There and Back Again: Part IX

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There and Back Again: Part IX

EPILOGUE

I've been back in New York now for about three months. I'm finding that putting things back together is a much slower process than I'd half expected it would be.

I'm also realizing that I'm an optimist, and underestimating the weight of a prospective task has helped me to take huge risks, (this trip, CAT PLANET, negotiating for myself, etc.) that I probably wouldn't take otherwise. It also probably plays a big part in my being chronically 15 minutes late. :P

I'm on stage again!! I've opened a production with my classical rep company, TP&Co, of As You Like It - my first opening in a year and a half, perhaps my longest pause to date. I'm playing Jaques, and if you're reading this in February, 2016, and will be in or around the New York Metropolitan Area, you, dear reader, should come see it!

I am working as a personal assistant/social media manager for two lovely people who teach Kundalini Yoga, and are delightful, magical bosses - Siri Sat Kaur and Guru Dharam. They are the best, and although I usually just work from my computer, when I go over to their apartment, they make me ginger tea with fresh ginger.

I am working feverishly with my CAT PLANET team on finishing the series and getting it out.

I AM HANGING OUT A TON WITH MY CAT. (I can't even begin to tell you how much I missed my little furbeast.) I think he got cuter while I was gone.

I am looking forward to writing something else once I'm feeling settled.

I am reconnecting with friends and colleagues in New York.

I talk to Péter, who is working his tuchis off in Hungary, and coming to visit me in New York in March, via Skype, multiple times a day. Technology is an incredible thing.

I am seeing my parents regularly, which makes all three of us very, very happy.

I am seeing my grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins, too, which feels great.

I am missing France every day. I dream of the mountains in the South. I dream of sunsets in Paris. I miss my friends badly. I'll be back soon, though. G-d knows I've learned a hell of a lot since my list trip.

Mostly, I am trying not to write the future, and watching very curiously as things unfold.

Thanks for reading my stories! If you missed any, please feel free to catch up here. :)

Stay tuned for the next adventure...

xo,

CP

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There and Back Again: Part VIII

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There and Back Again: Part VIII

UN DÉPART DOUX-AMER

The five days Péter and I spent in Paris before leaving were, for obvious reasons, distracted. (That, coupled with my post-robbery technological deficiencies mean that I unfortunately only have a few pictures to accompany this chapter of the story.) 

We saw some sights - we went to the Louvre, and Sacré coeur. We ate at a bunch of our favorite restaurants. We saw some friends, and spent a lot of time trying not to think about the coming separation. I also did a little work of my own - I got to sit for my friend, sculptor, Skye Ferrante, who was set up in Paris near Bastille, and I did my first voice over in French for a director friend of mine from La Fémis film school.

Péter and I left on November 11th. I left at 4 AM, Péter left at 2 PM. The way was cleared, and my path to the flight was remarkably easy. My parents picked me up in Montreal and we made our way down the Northway to their house, stopping in Plattsburgh for lunch.

Two days later, of course, the elephant in the room, were the vicious attacks on Paris. In places where I could easily have been. In places where some of my friends were. I just thank G-d none of them were hurt. I spent the evening calling and messaging my friends in a panic. When it seemed there was nothing more I could do, I decided to go see a community theatre production of Sweeny Todd instead of sitting in front of the television.

All I can say is I am so glad I wasn't in Paris at that moment. I am so glad that none of my friends were physically hurt, although I'm sure many were probably traumatized. And THANK YOU, Mark Zuckerberg. The "check in" feature on Facebook put a lot of reeling minds at ease. I understand and agree with the criticisms people had about the feature not being offered for similar crises in Lebanon and Kenya, but as someone whose heart and many loved ones are in Paris, this was such a blessing.

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There and Back Again: Part VII

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There and Back Again: Part VII

ENCORE LE SUD

After arriving back in the South, Péter's and my plans started to shift. Why struggle in France, when there might be a different future, one slightly easier, one with more potential, in the places we'd left behind - and of course, eventually, in the same place. While there was no end date originally to my time in France, having a long term, renewable visa, it became clear that I had to return to New York.

