🎼🎶Want Your Bad Romance🎶…

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Hello Gentle Reader,

As COVID-19 virus is running through most of the world, people and businesses have adapted to survive.  People started following the shelter in place suggestions. Restaurants have focused on to-go orders or take out only. Stores that are open have been asking for people to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart.  Theatre companies have turned to streaming content to share performances.

WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Wait! What? NO! Whhyyyyyyyy-uh? I am sure that I have mentioned it about a hundred times that I am camera-shy.  No, shy is not the right word. Resistant.  YES! That is much better suited to my detestations toward the lens of a camera. Mind you, I don’t mind taking pictures of others; in fact, I love it.  I just don’t like to be in front of a camera.

It is just so dead and lifeless.  There is no spark of energy to interact with it. It is like trying to get a reaction from a wall. Nothing to feed off of. It is just kinda gross to me, to be blatantly honest. That’s why I don’t really do selfies or make videos on other platforms. I have been advised to do so, but… *shudder*  It is INDEED going to be a “bad romance.” I don’t really want it, but I gotsta learn to live with it.

{SIDENOTE: I just watched a crap ton of videos from Tik Tok users that have some creepy stuff in them, so now I have that rolling around in my melon too. I know! I know, there is nothing creepy in my home, but… *shudder*}

Anyway, with things going more and more digital, I suppose I must get over my resistance to la lens; that’s spanish for lens. [☜ That was a lame attempt at a joke.] I don’t know how I will do that, but I started with getting one of ☝︎ those illumination donuts, as my home is rather dark. It is one thing to film a production that has a live audience, but to “act” just with a camera seems so counter-intuitive to the whole business of theatre. 

My Dear Reader, thank you for letting me bend your ear and share my apprehensions about this luster circle and the need for it; being in front of a camera. Next, I have to find a decent camera.  I checked out the camera on my laptop and whew doggie, it is rough. YIKES! My phone has a pretty good one, but I would like to have the ability to see multi-angles and such. I figure if I have to do it, I should try to fully commit. Right? No, seriously, is that right? { 😏Another joke.}

I don’t know if it will transform into anything, but I shall keep you posted nonetheless.

Thanks again, Kind Reader. In this crazy time of social distancing, mental health awareness, physical health awareness, you are a wonderful source of light. Like a star 😊

Until next time…

Been Having Some Dreams…

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Hello Gentle Reader!!

I have been having some dreams this week that have been lingering.  They aren’t bad, just creepy. One was very much like the Tremors movies. For those of you that have never seen them, they are these monsters that look like giant mutated Beetlejuice-esque sand worms. They are summoned by the vibrations that one’s movements make. The whole dream is just about me trying to stay ahead of them. The second dream had me staying at this cute TINY house that was at the bottom of some large hills (i can’t say mountains, but they were very large but not craggy, so…) and there was this crazy dark fog that descends from the hills.  I felt like something bad was coming, so I hop in my car and drive away but no matter how fast I drive, those clouds are rushing toward me like a sandstorm in movies. And I know, I KNOW something bad is in there. 

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My Gentle Reader, the paragraph above was the start of something that was supposed to be a post for February 8. I don’t know for what exactly, which is why I didn’t finish the post but going back and seeing this on today of all days makes me think that the Universe was trying to tell me something.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Social Distancing Land!!

The ol’ survival job shut down operations on last Monday, but I was able to find about 3 extra days of work for my team so we wouldn’t be financially orphaned for what I thought was only going to be about 2 weeks initially.  Here we are six days later and the Bay Area is just NOW starting their “soft” lockdown of staying home for 3 more weeks. I understand the idea behind this call.  I don’t like it, but I understand it.

My heart breaks for all the performances that were cancelled.  All those parts that actors no longer get to play.  All the storytelling the audiences don’t get to enjoy. All the work that went into productions and no one to appreciate them…

Then I began to wonder how long this could go on. Seeing how China was experiencing this since December, will it take 3 months for this whole thing to finally blow over? Thankfully, China hasn’t seen any major upticks in new cases being reported since the month began, but it isn’t over yet.

While the social distancing thing is happening, I am trying to remain collected and calm, but I keep wanting to go and do the things I would normally do when I am bored at home, like go to the gym. But those are closed. LOL!

With theatre companies canceling/postponing stuff, I don’t have any projects to prepare for yet, so I can’t find anything to make me feel like I am being productive. Yes, the knitting and crocheting help, but only for so long. Since my apartment is mostly carpeted and kinda crowded with stuff, it isn’t as fun to do Broadway routines here. But I try.

