🎼Say What You Wanna Say, And Let The Words Fall Out, Honestly, I Wanna See You Be Brave…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

It has been a great few weeks.

I am having a period of time that I am not fully accustomed to and instead of analyzing it, I am just trying to accept and grow with it.

You know how there are things that you know you can do, but you haven’t had a chance to show people? It feels like I can relax my shoulders more and take bigger breaths for the moment.

For those that haven’t seen the Instagram post, I have been given the opportunity to bring to life the character of John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible! A dramatic role has been offered to moi? For the last decade and a half I have wanted to have a shot at something serious or even something dark. Aside from the Leading Player in Pippin, I have never had the chance to play with darker moments of shows. Weeelllll, I guess West Side Story… twice… So after I worked for Pear Theatre in their anthology of original works last year, I had a bigger yearning to do something serious because it felt so good to play these characters that felt mature and more solidly grounded (one was an absent father, another was a hurricane survivor trying to rebuild their home with his wife) than what I usually play.

I almost, ALMOST, let my own doubts and fear get to me and keep me from attending the callbacks or round 2 of auditions, for those that aren’t familiar. Not even doubts about my ability to do any of the roles in this play, but doubts about whether it would be a traditionally cast production. The play is about a small town of Puritans in the 1690’s during the Witch Trials near Salem, Massachusetts, so I was debating if it was just going to be a waste of time to go.

I changed my work schedule specifically for this reason so even though one of my doubts was that I would never make it on time to rehearsals, I already had planned for this. Then, I thought about the time that I was offered a really cool role of a Devil by a casting director of a show but had the director say that they were going to split the role into 3 parts and I would play the aspect that was more energetic and movement based. That brought up some bad vibes for a bit but then I thought about how I stood up for myself and agreed that the contract I signed would be broken and I wanted a new one. Since they wouldn’t give me a new contract, they just paid me for the role and released me from the contract as if completed. It was fine by me. I was a little mad at first, but I was paid in full and “won” the “argument.” I didn’t expect to get a check in the mail. LOL. But that was a very important lesson to learn.

But, Dear Reader, I went and did the thing!

And even though I wondered if I made the right choices or strong enough choices to embody the script once I was released from the room, I felt great that I just powered through that fear. I know that I had said a few lines wrong and I think it may have thrown off the actors I was working with. The intent was the same but the wrong cue line is kind of a bummer. So I did feel bad about that. Man, can you imagine? I said “You shall not speak of my wife!” instead of “You shall not speak of Elizabeth!” and the surprise made the other actor not get the part? Oh, I would feel so bad! I hope that didn’t happen.

So, yeah, the thing was done.

The other thing is that I have been working with a vocal coach sporadically. We have a bit of trouble syncing our schedules, but there is a comfortability and a trust that I have with them that makes the sessions feel like all these little light bulbs of knowledge are lighting up. Recently, some shows were announced that I thought, “YES! I want to be a part of that!” So I found an audition song that I think would be fantastic for one of them. My coach usually stops our warm ups at about an A but this song’s ending has a great phrase of just hopping from E to G’s and then popping up higher for the ending. He says “Ok, let’s give this a go” after we worked through any sort of rhythmic or diction issues. So I sing it like I will be singing it at auditions and he just stares at me for a few seconds.

“Where the hell have you been hiding that B? At full voice?!”

He was excited about how easy the E-G phrase was to do and then to blast out that ending made him wide eyed. 😂

He said he is looking forward to the next session because of this new information and we have yet to really dig in to falsetto, so I don’t know how much higher I can actually go.

Kind Reader, I have always been hesitant to say I can sing. I know what I can do, but I feel like my sound is more like a sing in the shower kind of sound. Since I started these sessions, I do feel like I have grown as a vocalist. I still hesitate to say, I’m a singer so I will just say, give me a bucket and I can carry a tune. 😂

With all of this new input and outcomes, I am a little mad at myself for being afraid or for choosing self sabotage (because let’s face it, I did choose it) when I know that these are things that I can do. I started to spiral out thinking about all the chances not taken and what my projects would have looked like and would I have been more confident because of it. However, on the other side of the coin, many of the projects that I did work on are like little treasures to me. Maybe this was the lesson I was supposed to learn?

I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Well, Gentle Reader, I cannot say thank you enough for letting me bend your ear once again. I have already been considering trying a new tactic for helping me associate how I feel about the different characters, but first I have to see if I can match up all of them, then I will let you know how it goes.

Until next time, stay safe and alert and be kind to yourself and those around you.

❤️

🎼I Hope You’re Happy, But Don’t Be Happier … 🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

This past Sunday was the annual broadcast of the Oscar Awards. Celebrities dressed in their fancy clothes and strutted across a red carpet and were pampered and adored by the press and fans worldwide.

Did you watch them? I watched them and found them to be much more interesting and surprising than years’ past. I was entertained by most of the performances and Jimmy Kimmel’s bits. There were a couple of moments I used the fast forward feature on the DVR. 😄

Something has come out of this year’s award show that is sad and frankly, in my opinion, childish. Creating yet another tarnish on this night that is supposed to be a celebration. 💔

What happened to the days of “It is an honor just being nominated” and putting on a fake smile or genuine I am not judging (because let’s face it, most people don’t get into acting for the awards, those are just a bonus).

There is a a whole bunch of people having temper tantrums because Jamie Lee Curtis took home the trophy instead of Angela Bassett or Stephanie Hsu. 😔

Don’t mistake me, I LOVE and ADORE Angela Bassett as much as I do JLC. I enjoyed both of them in their respective roles and throughout their amazing careers. I also really enjoyed Stephanie Hsu in her role.

I completely understand Ms. Bassett’s reaction at not winning the trophy. Personally, I think she should have won for “What’s Love Got To Do With It” but Holly Hunter took the trophy that year for “The Piano.” It is a little disappointing to lose awards especially when you feel like you put everything into your role.

The thing about these awards is that to get nominated is a big deal. It is an endorsement of the work that was done. Dear Reader, I can feel you thinking “Duh! We all know that,” but being a nominee also means that each of these people are deserving of the award. Just because the person that takes the award wasn’t someone that everyone was expecting or hoping for, doesn’t mean we should try and discredit the win.

Some people cry that JLC didn’t have as much screen time as Stephanie Hsu, so that would make her less worthy. Anne Hathaway won her Best Supporting for Les Miserables and she was only in the movie for 15 minutes. 15 MINUTES!

It isn’t about the amount of time the person is on the screen. What is more important to consider is how important the character is to the plot.

There are others that are saying because Angela Bassett had to also battle through the grief of Chadwick Boseman’s death while filming. It is heartbreaking to think about and moving and they do a remarkable job paying tribute to him, but what if he hadn’t died and the script was still the same? Would this make her performance less worthy? Hell no, because this is Angela friggin Bassett! However, this also does not mean that she is the shoe in for the award.

If you look at the entirety of the season, all the awards have been scattered among the people showing how great all of these performances were. Not only were the performances great, but they were so varied as well.

The BAFTA went to Kerry Condon for “Banshees of Inisherin”

The Golden Globe went to Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

The SAG went to Jamie Lee Curtis for “Everything, Everywhere All At Once”

The Critic’s Choice went to Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

The only sure bet, I feel, was Ke Huy Quan for “Everything Everywhere All At Once” which YAY!!! So happy for him. 💓

Can we please put to bed the terrible hashtag that Angela Bassett was robbed? Did she win, no. Did she deserve to win? Yes. BUT so did Jamie Lee Curtis. That is why they were nominated!

Regardless of what happens to their careers in the future, one thing I know is that I will still happily watch their work because I think they are so talented. 👏👏👏

With that, Dear Reader, I shall step off of my soap box now. Thank you for letting me bend your ear. What are your thoughts on this whole issue?

Thank you for reading this rant. Until next time, I will have some news about a new project that I can’t announce the cast for yet… Stay safe and alert and be kind to yourself and those around you.

❤️

🎼 Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool?…🎶

Gentle Reader, 

While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across a post that made me catch my breath in the most unexpected way. It was just a simple video of a man in the woods talking about his favorite description of the “black sheep and family.” 

It is as follows:

“The so-called Black Sheep in the family are, in fact, seekers of liberation roads for the family tree.

Those members of the tree who do not adapt to the rules or traditions of the family system, those who are constantly seeking to revolutionize beliefs going in contrast to the roads marked by family traditions, those criticized, tried, and even rejected.

They are called to release the tree of repetitive stories that frustrate entire generations. 

The Black Sheep, those who do not adapt, those who scream, rebel, repair, and detoxify, create a new and blooming branch. 

Countless unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled dreams and frustrated talents of our ancestors manifest themselves in the Black Sheep’s rebellion looking to take place.

The family tree by inertia will want to continue to maintain the castrating and toxic course of its trunk which makes the Black Sheep’s task difficult and conflicting. 

Let no one make you doubt, take care of your rarity as the most precious flower of your tree. 

You are the dream of all of your ancestors. “

  • Bert Hellinger

I have never heard the idea put so beautifully. It is hopeful and profound. It brings me to tears.  I don’t know how many of you are fellow Black Sheep but if you are, let me know in the comments and welcome.  I send you hugs!

I am not writing this to be critical of my family.  I do love them, of course. However, as I am going through this journey, I find that some of the things that pop up and that resonate with me are because of negative things that happened in the past. But, we all know that childhood setbacks (personally, I feel like traumas are for something more terrible that what I went through so I will just say setbacks) have long and far reaching effects.

Kind Reader, I am certain that a lot, if not all, of my hangups and self doubts are from being the Black Sheep. I used to think that I had to dissect and analyze these feelings because that was the only way I  was going to be able to make peace with them. Yet, if I were to look at this through the lens of this new description of a Black Sheep, I can see it all from a new perspective. One view of empathy and celebration as opposed to hurt and self-criticism; as if there was something wrong or bad that I am doing/had done. All the things that created these doubts exist because they were trying to protect what they thought was the prime directive.  However, we know that change is constant and, at least by this description, that is what the Black Sheep forces traditions to face. 

