originally posted August 1, 2014

Aug 18, 2014

This post was originally sent on 8/1/14 to the company in rehearsal at the Getty Villa, while I was in Shanghai, China

From: The SITI foreign correspondence desk:

On the Tianmu Middle Road
There is a minor typhoon blowing outside the Coffee shop where I sit  and  write. It is blowing the HOT and HUMID air away and immediately as one raindrop falls, the umbrellas magically appear,held aloft by mostly stylishly dressed women.
It has been raining off and on for two days now but I welcomed the change in weather and it seems the  majority of the  city does as well.
 Today I am on my own and so have been able to try and catch up on emails and do a bit of training (basic 6 is  CRAZY to do alone- I am sure I am doing it all wrong and I am not EVEN attempting to add the text yet!). But the apartment I have transferred to has  no internet – BUT does have AC!- so I have had to resort to a…. STARBUCK, I do not ever go here in the states. But it was the one  place I was sure had internet and whose  signs I could read and recognize.
 Yesterday I was taken to the old city and walked among large crowds of mostly locals all vying for a  deal… if you even looked at a product or showed interest  the shop owner would follow you out the door  asking you to name a price. We  broke down and did one very touristy thing and went to an old and LOVELY tea shop on the top floor of a building overlooking the ancient roofs and paid for an elaborate tea tasting and ceremony. To be honest- it was AWESOME! and the tea was lovely. I made the mistake of remarking how much I like one in particular and as I left the store I was handed a package courtesy of our host.
I have not seen much theatre at all but have had many wonderful conversations and tried when appropriate to mention the company, our training and shows. I have also asked  for information about contemporary Chinese plays, to read and perhaps direct at UCLA, and that was received very positively. So I continue to try and straddle two responsibilities, including mumbling text whenever we are in a car and include a link to PERSIANS @ the Getty with every follow-up email I send here to  professor and directors I am meeting.
Not much real news from here- and  nothing as substantial and exciting as news from the Getty home front. I am mostly sending this to wish the cast and crew in LA  a great end of week two. The process and progress is  very exciting to read about and imagine and I  cannot wait to rejoin you all soon.
Please  give my best to Jessica and  all our old and new friends you see at the Bootleg event!
Sincere best wishes from Shanghai,

J.Ed Araiza

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”  – Friedrich Nietzche