Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 in Review

My year-end review of status updates from my facebook page. All in all, a pretty good summary of my year. Relationship excepting. Because it's kind of cheesy to talk incessantly about your boyfriend online. Even if he's the best ever. Even if you're madly head over heels, rainbows and bunnies smitten. See? Cheesy. But other than that, here's the year...

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Three Show Week...

Wednesday, for my birthday, Alan managed to get us balcony seats to 5th Avenue's production of White Christmas. It was a lovely show - quite different from the film, but still retaining the same feel. What it lost of the main four characters was gained by the secondary roles. Luckily the choreography number that I've never liked didn't make it into the live show. At the curtain call, snow fell from machines above the audience. Alan and I were both distracted trying to figure out what the snow was made of, and which poor sap had to sweep up afterwards. Then we met his friend, who played Phil Davis, and Eric and went for drinks across the street.

Friday night we went to see a late night Fight Choreography show. Luckily it was at the same theater I needed to return some borrowed costumes to, and at the end of the night, they asked if I was interested in costuming their winter show. I told them I was. Drinks afterwards with the cast here too.

Saturday was a panto of Jack and the Beanstock - great fun to laugh, yell, hiss, and throw stuffed peas at the giant. The humor was right up my alley, and Alan enjoyed watching me giggle at the bad puns. We spent time on the computer searching for lyrics from the nonsense number they started the second act with. They are (after much searching): "eine kleine fliegel flugel aufgeweckene biegel bugel ergeschplitten lauteboomer bird!"

Now the fun ends, and I'm back to being a retail whore for Christmas. Good sales, though, and yesterday a woman sang my praises ending with referring to me as "massive." Huh.

Monday, December 07, 2009

So, the event of the emergency room visit!

Yesterday, when I was getting just getting ready to leave for my show, I hit my head on a bookcase and had to go to the emergency room instead.

It didn't seem too bad at first. My head didn't hurt, and it stopped bleeding quickly. I kept asking Alan if it was possible to do the shows first, then take care of it. He convinced me (only after he showed me my head in the mirror) that it probably needed to be looked at.

So I went to the hospital, meanwhile frantically calling my troupe to see if we could find my understudy last minute. I did need staples. 7 of them. The proceedure wasn't bad. It's far easier to get staples on the back of your head then on your nose like the last time...watching someone put stitches right between your eyes is unnerving.

I'd asked my director if she wanted me to give up both shows to my swing, but she asked if I would please come and finish out the run. So I went to the second show of the day, carefully put my costume and crown over my fresh stitches, and did the run. The crown fell off my head at one point, and I had to shove it back on sight unseen. It didn't hurt, but I was worried that it would. The local anesthetic held out until about midway through, then I started to feel it.

My head aches a little this morning, but otherwise my biggest debate is how to hide staples at work. If hats are not an option.


Saturday, November 28, 2009


This year was a low key Thanksgiving. Dinner with the Logsdon's, Allie, Alan, and my parents in Seattle. We had several non-turkey meats and all the standard fare. Then Becky, Mom and I hit the Thanksgiving night pre-black Friday sale at Michael's. I spent that night at the homeless shelter - my second time that week, as I was called in to cover someone Else's shift on Tuesday as well.

Friday I woke early, and stayed up. After everyone else left to exercise, Mom and I watchd tv and played with the new kitten, who Becky re-named "Smudge." That evening all and sundry watched the opening night of Alan's play, "A Christmas Story." It went much better than he'd expected with a cast of kids and a day off between final dress and opening night. The audience expected to be happy, and applauded when Farkus made his first exit, when the leg lamp appeared, and as the bunny suit walked down the stairs (with the actor inside. Not by itself). I found the first act extremely entertaining thanks to a "Bucket of Rum" drink at the Tiki Room that actually came in a plastic bucket.

Saturday was a late day. I made my Christmas cards with Becky, took Mom, Dad and Mocha to Goodwill-by-the-Pound, they took me in turn to the Pacific Fabrics Outlet, and then I dressed up and went to Alan's to see a play, which in the end we decided not to see as neither of us wanted to leave the couch and two more seasons of Friends.

Tomorrow we're off for an adventure to an unnamed Bavarian Themed Village...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oedipal Duplex Review

Oedipal Duplex Review

In the only review I've found so far of the play I costumed (which closed this afternoon), my costumes were mentioned in passing as follows:

Tyler Perry's Othello was Oedipus' next door neighbor/good buddy much like how Cosmo Kramer was to Jerry Seinfeld. He was cool, sly and at the end wore roller skates and serenaded himself in a corner. And he was a snappy dresser.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Birthday Wishlist

Time for the list:

(I keep updating this list as I think of things...)

My birthday and Christmas are coming, and since, as everyone knows, I love receiving presents that I have use for, here's some suggestions for you all:

1. Sephora Vanilla Cupcake Bath Bubbles.
2. Scholarships for my next round of dance classes.
3. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
4. Grow Lamp (for me - in the grey Seattle weather).
5. Brighton "Beautiful Mind" Sunglasses.
6. Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry.
7. Teeth Bleeching Gel
8. Frasier DVD Season 3
9. Friends DVD Season 5
10.As always, Gift certificates for Kiva, Heifer International, or places like that would be welcome!
11. Givenchy Indecense Perfume.
12. Chandelier Earrings in jeweltones.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Operation Christmas Child Day !!!!

Today was Operation Christmas Child day. Every year since high school Teri and I have made a tradition of assembling shoeboxes full of presents to be send abroad to developing countries. While I lived in Cambodia I had the priviledge to see a group of children receive their presents, and it was a very cool experience. I know, logically, that for the amount of money it takes to fill the gifts and ship them abroad one could just send the money, but watching those kids feel cared for by people across the ocean that they'd never met makes the splurge worthwhile.

This year is a down year for me, but I had to do at least one. So Alan and I went to Fred Meyer this morning to fill my one shoebox. We picked girlie stuff (because I like the froo froo, and he had no opinion on the matter) for a child in the 6-9 year-old category. Now my box is wrapped, gifts inside, and this week I'll drop it off at a Baptist church over in Phinney.

It's just one of the many things I love about Christmas, but it heralds the beginning of the Season for me.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Oedipal duplex is open! The show looks good, and everything got finished in time - barely.

Alan came to see opening night with me. Afterwards we were going to the cast party, but Hedda Gabler ripped out a sleeve and someone pulled out her train during a scene change, so I ran home, put in two new sleeves that were better reinforced, and took the dress back to the cast party.

I spent yesterday lying on Alan's couch watching Frasier reruns and Spam-a-lot recovering from the stress.

Off to church, to the Center House, then back to Renton.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Oedipal Duplex opens tonight. I've been sewing round the clock for days, and I'll be glad to have this one up and running.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Snow White is open!

Another great show has survived our first week. Snow White opened this week at Carco in Renton. Now we have a light week and onto our next venue. So many little girls arriving in their Disney dresses for the shows. One lovely audience member today asked if I had played Laurie in Oklahoma this summer. She recognized my headshot. (No way she could recognize me underneath my green and purple eyeshadow, false eyelashes, red lipstick and warpaint blush) I told her yes, yes I was, and that Jud was out in the lobby if she wanted to say "hi" to him too.

Yesterday we went to the Corn maze in Snohomish, out for drinks, and to see Oliver. The day before was Little Shop of Horrors. Both had strong and weak moments, but were enjoyable productions.

Now I'm deep in the throws of costuming for Ghostlight. I've got a little under two weeks left 'til we open. I've been rather distracted, but now it's time to knuckle down and actually get going on construction.

It's fall now in Seattle. The weather is very cold at night and quite chilly during the day. Thanks to our dry summer we're having a lovely change of leaves instead of the usual sodden drop. I've changed my summer to winter clothes, and am enjoying wearing coats and scarves again.

Back to watching X-Men 2.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Lilith: Frasier, come in.
Frasier: I must be early, I see you haven't had a chance to put up
your hair yet.
Lilith: Oh, I thought I'd leave it down tonight.
Frasier: [surprised] Really?
Lilith: Yes, after several hours of careful deliberation, and
weighing all the consequences, I decided to be playful.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Another Openin'

I've been to see so many plays in the past few weeks. This last Friday I saw Enchanted April at Taproot. It was excellent. I loved almost every bit of it! (It was "My Kind" of play.)

Tomorrow I'm going to go see Zandi in Titus Andronicus. It's supposed to up the gore of Shakespeare's bloodiest play, so I'm a little wary, but it's always great to see a friend. Especially one who has been rolling around on the ground as one of Snow White's Dorfs all week.