Oh Dear Reader, I hope that I will find the ideas I need to create something that will truly keep me busy without anxiety through the quarantine. In the meantime, let me know what you are doing to get through this crazy time in the comments section.

Take care of yourselves, Gentle Reader.  Be alert but not anxious.  Most importantly, be kind and thank those people that are still in the world offering services and goods to help us get through this.

Until next time…

Relax! Don’t Do It…

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Hello Gentle Reader!

Once upon a time, I used to stress out about not having a production to work on right after my current project would end. With Little Shop of Horrors ending on Saturday, I am  getting a little antsy about that very thing.

My logical brain knows that there will be a project for me somewhere at some point, but as I have pointed out time and again, logic is NOT my default setting. 😄

Having taken 2018 off (and most of 2019 too), I know that Theatre Arts will be around when I am ready for a project.

I used to be grateful that I had an answer for people when they asked, “what are you working on next?” Recently, one of my Lil Shop castmates asked and I said, “I don’t have anything coming up and I don’t mind.” I never expected the calm that I felt when I said that.

My Dear Reader, I know when the right project comes along it will call to me. I just hope that I can audition well enough to become part of the cast. Fingers crossed.  Toes too! LOL 😂

I do have to say that I am so grateful at being a part of the thriving theatre community that we have in the Bay Area. From the actors, to the producers and staff, to the incredible artists that work on design elements, there are so many insanely wonderful people that are part of it.

So there shall be no freaking out! I hope. LOL! No, no.  It’ll be fine.  I think.

Yeah… just gonna wait for that project to call…

*sits and waits…*

*and waits…*

A New Post? Yup!…

time-to-come-back-coverHELLO Gentle Reader!!!

How have you been? What have you been up to? Chasing those dreams? I hope you had an amazing 2019! I really do. I also hope your holiday celebrations were amazing and filled with love and laughter with those you care for the most. 

Can you believe it has almost been a full year since I last posted? 📆 I had to take some time away because I was having some personal issues with the old survival job that just made me feel like I was suffocating and regardless of what I tried I couldn’t seem to shake it. 😔  I didn’t want to inadvertently put any of it on you. What brought me to this decision was the number of times that I had noticed that I spoke before self-editing and realizing later that there was venom in my words. This, of course, compounded the feelings I was already dealing with so the easiest solution was to take a step back. That being said, I did miss you all.

I even did the same thing with theatre. I saw a few shows but didn’t participate in anything until October/November when I had been about 2 months into feeling more like myself. 

My initial plan for this post was to go back to something that I used to do WAAAYY back when… try and decipher my Chinese zodiac horoscope.  BUT I realized that a year away is a very long time in the blogging world so I should probably update you, Dear Reader, on what I did work on as far as theatre goes. 

I was lucky enough to be cast in productions of…

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AND

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The toughest part about these projects was that they started rehearsals at the EXACT. Same. Time!😱

Star Wars had a shorter more intense schedule while Little Shop had 3 weeks more of rehearsal time. I am one lucky ducky. I had 2 great directors that were willing to allow me the chance to tackle this task.  I know that they were nervous about letting me do this, and I hope it was the knowledge that I would work hard to bring my best to each show. I mean, not that I don’t work hard when I am in a single show. LOL!

Let’s first tackle “One Hour Star Wars Trilogy: Live!” A little side note: I LOVE THIS TRILOGY!!! ❤️❤️ Give me this before offering LOTR or Indiana Jones. I don’t care how much people like to talk smack about them. I know they are a little silly and not the best acted. I LOVE THEM ANYWAY.

This was a project of love, no doubt. I enjoyed every single moment of work on this show because it’s freakin Star Wars.  Not only that, but I got reunited with a few people that worked on last year’s “Making of the Star Wars Holiday Special: Live!” I laughed so much during the process that it didn’t feel like work at all. There was joy in every moment we built and the process of collaboration was fast and furious. There were some ideas that worked and some that didn’t. I also got to work with a bunch of new friends that had the BEST quickly improvised ideas. The best thing about the production run was all the running around backstage to get to the different entrances in the theater. So much swearing! LOL!  I think we said “shit!💩” at least 20 times a show. And the show is only an HOUR!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA😂

Ahhhh, Gentle Reader, I am gonna miss that show. LOL!

Next up, let’s have a chat about 🎶Little Shop, Little Shoppa Horrors🎵.

