Friday, December 15, 2006
I'm beginning to think these things come in twos for me, because on the same day I was called back for "The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun," I was also called back for "Urinetown"!
And now today I was called in for the new musical, "Tock Tick," and yesterday I was called back for one of the leads in the short film, "The Winter Father." Both pieces are richly diverse, and I am excited to get the chance to be seen for them again. :)
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
With a new year on the horizon, I am psyched to be launching my new and improved website: http://www.lauradaniel.net
My graphic designer did a great job, and we're still making additions. I've already had a few requests for a clip of "Suddenly Seymour" from my run as Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors." And I have scenes to incorporate from the award-winning short film, "Sincerely Yours."
In the meantime, I've been keeping busy with auditions and have been receiving great response. I got lots of laughs from the folks at Alchemy Theatre, Gotham Stage Company, and Christian Parker of The Atlantic Theatre Company while auditioning for their upcoming comedies. On the musical front I made a strong impression with my rendition of "Be A Lion" for the new musical "Frankenstein," and they asked me to sing more.
It's great to see people physically sit up and take notice of my work. Each audition is an adventure!
Monday, November 20, 2006
We took our seats and I found my dinner mates to be absolutely delightful!
I also met the playwright and producer, JB Edwards, who was a fascinating fellow. We discussed our love for funny screen sirens of the 40s.
There were a bunch of winners, some of whom were established Broadway folks, while some of us are making our way to Broadway, and there was a wonderful sense of camaraderie.
Friday, November 17, 2006
The New York Musical Theatre Festival hosted the event, and it was their "first" too! :) Isaac Hurwitz, the Executive Producer for NYMF, called me a few weeks prior to give me the good news that I would be receiving NYMF's Award of Excellence for Outstanding Individual Performance for my role as the title character in The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun. So I had a few weeks to prepare.
I consulted Singing Nun costume designer Bobby Pearce and he said, "You can't go wrong with a classic black dress." My musical theatre coach, VP Boyle, was also instrumental in pointing me in the right direction.
I wanted to find a dress that embodied my own sense of style, so when I saw this little black and white satin number, I just knew it was for me! It fit on so many levels and made me feel fabulous! Also it went beautifully with my favorite pair of shoes: classic black Prada heels.
Jewelry was next, but since the dress was so spectacular, I didn’t want to go too crazy, so I was thrilled when I found a pair of pearly earrings that were like dazzling cascades of light. Just the perfect touch!
I also had a black velvet, satin-trimmed purse and coat that fit neatly with the whole ensemble, and I marveled at how getting dressed for a special evening can be an event unto itself!
The day of the gala was misty and gray, wrapping the city in a dreamlike quliaty. I hit the gym in the morning and then enjoyed the afternoon with my boyfriend. When evening came, I took my time getting ready and enjoyed each moment. A girlfriend who moonlights as a makeup artist helped me with my makeup, and I really felt like Cinderella getting ready for the ball.
When I left the apartment to hail a cab, the taxi that stopped for me was one of the newer yellow-orange van-cabs, so I couldn't help but giggle as I stepped into my own pumpkin-like coach.
I zoomed through the streets of Manhattan and arrived at the beautiful Hudson Theatre on 44th Street. When I arrived, the lobby was teaming with people dressed to the nines. It was the meet-and-greet cocktail hour, so everyone was chatting loudly and catching up with each other. I just joined in the fun and introduced myself to everyone I met!
To be continued..... :)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
It is just incredible, knowing that I am going to be meeting some of the best and brightest people who make theatre happen on Broadway. Sutton Foster, Beth Leavel and Bob Martin from "The Drowsy Chaperone" will be there. And Broadway producer Kevin McCollum is the guest of honor.
To top it all off, I will be receiving the NYMF Award of Excellence for Outstanding Individual Performance for my role in "The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun." I am just amazed and incredibly honored.
The show received photo coverage on BroadwayWorld.com and there were some lovely reviews.
This whole experience feels like a dream come true, and it is! It is such a joyous time!
I've been running around Manhattan, consulting friends on what to wear for the gala, and the support and encouragement have been wonderful! I feel so blessed to have this extended family of friends watching out for me, sharing this wild ride with me.
It is only the beginning. :)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I just finished playing the title character in the new musical, "The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun" (shown left). It was an exhilirating experience, performing in a brand new musical, and it was such an honor to bring this real-life woman to the stage.
