Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Something for Everyone, a Comedy Tonight!

April 14th-15th, 2014

Yesterday was the night of the Smile High Club, and show number 11 of my 10 show challenge! Oddly it was also the first show purchased at the top of the semester, but better late than never.

My actor friend and I went over to this 9 o'clock performance to arrive thirty minutes early so they'd count our reservations. The Smile High Club is where they bring in guest comedians who have ranged from performers from Comedy Central to MTV, and a bunch of other cool brand names in the middle. Only expectation: laugh till I can't breathe, take a deep breath, and do it again.

It let out at midnight--longer than I expected, but fun and we definitely got our money's worth--and they had more comics come up than I've fingers on my hands. Some were really good! Others overly raunchy. Others just had their moments. There was no one who couldn't get us to laugh at least once, though, and each one of their bits lasted 5-10 minutes. For some reason there were maybe 5 other people in the audience from the US, everyone else ranged from Canada to Sweden in nationality. The host was from NJ, so we had a moment of bonding over that--I even got a laugh out of the audience, so I'm gonna count that as a win.

One of my favorite comics was a very tall woman who had a rant about how she didn't dress up as much as others, but when she did, people would frequently make comments like:

Friend: Oh my god! You look amazing--I didn't recognize you!

Her: Thank you...?

So once she'd been in this bar but left her makeup at home, and a very drunk girl came up and said:

Drunk: You kinda look like my ex-boyfriend...

Rude to say of course, but the comedian let her down easy.

Her: Well, you've gotten fat since we broke up.

Overall a good night and nice weather to walk in!

While on weather, bummer for all you folk who got Random Snow this week. NYC doesn't have that problem, although it did rain today and the wind was not having it with umbrellas.

I've still been trying to practice through my sales pitch, and hopefully that'll be put to good use very soon, and reading some more manuscripts. I found another I really like, so we'll see what happens with it!

Meanwhile, my supervisor seems to have been chatting with some of her publishing friends about me--HOW COOL!

I've scheduled a meeting with one of them from Orbit Books for next week. The other one I'll be back in the city some time early in the summer and arrange a meeting with her, which is way super exciting. It makes the end of my program seem less final, because I'm making contacts here that'll give me a reason to come back, you know? I just got to keep it up at least until I graduate in December--there might be hope for me in a job market somewhere, yet!

And tonight on the docket: Teen Wolf and Chinese takeout! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Slightly Less than Productive

April 9th-April 13th, 2014

I decided that I needed a change in atmosphere to try and get more headway into my final project for the program, and so I called up my mom to announce I'd be coming home this weekend.

She said that the weekend would be gorgeous--so meet her at the beach!


I did not get very much work done. But I did enjoy the weather, food, location, and company. Plus, it was certainly a relaxing weekend, which is lovely. And happy Palm Sunday for those who celebrate it! I look forward to it every year. Because the church gets armloads of palm branches that I can fold up into crosses. I do about twenty of them compulsively through the service, show a few curious folk how to make their own, and hand out the rest until I go home with only one, or none. The pastor saw my trove of palm crosses after church and announced in good humor that I have a problem. Which is possible.

Wednesday was my last day at Torn Page studios. There was not much to be done, but collect evaluation forms and try to see if they need my help with any other last things before the evening was out. I ended up doing some dishes that had been left in the communal sink from the night before. Mundane, but I'm glad to be helpful, and I still got out early.

DAW had me working on my sales pitch to the editors about a manuscript I love. I got feedback on my write up for it, and will practice it for the supervisor in a pretend-round next week before the editors hear it. I pretty much have to give the highlights, and be familiar enough with the story that I can answer any question about it, and know a good bit of background on the authors too, if I can. I have to have a summary, and tell whether the story is standalone, or in a series, what to expect in the coming series, what will need to be edited that was less than grand, etc. This is absolutely going in my portfolio when I'm done with it, and I'm really excited to talk about this manuscript! Even though another big publisher already bought it, fun fact. But the editor said that just means I picked a good manuscript, so I'll count that as a win.

While I'm practicing my pitch in my free time, the other intern and I did get to have the big Q&A with the editor, and had lunch in her office. A lot of our questions pertained to how scheduling a season works, what factors need to be decided in the line up, how does an editor gauge how much time he or she has to devote to new authors, etc. The editor is supposed to be that person who looks at a manuscript and says bluntly "this thing doesn't work, so how about you try...?" To which the author needs to respond something along the lines of: "Hmm. Actually, that reminds me of something else we can try that might work even better!" And so on and so forth. It was really interesting to get her talking about her personal experience in the field, and even though that was the official Q&A, we're 100% free to come in and ask her questions if we think of more.

