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The SCOTUS Sisters!

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Heigh-Ho!

imagesFirst day back on the job after my luxurious holiday break. I had planned two days of teacher training, but only half of the teachers showed up. The school is getting a paint job so the place is a mess and the fumes are still heavy. I hope the students don’t complain! Most of the books I ordered were accidentally shipped to my home address instead of work, so now I have about 50 books to schlep in from Brooklyn. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the stress involved for prepping the school for the upcoming accreditation visit. We’ll be ready, but I have a feeling January won’t involved a lot of rest for this lady. The hard work will be worth it though! And today’s training went very well. I love my teachers! We had some great discussion about teaching methods and motivation. We covered lesson planning and using the ‘theory of multiple intelligences’ in the classroom. I rescheduled our second day of training to next week to ensure that everyone will be there. I’m going in this weekend to catch up on the time “lost” while I was on break. I want to make sure everything is in order before the students get back on Monday. Anyway, enough droning on about work. Time to roll up my sleeves and jump in head first! Here’s to a great new year and a bright future for the whole team!

Hello, 2015!

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black backgroundI’m excited about 2015. Like really excited! Yes, 2015: The year of Back to the Future II. My Chinese Zodiac year. My fifth year in NYC. Everything’s coming up roses in 2015. My show will be performed at the Musical Theatre Factory in January. My school will be reviewed for accreditation in February. I’m interning and taking classes at the People’s Improv Theatre. I’m also a new Producer for PITtv. I’m continuing my Costume Design studies at FIT. Our lease is up in May and we are looking for a bigger place in a nicer neighborhood. I’m working on a few new musicals with some very talented collaborators. I am involved in some incredible projects including 2c2b.tv and a new podcast in the works. Friends is on Netflix! And I started a new blog!

I don’t know what the whole year has in store, but so far, the future looks bright!

Do I have some resolutions? Of course! Here they are:

  • Stay in shape! I pay for the gym every month, why not use it?
  • Eat healthier. No more junk food!
  • Keep track of finances. Know any good budget apps?
  • Blog on the regular. It’s my goal to blog every day.
  • Get an agent.
  • Pass accreditation.
  • Write a new musical or two. And keep working on the ones I’ve got.
  • Write a few plays: full-length, one-act, 10/15 minutes, etc.
  • Apply to some writing programs like Juilliard or BMI.
  • Design a few shows. Keep those Costume Design skills in shape!
  • Create some hawt content for PITtv and the podcast world.
  • Volunteer more. Give back to the community!
  • Keep an open mind for new and exciting adventures!

So that’s it! Have a happy healthy 2015!

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Thanks, 2014!

Hand-goodbye-20142014 has been a year of stability for the most part. Several things have been steady for me:

  • I started and ended this year with the same great job, the same cozy apartment, and the same wonderful boyfriend.
  • There were no fires, no big trips around the world, no big flux of income or expense.

But it wasn’t boring either.

  • One of my plays was selected and performed in a midtown festival.
  • I worked on five productions as lead Costume Designer.
  • I took several inspiring writing workshops to help my writing routine.
  • I go to the gym now.
  • I’ve enjoyed the much needed peace of mind that has been so elusive since moving to New York five years ago!

Thanks, 2014 for a great year and I’m looking forward to an even better 2015!

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Runaway Robot

Vnh9CThe following story comes from the writing prompt: Alphabet Soup.

The task is to write down the letters of the ABC. For each one, choose a word that begins with that letter. Finally, write a post about anything — using all the words you’ve selected.

I will highlight the words used in random order.

LT. BROWN
Code Red!

COLONEL ROBERTS
What’s going on soldier?

LT. BROWN
The android has escaped, sir!

COLONEL ROBERTS
Lt. Brown, are you telling me that our most expensive project has just disappeared?

LT. BROWN
Yes sir, he disabled the x-ray security system and took off.

COLONEL ROBERTS
What were you and the team doing while that happened?

