Thanksgiving

So today was Thanksgiving. Since I’m in Ireland, no one really celebrates it here. It’s always nice to have the locals wish us happy thanksgiving, but it’s not the same as sitting down for the giant meal at 3 in the afternoon after spending all morning preparing and watching the Thanksgiving day parade! Now I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving due to it’s historical context, but I appreciate it for the idea of being thankful for what you have.

Thankfully, IES had us covered.

Tonight we all got together for a wonderful Thanksgiving Potluck. It was the first time in a while that IES, GSA, and Trinity students all got together in a long time. We all got together after our classes and sat down for our full fledged Thanksgiving meal. Sure it wasn’t exactly like home, but it was great for almost everyone’s first Thanksgiving away from home. A lot of us were a bit homesick, thinking about all the food we usually made and all the traditions we had, but tonight was fantastic anyway.

We all got to go around and say what we were thankful for as we ate our piles of food. This is what I said:

I’m thankful for my family, of course. I’m thankful for my IES parents. For my teachers both at home and here. I’m thankful for my time in Ireland and all the crazy experiences I’ve had because of it that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Of course I said more (I tend to babble), but that’s the main idea of it.

I hope you all have a safe and lovely Thanksgiving if you celebrate it. I also want to send love and support to the people of Standing Rock. I wish there was a better way I could help in your constant fight for your rights, but for now I want you to know that we are standing with you in your fight from all the way here in Dublin.

Happy Thanksgiving

Test Dummy

Last night we were able to see another show for school. This time it was Test Dummy by Caitriona Daly and Theatre Upstairs.

It was such an interesting abstract piece of theater following the sexual history of the main character.

Usually when we see pieces like this, the character can play the victim card and give off this “woe is me” sort of vibe. This show was the opposite. It showed what this woman had experienced and how she had grown from it. The author wanted to portray a character who wasn’t just society’s views of a victim or a slut or prude, but all of them in whatever form she wanted. We got to hear her story and almost every girl in the audience heard a piece that they recognized herself in. I thought that was so important. No two people’s sexual experiences are the same, but all of them are valid in whatever way they feel.

One thing that bothered me didn’t come from the show itself, but my classmate’s reaction to the play. He said how it was victimizing and how he was tired of hearing those stories. I can understand that view and I think it’s valid, but I want to suggest one thing. It’s easy to say that sort of thing when it doesn’t really effect you. Sure, we don’t always like talking about our sexual history and how we were sexually assaulted in one form or another, but this show did it in a way that was so refreshing that it didn’t make people feel like victims. I’m not trying to make it seem like I know what’s going on in his head, but that comment definitely made me uncomfortable.

But I digress.

The show was wonderful and thought provoking and I’d really love to see it again so I could try to understand everything. Caitriona’s writing was so abstract that I got lost at times, but I would eventually find my way back. It’d definitely be easier to do that if I could hear it  a few times. All in all, a wonderful piece that talked about a familiar topic in a unique way!

The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire

Let me tell you a story of a girl with a dream!

At the start of this year, Danisnotonfire and amazingphil announced the dates for the TATINOF USA tour! I was in Ohio at the time attending my university. I checked the dates for the tour because surely I would be able to see two of my favorite youtubers live for the first time ever! But it was not to be! When they were in Florida (where I’m from), I was in Ohio, and when I was in Florida, they were in Ohio. I was so upset, but there was nothing to be done but continue with life.

Fast forward to last month! Dan and Phil once again announced that they were going on tour, this time in Dublin and right down the street from my school! I was sure this would be the time I’d get to see them, but again no luck. Instead of going ahead and buying the ticket, I decided to wait (like an idiot). By the time I checked again, the tickets were all sold out and there was no way for me to get one. Once again, I was upset. But I still had one last chance.

Fast forward again to last night, the day Dan and Phil came to Dublin! I got out of class, ran home, grabbed my wallet, and headed to the Olympia for one last chance of getting a ticket. I hoped that someone might cancel or be a no show, but the ticket man told me they didn’t resell tickets. “You have a better chance at finding Father Christmas than getting a ticket to this show.”

I’m pretty confident that Santa exists now.