I tied up the weekend with a walk on the High Line with one of my housemates--the actor from my school. It was a coat-less night, despite the wind, and there weren't a ton of people out, and the city was all lit up on the water--it was really cool. I'd never been there at night, and all those wacky architecturally designed apartments were more visible than I thought they'd be, and actually took on some new "personality" with all their lights on against the dark. And now I can say I've walked from one end of the High Line to the other! It actually isn't that much farther than I'd walked on it before, I'd just somehow only stayed in the middle of the walk every time before. Now I know.

On for this week: the Smile High Comedy Club with the actor friend; pretend to sell a manuscript to DAW editors; work on final writing project; don't die.

It's a good list. I like that list.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fingers Crossed

April 7th-8th, 2014

I've definitely gone through over twenty manuscripts from the slush pile throughout the whole semester. That does not include "priority manuscripts" or books I've read on my own. That's kind of awesome.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not a super reader--I've only read the entire manuscript of a few books, and usually get to around page 100 before I write a report, or some I only get past page 20. It really varies.

On Monday I was invited to an Ohio Wesleyan promotion meet and greet of students, alumni, and prospective students from the New York City area. An alum who is now in a fancy PR company that did publicity for the last three Harry Potter books played host all the way up on the 28th floor, and giant glass windows that overlooked 7th and Broadway. I actually went because they asked me to and I heard there'd be snacks, but the view was pretty nice too, even in the rain.

Not that I should be surprised that NYC turns out future thespians, but several of the prospective students were interested in studying theatre, and at least one of them is definitely coming to the school next semester. They spent a lot of time talking to me about the NYArts Program and campus and transportation in Ohio and all that. The funny thing really was that the girl I was talking to was a prospective student overnight to one of my friends. We sent her a picture entitled "LOOK WHO I MET". --Okay fine that story isn't very interesting, but I was entertained, and this is my blog. So I'm gonna share it anyway.

Really what this week amounts to for me is serious crunch time. Evaluations are due tomorrow, projects are due in less than two weeks. I'm trying to do my sales pitch for a manuscript tomorrow!

In a program without exams or classes: Welcome to Finals.

I'm also planning to go home this weekend for an intensive independent writing workshop. That also means I'm tempting fate that my laundry and last pair of socks holds out so I can bring all my dirty clothes with me. We'll see. Fingers crossed--on so many things!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


April 4th-6th, 2014

You see what I did there? Because last weekend's post was DC? Heh. If you don't get it you don't read comic books, and that's alright, too.

Besides that, Friday was the release of the second Captain America movie, Winter Soldier. No spoilers, but my inner fangirl broke out in an excited squee when the teaser clips after the credits rolled. I freaking love superheroes. During one of the earlier fight sequences in the movie, I also realized I was the only one who seemed to be vocally reacting to the genius of the fight choreography, so I thought it'd be in my better interests to stop.

I tend to watch superhero movies like sports fans watch the Super Bowl.

Refraining from yelling "YES! TAKE HIM DOWN!" at the most American uppercut you'll ever see did not stop me from shaking my roommate at key moments throughout the movie to make sure we were on the same page of crazyawesomefandom excitement. I'm glad she was cool with it or that could've been awkward for the both of us.

Saturday was it's own series of adventures. I walked down to Beeker Street, which is a very lovely, bustling place in the nice weather, and also where the Magnolia Bakery is located--huge tourist trap, and from what I understand, it's with good reason because their cupcakes are legendary. If I ever make it back there and brave the line, I will definitely let y'all know if those rumors are true.

I walked to Amy's Bread and met up with a woman who once worked for Penguin, but now works for Simon and Schuster. She was connected to me by a mutual friend who goes to my church back home. And, she's an extremely awesome lady who not only purchased my coffee, but we chatted for a good couple of hours. She is willing to take a look at my resume and maybe send it out, too, which is amazing! There's hope I won't be jobless post graduation yet!

Later that evening, I went out to see SHOW #10, everyone! The challenge is officially met! I have seen TEN whole shows while in NYC this semester, and I'm not totally broke! Nearly, but not yet.


