Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yeah, I'm Posting Again

I think I made WAY too big of a deal out of my blog.  I was trying to make it one thing to gain an audience.

Over the past years it was a self help of some sorts blog.  It was place to come and vent or talk about things I've seen or done.  What I was doing in the artistic world. I've come to realize I don't want it to be one thing and I don't care if I have an audience or not.  It's my blog. It's my place to get me to write.  I should not be afraid of my blog.  I should come here and write whatever the heck I want to.  And, if you enjoy reading my mumblings, well, thank you.  I hope you continue to come on back and read again.  I will however, be mumbling just about anything as I, one of my goals I am falling so behind on is writing my gosh darn play.....and getting my website up.  So, I thought, if I start blogging again, maybe I would start getting my butt in gear about those things as well.  Here goes.

One of my life long friends is in town right now.  The past couple of times she has been here, I have done some touristy stuff, but this time around I have something planned for almost every night.  We went and saw The Amoralist show "The Bad and The Better".  I can't recommend this ENOUGH.  This is better than the majority of shows on Broadway right now.  In fact, when I told another friend who had seen this show as well, that my friend from out of town and I just got done seeing it, she told my out of town friend - "You just saw one of the best things playing right now.  Thank goodness your friend took you."  I can't say much about it as it would spoil it.  Seeing it again was also a treat.  I saw things I didn't see before, some dialogue that wasn't in my initial viewing.  I swear some of the blocking was different.  This is what is so awesome about live performances, especially those really good ones, you will never see the same show twice.  Meaning that it may be the same exact show but something different happens every time.

I mean sure, we pop on one of our favorite movies and go - wow, I never noticed that before. But, it's still the same movie.  Nothing has changed.  You just noticed something different.  With live performances, it truly is different and you may be the only one that caught something that a performer did on stage or there was a change in the script that they were trying out and you got to see it for the first time.  Last night's audience didn't.   I realized recently that I seldom go to the movies anymore.  Don't get me wrong, going to the movies is like a big treat for me, I love it.  But, I have been seeing much more theater because of what I said in the last paragraph.  It's almost always exciting.  

And, "The Bad and The Better" is chocked full of excitement, twists and turns and just down right fun.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Realizing Better

Realizing Better

When you look back on all you’ve done
And all that you have become
When you were apart
You realize that you may have given more to the other than you thought
It’s time to stop convincing yourself
And realize it is better
(better said than done)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

ME - NYTheatre.com's Person of the Year 2011

I know this blog has become a waste land of nothingness, but taking a moment to shout out some wonderful news.

Me and a whole slew of great people have been named NYTheatre.com People of the Year for 2011.  Please take a moment to read.

More "While You Were In" and other nonsense when I get a moment to breathe.

NYTheatre.com Blog: People of the Year 2011

Friday, April 08, 2011

So Many Things, So Many Things....

As I am trying to figure out how to write this new sort of column, I have let quite a few events pass by. So, going to BLOG! or word vomit some of the things I have been up to in the past few.

While You Were In....

Most of these events took place on Thursdays and Fridays, so you were probably out and about and not in just watching your cat play with lint on the floor or re-runs of Dukes of Hazard on Spike. However, on Thursday, March 24, CBS local news told New Yorkers there was only one place to be, The Soundtrack Series at (le) poisson rouge. Were you there?

You could be asking - what the heck is Soundtrack Serial? Movie Score Series? What? Here is some back ground information for those of you, not in the know.

The Soundtrack Series is a series hosted by Dani Rossi with her trusty side kick Sean Williams. It happens on the 4th Thursday of every month. And straight from their Facebook page..."Six writers will tell the memories, stories, or tirades triggered every time they hear a particular song of their choosing. There's the song, there's the story behind the song, and then there's the story inspired by the song."

I have attempted to be at everyone of them (I believe I have only missed due to out of town gigs, rehearsal and other performances). Besides Fear-Mongers: Fireside Chats about Horror Films (which I will get to in a minute), this is my type of monthly reading series. My wet dream of "if I were to produce a reading series" - this would be it. (Kudos Ms. Rossi!)

