🎶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.