Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pan Am and Pumpkin Cookies

ABC gave Christina Ricci my hair cut and color in Pan Am. If only our eyes were the same color. Then I could totally play her younger sister! (And I would actually be taller than her!)

I keep submitting myself to do background work on the show, and they don't ever use me. I've decided it's not because of my total lack of film experience (a 24 hour student film, a bad film class I dropped senior year, and two workshops), it's just I look too much like Christina! (Pipe dream!)
The pilot for the show was ludicrous, but so much fun! Not Mad Men-esque at all. Super cheesey. It was more like something actually made in the 60's. Which is cool.
I made super awesome pumpkin cookies today. My roomie totally sent me a link to tons of pumpkin recipes whike she was at work. Was she trying to kick the German baker genes into overdrive? I don't really mind that much.....cause they are sooooo good! Here is the recipe and a pic of mine. I spiced them up a wee bit more and added vanilla to the frosting. Plus I used hot frosting to get that fun texture!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Bunny-Stache!

Norwegian was a cruise line audition. (See prior blog post on cruise lines) The choreography was what I like to call "slut cheese." No callback. No biggie.
The Christmas Carol ECCs were an adventure. Went straight from Norwegian across the hall (love it when auditions are in the same building!). And I waited. They didn't see us with the singers and told us a little after noon to come back for the dance call. At 4. I live in Jersey, so going home for a bit is not an option. What to do?
I went to class. Broadway Dance Center is starting a series of B'way rep classses, which is awesome. That way, when you audition for these shows you have done the movement. And quite possibly, you've danced the audition combo. (Score!) Today: "The Adam's Family." Why not?
The crowd in the class was on the young side, but it was super fun. Liz Ramos the original dance Captain taught it. Loved her! She has super fierce hair. I was jealous. (And she's from Texas!) This is shortened on the dance. But it still has the bunny hop. She's the Indian princess. :) None of the movement was horribly hard, but it was fast and stylized and super character driven. Being dead is so much fun! (At least it is in musical theatre) I had a grand old time, then dragged my sweaty and happy self back to Ripley Griers.
And they saw us! And they kept me when they made cuts. They didn't ask to sing, but small victories! I went in, stood front and center as it was taught. I can book this job! Now I just need to work on picking up the movement exactly. Had a grand old time doing it. And that is enough for me!
The train ride home was a little rough. Power outages in New Jersey lad to massive delays. My train was on time (win!) but it was the first train to make it out to Jersey in over two hours. And it was packed. Plus the delays on the track made it take an hour instead of half an hour.
Back home after my 12 hour adventure, I skyped with dear old Katie. Latest development in dumb stuff on the internet- Bunny staches! (and yes, we do have matching bunnies!) Don't plank. Bunny-stache! (I doubt this will catch on)
Tom- Volleygirls (a new musical). We shall see how this goes. Tired bunny out and crawling into bed!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Life Advice From Ted Danson

When one is feeling down and out (because one is unemployed and lives in Jersey), what does one really need (besides to stop referring to yourself as "one")? You need life advice from Ted Danson.
Who else would give the most awesome advice with a smirk? (Well, maybe Bill Murray if you let him toke up first).
I don't know why, but I really love good old Ted. Maybe it was all the Becker watching with my Mom, the late night Cheers watching in high school, Damages, or my ex's fascination with Bored to Death. All four of them are admittedly awesome. Even in Hallmark's version of Gulliver's Travels (watched in high school English, not by choice), I still want to hang out with Ted Danson. Because he is awesome. I can't say it enough. Ted Danson is awesome. (And probably really crazy)
On one episode Bored to Death, he gives Zach Galifianakis' character suprisingly profound advice about the highs and lows in life. Of course, they were probably toking up in a car when he said it. Sometimes the best life philosophies come from the oddest places.
Other people I would like to recieve life advice (profound or otherwise):
1. Carol Channing- "Rasberries!" Oh yeah. And she never dies. Which is sweet.
2. Bill Murray- He's awesome. Like Ted. (Also probably crazy)
3. Elaine Stritch- I would probably be terrified, but it would be really cool. I would bring her whiskey as a peace offering. :)
4. Emma Thompson- She rocks at everything she puts her hands to.
5. Jeremy Irons- He would just sound cool saying it.
6. James Earl Jones- Everything that comes from that voice just sounds profound. He could probably tell me to "always eat chocolate", and it would sound better than any religious text. And I will always eat chocolate.