Snow White is going well. We had our first costume fittings today, and I'm green from head to toe. My face has been superimposed over the Mona Lisa in the Queen's Throne Room, and I get to dance all sorts of Cha Chas, Tangos, and Flamencos. Hoorah.

Off to the homeless shelter for the night.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nausiating but True

Yesterday at work, a couple came in and asked if they needed to order at the counter. We told them to have a seat. They went outside and walked right past the big "section closed" sign to sit on the patio. I went out to take their order and asked them if they wouldn't be more comfortable inside. Most of the people who started outside moved indoors because the breeze in the shade was quite fall-ish. They informed me that they ran hot.

They were idecisive, and when I brought their food, the lady pulled me aside in a confidential manner and asked for extra onions. She just loves a lot of onions. I went to the computer, ordered onion and brought it to her. Upon bringing the check, she grabbed me and asked about the $.25 spinach charge. I told her that was her extra onion. She sat and stared at the bill for a long time. I heard her saying "Well SHE...." to her husband as I cleared the table next to her. Finally they left. And on their credit card receipt was a $4.00. Then under it -$.25. Then under that a total of $3.75.

People are rediculous.

In the other realm of nausiating but true, Alan and I were watching Batman last night, and over the credits was lovely Danny Elfan scoring. At one point the music played the following (stay with me): Dum da Dum DUMMMM! (!) Without hesitation or consultation, and in unison, both of us sang: Dum da DUUUUM! (Re...mi...fa) And then burst out laughing. In the soundtrack was the first four notes of the Indiana Jones Theme, and we both obliged by singing the second line. At the same time.

Sad, that.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things

My mini-break is winding down. Oklahoma! and Snow White left me with four weeks off, with only production meetings for the Oedipus Duplex that I'm costume designing to fill the month. Mostly I've been filling the time going out a lot and enjoying having a life for a change.

Now, however, it's back to the grindstone. Storybook starts rehearsals on Tuesday, waitressing is winding down, and Wednesday night I've got to go take measurements for the cast of Mother Phoeker, Thursday night for Blinding Pains. Snow White opens October 21st.

I've seen a play a week for the past month. Having someone with access to professional comp tickets is a lovely perk (Handy, that). I saw Forever Plaid at Renton Civic, The Secret Garden at Driftwood Players, The Producers at Seattle Musical Theatre, and tomorrow night I'm going to go see the premier of Contact the musical at Center Stage. Good or bad, it's nice to see friends. (Actually, it's more fun to see the bad ones, as you can make snarky comments throughout)

I'm also finishing up a retro coat for Lachellybelly to add to my repro sundress with handstitched pin tucks. I'm trying to get another set done before I have to set it all aside to costume Oedipus.

Happy one month anniversary, Alan!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Look

Austen: "Your scowl could kill a full grown moose." (Said while on tour with Wycliffe)

Alan: "Nice glare. Now if only I was a charging rhinocerous."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I put my phone through the washing machine, and finally declared it dead today. My old phone still works, so my number is up and working, but I've lost all my contacts out of the old phone.

Could you all please send me a text message with your name on it so I can update my phone again?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We apologize for the inconvenience:

Rachel is calling in dead on account of a personal life, and will emerge once the rainbows and bunnies go away.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My first weekend with a NEW and IMPROVED wig!!!!!!!!! I feel like a girl again! And a pretty one at that. My Laurey was much vainer today since she had such a pretty head of long yeller hair.

On the negative side, I got through the lines and the prologue to People Will Say We're In Love, sang my first "don't" - and my brain said ".....................s...s...sssssigh and gaze at me!" Then my brain said, "That's the second verse. The SECOND VERSE! What the hell is the first verse, 'cause I have blocking that goes with that one that I can't do here!!!" I managed to come back with a second line of "Don't please my folks too much..." but then had to sing "don't sigh and gaze at me" three times in the song, since that's how I start my reprise before I cry.

I tried out a high D in the reprise (before the second show), but my musical director nixed it. He said I have lovely tonsils, but it(the note, not my tonsils) detracted from the moment. I agreed, and thanked him for letting me try it. Oklahoma! has boring high notes.

I'm off to bed now. I was tired on the way home, but now I'm just wired.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I've had a particularly social week this week. After an entire summer of everyone I know being out of town doing summerstock, it's been lovely.

Monday I got off work early (after pouring coffee of a film director up from LA working on postproduction of a film that's made it into the Toronto Film Festival, and is using the composer from Little Miss Sunshine) and decided to spend the afternoon bumming around downtown. I walked from Pike's Place to Chinatown, stopping at a thrift store for a pair of nude fishnets and a few tank tops. Then I walked to the Goodwill Outlet for some more materials for Lachellybelly's next batch of items. I found a couple of things for myself, and a vintage pillowcase (for a skirt), some bohemian multi-fabric curtains (soon to be a peasant blouse), an eyelet tablerunner (possibly the frontpiece of a tux shirt), and the innards of a Bucilla Embroidery kit (when I pulled that out of my bag, Miles looked at me like I'd purchased garbage, but this morning I separated the colors and put them on spools - and I have a completely full embroidery kit now).

On my way home I took the bus through Greenwood instead of up Aurora, and on my way, Zandi called and wanted to know if I wanted to meet her for shopping. I was three stops from where she was standing. We met at the Library, then ran to Vietnamese for some pork fried noodles and root beer floats. Then we ran into a Vintage jeans store, and found Zandi two pairs that fit, and a pair of old Levi's button ups for me. No lycra (thank heavens). Then off to Labels where Zandi found a new sweater for headshots, and I got a headband and a string of pink pearls that goes to my waist even after I've looped it around my neck once. Fab.

Tuesday I worked. On my way out I heard from Julian (my high school prom date, in town from Germany for our ten year reunion) and agreed to meet him for coffee in Pioneer Square before he headed back to Ellensburg. I visited Diva Dolls on my way, after eating a salad in the park, and found that my favorite hat had sold. Sad day. Vintage purple cloche hat with polka dotted tulle. But they've started carrying a line of garters and seamed stockings. I'll be going back for a purchase once I find the perfect pencil skirt to wear with seamed stockings.

Coffee in Pioneer Square was perfect, and we got a picture of the two of us holding our prom picture. That should make it's way to facebook soon. I made my way home after stopping to check my email at the library, and Becky and I worked on our projects on the back porch until the sun went down. Gewurztraminer and hand embroidery don't mix well, but I did my best.

Today is my day off. I'm researching Hedda Gabler for the play I'm costuming (1890's costume - hurrah!), finishing my current dress and starting on the peasant blouse, then going with Becky to Louise's lakehouse for Thai takeout. Should be working on my monologues for an audition on Sunday.

Tomorrow night is the new season of Project Runway.

And my new wig came in the mail. Hopefully this one will last the duration of the show.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

After all the debating, I'm glad I went to my ten year reunion. I met some people I hadn't seen in a long time, and got reaquainted with some people I barely knew a decade ago.

I found several people that live right near me in Seattle, and several of whom I'll be meeting up with later this summer.

Funny thing though. In the inevitable "what do you do" conversations, I was surprised to find that people got stammery and vague with me about "you know, working. Nothing exciting." They seemed to find my life exotic.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Well, casting has changed again, and I'm back to the Witch in Snow White, instead of one of the Dwarves.

Monday, August 03, 2009

There is more to life than theatrical projects, but not much these days. Which is good. The goal of building up the resume continues. Both resumes. I'm on now officially as a dwarf and the huntsman in Snow White for the fall, and I've taken on Ghostlight's fall show to costume. I'm still hoping for another evening play in there somewhere. Two shows and one costuming would fill out my fall nicely.

I'm starting to think ahead to slightly longer term goals, and have begun researching doing some national cattle calls this year. I'm not quite ready to leave Seattle, but I am feeling the need to cast out a little further for work opportunities.

Waitressing has cut back to two days a week. Livable, but not enough to save what I wanted to for the summer (my own fault since I'm not available to work weekends all summer). So it's back to retail next week. Time to start shifting my schedule to one that will acommodate Storybook.

Susan and Zandi were in town yesterday doing some auditions. They went to see Storybook's current show, and I met them for coffee. Today Erin is in town, and we're doing some shopping. I'm excited for the fall when several friends will be moving to Seattle permanently.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oklahoma! is open. Outdoor theater is blazing hot, but throwing myself into the river between shows helps.

This week I'm just trying to stay cool as Seattle hit's an all-time high.

Work has slowed down since I'm not available for weekends anymore, but Banana wants me back, so all is well. Working on a few Lachellybelly items while I have free time.

