Sunday, August 12, 2012

We're back

A pretty cool statue in front of the admissions office at Carnegie-Mellon.

Sean outside the Cathedral of Learning, which is where we saw the Chekhov play.

A better shot of the Cathedral of Learning.

Look! They did Sweeney Todd last year. (Sean would really like to do Sweeney Todd.)

Gorgeous theater...better than most professional ones.

We took my son Sean to Pittsburgh last week to visit Carnegie-Mellon and just got back last night.

Sean is interested in the acting program at CMU, which looks to be incredible but also incredibly hard to get into. They audition 1000s and take 16 for acting and 12 for musical theater. It's a conservatory program so all acting all the time, but they do a really good job getting their graduates into actual acting jobs afterwards. Sean is thinking now that Carnegie-Mellon is his #1 choice, ahead of Northwestern, which scares me a little (Northwestern is more an academic institution with a good theater program, rather than a conservatory.) He will have to go to NYC for unified auditions in January or February...I think he might audition also for Ithaca College, maybe Emerson, possibly (on a lark) Julliard.

The trip was really successful in terms of giving Sean an idea about what CMU is all about and figuring out whether he wants to go there. Personally, it was a lot more difficult. I made all the arrangements and really made a mistake in choosing a place to stay. All the hotels were $200 a night, so I got us an Air BNB advertised as "Suburban Bliss" which turned out to be in a very desolate, all-black neighborhood, very close as the crow flies to CMU, but because of the hills and windy roads, hard to get there, and also, to walk, you would have had to go through some fairly dicey areas. (I lived in NYC for 8 years and there were several blocks at the beginning that reminded me of the South of my first freelancing gigs was for the South Bronx Community Development foundation, so I've been there.)

Anyway, my husband was FURIOUS with me for not knowing that this place was what it was. It didn't help that there was no TV and no internet. The inside was fairly nice, actually, two bedrooms, clean, carpeted, comfortable. But we shouldn't have been there and it was my fault.

So what we did was avoid it as much as possible. We went to the Andy Warhol Museum, the Strip (which is conceptually like the Fulton Fish Market/South Street Seaport, a historic food lading terminal now turned into shops and bars and such), ate at Pamela's and Primantis, caught a really interesting production of "Ivanov", a very seldom produced Chekhov play and toured both the campus and drama department at Carnegie Mellon.

We left a day early and drove to Wilkes-Barre, where we stayed at a nondescript chain hotel that had internet and TV (and, incidentally, the Giants game), and felt enormously better, though Bill is still not very friendly to me.

So anyway, that's what I was doing instead of posting soundcloud links. I'll get back to that tomorrow.

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