made me not want to come back to school and finish my education because the point of the play was that there’s no hope for anyone who’s not married by the time they’re twenty and I’m already twenty-two so like what was the point, ya know? Maybe I’ll never be wed.
And now it’s post-Turkey Day crunch time! I did a presentation and have two other presentations this week and have to finish my capstone and write an entire other paper! CRUNCH CRUNCH.
And on top of that, my best friend Alexia and my sister Bridget are both coming to visit this week, which is extremely exiting. And I bought a new tube of Burt’s Bees moisturizer which is nice and making my skin smooth as all heck heck yeah.
I’ll try to write again soon. Or before May 16th, when I graduate.
Measure in Love,
Posted on October 28th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Okay so a lot has happened that has prevented me from writing, particularly in the last week.
1. My show opened and closed. …the Death of Walt Disney went really really well and was receive by its audiences with praise and some hate, which is exactly what I wanted. I’m extremely grateful to the theatre department for their response.
2. I went to my first non-family wedding, which was CRAZY and crazy FUN. My best friend Emily’s sister Sarah got married and I was lucky to be invited. Emily was the maid of honor and looked gorgeous on the day of the event.
3. I went home for the weekend and saw three plays and went to the Brooklyn Museum of Art and ate a lot of stellar pizza and went on a particularly memorable taxi ride through Brooklyn and laughed a lot like a crazy person and cried and went on a Broadway stage which was cool even though I don’t usually like commercial theatre but this was really special.
4. I had a doozy of a weekend over parents’ weekend: I went to Schenectady on Thursday night to see the national tour of Newsies which my other best friend Gab was working on and then stayed overnight with her in the hotel she was staying in. Then Saturday night, Gab came to stay with me, and when we went downtown to take advantage of the bar scene, I experienced discrimination first-hand, which I would rather not talk about in too much detail. And then the Monday after that, I was hit by a car on my first run in a month which was obviously such a mess. I’m okay but I did fall to the floor and say “Ow.”
The man who was driving the car was angrier at me for having broken the mirror on his car than I was for him HAVING HIT ME WITH HIS CAR. He was like, Hey kid you broke my mirror and I was like Hey kid YOU COULD HAVE BROKEN MY LIFE.
Anyway, I went home to Skidmore and wept a lot.
Hard week. But I rise above, like Spiderman.
I went for my first real run in 5 weeks yesterday and am feeling sore and great.
My capstone stuff is coming along well, my theatre thesis show is almost completely on paper which is good, and my other classes are hard and challenging in the best way.
You know that thing when you’re running and you step on a dead opossum? Yeah, me too.
You know that thing when you make chicken fajitas and they’re so spicy that your housemates are coughing for a long time afterwards and they didn’t even eat the spicy chicken fajitas? Yeah, me too.
You know that thing where you’re going to be a second semester senior in college in a few months and you’re terrified and beyond excited and nervous and stressed and so relaxed?
Yeah, me too.
It’s Halloween this week, which is a holiday I don’t really like celebrating. Normally I love costumes and costume parties and any excuse to dress up like a crazy person – just not when everyone in the world is dressing crazy. If I dress crazy at the same time as everyone else, then for that day, I’m just normal. Nope. That bores me. That being said, I’m dressing up as Little Edie Beale, the gay icon immortalized in the documentary Grey Gardens. She was an eccentric character who loved living. Me too.
Measure in Love,
Posted on September 21st, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
I’m so sleepy. I was out late last night and had rehearsal this morning. LIFE OF A THEATRE MAJOR AM I RIGHT?
I’m right. I’m always right. Except when I’m wrong.
Anyway, school is now in full swing as I begin my third full week of classes tomorrow morning. My classes are going really well so far, with tough, exciting material being covered and a ton of reading and writing to do. But I’m happy as a clam, because I work best when I’m super busy.
I’m taking a really challenging and fulfilling theatre class called Collaborations, where the 5 directors and 10 actors collaborate on a new “micro-play” every week. So exciting!
My gender studies classes are all fascinating: Transgender Studies, Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome, and my senior seminar, which is on International Relations.
My play is going superbly well. We open a week from tonight and I couldn’t be more excited.
Honestly, it’s all great. I wish I had something to be cynical about to give this post a punchline or two. But I don’t. Senior year is going very well so far. I’ve made a lot of new friends this year so far, and not because a huge portion of my friends graduated last school year and I had to make new friends. The circle is round it never ends that’s how long I want to be your friend, ya feel? I think everyone who came back from abroad or from a crazy internship this summer or just is a senior is open to making new friends. I don’t know. Nothing astute to say here.
I wish I had more to say!
Measure in Love,
Posted on September 2nd, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
‘sup, peasants? It’s been a while. Literally over a month. I guess life and my demanding internship and the other half of my job (running the incoming first-year Facebook page) got to me and I haven’t had the time to write. But I’m here now and it’s past 1am on September 2nd, 2014 and I am blessed to be here and you are blessed to be reading this because it means you either have a smartphone or a computer and basic literacy skills.
Well, where am I?
But let’s rewind a heckin’ bit, okurr? My last post was July 25th, which is when I was at home from Abroad (I was in ENGLAND #godsavethequeen) and working at the Bushwick Starr, a theatre started by Skid alum. It’s in Brooklyn, in Bushwick, on Starr St. How appropriate. I was a minion there for the summer, and it was insanely rewarding.
Then I came up here on August 22nd, to start to prep for Orientation week! I was the volunteer coordinator this year, which essentially means I got to walk around with heart-shaped sunglasses on holding a clipboard looking fabulous.
Being up here in the summer, or at least the late part of the summer is odd. No one’s really around at the end of the summer after summer classes end, so it’s like that thing where if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound except with me it’s more like if a gay screams across the quad and there’s no one around to cringe do I really even make a sound? I jest, I jest. It was actually pretty nice getting up here early and getting to set up my room and not have to stress out about moving in and watching the slow trickle arrival of my friends and fiends was also thrilling and slightly overwhelming.
On move-in day, as I mentioned, I was all clipboard and business and terminally delightful. A smile on my face, a spring in my step, and a Vera Bradley headscarf holding my hair back. I had a blast on both move-in days, for Pre-Or and regular move-in days.
Pre-Or and Orientation are always a weird time for me, because I’ve never ben formally involved with the process, as a peer mentor or as a pre-or advisor, so it’s like once everyone gets to where they need to be and campus gets quiet again, what’s Kevin to do? Cry, usually. Cry.
This year was a blast though. The peer mentors kind of let me in to their group, and I’ve befriended a lot of them. This is the year where I make more friends. I promise.
On Sunday night, we went to the Ice Cream Social, an event/dance party for the first years. I obviously danced until I lost all feeling in my legs. I had the opportunity to dance with Rochelle Calhoun, the Dean of Student Affairs, literally two queens dancing with each other. And then the end of the night got weird and I did a dance solo to Bulletproof by La Roux, using the entire Spa (first floor of Case Center) as my stage. I mean, normally the entire world is my stage, but last night, the stage was just the Spa and I owned it. It’s on my Facebook. It’s real.
My living situation this year is amazing. I’m living in Sussman K9 (woof woof) with three of the best gals in my grade and our house is GORGEOUS. It’s like a ski chalet. Downstairs is a kitchen/living room/lounge/performance space and two of the bedrooms with a bathroom. Upstairs is my room, another bedroom, and a bathroom, which I’ve decorated with One Direction wall decals, obviously. It’s so great and I’m looking forward to calling this home for the year. #BlessThisNest.
Well, I guess that’s that.
This week, classes start, theatre auditions happen, and the first-years start to make it through the night without waking up crying. #HomesickBabies. Just kidding. Skidmore is their home, they’ll quickly realize. I did, three years ago. And look at me now.
I’ve never been happier.
Let’s do this, senior year.
Measure in Love,
Posted on July 25th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
How are you? I’m just dandy. Dandy as a dandelion, maybe. Or the Cowardly Lion after he gets the Courage Medal. King of the Forest, am I right? Right. Ready, okay! *cheerleader routine*
Wow I am in an excellent mood and nobody in all of Oz (the HBO prison drama) is ever gonna bring me down.
The last two weeks have been awesome – filled with a lot of rehearsals and crying and laughing and theatre. Not much has happened really, but if you think about it, it’s in those moments where it seems like nothing is happening that everything is happening. Like subtext, ya feel?
I earnestly had a brief brief pregnancy scare. I honestly thought I would end up on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. Chipotle, am I right? It’s okay, though. I’m a dude.
I saw my favorite American band, Lake Street Dive, perform a FREE concert at the Hudson Lowdown Blues Festival, which was so exciting and nice to listen to. Good guys and gals.
I wrote some stuff, I rehearsed some stuff, all that jazz, ya feelio?
My dad turned 54, which to me, seems a lot older than it actually is. One year closer to retirement.
Tonight I’m going to my friend Adrienne’s 23rd birthday/moving into a new apartment party, which is Nice and I am Excited to see her and some friends I haven’t seen in almost a year. That’ll be grand as all heck.
Summer’s more than halfway over and I go back to school August 24th, a month from yesterday. Wow time goes by so slowly I hunger for your touch are you still mine am I right? #UnchainedMelody
Actually though time’s fun when you’re having flies!
Kermit the Frog, serving up and spilling some tea, ya feel?
Alright, time to run. Sorry for the short entry. Just thought you, my many and devoted readers, should really be filled in always and as much as possible.
You are my peasants and I your King.
Measure in Love,
Posted on July 16th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
*screams* GOOD MORNING WORLD
So the Fourth of July weekend was AMAZE. Gab and I drove up to Sarafreakintoga in the middle of a Monsoon and it was terrifying and fun and I love her so much and she’s such an important gal in my life. We got there around eleven at night, and Gina and Gab and I screamed because we were so excited to see each other and be reunited after 6 long months apart. I needed a diaper change because I was so happy to see Gina. We caught up that night, me and Gina did, despite having FaceTimed or texted or Facebooked literally every day while I was in England.
“So how was abroad?” she asked me, with a devilish wink. “What’s London like?”
On Friday, we went to a barbecue at the Hudson River, at Hayiland Cove. It was chilly, but we went hecking swimming in the river/lake situation – not entirely sure what body of water it was. Could have been the Dead Sea for all I know. That was fun and we got ice cream from this spooky/old timey/great stand on the side of the road in a cornfield. #corn
The rest of the weekend was filled with crazy delicious food at the crazy delicious restaurants in town. We ate at Putnam Market and Druthers on Saturday, which were both just as amazing as I remember them. Yum. Also met up with my theatre professor Eunice and her two children, Sam and Bella, for a laugh-filled, bodacious coffee and conversation session. BooooooooOOOOOOOO0000000dacious. Her children are geniuses.