Having a small poetry/spoken word background, a largish music background (from rock, to being in rock bands, to musical theater) and a largish theater background - this series takes all my loves and rolls it all up into one night of goodies.

This night was incredibly magical. The Track Listing/Storytellers were:

Dana Rossi – Daydream in Blue/I Monster
Danny Bowes – Talk Show Host/Radiohead
Justin Woo – Don’t Look Back in Anger/Oasis
Erin Brese – Crazy/Tori Amos
Kurt Braunohler – Like a G6/Far East Movement

I agree with Dana where this night was particularly eerie. These people didn't know each other at all and yet, there was a through line to the whole night. I felt like they were passing off the baton from their story onto the next. A woman having a particularly intense dream leaving her blushing at a co-worker, to a crush on a girl out of one's league and a protective night of drug use, to an act of adulthood, but trying to keep your bad ass ways, to leaving in defiance and starting a new page and finding kind people in the oddest of locations, to the realization of a friendship that lost itself along the way of that person loosing themselves.

OK, maybe that doesn't sound like there is a through line, but you are just going to have to take my word for it.

This series also inspires the audience. For every song and story there is a relative story or song to a particular audience member. Of course everyone can relate with love lost, first dances, first time driving by yourself and some funny instance that happened. Also, the songs themselves bring up memories to the listener. I have to admit, there have been some stories that I began to listen to, then drifted off into my own world of the song that was played or the story that I found relation to in my life. Then coming in and out of this imagination to hear the artistry that was woven before me.

Afterwords, everyone has a chance to catch up and retell their stories or just talk to the artists about their stories, choice of songs, etc. It's a real treat.

The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G
Because I am so late on this blog, unfortunately this little gem is now all sold out, but they do have a wait list, so get to. You will be disappointed to miss this. What I say below does not do it justice, so just go. Please, go. Vampire Cowboys-Agent G-Get Your Tix!

From the Vampire Cowboys website:
"It’s been 10 years since Agent G has last been in Vietnam where his family and friends were all viciously slain. He’s now come back looking for answers and a good bit of revenge, however mysterious forces are at hand trying to stop him as well as the playwright from finishing this brutal task.

After 8 years of exploding movie genre after movie genre onto the live stage, Vampire Cowboys now takes their irreverent pop-culture aesthetic and applies it to a true story in their most daring and risk-taking venture yet.

He lost his country, his family, and his soul. But what he hasn’t lost is his taste for revenge!"

Ok, that tells you some of the story.

What it doesn't tell you is one of the most incredibly personal stories of a playwright onstage I have seen in a long time. Yup, playwright, on stage, well sort of, but it is a perfect balance of story, within a story, within a story...you get it, the infinite reflecting mirror. Also, the incredibly small cast playing the massive multiple roles. Or the brilliant direction, set, sound, choreography, singing (that's right singing and rapping). This show has something for EVERYONE. And I want to dive into it and tell you all about it, but that would give away all the surprises and fun that you should go see for yourself.

Qui Nguyen is brilliant at putting on an entertaining kick ass show. And, he doesn't disappoint here. However, it is so personal. I mean, I can't put into words how much this show touched my heart and my soul. Again, without giving too much away. Maybe after it has gone up to the great production in the sky, I will go into more depth.

He Who Laughs
This was a surprise and a treat to go to. My lovely man's roommate is (from what I have heard) a great storyteller. He proved it this night. It was at Ars Nova and for one night only, but there will be more iterations along the way. But! He has a blog: http://hewholaughs.com/.

His show is a script in hand play on his blog. I know, you are probably thinking...boring. I mean, if I put my blog onstage everyone would zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Isaac Oliver, however, is very blunt and very honest of his life as a single gay man looking for love in the big apple. And, also a box office manager (which, having worked box office during my college years -summer dinner theater people - this portion made me guffaw).

His style is a work in progress, but an incredibly entertaining work in in progress. He has his arm chair he sits in and tells his wisdom, narrates the scenes, reads his poems, gives advice and talks to a puppet Starbucks cup. He also has a cast of characters that play the multiple characters that come in and out of his life. From some of the most hilarious overheard subway stories to love encounters online. Love encounters is probably saying something very innocent, which it's not. His honesty in his work was refreshing and human.