After waiting outside the box office for 2 hours, a magical woman appeared with 1 ticket that she wanted to sell. (PS the box office guy told me about her beforehand so I knew she was legit). 37 Euros and one wasted order of chips later and I was in the theater to see TATINOF!! 3 really is my lucky number!

The show was an absolute delight! It was fun. It was goofy. It was Dan and Phil. Now it wasn’t a perfect show. To be honest it was hard to turn off my theater student brain, but I really enjoyed it. It was so impressive to see that these two goons that I had been watching develop and grow since 2007 create and put on this full length stage show!(I probably started watching closer to 2009 since I joined youtube a little after they did) You could definitely tell that they knew who their (current) audience was (young teenagers) because they geared the show towards them. I definitely applaud them for knowing their audience. I don’t think I expected much from these guys since it was their first live thing, but I was really impressed. You could definitely see the time and hard work they put into the show!

Side note: During the pre-show, they played music that I assume Dan and Phil had chosen. At one point they played Black Parade and everyone in the audience sang the opening chorus with great passion. But as soon as the verses started, the crowd was basically silent. That’s the moment I knew i was probably the oldest person in the audience who wasn’t a mom.

Catching up: The good, the bad, and the ugly

I should go to bed, but here I am writing a post after over a month of not posting anything (sorry about that).

So here are some best moments from London until now! Strap in kiddies! This is a long one lol

1. London

So after our first showcase (which was great even though only a few people came), we went to London to see shows and be in London! The trip was great and it was so good to experience theater in yet another country! Some of the shows we saw included Labyrinth by Beth Steel, The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey, and Waiting for Waiting for Godot by Dave Hanson. Each one was unique and a really special piece of theater. We went on the London Eye, visited the Globe, and went to the British Museum!

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And that was just with the IES group!

After they left, I went to stay with my family since I had an entire week off. (In hindsight I wish I had traveled a bit more in that week, but that’s ok!) I spent each day exploring a different area/place in London that I had always dreamed of. The first day I visited the Tower of London where my ancestor had been held for opposing King Henry VIII. That same day I also visited London Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Buckingham Palace. That’s right! I was within a mile of the Queen! Be jelly lol no one says that anymore. However, since I had had a late start thanks to my lovely cousins, by the time I got to Buckingham Palace it was dark and far too late to see the soldiers, but that’s alright! I got my exercise in for that week lol.

The next day I decided that I was going to visit the National Gallery. It was so amazing to see some of my favorite paintings as well as some new favorites. Afterwards I decided to check out Sea Life Aquarium (huge disappointment. don’t bother).

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The next day I visited Hampton Court Palace with my aunt and cousins since it was just down the street from where they lived! It was great to spend the day with them.

The next day was probably the most important one to my inner child. I started the day by going to see my Uncle’s rehearsal for Kiss Me Kate (yes professional theater! The big leagues, boys!) It was so great to see a professional rehearsal of something I’m working towards doing. After that I made my way to 221B Baker Street! I was going to the home of a character I’ve been obsessed with since I was a child! Me and my sister used to pretend to be Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I was Sherlock, of course, even though I knew next to nothing about him at the time I still loved it! It was a really exciting experience to finally go to Baker Street after years of dreaming about it. After that I headed down to King’s Cross Station, making a pit stop at the national library on the way. I found the way to platform 9 3/4 and got my picture! It was all totally worth it and I had a blast!

The next day was spent exploring different gardens. The first one was Syon park. tbh it was kind of disappointing. The house apparently belonged to someone important and had a lot of cool art, but it was closed for a wedding so I had to go in the garden which wasn’t that exciting. After that I went to Kew Gardens and Kew Palace (Can you tell I’m more excited by the history than the plants? lol). This time I got to learn about King George III (Awesome. Wow.) and his later life when he started to go mad. I’m pretty sure at one point I may have met the ghost of Queen Charlotte since I was within touching distance of where she died, but maybe I’m just crazy.

My last day in London I decided to spend it with my family before my flight. It was so fun and I miss them all so much!

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2. The start of GSA

So almost immediately after coming home (by home I mean Dublin) I started my training at the Gaiety School of Acting. The road so far has been a very intense and exciting experience. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s also been exposing me to a lot of Irish Theater. I was gonna make a post for each one, but I’ll do little snippets here and then maybe do separate posts for the ones I liked best.