On Sunday, we headed home after a lovely stop in town for ice coffee and a sandwich for the drive.
We got stuck in scary bad traffic on the way home, which we should have expected due to it being the 4th of July weekend but we didn’t expect it and we were so afraid, so so afraid.
The next day, I went back to my heckin’ internship! Last week, I was working on a new play development process, by a cool young writer and directed by the actor who played the creepy bug scientist who hits on Clarice in Silence of the Lambs, and he’s a great guy but I can’t look at him without thinking of fava beans. Love him. And one of my fave actors, T. Ryder Smith, is in the play and is also super super nice.
On Saturday, I came in early for coffee and a walk around with my friend Zazie, who graduated in 2013. It was so nice to see her again after a year apart. Went to Chelsea Market and walked the High Line like a lonely person, and then met Duncan, who transferred from Skidmore to NYU’s screenwriting program. We saw a GREAT improv show.
On Sunday I woke up late and got ice coffee and saw my sister in a play she’s in and went to my neighbor’s graduation party.
On Monday I went to rehearsal with a crazy cool physical theater company who are in residence at the Bushwick Starr this week.
Yesterday I also went to rehearsal and had a good salad and got home late and ate cookie.
Today, I’m at rehearsal and am seeing my favorite band Lake Street Dive tonight and am probably going to have a salad for lunch.
I’m getting excited for my senior year. I’m directing a play about Walt Disney in September and performing a solo show about Barbra Streisand. And friends I’m excited for my friends.
This weekend, there’s going to be a railroad strike so commuting in to work next week is going to be yikeskino jonesenbergen.
Alright, back to rehearsal.
Peace n blessins.
Measure in Love,
Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Wowzers, it’s been a long six months! I’m home home home now on Long Island! Well, actually I’m writing this sitting in a Starbucks after a morning meeting with a choreographer I’ll be working with as a part of my internship in a few weeks. It’s weird and great being back in the States. I just wish my parents could know how immensely grateful I am to have had the Study Abroad experience. They’ll never know the boundlessless of my gratitude because I’m blessed and lucky beyond the description of words.
My last two weeks were filled with theatre, final visits to the pubs I came to know over my six months, a final visit to The Drowned Man where I met the choreographer and cried in her arms, final revisits to a few of my favorite burger joints, and a few museum visits.
Anyway, I’m home now, and boy, was getting home an adventure.
I was a mess to begin with, let me make that very clear. Moving out of my flat was easy enough, I was a little emotional as I took everything off my walls and stuffed it all into my suitcases. Then Saturday June 21st came. I woke up super early and waited for my taxi to get there at 11:30. It didn’t get there until 1:30pm. My flight was at 4:00pm. And there was traffic. So I’m a nervous wreck. And then I get to the airport, and the fat check-in attendant Porky the English Pig was having a terrible day and clearly in a bad mood told me one of my bags was overweight beyond the limit of being overweight and that it can not fly unless I buy a new bag and redistribute some of the weight. I’m already rushing at this point. He was yelling at me and I was upset enough as it is. It gets worse. I bought the bag and redistribute and check in and all that jazz. I came to London with 2 suitcases, a duffel, and a backpack. I left London with 3 suitcases, 2 backpacks, and a duffel. Mess.
It’s time to go through security now, and it was so relaxed they could have offered me a margarita and I would have taken it. So relaxed. Got Starbucks, and get on the plane with minutes to spare. As we pull out of the gate, my eyes well up and I start to quietly cry. I was sad to leave London. Despite being alone for 90% of the semester, it was the best six months of my life.
The safety video comes on. I was sitting in the second row of coach. In front of me are a family with a mother, father, and young baby. In front of them was the wall that separates the peasants from the businessmen and women in business class. This is important.
The safety video comes on. Across the aisle from me is a woman who’d been working in Slovakia teaching at an international school, who tried, unsuccessfully to mediate the conflict between the two French women and the American woman behind her. The two French women were somehow accidentally seated with this American woman in between them and the American refused to switch seats with one of the French women so they could sit next to each other. There was a lot of yelling, and I thought this was going to be all of the excitement for the flight.
The safety video comes on. Next to me are a married couple and the husband is large and taking up half of my seat too. In front of me, across the aisle from one another are two trashy Southern American women, who I would later find out are racist.
The safety video comes on. The plane taxis. The baby in front of me starts to cry.
The plane continues to taxi. The baby squirms.
The video continues. The mother screams.
She screams for a flight attendant. The father has dropped the baby, and the baby has hit its head on the wall in front of them. The baby vomits. The baby passes out.
“Is there a doctor on board? There’s a bit of a situation involving a young child.”
Back to the gate, taxi taxi. If this had happened 2 minutes later we would have been in the air.
Over the next three hours, the baby is taken off the plane with its family in tow, the luggage crew takes their sweet time getting their luggage off the plane, and the plane is refueled. So we take off 3 hours later than intended.
ANDERSON COOPER IS IN THIS STARBUCKS SOS.
The flight is easy and smooth and we land and I’m so happy and sad and excited all at once. Get my luggage, head through customs and stuff.
I get home and my dog looks at me and says “God bless us everyone, I thought you’d forgotten about me!”
The next day I got my first good bagel and my first good ice coffee of the summer and a haircut and then friends and family come over for a reunion barbecue! It was fun!
The next day I do my laundry. There’s a lot of it. And I clean out my desk. Fun.
The next day, my internship started! And I’ve been there ever since, pretty much! Woot!
It’s the Fourth of July Weekend now! Who knows what’s in store
Measure in Love,
Posted on June 6th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Hey girl, how are you? I miss you like a fat kid misses Krispy Kreme.
When we last spoke, I was heading into the theatre to see a spoopy medieval play. It was good. Not great, but very good. But very spoopy.
It’s been an odd few weeks with a lot of emotional ups and downs. I’ve pretty much just been hanging out in New Cross, with the occasional foray into Central for the theatre or for an exciting adventure.
I went to the opening night of the musical In the Heights, at the Southwark Playhouse. During the interval, I met Susie, the producer’s girlfriend, who then introduced us to Kylie, her girlfriend and the producer. Kylie invited my friend James and I to stay after the show for the opening night cast party, which was catered with American barbecue food and free drinks. It was AMAZING and so much fun and I got to network a lot with some really great people.
I went to the zoo with two gals who are nearly as sardonic as I am, and we laughed until we cried. At the zoo, they had a lot of birds in aviaries, and a section devoted to bugs. The Bug House was terrifying. After the zoo, we headed to Camden Market, which was kind of fun and also made me feel like I was going to be human trafficked by a man selling twenty t-shirts for three dollars. We also ate a great burger, from this place called Honest Burgers. Wouldn’t it stink if it were called Dishonest Burgers? Like, why you frontin’ with me, burger? Don’t be lyna me. I see right through you, I’ll call you Transparent because I see right through your beefy, burger lies. Though these french fries/chips are hella good, burger. Anyway, great burger.
I saw a play called 1984, based on George “The Bae” Orwell’s novel, and I sat in the front row, and fangirled so hard through the entire show – it was one of the most thrilling pieces of theatre I’ve seen since being here, and afterwards I met the entire cast and the assistant director, who, the next week, would give me a backstage tour of the National Theatre, where I always hang out. The place is huge. Anyway, the show was fantastic and bloody and exciting.
That same day, I took the train up into Northwest London and went to Harry Potter Studios. I don’t really need to explain why it was awesome unless you’ve been living in the middle of the Congo for the past twenty years. I cried because childhood.
Another highlight was going to Brixton Market for lunch with my friends John and James. I had a great quesadilla and they each had separate types of pad thai.
I also had the best burger I’ve ever had when I went to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Bread Street Kitchen. I had an emotional moment when I took my first bite of the burger. Gordon Ramsay actually sensed my emotions and came running out of the kitchen holding a pan of fresh gnocchi and he told me to get myself together and stop crying, you sniveling work-donkey. That’s what he called me, which wasn’t too nice. Great burger.
I went to Regent’s Park last Saturday with my friend from Skidmore, Dani. She’s working here at a theatre for the summer. It was really great to see her. And on Sunday, I saw my friend Juls, Skidmore ’13, who is currently living here for work. She took me out to dinner at the best Indian restaurant I’ve ever been too. I had these spinach dumplings for my appetizer, and they came in this green sauce and I wanted to take a shower where instead of water it was just this sauce and I don’t even mind that I would smell spicy like that, that’s how good this green sauce was.
Other highlights include watching all of House of Cards in 5 days, all of the webseries Submissions Only in less than 2, and the return of Orange Is The New Black and my discovery of Sherlock.
Lowlights include an anxiety attack last week where I wanted to go home so badly that I could scream. I think learning to deal with homesickness has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ll take away from my time abroad. It’s not that I’ve even constantly wanted to go home. I haven’t, most of the time. Then there are moments where you see a flatmate Skyping with her mom in Taiwan, or where you see a couple with a really cue dog in the park near your flat, or where you see a baby, or a man wearing an American flag onesie, and those are the moments where you just crave a good ole grilled cheese and chocolate milk like Grandmas used to make or where you want to sing the Star-Spangled Banner but you can’t because you’re on the tube and Americans abroad are disliked enough as it is or where you wanna curse at someone for walking too slow on the street but you can’t because you’re not in New York. Moments like that. Not to make light of my situation, but I’ve had small periods of intense homesickness.
But I’m fine now, and I have two weeks left on this small Island before heading across the ocean to an even smaller one.
My last two weeks in London. Let’s live it up.
As my favorite band One Direction says, “Tonight let’s get some [fun] and live while we’re young.”
Posted on May 13th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
My Queen, My Love, My Frazer:
How I’ve missed you. But don’t worry – I’ll be coming home to you soon. At 8pm on Saturday June 21st, I’ll be running through JFK looking for YOU and only YOU. And maybe for my grandma and the hordes of fans who will be there waiting for me to come off the plane, like One Direction or Lady Gaga arriving on the North American continent for the USA leg of their “Pretty Young Men” or “Born this Gay” tours. Ya feel? People will be screaming, I’ll be signing autographs. But really, I’ll just be thinking of you. #SlayMama
Anyway – I last wrote on one of my last days in Amazing Barcelona.
