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…)