LT. BROWN
(yawns)

COLONEL ROBERTS
This not some cheap petting zoo that just lets robots walk out into the world.

LT. BROWN
He was extremely quiet, sir. No one noticed he was gone until it was too late.

COLONEL ROBERTS
This is what I get for leaving a bunch of nerds to be in charge of security.

LT. BROWN
Sir, the Caterpillar Security System is the most highly designed and intelligent security system in the world.

COLONEL ROBERTS
Yeah, and my uncle is a unicorn. Look, soldier, if that android gets into our weapons defense system, he can cause serious damage.

LT. BROWN
With a virus?

COLONEL ROBERTS
(laughs)
If I had a dollar for every time I heard that question. I’d be rich in a hot minute.

LT. BROWN
Sir, we’ve sent the “patrol-bots” to find him and return him to the center.

COLONEL ROBERTS
I’m getting to old for this, Brown. Tell me they’ve got him back here in one hour or it’s your ass on the line.

LT. BROWN
Sir, yes, sir, they’ll have him back here in one hour.

COLONEL ROBERTS
What are you some kind of god-damned parrot?

LT. BROWN
Detective Walnut is on the job.

COLONEL ROBERTS
If anyone can crack the case, it’s Walnut. You’re mighty lucky we’ve got him on board. Report back to me on this situation in one hour.

LT. BROWN
Yes, sir. I won’t let you down.

COLONEL ROBERTS
I’m tired of your everyman bullshit excuses. This escape is on you. You’re the one who will take the fall.

LT. BROWN
Yes, sir. I understand, sir. I should also tell you that it was Sgt. Gord who left the gate unguarded.

COLONEL ROBERTS
Brown, is this some kind of joke to you?

LT. BROWN
No, sir. I just thought you should know the whole story.

COLONEL ROBERTS
The story right now, Brown is this: You fucked up. And you better pray to whatever gods in heaven that Walnut comes back like a shining white knight with that android in tow to save your sorry ass.

LT. BROWN
Sir. Yes, sir.

COLONEL ROBERTS
Now get the hell out of my sight.

Movie Review: Into the Woods

intothewoodsLet me start by saying that Into the Woods is one of my top five all time favorite musicals. I remember renting the VHS of the recorded stage version from the 80s and watching it over and over and over and over and…well, you get the point.

All that obsession was justified because in my junior year we actually convinced our high school chorus director to mount the show as our Spring musical! We brought in a professional director from the community and built real sets with real stage magic and even had the MTI OrchExtra to make Sondheim’s beautiful and complex score soar above the typical high school musical in the 90s.

Auditions came and though I would have preferred to be the Witch or even Cinderella, I was cast as Little Red Ridinghood. I know now that this was the best choice for me and I worked so hard to get cast. I was really upset when I found out I was double cast (as were most of us) so that more people who have the opportunity to participate. I was only supposed to have two out of four performances. I’m not sure how I managed to get three out of four in the end…anyway, doing that show was definitive for my life and it was one of the most memorable and special times I ever had in high school. Surprisingly, until a couple of years ago, I had never seen any professional version of the show live.

I finally got the chance to see the live show when it was playing a the Delcourt Theatre as part of Shakespeare in the Park. I got up early and trekked out to to Central Park at 7am to wait in line to get my free tickets. They pass out tickets around 2pm and we made the cut! Our seats were great and the show was amazing–especially the Giant who was played by one super awesome multi-faceted puppet. The cast was wonderful and the direction pretty much perfect. The Narrator was played by the Baker’s son–a bold and beautiful choice that made me cry from the very first line to the final chord. I ended up seeing the show in the park a second time as well. I cried through that performance, too. I have a habit of crying during great musicals. I love them so much!!

So back to the movie. After some technical difficulties, I saw it last night.

SPOILERS AHEAD! (You’ve been warned!)