Woo, that's it - and heck that's over a week ago. What happened this week to come soon!

Oh, and I mentioned Fireside chats which I went to ever single one last year and have been horrible this year. Seriously, quel horror! But, this is what I am talking about and gosh darn it - I am doing all I can to go to the next one! Fear-Mongers: Fireside Chats about Horror Films
Fear Mongers

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And it begins...again...While you were in....

My blog has been getting quite a bit of attention from spam. From this, I realized either I needed to shut this down or try and re-connect with my writing here.

What to write, what to write, what to write....

So, I decided to shut this down. OK. I mean, this blog stared out as one thing, I tried something else, I didn't want it to be this to be a wasteland of emotions. So I tried to post more stories, make this a place to share experiences. Then, my life got personal.

And I got busy. And on that note.

I get this a lot. "Steph, you are so busy. You are always doing something." My answer is usually a vibrant yes, things are going well. A "Uh-Huh"with an emphasis on the "Uh". Or, it is the "Uh-huh" with the notes going down on the "Huh". The too busy with good things, but boy I could use a break.

I am beginning to do a big purge and found some old papers for a corporate media company that I used to work for where I wrote a monthly column called "While You Were In". A column where I wrote about my "alter" life, nothing fancy, just that I went out did things other than just go home to a family or a glowie TV. Where, I went out to concerts and shows that were either main stream or independent. From my first column of the Flaming Lips Headphone Tour to my meeting of Kurt Vonnegut at a Barnes and Noble reading. I enjoyed writing them, I enjoyed the reception I got from them and I enjoyed when people would say my articles got people out doing things.

I hope my blog is at times a place where I do go back to my stories of life, but for now....here you are...the first....While You Were In

Whedonistas! at Way Station

It's Monday night in my neighborhood and I had the opportunity to see readings from a new book of Joss Whedon fans at my new neighborhood bar, The Way Station. "Whedonistas! A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them" (coming out today, Tuesday, March 15).

First, I do have a bias regarding this event, my friend Teresa Jusino had written an essay in the book and organized the event, so my going was two fold, someone I knew and it was in my neighborhood.

The evening, for me is best described as running into an old friend on a random street and talking about a significant time frame that only the two of you would know. Then find yourself thinking, wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

All the writers who got up to read their excerpts of their essays from the book talked about their love for Joss Whedon in their way, and how they had not discovered Joss's work until late in the Buffy/Angel/Firefly fandom. Which I was one of those fans. Coming in late to the game. And, how they were brought to his work not by happenstance, but because a significant other, roommate, good friend was so immersed in the shows.

They reminded me of a love for a writer that I visit on multiple occasions. In fact, at this point in time, I am finally making my way through Angel. A series I could not get through due to a certain actress that, well couldn't stand to watch her act (sorry Charisma). I am powering through and looking forward to the episodes I have seen and really like.

This of course inspired me to think about my story about my run in with Joss, my short essay if you will, starts with a night where me and my husband at the time came home from work or an early night in and turned on the TV on a random Tuesday night. We had cable and of course, nothing seemed to be on. We happened upon an episode of Buffy in Season 4, their first year of college (I believe it was "The Freshman"). We of course recognized this TV show. We had tried to watch it back in the day and couldn't really understand why anyone would like this. This was back in the first season of the show when the show was trying to figure out what it was and seemed to have this "after school show" feeling to it.

We laughed how this episode felt like a soap opera for the younger generation and decided to just keep watching for the fun of it. As we tried to make fun of this geek show, we realized we were no longer really talking and just watching. Let's just say from there, we watched every episode (to the point I made Tuesday night a conflict on band rehearsals) and watched marathon's attempting to catch up. Luckily, DVD's of TV shows are popular and for the next few years I received seasons of Buffy for holidays and birthdays.

Granted, I had a very small knowledge of Joss through "Aliens: Resurrection". I know he was not happy with the final outcome of said movie. And, I may just be one person in this, but it is one of my favorite in the series, since the first Alien, for the dialogue alone.

