Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: travel log (Page 1 of 7)

A dive in to Lost Property

Yesterday afternoon we jumped on the PATH train and exited into a thunderstorm in Jersey City. I kept on thinking about my Thundafund that brought me here. We were drenched by the time we reached the JCTC for the first night of this tiny curated festival of work.

The unassuming door to the space leads off a parking lot so there is no hint to the loveliness that is inside: A gorgeous intimate theatre.

Last night’s piece was an 80 minute monologue called Unbossed and Unbowed, written and performed by Ingrid Griffith and it tells the story of Shirley Chisholm a black woman who became a local politician, a congress woman and a wannabe president of the US, in the 60’s and 70’s. This is herstory I know nothing about. And it is rather extraordinary that the US is still waiting to have a female president.

Tonight’s plays are two 10 minute ones and Lost Property. I am overwhelmingly excited to be part of this, and I can’t wait to get feedback on the work. What an opportunity.

Thank you Thundafunders. Look at me go!

All My Sons on Broadway


Watching a play on Broadway for this South African meisie is always an other worldly experience.

Picture this. A completely full, huge theatre where tickets are sold at an absolute premium. A show that has been running for months. A classic. Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, starring Annette Bening and Tracy Letts. A full, three act play. With a full, proper cast.

The set. A sepia storm on a front screen sets the just-post war tone. A garden. A double story house. Lawn. Trees. A view of the neighbours’ houses. Huge. Magnificent. Detailed. Wisteria on the little gazebo. The set at an angle. Feeling the whole suburb. This dominant house. This house we can see into.

The cast. Aside from the fact that Annette Bening, Tracy Letts and Benjamin Walker are huge. Huge. These actors WERE NOT MIC’ed. These actors projected. These actors. These actors who were allowed to pause for almost a minute because they had earned it. And they had.

The focus, commitment, style, direction, the detail the pace, the choices, the decisions. The time. Almost 2.5 hours of theatre.

The text. Arthur Miller’s text is exquisite. And American. It is hard work. And agonising. Our world has minimised these ethical, moral struggles about conscience, and business and corruption and war. Our world on social media and our unaccountable, corrupt leaders are taking us back to a pre-war place. I was frightened.

This Tony nominated production is glorious. Important. Proper. And I am so privileged to have seen it.

A Steamy Sunday in NYC

Yesterday was hot. The cool aircon of the Path Subway to Jersey City was a delicious respite. Our rehearsal was intense. I have written a really hardcore play. Jaci and Zane are dream players. We always feel like we want to be doing the full production.

It is amazing how quickly we make rituals. On Saturday Jaci and I bought little power breakfast bowls. They were delicious. We had to do it again yesterday. Frozen vegan chocolate protein with granola, banana and peanut butter. Yum.

After rehearsals we traveled back to Manhattan and caught a 5pm show of  The Day I Became Black by Bill Posely in a gorgeous old theatre The SoHo Playhouse. It was a very special one man show; a personal, funny, well observed journey towards bi-racial identity and how it plays out in a world obsessed with binary labels, boxes and things. I was charmed and moved by him.

After the talkback we came outside to a dusk that had been cooled by a rain shower that we had missed. It was a beautiful world of wet smells, glistening light and a gentle breeze.

New York Diary – Top Gun on a War Ship

Day 2 was me thrown into the deep end, extreme walking jet lag off, a visit to the Biennale at The Whitney, a trip back up to the Upper East Side, then back down to almost where I was before, to wait in a queue, watching the sailors in their white on the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend, while we waited for the ‘gate’ to open. Then it was the trek up to the top deck of The Intrepid, an actual airplane carrier, with planes on it (and a museum below) for the yearly outdoor screening of Top Gun. I will never be able to accurately explain what it was like. Mad, strange, hilarious, nostalgic, cute, mad, funny and bizarre. Google it. Beyond.

Today.

Today was a trip to Jersey City to have our first of 2 Lost Property rehearsals in the venue. Joy of joys. I cannot explain how happy we were.

Then – absolute luck of the lucky. The day before I had said how I would love to get Mexican vegan food while I am here. Boom. We stumbled upon the most awesome vegan friendly Mexican restaurant Hotel Toruga. It was spectacular.

And then! We saw Walk off The Earth live in an intimate and amazing concert. These guys put on the most delicious, funny, positive, charming, musical, slick and delightful show and I loved every minute. Loved.

My feet are aching but my heart is soaring.

 

New York Diary by a dramatic vegan

Day 1

It wasn’t a great flight. No, the flight itself was fine and mostly uneventful, it was just that I was surrounded by some real weirdos. The guy behind me had a total meltdown and grabbed the air hostess to scream his frustration that the little TV screen wasn’t playing what he wanted it to. Then he kicked out this frustration on my seat for 15 hours. And he would not stop farting. It was pretty toxic. People moved out of the way. The very middle-aged woman across the aisle from me, in a cheeky velveteen dungaree onesie, decided to stand on her chair to sort out the stuff in the overhead locker and then projectile fell through the air, landing on her back next to me. My reflexes were good, I didn’t pack up laughing (like I usually do when someone falls), and I helped her to her feet. She spent the rest of the flight either glaring at me or ignoring me. I think she blamed me. When we were getting ready to disembark, she took a deliberately long time, and farter behind me got irritated, launching me into her to get us moving.

But, we arrived at JFK fresh and early in the morning, waited forever for our baggage which got stuck on an erratic conveyor belt, and then hit the traffic into Manhattan.

After a quick shower I walked to Central Park – really close to where I am so lucky to be staying. I have a best friend who lives in NYC. In the Upper East Side. A dream really.

And then in the evening, after an afternoon rain that left the city glistening, we went to Candle 79, a well-established, double story, incredible vegan restaurant for a mind-blowingly delicious diner. What a taste sensation.

A meandering walk through the park and the most vivid and exquisite sunset brought the jet lag to my face and body and I collapsed in a heap at 9.21pm local time, which was like 4am back home.

How exciting that I am here for my own work. We rehearse this weekend at the theatre in Jersey City. Life is good.

Room with a View

I was away for the weekend, on a beautiful, celebratory trip for a friend’s 50th. We were in the Drakensberg, at a spot I have never been to before. It was also a group of 11 women, which is something I have never done before, and it was magnificent.

One of the most special parts of the space/place was the view from my bed out through huge windows over a special part of the dam. I saw the sun set behind the hills, and I woke to the morning star reflected in the water. I saw the pink sunrise turn orange and then pale yellow as Crowned Cranes fought with Plovers for the island. I heard and saw the massive Spurwing Goose, swim, dive and even take flight, and I watched the zebra from my front door. I had a live-and-let-live agreement with the family of rock pigeons sharing my balcony and even stopped frightening the two stodgy adolescents of the group. And I saw the elusive and much spoken about but hardly seen otter, twice. It was a room with a view. A whole new world for me.

When I came home late last night Big Friendly caught me up with what had happened while I was away, and one of the things we chatted about was that he had seen my brother, who was visiting Cape Town while I was away. He mentioned how my brother had said that if he hadn’t heard, from us, that there was a serious drought in Cape Town he would never have known. And when Big Friendly’s sister was here for a few weeks, she saw no sign of water awareness at her Waterfront hotel either. And this is really problematic for me. It means that visitors to our city have no idea of the extent of the problem, and are not prompted to do anything about it. It’s true. There is nothing about the drought at the airport, or in hotel literature, or in public bathrooms. There is nothing about it in the B&B’s and they are not telling their guests. We can do better Cape Town. We have to.

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