🎼C’mon! Hit Me With Your Best Shot🎶…

Greetings Gentle Reader!

Today is the big day!

I am actually really excited to get my second dose of vaccine. I was afraid at first because I hate needles. I mean, I HAAATE needles. So imagine my surprise when the vaccine administrator was right and the shot did NOT hurt. Because, you know, they always say “this won’t hurt” or “you’re going to feel a little pinch” and they are lying! LOL! I swear something traumatic must have happened to me with needles or something…

My first dose caused me a few minor side effects. Nothing too terrible, but enough to make me take the weekend really easy. A little too easy for my temperament, but I did it. I had a pretty bad back pain that was reminiscent of when I actually had Covid and I couldn’t breathe or move or sleep because of that pain. The side effect just lingered in that same area and definitely had me on high alert.

I also had the urge to cough often. Yes, I know that isn’t bad, but when one isn’t coughing at all and then this pops up, it again sends up a red flag of alertness. Oh, and I had a wee case of the chills.

Even if I have to put up with all of that again, I do feel that this is totally worth it. Not only that, but I hear there are murmurs that the Pfizer will need booster shots periodically. Bring it on! I was expecting that from the very start.

It doesn’t make sense to try and create a one time process (you know what I mean) to help fight off something that has the ability to mutate and become resistant to the current vaccine. The common flu is still kicking tons of ass with the shot being available for decades. So, yeah, I am expecting boosters or this becoming an annual thing like the flu shot. I just hope it isn’t always going to be a 2-dose process. I don’t like having to miss two days of work. I had to drive to a different city to get my doses. I could have waited for my local Kaiser, but then I would still be waiting for my first dose, or just be getting it now. I opted to go outside of Kaiser and my boss recommended CVS. DONE! It’s just I have to drive from Santa Clara to Watsonville. Not bad, but nearly a 2 hour round trip along with 30 minutes to get the shot done and complete the wait period. So while not missing the full day, there is a big chunk of time, I would rather not miss. But, again, it is worth it.

I can’t wait to see friends and family and do stuff again. I was gonna say go to a mall, but I haven’t been in one of those in YEARS! LOL. Hell, at this point I just might. 😃

How was your vaccination? Did you find that the needle still hurt?

This is a shorty post cuz, you know, shot!

Until next time, Dear Reader! Stay safe and alert and practice kindness.

❤️

🎼I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You🎶…

Hello Gentle Reader!

The other day I was driving home from work. Usually I have my music on my phone playing on random for all the tracks on the device and I have about 30 gigs of just music downloaded onto the SD card. Imagine my surprise when a non-song begins to play.

By non-song, I mean something that is not played on the radio, an audiobook chapter, or even a YouTube video. What began playing was the first run through of music from our production of Little Shop of Horrors last year, (technically, 2 years ago because we premiered on NYE 2019 before the chime of midnight, I guess.) For those that are unfamiliar, when you work on a musical, there comes a point when you try to sing through all of the music for the show in one rehearsal to see what needs some fine tuning or clarification.

Anywho, it made me really miss the cast and the theatre something fierce. Then my eyes decided that it was the perfect time to start burning so I had to blink a lot to make the burning go away. I happened to catch some lady staring at me while we were waiting for the light to turn green. Her face read as “WTF?” so I can only imagine the faces I was making. 😂😂

As the country continues our tortoise-like pace to herd-immunity (I really don’t like that term,) I can’t help but to be so excited for all the projects that I am seeing audition notices for. Even the shows that I know I am not interested in doing, I am just thrilled that the show is happening. It’s like me being excited for you to eat a delicious dinner that I am not invited to. I am just being a cheerleader on the side.

Can I just say, Dear Reader, that while I can’t mention the show, I recently just had something offered to me for later this year? I am over the moon to have SOMETHING on the books for 2021. Now, I just have to be practice a little patience and wait for rehearsals to begin in a few months. Hopefully then I can say what I will be working on.

I think what I can say is from reading the script is that no two performances are going to be the same! 😄 However, one thing that I do know is that even if everyone is vaccinated, some people will continue to stay away from crowded areas and events, so I am really intrigued on how this is all going to work out. Will the show have a live audience or will it be live-streamed? Will an audience even want to come to a theatre to see it? What happens if the ticket sales are hindered by the people that are wary of live events still? I get it. I can’t do it, but I get it. I have so many questions and worries for the theatre companies, but I am still super optimistic about the great return!

I already let anxiety and fear prevent me from doing things I would have loved to do before the pandemic and it has given me a different outlook on what I missed from just that, so I won’t be secluding myself from getting back on that stage or mingling with casts and friends. I am really looking forward to hugging my friends. A LOT! 😂

Getting my second dose on Thursday and then I wait. I will sit in the corner of the room and clock watch until the time I can meet my new cast mates and we get to play! Or until I can go out brunching with friends. 🥓🍳🥂 What? I love to brunch! 😂😂

What is something that you can’t wait for once things return to normal-ish? Is it something that is done in big events, or is it something as simple as hugging a friend?

Until next time, Kind Reader, stay safe and alert, check up on your friends, and practice kindness. We are all in this together…

❤️

🎼All Around Me Are Familiar Faces, Worn Out Places, Worn Out Faces🎶…

Hello Gentle Reader,

I hope this finds you well.

Wow, talk about March Madness! I have been trying to wrap my head around the senseless deaths that are plaguing the world. First there was Sarah Everard’s shocking murder. What this brought up was the fact that women are still justifiably living in fear and worry. Hearing an old friend’s confession of how many times men have forced themselves on her was heartbreaking.

Then came the Atlanta hate crime. A terrorist attack on 3 different spas where 8 people were murdered. This world lost Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue, because of the fragile white male ego. Yes, I said Hate Crime and Terrorist.

I have no words on the why’s and who’s. There are plenty of brilliantly put words all over social media by others with a better grasp on the situation.

So, Kind Reader, I would like to ask for your thoughts on this idea…

Arts classes (ANY OF THEM) teach people how to express themselves in a constructive way. This is why I think they are imperative to early education, but not just elementary schools. They should be mandatory throughout an educational career. They should not be electives, or viewed as a throwaway class. They should be held in as high regard as sports.

Dear Reader, why do people argue that sports teaches self esteem, teamwork, and leadership as if that is the only way to learn this? To this I say two things: 1. You have never been a part of a production, huh? 2. Sports has limited chances to teach leadership, usually isn’t it only the captains or star players?

So a big poo poo to that belief.

Music classes have been proven to enhance math and language skills resulting in higher test scores. Photography classes teach one observance and inspires self esteem as well as stress relief. Art classes promote physical and psychological wellbeing. In some, it can help with fine motor skills or improve cognitive functions. Dance class teaches discipline, self expression, boosts cognitive function, physical health, and boosts mood.

Speaking from my own experience in theatre classes, I can say for certain that theatre has taught me empathy for others INCLUDING THOSE OF DIFFERING CULTURES, controlling my own emotions, thinking quickly on my feet, improvising as well as some of the same things the other Arts classes offer. As far as teamwork goes, when you work on a production, any person in the show is a teammate. You are all working together toward a common goal, just like in any sport. When it comes to leadership opportunities, you have a slew of leaders: director, set designer, stage manager, master carpenter, lighting designer, costumer/designer, and producer just for plays. If it is a musical, add choreographer, dance captain, music director, vocal director not to mention the possiblity of assistants. All of those people are leaders in their area that are AGAIN working as a team toward the same goal. The end result of that goal, heck even the smaller tasks completed throughout the process, result in accomplishments that foster self esteem.

With all that being said, I will repeat: Arts classes should be mandatory throughout a person’s educational career. I can’t help but to wonder about my certainty that the world would be a better place already if this were being done. I honestly do not think I am wrong about it. That being said, I am not foolish enough to believe that it would solve all of the world’s problems. But I bet it would help…

Thank you, Gentle Reader, for once again letting me bend your ear. Do you think sports should be more important than the Arts? Can you help me understand why? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time, stay safe and alert as well as kind. Check in on your friends, especially those of AAPI and BIPOC backgrounds.

Be an ally.

🎼Now I Hear The Music, Close My Eyes, I Am Rhythm🎶…

Hello Kind Reader!

I hope this finds you all well and thriving. (Didn’t that just sound like a Kaiser Permanente commercial?)

Many, MANY years ago, I had told a good friend that I wanted to do a cabaret act or possibly a one person show. I have ideas for both, but was always too afraid to write anything down. Now, I don’t view myself as a singer, so that presented itself as a self sabotaging obstacle. I am glad that I can recognize those when they come up. Do I do anything about it? Ummm, not so much, but I am trying to get better. I consider myself an actor that can move and carry a tune. Sure, I need a bucket to hold all the notes, but that is beside the point. Most casting people see me as the funny sidekick or the goofball in a show. These last few years, I have been trying really hard to stay away from the comedic roles because I want to be seen as more than just the funny fat guy.

After years of playing that part, I started being hyper critical of others that were stuck in that same part and seeing if they were trying to differentiate the parts in some way or just relying on the same old tricks. That is what started my kick to not be the comic relief if I could help it. There were times when the part was just too good to pass up, but I have also been lucky enough to have found the right people that see that I can do more.

So when the chance came to actually do a cabaret show with some friends, I leapt at the chance! And I had a blast!

But that isn’t why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to share with you, my Dear Reader, some of the ideas that I had for that long time dreamed about cabaret show.

I had wanted to open up with the song “What A Party” from one of my favorite shows, Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party to introduce people in the “cast” after a small calm ballad verse and chorus, like “Flashdance (What A Feeling)” or a comedic verse and chorus of “Total Eclipse of the Heart

Then we would all sing a group song or two then they would sprinkle in solos throughout the show. I have always wanted the ending of the first act to be “Saved” from Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

Then to open Act 2, I wanted to have this sort of corset and tux tails combo costume. Think of it as a tuxedo vest that has a corset body rather than the traditional body of a vest and instead of ending like a regular vest or waistcoat would, the back would have tuxedo tails. The neck would be like a sort of medieval pirate shirt ruffle with the sleeves. Ok, do you got that image in your head? If I could draw a straight line, I would totally make a sketch for you. This sounds like a unique piece right?

OK! SO! I would saunter in singing “Paris Original.” This song is about having an original, one of a kind, Parisian dress and looking good for someone. Then another cast mate would come in with the same costume in the middle of a phrase and just take over the song. Then a third would come from back of the audience and take over the song in the same outfit and play with the audience to up the stakes. Next a fourth. And from there the song just becomes about one upping one another, which if done right, could be hilarious! What I really love about this idea is that unlike the production it is from, this will have all genders. I don’t want to say what I actually see happening in the ending just in case I actually get to do this. LOL!

Then I would love to have some short anecdotes from the cast a la A Chorus Line which would then plunge us back into the singing. Then I would love to end the show with a big tap number of some sort because I have yet to see a cabaret with tap dancing in it. Most likely something from 42nd Street because that show is so iconic.

I was also toying with the idea of having a moment of the improve game “scenes from a hat” from the show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Yet another way to get the audience involved.

Well, I said wanted to tell you a few of my ideas, NOT all of them, because one day, I still hope to pull this off. I just don’t know when. But rest assured, I will let you know. The more I think about it, I really like the “Total Eclipse of the Heart” possibilities.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with any of the songs that I have listed, I made sure to make links so you can hear them. I really need to find someone to sketch out that corset tails thing. LOL!

I was supposed to be a part of an upcoming cabaret, but because of my covid recovery, that put me on the sidelines. Pretty bummed about it, but who doesn’t want to be at 100% when performing, right? I love the fact that the opportunity was there and that should another happen, I will be in that line up. Just have to wait a little longer. 👍 The take away is that I am excited to do something that I was afraid of. I can’t wait to support the upcoming event. You can too! It will be on WVLO Musical Theater’s Facebook Live. The event happens February 26 at 7pm Pacific and 4pm Eastern. It is called “From Our Hearts to Your Homes.”

My Darling Reader let me know what you think of those ideas in the comments below. Or if you are handy with a sketch pad and pencil, show me what did my description make you think of for that costume in “Paris Original.” As always stay safe and aware!

Until next time!

🎼 Won’t Let A Stranger Give Me A Social Disease 🎶…

Hello Dear Reader!

Forgive my absence for the last few weeks. I ended up contracting coronavirus at the end of January. It was so hard! I have never been so sick that I couldn’t do anything. I wanted nothing more than just to be sleeping. I didn’t want to eat or look at any sort of social media. I didn’t want to read. It just felt best when I was lying down and alone. At one point, during the first week, I had terrible back pain. It was so bad that I couldn’t get comfortable and get any rest. As long as I was lying down, I was ok, but as soon as I needed to talk or move, I had a hard time catching my breath. It felt like it took forever just to get the simplest sentence out. Finally, I called the advice nurse and she urged me to go to the ER because my breathing was more labored than it should be. So it was off to the emergency room where I spent a good seven or eight hours.

It was a little scary because they took me outside to this tent structure that was used for covid patients. The doctors there were very kind and really upbeat. There weren’t many other people when I arrived but after they got what seemed like 20 vials of blood from me, four other patients came in. The doctor gave me two bags of fluids to curb my dehydration and injected me with something that was to help with the back pain. After about 15 minutes, the pain subsided and I was finally able to lay comfortably so I tried to get some sleep, but with all that was going on, I couldn’t. They wheeled me to another part of the tent and did a chest X-ray. The doctor came back after a couple of hours and said that it looks like I had pneumonia. His final assessment was that I had Covid induced pneumonia.

Even when I had regular pneumonia, I still was able to go to rehearsals and get through the three or four hour block of time. This was something way more painful than the regular illness. It made me question everything. I wondered what I was doing with my life. I couldn’t find anything enjoyable to focus on except for a sweet little note from my friends, Nancy and Riley. I put it next to my bed so I could see it all the time. About four days after the ER visit, I began to feel like a fog was clearing. At one point, I felt like I was time traveling and was in random places that didn’t feel like dreams. I know what dreams are like, I remember them pretty well. These felt like different times and foreign lands. Usually when I dream, when the “scene changed” it would just morph and suddenly the setting would be different. In this “dream time” I was literally whisked away through a kind of portal to the new setting. It was the most fascinating and unnerving thing I have ever experienced.

I know, I know, Gentle Reader. It sounds so bizarre.

In the last week, as I got better, I began to want to sing. I know I couldn’t yet because I didn’t have any diaphramatical support since the coughing made breathing difficult. I started by just trying to hum along with the songs from Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Breathing and humming along in the same phrases that the singer would use. I gradually had made it to actually singing. I still have some coughing fits and my range isn’t what it was, but I can feel the strength coming back. I continue to use musicals to help with my breathing and I wonder if anyone else has used singing to try and “get back to normal.”

