Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Love & Monsters

So, I obviously neglected to post yesterday.  I have an excuse.  Yes, an excuse.  The internet at work (the only place I ever have it, since Bear takes the MiFi with him to work all day) was out.  However, if that hadn't been the case, I probably would still have remained silent, for I had nothing to report.  Yes, internet, my life can be, on occasion, boring and uneventful.  ha

Last weekend my mom, Bear, and I returned to Annmarie Garden to attend their Artsfest event.  The River Artsfest that we have in our home county seemed like a small get-together in comparison... this event was as big as our annual county fair!  It is also the same weekend as our county fair, in which my mother is usually involved, so we had never attended Annamarie's Artsfest before.  I bought myself a small pen, hand carved from a mottled oak tree, and almost bought a pencil, too... it was truly gorgeous.  I restrained from buying everything I saw, because almost all of it was so unique and I felt I could find a place and use for it all!  The various artist's booths were scattered around the grounds, hugging the numerous serpentine paths through the woods.  The walk is about a mile or two, and we managed to see everything.  Inside the building there were more booths, from sketch artists to woodworkers, glassblowers, and more.  Annmarie is, of course, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, so the artists in attendance harked to locales all over the world.  I collected quite a few business cards, and hope to post my photos as well as links to the artists in a Photobomb later this week.  Provided, of course, I have internet service to upload my photos to Flickr in the first place...

In this vein, I have sent my rental request and received an affirmative!  We have a venue!  Hooray!

Dracula 2009

Anyway, I have been completely consumed lately by Bram Stoker's Dracula... I am nearly finished reading it.  I have actually become so enthralled with classic literature- the very kind I professed to detest in a previous post- that I find I think in a style similar to the writing style of those authors.  On the one hand, this is very helpful in my job in a college library, as it allows me more credentials in my position in the opinion of the faculty.  However, I find I have more difficulty conversing with STUDENTS, who tend to use a mix of slang and colloquialisms in their typical vernacular.  Now, in all honestly, I have always had difficulty in easily conversing with members of my own generation and those born after myself, and I do not keep up well with popular culture.  Most of it simply does not make sense to me (which is a little sad that, at the age of 24, I am already becoming one of those old timers who does not or refuses to understand modern trends).  Getting back to the original point, my mind is completely engrossed with the story, or stories, of Dracula; from the original texts that I am currently reading, to offshoots spawned by the initial imaginings of Stoker.

Dracula 2009

A couple years ago, in October of 2008, our local theatre performed Dracula: the Case of the Silver Scream, a play that utilized all the familiar characters of Stoker's tale in a 1940's setting at an insane asylum (see the cast photo here, I am the one sitting on the white chair to the right of the frame, with my look-alike American Girl Doll on my lap... I had to use the one that looks like me to amp up the creepy factor!).  The premise was as follows: Jonathon Harker, a Hollywood director, is filming a horror movie at the asylum, run by Dr. Seward.  Lucy Holmwood (here, all the names get a little confused) wins the leading lady role after the original leading lady is found dead.  Mina is the accountant for the production, and Van Helsing is a gumshoe detective, complete with fourth-wall defying soliloquies.  Renfield is still an inmate, and remains zoophagous, that is, of the belief that in consuming raw blood of other lifeforms, mainly insects, rats, and cats, he can prolong his own life.  After a series of ghastly events that threaten closing down the production, that occurred following the appearance of a wealthy foreign Count, Lucy calls on Private Eye Van Helsing to intervine before she, too, meets the fate that befell the actress previously in her coveted role...

Anyway, in this production I was cast as an inmate with a baby doll.  I loved this role.  It had no lines, as I played a deaf-mute, except a scream.  Later, I had a costume change and was the camera person for the Hollywood film, while Bear had the clapboard and, I suppose, was intended to be the director of photography.  In the beginning before the curtain opened, myself, Stevie, who played another inmate, and Renfield were brought in the house to interact with the theatre patrons, by the "nursing staff".  At one point, I made my way to the balcony and tied a noose around the doll's head, and dropped her over the heads of the theatre-goers seated below.  Renfield had with him a number of meal worms and crickets to eat and offer to patrons... this is one of my most pronounced memories of the show.  As Stevie was a catatonic, and I had an affinity to the baby doll, Renfield often dropped insects into Stevie's mouth when he was in a "daze", and held the baby from me until he forced some bugs into my mouth as well.  They weren't as bad as you think... they were usually flavored.  I liked the crickets much better than the worms, but one day I had a spicy worm.  I managed not to get sick until we got outside.  It was pretty disgusting.  (I found this image on Flickr of another production... but the girl screaming on the pouf was my character!)


That was my favorite part ever in a play, and I have had many, including Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Gavroche in Les Miserables,  Rizzo in Grease, and Puck in A Midsummer's Night Dream.  But for some reason, I always look back most fondly on the role in which I had no lines, and very little of the spotlight.  My character had no name, although I named her Charlotte and created an entire back story for her, from how she entered the asylum, to how she first met Dracula and later recognized him when he breached the asylum walls.  By the end of the production, her story had become so elaborate and concise, that the director said that Charlotte was really running the whole operation, and Seward was in inmate, while her experiment on him was to drive a man to madness in the guise of running the madhouse...

So, that is my little Halloween time story.  Maybe I will find that journal I kept as Charlotte during the run of the show and transcribe it here?  Would anyone like that?

This is my favorite time of the year, and I am quite taken in by Samhein so I imagine I will relate a lot to stories such as Dracula and Frankenstein, the latter of which I read almost every year at this time.  If you are looking for the occasional spooky read or music or link... keep checking back here, because I will be in full swing sooner or later!

* All images, aside from the first couple, which are my own, were found on Flickr.  They all link back to their original sources.
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  1. I wonder if you know how bad your blog is for my wallet? Now I want to go see a ballet, among 50 other things you've inspired me to go do.

  2. Oh my goodness! I had no idea! haha But I am glad I am inspiring you to do things! I'm very sorry about the wallet, though.

  3. I love Dracula - so creepy! The ballet version is fantastic, as well.


Love Notes