Thursday, December 31, 2009

Almost showtime...

And I am taking advantage of the fact that the boys are in Laguna to catch up on much needed ablutions. Roots disguised, legs de-furred, eyebrows elegant.
Looking back on the year, I have to admit that it wasn't as bad for me as it seems to have been for so many people. Honestly, when you ALREADY live hand to mouth, the recession isn't that much of a shock.
Lessee... things accomplished... shot quite a few industrials, not a lot of lolly, but SOMETHING, taught quite a bit, got a production of CW up, (which I have been a complete and utter pest about) sent innumerable letters out and had some good responses, taught myself musical notation with Todd Hendricks help, got better about singing auditions, wrote a TYA script based in Shakespeare. Nothing terribly concrete, but pushing onwards.
Still stuck in our wigwam, with no out date yet. Losing a bit of hope that we are going to get a loan.
Still and all, more or less, we broke even this year. A bit of an achievement considering the Great Recession.
Looking back on it, 2009 will be the year of the eh's, as in "not so much, eh.". But with joy. Lionel joy, love joy. My hand raised fish. The fact that the cat no longer bites my ankles. My joy of a private student. My parents. Trip to Catalina. A couple of interesting workshops at SCR. My sweet man. Pandora radio. Celtx. Top Valu marinated steak. Champagne. My slowly recovering figure. The gym. Cowboy boots. Pho. Oysters. etc.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Oh how the bellz.....

What a special Christmas. Lionel was old enough to appreciate and enjoy his role as gift receiver and xmas elf extraordinaire. My parents drove down on the eve and Mami made bright yellow arepas and bouncy round buñuelos. We laughed so much as L gave us each our presents and helped to unwrap everything. Xmas day we went to Laguna with Auntie Grand and Friend Eliza. T cooked a turkey, I made oyster stew and we all made merry indeed, singing carols and laughing until it was time to come home. I had a fun show with Killer, with good and beloved pals on Saturday, as did the underdone potato, then Sunday at the club with Grandpa Robin, Babwwa and family, all. Much joy to L to have EVERY grandparent there for his fun and delectation. After everyone left T, L and I stayed on and had cocktails, L's juice only, ours slightly more adult, and cuddled. L played with a vast assortment of kiddies and t and I snuggled and canoodled. Home. Boys a' snoozin' and me in a hot bath.... sigh, yum, Christmas mischief managed, to steal Kristinas excellent phrase. Filled with food and love. Happy.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The most surprising gift I ever received.

The CLEVEREST gift I've ever received was a Sapphire ring that T got me that was an exact copy of the one Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana. I of course immediately quipped that I would be avoiding tunnels from now on. I do treasure that ring, though, it had sentimentality without sap, humour, and sparkles. The perfect giftie.
Now the most SURPRISING gift I've ever received: My son was born early and had a few problems, so he was put in NICU for four days. It was devastating for me, because the hospital where I gave birth didn't have the facilities to care for him, so he was sent to The Children's hospital many miles away. My doc released me early, so I could haul my poor, aching body to Lilos hospital every day and be with him. The gift was, and ew, I know, sappy, sweet-sy, gooey.... but still magical, he came home on Christmas day 2006.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

"You have to think you`ll be one of the ones who makes it." Ron Eldard

What a nutso week. T opened Christmas Carol last night, but he was in previews all week, I had a slew of difficult auditions, and Miriam had an eye procedure. I had a minor panic at the beginning thinking we were never going to get it all coordinated drive wise, baby wise, schedule wise. Audition wise, at least, was stimulating and interesting. Theatre is my first love and what keeps me excited, BUT I am a very specific type, a soubrette. And my age is dicey on either end. Usually I throw up my hands when I get called in for shows, I don't do kitchen sink, I don't do subtle and I don't do small. I'm not bragging. I know what I do as an actor. I am CAPABLE of doing deep, little work, but no-one is all that interested in casting me in it. But what I CAN do, big, theatrical, classical, dirty, gritty and generally bitchy, I do very, very well. So it was fun to muck into scripts where I could simply BE in the roles. I enjoy ACTING, without worrying about trying to shoehorn myself into something I am not.
As an acting teacher, I try to emphasize to my students: Know who you are! For many years I longed to be the delicate little princess, the ingenue, the ice queen. Nice thought, but it didn't produce much work for me. It was when I embraced my TYPE, and stopped begging that I finally began to get cast in interesting roles.
Auditioning is ALWAYS icky for me, I hate it. My stomach churns, my knees shake, I feel like running away. What helps me is to over- prepare, know the material cold, and trust that my cockiness and technique will keep me from fainting in the room.
I don't think I am going to book either of the shows I really liked, but this was a good week in terms of trusting myself, and doing my best work. I feel more like Ali, and less like Frasier.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