So, Kind Reader, have you found ever used any of the Arts to help heal you? I feel like having that little hand written note helped me to begin to heal. I traced the letters and hearts. Then, with all that love I felt in that note, I turned to things that I loved to help me continue to heal. Call me crazy, but I honestly think without that small note of love and kindness, I would have taken a lot longer to heal. I even completed a 45 minute online workout and only had to stop once.

I don’t know where I am going with this, but I needed to get this out. I thank you once again, Dear Reader for letting me bend your ear. Until next time, stay safe and aware. Let me know if you have ever used something you love to get better from an illness in the comments.

🎼Heaven Knows I Was Just A Young Boy, Didn’t Know What I Wanted To Be…🎶

Hello Dear Reader!

I trust these last three weeks of the new year have been better than the first, no? I hope they have been. Things around here have been a cavalcade of emotions, I tells ya! What a first week of the year! Not only did we still have regular COVID to worry about, but now there are new strains? We lost 3 members of our family. There was an attempt at preventing the confirmation of a real leader-like president. There were happy moments with yummy dinners. Online visits with friends. Text message conversations with besties. Video messages with besties.

After that first week, things seem to have started looking better. Something that I have come to really enjoy lately, while talking with my longest friend from childhood, is the revelation of things that I had long forgotten.

The first high school that I had attended didn’t really have a theatre department. It was barely a class at best when I first started going there. I believe that the three years that I attended, it had 3 different teachers. But that is something that I can’t stand behind 100%. 😂😂

Each one had their good and bad, but I can only remember that last one had said the words “there’s no reason why you couldn’t be on that stage doing that too.” The day previous we had gone to the school performance of Pippin, which was life changing for me. I had never been able to sit so close to the stage where I felt like I could feel the Leading Player’s energy. I was in awe as I watched him charm his way through the show. I had never wanted to do something so bad. I feel horrible that I can’t remember her name, but I can see her face when I stop and think about her. No WAIT!!! Her name was Mrs. Current!!!! 👍👍 Woot!

I also recall that the first teacher claimed he was a working actor, but he didn’t really teach us anything that I can say was impactful. He definitely gave the impression that he didn’t want to help people become better at acting and I was really mad about that. This was the first time that I was able to take a “class” to learn how to be better at something I was doing since grade school. I couldn’t afford to go to any real acting classes, so I had to wait until high school. The only critiques that I can recall him saying are “You need to know what you’re talking about” or “How much time did you spend on this?” Each of those were usually directed at the other students. To my friends and I, it would be a “that was nice” or the occasional “good job.” I mean, that’s nice and all, but he never broke it down to say what was good, or how he came to the conclusion that the piece was ‘nice.’ Ugh, to say he irked me is an understatement.

Finally, in senior year of high school, I transferred to a school that had a whole department dedicated to performing arts and it was where I met John Healy. I learned so much in that one year than the entire previous three. When I think back on those years, I may not have learned much from those teachers, but I remember being allowed to perform pretty much anything I wanted during the first three years. I did a John Leguizamo piece that was SO not high school appropriate. 😳😳 My friends and I acted out the entire first scene of Hocus Pocus and we were the Sanderson Sisters, harmonies and all. WERK!🤌 I can’t remember any sort of “fun” feelings like that during my final year of high school with those new friends, so I guess that was where the trade-off was.

I used to believe that if I stopped and looked at the past, it wouldn’t do much to help me get ahead, so I rarely looked back. However, I am finding that this abstract portrait of my life that I am painting can’t be really seen or fully enjoyed if I continue to work with my nose pressed up against the canvas focusing on the details of only the right now. What I am learning from this is that while it is nice to have a certain color in one spot of your painting, maybe by adding it to another area of the canvas it can make your work of art all the more beautiful.

When my uncle, aunt and cousin passed away earlier this year from COVID-19, my sister texted me pictures of them and while the memories are super fuzzy, they made me smile. Hold your loved ones close, Gentle Reader, and step back from your paintings every once in a while to see if there are any colors missing from spots.

I hope the start of 2021 is proving to be better than last year. Mine may have started rocky, but things are looking up. Thanks for letting me bend your ear once again.

Until next time, Kind Reader, stay safe and aware. Don’t forget to create. ❤️❤️❤️

🎼Every Time I See You, Oh I Try To Hide Away 🎶…

Happy New Year, Gentle Reader!

I hope your celebration was great and you are looking forward to what 2021 has to offer. 

In my last post, I mentioned that I had purposely recorded a video to help me get over this block I have about being filmed or photographed. I am by no means shy but I am cautious when I meet new people. But still, not shy. An introvert at times, but again, not shy.

As I was lying in bed this morning, I had a thought pop in my head. 

You know how your brain can do incredible things? I began to wonder why I didn’t remember things and events that happened in my life.  There are people in my family that I have no idea who they are and how they are related to me. It could be that we never met, or we only spent a few hours together and it left no impression on me. Terrible to say, I know, but could that be the case? 

If so, what about when I think about the shows I have done? Yes, I have a hard time recalling those. Part of me used to think it was because I had done so many. The thing that currently makes me doubt that idea is that I can remember a lot of the people in the casts, so why didn’t I forget them? 

Dear Reader, the thought that I had this morning was “what if I downplayed my life’s events so much that my brain filed them away in the toilet bowl of memories and flushed them away?”

You see, as odd as this is coming from me at this exact moment and off the page, I don’t like to talk about myself. It isn’t because I am shy. We’ve established that already. I just don’t think I am anything interesting or special. When I am talking to people and they ask “what I am working on?” or “what have I been up to?” I tend to offer a quick mumbled reply with not much emotion behind it.  By doing this, it alleviates their curiosity and I can quickly ask something about them to keep the “conversation” going. 

Consider this, what if this is/was a form of subconscious self talk? What if I had been telling myself, unintentionally, all those years that those shows weren’t important or significant or memorable to me?   

I can’t recall why this was something that popped in my head but now it is all that I can think about. While thinking about this, I recalled that I felt this way for a really long time, at least since elementary school. Is it a coincidence that this was when I had my first role? I began to think about school in general and up until high school, I was a really good student.  Honor roll and perfect attendance most of the time. I recall it being boring. I would finish the work quickly and talk a lot in class. This always got me in trouble.  Every day. Name on the board and at least 4 check marks after it, that was me. I wasn’t a bad kid, but I was always in trouble. It never seemed to matter that I had great grades and that my social marks were good, nothing ever seemed to matter to my parents. Finally, in high school I realized that there didn’t seem to be any reason to try so hard.  So I didn’t. 

I think maybe that’s why I feel like everything I do is not really interesting. 

We all know how powerful intention is and the power of thought.  Why couldn’t this be the reason I don’t recall as well as I would like? 


This now begs the question, Kind Reader, what will I do now? Ummm, obvious I need to come up with an experiment! But, I don’t know what it is yet. 😂😂😂

Do you have any suggestions, Gentle Reader? Any thoughts on whether you think you can accidentally force amnesia upon yourself without a traumatic experience? Let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments or if you think this isn’t even something that is possible. I’d love to know what you think. 

Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe and alert.  See you next post and thanks for letting me bend your ear. 

P.S. Someone asked if the titles of the post are actual songs and the answer is no. They are lyrics in songs but not song titles themselves, usually.

🎼There’s Something Due Any Day…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!!

Happy New Year! Well, close to it anyway. 😉

I recently came upon a meme or maybe it was just a few sentences in a colorful box… in any case, it inspired me to work on a project that is still causing me to quake.

I have this dislike, pretty much an irrational fear, of being on videos and pictures. If I don’t see the camera, or they are far away, then I am fine, but I freeze up with a camera all up in muh face, ya know?

This idea came to me about 2 weeks ago. It has me REALLY excited because I get to do things that I don’t think have been done yet. Here’s the thing, I always get what I think are really cool ideas, but then I freak out because they aren’t turning out as good as I would like so they get put in the “Finish Later” pile. Next thing I know, the idea is out in the world from the mind of someone else. And people like it. It’s great because it validates the idea, but I get bummed out because I didn’t finish hatching the idea into its fullest form.

I had listened to an audio book a million years ago, at least that’s what it feels like, about creativity and the life of it. It posits that an idea is a small “living” thing. It connects with someone that could bring it to life and you make an agreement to do it so it sticks with you. However, if you don’t complete your end of the agreement, it will go off and find another person that could bring it into fruition.

Well, Dear Reader, I am tired of breaking my “contracts.” The only way for me to get past that is to face my dislikes/fears and get my big ass in gear. I need to talk myself down when I start to freak out. This always seems to happen when I begin the actual “building” of the project. My process always has me write out what the whole project should be. It helps to create the game plan and I am always jazzed about this part. Next, I get the tools or equipment, and once those start to accumulate, I start the freaking out. I don’t know why… I am lying, I do know. What if people hate it? What if it doesn’t work? What if it just isn’t a good idea? Like drinking Clorox to kill the Covid-19 virus. (DON’T DO THAT BY THE WAY!!!)

So, I posted my first video on Instagram in an effort to take that first step. It was kind of rushed and I should have really warmed up my voice since I haven’t really sang like this all year. And my Covid hair is all wackadoo. Well, not too bad, it is just so unruly. I wake up in the mornings with Einstein’s crazy hair. 😂😂This was also a great way to figure out how I can set up for video auditions. It was satisfying to figure that out and to know that I have this information in my back pocket so if I need to do an audition with little prep time, I can pop this out quick and not have to think about it.

The passage that I had mentioned at the top of the post went something to the effect of: (I can’t recall the exact numbers, so that will probably be off). “In his life, Van Gogh painted thousands of works. From that, only about 100 are famous. From that, only half are masterpieces. The object should not be to create a masterpiece with every work but to create pieces that others may see regardless if they were brilliant.”

With that in mind, I will never complete anything if I try to make everything exactly like I see it in my head. (Even though that is way cooler than what the real thing becomes.) I will have to try frickin’ hard to let go of that mentality, but I am hoping that by writing about it and putting in the universe that it will be easier. 🤞for me.

To you, Kind Reader, I wish you the most amazing 2021. May you follow your passions, conquer your fears, and love with your whole heart. I thank you for allowing me to vent/rant/ramble and what not. I look forward to connecting with you all better in the coming months.

Happy New Year, you lovely people.

🎼I Wanna Be Where The People Are…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!!

I hope you have been keeping safe and healthy. I have been hermitting (is that a verb?) {I guess since “friending” is a verb now, I don’t see how hermitting can’t be far behind thanks to quarantine.}

Turkey Day has come and gone and Christmas is right around the corner. Have any of you had a hard time finding footing this second round surge of COVID cases? I will be fine for two weeks, very nearly productive and everything, but then I hit this wall of “tireds” that seems to come from nowhere. I don’t know if it is just a shut down because I have TOO MANY choices of what I can do, or if it is another form of depression. I just lay on the couch and sleep. My head screams, get up and get going, but my body just wants to be still. The cold is not really an issue for me, so it isn’t because I am all warm and cuddly as I am vegging out. As I write this, I have all the windows wide open welcoming in the crisp cool breeze that is softly circulating through the apartment. There was even a handful of times that I had inspiration to write, but then I found myself on the couch surfing TV but not really watching anything.

I marvel at the battle that was within.

I am fascinated that my very nature of not wanting to waste time doing nothing gets defeated by this “something” that I don’t even comprehend. I am sure I have mentioned that I can’t binge stuff because I feel like I am wasting time. After two, MAYBE three episodes, I have to get up and do something, anything. Yet, I wasn’t “seeing” things on TV and I wasn’t feeling anything other than lack of feeling. The amount of apathy that I had while on my own was astounding.

Dear Reader, it makes me wonder what is going to happen when the world finally returns to something similar to what we used to know. Will I want to get back out and do the activities that I used to enjoy? Will I want to go out and have drinks? Will I want to spend any more time outside that I absolutely need to? All of these questions make me REALLY apprehensive of the big question that looms in my brain… Will I want to audition anymore?

Honestly, I don’t even know.

The future is full of unknowns. That is really scary.

It is also full of potential. That really gives me hope.

“I wanna be where the people are. I wanna see, see them dancing.”

I wanna be dancing too! One thing I never give up on is love. I honestly believe that when there is nothing, we fight for love. Not just physical love, but any kind of love/passion, and as we head into a new year, with a NEW PRESIDENT!!!! YAY!!!!, and the potential for two vaccines, I have hope. My fingers are crossed, Kind Reader, that with hope comes that drive that I had before my world got lonely.

Until next time… Please stay safe, Sweet Reader. I am wishing all the best to you and your families along with the happiest of holiday wishes just in case I hit that wall again and don’t make it back on until 2021. I send love and positivity to you all.

5 Things I Missed This Halloween…

Hello Dear Reader!

I hope you had a lovely end to October. Here in the Bay Area, we finally began to feel Fall-like weather. We had some blustery winds and cooler temps which was so nice. Speaking of nice, did you catch that gorgeous Blue Moon on Saturday night? It was stunning! 😍

And totally fitting since Halloween was on Saturday. My favorite holiday was really a bummer this year. Thanks to La ‘Rona, it was nothing like any of the other years. This made me sad at all the things that I didn’t get to enjoy. Let’s see if you missed these too…

5. Release of new scary movies to enjoy in the cinemas – Watching a scary movie in a room full of people with a great sound system is something that I love to do regardless of what time of year it is. Usually there is a slew of scary movies that get released in the months leading up to October. Just not this year. However, I am REALLY looking forward to the new Halloween sequel “Halloween Kills” that is coming next year. I cannot wait!😃😃😃

4. Halloween Parties! – My friends Matt and Jenn would have a super fun Halloween party every year with trophies and everything for costume contest fun. The beverage options are also aplenty! Getting to spend some time with theatre friends is always a blast! The last couple of years, I have attended Big Moves – A Taste for Dance which celebrates that dance is for every body and it is a family affair. There are singers and a costume contest and a chocolate tasting as well as several dance performances. It is such a positive vibe. Somewhere in October, I am pretty sure there was a Club Satori goth night that happens too, so I can get my boogie on! 😂

3. Little kids in costume – I love seeing all the mini versions of superheroes or ghouls and vampires and little witches. The adorableness of these tiny outfits just make me smile. Hearing them scream and laugh as they trick or treat is just a really heartwarming thing for me.

2. Haunted Houses!!! – I love a haunted house. I am terrified and tense the whole time, but I LOVE it!!! It wasn’t until we had gone to the Universal Horror Haunt that I began to appreciate the work that goes into it. From the people that are the characters to the make up artists to the house design, there is a TON of creativity that goes into each house. I feel bad for not really appreciating it before. I was just going in for the purely selfish reason of being scared. LOL!😂😂

  1. Disney Halloween!!!! I was so excited for this year because at the end of March we were supposed to go for our anniversary, but the pandemic halted those plans. Then we wanted to go to the Halloween events this year, but as you can see, we are still not able to go to the parks. As sad as it is Gentle Reader, it is better to be safe than sorry, so I totally get it.

