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Dear Gentle Reader,

As I was bounding back home to get to job #2 from an interview in Millbrae a few days ago, Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket” showed up in the shuffle line up. I realized that this is the perfect song to describe my life. 😀

First off I have to say, I love me some Alanis! Her Jagged Little Pill 📀 still gets a full spin in my car every now and again as does her Under Rug Swept.  I love her phrasing and her vocabulary.  C’mon “There’s an obvious attraction to the path of least resistance in your life/There’s an obvious aversion no amount of my insistence will make you try tonight” For me, it conjures up such great imagery. Yes, Ironic got her into a bit of a pickle, but I don’t care.

Now, Dear Reader, what I ❤️ about this song really comes into play when you actually take a look at the lyrics. She pairs a great descriptive word with nearly the exact opposite of how it should make her feel. Most lines have a negative first word and a positive second, but occasionally, she reverses this set up.

No one ever has good days every day, sad to say even me. However, just like those lyrics I may be broke, but I find ways to be happy. Even while I may be poor, I think it is imperative to still be kind.

Well, bad days come a-knocking every once in a while, like on my drive, as I stressed myself out about whether or not going to this interview was the right move as well as the thought that I may miss my shift if traffic was not my friend during this trip.  There was no guarantee that the potential offer would match what I am making now.  What if it wasn’t? Now all the time and energy put into this would have been for naught. 😞

It turns out that traffic, Gentle Reader, was on my side so I was not going to miss any work hours. BUT! Yes, there is a but, my friends, the same struggle of getting from one place to the next on time reared its big ugly head.  Can you believe it?  What are the odds that one job would affect the next twice in one day? Not only that, take a guess as to what song popped up on the rotation, again? Yup ⇪!

Here’s the thing, though.  This time I was supposed to be heading to an audition! 😳 The tough part was I was working on a project that needed to be completed in one shot.  I didn’t have the luxury to hold off on what wasn’t completed yet to make it to my audition. That alone began to put me in a tailspin as I worked as quickly as possible. I sent apologetic messages for my tardiness and I felt just awful. It’s bad enough that I don’t like auditions, but to walk in after they have already been there for over two hours?  I felt like a heel. Thankful that I still got the chance to read, but a heel nonetheless.

The great thing, Dear Reader, is that if that gamble of an interview pays off, not only with I have just 1 job to focus on along with ALL my theatre stuff, but it frees up a crap ton of time for MORE theatre stuff!! Well, except for the audition that I was late to.  I totally didn’t get that. Which is a total bummer, but I can’t have it all. (But I wants it all!  I needs it!)  That was a train wreck and it will never happen again. I hope.

So keep your fingers crossed for me, would ya? Let’s send out the good vibes that this interview will lead to a good enough single stream of income so that I can keep on keeping on. Even if it doesn’t happen though, just like Alanis says “everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine.”

What about you, Gentle Reader? Have you ever had a song sum up your life perfectly?  Whether it be a moment, a week, a month, or for your whole life so far, music is everyone’s soundtrack. What is “your” song?  C’mon. You can share.  We’re pals.  No judgements.  Let me know in the comments below.  Who knows, I may not know the song and when I look it up, it may be the best thing I’ve ever heard👂

Until next time, Dear Reader…

This One Is Personal…

Posted: March 10, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Taken from a poster filled with different tickets of a NYC trip in the lobby of our rehearsal space. 

Dear Gentle Reader,

I think I shall always be amazed at how much time goes by while I have my head down working.

I needed to post this before we open A Chorus Line, which, incidentally, happens to be tomorrow night, because I need to get out of my head.  As long as I have this in there, I can’t really focus on just this moment.

I love this show because it is dedicated to those people that live their life auditioning to get into their next job.  The theatre is unlike anything else in the world.  It isn’t steady and most people don’t become mega stars. The people that do it may have different reasons for beginning but they stay because it is who they are deep in their bones and they can’t dream of doing anything else.  The last time I performed in ACL was about 2 1/2 years ago.  It was a wonderful show.  I played Greg, who was funny, sassy, and unapologetic for who he was. It was such a delight.  This time around, I am playing Paul. He isn’t funny or sassy. But he is honest and a little withdrawn.

The thing about his story, though, is that it hits so close to home. While I didn’t go to a Catholic High School, I did go to a high school on the East Side of San Jose that was filled with wannabe gang members or just straight out only-child assholes. I am not saying that every only child is one, but there were quite a few there. Then of course there were the jocks and the rocker kids, who either just insulted you or ignored you.  I am sure you can guess which group did what.

