Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday jokes never get old

Dear Friends & Family,

The best part of holidays is the time spent together doing small
things, like preparing meals or taking time on a cold snowy day to do
something simple like baking cookies. If you are so motivated, here is
a recipe for what I think is the perfect holiday cookie! Please be
sure to follow the instructions to a "t".

Subject: Holiday Cookie Recipe ( follow directions closely )

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Cabo Wabo Tequilla

Sample the Cabo Wabo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the
Cabo Wabo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one
level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer... Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy

Add one teaspoon of sugar... Beat again. At this point it's best to
make sure the Cabo Wabo is still OK, try another cup ... just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and
chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off floor...

Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just
pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cabo Wabo to check for

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet.

Check the Cabo Wabo . Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget
to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window,
finish the Cabo Wabo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Holiday Joke that never gets old

Dear Friends & Family,

The best part of holidays is the time spent together doing small
things, like preparing meals or taking time on a cold snowy day to do
something simple like baking cookies. If you are so motivated, here is
a recipe for what I think is the perfect holiday cookie! Please be
sure to follow the instructions to a "t".

Subject: Holiday Cookie Recipe ( follow directions closely )

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Cabo Wabo Tequilla

Sample the Cabo Wabo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the
Cabo Wabo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one
level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer... Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy

Add one teaspoon of sugar... Beat again. At this point it's best to
make sure the Cabo Wabo is still OK, try another cup ... just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and
chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off floor...

Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just
pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cabo Wabo to check for

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet.

Check the Cabo Wabo . Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget
to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window,
finish the Cabo Wabo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshine day

So, I was walking around Manhattan, my new hometown, yesterday afternoon in the unseasonably warm 40+ degree weather. I was walking to a holiday party and I started to realize that I had forgotten something. No, not my gloves, I had those in my pockets. Not my holiday gift for the host- I was actually going to a party hosted by one of my consulting clients and was pretty sure I would be put to work, which, as my holiday gift, I would do for free. Not my iPod, though recently I have been carrying a trendy, small purse which can hold little than a stick of gum and my Metrocard. No, what I realized I desperately needed but had left at home: my sunglasses. I saw people all around me walking down the streets in full coats, gloves, scarves, hats, and... sunglasses. The past few days in NYC has been bright and sunny while also being cold, and I cannot seem to remember to bring sunglasses with me. There are a lot of weird things to experience in The Big Apple, and this is one of those things that is hard to adjust to.

You see, if you have not spent the majority of your life in southern CA, you would not appreciate how strange this is. This is a phenomenon that is not present to the indigenous folk of San Diego. No, in San Diego the sun is a barometer that tells us what the temperature will be like that day: sunny = warm; cloudy = chilly. You can’t really have cold without clouds and you cannot have warmth without sunlight. And you certainly don’t wear sunglasses when you are wearing an overcoat. Sunglasses = summer, no exceptions.

But it’s all bass-ackwards here in NYC. It is known that some of the warmest days are those when it is cloudy, right before or after a tropical rain (because the moisture gets trapped by the clouds and the humidity makes it feel much hotter). And some of the coldest days in the winter are punctuated by bright hues of sunlight. So, in the mornings, while the radiator blasts out enormous amounts of heat, I have to look out the window to see if the sun is shining. If I do, I have to put on sunscreen underneath my hat and around my scarf, and remember to slips my fake Gucci sunglasses into my real Kenneth Cole purse (got it is Loehmann’s, half price!) If it’s not, then I will be really confused because I have no idea what temperature it is going to be.

Speaking of which, it is time to go out to lunch, and I see that the sun is shining brightly again today. So, I have to do the little sunshine ritual listed above. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A funny joke, from my good friend, John


The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in
Washington, DC this Christmas Season. This isn't for any religious
reason; they simply have not been able to find 3 wise men and a
virgin in the Nations' Capital.

There was no problem, however, in finding enough asses to fill the stable.

Monday, December 4, 2006

It's a good day

I love it when I wake up to a message that an advertising prospect of mine has decided to advertise in the next issue of the magazine I work for. It just makes the whole day go by so nicely!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

I don't know what to write

I don’t have anything to write. I am just feeling the pressure of knowing that I haven’t written anything of substance in a while, so I thought I would heighten the pressure by opening up a “new post.”

new post...

new post...

After a few blissful weeks of unseasonably warm weather (mid 60s) today temperature was a stark 45 degrees. My friend jenny said today that at the store she manages, sales have been down because the weather has been so good. i asked why, and she said that since it was not cold, people were forgetting that Christmas was coming. Being from southern California, this theory was lost on me.

Hmm, that wasn’t that interesting.

new post...

new post...

I bought a new cell phone and switched from Cingular to T-Mobile.

new post...

new post...

I think my job, the one I gave notice to, has found a suitable replacement for me, within 3 days of posting the notice. I couldn’t be more thrilled. That may mean that I can quit the job earlier than expected. Not that I am thrilled about the loss of pay, but I am excited about the new adventure that awaits. I will definitely tell you more as things develop, but all I can say is that I am starting a new business and as soon as I incorporate it, I will spill the beans.

Ok, that’s enough for now.

I don't know what to write

I don’t have anything to write. I am just feeling the pressure of knowing that I haven’t written anything of substance in a while, so I thought I would heighten the pressure by opening up a “new post.”

new post...

new post...

After a few blissful weeks of unseasonably warm weather (mid 60s) today temperature was a stark 45 degrees. My friend jenny said today that at the store she manages, sales have been down because the weather has been so good. i asked why, and she said that since it was not cold, people were forgetting that Christmas was coming. Being from southern California, this theory was lost on me.

Hmm, that wasn’t that interesting.

new post...

new post...

I bought a new cell phone and switched from Cingular to T-Mobile.

new post...

new post...

I think my job, the one I gave notice to, has found a suitable replacement for me, within 3 days of posting the notice. I couldn’t be more thrilled. That may mean that I can quit the job earlier than expected. Not that I am thrilled about the loss of pay, but I am excited about the new adventure that awaits. I will definitely tell you more as things develop, but all I can say is that I am starting a new business and as soon as I incorporate it, I will spill the beans.

Ok, that’s enough for now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The deed is done

I quit my job. As suspected, the board president did not know anything about my concerns prior to my telling them to her, and she did everything she could to get me to stay. I agreed to stay as an employee through Dec 22, or until they find someone else, whichever is sooner. I also agreed to stay on as a consultant on a project basis if they don't find someone by Dec 22, meaning that I would continue to do the ongoing, basic projects but would not be "on call" for admin work and would not be liable for a certain amount of hours per week. But I also made it clear that I want to move on to do my own non-profit, so they don't need to keep me on just to appease me. I want to go ASAP.

It feels somewhat nice to know that they think it will take a while to replace me. I brought a lot to this job, and I think the board needs to think about the fact that it was the behavior of the executive director that encouraged me to leave. Hopefully they take that into consideration as they hire the new person.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Time to open up a bit

It's been a while since I blogged about personal things that are happening in the world of Erin, so I thought I would take this time to let you in on some of my "goings-on."

I think I am going to quit one of my "day" jobs. The lucrative one. And soon. The reason being... the executive director of this company is an excellent people person and a good "face" on the company, but is not very good at managing employees. I work part time, from home, for a maximum of 25 hours per week. But even if I have already worked my hours for the week, she somehow expects that if she or a board member drops the ball on a project, me or my co-worker need to jump to their rescue. Which causes a lot of overtime that we do not get paid for, except to say that the following week I can work fewer hours. But this is actually not the case, because the following week the same thing happens all over again.

This last time, I expressed my concern that by adding this last minute project, I would not be able to finish the other very important project for that week. I told her I could easily do 25 hours, but no more, and she could choose which project she wanted me to focus on. I could even get this last minute project done quickly by working more hours per day at the beginning of the week, but I could not go over 25 total because I has a show opening. Well, this was not a good thing to say, apparently, because her reaction was to say, "I can see you are very busy. Your acting career sounds like it is going well. Maybe it is time for us to look for someone who is more available for us."