Snow White rehearsals will start three weeks after Oklahoma! ends (I wonder, do I really need to put in the exclamation mark every time I mention it?). And I've agreed to costume Ghostlight Theatrical's Fall show. I was hoping for one more evening gig, but I may concentrate on oodles of dance classes instead, and wait for the SMT shows I'd like to audition for this season. (Company and 110 in the Shade).

Off to eat apple pie made from scratch this morning.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I've survived hell week, and have a day off. Hooray!

We did three solid shows opening weekend. I know every cast member had a moment they didn't like, and I was late for an entrance, but overall three very good shows at the end of our 10 show hell week. Everyone kept their voices, and now we have a chance to rest up for the next weekend. Curly and I are coming early for an al italiano blocking and line run.

The 3pm shows out doors are hot and humid. The weather is not meant to improve for next week. Under my costume I wear knee high stockings, black ankle boots, bloomers, chemise, corset, corset cover, and petticoat. In 80 degree heat and high humidity, it's a very heavy combination. (Besides the fact that the costumer in me appreciates the detail, my dresses look better with underpinnings - and my corsetted waist looks so tiny when my skirts are swirling like they're supposed to) The chorus starts shedding petticoats as it gets hotter. Between shows on Saturday, Curly and I shed our layers, threw on swimsuits, and hurled ourselves in the 38 degree river. I only went up to my waist last time. Next time I'm getting in up to my neck.

I've been asked my a director who saw me do the French reading two weeks ago to do her reading tonight. I'm going over the script today. I wasn't able to make their one rehearsal Thursday, so my introduction to her style will be in the half hour before we read at ArtsWest for SPS. (The same group and place as the last one)

I'm off to forage for coffee.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hell week has commenced.

First dress for the ladies tonight. My wig should finally make an appearance. Rehearsal ended at midnight last night, and I was up at 6 after going to bed at quarter to 1.

This is the toughest venue I've ever had to sing in. Outdoor theater sans mics is essentially like singing into a vacuum. In this theater, the rake is so dramatic that in order to play to the back of house, one's head must be tilted almost all the way up. (The 2nd floor balcony of the farmhouse puts me face to face with the third to last row) What a killer on vocal production to have one's chin that high in the air. So one does one's best, and trusts that all will sound fine, even if one has no clue how one's voice sounds.

Now I'm off to sing in a corset and see if there's any way to be period and still breathe.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hell week starts Sunday. All week I'll be working days, then commuting to the mountains at night. Once we open, my schedule should be fairly easy-ish.

I remembered last night why I have a general policy not to spend a lot of time killing time with groups of performers. (After show hangouts being the exception) Inevitably the conversations start about who's amazing, and who's not, who is up for the same roles you are, and who they heard got cast, and who didn't. I find auditioning manageable only if I can walk away and not think about it again. Or that's the theory. I'd rather not know who I'm up against, or how good everyone else thinks they are. Policy back firmly in place.

Oklahoma had a markedly good rehearsal last night. The chorus made every entrance on time and with enthusiasm, and our new track tempos are much sprightlier. My personal practice sessions are going well, even though I don't maintain it easily in the very difficult acoustics of our rehearsal space. (One room, like singing underwater, the other, an echo chamber) The dialect coach called in this week to monitor the cast approved my accent, and was very happy that we're pronouncing Catoosie correctly. (My personal mission)

My credit card is now paid off. Hoorah! This week I should be able to start saving for next season.

Last night my roommate and I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter: The Half Blood Prince. I had not been especially looking forward to this installment, since I'm not thrilled with the new Dumbledore. But good directing makes a difference, and this director did a lovely job balancing plot and subplot, exchanging exposition for action, and keeping everything moving along. Kudos to Daniel Radcliffe for his acting in the "Felix" scene. Also to Ron Weasley for the Love Potion scene. Kudos to Narcissa Malfoy for perpetual tearage. Nice mention to Draco Malfoy as well for a greatly expanded role from his previous one liners. I missed Moaning Myrtle, but nothing else was terribly glaring that got cut. There wasn't too much additional shooting that didn't come from the book, and only one directoral decision is going to be difficult to overcome for a major plot point in the next film or two.

That's my two bits. On a side note, I've never seen so many teenyboppers using a wizarding movie as an excuse to wear hotpants. And I saw even a balding middle aged man dressed in Hogwarts robes. There was no possible way, either, to eat all the candy, popcorn and soda my roommate and I splurged on for the film.

Monday, July 06, 2009

My main feeling these days is...exhausted, but happy. I'm working full time, but right now with two consecutive days off. The first of those I usually spent taking several hour naps inbetween reading a chapter or two, then waking up to discover I've drooled all over whatever I'm laying on. Carpet, cat. I'm not normally a's just a sign of extreme fatigue.

My work schedule is regular for a change, but I'm up at 5 every morning. That means that I'm off usually around 1. No later than 4. And leaves several hours for a nap before rehearsal. BUT my rehearsals go til 10, which leaves a maximum of six hours of sleep a night. A nap is not a luxury, but a regimented part of my routine. I can't wear out now. Once the show is open, I'll be working 50 hours a week, and spending my two days off doing three performances of Oklahoma!

I'm really enjoying this show. Really really. I love the character (who'd have thought?), and love playing opposite my costar. Which is good, since our play is completely different than the play the rest of the cast are putting on. We keep walking in on scenes we've never seen before, and we rehearse on different days than everyone else. I think I remember that from that last time I did this show. Curly and Laurey spend most of the play with each other, and the minor characters and chorus have their own plot and scenes. Not much interaction outside of chorus numbers, but even then - Laurey isn't in the Dream Ballet or Farmer and the Cowman. So I interact less with the rest of the cast even than Curly does.

Tonight I've got to get Oklahoma out of my head to do a single performance of Le Musee du Rodin at a Seattle Playwrites meeting at ArtsWest. I read lines on the bus this morning, luckily it's not memorized, and we'll have one more readthrough before the reading tonight.

Tomorrow we begin Act 1 runthroughs, and block the end of the show. I'm hoping to convince my choreographer to give me a private lesson to make sure I look credible dancing Many a New Day. As long as I get to dance, I'd like to look credible doing it. I've got the basic choreography down, but I want someone to make sure my arms and feet are pointing and curving correctly. I'm doing fine now, but with a slightly more work I could move more firmly into "moves well."

I'm at the library killing time, hoping a practice room becomes available. I got off work early, and rather than go home for a couple of hours, then taking a bus to West Seattle, I may as well stay in town and be productive until it's time to go. I brought my blacks to work and changed in the dishroom, and did my makeup and hair in the library bathroom. It worked.

Off to run lines.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A rehearsal free night tonight. Ahhhhh.....

I love Oklahoma! I didn't expect to enjoy this role this much, especially since my heart was set on playing a different role this summer, but it's lovely to work with a costar again in a second show, even if it wasn't the costar I was expecting.

We rehearse in a tiny church gym with acoustics that guarantee a headache after a few minutes. If someone walks into a corner and whispers, the reverb can overcome a room of talking actors. Crowd noise is unbearable. The director has cut off rehearsal because he can't bear the barage of the actors hitting high notes (the one high-ish one in the show).

Our music director is a professional, and is putting together the pre-recorded orchestra track himself. Right now it's very raw, but he's allowing us to give imput into tempos and timing. Curly and I, after a lugubrious reprise post-proposal scene, asked for a faster tempo, since the kissing was already over for the scene, so we weren't leading up to anything, and it needed to be more "Yay!" than "Ahhhhh." The director said he'd write that down.

Le Musee du Rodin had it's last read through last night before our performance for the Seattle Playwrite group on the 6th. One actor was pushing for another reading tonight, but luckily the cast voted her down. We've already had 5 rehearsals - unheard of for a reading minus set, blocking, or costume. We do get to keep our accents, which were hanging in the balance for a few days. I'm glad. I spent a lot of money and time to get mine down pat.

Only a month until Oklahoma! opens!!!! Sadly, I don't get to try my own dream ballet. They've got much better dancers than me - and the director is tied to Laurey overlooking the ballet from the 2nd floor balcony of the farmhouse. But I do get to dance front and center in Many a New Day, which is great fun!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In answer to Angie, about how many stage engagements I've had:

Engaged (or 'pinned', I suppose, since that was the "thing" in Bye Bye Birdie) 5 times.

Married 6 times. But Sound of Music was my first stage wedding, Oklahoma will be my second.

In a relationship that presumably ended in marriage, 2 or 3, depending.