Paul talks about his school experience of being bullied and I have to recall all the times of people getting in my face or pushing me around saying “faggot.” Or the time this wannabe thug kept shoving me into my desk because he didn’t get the answer right but I did and the teacher did nothing about it. Believe me, when I left that school, I never thought about it again. And as for “reunions” HA! They know where they can shove that.

Paul talks about his parents and I have to recall my own experiences with being “asked” to leave the house I grew up in, the disappointment in my mom’s eyes when she finally point blank asked if I was gay.  I have to recall how awkward it feels to not know where you are supposed to fit in. I have to recall how something so simple as “take care of my son” can break a heart.

For those of us who have felt this sense of nowhereness, desperate for something solid to latch on to just to give you an idea of which end is up, this Paulologue is for you.

And in The King Cheetos’ Corporation of America, we again don’t fit in. So it is with the knowledge of where I have been, what I have been through, and where we won’t go back that helps me get through the whole time on stage talking to the audience. Sharing not only Paul’s story but also all of yours.  Reminding the audience that while this show is set in the 70’s and he is talking about his experience as a youth, we have to again deal with bullies because we are different.

Gentle Reader, we have our last rehearsal tonight and then it is on to Opening Night. I quake in my shoes.  This isn’t just another show for me.  This one is personal.

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Dear Gentle Reader,

My how the last two weeks have flown by!

The Ghost Light Project was kicked off…    It was announced that there are plans to cut funding to the National Endowments of the Arts and of Humanities…    The circus is going to pack up the tent for the last time…  A Chorus Line rehearsals have started to get intense… Went out dancing at the local Goth club… They call today super bowl Sunday (but I like to think of it as mini Gaga concert day)…  welllll maybe the circus thing was a little longer than two weeks.  I actually believe it happened before the Ghost Light Project.

I am not a big sports fan, so I watch “the big game” for the commercials because, well, they are like mini-mini movies and some of them are VERY clever, well done, or even moving. And when I say watch, I totally mean that I fast forward the game on DVR. 😀Then of course, there is my Gaga rocking out the halftime show! I was shocked that there was no Doritos commercial.  Usually they have one of the best spots so it made me a wee bit disappointed. Maybe they aired it during the pregame time, but all that stuff doesn’t need any extra real estate on the DVR.

For the brief time that I have this evening, I just want to take a moment to talk about the GLP. Then later in the week I will write about some of the other things I mentioned.

Aaaannnd moving on…

Well, as I was doing my errands on January 19th, I just happened to find myself near the downtown San Jose area around the 5 o’clock hour, so I joined the party at the Hammer Theater.  I was so jazzed because I thought this was going to be a big event based on the message it was sending. When I arrived, honestly, I was taken aback that the gathering was rather small. However, that being said, I do have to mention that the publicity was a bit on the down low.

After some opening remarks, there was some mingling, and sadly I use that term loosely, it was more like people keeping close to those that they knew.  I was trying to find representatives of the other companies that are near the area but was having a really hard time.  I was curious to know what plans the companies had for the GLP. I was surprised that this task was proving so difficult. Surprised and a little saddened. However, Dear Reader, I do have to have to say that one of the representatives for the Hammer Theater was a great host.  I feel terrible that I lost the paper on which I had written her name. She was  great at checking in with the guests that were there and making sure that everyone had a chance to fill out the GLP “I Am” pages, making small talk and offering up refreshments.

I did love all the “I Am” pages.  It was a beautiful sight.

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All of the pictures I took of the “I Am” pages had the same effect thanks to that doggone wonderful disco ball’s reflections, so the top is all wonky. So bummed about that. Sadly, the above is the best one that I can share. My “I Am” page said “I Am a son, brother, and husband.  I Fight for the Arts, all of those that can’t fight, and Equality for ALL” (and based on that sentence, the Oxford comma. LOL)

There was a great little jazz combo from San Jose State University that was jamming in the corner. They were fantastic.  On the first landing of the stairs that lead up to the balcony there was a ghost light and people could snap a shot of themselves with it, but I didn’t see many people taking up that offer. I did like the visual though.

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Gentle reader, I so wish that I had been nearer to the Saratoga Theater so that I could attend the event with my friends there. I still have designs on finding out what the theaters in downtown are planning for the project.  I also still want to talk about the circus and the NEA but those will have to wait for another time.

Did you celebrate the Ghost Light Project? If you were to fill out one of the “I Am”  pages, what would you write? Oh, not sure what the “I Am” page is… well..