Well, those are the 5 things that I missed for this year’s Halloween. While we did get the awesome Blue Moon, Halloween just wasn’t the same. Do you like Halloween? What are some of the things you missed this year so far? Doesn’t even have to be Halloween specific. I also missed going out to celebrate my birthday, but that was several months ago.

Stay safe and alert, Kind Reader! Be sure to spread kindness and don’t forget to vote! The time is now!👍

Until next time, have a wonderful day and I am sending all the love to you wherever you are! ❤️❤️

🎼10 Music Acts 🎤 That I Want A Broadway Musical From 🎭… Bonus Footage…

Hello Gentle Reader,

I am really pleased with the end result of my last series of posts. I have been asked about other artists that I love and why I skipped them or didn’t have so and so on the list. There were a few people that were initially on the list, but I wanted to narrow it down to just 10 because I am sure I could easily have made the list of 25 Music Acts…

So, in light of the questions, I wanted to add some answers to the people that should have been on the list but didn’t make my official list. Let’s go!

*Florence + The Machine – Once I finished focusing on the acts, I had to go through and see who would I like to see on Broadway in the 2021/22 season. This band was number 13. While I love how Florence Welch’s voice brings their songs to life, I think their songwriting style is totally suitable to musical theatre. If I were working on a project that was a modern historical fiction (60’s – 00’s), they would be the first people that I would run to. 

*Lady Gaga – Like Panic!, I feel like it may only be a matter of time before this actually happens so she was number 15. What I would love to see and I think could be magical is for her to write the music for a fantastical fairy tale or tech heavy sci-fi story. But the fairy tale would be my first choice. 

*Janelle Monae – She was number 11! If there is anyone I want to see a tech heavy sci-fi musical from it is her! She has such a unique sensibility and I think her use of organic and electronic music would give her an edge on this style.

*Beyonce’ – I didn’t have her on the list because with her “Black Is King” on Disney+, it is only a matter of time before Disney puts her show on Broadway. Official prediction: I am guessing 2024/25 season possibly sooner. Let’s see how that prediction holds up.

*Madonna – I love Madge. I really do even now. Were she in her Ray Of Light mindset or earlier, I would love to see her create some sort of underdog story with a strong female lead. At this time, I am not sure what she would make. I still enjoy her albums, but not in a storyteller kind of way. More like a I just want to dance or have some fun. I like the idea of the Madame X persona, but I feel like it lacks a focus because it is SO broad.

*Depeche Mode – They ended up being my number 12. I love these guys. Their sound has evolved and continues to mature. I feel like a blue collar story with some sort of big secret would best suit their sound.

*John Mellencamp – You know what I would LOVE to hear from him? I would love a growing up story about Jack and Dianne. What happened to them? Did they have a family and grow old together? Did he develop a substance abuse problem and it was up to her to keep the family together? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!

*Shakira – Since her sound has a lot of world music influence, I feel like she would be the perfect person to add to a team working on a battle of the bands kind of musical. Her song stylings are quite diverse and with her experience, I think it could make for an amazing piece of art.

Well, Dear Reader, this is the group that didn’t make the list. Not for any reason other than there are just too many people to make top 10. Did I miss your favorite? Who was it? Let me know what act you would like to see.

Oh, I think it is great to mention, Lovely Reader Dana emailed me with the suggestion of The Decemberists making a musical based on their rock opera styled album Hazards of Love. I think that is a friggin’ brilliant idea and I am super bummed that I didn’t catch that! LOL. But that’s why we have a community, right? Great call, Dana!!!

Okay, Kind Reader, it is time to get back to the day’s tasks. Let me know in the comments if you agree with Fellow Reader Dana or to let me know who your favorites are.

Until next time, stay safe and alert and make sure you check in with your loved ones! Sending you love ❤️and light🕯!

🎼10 Music Acts 🎤 That I Want A Broadway Musical From 🎭… Part 2

Hello Gentle Reader!

Well, I hope you liked Part 1 of this list. I know some people won’t. I have my fingers crossed that the end of this list will surprise you. Although, now that I think about it, it may not be that surprising. LOL!

I would like to issue a challenge. Listen to a playlist of one or all, who am I to say, of the artists that I listed and let me know if you can hear a different genre of musical for them to write. I would be curious to see what you thought, Dear Reader.

Now let’s get on with the list at hand, shall we?

Singer Pink performs at the 52nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on January 31, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
  1. P!nk – I love her songwriting style after Linda Perry! It is heartfelt and emotionally revealing.  I think a tragic romance would be a perfect combination for a Broadway hit!
  1. Garth Brooks – The breadth of his work is almost unparalleled in the music industry.  He has had massive success with his straight up honky tonk twangy country as well as the later “new country” sound. Some of his songs actually have a pop feel and sound.  A musical based on a familial conflict would be something that I would LOVE to see hit Broadway at some point. 
  1. Rhiannon Giddens – Her rich voice and impassioned songs create a strong connection with emotion. I feel like a historical drama would work really well with her folk style. 
  1. PRINCE!!!!! – This one kills me because I wish he was still alive. If anyone could write for any story, this would be the artist. He is probably the one person with a larger diversity of work than Garth Brooks. His experimentation was always exciting. Sometimes, I didn’t get it, but I always appreciate any time an artist takes a chance on something very different than what they became popular with.  How else are they supposed to grow? I would have loved to see him on ANY project. I mean it.  Any project. The one thing that I would be cautious about is the collaborative aspect. Prince was known for wanting complete artistic control of his works, which I totally get, but sometimes you need to be part of a team. Even Lin-Manuel Miranda has a team. 
  1. Jason Mraz – I mean he has already proven he can write a kind of musical.  Did any of you catch Marl’s Mragical Ranch? His emotive and whimsical songs would pair well with nearly any style of story. Personally, I would love to see him write something that is similar to the School House Rock but with an environmental twist since that is something that he is passionate about. He can Lin-Manuel  his way onto Broadway if he wanted. 

Well, Kind Reader, that’s my list of 10 music acts I would like to see original Broadway shows from. At least the 10 as of this moment in time. If you could have a music act write a show, who would you want? What genre of show would you like? Am I asking too many questions? 😂 There were a few other people that I thought would be good ones to list but I couldn’t think of what type of show I would love to see them write so I will add a bonus section to this list.

🎼10 Music Acts 🎤 That I Want A Broadway Musical From 🎭… Part 1

Some of the Jukebox Musicals from Broadway

Hello Gentle Reader!

I have been on the hunt for a survival job while we all wait for the COVID-19 effects to dissipate and my regular survival job to return. During this time, I have been listening to a lot of Spotify. I mean A LOT! I am certain that I have mentioned that I have an affinity for pop music even though so many of my friends think it is the worst music. 😂 This got me thinking about the subject at hand. Who should take a chance at writing a musical?

While I look forward to the jukebox musical “Oh L’Amour” based on the music of one of my favorites, Erasure, I want to specify that I honestly think the people in this list can create an amazing ORIGINAL musical for Broadway. Not that there is anything wrong with a jukebox musical I love shows like “Jagged Little Pill,” “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical,” “American Idiot,” and “Jersey Boys,” but I like being surprised by the new creativity of the artists. For example, I was REALLY looking forward to the “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” since it was a project featuring music by Bono and Edge from U2.  Turns out the only thing I wanted to “turn off” was the music. 😳 On the flip side, “Waitress,” “Everyone’s Talking About Jamie,” “Memphis” and “Bright Star” are remarkable works featuring the talents of Sara Bareilles, Dan Sells of The Feeling, Bon Jovi’s, Joe DiPietro and the Steve Martin and Edie Brickell team-up, respectively. I know that I am not naming all that have been made. Not to take anything away from “Kinky Boots” or “Spring Awakening” which features music by Cyndi Lauper and Duncan Sheik, the music is good, but I don’t find them as compelling. NOTE: I am not saying those shows are bad, just that I didn’t connect with the music or story on an emotional level. I applaud and support everyone that makes it to Broadway! 

All that being said, Dear Reader, here are some musical acts that I would love to see create ORIGINAL shows on Broadway. Listening to playlists based solely on the artists, I have been able to hear a scope of their work and that is what I am basing this list on. All the acts have incredible storytelling skills that I feel can translate emotionally. 

  1. Billy Joel – While I know there is the musical “Moving Out” based on his songs, I think there could be something like a romantic comedy expanded off the “Uptown Girl” or “The Longest Time” video ideas. 
  1. Of Monsters and Men – I love their sound. Sonically, I feel like a gothic romance, or a ghost story type idea would be amazing for them to create. The way they layer sound is full of energy and really drives the music which I feel could be of service in the show. 
  1. Panic! At The Disco – This is a no brainer. Have you seen their videos?  I say they because they used to be a group, but now it is basically just Brendon Urie. I feel like if the story were to inspire him, he could write for any plot. 
  1. Alanis Morrisette – As one of my favorite songwriters, I think while “Jagged Little Pill” is an amazing show in its own right, she has the potential to write a beautiful score and songs for a show with a strong female lead in the vein of “Waitress.” 
  1. Bastille – I am a big fan of Bastille. I think a big rock musical of a group of disenfranchised young adults e.g. “Rent,” “Hair,” “American Idiot” would best suit the sound that Bastille utilizes. Not to pigeon hole them, as they have some fantastic ballads, but those Act One finales and the 11 o’clock numbers could benefit from their sound. 

Okay, Kind Reader, here is the first half of my list. Is it a good list? Do you think it is a terrible idea altogether? Let me know if there is an idea you would pitch to them on what to write a show about in the comments below.

Part 2 will follow in a few days!

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Don’t forget to go and vote or mail in those ballots early to ensure your vote is counted! Love to you all!

🎶And I Am Frightened By The Corrupted Ways Of This Land…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

If you are in the US, do you find you are being overwhelmed with all the political commercials? 

Particularly the presidential ones? I already know that I am voting for change because rolling back the country to a less equal land is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

I just watched a video by the Jagged Little Pill cast and thought how timely the lyrics to the song “All I Really Want” are. The show itself is highly relevant as well dealing with pain/traumas, healing, and empowering ones self and others.

As I struggled to watch the fiasco that was the first presidential debate of the election, I find that political theatre is just as dramatic and comedic as regular theatre. The only difference is that there is a real and tangible affect on the citizens. Not to say that the Arts don’t make a difference or an impact on people. I just mean that Jagged Little Pill isn’t going to give you universal healthcare and such.

Dear Reader, as I write this I am pained by the effects this pandemic has unleashed on people in its various stages; loss, medical bills, traumatic impressions and the other various other things that go with it.

With so much as stake in this election, I can’t understand how this is even a true contest. There is someone who has proven through their actions that they clearly don’t know how to present themselves as an intelligent well spoken adult capable of making well-informed decisions. This is the comedy of our current political theatre. The drama is the impact that he is leaving on the rights of the people. Or better yet, the lack of rights he is imposing.

One thing I want to stress is something that my dear friend Laura Benitez (who is a brilliant musician BTW) posted: don’t be demoralized by the fear mongering and diversionary tactics that the White House is using. Don’t let the idea of the perfect candidate be the reason we are left with someone that clearly isn’t capable. That was just a paraphrase. She used names, but like Voldemorte, I refuse to give the White House any more power or recognition that is doesn’t deserve so I don’t name.

Even his taxes, agree. With that track record of failings, what will America lose? I don’t know.

Trying to maintain a positive mindset has been difficult to be sure, but focusing on my love for the Arts has been so soothing for my soul. I have been revisiting the PBS show Art in the 21st Century. The artists stories are inspiring and moving as well as informative. It is a wonderful look at contemporary Art if you are missing museums right about now. So far my favorite episode this season has been the Beijing one. ❤️

I had mentioned a few posts ago that I am having a bit of an ear issue so singing has been a frustratingly missed past time. Although, I have finally got an appointment and have been on antibiotics for the last eight days. Sadly it isn’t helping much so I might have actual damage to that ear now. We’ll see. On the positive side, I have found that I MIGHT be getting used to listening with one good ear. 😂😂

I have also been trying to improve my sewing skills. They are a 5/10 and I would love to be able to design my own stuff. Definitely had my practice with face masks! 😳 They never seem to be big enough for my giant face! 🤬

By the end of Jagged Little Pill, the musical, the characters are empowered to do what is the right thing for their individual situations. Now that we are at the end of this post, Kind Reader, I would like to empower you! You are kind and good hearted. Our lives are probably not similar in many ways, but if you read these ramblings regularly, I have to assume that you at least are a kind and good hearted person. You are not alone. Believe that we are the majority all over the planet. Believe that your heart is leaving a beautiful mark in the world and continue to shine as gloriously as you do. Shine for your families. Shine for your friends. Shine for your neighbors. Shine for you.

Until next time, stay safe and alert. All the love to you!❤️❤️❤️

Happy Broadway Day!!

Hello Gentle Reader!

I am a Broadway baby at heart. ❤️♥️ 

There is a national day for EVERYTHING!  I never thought Broadway would have a day other than Tony Award Night but September 29th seems to be the day. So this leads me to the a question that I would like to ask you, my Dear Reader. That question is… what is your favorite Broadway musical?   C’MON!!!  What did you think I was gonna ask? 

If that question was posed to me, I would have a hard time answering. I would have to make a list of my top 5 or so. 🤔 I don’t think I could possibly narrow it down to a true number one. That being said, Imma try to at least give you a list!😂😂

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND 
(Ahrens and Flaherty)

The beauty of this story is what made me fall madly in love with this musical. The idea that love can conquer death is intriguing. As the line in the show says, “you can stop her heart from beating, yes. But not from loving. Not if love is what she chooses.” For a someone who love romance, I think that line is powerful. As an optimist, that line is hopeful. The songs are wonderful and completely singalongable.  That’s a word now, y’all.  There are, 4 what I think are musical masterpieces: Waiting For Life, Forever Yours, Mama Will Provide, and one of my top 2 ultimate Broadway songs,The Human Heart. It is not just a beautiful song in the context of the show, but on its own it is still gorgeous.  Most recently, there was a wonderful rendition of it done by Leslie Odom Jr. in this year’s Miscast concert.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S95UIeKovM

THE WILD PARTY
(Lippa)

This is a fabulous for the belter in all of us. So many gems in this show that you can just let loose and sing your face off. Did you hear me? SING YO FACE OFF! The characters are deliciously just over the top enough to want to play ANY of them in a production. Along with those singalongable numbers, TWP has what could be one hell of a dance number in all of musical theater: The Juggernaut. 