My last two days in Barcelona were long and relaxing. I also probably got a minor case of casual food poisoning in Barcelona. Or a tapeworm idk. I packed up and headed to the airport for my 10pm flight back to London on April 23. The flight was overpacked but I got a lot of reading done and the woman next to me smelled like maple syrup and watermelon and was reading a book in French. The flight was very turbulent but overall we made it safely. Wouldn’t it be spoopy if I were writing this post from beyond the grave? SPOOPY COOL.
The night I got home I went nearly straight to bed. But the next day when I started really seeing my friends again, I was going a little coo-coo bananas because after three weeks of having fully-fledged conversations aloud with myself on the streets of Venice and Barcelona, human interaction was shocking and hilarious and exciting. I spent the first few days back screaming laughing because I was so happy to see my friends again. Also, it was exciting to have Netflix back again – thank Gaga. #yaaas
The next day I did all of my laundry which was amazing because clean clothes are great.
The next day was Friday which means I obviously headed up to Paddington to the Costa Coffee where I tend to do work on Fridays. I also saw The Drowned Man and got the same burger I always get before I see The Drowned Man. I saw the show for the 9th time, and had the opportunity to meet and talk with Felix Barrett, the show’s director and PunchDrunk artistic director. It was amazing.
On the weekend, I relaxed and worked out and watched Netflix and cooked junk food. And slept really late both days.
The next week went by quickly: I wrote a 10-minute play that had its premiere in the Skidmore 24-Hour Play Festival. Lots of Netflix that week.
Saw a juggling show that managed to be about racism, misogyny, and socialism. They just juggled apples and got all of that across. I cried. Yes. At a juggling show. I also went shopping: bought four books. Yeah, shopping. #Fashion
The next day was Wednesday, and I had my first class of the summer term here at Goldsmiths. London Theatre. Same people in the same class as last term with the same professor. It was so funny because all we do in the class is get the prof all razzed up. It’s so funny. He says we have no respect but we say all we have is love. It’s true. That night we saw a show about Syria. It was okay, and got me mildly interested in the Arab Spring issues. After the show, my friend Alfred and I went for a drink at our local. ’twas nice.
And suddenly, it was May.
Thursday May 1st, I headed back to the same theatre I saw the Syrian play at the previous night, and went to their immersive experience Safe House, a play with no actors. It was incredibly emotional and actually really upset me. But I met Eddie Redmayne, who won a Tony Award and was in the Les Miserables movie. I had a great burger for dinner, just another stop on my quest for the best burger. I saw Andrew Scott, Moriarty from Sherlock, in a SEXY SEXY SEXY play. His performance was so sexy, the whole show was sexy. The show was also about sex, so there’s that.
May 2nd, I had my second class of the summer term at 10am. The last time I was awake before 10am was in January so needless to say, it was ROUGH. There are also only 5 of us in the class. But the class also only meets 3 times in 8 weeks, and the other two times it meets are FIELD TRIPS.
May 3rd, I went to Thorpe Park, a nice little amusement park on the outskirts of Greater London, with some friends. Really smooth coaster designs, and everything was themed around DEATH. Saw, Inferno, Nemesis, Colossus, Angry Birds, Crash, etc. I thought I was going to die on one of the rides. I said “Ow.”
I had a cold/really bad allergies that really killed me that day – so I went home and slept for 18 hours. I thought I was dead. Not so though! Would have been appropriate after the day at Death Theme Park, ya feel? Not to negate Saturday because it was SO FUN. On Sunday I woke up with 0 voice. No voice. Couldn’t talk except to cough. I drank 5 liters of juice that day.
I had my voice back enough and felt well enough to head into Central on Cinco de Mayo for dinner before the theatre. I sat next to the actress who plays Daisy on Downton Abbey on the tube! #ButMrsPatmore #IDonLoveIm… Had Mexican for dinner, and then I saw a play about vampires. It was so bloody and moving. One of the best things I’ve seen in London.
The next day, my friend Paula from Finland got here. I met her in Lisbon in February, and she came to visit me! She’s 28. We went to the Tate Modern, and got a really pretentious burger, and then went to see Titus Andronicus at the Globe Theatre, which was the bloodiest show I’ve ever seen, and two people fainted during the show because it was so gory. Nice.
Wednesday, Paula had plans, so I slept in, and then went to class and to the theatre, where we saw Debris, a play by Dennis Kelly. It was disturbing. After that, drinks with friends at our local. The Norwegian gals came and invited us to Norway Day on May 17th. The prince and princess (?) of Norway live in London, so Norway Day is a huge deal here apparently? I don’t know. It seems HILARIOUS and FUN.
On Thursday, I was cooking chicken and set off the fire alarm. #smoky.
That night, we headed out to the Battersea Arts Centre, where we saw a ZANY musical called Orpheus. Seriously zany and clever and smart and beautiful and wonderful and imaginative. I want to see it again, but it’s closing this weekend. So exciting and one of the best things I’ve seen. Imagine that – seeing two of the best shows I’ve seen on my time abroad within a week of each other. We met the cast after the show, and they bought us each a bottle of wine for being such good audience members – we sat in the front row and were REALLY into the show. One of my faves. Seriously. So funny. I LOVED IT. Oh man.
Friday was Paula’s last day in the city – I went to the doctor, which was FREE, and then met Paula at the pub she worked at when she lived in London. It was nice to meet her friends. She stayed over at her friend’s that night, and I came home and watched Drag Race and went to bed. She came back the next morning to say goodbye. I did my laundry.
Sunday, I literally did nothing. As in no-thing.
Yesterday was Monday the 12th. I started checking things off my summer term bucket list. Because I have class so infrequently this term, I really plan on seeing London, getting to know her as a city, just as I’ve gotten to know you, Frazer. Not that you’re a city. You’re a goddess among us, Fraz. Not a city. Anyway – I didn’t choose London for Goldsmiths, I chose Goldsmiths for its theatre classes and location in London. I chose London for the city. My daily education comes more from living here than anything else, which is great. And different. I wouldn’t change it for the world. A refreshing change from the Monday to Thursday 9 to 5 of Skidmore, which I do actually miss. I miss the structure.
So I got up early enough yesterday and headed into Central, where I went to the incredibly overwhelmingly large and highly problematic British Museum. Problematic because it’s filled with artifacts stolen from the British colonies back in the days of imperialism. But hey, I got a selfie with the Rosetta Stone, and that’s all that matters. After that, I walked over to the Wallace Collection, which is gorgeous. I’ll probably go back at some point. Hopefully. So ornate and wonderfully curated. An entire room dedicated to paintings of Venice.
After that, I headed to get a burger and then onto the theatre. Saw a spoopy medieval play.
Tonight, reading. Cooking gnocchi. Netflix. Writing a bit more perhaps. Who the heck knows.
Love you, Frazzle Dazzle, and I’ll see you soon. Snog you later.
Posted on April 20th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Dear Frazer, love of my life fire in my eyes feeling in my heart,
I’ve missed you, I miss you. In only 8 weeks from tomorrow I’ll be back on US turf, trodding through JFK with my 6 bags, pretending to search for my family – when in reality I’ll be looking for you. It’s a weird thought that in 8 weeks I’ll be done with my time abroad. I’m still homesick, but 8 weeks is manageable. I can do it – just so much to do between now and then!
Anyway – it’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve written. Where to heck have I been?
I’ll tell you – Venice and Barcelona!
It all began on April 1st, when my friend Dan and I went to the silent disco at the top of the tallest building in Europe, The Shard at London Bridge. it was such a hit and so much fun OH MAN. Haven’t danced that hard in a long time. The next day I packed and spent the afternoon worrying about being pickpocketed/kidnapped/assaulted in Venice and Barcelona because apparently it happens a lot in those two cities. My homesickness was fueling these worries for sure.
On April 3, I headed to the airport at 4:30am and made it in time for my flight. I didn’t sleep the night before my flight which was a regret but also like oh whatever. Smoothest landing on the runway I’ve ever felt, when we landed in Venice. I was so happy. I got on the bus to Venice, which dropped us off at the edge of the lagoon and I got a water bus to my hostel. Part of this ride included the initial ride into the city: under a bridge, we pass back 500 years in time. It was incredible. My jaw dropped. I walked around all day with my jaw on the FLOOR. It’s an incredible city with lovely people and insanity food. The hostel hostess, Anna, was a woman who only came up to my sternum when she was standing up and she was missing one and a half of her front four teeth and she was from Poland and was nuts but she was great. Very kind. She had a lisp and spoke so fast I wondered if she was on speed at one point.
The coffee in Venice was the best I’ve found on my time abroad.
Also, OH HECK – I have summer plans! I was offered a position as intern at a prominent off-Broadway presenting theatre in Brooklyn, called The Bushwick Starr! I’m so pumped to have this crazy opportunity. #blessed. I found out while I was in Venice!
Also – Venice is impossible to navigate but that’s also the best way to see the city – to allow yourself to get lost. It’s like a really compact city, but you can walk for miles and still never find your destination. It’s RUFF. Took me a day or two to find my feet.
This post is kind of a ramble, but it’s okay because even if I don’t always make sense, at least our love makes sense, right, Fraz? Sometimes the only thing that makes sense … :-/
Anyway, I saw an American musical based off a German play performed in Italian and sung in English, Spring Awakening while in Venice. It was a bizarre production with some moments of soaring theatricality. Ultimately it didn’t feel like it had the gravity it needed.
Also – the weather is finally warm enough for shorts, and though shorts are never really in vogue in Europe, people still wear them and I am one of those people. Amen Fashion. I love shorts. I love warm weather.
My real question is who thought it would be a good idea to build a city in a lagoon spread over 100 tiny islands. It’s a terrible idea. But it works I guess. I’m hungry.
On April 7th I went shopping.
On April 8th, I went to the remote islands of Venice, Murano and Burano, via a ferry from Piazza San Marco. The glassworks studios on Murano were pretty interesting and the city was nice – bought a few postcards here. After, I headed over to Burano for a few hours. My fave stop on the Venice leg of the tour. These little pastel houses all in a row, row after row of them. They’re so cute and the village was just fabulous. Seemed like time left it behind. All the people there were old though :-/ I wrote in my notebook that day how appreciative I am of the opportunity to study abroad – and I really am. I’ve been walking around this entire trip, despite being homesick, thinking about how lucky I am to be here – wandering around Europe for a while and calling it studying. It’s amazing. Opportunity of a lifetime, and taking advantage of it the way I am – having every experience I can – is the right way to do it. #blessed
April 9th, I went to St. Mark’s Basilica, which was fine, except it felt less like a museum and more like a church, and was also much smaller than I expected it to be. (Everything will seem small after my experience in Spain, but we’ll get to that.) After the church, I saw the Doge’s Palace, which really really really freaked me out for some reason. I don’t know why, but it made me really upset. But it was still gorgeous to look at. And then, the Campanile – the bell tower – I took the elevator up for the best views of the trip!