7. Martin McDonagh- His advice would probably be perversely profound and involve as much blood and saying of "feck" as possible.
8. Kelsey Grammer- As long as I'm admitting a love to cheesy sitcoms, I adored him on Cheers and in Frasier. Double advice meeting with him and David Hyde Pierce? Yes please!
9. Chita Rivera- She can still kick herself in the face, and she's how old? She must have wisdom to share!
10. Paul Taylor- I love his dances. His autobiography is so wonderful. And boy, is he a character.
11. Twyla Tharp- Terrifying. But at the same time, she has been up and down so often. Her books have such good advice and wisdom for young artist. Even if she did attempt a Bob Dylan musical....Yeah. (There are clips on youtube. Sooooo bad) But she took risks and lived her life. Respect!
12. Julia Childs- Another awesome voice. :) She did something amazing for the time and place she was in, plus she used a lot of butter. (Paula Dean I want to drink with. That's a list for another day.)
13. Meryl Streep- She's an acting goddess. Plus she reminds me of my college acting prof. So it would be like getting advice from my college "Mom" again. :)
A round baker's dozen. It's an odd mix from an odd duck. But I think it wuold be a great and diverse amount of awesome (like Ted Danson) wisdom.
Tom- Norwegian cruise lines and "A Christmas Carol" ECC for a theatre in Arkansas. Let's do this!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hair: "Bangled, Tangled, Spangled, and Spaghettied!"

I want to cut my hair again.
It's been a slow week, which makes me antsy, which makes me want to alter my appearance. It's not about changing who I am. I am the same person with a bob as I was when I had a longer, shaggy do. I just didn't get compared to Meg Ryan anymore. Different personality facets and styles come out when you're done up differently.
My roommate hasn't had her hair cut since December. My long bob gasped in horror when it heard that. Since December? That's more than half a year! (Dirty hippie is never a good thing!)
I used to go a couple months between hair cuts when it was long, but now that it's short, I try and go at least once a month. And I really like going.
Admittedly, first time at a new salon is a little harrowing. When I got my hair bobbed two years ago, I was terrified. I had been debating it for months, but would I actually have the nerve to cut it all off?
After all the debating, the "short haircut" googling, and the polling of anyone who would stand still to let me ask their opinion, I finally just did it. I went to a salon I had never gone to off a friend's recommendation without an appointment on a Friday afternoon after class and before the show I was teching. In I walked, clutching my photo of Keeley Hawe's bob off Spooks (I'm a big dork!). The stylists hairstyles weren't quite up my line. A whole lot of jagged hair and unnatural dye (Okie punk), but I was determined. Life hadn't gone the way I had wanted it to, and I needed a change. Short hair would give me power!
Away went my long locks. I had a slight case of Victoria Beckham dog ears, but overall not bad. I discovered I loved having short hair. I also loved the feeling of having a new hairstyle. You're modern and updated and ready to take over the world.
And then I told my regular hairstyles, to take it shorter however Hairshe wanted. I totally had a shaggy pixie. If I styled it and myself right, it was cool and cute. But on dumpy days, it could totally look like mom hair. Yuck. So back to the bob I went, and I have been bobbed ever since.
The urge is hitting again though. I killed it the other day by looking at the prices of salons in Manhattan. They will cut your hair in exchange for your firstborn child. Ouch! But I am still so tempted. It's about time for a trim anyways....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Christmas Carols, Models, and Donut Holes! (You can just guess which one of those three I prefer)

Christmas caroling was fun. They were super nice and seemed interested. We shall see what happens. That could totally help delay me getting a "real job." I don't like real jobs.
Weird of weird things. There was a girl on the list ahead of me who I had danced with as a kid. She had already sung and gone, but it was still super weird. Weirder yet, I went and looked her up when I get home. She apparently had been a semi finalist on America's Next Top Model a while back. She didn't make it into the house, but that's still crazy! Crazier yet, I subbed her little sis's (little being age not height. Even then she towered) tap class, and she is totally a hardcore runway model now. What? I worked on her time steps not so long ago!