We started counting down. We had many nights were we searched and searched for ways to stay together. To not have to spend months on end apart. To break through and make life work in France, if only for a little while.

Eventually, practically on the eve of my departure, Péter decided the most practical route for him was to return to Hungary to work, and we would research how he could legally come be with me in New York, and legally work with the infinite number of world-class musicians here, sharing his very specific skill set in the industry here.

So we were both leaving. We booked our tickets out of Paris on the same day. Neither staying a single day in the country when the other was not. Going in opposite directions.

Of course, as is often the case, it is at this point in the story that Péter and I made some truly meaningful friendships in Montpellier and started to really enjoy ourselves. Among other highlights, I visited the lovely Reform Jewish congregation, Kehilat Kedem, and rang in the New Year with them in September. 

This blog is Part 7 of 9 about my year in France. Check out the other chapters here!

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There and Back Again: Part VI

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There and Back Again: Part VI

MAGYARORSZÁG

Péter and I set out from Montpellier, stopping in Paris for a quick 5 days of friend- and sight-seeing. To make a long story incredibly short, and not in violation of something legal, we were robbed of everything the night before our departure. Thanks to the tremendous support of my dear friends in the area, and my parents abroad, Péter's and my excellent teamwork, and the helpful people at our respective consulates, we were able to leave for Hungary 2 days later. Talk about beating the odds, and being very, very lucky for many reasons... 

By some freak miracle, I happened to have a small Samsung Galaxy-Y, (a terrible, terrible smart phone,) hidden away in my bag, so the I was able to capture some of the wonderful things we did.

After our 20 hour bus trip, stopping at every rest area in Germany and Austria, we took another bus from Budapest, down to the countryside, near the south of Lake Balatón, where Péter's parents live. We spent about 6 days there, making it just in time for the grape harvest at their family's vineyard, and where I met a whole host of lovely, kind family members, ate delicious gulyas, and drank homemade pálinka.

Side note, the food we ate in Hungary was incredible. Péter's mom is a fantastic cook. She made us a smoked meat and sour cabbage stew that I still have dreams about EVEN THOUGH I STOPPED EATING MEAT AROUND THE NEW YEAR. Another highlight was homemade walnut pálinka... Oh. My. Sweet. Mother.

The next 6 days, we spent in Budapest, staying with Péter's uncle and his small Yorkie, Bubi. We also ate delicious food, and drank lots of pálinka there. We stayed mostly in Pest, walked along the Danube, saw Péter's old friends and took a trip to Buda.

One night, we went to the 10th anniversary of one of Péter's old bands, Orkestra Bohemika, a 10 person, gypsy party music group, whose show at a hip, divey bar called the Golya, was raucous, packed, and so much fun. 

By the end of our time there, I'd even picked up enough Hungarian to talk to the cashier in a bakery in Budapest, order pastries and coffee, and tell her that those people outside were my boyfriend and his parents, and that they lived near Lake Balatón.

What a beautiful and mysterious country. I can't wait to go back. This time, though, I won't go by 20-hour bus ride. My neck and shoulders are still paying the price...

Puszi! Sziasztok!

CP

This blog is Part 6 of 9 about my year in France. Check out the other chapters here!

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There and Back Again: Part V

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There and Back Again: Part V

LE RETOUR DANS LE SUD

The day after my course ended, I fled Paris, and my recent misfortune. I packed up a rental car and drove from Paris to Montpellier. France is so incredibly beautiful, and the drive is stunning. The Massif Centrale, the Viaduc de Millau, the landscape at sunset as soon as I crossed into Languedoc, the blood orange moon that rose over the mountains as I neared Montpellier. 

I arrived just as Péter and Gangzterek left on a three-week tour all around France, so there I was, alone, in Péter's bandmate's apartment. I discovered that one of my great comforts in this place, with no car and no friends, was... the mall. I spent many afternoons at the Polygone, wandering about the Monoprix, buying the most wonderful store-brand of hummus I've ever tasted. Looking at books at FNAC, sweaters at Bershka. There is something so American about a shopping mall.

After the tour, Péter spent about two and a half months total in Montpellier, in the Écusson. Despite the lazy, sandstone beauty of the city, Péter was on a fruitless hunt for a decent job and a new apartment, and I was not finding the kind of long-ish term fulfillment I was hoping to find. I started planning a trip home for the holidays.

