Aeneid

Today was one of those days where it’s kinda hard to find anything positive to write about. That’s not to say the day wasn’t good. I just didn’t do much of anything and then I went to a show. I left feeling kinda meh, but that’s not the shows fault. It was really great.

Tonight we saw another Fringe production, The Aeneid. An interesting revamp of the story of Aeneas of Troy and his quest to found Rome. The show follows a group of players as they prepare to perform Aeneid in ancient Rome. Aeneas speaks through the character of Aenin, allowing her to create a new and unique translation of his past life. However things become a bit difficult when she develops feelings for Diana, the actress playing Dido who was Aeneas’ lover. The two wish to change history and make it so Aeneas and Dido live happily ever after, but the world desires chaos and it can’t be the perfect dream we all wish it could be.

I was really intrigued by this show. I was really impressed to discover that it came from Improv theater. The show started out with the actors and the designers just making things up as they went along as it slowly formed into the show we saw tonight. It was made very similar to a production of Romeo and Juliet I had done last summer, where we had a structure for the scenes and improvised. (Everyone lived in our production) At some points it was fairly obvious that the actors were just making things up, but they still had an incredible production! I had a few knit picky things that I didn’t like, but over all it was a great show.

The ending was moving and crushing, which I feel would’ve been clearer if the audience had a stronger knowledge of Roman theater. The Romans were obsessed with sacrifices and on stage murders, fights, etc. So none of the fighting or killing in plays were fake. People were murdered for entertainment. At the end of the performance of Aeneid, Turnus and Aeneas must fight to the death. In Ancient Rome, that would’ve been a real fight where the actor playing Turnus would actually die. Knowing this makes the ending of the show that much more heartbreaking. It’s not just a role for the actor/actress to play, it was their death sentence.

The show was very entertaining and moving. Definitely an interesting view for anyone who has the chance to see it.

Children of the Bog

Today we spent the day at Causey Farm.

We started by arriving at the farm and wandering around to visit all the animals. There were pigs, cows, sheep, and donkeys! I even got to milk a cow and feed a baby pig. We watched and attempted to assist in sheep herding, but that didn’t quite work out as the sheep leapt over the farmer to escape our human wall.

We then went off to learn how to make Irish Soda bread (Which was great), how to Irish dancing, and how to play the Baron (an Irish drum that I’m seriously considering learning). But nothing could compare to the last thing we did.

Near the end of the day, we got in a trailer and drove out to a nearby bog. We then were given the choice to jump into said bog, and boy did we ever! I had so much fun jumping into this mysterious mud and turf. There wasn’t anything super special about it. It was just fun to jump in with all my friends and roll around like a bunch of small children! Those of us who jumped in really bonded and became “The Bog People”! We all had a blast, that is until we had to go back to the farm and wash the bog off which proved more difficult than we anticipated.

Causey Farm was a wonderful experience and I only wish we had had time to do more! Everything felt a bit rushed, but it was still loads of fun!

Adaptability

So after picking up the missing remnants of my life after a night on the town, I figured I wanted to do something with my day and not sit around. Thankfully, I had some people who had the same idea. So Olivia, Noelle, and I headed out for an afternoon of thrift shopping and lush before seeing our show for the evening.

I managed to get a few things I needed/wanted; sweatshirt, lighter jacket, cute clothes, headphones, etc. We had lunch out in-between shops and that was when we realized that it was Culture Night! The night we had been warned about from our acting professor (It gets crazy stupid busy with tourists). As we went to Lush (where I appreciated their musical theater names on some of the products) and Tiger (where I got new headphones!), it was getting closer to the time we needed to go to the show. I had previously thought it was at 7 (no idea why), but it turns out that it was at 6:30 so we had to book it back to our flats in order to change and leave. We made it back, changed, and rushed to the theater (adding Lennox to our party) just in time! It turns out that our reservations weren’t for that evenings performance. Apparently we were meant to be there on Sunday…so that was a disappointment and waste of my panicked energy.

I wasn’t ready to go back (I had put on nicer clothes so I didn’t just wanna go back to my flat) so we decided to eat out and buy groceries. On our way, we noticed that Christ Church was open with free admission for Culture Night so, of course, we had to go in! It was beautiful! I wish there had been less people and I could’ve walked slower, but you take what you get when there’s free admission on an extremely popular evening. We walked through the beautiful church until we found our way to the exit, through the crypt. It was a beautiful church and I would love to go back for a quieter time inside.

We then decided to stop for dinner at The Beer Market. It was great to sit and talk with just a few people instead of having a horde of us in such a tiny place. We stopped for groceries on our way back and then returned to our flats for the evening. I did some much needed cleaning and just spent a nice evening to myself.

Tomorrow is Causey Farm and jumping in bogs!

Cooking and dancing

Writing is hard.