I don’t want to start spinning my own wool, but that is so on brand for me. 😂 I don’t care much for traditions. If it is something goofy or fun, like Friendsgiving, sure count me in. The only good traditions are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously in my opinion. Also, did you catch that yarn reference? HA!  I’m a dork and will fully admit it. 

I have always felt that I was the Black Sheep in my family, Dear Reader.  Even to this day, while things are much better between myself and my family, I still feel like I am on the outside looking in. Oddly, sometimes it is by choice… and self preservation.

I am the middle child. As such, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. I cannot recall any childhood achievement ever acknowledged; straight A report cards, school plays, perfect attendance awards, class treasurer and so on. Even my birthday is in the middle of my eldest sister and younger brother. Within 9 days, there are 3 birthdays. It was always celebrated as a group. Never distinctly any one of ours as it was more cost effective to do it this way. I think this is why I don’t really celebrate it now. As recently as few years ago, like 2-3 maybe, I got a text asking “Hey, Are you coming over?”  I said that I was already doing something else and I asked why. My sister said, “Oh we are having a birthday party for you guys and we have a cake for you.” No one had ever mentioned at any time previous that there was a plan of a party. 😳😂

In my family, we have that “if we don’t like you, we wouldn’t pick on you” kind of thing. However, there are times when it can go too far, even though we are all laughing like hyenas. We are pretty ruthless. Another attribute that I have, that others in my family don’t, is that I tan so dark in the sun that I look like I am from a different nationality as well as a different family.  🤭 You can imagine the jokes.

Then there’s the whole thing about being gay. Oh, and I am the only one of my siblings that was “asked” to move out.  I am not going to say that the 2 are related, but I will say the proximity between them is quite coincidental…

I love and pursue all creative endeavors. I have always been told that I wasn’t any good at any of them. Out of the nearly 70 shows that I have done, I can count on one hand how many times my family has come to offer support. I don’t say this to complain, I just know that what I love to do isn’t something they enjoy. It’s a bummer, but I get it.

I think because of all this, I always had my own things going on.  I have always been curious about everything, with a focus being anything that would be deemed creative or crafty. I am a maker. I want to know everything that is expressible. I want be everything and nothing at the same time. I need to know why people react. I want to physically hold my chakras. I have to feel all of the feelings that humanity can ever feel. I want to live other lives. I want to travel to other star systems. I want to find Atlantis. I want to go whale watching and see Moby Dick. I want to see a nucleus from the inside. I want to have deep heart felt conversations with the new moon. I want to know what it is like to be beautiful. I want to jump into a black hole. I want to swim through an aurora borealis. I want to walk across Antarctica before it thaws. The closest thing that comes to all of this for me is Theatre and what playwrights bring to a page.

I don’t know anyone else in my living family, even the recently deceased, that have this need to go through this avenue of life or have dealt with these wants. So far, I think my cobbled together life represents this well, but I want more of it. So much more of it. I have also noticed that being the Black Sheep is not for the faint of heart. It can be lonely, sad or even build resentment, but we are fighters and survivors and must decide for ourselves how we let this define us. With this new outlook, I choose to celebrate it. I choose to blossom and bloom and perfume the room with love.

With that, Gentle Reader, I feel like a massive boulder has been slid out of the way so that I can see the road ahead more clearly.  Thank you for letting me bend your ear. Especially today. This was a long post. Thanks for sticking through it.

Stay safe and alert.  Take care of yourself and those you care about. 

Until next time…

❤️

🎼You Gotta Get It Right While You Got The Time, Cuz When You Close Your Heart, Then You Close Your Mind…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

This a post that isn’t as fully formed as I was hoping as I rushed to get my thoughts in place. The post that was supposed to be uploaded had references to the Golden Globes and with the passing of Lisa Marie Presley, I felt like it wasn’t the right time to post it.💔

I am currently in rehearsal for a staged reading of a new play called La Lechuza or The Owl Witch. It is a really neat opportunity to see a play evolve and morph into a more matured version of itself. I am loving the conversation we are having during our time together.

In a previous post, I had expressed a want to figure out myself to try and find that elusive self love that we are always hearing about. One of the biggest blank spaces I have in regards to my sense of self is culture 🇲🇽 and what it means for me and how I can embrace it and be more comfortable in my milk chocolatey colored outer candy shell.

Last spring/summer, while I was involved with The Pear Theatre’s Pear Slices performances, I had a back and forth email conversation with one of the playwrights, Linda Amayo-Hassan who is writing my current project.

Growing up, I had always known where I should be. The silly tests like “what job would you be suited for” and the like all said the same thing and it was what I had already known. Entertainment. Yet, when I think back at all the shows that I watched, I didn’t see people like me in the roles that weren’t thugs or criminals of some kind, if they were in the show or movie at all. There were a handful of Latinx people on TV, but those were in dramas and I wasn’t keen on those as a kid. I stopped associating with anything that was culturally focused. I thought that I would be looked at as lesser than by theatre directors if I was more proud of it. 

In my neighborhood and in schools I attended, so many of the mocha colored kids, like myself, were a part of gangs or misbehaving in some other way. Of course, that just isn’t my personality, Dear Reader. Eventually, I just made it through life believing that culture and race didn’t matter, that you just had to be a good person. 

In an old job at Nordstrom, I used to work with this amazing lady name Mebrat. She was from Eritrea, a small country in Northern Africa. I swear that every day, as she watched people coming or going, she would say at least once “I wonder where s/he is from?” Finally, after weeks of this, I asked her why is that so important? Isn’t it more important that the person is kind and compassionate? I didn’t yell this or anything, mind you, Kind Reader, I respected her so much and we had some of my favorite conversations. I was truly curious because that was how my perspective was focused. She told me that she wanted to know what similarities were shared, what did they enjoy about their lives, did they emigrate here, were they second or third or more generation “American.” She was a lot like me, full of curiosity. Where we differed was that she was curious about people and I was curious about things and creating things. Her questions were “who are they?” and mine were “how did they do that?” While she did teach me to be curious about people, it wasn’t to the point that I needed to know where they were from and how that informed their view of the world. 🌍

It wasn’t until as recently as 3 or 4 years when I began to appreciate more movies from other cultures that shared their traditions and joys, and of course the terrible racist events around the country, that are still happening TO THIS DAY, that I began to want to know more about my own. And it sort of showed me a hole that had been falsely covered like some sort of hunting trap that one falls in because they weren’t looking where they were going.

Ms. Amayo-Hassan’s piece in the Pear Slices was about a Puerto Rican family who had lost their home on the island due to Hurricane Katrina, and the lack of help that followed. It was a beautiful piece because even while surrounded by this profound amount of death and loss, the parents still had hope and still were able to make one another smile. In it, the father questions if the government would have stepped in faster if this happened on the mainland. While Puerto Ricans are considered U.S. citizens, this government dragged their feet getting any sort of assistance to the island to help rescue and rebuild. So he wondered if they are really citizens and asks why would they let “their people”suffer? Why would the government not help as it should? While I worked on this short play, I was finding all of these little questions in his motivations, his reactions and his silence. When I first started the play, I took it rather fairly straightforward with the upbeat parts being upbeat and the serious parts being more reserved. Then, as we got to walk through the piece more and more, I was finding things that felt like little betrayals, or small prayers for the dead, or at one point just fury.

Gentle Reader, I slowly began to realize that I had more in common with this character than I thought. I noticed that I was really hitting on some inner hurts that I had inflicted on myself thinking I was merely “American.” Finding all these gems of pain and sadness and betrayal even that Ricardo, the father character, felt helped to fill that hole I was feeling a little. 

This new play, La Lechuza, is helping me learn a little more about the culture from my cast mates and I am doing my best to absorb everything that they are saying. It is also helping my pronunciation of the language. I would say this is a pretty good start on the self discovery path. This project is a staged reading for More Más Marami Arts in March, I believe. I will keep you posted as details get finalized.

Well, I hope this wasn’t too much of a jumbled mess of a post. As I mentioned before, it was a bit of a rush job to get this idea mostly formulated. I didn’t know how it was going to go because I know I had to give you a lot of backstory to get to the point. I just hope I got to it. 😂

Thank you, Dear Reader, for joining along in my rambles as I try to figure out my messy brain and all around self so that I can be my best when I step on to the stage. I always appreciate the chance to bend your ear. 

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Be kind and take care of yourself and those you care about. 

❤️

🎼 And I Wish You Joy and Happiness, But Above All This, I Wish You Love… 🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Happy New Year! We are one week into 2023 and I am hoping you are all doing things that you enjoy. I have been working from home this week, so I have had the chance to catch some shows while answering emails. I have been watching a lot of the charming show, We’re Here and getting such a kick out of watching Hot Ones. And I have been loving them enough to watch more than one episode at a time. I don’t normally binge anything because I get antsy and NEED to do something or grab a yarn project to work on to pull my attention away cuz I get bored. It is crazy. With so much stuff to watch and enjoy, I get bored. I don’t think I know any other actors who say they are bored with an outlet of their craft. I should shut up before I get in trouble. 🤭 I really think it is an attention thing, but that is just a guess.

But, back to the topic at hand. Whenever I work on building a character and look to find my motivations I always try to base every decision from the perspective of love. I do this because I honestly, personally, believe in life, there is nothing worth fighting for more than love. It doesn’t have to be physical love; it could be anything.

I know I have mentioned this before in a past post. I just can’t remember how far back or how often (I try not to be too repetitive, let me know if I am, ok?)

I love my life. With all its hardships and challenges and chaos, it is pretty good. The problem that I am struggling with, Kind Reader, is that I can’t look in the mirror and say that I love myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I have accepted myself in all my flawed glory, from the dried skin on the heel of my left foot to my bum knee to my slightly lazy right eye to the annoying frizzy greying hair on my head to my tendency to obsessively worry about thing to my battles with memory. I don’t mind these things about myself, but I do wish that I didn’t have the worry and memory issues. So I continue my journey on figuring out the best way to get better at adapting to them.