I totally was a bum and did some new tv catch up. (I may not have cable, but there is always Hulu!). I'm not sure how I feel about new boss Andy (though I do love Andy), but I loooooved Dwight's anti-planking patrol. The fire extinguisher was truly inspired. Plus John Goodman was on Community. And he makes everything a win. :)
I need to save money, so I can see "The Seminar" (Alan Rickman), "Venus in Furs" (Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancey!), Follies, and Hugh Jackman's one man show when they come about, but I have this horrible urge to see "Priscilla" again. It's the theatrical equivalent of eating donut holes, but when they are fresh, tastey, and made just right they can be soooooo good! (Even if they did not have assless chaps like they did in the West End staging. Or at least that's what my friend Jonathan claimed...) Soooo sparkley. I'm the addict reaching towards the sparkles, laducas, and fiercely beveled feet. Maybe I can scrimp on something or find super cheap tickets. We shall see..... :)
(And I prefer the donut holes.)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Experimental Martinis, Mary Kay, and Missed Opportunities

So, I've been vaguely ashamed of what happened on Thursday and haven't written about it. It wasn't even that bad, but the Catholic guilt settles in. (Funny when put into the context of "Sister Act" auditions)
I overslept. I set my alarm for 6:16 pm. Not what I meant to do at all. I woke up at 8:30ish as the sun crept into my room. Sleepily stretching, I thought about how bright it was. And then panicked. It was too late to possibly try and get into the city for a 10 am call. Especially since it was an equity chorus call, and I am a sad little non equity bunny.
Lesson learned: An opportunity missed is way more painful than an opportunity that didn't go as planned. While I didn't exactly perform brilliantly at the Billy Elliot Equity chorus call, I was there and learning. Which is better than being snuggled up in a pile of giraffe print pillows with my stuffed Revile and then kicking myself in the face after the fact. (I did that once in college and it hurt much more than kicking myself in the butt. I change the phrase to the more painful option.) A missed opportunity is much worse than a mangled one. Lesson learned.
One of the weirdest things about working from home (to a certain degree) is how much time I spend in slippers. I love slippers. I have two pairs of worn down slippers and recently threw out my third pair that looked super sad. Sitting at home, looking for auditions and other part time jobs that my long history of theatre and dance teaching actually qualify me for, I find myself living in slippers. I am dressed in real clothes with makeup and sometimes even my hair done, but inevitably, I am shuffling my slippers across the wood floors of my apartment. Can I write my slippers off as a business expense on my taxes? I am sorely tempted...I must ask the less black and white of my two cousins that are certified CPAs. One of them is more likely to see the gray in the situation...;)
My mother's friend Cindy (mother of my two little bros' friends and Mary Kay lady extradonaire) has been talking to me about the possibility of Mary Kay lady-ing to pay my bills. When she and her hubby were in Manhattan last weekend, they took me out to brunch and coffee. ( Weekends you do not eat lunch in Manhattan. Brunch is you're only awesomely french toasty option.) And she totally made sure we talked about Mary Kay so she could write brunch off as a business expense. Now that I am not a dependent on my parent's taxes, I have to keep track of my audition mileage, clothing, mass transit fares and such. Cindy is a master of finding ways to "make it work." She could teach Tim Gunn a thing or two. So I must bow down at the alter of thriftie-ness that is Cindy. Learn from the master how to minimize my taxes. :)
The Mary Kay thing is a possibility to help pay the bills, but I am hesitant to add another stay at home job to my work load. My biggest fear about using another stay at home job as a bill payer is being able to turn it off. I already stay up too late on Actor's Access and Backstage hoping something perfect will pop up. (Ballet dancing teenagers?) I have a hard time turning it off. Two stay at home jobs could make me into a crazed, never sleeping, slipper wearing nut case. Oh wait. That's been me for most of my life. :)
One weird things about Jersey is that the drinks are so much different than they were in the southwest. Both in Texas (land of my birth and growing up) and Oklahoma (land of my college degree), there was always a pretty good stash of whiskey at any liquor store you walked into. My Scotch-Irish daddy raised me on good Scotch, and from my Southern Mamma, I got a love of tastey bourbon. Now I live in Jersey, and there is not much whiskey or tequila (a Texas standard), but there is tons of infused and flavored vodka. Which is a whole new world.
I have my Maker's Mark, but my Famous Grouse is nowhere to be found. With two liquor stores on my block, it feels absurd to drive anywhere for cheap but tastey Scotch. I guess I should request it at the liquor store, but haven't yet. (Do liquor stores have inter branch exchanges like libraries?)
Instead, there is this whole new world of weird vodkas. And ginger is one of them. I love ginger. I have ginger candy, ginger root, andy everything else ginger. I don't know why, but it is one of my favorite flavors. It's just perfect in the sweet and savory department. So of course the first infused vodka I picked up was ginger infused vodka. And it is amazing.
