🎶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!

🎼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…

whatta mess

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 😀🎶…

podcast-634414

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.