Please don’t think this is a New Year’s resolution post. I don’t believe in them and hold them in the same low regard as Thanksgiving. I know that people often say ‘it a time for giving thanks for what you have and your friends and family.’ Shut up. Just stop it with that nonsense. If you aren’t grateful every single day of the year for what you have and the amazing people in your life, you need to rethink that life right now, Resolutions are the same, why do you need to wait until the start of a new year to put all of this pressure on your shoulders? ‘But it is a clean slate… blah blah blah’ If you really want to do it, why wait? You have the motivation now, why wait until January 1, every day is a clean slate as is the beginning of every week, month and heck hour if you really wanna get into it. Not to judge anyone’s decisions, but those ideas that society holds up is so limiting and should be thrown out like trash. But I digress…

One of the things that I did happen to watch was the Lizzo concert for her latest album “Special.” I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time and was in the best mood after. As a fan of her music, I was just happy to be hearing the music, but to watch her and see the joy she has sharing her creations with the audience was a bonus. Not only that, there were a couple of times where you can see that moment where she is still grateful for these moments. Her music is filled with positivity and encouragement to love yourself and sometimes a it can be a little therapeutic. 😂 The inclusivity she brings to the table is a breath of fresh air and her audacious notion that being in love with yourself is the best kind of love because then your are unstoppable. This idea is beautiful. I love it. I am fascinated by it. I am intrigued by it. I want to know if she is right.

So I am going to use my curiosity and try and find the answer. I will keep you posted on what I find. Who know? Maybe I will even end up actually loving myself and to quote the singer “it’s about damn time!”

Thank you, Dear Reader, for continuing to follow along on this journey with me. I always appreciate the chance to bend your ear.

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Be kind and take care of yourself and those you care about.

❤️

🎼 Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become Of Me… 🎶

Credit: Michael Horta.

Hello Gentle Reader!

Happy holiday season if you celebrate it in any fashion and for those that don’t I hope you are having a fantastic time. I am usually only a Halloween and New Year’s kinda guy, but with my last project, you can say that I am in the Xmas spirit, I suppose.

I have a question for you my Dear Reader. What is the difference between the following line:

“… my very own legendary official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle, with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock.”

“… MY very own legendary official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle. With a compass! And this thing… which tells TIME built right into the stock.” 

The way that I see it, the first version has the same sort of half committed involvement that the narrator from the film uses.  He is invested, but it just feels like he has told this story before to other people so it isn’t novel or new to him anymore. In the second version, I play it so that it feels like actually owning this present is a dream that I don’t want to wake from and the details of the gun that I have been going on and on about are highlighted since they are referred to 99% of the time the air rifle is mentioned. But I think the Time emphasis was me bringing my life experience to the piece. 

Christmas Eve was the first day since closing night of A Christmas Story that I could say that line without feeling the burning sensation in my nose and eyes of tears that wanted to be set free. 

I can’t exactly say when it happened, but I suspect that it was some time during week 2 of performances that the line above began to morph from the previous to the latter. 

I don’t know if I had mentioned it here yet, but I had so much work to do with the script that I read it multiple times a day on the weekends and at least once every day. I listened the the audio version I made while I was in traffic on the way to rehearsal. I listened to it at work when I wasn’t in meetings.  All to share this memory for this character.

But what is a memory? It is a snippet of time that you are recalling at a different point in time. Sometimes it is purposely done and other times it could be involuntarily triggered by sound, scent or emotion and situation. 

On closing night, I said that line, and before I could continue with the rest of the scene, I had this magnificent surge of love, heartache, stress, fondness and a few other emotions, all at once. I became aware of the symbol of authoritative and parental figures and friends (that my cast mates Shawna and Keith represented) had turned into a focused source of those people in my life that I don’t see, can’t see, won’t see anymore or haven’t seen in a very long time.


It was an overwhelming sensation. Then it circled back to the sadness that this little show of ours had grown to become something so special to me and it was taking the last breaths of life.  I took a few moments to try and force my voice back “into character” but as a proponent of “feel your feelings” I delivered the lines “The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received…. Or ever WOULD receive” with that bubble in my throat and powered through “pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.” I could only hope that through my quaking voice the audience could understand what I was saying, Kind Reader. 

I felt a wee bit foolish but there was nothing I could have done.  In far away voices, I could hear the backstage manager and some of the others, waiting to enter the stage for bows, commenting or gasping that this moment was happening. 

During the first attempt at creating an audio aid, which I recorded on a whim, I can hear my final speech get a little emotionally shaky. I wish that I had paid more attention to that moment so that I could steel myself of this and present the show to the audience  just as we had done the rest of the run. 

Even before this show began I have been fighting with the fleeting nature of time and the ideas that some people had about it. And I took on some of their baggage from them and still shoulder. So couple that baggage with the reminiscing of friends and family and a storm was inevitable.

It is a lot of energy to process and keep in check in the space of the 15 seconds that it takes to say that line and I did well every other night. But time will find a way of catching up with you.

With that, let me just shut off this light on 2022 and the wonderful production of A Christmas Story that I was so fortunate to be a part of. Thanks for letting me bend your ear one more time this year, Dear Reader. Take care of yourself and those you care about! Stay safe and alert and I will see you in 2023. 

🎼 Thought I Heard Your Voice Yesterday, Then I Turned Around To Say… 🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Can you believe that my current show A Christmas Story is in its fourth and final week? Too soon, I say! 😂 But as I say in the show “Finally, all good things must come to an end. There were no more presents to be opened, just empty boxes and paper around the tree.”

While this is bittersweet, it isn’t what I wanted to write about. There is something that has been bothering? No, that isn’t the right word… weighing on my mind is a better way to put it.

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Amazing highs from the show and seeing some adored friends in the audience after to lows and valleys of sadness because work has had some terrible news for colleagues and friends of mine. Yet in the middle of all that was this encounter that I had after the matinee last Sunday.

After the show, I had gone into the lobby because I was hoping to snag a hot chocolate, it may or may not have been spiked🤭 and while I was out there, this gentleman approaches me. But he has this really weird energy and my paranoia went into red alert. I checked my surroundings to see what and who was around me.

Being out in public always puts me on edge anyway because of all these mass shootings. But now add all the hate crimes that seem to be popping up all over the country, and that just makes my fight or flight response even more active. My Dear Reader, I totally know that women live this life everyday and THAT is a tragedy because when do they get the chance to not have tension in their lives? I feel for them. It makes my soul weep that our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and friends have to live with the fear always lingering.

At this point, he is standing next to me and I say “hi” but he just has this sad smile on his face. After a group passes by, he says that he really enjoyed the show. I tell him “that’s fantastic. Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome audience.” Then he starts to say something, but his voice catches so he clears his throat, the way guys do when they don’t want to give away that they are experiencing an emotion, and says “you remind me of my best friend that I had.” He told me the friend’s name, I want to say it was Eddie, but I am only partially listening because my brain is wondering if this guy was ok. He goes on to tell me that his friend used to love “doing drama” but that while it wasn’t his particular thing, but he would go and support his friend when he did perform. He said he almost thought I was actually him. Voice, appearance and mannerisms all lined up according to this man. The thing was that his friend had died when he was 30.

I could see that he was still feeling the sorrow of that loss and I extended my condolences. This man was a little younger than I but I couldn’t tell how much so I wasn’t sure how recent this was.

This experience has been in my thoughts since then. Did he need closure? Did he truly just miss his friend that much? What was the rest of the story? I didn’t know how to respond and I am disappointed in myself that I didn’t say something more than just vague condolences. After a few minutes, the guy left and I wandered back to the stage in a daze, confused by what just happened. It felt like an hour but it was really only moments, I rushed back to the lobby to find the guy. My intent was to offer to go grab a cup of coffee or even a drink and just toast the memory of his friend. He seemed like he needed it.

However, I was so thrown off by this encounter, I couldn’t even recall what he was wearing. I could have been looking right at him and I wouldn’t know it. Well, I do remember he had on a black beanie that was pulled low on his forehead.

I just wish that I had caught him in time. His sadness was palpable and it just seemed that this little gesture could have been of some comfort to him. Or should I have offered him a hug? I just feel like some compassion was needed and I failed miserably to offer it.

For the life of me, Kind Reader, I cannot get it out of my head that I didn’t act in alignment with my personal ethics. Logically, I understand that I don’t have to do anything, but my heart just keeps saying, “I’m not mad, just disappointed.”

It is exhausting to have your brain and your heart disagreeing. I am trying hard to put this to bed so that it doesn’t affect the show. One thing I would like to put into the Universe is that if that fella happens to be reading this; I hope he will send me an email and let’s go have a toast to your friend and you can tell me some of your favorite memories.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear, Good Reader! I hope you know how much I appreciate you. What would you do in my situation? Let me know because I feel like I am falling down the ladder of human virtue.

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

❤️

🎼Is This The Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy? 🎶

Happy Holiday Season, Gentle Reader!

Oooooooowwweeeeee!

I hope your Turkey Day was wonderful, if you celebrate. If you are one of amazing Readers outside of the US, I hope your week was magnificent. But to be clear, this post isn’t about the recent holiday.

As we head into the weekend, and I return to grown up Ralph Parker, I wanted to share why I am enjoying this production so much. And it isn’t because it is Christmas themed. LOL. I don’t really celebrate it as I had mentioned before despite the fact that I worked on a Christmas show last year and in White Christmas many years ago.

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to be a part of this production was the shear fact that I have never had the opportunity to work with this many youngsters before. I wanted to have this experience because it was not only new, but the energy that they bring is incomparable. My past experiences were as a choreographer of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for a youth production and the shows where I was cast that did have younger persons, really only had one or two. To share a stage with 10 of them is a wholly different experience and I am enjoying it immensely.

Another reason I have cherished this process is because of the director. Allie Bailey is one of my favorite people and director to collaborate with during the process. The first time I met her was at auditions for her production of Pippin. What a blast that was! This is my 3rd time working with her. I have absolute trust in her. I appreciate that I can offer my ideas on the character and she asks questions to force me to dive even deeper than what I thought was deep enough. Sometimes instead of confirming my ideas, she counters knowing that it can do one of two things, guide me into a different point of view OR ensure that my view as the character has an answer in their backstory for every potential question that the script may present. I trust that if I am not presenting anything clearly, she will catch it and let me know so that I can make stronger choices. I also like to think that she trusts me and is fully ok with the time I take to work through building my character. She also knows how much I change delivery of lines to try and find my truth in the moment. Sometimes, directors have wanted me to make my choices and stick to them midway through the rehearsal process so the scene is “set” but that stresses me out because if a line gets delivered differently on accident and I give my response like we had “set” then the truth of the moment is lost and will be seen as forced by the audience.