I don't take kindly to being threatened, or respond well to the type of conversation that followed. She proceeded to tell me about several areas of my work that she had been unhappy with (news to me). Clearly, she was in no mood to actually try to work through the problems, but only use them as fodder in trying to get me to take on the project I did not have time to do. She said something like, "Moving forward, we have to find a way of working together that is good for the both of us." So I said, "Um, I have just be handed a last minute project. I told you I would do it but other things would have to wait. I reorganize my schedule so that I complete the project in the record time you are requiring, and now you are telling me you think you might need to find someone else? I am not sure, at this point, if I WANT to find a better way to work together. I am going to have to really think about this situation and figure out what I want to do."

Needless to say, she started backpedaling immediately, saying that she had a really awful weekend and that things were falling apart around her. Never apologizing, but backpedaling. Since then she has been cordial, basically acting like nothing has happened, though she did email me to say that, sure enough, the project was NOT supposed to be on my plate (it was for someone else), and I should have told her that when we first started speaking. What????

This happened almost two week ago, so I have been preparing myself for leaving. I mean, even if we forget what happened, this feeling will still be hanging over me. This is not the first time I have been treated strangely (I was admonished for using more than one exclamation point in my emails- true story). And there is some sort of weird hierarchy (read: corporate) where it is clearly unreasonable for me to speak my mind, or hold them to their commitment of only asking me to work 25 hours per week. It's bad energy, and the work does not fulfill me, so it is time to go.

What this does for me, though, is it allows me to open up possibilities for doing other consulting work that I do enjoy, in the areas of arts marketing and coaching. So, if you happen to know anyone who needs a marketing consultant (including web design) or wants someone to coach them through some audition monologues or how to make it in the business of acting, I am your gal.

PS- No exclamation points were used in the making of this rant. But I did use 4 question marks in a row. Snap.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Believe...

I got this in my inbox from my dear friend, John, and thought I would pass it on to you. It's a long one, but I think it is worth it:

I Believe

I believe- That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe- That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and, you must forgive them for that.

I believe-That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I believe- That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe- That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe-
That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe- That you can keep going long after you can't.

I believe- That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe- That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe- That regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I believe- That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe- That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe- That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time!

I believe- That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe- That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe- That just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I believe- That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe- That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe- That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe- That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe- That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other, And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe- That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe- That two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe- That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe- That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I believe- That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe- That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I believe- That you should send this to all of the people that you believe in.

I believe...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nice try, Microsoft

Microsoft has come out with their version of the iPod to try to take some of the MP3 player market share currently dominated by Apple. CNN/Fortune Magazine has written an excellent story about the new product, and did thorough testing to determine which product was better.

Apple won, hands down.

This makes me so happy!

To read the full story, go to http://money.cnn.com/2006/11/09/technology/pluggedin_lewis_zune.fortune/index.htm.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Inspiration

“ To laugh is to risk appearing the fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk exposing yourself
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk failure
But risks must be taken
Because the great hazard in life is to risk nothing
If you risk nothing and do nothing, you dull your spirit
You may avoid suffering and sorrow
But you cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love and live
Chained by your attitude, you are a slave
You have forfeited your freedom
Only if you risk are you free!”

-- TS Eliot, 1888-1965

Thursday, November 9, 2006

As if I needed another reason to boycott Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has announced that this year they are encouraging their employees to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays," after being boycotted last year by religious groups who were offended by the open-minded greeting.

On CNN.com, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley was quoted as saying (to USA Today), "We, quite frankly, have learned a lesson from last year. We're not afraid to use the term 'Merry Christmas.' We'll use it early, and we'll use it often." (click to read more).

This just pisses me off. I don't have a problem with the phrase "Merry Christmas." Like many Americans, I view it as a secular holiday having little to do with Christianity. But for a billionaire company like Wal-Mart to bend to the pressure of the fanatical is dangerous and short-sighted. When is this country going to learn that Christianity is not the national religion?

That being said, I support freedom of speech and the freedom of this company to choose to sell whatever it wants to sell and greet people however they want to greet them. But I also choose to exercise my right to BOYCOTT the hell out of this company and spread the word.

If you want more reasons why you should boycott the big W, visit http://walmartwatch.com/.

End of soapbox. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Update on election

We only need ONE more state to win the Senate. Montana has been called for the Democrats. Now we are waiting on Virginia (my birth place). C'mon, don't fail me now!

The best day of the year

I am ecstatic!

• The abortion ban was defeated in South Dakota.
• The Democrats have won the house.
• We have our first, ever, female Speaker of the House.
• The Democrats might win the Senate


• Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down.

Even though it is raining in NYC today, the sun is shining on America.

Now, if we could just get our states to recognize that gay marriage hurts NO ONE and promotes LOVE. No brainer. Sheesh.

This is such great news!

Down with the abortion ban!


Victory for Choice!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

It's the little things

Today, while waiting for the subway, I was standing near a man who was playing the accordion. After playing 2 songs I didn’t recognize, he started playing “The Chicken Dance.” I looked around to see if anyone else knew “The Chicken Dance,” and to my delight, when the 2nd verse of the song started, several people clapped in the correct place and did the choreography. On the subway platform.

In that moment, I realized how fun it is to be alive.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Blind and Dumb Voting

So, I have a little gripe here. I recently moved to a new apartment, and finally registered to vote in the state of NY in the first week of October, several weeks ahead of the deadline. I have received a confirmation by mail that I am registered, complete with polling location and instructions. What I haven't receive yet is any kind of information regarding what the hell is on the ballot.

So, I think, "Well, I can certainly find some official ballot information on one of the city or state websites. Easy enough." Wrong. Dead wrong. After an hour of searching, I could not find any detailed voting information on these "official" websites. Oh, sure, I found voter registration information up the wazoo (am I the only one who uses that word anymore?) But I could find NOTHING that told me about the candidates or ballot measures- not their names and not what they stood for (or against).

How the hell does the government expect me to vote if I have no idea what I am voting on??? That either results in a) people getting so frustrated they don't vote (bad), or b) people getting so frustrated they go in and vote all one party because that is the only criteria they understand (very, very bad!). I am not normally one to get paranoid about things, but this is an awful sign about the state of our state and nation.

After digging through several Google pages, I finally happened upon this wonderful site:


"Thousands of candidates and elected officials. Who works for you? Who is seeking your vote? Project Vote Smart, a citizen's organization, has developed a Voter's Self-Defense System to provide you with the necessary tools to self-govern effectively: abundant, accurate, unbiased and relevant information. As a national library of factual information, Project Vote Smart covers your candidates and elected officials in five basic categories: biographical information, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances and interest group ratings. What would you like to know? Access our library of information through either the menu on the left hand side or the links above."

You can enter your full zip code and the website will give you full information about the candidates and ballot measures. I cannot wait to get started.

Now it's your turn. Go. Learn. Vote. Make a difference.


Sunday, November 5, 2006

You are invited to help me celebrate!

I have been doing theatre since the age of 9 in California, but my hope has always been to test my skills on the big stages of New York City. I am proud to say that next week I have the honor of performing in my first show since moving to the city and I hope that you will be able to share it with me!

What: A camera is the only witness in Camera-Ready Art -- a trilogy of short thrillers. In "Shutterbug", a photographer of the macabre tries to convince his listener that he isn't inhuman. In "And Everything Nice," an ex-convict, just having served time on a bum rap, hooks up with a liberal man of means to help her go straight -- with deadly consequences. And in"Wedding Album (Photographs Presented in Reverse-Chronological Order)," photographs of a small, impromptu wedding between a diplomat and his secretary at a foreign embassy serve as a memento of one party's murderous compulsion.

Who: Erin Cronican* stars in "Wedding Album" as The Bride. The evening also stars Debra Kay Anderson*, Rozie Bacchi*, Manish Dayal, Eric Dente*, Robert Dioguardi*, William Franke*, and Barry Steely (* denotes member of Actors' Equity Association.)

