I got up at 6:30 this morning, and got ready quickly. I attempted my first “sock bun” or “donut bun” depending on what you call it since I bought the “donut” accessory at H&M yesterday and I’d happened to fall upon a video on how to do it without bobby pins or hair sticking out everywhere online last night. I couldn’t get it figured out before breakfast, so I let it go for the morning. Sheila and I remembered that we were supposed to go see La Critique de l’École des femmes today in La Comédie Française‘s studio theatre… and that the show was at 6:30… which would mean missing dinner or having it a little later than usual (the show wouldn’t be more than two hours long), but we’d forgotten to tell Madame about it, and she wasn’t up yet for whatever reason. She seemed to have caught our cold last night at dinner… Sheila left pretty quick after breakfast, so I figured Madame would be up by the time I left, so I’d tell her about the show… but she wasn’t. I figured we’d text her and let her know about it this afternoon to see if we should get a late dinner after the show, or if she’d have it for us when we got home.
Professor Clavier could tell we were all kind of tired this morning, so we did a warm up or a “reheat” (réchauffement) as they call them here. We did some stretches, nothing out of the ordinary, but Professor Clavier believes that everyone in the world (with the exception of people with physical disabilities, of course) can sing, so instead of doing vocal warm ups like tongue twisters… he made us sing. We didn’t just sing, we sang a Russian song. In Russian. I’m in Paris, studying at a Parisian University, and I’m taking a French theatre class where we’re studying Russian theatre, and I sang in Russian today. I hope you’re all just as confused as I am. After that, we revisited the third act of Uncle Vanya, and went into detail with it a bit more… which resulted in the actor playing Uncle Vanya pushing Elena up against a wall trying to come onto her since the sexual frustration was getting to be too much… and yes, this was actually egged on and supported by Professor Clavier. This was very different from me, and I’m starting to get more and more shy in this class as a result. I really don’t want to read or act in these scenes since Professor Clavier asks the actors about their motivations, and I’m not at a level of French where I can adequately do that just yet. I haven’t volunteered to read or act out a part in the class at all yet, and this was week three. I’m not the only person in the class that hasn’t done anything, but I feel like I am. Since Professor Clavier flat out said we’d be going into more detail of Act III of Talents et Admirateurs (the Ostrovsky pieces) and maybe one act of Chekhov’s Three Sisters next week, I can read the pieces and do a little studying ahead of time so that I would feel more comfortable in the class should I actually reclaim my “balls out” mentality that I had in Tours and volunteer to read in the class.
Sheila and I had agreed that we’d meet up at Carrefour for lunch since she was going to go back home after her class. She usually has another afternoon class on Wednesdays, but she was going to miss it to go to the play tonight. I decided I’d venture further into the store than I usually do to find my lunch, and I found a few more things I could actually eat in the frozen food area. I found some salmon-parmesean risotto that happened to be gluten-free, and I even found a single serving (though it was much better for Sheila and I to split it) of Toblerone ice cream, so I got those for lunch, as well as some candy and a “family pack” of lunch-sized chips to keep as snacks. I stopped by an ATM on the way home, then Sheila and I had lunch together before we went back to our rooms to rest and primp before the show. I did my nails and managed to get the sock bun to work halfway-decently, so it’s something I’ll probably do relatively often. It apparently works as a curling method as well. We got a hold of Madame, and she said she’d have dinner for us at nine, so we really lucked out!
Despite the fact that I was a little tired, I found the play super funny. It was only an hour long, so we technically could have made it home in time for our usual dinner time… The entire audience was laughing for the duration of the show, which I really enjoyed. I noticed that the actors didn’t cheat out at all, which could definitely have been the director’s choice, but could also have been a reinforcement of the fourth wall. Because we were in a studio theatre/black box type of space, the actors didn’t need to cheat out to be heard. The lighting choices were interesting as well, some of the actors weren’t necessarily “lit” (meaning their faces weren’t in light) when they spoke, which is pretty unconventional. Overall, I enjoyed it. The Playbill included pictures of the entire troupe, which was really cool to look at, and the season program, which has given me a very good reason to extend my visa. They’re doing Le Jeu de l’amour et du hasard by Marivaux from November 13-Jaunary 3, which I’ve studied, and I could potentially go see it, but they’re doing Les Trois Soeurs by Chekhov that I’m already studying in my other class next April… AND THEY’RE DOING TWO OF MY FAVORITE MOLIERE PLAYS (L’Avare, Le Malade imaginaire) AFTER I GO HOME. Not fair… Since we had some time to kill, Sheila and I did a little shopping around the Carousel of the Louvre, since that’s where the studio theatre of the Comédie Française is. We found this really cool knick-knack home supplies shop called Plyones, so I bought a few trinkets as Christmas gifts, including some fun keychains, pens, kitchen supplies, and badges.
Madame was chipper when we got home from the play, and dinner was pretty much on the table for us, but she’d already eaten. We had chicken and rice with a cream sauce, some cheese, and our usual yogurt for dessert. Since she’s taking off tomorrow for an extended weekend to go scope out wedding locations for one of her daughters in the South of France, she showed us all of the meals she’d prepared ahead of time for us, and I swear, our host mother is Wonder Woman in disguise. It’s wonderful.
We’ve got class tomorrow, then Sheila and I will have our nice, relaxing weekend alone. Charlotte will be in town, along with Sheila’s friend Laney, so we’ll be out quite a bit. We might buy a bottle of wine so we can have some wine with our dinners like real French people since we don’t usually have that right now.
Les hommes valeureux le sont du premier coup. Corneille: Le Cid