On my way to Barcelona, on my way out of Venice, there was this profound moment I had. The canals and alleyways of the city, limit the sky to a small strip above your head, and you never really get to see it. Even on the waterbuses, you never see the expanse of the sky. On the way out of the city, I was in an uncovered ferry, and when we pulled out of the city proper, the sky opened up and I could see the Italian Alps in the distance and I started to cry a little. I don’t know call me a romantic I guess but yeah I cried.
My flight from Barcelona to Venice was empty. It was WEIRD. Like maybe 30 people on a full sized plane.
My first full day in Barcelona was April 11th, when I explored and saw La Catedral de Barcelona, an amazing Gothic cathedral with a lovely cloisters with GEESE. I got a kilogram of pomegranate seeds at La Boqueria, the Spanish version of Borough Market. Deelish. Had tapas for dinner! YUM. Yum. I sat on the beach for a bit, which was COOL! Beach!
The next day I had a Skype meeting with my #InternshipBossSummer2014 which went well. After that, I headed in to town for more exploration. I had Mexican for lunch. I saw the first Gaudi building that day, Palau Guell. Gaudi is an important architect in Barcelona, and he designed and built a lot of famous buildings in the city, most prominently La Sagrada Familia. I went to this very nice nightclub on the beach called Opium which was lit with intensely purple lights – I was wearing dark shorts and the light was so intense they seemed Royal Purple. Everything did. It was awesome. Felt like Barney the Dinosaur.
The next day began the itchiest week of my life. I went to the beach and got so badly sunburnt that over the course of this week I have been peeling like a rotten clementine. So bad. So itchy. But the Med Sea is so great and the salt water was refreshing and it’s good to have a base tan now.
The 14th, I went to Park Guell in northeast Barcelona. It was nice. Whimsical. The back of both of my legs are BRIGHT RED. Shine bright like a diamond. While I was sitting on a bench in the Park, I finished The Goldfinch, which I later found out won the Pulitzer that day! I finished it and cried in public. One of the best books I’ve ever read. I cried. I also bought a new pair of shoezies today, boat shoezies. Fashion! Ate dinner on the beach – got a deelish sandwich from this famous sandwich place here.
Then I went home and wrote the first 20 pages of my new play in 40 minutes. WHO AM I it’s great to be inspired, which I continue to be, but WHO AM I – so much writing. <3 The next day I wrote 40 more pages at a coffee shop!
On the 16th, my sister turned 19 and I went to the beach. That’s all that matters.
17th – I had a plan to see La Sagrada Familia and get a bagel – but both were sold out. HOW DO YOU SELL OUT OF BAGELS – and tickets to a church!? Anyway then I walked into town and saw the third Gaudi – La Pedrera, which was pretty darn cool. Pretty inspiring. I had incredible tapas for dinner and ALERT ALERT I ate raw seafood ALERT. And dinner was CHEAP. 5 tapas and a beer – 16 Euro.
On the 19th, I finally saw La Sagrada Familia. It was the most moving place I’ve ever been. Ever. Seriously. It’s going to stay with me forever. I walked around, jaw dropped, tears streaming down my face freely (and I wasn’t the only one crying) from the beauty. Just incredible. I’m not religious, but I felt like the church was the closest thing we’ll ever have to God’s purest work on Earth – an artist so devoted to his god that he puts his entire last years of his life in to the project. Even living in the basement for a few years. Wonderful place. The most. Just the most.
Yesterday was just a simple day: walked around town, got coffee, headed to the top of the W hotel for a drink at sunset and great paella for dinner below on the beach. Got a lot of reading done.
Today, writing in a coffeeshop near the apartment I’m staying in.
This wasn’t really a funny post but sometimes ya gotta be serious when doing that self-reflection, ya feel?
Alright – tomorrow and Tuesday – beach.
Wednesday – home to London. This trip has been great and filled with self-reflection, but three weeks solo is a LONG time. I’m excited to see my friends again. And yes, to sleep in my terrible London bed again. And to see good theatre again – seeing The Drowned Man for the 9th time on Friday night.
Talk soon love of my life.
Posted on March 31st, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Let’s get the apology out of the way. I’m so sorry for not having written in forever, but please keep in mind that I am abroad trying to have the best time of my LIFE. But I am sorry. But this entry is going to be a big one.
[Author’s Note: to my disciples: I apologize to you as well.]
Something else to get out of the way: The dramatic stuff. I’m homesick. I’m very very homesick, as of today. And I shouldn’t be, because I’m the luckiest broad abroad right now, and London is making me feel like the only girl in the world, but I’m homesick. I miss my dog, I miss my best friends, I miss iced coffee just plain iced coffee, I miss iced coffee. I’m off for a month now, and hardcore considered asking Big Kev to ship me home instead of me traveling but that would take away from my experience of living in London for six months. Going home can’t be that easy, taking the easy way out would make me weak and I’m stronger than yesterday, ya feel? Instead, I’m going to Venice for a week and Barcelona for two weeks, where I’ll explore and try good food and have the time of my life.
Greetings from my bed in Southeast London where I’m sitting here on a Monday night with my friends Ben and Jerry and their pet Phish, it’s an ice cream joke. I realize I haven’t written in a while, and I have my journal here ready to go. So let’s see… When I last wrote on here, I was about to go out and see Urinetown, I think.
Wow, that was almost a month ago. This one’s going to be a doozy, this post. I’ll have to use my journal for reference. I can’t remember two hours ago, let alone a month ago. Jeez.
So Urinetown was incredible. By far the best musical production I’ve seen here so far, even better than Les Miz I think. Richard Fleeshman, who plays the protagonist Bobby Strong, is so handsome and he can just TAKE ME. TAKE ME RICHARD TAKE ME. According to my journal, I listened to a lot of showtunes that night, March 4th.
March 5th I apparently had a very bad dinner and saw a dance piece. I remember the dance piece, obvs. It was called Border Tales and was about London as a multicultural and racist city. Had a mixed message, an interesting one. The Irish man in the piece was very friendly and reminded me of someone. I can’t put my finger on who.
March 6th I did my laundry! And it dried all in one go, which is seriously a Christmas miracle. I saw a play about apartheid that night, where the audience was separates into whites and non-whites, but then the separation was never addressed. It was very uncomfortable. I went to a cool bar in Chinatown called Opium, where there was no opium being done, sadly. Would have made the name more authentic I guess. I had a tea cocktail which was surprisingly refreshing.
On March 7th, I wrote that I felt like I was starting to burn out. BURN OUT, MAN. I was feeling tired because I’d seen 40 shows in two months in the city. WOW WHAT AN #ACCOMPLISHMENT. I love it here, I’m just tired, I said. That day, I woke up and went to the Tate Britain whereI was very overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of art contained in the one building. Incredible. Then I went to Daunt Books, which is one of those bookstores you always see on lists on Buzzfeed like “10 Bookstores Literate People Need to See To Believe Before They Die Of Old Age Like That Couple In the Notebook By Nicholas Sparks That Will BLOW YOUR MIND and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS SO UNEXPECTED.” It’s a really cool bookstore. Then I went to CocoMomo, this cafe I’d been dying to go to and try their latte, which was, as expected, BODACIOUS. Then I went to dinner, meaning I took myself out on an extravagant date with myself to Bar Boulud where I had a burger so flavourful I started to weep. Not kidding, not a jest, this is very real. I started to cry the burger was so fantastic. Then I went to the opera at the Royal Albert Hall. It was overwhelming and amazing. I had no idea what was going on because it was being sung IN ITALIAN WHICH I DO NOT SPEAK AHAHA. I think someone dies.
The next day was a Saturday and I woke up late and walked around the city and saw the first show I’ve ever left at intermission/interval/halftime. I was just so put off by the show.
That Sunday, I saw The Drowned Man for the sixth time. I woke up at noon and headed to Paddington where I got my standard pre-Drowned Man meal at a pub near the warehouse where the show goes up: a chicken sandwich and a Coke. I walked into the pub and waved hi to the bartender who knows me by name and order now YIKES and he gestured for me to be quiet. There was a rugby match on and the place was dead silent. Until the home team scored and everyone went NUTS. So fun. I went nuts too. After, I went to the show, which was originally supposed to close on March 9th, but keeps getting extended, and I had a premium ticket, and it was worth EVERY PENNY OH MAN. Such an incredible experience. My mask was covered in stage blood afterwards. After the show, I met up with Jesse Kovarsky, who is in the show and who graduated from Skidmore in 2010. He was very nice and it was nice to spread some Skidmore lovin’ all around LONDON.
The next day I went to class and saw Billy Elliot, which was supremely moving, as usual. My first time seeing it in England, my fifth time seeing the show, and I think my last. The show has gotten me through a lot and that night it felt like it was telling me it was time to move on, and that it would always be there if I ever needed it. I don’t know if that makes sense, but oh well.
That Tuesday, the 11th, I met up with my friend Emily for a late lunch and a pint before heading to do some work at a Caffe Nero before seeing an incredibly disturbing World War I music hall show. I went to karaoke that night on campus, where I rocked “Listen” as sung by Beyonce in Dreamgirls. I’m a star I guess shine bright like a diamond.
The next day was a good day, until my class went to see Stephen Ward. It was a truly abysmal musical. Made no sense. I wanted to leave at intermission but wanted to see if they could top the tackiness of the first act, in the second. They did.
Woke up at two on Thursday the 13th, cooked dinner, and saw a musical that may have been worse than the one I’d seen the previous night. In a cagematch of bad musicals, this would be a close fight.
On Friday, according to my journal, I ate 6 oranges. That day, I got up and went into Central after picking up my tickets for the show that night. I sat in Starbucks and had a stay-in coffee for the first time ever – a venti coffee literally comes in a bucket. I met my friend Ellie for dinner and we went to MeatLiquor, this unbelievable burger place that has amazing fries. Ellie didn’t love the fries, but someone’s gotta be wrong some time. Then we saw The Drowned Man and obvs it was AMAZE.
Saturday I guess I spent the day being weary of the Ides of March, since it was March 15th. HAHA. Went for a run through Greenwich today, which was really nice. Made a quick pasta dish for dinner and then headed out to see an American play, Other Desert Cities, which was given a stellar production in the round at the Old Vic. It was stellar.
