Playing in Barcelona - About being alone

“Laura Puerta-Nueva-Rara” it says on the sign as I walk into the arrival hall of Barcelona Airport. My friend Noah is picking me up and he translated my last name into very creative Spanish (door-new-weird). I always love signs when I am being picked up. But this is the best sign so far. 

The picking up is an almost integral part of all of my travels. I basically always travel alone, so getting a ride from the airport makes me very happy. As do getting a tour, getting metro instructions and getting the key to a beautiful apartment in Barcelona center. Yep, Noah did a phenomenal job in the happy-making-department.

During my first night I could already tick off all the boxes on my Barcelona checklist. Spanish wine and tapas ✔ See a (pretty awesome) improv show in Spanish ✔ Meet my friends Dona, Luisa, Ben and Severin ✔ Go for drinks and more tapas after midnight ✔ 

Then during the weekend I had the pleasure to teach my workshop Playfulness to a bunch of Barcelona improvisers. It was such an enjoyable experience to let them play with the child within; I love teaching to eager students like these. 

And then the show… Ow… The show. 

Dona and I hadn’t played our duoshow Close Quarters in 7 months. I was thrilled and nervous: did we still have it? 

As we were warming up, I told her that I hoped she would do a poem (as she had taught this lovely workshop Impoetry). Dona laughed and then sighed: “Don’t say that now, Laura. Don’t pimp me to do it. Or I’ll make you do a dance.” 

So what happened in the show… I suddenly did a poem. And then later I also danced. Because that is how universe works apparently. Also, Dona was lovely and inspiring to watch: it sometimes makes me want to just observe instead of join. 

So yes, I am pretty sure we still ‘had’ it. Or at least the audience thought so. And they are always right!

The day after I did all of my favorite things: sleep in, have breakfast on the balcony, reminisce about the great night, walk in a sunny city, meet a good friend, have coffee and cake, be geeky about improv, giggle about boys, have a local beer, eat out with a group of new made friends, get stuffed with local food and then stroll through the streets of Barcelona to get home. 

The thing is… I always travel alone. And I am also alone in the planning, the prep, the teaching, the organizing, the logistics (that includes: making it work financially), the artistic decisions, basically all the other decision-making, the ups and the downs that come with this line of work. But everywhere I go there are kind, generous people connecting with me.  The Barcelona crowd was no exception. So in times I may be alone, but I hardly ever feel lonely. 

And now that I think of it, that’s a pretty good sign too :) 

Muchas gracias to Noah. You rock. In so many ways.

And gracias to Dona for making me shine again, Luisa for the perfect Sunday afternoon, Sarah for the apartment, Ben and Sev for being awesome, Matthew for just the bést conversation, Ana Isabella, Abbie, Annie, Christian and Sara for taking me out, BIG for hosting us, Tinta Roja for the cutest theatre and all the workshop participants and audience members for being so incredibly kind.