So this evening was a surprise hit and good time for me for...

These women reminded me of my love of this man's story telling. I was one of the few that tried to watch Firefly the way Fox aired (or more to the point, eh-hum, raped it) on television and wrote a letter to the network telling them they were, in so many words, killing art in it's finest form. (Granted I am a geek and a space western is pretty much where I peak. Awesome.)

They reminded me that I am not the only one who came to Joss, as a late fan. But still love his work all the same as those that were on the sidelines from the beginning singing his praises.

They reminded me that he was one of prevalent writers in the writers strike, fighting for the rights and still attempting to do his art, for art sake with "Doctor Horrible's Sing A long Blog".

They reminded me that he is a fighter for women's rights, not only in his writing of some of the ultimate heroine's and female characters, but in his support of Equality Now.

If you are a Joss Whedon fan, I really think you will like this book. From what I heard, it really brings a nostalgic feeling and new found love and a camaraderie to his work that I had forgotten existed.

Thank you gals and guys a like for celebrating a writer and a fan.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And, as I said as a tot on a Thanksgiving art project for school - "I hope the turkey has a good time getting ate." Grammar, spelling, not my forte.

Hope to have a things I am thankful for - shamless plug pretty much in the next few days.

It's good to be back. :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Phantom Pain Remembered

Have you ever woke up from a dream with a short of hallow pain in your chest trying to figure out what it is or what triggered that? How about a smell or walking down a street and not so much a memory, but a feeling? I am sure you have. Why am I asking?

Well, after months of writer's block and/or partial blog writing, this song came on and a memory, no a feeling came over me. Something I didn't realize was gone until now. The bitter hopelessness of life. A hallow place in my heart, sometimes not hallow, but filled with pain. A feeling I have had for a very long time.

The song that came on and triggered: "How to Save A Life" from the Fray. Now, the story and the feeling are attached to something that is not a public story, so I am not going to get into the details and I hope I do not offend by just writing what I am publicly writing now. But, this song was on repeat from Dec. 2006 for about a year. It steadied me somehow. It reminded me that situations, no matter how much they get out of hand, the people in the situation should do their best to work to a place where they can see each other again, in social situations or just run into each other on the street again, be able to say hi and remember that once there was something great there, but not anymore. And share the life with each other they have now. That was at least the "grown-up" thing I believed should be done.

Since then, I have gone through multiple emotional trials regarding this situation. And, other situations, particularly those of lost have come into my life. From my father dying to a friend and I not seeing eye to eye and going our separate ways.

This song reminds me of one night in particular. And, I have probably heard it a dozen times in the past few years, but today for some odd reason, it hit. The chill in the air maybe coupled with this song? Maybe there was a smell in there as well. Regardless, I was back to November 2006, but instead of that pure wrenching pain that was there, a sort of phantom pain emerged.

I believe I know what it means to loose a limb and go to itch a scratch that is not there now. And, here is the revelation. That pain...is not there.

When did this happen? I don't remember a sigh of relief? I don't remember accepting that this pain go away. I don't remember the doctor saying, we are going to amputate.

So, I decided after feeling that, to listen to this song while writing this entry. And really remembering for a moment, just how horrible I could feel. How horrible I felt. Remembering just wanting so bad to get through that situation to move on to hope again and life and love. Wanting to believe that, that could happen. And since then, I have been living in some sort of hopelessness, one way or the other.

Well not since that time, but on and off. I hope that I have been crawling out of this hole in a steady uphill motion for awhile now. And, this past month has given me so many blessings and good things heaped on top of a pretty spectacular life leading to good feelings. And, I am really able to enjoy them, for what feels like the first time in a long time.

So, why go back and experience a pain? Good question.

To remember that this was part of me in my life for a short part of my life. This was not a limb, but a growth that had popped up one day. It's time for removal came and it was gone. Or maybe just fell off. It's grown up and out and off. But, just like a part of my body that was there and is now gone, I will ever so often be reminded and need to scratch.

Welcome back blog. I've missed you.