It has been so incredible to take this journey, Dear Reader. The A Christmas Story movie is brilliant in its mix of realism and hyper camp thanks largely to the filming style by director Bob Clark. Not to detract from the acting because I thought all of that was well done too with special nod to Darren McGavin. But aside from the lamp, the filming visual are what stick with me. Like the zoomed in perspective of the kids on Santa and the elves when they are angry or the over dramatic grading by Miss Shields. That is hard to replicate on a stage. Yet, our director had the solution.

When I step back and take a macro look at the staged version, I can see at least 3 levels of style, for lack of a better term. In the first ring, this is the most true to life. My version of Ralph lives here. Yeah, he gets caught up in explaining some of the moments of his memories, but think about when you are recounting something to others. It is a normal reaction. Not only can you get caught up in the storytelling, but those emotions can well up within you again. Like the bullying scene. It is sad to recall, but man, those are some of the easiest feelings to recall from my past. It is painful and scary and embarrassing but the mix is easy to find when I need them.

In the next ring, the memory is stored there. I know that the potential for expanding upon your story is highly likely, Sweet Reader. While Ralph recalls this Christmas memory, obviously some parts are over the top. This is the ring that Mother, The Old Man and Randy, Santa as well as Ralphie’s classmates and Teacher live. Slightly larger than life yet rooted in complete truth but a little more exaggerated than Ring One.

In the final ring, Raphie’s imaginative fantasies reside. This is the overblown moments in the show. This is the home of Black Bart and his gang, Shakespeare and the fan girling Miss Shields, and Red Ryder.

The real trick was knowing where to blur the lines and have those rings bleed into one another and I think our director must be a fricking magician because she has managed to do that very thing spectacularly.

I say it every day in real life, I am a lucky duck. I cannot tell you enough what a wonderful time I am having getting to know these little artists as well as making friends with peers that I had not worked with before. And now, it is off to the theater!

Thank you for once again taking a moment out of your lives, Gentle Reader, to read the musings of a vagabond actor just looking for new ways to explore emotion and view life through the stories of others.

Until the next time our paths cross, Dear Reader, stay safe and alert. Be sure to care for yourself and those around you.

❤️

🎼Looks Good, Sounds Good, Feels Good Too…🎶

Heeeeeeelllllloooooo Gentle Reader!

My many apologies for my long time away. First came the attempt at learning candle making, then I got cast in a production and now work is all kinds of wonky! BUT the important thing is now the show has begun with last night being the start of a spectacular run.

Yes, you Gorgeous Readers, I have opened another show! I kept meaning to post about it here, but time was just too poorly managed on my part. I can say that with complete honesty. I slept like crap these last 8 weeks and it just got worse 3 weeks ago thanks to work looking into cutting back on it spending. At first it wasn’t about stress. At first. It was more the fact that traffic in the Bay Area has returned to PreCovid Times and people drive worse now than they did back then. My drive to get to rehearsal can take anywhere from 50 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, I think was my record, thanks to an accident. By the time it was the return trip home, the last thing on my mind was writing because I was trying to figure out what meetings I had to prepare for at work the next day.

So writing was put on the back burner. My sincere apologies. I’ve missed y’all.

I hope that you are all well and healthy and you are looking forward to the holiday season!

Speaking of the holiday season, let’s chat about my current project…

No doubt, Lovely Reader, that you have seen this 1986 holiday classic that is played on repeat every single year for 24 hours on Christmas Day.

If you happened to have missed it, somehow. It is the memory of the main character’s Christmas from when he was 8 years old. Filled with moments of hilarity and relatability, this film has something for everyone

Check out this newspaper article featuring Keith Larson. Keith does an outstanding job as The Old Man! I swear sometimes it sounds like the O.G. dad, Darren McGavin. He talks about how as he has gotten older and a family of his own, his relationship with this film has also grown.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It takes place in the 1940’s and it is just a simpler time so there are no cell phones, no distractions from screens. It is all about the human connections.

The script for the play version highlights all the best parts of the movie and delivers such heart.

For my experience with this show, it was pure pleasure. In the movie, you never see my “role.” You definitely hear it though. He is little Ralphie all growed up. (Yes, I know that isn’t a real word) and just like the movie, the play is told through the “memories” he shares, moving the story along.

For me the great challenge was getting the style of the syntax correct because while all my lines weren’t quite run-on sentences, they most certainly felt like it. There would be a paragraph of 7 lines that was only 2 actual sentences and some of the grammatical markings weren’t where one would think they should be. So really digging in and trying to sort all of that out was my biggest issue. Not to mention ALL THE LINES!! The sheer amount of them had gotten so that at a point in the early stages of rehearsals, that I began to question my casting. 😂😂

I was sick of hearing myself speak because it felt like I was ALWAYS monologuing. I began to wonder if I would turn out like some of the presenters I see during work functions, droning on and on and losing audience members like a comet loses pieces of itself as it hurtles through space. Sometimes I had pages of things to say and they didn’t really connect to one another so trying to shift the energy so it felt like it was a “scene change” was such an incredible exercise. There is still one that I feel a bit sticky on.

Here is an example: After one of the fantasy scenes with all the kids, Kind Reader, I reenter and talk about how having the Red Ryder BB gun was a must. Then I am supposed to set the tone for a scene about the sexy leg lamp. After a fantastical scene where Ralphie uses his rifle and the built in tools to save his classmates they all run off. The script says: “RALPH: No question about it. I had to have that air rifle. It was an absolute necessity. Meanwhile, night after night, the soft sinuous radiation of the Old Man’s major award lit up Cleveland Street, attracting cruising prides of adolescents.” Logically, I know there is a light shift, but I can’t see it as I am in a follow spot whenever I am on stage. So all I see is that light. I drop the register and volume of my voice and hope that I wait long enough that the light change happens before I go into the light part of the line. At the beginning I am in one frame of mind, caught up in the ideas of what could happen with that rifle and then I have to shift over to sexy time talk with a flip of the dime. 😂 It just feels funky to me. I am sure it looks great, but I, personally, find it feeling funky. It is totally a me thing and I completely trust my director, the amazing Allie Bailey. If it looked off or sounded odd in any way, she would straight up tell me.

Now with this beast of a show open, I can relax and enjoy the holidays myself. Since my family has suffered a lot of hardships with losses over the last few years, I know I need to enjoy our time together now.

Sometimes during the penultimate and the final scenes, I get a little choked up because of how I built the backstory for my character. But that is for another post.

I hope that you are able to come on down and check out this cult Christmas classic presented on a stage with over the top silliness and about a planet sized amount of heart. Besides, look at that little face! Don’t you wanna see the shenanigans this lil fella gets into?

Program Image: Shawna Gonzales as Mother and Matthew Horta as Ralphie Parker

Until next time, Dear Reader, I hope you stay safe, healthy and aware. Make sure to take care of yourself and those around you. I adore you all and look forward to the next time. Thanks for letting me bend your ear.

❤️

🎼The Wonderful Part of the Mess That We Made; We Pick Ourselves Undone…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Bear with me, cuz I am about to do a shameless plug. LOL! I figured, I would get this done, because we only have 2 days left to see it.

I am in a show! But duh, you knew that already. 😂 What I wanted to share is that this anthology of short plays, called Pear Slices 2022, is available as a Video On Demand (VOD) option. I was worried when it was filmed because I had shoe malfunctions. LOL!

These plays are moving and timely. It has been a pleasure to get these stories in front of audiences. Including YOU! This link will take you to the Pear Slices 2022 VOD section for The Pear Theatre.

We had an extremely short rehearsal period AND a break as a caution for Covid-19 safety. We tested like crazy just to make sure that our project didn’t fall victim to the Covid Curse even though we did have to push back our opening night a week. This means that we don’t get to do as many shows as we had hoped. So many of the productions around the Bay Area have either had to postpone or cancel production or close early and some, sadly, not open at all. All of the precautions paid off and we are now in the last two performances of the run.

I have to say that working on this project brought some new insights to me that I had a feeling I was holding back, but had to face. It’s too early to write about them because each time we perform, I find something a little bit different, and by now you should know me well enough that I always stew on what I learned from a show for at least a week.

My Dear Reader, I thank you for taking the time to read this self serving post. I appreciate each and every one of you. I invite you to check out Pear Slices 2022. Regardless of what you do, I thank you and…

Until next time, stay safe and healthy and be kind to yourself and to others.

💚

🎼Hold On My Heart, Throw Me A Lifeline; I’ll Keep A Place For You Somewhere Deep Inside…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

It has been a bit, hasn’t it?

I hope you are well and healthy and had a lovely weekend.

Sadly, I found out about two people passing away. Each dear to me in their own way and neither in the same relation circle so it’s like which ever way I turn to face, I have to look at sadness. 😒

On Sunday, I found out that my cousin, Scott, but we always called him Scotty, had passed after he’d been hospitalized and a friend from the theatre, Mike, had passed on Saturday.

If there was one great regret that I have about stepping away from family functions and such it would be because of missing my cousin Scotty. He was fearless. A little reckless, but always willing to try dares, and especially gross food mixing stuff. I remember my aunt always yelling at him for doing something but one of the main things was reaching over and honking the horn while she drove under an overpass near their home. He did it every time, so I don’t know why it always surprised her, but it did.

One of my most favorite memories was when my dad took us and my little brother to see 101 Dalmatians in the small movie theater in the neighborhood. I remember there weren’t many people in the auditorium but we were up near the front. Then the scene came on where Cruella DeVil is driving furiously to catch the large truck the dogs were in and she has to miss the bridge and drive down an embankment and into a pile of snow. As she is driving the embankment, she is bouncing all around in her car and Scotty lets out his crazy laugh that has a sort of Pee Wee Herman quality to it. It sounds to old to be a child’s laugh if that makes any sense. Think Ricky Ricardo having a belly laugh. Any how, he lets out this big “HA HA” that is so loud it makes us laugh. Then, after Cruella has got back on the road, there is a point where her hair is all crazy and there is a close up on her red eyes and they have that spiral going on in them.

