Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 Needs to Stop Now

Just got off the phone with my mom. She got home and got news that a good friend of hers died in a car accident on Wednesday. Here is what I found in the Carlsbad Current Argus (I also found that it was reported in 2 other newspapers.)

Carlsbad woman dies in Texas auto accident
From the Current-Argus

CARLSBAD — A Carlsbad woman died Wednesday in a single-vehicle accident near Plains, Texas, according to reports in a Lubbock newspaper.
Rita Woodfield, 67, apparently overcorrected when her 2003 Ford F-150 drifted off the road six miles west of Plains, on U.S. Highway 82.

Woodfield was wearing a seatbelt, but was killed when the truck flipped, according to information from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Monday at United Methodist Church with Pastor John Burke of New Song Christian Fellowship Church officiating. Interment will follow in Carlsbad Cemetery, new section, with arrangements by West Funeral Home.

The Woodfields were friends of ours when I was very young. I used to play with their 2 children Dara Lynn and DJ.

About 5 years or so ago, Rita's husband died suddenly. She had a very hard time adjusting as anyone would and had just recently started dating again.

After my father's death, she came over and talked to my mom for quite awhile. And, my mom and her had plans to go on trips together, seeing they were both about the same age and single. She was also someone with whom my mom was able to talk to, and who understood her kind of loss.

So, I am asking, oh great 2007, please, may this have been your last hurrah of heartbreak. I have had some other friends and family who have lost more than their share this year. We're done loosing.

And, to 2008, please show us some mercy. Whether we deserve it or not.

I wish to those of you who are traveling or just out having a good time on New Year's Eve saftely and safe travels.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Put Mom On A Plane

My mom came up this year for Christmas - landing on December 15 to see me in A Very Nosedive Christmas Carol and staying with me until today.

When my parents would visit in the past, it was always so wonderful to have them around, but a bit of a relief when they would leave. Things could go back to status quot, etc.

So, when I dropped my mom off today, I thought it would be a relief. But, it was the first time I walked away and cried. I believe one factor was that she was traveling alone and that made me very sad. The other was, she was such a joy to have around and I love my mother unconditionally, so much. I mean, how do you put into words, if you have it, the love for the woman that gave you life? For me, being adopted, this was the woman that decided to take care of me and raise me as her own. Both of my parents. This was a conscious decision. So, to say goodbye, watch her walk away, was heartbreaking. I now wish she could have stayed longer.

It was also awesome to be able to introduce my mom to my family here in New York. My parents usually came around when everyone was away on vacation. This time, I had the opportunity to introduce my mom to (as many as I could) special people of my life. All the dinners and times out with my friends, she really enjoyed.

There were a few moments of frustration on both parts. But even after having to buy a $4 metrocard because of miss-swipes, she still trudged on and seemed to have a good time. And, a break. And, rest.

Out of all the stories and all the things that happened - this was probably my most embarrassing/funniest things I remember one of my friends saying.

Mom: "Stephie, don't you drink too much. I want you to be able to stay awake on the subway ride home."

Leslie: "Oh Janie, if there is one thing you don't have to worry about is when Stephanie drinks."

Aw memories. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Worst Blogger Ever - OK, Maybe Not the Worst, But...

So, I had one more post about death and dying that I have been working on (well on and off) for a couple of weeks now. Granted, this does not mean it will be this polished, beautifully poised, grammatically spectacular post. It will be my usual disjointed, stream of conscious self. Hopefully with just a better outline.

I wouldn't want to disappoint all 5 of my readers. :)

But, with the holiday seasons, I thought a post on DEATH, would be a little morbid, if not inappropriate. Although, I am sometimes for the inappropriate, this isn't the kind I like to go for. It isn't sexy. Not the way it should be - to quote some Boogie Nights there.

And, with the show ("A Very Nosedive Christmas Carol") coming to a close, I let out the collective sigh of relief. Nosedive has produced, since September, 5 or 6 shows? Two mainstage - at least 3 or 4 shorter works. Although I was not involved as much with the shorter works, they were always on the radar and attended-when not in a show. So, my life has not been my own. So, it has been nice to go - Ah, I don't have to think about theatre for a bit.

Which, by the way, I have never, ever said out loud or written ever.

Yup, folks, I am officially burned out. This year, along with all the Theatre I have done, has taken it's toll. I want a break! So, I am looking forward to enjoying some quiet time with a book (or a blog when I am at work) and a cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa.

Although, there are 3 foibles in this delicious plan. My mom, the holidays and friends coming up for New Years. Maybe more challenges than foibles. I love having my mom here. It is good to get her away from the house that has been causing her some grief. And it gives her a break from all the people. I know that sounds weird - the all the people part. But, my mom has not had a break since the funeral. Maybe, at the most - 2 or 3 days where no one has called or come over. I am happy to report that she is sleeping through the night and enjoying the quiet time at the house.

