|Title:||Freezing Of Gait (FOG) | Solution | Walking Problems | Parkinson's Disease | Festination | Move... more|
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|Date Registered:||2011-03-28 21:17:16|
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My days at L.A.M.D.A. stretched endlessly one into another. I lived in a Victorian House of sorts...one of three that L.A.M.D.A. owned. We had attached gardens again of sorts...with hammocks and wooden chaises and little tiny kitchens mine of yellow flowers and white.
The kitchen where I resided my years had a little tiny table with about 6 chairs and an ironing board. We the students would sit around the table all the time and talk about our scenes and our private text pieces on shakespeare and gives suggestions to each other. Mostly negative suggestions.
My teachers had always wanted me to play Juliet and Rosalind and Hermia. Me? I wanted to play Ophelia and Queen Margeret and Constance. You know the real deep emotional roles. My teachers would say, "O Emme you can't portray Constance. You don't have the depth of life to portray Constance.
Constance is a woman who has endured hardship all her life."
Or on Ophelia...June White my first private text teacher, "Ophelia? No my dear you are not old enough to play Ophelia. She has depth and substance. She loves and goes mad with her love for Hamlet. You must play Juliet. She is young and innocent and passionate but without the demons and depth
Of course that just made me want to play Ophelia all the more! Here I am at the table with Christian the gorgeous 6 foot 1 blonde haired blue-eyed Finnish student(who became my best friend, spent his honeymoon with his wife in New York visiting me!, and later became a big movie star of Finland.
My best friend my worst critic.
Emme, "I have made the choice for my text of Ophelia. It is her mad scene when she is going insane and she starts giving flowers to everyone. You know the one? Here is Rosemary. That is for remembrance. Pray. Love. Remember. And here's daisys.I would give you violets but they withered all when my father died.
They say he made a good end."
Christian, "Ya Jolly Good. You just do your best Emme. Don't listen to June White. She is a wanker!"
Emme, "Okay whatever Christian. But I don't want you saying do my best! I want you to tell me I am very good at Ophelia. Or critque me and help me to be better."
Christian, "I think your Ophelia is coming along great. Juliet is a wanker. Don't do Juliet. Just make sure that when you present Ophelia to June White that it is perfect."
Emme, "Okay that is just really encouraging. Perfect!"
In walks Laurie Riffe a University of North Carolina Chapel Hill student here only for the summer, "Does anyone know where the ironing board is?"
Christian snorts, "The ironing board?"
Laurie glares at Christian and pulls out a letter from her supposed beau back in Chapel Hill, "Do you want to hear what so-and-so wrote to me?"
Christian, "Not really."
Laurie, "My boyfriend at Chapel Hill."
Emme raising her eyebrows at Christian, "Um...okay...."
Laurie, "He loves me. He signs his letter to my buttercup."
Emme starting to laugh and Christian laughing uproarilously..."Ha Ha My buttercup!"
Laurie, "So he signs to me Buttercup. You should both remember that."
Emme who doesn't like Laurie at all. Laurie is about 5 foot 2 and about 140 pounds a little on the chubby side and the fact that she has long blonde hair and blue eyes thinks that she is Bridgette Bardot.
Emme, "Wow that is really a nice poem."
Laurie, "It isn't a poem. It's a letter."
Emme, "Ya okay. I think the iron is over there."
Laurie grabs the iron and leaves the kitchen. Christian, "What a wanker."
Emme, "Is that all you can say Christian? Wanker?"
Christian, "So okay anyway. Can you show me Ophelia again? And then let's go find Bart and go to Harold Pinter's Caretaker Play tonight. It is somewhere near Convent Garden."
I show Christian the part of Ophelia that I've been rehearsing. It is pretty raw and fresh and new and I am young and naive enough not to be embarrassed by the emotional depth of Ophelia. I mean her Flowers speech is REALLY out there big time. Now looking back on it I don't know if I could do it.
