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:

http://www.standupsd.com/falwell

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:

http://www.standupsd.com/falwell

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
StandUpSD.com

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:

http://www.standupsd.com/potlucks

FALWELL CONFIDENTIAL

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...

FEMALE ACTRESS WANTED$$$$$$

I'M LOOKING FOR AN ACTRESS TO HELP ME GET EVEN WITH SOMEONE.NOTHING DANGEROUS, NOTHING ILLEGAL.ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ACT OUT A PART,IT SHOULD TAKE ABOUT 15 TO 20 MINUTES.AND I'LL GIVE YOU $200.REMEMBER NO DANGER.I'M A SANE GOOD HEARTED PERSON,TIRED OF THE BAD GUY ALWAYS WINNING. $200 FO 15 MINUTES.
MUST BE QUICK THINKER.ARE YOU UP FOR THIS
NICE PERSON

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!


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