On Sunday, the first part of my family, Aunt Kate and Uncle Tom got here. I met them at their hotel around noon. We went to Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, which is where soap boxers can get up and speak about anything they want and debate with the other speakers. Mostly religious fanatics speaking but it was a lot of fun. Then we went to lunch, where I had the next burger on my burger quest, the Ari Gold Burger at Patty and Bun – the best burger I’ve had so far. I didn’t cry, but it was just so flavourful and an all around amazing burger. We walked the North Bank to St. Paul’s and then went back to their hotel. Tom and I went to the pub around the corner while Aunt Kate showered. We went to this CRAZY THAI PLACE that wasn’t very good and that was WAY TOO BIG. A full two floors of a restaurant. YOU CRAZY?
On Monday, I showed them around Olympic Park and the South Bank. Then I did some work at the National before seeing an Irish play (on St. Patrick’s Day no less) at the National. It was bizarre and confusing and was performed by a 95 year old woman speaking in a combination of English, Gaelic, Latin, French, and gibberish, and she was playing a river apparently but it was AWESOME and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE.
On Tuesday, I went to class and saw my 50th show since being here – Matilda the Musical, which did not impress me to be quite honest. In New York, the show was light and lovely and I cried a lot more than a 20 year old should have but here it was dreadful in every sense of the word. The kids were great but the parents and other adult characters were NOT COOL. Or particularly memorable. Didn’t cry.
I skipped a few days of proper entries because my parents were here, which was really exciting. Here’s what we did:
Thursday: They got here and were jetlagged and my sister was sleepy so sleepy like a little stuffed rabbit so we walked around the South Bank and got fish and chips and went to the London Dungeons which were SO TOURISTY and then got dinner in Marylebone. Then they went to sleep and I trekked home.
Friday: I met them at the hotel for breakfast with really great coffee (FINALLY) before an all day tour of the city that was SO FUN. Our tour guide Mitchell shined bright like a diamond. What a gem. We walked around Covent Garden and saw this hilarious street magician whose improv skills were sublime before getting dinner at a pub before seeing The War Horse, as the lady next to me called it at one point. It was my second time and my parents and sister’s first so it was fun. And interesting to see it from a different perspective.
I let them have the day to themselves to cover all the touristy things I’d seen or will see before meeting them for dinner, where I had a great burger with crispy bacon (FINALLY) at Burger and Lobster. Cripsy.
On Sunday, we went to the Tower of London which was the best non-theatre thing I’ve seen since getting here. Even better than the Rothkos at the Tate Modern. Then we went to Selfridges where my dad bought me a great new backpack, from Herschel. We got dinner at The Ivy, where a lot of famous people ate in its heyday in the 1930s. And me. I’ve eaten there too, so now I can say I’m a famous person from the 1930s. Call me Noel Coward HAHAHA.
The next day they came down to New Cross to see my flat and my school and then they left. Class was cancelled so I did some food shopping and worked out and did some homework. No theatre this week, except for Thursday. I watched Downton Abbey. Good.
Tuesday night all of note that happened was my knock-out performance of Beyonce’s Love On Top at karaoke.
On Wednesday, I went to class. And then to a Skidmore in London pub night, which was nice.
Thursday, this past Thursday, I went to the National and drank coffee and wrote an essay and read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, which is a queer coming of age graphic novel that I’m working my way through right now. It’s really beautiful. I went to pre-Drowned Man pub and then saw The Drowned Man which was so sad – I followed a lot of the sad story lines that night. I cried a lot during the show actually. Some heartbreaking work.
Friday, I booked my trip! I’m leaving on Wednesday for Venice, where I’ll be for eight days, staying in a hostel near Piazza San Marco before traveling to Barcelona for thirteen!
Hopefully I don’t get mugged or kidnapped. That would really put a damper on things.
On Saturday, I relaxed and went to a pub with my friend Cynthia who I met in Lisbon. It was really great to see her! She’s hilarious, and her friends who were with her were great. I watched a lot of Drag Race today. Don’t tell anyone I’m gay.
I wrote on Saturday that I think I’m ready to go home. I really do miss home and my friends and my family and my dog. I say that now, but when I’m packing to go home to America in two months, I won’t be ready to leave. It’s exciting here and I love it here. This is the experience.
On Sunday, I went to Central for dinner, at a food truck, Bleecker St. Burger on South Bank which was a very excellent burger, before seeing and meeting David Sedaris at Cadogan Hall, a classical music venue in Sloane Square.
When speaking with Sedaris about theater and gender studies and Skidmore and my upcoming travels to Barcelona, he gave me a phrase to use in Spain to attract the prostitutes: “Dame tu leche, papito.”
Give me your milk, little daddy.
Tomorrow, I’m going to a silent disco at the top of the Shard, the tallest building in Europe. Hope I don’t fall off. That would stink. Especically before my big trip!
Posted on March 4th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Dear Frazer –
Wow hi, how are you? I really miss you a lot. It would be nice to have a TSA agent to hold hands with and defend me while I’m being brutally interrogated (seriously, I was one step short of being smacked across the face but not really but really they were being mean) at the train station border control between Paris and London. I also got asked out by a BBC journalist on the train, but we’ll get there.
LET’S START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING (or lisbon, portugal), A VERY GOOD PLACE TO START.
When we last spoke, I was in Portugal, that was a while ago, and there are several weeks (2) and several other countries (2) in between then and now. That was then, this is now, we are different people now then we were then let’s just give love a chance okay Frazer please I love you. So I was going to the Portuguese barbecue which ended up being unlimited sangria, a lot of tapas, a lot of bread, a lot of ice cream, and a lot of night clubs. Seriously. All for 9 Euro. If you can get a deal that good ever, you stop what you’re doing and then take that deal. Take that offer and ride it like Seabiscuit in whatever race Seabiscy is riding in at the end. It was such a fun night. The next day, I woke up and my friends Paula from Finland and Liam from Aussie walked around the city and ate crazy charcoal chicken that was delish. Then we saw Grande Revista a Portguesa, a Portuguese follies show that involved blackface for a good portion of the first act. It was…um…interesting. After that we got a late night dinner and then slept. Because the next day, my last in Lisbon, we went to see a giant statue of my Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, called Monumento Nacional di Cristo Rei a Almada. It involved taking the ferry across the river to Almada and then walking through a literal apocalyptic wasteland and I was waiting for the Careers to jump out from behind some door and kill me and then they’d be victors and live in glory for the rest of their lives and I’d be dead. #hungergames. Instead of that happening, we just got to the statue after a spoopy walk through the wasteland. Amazing views though. RIGHTEOUS. After that it was back to the hostel to pack before a quick dinner and I went to bed early because the next morning I flew to PARIS.
Took a super cheap taxi to the airport, where I got on my flight easily, and flew to France. It was an easy flight, except the seats on EasyJet and RyanAir don’t recline so I felt like I was in church the entire time, straightbacked and all that. Also I was seated next to a nun and her husband or something because she was clutching a rosary. I assume she was a nun because of the rosary, she wasn’t in a habit or anything. Perhaps she was just spiritual. #blessed. Then I got to Paris and met Cloud, who had a minor freakout in the Metro station because she was excited at the prospects of the different flavors of potato chips they’d have in Paris. This is not a drill. We got to our airport and set off for our first Parisian meal, on the Champs-Elysees. Cloud chose to treat herself to potato wedges and french fries from McDonald’s and I chose a croque monsieur and a Coke. Again, this is not a drill. Then we went back to the hotel to rest, I met up with my friend Nikki (Skids ’13) and her girlfriend and we got dinner. After that, I headed back towards the hotel, where Cloud remained asleep. I went back out and saw the Eiffel Tower light up which was really cool and exciting, except for the fact that I was alone and not with my husband/boyfriend/anyone to say wow with. But it’s okay. Went back to the hotel and got back into bed and cried myself gently to sleep.
The next morning we woke up and went to the Louvre, which was closed, so we went to Musee l’Orangerie, which was closed. We went to Musee d’Orsay, which was gorgeous and is my favorite museum of all time, sort of like how Kanye thinks Single Ladies is the best video of all time. Like that, but real and I’m more respectable than Kanye, I think. Don’t you, Frazer? Yeah, good. After that we got coffee at one cafe, and dinner at another. We headed back to our hotel and picked up our bags and headed to my friend Meagan’s aunt’s apartment where we stayed for the next two nights with Meagan (who I worked with over the summer) and her boyfriend Tommy, who was my sister’s boss over the summer. That was fun! We woke up the next day and did Musee l’Orangerie, Notre Dame, had some delicious food, and then watched the Olympics, the Brit Awards, and played Bananagrams all night at the apartment. The next morning, we left. Cloud flew back to London because her mom was picking her up at Heathrow, and I took the train.
And here is where the adventure begins. Okay, okay. So I was told, “Bring a bottle of wine for the train ride home from Paris to London, it’s a really beautiful ride and it’s a nice way to pass the time with a book.” Okay, so I did that and it was a beautiful ride, but little did I know how badly I’d need the wine after my stressful interrogation. I seriously felt like I was being Zero Dark Thirty’d and I don’t even care if that’s too real a reference. I showed them my passport and my previous visa stamp for entry into England, from back in January. They immediately said come with us please, and so I did, asking no questions. Two of them and me in a room. Good cop, bad cop, and the perp. Except this time the perp had no idea what he’s done wrong. They asked me literally every detail of my life in England, in Lisbon, in Paris, and home. Where I go to school, why I chose Goldsmiths, how long I was in Goldsmiths, where I was living, do I prefer cookie dough ice cream over Phish Food ice cream, why theatre major, why go to Paris, why go to Lisbon, where else I’d be travelling, if the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit, all these questions. I answered them all very calmly and when they’d had enough, they stamped my passport and sent me on my way, visibly shaken up. It was seriously scary in the moment, and I thought I was going to get terminal’d, like Tom Hanks in that movie, but not the one with the volleyball or where he plays Disney. Anyways, I got on the train, and I guy sits down next to me, which initially made me annoyed because it would mean if I had to use the loo, I’d have to ask him to get up for a second and then he’d know I was in the loo when I came back emptyhanded instead of going to the snack bar. About halfway through the ride, we got to talking, and became friends, I eventually found out he works for the BBC and then he very abruptly asked me to get drinks and dinner sometime in the next week. He gave me his e-mail, and I e-mailed him. But he never e-mailed me back. But it’s okay. Oh well. Then I got off the train, and went to see a wonderfully acted play that night.
The next day, Friday, I saw The Drowned Man again and went to a dance party at this weird warehouse that I got lost on my way to. It was weird.