Ophelia is such a huge emotional part to play. And I believe to do Ophelia one must be young and uninhibited and to really do her you must explore the depths of the character. When I worked with one of the greatest teachers of all time besides Uta Hagen in New York's HB studios, Irene Baird of Philadelphia
she tried to bring the character of Nina in the Anton Chekov's Seagull to life. Many hours of rehearsal in her private studio standing on a steel chair pretending to be a sea gull and weeks later I tried to do a part of the Seagull...Nina's famous, "I'm a Seagull...no that's not it...I'm a person..." Her almost as insane
Ophelia's speech. But I believe that doing Ophelia requires the belief in Ophelia and her dreams. And it usually takes a child to have that belief. As Ophelia was a child trying to be a woman to Hamlet. When I performed Ophelia at the age of 15 I beleived that I am Ophelia. That I LOVED Hamlet. That Hamlet LOVED me. That all
the world was against us and that these awful people made Hamlet insane. When I am finished with my performance Christian laughs.
Christian, "That is such a wanker of a part. That is really awful."
Emme, "Wow Thanks Christian. You're so kind."
Christian, "Okay let's go find Barty Boy."
Barty Boy is Barte Wilderman, a Czechslovakian Prince in the class. We eventually become fencing partners in our fencing and dualing class and I must say the best partners. Bart is very tall and very skinny and quiet. Harley ever says a word. I am talkative and animated and in all of our fencing skits I am the one who makes up
the skit and Barty Boy is the one who helps with the positions...such as 1. 3, 4, etc. One such class we decided that we were going to a movie. We had to fence to the movie back and forth with the swords and at one point take the movie tickets with one of our swords. Then we fenced more and the movie tickets ended up on a tree
and eventually we fenced til one of us captured and held the movie tickets with their sword. We all had to do the choreographing of the skits and I of course always won the movie tickets. Which Barty Boy never really cared about winning he was always like, "Okay that is a good skit now let's figure out the positions of the swords and the defense."
Anyway we went in search of Barty Boy in one of the other houses. The entire first year Christian, Barty Boy, and me hung out every day and went to theater every night. And I mean every night.The London theater tickets for students of L.A.M.D.A. were at the very most for a Royal Shakespearean play about 7 pounds. And if you qued at the last minute
they were ever less. An Original Harold Pinter play: The Caretaker, of which I didn't care for at all, Was maybe 5 pounds each. We would go to the plays and most of the time thinking that we were so much better than any of the famous equity actors would make fun of the performances.
One time we went to Regent's Park and saw a production of the Scottish Play. There was about 5 of us all sitting in the stands and towards the 3/4 mark of the play here came the soldiers on stage. One of the fellows had a huge steel helmut on and it rose about 2 feet on top of his head and had a metal drop down in the middle of his forehear. When he came
out on stage he looked straight at the crowd and my friend from the Netherlands Richard starting giggling. You know one of these church giggles where you can't stop laughing once you start? Soon we all started giggling. It was cold out. There was a huge wind. We all had a couple of London pints too many and it was a Friday night of about 5-12 hour days maybe
at that time we had been doing long hard hours of 60 hours of Shakespeare and here is this Royal Shakespearean Soldier dressed in this silly metal helmut and the expression on his face of The Beast in The Beauty and the Beast was literally amazing. Soon all the serious crowd started shooshing us and it wasn't until they left the stage that we all calmed down.
But alas the peace wasn't to be. About 12 minutes later here came the character. Richard burst out laughing a huge barrel laugh that only the mute deaf could not hear and we all burst out in giggles. Even the poor actor on stage wearing the helmut looked at us askance and we all ran up the bleachers to the very top. Maybe we hoped that having a new perspective
would help but nope laughter after laughter until the usher told us to leave. We actually had to leave and the entire time I kept mouthing, "I am SO sorry."to the actor who at this time just kept gazing hopelessly at us.
Isn't it funny what you remember? I am sure that that wonderful actor forced to wear that silly hat had quite a few drinks that night due to us silly young immature students. All I can tell you is if someone like David Perry the head master acting director at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts fondly known as R.A.D.A. had been in the audience we all would
of been thrown out of the academy. I mean it is a colleague. A professional actor. And here is a bunch of students aspiring to be right where he is laughing! It was awful.To this day I still remember it.
