Carol and I first met through Cap and Bells and bonded over our shared love of theater and Latin. We sat down to chat about topics as varied and whimsical as Julius Caesar, natal charts, avocado hands and the moon!
When we first met, I remember we talked about the fact that we’d both taken Latin. I’d love if you could start by telling me a little bit about your experience with Latin.
I took Latin in high school because I wanted to be edgy. Then my Latin teacher was the nicest old British woman I had ever met in my life, and I just got hooked. And once you really commit to that, you have to keep going with it… I eventually came away with this special appreciation for the death of Julius Caesar. Now this is multilayered. Of course I took Latin, but I also had read Julius Caesar at some point in my life, and I was like, “This [idiot] is going to die in the most extra way.” He was warned about the Ides of March, and I just thought that was so cool for whatever reason. I thought it was really funny that there was a holiday commemorating the death of an important Roman figure, so now it’s become one of my favorite days of the year. Last year, it came to a crescendo, since Rob Hefferon [’18] did a reading of Julius Kaiser Roll [a bread-themed version of Julius Caesar], where I had the unfortunate role of Julius Kaiser, and I was unceremoniously stabbed with a baguette by John Rodríguez [’18]. So the Ides of March has always been a good day of the year for some strange reason that I have no concrete explanation for.
Speaking of seasonal changes, one of your other big interests is astrology. What drew you to that?
It’s one of those things that just came into my life, and I grasped it. The real reason I do that is because I love the stars and the moon so much, and it’s a good way to give meaning to my life. I feel some sort of connection to it. But it also just explains so much – it makes the boring “hum-druminess” of life a little bit more exciting.
You definitely do have a deep love of the moon – I’ve often seen, on various forms of social media, your posts reminding us to go look at the moon when she’s especially beautiful. Do you have any favorite moon moments?
There was this one night last summer, when I was working the [Williamstown] Theatre Festival, and I was on my way back to Prospect after tech at the Log. It was about 12:30 [a.m.] There was a full moon, and it was amazing – the night was so clear, and I had to go in the next morning at like 9 a.m., but it was such a nice and temperate night that I took the long way back, going up Spring Street to Route 2 and then back to Currier Quad. Then I sat on the bench outside WCMA [the Williams College Museum of Art] for a while and walked to the Zilkha Center, which is a very good moon-gazing spot. But don’t steal it! No one was walking by, and I just sat there for an hour looking at the moon. There’s this strange hum that comes from Sawyer at night sometimes, and it was a nice, warm night where I [could] just look at the moon. A good moon night!
So about the Williamstown Theatre Festival – I imagine you must have some fun stories from that. WTF was that like?
I hate that pun so much, and I hate you for it. I feel like the most interesting week was the week I gave myself avocado hand. For those of you who don’t know, avocado hand is the specific term for when people literally hurt themselves from taking the pit out of an avocado. This one week, I had tech for both a main-season show and tech for the late-night cabarets at the Log, the side projects I worked on. One day, I had the morning off to take care of something, and I was prepping my salad around lunchtime. I was cutting the avocado, and as I was trying to take the pit out, the knife slipped. I very, very calmly walked to the bathroom as my hand was bleeding profusely, and then I very, very calmly called my boss and said, “Yeah, so the thing I had to take care of this morning was fine, but also, by the way, just so you know, I’m bleeding a lot in my bathroom now, and I’m not sure what to do…” I guess I was just acting like, “This has to happen to someone, so it might as well happen to me.” I never told anyone it was an avocado, though, because every morning I ate half of an avocado for breakfast, and I didn’t want the shame of getting hurt by the thing you love most.
Finally, could you talk about your meme war with our theatre professor this semester?
For the lovely readers, Nicholas Goldrosen and I are the only two people in this class, Theatre 285, more lovingly known as “Scenic and Lighting Design for Performance,” taught by a visiting professor, Jason Simms. We have a team Google Drive for the class, and we all have these separate folders. One night, I found this meme, “Staten Island is not a Real Borough, Change my Mind.” All three of us are from New York City, and it was midnight, and I was tired out of my mind, so I just decided to make a separate folder in our team Drive, “Memes that Carol Found on the Internet.” I uploaded it there, and I waited to see if Jason saw it. A couple of days later, I saw another folder had been placed there, labelled “Star Wars Memes Jason Found on the Internet,” or something akin to that, and that was when I knew that I had started a meme war with my professor.