1. Peter and the Starcatcher 
2. The Disinherited
3. The Glass Menagerie
4. Cinderella
5. 50 Shades!
6. Aladdin
7. La Soiree (the sexy circus)
8. The Witchelor
9. Bindlestiff's Cavalcade of Youth Circus at Coney Island
10. Man of La Mancha

And I still have the comedy show that's prepaid since the first week of the semester, plus one of my friend's final performances. But let's talk about Man of La Mancha.

I went with a musically inclined housemate who plays piano, and we got balcony seats at this university in the Bronx for $12. They were some pretty good seats, actually, and the whole auditorium felt more like a Colosseum the way it was designed.
The technical design behind the show was amazing! I am forever ruined by my theatre education to notice the tech in every show I see, but truthfully I'm not complaining. This set has a drawbridge you can kind of see in this picture, it's up now, but the front is on two chains attached to the fly lines up top, so all someone has to do is lower one baton and the stairs are set down into the prison for the Spanish Inquisition to come and go as they please. 

The lighting is harder to explain, so you'll have to take my word that it was fantastic. The windmill scene, the most memorable moment from Don Quixote (this musical is based on his story, for those of you who don't know--a man who is delusional into believing he is a great knight, and the windmill scene is his thinking it an ogre and attacking it. When he loses because he was jousting a building, he swears is arch nemesis the evil sorcerer in the last minute transformed the ogre into a windmill), was executed with rotating gobos. A gobo is a metal plate with a design cut in it that you put in a light fixture so you get the lights to make shapes on stage. A rotating gobo is exactly what it sounds like, and so the windmill "wings" were actually moving around, and went out after the battle ended. 

The singing was clear and pretty, the characters enjoyable--my only distraction was the woman playing the leading lady (a whore who is mistaken by Don Quixote as a fair and virtuous highborn lady) chose a most unfortunately rigid posture for her characterization that to me didn't seem to fit. Her singing was very lovely, though her speaking held more fire than her singing.

The TECH, though!

Sunday was a beautiful, lazy day. I went to Panera with my roommate, and actually was semi productive today. Like blogging. That was good. 

The evening finished off with the final session of our World of Darkness game that ended with heroism, death, destruction, FEELS, hope, resurrection, and overall badassery. Really my roommate is a great storyteller and Game Master and I had a ton of fun. The best part about these role playing games is to play exactly how your character, flaws and all, would do it--because even though you know some of your character's actions is a mistake, it makes the game way more interesting and fun for everyone. Great game!

Here Comes the Sun Do-do-do-do

March 31st-April 3rd, 2014

Yes, there's been some drizzling but overall this week has been quite lovely and I think my sweaters will soon be more than redundant.

There was another sales meeting this week that both the other intern and I had been trying to help prep TI Sheets for last week, and there were plenty more people in there than the last time. Not that that increased how long the meeting lasted, it was still about 15-20 minutes tops.

The other intern (she looks like Anna from Frozen--even has the streak in her hair, so let's call her Anna) turned 22 over the weekend, and since everyone in the office wasn't there until Wednesday, that's when cake was ordered to officially celebrate among coworkers. Anna picked a vanilla cake with chocolate butter cream frosting and it was a good decision, even if most of my icing was scraped onto my plate. Sacrilegious, I know.

There were also two more big releases for us, both the announcement of Patrick Rothfuss's novella in his Kingkiller Chronicle series (sorry--not the third book yet!) called The Slow Regard of Silent Things featuring Auri, a side character, and her home life in the Underthing; and the announcement of a new Tad Williams trilogy from his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy universe. I've not read any Tad Williams yet, sadly, but that's supposed to be one of his most famous works and has been promptly been added to my ever-growing list.

Tad Williams (left); Patrick Rothfuss (right)*
*The novella cover hasn't been released yet

I've also been waiting for a long while to try out a food combination I'd read about in the Toby Daye series. Since my trip to the Tea and Coffee Festival, I had just the thing I needed. I had an iced coffee in my fridge, and popped off to the store for some Lucky Charms.

They were surprisingly magically delicious and breakfast has never made me more awake. My supervisor was so amused that it will be added to the social media some time in the next week. 

