Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In Good Company

It has been such a glorious Spring! I just absolutely marvel at this time of year.

Coming from the dry desert town of Hemet, CA, where we actually have "tumbleweed season" in the Winter with tumbleweeds almost as big as cars (see the pic I took on my visit last winter for proof), the seasonal changes on the East Coast have always been a source of inspirational delight to me.

So last week I brought out my camera to snap some shots of the gorgeous blooms springing up all over Manhattan.

Last week I also took part in the reading of the new play, Sin, based on Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story, adapted by Mark Altman, and it was one of the most amazing readings I've ever done. Some readings consist of actors with their scripts, sitting at a table, or with scripts in hand, just reading out loud for the audience. This is done for many reasons, one of which is that it gives the playwright a chance to hear the script performed for a live audience and to see how the material is received. Well, this reading for Sin was very well received.

It took place at the 78th Street Lab Theatre, which is such a neat place! You definitely have to be cool with climbing stairs because the mainstage is 2 flights up, but once you get into the theatre, the whole place just exudes creativity. Bare brick walls enclosed us, and with the theme of this play being all about people being torn apart by sin and the hell that follows, it was very fitting.

Surprisingly, the play had a great balance of humor and pathos, and our director Robert Z. Kalfin kept us on our feet for the reading, creating a natural sense of movement for these characters that was very engaging for all of us as well as the audience.

The cast was FANTASTIC, led by the lovely Lee Beltzer, the radiant Marilyn Chris, our delicious devil Ronald Guttman, the hilarious Larry Hankin, my Hell's Belles buddy Deborah Radloff, and me. Casting director Irene Stockton brought us all together, and it was such a privilege to work with these amazing people! Just... WOW!

And next week I'm jumping into rehearsals for the next phase of production of the revised script for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn with the Peccadillo Theatre Company, another incredible company of players, so the wow-factor continues. It is such a blessing to be growing and blooming with such amazing artists. AND I get to run around through the blooms of Manhattan as I make my way to and from the theatre. So cool!

Friday, April 18, 2008


I love the universal language of signs. From danger red to cautionary yellow to greenlight go! With so much going on in our lives, it's good to pay attention to the signs.

This week one of my favorite column writers, LA casting director Bonnie Gillespie, addressed the importance of being a smart artist with the new business model of self-publishing. I find this especially well timed because one of my dear friends, Tina Sams from The Essential Herbal, is about to self-publish a gorgeous book detailing the first 5 years of her self-published herbal magazine, and it looks awesome!

Adding to this realm, I've been taking classes in html and Dreamweaver so I can take over the maintenance and promotion of my website (created by my guy Rob at who is focusing his efforts on being the visual planner for Godiva chocolates - yum!), and I absolutely LOVE the creative expression that accompanies this! Digging into the code, troubleshooting, playing with text and images and linking it all together... it's a blast!

Even further, I'm taking a film class via One on One Productions with casting director Ellen Parks, and I must say what everyone says: Whenever you can, take classes! By seeing what others go through in a class environment and experiencing it yourself, you cannot help but grow!

Lastly, twice this week it's come to my attention how important it is to do your research! Whether its for a class or an audition (and especially once I've booked a gig), I've always been a big research nut when it comes to figuring out the "world" within the script. From the playwright's style to the influences of the time period and how the characters relate to each other (and especially digging deep to see what your character wants and how they go about trying to achieve that), it never ceases to amaze me how much more can be discovered! The more tools you have in your toolbox the better!

So keep your head up, your eyes open and enjoy the ride! :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Birthday blessings

It's my birthday week and I've been inundated with blessings and love from friends and family. My sweetheart has kept me smiling with his unending rendition of "Happy Birthday," which was inspired by my nephew's 2nd birthday party. My nephew is also an Aries and he loved being sung to so much that he kept asking us to light his big "2" candle and sing to him again: "Light! Again!" And I just totally got where he was coming from. Who wouldn't want to be serenaded over and over?

Maybe it's an Aries thing. :)

I've greatly enjoyed all the serenades that have come my way this week, and I'm so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life. As I make my way through each day, it's the friends and loved ones who make the journey that much more enjoyable.

In other news, I booked a role in Mark Altman's adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story, The Unseen. The play is called Sin, and we're doing a reading of it next Wednesday 4/23 at 2 PM at the 78th Street Lab. It's an interesting morality tale and should be a nice stretch for my acting muscles. I play a demon "cursed with a sensitve soul."