After a day of fun classes and getting our student IDs, we had some time before our show of the evening to have a cooking class! We learned how to cook some traditional and modern Irish dishes and it was a blast. I met a few new people and we spent 2 fun filled hours learning how to make scones, soup, and interesting deserts. It was so great and really rewarding to eat some delicious food that we made ourselves. Even though we had to rush out, it was still a wonderful opportunity!

We ran out after the class and hopped in a cab to hurry to our next event, watching The Humours of Bandon. I know I’ve said this a few times already, but this show was incredible! Another one woman show performed by an extremely talented performer. It was the story of a girl growing up in the Irish dancing community and figuring out who she’s really dancing for. The incorporation of dance into the acting was simple and done to progress the plot, but not labor the performance. It was almost more emotional to watch her dance her heart out while at the same time berating herself through the voice of another character. It was gorgeous and moving and, once again, incredibly relatable! The first show we gave a standing ovation to, if that tells you anything.

A Childhood Dream Come True

I don’t even know how to write about this since I’m still processing it myself.

Let’s start at the beginning.

So the day started out fairly…eh? We had a 10-5 acting class which was great, but really exhausting. After that I spent time with my flatmate before heading off to see another show, The Wickedness of Oz. It was a great, one woman show written by a GSA grad. It was funny, moving, and, as my friends put it, relatable! It was great, but it wasn’t even the best part of my night!

After the show, we were heading home when I saw a small group of people standing at an intersection. I glanced over at them, as one does, and I realized that one of them looked familiar. Even though my friends were walking away, I made a bold decision to ask the man a pretty silly question.

“Excuse me. Are you Paul Byrom?” “Yes.” and that’s the last comprehensive thing I remember.

The next few minutes of conversation were a blur as my mind ran at a million miles a second. I didn’t know where to start or what to say. Everything felt surreal. This was a man I had listened to for most of my high school career. I had fantasized about performing “That’s a Woman” with him and Ryan Kelly, I cried listening to his voice on more than one occasion, and I giggled when I watched videos of him and the other members of Celtic Thunder performing on stage. Not to mention the drawings in my notebook, the embarrassing fan fiction, and the terrible edits I made of him and the other members.

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Here’s an example of an edit I made in 2010. Sorry not sorry

Paul and the other members of Celtic Thunder had seemed like the most unattainable celebrities I knew about. I never thought that I would just find him one day on the streets of Dublin!

He was such a gentleman and was very patient when I was trying to express myself to him. I’m sure I looked like a frantic child, but he was really sweet and listened to me as I rambled. He introduced me to his wife, who I feel really bad for mostly ignoring (Sorry, Dominique). She was very beautiful and offered to take a photo of us together.  After an embarrassing few moments of having to teach them how to use my phone, I finally got a beautiful picture of us together. I told him I was studying at Gaiety and he wished me luck. We hugged and then I headed back home with the few friends who patiently waited for me. I’m sure they were really tired of me talking about him by the time we got back to our flats, but I really appreciate them being their with me.

And yes…I did cry.

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Quality Time

It’s good to spend time alone, but it can also be good to spend time with people you haven’t seen in a while.

During lunch today I had to finish a group project, but then I went off on my own because I didn’t have anything else to do. I decided to go by IES early and just hang out. When I arrived, I was greeted by Jackie who gave me a prize for a photo contest we held! I was the only one who entered the category I submitted a photo for, but I’m still pretty excited about my win! I’ve had a pretty lucky two days.

I mentioned that I was killing time before class and Jackie invited me downstairs to join her and the other IES leaders for lunch! Even though I had already eaten, I still wanted to spend time with them. I’m sure they were tired of hearing me talk by the end of it, but it was so great to sit and chat with them in a more private setting. I got to catch them up on my life a bit and I even learned more about them!

Unfortunately all good things must end and I had to go upstairs for my class. Once that was over, the rest of my evening was just spent on my own making dinner and watching youtube videos. Nothing terribly exciting, but it was a good way to end the day.

O’Shea’s

The universe always knows just what you need, sometimes you just have to give it time. Tonight the universe was looking out for me.

The day started off fairly dull. No class because our teacher couldn’t make it this Monday. So the morning/afternoon was spent at Gaiety reading By the Bog of Cats by Marina Carr. After that emotionally distressing time, we walked back and I did a little bit of shopping. The walk back definitely gave my thoughts time to catch up with me. It’s hard to be on your own in a new country with new friends. Especially when you’re not super close and you don’t know how much they actually like you. Sure it may be clear most of the time, but emotions are a funny thing an you never know when they’ll do a complete 180 on you.

So my day wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t looking that great. After a quick meeting for a group project, I spent the afternoon in my room until we went down for a special Travel Workshop with Andy Steves. Travel tips and free pizza! What more could you ask for? How about winning the raffle for a free signed copy of Andy’s book? Because I won that! It definitely took me by surprise, but I’m beyond excited to have this book! Now I’ll know all the great ins and outs of traveling through Europe!

