Loving yourself just became even more fun…


Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of being the Master of Ceremonies for NotblueAtall.com‘s A Fatty Affair.  I was nervous at first because we didn’t know how the night was going to progress with the program line-up we made, whether or not people were excited about it, if people would take some of the things I’d written into my mini-speeches to heart, and if they would get some of the jokes.

Yikes, so much to worry about! But first let me give you a little backstory…

According to all statistics, I am considered obese.  For my height, I am supposed to weight something like 136-142.  Neither of those, am I.  However, I go to the gym and workout a couple of times a week.  I don’t need to be there for hours on end.  I have a home that I live in for that.  I go so that I keep up my endurance.  So that when I am on stage singing and dancing, I can do it. I go so that I can destress a little bit.   I go so I can enjoy that endorphin kick that you get.  And I go because I kind of enjoy people staring at the fat guy on an elliptical that is running at a pace of over 200 steps a minute for 45 minutes – 1 hour, as he’s mouthing the words to whatever is playing on his ipod, outpacing some of those other skinny bitches by 20 paces or so.

People are so conditioned, thanks to the diet industry, that you have to look a certain way or else you are not able to be happy.  Hollywood and fashion only promote this theory.  I am happy with myself.  I have a strong heart, great blood pressure, and great eyesight.  My hearing is so-so, but that’s because of my MUSIC!! I am not diabetic, have no breathing problems, and aside from joints that I’ve broken or injured doing stuff, those are fine too.  But according to some ignorant chart, I am not “healthy” because of my weight.

A Fatty Affair was a body positive event for anyone and everyone who wanted to celebrate loving themselves exactly as they are.  People of all shapes and sizes attended and it was SO good to see that.  It’s bad enough that everywhere you turn people are saying that this is bad for you and that is bad, too.  It’s a hard life to live if you accept all those rules and try and practice them all.  What’s even harder is when most of them are wrong!

My girl, Sarah, and I coordinated our outfit color palate as any good duo would, black, white, and red.  She accented the red and I the white.  I don’t have any pictures of myself, but I know they will be popping up shortly.  What pics I don’t put here, you will find HERE

I had to figure out the best way to approach talking to a whole crowd of people that I didn’t know. I know that some people are turned off by my flamboyant nature, and I really wanted everyone to have fun.  So at first I reigned it in a bit.  Kind of testing the waters.  It was more important to me that I express that no one is alone.  That no matter how many people think your not good enough or what have you, that this wonderful group of people that are sitting in the same room have been there and understand and are happy to be there for you.  My fears were proved to be completely ludicrous when people got the joke when Sarah introduced me as Lisa Lisa to her Cult Jam.  Anyone who knows the Lisa Lisa is my kind of peeps!

Nicole Pierce of AWellRoundedVenture.com

The first speakers were Nicole Pierce and Raven Eagan. Nicole Pierce (AWellRoundedVenture.com) and Raven Eagan (AlternativeFats.blogspot.com) are both bloggers and have a lot to say when it comes to fashion.  They gave advise on tailoring, finding great things at flea markets, accessorizing, and other ideas. What it all boiled down to is don’t be afraid to rock something because you think it doesn’t fit or look good on you.  Buy it bigger or smaller and tailor it.  Accessorize to enhance whatever you want to enhance and strut like it ain’t no thang!

Raven Eagan of AlternativeFats.blogspot.com

Sarah had two fabulous dance troupes lined up and the first one was the Phat Fly Girls (BigMoves.com)!  They are such a fun group of ladies!! They performed a parody number from the musical “Chicago.”

Their number was titled “All That Flab.”  Such a sassy number!! But then again, I wouldn’t expect anything else.  ☺

 

 

 

 

 

 

They closed out “Act 1” and this opened up the clothing swap and mingle portion of the show.  People got to get to know one another and make new friendships and cultivate ones that were formed online.

In addition to the swap and mingling, there was a wonderful Art company there called VoluptuArt as well as a local sculptor who’s name escapes me.  I apologize immensely for that.

People mingling.

After 20 minutes or so, we begin “Act 2” with a magnificent performance by the lovely Raks Africa (YourBodyRaks.com)!  I apologize, but I was so enthralled with cheering on these ladies that I didn’t even think to take pictures or video of their performance.  But let me tell you, their finale of James Brown and getting people up and dancing, was a highlight fer sher!!

Tammy and Etang of Raks Africa (YouBodyRaks.com)

Closing up the night, Dr. Linda Bacon and Marilyn Wann were two authors that are advocates of Health At Every Size.  Dr. Linda Bacon (LindaBacon.org) literally wrote the book: Health At Every Size.  The wonderful, uplifting, and fabulous Marilyn Wann (FatSo.com) led us all in a song of “You Are My Sunshine” with some words substituted for others.  Her words of encouragement did what they should do, uplift and inspire those of us in the audience.

Before we had the final words of the evening by Linda and Marilyn, a runway show was planned.  I had no intention of participating on the catwalk, but when I saw that there were only two people who were signed up, I threw caution to the wind and tried to work the crowd up more by saying that “I bettah not be the only one that’s gonna werk it!  So get on up!”   I hear there is a picture somewhere.  You’ll probably find it on Facebook sometime soon.

The reason that it was so important to me that everyone participate because I “hope you feel strong and mighty.  When you leave here, know that you have a whole slew of people who will always cheer for you, just like that.  Remember that feeling and hold it with you, always.”