Péter and I also planned a trip, by bus, to visit his family in Hungary. His first since he moved to France four years prior.

This blog is Part 5 of 9 about my year in France. Check out the other chapters here!

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There and Back Again: Part IV

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There and Back Again: Part IV

DEVENIR UN PROF D'ANGLAIS À PARIS

After three months in the South, I went up to Paris to get my CELTA certification from the British Council. It was also fascinating, (if you'll forgive my overuse of the word, but what a wonderful problem, to have a life over-full of fascinating things?) Many who know me also know that languages are a huge passion of mine. Which is to say language acquisition, how people consciously and unconsciously use language, textual analysis, etc. I see it as the same reason I'm passionate about acting, writing, and other kinds of storytelling.

I'd had a little experience teaching English to children and discovered I loved it. Apart from the planning aspect of the lessons, it came easily and naturally to me. And the realization that being a native English speaker, who also deeply understands how my language works, is a gift I never even had to work for, something infinitely marketable, something I could bring with me and sell anywhere, was a real epiphany. 

The course was incredible - marvelous, kind, intelligent classmates, fantastic tutors, adorable adult students of varying skill levels. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to earn money to travel. We mostly covered the ins and outs of pedagogy - the Cambridge University method, which is very Student-oriented. Very intense: 8 - 9 hours of class time, Monday - Friday, with 2 - 4 hours of homework each night, teaching and observing on alternate days. Again, fascinating.

One of the unfortunate byproducts of the stress at my lodgings, which I'll tell you about in a moment, and the stress of the course was, of course, that I really didn't see my Parisian friends, something I regret in one sense, but something I can't see happening any other way in retrospect.

Meanwhile I was renting a room from an elderly German woman, who at first seemed like a role model. Strong, independent, beautiful, elegant, educated. But whose dark past, and bizarre and erratic behavior became more and more toxic as time went on. I tried to keep my head down and focus on my studies. It's only a matter of days now, I would tell myself, once you finish the course, you can get the hell out of there. Ultimately, she unceremoniously evicted me, three days before the end of my course, at 1 AM, drowning in work I needed to complete for my portfolio, the night before I was set to teach my last lesson, claiming I had threatened her because of her broken washing machine, and telling me that I had never told her I was studying for my teaching certification - the reason I was in Paris. In our final conversation, her version of events was so far removed from reality, that it was borderline - and I do not use this word lightly - delusional. She had the gall to tell me, as I stood at the front door with my things, "good luck with your studies." 

I found a cheap hotel near Madeleine, where I taught my last class - which was assessed to be my best yet - finished my work, finished my course, got my certification, and blocked the German Woman's phone number and email address. 

As awful as that particular experience was, and as trite as it may sound, I discovered how very efficiently I was able to make my escape and make alternate plans. I also have some pretty sweet inspiration for a villainess... ;)

Until next time,

CP

 

This blog is Part 4 of 9 about my year in France. Check out the other chapters here!

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There and Back Again: Part II

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There and Back Again: Part II

LE PAYS CATHARE

One of the strongest memories of my time there was a visit in early April from my friend Andrew. After a couple of days showing Andrew all of my new discoveries around Le Gard, my host, Annette, suggested we take a couple days and visit the Pays Cathare - the region in which the heretical Christian sect, the Cathars, massacred in the early Thirteenth Century during the Albigensian Crusade, lived and guarded the Franco-Spanish borders, (not to mention themselves,) from their towering castle-fortresses.

Many of the castles still stand, (although most stand in some degree of ruin.) Many of them sit atop the towering mountains of the region. To get to them, Andrew and I, (but mostly me, as I did the driving,) had to navigate the trecherous roads of the region - which I have been told were actually built along the original Roman roads, which may explain the perilous "two way roads" with hundred meter drop offs to one side, and mountain slope to the other.  The countryside surrounding these castles is so unbelievably beautiful, and the sites themselves are intimidating, beautiful, mysterious, and charged with incredible energy.

