Winston-Salem, North Carolina

TPAP Day Zero (Travel Day)

Failed Transportation: 7:30am flight to Charlotte; getting on 12pm flight to Charlotte (You were 8th on standby, calm down sis); 1:46pm flight to Charlotte (left around 2); getting on 4:10pm flight to Greensboro; 7:20pm arrival in Greensboro (stayed on tarmac for an extra hour)

Succesful Transportation: bus to airport at 4:30am; luggage came at GSO airport; getting to Wake Forest from GSO

-> What was supposed to be a 6-hour travel day turned into a 12-hour disaster. Thanks, American Airlines. You royally sucked at everything you tried to accomplish for me.

TPAP Day One

We did a peculiar exercise at the end of the day today. “Crossing the Line” meant that everyone stood on one side of the room without talking while an announcer declared statements for us to agree/disagree on. You could also decide how much you agreed/disagreed by distance travelled across. I found myself very alone, and emotionally up and down. It makes sense that I felt alone though because each of us, faculty included, stood as individuals. I rode the wave of being completely uncomfortable and completely obsessed with the exercise. I wanted to stop some questions but others made me intoxicated with the gossip of it. “I am funny” was a nice and easy one while “I have been called a faggot” brought the whole room to silence (even more than already). “I have had suicidal thoughts” brought me to shed one tear while “I am an adult” had me totally proud of my decision to stand at the complete other side of the room. We were tasked to find eye contact with others once making a decision and that was very difficult for me. Some people cried, some stayed stoic. Reminded me of Leadership Camp at St. Matt’s and it made me feel part of a community. We finished off with writing our fears on a wall. What a long day.

TPAP Day Two

I don’t understand the reference. I don’t understand the reference. I don’t understand the reference. I don’t understand the reference. I don’t understand the reference. I don’t understand the reference. I don’t understand the reference. I don’t understand the reference. But I can get my leg up…?

TPAP Day Six

This morning, my thoughts are racing with speed and confusion. I feel conflicted. I want to try and plan everything so that I take control of the situations I’ll be faced with each day but I also want to try listening to the director’s suggestion of being flexible to surprises. I hate surprises. They bore me and make me feel like I don’t deserve them. The other thought in my mind is that I am slowly becoming someone different than myself due to simply being around these people for 3 weeks. I don’t see anything wrong with them it’s just that I don’t want to be persuaded in any way. I can be/talk/dress/eat exactly as I am while co-existing with other unique people… Right?

TPAP Day Ten

One of the things I’m battling with is staying present. There are so many interactions happening in my daily routine here that I don’t really have time to re-play these moments after they occur. So I find myself thinking about them during class or during a scene when I’m supposed to REALLY be in the moment. I guess I am not used to this level of extrovertism because back home, I only spend about half my day with people; the other half travelling alone, in my room or just by myself. Also I don’t think I’ve spoken this much in my life. I’m being asked to give my opinion on every subject and that is really new to me. I am used to shutting up, moving silently, listening first, making sure I don’t interrupt… This kind of personality is scary to me because I could say something I don’t mean. On the first day of classes, my teacher told me I eloquently described the most beautiful thing in my life, but I was just making sure my words were concise, articulate and meaningful. I patiently spoke. Now on day 10, I feel very impatient and like I’ve adopted this conversational habit of always starting a sentence and not knowing where it’s going… like now…

TPAP Day Fourteen

As I looked out from the top right bleacher of the Ring Theatre, there was so much chaos. Hyper-reality took over and people screamed while staying in character yet. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel like I belonged. I don’t have the skill set or the confidence (really) to stay so committed to an improvised role while there is no audience to watch. What’s the point? Why would it serve our art form to act/pretend to be a character with a full backstory if not for an outside eye? The only people watching are also in character and therefore not active audience members. I guess it shows me how ensemble-based theatre people can be. They want to work with others.

One thing I managed to get a hold of was “the zone”. So that’s neat.

Hydra, Greece

Lightning round of thoughts, heavenly skies, donkey sh*t, real-life green screen.

