Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Terrific Teams

Last weekend, I filmed a sketch with the fabulous Wayne Henry, whom I've worked with for several years. He brought me on board with this wonderful cast, all of whom were deliciously talented. We spent most of the shoot cracking each other up! And afterwards, we were all abuzz with ideas and stories about Art and The Biz.


This is something I just LOVE, the energy that bubbles up amongst artists when they're in the groove and creating something as a team.

I've been so lucky to do a tremendous amount of that this year, working with terrific teams to create wonderful productions for the stage and on various screens.

It started with Steel Magnolias at Stomping Ground Theatre Company:


The co-founders, Angela Shultz and Melissa Harlow, the crew, the team spirit of SGT was simply amazing! It was everything theatre should be.


Then I re-teamed with Darg and Rayne for The Pound at the Signature Theatre. SO excited to have had my debut at this amazing Off Broadway theatre!


We also managed to record my big Park Ranger song from Sasquatched The Musical


Then I joined my Pageant Princess creators, Lorelei McKenzie and Kristen Penner, for a reading of the new pop musical, Pieces:


I went back to Stomping Ground Theatre Company to sing for their cabaret, Perspectives:


And I just wrapped filming with the incredible team behind Human Telegraphs:

 What a crew!

I feel so thankful to have worked with so many talented people this year, and I'm grateful they've invited me into their wonderful worlds, telling unique stories with heart and humor!

Happy Thanksgiving!




Thursday, November 09, 2017

Human Telegraphs

A few weeks ago, I guest-starred on this delightful new web series called, Human Telegraphs.


It's a charming show about 3 friends who decide to create an in-person messaging service, and they find themselves conveying very personal messages: everything from "I'm leaving you" to "You shoulda put a ring on it!" The humor is delicious, and the thing that really gets me is the HEART behind each story. 

Created by Three Bright Lights Productions - Kayla Conroy, Rachel Kay Barclay, and Fern Lim - these ladies are GO-GETTERS! I met them in May when they had me in to read for a few characters,  and then they contacted me in October to play "Joey," a whacky real estate gal from Brooklyn.


I had so much fun, working and playing with these gals! I'm in episode 4: "H Team vs. the Pemberlies"

The crew was mainly women - Samantha Pyra was the Cinematographer - but there were some marvelous men on set as well, particularly Michael Parker Kozak on Sound.



As our Script Supervisor, Alia Azamat said, "Professionalism has no gender."



"Only got a New York minute?" Check out the trailer here: http://humantelegraphs.com/watch

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!!!!

I've always loved Halloween! Playing dress-up has always been one of my favorite things. When I was a kid, I'd dive into my mother's closet, which held all sorts of treasures from the '70s like silver sandals, metallic belts with chunky turquoise, flowy nighties, and fun falls (hair extensions), and I'd emerge looking like a mini diva! At least, I felt fabulous! :)

My mom was awesome about making Halloween outfits. One of my favorites was Princess Leia. Observe the previously mentioned metal belt!


And of course, there was Wonder Woman, whom I emulated last year too :)


No wonder I became an actor! I get to dress up and play every day! :)

And I'm so lucky, because my husband is right with me!


Gotta fly! Have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Honor your playful, magical side. You're super!



Friday, October 06, 2017

Stomping Ground Theatre Company's Cabaret

Last weekend was LUSH!

I got to sing for Stomping Ground Theatre Company's cabaret, celebrating their 1st Anniversary in New York City! What an incredible amount of work this company has done in a year, and they're zooming into the next one!

They focus not only on new musicals, but on productions that empower people and tell stories from the heart. Thus, they got the rights to and produced Steel Magnolias last Spring, and I had the good fortune of playing Truvy! What an honor!


Then they did the new musical, Strike, based on the true story of Barbara Johns, a high school junior show led the entire student body of Robert Russa Moto high School to walk out in protest of their school's conditions.


And now they're producing "Christmas Letters," a musical they did a reading of last Fall. It'll be in full production for this Christmas :)


A song from that show was featured in the cabaret SGT hosted last weekend, and, to quote my husband, "The cabaret blew me away! Every single performer was unique and brimming with talent!"

There were 17 songs and 1 stand-up piece, the latter of which was done by Katie Donnelly, who played Annelle in Steel Magnolias (below left). She is off-the-charts funny, and I'm so honored I got to share the stage with her! More Magnolias lent their talents, including Anna Laura Strider, the gorgeous redhead below, who played our Shelby and hosted the evening. Our director, Angela Shultz, (bottom right), brought the house down with her rendition of "Not Getting Married Today," and our Oiser, Rebecca Hoodwin (top right below), gave us a sweet taste of "Georgia (on my mind)."


