Radiation Level: Historical!
Listening To: Night Call by Kavinsky feat. Lovefoxxx
I’m starting a new class with the gifted kids – I’m teaching them how to research an historical figure then how to write and perform a monologue as that person. FALLOUT GIRL IS SUPER EXCITED! Most of you know the biopic is my métier. This is going to be sooooo fun!
To jumpstart the classes, I participated in the school’s “family night” where myself and a few other teachers addressed the synthesis of science and art. (What’s more fun that that?) We dressed up as people from history who were able to accomplish this – Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Shelly, Isaac Newton and M.C. Escher – and performed monologues. Who did I play? Not Mary Shelly.
I played Maurits Cornelis Escher. Yes, a man. My first time in drag and it was interesting. Do you know Escher? Many of you had his posters on your wall in college. I remember looking at his artwork when I was younger and needing to stop due to the raging headache that ensued. Can’t say I’m a fan, but it’s hard to hate on optical illusions.
The above drawing is called Relativity. It has inspired many movie sets including Inception, Labyrinth and Tomb Raider. Despite being a lousy student (I think Escher was dyslexic) and receiving no formal math training, Escher used mathematical principals in his drawings to create “impossible structures” that seemed to be going up and down at the same time.
Here’s Escher’s self-portrait:
I watched a documentary on the artist and it said that Escher (who was Dutch) had a wife named Jetta, but she eventually left him because of his OCD focus on his work. “Always black and white,” she exclaimed. “I can’t take it any more!” Once I heard that, I knew my costume had to play with the black and white of his artwork. The night before the “show” I was planning to construct an impossible staircase that appeared to go up and down at the same time out of my hat, but the teacher playing Mary Shelly called and asked if I could make her a period gown out of some curtains. I abandoned the impossible hat and (barely) made an empire dress for Ms. Shelley while I listened to a podcast of her novelFrankenstein or the Modern Prometheus while I sewed. If only Mary could have imagined this night! Perhaps she did?
The family night was a success. The kids had fun and seemed to be looking forward to my class next week. I’m looking forward to it, too!*
* I will not be teaching the class in drag.