Went to Central for dinner at this burger joint called MeatLiquor with my family friend from home, Sheila. Then I went to bed.
The next day, last Sunday, I woke up late and went to my friend Graham’s house in Honor Oak Park. He’s in Spamalot on the West End. I met his dog Henry, who is HILARIOUS. Woof.
On Monday, the highlight of my day was cooking perhaps the spiciest thing I’ve ever cooked, and this is coming from the young gay sportsman who on Tuesday night, accidentally knocked an entire bottle of red pepper flakes into his curry sauce. It was hotter than that by accident. I have no idea how. I was sweating so hard I needed to change my shirt before going to the theatre.
On Tuesday, after the chili flake incident, I saw the worst musical I’ve ever seen.
Wednesday, went to see a pretentious performance art piece that made me really uncomfortable. Its themes were: phones are good, but they are also bad, goodbye.
On Thursday, Graham and I went to an exhib at the Royal Academy that was all about these crazy architects. It was beautiful and playful and spoopy. Then, Anya and I met up for dinner, and we ate at a restaurant that was seemingly an Italian Panera. Which sounds weird in concept, ordering from the counter and all. But it was OFF THE CHAIN. Clearly fresh pasta, fresh basil plants on the table to garnish, it was all so fresh. #fresh #blessed #me. After that, we saw Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. It’s a gorgeous operetta that made me think of you, Frazer, and how we have to tend the garden of our love. But seriously, the finale sent my body into rigor mortis. Especially considering that the finale was sung without microphones. A single tear fell from my eye during the final blackout. And then the most explosive cheer I may have given to any theatre performance yet in #London2004. It was brilliant and beautiful. Like you, Fraz.
Came home. Packed. Three hours later I left for Dublin. We saw most of Dublin in one day, and did everything you’re supposed to do in Dubs: the Trinity Old Library, Jameson Distillery, Guinness Factory, and the Irish National Art Gallery. It was so fun.
On Saturday, we went down to Cork for the day and had a blast at Blarney Castles, exploring the caves and kissing random rocks, and then even kissing the Blarney Stone! Seven years of Blarney for me. Yum. Then we came back and went to bed because three hours later I left Ireland and came back to London.
I slept most of the day away in London, and then saw friends and gave them gifts from Dublin.
Then I saw Beyonce. No big deal. I cried. I laughed. I broke my voice a bit. I needed a diaper change at the end. Oh well. The show was at the O2 Arena, which is massive and has an awesome vibe and One Direction have performed there, so I’ve breathed some of the same air they’ve breathed, which is a lovely thought. But Beyonce. Yeah.
Today, I went to class, food shopped, worked out, and was about to start cooking dinner, but my friend Jessica Dickey, who wrote The Amish Project (which, as you should know, is the first play I ever directed, at Skidmore, in my freshman fall), was on Facebook and I knew she was in London, so I messaged her and we met up for a super quick super impromptu dinner before I finally saw Spamalot! It was so great to see her and so great to see the show.
Tomorrow, seeing the first preview performance of the English premiere production of an American musical that was written in response to an English musical that makes fun of American musicals, performed by an entirely English cast. If you’re confused, good. Also, the musical is called Urinetown. Mmm, urine.
Wow, it’s 3am. Time for bed. Miss you Frazer. Love you to bits. Love you to the moon and back.
XOXO Gossip Girl.
Posted on February 17th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
New blog theme because the old one was messing everything up. This one’s still a bit messy, but I’m a bit messy, so it works. Haha, I am so messy. Like a baby who can’t eat his pureed peas.
I am in Paris. Bonsoir.
I am in France. Hello.
I am sleepy. Bonne nuit.
Je suis une pomme de terre.
Posted on February 14th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Dear Frazer –
It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m alone, and I’m in Portugal, so I say that for this catch-up entry, we screw the formatting and I just do a quick fill-in on the last week or so and then talk about Portugal? How does that sound to you?
The last ten days, starting with my previous blog entry have just been a whirlwind of staying up late, almost oversleeping, theatre, classes and going out and exploring London.
1. Climbing St. Paul’s Cathedral and seeing the AMAZING VIEW.
2. Seeing Les Miz on the West End, where I cried for a very full three hours.
3. Seeing the Tanztheater Wuppertall Pina Bausch perform an incredible four-hour dance show, called 1980. Stunning.
4. The Isabells Blow exhibition at the Somerset House. I love Philip Treacy and the exhib was filled with his hats. Wonderful. Exciting. Blow was a CRAZY lady.
5. Spur-of-the-moment seeing an improv play called Austentatious, where the team impro’d a whole Jane Austen novel in an hour. SO FUNNY.
6. Sitting front row at England’s biggest proscenium theatre, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, to see my favorite musical actor, Douglas Hodge, as Willy Wonka, in Charlie and th Chocolate Factory.
There are some
pics of me below from London and Lisbon, since I promised you and I haven’t done it yet. I don’t know why the formatting is all messed up. I don’t know, I should really learn how to internet.
Yesterday, at 3:45am, I woke up and got in a taxi to Stansted Airport, where I hopped a RyanAir flight to Lisbon, Portugal. I was awake yesterday for about 22 hours because as soon as I landed and got through Customs, I was off. I hopped on the Metro and got to my hostel with great ease. The hostel, Sunset Destination Hostel sounds like somewhere old people go to retire but is actually really really wonderful. Constant stream of hip music blasting in the lounge, like this hip hip chill music. Free coffee and WiFi this is my PLACE. Yesterday, I arrived and went for a walk along the River Teijas (sp?) and got coffee and lunch. Then I checked into my hostel room and showered and took a nap and read a bit. Last night I went out for an incredible late and solo dinner. Velha Senhora, this wonderful tapas place, where I had three tapas, bread, and the most incredible (and I’m not supposed to be blogging about drinking, but I am of age and watching the bartender make this felt like I was watching a piece of theatre with the amount of drama he put into making it and it ended up being the best drink I’ve ever had) daiquiri, all for 15 Euro. It was so delicious. The food was out of this world: choriza and blood sausage, codfish cakes, and chicken fried in the skin, without breading. SO GREAT. And the bread fresh and the butter homemade.
Then I came home, had a Coke, and went off to bed.
I woke up this morning/afternoon, and it was rainy, so I had a cup of the hostel coffee, which is actually really really great, and showered and shaved. After shaving, and because I don’t read Portuguese, and everything in the bathroom is labelled in Portuguese, I accidentally washed my face with hand sanitizer, which, surprisingly, was not pleasant. I hopped on the Metro and walked around the Rossio neighborhood of the city, and bought tickets to see Grande Revista de Portugal tomorrow night. It’s a musical. Entirely in Portuguese. I have no idea what to expect, but it got wonderful reviews. Tonight I’m going to a barbecue with my hostel, at one of their other hostel locations in the city. The group who are going from here seem like a lot of fun. Tomorrow: explore the city.
I’ll try and write once more before I get to Paris on Monday.
Posted on February 4th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Happy Sunday, hi how are you?
I woke up late today since it’s Sunday and I had a pretty lazy day. Went to Sainsbury’s to get some basic ingredients for my pasta dish I made for dinner. For lunch, I was craving macaroni and cheese REALLY hard and so I ripped apart Sainsbury’s until I found some. Delicious. The day was CARBALICIOUS definition make my stomach crazy.
I ate the mac and cheese. Watched some TV/Netflix/internet. Alfred came over for tea and biscuits because he is homesick. He’s a good friend.
Today was a boring day. Today was a good day.
Dear Frazer –
Thank Gosh you’re here. I saw Mojo tonight, a play by Jez Butterworth. It was awesome because Rupert Grint is in it but he wasn’t particularly memorable. Brendan Coyle, who plays Bates on Downton Abbey, was also in it and yelled a lot. Great night at the theatre.
Today was EXCELLENT.
Led a great discussion in my gender studies class. Not led, really. But I talked the most out of anyone and made good points apparently. I really like the class. I came home and worked out, ran 6 miles, which felt great. Then I went to the theatre!
Came home and talked to many friends on Facebook.
I’m exhausted. And happy.
I am very tired so please forgive me. Today was a great day, a most excellent one. Feels like it went by super fast. So much happened.
Woke up around noon, and found out my class was cancelled because the main building was filled with water from a flood. So I went for a quick, lame workout, and then headed out to Central London, to see an immersive piece of theatre called The Day Shall Declare It, which was dense and odd and beautiful. Then I went to dinner at an unbelievably good Indian restaurant called Roti Chai and had delicious chicken and naan. I love Indian food. Almost as much as I love BROADWAY.
I need to sleep.
My succession of good days continues with another great day. Woke up, showered, got a GREAT cup of coffee, went to an inspiring and awesome acting class. It’s so different from any of m acting classes at Skidmore. It’s very refreshing, in a way. Like using a new type of shampoo or a really great moisturizer. You just wanna go out and sing in the rain, ya feel? I’M SINGIN IN THE RAIN JUST SINGIN IN THE RAIN. Just like that, yeah. After that, I showered and cooked the fastest weirdest dinner I’ve ever had and then went to London Theatre, where we had a great discussion about The Drowned Man, which as you may or may not know at this point, is my favorite. After that, we went together as a class to see a play called Blurred Lines, at the National Theatre, which was anything but my favorite and I hated it. A lot. Now I’m here, alone in my room. Alone, forever alone. Just me and my tea. Alone. Like in that episode of Spongebob where they keep repeating alone over and over. That’s me.
Wish I had more to tell you, Fraz, but I don’t. Hope JFK is treating you well.
Dear Frazer –
I saw Rent tonight.
The New York accents, though.
Not as emotional as I expected it.
It was just loud and draining. Am I becoming an old man?
I guess we’re all on our way to becoming Benjamin Button old man babies, aren’t we? In the grand sense of things?
Now I’m home alone again, in my flat, drinking tea.
I am really happy here, though. That’s a good thing.
A new book came for me in the mail today. Though I sometimes come across as illiterate I do reading on occasionally.
Dear Frazer –
Hey! How are you!
I’m frakking GREAT. Sitting in a pub in Paddington before meeting a Skidmore kid before we see The Drowned Man. His first time, my fourth time. YAAAS.