Having watched too many episodes of Three Sheets (look it up. Comedian drinks with locals in foreign countries. It's awesome), I knew that to infuse vodka, one had to merely let the infusing ingredient sit in your vodka. Which is not hard at all! So why pay for it? Why not try to do it myself?
Lo and behold, the purest possible infuser (Shakespeare makes up words and I can too!) in my apartment was peanut butter. After a quick google to see if this wasn't horribly crazy, I set about infusing the wonderfully cheap and sadly Swedish (Caitlin, it is not true Russian!) vodka in my freezer with peanut butter. I see Reese's martinis in my future! I will let you know how they turn out. :)
Tom- I audition for a carol singing group that hits both Jersey and NY. Plus it is totally auditioning out of my town! The Holly and the Ivy are ready to go! (And they would really like to be employed!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Someday My Prince Will Come...If He Hasn't Joined the Hare Krishnas.

So the auditions for the haunted house were down in the lower east side. The first thing I noticed walking into the space was that all the monitors were clearly straight men. And not just straight men. They were DUDES. I have become very accustomed to gay man, ladies, and laducas. Culture shock anyone?
I got there good and early, so I was in the first group of ten. They took us down a hallway to wait. None of us had any earthly idea what to expect. Then the bells and the chanting began. And they kept going. And going. And going.
We didn't know where they were coming from, but soon they started taking us one by one into the studio. And whatever improves were going on, they all seemed to involve screaming. Screaming, bells, and eerie chanting were all mingling together in the hallway. And it was creepy.
I's dumb, but I really never liked haunted houses. I am totally cool with physical things that scare me (roller coasters and such). In fact I love them and keep going back. But when it involves scaring your imagination, I get really chicken. My overactive imagination kicks into overdrive, and I flip out.
So I know this is a legit job. They had a website with links to real newspaper articles. But the whole chanting, bells, and screaming thing is making me a little nervous. A new variety of audition nerves.
When it's finally my turn, I head on in. The chanting isn't coming from the studio. It's next door. And it's Hare Khrishnas. To quote my mum's favorite muppet joke- which totally popped right into my head at this moment- "Lost? Try Hare Krishna."
Back in the audition studio, it's a table full of more DUDEs that just accept the Hare Krishnas with resigned smiles. They have me improvise sweet little Snow White getting revenge on the evil (drag) queen. (He was the big screamer). Sweet little girl getting revenge- very southern. Right up my alley. It was fun. I went home. New experience. New story. An excuse to wear red lipstick in public. The audition wasn't really that exciting after I had let my imagination run away in the hallway. My imaginings were way more intense!
Afterwards, I met Stahcey in Manhattan for Falafel. It was so good to see a good friend after so long. May it be the first of many falafel meetings!
Tom- "Sister Act" dance ECC. Hopefully they will see me. I'm going to swap out my sapphire for my St. Cecilia medal just in case....:)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Long Day's Journey Into Night- MT Audition Style!

Yesterday was nuts. I started off by leaving New Jersey on the 730 express train. Fast forward thru the train ride and some time in the subways, and I waited in line for half in hour in front of NOLA studios before they let us go up. I had thought I would be decently early, but there were tons of people there. And tons of those people put their friends names on the list. I was 166 on the list, and I didn't sing until 2. Fun!
I did make a new friend in the waiting room, who shared my love of Words with Friends and shoes. New Words with Friends buddies! Win! :)
The theatre is called "Beef and Boards," which is an unfortunate name. They are out in Indiana and hire both union and non union. They wanted 16 bars of one song, and it was for a hugely diverse season. So I just went ahead and sang something that had a lot of my own personality in it and was funny. I sing well enough, but I will never sell as a set of super duper pipes. I'm more of a whole package kind of girl!I started of a wee bit pitchy, but found my way back and made them laugh (all three of them after they had sat in that room for 5 hours straight watching 16 bar cuts. Success!). They were super nice, said I did well with the song (hurrah!. No call back, but I am now in their files. Next time I audition for them, I am recognizable (and hopefully memorable) if I fit something.
That's what is really weird about theatre. It's so much about constantly being seen and coming back, and back, and back, and you just keep coming back. Every time. "Maybe this time.." Hahaha. MT jokes!
There is so much theatre talk in the waiting rooms. Probably because we all have no lives. I'm trying to find my bearings just listening to people (while hiding behind my book) about how they've been going at trying for bookings. It's actually been more informative than 4 years of college was.
We were taught a craft in college, but never how to book or how to deal with how crazy this lifestyle is. New course for theatre majors- "No! It really is me. Not you." How to deal with rejection in auditioning.