C'mon Vogue

If I had a choice between chucking my cel or my subscription to Vogue, I would be learning how to send smoke signals. I'll never give up my Vogue. It arrives, wrapped in plastic, advertising a far inferior magazine, I unwrap it, breathe in the scent of Van Cleef and Arpels, Dolce and Gabbana and Anna Wintour. If I am disciplined, the magazine stays closed until I am able to draw myself a hot, hot bath, sprinkle it with Japanese grapefruit salt, and sink in for at least an hour.
The September issue always dips into the tub, so that the bottom pages tend to stick together, and I have a hard time balancing it. But OH, the joy of turning the pages and absolutely diving into a rarefied world, where the letters to the editor are uniformly considered and well written, with exquisite grammar, and the clothes are confections of tulle and marzipan and stage dust.
I think I've been reading Vogue for at LEAST 20 years. I can't remember NOT having a subscription. I was there for Linda, Cindy and Naomi. Grunge, minimalism, bold eyebrows, blonde eyebrows, straight hair, big hair, HUGE hair. The first time I ever heard of Botox and Brazilians was in the pages of Vogue. And the magazine has a way of making you feel like, "of course I know who the J sisters, or Thrum and Taxis are. And Turks and Caicos? Been there, done that", at least in print. One is never preached at, one is spoken to as if one is a select and included guest at an exclusive party thrown by Jackie Kennedy and Exene Cervenka.
At my saddest, I read the magazine for solace. The year after my son was born, when I was at the lowest ebb I had ever known, I let the subscription lapse. Re-subscribing was probably my first step towards feeling normal.
My best to you, Vogue and Conde Nast. I am alarmed that there might be a restructuring at the magazine. I am a loyal and devoted follower, please continue to be my most treasured alone time companion. Hefting an Elle into the tub would be like going from being BFF's with Coco Chanel, to paling around with Paris Hilton. Spare me the horror!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Mind yer P's and Q's at Auditions

Today I went to a couple of Actors Equity Open Calls. I mostly go to keep my brain and voice sharp and in the game. Like a pro athlete you have to put in the time in the field, although I would never go to one if there wasn't at least one character in the show that I would be right for. They HAVE to see me, since I am union, but I'm sure you can cheese people off by deliberately wasting their time. I have very little hope of getting called in from one. I am offer-only at a few places I've worked before, but have a hard time getting that foot in the door of places I have not worked(just like everyone else I'm sure).
Anyway I am at La Mirada, where the CD is the wonderful Julia Flores. I always appreciate the time she takes to make a human connection, especially in an open call, when folks are being pushed through the door, with 2 minutes and 30 seconds to do their stuff. I'm in line to go and the lady 2 places behind me is loudly and obnoxiously asking about a theatre in Rancho Cucamonga where they do TYA. That means theatre for young audiences, of which I have done a LOT, which has gotten me my health insurance, which paid for a 30,000 childbirth bill, which saved me from bankruptcy. I am also vested in my pension thanks to the TYA's
Yes, good lord, they are HARD! They are usually incredibly high energy, they are often early in the morning, they do not pay very well, etc. I'm sure anyone who has worked one of these contracts would agree. But this ancient red-jello hair dyed chick said, "Children's theatre??!!!" then stuck her finger down her throat and made a gagging reflex. Then she went on and on about how she would NEVER EVER do such a thing. Good, lady, don't do them. Don't have more fun than is criminally possible, don't be the FIRST experience these kids have in the live theatre, don't cry when a teenager tells you that your performance led her to want to do what YOU do. Also don't cackle when you are in line at an EPA. Instead of psyching me out, you made me so mad that I forgot to be nervous and sang great. I tell you, actors can be their own worse enemies. The picture is Maude Adams in one of the first TYA's, Peter Pan.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Things is lookin', well if not up, sideways...

After a long period of "REST" (Actor euphemism for being out of work) I have had more gigs in the past 14 days than practically the last 14 months, with no sign of slowing, thank Minerva! I love it when I can feed the beast and the baby at the same time. T is about to go into Christmas Carol, I have a workshop at the Rep next week and then a busy schedule of murder mysteries. Here's hope that Christmas will be the year end catch up we need to keep us out of the poorhouse.
T was reading in the paper today about a family of three here in LA who live in 350 sq ft. Our 500 is beginning not to look so bad.
I had an audition for a musical in a big theatre, and Lionel took one look at the venue and said, "No Momma, no competition." and he said it in such a blase way. I can't tell whether he hates the competition or whether there is no competition. Either way he made me laugh.
My brain aches from all the memorization. I fear sometimes that I am on the train to dementia-ville. The remote ends up in the fridge, I pour myself coffee, then can't find it 2 seconds later, I tell T amusing stories and then he refers back to them a day later and I have NO idea what he is talking about. At least the memorization is keeping the juice sluice flowing! I hope. Occasionally I throw my fellow actors under the bus, by dropping the ball, then hiding it under a table.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Health and Healthlessness

One, dear numbskull's at Healthnet dental,
my son is two. You have assigned him an adult dentist. I have to take him to said dentitsts office and likely wait around for his appointment time. He will scream. Said dentist will then file paperwork to recommend my TODDLER go to a pediatric dentist. I will have wasted a whole morning (dentist will have wasted his time as well, and probably bill the insurance.) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? This is THE stupidest thing I have dealt with so far in a CAREER of dealing with idiot health insurance.
Two, jerks at the 24 hour fitness 730 pm dance class at South Coast Metro,
Rena has been gone for 2 months. She is a fantastic, sexy creature and an excellent instructor. She came back much thinner and tired. She announces she has been having chemotherapy and is very ill, but is glad to be back teaching. You all stand there gaping at her disinterestedly. She looks crestfallen. This only reinforces my opinion that that part of the OC is full of cold hearted bastards. It would have hurt you guys to APPLAUD the girl? Keep it classy South Coast Metro.
best wishes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What could go wrong?