Divorces - 2
Flings - 1

Relationships ending in the death of a partner, 1.

Relationships ending in my own death, 1.

(Drea, can you name the shows?)

Monday, June 22, 2009

A shortie.

I'm working full time. I'm in rehearsals five nights a week. Last night we choreographed "Many a New Day." I'm so happy that Laurie gets to dance it, instead of just sing. Tonight Act 1 opening, and proposal scene at the auction. First day of blocking and we've jumped straight to the punch.

This week is going to be very long. I have an audition this evening before rehearsal, and on my non-Oklahoma days I have a read-though and a pickup rehearsal for Le Musee du Rodin, which peforms July 6.

Next week I audition for The Sound of Music. Again. Different company. Still haven't heard back from Village, but neither has anyone else, so no disappointment yet.

I should have more rehearsal stories soon. There's not much to say about the past week of vocal rehearsals except that it's not my favorite part of the process.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Off work early. At the library waiting to use a practice room. Going to see Night Flight tonight at the Moore. Tomorrow I have a callback. And I caught myself today saying "We've got tables a-plenty" and realized I'm already taking on Laurie for the summer....ergh.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A productive day, ending with an Oklahoma accent coaching. Trying to turn my second hand Texan into reasonable Oklahoma - without any of the R&H horrible transliterated New York Oakie is a challenge. And then, determining if I will stand out too much if I do a real accent and the rest of the cast does the musical theater one will be another thing. Fard. (Fired) Hard. (Hired) All (I'll - but not Texan Aihl).

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Studying Oklahoma!

Preparing for a role is my favorite part of a play. Except actually performing. That's saying a lot, too, because I even like tech rehearsals. (The only thing I don't like about performing is the initial meet and greet, where the very excited production team meets the actors and tells us what makes this experience unique. After signing a contract, getting measured, meeting the cast and getting my script, I can save the socializing and stories of past productions until the production is up and rolling.)

Yesterday I checked out a book on Oklahoma Territory. I've read Green Grow the Lilacs to find some more interesting character traits (there are tons), and I've also checked into what books were published within 15 years of 1906 to find out what her influences may have been. Or which ones I'm choosing them to be. I've looked up movies set in Oklahoma besides Oklahoma! to get a real accent started as I learn lines, and I've started developing a back history and motivation for Laurie based on interchanges in the original play that didn't make it into the musical. I know who Curly is, how much older he is than she, how long she's loved him, and how long he's known she existed. I know where she grew up, what happened to her parents, and why she escapes into dreams and is so frightened of something bad happening.

The audience won't be aware of any of this, of course, but it helps me to know all of this about her, making her more than a two dimensional musical theater ingenue.

My script has several pages of post it notes in it, and I spent the other evening with a pot of tea and a yellow highlighter going through my script. I love my job!

Friday, June 05, 2009

I have news! I got a callback for Meet Me In St. Louis at Village Theatre! Next Saturday!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I put on eyeliner today for the first time in ages. I wear makeup every day. The same makeup, with the same routine, at the same time each morning. Today everyone comments on how pretty and glamorous I look. Hmmmm.

I got off work at 3, and had a rehearsal at TPS at 5. So I wandered through the streets of Seattle through the sunny day and 70 degree weather, talking on the phone to the oldest member of the blessed company. I had a molasses cookie from my favorite Pike's Place Bakery, The Three Girls, and a lovely stroll with my SPF 50.

Rehearsal went well. My second readthrough of a new play. We're reading it for a group of playwrites on July 6. It's still too long, but either the exhaustion or my newness to the genre enables me to slash through paragraphs of lines. Someone today called my cuts "fearless." They aren't really. After getting up at 5am, I lacked the energy to maintain that level of emotional disbelief for 9 pages straight, and opted to cut down the scene. It really was too long, started too high, and then had nowhere to go. I think my note was "shrill." Which I can be. Especially in a French accent.

Monday, May 18, 2009

And here's my excerpt of the parody script of the filming of A Face For All Occasions:


Rachel, grumpy, tries to get a box of safety pins open while she waits in line for coffee. Staci approaches.

Rachel. There are ten more extras who don't
have wardrobe. I need them on the set in 5

The safety pins spill.

I hate you, you evil, evil woman.

Rachel's hair stands on end. Her eyes burn. Constance puts a cup of coffee in her hand. Rachel drinks.

Transformation. Rainbows. Sunshine.

Sweet, fashionable Rachel turns back to Staci.

I've got everything I need with a few table
cloths and these safety pins.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Going out on a high note

Well, I did my last audition of the season today for Seattle Children's Theater. Everything I've heard about them convinces me that I'd love to work for them someday. And this season they're doing the Jerome Robbins Peter Pan, which I've always loved, plus more of their fantastic original shows.

In the spirit of getting back on the horse, I decided to do the song I didn't really get through for the 5th. I knew I could do it, and knew also that if I didn't nail it now, I'd chicken out forever. So before the audition I went to TPS and did my audition half a dozen times through. I walked over the SCT and nailed it. I hope they call me back next season. They asked about my current projects and availability for next season, so I'm hopeful that they're interested. But they run auditions for more than a week, so they have a lot of people yet to see. Including Zandi and Susan, who I've worked with in Leavenworth.

I've only got a week and a half left of the double job phenomenon. May 27th I will be down to just waitressing for the summer...and rehearsing two shows...but I'm letting my brain think for a few days that I'll be less busy. I've got to learn a Oklahoma accent soon (different from the Texan accent I can put on at the drop of the hat) and also a French-speaking-English accent. I've got a lovely cast member with a spot on French accent from her studies in England, and I've asked her to coach me. Mom and Dad know plenty of "Okies" for me to call and have them read lines to me. For starters, my Grandparents will be up from Tulsa in a few weeks for Allie's graduation. (I can't wait to go to rehearsals and tell my directors that my Mammaw is from Claremore - the setting of Oklahoma!)

I'm opening the restaurant today, and must be up in a few hours, but my occasional insomnia caught up with me an hour ago. Oh well. I'm working a short shift, and there's always espresso.

I've finished two pieces for my line. I have another top started that I should finish tomorrow, and several more works in progress. One top has been dismembered twice and still isn't quite right. I went to an antique clothing store this weekend that had always been closed by the time I got off work. I left early on Thursday et voila, open! And she had a box full of vintage patterns to rifle through. I bought three. A blouse and two dress patterns.

Well, I'm back to bed now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's international week at Pike's Place Market. Actually, every week is. For the past month, though, most of the tourists have been British or Canadian. Lately there have been fewer, but more Eastern Europeans, and French and Germans. Sunday morning I waited tables on a lovely French couple who spoke almost no English. So, gamely, I walked up to the table and asked "Qu'est-ce que vous voulez?" (Which, anymore, I'm not sure if it's rude, or incorrect, or just plain bad, but it got the point across at least) "Deux cafes. Noirs, et granola avec le fruit." "Oui. D'accord." "Merci." And then the woman told me (I think) that my accent was good, I just needed to practice. Which was nice of her, since in conversation I told her that "I study french in University but I don't speak well now today." This would be a passable sentence in Khmer, which only has one verb tense, but it's annoying that I can't think of how to say "I studied."

Europeans are great customers. Once they order. Taking their order is a melange of waters without ice, lattes, juice, meals, fruits, breads, and finally a double espresso to finish off the meal. Which usually lasts upwards of an hour. It takes a tremendous effort to get everything to fit on the table, but on the plus side, if you forget to put their order in for twenty minutes, they're fine. They think food comes to quickly anyway.

New Yorkers are by far the worst people to wait on here. Seattle is a pretty laid back town. Except in our coffee ordering we're generally pretty chill with whatever shows up, so long as it won't kill us. And if the wrong thing comes, we're game for the adventure. New Yorkers must exist in an entire ordering culture of exceptions. Every single woman I've waited on that MUST be from there, accent alone, much less the shoes, wants a half-caff vanilla soy latte with a dollop of foam, and can I bring one regular sugar and one splenda. Then a water with three ice cubes, a juice with no pulp and NO ice cubes, and an egg-whites only, vegetarian omelet with no onions, extra bell peppers, and do you have bacon? No? Well then add a sausage patty. Is it pork or beef sausage? Organic? And can I have a side of salsa, no potatoes, and if I don't get fruit can I add avacado to the omelet? One slice wheat toast and one slice white, extra crisp, and can I have one extra pat butter. And can you just "warm up" my latte with drip coffee?

