Because sometimes loving things "ironically" is too much work.
By Rachel James (Treasurer/Writer)
A few years ago, I began doing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (so did Geoff! Check out his posts about it here, here, and here). While there are many exercises you do during the twelve week course, there are two basic tools you use throughout the program: The Morning Pages and The Artist Date. The Morning Pages are three pages of long form writing first thing when you wake up. You write whatever you want, even if it’s parsed sentences that make no sense. They are a way to get over whatever is blocking you and open you up to new ideas and experiences.
The Artist Date is a once a week excursion you do by yourself. It’s meant to be playtime with your artist child (read the book... it doesn’t sound as hokey when Ms. Cameron explains it). You can do whatever you want, but it must be done by yourself. It’s a chance to absorb new encounters without the nuisance of an extra party. While The Morning Pages clear away the rubble, The Artist Date is a chance to fill the well of creativity once more.
I was thinking about The Artist Date as I made my way to a 9:30 am screening of Star Trek Into Darkness. As a life-long follower of the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, I had somehow missed seeing it with friends during the opening weekend. And with the summer getting busy on all fronts, I knew it was the only time I would be able to see it for awhile.
I’m so glad I did! Not only because it was an excellent movie (which it was), but because it reminded me that it’s important to take time out for yourself and enjoy the silly and frivolous. Obviously, as a single, childless person, I don’t have the certain restrictions others do on their time. But with work ramping up, and my FringeNYC ACR duties on fellow Crazytowner Greg’s show beginning to mount (have you checked out the website for Save The Date yet? Because you should.), I know I’m going to need my guilty pleasures to stay sane.
While I enjoy staying informed with politics and news, I see theatre regularly, and I enjoy smartly written and critically acclaimed television like Mad Men, it can be exhausting. Sometimes I’d rather not think. Sometimes I’d rather just pour smiles on my brain.
And these are my guilty pleasures that do that.
Actual screen cap from actual opening credits.
While I have a soft spot in my heart for many British soaps, this is one that I keep coming back to. It’s definitely aimed at a teen audience and has some pretty ridiculous story lines (not to mention, how do they find time to go “down the pub” EVERYDAY?), but there’s something about pretty people being pretty that makes me love it so.
"IT'S LIKE RAAAAEEEAAAIN-ing glass because you've been pushed out a window ON YOUR WEDDING DAY!"
I’m not talking Dolly Parton. One should never feel shame about loving Dolly Parton. I’m talking about some of the cheesy country pop that comes out nowadays. Even though I know with every fiber of my being that I should not like this, I will throw on a twang and screech out about guns, God, and the love of a good man. All to the chagrin of inner (and outer) feminist.
"You had some of the best times you'll never remember with me... Alcohol"
Nothing says “I’m a mature adult confident in my life choices” quite like my love for this Canadian teen drama. Somehow everything that could ever happen to a teenager has happened at this Toronto high school. All the angst just grows my heart ever bigger.
Books by Marian Keyes
I hate the term chick lit. I find it offensive and demeaning, both to women and the authors of these books. Because clearly stories with a female lead could only be appealing to women. And they’re only half the population, so why should that be taken seriously?
I first discovered Marian Keyes when someone suggested her book, Angels. This book was about a woman bored with her marriage who runs off to the frivolity of Los Angeles and discovers herself, as it were. It seems rather twee as I describe it, but that’s what guilty pleasures are all about. I’ve subsequently read all of her books since. And while I haven’t loved all of them, they do serve their purpose of entertainment.
Real Housewives of...
Sure, I download The Rachel Maddow Show to watch while I’m at the gym. It informs me the day’s news, plus Rachel is just the best, right? But for some reason, and shame fills me while I type this, the drama of The Real Housewives of [insert city name here] makes me breeze through workouts that much quicker. As someone who deplores the perpetuation of wealth amassment and women fighting each other for sport, I can’t turn this off. Maybe it’s the anger from these highly produced “reality” shows that help fuel my workouts. Or maybe I fall for the trap these producers devise for popular entertainment.
Clearly, this is my favorite Real Housewives franchise.
Now excuse me while I go on an Artist Date... Degrassi premieres tonight.
is a native New Yorker and theatre baby. Her plays have been produced by The 52nd Street Project and Starfish Theatreworks. She currently makes a living as a Broadway treasurer.
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