  • Donegal

Lets talk about our first disappointment. Donegal is a play with music about an Irish musical family from Donegal and their struggles to stay hip with the kids. Staring Dolly Parton knock off, the American stereotype, and the cast of wasted potential. This review’s a bit harsh, but it was such a disappointment after the hype of it being the premier of a new Frank McGuinness play in the National Theater. So yeah. Not the best play…musical…play with music.

  • Death at the Interval

This was definitely a more interesting piece. Death at the Interval follows Death who falls in love with a pianist and decides to stop being death for a while to prove her love for him or something like that. It was a really compelling piece and it held my attention and interest! (It’s just been so long that I can’t really make a good review for it lol)

  • Alien Documentary

This was a really interesting piece. It was very much a slice of life piece involving a group of crew members as they set up a set for this girl’s poetry slam/music show. The interactions between the actors was so natural and real. It really felt like you were just watching a group of guys having a chat on stage.

  • The Remains of Maisie Duggan

I’ve already written a review of this play cause I loved it THAT much! Go check it out.

  • Venom So Sweet

This was a really interesting piece that no one seemed to like but me. It was surprisingly set in America and followed a fake preacher as he scams his way around the west in like the 1800s or so. I really enjoyed it because it had a lot of elements similar to Phantasmagoria, a theater troupe I love back in the states. All of the music and technical aspects happened on stage. It was very small and in your face (which was definitely a bit difficult enjoy). But I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed how the demon ladies helped with the storyline as much as the lead actor did. No show is perfect of course, but I like this one a lot.

  • God Has No Country

After Halloween and Paris/Berlin (I’ll get to that in a minute), we went to see God Has No Country. This was a play created by one of the tudors at GSA. It’s the story of Hugh O’Flaherty, an Irish Priest who helped keep people safe during WWII. It was a one man show and it was really enjoyable. I got to learn more about a very specific part of a history that I was relatively familiar with.

  • The Best Place for Love

And now we come to our most recent disappointment. This play is about a couple, an artist and an actress, and their lives together. This play was all over the place. It was awkward, it was boring, and it really didn’t feel like anyone actually cared enough about it’s success. There weren’t auditions involved, the director just picked actors he liked instead of seeing how they work with his characters. The actress playing the actress was bland and awkward. When asked about her process she said that she felt lost and that the director/writer said to go with that. It didn’t work at all. There was supposed to be all this sexual tension or something, but there was nothing there. The most enjoyable actor only got to be on stage for about 5 minutes.

 

3. Halloween

I felt like my halloween lasted for the entire weekend. Each day was a different reason to dress up and go out. First day we saw the Rocky Horror Picture show, which is always a good time! The next day we went to the Bram Stoker Festival. First we enjoyed time in the park and then we saw Bleedin’ Deadly that evening! I’ve never seen a freak show before, but it was such an exciting experience. Probably one of the most stressful hours of my life, but totally enjoyable! lol the next day (Halloween) we went to see the Macnas parade! It was so cool to see all the creative large scale puppets. It was another thing to remind me of Phantasmagoria and I loved it!

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4. Berlin and Paris

I was so blessed to be able to do this next trip. We had a midterm break and I got to spend it in Berlin and Paris! I’ll try to make this kinda short.

I started in Berlin! I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do and thankfully I went on a free walking tour to help me see the city. I basically got to see everything one might see in Berlin; The Brandenburg Gate, The memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, Hitler’s bunker, The Berlin wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and Gendarmenmarkt. After the tour I joined forces with a few other people who became my new friends on this trip. We headed to the Palace of Tears, the Memorial for the murdered jews of Europe museum, and the Topography of Terror.

The next day (my last day in Berlin), we decided to take a tour of Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp just outside of Berlin. It was a really emotional and eye opening experience for me. You learn all about these camps in school, but you never really know what they’re like until you visit one. It was a different camp than Auschwitz, which we didn’t visit, but it was just as intense. When we got back we started with a walk in the park behind the Brandenburg Gate. We also saw a few museums, but we didn’t go into any sadly.