Sugar intake aside, the project I've got assigned from this week is to choose one of the manuscript's I've read and loved--ONE--and write up a sales pitch for it for Wednesday. Not just write it, but practice it for my supervisor and deliver it to the editor. I'd mentioned this possibility in earlier posts, but now I've got a deadline on it so it must be real. I'm so excited! And nervous! It'll be great!


March 28th-30th, 2014

There are times I instinctively look out for myself; it's a most helpful function of my subconscious. Like packing for DC the night before because I already only have time to throw in last minute items before I book it to the bus station--overshoot it by a couple blocks and an avenue--and get there with only a minute to spare. But I made it, and that's the important thing!

By 10:30, Captain Cadaver met me at Union and whisked us back to her campus via a very cheerful and oddly accented subway driver just in time for pizza and introductions.

Captain Cadaver lives with her boyfriend and his roommate--his roommate has a bow tie collection and a fez, so he will be the Doctor (as in Doctor Who), and since I first heard the Doctor refer to Captain Cadaver and her boyfriend collectively as "The Ponds" (also a Who reference), I'm changing their collective nickname to that, as well.

The weekend was pretty much rainy the whole time, but as Cap'n had warned me, nobody in DC uses umbrellas. They just walk through the rain a little hunched and look irritated about it. For the most part this was true, and there were a number of broken umbrellas in most of the trash cans we passed.

Rainy as it was, it was also warm so I didn't mind. Also this weekend was the weekend of BURGERS.
 Anyone who knows me well knows that these are my weakness--which I am well aware is going to come back to haunt me on day--and so I was taken to a couple good burger joints this weekend and I'm not sorry about it. (I've been trying to go for salads all the following week, though.) But really. Look how beautiful that is. Enough to make a carnivore cry.

To help work off some of those burgers, we did do a little walking around. Unfortunately even though it was supposed to be the Cherry Blossom Festival, it had been too cold for any to have bloomed along the water. I did see two of them on campus, however, and they were quite lovely. It just means I have to go back to DC some time when they actually come out. I saw them once with my dad when I was little, and...well, here's an internet picture--doesn't do it justice to being in person, but still beautiful:
You understand why I'd want to go back? As for any allergies, I'll bring my own tissues and hand sanitizer. Worth it.

On our misty walk, we went into the National Gallery. I was hoping that I'd see some Han van Meegeren forgeries that had been donated to the museum with Andrew Mellon's collection, but I suppose I'm not totally surprised he did not get his own display. Having a museum in our capitol celebrating a forger probably isn't good press, no matter how good the story. And maybe they've sent Meegeren's work back to the Netherlands or have it in storage somewhere for special requests. The did have Vermeer, though, and plenty of other Dutch artists on the second floor, so that's where we spent most of our time.

Vermeer (right) has a painting of a Girl in the Red Hat that I saw there, and while it's not really like a portrait Meegeren (left) did of his wife, I still made a connection to it. It's probably the slant of the hat.

Back at the apartment, I was informed that Saturday is Movie Night, and Captain Cadaver had never seen any of the Back to the Future movies, which is just not allowed to continue, which is why the trilogy was marathoned. The Ponds sat on the couch, the Doctor and myself around a plate of vegan molasses cookies he'd made (I brought the tea), and the marathon commenced! Two more people showed up for the second movie, and overall it was a good night. Even if the nostalgia of childhood science fiction is lost on Cap'n having only seen these movies in her twenties, but she didn't dislike it, which is probably the best we were likely to get out of her.

The rest of the weekend involved some wonderfully nerdy board games, watching some Game of Thrones season three in preparation for the upcoming season (okay so that's just me, I haven't totally gotten around to watching season three, but I've read the books so it's less of a big deal), and of course, I can't come to DC without stopping for cupcakes.

Surprisingly, Georgetown Cupcakes was not where the Ponds get their cupcakes. Their guilty pleasure is a cupcake shop nearby the aforementioned other store, called Baked and Wired. Baked and Wired started as a Mom&Pop FedEx-like place, that started serving coffee and cupcakes in the back, and eventually the back got bigger and the owners said bye-bye to postal services. My favorite part about their cupcakes is that the cake-to-frosting ratio is much bigger than in other cupcake places I've been. I'm not an icing person, so having just enough sugar to seal in moisture for the cake is the best way to make them.

And yes. It was delicious. Your jealousy is understandable.

Thank you--Ponds, Doctor, $50 Greyhound Bus--for such a wonderful weekend in the capitol!