The vagaries of life here at the fed: The laundry room is scary, 'cause some of the old coots like to corner you and beat you down about your stance on the condo conversion, yet, there is a lady who gets ballroom dance lessons in the rec room and patio (The patio I imagine, because they can't contain their quick-step) The young man teaching her makes her float. It's lovely. Our refrigerator is one frozen tamale short of breaking down completely, the bathtub is a scabby mess, and we are CRAMMED into this studio, Yet I can walk to my current gig at The All American Melodrama and there is a party/art walk every Saturday night just one door down. The exterior is painted primer grey, but when it rains we have a superb view of the San Bernadino mountains. Sigh.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Actors Cliche.

I booked a commercial spot, in spite of the fact that I had to bring Lilo. And he hollered, cried kicked and RAN from the casting directors. The poor guy who got put in charge of L while I tried to get usable tape, looked like he aged 50 years in the interim. Hello? SAG? Studios? anyone? if we had the ability to drop off our precious and distracting kiddies at a licenced day care like they do at the gym, there would be some good work being done. Damn it. I guess I need to figure out how to make it happen. LA is just so dang BIG! A drop off in Studio City, one in Burbank, WeHO, Hollywood and the Westside. What? Trailers or RV that are movable, cheap and reliable....Can't believe I booked the bloody Ad...
Which only goes to prove, as my friend Hisa said.... I was probably wearing the right skirt that day.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Socks? Pt II

First of all, I have to acknowledge a correction about Laura Ingalls Wilder and my waxing wroth. Yes her first book was little house in the WOODS. Of Wisconsin. Thanks you Yatsu for calling me out on accuracy, BUT, THAT Little house was 45 minutes away from Dunn county, and leave Caddie her own little patch of woods say I.
Saturday we had a fantastic breakfast at The Creamery. We were joined by Blaine H. Director of Caddie and tireless theatre impresario, his lovely GF, Susan her talented husband Michael, and the inimitable Joan Graham and her whip smart daughter Jennifer. Joan and Jen starred in our previous trip out west for Tales, and are 2 of the funniest, smartest people we have the pleasure to know. They told us some great Al Franken stories and came armed with a picture of Joan and Walter Mondale, taken by pure chance at a rally. A great breakfast, great conversation and our lingering, nay, MAlingering personalities, and POW we were almost late for our matinee!
We had the pleasure of meeting David Brink, and Susan's cousins, who stopped by the Pin Cherry for snacks before the show. I had about 5 minutes to shower, put on my make up and try to make my overly curly hair presentable when we were stopped in our tracks by crisis: I had forgotten to pack black socks for T. "Wear the white ones." Say I. I am met with withering scorn. I say, my hair wet and myself less than attractive, "quick get in the car, I'll drop you off at the theatre and... BUY you socks."
Mind I am fancied up, driving unknown roads on a sock quest. I FINALLY find a Walgreens, screech to a stop, pull in, run into the store, clatter, clatter, clatter in my heels. Find black dress socks. Go to pay. The nice (But EXCRUCIATINGLY slow) lady at the register sez, "Goin' to a wedding?" "No" say I. "Not goin' to a funeral in a pink dress?""No" say I. "Well you gotta tell me why yer running in here in yer fancy dress buying black men's socks." I semi calmly explain that T wrote the show currently running at the Mabel Tainter. She was vaguely whelmed.
I arrived at the theatre, stuck T's white sox in my handbag, and took my seat.

Friday, September 25, 2009


"Socks?" I was thinking, an hour before showtime as I whizzed down Menomonies main st, "Socks?, I'm buying socks? Where the hell am I gonna find socks?"
Walgreens it turns out.
We arrived in Menomonie on Friday, in phone contact with T's collaborator Susan. Susan is the granddaughter of Carol Ryrie Brink and hence the great granddaughter of the real-life Caddie Woodhouse, whose name was changed to Woodlawn for the book. Susan was giving us directions to the Pin Cherry where we were all staying, but we Sheltanos were cruising the highways of Wisconsin, grooving on seeing what there was to see.
Our first stop was the Historic Mabel Tainter Theatre, where Caddie was being produced. Now, Menomonie is Caddies hometown, there is a Caddie Woodlawn park, her original real-life house is there, the book won a NEWBERRY award for crissakes! So why, when we pull in front of the theatre, is there a Laura Ingalls Wilder historical landmark sign?!? That damn Little House was on the PRAIRIE damn it, not in the Wisconsin woods! Shows the power of television, and it made THIS general manager and publicity agent DETERMINED to rectify the error.
The theatre is a gem, a jewel box, unbelievable. In the 1800's every small town in America had theatres and opera houses, and in keeping with the style of the period, they were high baroque. The Mabel Tainter is a particularly fine example of delightful, over-the-top ostentation.(And I use that word with love) The whole place is covered in gold-leaf, the seats are gold velvet, the curtain is gold with tassels. Exquisite.
We give ourselves a walking tour, then try to find the Pin Cherry. Silly me, I figure if it is on 650th st, that the numbers have to be consecutive. Hah! We gave ourselves a serious round and round until we found the place. No more mocking GPS'. But hey WI how about an explanation as to why 670 comes before 650 and after 540?
We do make it to the inn, eventually, and it is very pretty. The owner had a baby the night before we arrived, so she isn't there, but the best cream (FRESH) I have ever tasted is.
We meet our director, over drinks, and then toddle off for fish fry and cheese curds. If there is a heaven the clouds are made of cheese curds. Screw the diet, feed me fried cheese and let me fatten like a dairy cow!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

