Fluffy Sounds in NYC

Josh Lutton ‘14 - Today was a pretty awesome day. Woke up, ate breakfast, and started to go to Christopher St. for our first activity, which was a workshop with Constance Zaytoun. Basically, this workshop starts out the same as the one on Tuesday – we had our introductions and we changed into our workout gear, but then we were given a towel and rag. I was confused. What are we going to be doing?

It was actually very interesting: the workshop was based on a breathing method used by many actors to centralize focus and reduce tension. The first part of the exercise was simply that – an exercise; practicing the technique of stretching, finding our breathing, and vocalizing our breathes into audible sounds – what Constance called “fluffy sounds.” After doing this for about an hour, we focused on using this technique to help us with the Shakespeare monologues we were supposed to memorize for the trip. The purpose was to find different areas of breathing to determine the mood and pace for how we presented the lines. It was actually pretty interesting – something I had never really thought of before while acting. Following that, we went to the East Village for some pizza and then we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was pretty cool. My areas were the Greek and Roman art and the textiles area. And then the night began…

We went to dinner at this fancy restaurant called Gallagher’s, which is this really nice steakhouse. Kids, if you think your idea of a fancy sit-down meal is a table for two at Garfield’s where you can color on the tables with crayons, then you’re in for a surprise. We first have our coats checked at the front door and make our way to this long table in the back where the waiters, plural, were pouring out water into our cups out of nice glass bottles. I had to use the restroom really bad, so I went to the bathroom – there was ice in the urinals, a lot of ice. I later found out that the ice is an old fashioned form of keeping the smell dulled, interesting fact. My dinner consisted of a delicious salad followed by the best steak I have and will ever eat in my life, and chocolate mousse cake sent from the gods. We ate six hours ago, and I’m still full. After the meal we made our way to see The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Studio 54.

The show was phenomenal! It always kept me laughing, the singing was great, and the acting was superb. My favorite part was when the cast interacted with the audience by either going out into the house or acknowledging the fact that this was a play. Afterwards we went on a backstage tour of the set given by one of the actresses in the show. This was a really unique experience for me because as I was passing by the wardrobe room, I mentioned to the actress that I am interested in doing costumes professionally, and she let me walk into the room to talk with the wardrobe for the show. It was absolutely incredible, and such an incredible opportunity that I was blessed with. I am extremely tired, we’ve been walking around all day, so its nice to finally relax after a long day.

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