The combination of the perilousness of the trip there, not to mention the steep hikes upward, then coupled with the incredible beauty of the ruins and the views, made this tour intense and unforgettable.

In our three days and two nights, we visited 4 sites: we started with the Chateau Lastours, then making our way to a rental just outside the Medieval city of Carcassonne. we spent two nights in Carcassonne, then went further south to Peyrepertuse, then Queribus.

A funny story that stands out in my mind, that really encapsulates the intensity of these visits is our last stop, Queribus. As anyone who knows a little bit about the South of France might know, the wind there is no joke. The mistral is said to drive people mad, and the crime rates supposedly rise during continuously windy periods.

So, Andrew and I battle the wind at all the sites. No big deal, but it's there. It's noticeable. We carry on. It adds to the drama of the experience. Above my red, flea market hiking boots, I am dressed as a fairy princess. I sing a Kate Bush song in the rain on top of Peyrepetuse and feel I have crossed something off my bucket list. We arrive shortly after that, at Queribus, where we gird our loins for cars coming down in the other direction, (we later watched a tour bus descend, clutching our pearls in horror and anticipation.) We stop into the little cabin at the bottom of the trail, next to the parking lot, and try to pay the 6€ entry fee. She shrugs and tells us no one that's come - not a one - has made it to the top. You can't scare us, we say, proudly. She laughs and tells us we can pay on the way down... if we make it to the top.

She wasn't kidding, it's pretty windy. But we make our way up the first part of the path, no problem. The path drops off to one side, but there's a rope to hang on to on the other. When we get just about to the castle, the other side drops off. But that's only a few more steps. The wind is much stronger now, so Andrew and I crawl across to the steps of the castle. There is also a rope there - mind you, there are about 10 steps up to the castle itself. We sally forth, and about three steps up, the wind picks up so much that we cling to the rope, sit down on the stairs, and hide behind the wall. My fairy flower crown flies off. Miraculously, Andrew catches it in his hand before it flies away forever. As the wind is howling, and we are praying we don't get blown away, we look south and realize we are looking at the Pyrenees. We can see for miles. It is incredible.

However, not wanting to die, we wait for a small respite from the wind, crawl back down, exchanging knowing, amused goodbyes with the lady in the cabin.

This is, without question, one of the most incredible things I've done. I am not likely to forget it in my lifetime. Definitely something I'd recommend, and definitely something I'm planning on doing again. 

See you on the next installment, when I tell you about my beau. 💘

xo,

CP

P.S. If anyone knows of any good books - historical, or really good historical fiction - about the Cathars, I'm all ears. That shit's FASCINATING.

This blog is Part 2 of 9 about my year in France. Check out the other chapters here!

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There and Back Again: Part I

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There and Back Again: Part I

Conqueyrac

I found myself in the south of France last February, wanting nothing more than to not be in New York. People ask me what I was doing there... Good question, I say.

I had found a friend in the mother of my friend, a French-born conductor based out of Baltimore, whose mother is a French actress, playwright, cabaret performer, and scholar of Occitane culture and language, with a long and impressive career. She and her lovely husband, (and of course, their magnificent cat, Jaufré,) offered to help me get a visa, and were my hosts for the first part of the year at their excruciatingly beautiful home in Languedoc. In addition to being lovely people, they are almost 100% responsible for the improvement of my French during that time, for teaching me about the history and culture of both France in general, and the rich, local Occitane culture - also for my meeting my lovely Hungarian boyfriend! More on that in another post. ;) 

Le Crespenou in April. This is actually my favorite place in the world. I would rather be here, basking on these rocks than just about any other place, anywhere. The only thing that would make it better is if my cat could be there with me.

But suffice to say, they offered me an escape and an adventure into the virtually unknown, and I took it, gladly.

The South of France, particularly the Cévennes Mountain region, is one of the most beautiful parts of the world I've ever seen. Rugged mountains with narrow, treacherous roads, valleys filled with mist, crystal green mountain streams... With flora and fauna that was entirely different from my native Upstate New York. 

At night, I stood on my little balcony and tracked the constellations with my Sky Guide app and watched the moon. I listened to the hiboux, the frogs croaking, the sheep's bells quietly jostling, and most of all, the silence.