EVITA
(Webber/Rice)

Not only was this my first show seeing the true lead was a woman. The version of the show that I fell head over heels over was the studio concept album with Julie Covington in the title role.  Not only did it have the rock music, strong vocals,  and excellent songs for going for it, but a young actor listed as C. T. Wilkinson happened to be playing opposite Ms. Covington, who has become one of my favorite male actors.  His vocals are like buttuh!  Also, Che is just an amazing role to play.  I am sure Evita is too, but I don’t think I will get THAT chance.  😂😂

PIPPIN
(Schwartz)

The Music? The Sexy Dancing? The Characters?  These are all small parts of what makes me love the show. My biggest reason is the relatability of main character who wants there to be more to life than just life.  That there has to be something fantastical out there. Something more than ordinary.  That’s what drew me to the show initially and everything else is what keeps the show on my top list. I also love the Leading Player role as well. What a dream come true to step into those shoes.  Whenever I feel a little blue or lazy or just unmotivated, I always think of one song: No Time At All. 

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
(Webber/Rice)

This was the first musical that my best friend introduced to me.  She knew every word every and a ton of harmonies to every song. We were in middle school. She has an unbelievable ear and would sing along with her mom when we were in the car and probably when they were home too. LOL! As a self professed heathen, I don’t really believe in organized religion but found this story beautiful as a love story. The music was highly energetic and there are some serious belter songs in a guys vocal range! YAY! LOL!. The two main men, have some fabulous character arcs to go along with their songs. I love singing those songs!

I love all kinds of shows, but some I don’t connect with. That’s ok. The beauty about musicals is that even though I might not like a show, there is almost always a few songs that I really appreciate.  My love affair with musicals is strong and though we may have “rough patches” i.e. shows that aren’t my faves, but we work through it and come out stronger on the other side. LOL!  Again, this is just my list of top faves that I can’t put any order as to which is truly my ultimate top show. 

So Kind Reader, I ask you once again, what’s your favorite musical? 

Let me know what you love and why you love it. It is fine if you don’t like musicals.  Let me know why.  I am always truly curious.  Oh, and if you don’t like musicals, do you like plays? 

Until next time, Gentle Reader, stay safe and alert.  Also, make sure you watch for your ballot in the mail if you vote by mail like I do. 

All the best to you, my lovelies!

You Are Love And Loved…

Hello Gentle Reader,

Things have been a bit insane in California as of late. There are still some fires burning, but a lot of them have been contained. The smoke has been just sitting over large parts of the state creating a day long dusk lighting. It made it hard to tell time without looking at a clock.

I tried to take pictures of the strange light, but every image seemed to be color corrected. All of them looked as though it was just a normal regular CA day. So odd.

I still haven’t heard from the doctor for my ear appointment from yesterday’s post. Just waiting and waiting… in this weird light.

While I wait, Dear Reader, I just wanted to take a small bit of time to acknowledge that today, September 10, 2020, is World Suicide Prevention Day. With COVID-19, the upcoming presidential elections, high unemployment rates and the holiday season right around the corner, I know things can seem a little tough. Things can feel like they are suffocating you. Things might seem like they will never get better. You may feel like no one cares or understands you. You may believe that you are not loved.

I want to state very clearly…

Things will get better. It may not be right away, but it will get better. It won’t always feel like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. When that happens, PLEASE talk to a friend if you feel comfortable enough. If you don’t feel comfortable, there are many resources to help you. Here are some options.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 in English and 888-628-9454 for Spanish.
  • TrevorLifeline, a suicide prevention counseling service for the LGBTQ community, 866-488-7386.
  • Crisis Text Line is reachable by texting to 741741 (US and Canada), 85258 (UK), and 50808 (Ireland)
  • Send me an email! I won’t judge and I will listen with every intention to help.

Please know that the world may seem big and vast, but it does still need you. You are loved and there is hope.

There is always hope – even in the darkest of times, there is hope.

Until next time, my Wonderful Reader, stay safe and alert. Be there if your friends need help. Reach out if you need help. Most importantly, have hope!

I love you!

Lend Me Your Ear👂…ANY Ear👂. Seriously!

Hello Gentle Reader!

I cannot believe how fast September arrived. For the last month, I have been in a pretty consistent back and forth with Kaiser regarding an infection or something with my left ear!

I had video calls that was 3 minuted and 4 questions that ended with “I’m sorry I can’t help you.” But let me tell you that MF’er helped himself to $80 for that BS. I have never been so mad! 😡

I know that the hospitals are trying to limit incoming patients as much as they can due to COVID. That being said, I honestly feel that there are some things that you absolutely cannot resolve on a video call so why even try.

Finally, after the third email I sent directly to my doctor, he agreed to see me in person. The first two emails were asking about the ear and seeing if I should talk to an otolaryngologist or if he could help. He thought it would be great to try them first but to wait a few days to see if the issue cleared up on its own as most ear aches do. I was a little nervous because everything I read said if the issue lasts more than a week it could result in hearing loss. Losing my hearing or sight are two of my biggest fears, right up there with losing my memory and astraphobia.⚡️⚡️

After the video call, I opted for a local urgent care that had me in the very next day, but I don’t think they gave me the right info. I was prescribed antibiotic ear drops that worked for a day or two.

At this point, my paranoia began keeping me up at night. It brought up a very old memory from one of the gazillion hospital shows where a kid was leaking spinal fluid out of their ear and they almost didn’t catch what it was.

Oh, I may have forgotten to mention that I had fluid coming out of my ear. It was easy to soak up with a cotton swab and shocking at how fast my ear would fill back up. What sucked was when I would get to sleep, eventually the fluid would start to come out and it would feel like a bug crawling around my ear. Of course, me being me, I would freak out. 😩 So I haven’t been sleeping all that well either. It has really only felt like August was about 2 weeks long.

Here’s the thing though, Dear Reader, the more frustrating part about the whole thing is that it has greatly affected the joy I take in singing. Everything sounds like it is underwater and kind of quiet. When I first tried to sing along with something, I actually stopped because it didn’t feel like it sounded right at all. I don’t quite know how to explain that. 🙈

Have you ever sang something that you felt good about singing because you know you were right in the pocket of the song? By pocket I mean, you are singing the right notes and words and you can even find harmonies that work. Yes? Ok, what do you do when you don’t feel like you are in the pocket? You got either stop and take a breath and get back to it, or you slide up or down to the right pitch to adjust. I still don’t think I am explaining this right, but in any case, I tried all of that, and it just didn’t feel right. Later that same day, I was talking to my brother on the phone and he said I didn’t sound normal either. When I spoke louder, he said it sounded better, so now I feel like I am shouting all the time. I think the biggest thing that happened was when my hubs made mention of it. One night while he was watching TV, the Living Spaces commercial came on and I always kind of mock the jingle tag at the end and this time he said, “Oh that was off.” This was something that I have done several times a day in the last few months so for this one to stand out really made me stop and wonder how much of an issue this ear thing is.

Unlike a traditional ear ache or infection, there is no pain. There is a lot of itching and cotton swabs have been such great tools to fix that problem. Then, there is the liquid. The doc doesn’t know where it is coming from because he can’t see the ear drum so now I get an in person appointment to see an otolaryngologist. It only took a month to get this far. Still waiting for them to call and set that appointment.

I am a little worried at how little I can actually hear from my left side now and hope it isn’t going to be permanent. This in turn stresses me out thinking about how this is going to affect auditions and what not. I took a bit of a spiral around the two and half week point, but got it together after the urgent care visit. Fingers crossed that I don’t spin out again before my appointment.

Honestly, it would just feel so good to sing again. I don’t even think I do it well, but I enjoy it and miss it.

My Kind Reader, thank you for letting me bend your ear whilst lamenting the issue I am having with mine. I considering calling the Advice Nurse to advise me on how to file a formal complaint with the hospital. Have you ever had to argue your case just to get some help from your doctor? How long did it take for them to stop and hear you? The US Healthcare system is a joke.

I hope you stay safe and alert! Until next time….

😴I Can Hear It ASMRing In The Air At Night…🎵

Hello Gentle Reader,

Wow! Time flies when you are physically melting into the floor, doesn’t it? For those who aren’t in the Bay Area, we are having a bit of a heatwave these last two weeks. Supposedly today is the end of the worst of it, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there are more days coming. I was so jazzed that it had been, up until now, this summer temp was in the higher 80’s, and I was saying how this has been pretty close to perfect. HA! 🥵 🤬

I can barely function when it reaches 80 degrees outside so when it reaches triple digits inside and there is no air conditioning, I am basically just a bump on the couch.

Oh, and California is on fire… again. Part of the fire problem started when we had this freak ⛈lightning storm🌩 early Sunday morning. I was not in a good place on that day. Stress levels and anxiety were through the roof, Dear Reader. According to the weather advisory, it was only supposed to last for about 35 minutes at 4:27AM. It went on until nearly 11. I am also pretty positive that I heard the first crash of thunder around 3:30ish.

ANYWAY!!! I went off on a bit of a tangent there. Why didn’t you stop me? 😃

We closed out AJ’s Virtual Party with Dragon Theatre and it was so much fun. I think my favorite part of the “performance” was leading a group of the audience into creating an exquisite corpse style poem of their own.

It was exciting to see how hesitant they were to contribute at first, but once they got the idea, the poems took off so quickly and ended up being so beautifully unstructured but then structured in some points that it gave a nice little jolt of a rhyme scheme. Then, those poems from the audience were taken and made into a companion piece to the e-zine we created for our 27 original works and sent to all who attended the show. After the finale of the show, the director would invite anyone that wanted to join the cast in a game of online Scattergories. I haven’t laughed like that all year! Some of the answers were SO ridiculous that it was a highlight for sure. Highly recommend it! 👍

The day after the show closed, I was having a tough time getting to sleep since I had nothing to focus my energy on now. I happened upon a shoe shine video.

I had no idea it was an ASMR video, even though it says ASMR after his name! LOL! I thought that was some sort of shoe abbreviation that I wasn’t aware of (since everything is abbreviated nowadays.) All I knew what that the guy was shining them up as a final step before donating them. I thought the idea was great so I watched. As I watched, I began to feel strangely calm and relaxed. By the end, I was a little sleepy but not tired enough to actually sleep. So I let the next video play and this time I woke up after my phone had shut off and the earbuds were still in my ears. I was really intrigued by this. I knew that ASMR was nothing new as it has been on YouTube for at least 8 years, maybe more. I just thought all of it was food chewing videos. (YUCK!!!!I can’t handle that sound.) Thinking back on it, I recall that some of my favorite movie scenes involved ASMR-like things, such as whispering (specifically the scene in Poltergeist when the son is whispering with the mom and the paranormal investigator) or any time someone is writing and we are allowed to hear the pen/cil on parchment or paper, or Bob Ross’ painting. Something about that crunch of the brush meeting the canvas is hypnotic.

So I began to watch more of them. One of my favorites is ediyasmr. She is a hypnotherapist and reiki practitioner. I find her videos truly helpful getting to sleep. It feels odd that it is a compliment to fall asleep to their work, doesn’t it? She doesn’t make a lot if mouth sounds (like stirring a Mac and cheese pot) but her voice is calm and soothing and clear. There are some I tried but the comment sections were so entertaining that I spent as much attention reading those while listening so I didn’t fall asleep, but I was relaxed and entertained, so still gets a thumbs up from me.

What struck me about these videos is the number of styles that there are! If you don’t want to hear people whispering , they have strictly sounds, like pages turning or writing. They have meditations, and they have role plays. I found that last one interesting as well. Looking at it from an actor’s stand point, if you like being on camera, you can probably make a pretty darn good channel if you have the gear for it as far as mics and costumes doing the role play. I was really impressed with the production value of some of these ASMRtists. There was one that I found that did a whole series dedicated to hugs. Weirdly, after watching it, I truly did feel better.

I marvel at the creativity of the human brain and the people that come up with these really neat ideas. It just shows how important creativity is to us a a species and the good that it does to help entertain, cope, and even heal, and it is so frustrating that I don’t understand why the Arts aren’t given as much value as sports. But that is another rant for another day.

Have you ever watched an ASMR video? What is your favorite? Do you have a favorite ASMRtist, or do you make videos? Give a shout out in the comments and let’s get some more eyes on your vids!

Thanks for letting me bend your ear, Dear Reader. I hope you are safe and alert and staying hydrated if you are in this heat wave or even if you aren’t.

Until next time…

🎼Anxiety Is High, But I’m Holding On…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Forgive my absence for the last two and a half weeks. A few things were being focused on so I didn’t have a chance to think about writing. 😳 At first, it was just the final weeks of rehearsals for the Dragon Theatre project I had mentioned. Then, I found out that my survival job wasn’t going to be available until next year so my team got the official furlough. This had me scrambling for insurance purposes since my hubs has been going through treatments. Lastly, his birthday was at the end of the month, so I had to make sure I had that ready, too. So, I haven’t been lazing around as you can see. 😓 Couple all of this with the new COVID news of the last few weeks and surely you can understand how anxiety would be running rampant in my home. Sorry to have butchered Blondie’s awesome song… 😱

In the last few posts, I had mentioned that I wasn’t sure what the poetry project was going to end up becoming because I couldn’t “see” the end result. Well, Dear Reader, I can say that for something that seemed to be a little chaotic, it turned out really, really well. The end result of our epic poem is a tribute to Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL and was quite resonant with the audience that has attended so far as well as for myself. We worked for several weeks building our collaborative muscles and created an eight and a half minute piece that is the highlight of the show.

The way the film ended up being edited together was masterful and lends a bigger impact to the overall message of the poem itself. Our process was something I didn’t realize how much I needed to keep myself sane and composed, but being in the “audience” to see Filip Hoffman’s visual edit with Nathanael Card’s editing of the poetry itself created a crest in the wave that allowed the emotion to break and let me have a decent cry in the presence of a shared experience that is theatre. In the Q and A that followed, the moderator messaged me to see if I wanted to add anything to the conversation, but I was barely holding it together enough to not be a snotty red eyed mess. On Zoom, no less. Good Times! 😂😂

While it isn’t the immersive theatre experience that I wanted when originally cast in AJ’s Annual Party, this version was just as rewarding. I still have my fingers crossed that at some point, AJ’s Annual Party will be done on a stage. The idea of vignettes done in the guise of a party that fills the entire room where the audience is part of the party and setting sounds like a blast. While this may not have been that same experience, being a part of this piece of devised theater will be in my memory forever. I have been moved by the words and emotions of my cast mates while we worked through the weeks where some weeks were tougher than others and tech issues but we have a beautiful piece that I am very proud of.

We have two more performances of AJ’s Virtual Party coming up on Friday and Saturday 8/7 & 8/2020 at 7pm on Zoom! Get the details and tickets at Dragon Productions Theatre Company.

