Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Full Plate

What's your favorite meal? Many of my friends say Thanksgiving dinner, because it's such a fun, full time of feasting on their favorite dishes. And while we have a month or two to go before we get to Thanksgiving, I feel like my acting career is mirroring this time of Plenty. My plate is filling up nicely with so many delicious projects, and of course, there's always room for more! ;)

I'm recording a song for a major project on Monday. Don't know how much I can say about it, so I'll leave it at that.

I'm also working on material for classes and auditions. I have a "table reading" of a new musical coming up in October, another major recording in November, and I'm researching a project for 2011, which is not far off!

While juggling all this, I've been so fortunate to be supported by friends, family, and by my wonderful husband, who's been so amazing through this time of growth and transition.

Messages of love and support abound! The best advice I've received is "You are you, and that is enough."

I think any artist worries about being/doing "enough," and it's important to realize that whatever we bring to the table is truly good enough.

Still, like any chef, athlete or artisan, I continue to work on my craft each day, nurturing myself and striving to do my best every day. It's wonderful to stretch and grow along the way! I'm never one to rest on my laurels, and I embrace this time! I am enough!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Working Weekend

I have a lot of delicious stuff on my plate this weekend.

I have a scene from the play, Psych by Evan Smith, to memorize for Monday night's acting class.

Musical and monologue prep-work for auditions this week.

And I'm singing for a major recording on Oct. 4th, so I'm working on music for that.

Exciting stuff!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to School

When I first moved to New York, I had been accepted into the American Musical & Dramatic Academy. It was my dream to study musical theatre in New York City, and so there I was, making my dream come true!

Shortly out of school, I booked some lovely gigs in CA and PA, and worked steadily as an actor for quite a few years. At that time it never occurred to me to continue my education, because I was learning and developing and applying my skills "on the job."

So when I moved back to New York,  and decided to focus on doing work here, in the city, I found myself doing a lot of Off Off Broadway that didn't pay enough for me to make a living. So I had to supplement my income, and let me tell ya, I've done it all: waiting tables, temp jobs, you name it.

I got lucky with an office gig that's artist-friendly, and they've been great about working around my acting schedule, giving me time off for out-of-town gigs, and rehearsals and performances Off Broadway. They've been with me every step of the way - from Off Off Broadway to Off Broadway - and they said they hope I'll keep working with them til I get my Tony. :)

This reminds me of Susan Blackwell's great interview, "Why I Keep My Day Job." She's a marvelous actress, whom I recently saw in my friend, Andy Monroe's Off Broadway show, The Kid.

In between acting gigs and juggling my thrival job, as Bonnie Gillespie calls it, I've discovered the importance of going back to acting classes. I don't know why I resisted it before. Maybe there was a pompous, "Oh I don't need to do that," kind of naivete, but I tell you, going back to school has been the best thing for me! And I've discovered that major movie stars and top quality actors whom I admire never stop studying with a good coach. It's essential.

So I'm very grateful for my teachers who've nurtured me along the way.

There have been life-changers like Karen Kohlhaas and her Monologue Audition class, in which Karen covers the importance of how to walk into an audition room. You'd never think of how important that is, but it's HUGE! Your body language and attitude signal so much about you before you even open your mouth. And how you walk out of the room, and how you mentally talk to yourself as you walk out of the room, are just as important.

Her steps on "Audition After Care" are PRICELESS.  Seriously, get her book or study with her if you can.

Currently, I'm in an awesome scene study class with Alaine Alldaffer at One on One, and it's another class where I feel any and every actor would benefit from it. Simply amazing!

Also, this week I bounce back into Josh Pais' Committed Impulse Master Class, and I can't wait! This class is such an incredible workout. It's in-the-moment acting!

And that's what hit me the other day when someone asked me why I still go to acting class. Yes, I learn from every audition and performance I do, but acting classes are a workout. They keep my acting skills in shape.

Look at an athlete or a concert musician. You think they just do their jobs "on the fly"? No way! They practice for hours and hours every day!

"People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." - Sandy Koufax

You have to do what you love every day. So I go into my lessons with great joy and a sense of expansion. I love putting what I've learned into practice at auditions and in performances. What we learn nurtures us and gives us fuel to move forward in all areas of our life.

Enjoy your lessons!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I have seen so many cool signs this week. It's like getting a bunch of green lights while driving down the street.

On Monday I started an awesome scene study class at One on One studios. It’s such a lovely place – lots of wood and warm colors. And they have inspiring quotes here and there.

My favorites are, “Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

And “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliot

There’s also this great black and white photo of Marilyn Monroe at The Actors Studio. It just inspires me!

It’s been such a lovely week, starting this new scene study class, and then the callback on Tuesday for a new musical. Just wonderful!

Now I’m working on music for an upcoming recording session in October, as well as researching a book for a new play. And I’m savoring my audition material: songs, monologues, scenes, you name it! I love the work!

A friend recently asked how I stay so positive. To quote Winston Churchill again, “I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Favorite Place to Be Today

Singing and acting here:
I had a callback for a new musical, and it was just rapturous to be here.
I love this place.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Fruitfulness of Fall

I love this time of year. The cool breezes, the sights, the sounds and delicious smells!

There are all these Farmer Markets in the city, and I get so excited when I see the apples come out at this time of year. The apple cider smelled particularly yummy this morning.

This month is especially delicious because I got a callback for a new Off Broadway musical. YAY! I'm doing all these recordings (voice overs, songs, scenes) with friends I worked with in the past. And I'm working with a writer-director on a play for the 2011-2012 season. Really exciting stuff!

I just feel so blessed and bouyant and full of possibility! Wheeee!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Last Days of Summer

New York stores have been promoting the "Last Days of Summer" for a few weeks now, and it makes me laugh, because I know a few states will continue to enjoy summer weather for a few weeks more!

When I was a kid, I used to cling to the last days of summer. I'd spend as much time as I could in the pool.

I guess not much has changed. This summer, I've still enjoyed being in a pool! :)

But as an adult, I understand that the Fall yields a very fruitful harvest. I almost always seem to be doing some fun gig in the Autumn, and this year I have quite a few things I'm working on.

I'm doing a Voice Over tomorrow, and I'm recording some songs for my Singing Nun composer, Andy Monroe on Wednesday. Really fun tunes!

In October and November, I'm working on a new project with orchestrator, Larry Moore, who also worked on The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun. He most recently worked on the Broadway production of Finian's Rainbow, and I'm delighted to be working with him once again!

So I have a lot of lovely work to do, learning lines and new songs, and I'm enjoying every minute of it! :)