St Pauli girl and boy

Midwest Tour Day 1
We landed in St Paul and stayed at the St. Paul Hotel, where to my delight and chagrin Lou Reed was also staying. (Chagrin because T tried to make me talk to Lou, and I was waaay too shy.) 11 floors up, with a great view of the city.
Within walking distance of the hotel there were 5 legitimate theatres, all open and in production. The only fly in the oinkment was that they all, "Banned guns on the premises." Oh shit, thinks I, does that mean thatat all the other places everyone was packing heat?Gah.
We started our tour with a nerds eye view of St. Paul by visiting Praerie Home Companion sites, such as the Fitzgerald, the offices of MPR, Mickeys Diner and Common Good Books, Garrison Keillors personal bookstore, where I stuck Caddie postcards in every available crevise and cranny.
We ate twice at Mickeys, where their one eyed Jack took the prize for most fabulous breakfast food ever.
St Paul is a beautiful, walkable city. There is public art everywhere and preserved historic buildings. The cathedral on the top of the hill was a particularly beautiful example of Catholic grandiosity.
My red letter event was that I hopped a fence and dipped a finger into the mighty Mississippi, therby connecting myself with history to the nth degree. Actually T made me do it, I was in a dress, it was hot and I felt undignified, but to hell with it, I wanted to connect with Mark Twain.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back to St. Paul

This time last year we were prepping to go to Minnesota for, "Tales of Two Counties". We are heading back to the Midwest, this time for a new update of, "Caddie Woodlawn" with fancy schmancy Sibelius made piano score.
I can't wait. I LOVED St Paul, and we are spending the first night at the St Paul Hotel, right by Garrison Keillor and the Fitzgerald theatre. I want to move there. Is there really a lot of theatre work in the area? I Imagine it would be hard to break into the pond, but I am getting pretty sick of fiery hot, expensive and boring Southern California. Yes I know, boo-hoo for me. But we could trade our studio apartment for a HOUSE.
I want tea at the hotel, then a perambulation around the town and near the mighty Mississippi. I yearn for a change of pace.
Next we move on to Menomonie, WI the home of the real Caddie. The show is being put on at the Mabel Tainter Theatre and we get to stay at a place called the Pin Cherry Inn.
I love to travel so much. We can't take Lionel this time, but I want to instill in him a love for adventure and the willingness to jump in with both feet.

And now... blatant advertisments.

Alfie, my Mini, is in the shop AGAIN. Woe be to ye who buyeth fancy BMW engined cars. It's never less than a cool thou and 3 days to fix. Aca Automotive 5101 E Willow Street Long Beach, CA
(562) 421-1905. The jury is WAY Out on them. So I drop off the Mini on Wednesday. They call me every night and say they need it another day, 1st because the piece hasn't arrived, second day, it's the wrong part, third day, and best so far, my mechanic gets the boss to call because he KNOWS I'm going to be steamed, and he gives me a huge excuse laden explenation, up to and including blaming the mini dealership for lying about having the correct part. Gah! Still don't have the car.

On the other hand, Manuel at Tempco Radiator (1505 E Burnett St Signal Hill, CA 90755-3515 (562) 427-9740) was nice, fast and helpful. Really a good company.
On a whole different topic; I bought this new stuff for curly hair: Living Proof at Sephora. (Where, if I'm not careful I will blow the grocery money on makeup I don't need, and rarely use) Jury is still out. Yes, my hair doesn't feel greasy. Is it curlier? Perhaps. But the Frizz is still there. I long for the defined and ravishing curls of Miss Penny P.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 19 2009,Day 13 at Pinecrest lake. In an ironic turn it has been WONDERFUL to have so much room to ramble in, whilst in the family cabin. The cabin thought so small, is three times the size of our apartment, the secret annex. I am really beginning to thirst for ROOM, and a garden. We have amused ourselves, mostly by boating, swimming and cooking gourmet meals for ourselves. So far we have had Collard Green casserole, homemade Shepherds pie, burgers, pork chops and cous cous and tonight we are having steak Milanesa and chimichurri sauce, with sweet potato fries. It’s been good fun cooking ourselves silly this vacation, in spite of he fact that we were not allowed to set foot in the kitchen when the cousins were here. There were 22 people shacking up in this little shack. I will say that tempers seemed a little frayed (myself included) but fun was had.
T, L and I are really expert at the laze. We managed to rouse each other enough to go see Pixar’s UP at the outdoor movie theatre last night. Lionel thought the lead was Grandpa. Funny how people thought to warn us about scary dogs in the movie, but not scary Kirk Douglas look alikes. I blubbered myself silly, which T thought was high-larious, L’s only real question was what Grandpas name was and when we could get some balloons for the cabin.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Long hot summer.