My Gentle Reader, I have bent your ear enough, but I hope you are keeping safe and alert. I would also like to invite you to the “Party.” If I don’t see you there, I will at least be in touch next week.

Stay adorable, Dear Reader.

Poetry Corner…

Wizards and Warriors

I can create something out of nothing.
I can fight through tears and fears
I use my five senses and my will
I cry WAR every time anxiety appears.

Always opposing, war and creation
Burden my warrior’s heart
But to honor my wizard’s hat
This is why we create Art

To be strong enough to face the trials
Yet wise enough to make the right choices
To be clever enough to see the true world
And tough enough to rise and use our voices.
(work in progress…)

🎶We’ll fast forward to a few years later… And you’ve washed your hands clean…

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Hello Dear Reader!!

I trust you had a wonderful week. The week and a half since my last post seems to have flown by.  My goodness, I have been deep in the weeds apparently.

I have been on a cleaning mission of the craft room. The very same room I have been doing most of my Zoom calls in from this post.

I made mention that the room was a kind of library/craft room/catch all type of room. I may or may not have given you a great image of how cluttered it was, but I don’t think I did. In any case, let me take you back to about 2 weeks ago at the end of the acting class session…

Picture it, Gentle Reader, in a decent size room, where there is really only about 4×4 feet to maneuver around as you are flinging and flailing your body around as a physical warmup and you crash into the drum set and all the stuff piled on top of it  which is behind a few yards of fabric that has been hung up with tacks in the ceiling to hide all the clutter behind it from the rest of the class, because you lost your balance after stepping on a pencil and tried not to break it. 😱 CHAOS!! That’s when 2 things happened. 1. I was so glad that I was muted from the class so they didn’t hear all of that while swinging in their own spaces, and 2. it was totally time to clean the hell outta this room!! 😜

All the work I did to clean and reorganize the rest of the apartment did not extend to this particular room. I don’t know why.  Maybe it was because I never really go in there.  Well until the Zoom calls…

So as I waited for the final “grades” of the acting class, I didn’t have anything else to do so I rolled up the ol’ proverbial sleeves and got to work cleaning the room. I found things that I had long forgotten about and things that reminded me of great times, like a Blockbuster Video membership card and hot air ballooning in Palm Springs.  I also found a folder of old school papers.  No report cards, just actual essays and old scripts. One page I did come across was a judge’s review sheet from a monologue contest. I missed a perfect score by .1. It was on the stupidest thing, too.  My introduction. Then, like now, I didn’t like to talk about myself {in person anyway!  😈 I am really only talking about me on this blog, so it doesn’t make sense, I know}, and didn’t do the best at slating (the start of the audition where you state your name and the piece you are about to present/ character you are auditioning for). Point. 👏One. 👏 UGH!!!!  Such is my life!!  The things that really stick out with me is the comments that were left. There are some shorthand spelling issues, but this is exactly what they said with that in mind:

Comments on Delivery:
Very good intro – Don’t trail off! Good Physical & Verbal!
Comments on Interpretation:
Excellent – very clear and defined! Your usage of Body & eyes is remarkable!
Comments on Impact:
Very Excellent – especially ending!

(Oh!! Also, in case you are interested, the monologue was from King Lear, character was Edgar.  If he has more than one, I can’t tell you which one it was. LOL! 😂 I came to find out a year later that the review was from John Healy. He was a pretty big deal in the Bay Area.)

Seeing this, Kind Reader, took me back to my big TBA audition a few years ago that I thought I was over. For the last few days, I have been stewing about that audition because I kept thinking of myself as Val in my own version of “Dance, Ten; Looks, Three.” (That was A Chorus Line reference. 🎭 If you haven’t heard the song it is one of my faves.  Check it out and tell me your thoughts) Granted, I didn’t change myself like she does, but the idea is there. The work is great, just not the person doing the work is how it feels and that sucks balls!  Especially now in this time where we are seeing that POC don’t have the same chances as “others.” I am starting to believe that that is what the real issue was.  They didn’t know if I could fit into their companies because they don’t really use people “like me.”

Then, I got my assessment from the teacher… A near perfect grade.  Her biggest critique? “His next step is trusting his impulses more, finding where he can release within himself/his body.”  I have always been told my instincts are excellent but I don’t think I will ever be comfortable in myself.  THAT’S WHY I ACT!!! 😳LOL!  Kidding.

At least, mostly kidding.

She also commented on the work: “…has tremendous depth.  It is a gift. He has a keen humor and sense of timing. He can trust his instincts and move beyond relying on that.”

I thought I had washed my hands clean of the TBA audition and the mental job it did on me. It turns out I still have some things to work through. So, Dear Reader, as I bag up garbage and toss it out, I shall toss out those critiques, even the good ones!  I know I can do the work.  I have had proof since ’95! LOL! All I can do now is blast some Alanis Morissette and break up with that shit. 👍

Until next time, stay safe, alert and kind, Gentle Reader.

🎶A Long, Long Time Ago, I Can Still Remember How My Podcast Used To Make Me 😀🎶…

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Hello Dear Reader!

How was your weekend? I hope your holiday was bursting with fun! ( See what I did there?) It is crazy how this virus keeps us second guessing what it is doing? I just read an article that the WHO and CDC want to announce to the public that COVID lingers in the air for approximately 8 minutes. The 8 minutes comes from a second article related to the initial findings. It really makes you wonder why people would want to rush out into groups of other people without a mask! I drove down the coast for a few hours over the weekend and I was really amazed at the number of people that were trekking to the beaches without any regard to their health, their kids’ or even other people, unmasked.

During these crazy times, I have noticed more and more podcasts being created or being more aggressive with their marketing.

10 years ago, when I started this little blip in the internet, there were a lot of podcasters but not in the droves there are now.  I also had an accompanying podcast to go with this blog.  It had the same name as the blog. I had a blast doing it.  The thing  that I liked about it was that I would go out and interview artists that were being creative in the area, kind of like a theatre reporter for the local places that didn’t have a ton of money to use on radio ads. I would interview casts or staff of shows report on some of the opening nights that happened. I talked to art galleries and some of the artists during exhibits. I did about 22 episodes, roughly a season. Then, I just got very busy with my own productions that I couldn’t make it out to see other shows as often. I loved talking to so many people I didn’t know or didn’t know well and it was nice to learn about them and their journeys as well as the current projects.

Sometimes I think “maybe I should dig out that mic and go talk to some people.” Then, Gentle Reader, I read articles like the aforementioned one and decide, this isn’t the right time. LOL!

I have my fingers crossed that the human immune system will soon reach the point where it has adapted well enough to fight off the virus on its own.  I would love to visit artist studios and have a cup of coffee or tea (or a mimosa) with someone while talking about their passions. While we wait for that day, here’s a little poem I was working on earlier today.

A Memory of a Podcast

Thousands of days ago,
Millions of hours past,
A talk that lasted as a blink of the eye.
The world ended behind our seats.
There was chit to be made,
Chat to be had.
Once ways were parted,
Those seats, were separated by oceans.

(work in progress…)

Until next time, Kind Reader, be kind, safe and alert.

🎶It’s My Party & I’ll 😭 If I Want To…

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Hello Gentle Reader,

I hope this finds you well and taking advantage of good weather if where you live is having some right now. I am not a big fan of summer, but the Bay Area has been having mostly beautiful, if a bit on the hotter side, weather. Luckily, there are beaches within an hour drive, so I can just take a mini road trip and drive along the coast if it does get too warm for my liking.

As I add another verse to the song of my life, I am saddened by the situation that keeps us all separated, yet again. In any normal circumstance, Kind Reader, I don’t really enjoy celebrating my birthday.  There are exceptions, of course.  Dinner with my closest friends… Cake with cast mates… but since we have been required to be apart since March, I WANT to see all my beautiful friends. I WANT to be in the midst of a joyful crowd.

I am getting Zoom-ed out.  I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but do you find you have to put more energy into Zoom compared to when you were physically in the same room with the people you are meeting? I HATE meetings, but I would love to be around people now.

At this point, I am practically begging to go back to my survival job just so I can get out of my apartment before I give Ikea and Amazon all of my money!  I have spent a good chunk of money on more furniture than the little apartment can allow.  I know I should have saved it for future use, but that is how bored I am.  I am spending just to have something to do.

I know keeping everyone safe is the HIGHEST priority. As it should be. I just feel like there is a peak when I reach my breaking point and actually walk out on the beach like so many people are doing now, BUT I will wear a mask. I’m not an asshole.

This current project I am working on is steeped in poetry, which is not really in my wheelhouse, but I am learning. I see that most of my works when compared to my cast mates is more whimsical than theirs.  I am assuming that is my optimistic and upbeat nature coming through.  I find it surprising because even when I feel like I just want to scream and kick at the world and burn down injustice, inside, I just want to share happiness.

Here, Gentle Reader is a snippet of a poem I wrote called “Knitting A Hat”

Cast on 96 stitches,
breathe and count
focus on the task at hand

Join into a round, careful they aren’t twisted,
96 little links holding hands
facing one another, patient

Work knit2/purl2, in the round until length desired,
round and around the columns grow
joined together to make something good

I’ve noticed the words “hands” and “grow” are featured several times throughout and I can only wonder if that is my deepest want. To be helpful. To be of use. To encourage. While those actionable wants are right there, RIGHT THERE, I am stuck, apart from others, and the wants I have. That is where the sadness comes from, I think.  I have always been one to actively do something about what I want, and currently, I am limited by something other than the usual.  I have found a way to get around “the usual” but this “other” is really kicking my ass.

So, yay, another birthday, but in truth, it will be just another day of the same.

I don’t say this to be a downer.   I think I am just finally accepting that there won’t be crowd celebrations anymore.  People will get together, but now it will be in smaller clusters. There will be no big street fairs, no art walks or Christmas in the Parks for the year. Just more days of the same. I used to be okay being by myself and I still am. I just can now confirm that I do have a limit on it.

And it has passed.

Until next time, Kind Reader… stay safe and alert and listen & learn.

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want…

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Hello Dear Reader!

I hope you had the most fabulous of weekends! I really do. It was Global Pride Weekend! I have been on an emotional upswing this week, mostly. There were a few moments of sadness, but they didn’t last for long. Physically, I am still trying to adjust to the movements of the acting class I am taking. It is so different from my experience with Meisner and Stanislavski method classes.  This one has a focus on Laban Movement which is really fascinating. I love learning all of these different techniques. I think it will be crazy fun to “build” characters combining all the various methods/styles, and I can’t wait to try it.  Whenever that may be.

But, before I get bummed out dwelling on this, Gentle Reader, let’s move on…

Yesterday during a “Brunch For 2” breakfast, we decided to watch Bridge Theatre’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream thanks to National Theatre At Home on Youtube.  For the record, I do enjoy watching Shakespeare contrary to what some may have heard. (But we aren’t focusing on that right now. LOL!) I even enjoy learning monologues and soliloquies from his works, but I have never wanted to audition for a Shakespeare show. The honest to goodness reason, selfish as it is,  is because most of the places in this area are Shakespeare in the Park type of companies and have the bulk of their performances in the summer months. I don’t do summer.  I hate being overheated unless I am exercising, in a dance class or performing. As most of these places do the bulk of their rehearsals and performances outside, I steer clear.  I will go see the shows since it is only about 3 hours of a day.  I can handle that. Only once a month though! LOL! 

Kindest Reader, watching that production was breathtaking.  I was full of humor and heightened tension and brilliant releases of energy that shock the audience out of the expected in the best possible ways. There were beautiful stage pictures nearly everywhere you looked. Everything about the production was lush and vibrant.  Even the beds looked great! LOL!

And it made me realize what my soul has been missing.

While I loved being in the shows that I have been lucky enough to participate in, the one thing that I have been longing for is something that is an extravagant reimagining of a classic or an immersive world creation.  I felt like the latter was going to be what the original idea behind my summer project with Dragon Theatre was supposed to be. Then, COVID-19 put a stop to that. I trust that some day I will get the chance to be a part of something as incredible as this production. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, Dear Reader, I highly recommend it. 

 A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Check it out while you still can.  It is the best 2.5 hours in any day. The actors playing PUCK and BOTTOM steal the show, in my opinion, but there are no weak links in the cast.    I hope you check it out and let the magic of the show color the rest of your day. 

Enjoy your Monday, Gentle Reader! Stay safe and alert and open to learning. I adore you. 

Until next time. 

 

 

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom In The Craft Room…

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Hello Gentle Reader!

A few posts back, I spoke about needing to get over my resistance to this new trend of video chatting, live streaming and zoom classes. Basically, everything being done in front of a camera.  The place that I am the most hesitant to be. 😔

If this were a Youtube video, I would insert a clip of a husky whining, which always makes me laugh because 1. it is friggin adorable when they “talk back”  and 2. they do it so well!😂

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been taking part of an acting class at A.C.T. 👍and working on my next contracted project. ❤️ I still don’t quite understand it, but I am going along for the ride.

While I haven’t had any 🔪psycho killers being spotted behind me in the calls (so far)😳, I have enjoyed being in the remote company of other people.  Some that I know from past shows, as is the case with the contract project, and some that are total strangers. With that being said, I still don’t think this is a way that I want to communicate with people. I find I exert a lot of energy trying to maintain focus while tangible things are trying to pull my attention away.  For example, while we are in class, I find myself staring at the titles of the books that are all over in the room.  It was supposed to be a craft room/library, but that has kind of gotten sidelined as craft projects and books have exploded EVERYWHERE in the apartment. Bookshelves full of books and stacks of books and book stuck in between book shelves that aren’t flush together. Not to mention that since it is the furthest room from the wi-fi router, sometimes the signal gets a little weak and the screen becomes this robotic, slo-mo sounding remix of life. Even when the signal is great, there is a lag time so I see the actions and a second or two later comes my classmate’s line.  It makes it hard to genuinely stay in the moment because in that split second between the action and line becoming audible, I notice the lag. It pulls me out of the scene and there is nothing that I dislike more than being pulled out of a scene. I am a little frustrated by it, and I can’t do anything but accept it. (It’s gonna bother me so much.)

The contract gig is cool.  It has a very heavy poetry base and we aren’t really acting out any specific scenes, so it is very different than class. Also, we don’t have to use the camera if we aren’t feeling up to it. That, Dear Reader, is my favorite thing about it. LOL! It takes the pressure off of the visual, so you can focus on only one aspect and then sometimes you come up with something that you weren’t expecting. As we get closer to performing this gig, I will be sure to let you know more about it, as it will begin to take a clearer shape to me so I can explain it better.