It's funny - it just hit me that last year around this time, I had auditioned at the same theatre for a role in Arlene Hutton's beautiful Nibroc Trilogy, Gulf View Drive. The playwright herself was at the audition and she was so gracious. The play of course was already cast with actors who had been with the show almost from the beginning, so Ms. Hutton invited me as her guest to see a performance. What an honor and privilege! And such a good piece of theatre! Haunting and humorous at the same time. Quite a feat!

And here I'll be performing at the Lab in a darkly humorous piece next week. What a trip!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Got the gig!

Yesterday was GORGEOUS! I got to run around the theatre district in the luscious sunshine, delighting in the blossoming trees and beautiful blue sky. What a great day to be out and about!

I made it through the final callbacks for the revival of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, again getting to "tread the boards" of the Theatre at St. Clements where I played the Singing Nun 2 years ago. The audition went beautifully. It was a pleasure to sing and read for the production team, including director Dan Wackerman. We ended my session by reminiscing about Jean Harlow since I seemed to remind them of this glamorous gal. Dan said to check out her film Dinner at Eight. You know I will!

And later that day, I got the offer to join the cast for Tree. I'm so excited to be a part of this! It's a beautiful show with great music.

Very cool stuff.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Got a callback for the next phase of production for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn!!!! Reading scenes for the production team today. I'm SO EXCITED!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Play on!

So much good stuff happening!

My original short story, Fairy Parade, compiled in the book The Fairy Home Companion, an Essential Herbal publication, has been reprinted for the 3rd year. Woo! I love being able to cultivate my writing with other fabulous writers via this amazing compilation.

I've also in the midst of writing a 2 person show with my Hell's Belles partner in crime, Deborah Radloff, so that's been cooking in my head.

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of singing for director Dan Wackerman and his crew at the Theatre at St. Clement's. I was called in to sing for the next phase of production for the new script of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and it was such a delight to be at St. Clement's again. It was like coming home in a way, because I had played the Singing Nun in the same theatre and it was so nice to be in the space again.

I'm also bouncing into classes! Tonight I'm taking a Dreamweaver class because in this day and age of do-it-yourself-ism, I LOVE learning how to expand my horizons via the web. Speaking of which, I finally had a chance to edit my song clips, so you'll find shorter versions of most of my vocal work, specifically the Janis Joplin piece, "Sex Drugs Booze and Rock n Roll." :)

And next week I'm taking a film class with renowned casting director Ellen Parks. I'm really excited to meet her because I LOVE her style of casting and I particularly enjoy the films she has worked on. So.... stay tuned! :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Spring Showers

I LOVE this time of year! Everything's in bloom and daffodils seem to have popped up in Manhattan overnight! They're everywhere! Near the Laura Pels Theatre on the way to the Actors' Equity building... planted near trees on the sidewalks... and of course, they're flourishing in the parks throughout the city. I'm in heaven! Love these cheery little flowers!

I feel like I'm in bloom too! :) I've been receiving really wonderful responses from people at my auditions. One production team visibly relaxed and opened up to the ride I was inviting them on, and at the end of the song, everyone was quiet but intensely involved...holding onto that last moment of my song. And the director finally broke the silence, saying, "What IS this moment in theatre called?" And I said (after a beat), "...a lovely moment?" And he said, "YES! A truly lovely moment!"

So I feel greatly encouraged.

I also got a call to come audition for the next presentation of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I had participated in the reading of the new script in February, where the script was performed by actors while the songs were sung separately by contracted singers. At this next stage of the building-a-show process, they will now need actors who can sing for the producers. And I am so thrilled to be brought in for this next step, to be recognized as an actress and a singer. :)

I've also been reading a bunch of plays and listening to all sorts of musicals, just opening myself to new stuff, and I am in love! Theresa Rebeck and Douglas Carter Beane have absolutely charmed the pants off me with their incredible plays! A few years ago, I'd read Mr. Beane's Country Club and As Bees in Honey Drown, but I just finished The Little Dog Laughed and was absolutely blown away by the characters, comedy, tone, and passionate pathos behind all of it. Likewise with Ms. Rebeck's Mauritius, it was an absolute headtrip of great characters and rich drama. Mmm! A feast for any artist!

So I am certainly enjoying this Spring, even though its raining today. April showers tend to make the city cleaner and fresher, and certainly make the flowers bloom.