I met some truly incredible people. Young people who may actually be druids, who tended the most beautiful gardens with the utmost care. Bluesmen, Welsh folk singers. A man who quoted 5 minutes of Thus Spake Zarathustra, from memory, to me on the bank of a mountain stream. A remarkable Scandinavian abstract expressionist. I spent time with the warm, typical southern French people whose families go back generations in the area.

I accidentally saw a legendary illustrator play the mandolin in a small bistro. I spent hours on end by a crystal-green stream, (below,) with my friends, playing my autoharp, eating cheese, and imagining myself as a shepherd girl. 

Catch you on the flip side - stay tuned for the next chapter.

xo,

CP

This blog is Part 1 of 9 about my year in France. Check out the other chapters here!

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There and Back Again: A Year Abroad in Review

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There and Back Again: A Year Abroad in Review

Sooooooo...

Last I wrote, was roughly two years ago. But it seems more like 20 years ago.

TL;DR: I just got back from roughly a year in France, and am back in New York. Really great things happened, really shitty things happened. Yes, I speak French pretty well now. No, I wasn't in Paris during the attacks, thank G-d. I have some pretty great stories...

Anyway, after writing all this stuff down in one HELLA LONG blog, I've decided I'm going to split it up into chapters.

I'm really excited to tell some stories from this past year. It's pretty candid. What I've written is, by no means, all of it. I'm leaving out a car accident, going to see a friend play at Silencio, David Lynch's ultra-exclusive club, flea markets, and I'm excluding 99% of the most interesting story, by far, because, welp, NDA's.

But this is definitely a way that I can keep processing this crazy adventure, and also catch you up, dear reader! I hope you'll read them, and enjoy reading them!

Get them as I post them here!

xo,

CP

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Fresh new look!

hey, guys! nice spring weather we're having, right?*

i'd like to introduce you to the brave new look i'm sporting, after a wonderful and (semi)spontaneous day of transformations with the darling dominic sellers, one of my fellow company members from tp&co. he wanted to get his nostril pierced and i ended up piercing my septum. (a fantastic piercing for actors, because it just flips up and *poof* it's gone. did you know scarlett johansson had hers pierced in the early '00s?) 

NEW PIERCING! (it can completely disappear, too. hooray for versatility!)

NEW CUT!

i've been listening to a lot of fka twigs (below) for the past few months, and i liked hers a lot. i like mine even more. when it's all healed up, i'm gonna get somma dat fancy, classy jewelry. 

this was the inspiration for my piercing. check that classy, delicate jewelry? check out my favorite video of hers here.

dominic on the right, looking classy as hell. charlotte on the left looking happy, albeit a little goofy. we instagrammed that shit.

anyway, i haven't told my mom and dad yet. hi, guys! i know you're reading this. surprise!!!!

in other news, just living the actor life - lots of auditions, rehearsals, working with my friends at barefoot on their reading series. i may or may not be dabbling in writing! (hint hint, i am!) 

and tp&co will be putting up a production of marat/sade in early june!

expect updates shortly.

XO

cp

*this is, of course, sarcasm, my feelings about winter have been elaborated here.

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Charlotte's January Theatre Binge

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Charlotte's January Theatre Binge

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I have seen more theatre this month than I can even remember.  I started out trying to chronicle it using my instagram account, but couldn't keep up. 

Anyway.  There is so much bloody fantastic theatre in New York all the time - and especially now.  In the slick professional category, I've seen Sir Ian and Sir Patrick in No Man's Land, Mark Rylance's all male Twelfth Night, (three times,) and Richard III, Frank Langella in King Lear at BAM, I have a ticket to see Godot next month, and I have every intention of seeing Twelfth Night and Richard again before they close on the 16th.  I have also seen friends' fantastic work - Shane Shane's Liquid Nonsense at La Mama was wild and wonderful, and ANIMALS' The Baroness Is the Future was mesmerizing, and opaque,  and I loved every minute.  Still on my list are The Glass Menagerie and Pippin, and next month's A Doll's House at BAM.