As I try and get acclimated performing at home instead of on a stage, I am trying to control my controllables. Things like staying hydrated and humming vocal warm ups so I sound clear when I am speaking. I can’t go all out and sing the vocal warm ups since the neighbors might get cranky. I stretch and try to stay limber.  I have a new fear of throwing out my back in the middle of class and being stuck on the floor or in pain while the rest of the class watches. *The Horror!!😱* I try, TRY to get some good sleep to get rid of the luggage under my peepers cuz I gots bag for days!!!! All those years of not sleeping are finally going to have their moment for all to see. Curse you, sleeplessness!!! *shakes fist at sky*

Kind Reader, how does one turn the tables on next season’s fashion line of eye-baggage? How does one erase the mocking under-eye laugh lines of insomnia? I have tried it all: cold spoons, cucumbers, eye masks, eye gels, coffee grounds, Preparation H, concealer… None of these have been warrior worthy foes to them. I am open to suggestions, however crazy they may seem.

Ok, Gentle Reader, I have ranted enough for the day.  Thank you for shining so brightly and letting me once again, bend your ear. Stay safe and alert.

Until next time…

 

 

Some Like It Hot…(ter)?… Reheated?…

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Hello Gentle Reader!

I hope you are well and being able to enjoy some time to energize/heal your self. I know that I wrote that in two words. I meant it any way you want to use it. You can heal your spiritual self, your personal demons, your emotional health or physical, It has been a massive 2 weeks and a lot has been shown to the world. I know that it has brought up some inner things that I didn’t realize I was refusing to face.  So I hope you are having a chance to find a little peace for you.

One of the things that I wanted to talk about today was a show that is forthcoming to Broadway next season, Some Like It Hot.

A few days ago, in my favorite fails, I mentioned a show called Sugar, which is basically the musical version of the movie Some Like It Hot. Can you see where I am heading?

While there are some small differences between the musical and the movie, the script for the musical has most of the dialogue lifted directly from the movie. This begs the question, Dear Reader, why make this musical?

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Well, one of the big “gets” is that the songwriting pair of Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman will be a part of the creative team. These are the men behind some great Broadway music from Hairspray (One of my personal favorites.), Catch Me If You Can, and Smash. So there will be a massive update in the sound of the music. The music from Sugar which is by Jule Stine (Gypsy) and Bob Merrill (Funny Girl) and is, in my opinion, really cute but has room for deeper emotional payoff. I know Sugar is a comedy, but adding heart never diminished comedy. I think Wittman and Shaiman can offer this.

As far as the book, which will be penned by award winning playwright, Matthew Lopez, I hope they make Joe similar to the character that was made for the show, Sugar.  He is always looking out for himself, but he is at least charming and funny.  In the movie, he is a legit bully with threats of violence which I found completely dislikable and was hoping he wouldn’t make it to the end of the film. Mr. Lopez easily has the skill to deepen the lives of the characters in this show.

In the story, one thing I would like to see more of is the “villain”, Spats. I feel like the threat he posed in Sugar was not as heightened as could have been and the way the show ties up his story feels so quick and generic to the times and style of the piece that it really makes it seem like his whole character arc is an afterthought; the catalyst to get Joe to Sugar, and that is all. I know all of this stuff is ridiculous to be hopeful of to stuff into a show that should run about 2 hours and 30 minutes, but it can be done.  I fully believe that it can if some scenes were run in a split stage style and a few other stylized directions. 

I hope that when Broadway finally does reopen, it can thrive and Some Like It Hot gets the chance to show the world how hot some people really like it. With the pedigree of the people involved, I am REALLY excited for this show to open. I am incredibly intrigued to see what’s changed, what’s been left the same, and what has been flushed out more. I am also going to make a guess that while the basic plot of the story is the same, all the dialogue will be much different. I am just giddy with anticipation!!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Kind Reader, I am going to go and listen to the Hairspray cast recording.

Until next time, stay safe, alert, and willing to listen and learn.

 

And Love Is Love Is Love Is Love Is Love Is Love Is Love Is LOVE…

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Hello Dear Reader!

Four years ago at the Tony Awards, Lin Manuel Miranda uttered these words that brought me to tears.  It was in response to the tragic massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in  Orlando, Florida.  A tragedy that probably could have been avoided if gun laws were stricter. Just so we don’t forget those victims:

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One of the things I learned while watching the Oprah led discussion “Where Do We Go Now?” is that every thing is so intricately intertwined. My own ignorance refused to learn just how much the game is rigged because I wanted to believe that someone could come and fix it.  I wish. There is no easy solution. However, one of the big things you can do, Gentle Reader, is to vote. But you knew that already, right? Cast a vote for EVERYTHING, not just who our new president is going to be. Vote on the local and state stuff too.  Those things are so important! They influence who the court judges are, who the district attorney will be, state and city laws that get passed where you live. Make sure you are registered to vote NOW!! And if you aren’t, REGISTER!!! Vote to ensure equality abounds in what can truly be a great country and not just a nation founded on murder and racism. You might feel like your vote doesn’t count, but you still MUST do it! Do it for those who are victims of voter suppression. Do it for those whose lives were cut short and can’t do it themselves. Now is the time to add your voice to the others that demand change and equality for all.

I am also doing my best to learn about the history they DON’T teach in school, or that they conveniently leave out because “history is written by the winners.” It is never truly objective and I used to think “this is too depressing to learn about.” I would hide from it. No more hiding. I can’t promise I will remember everything, but I am going to try anyway. Of course, this video of Kimberly Jones that I saw on Madonna’s IG page is what really helped me to push away that idea of hiding.  Yeah, I said Madonna.  Don’t judge. LOL!

With the current worldwide situation with violence against people of color and other minorities, I find this sonnet of Miranda’s even more hopeful. I always try to be optimistic and am drawn to positivity and the inspirational.  I allow my raw emotions to guide me and I seem to find something that can help me in my saddest moments. I hope you are lifted by his beautiful words and know that even though times look bleak now, if we can stand together, the future should be brighter.  But we have to stand together.

My wife’s the reason anything gets done.
She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
She is a perfect symphony of one,
our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
until they’re finished songs and start to play.
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
that nothing here is promised, not one day.
This show is proof that history remembers.
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger.
We rise and fall and light from dying embers.
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music love and pride.
                      -Lin-Manuel Miranda

Until next time, Kind Reader, stay safe, alert and willing to listen and learn.

 

Clutch The Pearls, Daphne!

AKA Man, I Wish Someone Was Filming Part 3

she clutches the pearls

Hello Dear Reader!

I hope you are safe and heathy. I wanted to complete this Fabulous Fails series because I can use a laugh. Also, it will lead me into my next planned post.

When I think about this fail, I actually laugh out loud. I laugh because there was a string of things that happened in that performance.

Also, let me just make sure to say this little announcement before I continue:  While I am saying I wish someone recorded these performances, I know that it is illegal to record performances due to copyright laws.

Anyway, let’s get on with the story!

The year was 2013.
The role: Jerry/Daphne
The show was the very funny Sugar.

If you haven’t heard of the show, Sugar is the musical version of the Billy Wilder movie Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. The story centers around 2 down and out musicians that witness a mob hit and find themselves on the run and join an all-female band to hide. Even though, Tony Curtis is technically billed before Lemmon, his character is a big ass bully in this that I listed them by respect. LOL.

Oh, Gentle Reader, on this particular night, so many things went wrong that I wondered if the someone had said the Scottish play in the theatre. (It’s bad luck to say Macbeth in the theatre.) 

At the start of the night, in my very first costume as Daphne, the persona Jerry takes whilst hiding in the band, I put on a string of pearls. As I start to leave the dressing room to run around to the opposite side of the stage for my entrance, the necklace catches on the corner of the makeup table and breaks. Ugh! Luckily it was only in the dressing room. No big.
At this point of the fail in the show, the mob hit has been witnessed, Daphne and Josephine become pat of the all-female band, the two meet Sugar (played beautifully by the charming Jessica Ellithorpe), Josephine/Joe, falls in love with her, there is a party in Daphne’s bunk in the overnight train to Florida *cheese fight*, Sugar confides to Josephine about falling for saxophone players (which Josephine plays) and is going to Florida to marry a millionaire, Daphne is pursued by a retired handsy, real millionaire, Osgood,  Joe takes advantage of the situation to woo Sugar, Osgood invites Daphne to dinner on the yacht but Joe hijacks the invite for himself and Sugar…

So here we are. I am ready for my big date with Osgood. I am in this shimmery white dress, which I hate, because I hate wearing that color.  I know, I know, white is the absence of color. My blonde wig, looks meh, which is because it doesn’t work with my skin tone so that kinda makes the buying I am a lady a bit funnier.  I mean, CLEARLY there is something wrong there. LOL! In the second scene in Act 2, I walk into the scene as Sugar is finishing her conversation with the band manager, fixing my wig and straightening my dress making sure I look lovely.

Sugar: … You must have some hot date tonight! (she walks up to me)

Daphne: Yeah. Hot. (i do a little twirl to let her see the dress)

Sugar: Me, too! With Junior.  (I remember inhaling and was excited for her “big date”  I think I covered my mouth or clapped my hands and as I did, the bracelet of diamonds or pearls I was given snapped! I know my hands were at least up because as I heard all these little gems fall to the floor in a sound that seemed like they landed EVERYWHERE, I felt a few fall inside the sleeves of the dress. The audience was surprised and laughed, but I think it was more of a nervous laughter. My big eyes must have popped out of my head!! I recall Jessica and I both looked down at the floor and trying not to laugh. I felt like Gaga in the Bad Romance video where she has all the gems around her… just, I wasn’t so fancy…

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(Jessica totally soldiered on:)

Sugar: He called and asked me to meet him at the dock right after the show. (I feel like I was still checking the floor because I literally said “Oh no” after the line.  I hear the audience laugh but not due to nervousness. I knew I needed to do a little bit of dancing in a few moments, and I had dropped character slightly right then. I think I threw her off with that, so I added, “That’s exciting!”  Which I immediately know was not helpful, so I tried to jump a little bit in the script. I take a step to Jessica and I hear more jewels fall. Just a couple. The audience is laughing again. Now it’s actually funny.) Hey what’s wrong with Josephine? She didn’t even say good-night — she just took off, running like a jack-rabbit.

Daphne: What she needs is a bicycle. 

Sugar: Is anything wrong? 

Daphne: No, no — she’s just late getting down to the naval base–  ( I don’t even think I say this line right. Each step I take, a few more gems fall out of my dress and the audience is giggling with each one. Jessica starts to laugh but is holding it in.  I remember seeing her shoulders bounce and that is totally enough for me to break character and I laugh a little too. Which makes the audience laugh even more. I talked about being late, but for some reason, I think I kept saying he instead of she because we were supposed to be talking about Josephine but the last bit of conversation was about Junior who was Joe’s name for the fake millionaire. Ugh!)

Sugar: Naval base — Josephine?

Daphne: Oh yes, (At this point, I think “surely there can’t be any more to fall.”  HA!) every night  (*drop… drop.. drop..*) she stands at the gate,  (*drop… drop..*) waiting for the sailors to come out.  But never mind her (*drop.. drop.. drop…*) — tell me about your date. (bursts of laughter)

Sugar: Gosh, can you imagine? Sugar Kowalczyk from Sandusky, Ohio, actually having supper on a millionaire’s yacht  — just like Joan Crawford in “Untamed,”  Gee, if my mother could only see me know! (She exits during the last part of the line and she is giggling while she says it, which make me giggle too. But just a tiny one.)

Osgood: Yoo hoo — Daphne!

Daphne: I hope my mother never sees me. ( I use this as a chance to focus back in so I shake off the moment before and wouldn’t you know it?! *drop*) LOL.

Then Osgood sings this lovely song called “Beautiful Through and Through.” In this number, I have to do a grapevine over the broken bracelet, which is on stage left, and back to the other side of the stage. No accident! YAY!! Then we have this sort of waltz and the actor playing Osgood didn’t really dance, so he is stepping in the same direction as I waltz and we have to go into danger zone.  Again, we are safe and cross back to the right side of the stage and I dance around him a little more.  Next he is supposed to “fling” me toward stage left and the jewels so I can do 4 chainè turns and remarkably, I am okay! Counting my lucky stars for sure at this point! We make it through the number and into the safety of the wings. Whew! Crisis averted! The next scene is just Junior and Sugar, but Osgood and I come on at the end in a reprise of “Beautiful…” and that leads into Scene 4. At this point, I am thinking the worst is past. there isn’t going to be anymore funny business.

And that’s my favorite fail, Dear Reader! Now, it may not have been as funny as the bean bag pop or the mustache mishap. This is my fave because when I think about it to this day, I still laugh. Now, here’s a little bonus and what starts me off laughing about the whole run of this show.

Scene 4 starts with me singing “Magic Nights” and announcing to Joe, once he arrives that I am engaged!  There is a little bit of dialogue and during that little bit of chatter, I grab these maracas that are conveniently on the dresser and begin to sing again. Well it just so happens that Joe (played by one funny dude, Leslie Lamke) is sitting on the bed. I never considered myself to have a very long reach, and I am very good with my spacial awareness. It’s just that I didn’t factor in what my reach would be like holding maracas. So I am singing my song and at the end of a phrase, I reach out and feel my maraca meet with resistance whilst hearing a LOUD hollow thunk! I had smacked poor Les in the head! I tried not to think about it and continue on. Sing, sing sing and strike a po…THUNK!!  I hit him again!!! LOL! In my head, right now, I can hear that hollow wooden smack clear as day and I laugh!! I felt SO SO bad when it happened and made sure to apologize to Les as soon as we were in the dressing room. But it still makes me laugh! Hahaha. I think there was one other night that i hit him. Poor fella. He is a great guy and didn’t hold it against me. I didn’t dare look at him, because 1. there wasn’t time since it was a song and 2. it would have pulled me out of the scene.

Because of this bonus fail, the whole bunch of mini fails during Sugar makes this my favorite fail.

I hope, Gentle Reader, that this gave you a smile or a laugh. I met some truly magnificent people in this show and love when I have the chance to share the stage with them. I do hope that the chance comes again very soon.

I hope you are enjoying your days and treating yourself well. Until next time, Lovely Reader…

Who’s the pretty girl in that mirror there?

 

 

A Whirlwind Week…

Hello Dear Reader,

This is just a short post to let you know I haven’t forgotten to let you know about my favorite fabulous fail.

I don’t want to trivialize all of the important things that are happening in the world, so I will wait until next week to continue the fail series.

Even though I am going back to my regular posts, I won’t stop educating myself on how I can be a better ally.  I encourage you to also continue learning about this issue and supporting the Black community.

Thank you, Gentle Reader, for stopping by and I hope you stay safe and alert, especially with businesses opening back up.

Until next time, take care and much love!

Enough Already!!!!!!!!!!!