For some reason, that just makes him laugh more. This in turn makes us laugh and all the way through the rest of the scene up to the crash, we are laughing so hard because of his goofy laugh.

I am gonna miss that crazy kid, but so thankful that he showed me what being fearless looked like.

Mike was a different kind of cat. He was an excellent lighting designer. His credits are in the hundreds, easily. Maybe even more but I know he worked on many of the same projects that I did. I do believe that the first show I had met him on was Gypsy. I didn’t really get a chance to know him until I was in Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

We would talk about his love of dance, the shows that he saw in New York, the show he was going to see on his next trip and sometimes about when he had done shows. I used to think that he was a grumpy man, but I came to realize that he just had a very serious face unless he was smiling or laughing.

I had never seen this happen ever, but once, I think it was during the opening weekend or maybe after the Friday night show of a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, somehow, all of the lighting cues were deleted. All of them. There was nothing and Mike came in and overnight recreated the entire show. When the cast came in for our call, we had no idea until the stage manager had mentioned it. Insane!

I think my favorite thing that I will remember with Mike was working on the lighting for my directorial projects. As a cast member to meet and interact with the lighting designer is fun and cool but as a director your interactions are much more intense. I always would give him so much sass about having to use a fog element in his designs and once he explained it to me, I couldn’t unsee how much it helped.

On Jesus Christ Superstar, not the aforementioned, at the start of the 39 lashes, the lights were much less red and you could see the faces of the upstage cast. As the lashes continued, so did the deepening of the red and we thought pulling the light from the incredible upstage cast would make a kind of hellish looking landscape as they would show as silhouettes and could bring more to the contrast in their position as encouraging the punishment versus when they had supported him. I wish I had a picture from the actual production. This is from tech week.

On Smokey Joe’s Cafe, above is probably my most favorite shot I have of the entire process. Not that I didn’t absolutely adore the cast, but sitting side by side and trying to find the most perfect hue of various lights in the different areas was the most unexpectedly fun part of directing. The back record neon isn’t on and this little moment before we added any color felt like making magic.

Thanks for piquing my curiosity in lighting design and teaching me other ways of thinking about how storytelling can be fascinating and wondrous. Thanks for sharing your stories and ideas.

So pull up a chair and until our paths cross again, my friend, I shall always remember you at your “desk”

🎼And I Have No Concept of Time, Other Than It Is Flying…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Happy March? OMG, why does time move so swiftly when we aren’t looking? 😭

Since last post, not too much has happened. And what has happened has been large in impact.

Quick list then the break down…

*My father seems to be getting worse with his dementia and needs more care than what we can do now, *considering a side hustle so we can have a little extra income to pay for that care and donate to research regarding the brain and memory loss, *lots of unexpected comedian deaths and *now the conflict in Europe.

I want to say I am surprised. I really do. But, I was expecting some sort of conflict. I didn’t know where or who but I knew something was going to happen. That sounds so vague. LOL! Trust me, I know how it sounds. I think at some point I had heard about this brewing in October or November and my brain just tried to find the end game. That seems to be the obvious answer, but I don’t watch any news. I look up specific topics to learn about the latest things on them and politics is never something that comes to mind when I am looking to learn about the latest things. So… I dunno if I fully believe that is the answer.

Let me go back to New Years Eve. The Brunch Club (name to be confirmed. 😄) gathered and enjoyed the last one of the year. It was a lot of fun. Until we found out that beloved Betty White had passed away. The lull in the conversation was halted by some friends joining in on the fun. We talked and laughed. I don’t know why, but I decided this was a perfect time to bring down the mood again. LOL! The night before, I was plagued with terrible awful nightmares that I don’t even want to think about. In the middle of this get together, I brought up my feelings about what I dreamed and said something bad is coming. Really bad. I said stock up on supplies… some time during the spring or early summer because I remembered that I had felt really warm. I know it sounds silly and we were all a little loopy so we kind of just giggled about it and went on with chatting and stuff. At some point, before the end of the meal, I threw out a reminder and added a parental finger point to make sure they knew I meant business. Then, someone suggested we move the party to another venue, so off we went.

After NYE, it was all just a bunch of sad news of people passing. But some of these people were comedians that I loved growing up and quoted with my family. Bob Saget was so great to see in the clubs because he wasn’t really limited on what he would talk about like on his tv shows. Even so, I still watched Full House and AFV – one of my faves for sure. Louie Anderson had a crazy funny special on cable at some point in the 90’s that we would watch repeatedly. Meatloaf made with such energetic storytelling, but I loved him in the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Spice World. LOL. What? I ain’t scared to say I like that movie! It was silly fun. Include Betty White and it was just a big amount of loss to not want to acknowledge because I loved them as I grew up. They gave me so many laughs. 😭

And last night, we finally got around to watching the SAG Awards. The “In Memoriam” section hit a little harder this time around. I began to wonder if it would just get worse as the years continue because you are aware of more and more of these people. 😔

Speaking of losing people you grew up with… A few weeks ago, I had gone to see my dad. I was hoping that he would want to take a car ride to the ocean. I can’t recall a time that he spoke of going to water that wasn’t a reservoir or creek. I figured a little adventure would be good for him just like our trip to see his sisters had done. He was asleep when I got there and at one point when he did come out of the room, he didn’t recognize me. He later told my mom that he thought I was the landlord of the apartment. This wasn’t the first time that he didn’t recognize me but it was the first time that I could see in his eyes that he didn’t. That is something that you’re never quite prepared for. It is sad and in your head, you know the reason, but in your heart, it still hurts.

He has been having trouble keeping his balance for awhile now as well and my mom thinks he might have to go into an assisted living facility. I know he will be so upset about it. I also know that this is a tough thing to do because it is so expensive.

So I have been researching little side gigs to do that I think would let me have a little fun, but more importantly allow me to raise money to get him that care and to have enough to donate to research for the cures for brain related illnesses that cause dementia. I found one that I think is promising, but the testing and practice takes a little time. I am hoping that by end of April, I will be able to share that with you.

Just so you don’t think that this whole time has been sad or depressing, I have gone to the drive-in several times! There is something that is so much more fun being there than in a regular cinema. The biggest drawback is headlights, but I don’t mind it that much. Tried two new restaurants that had delicious food, saw Margaret Cho at the Improv, had a few Brunch Club meet-ups. Seen some pretty good movies at the regular cinema. If you haven’t seen the latest Spider-Man movie, what are you waiting for!!??? SO FLIPPING GOOD!

You see, Dear Reader, life just made me lose track of time. It has been slightly uneventful, but the events were impactful. On the acting front, I haven’t really auditioned for anything except one and I have a call back to let you know about soon. Off to do some preparation!

I hope you are well and thank you for letting me bend your ear, Kind Reader.

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Be kind to others and yourselves.

❤️

🎼Do You See What I See, Do You See What I See…🎶

Hello Dear Reader,

Happy All Of The Things! I hope however you celebrated with your families and friends, it was filled with joy, love, and kindness.

Last week, the family play I worked on had its final bow on Saturday. It was a fun run with a wonderful cast. Looking back, I can say there was a lesson in this production. And it was something I learned from the audience. It was a first for me.

I tried to get very comfortable in the skin of someone that was so unlike me. I mean, I have my little quirks, which could very well be undiagnosed OCD. I am not, however, self absorbed or oblivious to other people. I like to think that I did a decent job inhabiting that life though.

I am always looking for lessons to learn or what I could take away from each project. This time around, with this being the first time back on stage in 2 years, what will I learn, I wondered. 2 years is a long time to not put into practice what you know.

Now my Gentle Reader, you might be thinking “there are/were ways to participate with online performances.” To this, yes, I agree and I tried it. My experience doing an online or Zoom performance, while enjoyable in the meeting of people and working with them, was not as fulfilling as an in-person experience. I felt like I was expending way more energy just trying to maintain this sort of distanced connection with my cast mates. Not only that, I was never sure if I was reading my cast mates’ motivations properly because I couldn’t see their whole body, just whatever their head, neck and shoulders were telling me. It was draining. The people were great, but it was draining. I knew it wasn’t the thing for me. And that’s okay!

This time around, I learned that while I was getting comfy in Michael’s skin, I may have been getting a little careless with it too. As this was my very first time working on a thrust stage, (if you are unfamiliar, it is when the stage sticks out a bit and the audience sits on 3 sides instead of just one as in a traditional theater) I was hyper aware that my motions needed to be clear so no matter where one sat, my actions would be understood. This also means that at any given time, the actors on stage will have their backs to the audience at some point. Man, this was hard. It was an awesome challenge though.

Being comfortable with Michael’s mannerisms and actions were what brought he and I together. As long as I understood my motivations behind my actions, I could use those with everything on the stage if it felt right. And I did change what I interacted with… often! You know how they say the show can never be the same each night because of the various factors, like audience participation (their reactions), accidental (or intentional) walking pattern adjustment, forgotten words, costume malfunction, but mostly because of the first thing? I think I was to blame each night. 🙃

During the rehearsal process, as I mentioned in previous posts, I would always make adjustments based on how it felt. I could never recall exactly what I did because I was trying to simply stay in the moment. This meant that I didn’t have a defined track that is set and is always identical to the night before. There were points that I had to hit, but everything else was kind of fluid.

Early in the run, one of those points was called into question and after I reflected on it, I made an adjustment. There is a point in the show that Michael apologizes to his wife for accusing her of only coming back to him because she wants his money. Right after they reconcile, Michael says with hope of upcoming fatherhood and relief that Jill does love him, not his money, that he hopes they don’t have an “Uncle Bob” baby. Bob happens to be the alcoholic uncle who says inappropriate things. The line doesn’t feel like an announcement to the world but rather a secret hope between the couple. Well, I went with how it feels without thinking about the element of the thrust. This meant that the people behind me wouldn’t be able to clearly hear what I was saying. I actually heard someone ask what was said and it hit me that my intention and motivation may be appropriate but delivery needs to be adjusted so it can be heard by the audience clearly. So this point was adjusted and I made sure that I was louder and more clear with that line through the rest of the run. We didn’t have mics and it was a very intimate setting, meaning the audience was practically on the stage with us.

