Sunday, August 01, 2010

I got my much needed hair cut this weekend from the awesome Adrian at Sally Hershberger Salon. It's always so fun to go there, as it's a busy hopping place with so much going on. Plus, the place has huge windows with a beautiful view of the Hollywood Hills. I snapped this picture coming home from the salon while driving my awesome Volvo C30 that I still love beyond words.

Freshly Coifed!

Earlier this week, I met someone who knew some people from ABT through a random coincidence. They were amazed that in Los Angeles, they were meeting someone with connections or experience in the New York ballet world. Truth is, I was too, having never met anyone here from that world either. The names brought back memories, that's for sure. Some of the people I learned had died, like Georgina Parkinson. I didn't really know her, but she seemed like a serious, passionate woman. I remember being scared to bring her a coffee in the studio, and approaching a dancer to give to her instead. The dancer, amused, said it was okay just to walk up and give it to her. And, it was. The serious-looking woman simply thanked me and didn't bite my head off. She was a nice woman, she just intimidated the hell out of me because of her demeanor.

I learned that Gladys Celeste, the piano accompanist had also died. I was sad to hear that as she was a sweet, generous and warm woman who had been with the company for ages. She helped me find a copy of "Etudes" after I told her I'd been looking for it for ages, even bringing me an album of hers to show me which one to buy. I think she can even be seen playing the piano in "The Turning Point" movie made in 1977. Yeah. She'd been at ABT for over 40 years.

I already knew about Charles France dying. I won't lie. I didn't like him. He was a contemptible man whom I'm not surprised died relatively young. The link I provided is a New York Times article about him after his death and it explains a lot. He was not well liked by a lot of people, and I'll never forget the day Jane Hermann fired him. There was a big to-do, and Misha (Mikhail Baryshnikov), who was looking for a way out, decided to leave as well "in protest." This was after Misha had called the entire company up on the Met stage and announced his resignation as Artistic Director, saying he'd be there for one more year. However, he was there less than 3 months, and barely there at that. Once he gave his year notice, it made Charles vulnerable and the board, staffed with New York society, wasted no time in kicking him out. Apparently, according to the article, the reason was his erratic behavior and drugs.

A couple weeks after Charles was fired, I ran into him outside the studios on my way to work. I was maybe 20 years old at the time. He was standing by the door to the very place where he had ruled the roost and pranced around like an overstuffed peacock. He was waiting for his severance paycheck, which one of the accounting secretaries had to bring down to him every week because he was too ashamed to enter the studios after being stripped of his position and power. He saw me see him, and gone was the down the-nose-sneer that he possessed every time he spoke to me. His eyes widened and he feigned happy surprise to see me. "How are you?" He said, excitedly. I knew he didn't care, but even to someone who had been so miserable to be around, compassion forced its way in front of my desire to be as mean as he would have been had the situation been reversed. I touched his arm and said, "Good. Are you okay?" He nodded, then fell silent and expressionless, as did I. The feigning was over,and we stared at each other for an uncomfortable moment as New York City went on around us, oblivious. I broke gaze first and walked through the threshold he was too ashamed to cross.

In the article, I'm not surprised to see that Susan Jones was a big fan of his. She was a miserable person as well and a bully. Susan is still at the company and from what I hear, laughed at by a lot of people. It couldn't happen to a better person. I still remember the day she accused me of stealing. I was all of 19 and she was in her 40s, I think. I had offered to pick up her lunch from reception and thought she wanted me to give the delivery guy the whole $10.00 that she gave to me. I didn't get the whole tipping thing yet and I think after all was said and done it came to about a $3.00 tip. When I got back, she asked me where her change was. I was horrified, having given it to the guy and told her so. I felt so bad, I said, "I feel really bad. I gave him the entire $10, but I have a couple of my own dollars I can give to you." Any normal adult looking at a college student wouldn't take the money. She not only took it, but accused me of pocketing her change. She didn't outright say it, just said, "Well, I was going to say, that was a big tip." I reiterated, "I didn't realize, that's why I'm offering you my own money to make up for it." She just looked at me like she'd caught my hand in the cookie jar and took my two dollars. So, Regisseur Susan Jones, if you Google yourself, you were a real cunt for doing that. The difference between then and now is that I'd say it to your obese, ugly face. And, I'd never take a 19-year-old college student's money over an innocent mistake. You classless, jealous, greedy twat.

However, there were a lot of great memories and fun people as well. And, I really treasure the whole experience of being part of that world for almost three years. I'm also thankful that I was let in to get an exclusive peek at the inner workings of a major ballet company with major stars.

Back to the present, I'm still at the job, but there have been some changes aloft. One, is that I now report to someone else. I really really liked my old boss, but my new one is great, too. I was already doing work for the new boss and therefore knew what to expect. This last week at work was hard on me for some reason, as I was tired and not as "on" as I like to be. It was a struggle this whole week. I woke up cranky on Monday morning and stayed that way until Friday afternoon while driving out of the parking lot. Nothing anyone did at work--I was just having an off week. Thankfully, I managed to keep the mood under wraps, but it was indeed affecting my concentration levels.

I've put up the panels of the fabric on my walls and it looks fabulous. Better than I expected, and really softens the place up. It's also been a fun project. I'll post pictures of it when I'm completely finished.

My birthday is on Tuesday. I've already planned for a mellow one as that's been my state of mind for the last couple months. It should be fun.