I heard an Eastern European lady explain tipping to her friends like this: "Well you pay for the food, and then if the service is really good you leave a little extra." Hmm. Someone needs to give her a ballpark figure. She left me $6 on a $70 tab. Actually, with most Europeans, if they remember to leave anything at all, I'm impressed. If I go to Europe someday, I'll probably offend waiters in a trail all over the continent because I'll be petrified NOT to leave 20% at the table.

I have yet to meet any Cambodian tourists. As a whole, I suppose the country really isn't up to foreign vacations quite yet, but I'm aching to practice my fading Khmer on somebody.

The only downside to waiting tables - and I mostly love the industry - realizing my hair smells like breakfast.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And here is the link to another film screening at the SIFF that I may have made a brief appearance in. Acting with my eyes.

Here is the link to the short film I costumed when first I moved to Seattle. It won Best Actress at the 168 Film Festival in L.A., and is now screening at the Seattle International Film Festival. That cape was a character all by itself.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

So, in other news, I have accepted one more of the roles I was offered. I will be playing Judith Claudel in a live reading of a play about the life of Rodin. Judith was his assistant. It will be a project with minimal rehearsals, since there is no blocking, but I will have to work on a French accent of some sort. I'm quite excited to get a play and a musical on my resume in the same summer, and hope the project will go well. If one of my friends who was at the audition got cast, I hope I can beg her to give me accent coaching. She learned her French accent studying in London.

I'm still waiting to hear whether my scheduling will be too tight to take on the third project, which runs the weekend before tech rehearsals start for Oklahoma. I did have to turn down the fourth.

I'm off to bed. Waitressing tomorrow at the crack of dawn. I hope this storm blows itself out by then.

Monday, May 04, 2009

So, I'm Laurie in Oklahoma! for sure. I may be able to futz two of the other three offers into my schedule also, if all the rehearsal and performance dates work out.

I've done all but two of my scheduled auditions. I felt good about Village. The 5th wasn't great. I prepared, and then ran the audition this morning before work and nailed it each time. I dried out waiting for my audition though, and didn't make it through the high Eb I've been doing solidly for a month. Disappointing.

Perhaps my acting will make up for the singing. I actually belted better than I did the legit song. It was a very backwards audition. Wierd. But I have one or two more to do in the next week, then I'm done for the season. All in all I felt very good about my auditions this spring. I'm well prepared, choosing better material, and having fun doing them. I've found monologues and learned how to perform them well - which was always a weakness for me. Now I've got some good upcoming projects to do. And if I don't get a callback for the 5th this year, I'm going to take this song, work on it for a year, and nail it next time around.

So there.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I'm down to two jobs now. Hurrah! I didn't know how I was going to maintain the three job schedule for two months more. Nannying came to an early end, but it wasn't entirely unexpected. I still have retail and waitressing.

I've been auditioning like mad the past few weeks. Partly as preparation for my big auditions: Village, The 5th Ave and Seattle Children's. Partly because I'm hoping to spend the next few months getting either some good roles or really interesting pieces on my resume. I've gone out for a show at a winery that has a global warming theme, a pirate show, and an unstaged reading of a new play of the life of Rodin. Also Oklahoma! and The Music Man. So far I've been offered roles in The Last Magician and The Pirate Show, and have a callback tonight for Laurie in Oklahoma! Monday is my audition at the 5th, and next week is Portland Center Stage (if I decide to go) and Seattle Children's is halfway through the month. Soon I should be able to make some decisions about my summer.

I've been dog-sitting all weekend, and only home in brief fits and spurts to change my clothes. Yesterday I ran out of time, and had to pull together an outfit of things-I-have-sitting-in-the-backseat-of-my-car. It was very colorful - pink skirt, lavender blouse, cream sweater, and a multicolored polkadotted scarf to tie it all together - but it worked.

I'm hoping as my hours ease up to get really cranking on some Lachellybelly items. I've got a few more things started in my spare hours and minutes, but I'd love a chance to pull quantities together.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Last night Carrie Fisher threw glitter all over me.

No, not some weird Star Wars themed dream. Wouldn't need Carrie Fisher for that one, as I'm ALWAYS Princess Leia in those dreams. I went last night to see Wishful Drinking at Seattle Rep.

It was a two hour tell-all of her life's story. Accompanied by toys, props, a Princess Leia life size doll, several tumblers of Coke, and copious amounts of glitter. I was lucky enough to get a seat in the front and center, so during the opening number of "Happy Days Are Here Again," she walked up and down the front row throwing handfuls of tinsel, and I'm still brushing it out of my hair.

It was a very good evening. Lots of great speeches, and her usual gift at alliterative sentences and witty reworkings of old folk sayings. There was plenty of audience participation during a gameshow called "Are They Related?" (Chronicling the twisted Hollywood Intermarriage rate, can Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynold's granddaughter date Elizabeth Taylor's grandson?) And lots of dishy stories about Carrie Fisher's life and scandals.

I wasn't called on for anything, which was a relief. Except for when she was talking about how her second husband came out of the closet, leaving her blindsided, and later how a grief counselor told her, "I can't even imagine what you're going through." Having had a rather similar dating history, and a therapist see me come in the room, settle back in her chair, and tell me my life story was her "own personal episode of Will and Grace" (All she needed was some popcorn) I could have related, if she'd asked me to. And, in sheer numbers, I have her beat. Though, I was never married to any of mine.

Alright, I'd love to type more, but several jobs are calling my name. My feet are in terrible shape. I would tell you how bad, from constant walking while both waitressing and in retail, but the words were too scary on paper. Suffice it to say, I need a pedicure. If I can ever find some spare time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A very old friend is back.

Long ago, when I was actually MAKING money, I had a friend who went everywhere with me. I'd check in with it everyday, find out where I stood, move numbers around and retotal everything.

It was my faithful,trusty 12-column ledger.

It went by the wayside once my student loans and my car were paid off. I tried to start it again when I started acting, but it was simply too depressing to have no money to move around, and simply talley overdraft fees from time to time as my bank accounts (once again) cascaded out of control because someone decided not to pay me on time.

But now. For the first time in over a year, I'm making more money than I know what to do with. I've bought some clothes. Replaced some makup. Bought new headshots. And this morning, upon deposit of my retail paycheck, I paid off one of my (two) credit cards.

I still have one more to pay off, with a much larger balance than the first. So out came my trusty rusty ledger. I dusted him off, made columns for each credit card and bank account. Colored over the SUM TOTAL and NET WORTH columns, and (just for fun) used my old colored pencils to draw vines of flowers in the header - for decoration. I don't know why getting to color in my ledger makes doing finances more fun, but it TOTALLY does.

And for those of you who thought my color coded dayplanner was the geekiest thing I'm capable of - welcome to a whole new level of fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An unexpected morning off. Well, an hour. One of the girls I nanny is sick, so Dad came home, and I got a few minutes to myself.

The film I costumed last Winter has been chosen by the Seattle International Film Festival. It's an Oscar nominating venue, and two very big directors will be coming to watch. Spike Lee is one, and I forget the other.

I'm working 60-65 hours a week, and trying to get more Lachellybelly items done, as well as prepping for auditions, practicing tap dancing, and sleeping. I can't do all of those in the same day, though.

The ledger is back as a new incentive to pay off my debts and get back into the black for next year. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to catch up for a change.

And I'm deciding whether or not a corset counts as a "layering piece" as per BR standards of apparel.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not much time.

I'm pretty much working around the clock right now. It's lovely to be making money again. Enough to pay bills, buy groceries, replace things that are wearing out, and even plan how to pay down my debts for next fall when I'm certainly going to be acting again.

I have 8 auditions in the next month, four in one week. Several generals and a few plays and musicals.

Yesterday I waitressed all morning. Of course on the day that I have a 4:40 audition in West Seattle, we get slammed with no hope of closing on time. By 4:10 I was panicking, waiting for the other waitress to drop her bank, wondering how I was going to get to the bus in negative time. Well, stripping down and changing into my skirt happened behind the counter, I put on my blouse and makeup and fixed my hair on the bus, to the amusement of all the people sitting around me. The bus let me off one stop too late, and I ran in heels dragging my little suitcase (I had too much to carry for a shoulder bag, back three blocks, only to find the doors locked. I thought I'd missed it, and was really mad because I'd had to miss a callback for an experimental play to come to this audition. Then they came to fetch me, gave me a moment to catch my breath, and I auditioned.

Next I bussed back to downtown, bussed home, grabbed some mini burgers from Jack in the Box on my way off the bus, jumped into my car and went to work retail.

Afterwards my LOD and I went out for a drink - two for him, plus half of mine, and half for me. I have the lowest alcohol tolerance in the world. Still had to drink three glasses of water to drive.