So after that, we headed out for our second show, This Beach. Lets just say it was a very thought provoking piece. That lead to MANY confused conversations afterwards. And what better place to analyze a confusing show than a pub? Off to O’Shea’s, our new favorite local pub. Monday night also happened to be Set dancing night! What could be better than grabbing a pint of Bulmers and watching a lot of cute old Irish people dancing traditional set dances? Joining them of course! Many of the people in our group were more than happy join in. I was even invited for a set of partner dances which was so fun! If you have the chance to go to a pub and dance with old Irish men, DO IT! Even if you have no clue what you’re doing, they’ll be more than happy to teach you. I even had a chat with a German girl afterwards who was visiting Ireland! Olivia and I definitely found our new Monday night tradition.

Characters Seen from Flat 83 #2

When you live where the slightly sketchy part of Dublin is in your backyard, you see some pretty interesting characters. It’s like your own personal television show and just as entertaining. These were seen the other night and aren’t as many as the first post, but they’re definitely worth mentioning.

It’s the Characters Seen from Flat 83

  • At the start of the evening, we were graced with the very lovely sight of dogs playing in the dog park. We all love dogs (Don’t walk with us unless you’re willing to listen to us squeal about every dog we see). I began to take note of how the dogs were playing. It went from being playful to…kind of aggressive. The dogs seemed to be actually fighting each other, but none of the owners seemed to pay any mind. After fighting, playing, and attempting to hump each other, the dogs and their owners made their way home. The biggest plot twist was that one man owned two dogs and the other two men only had one of them.
  • I never thought I would be sexually harassed by children…and then I came to Ireland. This was the second instance of it (Feel free to ask me about the first if you’re curious). As we were watching, we noticed a group of boys coming to the dog park. We figured it was the delinquents from before, coming to vandalize more of the construction area. Thankfully it wasn’t. Just a few boys who had come to play football in the dog park. All was going well, but then they started to take of their shirts. Nothing wrong with that. It gets hot when you play football…even though it was around 60 degrees outside. But then the lads started to take of their pants as well. Getting a bit uncomfortable now. I would’ve let it slide if they didn’t proceed to hip thrust and shout at our building. That was when I decided to close the blinds and call it quits for the evening. Being harassed by 12 year olds is definitely where I draw the line.
  • Throughout the first half of the evening, I began to notice something strange happening in a building across from us. It was a large building with 3 floors of large windows. All of them were on at the start of the evening, but they really caught my attention when the second floor began to flicker. I tried to point it out to my flatmates, but they didn’t seem to see it. Another moment past and I looked over to see the entire building was dark. The lights flickered on for a moment before once again going dark. Cue the Stranger Things theme

And so concluded our evening with the Characters Seen from Flat 83. Tune in next time when we observe more mysteries and oddities that make up our home away from home.

Bray/Greystones Exploring

Sorry I didn’t post for the last few days. Literally nothing eventful happened until today! So here we go!

Today I finally left my flat and left Dublin (kinda). While everyone else went to Northern Ireland for the weekend, my flatmates had the idea to go to Bray to walk the cliffside path to Greystones. It was such a wonderful time with just 4 of us (myself, two of my flatmates, and another friend of ours). It started off a bit windy and rainy, but that didn’t last very long. The wind followed us from Bray to Greystones, but we made it just the same! We stuck mostly to the path, but there were a few moments where I decided to explore. For a person who hates the outdoors as much as I do, I really love exploring! Once I’m on a hill/mountain/whatever, I would be totally content to just explore and find hidden paths and climb on boulders.

Found this house where they used to charge people to go through. I climbed up the stairs to find that the whole top of the hillside was burned away! I have so many questions.

This was another mysterious pathway! It seemed to go all the way up the hill, but we stopped at a little viewing area where you could see all the way to Greystone (About 4 km away at this point).

The cliffside was nothing short of gorgeous with beautiful views everywhere you looked. We weren’t able to go to the Happy Pear (the line was way too long for any of us) so we stopped at the Baker’s table (I think) instead! Still really great and I had a kids meal because I am a child. After that we returned home for an evening of Jessica Jones, meeting with our RA, and the X Factor.

Loving every moment

Irish Dancing

Another day, Another class.

I really enjoyed watching a scene I helped create. It reminded me of what it was like to direct, even if it was just a tiny bit. However next time I’d like to act instead.

After the class, we all set out for the afternoon. Some went home and others lingered near IES to be ready for a class in Irish Dancing that evening!

We returned to IES for the class which was spent laughing and dancing as we all attempted to grasp some pieces of Irish dance! Patrick was a very patient and encouraging teacher and we all enjoyed the time together again. It felt like being reunited with old friends (even though it had been less than a week since we had last seen the writing students).

After class and free pizza, we all returned home. The evening ended with friends and food. Lets hope we’re still able to move our legs tomorrow! I’m too tired to write this well…