Tag Archives: theatre

Students Guide to Theatre in Paris

One of my favorite advantages of Paris is the number of theaters and the -26 years reduced prices. In Paris there’s a theater around every corner, and, except for the big shows, you can almost always get a ticket for 10 euros or less.

With that in mind, Eliza and I headed to a local theater called La Loge to see the play “Première”. It was a one man show, except for a prop man, where basically the entire plot was that the show couldn’t start because they had forgotten the keys to the stage. However, this one little fact spread off into the most random scenes. Which, you’d think would be distracting, but suddenly I’d be completely immersed in the new scene without having any clue how I got there. It worked very well and was very entertaining.

Because it was a very rainy Wednesday night, there ended up being only three other people in the theatre, who were friends with the actor. So, for ten euros we got our own private show in a local theater right down the street. Not too shabby…

For those theater lovers out there, you’re most important tool in Paris is the Pariscope, a 40 centime guide found at any newspaper stand. A new one comes out every Wednesday, same day that all new shows and movies come out in France. It is the most up to date listing of all shows in Paris, their times, and prices. It also lists descriptions of new shows and all the same information for movies.

Another great way to find out about new shows is to look at the little advertisements in libraries, foyers and the such.

By using the “less than 26 years old” discount, I’ve never paid more than 10 euros for a play. I’ve even paid only 4 euros once, although I could only see half the stage, but it was still an amazing experience.

So, my advice is to find the cheapest play, that grabs your attention for some reason, any reason, and check it out. The plays I’ve seen have never been great famous works, but they were still entertaining. Plays are a great way to explore Paris, try new things, and of course pratiquer le français. 😉

Abba dans le métro

Yesterday

Spent the morning à mon stage, mostly I observed the others as they worked. But I also got to help pass out papers for one of the classes, wrap 3 paintings up for transport (you put the bubble wrap on the outside, don’t want polka dotted paintings!), and put a painting on a machine which basically temporarily saran wraps it, then heats it up for a while. This squishes any peeling corners, and since you put glue there first, it drys it. Voila, pretty painting.

Then I headed to phonetics where we worked on the Nasal vowels, tricky little buggers. In my grammar class we worked on more opposition phrases and some other stuff I can’t remember.

Then I headed home, had dinner with Julia and Gregoire, and headed to a play with the Americans. We basically looked through Pariscope (a 40 centime book that lists all the plays in Paris for the week), looked at all the plays for 10 euros or less, and picked one that sounded good. We ended up seeing Nono, thinking it would be a romantic comedy. Turns out it was written in 1905, or something like that. So, it was a bit tricky to understand and the jokes that I could understand weren’t that great. Also, the last time I saw a play, somebody led us to our seats. So, when a lady went to do it this time I figured it was normal. Turns out this time we had to tip her, and she was very upfront about it, refusing to give us back our tickets until we tipped her. Next time, I’ll just find my seat on my own thank you very much. But, overall it was a good time and I definitely want to continue our weekly cheap plays, I gotta take advantage of the -26 discount while I can. 🙂

Today

I spent my stage by sitting in on an art history class. I’m a little confused by the pace of the class. I thought since the class lasts all year it would be very slow, but we went through two centuries today. I guess since the class is only once a week for two hours they have to move fast.

I was taking the metro to Raspail as usual, and somehow ended up going up a different staircase to switch lines. All the sudden I heard a pan flute, it took me a moment but all the sudden I realized he was playing Chiquitita from Mammamia, in the metro! There’s always pan flute players in the metro, selling CDs or just asking for money. However, not only was this one good, but he was playing Abba! Only in France can you walk through the metro and randomly hear Abba on a pan flute. It made my day, and makes me happy just thinking about it now.

In phonetics we worked on the difference between words like “bon” (nasal) and “bonne” (normal, and for us anglophones it’s important to remember to say bon-nuh, at least that’s how I think of it. In my grammaire class we went over verbs like mener/amener/ramener/emmener/apporter/rapporter/emporter and had mini debates in order to use specific phrases which basically mean “It is important to ……., but this is my opinion….”.

Then I headed home, did my laundry, had dinner, and did my homework. Now I’m headed for bed very early, because I’m starting to get headaches along with being tired throughout the day. Socializing all the time is catching up with me, and I need to sleep.

Bonne nuit!

Louvring it

I’ve been horrible at updating my blog this week. So, I’ll try to remember everything that went on since my last update.

Wednesday I went to my internship (which in French is called un stage, so if I slip that’s why). The director was there so she actually gave me stuff to do. We cleaned out the classroom because classes will be starting this week and they needed somewhere for the professors to put their things. So I cleaned out cabinets and ran up and down the stairs with bags of garbage. She started adding paintings, photos, and drawings to the pile so I asked her if she really wanted to throw out the paintings, because they were beautiful. She said yes, but if I wanted to take some I could. So, I wound up with 2 paintings, 2 drawings, some watercolors, and a bunch of random photos. I put them up in my room and it finally feels like home, which is funny because I don’t exactly have oil paintings in my room at home. Guess it’s just the parisienne influence. After the massive clean out I took the subway, with all the paintings, to my class. Surprisingly nobody looked at me funny for carrying a pile of paintings in the subway. Maybe they made me look more artsy and parisienne :-P.  We continued to work on vowels in my phonetics class and the subjonctif in my grammaire class. Once classes were finished I headed to the foyer to eat dinner before going out for a play. During dinner I talked to one of my Frenchie friends about smoking. He said he had his first cigarette at 12, smoked occasionally at 13, and actually started smoking for real at 15. And he knows people who started at 8. It’s crazy. Anyway, that night I went to see the play “A deux lits du delit” with Lauren and Erin, friends from my Sorbonne class. It turned out to cost only 4 euros, although we could only see half the stage since we were in the cheap seats. It was a very funny play about 2 men who go to a hotel to meet their mistresses, who turn out to be the other man’s wife. I didn’t get all the jokes, but I understood the majority of it. We’re going to try and make Wednesday night play night, because it’s easy to get cheap tickets as young students in Paris.