T has taking to calling our little studio, "The Secret Annex". That tells you just about all you need to know about living conditions. It's hot, everyone is grouchy, and the neighbors have really gone off the deep end.
We finally (FINALLY!) finished that damn piano score. Thank you Phillip Glass for inspiring us to hire Todd, who taught us Sibelius with patience and kindness. We managed not to kill each other. And the piano score is lovely.
T is shattered from the completion I think, he and L are sacked out on the couch together. I had a private little weep and feel much better.
In other news:
Still poor as church meeses. We really want to go to Denver AND Washington DC, but it's so expensive.... sigh.
Came super close to booking 2 commercials and an episode of "House", but as we know close means nothing in acting and horse races. Still trying to act, even after hearing that my headshot is "dated" (ie: I look too young in I am OLD)
At least we have AC.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Latsi? Latzi? Lazzi?

T and I are just now back from workshopping a brand new show at South Coast Rep. For those of you who don't know, SCR does a lot of workshops. They commission new pieces and take the opportunity when they are "dark" in the summer to hire professional actors and directors and put them on their feet. These workshops are at once exhilarating, frustrating and hilarious. There is the sheer fun of being in a room full of people one likes and respects, working on material that is SO NEW it has just come off the playwrights memory stick, and the copies are still warm. There is ABSOLUTELY no guarantee one will be asked to be in the full production, but it does fan the flames of hope in one's actorly little heart that one might ACTUALLY have something on the schedule next season.
Anyhow, this one was a new adaptation of "Ben and the Magic Paintbrush" By Bash Doran, a lovely, magical realism sort of piece, that was given to the resident magic expert, Stefan Novinski, to direct.
I have known and worked with him on quite a few shows, and am shattered to learn that he is going away to Dallas to teach. He is the actor-whisperer. I have never seen him angry, or frustrated, and he always gets what he wants. He makes you feel as if you are the cleverest most interesting actor out there and he does it without giving in an ounce of his authority. I keep thinking he should actually be going to teach psychology, not acting. I know his moving doesn't mean anything. He will continue to direct here in LA and around the country, but I want all of his new students to understand that the acting community of LA sends him off reluctantly and with the hope that they appreciate as students what we professionals have been adoring about him for years.
Plus it's thanks to him, and casting director Joanne DeNaut that I met my beloved T and I will be forever grateful that they found me funny enough to play with.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It has NOT been quiet around here... Before I launch into my regular helping of chat and ego-boo. VONS! Your store at 1st and Atlantic in Long Beach is a SAD MESS!!! The produce is awful, the selection ridiculously small, (or perhaps you are a convenience store when I mistook you for a supermarket?) And you tow people out of your lot in ways that strike me as pure evil. Pride parade? Perfect excuse to tow. Art fest? TOW! Why is the vacancy of your little patch of land SO dang important, you meanies? Oh and I apologize to any crumblie who ate the McDonald Apple Pies we left in the lobby today. We got them by mistake, and I hate to waste food, even REALLY awful food.
This week, in the middle of Caddie/Sibelius HELL, ie. transcription, we got a bit of a break. Unfortunately it was for the bittersweet occasion of T's uncles memorial service.
First however we picked up Aunt and Uncle PandE in San Juan Capistrano where Lionel got to watch the train roll in, and then he pet the bunny-pigs at the petting zoo.
It was in Cuyamaca, in the mountains, at the site of the ruined cabins that stood for 70 years before an idiots flare gun destroyed them. I saw a few people I knew, a few people I should've known and a few people who said, "...and you are...?" As I didn't really know the memorial-ee I made myself room mommy for Lilo and another little girl. They played in an ice chest for the better part of 2 hours, by the end L was so smitten he was flinging himself against her and HURLING her to the ground, all in love. Then when she said he gave her an owie on her knee, he dutifully blew the hurt away with worship in his eyes. Oh, sonny boy.... The girls'l get you EVERY time!
T and I stayed for quite a while chatting and eating. Then we maneuvered Alfie over the VERY rocky and bumpy road to Julien where we were spending the night. L found the closet immediately and demanded his bed be set up inside of it.
The next day we headed for the natural History museum and the Uncles photography exhibit. L was far more interested in the Megatooth shark and the Dinosaurs and spent a good 2 hours exploring paleontology, while we adults chatted. I wanted to go into the Bodyworks exhibit, but it seemed vaguely disrespectful....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school It's a wonder I can think at all