I’ve been totally psyched up since the first announcements came out months (years?) ago. I read many of the stories about how it was going to be great or awful or whatever. I have been to the Lincoln Center AMC where they have some of the costumes on display by the amazing Colleen Atwood. On Christmas day, I read several reviews that ranged from glowing to mediocre to pan-erific. I wanted to be prepared in case it didn’t live up to my hopes. I tried not to expect too much; and given how much I love this show, I just was hoping they wouldn’t completely ruin it. I can’t imagine that Sondheim would let them ruin it.

For the most part, I was pleasantly pleased with the movie as a whole. I’m so glad they cast actors who can sing AND act. Meryl Streep was a great Witch and perhaps the only person to come close to Bernadette. There were only one or two times I would have preferred she sang the notes rather than growl/scream them especially in Stay With Me. James Corden was perfectly cast as the Baker with Emily Blunt as his wife. They were cute together and stood well on their own, too. The only part I didn’t love was when the Baker broke down and cried instead of singing No More. Though, I am happy that song was cut (as opposed to others). In fact, the other song cuts were perfectly unmissed mostly because they kept the underscoring during the scenes. And I understand that they had to tone it down for the Disney audience, so I was glad that the tone of the second act was not compromised by losing some of the death and sadness. It was still super sad! I feel bad for parents of small children thinking they went to see a cute little fairy tale story who now have a lot of explaining to do.

I really felt like every actor was first rate and there was not a weak one in the bunch. Anna Kendrick was an adorable Cinderella with a lovely voice and sweet disposition.  The two youngest stood out to me as top notch. Daniel Huttlestone had already charmed me as Gavrouche, but he truly shone as Jack. I’m glad they cast Jack as a real boy as opposed to a manchild. It really changes the way the audience sees the character. And I loved Tracy Ullman as Jack’s Mother. Lilla Crawford is a tiny little diva in her own right. As Little Red was my own part in high school, I am very picky about anyone else playing the role. And I thought she was perfect! Yes, it was creepy to see Johnny Depp as the wolf sing a very double-entendred number to a 12-year-old, but Hello, Little Girl is supposed to be creepy and upsetting. I don’t think the movie took it too far by casting a child. I had read reviews that really panned the movie’s version of Agony, but I loved it and it was the only time when the people in my movie theater actually woke up and laughed.

My only beef with the whole thing was Rob Marshall’s half-hearted direction. It seemed like he basically just said to the actors, “go” and then he turned the camera on and followed them around. I was disappointed with the lack of anything really interesting happening either at the beginning or the end. Marshall could have taken a page from the Central Park production and done something to make the opening and/or ending more iconic. Even the movie version of Les Miserables (which I do not have as high an opinion) started and ended with a bang rather than a whimper. Even if it is on film, Musical Theatre should be THEATRICAL!

Overall, I thought the movie was a faithful adaptation with an all-star super talented cast performing one of the world’s greatest scores and innovative stories. Certainly more complex and interesting a story you won’t find in most Hollywood blockbusters. I also want to end by praising the costume design by one of my designer heroes, Colleen Atwood. There were times I could not take my eyes of the details of their clothes. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE IT!!

Thanks Disney for finally getting this movie made for me and hopefully many others to enjoy for many years to come!

Now, if you haven’t seen it: GO TO THE WOODS!

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Women in Hollywood?

woman-pulling-her-hair-outI’m having trouble doing daily posts while traveling and keeping up with family time and appropriate social behavior (i.e. not locking myself away in front of my computer to blog during Christmas dinner.) So I thought I would cop out and leave another link as my thought for the day.

One of my mentor/teacher types always says “find your point of view” or what makes you feel “righteously indignant.” Well, this article from The New York Times regarding the dearth of women in Hollywood surely gets my panties in a wad. If you can, please take a moment to read this which is part two of a three part series. Once I get back into the groove of daily writing at home, I’m sure I will have much more to say, but for now, I’ll leave it for you, the reader, to imbibe.

In Hollywood, It’s a Men’s, Men’s, Men’s World

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