I sang, "Yes," by Cabaret masters, Kander and Ebb.



Then I sang the duet, "Move On" with Scott Koonce from Sunday in the Park With George.


Since the cabaret was called, "Perspectives," this song fit so beautifully since it's about an artist trying to find his own way of making "something new."

As Sondheim wrote, "Anything you do, let it come from you. Then it will be new. Give us more to see."

Stomping Ground is conducting a fundraiser to get some headset mics for their space, so if you can, please help them MAKE SOME NOISE! Thank you!



Friday, September 29, 2017

Perspectives

I've been working on my songs for Stomping Ground Theatre Company's cabaret, Perspectives. There are a bunch of talented people performing, honoring SGT's work for the past year, and it's a joy to be on the bill with them! Scott Koonce is directing and Brett Kristofferson is our marvelous piano man. There are even a few songs of Brett’s which are being sung.


It's also a mini reunion with 4 of the Steel Magnolias, including Katie Donnelly, who rocked the house as Annelle; Rebecca Hoodwin (far right below as Oiser); our director, Angela Shultz (below right); and our Shelby, Anna Laura Strider, the gorgeous redhead in the middle, is the emcee for the cabaret.


I'm singing 2 songs for the show, and one of the things I love about singing is the homework that goes with it: practicing the music, finding how it feels to sing it, where it moves in my voice, which places need strengthening, how to let it flow. And then there's the acting part of character creation, script analysis, understanding where the song fits into the story, and how can it stand alone for a cabaret?

It's FUN! I love all that stuff! And since I have a very busy life, I'm singing wherever I can, whenever I can. Sometimes it's in a rehearsal studio with my coach. Sometimes it's at home in my bedroom. When my husband and I traveled last weekend, I was singing in the hotel room. And I'm almost always singing on the street when I walk to my support job, or classes, callbacks and auditions. It's Manhattan! I WALK! :) And I rehearse where I can! Learn where I can! Enjoy it all where I can! That's my Perspective. :)


Fittingly, I'm singing "Yes" by Kander and Ebb, which is pretty much my anthem. And I'm doing the duet, "Move On," by Stephen Sondheim.

Years ago, I posed near a replica of George Seurat's painting in Saugutuck, MI, and I dreamed of playing Dot in "Sunday in the Park with George."


Tomorrow, I get to do just that!

Isn't it marvelous how the roads we travel loop back around to something we wanted to do. It's like everything's in bloom!

Tomorrow night's performance is at 8 PM at 410 West 40th Street "behind the red door!" Tix are available at the door, and are a suggested donation of $15.

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Singing in September

It has been a busy MUSICAL month! Cue Something Rotten's "It's.... a... musical!"

I kicked off September with a reading of a beautiful new musical called, Pieces. I don't know how much I can say about it, because it's so unique, and I want to respect the writers' decision of when, where and how to promote it. Suffice it to say, I fell in love with this cast in 3 days. It was incredibly special, and I was honored to be a part of it.


In the midst of "Pieces," I was called back for another musical, and got a callback for a commercial. Then received another callback for the same commercial. Woo! Now I'm hold (in the midst of "first refusal"), so I'll know next week what's what. Either way, it's been a blast!


I'm also in rehearsals for "Perspectives," a cabaret celebrating the first year of fabulousness (and next year's lineup) at Stomping Ground Theatre Company. I was fortunate to be hired by this fantastic company as Truvy in Steel Magnolias, and I'm beyond delighted to be part of the cabaret. I'm singing the joyous anthem, "Yes" by Kander and Ebb, and the duet from Sunday in the Park with George, "Move On," by Stephen Sondheim. Scott Koonce is my George :) And I'm loving every minute of it!


If you'd like to come to the cabaret, old chum, it's on Saturday September 30th at 8 PM at 410 West 40th Street (bet. 9th and 10th Ave). Suggested donation $15. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Trek

When I was on vacation a few weeks ago, there were a TON of caterpillars, and they were so delightful! These fuzzy little creatures were orange and black, and had unique variations of those two colors. They were all trekking across this dirt road to get to a field of trees, where my husband said they would build their cocoons.


Then I got back to Manhattan, and I've been seeing butterflies everywhere, even on people!


So I asked myself, Which stage are you in? Are you making the trek to create your cocoon, or is it time to acknowledge your wings, to open them and FLY? Right now, it's that last one, and I feel like I'm just opening my wings, testing them, knowing I have to take a leap and trust that I can fly!



There are many stages of life in which I'll go through The Trek, The Cocoon, and The Flight, and I want to celebrate it ALL!

Hope you are too! :)