Hey hey, today is the day, we are on a puppet parade!!! What do you say? :) I see puppets on the streets, puppets in theatres, gardens, living rooms and even...on boats! I must be at the Dordrecht Puppetry festival. I couldn't believe how many different places it was possible to perform! Spica and I are in the living room section. An audience of about 35 sees 3 shows in one night. Each show is in a different home in their living room. We visited our living room and the house is absolutely enormous! It looks like a museum. There are paintings hanging everywhere and the furniture looks like it is from the 1800's. We needed absolute darkness in our room and when we turned off the lights, sure enough...I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face. The windows were shuttered shut and heavy curtains were placed over them. It is sure going to be exciting to perform in a space that all you can see are the lights we create. We perform tomorrow!!! We are both very excited! We perform for three days and three times each night with only 10 mins to pre-set in between shows. It is going to be a whirl wind of a night.
We have been rehearsing every day. The house where we are staying has turned into a studio. There are four shows that sleep in the house. One show rehearses in the garden, one in one of the theatre rooms, and two down stairs. We have all performed for each other, given feedback and made adjustments to our own performances. It is a lot of brain power, but it is worth it!
In between rehearsing we see shows. We are seeing over 20 shows in one week from all over the world. It is mind boggling to think that I am one of four people from the United States at this festival and one of them is Spica. We are the only two people representing NYC.
I am surrounded by at least five different languages on a daily basis, but the common language that is exchanged is English. I am so impressed with how many people know English. I am the token American that hangs out with the four wonderfully energetic Taiwanese. I love listening to them speak Chinese! They are such a happy bunch that continuously make me laugh! They have officially been my companions for this festival. We eat, see shows, rehearse and laugh together. My kind of companions.
Our host family has been VERY generous. Every night we sit in the living room and he offers us wine, nuts and so so much cheese! I am in heaven. Cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner! What could be better?
Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland. All the houses are by the river and boats are plentiful. Many people live in them! There is even a show that takes you down the river in a boat and you see performances along the way. What the people in the boat don't know is that there is another performance that you can't see going on in the street. The performers are running, changing clothes and taking off their shoes so they can make it to the next station for the people in the boat to see. It is quite funny watching the actors run from station to station carrying props frantically. One night we followed them with our host father. We ran after them and waved at the boat as it was going by. I can't wait to actually experience the performance in the boat!
I know I say that almost every experience I have is "AMAZING!" But I have to say, when Spica asked me if I was having a good time I told her, "Spica, I have to pinch myself every day to make sure this experience is real."