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Dear Gentle Reader,

I was initially going to continue on with my fabulous fails posts or celebrating Pride month, but after crying my eyes out for the last hour, I feel I need to share and help in whatever TINY way I can.

Before I continue, my Lovely Reader, if you don’t have the mental capacity handle to another person talking about the tragedies of late that have lead to these protests and riots, I understand and this post may be one that you might just want to pass on.  No hard feelings.  There are days when I don’t have the strength to deal with the shelter in place going on so I skip reading the “here’s what to do to stay sane” posts. I still love you and hope to see you back soon. Stay safe!

Okay.

Like every other compassionate and rational person that understands the difference between right and wrong, I am furious and saddened by the unnecessary deaths of George Floyd, Adrian Medearis, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor (whose death is even more terrifying to me because she was in her own home where one would have felt the safest!). I am furious because I can’t believe that this is still happening.  I am furious because it shouldn’t take public outrage to 1. arrest the criminal (cuz let’s face it, just because they have a badge doesn’t make them any less of a murderer), 2. admit wrongdoing by either the department or the individual, and 3. TRY HARDER to ensure that this doesn’t happen in this line of work!

I am saddened because this has been happening for so long that it is rooted in America and will probably take another millennia before things will change. I am saddened because those families were robbed of a life lived out like Nature would have intended and to have that private moment that all families need to say goodbye to loved ones. I am saddened that people of color have to live with the thought somewhere in the back of your mind that this could happen to you or someone in your family.

I understand the anger and I have always said to acknowledge it. I have found that like Fear, Rage can help fuel you. It is what is fueling this post and the ideas that you can use to take action if you, like me, want to help, but don’t have a lot of funds to do so.

  1. Of course, money for communities is always helpful. IF you have the means, donate to verified organizations that are legitimately giving the monetary benefits where they claim they are going. I recently learned of a “king” that left a lot of unanswered questions about missing money and numerous failed ventures despite popularity on social media.  And no I am not talking about a certain orange leader. If you have doubts, check this Before Donating to Charity (Special thanks to TBA and Leigh Rodon-Davis for this tip)  Might I suggest donating to the ACLU? Find Black Owned businesses and use your money to buy goods and services to help them through these times. Need some ideas? The site Support Black Owned has a truly extensive directory of businesses as well as a very impressive goal of being a worldwide directory.  The site also has a super informative blog and there is a companion app! So any of my Dear Readers around the world can find a way to help out. You can buy from makers on Etsy, too! You can type in Black Owned Shops on the search bar and get 37 pages of products.
  2. Social Media is another outlet that people can put to good use. If you know of any POC that are content creators, uplift them!! Share their content to support them and help them be seen. Wanna show some love? Some of my fave Youtubers are TL Yarn Crafts (crochet and Tunisian crochet) and EarthtonesGirl (knitting, crochet), TechMeOut (Tech and App reviews and tutorials), and Jackie Aina (makeup). I was watching a cooking tutorial and then the Jackie video came on and I was not only entertained, but she expresses her truth so wonderfully that I became a fan. Anyway, this doesn’t just apply to Youtube, find content creators on Instagram too.
  3. Share the stories of these wrongdoings and the names of the victims and don’t forget to fight for this change. Reminding people of corruption and wrong doing that needs to be addressed is a tough job. When the hashtags aren’t trending anymore, will you still be there to help create the change the world needs? This latest round of protests didn’t happen just because it was inexcusable and caught on camera. This has been building and building since America was created. We need to fix this now! I fear that the violence will escalate but it doesn’t have to as long as compassion and reason win over greed, fear and racism.
  4. VOTE!!!!! If you are in a country that supports the oppression of a group of people for ANY reason, VOTE that “leader” out!  Those people aren’t leading. They say they are preserving tradition.  Do you know what “tradition” is?  It is an excuse to continue to maintain a narrow view in a world where the lens has been made bigger. Get them out of positions of authority! Let them live as a regular civilian and get a regular job and not live off of a pension of thousands of taxpayer dollars until they die. Use that money for something useful like psychological training and testing for people that want to become cops or join the military.  I know the US could save MILLIONS possibly Billions if we did that instead of pay someone that refused to change or uphold the will of the people THEY were supposed to have worked for. That money could pay for higher wages, free schooling, and free healthcare.  Also, if you want to get even more into the  politics of it, here are some suggestions from our friends at Crowded Fire Theatre:

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/  Minnesota Freedom Fund – bail fund for protesters being arrested

https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

https://www.gofundme.com/f/george-floyd-bigfloydGoFundMe for George Floyd’s family

https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2  Reclaim the Block is fighting to defund the police and calls on officials to invest in violence prevention, housing, resources for youth, emergency mental health response teams, and solutions to the opioid crisis.

https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforfloyd_george_floyd_minneapolis    Sign Color of Change’s petition demanding that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey block the involved officers from receiving their pensions and ban them from being able to become police officers again, as well as demands that County Attorney Mike Freeman charge the officers with murder. (You can also text “FLOYD” to 55156 to sign the petition.)

Anti Police-Terror ProjectSilicon Valley De-Bug   Support organizations fighting for police and justice reform in the Bay Area

Cal Shakes list of resources

Know Your Rights Camp’s Legal Defense Initiative – The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative has identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area to provide legal resources for those in need. https://www.knowyourrightscamp.com/legal

More Color of Change petitions

#JusticeforAhmaud petition https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/demand-justice-ahmaud/ petition to fire Georgia prosecutors who held up Ahmaud’s case

#JusticeForBre https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforbre-breonna-taylor-officers-fired/ petition to fire officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor

I run with Maud go fund me https://www.gofundme.com/f/i-run-with-maud

 

I saw a video earlier today that sparked this whole post and I’d like to share it. It is from Viola Davis’ instagram. It is truly heartbreaking.  I hope it sparks you into action too.

Also, I’d like to share Rhiannon Gidden’s beautiful song “Cry No More”. Going back to the sadness… this performance was for a concert that was supposed to address racism in America back in 2015!

Please, Gentle Reader, I beg that you support or uplift and support the Black community especially right now. We can’t heal as long as we keep opening this deep and ugly wound.

Until next time…

Stay safe and #BlackLivesMatter.  They truly do.

Help stop this madness.

Pop Goes The Bean Bag!

popped bean bag cartoon

AKA: Man, I Wish Someone Was Filming: PART 2

Hello Gentle Reader!

Welcome back to hear about my fabulous fails that ended up making delightful memories.😜

Today’s fail is my second favorite. The reason it isn’t my first fave is ONLY because the show itself is SO funny and even if this fail didn’t happen, the audience still would have enjoyed the show.

Let’s go back to 2015, Dear Reader. The show is Boeing Boeing.                                            The role is Robert Lambert.❤️

Show summary: Well-To-Do bachelor, Bernard gets a visit from small town friend from college, Robert. Bernard reveals he has 3 fiancés who are all international airline attendants on different airlines and their paths never cross. Or do they?

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I loved that painting!!!! Those were some stiff shoes and I am pointing my toes so hard RN!!!  Me and Berthe (Christine McElroy)

The story so far: Bernard and Gloria (the American) are having breakfast when Robert shows up. After Gloria leaves for her flight, Bernard tells of his love life: 3 fiancés with two days spent together each week and their paths don’t cross. Bernard invites Robert to stay with him and tells him that Gretchen (the German) will be having dinner with them before continuing on her flight, but first, Gabriella (the Italian) will be incoming for lunch. There is a large scene between Robert and the housemaid, Berthe, at the top of Act 2, that really sets up the forthcoming physical comedy of the rest of the play. Arriving much earlier than scheduled, Gretchen and Robert meet while Bernard is out and he is totally smitten with her. She storms off to her bedroom in exasperation and as she does, enter Gabriella and Bernard! Gabriella is now on a turbo jet and doesn’t have to leave until tomorrow. I recall how much the energy ramped up at this point as the dialogue goes back and forth much faster and I am jumping all over that stage and I pretend to be a tree in the wind and a bunny on a meadow… Robert convinces Bernard and Gabriella to spend a romantic night in the countryside leaving Gretchen in the apartment with Robert and Berthe. So far, so good! But a call comes in saying that Gloria is on her way back because there is a storm. And that’s where we find my fabulous fail…   (I kinda wish I had did this as a vlog, because they way I wrote the paragraph above should try and be read in one big breath to get the sense of the chaos of the show, but you wouldn’t know that.)

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Same scene as the “incident”, but on a different night. See? I am already a mess from running, jumping, squatting and falling in the first 2 acts. Me and Gloria’s (Heather Bass) finger

Top of Act 3, after dinner together, Robert accidentally offends Gretchen and she storms off for a walk but not before beating on him with her purse, which gets left behind. A mini-scene between Robert and Berthe sets up the entrance for Gloria.  As she walks in, Robert notices Gretchen’s Lufthansa bag and Berthe intercepts Gloria.

This is the stage direction in the script:  “(Berthe turns Gloria away from Robert. Robert throws the bean bag chair with himself on it to hide the Lufthansa bag in front of Door #1)”  We liked it, so we went with it! 😆

Now, my Lovely Reader, I am a chunky monkey, thick like molasses, and apparently reckless! LOL! So as the following happened, so too did my fail:

GLORIA. Hi! (Played amazingly by Heather Bass, waves to me)

ROBERT. Hi! (Big eyed and overly toothy smile, I wave back “There’s nothing weird here at all ”  of  course I don’t say it, that’s my inner dialogue. LOL!)

BERTHE. Good evening, Mademoiselle. (Christine McElroy was perfect as Berthe BTW’s. She takes Gloria as she is saying her line and leads her a step away from the bag)

As Christine shifts Heather over, I grabbed the bean bag, tossed it on the purse and jumped over it to sit facing the audience.

Weeeeeeellllll…

When I landed, there was a distinct and audible, PFFFFT! 💨and suddenly I noticed there were little pellet type things all over my legs.  I could feel my feet slipping out from under me and I knew the bag popped.  Well, that and the hysterical laughter that was coming from the audience was a big clue too!

Here I am on this popped bag, the audience is dying of laughter, Christine and Heather are being amazingly professional, and waiting for the die down to happen, all while maintaining character. If it were me, I would have been DYING!!!  Anyway, from has been told to me, the hole was in the vicinity of my bits and pieces. (That sounds terrible when I read it back… Imma leave it tho.) When I landed the bag shifted slightly and I wasn’t really centered and ‘comfortable” on the bag, so as though nothing were wrong or out of the ordinary, I try to get my feet back under me to reposition myself. Each movement cause a new spewing of little rabbit turds to pop out of the bag which is under my bum so it looks like I am popping them out not the bag and the audience launches into another fit of laughter. Mind you, I didn’t know where the hole was at the time, I was only told of it after, which makes me actually laugh when I think about it. Wait… laughter subsides…

Gloria and Berthe have a few lines of dialogue before, Heather as Gloria makes her way over to me, who is  cool as a cucumber and says:

GLORIA. And how have you got on since I left this morning?  (LAUGHTER)

ROBERT. It’s been quite dull really (LAUGHTER)

GLORIA. Cosy here, isn’t it? Home sweet home. Everything’s so calm. (BIG LAUGH!!)

ROBERT. Calm yes? Really calm isn’t it, Berthe? ( BIG LAUGH!! Remember each little movement i make has me rabbit poopping bean bag beans…)

BERTHE. Calm as calm can be. (Christine’s deadpan perfectly delivers the killer blow for this whole mess and the audience explodes with laughter and applause.) 

I could only hear Christine but since Heather was much closer to me and looking down at me, I got to see her struggle with maintaining a straight face whilst I was playing the laziest version of Peter Cottontail. 👀😄😂

If I remember correctly, bean bag beans were found constantly on the set during the run.  I felt bad that the bag popped because it meant funds had to be spent to repair and refill, but grateful that it happened early in the run with a big audience and we had nearly a sold out run because it was a funny show. Even without the beans!

Oh, Gentle Reader, I hope I conveyed that story better than the last, and I hope it brought a smile to your face. When I think back on that moment, I get a pretty good laugh out of it. That show is one of my more cherished plays.  Not only was the script funny as all get out, but the cast fit the characters and got along so well and it was easy to get lost in my character. For the director, Kevin, I cannot say “thank you” enough. 💖 And thanks for the pictures! It reminds me it really happened.

Until next time, my Dear Reader…

 

Man! I Wish Someone Was Filming…

laughing audience

Hello Gentle Reader,

There aren’t many instances when I wish someone was recording a night’s production performance. Especially since, as I have mentioned before, I don’t like being in front of cameras.

I would like to share 3 or 4 of my spectacular fails that turned into big laughs. I say 3 or 4 because, 2 happened in the same show, so I don’t know if that counts as a single incident. In the next few posts, I want to share them to maybe bring you a smile. 😄 Fingers crossed.

I don’t know how to rate them, because they were all belly busters and hard to not ham up. I am going to share them in order of what makes me smile the most when I think back on the incidents. So, Dear Reader, let’s start off with a smaller smile incident.

The show was Crazy For You way back in 2014. The role is Bobby Child.

Imagine if you will, Kind Reader, this super sweaty actor wearing layered costumes and we are on the second to last scene for Act 1. Prior to this point, there have been at least 4  dance numbers (K-Ra-Zy For You, I Can’t Be Bothered Now, Shall We Dance, Slap That Bass) so I am a hot mess. Dripping with salt water and makeup, I know my face is getting oily.  CURSE YOU COMBINATION SKIN!!!! Oh, AND it is summertime. 🌞!!😓

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Anyway! Back to the moment. If you don’t know the show: Bobby is a NY young guy that loves the theatre. Musical Theatre in particular. Typically, cast as a caucasian, so my caramel colored ass was surprised that I was offered the part, but I digress…  😵

Bobby Child works for a bank and the is going to Nevada as a representative to deal with an upcoming foreclosure. It turns out that the foreclosure is for a theatre that belongs to Polly who he falls in love with, and her father. They have a notice saying to expect Bobby, so when Bobby finally introduces himself, it goes all wrong. He then has a brilliant idea to dress up as a famous director, Bela Zangler, to put on a show, help save the theatre, and win Polly over. That brings us to the point at which “the incident” happens. The big thing to note is that Zangler has a mustache that Bobby does not…

Polly ends up crushing on faux Bela during “Slap That Bass” and pursues him during her song “Embraceable You” at the end of the scene.  As she is making her advances, Bobby is trying to divert her affections from himself as Zangler to Bobby in the midst her singing. One performance, it was so hot outside that the mustache glue wouldn’t hold (ok, who am I kidding? It hardly ever held but at least I could fake it and push it back on most of the time). Polly, brilliantly played by the amazing Fiona Condon, sings out to the audience and then turns to Zangler in her saucy advances, I usually would press the mustache on while she looks away. At one point, I counter and cross her to just past the opposite side of center stage and I try pressing the fake hair back on, but it comes off in my hand! I know that the glue is officially a lost cause. ACK! I need to find a way to keep the mustache in place when she spins me around so the only thing I can think to do is to lean way back like a frug dancer from Fosse’s famous Sweet Charity number. It is obvious to everyone in the audience that the glue is lost at this point, but Fiona doesn’t let that phase her one bit! Such a pro, she is. I can hear the audience laughing as she is singing and I can’t focus on her words because all I am thinking is “Shit! Shit! Shit! It’s not gonna hold!” At the end of the number, Polly plants a big ol’ kiss on Zangler and as she pulls me to her, the mustache slips into prime position and it is a big salty gluey flavored smackaroo. Just a whole number of me trying to keep that stupid thing on in different ways, there was some face slapping at one point,  but none were more ridiculous than the “hairtoss.”  When I couldn’t press the darned thing back on, I had to do a head toss to try and get it to “hop” back in place.  Imagine a beautiful lady singing a beautiful song beautifully juxtaposed with a panicked sweaty oaf, trying to play it cool as he tries to keep a mustache from falling off of his face while trying to keep it on the sly. 