When: Thursday, November 9 at 8pm
Friday, November 10 at 8pm
Saturday, November 11 at 8pm
Sunday, November 12 at 3pm

Where: The Players Loft - 115 MacDougal Street, New York City

How: Tickets are $18.00 and can be purchased through TheaterMania.com or by calling TheaterMania at (212) 352-3101.

If you plan to attend, please let me know what day you will be there so I know to look for you afterward.

One other detail- my birthday, as well my final performance, is on November 12 so if you want to kill two birds with one stone, come see the show on that day (I will likely head to a bar or restaurant afterwards for a post show birthday celebration!)

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Excuse me, was that Kindness???

So, I was on the bus the other day, traveling from the east to the western side of Central Park so I could go to rehearsal on the west side of midtown Manhattan. The buses can sometimes get crowded, and there are signs posted around the bus reminding us that if all seats are filled and a pregnant, disabled or elderly person gets on board, we should offer our seats to them. Luckily, I had a seat, but I always keep an eye out to see if anyone needs to sit, particularly if I am coming close to my stop. One stop invited a large amount of people onboard, and when an older woman with a shopping bag stood in front of me, I decided to offer her my seat. She declined at first, but when I let her know that my stop was coming up anyway, she took the opportunity to take the weight off her feet.

As soon as she sat down, she started talking to the man next to her, who appeared to be close to her age. I try not to listen but, as she is so close, I couldn’t help but hear her conversation. I suddenly tune in to exactly what she is saying... “I am so tired of people thinking that I am elderly. I’m only only 50 years old! People don’t need to give up their seat to me, but they keep offering. Do I look old?” she impatiently asks the gentleman. He says no and laughs, telling her that he gets the same thing and she should just enjoy it. She continues to complain, and I am thinking, “Hello... I am right here! And you are complaining as though I am not standing 6 inches away from you.”

So this has gotten me a little frazzled. I mean, is it or is it not a courtesy to give up your seat for someone? Does it matter why I am giving it up? Should I just get up and not tell the person I am doing it for them? Must I hide these niceties for fear of offending someone? Or should I just blankly stare out the window and not care who may need my seat? Maybe I need to have an “age-o-meter” handy so I can tell precisely who needs a seat and who doesn’t:

“This says you are only 69- sorry, you’re not old enough to be considered elderly.”
“Sorry, you may have diabetes and be losing your hair, but that wouldn’t get you a disabled placard and you won’t be getting my seat.”
“Oh, you are 80, on oxygen, and have hip dysplasia? Ok, sit right down!”

So many details to consider, when I would rather just be playing sudoku.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pics from my film shoot

I have just posted photos from the film shoot "A Test of Time"- I will soon post stories as well...

Click here to view more.

Leave a comment so I know you were there!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why I love Tom

A conversation at brunch today:

Tom: I'm drunk. (gulps more of his Bloody Mary)

Me: It's only noon.

Tom: We should rent the entire Star Wars series today. All 9 of them.

Me: 9 of them?

Tom: I include the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" movies in there.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Now, more than ever, is the time for every day people like us to stand up and take part in the fight. Make a donation, send the governor a letter (http://www.standupsd.com), forward this to your friends. Do something.

A message from Planned Parenthood:

Rev. Jerry Falwell has been spewing xenophobic, homophobic, and religiously zealous rants for decades -- all wrapped in the flag of patriotism from atop his "Liberty Mountain" in Virginia. This week, he's taking on South Dakota in his crusade to ban abortion throughout America. And he's doing it to the tune of $4 million dollars.

We can't let Jerry Falwell decide the fate of South Dakota's abortion law. Please give what you can to stand up for South Dakota:


According to Jerry Falwell, "What happens in South Dakota will literally affect the future of America."

We couldn't agree more.

The Abortion Ban, HB-1215, calls for a near-complete ban on abortions with no exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or health of the mother. The law is not designed to minimize abortions (there are fewer than 1000 abortions per year in South Dakota). Instead, Round and supporters in the State Legislature aim to set off a nationwide effort to challenge Roe v. Wade and advance their ideological agenda that includes limiting access to emergency contraception and pushing for abstinence-only sex education in public schools.

On March 6, 2006 South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signed the law to the delight of anti-choice activists nationwide. The law, which was scheduled to take effect on July 1, would have stripped American's living in South Dakota's of their Constitutional rights.

On May 30, 2006, over 38,416 signatures from voters in South Dakota were delivered to the State Legislature. Now verified, these signatures put the future of the abortion ban in the hands of South Dakota's voters.

Attached below is Falwell's latest call-to-action to his massive network of followers. In it, he warns of a multi-million dollar pro-choice "war chest," and commands people to open their checkbooks right away as an act of faith.

The truth is, there is no war-chest for South Dakota. We don't have millions of dollars for TV commercials or glossy direct mail appeals. Every penny raised for this urgent fight is being spent in an intense voter-to-voter effort to tell the truth about this dangerous law. So while Falwell talks of deep pockets and millions of dollars, the reality is that $250,000 raised this week could make the difference on Election Day:


This message is being sent to thousands of people. Together, by clicking to donate $20, $35, or $50 today, we can deliver the votes that will stop the extremists in South Dakota -- and protect the rights of women and families across the country. But it can't wait. Please join us today.

Thank you.

Sarah Stoesz
President, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund

P.S. There's still time to sign up to host or attend a "Potluck for South Dakota" the weekend of September 29-October 1st. Click here to join the party:



Insider weekly newsletter to The Moral Majority Coalition and
The Liberty Alliance http://www.moralmajority.com
From: Jerry Falwell
Date: September 14, 2006

South Dakota Pro-Lifers Face Off Against Planned Parenthood

The pro-life movement in South Dakota needs your help. In a moment, I'll tell you how you can help, but first, please allow me to explain the situation in the state.

Abortion-rights advocates have gotten a measure on the November ballot that, if passed, would repeal the state law (HB 1215) forbidding all abortions, except those that would save the life of a mother. The ban, which hasn't yet taken effect, will be activated if it passes the ballot initiative (even though it would likely would be challenged in the courts). The law states that individuals performing abortions would be fined $5,000 and be jailed for five years.

Here's the key problem: Planned Parenthood is now pouring money into the state, in hopes of killing this legislation without having to go to court.

Dr. Allen Unruh, of the South Dakota pro-life organization Vote Yes for Life tells me that Planned Parenthood panicked after HB 1215 was passed in both state houses and Gov. Mike Rounds signed it into law. The state house voted 50 to 18 in favor of the bill, while the state senate passed it 23 to 12.

Dr. Unruh says the organization is mounting an $8 million media blitz over the next two months. He tells me this is a major propaganda campaign to demonize and distort the language on the ban on abortion in South Dakota.

Pro-life leaders in the state are now trying to raise funds to counter Planned Parenthood's campaign to defeat the law. They are now attempting to raise $4 million to offset Planned Parenthood's campaign to radical political agenda.

That's where I hope you will step in. I have told Dr. Unruh and his team that I will do my best to deliver thousands of people who will financially help to win this historic battle. We have to raise $4 million dollars -- very quickly -- in South Dakota to counter the propaganda Planned Parenthood will be putting on the airwaves prior to the November election.

Dr. Unruh and I believe that if there were ever a time when Christians need to invest in a pro-life effort, the time is now and the place is South Dakota. If the state wins this battle, other states could follow South Dakota's lead in the future, also determining to outlaw abortion.

I am urging my friends across the country to give generously to this vital campaign. What happens in South Dakota will literally affect the future of America.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Could life get any better?

My favorite movie of all time is being turned into a cartoon!

"Spaceballs" by Mel Brooks has been my favorite movie since my early teen years. One of the reasons I love Mel Brooks and movies like Spaceballs is how much spoofing and word play they use. I love double entendres, puns, and physical humor, and Mel Brooks has a way of blending it with excellent writing and great directing. His movies include both low and high brow humor, so there is a little something for everyone. And each time I watch a movie of his, I learn another trick or see something I hadn’t seen before.