Today didn’t go quite as planned, but was very lovely nonetheless. Woke up late and was angry at myself for not listening to my alarm. But instead of lying there in self-loathing, I put on some Abba, cleaned up my Mamma Mia messyroom, got myself Super Trooper dressed, and headed out for a Dancing Queen afternoon at the Tate Modern, an at museum on the Thames, in Waterloo. Stunning stuff. My eyes welled up with tears in the Rothko Room. It was so exciting to see such innovative and inspiring work. So great. So blessed. Then I walked in the rain along the Thames South Bank Riverwalk to the National Theatre, where I picked up a book I had ordered through their bookshop. I had also purchased two books on Linguistics and Chaos Theory as they relate to art and several postcards at the Tate Modern. After stopping at the National, I had planned on going to the Hayward Gallery but it was SO expensive and I was absolutely not about that life. Most of the museums and galleries here are free. What to heck. Oh well. So I got on the train to Paddington and here I am. I bought a few more postcards and am filling them out in this pub, which is either called Walker Taylor or Taylor Walker. I had a bodacious chicken sandwich for dinner.
I think what I’m learning to appreciate about this city is how nice and polite everyone is. Sure, there’s a bad clementine in every sack, but this particular sack is extremely large and there are a ton of great clementines to make up for the one bad on. I call this a citrus metaphor. Everyone’s so great. Like today, I was on the Tube, and there was this hilarious family, a mother and two sons. The kids were 12 and 15 or so. The 12 year old still a playful kid and the 15 year old desperately trying to come across as cool. The mother’s reaction to everything they said was perfectly timed and witty. And we got to talking, and when the train got to Piccadilly or Charing Cross, I can’t remember which, the train got insanely crowded and the 12 year old seemed to have gotten crushed behind a large businessman wearing a stained tie. The mother instinctively became worried about her son being intact and not crushed into human flavored marmalade. The stainéd businessman calmed her down, saying he was pushing himself away from the wall to give the kid some breathing room. SO NICE. I love people. Then, at the pub, I was sharing my table until a few minutes ago, with a nice gal who was reading a play I love. We discussed the play and had a nice conversation and then she had to leave, but she was so nice. I wish I had gotten her name. I think it was Marie. She seemed like a Marie. I’ll call her Marie. People are nice.
Today was so great.
I hope tomorrow is just as great.
Dear Frazer –
Drowned Man was AMAZE once again. We went home last night – we? I mean me. Me. Went to bed, woke up rested as heck. Showered and walked down to New Cross House, a restaurant around the bend from school. Here I am, filling out more postcards, eating delicious pizza, loving life.
Today was simple and lovely.
Dear Frazer –
It’s late! I’m exhausted!
Came home from New Cross House last night, watched some Netflix, started looking at options for Reading Week and Easter vacations, went to bed, woke up, worked out, and then went to meet Alfred in Central for Chinese New Year. By the time I got there, the show was just ending, but the crowd was LOVING it. We tried to get West End but nothing was running, and so we got dinner and went on the LONDON EYE, which was ridiculous. It was amazing. Then I came home and booked my Reading Week trip. I’m going to Lisbon, Portugal for 4 and a half days by myself and then going to meet Cloud in Paris for three days then coming home for the last few days of break.
I think I fell in love with the city tonight. I’ve ben saying I love it here, so far, but I think tonight was really the night where I fell head over heels. It happened on the Waterloo Bridge. You can see all the way around, from the Eye, to Westminster and Big Ben, to the top of the Trafalgar Pillar, to the Somerset House, to the glare from Piccadilly, to the top of St. Paul’s, to the Walkie-Talkie Building, to the Tower, to the Tower Bridge, to The Shard, down the Thames, to the Globe, to the National Theatre, to Waterloo, and back to the Eye. So beautiful.
I love London.
I love London.
I love you, Frazer.
Dear Frazer –
I’ve just gotten home from seeing Once the Musical on the West End, where I cried for two and a half hours. I love folk music. And I love Ireland. I’ve never been to Ireland, but I love the idea. I’m going to Dublin soon though!
Today was good! I overslept my first class by a bit but I rushed to get my act together and got to class only a few minutes late. But the class, gender studies, was AWESOMESAUCE today. I made dinner. Then I went to the theatre. Yay. Yes.
Here I am, now. In bed. Exhausted. Happy.
Hello, how are you? I am well. Do you love me?
I am in the laundry room. Today was odd, but also very good. I woke up at 11, which was okay since I didn’t have class until 3. I showered and got my act together and met my friend Oliver for coffee. His two friends Leah and Hettie came and met us, and they’re really fun. Then I went to Student Union where I had a sandwich and finished reading a depressing play.
After that it was off of to my three-hour lecture, British and American Musical Theatre, which may as well be called Gossip Gossip Backstab Tap Dance Gossip.
Now I’m here, eating leftovers from last night as my laundry spins around and around. Like life. Spinning around and around. Here for the long haul of the laundry marathon. It’s very chilly in here and I can’t really feel my fingers.
I really want tea.
Posted on January 25th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Whoa, so sorry about not writing in a while! In case you did know, I’ve been in London. Doing things. Seeing theatre.
Dear Frazer –
I’m so stressed out. The laundry machine here makes me want to cry. Absolutely baffling. Makes no sense. I have to air dry all of my stuff since apparently the dryers are not to be trusted. It’s very overwhelming. Not being put together. For some reason I find having clothes hanging all over my room very stressful. It’s the worst ending to a great day.
I woke up late, which was stupid of me. I meant to get up at 9am but woke up at 12:30 but I didn’t miss anything since I didn’t have class until 3pm. I just didn’t get to work out. My class today, British and American Musical Theatre (BAMT) was AWESOME. We discussed West Side Story as the perfect musical theatre collaboration. Then I came home and made dinner. Then the laundry situation started which made me feel like crying but at least I know what to expect for next time. Tonight I’m going to the pub with Alfred and the Norwegians (sounds like a fun band). Tomorrow two classes and another play.
SKIPPED DAY BECAUSE SLEEPY
Dear Frazer –
Sorry I didn’t write yesterday. The day went on longer than intended.
I woke up early and went to the gym and ran an invigorating 6.5 miles. Then I had breakfast and went to class –
Acting in London was very intense and honestly, a bit upsetting. We did a very emotional sense memory exercise (the classic “imagine lemons and you will smell lemons” exercise, but on steroids and multiplied by 100). After acting I jetted home to shower and make the fastest dinner I’ve ever cooked – chicken, avo, goat cheese wrap. Then to London Theatre, which has two gals in it who are my worst nightmare: pseudo-psycho-intellectuals.We went to see a play called Fijiland which was INTENSE and BOLD. Oh man. Then, I came home, got into bed, only to have Cloud call me to tell me to get into clubbing clothes. There’s a nightclub on campus, which is very strange for me. I mean, at Skidmore, we have Falstaffs, but this isn’t a house in the woods. The Club is a legit club. It was really fun and I danced a LOT. Sore legs the next morning.
I woke up at 9:30 and Angela, Cloud, Alfred and I all headed to the Tower of London. But we didn’t go in, because it was a bit expensive, and we only had two hours to spend in there. So we got lunch and walked around all day and saw some of the sights. It was a blast! We got a small dinner and then Alfred and I went to see The Wind in the Willows, a dance theatre piece on the West End. It was SO adorable and sweet and I cried more than I expected to.
Now I’m in Cloud and Angela’s kitchen, drinking tea and planning our Scotland trip for reading week. [Note: this trip is now just me and Cloud, and instead of Scotland, we’re going to Portugal.]
Tomorrow, Cloud and I are going to the V&A and to see the Dinosaurs at Natural History and I’m seeing The Drowned Man for the second time!
Dear Frazer –
What a long day! I have to be brief! I’m sorry!
Went to the V&A! It was overwhelmingly large!
Went to Natural History Museum!
Then walked through the GORGEOUS Hyde Park to Paddington!
I met up with Beck Krefting, my gender studies advisor and friend and professor at Skidmore for a pint before we saw The Drowned Man!
Even better the second time around!
Now I’m home and Cloud and Alfred and Angela and Davey told me to hurry up to their flat ASAP!
Dear Frazer –
I’ll sleep when I’m dead am I right?
After being up late with the Dream Team last night, I got three hours of sleep before waking up to TREK to Angel (a neighborhood in the city, there’s also a hood called Collins and one called Mimi and one called Mark and one called Brain Aneurysm – INSENSITIVE JOKES ABOUT RENT THE MUSICAL I’M SO SORRY) to get online for tickets to American Psycho the Musical. The line was too long, so we walked to King’s Cross and tubed it over to Leicester Square and got tickets to War Horse and The Woman in Black. We were so loopy, and waited for the shows at a Caffe Nero.
Then War Horse happened. I cried. The entire show. It. Was. Perfect. I cried for three hours, including the entire interval. Like silent sobbing. I don’t know why. I just love emotional 20th century period pieces with a strong female lead. The lead was a horse, but you catch the drift. It was so beautiful. I cried more than I have in a long time at the theatre. HASHTAG CATHARSIS EMOTIONS.
Then we got dinner and saw The Woman in Black which was bizarre.
Alright, I’m knackered, I should sleep.
Dear Frazer –
Hi! How are you? I’m great, so great.
I woke up at 3pm today, which was stupid of me, considering I meant to wake up at 11am. I went to Central and got dinner with a friend by the Globe. Then I came home and had had tea with Cloud and Skyped with the family.
I know my entries haven’t been too long lately, but it – life here – seems to be normalizing a bit, and so the experiences I am having are becoming less new and more a part of every day life. I’ve even started to discern between the different regional accents and am able to understand even the roughest ones. I like it here.
Dear Frazer –
Tonight I saw a play called Strangers on a Train. it was wonderful and creepy and spooky. The production value on theatre here is so much higher than it is in New York. It’s incredible really, how much respect is given to the arts in London. Really inspiring.
I’m so happy.
Dear Frazer –
Again, not much happened today. Life normalized.
Woke up late.
Went to class.
Went to the theatre. Opening night of The Weir on the West End! It was awesome.
Crazy. So many celebs.
Crazy wonderful play too.
Now I’m home, and heading out to my friend Nick’s.
Long day tomorrow!
Dear Frazer –
Overslept class by 23 minutes today. Yikes. I ran to class and joined in and had an AWESOME class. I learned so much about acting. Afterwards, I gallavanted home and ate my leftover curry from when I cooked the other night. Showered. Went to London Theatre for class. We had a really pretentious discussion. With class, tonight, we saw The Drowned Man for my THIRD time. INCREDIBLE OH MY GOD THIS SHOW JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER I CAN’T BREATHE OH MAN. I have tickets to see it three more times. Tomorrow, I’m having a rest day before going to the theatre.