I am, no doubt, a lucky, lucky, lucky girl.  It's a very expensive habit that I can't really afford to keep up, but the high you get from great theatre is just as addictive, (I'm assuming, I'm also probably exaggerating, but whatever, I do what I want,) as hard drugs.  

And I don't think I've ever felt as elated and inspired by a play as I have felt every time I've seen Mark Rylance and company perform theirs.  It is an education to watch them.  The simply phenomenal, nuanced performances, the gendered casting, the mastery of the text, the text itself:  those shows have positively set my brain on fire - I have so much I want to discuss and explore.  I want to find more opportunities to work on classical theatre, and I want to bring that inspiration to my current work in TP&co's upcoming Much Ado About Nothing.  (Shameless plug: we open February 14th, all the info is here.  Use the promo code "charlotte" for $5 off the regular ticket price!!) 

If you've seen anything you feel can't be missed, you must let me know.  I NEED MORE THEATRE.  MORE THEATRE!  And to check out the rest of my #THEATREBINGE pics and more, check out my Instagram.

 

XO

 

CP

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What I Like About Winter

In an effort to be more positive about an abominable season that I positively despise, I am making attempts to identify the things I truly enjoy about Winter.  Let's see how many I can think of, I'm shooting for 10.

1)  The end of Winter, or the coming of Spring.  I'm sure if I lived in a land without seasons, I wouldn't feel the tremendous sense of gratitude I feel when Spring comes in the Northeast.

2)  Winter produce - blood oranges, pomegranates, roasted root vegetables... the best.

3)  Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is awesome.

4)  Secret Santa.  Secret Santa is awesome.

5)  The way my cat snuggles up to the radiators.

6)  Kvetching about Winter.

7)  Blankets.

8)  Winter upstate.  Clean snow, warm cars, sunny windows.  Just gorgeous.

9)  Watching a blizzard from a safe, warm room.

10)  My birthday.

 

Do you have something nice to say about winter?

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2014, let's do this.

Happy new year, world!  Hope you had a warm, cozy holiday.  I went upstate to visit my family and friends in my hometown, and celebrate my Grandmother's 90th birthday. 

Just a little bit about my Grandma - after all, it's from her that I get my dimples, my nose, my steely will, and my dramatic flair.  She has been the matriarch of the Glens Falls theatre community since I can remember, directing, acting, bossing.  She was the president of the New York State Community Theatre Association, she's directed tens of shows since she moved to town in the 1950s, and she continues to direct and boss people around at the age of 90.  She's the best.  Last month, the community threw her a veritable gala of a birthday bash at the swanky Charles R. Wood Theatre, complete with an hour-long musical review, a recitation of her biography, and a buffet.  She wore a crown because she's the queen. (See photo at right.)

I am returning to real life, and the beginning of a new showbiz year in the Big Apple.  I'm about to begin rehearsals for the second production with TP&co, which is super exciting, Much Ado About Nothing.  (Tickets are on sale, you can get them here!)  I'm playing Hero, and tossing around some ideas as to how I can put a more empowering, feminist spin on a pretty bleakly misogynistic character arc.  A lot of Shakespeare translates directly to modern times, but certain cultural norms just don't.  As an actor, I find that a really exciting challenge, and one I'm definitely up for.  Stay tuned!

Outside of the performing realm, I'm having fun working on a few languages - continuing to learn Hebrew and keep my French up to snuff.  Thinking I should probably dust off my Spanish, because why not. 

À bientôt, hasta luego, להיתראות!

CP

Her Majesty, the Queen, on the evening of her gala.  90 looks pretty good on her.

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Charlotte's first Middle East adventure!

Ladies and gents, I'm shipping out again! 

I'll be in Israel for almost 3 weeks, starting next week.  It'll be my first time, so I'm gonna sight see, get in touch with my Jewish roots, (I'm a halfling, for those of you who didn't know!)  get to know the Tel Aviv arts scene, and do one of my favorite things: soak in a new culture.  One of my other favorite things is using travel as an excuse to start learning or refresh my knowledge of a language.  And let's just say, I'm on it.  My Hebrew lessons are in full swing on my iPhone.

What's more, I'll be joined by my best friend and partner in crime of nearly a decade.   Looking forward to the dead sea and meeting some Israeli artists!   If you're lucky, maybe I'll post some pics.  See y'all in December!! 