Later in the run, a great actor friend was in the audience and asked why I was pointing to my brother during a point when Uncle Bob says he has a confession for anyone who is keeping score of our contest. One of the reveals later in the show was that the brother was documenting the whole night. 🤭Oops sorry, SPOILERS! 😂! Well, my action is that I am actually pointing to Mom, but because of how I do it, sort of dismissively nonchalant which ends up looking like a hand imitating a fish out of water, the action was unclear. Also, dependent on where people sit, I will look like I am pointing to a different person on the stage. From that performance on, I made sure to keep the intention but to acknowledge Mom in a more focused manner.

So my Kind Reader, for this lesson, I learned that staying in the moment and understanding motivations and intentions are all important, but when audience perspective is shifted to almost all around you, clarity and focus in those things is even more useful to help deliver a more enjoyable performance for the audience.

As this posts, I shall be enjoying the final Sunday Brunch of the year. I eagerly look forward to the opportunities 2022 will bring and hope that you are too. That being said, until next time, Gentle Reader, I hope you are safe and alert and don’t forget to treat people with kindness. Including yourselves.

❤️

🎼I Don’t Want A Lot For Christmas, There Is Just One Thing I Need…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader,

How has your week gone so far? Hopefully, it has been productive and low stress.

I am genuinely a curious person. To an extent.

I never realized it until this past Monday. During my workday, I attended an online COVID 19 meeting that was about the vaccines and what the federal guidelines are for my company. Before I get people all riled up, I understand this is a very personal decision and I accept people are entitled to make their own decisions. But…. to be fair, if the nation can decide that abortions are illegal, it is perfectly acceptable for it to decide that you have to get vaccinated. OH!!😳 Did I just make a controversial statement? That depends on how you take it. Stop and look at it factually before you message me about it making you feel a certain way. Stop and think about it.

One of the great things about the meeting that I learned was something called Constructive Conflict. The best way to describe it is thusly: “any discussion where participants talk openly and respectfully about these disagreements in a mutual attempt to understand each other’s perspectives.” Everyone has a perspective and sometimes those views differ even if you are looking at the same thing. We all know this. Don’t assume your point of view is the correct one. Be curious about why the other person believes what they do. Unless you are a certified expert in a field of study, you probably don’t know all the minutiae on a subject or if the thing you are studying is in a constant state of flux. You can even start the conversation with “I know we disagree on — but I would honestly like to understand your point of view.” The key thing is you have to be sincere.

Over the weekend, while sitting at a meal, my friends and I were talking about tv shows. I find a lot of them hard to swallow lately because they don’t make sense emotionally or logically to me. Instead of being curious about why my friends liked certain shows, I stubbornly held to my feelings and was dismissive about their arguement about it and just sat back and listened to them switch topics without engaging much.

That isn’t how I normally operate, Dear Reader. I should hope by now, you would know this. I try to ask questions when we talk about stuff but for some reason, I just don’t like to talk about tv or music with them. And these are my closest and most dear friends talking about things that are so big in our individual lives.

If I had known about this concept, I think the conversation would have been a lot more substantial and interesting. Now that I do know about this, I am curious to see what the next opportunity will be to use this. Not only that, but I am curious how this will influence the next time I am building a character for a show!

What if my personal beliefs are opposite to the beliefs of the character I am to play? This can be such a great tool for research to find those small nuances to add to the inner life of that person.

It is amazing the things I am finding in my work life that translate so well to the theatre. I am so friggin’ lucky!

In performance news, we close A Nice Family Christmas this weekend to a sold out audience. Woo hoo! What a super fun production! Only two more chances to enjoy the company of these lovely people on stage. Then, it is sheer and utter freedom until January 3rd. Whatever shall I do with myself? I know that I have some coffee “dates” set up with people that I haven’t seen in a while, so I am looking forward to that.

OH! and getting some knitting done! 😄

I also wanted to practice some filming techniques and computer skills that I have recently acquired… Nevermind, I guess I know what I will be up to. 😂

Until next time, Kind Reader, stay safe and aware. Be kind to others and yourself.

❤️

🎼”Kindness Is What You Showed To Me, It Holds Me ‘Til I Ache, Overflow And Start To Break…”🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

A happy colder weather season!🥶 It is my favorite time of the year. As someone who burns a lot of energy doing anything, this time of year always seems to make me feel like I am sorta normal. 😂

Since the last post, “A Nice Family Christmas🎄” has opened and has very nearly sold out! That is exciting. I think it just goes to show how much people wanted to have shared experiences and how important they are as well as how important theatre is for something like that. The show is a funny look at a dysfunctional family Christmas gathering. While it does have some true life grounded moments, this is still a comedy and the over the tops characters make me laugh, yes, even while on stage. The great thing is that I am reacting to what they are saying, so it isn’t like I am breaking character. I mean, not like this guy:

The end result though is that we want you to have a good laugh and remember to care for those that mean something to you. There is a line that Mom says near the end about how important it is to do good things for others. I really love that line. I think it is my favorite in the script. But if you can’t do good things, at least be kind.

I try my best to be a giving person if I have the means and most importantly a kind person, because it literally costs you nothing to do so. A friend of mine posted the calendar above on her instagram feed and I loved it. So, I am giving it a go this year. You better believe I am going to repost this every Thanksgiving from here on out, unless a new one is created. 😊

What I have noticed since starting this advent calendar, Dear Reader, is that things that would typically annoy me have had little effect. I have been in a great mood all month… so far. Now, I may have been confused at some points, but you can still be in a good mood and confused. Trust me. I haven’t brooded on anything like I normally do plus it helps you build some relationships a little stronger.

Even when I was journaling today, I was giving myself a bit of a talk down about something but I noticed it right in the middle of the entry and took a breath and changed my mindset. It was really very interesting to see it, acknowledge it, and take action in such a small amount of time. It was literally seconds.

I don’t want to say that this sort of shift is uncommon because that is what we do each time we are on the stage. We are reacting to one another and should someone deliver a line in a different manner, we see it, acknowledge it, and respond appropriately. OH, and mega shout-outs to my cast mates because this particular show makes me really aware of the energies I am getting and giving, so my delivery is NOT always they way we rehearsed (not even in rehearsal). I think it may be because this is a relatively small cast and we are all interacting with each other throughout most of the show. I have been in small casts before, but there would be scenes when I had no stage time with another actor(s). This, however, has been a blast. These talented people are so genuine, kind, and funny, it is really a pleasure to be around them.

I will try my best to get another post up about any insights that I had learned during the run of this show as we close on December 18. If I don’t get the chance to share another post until the new year, my Kindest Reader, I wish for you a loving and warm ending to 2021 and a bright shiny start to 2022.

Until the next time, thank you for letting me bend your ear. Stay safe and alert. Be kind to others and to yourself. ❤️

🎼 Tell Me A Piece Of Your History That You’re Proud To Call Your Own… 🎶

My dad and his brothers and someone that one is dating

Hello Gentle Reader!

I hope you had a really fun Halloween!

It is my most favorite time of the year! Rehearsal time! 😂😂😂 I am sorta kidding.

I know it has been a while, but I wanted to write a post tying in my recent trip to see family with my latest project. First though, I had to make sure that my day job was staying on track and we had a lot to do! I am learning a TON of stuff and sometimes my head swims with all the information but then my brain dries out and I have to refill it again. LOL. It is a pretty great problem to have.

Early October, I took my dad to go and see his siblings. It was a really fun road trip! I hadn’t seen him so animated and smiley in a really long time. His memory is going and he is totally aware of it. I think that makes it harder when you know you aren’t going to remember what you used to know. I stress about that all the time. Seriously, I worry because I forget stuff more often than I think I should. If it happens to be important, it will stick. Everything else? Slides away like it was on a non-stick pan.

My dad was worried that he wouldn’t get to see his brothers and sisters before he couldn’t remember them anymore. I had the time and I haven’t seen them myself in over 35+ years so I planned it out with my mom; and off we went!

My Dear Reader, I cannot express how incredible the transformation in him was. His walking pace quickened and he used his cane a little less. His speech was less halted. He literally brightened. I don’t know if it was because he was smiling all the time or what, but it was contagious. He still fumbled on his words because sometimes he forgets what things are called, or he can’t get the word to travel from his brain to his mouth.

One of the things that I noticed was that he had a lot of stories to share and he was a Talkie Thomas (I hate that only women’s names were used for talkative people.) Even when he couldn’t get right words out or he repeated phrases, my aunts and uncles paid attention. He is a natural born story teller, and to be honest, my whole family is. I learned so many things in that one weekend that I never knew. It wasn’t because I had forgotten them, which was shocking. I laughed so much hearing about parties they had while they were young. I was saddened learning about those that have passed not only recently, due to Covid-19 but in the past.

It wasn’t just the stories they told, but how they told them. The pitch in the voice when something funny was supposed to land. The sighs that broke through sentences that showed how deeply they still hurt or the senselessness for the loss. The excitement they had sharing something that was unbelievable.

I think that is a lot of what my dad is missing now. With everyone working and him being stuck at home because he might get lost or have a seizure or something, he doesn’t have someone to talk to or do things with. I try to go over when I can but I forgot how much time you surrender to rehearsals and research for shows.

The other thing I noticed was how similar the communication dynamics are at my immediate family functions as well as extended. Did my siblings and I learn this from our parents and their siblings?

In my current project, A Nice family Christmas by Phil Olson, this family unit is all about avoiding emotions, and their communication skills are pretty terrible. Is it a learned thing handed down from parents to children? I don’t think it is just about them wanting to avoid issues, but the complexities of life and time that prevents them from communicating and bonding more.