Hold it with you always, my friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day of Reflection: Day Six

While I’ve been hunting down auditions for myself, I kept coming across the same sort of post.  It went something like: Such and such production company is looking for actors for a future low budget/feature film/indie picture.  Looking to cast: Leading Man – 20-30’s Caucasian; Secondary Character – 20-30’s Caucasian…That is just a generic wording of the dozens of disheartening casting calls that I found.  Then I got to thinking “well it’s no wonder that so many people are now taking control of their own careers by making vehicles specifically for themselves.”  So I got to thinking about all the little projects that I had at one time or another began working on and then just lost track of what I was doing.  So that lead me to a theme for podcast 16.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot

It’s really hard to only pick five people when there are so many people that I care about.  Especially all the people that have taught me so much and so much about myself.  I think I have to cheat this one just a little bit and cluster it up just a bit.  I hope you don’t mind.

5. Karaoke friends!!  You guys have given me so many great laughs in the short time we’ve been meeting up.  I look forward to them because it just helps to laugh off all the worries of life for just a few hours. Thank you for that.

4. My blood family because without them, I wouldn’t have such snappy comebacks for people.

3. Tommy O and Holypigeon, for being absolutely amazing people to learn a million things from.

2. Notblue and Hubby for being absolutely amazing people to watch grow and to grow with.

1. My munster because you’re my munster!

If I truly had to pick my five, here are four of them.

I can’t tell you how much fun this trip to Napa was!  I would eventually love to go back again with these same people.  We shared this amazing apartment style suite and spent two days there.  I wish I didn’t smile so big.  I think that’s what makes it look fake.  I should probably take a cue from my friend at NotBlueAtAll.com and practice smiling in a mirror.  I just can’t stand looking at mirrors either.  Aside from looking at myself, one of the other reasons is that I freak myself out and think that the mirror me will move when the real me didn’t.  If that didn’t happen, I would be afraid that someone would pop up behind me; as in ghosts or something.  Or if it’s at night, the power would go out and when it came back up, something else would be looking at me.  Creepy.  Man, I think I really gotta lay off the horror movies.  Speaking of which, is anyone else interested in seeing Anthony Hopkins in “The Rite”?  Opening Day is January 28.  Wait, does this make me a glutton for punishment?

Who are your five important people?  Do you have so many people that you need to cluster them up too?  And do you wanna go see “The Rite” at the end of the month?

White Christmas after Opening Night.

 

Now that a few days have passed from the high of Opening Night, I become a ball of nerves once again.  Most people think that once a show has begun performances, the hardest part of the process is over.  To me, I think that this line of thinking is a dangerous trap to fall into.  Especially when you have 4 days off in a row.  This is when complacency tends to sneak in.  Complacency because Opening Weekend went so incredibly well. So now, some people could convince themselves that it’s unnecessary to put any energy or thought into the show.  This is when you forget to think about the show, because you have new things to do and think about during the time that you would have been rehearsing.  Some people have significant others to cuddle with during the evening instead of pouring over their scripts or thinking about dance steps.  Personally, I try and figure out what I can do differently, better, but differently.  I tend to dwell on any oddity that happened to me or that I created during the show, and how I can fix it or make it work.  Because of this, I love to have brush up rehearsals so that the first show you return to is just as good as when you left the weekend before.

Well there’s another reason too.

So far this show has sold pretty well, but I really really want West Valley Light Opera to have a HIT!  A big fucking smash hit show.  Sorry for the expletive, but I feel that it was the only word that could emphasize it the way I meant it.

The super-finale is actually more fun than I thought it was going to be because of all the snow. It starts with hearing a room full of people singing a Berlin classic, and then it tears into a frolicking snowy good time and everyone looks so happy!  I love looking out into the audience and seeing the people smiling, or nodding their heads in time to the music or best of all singing along.    That happened on Sunday’s performance.  I saw a bright and cheery lady singing along with me during “Best Things Happen When Your Dancing.”  She was sitting in the third row and just looked like she was having the best time ever and that’s only the fifth song of the show, and there are nearly 20 of them!  To top that off, there was a lady in blue right in the front row that was beaming the biggest smile during “I Love a Piano” when the Duncan Sisters were singing their part.  I know that the possibility for having that hit exists with this production, but I worry that one bad performance could jeopardize that chance.

This Friday’s show isn’t selling the way I hoped that it would, but there are $20 tickets available.  Maybe that will help.  I hope that people who have come to see the show, get the word out that it is a good show.  I do have to say thanks to my BFF over at NotBlueAtAll, for the incredibly kind words and for attending Opening Night. Also, a big thanks to Ronnie Misra for all of his amazing support.

If any of you have seen the show, please leave a review, especially if you loved the show, at Artsopolis. Like Ronnie did!

I love working with this company and I worry about it sometimes.   They are one of the few companies that take chances on their casting and don’t constantly cast the same handful of people for their shows.  Another company that takes chances is Sunnyvale Community Players, and I applaud them for that.  But, they are getting back on track, so they don’t need as much help.  When I began to make the rounds in the area for auditions WVLO was one of the first to give me opportunities and to this day continues to do so.  Needless to say, I feel like I owe them in return because they have always welcomed me with open arms.  I am keeping my fingers crossed  that there are 13 more full houses for this run.  Please cross your fingers with me.