Anyway here it is maybe a June night and we're all going to the Caretaker. Three other people came with us, Mary Hermant from Canada,Dawn from New York, and another girl, Judy Davis, come with us. I really liked Judy. I thought her awfully pretty and very talented. She was a little uppity to me though and at one day would be condescending to me and another be really sincerely kind. It was her moods.
I beleive that when she knew I was being sincere she liked me. When she thought I was being insincere she didn't care at all for me. The problem was that she gave me quite a complex for I was always sincere. All the time every time. But when she would look down her nose at you you were like...Um does she like me doesn't she like me? Wierd. Anyway all the 6 of us trekked to the Harold Pinter show.
Mary came from a VERY wealthy Canadian family but I liked Mary anyway.She always tried to do the best that she could. And she had an unruly mother. A mother from Toronto that Produced and was responsible for all of the Broadway Productions that came into to Toronto. Which is okay. But when Mary's mother visited her flat at London, a beautiful loft at Earl's Court she yelled and screamed at Mary
for her untidiness and for ruining the flat. I thought the flat pretty cool. Very big. Huge Broadway posters playbills adorned the windows and we had many parties there. But we always helped Mary clean and tidy the place after every party. I hadn't met her mother but when Mary came to school in tears one day after her mother and father came into the flat I didn't like her. Plus they had houses in
7 countries, London, Toronto, a cottage on the lake in Canada, Barbadoes and a couple of other countries. I thought o please you have so many houses why yell at your daughter in London at theater school?!
Anyway that night we all took the tube and ended up in Convent Garden. I was in my Ophelia phase of only wearing the black and white tiny flowered dress that I had chosen for Ophelia. I didn't want to be out of character EVER! and I thought that if I lived and breathed Ophelia that June White would totally love me and that she would cast me in all of her plays. June had come from R.A.D.A. and
had been cast opposite Elizabeth Taylor in roles and Richard Burton on stage. (Burton had graduated from R.A.D.A.). Plus now she cast UPSTAIRS/DOWNSTAIRS... a British Television DRama and directed some scenes along with one of my other directors, Michael Latimer. Michael directed these series on a regular basis in addition to being a regular Royal Shakespeare Company director.
They later found Michael Latimer hung in Regent's Part a couple of years ago. They ruled it a suicide and they found him on September 12, which happens to be Matti's birthday which is the second reason I remember the date. I had googled him a couple of years ago to see if there was any news of people I had attended the Drama school with and found out that tragedy.
Anyway on we go to Harold Pinter's The Caretaker play. People have always said that you either love Pinter or despise Pinter. I didn't like Pinter. I found the play to be dull and unable to follow. I started practicing Ophelia 1/2 way through the play. There's fennel. That's for thoughts...They say he made a good end...and on and on. Christian kept shooshing me. I couldn't understand how any of my
talented friends could even begin to follow the play. When it was finally over we all trekked to a pub in Convent Garden to eat. During the first 3 months of my London adventure I only ate real London food. I didn't want to be a tourist. I wanted to be a real Londoner. I literally lost 11 pounds. At the time of 5'7" and 115 pounds going down to about 102 to 103 wasn't a good thing. I looked great as
Ophelia as a little waif but I was so skinny skinny skinny. I eventually found a delcatessen and ate egg sandwiches every morning before I went to class.
But here we are on the second level of a real authentic English Pub.
Emme, "I couldn't even understand one word that play was about. The old actor didn't make sense. I don't even know what he was talking about. Does anyone know what kidney pie is? Should I get the Shepherd's Pie or the Kidney Pie?"
Mary, "Pinter is very intellectual. He is a little too wordy for my taste. Do the Shepherd's Pie you'll like it better than the kidney pie."
Emme, "Okay; I am doing the Shepherd's Pie and then I am ordering a lager.That was the most boring play I have ever been to. I am never going to another Harold Pinter play again."
Christian, "WHAT! I am getting a lager. Pinter is a wanker."
Barty nodding his head ordering a lager.
Dawn, "I thought the actor did an amazing job though."
Emme, "O My God, Dawn you always say something nice. The play was so stupid and it didn't ever make sense."