But we’ll do that in another post.

Thanks for reading, Dear Reader!  I have performances Friday and Saturday, so I am aiming to have the Lil Shop post up by Sunday night.

Until then…

Let me know how you are and what your are up to!

 

In The Pursuit of Happiness…

Memorial-Day-Flag-Website-Banner_edited-1Hello Dear Reader,

Every year at this time, I think of a fellow I did a show with many years ago. I think I may have mentioned Cesar Flores before. His Vietnam stories always made me so sad because I could see the hurt in his face and hear it in his voice. He spoke with such passion about everything.  I really loved that about him. I know he is somewhere in California, but I don’t know where anymore.

I thank him and all the soldiers this Memorial Day for all the sacrifice that they have made so that America can have the freedoms that have become a way of life. Freedoms that seem to be used to protest for justice and tear us apart for elitism and racism. Just because I don’t agree with some of the propaganda that is going around doesn’t mean it is isn’t an expression, as much as I am loathe to point out.

According to our Declaration of Independence, we all have the right to pursue happiness.  What happens when that happiness is in jeopardy? I have been paying much more attention to the empty seats, content, quality and types of advertising in the theaters I have been attending as of late. The worry of being a company owner is making sure that you can sustain great shows that bring in a full audience to keep on putting up more great shows and round and round the circle goes.

Can I just say, I don’t understand that when money gets tight the first thing that seems to be cut is live theater. I mean, I sort of get it.  Tickets are expensive and if you know a lot of people in different shows it can get REALLY pricey. Yet, there is so much intrinsic value in it for a well rounded life. These creative expressions offer us a chance as a society to step back and look at ourselves. Sometimes theatre points the finger and sometimes it doesn’t. Since I want to open my own company in the future, this has really made me shift my thoughts on what the state of theatre in this area will be like in a few months.

My Gentle Reader, I don’t have any worries of the the talent on either side of the table. And when I say “either side of the table,” for those that don’t know, I am referring to the cast/talent and staff/production. We have some great people that are on both sides.  I worry about the people that we do this for. While it may be fun and a necessity (sometimes) for us, theatre is a mirror of sorts to life. Even if the attendees aren’t going through the particular situation that is on stage, we can still relate to it on an emotional level. You may not agree with some of the things that the play is about, but the hope is that it makes you willing to think about the subject and maybe it will change your heart or strengthen your resolve but hopefully it will make you feel and/or think.

I’ve looked into strategies (and that ain’t even my strong suit! Ask anyone who has played board games with me) in marketing and awareness and community involvement. I see opportunities there, but getting those seats sold is where I feel a bit lost. What if those strategies are great but the seats don’t sell?

Do any of you amazing friends have any thoughts on the state of theatre in the future? What have you seen in regards to attendance? Do you see any way to shrink the number of empty seats?

Dear Reader, I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and that you took a moment to reflect on the things that allow us to try to attain the American Dream that our grandparents had before things got so crazy expensive.

And Cesar, where ever you are and whatever show you are working on now, my friend, I salute you and say “Welcome Home!”

Until next time, Gentle Reader…

 

 

Nothing But Death and Taxes, Friends. Death and Taxes… and Hope

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Dear Gentle Reader,

Last week was the most dreaded of the US “holidays,” even more so than Valentine’s Day. Yes, sadly friends, I feel that Valentine’s Day is on par with National Grilled Cheese Day. But I digress… That’s right we got to “celebrate” Tax Day, April 15th.  Oh joy.

As usual, I had to pay a pretty penny even though my survival job was supposed to be really good at paying into the tax pool. It wasn’t nearly enough, I guess. It is so frustrating to constantly have to pay for taxes when the job should be handling it.

I, like many people that know they will end up paying, waited until the last minute. I don’t know why. Maybe I am hoping that something will change and I will magically not have to pay. So from the time I get my paperwork until the week of the deadline, this cloud of dread hangs over me.

Yet, I still plan and dream. I still have hope, Dear Reader. I still have hope that someday I will have my own theatre company. I have already picked out the first season and have my ideas what I would like each production to achieve.

What I am having trouble with is the whole non-profit thing. The benefits are great but I dont really want a board of directors. I know they would be a massive help in nearly everything, but I would feel like I have bosses.  I don’t want to have that feeling in something that I create.

Would it be beneficial to just create a “production company?”