Dear Frazer –
Today was good! Woke up at 10am, worked out, showered, and started my laundry! Then I went to lunch with my friend Xena and her friend Oli, which was really fun! I had a GIGANTIC burger with cheddar and avo. I like that I’m making friends beyond the Dream Team. It’s nice to not have to rely on other people to make my friends for me if that makes sense. After my giant burger, I finished my laundry which was less overwhelming this time around. Then I headed out for the second worst night at the theatre I’ve had so far.
Now I’m drinking tea and FaceTiming a lot of people in my room. My room is an ICEBOX.
No plans tomorrow. Maybe a museum. Who knows?
Dear Frazer –
Will write tomorrow.
THIS IS A LIVE ENTRY, I’M TYPING IT UP AS I THINK.
THIS IS KEVIN GAGEN BERRY COMING TO YOU live Live LIVE FROM THE LYTTLETON LOBBY OF THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF ENGLAND. I’VE BEEN SITTING HERE FOR TWO HOURS HAVING A GRAND TIME PEOPLE WATCHING. CLOUD WENT TO A GALLERY TO LET ME GET SOME HOMEWORK AND TRANSCRIBING OF JOURNAL ENTRIES INTO BLOG ENTRIES DONE. WE ARE GOING TO GET FOOD SO SOON AND I AM SO HUNGRY I THINK I COULD PASS OUT. HOPEFULLY SEEING A GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST PLAY TONIGHT? #DEUTSCHLAND. I REALLY LOVE IT HERE.
monday i am seeing a play by jez butterworth starring rupert grint from harry potter, brendan coyle from downton abbey, and bemn whishaw who everyone loves but idk who he is. tuesday i’m seeing an immersive theatre piece based on the short plays of tennessee williams. wednesday, blurred lines here at the national by nick payne, an up and coming playwright here in the uk. thursday i’m going to RENT IN CONCERT where i am sitting in the front row and will be crying the entire time and reliving my 15 year old closeted gay adolescence. basically i’ll be crying 525600 minutes viva la vie am i right? and then friday i’m seeing The Drowned Man for the 4th time. MAD RESPECT FOR THAT PRODUCTION.
I tried to upload some pics but I need stronger WiFi (pronounced WeeFee here by the way like what the heck is that?). I’ll upload some when I get home/when I remember.
Love you all and miss you.
Posted on January 14th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
Hi, how are you? How is life as a TSA agent at JFK treating you? Great, I’m so glad.
I overslept for my induction this morning, but not to worry because it was really a meeting for edu students and the gender studies students were tossed in there as a sidenote. So I didn’t miss anything.
Made friends with my flatmates Ricky and Mamiko this morning. They’re hilarious. I had been introduced to them briefly but today I really go to know them over a long, early afternoon breakfast in the kitchen. They intorduced me to EVERYONE who walked by our window.
After that I got my act together and went to the gym, which was stunnah. Ran 5.5 miles, feelin good. A warm up for tonight’s extravaganza, A Drowned Man, the PunchDrunk show, which requires walking around in a mask in silence for three hours.
a special entry from the theatre journal: PunchDrunk’s A Drowned Man
[I’m really passionate about this show. I’ve already got tickets to see it twice more (as of 1/13, when I’m typing this)]
Design: The sound design was unbelievable. Never heard anything quite like it. The lights were subtle and perfect. The costumes were my everything – gorgeous 1960s attire. THE SET was 6 floors of Paddington warehouse converted into fully climate controlled immersive theatre spaces. Wonderful. The propsmaster was a god. Never wanted to leave the space.
Acting: Committed and brilliand and unwaveringly bold. The stakes were always higher than seemed possible. I wish I could have seen more of the actors [I will next time]. Just brilliant. Particularly, the security guard, who I followed most of the night, played by Paul O’Shea. I spent most of my time with him. Also extremely talented were the actresses who played Dolores and the MakeUp Lady.
Whoever directed this/assembled this like this is my idol. The thought put into this piece was unlike even Sleep No More in NYC- also by PunchDrunk, it was completely on another level.
Overall I found myself breathless at parts of the show, and at other points though few and far between, wanting it to pick up and for the next exciting thing to happen. The one on one I got was TERRIFYING, the interactions I had with the security guard were great, and the public one to one with the waiter was SEXY. The dance number in the finale was the most brilliant and messed up thing I’ve ever seen onstage. Mindblowing. IT WAS PERFECT.
Dear Frazer –
Where to begin? What a day!
Last night Alfred and I saw A Drowned Man which was so far beyond spectacular it’s in some realm where there are no adjectives to describe how heavenly wonderful it was.
This morning was an early rise for a tour of London! I don’t care about the sights unless Bridget Jones is somehow involved. Love her.
Met up with friends at the pub after the tour and we headed to Shoreditch for dinner via double decker, three tubes, and an overground. It was a hassle but the falafel made it ALL worth it. Then I went to a seance.
Hi how are you I’m great thanks.
Today was sort of a non-day. I woke up at 2pm and got out of bed at 4pm to start cooking dinner for me and Alfred. I made a chicken and pasta dish. COuld have used some cheese. But it was good.
We made a list of 30 shows to see before the end of February and bought tickets to three for this week. Bringing this week’s total of culture to 4 shows, and 2 museums.
Classes start tomorrow!
I’ve just got back from the worst production of any play I’ve ever seen so forgive me if I seem a little cross. It was just so dreadful.
So today was my first day of class, and it was a bit of a mess because of a classroom mix up with whatever they call the registrar over here. I woke up at a normal time today, which indicates my battle against jetlag can be called in my favor, like Shrek defeating the knights in the wrestling ring at Duloc I’ll be here all week try the veal. After class I worked out and ran 6 miles and made dinner (chicken panini wrap with peppers, avocado, and goat cheese). Then went to see this play which shall remain nameless and was terrible. So bad.
I seem to have settled down and made my first real core group of friends here, and they’re very different from any of my friends at home, which is something I like, I think. I like that I’ve made friends because, really, I’m not a friendly person, and so making friends, is, to me, a great challenge.
Posted on January 10th, 2014 by Kevin Berry.
I’m on the plane! Excited for the six months ahead of me barely begins to describe how I feel.
After an extremely long day of waiting, my dad, mom and sister piled into the Benz wagon and headed to the airport, where I checked into Flight BA172 from JFK to LHR. At the bag check in, I had to redistribute my bags’ weights and that resulted in me needing a heavy plastic bag for some of my stuff that I had to carry-on. Classic me packing too much, am I right ladies? After that, my journey through Terminal 7 was smooth sailing. The flight boarded a bit late and as a result took off pretty late, BUT BUT BUT I was upgraded to first class! I was originally in seat 28G, next to a nice looking French family. Through a small mixup I was upgraded to 18G, next to a smoldering hot French man. Yikes/yum. They gave me champagne! And a handkerchief when I sneezed! I mean, I’ve flown first class before but this was special because it – the extra comfort, and free food and drink, and the sexy Frenchman – made the nerve-wracking first steps away from America a little easier. I’ll read Vanity Fair, have a glass of wine, and doze off – IN MY 180 DEGREE FLAT MECHANICAL AIRPLANE BED/SEAT. [Note, added later: I think the Frenchman took a sleeping pill because he slept through the most turbulent flight of my life.]
Here. I. Come.
This city has no freaking clue what’s about to hit it.
I’m honestly too tired to write too much today.
The flight was extremely turbulent.
We got here, to Goldsmiths around noon.
I’m extremely tired.
I’m all moved in.
Went food shopping.
Made friends with some Brazilians.
Sorry about that stinky entry yesterday. I was just too tired at the end of the day to write too much. Where shall I begin?
So I get off the plane and I go through customs which takes forever/45 minutes. I struggle to find Brandon, one of the other Skidmore kids on the program with me, who I was meeting at the airport. And after a stressful and sweaty hour of searching for him, I find him. We got a cab to campus with a hilarious crass smart cabbie who showed us the basic sights along the drive.
By the way, I’m writing this journal entry waiting for the Overground to get into my station so I can get my new phone in Surrey Quays, a shopping centre ten minutes away. MY BRITISH PHONE. I’m going to prank call Prince Harry. And tell him I love him. Is that how pranks work? A loud couple is talking in slow loud sentences to each other down the platform and it’s very irritating/endearing because they’re laughing so hard.
And we get to campus, to Loring Hall, and check in, and I’m in Flat D1. The room is bigger than the closet I was told to expect, and I have my own bathroom! I unpacked, tried to set up my internet, which didn’t work, so I had to go to the library –
Just got on the train. Smells nice, and it’s clean!
To the library, where they fixed my computer and hooked me up! The woman next to me smells like cigarettes and sweet apples. There are no doors between overground cars, just a large tube. Hm.
Whoa. 9 hours later, I get back to this. Sorry. What a day.
To the library, where they fix my computer and hook me up. Then I move in some more and get a sandwich and see Sarah Khazzam. Sarah is a gal from my hometown on Long Island. I went to school all the way up til college with her brother Matt. She’s studying at Goldsmiths getting her Master’s degree. Visited her for a bit and then went back to unpacking. Showered, and went to the pub for a meet and greet with the other study abroad students who are new this semester. Out of 7000 students at Goldsmiths, 1200 are international. Including me. I’M AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT NOW. I made friends with a group of 11 hilarious and rambunctious Brazilians. After the pub, we went food shopping and I miraculously made all healthy choices. I unpacked the goods at home and went to sleepy sleep at 11pm or so.
I woke up at 1:32 thinking I had overslept all the way through but I didn’t. And woke up at the properly appointed time, 8:15am.
Orientation was tedious, fun, and awkward. As these things tend to be, with icebreakers and all that. I made a friend named Alfred from New Jersey. Between orientation sessions, I took my first Overground ride to Surrey Quays where I got my phone. Dropped some stuff off at home, and went to the theatre meeting, after which, Al and I bought tickets to our first theatre excursion of the semester, to see Fortune’s Fool at the Old Vic. It was very lovely. I won’t go into too much detail about these things here unless it really grabs me or if I really hate it. I don’t want to bore you with my opinions. Made dinner, lamb and veg and then went to the theatre. Came home, and am here.
I have two
suite flatmates here so far, out of 7 flatmates. I’m the eighth. There’s Ricky from China, who’s really sweet, and Mamiko from Japan who I’ve only met once, but very quickly.
The night trains pass by. It sounds amazing.
Tomorrow, Alfred and I are going to see A Drowned Man, an immersive theatre piece by PunchDrunk, who created New York City’s Sleep No More, which is amazeballs. I’m so excited. I get to wear a mask!
I’ll probably have time to go for a run tomorrow too! Sweet!