My character is the oldest and favorite son, a doctor, self sabotages, loves his mother but keeps her at an arm’s length so she doesn’t see his faults, has an addictive personality, 5 months sober after 2 stints in rehab, prone to emotional outbursts, in the middle of a separation and may or may not have OCD.

He’s has a lot going on, AND this is a comedy, so finding out how to bring all of that together has been challenging! It is a great challenge but I am struggling to find that perfect balance of being able to be funny while maintaining all of those other layers bubbling under just enough to show through. So, as you can imagine, writing this all out had to sit on the back burner for a hot week or six. 😳😳

So, My Lovely Reader, I look back on that family visit and try to recall all that my dad was working through. Joy, camaraderie, excitement, sadness, forgetfulness, hope, love, avoidance, and anger. He went through so many feelings but it always came back to that happiness and contentment.

Our opening night is the Friday after Thanksgiving! I just hope I found the right formula for this character by then. He is the most complicated character whose story I have the privilege of sharing. I don’t want to look back at him and say, “sorry buddy, you were not as fully realized as I wanted to make you.” That would make me really stop and question my skills as a storyteller…😔I would wonder if it was just because this was the first show back after so long. Or could it be that there were issues of my own that I haven’t resolved yet, so it is preventing me from accessing those feelings out of self preservation.

But to dwell on that now may only solidify the future and bring that to fruition. So I banish those thoughts and say bring me my challenge!

Until the next time, Kind Reader, stay safe and alert. Treat your self and other with kindness… AND WISH ME LUCK!!! 😂😂😂

🎼 Get It Cracking If You Like, Must Be A Full Moon, Feel Like One Of Those Nights…🎶

It kind of looks like a backdrop with a large spotlight shining thought the fabric. She so pretty!😊

Hello Gentle Reader!😃

Last night, there was a big beautiful full moon!🌕 (Does that ⬅️ look like a ball of cheese to anyone else?) I have always had a bond with her. I don’t know why. I always greet her with a “Hello, Bright Lady” when I see her in the skies.

Sunday night, I had the hardest time getting to sleep. I don’t know if it was subconscious energy that kept me awake for all but three hours of the night but when I got out of bed this morning, I wasn’t tired. I am not saying that there is any thing to tie the two together, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I wondered if there were.

To me, a full moon is a perfect time for reflecting. I think of it like the moon is a big spotlight in the night sky asking you to share your thoughts about what’s happened since the last time you were in that light. The moon isn’t going to tell anyone. Your secrets and plans that you are too afraid to tell people are safe with her. In sharing those parts of yourself you may not feel comfortable sharing with people, you kind of let go of that energy that was bottled up. This is a great thing! Think of that energy as a sparkling water. Over time, all those bubbles eventually leave even if the can or bottle was never opened. The drink was never tasted and enjoyed. Now, my Dear Reader, think of the enjoyment that happens when you get to take that drink. Maybe even finish it. And who knows, perhaps restock with another?

I did a sort of meditation today for no reason whatsoever with all of this in mind. I really do think it was spurred on by the lack of sleep, because I don’t really meditate, although I always say I should. 😂 As I laid in my bed waiting for sleep, I began to read a book called Milagros by Helen Thompson. One of the big take aways she has written about so far (since I haven’t finished reading it) was that when something is bothering you pay attention to that thing. Then it talked about charms, but that is a little more involved and it tied those things together… Anyway, I am getting off the topic…

When you have a headache, you try to figure out why. Stress, dehydration, hunger, iron deficiency, caffeine addiction… you go through the check list to see why your head is bothering you. If these aren’t the culprits, you keep digging. This is like a total DUH! moment, right? Well, I decided why not try and go through the same process with insomnia? Where did this energy come from when not an hour earlier I was falling asleep on the couch? I wasn’t stressed. I definitely wasn’t dehydrated. I wasn’t uncomfortable with the room temperature or the bed. I didn’t have anything on my mind. Or so I thought.

My Sweet Reader, I had looked up when the full moon was going to be at it’s maximum just before I went to sleep. I don’t know why. I get these random urges and energy spurts occasionally and just have to go with the flow. If I don’t, I become cranky. Like I am fighting a prime objective or something. I got in bed and turned to my routine of looking up YouTube ASMR videos to mellow out my brain. As I watched, I began to fall asleep. Once I took off the headphones and prepared to fall into dreamland, I couldn’t keep my eyes closed. I noticed that my heart rate had quickened slightly, so I tried to adjust my breathing to get it back to normal. It seemed to have worked, but by that time, my body felt like it was awake. So I laid there for hours waiting.

After what felt like forever, I had began to read, got up and walked around the apartment, tried to knit and scrolled through social media (which I know is a bad thing because of the blue light in the screen) I decided that I was going to place my stones to get charged by the light of the full moon. I began to think about the moon and watched the moonlight on my floor under the window. Somehow, watching the slow movement of the light finally got me back to feeling like I would be able to rest. I thanked the moon for her help and finally began to fade away.

Don’t know why I have this fascination with her.

Today, I wrote out a promise to myself with the moon watching overhead what I wanted to do during this next moon cycle and once I finished it, I felt a very real shift in my energy. I am much calmer. MUCH calmer. I have more focus. I was able to complete another project that I kept procrastinating with. I began my character development on the next show I am going to be working on. I can’t say that writing the promise and the energy shift are linked, but again, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wonder…

I mean, we all know that the moon affects the tides and the ocean and since our bodies are mostly water, it makes sense to consider that the all mighty moon just may be that influence that helps you to reach out to those stars in the sky.

What a nice thought to ponder as I lay my head down for the night.

🎼All The Things I Would Do If I Had A Little Money, It’s A Rich Man’s World…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!!

The timing of this is quite interesting given that Abba recently announced a new album and tour. LOL! Oh, and they released 2 of the songs. I really like one of them

I had logged onto our Teams link early and had my camera and mic off when I got a notification from a friend that this release had happened. Since I was waiting for others to sign on, I was sure that I could read up on this more. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was already videos on Youtube for them. So of course, I watch them.

As I listened to “Don’t Shut Me Down”, I happened to have caught my reflection in the empty black part of the screen and it really struck a cord with me.

“I believe it would be fair to say
You look bewildered
And you wonder why I’m here today
And so you should, I would
When I left I felt I’d had enough
But in the shape and form I appear now
I have learned to cope
And love and hope is why I am here now

And now you see another me, I’ve been reloaded, yeah
I’m fired up, don’t shut me down
I’m like a dream within a dream that’s been decoded”

I don’t know why my brain always seems to make things seem like small magical moments. I mean what are the odds that this just happened to be what I heard when I saw myself. And I was actually happy with the position I am in. I can be hyper self-critical and sometimes landing this job still feels like it isn’t real. OR more appropriately, that I don’t deserve it. I recalled a report that I read somewhere a few years ago that was in regards to low income families and finances.

Dear Reader, it said that children who grew up in a low income household where money was always an invisible stressor (never spoken about but acknowledged) can get imprinted with the idea that this was supposed to be the norm. Some that don’t, find that there is a subconscious fear of surpassing the income level that your parents had because you won’t know how to “handle” it. It was this fear that potentially leads not only to self sabotage but could lead to fear of success.

I spent the last few days trying to find the report, but I can’t find anything like it. And I know I am not smart enough to dream up something like this, so I can only say “I solemnly swear that I did read this!”

I have always dreamed of having a job that will afford me the opportunity to travel without having to basically cut out all expenses… well literally EVERYTHING… just to get to my destination. Now, I can!

It was always a fight to keep my head above water because of the need to work on my theatrical endeavors, (Yes, I said need. NEEEEED! There is a home-ness I feel that I do not get anywhere else regardless of the self doubt and imposter syndrome that creeps in.)pay my obligations, and still have a roof over my head in the Bay Area, which is expensive AF! And I never minded the fight. I enjoyed my survival job because of my coworkers and I love the area because it is usually gorgeous outside. At least, when the whole state isn’t on fire… Then, of course, there is my hilarious family and beautiful friends. I’d also like to take a hot second to point mention this new work feels right. Feels like I can grow in the corporate world and the creative since I will be able to use both together.

For the last three decades, my acting teachers and mentors would say that traveling is such a great way to learn about people and find more of yourself by exploring the outside world to bring more to your inner world. That’s been one of my quiet wishes to do so I finally started to dare to look at places to travel.

I can’t wait until I get that first stamp in my passport! But first, I need to find somewhere to go. Choices! As this little world that is now globally connected through technology continues to shrink, I look forward to expanding my experience in it.

Thank you, Kind Reader, for connecting with me in this digital world! Maybe one day we’ll meet, if I don’t already know you. And for those that I do know, I will be cheering you on from the wings!

What was the first stamp in your passport? Are you like me and stampless? Then, let me ask, what do you want it be? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for your time. I adore you for it.

Be safe and alert whilst taking care and remember to share kindness.

🎼 …Then You Shoulda Put A Ring On It🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!!!

It’s been a long time.  

I know in the last post (from a million years ago) I had mentioned that I started a new job. While it is a pretty stale excuse… YES that is my excuse for not getting back to the postings and what nots. But I am loving it. There is a TON of trainings that I have to do, seemingly nonstop, but it is a really fascinating.

In that same post, I had mentioned that I was triggered by something in the In The Heights movie and that it was a planned upcoming post. Well, guess what? That post is finally here. LOL! 

Now I know, my Dear Reader, you are most likely thinking, “like your last post, that movie is long gone” to which I would begrudgingly concur.  Firstly, can I just say how bummed I am that it did not do as well in the box office as I had hoped? Even with its flaws, it was still a celebration of an under represented culture on the big screen. But, I digress. 

Yes, ITH has been out of the cinemas for at least 6 weeks, but what has reignited the issue was the newest Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

While I am not Chinese and have no Chinese heritage in my ancestral tree, the same thing popped up as I sat in the auditorium watching this REALLY great movie. (Before I go further, YES!!!! YOU SHOULD GO SEE THIS FILM!) 