Choreographing and having to cast choreography in college was probably one of the most beneficial learning experiences for me. Sitting on the other side of the table, you really want them to fit. And you make judgements quick. I typed people out before they started dancing at one audition. And I only needed three girls and there were forty something. And I had already picked them out before the audition. It's rough, but it's the world we live in.
Back to yesterday. I hopped back on the subway to a different studio to try and hit a few more auditions. I dropped my headshot and resume at "It's A Wonderful Life." There was a long line and a slight chance of being seen. Went down the hall to a podunk New Jersey Xmas show. There notice had said nothing about what to prepare, so I was coming in cold turkey. They want a singer-dancer. Ok. I can do that. The monitor was super nice. Put me on the list and said you're next. Holy shit.
Changed back into my dress and pumps super quick. Didn't even have time to double check my lipstick (oh no!). He said "Arlen, Mercer, Gershwin, or such." I have all three in my book, but all of my cuts of them are legit, not belt. And quite often, they want belt. Especially since they were looking for a mezzo/alto. I asked him which, he said belt. Ok. Quick look in my book. I went for the beltiest, vaguely old school number in my book- "Everybody's Girl" from Steel Pier. I've worked on it a lot, and I can full voice it so I sound like much more of a belter than I actually am.
In I go. Everyone in the room is old. Not middle aged, but like intense bingo player aged. I think I might have played bingo with some of them at my grandmother's retirement/assisted living complex.
The pianist looks at my sheet music and goes "Kander and Ebb 11 o'clock number!" It's not an 11 o'clock number. It's a character song. I refrained from saying so. I gave him the tempo. He seemed vaguely crazy, but nice enough. I get out to the center of the room, and he stops before giving me the pitch so he can move my book to the right. Why, I don't really know. Away I go; away he doesn't go. It was so slow. And I like to take everything fast. And I could hardly hear it over the wonderfully live room (I'm loud). Some of it sounds vaguely saloon like, and he was totally adding extra tinkly bits. I wanted to say "Stop showboating!" I went with it. I only got ahead of him once. (From what I could hear)
The senior citizens brigade laughed at none of the jokes. When I finished, they crabbily asked me if I tapped. "Yes of course!" Then I was done. Weird stuff.
Further downtown to see if I could get in to an equity dance call for Annie in CO. Talking with another new friend, she also had a funny story from the podunk Xmas people. Which made me feel better. They had maybe thirty of the girls on the list show up. And they didn't see any of the non union girls (They apparently hadn't seen any at the vocal call either). Apparently TUTS didn't see any non-union girls for "Whit Christmas." Hobby Center pipe dreams can still hope!
Tired me should have gone back and tried for "It's a Wonderful Life," but I was just plain tuckered out. Back to the Penn Station, and for the first time in my life I caught the train without waiting at least half an hour! Hurrah!
I was wonked and fell asleep on the couch around 7ish trying to work. When I woke up, I just crawled into my bed and went right back to sleep. Long day. Very long day!
Back into Manhattan this evening for Haunted House fun. Snow White anyone?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Southern Roots and John Denver

Nine to Five went well. I was happy with how I did and I had fun. Don't expect a call, but that is some of what this is about. My friend Kilee is starting out at an engineering firm as an intern. She was telling me about actually working on project on her own for the first time, and that's pretty much what I'm doing. Getting used to real life and letting myself ripen! (Banana anyone?) A huge chunk of my friends are grad schooling it, but the rest of us are in the same boat. Engineers, accountants, actors, teachers, or whatever else, we are all just trying to figure out our way on our own. We will fall down, but we shall get back up. If only we all could show the hutzpah of the kids I taught in Houston. Fall down, debate crying (it's theatre camp y'all!), then either cry or keep on playing. Generally, just keep on playing.
Y'all is not something heard in New Jersey. My roomie is a hardcore Czech Texan. Eyebrows, kolaches, and y'alls in abundance. She is sticking firm to her y'alls and wearing boots with sundresses whenever possible. I am trying to keep mine down to a minimum. Mine are less Texas than hers, but I tire of having to repeat what I just said (minus the y'all). There is no y'all in New Jersey or New York. Personal pet theory- colder climate vs. warmer ones. (This theory works in Germany too!) Southern climates are dealing with the heat. We don't move as quickly. A more drunken speech. Drawls. Oh yes. Up north its cold. The tight palettes of Chicago are merely because they are holding on to everything in an attempt to not freeze off their posterior. Probably not the way my dialects prof in college would have explained it, but it makes sense.