Dawn, "But the actor wasn't that bad."
Judy, "He was like 90 years old. I think he was drunk on stage. He didn't even know his words right."
Dawn, "But he was good."
Judy, "You probably just want to bop him Dawn since he is a famous actor and he is equity and he is in a one-man show of the famous Harold Pinter."
Emme, "Who is Harold Pinter anyway? HM? I don't even know who that is."
Mary, "That is the only reason Dawn likes the old guy. She thinks he can further her career and if she says that he is a good actor she thinks he will bop her and introduce her to Harold Pinter."
Emme: "Whatever Dawn. Does anyone know where that young waiter went? I need to order that Shepherd's pie."
Mary, "Emme I don't know why you're even ordering the Shepherd's Pie to be honest with you. You'll just get the pie complain about it and not eat it and lose another 1/2 pound. I keep telling you that we should all go to The Hard Rock Cafe and enough of the real English food."
Christian, "Nope Emme has to have real London food. That is London we have to eat at a real London PUb."
Bart nodding his head, "Waiter. Some lagers over here please." He starts yelling to attract the waiter.
Dawn, "His use of the words is appropriate I thought and his careful mannerisms with the use of the space on stage."
Mary raising her eyebrows at Emme.
Emme: I don't even know what the hell you say 1/2 of the time Dawn. You should be up on the stage with that Harold Pinter guy."
Judy, "Let's eat. I have to call my boyfriend. Does anyone know what time it is in New York?"
Mary, "The same time difference that it always is Judy. 6 hours."
The waiter comes and I get in a huge discussion about Shepherd's Pie and Kidney Pie. I finally order Shepherd's Pie.
Everyone orders food and or lagers.
Mary, "Dawn I heard that you had some old guy pick you up in a bentley the other night in the rain."
Dawn, "Yes he wants to take me and Emme out do dinner tomorrow night."
Emme, "I am not going out to dinner with some old guy that picked you up on the Harrod's corner Dawn."
Dawn, "Just come with me to his house for champagne."
Christian guffawing, "Now it's his house. Horny old bastard!"
Mary, "No that isn't safe to go to some guy's house that gave you a ride in the rain."
Dawn whispering to Emme, "Can you please come with me Emme? I don't want to go alone and he is perfectly safe. It is just for music and champagne."
Emme tasting the Shepherd's pie which is full of grease about 1 inch thick and the meat is tough and impossible to chew, "I think that I am going to be sick. " My stomach starts to get queasy.
Dawn batting her big brown eyes at Emme...sighing, "Allright I'll come with you. But only for one drink and then he has to drive me home."
Mary hearing the banter, "No way Emme there is no way that you are letting Dawn talk you into going to some old strange guy's house tomorrow night."
Emme trying to eat the greasy pie, "It's is allright. There is two of us and if he is really wierd we'll just leave. Besides I don't want Dawn to go alone."
Mary protesting and yelling at Dawn. Christian asks if he can eat the Shepherd's pie since Emme doesn't want it any longer.
Emme nodding her head and pushing the pie to Christian.
Emme, "Okay this is getting to be very dangerous. I am losing too much weight. I have to find some real English food that I can actually eat."
Bart, "Try eating Fish and Chips. That is all that I eat."
Christian looking at Bart's skinny frame laughing, "Ya Barty it looks like it put a lot of weight on you too."
Judy laughing at Christian, "You're such a nice guy Christian that is why I like you."
Mary still on the Champagne invitation, "Emme don't go to that house with Dawn."
Emme ignoring Mary and ordering another lager. "I think I am going to do Ophelia tonight for everyone and I want everyone to be honest when I do it. If it is really bad tell me which parts are bad because I want to do a really really good job."
Judy smoking, "Okay I'll tell you."
Mary shaking her head, "No Judy , Emme doesn't really want you to tell her that she sucks she wants you to tell her that her Ophelia is really good."
Judy smoking, "No, it's okay. I'll tell her the truth. Do you want me to tell you the truth Emme or just tell you that it is good?"
Emme, "I want it to be the truth. Because if I know that it is bad I can make it better.Yes the truth."
