home sweet home

After quite a journey, Ryan and I are outta China and in my hometown, recovering from our crazy experiences! We flew from Shanghai to Japan, and from Japan to San…

After quite a journey, Ryan and I are outta China and in my hometown, recovering from our crazy experiences! We flew from Shanghai to Japan, and from Japan to San Francisco. It’s pretty unreal, the way you can start a day on one side of the world and finish it on another. Because of the way the time changes on the way back, we actually landed in SF before we took off from China. So we lived Friday twice. Bonus.

All in all, China is a pretty crazy joint. I’m so glad to have experienced it, and I enjoyed so much about it — it’s unlike any place I’ve ever been. It’s just unfortunate that our involvement with such a bunk company really colored our experience there; it’s hard to look past getting screwed time and time again, and try to appreciate the virtues of the hometown of the people that are doing the screwing. In any case, I’m better, smarter, and stronger after having survived through it all, so I’m thankful for that.

Yesterday, Ryan and I went out to my folk’s house again, this time to show him around the farm and just hang out with my dad a little bit. I always love being out in the country, and I always forget how much I miss it. I showed Ryan the yard and animals, and Dad took us on a ride through the orchards. It was a beautiful day!

America rocks.

xoxo

why, i oughta…

So it’s my own stupid fault, but my wallet got stolen today. Like a big dumb jerk, I wore a small backpack to the cheap market in Shanghai, and left…

So it’s my own stupid fault, but my wallet got stolen today. Like a big dumb jerk, I wore a small backpack to the cheap market in Shanghai, and left my wallet inside. And like a big dumb jerk, I didn’t feel it when some sneaky, despicable little thief unzipped it and took my wallet out while it was still on my back. And like a big dumb jerk, I didn’t realize it had happened until we got into a cab to go home.

I’m mostly upset with myself, because I had even thought, before leaving the hotel, that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have my wallet on my back, especially at such a busy, un-trustworthy place. Lesson learned, friends. If there’s ever a place to learn not to trust people, it’s Shanghai.

But at the same time, mistake on my part or not, it’s NOT OKAY to steal things. And until it happens to you, you forget what a total violation it is. It’s a horrible, sinking feeling, to know that you are a target, and that someone took something from you with malicious intent.

It’s gross. GROSS, SHANGHAI!

xoxo

pluses

After much trial and tribulation, a few of us decided to head to Beijing (and get the heck out of Shanghai) for our 3 days off. A little tricky, seeing…

After much trial and tribulation, a few of us decided to head to Beijing (and get the heck out of Shanghai) for our 3 days off. A little tricky, seeing as how we only have a week’s worth of pay left, and the holidays are coming, and some folks in the cast are straight up broke. But the bottom line is that a trip to China without seeing the Great Wall is total bunk, right? Right.

So we hopped in a cab, then in a plane, then in a bus, then in another bus, and we were in Beijing. We stayed at Beijing Downtown Backpackers’ Hostel, which I totes recommend for all you future Beijing-ers. It was fantastic, and in such a cool part of town. It’s on a hutong, which is an alley that’s packed with cool little shops, bars, and restaurants. Do it.

So the Forbidden City was awesome, the pandas at the zoo were awesome, Tiananmen Square and Mao’s embalmed body were (totally creepy and weird…) awesome. But the Great Wall was something more than awesome. Awe-inspiring? Amazing? I don’t know. I guess I overuse awesome and amazing, because the Great Wall was both, in their literal meanings.

Anyhoo, we hiked the Jinshanling to Simatai section, which is the hardest section open to the public near Beijing. It’s unrepaired, so it’s pretty treacherous, and it’s about 7.5 miles of either extremely steep stairs and ramps going up, or extremely steep stairs and ramps going down. Which is almost worse than going up. Ouch, my knees…

But in spite of the tough hike and the (ridiculous!) cold, we made it. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had, and I was so proud of us all by the end. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment, and it’s so inspiring to be all up in the middle of all that history. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Yikes! So my darling friend Patty O brought to my attention that according to my blogs, it seems as though I haven’t enjoyed China whatsoever. I’m so bummed with myself for only posting negative things on here! I guess this is just where I go to vent, and I don’t realize that it all adds up to seem like I’m not having a good time. So here’s a list of all of the amazing things that I’ve loved about the last couple of months.

-being in a place with such a rich, ancient history
-meeting new people and making cross-cultural relationships work, despite a lack of complete knowledge of each others’ language
-our darling, sweet dressers and costumers
-Leon, my front desk buddy who has a secret Chinese crush on me
-the cool, crazy architecture with lots of shingles and peaked eaves
-how everything has a meaning and a purpose, beyond just being nice to look at
-how cheap everything is :)
-realizing, in the rehearsal process, that I’m better at my job than I give myself credit for
-having the opportunity to experience history, namely in Beijing: Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and so on
-the fact that price is often up to interpretation — I love haggling
-a good plate of legit Shanghai fried rice
-living in a huge downtown high rise, one block from a nice big theatre, where I work!
-the adventure of planning days and excursions to see something completely new
-experiencing a culture that is completely the opposite of everything I know, and how that has opened my eyes

Thanks, China.
xoxo

IMG_1535

bei-to-the-jing

After much trial and tribulation, a few of us decided to head to Beijing (and get the heck out of Shanghai) for our 3 days off. A little tricky, seeing…

After much trial and tribulation, a few of us decided to head to Beijing (and get the heck out of Shanghai) for our 3 days off. A little tricky, seeing as how we only have a week’s worth of pay left, and the holidays are coming, and some folks in the cast are straight up broke. But the bottom line is that a trip to China without seeing the Great Wall is total bunk, right? Right.