Oh, Gentle Reader, so many things to think about and so many shows to see and so many ideas to bring to life. WHY?? WHY?? Maybe I should go and knit something in the corner to calm my brain down.

Who knows, I may find a zen moment and get a solution.

But for now, taxes are done, theater rentals checked out, rights pricing checked out, looking to have the logo designed and so on…

Oh, and the company won’t be up and running for a while, but the ball has begun to roll. I have to start it now. I mean, I am no spring chicken (not a word, Kevin! Not a word.) so I need to begin.  Especially if I want it to be like what I see in my crazy brain.

OK! Now that I got that out, Dear Reader, I need to try and get some sleep. I will keep you posted, of course, on the upcoming issues I will be facing. LOL!

Big hugs to you all.

Until next time, friends…

 

 

It may be April Fool’s but this book is no joke!

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Dear Gentle Reader,

I was super excited when Rare Bird Books gave me the green light to review one of their recent release books, so big Thank you’s to them for this opportunity! 👏

Seven Pillars Acting is not your typical acting book. Yes, it is incredibly informative, and relatable but what sets it apart from the others is the focus is on today’s actor. Tweaking the classics just a little so that it makes acting even less intimidating.

Sonya Cooke has taken all the major acting concepts from great teachers and directors (Meisner, Stanislavski, Donnellan and Brestoff to name a few) and distilled them down to seven concise key steps that take actors from first day of rehearsal to performance. High praise for taking this task and creating something so clear from so many different places.

The seven pillars listed in the book are as follows:

  1. Contact
  2. Circumstance
  3. Meaning
  4. Emotional Life
  5. Objective
  6. Action
  7. Physical Life

Released in January 2018, this little book of 305 pages is one of the best brush up books to keep on your shelf. When I say “brush up book,” I mean absolutely no disrespect.  This is worthy of curriculum status, and may well be, but I don’t know if it is too new for that at this time.

Dear Reader, it is a well known truth that actors are constantly returning to classes just like dancers. If, like me, it is a bit too hard to juggle in a class with current life situations, this book is something I can easily turn to. Each pillar has numerous exercises and some can be done without a partner. For the other activities, grab a fellow actor one day and have a fun informal session on a random agreed upon scene just to keep “in-shape.”

There are times when I can’t recall which of my theatre textbooks had a bit of advice that I wanted to refer to so I would dig them all out and skim through several books to find what I was thinking of.  Now, I feel that I could simply pick this gem off the shelf and refer to it rather than hunting through a full shelf of books. (What? You didn’t keep the textbooks of your favorite classes?)😄 (Is that weird?) 😳

Quick note: I honestly feel that acting is such an individual process because we are all  different and don’t learn the same way. It is helpful to take what you can from all the different styles and form your own “way.” That being said, in my personal process, I have found that I can delve even further into my character building from this book. Typically, while I work on the circumstances I try to find every variation of how it could be interpreted. I write down the likely ones and work on those but keep the others in the back of my mind. What I don’t do is to find all the variations on how the various circumstances would make me feel. I figure that would be too much writing and there isn’t enough space on some of these pages to fill in all that info. Although to be fair, she writes to focus on one. I do like this idea though and will begin including it because it offers the chance to present an even clearer picture to the audience.  Basically, I figure it should take me from regular image to High-Def.

There are some quotes and passages that I loved and here are a few of my faves:

“Once a circumstance is known to be imaginary, its potency is gone – much like being spooked by a shadow in a dark corner. Once it is revealed to not be a real threat, the fear subsides. Therefore, because of the degree of belief, the circumstances of our lives seem more real than the circumstances of our characters.” 

“…acting is all about seeing.” 

“Not only does your family push your buttons, but they were the ones who installed them in the first place.”  – Jo Spiller

“Neutral is not inactive.” 

“The nature of emotion is state-less; it is in flow e-motion, and must not be rigidly fixed.” 

“E-motion is ungraspable like water.” 

Dear Reader, I am absolutely certain that the more times I go through this book, the more info I will glean from it. I don’t know if I mentioned this at any point, but when I am in productions, I read my script everyday. I look for new insights and sometimes I see something I didn’t catch before, sometimes I don’t, but I feel like I will have new ideas the next time I pick up this book. This is a fresh streamlined process that feels accessible to anyone from the beginning actor to the experienced.  Hat’s off to the author!

Be sure to grab your copy.

Have you ever had an instructional book that you found refreshing or insightful?  What was it? I’d love to learn what others are checking out in the world. 🌏🌎

Until next time Gentle Reader…