I found some scrapbooks today, filled with theatre memories from when I was a very young kid. It got me remembering how AWFUL most of the theatre experience at my High School was. I was doing semi-professional theatre outside of HS, but since I was incarcerated anyway, I hoped that the theatre dept. would make the experience less hellish.
Exhibit A: Freshman year. My "Drama" teacher was a bodybuilder and the coach for ladies softball, with no appreciable talent or desire to be saddled with the Drama Club. WE did Sweet Charity. This was Catholic school, mind, but no one seemed to have looked up the definition of "Taxi Dancer" before approving the script. Somehow or other my big mouth got me in trouble with Ms Muscles and I was OFF the drama squad until my Junior year. Perhaps my pointing out she didn't know which was upstage and which was downstage offended the lady in some way.
Junior year the Brothers of Mercilessness hired a VERY young VERY raw girl, who dressed VERY colorfully, gelled her thick eyebrows up in a constant expression of surprise, and had very distinct ideas about putting on a play. She loved me, but she was a little insane, and when it came to staging Grease she completely lost her mind. I was playing Rizzo and she called a special rehearsal for my big solo, "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" Then proceeded to do a highly choreographed interpretative high kick dance, while singing my simple little number as loud as she could. I just stared at her in disbelief and as if she was insane. I flatly refused to do her dance, and she was pretty mad, but it didn't matter because she didn't even last till the end of the year.
Senior year. A real pro. Guy knows what he's doing, but obviously has no time to do it. The musical comes up, and since I was,"so talented" i.e. would do his job for him willingly without being paid, he let me put together a musical review and direct the thing all by myself. I was WAY out of my league, but his son was a talented musician and things fell into place, somehow. Of course I kept the best songs for myself, including the Judy Garland solo.
Terrible. Then the year I graduate they hire a FANTASTIC guy to run the dept. and build a state of the art theatre. Those Brothers ALWAYS had it in for me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sexy Blogger? Me? But I'm covered in baby poo!

The delicious Sarah Taylor has graciously passed me the "Sexy Blogger Award" sceptre which I accept with humility and not a few wind blown nudie pictures. Sarah's genuinely funny and dare-I-say it, moving blog can be found here:
Now I give 5 sexy things about me.
1. I am a geek and a nerd and I don't care who knows it.
2. I love the things and people I love HARD!
3. I have leonine hair and silky skin
4. I play guitar naked
5. I am a darned good acting teacher.

Now I pass the crown to DemonDoll, a hot mommy up nort' whose wicked sense of humor has ALWAYS inspired me.
DemonDoll's Blog
The Original sexy blogger:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nertz to you Fisher-Price!

I have been sick and suffering from an evil headache. I was being tortured by Lilo's horrible sound playing toys. A coat Elmers glue in the soundholes makes the noise tolerable without ruining the toy or making your toddler cry.
Dear toymakers: Why are your toys so BLOODY loud? Fisher-Price and Leapfrog make the Sex Pistols sound like pikers. QUIET DOWN! I'll be deafer than my beloved Pete Townshend thanks to Go, Diego, Go and Learning with Leapfrog!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hollywood Forever.

Lilo and I had an audition for a print ad today. We got to the studio and he looks at me and says, "Mama me scared." So I said, "I know sweets, auditions are a little scary, but you will be ok." He cocked his head, and just NAILED the audition. I couldn't believe it. He was charming and easygoing, and when the photographer told him to be serious, he did it. He was great.
As a reward we roamed around Hollywood Forever and played with Cecil B Demilles ducks and swans for an hour. Then dinner at Zankou, where Grandpa Zankou, the rheumy eyed patriarch who usually just sits on the banquette and drinks coffee, went to the convenience store next door and bought Li a snickers bar and called him an angel.
It was a good day.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


I've spent an awful lot of time lately putting together publicity and contracts and computer programs for T's musical Caddie Woodlawn. It's good. It could be big. There is nothing in it for me. It's about white people. And no matter how much bleach I put in my hair, I'm never going to look like a Wisconsin pioneer woman. But I believe in the project. I want every community theatre and children's company in the Midwest to put this thing on.
I've recently been to several auditions for commercials where I have worn my one "Mom" blouse. I think the CD's think I'm homeless, but it is book-em blue, and it's the only thing I own that you could call conservative.
I think all this "Tweeting" from rehearsal is RIDICULOUS! What ever happened to the sanctity of the rehearsal room? the Plebes don't CARE what goes on, they just want to have their wine at intermission and be entertained. When twitter/theatre congratulated twitter/othertheatre for some dumb thing, I almost turned in my geek card at the sheer inanity.
I love the smell of a new script. Can't mention what or for whom, but it is delicious to be working on something so yummy.
I can't wait to see the new Trek movie. I wish I could get my Sci-off uniform out of my Ma's garage, glue my ears on and drink Romulan ale with my fellow geeks. But being all mom-zified, I'll content myself with a scholarly discussion of Obama as Spock and a Corona light.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's not about me...

My beloved pal Jonny had his spleen removed. Which for all the Shakespeare geeks started a whole bunch of spleen and choler jokes which are geeky and lame and history based and creative anachronism and an excuse to be a smart person. Nevertheless he's a sicky and I just re-met him after nearly 20 years. The only higher power I believe in is Shakespeare so... a pox on your spleen, Jon o' bedlam an may the faeries grant ye Looong life.
I hate showbiz. The only people who are loyal in showbiz are your family and that's only if you aren't crazy and they have become your conservators. F^&k working so hard to establish "relationships" I'm tired of it. Love me for who I am am or just go away. I've been rejected by far fancier.
Yes folk I am fat, angry and tired of "resting" Thanks to this idiot swine flu I can't go to the gym, so I'm stuck at home eating organic oreos and feeling sorry for myself.
People quit acting all the time. Of course they do. Being rejected in this biz mean YOU are at fault, YOU YOURSELF aren't pretty, sexy, compelling, talented enough. Nothing to hide behind, especially for a character actor. So like I said F&^k it. I'm tired. Too bad I'm no damn good at anything else. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.....
Thank the bard for my boys.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cats and Mittens

Tommy and Lilo on the Catalina express.