And now I'm off to waitress. Then. HOME. FINALLY.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another day, another audition.

I'm going to have to find another heading for these days, since I have quite a few auditions in the next few weeks.

Tonight I auditioned for a new work at a local theater. They told us we could bring in any monologue in any genre, and I had a new one I wanted to test out. Actually, upon reading the sides, I'm quite interested in the production. My monologue went really well, thanks to coaching by Nicole, and they asked me to read some sides as also.

5th Ave told us that we should audition for everything we can to improve our auditioning skills. I'm glad I went to this one. Next up, The Music Man audition on Saturday.

This week has more breathing room than last. I don't have all the extra shifts I picked up last week, and waitressing has settled, so I have free chunks of hours here and there. I've been so busy all spring, I found myself with three solid hours free and no earthly idea what to do with them. I'd already taken a nap.

Now that I've paid off my library fine, I can check out new reading material, prepare for auditions, and make the next batch of dresses for Emma Jeans.

We'll see how productive I end up.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Latest

The original tablecloth was coffee-dyed and separated. I used half of the oval to make the skirt, then cut the bodice and waist from the more heavily embroidered center sections. The dress is backless with a zipper closure center back and hooks to close the halter neck.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I hate telling people what I do.

It always leaks out, here and there, and anytime I'm in a new place I hear the impression they gather from the bits and pieces that come out in normal "getting to know you" conversation, and it doesn't feel like a reflection of myself at all.

I sound WAY flakier than I am, or way cooler.

Today, for example. Imagine the answers to these questions:
Where did you go to school?
What did you study?
And are you still using it?
Oh, when did you live in Asia?
What area code is 805?
So you just moved here recently?

See what I mean? Flakey. Or extremely artsy and bohemian. And then I pull out my dayplanner...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Twinkle Toes

And now for the exciting news of the week - I am picking up a new skill set! TAP DANCING!!

I've always wanted to learn, plus I need to spruce up my resume, plus get more dance experience before general auditions that include On The Town and 42nd Street. (Of course I won't be good enough to REALLY be a dancer by a month from now, but it may put me in the running for singing chorus if I can at least move my feet with tap shoes on them)

Tuesday I flailed around trying to Shu-ffle. Step. F-lap. Step. I've been practicing and I can do it fairly regularly but very slowly.

I feel very uncoordinated in class, but I'm screwing up with a big smile on my face. It's so much fun. I can't wait to be good.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Day tripping to Yakima. Not as exciting as friends of mine who are currently taking a road trip around the country, but a nice break in the routine of working (finally!) way too much.

I'm on my way to take the dogs home. And hopefully put the watch back in for repair that I repaired two years ago, spent a year trying to get back to Yakima to pick it up, finally had Mom and Dad pay the balance and give it to me as a birthday present, got it at Christmas, only to find that the watch was mis-repaired and picks up five minutes on the hour. I'd take it to a new place, but it cost so much to fix (it's a wind up watch - beautiful) that I want them to try to redo it before I pay someone else more to.

Banana wants to up my hours. Waitressing wants me all three days I'm available, and nannying continues with a four chapter reading of Hatchet each morning.

I'm preparing for my many upcoming auditions. I've pretty much settled on one song for sure - freakish high notes, bubbly acting, and flirting all in two verses of a song. I'm going with that one. I found a monologue for my Oklahoma audition that can be played Southern Belle, several other monologues for general use, and am still looking for the perfect Lloyd Webber belt song that's in my range. Drea gave me more suggestions from obscure shows, and I may just pick something meant for a tenor, since most of his belt ballads are for altos. I can SORT of sing them, but no way does it show me in the best light. I can bellow well, but belting is beyond me.

And trying desperately to get the last of my next batch of Emma Jeans consignments done. I've got 5 projects going, one finished, in an effort to keep going when I'm tired by switching project. I wanted to be done by last weekend, but kept picking up shifts and training, and had less time than I imagined to sew. And no capacity for creativity after a three job day.

I'm off to run some errands, then over the pass I go.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Suddenly, I'm working.

After several months of barely enough hours, begging for more if possible, and sweating it out whenever a school holiday interrupted my nannying schedule, I've gotten a third job. And as soon as I did, my other job starts asking me to pick up extra shifts as well.

It never rains...

I have a few more minutes of leisure, then I'm back to the sweat shop to make another round of clothing for Emma Jeans. I have five partial projects, and I just need to finish them so I can take them over tomorrow.

I'm hoping with my new waitressing job to be able to pay down the debt, and maybe even buy some clothes. On sale, of course. And junk food. I've been aching for chips and chocolate!

Emotionally I'm a bit fragile right now - with money stress, my car window having to be fixed, and recent audition letdown, I've been feeling a bit lost. But we have a sunny week ahead of us, and that always makes everything cheerful.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another week of highs and lows.

Yesterday was quite the day. I'm housesitting two sets of dogs, one for ten days, and one set on both weekends around spring break. Banana has upped my hours some. And last night I attended a workshop at 5th Avenue Theatre on "How to Audition for Musical Theatre."

It was a great workshop. There was a lot of good information given. Some things I've been doing recently to prepare for the next round of generals I found were exactly what I should be doing. And then there were great suggestions for ways to improve the parts I'm weak.

Some things I'm doing right:
1. Wearing one dress to every audition - my new pink Banana Republic one.
2. Practicing Cold Reading skills - reading to the girls counts in a major way!
3. Critique each audition as a performance, not based on whether you "got
the job" or not.
4. Go to as many auditions as you possibly can to improve your audition skills.

Some things I need to improve:
1. Acting is more important than beautiful singing (I tend to focus more on
musicality than acting, though I'm really good at both in performance.)
2. Constantly take dance classes regardless of skill level.
3. Assume everything they say to each other or write down is POSITIVE.

So that part was great, and I'm so glad I went.

After that I met a friend from work for drinks (well, one drink for me, and that was still enough to make me stumble a bit), then back to his place for a rowdy musical theatre sing along - just for fun, since we can't very well bust into song at work.

Afterwards, he walked me to my car, only to find that someone had broken a window out of my car. Nothin was stolen, just someone having highjinks. So my $5 musical theatre workshop suddenly costs more than a class at Freehold.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yesterday I was called into the office by my favorite LOD. I, thinking I was in trouble, followed him in with a hangdog expression, wondering what else I don't know how to do.

Instead I was told I'm the number 5 salesperson in the store, and up for a bonus if I can make X amount by a certain date. Handy!

So, suddenly, work is a much more interesting venture.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2008 Tax Talley

I've just finished doing my taxes. No small feat considering how many jobs and gigs and side things I worked. So, final talley:

Number of Companies worked for: 11
Number of side gigs: 7
Total earnings: somewhere around $16,000

And with the second round of stimulus packages, since I got the smaller amount last year, I didn't owe anything on my taxes either this year. HUGE sigh of relief.

Frankly, I'm shocked, though. I thought if I'd come out above 12,000 it would be as well as I was able to do. Not bad for a first year seriously pursuing acting. Here's to a good start, and hope for better for next year's taxes. (At least less forms, anyway!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Poundin' 42nd Street...

I'm back from a long weekend of Leavenworth Auditions. It was much less grueling than last year - only three callbacks, and well spread out. I was called back for all the things I wanted to be seen for, and nothing I wasn't interested in.

Yesterday I auditioned for Maria in The Sound of Music, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Lina Lamont in Singing in the Rain. I have some feelings about which way casting may have gone, but no certainty. One director in particular I have NOOOO clue what will happen.

I'm scheduling two more auditions for the next couple of weeks. This is the most freedom I've had to audition and audition and audition - not necessarily for parts, although it's weird to not be in a project right now - but to practice auditioning. It's my weakest area, but one I'm improving in each time. I wasn't cast for a short film last week, but the director emailed and said she was impressed with my audition. I had an audition on Thursday for a live script reading, and I read for her for 45 minutes. Didn't get that one either, but she said I'm a "great reader." (I should be after all the books I've done the voices for. Actually, funnily enough, reading for the girls has probably been my best audition practice all year. I've had to sit and make character and voice decisions one sentence ahead of where I'm reading. Great training for making quick choices in auditions settings).

I'm working double the hours of retail that I was at Christmas. Just in time, too, since I don't have any acting or costuming income for the moment. I should hear back from LST in a week, and know whether or not I'll be going out of town for the summer. Then I can decide whether a third job would be in order, or actually, I could be a summer nanny and not need to go schlepp anymore.

