I was quietly working on some audition sides at my friend Gladys' sweet pad in the Financial District a few days ago when something..., no, someone caught my eye.
As in many places in NYC, the buildings in the financial district are close together. If you have your blinds up, you can usually wave to your neighbor across the street in the other buildings. Right across from Gladys's apartment, is not only a building with other apartments, but also a bunch of little terraces and rooftop areas.
Outside on this overcast afternoon, I could see a man on his terrace. He was not standing, and checking out the view, but circling. No one space in NYC is very big, and he wasn't even circling the whole terrace, so you can imagine it was a pretty tiny circle that he was making. Each time he made his way past the door, I somewhat expected him to go back inside, but he just kept circling. I wondered what he was thinking about that made him circle. I wondered if he was dizzy.
Gladys was working at her computer, but after a few minutes of staring at the mysterious man, I had to interrupt to draw her attention to the him.
Gladys was as intrigued as I. "Omigod!! What is he DOing?!?.....Ha! Maybe that's how he get's his exercise!"
I looked closer, "I don't think he's exercising...I mean, look! He's got a cigarette in his hand. Do people smoke and exercise at the same time?" Maybe some people do.
Soon, watching the man became a game for Gladys and I. We started counting laps. We squealed with delight when he stopped, turned and began to make circles in the other direction. We wondered if he would go back inside when he threw down his cigarette. But with no cigarette in hand, the man just made bigger circles and began gesturing a bit.
"I think he's talking to himself.....Whoa! He's really getting worked up talking to himself!! Ha!" Gladys pointed out.
I looked closer....And indeed, the man did appear to be talking to himself!!
"He must be crazy or something!" Gladys pointed out. I nodded with agreement, but kept my eye on the gesturing, crazy, circling man. Finally, after what seemed like hundreds of laps, the man opened his screen door and went inside. Gladys went back to work on her computer, and I went back to memorizing...But I had trouble focusing.
Maybe Gladys is right and the circling man across the street is crazy, but even after having never met him, I felt like maybe I understood him somehow.
The circling man stuck in my brain as I prepared for an audition and read through some sides. I wanted to know more about him. Was the man really crazy? Have I ever caught myself circling and pacing and talking and yelling to myself for hours at a time??
Indeed!! I have done this!!! I have done this when I was practicing for an audition or getting ready for rehearsal. In fact, I myself, was planning to head up to Gladys' roof to have some privacy and do the same thing as the man across the street to prepare for my audition in just a few minutes!!!
So the mysterious man smoking, and circling, and talking to himself was either a crazy person...or an actor!!
It made me smile. I wonder if I will see the circling man out on his terrace again soon.