He has now penned a cartoon which will debut on G4 and will continue to spoof current blockbusters. I cannot wait to get my eyes on it. To read the news release, click here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Audition Chronicles- The Bad Accompanist

Since I have recently separated my professional website from my personal ones, I think it is time to talk about the things I don’t necessarily want everyone to see- strange, bad, funny or annoying experiences I have while working towards my goal of being a full time performer.

Audition Chronicles- The Bad Accompanist

I went out for an audition today, and was feeling pretty good on my way there. After all, I had a fantastic voice lesson yesterday with my new voice coach, and I felt like a million bucks. I walk into the audition and find myself waiting in a stairwell with several other hopefuls. I fill out my conflict sheet, which lets the producers know what my conflicts are for the dates they have rehearsals and performances. I change out of my flip flops and into my cute (but uncomfortable) ballet style dress shoes, and I wait for my turn to sing.

When they call my name, I go into the room where there are 5-6 people, and the first thing they do is ask me how tall I am (5’5“) and tell me to take off my shoes. Instead of a piano, the accompanist sits behind a small electric keyboard. I give her my music and ask her to follow me through the first section (noted as “freely” in the music, which means the accompanist follows the singer’s tempo) and then I set a faster tempo for the more brisk 2nd section. I introduce myself to the group, tell them what I am going to sing (“Not for the Life of Me” from Thoroughly Modern Millie) and nod to the accompanist that I am ready. For those of you who don’t know the song, it starts out hesitant and contemplative, and I use the slower pace early on to really set up the character and play the action of the song. Then the character becomes resolute, the pace picks up, and the song becomes fun, fast and furious. It is a well known song in musical theatre circles.

The accompanist starts, and from the beginning I know I am in trouble. Instead of following me “freely” and playing the accompaniment, she plays the melody line and plays decisively. And SLOWLY. It’s kind of like if someone tried to play along with your speech, It’s very difficult to match notes with the words at the exact time they are spoken- trying to do so is kind of like a train wreck. This was what the audition was like. At first, I try to slow down so the accompanist can catch up, but then I realize that she is plunking out notes and there is no way I can match what she is doing. So, I decide to just push forward and hope that the producers know what is happening. The accompanist comes in and out of playing the music, and never fully catches on. Finally, the song ends and the directors just sort of stare at me before saying, “Thank you.” (Read: “Not a chance in hell.” ) I said “You’re welcome.” Read: “Your accompanist was awful, didn’t you know?“

Luckily, it only took up 15 minutes of my day, and I got to go home, brew some coffee, and snuggle up with my dog. No harm, no foul. And only 4 more hours before my next audition- this time, it is for a NYU grad film. No accompanist- it should be a breeze. =)

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Another weird audition notice

Craigslist has a lot of winners, and a lot of losers...



Apparently, actors are useful revenge tools. I thought I was the only one who was aware of this.

Sept Update- for my peeps back home

I passed the one year mark as a resident of New York City on August 5. Has it really been that long? It seems like it was only a couple of months ago that I was dragging two oversized suitcases though the streets on Astoria, carrying my dog in one arm and my laptop bag in the other. It has been a wondrous experience, and things are only getting better. I feel more relaxed as I attack the city head-on day after day.

Performance Update
I am happy to report that after many, many weeks of auditioning I have landed a lead role in an upcoming, low budget, independent film. I could not be more thrilled. What is so amazing about this is that the audition breakdown said "mid 30s-mid 40s, blonde, light eyed, with comic timing like Grace Adler from Will and Grace" and though I am much younger than the breakdown mentioned, I knew that I wanted a shot at this role. So I submitted anyway, acknowledging that I am young but requesting to be seen anyway. Little did I know that the script involves flashback scenes 15 years prior to the current action, and the younger "flashback" role had already been cast with someone who looked just like me. So, after two solid auditions, I was cast in the role, even though they had originally conceived it older. It is feature length, which means it is at least 45 minutes long, and I cannot wait to get started. I will certainly keep updating my website with info. I also had a great audition for the role of Hope in "Urinetown" last week. The casting director seemed very pleased with the audition, so even if I am not cast in this show I know he will keep my information on file for future productions. It is always great to feel like I am doing good work, even if it is only for 16 bars of song!

Work Update
I am still working from home as an membership assistant for a non-profit membership organization. That takes up about 20 hours per week, and the other hours I spend working from home for other consulting clients, as well as auditioning, taking classes, and networking. One exciting prospect is with a non-profit organization dedicated to securing the future of new musicals. They are re-developing a program called Broadway USA and I was referred to them for marketing consulting by one of my other consulting clients. This organization started the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and is headed by veteran Broadway actor Tim Jerome (who I spoke with recently while he was in his dressing room at the Richard Rogers Theatre, getting ready to go on stage in "Tarzan.") Not only would this be a great project for my consulting business, but it would also be a key "foot in the door" for the Festival, which premieres 30 new musicals each fall. The opportunities in this town seem endless, and it is exhausting just thinking about them!

Visiting NYC anytime soon?
If you are planning to come to the city for a visit and have some spare time, give me a call! I would love to go out for coffee/lunch/dinner/drinks and catch up. Leave me a comment or shoot me an email, and I we'll make plans.

That's it for this edition of the update. I would love to hear an update from each and every one of you too. So, leave a comment!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Do I want to be an actor this badly?

Another one from the "Craigslist Weird files"

(this is an actual job notice)

"We're looking for actors who can develop pieces of theater, scenic [sic] deisgners, composers, playwrights, visual, musical, and performing artists. We have read Schechner and Peter Brook but this is 2006. We are idealists but really just want to work. You will be paid but you won't just be handed a pre-packaged play on a platter, maybe you won't even have a "role" maybe you'll have to scientifically explore what it means to put [sic] behaviour on stage. Maybe you'll have to whisper your lines while standing in a sink in an apartment full of sweaty audience members.

Recently moved to the city? A student of theater at one of these esteemed universities? Free falling in a world where Gurney rules and the audiences are full of deaf, blind old women? Love Grotowski but aren't a hippie? Want this generation of theatre to be "the one? E-mail ******* with your resume, ideas, and questions and we'll set up an interview/audition."

[I have omitted the theater's name & contact information to try to stave off the hordes of hate mail that would, undoubtedly, come their way from my loyal blog subscribers...]

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Join me in seeing Randi Driscoll TONIGHT in NYC

Randi is an amazing singer/songwriter, and Noah is her fearless, wonderful percussionist. You can call for reservations, the information is below.


Randi Driscoll and Noah Heldman


Saturday - August 19th NYC 8PM
The Metropolitan Room
34 West 22nd Street, NYC

With very special guests

For reservations please call 212-206-0440

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The best boss... ever

I am doing my daily browse through the Craigslist “Gigs” section for acting jobs, and I see this notice posted:


Looking for 2 male & 1 female actors (West Village)
Date: 2006-08-15, 11:00PM EDT

Hi - i own a brokerage firm on 23rd street between 5 and 6 - (stock - not real estate) and my company is finally getting done with what has been an extremely trying time - in essence, my firm has whethered the impossible and i am able to give myself and my employees a second chance to achieve great things -

however, I want them to know the feeling of what it was like had things not gone as i had hoped and if we actually had to close our doors (they dont know that the firm survived yet) i want that feeling that they have thinking this is done to be their motivation to give 110% going forward.....

bla bla bla - sorry - but i need a few guys to pose as movers and someone else to act as a type of "consultant" that i have hired to close the shop down.....

i want to do this tomorrow early afternoon - let me know if you have an interest- thank you


WTF ???????!!!!!!!!!!!

How about just gathering your employees and saying, “Good job. We couldn’t have done it without you. There’s a lot of work ahead of us, and we need your help...”

Bosses like this deserve unmotivated employees.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm a Manhattanite!