Dawn, "So are you going to come with me to the guy's house? His name is Bob and he is a music producer."
Mary, "O MY God! A music producer. He is just telling you that Dawn to take young innocent girls into his house."
DAwn, "No he really is. I saw his albums. And he has a driver and he owns a Bentley."
Emme, "Okay he owns a Bentley. At least he must have a nice house."
Judy smoking, "He probably rented the Bentley to cruise around London to pick up young theater students."
Emme, "Do you think I could order the fish and chips? Or let's all take Mary home and I can pick up some of these great fish and chips at Earl's Court in the newspaper."
Mary, "Okay let's everyone come to my flat. Emme you can eat your fish and chips and I can open a bottle of wine."
Judy smoking, "I have a better idea. How about if I could pasta for everyone and we buy a couple of bottles of wine and all hang out at Mary's tonight. Tomorrow is Sunday and we all just have to work on our individual pieces for Monday."
We all agree although Mary has a little frown on her face as to where the 6 of us will sleep. She has a one bedroom loft that they the Hermant's own at Earl's Court. It has a big living room with huge bay windows into a one bedroom private on the first floor.
The kitchen is on the first floor. As you go up into the loft there is a leather love seat and a leather couch along with some huge overstuffed leather chairs. There is plenty of room in the bedroom for girls and for the guys and girls on the bottom living room
couches and the couches up in the loft.
We settle the bill and all jump on the tube. At the little Convenience store at Earl's Court Judy buys pasta from a guy from Bangledesh and Barty and Christian pick up some cheap wine. We all head back to Mary's place where Judy and Mary start busying themselves in the kitchen.
Christian asks me to do Ophelia and I concentrate really hard at making her come to life. Barty says that it is pretty good and Christian laughs uproarisly saying it is awful. Dawn says that it is very good Emme and to keep on trying.
Mary sets the table for 6 and we all eat spaghetti and drink two bottle of wine. Me and Mary and Dawn end up in the big bed in the bedroom and Judy sleeps on the downstairs leather couch. Bart and Christian sleep on the pull-out couch upstairs and we all sleep there til morning.
At the morning we all help Mary tidy up and Mary makes me promise that I won't go to the Music Producer's house for champagne in the morning with Judy. I don't promise but I say that I will think about it.
Dawn and I and Christian and Bart take the tube to the Victorian STation and Judy goes off to meet one of her friends.
Dawn comes into the kitchen about one hour later and says that her friend is meeting us at the tube station later that day about 8:00pm. I say that is fine. It might be pretty cool to meet that Music Producer. And besides Dawn shouldn't go alone and I figure that if I say that it is time to go
home sometime later that night that she'll come with me.
We all do the usual rehearsing and I practice different approaches to Ophelia. I re-read Hamlet and concentrate on Hamlet's role and how he sees the world since Ophelia is in love with Hamlet and that is the reason she goes insane and therefore I think that it is important to understand her love
to her man and that will help me to understand her. I try the role a coupld of more times and then I dress in a gorgeous dark grey silk balloon pants outfit.
It is a beautiful outfit that my dad had bought for me before coming to London from New York and it is very dressy and flattering. Dawn and I trek to the tube station and wait at the Piccadelly Center's station outside. Pretty soon here comes the Bentley.
The driver gets out and lets both of us in an empty back seat and I raise my eyebrows at Dawn. She just makes an "I don't know face." and the driver takes off driving through the center of the city. We come to a posh section of all huge townhomes and he stops and lets us out. At the top of the stairs
we find a huge set of double doors with big brass knockers and Dawn knocks on one of em. I make a sound of "Hmph"like what in the world did we get ourselves in for and all of a sudden a funny looking guy opens the door.
He is cute and short with a deep tan. His hair is a blonde toupe and I figure that this must be Dawn's friend as they give each other kisses.
Dawn, "Hi that is my friend Emme."
Bob, "Come on in. You're Dawn's friend very nice to meet you. I thought we could go into the Den and listen to some music and drink some champagne. It is Louis Crystal. The best. Have you ever had Louis Crystal champagne?"