Anyway, the thing that both films made me aware that I was craving deep down in my marrow was this sense of belonging to something older; something wiser.  I can only call it culture or traditions, but personally, I feel it is something much deeper.  It is those old philosophies and histories that formed these groups of people that share this deep connection. It is deeper than simply knowing your nationality.  Disclaimer:  before you drag me for this, I KNOW IT IS A MARVEL MOVIE, so the cultural references may be inaccurate as all get out. LOL!

I think back to that impactful interaction I had with the middle eastern lady in my store in the Before Times. She spoke of her culture and the need for human interaction with inviting strangers into her home for coffee. 

(It must be nice to live in a place where people are that rational that you know this stranger isn’t going to bring harm to your person. I cannot fathom the idea in this country.) 

I think that woke up the idea in my subconscious because I take note of it more often than I used to.  In a previous survival job, an old coworker would always ask me where I thought this or that person was from when they walked by our office.  My response was always the same.  Why is that important to you? Isn’t it more important if they are a kind/good person? I think it was something in her culture that made her want to connect on a deeper level, and it doesn’t get much more deep than diving into your ancestry. She tried to talk to me about it, but I only had a superficial connection to not only my heritage but also my family. 

Growing up, I was told a lot of things that were contrary to who I knew I was inside. Even as a kid, I knew exactly who I was, most gay kids do.  I wasn’t macho or tough in the way the typical Latino male was “supposed” to be. I didn’t have role models to show me there was another way.  I’d like to believe that my family thought they were helping to toughen me up when they would put boxing gloves on us kids and have us fight each other.  However, I know that it was just for cruel amusement. The religion that my family was supposed to have marked people like me an abomination (talk about dramatic).   So I severed that cord. What was the point of holding on to something that didn’t value people like me? 

I have often voiced regrets about not taking pictures of or with dear friends during events or parties. This is very true. I don’t know how I feel about not having pictures of over half of my family. Half I don’t even know who they are, like names, ages or how we are related. The memories I do have are dark for a lot of them, like the forced boxing. 

The last time I saw my Nina aka Godmother (to me that is her name not the religious title) she pulled me aside and said I’m sorry for not treating you the right way. I was completely surprised by this and caught off guard that I nonchalantly told her it was okay. No worries.  I’m a such a dummy LOL! While I appreciated it, truly, I would loved to have had a really in depth conversation about it. I now I was a bit of a brat.

I have been wondering, if I had been more open than they were, would I have that connection that I am currently in search of. It is one thing to know where you came from, but as I watched those movies and hearing the tiny tidbits of philosophies or historical events, it seems like it is another thing to be a part of them. 

Now, Kind Reader, since this is supposed to be a theatre blog, I have to do the tie in! LOL!

This brings up a new journey for me. More like a new way of thinking about my character choices and how I build characters. Instead of merely going by the events of the script that motivate me or the ideas of what I think the rest of that character’s life up until the point of the play has been, I have this new factor that I can play with.  How did the events of his culture shape him? Was it a positive or negative impact? I am really looking forward to layering this new texture onto upcoming characters I play. 

Wait! I can hear it already. “As an actor, that is what you are supposed to do anyway!” Yes, this is true. However, every character I have played was always a kind of “every man” kind of character. There were layers to the characters, but because I, me myself, had no real connection to a heritage, it wasn’t one of the layers that was applied.

I am glad that there is so much to learn about what it is to be human. The complexities are so vast and it is what keeps my love of acting so strong.  

Thank you, Gentle Reader for taking the time to help me heal a little bit of my soul that I didn’t know needed it. 

So, let me ask you… Where are you from? What is one thing that you love about your culture? Let me know in the comments.  I have started to read up on history and looking into folklore but like literally an hour before I began writing this, so don’t quiz me yet. LOL!

Thank you again, and I look forward to learning more about you all. 

Stay safe and alert and share the kindness in your heart. 

🎼Just Let Go, Let It Flow, Let It Flow, Let It Flow, Just Let It Go…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!!

Wow! June and half of July flew by and I didn’t realize how intense it would be. Between the last post and now, I got offered an incredible new job, had a family vacation for the first time EVER, and had a birthday. Then I saw In The Heights three times. 😂. That gave me all sorts of feels and things to think about that I froze up from writing because it was a lot of personal things that I realized I wasn’t dealing with or hadn’t admit that I haven’t dealt with.

But this particular post is a review of the Celadon published book, Love People Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works. I love books that talk about creativity, like where it comes from and such.

What intrigued me was that this was a book about “minimalizism” not creativity. However, it did have a chapter on how it can influence creativity and it did not disappoint.

This book immediately drew me in. For something that seems like such a dry topic, the book is filled with not only useful information, but shared the emotional and psychological attachments that come with letting go of things that clutter up not only your home but your mind. It even talks about the not so obvious clutter distractions, like technology. There were so many nuggets of gold that I mined from these pages.

The minimizing of the clutter itself is obviously a big part of the book but the other chapters speak to the different aspects that get freed up if we were to remove all of those distractions, like our relationships with others, our perception of what we value, money, and facing our personal truths (no matter how hard it can be.) The experience is never quite the same for people because we are “… three dimensional beings living in a world of two dimensional expectations.”

What I loved about the book was that it challenged my idea of what creativity was. To me, creativity is the making of something new out of something that already exists or out of nothing at all. They propose that creativity is the asking and answering of questions presented by a problem or concern that needs to be addressed. Up until this point, I would have only considered that problem solving. But, what do you need to solve problems? Ideas!

It also made me rethink about the types/amount of work I do. I tend to try and do a little bit of everything and make little progress on each of them, which makes me discouraged and eventually end up creating things that are way, WAY below the quality that I had hoped they would be. “It is not enough to be busy; so is everyone else. What are you focused on?”* I would take on different work projects in addition to all the theatre stuff I would do and find that I would say ‘I’m too busy’ to friends or family inviting me to do stuff. I love the notion that I can say no to stuff and focus on only what makes me super happy to work on. This would allow for a more healthy work/life balance as well.

While the main reason I was interested this book was the creativity aspect, I took away so much from each of the different sections. Someday, I would LOVE to do the project where you pack up your entire home like you are moving and only unpack the things you need as you need them (including furniture) for a month then donate the rest of the stuff. I don’t think that Perry would let me. 😂

Anyone that feels like they can/want simplify their lives more will definitely find this book useful. I hesitate to say to go minimalist because that isn’t quite necessary. But hey if you want to give it a shot, by all means… I know I will still have a lot of things as I get rid of stuff but I am prepared to toss or donate a lot of things that I was keeping because I thought I could repurpose them. To jump back to that busy versus focus point the book made, I know I won’t be doing any repurposing anytime soon, so I can focus on doing other projects. So all that repurpose stuff is just clutter. Thanks to the authors, collectively known as “The Minimalists”, I am looking forward to this project and all the great things that will be a by product of it.

Have you ever wanted to declutter your home? Or have you decluttered already? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below! Give the projects in this book a try! Once I get to actually do the projects, I will definitely post about the whole process.

Big thank you’s to Celadon Books for sending me this book!

*Millburn & Nicodemus. p. 228

🎼Hold Both Hands Right Over My Eyes, Deafen Me With Music…🎶

Hey Gentle Reader 👋,

Wow! What a whirlwind the last two weeks it has been! (Well, by now, it has been more like 3.) You see, a few weeks ago, a friend approached me to workshop an original work. I have started writing this post several times because I am not sure what I can say.

Let me preface this WHOLE post by saying I honestly believe I have a type of imposter syndrome. I can’t say for sure that the end result is I fear I will be found as a fraud. I think it is more like I fear that I cannot live up to my “reputation.” I don’t even know where that came from. I just try to do my best and find the humanity in my characters and go from there. So I guess it IS a fear of being seen a fraud. Anyway…

Can I just say I went through a gamut of emotions between the moment of initiation and the past weekend? At first, there was shock. Then, anxiety decided to stop by, followed by fear, excitement, and finally curiosity. And of course anxiety, again. This was all just from the initial ask! The excitement returned when the welcome email came through. I have never had the opportunity to do something like this before.

When I got the script, I began to wonder if I was the right person for the job. Aside from being comedy relief, I was not who I would think of upon first read. However, I have learned that reading a script once is not the best way to see what it was the casting director saw in that role to make them think of you. So I reread the script 3 more times.

I found small details that I could latch on to to build this character and make him fully realized with what I can bring to the table.

There was only a few days to analyze and one week to rehearse before we had to put this on its feet so I had to work as fast as I could. The catch, it had music to learn! Now, you, Dear Reader, might say, “so, it’s a musical, you’ve done those. What’s the big deal?”

Well, the thing about the musicals that I have done, they were established already. This show didn’t have sheet music yet! It didn’t have anything that I could reference or listen to to get a feel for the rhythms. I have mentioned several times that the singing side of performing is what I feel the least confident about, so, to not have the music to plunk out my notes brought back all the self doubt that I had.

The first day we all got to be in the same room was like a breath of fresh air. Sharing the energy of the others in the cast was a long missed feeling and I just loved it. This coincidentally was the same day we learned all the music for the show. Our assistant director and vocal director was one of the amazing cast members of the SmoJo’s from early 2019 that I wouldn’t shut up about because I was so proud of these artists. I was already floored by this talented fella, but to watch him listen to a piece of music and pop out harmonies for all the different vocal groups blew my mind. His musical acuity is just amazing to me. Even though, this was a new type of challenge for me, I absolutely enjoyed the process.

We did the scene work over Zoom which was quick and easy. Then, we had 2 days to put it all together and present.

The whole project was exciting and I was shocked that there was no point while working that my anxiety or fear popped into my head. I was really surprised when I stopped and thought about it. I am so grateful that I know now I can invite fear and anxiety to the party but letting them know they are not the host.

The experience has left me on a bit of a Cloud 9 and filled with much needed artistic happiness. I still hum the songs. LOL!

Well, Kindest Reader, I don’t know about you, but I am really thrilled at little discoveries like this. Have you ever had a kind of epiphany that teaches you something about yourself? How did it change your views going forward? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, I hope you get a chance to gather with those you love safely. I CAN’T WAIT TO HUG MY FRIENDS OR YOU IF WE MEET!!! 😂😂😂

❤️

🎼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

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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.