Today I had a great day at work. I went through a bad time in January where they were frustrated with me, and I was frustrated by not knowing enough to do my job, and I actually had to meet with a manager and beg to be kept on. But I was trained in all my weak areas, and I started making friends once a manager got on my headset and told me to stop whistling Sondheim, and now all is roses and puppies. And I signed two people up for our credit card today, which always makes everyone happy.

We're going to start reading Hatchet by Gary Paulson soon - as soon as my girl checks it out from the library. I offered, once again, to start a different book since we can't start that one until after library day next week, but she'd rather read her Owl Series in the meantime. We had the same discussion for A Wrinkle in Time, too.

Off to bed now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting ready to audition for Leavenworth. I'm all set to go, we'll see if it's enough. I know I can sing all the roles I'm wanting to perform this season, but of course, there will be other casting decisions that will affect mine.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We're getting callbacks today for Guys and Dolls. Phil's heard already that he's called. I haven't. All's not lost yet, but I'd hoped to at least garner a callback - since I was complemented on my audition. But it wouldn't be the first time, nor the last for that matter.

Fingers still crossed. Must go hem a dress now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Working so hard...

I sewed for about eight hours yesterday. I'm nearly done with my second dress, but as with the first one, I keep running into problem after problem. I bought a pattern for the second one - a modern one that looked vintage in the picture. In reality, not so much. Secondly, I had to cut down a dress to make the bodice, and so chose the smallest pattern size. I've forgotten (since it's been so long since I've made something from one complete pattern instead of reworking an existing garment) that sizes on patterns have no corrolation to anybody's real size, and I usually end up cutting out a 10-12 for myself. I cut out a 4. So this morning I took the finished dress to the girls I nanny to see what size a 4 is. (Did I also mention that the overlay for the ruched chiffon didn't fit the actual pattern piece, so I had to take it in a bit more) It fits neither the 11-year-old nor the 8-year-old. If I remember the measurements of the girls I bought dresses for my last film, it's going to fit about a 5-year-old. So now I have to shorten the bodice, and shorten the hem by about a foot. I can't take it out and rework it - because the chiffon shows holes like NONE other. I'm having trouble even pulling out the gathering stitches.

So I had a brainwave this morning about how to make it work. I think it will be really cute when finished. It's a bit of a mental shock to start out with a vintage prom dress, and wind up with a flower girl ensemble. That's today's project.

I made three tags yesterday for the three items I'm going to finish for the shop. I'm so behind now in my deadline it's laughable. The owner is fine with it - but I hate feeling behind. I have 7 more things to go after this, too, by the end of the month. Time to do some more ebaying to get funds for supplies.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

My "line."

I've finished the first dress of my new line, and started the second. This one took FAAAAAR longer than I thought it would, but the end result is stunning. I'm so happy with it. It gets bluer on the back left side, but I couldn't turn all the way around because the dress is about a size 8-10, and it's clamped on my body for the pictures.

Final count of silk neckties used? About 50.

Dress #1 of my new "line."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Face For All Occasions

Two grueling days on set so far.

Our first day of shooting started at 7am South of Seattle. I was up at 5:30 and picked up our Production Designer just after six. She lives downtown and is generally on my way to every shoot. Plus, we both have loads of costumes and set dressing to lug about, so we're one of the few vehicles allowed at the downtown shoot days where parking is at a premium. My car is stuffed to the brim with helium balloons, clown wigs and shoes, boxes and boxes of file folders for our office scene shoot tonight, ironing board, metal chair, extras dressing, and costumes from other shoot days, which are always handy to have around as extra bits of patching fabric or set dressing. Yesterday we shot a scene in the lead clown's trailer, and bits of his costume and backup costumes I borrowed were stuffed into the cubby holes to help create the atmosphere. In a brilliantly inspired move, our production designer offered the day before's helium balloons for the sad clown long shot. So our poor dejected clown walked down an alley dragging a fistful of deflated balloons which bounced sadly behind him. Beautiful shot - can't wait to see it in post production.

Our first day was our largest extras day. All characters had to be ready for the first shot, which meant a lot of work for me, and lots of calls up from the production staff wondering how long it would take to begin shooting. Extras are lovely, but always have a lot of questions.

Yesterday, only a handful of extras were back for some closeup shots, and costumes were already set from the day before, only requiring touch ups and "last looks" before filming recommenced. I spent ages running around with my camera from the day before checking continuity - as we filmed yesterday the shots on either side of the first day's filming, and had to make sure every lock of the clown wig was flying askew in the right direction. His tailcoat wrinkes if you look at it wrong, and he was wired into a mic pack, so I couldn't take his jacket to iron between takes. Very upset about this as they did a closeup of his tails, but the director made it a character bit, and called it good. Now if only the wrinkles matched continuity I'd be happy. Probably won't show after all, but I went on the record with the behind the scenes camera that I'd wanted to change it but wasn't allowed.

Listening to the character actors talk shop to an adoring crowd of extras was amusing for a while. Hours later I was glad I got to be downstairs on set instead. Sharing stories is one of my favorite parts of the arts. "Talking Shop" makes me crazy. Can't stand the posturing of sentences beginning with "When I worked on so-and so...." The crew had a conversation about that during set up at our exterior shot. Unanimous decision that networking happens naturally through just working, so no need to go out of your way and be simultaniously obseqious and obnoxious.

Wrap last night at 3am. Call today at 2pm. Frantic shuffle to get our SAG actor out of costume before he went into a violation. Call time today latened as a result. Hurrah. Got home around 4 and up at 9:30. Very bright light in my apartment.

Today a minimal cast. Currently washing the costume, and will iron it on location. Most of my clown costume becomes set dressing today. Don't know if I will get to set that up, or our Production Designer.

I'm always happy working on a film set, and even more so with a crew that I've worked with previously. It's a nice chummy business, with loads of time to sit and chat with people. Our makeup designer is doing her first film -and has a fabulous air brush she just bought. I'm patently jealous, as I want a steamer in the worst way as my new job expense.

Off to eat breakfast and take costume out of dryer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blood Wedding Review

*My costumes got my first good Seattle Review!!!*

OCT has dusted off a seldom-produced play by one of my favorite poets, Federico Garcia Lorca (who I didn’t even know was a playwright), about a seemingly grand Spanish wedding gone to the coyotes when the bride has second thoughts. Though relocated from Spain to the more familiar American Southwest, this play is miles from ordinary. In mystic Lorcan fashion, players of the sky argue with Death (Alice Bridgforth) over the fate of the star-crossed lovers. Exquisite costumes and unexpectedly brassy musical interludes (kudos to Gina Russell for her Broadway-worthy vibrato as the bespangled Moon) overlay the serpentine plot of a biddable mama’s boy (Shayne McNeal) who has just purchased the vineyard, and thus the bride (Annie Jantzen), of his dreams. Catherine Kettrick’s poignant role as his widowed mother invokes the feminist social commentary that helped get Lorca assassinated in Franco’s Spain. Director Ron Sandahl took a palpable risk in leaving the Wife’s role (also Russell) entirely in Spanish, but explanatory English responses plugged the info gap, and the lyrical exchanges of English con Espanol wove the otherworldly beauty of Lorca’s prose mejor que a literal translation would have. Este obra de teatro es tan bella y tan triste. JENNA NAND 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun. Ends Feb. 28. SEATTLE WEEKLY
Ah monologue coaching!

I went to the TPS studios today to coach my monologue for the generals. I'd been feeling uncomfortable with mine, even though I liked my choice, it wasn't working properly in auditions. With monologues, as with all acting, you really need direction. So we worked my 1 minue and 30 second piece for an hour, and in the end I feel much more ready for my audition on Thursday.

I had a semi-free day. Nannying was easy. We finished Anne of Green Gables yesterday, so today we watched the first part of the movie.

Tonight I'll likely go to a preview of Jane Eyre, and this weekend will be working and costuming.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Clown Costumes

I had to make three clown costumes for today's stills shoot to be used in filming which begins a week from Friday. Today was my big push, because the main character's costume needed to be finished - or fairly finished - so he looked the same from past to present. I finished the tux vest just in time to walk out the door, run by Display and Costume, and get to the shoot. Luckily everything fit. Except the tailcoat which I knew wouldn't fit, but needed it to be tried on to determine if there was NOOOO possible way (in which case I needed to return it, and the second jacket I bought just in case), or if it could be altered to work for the film -which it could.

Part of the stress of my job is most of filmmaking is too technical for the average person to have an opinion about, with all the funny acronyms and nicknames - abbreviations flying about. I know now what is meant when someone says, "call the 1st A.D. and tell him to meet me at Craft Services," but I haven't always. Costuming seems to be the one arena that everyone feels they know something about/get to have an opinion on/should offer suggestions regarding.

