Day Um I have no idea, Palm Springs

so my friends. I have not written here for many days. I’d say I don’t know why, but that’s not true I do know why. I don’t want to talk about it. I haven’t wanted to. Just know, I haven’t forgotten this I just have been healing for a while.

At any rate, after 10+ hours travelling from NYC to Palm Springs, CA I am struck with a desire or need to talk to someone and well, no one is here but me. Palm Springs. The weather is gorgeous, probably unbearably hot in the day but it is beauteous now. I am a bit delirious. I was sitting outside, drinking a glass of Shiraz with my late dinner and noticing the Palm trees. “Huh. I’m in SoCal” I thought. Then I was flooded with memories of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Isla Vista, people and places of a time gone past. Wistful.

I am alone a lot. Not alone alone but by myself alone.  I enjoy hanging out with myself. I would probably enjoy more with other people but either way, I’ll live. I do what I need to do, what I want to do, whenever I want. Which is both a blessing and a curse (to use a cliche - it is neither - it just is).

I don’t want to get into the sorrow of Santa Barbara as of late, but that has crossed my mind tonight. What I want to say is how I realized how many lives I’ve led so far. How many of my friends, my dearest, closest friends have little to no knowledge of years and years of my life. I would think that is true for most people, no? I don’t know. 

It’s just a trip this life we lead this growing older and moving forward. I am here for a film festival and I am in the Film Market, and I am both excited and scared. I can be shy, I can be extremely outgoing. It all depends. I hope outgoing Mary takes over. 

I think I had hoped to say something profound, but instead, I did not.

Good night my friends, I’ll try not to be silent.

Days 1088-1150 Show, Storm, Snow!!!

Sept 7-25 Rehearsing The Water Children and our Burlesque fundraiser on Sept 13th all while working at Tremor

Sept 26-Oct 13th- SHOW!!! This is when The Water Children by Wendy MacLeod ran for 16 wonderful performances. We had the most amazing cast and crew and I am working on trying to move it Off-Broadway if anyone has any leads on any producers, theatres, theatre companies who might want to join forces, please let me know. We had amazing reviews and I am very proud of the production.

Oct 14th-Oct 25th- Sad to strike the show, hopeful to perform it again perhaps, auditioning, working, and started a Screenwriting class at ESPA Primary Stages. Did a staged Reading on Oct 25th of a new play called The Great Sacandaga wherein I played Gini.

Oct 26-27th - Halloween parties! Oct 28th-Nov 4th - SUPERSTORM SANDY! How grateful and blessed I feel that I was lucky enough to not lose power or my home. Was working from home all week and weekend (yay for making money as producing a show is expensive!) How eerie and odd to have no subway for a while and no broadway. Seeking out ways to help those who were adversely affected by the storm, picking up supplies and bringing them to drop off points as well as donating money. When I have more time, I’d like to give that as well.

Nov 3rd- Saw Annie on Broadway. I played Miss Hannigan back in the day and directed the show with kids at least 2x. It was cool to see it.

Nov 4th- Saw a wonderful production at Playwrights Horizons of The Whale with Cassie Beck in it. She was amazing, the whole cast was wonderful and the show, while depressing was beautifully done. I was very moved.

Nov 5th- Happy Hour with Savvy Actor, then a reading of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Nov 6th- VOTING DAY!!! Work was well, work, then off to an election party where we celebrated having many lovely folks elected into office including Elizabeth Warren and of course, the re-election of Barack Obama. Yay for Reproductive Rights and healthcare and the IBR!

Nov 7th- that is today!!! Whew. Sorry I hadn’t written for 62 days but life has been a whirlwind. I am exhausted and really need a day off but that’s not likely to happen until sometime next week. Wah. Whatever. I am healthy, alive and moving forward!

Day 1022-1087 Well, Wow. I have been overwhelmed.

Last I wrote was July. We just started our indiegogo campaign which now has 4 videos and 9 days left with 32% of our goal met. Please consider contributing and passing it on to your friends and family if you are so moved. I know I’d sure appreciate it. 

Help Produce The Water Children by Wendy MacLeod

is the link.

To give you a quick run down:

July - Amazing time at High Sierra Festival with my amazing friends in SF. Very hard to leave SF and return to NY not only because I miss my friends, but I miss my CA family. Good to come back to my NY family but very sad, my cousin still very sick. Working, rehearsing and preparing for our Blue Zone Collaborative Showcase of Scenes to Share with you. Getting people together for the Water Children. Auditioning as well. 