One of my favorite memories of her, is definitely from working on "Getting Out." Having a dialect coach from TN when doing a show set in KY is awesome. I still don't know why I was cast in that show, but it was fun to investigate my own southern roots (and discover my deep love for "A Coalminers's Daughter." Apologies to my roomie and her boyfriend for how many times I watched that and how much Loretta and Patsy I played).I grew up in Texas, as did my mom and dad to a certain degree, but there are tons of generations of us back in VA. You could probably throw a rock in the mountain south and one in the northern neck and hit multiple people I am related to. And we all have the genealogy mapped out to show it. I even have a cousin that takes his metal detector all over the battlefields. Yes, there are confederate cannon balls in my parents house. Even if we did loose the war and the plantation. :)
Anyways, back to KY dialect coaching. It was awesome to have Lisa (my dialects prof), talk about southern woman with me and realize that I had watched my Grandma do these things. Repeatedly. And done them myself. A lot. I had never really felt Texan, and it was weird and awesome to realize I was more southern than Texan. And I really feel that now that I live in New Jersey.
Question to northerners, what do you call someone when you don't know their name? Especially teaching and hopping from cast to cast, I have an abundance of southern pet names to cover up my not knowing your name. Honeybunch, honey, dear, sweetie, boo (this one has to be earned). I don't know how I would have gotten through teaching without these names. They all seem much nicer than merely pointing and saying "You." Unlike the y'alls, it's probably easier for me to just embrace this southern aspect rather than try to obliterate it. There is a huge amount of me that is who and what I am because of where I come from. I don't want to run around with a confederate flag and name everything after Robert E. Lee, but I don't want to loose my roots either.
And yes, I wrote this all listening to a John Denver album. And I have multiple John Denver albums. And I love them all.
So, go sit out on your porch with a glass of tea for me. Tom is going to be a manic day of auditioning, and I could use lots of southern backing. I've got five different auditions I'm trying to hit, plus an audition for a fairy tale haunted house. Because I need to play Snow White one more time. :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cruise Lines and Cooler Weather

So on Wed, I auditioned for Stiletto entertainment. They do the casting for Holland America. Cruise Lines are always interesting. At Royal Carribean, they weed out the special ones early on. Here, they just go full throttle and see the people who hold on. Things to expect at cruise line auditions:
1. Interesting ways to show skin- creative sluttiness. One girl was totally wearing a hot pink monkini with bootie shorts. Another took away all pretense of looking like she was wearing clothes and simply wore a bright yellow bra with her bright blue bootie shorts. Hint ladies, if you decide real bra and bootie shorts are the way to, make sure it's a nice bra, and that it fits right. Her's looked both cheap and not properly fitted. You're not fooling anyone by adding underwire. You're still flat chested. Instead, get a nice push bra, in the right size, in a color/print/lace that looks good on you and that could be a swimsuit top. You look less like you are wearing you're Victoria's Secret Pink bra as a top.
2. Tans- Something I will never have. It's this healthy cruise line, outdoorsy thing. I belong to the Zeigfeld Follies days. My height was tall and ideal then (Thank you teeny Anna Held). Trim girls but still with a little curve. Big downturned eyes. Bee stung lips. Short hair. Those were my people. Cruise lines like tall (5'7'' and up sort of tall) and tan. One woman came in. She hit both tans and creative sluttiness. She was tan the point of being orange. Plus she was probably in her mid thirties, which made her old in the room full of young 'uns. She was wearing white linen shorts that hitched up funny with a belt so they were a "v". Her white canvas tie top didn't cover much of her midriff and was sheer enough to see her hot pink bra underneath. (Admittedly, it was a better bra than yellow bra girl's.) Gold stiletto sandals (probably about 5 inches with the platform on them) with sparkly beige leg warmers rolled down around them. And she warmed up in all this right in front of me. I refrained from filming it as surreptitiously as possible with my tablet. (The thunk of her shows hitting the floor as she did the splits would have made awesome home video.) I was so tempted. It's a little sad, but no matter what there will always be someone at an audition that it is stare inducing crazy. As my mother says "Save it for your book!" or in this case, for my blog.
3. Lobster Claws- It's a dance team thing! There is a prevailing trend among dance teams and competition kids to dance with one's hand as if they are lobster claws or like you are wearing oven mitts. I don't know if it makes one feel aerodynamic or like they are under the sea. (Darling, it's better down where it's wetter.) Personally, it makes me feel like a dollar store barbie with misformed hands. These tend to be more prevalent in cruise line land then they are in musical theatre land.