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Now that you know, what are you gonna write?  Who do you fight for? Let me know in the comments below.

And until next time, Gentle Reader, I wish you a good night. I need to get to bed, I think learning the bows for A Chorus Line has left my personal tank on E.

 

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Picture is from Broadway.com

Dear Gentle Reader,

Today, January 19, 2017 at 5:30pm in each time zone, theaters across the nation are standing up to announce that through the dark days that may be ahead of us, we will be there, standing tall for inclusion of all people regardless of where they are from, who they believe in, who they love and how they got here. We will fight to tell the stories of the people that reflect our humanity (or lack thereof in some cases.) We will fight off the bullies and create safe spaces for everyone to come to and be a part of something constructive and creative. In doing so, in my little opinion, this practice will spill outside of the walls of the theaters and into the streets and into the lives and consciousness of others who will continue to grow and shine that light.

Please go to the website The Ghostlight Project and check it out and join your community at one of the many theaters taking part of this project. As I mentioned before all are welcome, and if you happen to be a part of another movement, that’s fantastic!  Bring those friends.  Can you imagine what could happen if The Ghostlight Project and the Black Lives Matter Movement worked on something together?

Join us.  You don’t need anything but a light and your cell phone light will work perfectly. Personally, I am really excited because this is the first time I don’t have to work when a rally I wanted to attend was happening.  You can bet there will be pictures, dear reader!

Will you be there?  And don’t forget to share your experience.  Use the hashtags, #AllAreWelcom #BeALight and #GhostlightProject.

Shine on, my friends.  Shine on!

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#13! Talk about a lucky table!

Dear Gentle Reader,

Last night, I was thoroughly entertained at a small cabaret show produced by Society Cabaret. The show starred one of the sweetest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and sort of working with. By that, I mean that we did a show together😀, but were never in any actual scenes with one another😞. I had intended to go to his previous show a few months back, but because of my lack of organization, I totally spaced out on it. I was lucky enough that this time around I was more prepared. (Yay bullet journal!- See previous post for reference…)

Now, my friends, if you ever are in the San Fransisco area or even San Jose (because they do have some events there as well) I highly recommend that you treat yourself to at least one of them! (Wesla Whitfield is their next show -fabulous lady and when I was in conservatory, I got to take her masterclass. It was incredible.)

Last night’s performance was located in the Hotel Rex in San Fran and this space is wonderfully cozy and charming. They do pack in the audience but it isn’t uncomfortable. The small menu features delicious looking food that I was tempted on ordering just to try, but seeing how we just came from dinner, probably wouldn’t have been financially responsible. What to do? What to do?

You opt for a bottle of Prosecco, of course. 😋

Then, the lights dimmed and the star of the evening arrived on stage, John Rinaldi. His show, He Said/She Said, was a journey through some great love songs in musical theatre.❤️ Some by men, some by women but all of them beautiful.  It was nice to be reminded of songs I hadn’t heard in a very long time like the two numbers from Kiss of the Spider Woman  or ones that I have never heard at all. Speaking of never heard at all, his number, which I believe was called  “Mrs. Brown,” was spectacular.  Beautiful and sad.  One of my two favorites of the night. He shared the stage with three other guests over the course of the show.  The other fave was a showstopping rendition of “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Perfectly suited for one of the featured women. The duet of “It Couldn’t Please Me More” from Cabaret was sheer delight.  “I Dreamed A Dream” was also fantastic and just made the night even more perfect.

It was a wonderful night filled with lovely songs in a great venue, and as I mentioned earlier, Gentle Reader, you should really check it out if the opportunity arrises.

Speaking of opportunities, since I enjoyed it so much, I was speaking with one of the owners (I think) and I may try and set up a chance to join such incredible voices like John on that stage. I just want to see if I can do it.  One of those “if it scares you, you should do it” type things.

One thing that I do need to say: I am so sad that I hadn’t been to one of these events sooner as two incredible singers, Morgan Dayley and Glenna Murillo (both of which I have seen perform in other shows) had their shows last year!! So angry with myself for missing those! 😡

Oh Gentle Reader, all of the performance things I want to do is sometimes overwhelming, but since I want to try them all, I just simple have to go out there and do it, right? Right!

With that in mind, my friends, I have a brunch date to get to.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, Gentle Reader. Go listen to your favorite cast recordings and sing along.  By the by, what are some of your faves? Maybe I will give them a spin while I am out and about.  They’d be especially helpful to and from tonight’s rehearsal.

Until next time…