!להתראות

 

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"Pardonnez-moi, s'il vous plaît, mais mon français est très rouillé."

that means "please excuse me, but my french is very rusty."

i expect to be saying this quite a lot come july 10th.

i am brimming with excitement, because i will be leaving the country for the entire month of july.  more or less on my own, with the exception of the lovely friends i will be visiting.

the whole thing came about for a couple of reasons: my cousin julia is getting married in brittany in late july, poor thing.  so my family was planning to make the trip in the first place, but i have wanted to take a trip that was a big departure from my daily life for some time now.  i'm a lucky, lucky girl, and my life is great, but man.  new york, guys.  she's one tough broad, new york, and trying to keep your shit together here requires constant maintenance and vigilance.  you love it, and you never want to live in another city, but it's exhausting and all-consuming.  (new yorkers, you know exactly what i mean.)

coincidentally, i also had the tremendous good fortune of working with a group of very, very talented french and american, (and chinese/canadian, and brazilian,) screenwriters in a workshop through columbia, taught by the legendary playwright, israel horovitz.  i was one of a group of five actors who helped the writers hear their new and edited scripts by reading them aloud each class.  half of the class were mfa students from columbia, half were from la femis in paris.  so i have the added bonus of being able to spend some more time with my new french friends!  

Here's the whole gang from the screenwriting workshop after the final performance of the scripts.

i'm so excited to work on my french for the first time in a few years, and explore london and paris.  i'm excited to make new friends and meet new people.  and most of all, i'm excited to get some fresh perspective. 

xoxo

cp

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rememberance of blogs past

as you may or may not have noticed, not only have i done a complete overhaul of my website, but i've taken pains to preserve what little blogging i did, (5 entries in 2 years,) in the entries below.  it just doesn't happen that often, and when it does, i tend to write about things i'd like to remember.  so there you have it.  

perhaps some day i'll get around to this guy.

until next time!

cp

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Blog Archive 5: maiden voyage

so!  vistaprint has convinced me it behooves me to have a blog... which may very well be the case.  whether or not it is to my advantage may be moot, as i may quickly forget it exists and not update it.  this has happened before, (see http://charlottepines.blogspot.com/)

i am currently planning a trip to los angeles.  i am really excited to start meeting people in the area, which i am assuming means they're in the industry, (industry being the umbrella category, which includes living in los angeles as a sub category?)  i will be there the first two weeks of june, for any industry inquiries or sight-seeing recommendations, please see my contact page!

also, shooting another segment in justin van wie's lucy soon, also featuring my new paltz homie, and ridiculous actor, kyle ryan.  will forget to post pictures of that soon.

finally,  seeing sleep no more tonight with old friends.  super excited, another new paltz ex-mat, jenny weinbloom, is affiliated with the project, will be glad to support her work!

until... next time?

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Blog Archive 4: play dead celebrity encounters

at play dead, we have been incredibly lucky to have an enormous variety of well known faces and names in the audience.  i keep a list which i refer to as "celebrities that have seen me naked" but in all sincerity, it should really be "satisfied (famous) customers," or something like that.  or "people whose mere presence makes us giggle and shriek like school children backstage."

after a cursory poll of the cast, i believe i have a more or less complete list, with a very small semblance of chronological order.  it goes as follows:

robin leach

penn jilette

stephen sondheim

lou reed

chris sarandon

joanna gleason

joel grey

zacherle

dick cavett (twice!)

rob schneider

steve martin

neil gaiman

david blaine

neil patrick harris

alan rickman

robert englund

jonathan ross

robbie mcneill

adam savage

matthew gray gubler

peter schickele

trey anastasio

and of course, our friend teller!

i hope i haven't forgotten anyone!  but we were happy and grateful to see each and every one of them, and to get to share our show with them!