Well, I will be as of this afternoon. I am up bright and early in anticipation of the movers, who will be taking Tom's and my stuff to our brand new apartment in Manhattan. Technically, we are living in a part of the Upper East Side called Yorkville (thanks to Tom's dad for looking that up in Wikipedia for us). As much as I love my roommates, it will be so cool to have a place that Tom and I can call our own. Yippee!!!

I have put some pictures of the painting adventures on Flickr (see them here), and I will take more pics today too. Tom and I have a bet on how long the move will take. I say 4 hours, give or take 30 minutes. He thinks 7 hours. What's on the line? A 6 pack of beer. I am gonna win this one, folks.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Be a voyeur

New pics have been posted!


Also, what's the fun of voyeurism if you can't admit to it? If you stop by, leave a comment!

Friday, August 4, 2006

It defies all reason

I’m not kidding. This really happened.

I was walking my dog this morning, and a really nice girl came walking by and asked to pet my dog. We chatted for a few minutes, then she thanked me for letting her pet Denver and moved on. As I looked up to say goodbye, a man approached me. He was in his mid thirties, Asian, with shorts and a t-shirt on and a lanyard around his neck with some sort of badge (probably from his work). Naturally I assumed he wanted to pet the dog too, but instead, he started asking me questions (in a very thick accent that was hard to understand.)

Him - How much for the dog?
Me - What?
Him - How much pay for the dog?
Me - I’m sorry, what do you mean? How much did I pay for the dog, or...?
Him - No, no, how much you want for the dog?
Me - What? She is not for sale.
Him - No, what did you pay for the dog? How much would that dog be if I wanted her?
Me - Uh, I got her at a shelter (which wasn’t true, I got her at a pet store in Malibu that sell puppies on behalf of owners who can’t keep them, but that would take too long to explain. Plus, I support no-kill shelters and wish I had rescued her, so I thought I would do a little plug for animal rescue.)
Him - So, how much then. It’s free, right? Since it is a shelter?
Me - No, it’s like $50-$100, depending on the dog.
Him - (as he starts to get belligerent) So, this company just takes all of the money then. Why? Why do you have to pay?
Me - Well, because they vaccinate the pets and have medical staff on duty, and they shelter the pets until someone can take them home.
Him - But why isn’t it free? I should be able to just take the dog home.
Me - Uh, not really, but whatever you say.
Him - The dog should be free. If it is rescued, why should they make money? If I see a dog on the street, I should be able to just pick him up and he is mine, right?
Me - No.
Him - Why not? I am rescuing it, and then I can ask for money too.
Me - Uh, you know, I am not the right person to ask. Maybe you should call a shelter and ask them.
Him - But why can’t it be mine? Why?
Me - Uh...
Him - If the dog is just running around the street, the owner is not taking care of it and I can just pick it up and take it home and it would be mine.
Me - Uh... I don’t think so.
Him - Why?
Me - Um, maybe because you probably shouldn’t take things that don’t belong to you.
Him - (remember, he has a thick accent) But why can’t it be mine? I found it. It’s mine.
Me - (as I start to walk away) You know what? I am not the right person to ask. You should probably just look up a shelter on the internet and find out there.
Him - I don’t have the internet!
Me - Sorry...
Him - I don’t have a computer. Tell me why it can’t be mine if I find it?
Me - (backing away slowly) I have to go. Good luck!
Him - I don’t have a computer.
Me - Well, then use the yellow pages and call on the phone.
Him - But I don’t have a quarter!
Me - (walking away, shaking head)
Him - I need a quarter! A quarter? I don’t have a phone! Help me!

Then he turns around and walks the opposite direction from me and never looks back.

Conversations like this defy all reason. Was he looking to pick a fight against some unsuspecting dog owner? Did he just want someone to talk to? Or did he simply need a quarter and wanted to come up with clever conversation in order to get it?

Ponderous man, really ponderous...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Happiness is...

• Coming home to visit and finding that my mother has stocked the fridge with my favorite foods
• My boyfriend flying across the country to see my 10 minute, one woman show
• Free Wi-Fi
• Free Refills
• Freedom
• People who leave neat comments on my blog
• Puppy dogs
• Seeing old friends
• Kristen, Laura, Kory, Emily and David moving to NYC!!!
• Getting to see my dear friend, Anna, get married
• Having a job that allows me to work remotely so I can follow my dream but get paid at the same time
• Chocolate chip cookies
• Forgiveness and humility
• Knowing that in every moment, I have a choice to live life to the fullest instead of cowering in fear
• Tax write-offs
• What is possible

Note to self...

When you travel across the country to do a festival and bring only dresses to wear because of the heat, don’t choreograph a stunt into your show which involves launching yourself over a couch and sliding across the stage on your knees. You might look like someone beat you with a bat, and that’s not good.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A review already?

Short but sweet:

"The Manager, a mysterious title for a break-up monologue by the excellent Erin Cronican, is again the work of James Anthony Ellis, who also has a nice sense of rhythm."

-- Review by Welton Jones, SanDiego.com

For full review, go here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Open Today- yikes!

As most of you know, I have traveled back to my hometown of San Diego to perform in the Actors Alliance Festival of Short Plays. I am doing a 10 minute, one woman show called “The Manager”, which is about the neurosis of a woman when the main in her life who, instead of expressing himself, leaves it up to her to interpret his actions and words. We all know that’s a BIG mistake, and this show takes a hilarious look at what the result is...

Rehearsals went very well once I arrived in San Diego. I worked with the producer/playwright on making sure all of the intentions were clear, and my friends Barb and Jason took a look at the piece yesterday to give me some last minute feedback. I think I am ready for tonight. There is huge pressure in being by yourself on stage, especially in a comedy. Your timing has to be perfect, both in setting up the jokes but also in holding for laughs that may or may not come. Plus, if someone doesn’t like the show, it usually falls completely on the shoulders of the performer. The piece was developed based on a true story I had told him about a situation I found myself in, so if people don’t like this character it is safe to say that they don’t like me. But, then again, they may love me and that is sometimes even harder to deal with!

So, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. I think there is a photographer there tonight too, so I will post photos soon!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Good ol' Astoria

My neighborhood is finally in the news. Too bad it is for BAD news...


Thank goodness I have headed to safe harbor in San Diego, where I am starring in a one woman short play at the Actors Alliance Festival...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Great review of the show I directed

Read the review for "Shutterbug" here:



Top Ten Spam List

These were in my actual inbox tonight (subject and author, in order of appearance):

#10 "Too busy to go back to school?" from erin@childrens-coalition.org
#9 "A card for those with less than perfect credit" from First Premier Bank
#8 "Fatblaster combines a variety of herbal ingredients that maximize your body's ab..." from Wiley
#7 "Can you satisfy your girlfriend?" from Marylynn
#6 "Platinum Visa Credit Card" from PowerPlus Platinum Visa
#5 "Debt calculator gives you the formula for success" from Customized Debt Solutions
#4 "Re: VnIAGRnA gibaq" from Eden Inks
#3 "Photoshop, Windows, Office" from Gary Hayes
#2 "Meet Hispanic singles" from Hispanic Singles
#1 "Search Engine document" from maker crackeasy

Welcome to my world.

Woo Hoo! I'm Famous!

I have been listed as a “Notable Blog” (well, this blog has, anyway.) I’m not kidding- check it out!


Hosted by Syko Cafe...

I love the internet...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I am remembering a dream

I am starting to remember a dream I had last night. I know that I kept waking up and then falling back to sleep into the same dream, and I was aware that I was dreaming. The dream was about my dad dying (which I have pretty frequently since he passed away in February). Normally when I have these dreams I wake up anxious and despondent, like he died just yesterday and I have to get used to it all over again. But in this set of dreams, I was keenly aware that my mind was trying to allow me to work through the grief and get used to the idea of him not being around. I would wake up and sort of marvel at the fact that I wasn’t panicking, and I would fall back asleep into the same time/place as the last dream.