This is emphatically not the case. I'm usually pretty on top of what needs to be done, and if it isn't yet, either it is not currently a priority, or there is a very good reason why it hasn't been done (ie - don't take the tags off until we're sure that we're going to use the outfit, otherwise I'll return it and get the 15% of my budget that I spent on it back.) Or that's actually the way I wanted it.

Today, having been in the costume for five minutes on the first fitting, the actor and another crew member were to be found in the hallway saying, "You know what should be done to make this look like a CLOWN costume" ...which really ticked me off.

So tonight I get to bring up the etiquette portion of filmmaking, and reminding the crew at our meeting that if they discuss it, it gives the actors permission to start taking matters into their own hands, and makes my life harder in the bargain.

On the plus side, the costumes (other than the bits and pieces that weren't done on purpose) met with the approval of the director, so all's well. Now for the finishing touches and alterations, and my major costume is ready to roll.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I have almost literally been sleeping around the clock since 1 o'clock on Wednesday. This miserable cold with achies I've been fighting off long enough to do eight performances of Goldilocks finally hit with a vengance. I'm happily off cough and cold meds and letting it run its course. (I hate doping up for illnesses. If this one was any indication, taking all the medicine in the world for four days didn't make it any better, it just held off symptoms for a few hours at a time until I could crash)

Goldilocks went really well! I played Mamma Bear all weekend, and then did my two performances as Goldie on Wednesday. I finally feel like I've got the hang of acting for this company. For Cinderella I only went on once, and everything was a blur. For Pinocchio, my character had very little interaction outside the fourth wall, so it was very fun, but felt odd. Both Mamma and Goldie carry on lengthy conversational monologues and songs, and it finally felt right. Here's a picture from backstage.
My costume had a big skirt and pinafore, and I amused myself backstage by twirling. My favorite qualifier for a dress as a child - did it have a twirly skirt. It was fun to regress for a few minutes.

Now I start costuming a film. I'm supposed to have three clown costumes finished for a preliminary photo shoot on Wednesday. Whether I get out today will depend on how I feel later, and if the rain stops. Not likely in Seattle - but I'm not feeling an intense desire to go out and get wet.

Auditions season is starting in town. My first single audition is Sunday, and mass audition is in the 16-18th. I decided to sing after all, even though my original plan was just to do monologues. I was too busy this past month to work up a second monologue. I hate learning monologues. They are so artificial, and almost impossible for me to pick out of context. I always watch in amazement as someone delivers a lovely comedic one on the spot - I struggle and struggle, and never do well. I worked with a friend on my new monologue and it wound up nicely after an hour, but in my audition the first go around was stiff - and once she "put me onstage" gave me an imaginary actor to play off, and some stage direction, it was lovely. They seem to frown on doing too many monologues from shows you've been in, but my best monologue at that audition was my little scene from Pinocchio, because I've done it so often. Silly monologues - maybe I should take a class someday.


Well, I think I'll go make myself something hot to drink, and retire to the couch to read more Lewis. I finished the Abolition of Man yesterday, and I'm on to the Problem of Pain. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Things are still buzzing along. For a few days, what with running from nannying to retail, retail to costume meetings, costume meetings to fittings, fittings to shows, I haven't had much chance to catch up on sleep. Today, though, I couldn't get into the theater until 4 anyway, and have never spent longer than three hours at the Outlet Goodwill (the limit to my endurance), so I came straight home from nannying and took a good long nap before spending 11 hours costuming today.

Blood Wedding is coming along nicely. A couple of days ago I wasn't sure how everything would get done. Then, with a few changes, yesterday I suddenly felt like we had a show, and everything else was minor. Today I realized again just how much construction and alterations I have left to do (one new skirt, a vest, multiple hemmings and moving of closures, and three coyote shawl-y things - as well as a wig fix) and it means tomorrow I'm going to go straight from nannying to the fabric store, and from thence to the theater where I will spend the rest of my day. Tomorrow is final dress.

I really need to iron everything, but that might just happen on friday before opening.

My other costuming gig will be going well shortly. I don't have much time to devote to it just yet. I need to start sending extras emails.

We're reading Anne of Green Gables in the mornings. Anne just jumped on Miss Barry in the spare room bed. Lots of hijinks will ensue tomorrow morning. If I don't sleep through my alarm like this morning. I rolled out of bed swearing 45 minutes after I was supposed to be there so everyone could run. They are so used to my being dependable (I've only overslept once before in nearly a year) that they'd left assuming I'd be there. They did call to make sure I was getting the girls up on time. It's nice to know they trust me. Too bad it happened on the morning when they shouldn't have.

Off to bed now...

Friday, January 23, 2009

You know you've been shopping too much when...

You're standing by a bin at the Goodwill Outlet, and hear a voice behind you talking. It's one of the managers, or perhaps security, speaking with a reporter with Channel 7. I tuned it back out until hearing the answer to the question I'm presuming was along the lines of, "Do you have many people that come in a lot." I tuned in because I heard, "Do you see that girl?" I lifted my head, and he stopped. I went back about my business of scouring for costumes for Blood Wedding. "Do you see that girl? She's here ALL the time."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fashion-forward thinking:

So I have the opportunity to design some clothes and sell them at a local antique store. It might be a nice way to bring in some extra money, plus a chance to be creative in a public sort of way. Plus. Fun!

So over the holiday Erin was in town, who takes AMAZING pictures, and she took photos of a few things I've made over the years. I updated my portfolio, and now I'm ready for my meeting on Friday.

Here are some highlights:

My corset, covered in bleached muslin and hand embroidered with vines and flowers. A fluke left me with a fuschia drawstring, but I kind of like the contrast.

My 1950's Dress with updated bodice. Made from bubble gum pink 30's feedsacking material, bordered with green rosebud print fabric.

Mom's Christmas Regency Inspired Jacket - made from grey wool with dark red brocade lining. Top stitched in cherry red.

Allison's Christmas Regency Inspired Jacket - made from three pair recycled jeans, and one recycled jeans skirt. Lined in orange brocade.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

And I'm back to busy.

Thursday was my first day to run the show as Mama Bear. Also my first time to walk blocking. Also my day to be off book for that role. So, I stumbled through. I was told my character voice was very nice. Good. I didn't realize I was using one - I was so distracted by trying to remember what to say and where to stand. Pleasant surprise, that!

Tuesday I'm off book for Goldilocks and running at least one time through that day.

I'm costuming Blood Wedding right now, which opens on the 30th. I've run into a bit of holdup trying to find some of the big houses that will lend to us. I was told we had reciprocal lending agreements with local theaters, but it turned out to be based on contacts with each costume designer, not with the theater. Now, because of MLK, I won't be able to track costumes down again until tuesday. Hopefully this will all come together soon. Funny image from last night's soup-fest. My pot of Split Pea was simmering next to my roommate's rice, and her friend's hoomemade chili - right next to a pot of tea with a chemise in it.

I'm costuming a Clown Film next month, which I've been to some production meetings for, but am not really thinking about much until Blood Wedding is up and running. I've been gathering a few accessories here and there, but mostly I'm out of the game for now.

I'm still working a few shifts of retail - but mostly on call. I didn't get called in at all this week, which is worrisome, but not tragic, since Goldilocks is paying me these days. I've been told by my manager that once the college kids leave there will be more shifts, and they definately want me to stay on. Good to know.

Nannying we finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and have now started on Anne of Green Gables. Her comment? "Wow. She asks a lot of questions. When does she smash her slate over his head." I think she'll get more into it once we're out of the introductions phase. And Anne is about to yell at Rachel Lynde.

I'm off to costume. Goodwill-by-the-pound, here I come!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The stuff has hit the fan...again.

The company I worked for over Christmas has run into financial difficulties, the upshoot being that the actors are not going to be paid on time. Which, considering that I did the show because the pay would coincide with my next rent check, is a bit of a snag. Also, the shows cancelled due to weather we are not being paid for.

No worries, arrangements have been made so that I can stay ahead of everything again, but once again it's down to the wire, and I'm having trouble sleeping nights. It would be one thing if it was my lack of planning, but to plan and plan and plan and STILL have everything fall through is extremely frustrating. One can't find a job fast enough to stop the landslide if someone else drops the ball.

In the meantime, all I can do is stand still, stop spending, and hope all of the chips fall in the right order.

I know this is the way artistic lives tend do go - always scraping by, always on the verge of failure, but my type-A personality is struggling with it this week.