Friday, October 30, 2015

Today is a good day

Let's pretend you're caught up, shall we? 

It'll be fun, really.

Yesterday, I finally finished my final MA research project/presentation on the intersection of Actor, Ensemble Member and Maker in the art of Bunraku Puppetry. Like you do. (Ask me about it when I come home, it's bloody rad.)

After I had a pint with the lovely incoming MA class, and arranged to start crashing their Wednesday morning Lindy Hop class for the remainder of my time in London. Le score.

Niall met me at the pub, we walked back to the flat, his pal Jane came over, and Niall fed us homemade pork-chicken-leek pie, roasted carrots, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Heavenly.

Jane and Niall head off to a gig (term used by the English to mean live music event, natch. Not them performing or anything. Silly confused Americans.) It's around 7pm.

It is at this point that I say to myself:

Well, what the hell.

I clean up all the puppet making shenanigan remains in my room, pack some snacks, some pillows and a blanket into a large waterproof bag and set the alarm for 3am.

It's on.

The alarm wakes me up and I jump into cozy clothes, grab my things and trot to the bus in what still looks like the misty English nighttime. 

The bus is late.

The bus arrives, huzzah. 

As I board the bus and grab my Oyster card to swipe it, I discover that I have the wrong Oyster card. Not mine, my extra for guests, that has no money on it. Oh Lordy.

I'm sure it's in one these bags, right? 

I don't swipe the one I have, I just stand there at the front of the bus fishing helplessly, realizing it must not be there, somehow. (Note to the uninitiated: London buses will not take cash. Since I don't use a contactless card, oyster is it. And the nearest place to top up at this hour is a mile away. I'm about to confess and apologize and remove myself from the bus when he shuts the doors and starts the bus.

I kind of stand there in shock and at the next stop he tells me to move back out of the way of people boarding.

I guess it's 3:30am and he can't be bothered to deal with idiots. Halle-bloody-lujiah.

I get off the bus, and walk to the Barbican Centre, where there are already 36 people camped out in front of the darkened entrance. It is now 4:09am. 

Let's take stock. There are generally 30 day tickets, 10 standing room, and possibly a few returns made available to folks in the queue each day at 10:30am to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet.   Each person in the queue can buy up to two tickets (which they'll need to show picture id both to buy and to use, to discourage scalping). This means that, in all likelihood, only the first 20-25 people in line are likely to get tickets. If I join this line I will be number 37. Never gonna happen.

But I'm already here.

I get in line. 

Flash forward to 11:26am. I am at the front of the line, with roughly a hundred hopefuls standing behind me, and all the day tickets and standing room tickets have been sold. I've made new friends, played card games, loaned pillows, shared jokes and snacks and generally had a blast.

And there is still a return ticket for me.


So here I am. I've gone home and napped and changed, and am back at the Barbican in their cafe. The show starts in fifteen minutes, and I've got plans to meet my new friends from Denver in the lobby at the interval.

Let's see what you got, Cumberbunnycat.