When he first died I would have dreams of him being alive. One dream I had of him as a ghost, or an angel, really. I was doing a show and had come out afterwards through the stage door where the audience gathers to say hello to the actors. In the dream I was a little upset that I had not had a good show, but then I saw my mom behind the velvet rope smiling and waving. My dad was standing next to her but in front of the velvet rope, which seemed odd. I ran up to them and threw my arms around my dad and then as I did so, I realized that he was no longer alive and probably no one could see him. So, I turned to my mom, who was smiling at me, and asked, “What did it look like I just did?” She said, “You hugged the air.” I told her, “I was hugging Dad,” and she said, “I know, honey.”

Now I just have dreams of him being dead and I wish I could somehow go back to the other dreams, where I know he is dead but he is still alive in front of me. It’s weird (and hard) losing a parent. I had no idea until I lost him just how often I think about him during the day. And I am more acutely aware of how who he was affects who I am every day. The magic of parenting is starting to make sense to me- how two people can create a child and then influence them so completely that when they become adults, they are a complete person comprised of 3 parts: 1/3 self, 1/3 dad and 1/3 mom.

I might have to go cry now...

The Actor's Nightmare

I had a dream last night that fits in with a stream of “actor’s nightmare” type dreams that I have on occasion. In this one, I realize that I am likely going to get cast in a really big role that I am starting to get excited about. Then I hear some rumors that they are still uncertain about the casting and they would call me about it. When I finally get the phone call, they tell me I can choose between two roles- the big one I had heard about and a much smaller one. They ask me which I liked better based on the script and I realize that I had not read the script and therefore didn’t know the character names. I couldn’t very well say, “I want the big one” and it would look really bad if I told them that I hadn’t read the script. So, I start panicking because I am afraid that I will pick the small one by accident. But then I remember the name of the character for the big part, and I ask if that one is still available. The casting person says yes, and that I can have it if I wanted it. I accepted, and the rest of the dream I spent in a little bit of a daze, being excited about the role, but also being anxious because I almost blew it. The dream ended with me seeing some actor friends and telling them we would be working together again and being pretty happy about it.

Then I woke up and realized that I am still waiting to hear back about two auditions I had last weekend. Plus, I am waiting to hear if we got the apartment or not. I guess these types of dreams happen as your mind is trying to work out its problems. Fascinating...

Friday, July 14, 2006

1 Year Wake Up Call from NYC- Ouch.

So, my boyfriend Tom and I have decided to move in together after being together for almost a year. For both of us, it was quite a shock moving into group houses (2 or more roommates) when we had both lived alone before moving to New York. While we adore our roommates (and mine, in particular, rock) there is something enchanting about the idea of having our own place. Up until now, I have sort of been in a holding pattern. Once I knew Tom and I were serious, I stopped thinking of my current apartment as “my” place. I stopped trying to improve upon it and stopped feeling connected to it. So, we have been waiting for just the right moment to make the move so we can really have a home we can call our own.

Our trip to Norway is really what clinched the move in my mind. We have proven, over the year that we have been together, that we can handle nearly anything that is thrown at us. With Norway it was a combination of going to a foreign country and spending 2 weeks almost exclusively with his family (many of whom speak only Norwegian). So much happened during those 2 weeks that it is almost too difficult to tell it all. If you have specific questions about Norway, feel free to leave a comment and ask. At the very least, I will say this:

• Due to it’s latitude in the summer, it never got completely dark at night
• Due to it’s (nearly) socialist economy and high sales taxes, it was very expensive to visit
• It was one of the most beautiful countries, with the nicest people, that I have ever been to

Ok, so onward to the topic of today’s blog...

So, it’s no big secret that it is very expensive to live in Manhattan. But we figured that with our two incomes, we could afford to get a one bedroom apartment (usually between $1400-$1700 and up) in “the city” which is considered an upgrade from Astoria, Queens, where we live now. We knew that we would have to provide a security deposit, the first month’s rent, and since apartments are typically rented by brokers (like real estate) we would owe a broker’s fee. We had heard that the fee was typically one month rent (ouch!) but since we knew about it in advance, we knew to be somewhat prepared.

But, holy shit people, we were wrong. The going rate for broker’s fees is 15% of the yearly rent. 15%!!! On $1500/month rent, that is $2700. In addition to the deposit and the 1st month’s rent! On a higher priced apartment you might be able to get that percentage lowered, but for a lower priced apartment like we are trying to rent, there are dozens of people waiting in line willing to pay full price, so we have no negotiating room. The thing that really sucks is that for this apartment, there wasn’t an agent that could work exclusively for us (vs for the owner). This owner using one rental agency exclusively, so we are paying $2700 to simply have the agent open the door and take us to his office to sign paperwork. No searching or negotiating on our behalf. The agency is getting paid on both ends (by the owner and us), and there is nothing we can do about it.

Not only that, but trying to get an apartment rented is just as difficult as trying to buy a house! We found an apartment that we really like on the Upper East Side. $1500 for a one bedroom, with great storage, lots of space, in a great neighborhood. We can afford it financially, but can we afford the headache of the application process? Here is the list of things we had to provide when applying for the apartment:

• Application with 3 business references
• Legal Photo ID
• Letter from my current landlord saying I have been a model renter
• Letter from my current employer verifying my salary, length of employment and position (and since I am an independent contractor as well as an employee, I had to get letters from all of my consulting clients as well)
• 2005 Tax Return
• Last 2 pay stubs
• Bank Statement
• Letter from your CPA (huh? Who has a CPA?)

In addition, they will be calling all of our references in addition to the letters we worked so hard to collect, plus they will be doing a search for our names in the landlord/tenant court system.

Man oh man. What a racket! It sucks to think we have to do this because the people of New York have not stood up to the city to complain about how outrageous this is.

Maybe I should just become a real estate agent...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Headed East...

I am headed to Norway today (June 14) for 2 weeks to meet my boyfriend's maternal side of the family. Egads. This is the first time he has brought a girl home to meet them, and let me just say, they are REALLY excited to see if I actually exist. I have been warned that there will be a lot of drinking going on, as it is rumored that the family, due to outrageous pricing of liquor in Norway, makes their own moonshine in their basement (I have been practicing binge drinking to build up my tolerance.) I might also have to eat things I have never eaten before, like moose, whale, and fish that still have eyeballs.

Not that I can't adapt, but remember that story about the mice who visit each others' home so they can see how the other one lives- "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse"? Well, folks, I am a city mouse. (Ok, maybe that story is not the best example, since the city mouse almost gets the country mouse killed 3 times, but that is beside the point...) I am not the type of high maintenance "city mouse" that needs a hair dryer and makeup and lots of shoes. But I am the type of high maintenance that doesn't pee in the woods, eat things that look like they did when they were alive or like people laughing at me when I try speaking a foreign language. But, ladies and gentleman, I will do all of this in the name of Love. For two weeks. With no internet or cell phone. L-O-V-E. LOVE. Whatever will MySpace do without my constant survey posting?!?

We are going just in time for the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It is rumored that the sun sets after 11pm in the part of the country that we will be at. It is supposed to be sunny and in the 70s most of the time, very much like weather in my hometown of San Diego. And I will have nothing to do but relax, eat, drink and be with my favorite person in the world. Nothing could be better, except perhaps having the Padres win the World Series.

So when I don't do a blog for a few days, don't freak out! I promise to back in rare form by the end of the month.

Happy Summer to everyone!

Thursday, June 8, 2006

I am sickened

Today, news agencies around the world reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda leader in Iraq, has been killed by a US air strike. Pictures of his dead face appear on CNN.com and I am just sickened by the actions of the US government and the reactions of the media with regard to this, and other, political killings. Since when has the US had an agenda to kill people instead of bringing them to justice? What kind of justice is killing? And how does this make us any different than terrorists around the world?