We had a very nice semi-vacation to Catalina last week, interrupted by a COMPLETELY irritating callback sojourn back to the mainland for T. Don't get me started. Not irritated with T, but there is someone on my serious S^%t-List right now.
We stayed at the MacRae, right on the beach. VERY nicely priced. We ate well, rode the golf cart all around the island and played, played, played!
This week I hired a very nice, very competent fellow to help T get his compositions on computer, seems like it will be money VERY well spent. As for me I shot another industrial for LRN Corp. (Thanks Traci!) and Lilo got a guitar (see below) I also had lunch with my lovelies, Pen and Mel at the Grove, and I realized how mch I miss GIRL time. Now I am trapped in my apartment while surrounded with hooligans and felons. The Long Beach Grand Prix, dontcha know. Although what the hell is so grand about it I DON'T KNOW! I left the house for Yoga this morning at 1030am and couldn't come back until 5pm. I practically had to do Deathrace 2009 for a parking space. Flip me off all you like, hooligan-child, that is MY PARKING SPACE! GRRRR!
Anyhow, T and I are teaching tomorrow for the Imagination Celebration at SCR. Come and play!

Lilo the Guitar God

We were watching "The Kids are Alright" and he strapped his axe on.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Yesterday Lionel had his first audition in town, for Baby Gap. T and I had an audition for a play, we were there anyway, so I decided it wouldn't be much of a stretch to take L to his audition.
We got there and I think L was suspicious of the place. It was antiseptic, there were other kids looking nervous, obviously he thought: It's a doctors office! He was in a t-shirt and diaper, cause it was so hot and I had to wrestle him into his nice outfit. (or his shirt and pants, T says boys don't do "Outfits") When he got in the room he pouted and lay face down on the floor, and refused to look up. I was about to take him out, but the photographer wanted to try and get a picture. The second that kid had a camera in his face he came to life and started posing. Then he says, "Bye,see ya later." and skips out saying, "Momma Lilo do "dition, too?" I told him he did very well. Then I took him to the park in WeHo for a couple of hours till traffic died down.
Now all he can talk about is his 'dition, and T and I are filled with an unnamed dread.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning???!!!

It's a constant roundelay of cleaning here at the Fed. I vacuum, sweep, dust, avoid doing the dishes, pick up toys, socks, puddled pants, notice that there has been a spill, vacuum again, stare at the sink, clean the toilet, clean the fish tank, clean the litter box, count on my hands in astonishment: 12 being live in 500 square feet. It's like Calcutta, CA.
News of the Rialto: T is just closing 3penny Opera and has a few offers on the table which tie him up into a pretzel instead of filling him with earned self satisfaction. I just shot 2 industrials and a photo shoot and have a pilot audition tomorrow. Things are rolling. We have been looking at houses (short sales) with investment properties, and are getting ready to see how much the bank is willing to lend a pair of itinerant actors with perfect credit.
Lionel is teaching himself to read. I am amazed at how far he has gotten. I'm trying not to push him, but I do find it extremely cool. He talks a lot and is very interested in having conversations with us. He's very silly. Just today we did beat poetry with T on toy trumpet, me on words and L providing the soft shoe visual. What a hoot. I hope as he grows older he continues to be as goofy as we are and not despair at how immature his parents seem to be.
I am a lucky girl. My T continues to be adorable, sexy, sweet and hilarious, and L is a joy and hilarious as well. I should check my horoscope and see what's aligning for me...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Darling Slayers

Attack Piano being arrested:

Worked like a Phonecian this week. Booked a SAG gig, for which I am extremely grateful. Maybe that'll be the start of a run of luck.
Saw Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre's version of, "Darling You Slay Me" By Tom Shelton and Alyssa Canaan. The actors were all under 20 and they were adorable. The costumes were sumptuous and the crowd had a great time. The fete was directed by Donna Inglima. Lots of gorgeous people dressed up in period gowns, raising money for a great youth theatre company.
Now on to my defense: Yes I did fall off the piano bench. Yes I had drunk mass quantities of champagne. But there was a raffle ticket on each glass for a DIAMOND and it was for a good cause. Yes I fell off said piano bench in the middle of the third and final act. Loudly. Into my dessert plate. BUT lest you think it was an embarrassing incident by a drunken lout. I was sitting next to Tom, who was playing for the kids and he was getting excited and he gave a long, tense, exhilarated piano run.... and KNOCKED me off that bench. It was humiliating, but frankly hilarious. If those kids had been a little stronger at improving it would've been a gift. I wish I coulda seen it! But nevertheless. I was pushed, I didn't jump.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Hispanic thing.