In researching the real Sister Smile, I fell in love with her and her drive to make music and find a higher truth of spirituality. She really felt a strong connection to the divine, but she was also confused by drugs, alcohol and her own lesbian yearnings. Truly an incredible character to explore!
Of course, our musical "take" on her life was narrated by a drag-queen (wonderfully played by Stephen Michael Rondel)who imagined he had adventured with the Singing Nun, so there was some obvious poetic license. But so much of her real story was in there, and it was wonderful to have people respond to our tale.
The music was a blast, and it was thrilling to sing it! Andy Monroe composed and wrote most of the lyrics, along with Blair Fell, who wrote the script. The whole process of working on a brand new musical was incredibly rewarding, and we were guided along by one of the most brilliant directors I have ever encoutered, Michael Schiralli.
The cast was an absolute dream and the crew was exceptional! Everyone put their "all" into the project, and audiences really seemed to respond to this heartfelt endeavour. I heard so many good things from friends, family, and complete strangers who felt such a connection to the show that they had to tell me about it. That was truly remarkable.
The cherry on the cake? I'm receiving The New York Musical Theatre Festival's Award of Excellence for Outstanding Individual Performance.
NYMF is having their first-ever gala on November 12, and they will be presenting awards to selected artists who performed in the festival. They are also honoring Kevin McCollum, the Broadway producer behind such hits as "RENT," "Avenue Q," and "The Drowsy Chaperone."
I am on Cloud 9! :)
Friday, September 08, 2006
I was called back twice for Urinetown at the Gateway Playhouse, I had a callback for the Broadway production of Hairspray, and I was offered the title role in the brand new musical, "The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun."
The minute I read the script and began to research the real Sister Smile, I was hooked! It is an incredible story of the meteoric rise to fame of the Belgian nun who wrote the song, "Dominique." Sadly, her life after that one hit was quite tragic as she became addicted to pills and alcohol, hence the "tragedy" of the title. But there is plenty of "heart" here also, as this is a woman who struggled to find her "truth" and also tried to come to grips with her love for a woman.
The tale is told by a drag queen nun named Coco Callmeishmael, so right away you know this show is going to be out of this world. But that's the charm of it: outrageous one moment, heartfelt the next.
The brilliant comedy writer Blair Fell first wrote the play about the Singing Nun almost 10 years ago. Producers George Demarco and David Gerard thought it would make a fantastic musical. And right they are!
Composer/lyricist Andy Monroe has a gift for creating music that delights the heart and the mind and takes you on an amazing journey. The opening number is brilliantly catchy and driven, and there's a pop love ballad in the middle of the show that will haunt you.
Director Michael Schiralli is an absolute gift! He has worked with some of the greatest performers of our time, and it is miraculous to be working with him. He understands the comedy and the tragedy of the piece, and is the perfect guide on this musical ride.
The cast is exceptional! The crew is so talented! Music Director Robby Stamper is an absolute guiding light, and our stage manager, Mel McCue, is so organized, all while remaining professional, compassionate, and funny.
I feel like I've won the lotto!
Playing Sister Smile is especially rewarding. Getting to sing all this new music as well as the famous "Dominque".... There's something so magical about it. And the character is an actor's dream, providing the opportunity to explore broad humor and absolute heartbreak in the same show. Truly a magnificent experience.
Tickets are selling fast - we're already sold out for opening and closing night at St. Clements Theatre on 46th Street. But the real hope is that this show - like so many others at the NYMF will be picked up for a long-term run Off Broadway or even Broadway. It's a good show - I'm so in love with it - and I think everyone will be moved by it too. I certainly hope so. :)
Friday, July 14, 2006
Yes, I'm a "what the Bleep" fan. LOVE that movie and what it does for the consciousness and creative and subconsciousness!
Anyway, the recent article from "The Bleeping Herald" asked the question, "Can we be the change we want to see (in the world) without doing anything?" It's a big being/nothingness vs. doing kind of thing, and that trips me out because that has been on my mind this week.
