My beloved Catskills has been truly devastated by Hurricane Irene. We all thought we were in for it here in NYC. Who knew the biggest damage in our state was going to be so far north and inland? This area was already having a hard time economically and now this devastation has hit it really hard and even more in need of help.
If you can spare anything, please go to The Mark Project (which is rural development organisation already trying to revitalise the area) or to the American Red Cross, and make a donation.
I am going to go up there and volunteering this weekend. Here's a video of some terrible flooding in a town called Fleischmanns!
Earlier this year I took part in Broadway Backwards, a charity event where men sing songs normally sung by women and vice versa. I did a version of Don't Tell Mama from Cabaret with a bit of a military twist.
A couple of weeks ago I went to see Sleep No More here in NYC. It's a sort of site-specific performance dancey piece that takes you on a journey through several buidlings and weird and wonderful seetings like forests and hospitals and cavernous corridors and is based on both Macbeth and Rebecca. You wear masks so that everyone looks the same aside form the performers and you follow them around until you see bits of action and performance. I had a really amazing time and actually had a very prized thing happen when I was taken into a room by one of the performers and had a 'one on one', just me and him, he rambling and crushing an egg full of dust in my hand and peering at me through a magnifying glass, me being pushed against a wall and saying yes when he asked me if I heard the voices too! He actualy took off my mask!! Transgression! Then held me and so I held him! It was frightening and moving and erotic all at once. And of course if I were to go again, as I fully intend to do, there is no way I will have the same experience I had that night at all. That's the beauty of it.
But at first, as I was wandering around looking for a performer or some sign of where the action was I kept thinking I was missing the boat, that the party was going on somewhere without me. And indeed it was. There is a ritual that takes place in a certain part of the building at the beginning of the experience that I missed, and that is why I couldn't find any of the performers.
Then, last night I went to see Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris. The message of the film - aside from French people are cultured, sexy, intellectual and artistic and Americans are stupid, mean, uptight and philistine (Yeah, tell that to the Tea Party, Woody!) - is that we all think that life is more exciting at some other time in history, that our now is never going to be as magical as some era of the past. However, we realise by the end of the film that the people from that era also think that their time is a bit dull and they long for a time earlier when they imagine things are better too.
It sort of made me think of that first quarter of an hour of Sleep No More. Instead of wondering where the action was I should have just looked around me and soaked in the atmosphere and the spectacle of the rooms when they were empty. The latter part of my experience was only so magical because it was cumulative, and included the first bit.
I guess I am just reminding myself how important it is to stop and smell the roses. Cos you don't want to leave the garden and then realise you forgot to, do you?
Honey had quite the weekend. First of all she attended Robert Wilson's annual Watermill Arts Center benefit in the Hamptons, and not only did she cause a stir (hello, see photo from the Wall Street Journal), she also actually took part in an art installation, people!! Yes, really! In the middle of the silent auction area there was a performance involving a man dressed as a dog and a woman who was in a kennel. Also there were various bones and dog toys flung around the stage flooring. Honey had her eye on one of the bones and eventually the man dressed as the dog came over and gave it to her!! She took it and then the overwhelming urge to bury it kicked in so off she went and continued her own piece of performance art by burying it next to one of the big stone pillars that juts out of the forest floor in the Watermil grounds. Look out Marina Abromivic, Miss Honey is the next big thing in the art world.
Then she popped on the ferry to Fire Island where she met up with some friends, and her dads attended the Pines Party. Here she is having a much deserved dip with me in our friends' pool
I want to tell you about a really great organistaion called Place In The Sun. They're from Australia, where so many good things come from in my experience, and they aim to promote vegetariansim and veaganism and especially how becoming one of these is the most environmnetally-beneficial thing you can do for yourself and the whole planet. Go to their site and see for yourself. And maybe you could order one of these natty T shirts that I am modelling below. Some of the prtoceeds will go to Baan Unrak Animal Sanctuary, Thailand and