Trip Start Nov 29, 2005
8Trip End Dec 13, 2005
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
December 9, 2005, evening...
Went down to Union Square to find the Play Back Theater... Our cousin-in-law Ann Belmont is improvising the music for this improvisory troupe. The idea is we gather in a tiny performance space in an old building up a flight of stairs protected by indecipherable door buzzers, and watch a group of fairly young actors warm up for their encounter with us
Stories: Got fired; left my girlfriend's house and couldn't get a bus in the snow, so I walked across Central Park, and it was full of friendly dogs, friendly people, and it was beautiful.
Or tell a story about yourself: My name is Joselyn, and I'm a teacher. I've taught for 31 years, and I'm probably close to retirement, but I love the children; but I hate the incessant and increasing paperwork...
Joselyn nudged me a couple of times. "Tell them the 21 Bank Street Story" so I did, and immediately fell into a deep well of tears, and although it's interesting to be down there, it's difficult to speak from a well.
Easy to recall and relate now, very hard to tell it to the room full of actors and audience. All it was, was, that I made a pilgrimage to the street where my family lived in 1946..
I recalled going out for Halloween in my home-made orange and black clown suit in the snow along Bank Street; going to the movies around the corner with my father and being absolutely terrified by the green smoke that came out from under Dorothy's house when she landed in Oz, on top of the bad witch; and... the boy (maybe he was 8 years old to my four) who waited for me outside our front door and hit me in the stomach whenever he could. I stayed inside a lot when he was around.
Stuff like that. Then the actors acted it back (and I got to pick the actor who would play Tony), and yes, it was more than amazing, it was lovely, and heartaching... and funny. But when I noticed through my ongoing tears two actors coming downstage with ghost-like veil over their bodies, it was almost too much. I still need to say goodbye to my dear parents, and I still need to cry, but I don't really need to see their ghosts on stage at this moment
Afterward I got to thank and hug a couple of the actors, speak with the director, and the Japanese woman sitting behind us said my story means a lot to her, because she's about to have a baby.
That's another message, I think: Be careful what you do and say with your children. They will remember.
I have a lot to think about and a lot to process, and who knew that would be the result of going out to a small theater improv evening to see Ann play her guitar. No one knew.
Joselyn had a bit lighter encounter, but reported one acted image stayed with her vividly: One actor in the group pretended to climb a huge vine, saying "Ahhh... I can't let go yet... I can't let go..." and J thought that went right to the heart of her questions right now, not to mention mine, a bit, too. Great night.
Tomororw we leave the Milburn for Todd and Ann's apt, take New Jersey transit to Philadelphia to visit J's brother Joel and wife Margo, take in the Leipzig String Quartet, then back to NYC early on Monday, December 12; fly home on the 13th.