And my answer is that we ARE the answer. Whether we are meditating, "being," existing, we DO, ACT, THINK and MOVE. We be and we do and we cannot help but be/do both. :)
I believe we are here to help each other, to be with each other, to interact with each other and progress together. Perhaps it's just the thought of the day, but I can't help but think of the people who have inspired me and who hopefully I have inspired as well to live and love and be as fully alive and aware as we all can be. :)
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
"Theater humanizes; all art humanizes. It takes us away from the merely logical and rational... and can reach people in a different and deeper place than reading a news article or listening to a speech: there is an emotional aspect that for some people can be more long-lasting and motivating. " - Cindy and Craig Corrie
I hope everyone will read her emails, hear her voice. I did and realized that in researching this woman and her history for a play, I became INFORMED. I learned about the horrors going on in this world and a quest for peace that ended in tragedy. But the quest goes on... My world was broadened because of "finding" Rachel Corrie, and I am grateful for that.
"Many people want their voices to be heard, and I think we need to use some of our privilege as internationals to get those voices heard directly in the US, rather than through the filter of well-meaning internationals such as myself. I am just beginning to learn, from what I expect to be a very intense tutelage, about the ability of people to organize against all odds, and to resist against all odds." - Rachel Corrie
I can't believe I never saw the power of theatre to TEACH and educate the masses. It's an awesome discovery and it solidifies my desire to do quality work in my art.
And also... to find a way to send light and love into the darkest of places. There must be hope. Always.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I had some great helpers along the way. My graphic designer boyfriend created the postcard. :)
Carl Einbeck, one of my very best friends, who is also a brilliant writer and actor, always wanted to try his hand at directing, so he came on board and did a fabulous job at directing the show. Chas Elliott, voice coach and opera aficionado, took on the role of music director and pianist and played beautifully.
Both nights and both venues were packed with full houses, and the audiences seemed to enjoy the show. Lots of laughs and joyous comments.
I had so much love and support and encouragement just getting to where I needed to be, and once I performed the piece, I received tons of fabulous feedback, mostly with people asking, "When are you going to do it again?"
It felt great!
Friday, April 14, 2006
My friend, Tina, recently brought her daughter to the city to enjoy the wilds of Manhattan. She detailed a lot of it in her blog, and you HAVE to see her recent blog on the wildflowers in PA: http://theessentialherbal.blogspot.com/
My childhood friend, Lisa, recently had a snow day with her family in Idyllwild, CA, and boy, did they get a lot of snow!
She took her nephew sledding with her brother-in-law, daughter, and husband, Robert (below), who's a real doll.
Her daughter Savvy recently graduated to green belt in karate and we're all very proud of her.
There is so much love in my life.
And the big news of the week was the birth of my nephew: John Drobnock III. Isn't he a cutey? I thank the Universe for bringing so much love and joy into my life. Such treasures! :)
Friday, February 17, 2006
Well, it's been a fun week in the big Apple. We got hit by a major blizzard on Sunday. It was a total whiteout from my apartment window on the 19th floor! the next day the city was white white white, and I had fun taking some pics:
I also started a new acting for musical theatre workshop with VP Boyle called The Musical Theatre Forum: http://www.maxtheatrix.com/mtfinfo.html
It is a PHENOMENAL workshop and the people in the class are incredibly talented! I'm learning a bunch and feel like I'm ready for lift-off! :)
My homework for the class was to investigate famous comediennes and to incorporate the technical aspects of comedy into my songs (apparently, I'm pretty funny without even trying - who knew?), so I started a list of all my favorites: Madeline Kahn, Kristin Chenoweth, Mo Gaffney, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, Bette Midler and Betty Grable. A friend reminded me of Rosalind Russel in Auntie Mame so I'll be watching that film for the hundredth time! :)
A comedienne I'm really interested in seeing is an actress from the 50s - Judy Holliday: http://www.wtv-zone.com/lumina/judy/main.html
She only did a few films, was reknowned for her stage work and her brilliant comedy on stage and screen. I'm hoping to get a hold of "Born yesterday," the film, to see her in action. Can't wait! I'm completely inspired! :)
Monday, January 09, 2006
The film was such an interesting experience. I've done background and stand-in work for The Sopranos and Sex and the City, so I knew how long a shoot could go: 12-14 hours a day usually amounts to a 1-3 minute scene. So to play the lead in this upcoming short film meant putting in some long hours, but it should well be worth it.
Hair and makeup alone took a few hours for me, because they took me from my usual self (on the left) to the Bride of Frankenstein (on the right). My character was a bit kooky and the director had a specific look in mind for me. It took some getting used to, but I ended up feeling like Madeline Kahn, which was great fun.
So Mel Brooks, if you're looking for the next Madeline Kahn for your musical version of "Young Frankenstein," I'm your girl! :)