I still have that monstrosity. Somewhere.😆

Looking back on that moment in the show always makes me smile and chuckle a little. Oh, Gentle Reader, if only someone had filmed that, you would see the most glorious madness. I hope I told that story vividly enough that you get to imagine the absurdity of the moment and it makes you smile. Even if it is just a little, that is a win!

Until next time, Dear Reader, I hope you are doing well and keep safe! The next one really did need a video.  I couldn’t believe it when the director told the the stage picture that we had… 😜

 

🎼🎶Want Your Bad Romance🎶…

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Hello Gentle Reader,

As COVID-19 virus is running through most of the world, people and businesses have adapted to survive.  People started following the shelter in place suggestions. Restaurants have focused on to-go orders or take out only. Stores that are open have been asking for people to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart.  Theatre companies have turned to streaming content to share performances.

WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Wait! What? NO! Whhyyyyyyyy-uh? I am sure that I have mentioned it about a hundred times that I am camera-shy.  No, shy is not the right word. Resistant.  YES! That is much better suited to my detestations toward the lens of a camera. Mind you, I don’t mind taking pictures of others; in fact, I love it.  I just don’t like to be in front of a camera.

It is just so dead and lifeless.  There is no spark of energy to interact with it. It is like trying to get a reaction from a wall. Nothing to feed off of. It is just kinda gross to me, to be blatantly honest. That’s why I don’t really do selfies or make videos on other platforms. I have been advised to do so, but… *shudder*  It is INDEED going to be a “bad romance.” I don’t really want it, but I gotsta learn to live with it.

{SIDENOTE: I just watched a crap ton of videos from Tik Tok users that have some creepy stuff in them, so now I have that rolling around in my melon too. I know! I know, there is nothing creepy in my home, but… *shudder*}

Anyway, with things going more and more digital, I suppose I must get over my resistance to la lens; that’s spanish for lens. [☜ That was a lame attempt at a joke.] I don’t know how I will do that, but I started with getting one of ☝︎ those illumination donuts, as my home is rather dark. It is one thing to film a production that has a live audience, but to “act” just with a camera seems so counter-intuitive to the whole business of theatre. 

My Dear Reader, thank you for letting me bend your ear and share my apprehensions about this luster circle and the need for it; being in front of a camera. Next, I have to find a decent camera.  I checked out the camera on my laptop and whew doggie, it is rough. YIKES! My phone has a pretty good one, but I would like to have the ability to see multi-angles and such. I figure if I have to do it, I should try to fully commit. Right? No, seriously, is that right? { 😏Another joke.}

I don’t know if it will transform into anything, but I shall keep you posted nonetheless.

Thanks again, Kind Reader. In this crazy time of social distancing, mental health awareness, physical health awareness, you are a wonderful source of light. Like a star 😊

Until next time…

When It’s Dark, Look For The Stars…

Star Cluster

Dear Gentle Reader,

I hope this finds you in good health and spirits!

At the start of this crisis, I told myself that this would be a great time to do all the things that I felt I didn’t have time to do. Ha-ha, yeah, right.

By the end of the first week, I could feel a suffocation building. You see, there were a lot of things that I was in the middle of and leaving them unfinished would prove to weigh heavily on my psyche. My team and I were placed on furlough in early March. The company that holds the contract to the location we are located was up for renewal this year and we still didn’t know the status.  We didn’t know if we would be employed when it was time to come back to work. I was in the middle of interviewing for a new job that would have incredible effects on my life and present new challenges that I was looking forward to. With hiring frozen, there went that possibility for now. In mid-April, I found out the company I am with lost their contract. Now it became a question of would we be invited to join the new company or would my team be up a creek?

Couple this stuff with the health issues of some of my loved ones. My job, while sending me on furlough, was kind enough to continue to pay for my health benefits which was an  unbelievable kindness that I will never forget. The reason it meant so much to me was because my hubby (who continued to work) is still dealing with his cancer which we hadn’t told many people about and we are both covered under my company. Every day, I am constantly checking in with him to see how he feels. I almost feel like a mom. LOL! So a massive cloud was building over this one issue.  My mother and sister both work in nursing homes and I have seen both catch colds from people there. I know it isn’t intentional and I feel for all involved, but I would worry about what could happen if one of them came home with the virus? My dad is suffering from dementia and his health isn’t all that great as it is and it takes a lot to push away those thoughts. My good friend, Tom, works in a place that is considered essential and I worry about his health as well.

I had nightmares that ended up with me alone in strange places when I was once surrounded by people and places that were familiar several nights a week. This put my sleep cycle into something much more severe chaos than mere insomnia. What did these dreams mean? I know some people think they mean nothing but to each their own.

I would try to distract myself with projects but eventually, those thoughts would come back and take over, so I would move on to something new but once again, Dear Reader, came the worries. It seemed like every”where” I would run to, I was followed by these lingering thoughts that would bloom into storms of worry. My eyes would flash with tears and my blood would pound in my ears like inescapable thunder.  For weeks. Finally, I sat down in the middle of the “rain” and just surrendered. So I wrote to you, Kind Reader.

When I set out to do something, I typically get it done or I get a version of it done that I can live with for now. However, when I don’t do it, I engage in a lot of negative self talk and frustration with myself. I wish I can tell you how all the things that I didn’t get to do or complete have contributed to that typhoon of depression and anxiety.

I know that it can never rain forever. I know this. I know that no single feeling will last forever. Once this virus is under control, I would feel better. Then something happened. When I focused on that one little fact, “it will not be forever” (It just feels like it.) the rain lightened up a little. Each day that my love came home and was feeling fine, it lightened up a bit more. Then, one day the doctor said that the immunotherapy seems to be doing some good and the rain stopped. After that, I found out that most of my team was going to be moved to the new company that won the contract. In fact, I just signed my offer letter today! The nightmares have stopped.  When I check in with my mom I find she and my dad are doing great. I don’t think the worry was needless or irrational or unwarranted, but I am surprised at how deeply it sank its snare into me. I thought I would be on social media so much more than I am currently, but all I could handle was a text thread between my siblings and nieces and my besties. I would pop in every couple of days, but it was all just an attempt to distract myself and not to connect. It is rough. It WAS rough. I think now that things are evening out, I may be back on more. Fingers crossed.

I feel like I will be back to normalish soon whether or not the shelter in place orders are lifted. Until then, I will keep looking up.

Do you ever notice that when you look up and see the stars they glitter their little hello’s, but when to look past them, more come into view? Like you are getting closer to those far away balls of light?

If you, Gentle Reader, are finding that this shelter in place and social distancing is getting you down and need to talk about it, drop me a line! If you feel like you need help, reach out to NAMI.ORG or you can call them at 800.950.NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741.

Again, we are all in this together.  Be kind to yourself and to others. Be alert and be safe.

Until next time….

Relax! Don’t Do It…

giphy

Hello Gentle Reader!

Once upon a time, I used to stress out about not having a production to work on right after my current project would end. With Little Shop of Horrors ending on Saturday, I am  getting a little antsy about that very thing.

My logical brain knows that there will be a project for me somewhere at some point, but as I have pointed out time and again, logic is NOT my default setting. 😄

Having taken 2018 off (and most of 2019 too), I know that Theatre Arts will be around when I am ready for a project.

I used to be grateful that I had an answer for people when they asked, “what are you working on next?” Recently, one of my Lil Shop castmates asked and I said, “I don’t have anything coming up and I don’t mind.” I never expected the calm that I felt when I said that.

My Dear Reader, I know when the right project comes along it will call to me. I just hope that I can audition well enough to become part of the cast. Fingers crossed.  Toes too! LOL 😂

I do have to say that I am so grateful at being a part of the thriving theatre community that we have in the Bay Area. From the actors, to the producers and staff, to the incredible artists that work on design elements, there are so many insanely wonderful people that are part of it.

So there shall be no freaking out! I hope. LOL! No, no.  It’ll be fine.  I think.

Yeah… just gonna wait for that project to call…

*sits and waits…*

*and waits…*

Altos!! I feel you!! Whew, child…

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Hellllloooooo, Dear Reader!!!

What a weekend it has been! Our little production has been a MASSIVE hit and the audiences have been NUTS this weekend. LOL!

It has been such a treat to work on this production. When I was asked to join the cast, I was thinking it would be for Mushnik or ensemble. Secretly, I was hoping it would be the dentist and the 3 people that offer Seymour contracts in “Meek Shall Inherit.”

And then, Gentle Reader, THEN director, Whitney, says “we are thinking you will be a great Ronnette.” SAY WHAT!!?? Of course, immediately I said “I’m in!!”

I didn’t realize the implication of what this role would take. I LOVED IT!!!

It has been one of the most challenging roles to date. As a tenor, I automatically go for the higher notes in harmonies and the melody lines in songs. I know there is a tenor joke in there somewhere. (How many tenors does it take…)

Singing the alto line was SO much harder than I expected. It wasn’t the fact that it was higher than I usually sing, it was the fact that I kept trying to jump up to the soprano’s notes.  It was so hard for me to maintain my vocal line. I know, I KNOW, singing isn’t my strong suit and this is my first major vocal role in almost 2 years. So I tried not to get too upset when I couldn’t get things right immediately.

To say that I leveled up my patience is an understatement. I know I had a crap ton of work to do.  It wasn’t just because I was missing nearly half of the rehearsal time, but because the revival music is so much more complicated than the original.

My Dear Reader, let me tell you that the stress levels were high. Not only were the songs something to focus on, but I had to find my way through playing one of these roles in a gender bent versus a drag performance. I am so glad that the director wanted to try the gender bend because it gave me more of a chance to find ways to bring something a little bit different than what is already in the bones of the show.  I kept thinking how can I, as a male counterpart to the two other ladies in the the trio, react to things in the script. For example, in Act 2, the Shoppettes, fawn over Seymour in Scene 3, which is right after Mushnik’s last scene (just to keep the details vague in case of spoilers, LOL) and I felt like that it wasn’t the right move for me to also make. Instead, I used the line that one of the other Shoppettes says “You’re going to be so rich,” into the start of my character arc building. I then went back through the script and used “Somewhere That’s Green” (we are on stage at this point) as my motivation to get out of Skid Row. Everything from that point on, all my choices are driven to be sure that #RonnettemakesitoutofSkidRow.

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Oh, Kind Reader, with only 2 more performances to go, it feels like we are still finding more and more joy each time we step on those boards at Pintello Comedy Theater and I am going to be so sad to see this production end.

Be sure you catch this show while you can! What’s your favorite song from this show? Mine has to be the title track. I am bummed that I only get to slip on my mermaid sequin green/black jacket two more times. That’s right.  You’ll have to see it. Is there a moment in the show that you love? That would be mine. LOL! Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Until next time, Gentle Reader!

A New Post? Yup!…

time-to-come-back-coverHELLO Gentle Reader!!!

How have you been? What have you been up to? Chasing those dreams? I hope you had an amazing 2019! I really do. I also hope your holiday celebrations were amazing and filled with love and laughter with those you care for the most. 

Can you believe it has almost been a full year since I last posted? 📆 I had to take some time away because I was having some personal issues with the old survival job that just made me feel like I was suffocating and regardless of what I tried I couldn’t seem to shake it. 😔  I didn’t want to inadvertently put any of it on you. What brought me to this decision was the number of times that I had noticed that I spoke before self-editing and realizing later that there was venom in my words. This, of course, compounded the feelings I was already dealing with so the easiest solution was to take a step back. That being said, I did miss you all.

I even did the same thing with theatre. I saw a few shows but didn’t participate in anything until October/November when I had been about 2 months into feeling more like myself. 

My initial plan for this post was to go back to something that I used to do WAAAYY back when… try and decipher my Chinese zodiac horoscope.  BUT I realized that a year away is a very long time in the blogging world so I should probably update you, Dear Reader, on what I did work on as far as theatre goes. 

I was lucky enough to be cast in productions of…

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AND

star-wars-posterweb 

The toughest part about these projects was that they started rehearsals at the EXACT. Same. Time!😱

Star Wars had a shorter more intense schedule while Little Shop had 3 weeks more of rehearsal time. I am one lucky ducky. I had 2 great directors that were willing to allow me the chance to tackle this task.  I know that they were nervous about letting me do this, and I hope it was the knowledge that I would work hard to bring my best to each show. I mean, not that I don’t work hard when I am in a single show. LOL!

Let’s first tackle “One Hour Star Wars Trilogy: Live!” A little side note: I LOVE THIS TRILOGY!!! ❤️❤️ Give me this before offering LOTR or Indiana Jones. I don’t care how much people like to talk smack about them. I know they are a little silly and not the best acted. I LOVE THEM ANYWAY.

This was a project of love, no doubt. I enjoyed every single moment of work on this show because it’s freakin Star Wars.  Not only that, but I got reunited with a few people that worked on last year’s “Making of the Star Wars Holiday Special: Live!” I laughed so much during the process that it didn’t feel like work at all. There was joy in every moment we built and the process of collaboration was fast and furious. There were some ideas that worked and some that didn’t. I also got to work with a bunch of new friends that had the BEST quickly improvised ideas. The best thing about the production run was all the running around backstage to get to the different entrances in the theater. So much swearing! LOL!  I think we said “shit!💩” at least 20 times a show. And the show is only an HOUR!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA😂

Ahhhh, Gentle Reader, I am gonna miss that show. LOL!

Next up, let’s have a chat about 🎶Little Shop, Little Shoppa Horrors🎵.

But we’ll do that in another post.

Thanks for reading, Dear Reader!  I have performances Friday and Saturday, so I am aiming to have the Lil Shop post up by Sunday night.

Until then…

Let me know how you are and what your are up to!