Category Archives: Travel

Praise for LOVE IN RUINS

“It’s the nature of Fringe.” A phrase often heard, sometimes accompanied with a shrug, when something is less-than-ideal throughout the Fringe process. Though the “nature of Fringe” encompasses various challenges (we only have three hours to load in and tech a show in the space; our first time performing in the space is also our opening show, making it feel more like a frantic dress rehearsal), it also offers a sense of relaxed freedom–you work hard to make good theatre, but at the end of the day, it’s mostly for fun.

I’m happy to report that Love in Ruins at Capital Fringe Festival is off to a great start, with two lovely reviews after our first performance. Our opening audience was engaged and responsive. I’ve enjoyed building this intimate story with our phenomenal director Clare–it is so refreshing to work with a director who essentially reads your mind and creates a safe space to fail–and our wonderful cast and team.  All in all, Fringe has been a blast and I look forward to four more enthralling performances!

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The cast outside of the Logan Fringe Arts Space after our tech!

REVIEWS

“The troupe is quick and tight, a fantastic ensemble of actors with quick wits and good heads on their shoulders…Menendez in particular makes strong choices to humanize a character that could be read as cold and calculating…If you are looking for a sweet romance, a stirring period piece, or a heart-warming true story, this is the show for you. Heavy themes with moments of levity, “Love in Ruins” is certain not to leave your evening in ruins.” –DC Theatre Scene

“The cast was led by Thais Menendez as Mayte and Calvin McCullough as Guillermo. Both turned in solid, convincing performances…Menendez played Mayte as a strong woman, able to handle whatever the world throws at her. The fact that Menendez is a bilingual English/Spanish speaker lent to the play’s authenticity.”-DC Metro Theater Arts

 

 

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Meddeas Official Blogger

I was chosen as an official blogger for my company in Spain, Meddeas. They place native English speakers in Spanish schools as English language assistants (what I did this past school year). If you look closely on their website, you might see someone you recognize 😉

Check out one of my featured blog posts here. You can also read about the rest of my time in Spain by clicking on the travel tab above.

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New Home: Washington, DC

I’ve been here less than 24 hours and I am already charmed by this city. I’m immeasurably excited for my year with Studio Theatre!

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Morocco’s Sapphire in the Rough

Here it is–my first article on the travel blog The Culture Trip! I share my recommendations for a short stay in Chefchaouen, a true gem nestled in Morocco’s Rif Mountains. You can also check out my Spanish travel blog to see some of my own pictures from my visit. 

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The Four Keys

No matter how accustomed I grow to a life of travel, there will always be moments when I yearn for an old routine (especially my yoga studio back home), although the idea of “home” is a problematic one for me–is it a tiny studio in Paris, is it a cozy dorm room in Boston, is it my family’s beach apartment in Miami? The other night, I was feeling particularly uneasy before bed, so I picked up my copy of the Yoga Sutras that lives on my nightstand and flipped to one of the entries filed under “peace of mind.” I was so moved by what I read that I feel it necessary to inscribe it here:

“Whether you are interested in reaching samadhi or plan to ignore Yoga entirely, I would advise you to remember at least this one sutra. It will be very helpful to you in keeping a peaceful mind in your daily life…Patanjali gives four keys: friendliness, compassion, delight and disregard. There are only four kinds of locks in the world. Keep these four keys always with you, and when you come across any one of these four locks, you will have the proper key to open it.

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Sherry isn’t Scary

In fact, it’s quite nice.

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Wine tour at Tio Pepe bodega here in Jerez

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On Your Face

Spain is great. Most things, like fruit from the market or my rent or beers at a bar, are very cheap. Some things are the same as back home–mainly, popcorn at the movies. But other things don’t exist, or at least are not easily accessible, like the kind of products you would find at CVS. Man, I miss CVS.

Among these is facial exfoliant. Here in the city center, there are a few grocery stores less than three minutes from my apartment, but none of them have face scrub (or if they do, I haven’t seen it). I took this as an opportunity to make my own, which is better for your face anyway. Bye, parabens!

I’ve posted the recipe below. I have combination skin (on the dry side with oily spots, mainly in the T-Zone), and this mask both hydrates and gently exfoliates without throwing off oil balance.

Face Mask From Your Fridge

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Two weeks in town

Today marks my second week in Jerez. So far, it’s been a process of adjustment and an adventure (but what adjustment, Thais? Don’t you speak Spanish fluently)?

Dinner at midnight, even on weekdays, daily naps, drinking with your colleagues, random holidays, little to no vegetables, and incessant colds given to you by your students.

See what else I’m up to here. 

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Sobre el tema del destino

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A plaza in Jerez illuminated at night. 

I intended to stay with a couple in the city center while I sorted my affairs, but I’ve decided to stay here permanently. Carmen and David are a lovely pair and their apartment is something of a dream–spacious, with hand-painted Andalusian tiles and floor-length windows from the early 20th century. I have never met people more generous than I have in Spain, my new hosts included. It is at once humbling and moving to see a people stricken by economic crisis sharing half their lunch with you. The money is tight, but the spirits remain jovial and that will forever be my favorite part of Spanish culture. Besides, a glass of jerez is only 1E, and the flamenco is free.

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Safe and Sound

After three sleepless nights and a 23rd birthday in Barcelona, I’ve arrived in Jerez de la Frontera, where I’ll spend the next year drinking sherry and hearing live flamenco teaching English at a lovely school here.

Everyone so far has been overwhelmingly kind. Hospitality is definitely a Spanish trademark. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

Read more on my Spanish travel blog. Up there. Click.

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