August- up until August 6 was working and rehearsing for the Showcase. Showcase went off beautifully and was a lot of fun. it was good to reunite with the group from Costa Rica. Softball we made it to the finals but lost and didn’t go on to the championship game. Saw Bob Schneider in concert at the City Winery. Was a reader for a class at ESPA which was tons of fun. Then……..My heart was forever broken in the weekend before that when my dear beautiful and amazing cousin passed away. I don’t have the words to say how many ways I am just so very sad about that for so many reasons, for so many loved ones. I had to start rehearsal in the midst of this and while I didn’t want to ask them to come, I am so very happy that my sister and brother came to the funeral though I really really wish that wasn’t why so many of my relatives came together………..

In a fog the rest of the month really, but rehearsals taking nice shape very quickly. Very proud of and happy with both our cast and crew. organizing our upcoming fundraiser - Soul Sparkle Burlesque at Tillmans 165 W. 26th Street NY, NY on Thursday Sept 13th at 9pm doors 9:30 show. $20 donation at the door for The Water Children production.

September- Rehearsals going well. Rose came to NYC for work and got to spend quality time with her and see her on MSNBC!!! Go ROSE! Finally hit Rockwood Music Hall and saw some good music. Sent out a bazillion press emails and hoping to get coverage for the show. That brings me to today. Work. Rehearsal. Typing this.

Day 985-1021 Lots of family, friends, plotting and planning

May 25-28 Memorial Day Weekend. I was in NYC, I know I spent a lot of time working on getting ready for our auditions for Goodly Rotten Apple’s production of The Water Children by Wendy MacLeod but I have no memory of what else I may have done. Hrm. 

May 29-May 31 Work and my class for Rock the Audition with Sheri Sanders and Brad Simmons. We also tried to go to the press screening of Snow White and the Huntsman but that was a failure. Buh. Good margaritas instead!

Jun 1st- 2nd- Happy Birthday to my amazing father! I rehearsed with Molly for our scene for our Showcase of Scenes to Share with you that goes up in August. 

Jun 3-4- First round of auditions for The Water Children. Saw lots of awesome actors. Had a hard time deciding who to call back.

June 5-11 - Booked a ticket home to SF for a month to help out with my father who sadly had a scare and had to go to the hospital, then a rehab but is now home and doing okay, thank you to everyone’s prayers. The week before I left we had callbacks for the water children, which were also awesome, it was really ridculous trying to decide who/how to cast we could have done it a few ways and it was painful to have to say no to some who were amazing. I am not cut out for casting. Anyway, I also met with Chris and Molly to plan for A Showcase of Scenes to Share with you which is a scene night directed by Alaine Alldaffer with all of us who went to Costa Rica with her in November 2011. And I also met with Emily to rehearse our scene for the scene night. And I started filming for our Indie A Go Go fundraiser for The Water Children all while working full time before heading to CA. phew!

June 11-25 I flew to SF and went directly to Petaluma where I saw my parents and my sister and brother and my nieces and worked remotely and then on Thursday the 21 I went to SF for the weekend and took an awesome Web Design class through Skillshare from my awesome best friend Dave Casuto, then spent the weekend OFF. Shock. OFF. I did lots of fun things like go out with friends then go to lunch on the water, then out to a Brass Tax dance party in Golden Gate Park and had a mellow night watching movies. Sunday okay, well, sunday I worked on GRAP stuff like our amazing, amazing graphic done by another of my awesomist best friends, Jason Galeon. I will show that to you soon. And I started on the website. 

June 25-July 2nd Working Remote between SF and Petaluma and hanging out with family and friends while also trying to finish editing my video for the upcoming Indie-A-Go-Go campaign for The Water Children. 

Day 964-984 May is flying by!

May 5- I did the Revlon walk for cancer and met Jimmy Fallon randomly after getting lost in Central Park. He was pretty cool. It was a random moment, Aqueelah and I were trying to escape Central park after the walk and this guy and kid ran past us and sat on the bench up ahead. We were talking about healthcare being so craptacular in this country and when I happened to see the guy on the bench and said, Hi Jimmy Fallon! and he congratulated us on the walk and we said well thank you for giving us such a good pep talk and went on our merry way. Then I auditioned for a film at Columbia, then went to see Lonely I’m not at 2nd Stage and then to a birthday party for Leah! Long and fun day!

May 6- Saw Fat Camp. It was hilarious and fun. Go see it.

May 7- Worked and met with Sheri Sanders to have songs picked for my Rock the Audition class.

May 8- Looks like I just worked—- BUT! I started (well in official FB time anyway) Goodly Rotten Apple Productions fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas.

May 9- 2 EPA’s, work and then a reading of a new play at ESPA Primary Stages.

May 10- Work and a softball game

May 11- EPA, work and a rehearsal for our scene night

May 12-13- Happy Mother’s Day! I have no idea what I did. I think it involved running in Prospect Park and hanging out with Jennifer.

