Gala-ctic Happenings

I am sitting in the Wyckoff Starr Coffee Shop, the local coffee shop half a block down from my theater. It is small– it claims all of three tiny tables that unless you are very lucky you only have a chance of scoring in the afternoon, and if you go in before noon there is invariably a line of at least 6 people, which fills the space between the counter and the door. I spend as much time here as possible because it is a community coffee shop, and as busy as it is, its still much more personable than the craziness of the midtown Starbucks. I’m settling in after spending the morning cleaning my theater from the wild Gala party that we threw last night.

For any Lewis & Clark people, picture Senior Dinner in the theater department except with a substantial budget to pull from, and instead of graduating Seniors, a silent auction as the “event”.  We auctioned nearly 40 items, everything from theater packets to handyman services to vacation houses on Lake Tahoe. I spent a few days last week working with our auction coordinator, organizing spreadsheets and writing the item pick-up sheets. It was the first office work I have done for my internship, which is pretty awesome, but I feel more well rounded for having done it. And so then last night, for the actual Gala, I was an Auctioneer. (Unfortunately this was a silent auction, so I didn’t get to do the “SOLD!” thing, but ahh well.)

The Gala was organized into two parts, the official Gala, with board members and patrons, and the Artist’s After Party. The official Gala tickets were $200, and started with cocktail hour in the theater, after which the guests went upstairs into the transformed rehearsal space for a three course meal complete with entertainment. After dinner they came back down to the theater where the Artist’s Party was happening. The Artist’s Party was $20 tickets, and included a band, open bar, and snacks. And throughout all of this, the Silent Auction was going on. As an auctioneer, my job was to answer questions at the auction table and to keep the bidding going.  Since the other auctioneers seemed pretty glued to the table, I took it upon myself to go mingle in the crowd and encourage bidding. So I essentially spent the evening shmoozing. I had bought my first pair of high-heels earlier in the day for the event (we were supposed to wear black, and I needed to dress up my leggings…), and so I circulated through the party, chatting up different board  members and talking to different actors and directors about their projects. It was a great time! The auction ended at 10:30, and we auctioneers scrambled to get all of the fairly drunk winners to pay for their items. After that, my work for the night was finished, so off came the high-heels and onto the dance floor I went. One of the board members, Charlie, told me I was leading the party: “keeping the money flowing while the auction was happening, and then leading the dancing when it was over.” Best compliment ever! I had gotten there at 4:00PM to help with last minute set up, and I left after 1:00AM, after helping do some cursory cleanup after the party had wound down. It was a crazy night– my internship is pretty much the best.

And there are three weeks left in NY! In that time my parents are coming to visit, I am going up to Boston to see my grandparents, Terry and I will hopefully perform our play, classes will finish up, and I will finish up my internship. Its crazy to think I’ve been living in New York the last two months– that just hit me. Wow.

Terry and I finished writing our show! And we are 90% blocked– so exciting! We talked to my roommate Erin yesterday and ran through a paper tech with her. She is working on getting ahold of some sound equipment so she can start working on a soundscape for us, and then for our showing (knock on wood) she will run tech. Terry and I talk about how its a weird show… but explaining it to someone else made me realize just how weird it is. Haha, Terry and I were rehearsing on Sunday up in a parkway in Washington Heights blocking a dream scene. The gist is my character is sleep talking, so to rehearse I was lying on a bench with my eyes closed doing my monologue… which is very, very random and involves me singing very loudly and off-key about moonstains…    Yep, that whole neighborhood thinks we– and especially me– are crazy. It was incredibly entertaining though.

I hope everyone out in the rest of the world is well, and I cant wait to see you all when this crazy adventure is done. Cheers!

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