Well hello there, everyone. Nearly everything I usually write about has been disrupted this month, but I’ve tried my best to pull together at least one artistic project update (yes, there is one!) and a few recommendations of activities to enjoy while in isolation. Stay safe, and may you all find activities that lift your spirits!
Quote of the Month
“Indeed it is a strange-disposèd time”
- Cicero, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act I Scene iii
My Newest Project!
One project that continues more or less as usual is that I have recently become part of an online Etsy store. Check out Queequeg & Paulina Vintage for an ever-changing array of vintage & hand-crafted goods! I have some of my handcrafted jewelry in the shop currently, and will be adding some knitted items shortly.
A Little Sunshine
Early in the month, prior to these quarantined times, I had the chance to visit Philadelphia briefly. Happy to at least be able to share these colorful travel photos of bright blooms from the annual Flower Show and some highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art! Although you sadly cannot visit this destination, or just about any others, in person at the moment, many major museums are offering extensive online tours and exhibits which are well-worth checking out.
Truthfully there are few things that inspire me less than being stuck in one place and not getting to interact with other artists face-to-face, but in the spirit of helping each other through this across the (social) distance... Here are a few recommendations of the best diversions I discovered this month!
Best Musical Interlude: There are many contenders in this category, with the Actors Fund’s Stars in the House fundraiser presenting two mini concerts a day and many other performers coming virtually together on other projects, but it’s hard to beat Kelli O’Hara’s rendition of “Take Me to the World.”
Best Dance Break: Earlier this week I enjoyed learning a few dance combinations from the current Broadway production of Come From Away, presented by the La Jolla Playhouse!
Best Page Turner: I haven’t finished it yet (I currently have way too many activities that involve sitting and staring at words on a page…), but I am thoroughly enjoying Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Starless Sea. If you are looking to escape for a few hours into a beautifully imagined, and delightfully literary-centric, fantasy world -- this is the book for you!
Best Period Entertainment: Wishing to travel back to a different time? Check out my Austen-related media recommendations from last month!
Shakespeare 2020: All the World’s a Stage (closed though the theatres may be)
There has certainly been plenty of time to read lately, so my reading of the canon continues as scheduled. This month we’ve explored some more (Richard III, Julius Caesar) and lesser (King John) known history plays, as well as one of the Bard’s earliest comedic efforts (The Two Gentlemen of Verona). I’ve enjoyed brushing up on the histories and find some great characters and scenes I’d love to work with, and although Two Gents isn’t a particularly strong stand-alone play it’s interesting to see where ideas used in many of the later comedies got started.
If you’re interested in catching up on Shakespeare in more bite-sized chunks during this strange time, check out Sir Patrick Stewart’s daily sonnet readings!