If someone had come into our country and killed President Bush, whom many people believe is guilty of war crimes and atrocities similar to those of al-Zarqawi, we would be outraged. But somehow we are ok with the US government targeting and killing a “bad” person. And I don’t condone what Zarqawi has done, but if you knew where he was (which enabled you to bomb him), why not try to capture him instead? Isn’t that what we are there for, to “spread democracy?” Is it “democracy” to kill political figures?

The biggest problem I have with this is, admittedly, not the killing itself but the glorifying of the killing by the government in the media. What kind of message are you sending to the US people, and those abroad, by saying things like this?:

“Click the photo to watch video of bombing”- CNN.com Headline

"The ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders," Bush said. "Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda... Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again." -statement by President Bush

"Today, Zarqawi has been terminated. This is a message to all those who take violence as a path," - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki

There is some hope, though...

One of the articles on CNN.com is an interview with Michael Berg, father to the beheaded Nicholas Berg. Mr. Berg is saddened by the murder of al-Zarqawi, despite the responsibility for the death of his son, and talks about it here:


Thank goodness for a man like Michael Berg. Violence does not stop violence. Education, compassion, and strength stop violence. We just fuel the fire more by being everything they hate. The US is living a isolationist lifestyle (we want to do what we do and not be bothered by anyone) and yet consistently put ourselves out in the world, telling others what to do. It’s one or the other, guys.

I am disappointed, disturbed and despondent about this situation. We need more Michael Berg’s in this world.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Let's Play A Game

Let’s play a game called “How Many Jobs Can One Person Have Without Going Bonkers?”

Here are the rules:

- I type out a description of all of the jobs I have on my plate at the moment
- You see if you can beat me while still remaining sane


25 hours per week as a work-at-home administrator of a non profit service organization
10-15 hours per week as a advertising sales rep for a national business theatre publication
freelance marketing consultant for a film production company
freelance communications consultant for a mind/body/senses entrepreneur
freelance marketing consultant for a non profit business & human rights group
freelance technical consultant for another film production company
directing a short play for the Midtown International Theatre Festival
rehearsing for my own short, one woman show at the Actors Alliance Festival in San Diego

Not to mention:


Wheee!!! This game is fun!

Now, see if you can beat that score. Go!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Inspirational Quote of the Day

Provided by my good friend, Joey:

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." --Albert Einstein 

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Survey of the month

Not sure if you have sacrificed yourself to the cult of MySpace, but if you have you know about the influx of surveys that invade the bulletin board every day. Little did I know that these surveys would become one of my favorite parts of this online community. I get to learn all kinds of fascinating information about friends and acquaintances, and these surveys give me a reason to keep in touch with people, even if it is a little silly.

Anyway, I thought I would include a few recent survey questions so you can get to know me a little better...

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Inconsiderate people.

12. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Yes. I don't even realize I am doing it half the time. Is that weird?

13. Have you ever peed in the woods?
I must have when I was a child, but now I try to make sure I am never too far from a bathroom of some sort.

29. Were you a boy/girl scout?
Yes, and I was kicked out in the 6th grade because my troop leader's daughter didn't like me.

34. Ran out of gas?
Yes, but it wasn't my fault. My boyfriend (at the time) had recently bought a lifted truck and wanted to to try driving it. It freaked me out but I said ok. Towards the end we pulled off the freeway and when on the road circling up the exit to the street, the truck lost all power and I couldn't steer. We started to roll backwards toward the freeway when we navigated it off the road and pull the emergency brake. After a few minutes he realized that the gas guage was broken and we had run out of gas.

40. When you were a kid what did you dress up as for Halloween?
Usually something funny or just plain wrong. My favorite was dressing as a suicidal baby who had hung herself with a jumprope noose. That year I also worked in a haunted house, mind you.

42. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Yes- quite a few. The New Yorker, Time Out NY, Backstage, and Glamour.

49. Afraid of heights?
Heights? No. I am afraid of falling and dying when hitting the ground.

57. Ever eat a pierogie?
This might be one if those foods I have had, but because I have never seen it spelled before I have no idea what it is.

59. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an actor, teacher or psychologist.

66. First concert?
Michael W Smith. When I was 14 I had a crush on a boy who was Christian, and he took me to this concert with his youth group.

67.Wal-Mart, Target or K-Mart?
Boycott Walmart- they are the most profitable chain store in the country and treat their employees horribly with regard to wages, hours worked, and benefits. They have more employees on state assisted benefits (read: they don't get benefits through Walmart) than any other corporation, and yet they are bringing in enormous profits. Instead of paying their employees, they undercut the prices of other merchants. So, stores that pay fair wages and benefits suffer because Walmart has lower prices (they can afford to when they don't pay a fair wage). Research the stores you purchase from (and products you buy) and make sure you support the way they do business. It is one of the only ways to make a difference in the USA.

End of soapbox. I promise.

73. Is there a profession that you want for your perfect future spouse?

86. Can you hold your breath w/o manually holding your nose?
Yes. Both under water and out of water.

91. Which are better black or green olives?
Kalamata olives.

I’d love to get to know you better too, so leave a comment and put your answers!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Who's gonna be our next Idol?

I have to confess... I love “American Idol.” I love singing and I love singers, and this show is a global acknowledgment of the power of music to lift the spirits and engage the senses. It’s the Star Search of the 21st century, and I love the fact that this is one of very few reality TV shows that seeks to show the best side of its participants, as opposed to the worst. And I love that the contestants become famous for something tangible- a talent that is meaningful and marketable.

I guess it also speaks to my heart because I dream of being able to make my living as a singer and actor. I close my eyes and am transported to a place when I can positively impact as many people as these singers do. I get to imagine myself doing all of the things that they get to do, and it inspires me to keep working. To keep getting out there, because if it is possible for them then it is possible for me too.

The final show is halfway done and I am still split over who I want to win. Taylor and Katharine are both so wonderful and I would easily buy either of their albums. My mom is probably going to give herself carpel tunnel from voting so much for Katharine (last week, she got through more than 90 times). My boyfriend is a huge Taylor fan. Who are all of Elliott’s votes going to this week? I can’t wait to find out tomorrow!

PS If you want to see my heart and soul, I invite you to listen to/watch some of my demos.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happiness List

Today’s Happiness List, brought to you by Coffee. Lots and lots of Coffee.

• Freshly painted toenails, especially when they put flowers or cute designs on the big toes
• Coffee. Lots and lots of Coffee.
• Working from home... in my PJs
• Sushi- spicy tuna rolls and edamame. Mmmm...
• Drinking a cocktail in the afternoon
• American Idol- I love that show!
• Chocolate chip cookies
• Kick ass roommates
• Having a great conversation with a good friend
• Knowing your family is behind you no matter what
• A dog who has been your best friend for 10 1/2 years

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Down with the family unit?

It’s a startling reminder that not all US states are as forward thinking as we had thought. Seriously, people...

Friday, May 12, 2006

The joys of being an adult

There are certain things in life that you can look forward to as you get older. Getting to rent a car on your own, inviting your friends over whenever you want, drinking coffee. Having a glass of wine with dinner, planting a garden, shaking your head at kids these days with their weird haircuts. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are also things you can happily kiss goodbye: curfews, notes from mommy when you want to stay home, being forced to go to the doctor when you don’t want to. Report cards, only getting $1 a week for allowance, awkward pubescent years.

There are things you can only know about once you become an adult, and you cherish the ability to close this chapter of you life. The chapter including tantrums, angst, growing pains, and being misunderstood, over-analyzed and under-appreciated. There’s also experiencing something that makes you realize how difficult it was for you parents to raise you. This sort of realization can create wonderful conversations with your parents, where you tell your tale of how frustrating it is when your roommates don’t thoroughly clean their dishes but put them away for you to find later, and your mother says, “See, that’s how we felt with you as a child.” You chuckle, sigh, and and finally have that understanding, nay, a rite of passage, that took years to build.

I went to sleep the other night thinking about these things, an overconfident smile passing my lips. “Life is so good,“ I thought. But how was I to know that the very next morning I would be facing an agony that besets toddlers everywhere.