4. Perky, short, female choreographers- They also generally have short hair and loud voices. They make me feel tall and sloth like. Which is hard to do.
5. Way more women than men- I'm not sure why, but you always have tons of chicks and a couple of guys. Yet another time when I almost wish I was a dude. (Then I think about it, and thank God I'm a woman!)
6. Cheesy music- You're appealing to drunk tourists. So imagine middle aged white people's choice of drunken dancing music, cheese it up, and you're halfway there!Yeah.
All these things were there. The choreo was fast, cheesey, and what they teach at every audition. So most of the crew auditioning had done it before. Not me! I Smooth Criminaled my best, and I picked it up. We not only did kicks, but we also did fouettes. I felt like I was selling my soul to dance team land, but I smiled real big! I don't expect to be put on their hire list, but every time I go learn new choreo, it is helping me for future auditions. Plus it's like free class on crack. And class is pricey, but I love going! So it wasn't a complete loss. I learned something new and was entertained by crazy people. (By the way, classy stiletto women couldn't get through the choreo and left. Which made me a little sad)
The temperature dropped randomly yesterday afternoon. Somewhere, someone decided it was time for fall. No more summer. It's beautiful outside and the park down my street is totally calling my name. (And my cold is gone!)
Tom- 9 to 5 for the Fireside Theatre in Wisconsin. Who's curling their hair at an absurdly early hour on a Sat? I am!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green

So. I had my first equity auditions in New York today. Which means I waited. A. Lot. But I got into both calls.
I was in over my head with the Billy Elliot. My tap combo-my hoofing skills are rusty and have been unchallenged for way too long! White Christmas-my last tap call-was right up my high heeled tappped, pincurled hair, and perky little red lips. This was not. It was hardcore and gave most of the auditioners trouble. I didn't do too bad for a green girl! And now I have something to work on.
Then off to Hairspray, which was a brightly colored zoo. They saw all of us-the union girls and the 70 nonunion girls. They threw a teeny bit at us, typed, and cut. They were keeping really sweet and fresh faced girls. I danced it well but I wasn't what they were looking for. I did all I could do. No regrets. Just pumpkin spice lattes!
Tom- Stiletto Entertainment. Last time I auditoned for a cruise line, I ended up the shortest girl in the room. Hurrah for Shorties! Bring it on world. I'm taking all I can get. :-) (And now my nails are green as well!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Do NOT Belong on the Jersey Shore

My room mate and I are little old ladies. Tonight, we declared 9:30 to be late, made hot tea (when it wasn't cold outside), and then slipped into our jammies and slippers. Oh yeah. We party like the Jersey Shore kids!
I went to the Jersey Shore yesterday for an audition that was a nightmare. It drives me crazy that so many people think actors should work for free. I drove out to the Jersey shore for this audition, which is not at all my native habit (see my tea drinking habits and bed times please!). This theatre claimed to pay in their Backstage advert. Lies! They did not pay and now top the list for most "gheddo" audition in my life time. And I've auditioned in Texas City. :-)
The auditions were not at the theatre (as the call had said they were), but down the boardwalk a ways (no signage towards this. I had to ask the cute guy at "boardwalk help," which was probably the most positive point of this experience!). So into this store front I go. It has been recently gutted. No floors, just concrete that has a previous floor pulled off it. And a line of plastic outdoor chairs my Grammy purchased in the 80s. This did not look good, but as I had driven an hour on a toll road to get here, I figured it couldn't possibly hurt to stay. (Cue horror clown music)
So I gave the little old lady at the plastic table my headshot, resume, and sheet music. I filled out their form and checked no on "would your friends call you a diva?" WWMCD? What would Maria Callas do? My new slogan for life!They mug shotted us against a white wall in groups of four (I was the sole owner of head shot and resume), then they took us four at a time to a back room to sing.
Once again, we sat in classy plastic chairs in a room the size of my kitchenette (I live in Jersey. It is a small space). It was also under construction, and the only light was from a crappy desk light. We took turns singing in this fluorescent oasis of creativity with our recycled audition numbers affixed to our bodies.
First person to go- a very large, older, black lady with a cane who claims she "can sing anything" and preceeds to sing/scream "Amazing Grace" in multiple keys. I slide down into my chair.
Next one up. An elementary school teacher in town for a conference who is doing this on a whim. He sings acapella like the woman before him. This time the religious selection in multiple keys is "You Raise Me Up." The director seems very tickled with both of them. I slide deeper into my chair. My hot pink audition dress is not helping me in my wish to disappear from here.