So we hopped in a cab, then in a plane, then in a bus, then in another bus, and we were in Beijing. We stayed at Beijing Downtown Backpackers’ Hostel, which I totes recommend for all you future Beijing-ers. It was fantastic, and in such a cool part of town. It’s on a hutong, which is an alley that’s packed with cool little shops, bars, and restaurants. Do it.

So the Forbidden City was awesome, the pandas at the zoo were awesome, Tiananmen Square and Mao’s embalmed body were (totally creepy and weird…) awesome. But the Great Wall was something more than awesome. Awe-inspiring? Amazing? I don’t know. I guess I overuse awesome and amazing, because the Great Wall was both, in their literal meanings.

Anyhoo, we hiked the Jinshanling to Simatai section, which is the hardest section open to the public near Beijing. It’s unrepaired, so it’s pretty treacherous, and it’s about 7.5 miles of either extremely steep stairs and ramps going up, or extremely steep stairs and ramps going down. Which is almost worse than going up. Ouch, my knees…

But in spite of the tough hike and the (ridiculous!) cold, we made it. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had, and I was so proud of us all by the end. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment, and it’s so inspiring to be all up in the middle of all that history. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

keep it positive

So rather than go on a rant about how ridiculous, incompetent, untrustworthy, and out-of-touch with reality this company that I’m working for is (didja see how I slipped those in…

So rather than go on a rant about how ridiculous, incompetent, untrustworthy, and out-of-touch with reality this company that I’m working for is (didja see how I slipped those in there anyway?), I’m going to make a list of things that I’m looking forward to when we return to the States in 2 weeks. Because our show is closing.

-my Blackberry
-tap water
-ice
-English
-nice people who smile and don’t spit everywhere
-Mexican food
-family
-air that doesn’t pollute your body and make you feel like you’re dying
-a lack of MSG
-being able to trust people
-Christmas
-normal, un-censored internet
-root beer
-being able to cross a street without risking my life
-Starbucks chai
-a large fluffy couch
-a soft bed
-moving on with life!

xoxo

lost in translation

To entertain you, here is a sampling of the horrific translation that our Chinese audience reads on the supertitle boards, as our cast is singing American theatre classics. English: “That’s…

To entertain you, here is a sampling of the horrific translation that our Chinese audience reads on the supertitle boards, as our cast is singing American theatre classics.

English: “That’s why the lady is a tramp.”
Chinese: “That’s why the woman is a hooker.”

English: “Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy! Get ready for the judgement day.”
Chinese: “Get ready for the apocalypse.”

English: “Anything goes!”
Chinese: “Everything means nothing.”

Another addition to the long list of things that are all so very backwards in China.

xoxo

“experts”

One of the things highest on my list of pet peeves (perhaps second only to eating with your mouth open) is a self-proclaimed expert. These days, I feel surrounded by…

One of the things highest on my list of pet peeves (perhaps second only to eating with your mouth open) is a self-proclaimed expert. These days, I feel surrounded by numerous people who feel that their opinion and information on just about any topic under the sun is the be-all, end-all. And I just can’t deal with that.

Need to know how to cook an egg? Ask the expert. Need to know how to do a double pirouette? Ask the expert. Need to know how to solve world hunger and create world peace? Ask the expert. The SAME expert for all of these issues, mind you, because people these days are “experts” on stinkin’ EVERYTHING! I mean, surely you are not telling me the answer to a question that I asked the person next to you, who actually knows something about the topic of my inquiry? But time and time again, I’m proved wrong. The expert always likes to show you that they know. Whether they’re right or wrong.

Maybe that’s the answer. Maybe the “expert” doesn’t care if he’s right or wrong. Maybe he just wants to talk. Just to hear himself and prove to himself that he’s still there. Just to reaffirm that he’s important enough to know something about everything.

Well, here’s what I say to that: BE AS YOU ARE. It’s good enough. It’s smart enough. And it doesn’t annoy or offend people. If everyone was just as they are, people would be so much more comfortable. We wouldn’t have to smash people down to build ourselves up. We wouldn’t have to hurt other people in an effort to feel important. And we wouldn’t have to run our mouths on topics with which we’re only vaguely familiar, so that we can feel like we’re needed and intelligent.

Dudes. Know what you know. Learn what you can learn. Don’t force it on anyone. And just be as you are.

xoxo

oh, china…

So… Guess who’s leaving China early? WE ARE! I would love to divulge all the dirty details about why we’re leaving, but suffice it to say that this production company…

So… Guess who’s leaving China early? WE ARE!

I would love to divulge all the dirty details about why we’re leaving, but suffice it to say that this production company has more than a few things to learn about doing business. And it would just be bad karma to put all their dirty laundry out into the world via my little ol’ blog.

In any case, we’re leaving in six weeks, which means that we’ll be home for Christmas! And in honor of this joyous occasion, Ryan bought me the tiniest fake Christmas tree ever at a 100 yen store in Japan, complete with mini decorations.

Put the kettle on kids, we’re comin’ home! Happy Holidays!

xoxo