May 14- Work and another reading for ESPA Primary Stages Spring Playwriting Festival

May 15-16 EPAs, Work, Webinar for Fundraising

May 17- Work and then my first Rock the Audition class with Sheri Sanders. I love this woman! The class was amazing and I was terrified but she called me on my bullshit and got me to do a decent job and like a song I didn’t interpret correctly at first. 

May 18- Work and saw The Common Pursuit at Roundabout. 

May 19- Met with Tessa for production advice for the fall show

May 20- Went through a bazillion headshots and resumes for casting of the fall show of The Water Children by Wendy MacLeod

May 21-22 Went up to Rhode Island for a funeral. Sad to say that my Uncle Patrick died. I was glad I was able to be there for the funeral but funerals are never fun. I hope I don’t have to go to another one for at least 10 years. 

May 23- Work, Voice Lesson with Brad

May 24- EPA and work, then 2nd Rock the Audition class. This time I got to sing Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar. It was fun!

Day 937-963- Producing, Sporting, and Praying

Wow, I’ve been really remiss about keeping up with this haven’t I? I have good reason. I have been crazed.

I’ll give a quick rundown and let you know why.

Apr 8- Happy Easter! I saw Peter and the Starcatcher and went to a talkback via the Sag Foundation. It was a great show. I really enjoyed the staging and I’ll always love Peter Pan. I wrote a musical when I was 22 about Peter Pan meeting Alice in Wonderland. Maybe I’ll produce it one day.

Apr 9-11 EPA’s and working. Not too memorable at this point.

Apr 12- work and our first Softball Game. I am playing softball with my day job. We’re the Ad-A-holics (Tremor is an online video ad company). I also did my taxes and auditioned for a new Sam Shepard play. We played the British Consulate and I’m sorry to my Brit friends, but ya’ll have no idea how to play softball. It was 20-2 eek. 

Apr 13-15- I met with Alaine to go over our scene from The Water Children for the showcase I am doing. She sparked an idea for me to produce this play. I am thinking about it. I worked and I then met with Kendra on Sunday and explored Brooklyn and had lunch from a yummy veggie place, Hancos and brought it to Prospect Park.

Apr 16-  I did the EPA for Berkeley Rep. It was so nice to see Amy Potozkin again- she’s always so lovely and it just melts and breaksmy heart to see people from back home in the Bay Area. After work, I read the stage directions in a reading of a new play called House of Strength by Rahaleh Nassri. It’s a lovely play and I hope it ends up getting produced. It tells a story I’ve not heard on the American stage and is set in Iran.

Apr 17-18 Work and Alexander class at ESPA 

Apr 19- work and then saw Taming of the Shrew with Jennifer at Theatre for a New Audience. It was totally sold out and we were on the waiting list. As we were talking a woman next to us heard we were waiting to get in and she said, I have 2 tickets that are not being used do you want them? And we said, well, we’re students (at ESPA) and she gave them to us for the student price. I enjoyed the show and the space very much.

Apr 20-22- Work, Nia Class- a strange form of freeform almost dance/fitness then drank and ate at Jennifers. We went to her unity church in the morning. then later we went to a reading of a new Brooke Berman play, Casual Encounters. Brooke writes beautiful and hilarious scripts that have characters I adore and relate well too. What was so cool about the reading was a) I got to meet Brooke b) it was at Jimmy’s No. 43 where I do Detention and c) Sean Dugan was in it and he’s amazing and I haven’t seen him since I was in The Seagull at CalShakes with him back in 2002. It was a lovely evening of reconnecting and meeting lovely people. I am blessed.

Apr 23-24- the 23rd was a mellow day of work. I don’t remember anything else. Tuesday, I met with Alaine to go over Maritius for the showcase scene. then off to work. Later that day, I talked to Equity about a show I am going to produce.

Apr 25-26 Work and seeing Broadway. I worked and saw Seminar by Theresa Rebeck and The Lyons by Nicky Silver. I thought both shows were quite funny.

I highly recommend them both, but particularly The Lyons because Linda Lavin (Alice TV show from the 80’s) was hilarious and brilliant. And you should always support any play where the main character is an older woman. I want jobs as I age. 

Apr 27-29 Friday I worked, Saturday I went to an Indie Producer Fest at the Network. I met 5 producer/writer/directors of NY Independent film. It was a pleasure to meet them all and I thought my short meetings went well. Sunday, I auditioned for the ESPA Spring Playwrighting Festival. I have been asked to read a fun role in a show on May 9th.

Apr 30- work and a softball game. We won 15-5. 

May 1st- I worked, but the highlight of today was seeing Bob Schneider and his full band at The Bowery Ballroom. I was front and center and it was just so much fun and happy.

May 2nd- Audition for 3 LORT theatres, work, and alexander class. I was a blubbering mess, but I think there were some breakthroughs. 

