Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jane Austen and Getting Plastered

These two things are not connected, I would never imply that Miss Austen would behave indiscreetly at a public gathering or in even private. However I would like to note that today is her birthday. Her 234th birthday if my math is correct. What with all the turmoil surrounding her lately with paraliterature and poor adaptations, I suggest that in remembrance of her work, pure and untouched by others, we take a moment to read some favorite passages today. Northanger Abbey here I come! Though not very popular, I think it is hilarious. What are your favorites?

Now to the "getting plastered" bit which I'm sure sounds scandalous. Well, you may be dissapointed, but I mean it literally. An aquaintance of mine is directing an updated version of an ancient Greek play in the spring. To help out with her lack of actors I auditioned and was cast. Part of her vision for the piece is to have the players masked and perform in almost a pantomine style while the chorus narrates. last night we made my mask.
If you have never had strips of plaster soaked gauze applied to your face, you probably don't know how trippy it is. First you have thick greasy layer of vaseline applied to your face and straws pushed up your nose to enable breathing (always important). When first applied the strips almost feel nice, like a thick, damp second skin. Slowly though, they harden and draw away slightly, but are still somehow stuck to you; I imagine it's what an exoskeleton feels like. When it was set the plaster ended up sticking to my face more than it should have and left bits clinging to my red, irritated flesh. Due to the cumbersome and quick-drying nature of the paster paste applied over top the gauze, drops ended up in my hair and in my eyelashes. The latter led to me getting plaster dust in my eye.
As I washed my face with shampoo- which my friend supplied, assuring me it was fine for my skin- I reminded myself how much I love the theatre, and how lucky I was not to be the girl that is playing my daughter (in spite of our closeness in age). She ended up with a glop of plaster paste in her mouth which had to stay there for the fifteen minutes it took to set her mask. I realized too late that some photographic evidence should have been taken. Oh well.

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