Monday, November 30, 2009

The Gift of a Performance

My honey and I were watching some old Ed Sullivan clips last night, and I swear it was like traveling back in time. There were the Beach Boys, The Doors, and Sly and the Family Stone. These were bands my parents grew up with, and then my brother and I discovered them. That had to make my parents laugh, hearing us groove to tunes they'd rocked out to as kids.

My friend, Tina, blew my mind by telling me she'd actually SEEN Sly and the Family Stone live, as well as The Grateful Dead, Arlo Guthrie (whom I don't know, but you can bet I'll check him out!), James Taylor and Carol King. Can you imagine seeing all these people perform live? I'm still simmering from the performances I got to see on PBS last night!

And this whole thing has reminded me of how incredible art and music is, how it moves us and inspires us and pulsates with this great sense of sharing. Generations can be bridged! It's too cool. And it inspires me to press on, to find my freedom and expansion and joy in my art.

I tell ya, watching Sly and the Family Stone rock out with such unbridled jubilation... it made me want to go there and Dance to the Music! :)

Follow your bliss! Groove with your muse!

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Dig the life fantastic."

I saw The Fantastic Mr. Fox yesterday, and I'm still grooving with it.

Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors. His films are always so layered and a delight to visit (and re-visit) - from the incredible color palettes of The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to the emotional rollercoaster rides of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums! I still need to see Bottle Rocket. :)

The Fantastic Mr. Fox was a wonderful adventure about family and community. Yes, it's about a family of foxes and their neighboring animals, but it struck me as so human, because Mr. Fox talks about why he is the way he is and how he doesn't "want to live in a hole anymore," that he's most alive when he's being true to his nature. There's also a great scene where he points out the strengths of all the other animals, and I just saw it as a great testament to recognizing each other for who we are and why we do what we do.

"Influenced in part by Le roman de Renard (1930) ("The Story of the Fox"), a stop-motion film by Russian animator Wladyslaw Starewicz based on the trickster fox of medieval European folklore. It inspired Wes Anderson to use the bristling textures of real animal hair, as well as sets and puppets of varying sizes."

I really enjoyed the artistry of the film, and feel inspired as I embark on my own fantastic adventures.

There's a sense of artistry in every aspect of my life right now, from planning my wedding, to working on a solo show project (The 20 Monologue Challenge) and cultivating the cabaret I've been wanting to do, to nurturing the short film ideas that are bouncing around my brain.

This is an exciting time, and I am looking forward to enjoying each step of the way and celebrating each bountiful blessing of the harvest!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Fun Factor

Last week was jam-packed! In the midst of planning my wedding and hitting auditions, I went go-kart racing with my office-mates from my support job...

I also had a presentation to do for Karen Kohlhaas' Advanced Monologue Workshop. I tell ya, studying with Karen has been so life-changing for me as an artist. The homework has been awesome!

This class focused on choosing monologues that got us out of our comfort-zone. Plus we looked at the business aspect of show business and had to come up with a game-plan for reaching daily/monthly/yearly and 2 year-goals.

I created a daily monologue and song workout and set monthly goals that included gym-time, nutritional goals, training, self-made-productions, and something I like to call The Fun Factor.

See, you have to have fun. Each and every day! Life's too short not to include Fun on the to-do list. Don't you think?

And actually, one of my best friends reminded me to incorporate this into my wedding planning as well. So I'll tell you what I've been doing that's been fun!

I loved trying on 10-20 dresses with my Mom in some little bridal boutique in CA. Imagine a tiny stucco shop in the desert - I think it was even near the railroad tracks - but they had absolutely beautiful dresses inside. Just goes to show: don't judge a book by its cover!

Mom and I had a blast looking through the gowns, which were all top-quality, but nothing really called to me as THE dress, so for fun we went to our favorite thrift store, The Assistance League. It's wonderfully clean and they always get great things in.

Well, don't you know they had a wedding dress and train that they had just received! It was pristine! Not a mark on it! In fact, my designer believes it was used as a prototype for other gowns because of how it was put together.

The gown fit really well in the bodice, and the rest could be easily tailored, and the price was beyond right, so my mom quickly snapped it up for me. Thanks, Mom!

And everyone in the little shop went wild with cheering that a bride had found her dress at their place. It was a really neat moment.

Then my sweetheart's co-worker, Annamarie Ferrando, offered to assist with altering the gown. She's a ballroom dancer, a la Strictly Ballroom, and she's been refashioning gowns for a long time! So she took on this project with glee and has absolutely transformed the dress! I hesitate to show too much of it here, because I want my honey to be surprised when I walk down the aisle. :)

Annamarie and I had a blast running all over midtown Manhattan this weekend in the misty rain. She took me to all the sewing shops, and we found almost everything we needed: gloves, veil; I bought shoes earlier in the week, and I really enjoyed going to places I'd never been to before, finding all sorts of beautiful treasures. I swear, Manhattan is magical, because just when you think you "know" this city, it opens up another door and says, "Look what else I can show you!"

The other fun stuff? The cake:

It's based on this design, and it's a TOTAL CHOCOLATE EXTRAVAGANZA!!! :) We met the cake-maker, Pam of PamKakes, whose shop is in McAdoo. I just love saying that! McAdoo! What a great little town. And Pam herself is lovely!

The other cool stuff: Rob being with me 100% of the way, showing such love and support and his usual sense of humor. We've laughed a lot, and that's been key. It's really kind of a testament to how well we work together.

So yeah! I'm having fun! :) Hope you are too!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Wedding Wows

The Fall is always a busy time for me. Usually I'm in the midst of juggling shows, and while I've been busy with readings, auditions and acting classes, this year is especially exciting because I'm planning an event that is incredibly close to my heart: my wedding.

My sweetheart, Rob, has been awesome about helping me with it. It's such a testament to how we always do things together - with a sense of adventure! So welcome to our wedding adventure!

On Friday we went to get our marriage license. The building was plain and simple, but inside, there were books upon books filled with marriage licenses. It was kind of cool to think that we were adding our names to the book, so to speak.

Then we were off to meet the pastor, Reverend Jane at Faith UCC. She is a really cool pastor and I'm glad she'll be doing our wedding. The church itself is very welcoming and has a really nice vibe. We've been to many events there, including Rob's sister's wedding, and it's going to be decorated so beautifully for Christmas. I'm absolutely delighted that I'll be walking down the aisle surrounded by poinsettias and pine.

Then we met with the florist and were also able to squeeze in time at our favorite jewelery shop, Fellin's.

This place is so beautiful and the staff is wonderfully helpful and friendly. Rob bought my engagement ring there and has given me many other little treasures from Fellin's over the years. It was neat to shop for our rings together, and we found exactly what we were looking for!

We also visited Pam at Pamkakes. Rob's sister Lani recommended her to us, and her cakes look amazing, so even though we ordered our cake with her last month, we still wanted to drop by to say hello!

And we met with a wonderful photographer, Tom Probert (, who's starting his second career, doing what he's always loved to do. We'll be his third wedding, and his pics looked great! I'm very happy we'll be adding to his portfolio and he'll be helping us out by capturing some special moments of the day.

It's been so cool how everything for this wedding has just fallen into place. My brother-in-law remarked that it took them 2 years to do what we'd done in two days, so Rob and I felt pretty good about what we'd accomplished!

We're just so thrilled that there have been so many green lights along the way. And I am wonderfully warmed by all the love and support from our friends and families.

Looking forward to the rest of the adventure!