Authentic body; authentic struggle

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So this week was midterms, and friggin’ crazy!

First off, I got addicted to the game plants vs. zombies, where you try and protect yourself from brain-hungry zombies by growing plants that eat them/shoot peas at them/squash them, etc.  It seems stupid, but it’s incredibly fun.  I sat on my couch for four hours Sunday, killing (?) zombies with man-eating plants and screaming “GET ‘EM, SQUASH!  YOU GO PEA-SHOOTER!  DO IT TO IT, WALL-NUT!”  It’s going to become my drug of choice if I don’t stop soon.

Anyway, that put me behind so I had to hustle to complete my three midterms projects for journalism, costume design, and acting for the camera.  Which isn’t that hard unless you consider that, as a theater major, I’ve gotten out of practice with that whole “writing papers by yourself” thing.  Much like elementary school (we went to a public Montessori school, and got to sit on the floor and make our own schedules), I am used to bopping around and being creative, so I HATE sitting at a desk or in a chair for over 50 minutes.  Especially in quiet.  I have to talk, or watch youtube videos (btw, have you seen Whip my Hair?!?!?!  Favorite song of the year.), or play a game, and this turns a three hour project into a four or five hour one.  Which meant that I had to stay up obscenely late, and only got a total of seven hours sleep over a 48 hour period.  Add to that me being too busy/stressed to eat, and yesterday I was a zombie myself.  No one threw plants at me though, so that was good.  I did collapse in yoga, and I’ve lost a lot of weight really quickly, but I’m not very concerned.  Being in a show+being in a co-op+being a senior+having two jobs+being me= mondo stress, however once my show is over I’ll have more time to eat and relax.  Yoga helps a lot too.  I’ll be sad when it’s over, but after fall break I get to start training for Heather’s show next semester, which means dance practice, so I’ll still have a physical outlet for my stress.

Oh!  This week was the multiracial symposium, where we had speakers and panels discussing different aspects of mixed-racedness in the U.S.  It was really fascinating, and even though I couldn’t attend all the events I had a great time.  I even got to sit on a panel with other mixed students talking about projects that related to our experiences!  There hasn’t been much discussion on mixed-race/transcultural issues in Oberlin, or in the U.S., so having the symposium meant so much to me.  They’re even re-starting the multicultural student union, which makes me SUUUUUPPPEERRRR excited.  I also got to meet with a visiting professor who was speaking in the symposium.  She specializes in Latina performance studies, and offered to read my play and tell me what she thought.  This woman was awesome, and not only offered me advice and reading suggestions, but she’s sending me info on a contest I could submit my script to, and spouts such words of wisdom you wouldn’t believe.  When I told her about growing up feeling isolated, and being ashamed of not knowing things like language or culture, she told me it was okay- that I had full rights to call myself Latina.  “There are no authentic bodies,” She said.  “Only authentic struggles.”  I almost cried right there.

In related news, my show is coming along swimmingly.  When I have the energy to commit to it (and I need to get better about that), we’re doing really well.  We just got in the theater last night, and over break Heather, Erin (the set designer/TD), and I will go shopping for props/costumes/scene stuff, so I think everything will work out great.  Posters have just started showing up around campus, and soon we’re getting little dog-tag looking business cards to hand out!  The press release is up too!  Click here for pics from the poster photo-shoot!  I’ve also heard we’ve started selling tickets ALREADY, and several people have come up to tell me how excited they are for the show, especially after hearing me speak at the panel.  Our press release is out too!

With all this hype surrounding the show, and all the research I’m doing on this ( I checked out at LEAST 16 books from the library related to this project), it’s easy to get caught trying to live up to expectations.  I guess it always will be when you’re doing your own thing, and telling a story that’s often lived but rarely told.  I need to get used to it if I’m going to be a writer.  But it’s still weird.  Acting was always something I did for me.  I’m so used to giving as much as I can to others-it was the thing I allowed myself to be selfish about.  I could hang out with friends and play pretend, I could live as someone else for an hour or two, and express myself through them.  But now that I’m transitioning to acting and writing as a career, and a career as a form of social change (I want to use any visibility I get to help others), more and more people are coming into this bubble I built for myself.  It’s not a bad thing- not at all- but I need to keep some of this for me, or else I’ll get stressed, confused, and burnt out.  If I can center myself before rehearsals I should be fine.  I just need to get to rehearsal quicker so I can warm up more.

Lastly, there’s this guy named Nico on campus.  I’ve never met him, but people keep yelling his name or talking about him.  Problem is, Nico sounds a lot like when people say my name really fast- I’ve been so confused lately! hahaha!

Okay, I’m off to pack and clean house!  Tomorrow I leave for NYC on fall break.  I’ve never been, but there are so many friends there who can help me out, and I have some idea of what I want to do.  This trip is going to be my primer to the city, a way to see my old friend, hang with my new ones, and to scout out job opportunities.   I’m applying for January internships over the next two weeks, and I’d like to pop into the places I like and introduce myself.  Plus, I’m riding up with my friend Anya and staying with my friend Xander, whose mom, I heard, is an awesome woman and a phenomenal cook!  WOO HOO BREAK!  I’m going to hit up ALL the Goodwills in the city, you better believe it!

Looking for the little statue of liberty,

Mieko

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