Dawn says that she hasn't and I just frown a little deep in thought, "I could of at some time. I am not sure."
Bob leads the way into a wild animal den. That is the only way that I can describe the room. It is square and medium size with every wild animal skin draping on every possible surface. The walls they're covered with animal skins. The benches they're covered with animal skins.
The walls they're covered with animal skins and the floor. Every inch is covered with animal skins and the setting is like a harem. It is all wild animal skins. On the walls are gold records EVERYWHERE.
Bob, "Make yourselves comfortable. Let me pour you some champagne and I can put in some music."
Dawn and he flirt with each other but he makes sure that he includes me in his conversations.
Emme drinking the champagne, "Hmm it is really good. Do you only have one bottle for the 3 of us?"
Bob laughing, "You can have as much as you want Emme. You can drink champagne til you pass out and sleep in the den."
Emme looking suspiciously at him as she sips the champagne. Not that that is a bad idea but you just never know about these record music producers...
Bob, "I just bought 2 cases of Louis Crystal. It is in the kitchen. Drink as much as you want."
Dawn starts to say something to him and I head to find the kitchen. I never saw what 2 cases of Louis Crystal Champagne looks like and I want to see it.I eventually find the kitchen and sure enough there is 2 cases of Louis Crystal Champagne. Hmm...I wonder how much Louis Crystal Champagne is. And the fact that
that he has gold records on the wall. Soon the doorbell rings and I make my way back to the den.
Bob brings two older girls and some older guys into the den and everyone is talking and drinking champagne. Finally Bob starts looking through his album collection and I ask what the gold record collection is.
Bob, "Have you heard of "We are the World?" The song Feed the Children?"
Emme, "Yes I know that project. I know that song. Elton John sings on that album and Michael Jackson. Do you know these people?" I look at him a little askance waiting for his answer and drinking champagne.
Bob, "I produced that album."
Emme, "Really? And what is your name." I know it is Bob but I don't know his last name.
Bob turns the We Are the World Album over and there he is on it. He points to his picture and his name.
Bob, "That is me. I am Bob Guildorf(spelling). I am the producer of that album."
Emme, "Wow that is pretty cool. I love that album."
He smiles all happy that someone appreciates him. I drink a little champagne but Dawn starts to get ansy. I am starting to have fun and thinking that it could be a really cool party after all but Dawn says that she wants to leave and asks Bob to drive us home. Since the only reason I am here is because D
Dawn invited me I figure I have to go. I had drank about 3 glasses of champange and Bob tells Dawn that he'll have his driver drive us to where we live. I find that to be very sweet. We say goodbye to Bob Guildorf and friends and the driver drives us to the theater houses.
I trek inside on house and Dawn in to the other and I trek straight upstairs to bed.
In the years and rehearsals to follow I spent most of my days and life living and breathing theater and drinking at the various pubs and dinner parties univited and invited to with Shakepearean actors producers and directors. Some nights I spent as ill as ill can be and vowed never to drink again until that next theater party...The life of the bohemian actress. I raised money for me and Elijah Augustus my twin brother who attended with me the 2nd summer in Paris. Augusts is big gorgeous and protective and he would seriously play the guitar in these very exclusive windows as I modeled lingerie at about $5,000.00 American Dollars an outfit. It was all totally wealthy and exclusive and I only had to model...they were erotic and beautiful and I had a beautiful young body and the men would come with their mistresses 99% of the time and see the models as if on the runway. The women and men would choose the outfits and if they happened to be the ones you wore you would receive a commission. I never had anyone purchase less than $5,000 per outfit I had on...including the garters, the shoes the bras the corsets etc. And there is always big brother Elijah playing the guitar in the background. We put ourselves through L.A.M.B.D.A. the entire 3rd year based on the money we raised that summer.
And every night we got invited to posh exclusive eyes-wide-shut Parisien parties. Every night we would like children go to these parties drink outrageous amounts of champagne and caviar and sleep in the extra bedrooms or as usual the settees and couches of the aristorcrats. We never slept in our own apartments. It was a magical wonderful never to be forgotten experience.