Thursday I spent my internship scanning papers into the computer. Also, I got to help make some sort of resin for “fixing the paintings.” No clue what I actually did but it was cool. I left mon stage a little early since, guess what, another strike! Go France! This time it didn’t really affect my time in the metro at all, it was mostly on the outskirts of paris and RER lines. But, since I walk to the Bastille metro I got to see some of the manifestation, which basically consisted of a bunch of giant balloons which some name on it I didn’t recognize, and a bunch of people trying to hand out fliers or sell me stuff. So, I got to class fine and honestly can’t remember exactly what we learned Thursday. We might have started talking about questions and cinema in my Grammaire class. Thursday night we couldn’t eat at the foyer restaurant because of the strike, so one of the foyer boys was kind enough to cook for Eliza and me. We had something which involved putting slices of bread with ham, mozzarella cheese, chevre (i think) and tomatoes on it in the oven. It was really really good and filling. Then I just hung out with the foyer guys and did my homework.

Friday I spent the time at mon stage starting to translate the website. The girl before me did most of the work, but there’s still a lot to finish, and it’s tricky because there’s all the complicated art terms. It’s fun though because I really have to think about what I’m doing.  Then I headed to my class, again no problem with the strike even though it was still going on. In my phonetics class we continued with vowels, which are really tough for me. You have to think about where you put your tongue, when open your mouth, and where your lips should be. And it can change three times in one word, but you can’t talk all sing songy like we do in the US. In my grammaire class we continued to work on questions and discussed films. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be going to see one of the films we talked about for class. After class I went to a cafe to catch up with the GPPers and Jessica, and then rushed back to the foyer only to discover that the restaurant was closed because of the strike, so we ate kebabs instead. Then I rushed to the Louvre to meet up with Lauren and Erin because on Friday nights the Louvre is free to almost everyone, unless your old and not european. It was cool to just wander around with no worries even if it was only for half an hour.

Saturday, I woke up and headed to Cyberphone to buy some more minutes. The more people I meet the faster I use up my minutes. But at the same time I don’t want to not send texts because it’s really cool and important to text in French. Then I headed to the foyer brunch. I got there late so I didn’t really eat to much. But, apparently the French eat pancakes with caramel. It wasn’t bad but it just didn’t feel right. I had planned on going shopping and seeing a movie, but my friend bailed on me. So, I ended up playing pingpong most of the day and then going out dancing with the crew. We went out to a bar, which was nice because it meant an earlier night since the bar closed early.  I love dancing, but the bar was a little too crowded, so I honestly had a better time just walking back to the foyer afterword. We missed the metro, so it was a 40 minute walk or something like that. It’s nice just to talk to people and relax.

Sunday

My friend bailed on my again for the movies. So, thankfully Eliza was incredibly nice and went with me. We saw “Des Hommes et Des Dieux” which is about 7 monks who stayed in Algeria during the war. It was good but it was really heavy and deep. I think seeing it once was enough.

Today, because this post took about 4 days to finish, I started my stage by sitting in on part of the first class. Basically all the students introduced themselves, the heads of the atelier introduced themselves, and they said all the rules of l’atelier. After that the directrice showed me a painting that still had paper stuck to it from the packaging they put on it for transport. It was stuck to the border, and she had me make a solution to help take it off, and then use it on the painting and  peal the paper off. I’m not sure if that made any sense, but I was working on an actual painting, moving it around and everything and it was awesome.

Then I headed to my phonetics class and worked on open vowels, not fun. I love my phonetics class, but it makes me really mad that we didn’t do any exercises like this in High School or College. It feels like I didn’t really start learning French until now, and now I’m really behind. It’s not actually true, it’s just frustrating.

In my grammar class we worked on how to make phrases comparing things. Like, compared to his brother, paul is short. Which was kind of boring until we used it to have a very very animated conversation about whether TV is good or not. It was the first time we actually stayed in class to long, so hopefully we’ll do activities like that more often.

Then I headed to class with Marie at IFE. She started teaching us phonetics, which was good and confusing because she teaches it a little different than my prof at the Sorbonne. We had some fun doing French tongue twisters and just trying to pronounce these crazy French vowels.

For dinner at the foyer I ate tater tots and carrots because the meat did not look good today. It might be a bad habit to start skipping the meat, but I’d rather stick with my ham or chicken sandwiches at lunch and skip mystery fish for dinner.  I sat with the normal crew, and we had a heated discussion about films which was awesome. And then we got on the topic of pronunciation. I love when people correct my French because I want to speak well, but I’m so frustrated about all the different U forms. I wish I could magically wake up with the ability to say Cours correctly.

Now I’m exhausted for some reason. I think I’m just going to go to bed even though it’s only 10:20.

Bonne nuit!  Sorry if this post was written randomly or poorly, it took a couple days to finish.