The director is also ringing the "Run Away!" alarm bells in my head. He looks and is dressed like Jimmy Buffet. Complete with flip flops. But there are no cheeseburgers or margaritas in sight.
The next singer is slightly better. She's a very sweet girl a couple of years older than me with a dance degree. She doesn't have any background in theatre beyond high school musicals, but that makes her look like Debbie Allen after what has just gone. She gives it her best shot singing "Cabaret." At this point, I am sunk way low into my green plastic garden chair (the green was an improvement over the white). My entire being is longing to be back at Pearl Studios at 7 am the day before. The crew of bright young girls with no make up on all beginning to get primped up in hope that they could go be a Wonderette in middle of nowhere Indiana. The sweet director Gary John LaRosa worriedly hurrying through the studio in his khakis, button up, and glasses (professional clothing!)The floors and spaces all finished (wood floors!). Nothing gutted. The people not crazy.But instead, I am in crazy Asbury, New Jersey. And it is my turn to sing in the closet for Jimmy Buffet. Joy.
I go over to the accompanist. He looks over my sheet music and goes "Ok," then looks up at me with child like innocence, waiting for me to start. This worries me."Do you need a tempo?" I ask him. All accompanists want you to give them a tempo without beating, stomping, or slapping at them (which is an art in itself). "Nope. I'll just take it off you." It's my turn for an "Ok." Only mine is not as assured as his was.So I launch into "I Wanna Be a Rockette." My subtext being "I wanna get out of here." I sing my 32 bars wishing I was anywhere else.
Then they lead us off for a dance audition. Oh yeah. There was a finished bathroom to change in. I am convinced it was the only room in the building that had not been gutted. Then armed with my trusty laducas, I am off to their dance space. Which is also gutted. With no doors and opening onto the boardwalk. People walking by gazed at the freak show within. To make it even better, the floor is the same torn up concrete. And I didn't bring my sneaks!I pray my shoes forgive me for their brief time on that floor. We proceed to learn choreo for Joseph that I would totally have given to my Kids on Stage students back at Main Street. And my kids would have done it better than most of the people in the room.
It's finally over (Thank God!), and the choreographer (hahaha) pulls a few of us over an asks us to come back for a musical rehearsal in an hour and a dance rehearsal the next day. Gheddo not quite callbacks? Trying to be a hard boiled customer, I ask her about gas stipends. After a long wait and watching the crew of them wander about their gutted space I got a "We can work something out." What on earth does that mean?
I left and did not come back later. I got a call that night saying that they would like to cast me in Joseph. When I asked if they paid, I was told they were all volunteer. I turned them down. My laducas thanked me and I made cape cods while the roomie crafted. Conclusion: I am beyond unfit to be anywhere near the Jersey shore. A fact which I am quite grateful for!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Website My YouTube channel is chilitanz. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Computers, Computers. I Hate You. You Stink. I Wish I Could Throw You Away in the Sink...Or Maybe Just Head to an Mmmbar instead!

I've been working on my webpage and my youtube channel. But I've been doing all my work on freeware. And trolling the internet for new freeware. And blindly trying to work new, old, and German (yes it was) freeware. In other words, I have just spent two days banging my head against the Great Wall of New Jersey (which is inevitably harder than the Great Wall of China). There's been lots of swearing and much chocolate eating, but it's almost all done. The ole' youtube channel is in great shape, and my website is almost done.
Here's the link to the youtube channel if you need help in America's favorite past time of cyber time wasting! (It's fun and the only movement it requires is that of your fingers! I recommend Lamb Chops videos as one of the best cures for the blues!) I'll put a link to the webpage when its really up and running.
I got a call from one of my college buds J today. He's moving up here in a month, but the only other person who knew of moving at that time was a younger Hanson sister. (Yes. An Mmmbop! Hanson) One of the younger Hanson boys (not one of the ones that serenaded my childhood) did a show at my alma mater with us. He was young (and home schooled) but quite nice (Blowing you a kiss if you're reading this Mac! :* ). And Hanson came to our show! (Eight year old me squealed inside. Adult me wished Daniel Craig had a younger sibling in the show instead). So, thats how J got his connection to Hanson. Now he's going to split the rent with a female Hanson. He told me he would need me as a drinking buddy. I'm down! Bars for poor people in New York City. Too bad they don't exist. We need an Mmmbar! ;-)