It's not a joke when I say I didn't know I was "Hispanic" or "Latino" until I got to Hollywood. Sure we spoke Spanish to my Abuelita who lived with us, sure my family had emigrated from Colombia when I was three. But It never crossed my mind that I wasn't white, whatever white means. I just wasn't raised that way. I'm not even Hispanic enough to know what a pocha was when that's what I was called.
I went to Catholic schools with all different colors of kids. Fear and loathing of the nuns was a universal trait, so not much to differentiate us there. My favorite music was The Beatles, my favorite TV show, Star Trek. When I did children's theatre they just slapped dark makeup on the white kids and called them Sharks, and no one blinked when I played the Scottish lass from Brigadoon, or the blonde chorine, Adelaide. My best friends were... I don't even know.. maybe they were ethnic too, I can't remember.
I move to Hollywood and every second audition its, "Can you use an accent?" YES, I'm an expert at Cockney and New Jersey and I do a very good Russian....I suppose you mean can I have an accent showing that Spanish is my first language? What a bore.
I'm just me. I'm proud to be Latina, especially after working so hard in the entertainment industry and fighting to do the roles that don't call for tattoos on my face or a mop in my hands. But GEEZ... My natural accent is Duuuuude, and Whut-EVER. and Oh Mah GAWD. I hate cleaning house, I've never killed a guy and I need to use sunscreen or I'll burn in 20 minutes. I'm a complete Sci-fi nerd and can recite the Alpha Bravo Charlie alphabet.
Huh...Whateeeevvvvveeeer. Later ese.

Friday, January 23, 2009


So here I am chomping thru a box of Sees candy. I got a gift certificate from Killer and Lilo and I bought a pound today. This is unfortunate as I have NO self control.
Spent today in the car. Obscenely early doc appt. for Lilo in Laguna, who is, of course, perfect. Then a so-called audition.( ie: a picture taking session) for which I drove 2 hours from Laguna to effin Woodland hills. I ended up having to spend 3 hours in the Westside pavilions so L could run around and have some fun because the traffic was FILTHY, because goddammit, it rained. hence the 1 lb box of choccys.
I'm thru the almonds and the marzipan now.
We saw Minskys at the Ahmanson this Wednesday, which was the first public performance. I liked it better than T did, but I can't really remember it at all now. It wasn't funny or sexy, really. Here's a hint: when you put a drop cloth down on the stage, you TELEGRAPH the pie throwing. And that kills the gag. Pies in the face are only funny if they are a surprise. And George Wendt sounds a bit drunk. And blonde ingenues are BOOOORRRIINNGG. And, oh boy semi naked girls! Didn't Fosse do that in the sixties AND he added drag? I hope the show tightens up before it attempts Broadway.
We also got fish and I didn't freeze the blood worms. Such a gooey thing to come home to!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Looking at the Moon.

The moon is spectacular. I can see it bright and clear from outside my desk window. It was an absolutely balmy day. I've had a pretty hard week, a little disappointing, professionally. Tommy keeps talking about packing it all in and becoming postal workers. Sometimes that seems like the best idea I've ever heard.
Today was hot and beautiful. Lilo and I headed to the farmers market, ate a pupusa (oops on the low carb, but oh so yummy) I strapped on my skates and headed down the beach to Belmont shore. I made an effort to actually TALK to people today. I feel so dang out of place with the mommy crowd, but I made the effort and had a nice chat as well as a babysitters number. We played so long with the Thomas Train set that there was nary a peep out of Lilo when I loaded him back into the jog-o-mobile for the skate back.
Like I said, the day was gorgeous. I did feel a twinge of regret about my old house. It was so beautiful and so party friendly. I miss giving parties. I also miss sitting outside in the sun. We can't really afford a backyard, but I sure do want one. Lilo needs one, too. I'd also like a nice big kitchen to accommodate my new discovery. Cooking can be fun. IF T does the dishes, cause I hate dishes. HATE THEM!
I'm making beer butt chicken in mole, and this morning I made banana bread. So there.
I'm trying to rev myself up to go to a party. Understand I have to take Lilo, that's why I'm considering not going. But OH to talk to adults....
My big triumph of the week: I fixed the insinkerator all by myself.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

It looks like 09 is gonna be a good year...

The holidays seem to have lasted forever.
Lilo wont let me put away the tree, and has the drummer boy Abuelita gave him, currently clutched in his grubby little hand. Lilo is now two. He can recite half the alphabet and his numbers to 20 although he tends to skip from 6 to 11 and then to 18.
I worked a few gigs this season, not a lot, but I did have a lot of fun reuniting with the Killer crew for a few corporate gigs that were a blast. I have a couple of auditions coming up and new headshots clutched in MY grubby hands. I am looking forward to the new year. Especially in creative terms as I feel I am back on my game.
T and I have yet to do our new years list, but looking back on the past year, I think we got a lot accomplished. 7 plays, 1 Voiceover reel (that rocks, thanks Marcus!) 1 trip to Minnesota, lots of teaching acting for SCR, at the theatre and at the Newport Beach Library, travel to San Jose and vice versa for lots of abuelito time, some good weight loss that has stuck, trips to Denver and Pincrest lake, a new niece (Hi LUCY!) and some new cousins on T's side (Hi Phoebe and Zander!), a gorgeous wedding for the D'oyly-Parsnips, and as I look at my calendar (I'm looking backwards) the days are very full, indeed.
Hopefully whats up on the orisons will be even more enjoyable.
We celebrated Lilo's b-day at the American Legion Yatch club with ALL his grandparents in attendance. Isn't that remarkable?
love to all!