I have a hard time understanding Spanish in the best of conditions . . .
For my first endeavor as a journalist abroad, I wanted to do start off with something easy. Being an American living in Madrid that I am, I thought press conferences are usually pretty simple to cover. You go for an hour, hear the presentation, and write up a summary. Maybe sprinkle in a few quotes here and there if you’re paying close enough attention, and that’s it.
That is not what happened. I went to a “breakfast” press conference where some of the head honchos for a new theater production were going to promote their show and answer reporters’ questions. While eating breakfast. However, the fifteen minutes I was late cost me a spot around the coveted breakfast table. I was left hungry on the outskirts of the area I deemed “the breakfast nook,” which was really a secluded area with a table in the back of the theater’s bar.
Consigned to the outskirts not only quashed my dreams of eating, but also my ability to follow the conference. The “head honchos” actually turned out to be rather soft-spoken; they conducted the conference more like a conversation, and a hushed one at that. It didn’t help that they spoke entirely in Spanish. I have a hard time understanding Spanish under the best of conditions, so being seated far from the action and partially behind a wall was a recipe for disaster.
But here’s what I gathered when I wasn’t thinking about how I could possibly snag a churro: a new theater/cabaret production called “The Hole 2” is coming to Teatro La Latina on October 25, 2013; there is going to be a lot of nudity (I can tell by the posters); and it is a sequel to the original “The Hole,” which was a big success. Once I had lost all hope of getting some precious breakfast, I diverted my attention to the reactions of the other people in attendance. Most seemed impressed by the presentation, and I surmised that most had seen “The Hole” when it came out. As the conference wrapped up, my last lingering thought was whether anyone had noticed that the whole time I did not laugh at a single joke. Besides that one faux-pas, I think I passed for comprehending as well as anybody else in the room.
Photos: Amanda Winograd
Top photo: The Teatro La Latina at the time of the conference
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