Teething. I am teething.

I am what people in the dentistry business call “an anomaly.” I’ve had braces twice, have had 2 mouth surgeries during which they pulled out 10 baby teeth that wouldn’t fall out (as well as remove a cyst and reposition a tooth that was coming in backwards.) I have had a spacer put in my mouth to correct a cross-bite, which involved breaking the cartilage of the jaw so it could be moved into the right position. I am also missing 4 permanent teeth- two molars and two incisors, which required the filing of my canines so they could be positioned where my incisors should be. One good thing about the latter is that they didn’t have to bother with pulling my wisdom teeth (I had plenty of room). But all of that pain and work pales in comparison to teething. Holy mother of god, growing a tooth in hurts like a motherfucker. I’m sorry for the language (I usually do not swear to god) but I’ve been in agony for at least a week while my final wisdom tooth is starting to poke out from my bottom right gum. It’s all I can think about, minute after minute, hour after hour. I can’t sleep on that side because I will chew up my swollen cheek, so I try to sleep on the other side but gravity forces my swollen cheek to fall into the path of my grinding teeth. My only recourse is to sleep on my back, which has never been comfortable for me.

I guess the good thing is that I have a new respect for what babies have to go through at such a tender age. I feel like I can empathize with their plight. But the best news is... I now have an abundance of wisdom that I didn’t have before my wisdom teeth grew in. Boo-ya.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

"How Could You?"

Sent to me by my dear friend, Dean...

A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly took out a $7000 full page ad in the paper to present the following essay to the people of his community. (Though a melodramatic story, its truth touches the heart at its core. Prepare to need a tissue...)

HOW COULD YOU? By Jim Willis, 2001

“When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.
We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate.

Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."
As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told those stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject.
I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness.
You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers."
You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed
"No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.

You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked
"How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me.

When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days.

As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured
"How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry."
She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my
"How could you?" was not directed at her. It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

A Note from the Author: If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly "owned" pets who die each year in American & Canadian animal shelters. Please use this to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, which animals deserve our love and sensible care, and that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious. Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.

Please pass this on to everyone, not to hurt them or make them sad, but it could save maybe, even one, unwanted pet.

Remember...They love UNCONDITIONALLY.“

Consequently, I am a member of a group called "Playwrights for Pets"- I have directed for them and am proud supporter. There is a show coming up Monday, May 22 (7:30pm) called "Duets"- a benefit reading of short plays by New York playwrights. All donations go directly to Animal Haven. To RSVP (or for info on making a donation) please email Sue Yocum, Executive Director.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The hits just keep on coming!

Ok, so I love being an actor and getting the chance to do all kind of performance and promotional opportunities. But sometimes things happen and I think, “Is this really what my life has become?”

This job opportunity just came across my inbox:

“To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Maybelline mascara – Great Lash, we are seeking 2 energetic males or females to be Great Lash mascots and walk around Times Square. The costume is a pullover (meaning your body is covered, but not completely enclosed in a full body costume) with a screen for the face area. (In other words, you will be incognito). To ensure the costume fits properly, you must be 5’8” or taller and on the thin side.  Remember, you are a tube of mascara...“

Huh? Can you imagine walking around Time Square as a tube of mascara?!?

The sad thing is, this job pays more than most of the temp jobs I have been called for... if only I were 5’8“ (or taller)- I would snatch this job right up.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Update for my peeps back home...

Hello, friends!

I know, I know... I promised an update every couple of months and it has been longer than that since I contacted you. But there have been lots of things going on here in NYC (an elsewhere) which I will elaborate on in this update.  Needless to say, I have missed you!

First, I need your help
I know so many people whose lives have been affected by women's cancers. I have decided to something about it. Along with a group of friends from the F-ing Cool Women's (FCW) Society, we have pledged to raise money by participating in the Revlon Run/Walk for Cancer. I am collecting online donations (tax deductible!) at the following website:

The Revlon Run/Walk for Cancer

My grandmother is in remission from cervical cancer and hopefully by the time I get to be her age cervical cancer will have gone the way of polio. But that won't happen without help from folks like you. Please consider donating (you may also send me a check made out to the Revlon Run/Walk)

Personal Update
As some of you know, tragedy struck my family in February of this year. My father suddenly passed away on February 1 from a cardiac arrest (which may have been precipitated by a stroke, we'll never know). It has dealt a huge blow to family, for whom my father was the cornerstone. I still cannot seem to make my mind grasp the reality of the situation. This event is part of my reasoning for being out of touch. We are all hanging in there, though, and I pass on my thanks again to those of your who sent your condolences. 

Aside from the family sadness, I am happy to report that the rest of my personal life is good. I am dating a great guy named Tom and we are having lots of fun exploring the city together. Denver (my dog) likes New York and has made several friends in the neighborhood, most notably Polo, the handsome white alaskan husky who lives down the street. Denver is very happy it is no longer winter, though we will have to shave her winter coat soon!

NYC Living & Working
I am still living in the same apartment in Astoria, NYC and I still love it! It is finally spring (it snowed on April 4, what was THAT about???) and everyone has a little spring in their step (pardon the pun). I now know what "Spring Fever" means- people are in great moods, are more accommodating, and anything seems possible. 

As far as work, I have been successful in finding work which indulges my need for flexibility and my passion for making a difference. I have found a dream job that seems like it just fell out of the sky and into my lap. I am working with a non profit organization called The Transition Network , which is a service organization for women over 50 that helps address the question, "What's Next?" They needed another admin person to come in to help with PR, communications and member services. I get to work from home for 20 hours a week doing almost the same things as I did at the Actors Alliance- working with members and providing a platform for them to get everything they want and need out of their membership organization. It is awesome! I am also helping them put into place a 3 year communications plan that was written for them by an outside consulting firm. In addition to that, I have just taken on some outside marketing work with a theatre magazine called DramaBiz which is geared towards performing arts professionals who produce live theatre. The publisher is passionate about helping producers get the resources they need to run a successful theatre. It is a national magazine (based in San Diego) and I am going to head up the advertising efforts here in NYC. Imagine- all the way in NYC I am able to make a difference for the San Diego (and global) theatre community. How cool is that??? Add that to the other project based consulting clients I have, and I could not be more thrilled with the opportunities I have found. It only took 8 months, but now I feel like I have finally made something for myself!

Performing/Arts Related Stuff
When I moved to New York I made a choice to stay in the city and do local theatre only. Unfortunately, there are more auditions for tours and regional productions than there are for NY productions. So, this means that I am doing less auditioning than expected. However, I have still had some good auditions and know that it is the same in NY as anywhere- you have to study your craft, meet like minded individuals, and live in the spirit of collaboration. I have been very pleased with my progress so far, and have met some amazing people. Not only am I auditioning for theatre, but film and television as well. I am also involved with the local medical schools doing standardized patient training and have done some print work. Background work in film & TV is very lucrative here (and easy to get!), and it is a great way to get on the set to meet film crews. I am amazed at the different types of opportunities that are available if I open myself up to them. 

As I have mentioned in previous updates, I am also involved with a bit of directing. I have collaborated with a local playwright to turn 4 short plays into a full evening of theatre, and we have submitted it to the New York Fringe Festival. I have also been asked to direct an evening of short plays for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, but I am waiting to hear about the Fringe before I commit to the MITF, because the festivals run back to back. 

Finally, this summer I will be working on putting together a new cabaret for New York City stages. First I will be looking for a local musician/composer to collaborate with, and then we will create something that will really take NYC by storm! I'll be sure to keep you all posted on that. 

In conclusion...
I am sure there is more to talk about, but I don't know what you want to know unless you write to me! Also, networking is vitally important with all of my endeavors, so if you know someone in NYC that I should know, please pass on their info to me (or mine to them). Even if it is just a friend you think I would like, pass it on! Working from home means that I don't get to meet new people too often, so I would welcome the reference!

Drop me a note and let me know how you are doing!

Hugs to you all,

Erin =)

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