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Pale Horse, Pale Rider


James Boswell had more hobbies than just following around Samuel Johnson; he was also “an inveterate execution goer in an age when such activity was considered prurient for a gentleman … Boswell diligently noted the names and crimes of the condemned: robbery, theft, escaping a prison hulk, forgery and murder. He describes a brother and sister convicted of burglary who met their deaths holding hands, only to be separated when they were cut down from the gallows.” He attended at least twenty-one executions, though they gave him nightmares and depressed him. The best hobbies (e.g., writing) often do.
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

he also contracted a lot of venereal diseases!

“I know not why he disliked having his birth-day mentioned, unless it were that it reminded him of his approaching nearer to death, of which he had a constant dread.”
How Samuel Johnson celebrated his sixty-eighth birthday.

Macbeth: Three Witches Representations I love




Witch house: three witches XIII. by Agnes-z-Garbledville on deviantART

Dancing gypsies @Danielle DiGioia

(via fuckyeahgreatplays)

Maxine Peake as Hamlet at the Royal Exchange Theatre (2014) #6



my aesthetic is patti lupone casually caught in a meat locker holding a trumpet 


Good ‘N Evil from Jekyll and Hyde

The Miller’s Son from A Little Night Music

Some Kurt Weill something (like maybe Who’ll Buy from Lost in the Stars?)

BACK TO BEFORE from Ragtime oh jesus

Is it really me? from 110 in the shade

Loving You from Passion…or I Read…FUCK

or I could do like, Fable from Light in the Piazza but that’s not age appropriate and I have to workshop it in a few weeks from like, an actor’s perspective…

the thing I’ve been singing recently and that I did for my drama school audition recall was Maybe This Time from Cabaret which I love but now I want to do something else. I could also do You Don’t Know This Man from Cabaret but I did that briefly 5 years ago.

I am a confused ex-soprano who is in fact a mezzo with a nice chest voice that isn’t a strong belt per se, more of a mix and then a nice low rich chesty thing below like F4…and then I hit a real serious sort of operatic sound around d5…I probably shouldn’t go above F5 anymore since it’s pretty fuckin screechy…anyways

so what song do I sing for my first voice lesson in FIVE YEARS? Does anyone have any other recommendations?

just sang in a choir for the first time in legitimately four years and I got SO emotional because oh my god being in choir is like one of the only times in the world that I can be in a large group of people and a) not hate them all b) connect to some of them or all of them even if I don’t interpersonally and c) enjoy myself. I mean ok after going to an arts academy for high school and doing choir and like—spending summers doing choral and operetta at interlochen obviously I am not a choir NEWB but also I could never sight read when I was younger even though I read music flawlessly because of my learning disabilities (I have spatial learning disabilities and I couldn’t connect the tonal distance between pitches with the symbols on the page without an intermediary instrument even though I knew every note, the interval between them, the chord, the inversion, etc. blah blah I took ap music theory and everything). but anyways I gave up on opera and choir because I had a really terrible traumatizing voice teacher who tried to convince me I was a coloratura and I’m actually a low mezzo if not a total alto with some upper extension. So I was singing Handel and Donizetti when I was 14 and it was completely inappropriate and I still remember going to my voice lesson at Julliard when I was 16 and a prospective student and being told that I had a beautiful voice that I was going to damage beyond repair if I kept training with my teacher (who I had been seeing since I was 12—we had this weird creepy power dynamic where I worshipped him but anyways I was OBSESSED with him and thought he was god and even got into fights with my high school choir teacher who was super legit despite being an alcoholic and an abusive teacher—but he knew his shit and he tried to put me on Alto I and I would literally REFUSE and say it would cause me vocal damage and ha ha ha boy was I wrong for trusting Mr. Stevens). Anyways this Julliard teacher told me to take a year off—no singing at all—then find a new teacher. I remember sobbing hysterically as I made my way through New York. I was told the same thing when I had a lesson at Mannes, and my voice teacher at Interlochen also insisted I was a mezzo and I refused to listen. Anyways finally I left that teacher and it was really insane and emotional (he was like insistent I would go to Eastman and that I couldn’t do literature at all because I needed a BFA) and then I started studying with this French bully named Claudine who was like 80 and terrifying and would say things like “why are you crying about your boyfriend? my family was killed in France by the Nazis” but she terrified me and I had way too many trust issues at that point and weird stuff tied up with my gender presentation (like, I was insistent on being a soprano because I wanted to be ~feminine~ and being a soprano was tied into my femininity and my anorexia and all sorts of stuff). So basically I just refused to sing in the correct register and kept pushing to do material with a really high tessitura for my audition rep which was a horrible idea.

anyways I didn’t get into any of the conservatories I applied to even though I got callbacks to Eastman and Jacobs School of Music (at Indiana University) but I felt like an absolute failure and I still consider myself a failure even though now that I look back on it, I was misguided and all my obsessive bipolar whatever energy and angst was entirely poured into opera to the point that I couldn’t function, especially because I wouldn’t listen to anyone except the teacher who was ruining my voice—even after I was told by WORLD RENOWNED TEACHERS that he was hurting me. I mean yeah I left it but I was still singing rep that was too high and refusing to work on the parts of my voice like…below middle C…and basically I had an unbalanced breathy instrument because I was just PUSHING THESE NOTES OUT. so after a year at SLC doing voice lessons with this crazy man named Wayne, I just stopped. I couldn’t. It was too painful and I felt like such a failure especially because like, my gay ex boyfriend who didn’t even want to go to a conservatory got into OBERLIN and USC THORNTON and U MIAMI and NORTHWESTERN BIENEN and omg-side note he’s a terrible person but also will be famous bc his voice is AMAZING—and I just felt like a fraud. So I totally stopped doing music because it was just painful and not fun. Which is heartbreaking. Because music has always been my biggest love. And the only spiritual experiences I’ve ever had have been in choir (or watching a performance).

Anyways. Now I’m in choir on my course and I have to have voice lessons again and my voice is totally out of shape and I have no idea what my actual sound is or anything but I just miss it so much and I’m so pleased to do it again even though I’m fucking terrified

this was just supposed to be a very short post saying that I was trying to listen to Jekyll and Hyde and I accidentally typed “Jerkyll and Hyde” into my iTunes. Lawl.

She’s an alcoholic. That’s it. Full stop. Game over. Of course she comes to the table with a great deal of psychological frailty, but her excessive drinking only exacerbates her condition. […]

Her sister Stella talks about her as a child and says she was always in a world of her own, always fantasizing about one thing or another. And the tragedy of Blanche is that she never got past that. The husband she convinced herself wasn’t really gay, the degrading encounters she tried to pretend were more than one-night stands, the march of time she thinks she halts by putting on sunglasses and dressing in high fashion … all of these things are signs of her mental weakness.

And if there is a weakness in the mind to begin with, then alcoholism will grab hold of that weakness and walk hand in hand with it until you’re heading surely down the road to destruction. The tragedy of Blanche is that as the play progresses, she seems to be getting stronger, but she’s only getting more self-centred and there’s nothing inside for her to hold onto.

Gillian Anderson on Blanche Dubois