I think I am reluctant to call this place “real” because back home, nothing is this beautiful. I don’t trust it. It will probably take a few days to sink in to believe that people actually live and thrive here. With the houses of white and blue or red, the colours of nature are accented more. Everything around me is clearer. I can see the details in flower petals and I notice fish more easily in the water. Our tour guide has been so welcoming as we arrived and I am thankful that strangers can offer a place to stay. Our hostesses have the most interesting quirks and I am intrigued by their lifestyle. Arabella says she had to struggle to be baptized under that name. It reminds me to be grateful for the upbringing I had. On the other hand, I feel so pleased to be learning about the hardships of others and to be accepting that their culture is just different. Not bad. Different. I think that is the best part of this trip. We get to experience a difference (or a change) from our regular lifestyles. Many people live their lives in the exact same way. But having a change is a blessing, for sure. I wonder how Fatsa, the local dog, feels knowing only this place her whole life. This island is truly one of a kind. It reminds me of the island in Lost. As we boated to the shore, I looked for a personality in the hills and mountains. From afar it seemed so flat and lifeless. How wrong was I to think that! The community of Hydriots have so much character to them. It is so amazing to be able to talk with new faces.

What is the most memorable part of this trip?

For me, the celebration of the Greek Revolution was the most memorable part because I felt so welcomed. The announcer spoke in English as well as Greek, making us understand the history and importance of this day. While I was sitting and looking out onto the water, I couldn’t help but want to cry. The atmosphere had such a depth to it that I’ve never felt before. I feel so lucky to have this experience in my life. I started to videotape the ceremonial burning of the ship so that I could remember it forever but then I realized I wasn’t being present in the moment. The fact that I was watching the event from a camera screen made me cringe. So, I put down my phone just in time for the fireworks and truly felt like I belonged somewhere special. I knew that where I was, was exactly where I was meant to be. The coordination of the explosions in time with the music was breathtaking. The most spectacular thing I have ever seen. It flowed so smoothly and effortlessly that my jaw stayed open the entire time. My favourite sequence was when the music had a run in it and about 6 fireworks blasted in a glorious canon. Perfection. Quite possibly, it was the most memorable part of my life, but I know this trip is just getting started.

What do you hope to learn about yourself?

On this trip, I hope to learn about if I can truly take care of myself. There have been instances when I travel where I’ve made things worse for myself or forgotten to give TLC to my body. I hope to learn about proper mindfulness and practice positive thinking whenever I can. The change in setting will hopefully help with this. Also this trip sort of feels like a fresh start. I hope that I can use the island as an environment to try to be a different person. Obviously, I don’t want to completely abandon my morals, but I want to try putting on new hats. New personality, new way of dressing, or even new everything. Just to see what it would be like.

What grand adventures do you hope to go on?

In my life, I hope to go on adventures such as marriage, natural childbirth and death by old age.

Marriage is something very sacred in my family and I have learned from watching my parents and grandparents as they stay together for 25 years and 53 years, respectively. It is very inspiring to me.

Natural childbirth has always intrigued me since I was the only sibling to be birthed in a natural way. Although it may be painful and difficult on the body, I believe that all women should go through it and show the world how powerful their bodies can be.

Death by old age has fascinated me ever since my great-grandmother died at the age of 104 years. As I spent time with her up until she died, I saw how fragile but strong she was. Her mind was still full of wisdom even though her body had begun to rot. I want to do her the honour of dying in the same way rather than by illness or accident. Hopefully I will get that choice.

What do you hope to take time for on this trip?

I want to take time for reading and writing above all else. I never get the opportunity to have free time and I think it is important to get off my phone whenever I can. I used to love reading and writing when I was younger and I think because I have more responsibilities now, I have let that part of me go. Being on this island will help me to connect with words again, and bring out my best thoughts. I brought the final book of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series and it has helped me remember that Greece is magical. It can change you. I have 2 other books that I want to finish as well. I will be so proud of myself if I even get through one 🙂

Ελλάδα σ ‘αγαπώ