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I then made my way to Paris! I took an overnight train from Berlin to Mannheim to Paris! The first thing I did after checking into my hostel was going to the Louvre! I wanted to get it out of the way so I didn’t spend a long time in it the next day and waste the day. I ended up spending the entire day there lol. I really enjoyed it and it was so great to actually be in in such a historical museum. After that I had to charge my phone and then I went out again for an evening in Paris. I decided to go to Notre Dame just to see it. I didn’t plan on doing that at first, but I’m so glad I did. First off it was beautiful. I got to go inside and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so moved to be in a church. It was another place I had dreamed of since childhood and being there in person was just incredible. I sat in on mass and I cried. Of course I would cry on my first visit to Notre Dame. It was stunning and I wish I could live there.

The next day I had a full day of traveling and sight seeing planned. I visited and climbed Sacre-Coeur, saw Moulin Rouge, went into the Paris Catacombs, climbed the towers of Notre Dame, went to Shakespeare and Co, visited the Arc de Triomphe, and went to the top of the Eiffel Tower! It was freezing and wonderful and I loved every minute of my time in Paris!

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5. CHRISTMAS!!!

Guys Christmas is coming to Dublin! It’s wonderful because there’s no Thanksgiving in-between so I can start celebrating whenever I want! We went to the Christmas light…lighting on Grafton street and even though we didn’t see the whole thing, it was still magical! I am so excited for Christmas and I really feel like I need it right now.

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So there you have it! All caught up! Congrats if you made it through this entire post! You get a special best friend bonus read! The not so happy times that I feel like I need to express! Yay! If you are only here for the joys of Ireland, feel free to stop reading.

In all honesty, things have kinda gone downhill emotionally for me since…around Halloween? a little before. I’ve started noticing things pertaining to GSA and how the students interact. Particularly the divide between the GSA kids and the IES kids…at least in my class. I’ve been told that the other group isn’t like that which really hurts me. This may sound really selfish and whiney, but hey that’s who I am at this point. I’ve noticed that no one really seems to give a shit about me. I’ll go into a room and sit down and everyone who comes in after me will sit on the opposite end of the room. They always sit in a group and have a conversation that I’m never a part of. I’ll look on snapchat and see them all together having a good time and I’ll have heard nothing about it. I feel like I’ve been dragged back into high school where I’m the weird outsider kid who no one wants to talk to but my one friend. Except this time I don’t have that one friend. It’s just me. I try and try so hard to be included and they don’t seem to care. One day I missed warm up and I mentioned it to a girl in my class and she said “Really? Cause it felt like we were all there” and that has stuck with me and I hate it. I’ve had dozens of people offer solutions; invite everyone out to a show and drinks, try befriending the Irish students more(who are the problem), be genuine to everyone. But my favorite piece of advice has come from a girl in the IES group. I don’t remember what the context was (something having to do with our super secret project) and she said “If you haven’t made any friends at this point, I’m sorry, but that’s your own damn fault.”. That’s right. It’s all my fault. Sorry, not all of us can go up and immediately befriend to every rando we bump into on the street.

I’ve come to accept the stupid truth that I am no ones first choice. Ever. “OH BUT LOGAN DONT SAY THAT ID PICK YOU FIRST YOUR MY BFFFFFL HAVE SOME FLOWERS YOU BEAUTIFUL HUMAN” ok chill. No. If you’re saying or thinking that now you’re only saying it because I’ve told you that I’m not. I pay attention to the darnedest things you know. Like how I can’t think of a single person who would think to pick first. I know that’s a vague term, but its the only way I can think to describe it. I can make a list for every person I know of who they would pick before me. So yeah. I appreciate your sentiments, but you don’t need to blow smoke up my ass to make me feel good. It just reminds me of everyone you’d chose to be with besides me.

So yes. That’s where I’m at right now. Alone. Except for the few people I’ve already expressed my feelings to. But, as you may have guessed from the last paragraph, I’m not super trusting with them right now. Sorry to be all “no way out of this hellhole” Debbie Downer on you, but that’s where I’m at right now. Maybe some day I’ll find someone who considers me their BFF genuinely and wants to spend time with me, but right now it feels like I’m pulling teeth just to get someone to talk to me.

So congrats! You made it through the depressing part! You get the Best Friend award for reading all my bullshit. Sorry for the language in this post, but hey! Trying to be so positive is kinda hard right now! I hope you all are having a better semester than I am. I’ll try to get back to the daily posts, but I’ve been super busy so it’s hard to say. We’ll see. Hope you enjoyed this catch up post! Hope it wasn’t too boring.