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Roger Richman on Monday, October 10, 2011 2:17 PM

I am so pleased for you and your family. You have come a long way since I first saw you in the upstate musical while you were a student. It so gratifying for me to see you from the start, Roger

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Blog Archive 3: well, it's about damn time.

initially, i had some pretty grand ideas about blogging.  more specifically, the frequency with which i was to do it:

i was going to reflect on my trip to los angeles (it was great, did great work for some very respectable people, made meaningful connections with my peers, made some potentially important connections with established industry people, was very independent,) on the closing of play dead, (complicated, sad, but most of all complicated,) and then on what i lovingly call my "social media echo chamber," (twitter is connected to facebook one, facebook two feeds into twitter, facebook two shows up on facebook one via twitter... headache.)  these were all very important things.  i did not write about them, but i did think a lot about them.

i am currently on the eve of the opening night of my latest project, callous cad.  we teched for what seemed a mercifully short amount of time, being a specific, but not overly complicated piece.  i am so excited to see my family and friends after the show tomorrow.  i have had such a blast working with john harlacher, tom x. chao and amy buchanan, the callous cad team, (and now c.j. thom and josh iachovelli.!)  being fresh-ish out of theatre school, it's a fairly rare thing to find established artists who are willing and eager to trust your artistic instincts, and to put you on the level of a peer, but in this production, each member has been a crucial part of the creation of what we are about to show, and i feel great about it.

callous cad opens tomorrow, september 30th at the HERE arts center, and plays fridays at 7pm, saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and sundays at 2pm through the 16th of october.

tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell everyone, and get ready to see a bizarre, magical hour of downtown theatre.

all info on callous cad can be found HERE!

hope to see you there!  =)

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Blog Archive 2: Busy, busy, busy. Like a little bee.

Originally Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 9:58 PM

So much has happened since my last blog.  This is in part because I hardly ever blog, it is also because I have been keeping so busy that the days, weeks and months have bled together into one long whirlwind-like acting bender.  This is, however, exactly how I like it, I couldn't be happier than doing what I love 110% of the time, and occasionally sleeping or seeing friends.

"So: just what have you been doing, Charlotte," you ask.

"Well, friend, let me tell you..." I reply, and launch into an epic poem comprised mostly of workshops, auditions, teaching theatre, readings, multi-media pieces, more classes, emails, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, amen.

All of this, of course, is terribly interesting to me, although I can't remember all of it to save my life.  The most important points recently are:

1)  WATCH SCHOOL SPIRITS ON SYFY THIS WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20TH, 9PM EST.

The pilot episode of Mark Burnett and Celebrity Ghost Story creator Seth Jarrett's new deliciously spooky series (featuring yours truly,) will air next week.  I DO NOT HAVE CABLE.  WATCH IT FOR ME, PLEASE!!

2)  StageWRITE

Last week, I worked with a really wonderful and inspiring group of theatre professionals at Saratoga Springs' Maple Avenue Middle School - two of whom had been working with the 6th grade students of Ms. Kileen's (did I spell it correctly??) gifted and talented classes for 5 weeks prior to the other two actors', Brendan Cataldo and Mike Banks, and my arrival.  Mark Fleischer, artistic director of the Adirondack Theatre Festival, and Brenny Rabine, a really important teacher in my life and an insanely talented and successful actress, taught the students such valuable things about playwrighting, storytelling, and just observing and analyzing their own work.  They were teachers, directors and actors.  My fellow just-plain-actors were amazing and delightful.  Mike got thundering applause on two separate occasions for his arrivals.

For a third time, StageWRITE was a blast.  Thank you to everyone involved!

3)  Improv

SPEAKING of incredible ensembles!  I just finished level 1 improv at the PIT, and I really can't imagine being more fond of the people in my class and my teacher.  Everyone was there to have a great time, no egos knocking up against one another, just 13 people there to learn and play.  We had our showcase the other night, and HOT DAMN, it was solid!  Really, maybe I'm biased, but everyone was right there, listening, playing, making bold choices, and having fun.  I tell ya, I'm gonna miss seeing those sons of batches every Saturday.  See you guys in Level 2.

4)  THE FUTURE.

I have a couple things coming up - a couple potential film projects, an installation piece, a revival of Rhinestone Gorrilla Burlesque's Good Idea/Bad Idea.  I promise you'll hear about it if it's important.  It probably won't be a blog, though.  Just sayin'...

xoxo

CP

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