May 3rd- Work then I saw Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. It was well done. I find the musical a bit cheesy but I love the driving guitar riff of the opening song. Judas was awesome, so was Pontius Pilot and King Herod. 

May 4th- May the 4th be with you! Okay, I am a dork. I awoke at the crack of dawn and signed up for an EPA for Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Went to work, came back

had a great audition, then back to work. then to my aunt and uncle’s for a visit where I got beat up by my wee cousin Owen, now here writing to you. 

Caught up!

It’s been nuts. I am coordinating a showcase with 11 actors and Alaine Alldaffer, producing a show Off-Off-Broadway this fall of The Water children by Wendy Macleod, and my family and I are all distracted because my lovely cousin is in the hospital fighting brain cancer. Please say a prayer for my cousin Katie.

Tomorrow, I am walking in the Revlon Walk for Cancer because I don’t know what else to do. you can still donate here.

Day 924-936 Jury Duty, Sick, Work, EPA’s

Mar 26- Jury Duty

Mar 27- Escape from Jury Duty. Finally. Ugh.

Mar 28- Work and Alexander class

Mar 29- Radio gig and work, sick.

Mar 30- work from home, still sick

Mar 31- sleep all day still sick, Painting Churches with Jennifer that night at Theatre Row. This show was excellent. Kathleen Chalfant is amazing. See it for her.

Apr 1- Cancelled everything still sick

Apr 2-3 Working sick. nothing else

Apr 4- Two EPA’s, work, Master Class with Michael Greif at ESPA awesome. What a cool, down to earth guy. home to bed after work sickness persists

Apr 5- EPA, work, Leap of Faith on Broadway- this is a fun show with awesome music and great acting, check it out.

Apr 6- Work then to ESPA Detention #11 to see Jennifer perform. Was very funny at Jimmy’s no. 43, then home

Apr 7- Saturday, home during the day, to East Village out with Kathleen and Yvonne, mostly not sick, fun.

Day 917-923 Back in town, auditions, AFTRA

Mar 20- EPA Twelfth Night. Work. EPA went okay, though I felt kinda blah about it. I guess being in another world for a week did it

Mar 21- EPA for Storm Theatre, work, Alexander Class. I learned (again) when it comes to physical work, I am a kinestetic learner. Once I am asked to analyze it, it all goes bleh. Humm. Kinda like lots of things in me life. Perhaps I shall ponder this more. heh.

Mar 22- Work and saw The Morini Strad at Primary Stages.

Mar 23- Work and then audition for film, Backup Brain which I thought went pretty well. After that I went to Jimmy’s Corner and talked shop with my friend David

Mar 24- My last songwriting class and we laid down chords for one of my songs! Yay! Then I went off to Queens for my cousin’s bday party and got super lost! 

Mar 25- The big news today is, I joined AFTRA! This could be perilous but my gut tells me that ain’t so! I have put a lot of thought into this over the years and what put me over the edge this week was realizing that when the unions merge (which I am assuming they will) I will be paying a lot higher initiation fee. As it stands right now, I am AEA already and I shouldn’t be working non-union anything and being non-union in NYC is not really helpful to you in any way. Yes, you’re cut off from doing non-union work, but unless you have no credits and no tape I don’t think that being able to do non-union work is so terrible. Most student and some indie films get waivers and special contracts, so if you really wanted to do film and weren’t getting cast, you could go after those. The other thing is when you do work, you get paid and protected. If you do extra work, you’ll be paid a decent wage vs the $85/10 hours which really is very bad and it will count toward your health and pension. I could still produce my own stuff as well. The only reasons I would have not done this is: if I were still in SF, which I am not, or/and if I were doing a lot of non-union work in film and tv that was paying my bills (which I am not). Or if I were just starting out (which I am also not). Therefore I decided it was best for me. We’ll see how the ride goes. 

In Summation, things I learned about SXSW

These aren’t rules, but they’re things that made it cooler to me. If you think of it like traveling abroad, you’ll have more fun.

1. Never wait in line too long, there’s something else probably as cool around the corner

2. Go with the flow and have as much fun as you can

3. Have a loose plan for the day so you have destinations, but don’t be so rigid you can’t discover new or unexpected things along the way

4. If you can not drive, that is better

5. Austin is A LOT cheaper than NYC

6. Talk to random people, it makes life more fun

7. Be open to new food and new music

8. Go to the food trucks

9. Keep an open eye, ear, and heart

10. You don’t need a badge or a wristband for the music events. A pass really helps for the films

11. Slightly off the beaten path offers many gems

12. Austin is similiar to this fun at other times of the year as well

13. Do some research beforehand and know what films are showing and what music is playing so you can pick things out

14. There’s lots of free food and alcohol.

15. RSVP to lots of parties, you never know where you might want to go.