Holidays - this is the first year, I think since I was young or maybe teenage/college years, where I have gotten an extreme case of the Holiday Blues. I can bullet point/laundry list the reasons I have come up with why I feel this way, but really, why bother. Those that know me, you can probably figure it out. So, I am planning a tradition I used to have - read a Stephen King book for the holidays. I am picking back up the Dark Tower series and getting back to it. I am on book 2. And, at about 10pm each night that I am home, I will just pick up my book and begin to read. I tried this last night with my comic book. My mom chatted a bit, then got a book of her own. It was lovely.

Friends coming up for New Years - a friend of mine, since I was about 15 or so, is coming up with her boyfriend for New Years. I will admit, I was kind of hoping it would just be her. Then we could run around with my friends, have girls night out sort of adventures. But, alas, for her to be able to come up here, she needed cheap tickets and her boyfriend could do that for her. But, I can still attempt to have some quiet time by letting them go out and adventure on their own. And, since there are 2 of them, they can entertain each other. I don't need to entertain the whole time. I am really interested in seeing what my New Year's will be like this year. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it is at least moderately good. A 5 to 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. That would be nice.

Look forward to posting - hopefully a lot more in 2008. I at least need to do a wrap up of 2007 and a look into my 2008. Would you like that? If not, let me know. :)

And, I just wanted to say - Happy Holidays. Here's to you!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Horribly Beautiful Yet Again, Part 3

So, the doctor comes in. He tells us basically everything that we know up to this point. This time, however, he uses the word coma. However, they have done tests and he has lost even more brain function.

He asks us again what we would like to do. My mom said "No heroics, peacefull passing." The doctor calls up the order to have everything removed. This is it. This is his last chance.

Then a Chaplin is called in. And, she sits with us while we wait. She's pretty cool - not too preachy - just wants to know where we are. She has a braid like me - same side and everything. Up to this point, I had been doing pretty well on the crying side and just having the minor tears. Then the chaplin asked when the last time I saw my father was. Niagra Falls. I just hunched down over him and begin to sob. It was December. And, of course, this was also the time that I was waiting to see my husband - him getting off tour, and at this point, hoping that we could re-start our life again together. So, even though I saw my dad, I really didn't see him. Regret. Regret fills me. Anger. Anger at my now ex-husband. The last time I saw my dad - I was barely there. Which means, flash back to the last time - was that the Christmas before? Was that the year that they came down in the summer? I couldn't remember.

The chaplin, then realizes, she probably asked the wrong - or right - question. I had muttered out December before the flood happened. She tells me not to regret that I had not seen them in a long while. That she was the same with her mother. That life is continuing to get in the way. My mom begins to chime in at this point. "Oh no, Stephie, it's not your fault. You were starting your new job and we had all those trips and Dad didn't want you to come down here. He didn't want you to see him when he wasn't feeling like himself."

Amazingly, this didn't really help. And, this is one portion of the mourning process I have been having the hardest time with. I know I shouldn't regret and be thankful for all the times I did get to see him - see him in good health, etc. But, that damn regret. Just keeps coming back.

Well, I am able, at this point to tell my brain that I can't regret and I stop crying. Of course I have to go blown my nose and wash my hands - again. I find this a little funny. For a man who is about to die, we sure are worried about germs.

Then, the men come to remove the machines. We went outside. The chaplin waits with us. Then we are allowed back in. All the tubes are gone. He is just laying there. His heart is still beating. His diaphram is desperately trying to move on it's own. He's got a quivering belly. We all stand around him (Mom, the nurse, the chaplin and me) and she says a pray. I don't even remember what she said, but I remember it being nice.

Then the nurse left. Then the chaplin had to leave and it was just me and my mom on either side of my dad. I was holding his hand. We were just watching him. I just kept praying, thinking, wishing. Come on Dad. You're stronger than this. Prove everyone wrong. Just wake up. Come on. You can do it. Then I remembered his phrases when coaching me - I would fall down and hurt myslef or I was sick or I ever so often said "I couldn't do it." He would tell me to "walk it off" or "you're not that sick, let's get you moving around" or "can't couldn't ever do anything." My father's phrases to me, now running through my head to him.

His belly's quivering was slowing down. There were now, what looked like, small gasps. I looked down at the hand I was holding. His fingernails began to turn purple. It's happening. He's going.

Then, his hand gripped mine and his head started to move. What?!?!? What was going on? And then, his head moved to the side and his eyes began to open. My mom and I jumped up. Me saying "Daddy" and she saying "Ron we're here." Then, I realized, this wasn't him waking up. This was his leaving. So, I said - "It's OK Dad, relax, let go, I'll take care of mom, just let go. We love you. Goodbye Dad, goodbye." Then his mouth made a movement as if to say something and that was it.

Then, came the not so pleasant part - well, as if this had been pleasant at all. He started to slightly convulse. Then stopped moving. His heart, still beating. One eye slightly open. My mom and I sat back down. His skin began to change to a yellowish color. But, his heart just kept on pumping.

Then, the heart began to slow down. The only thing I could think of was - well, at least they fixed his heart - it stayed beating and going the longest. Then, the other nurse came in and said, "I am sorry for your loss." I said thank you and began to stand up. This of course confused my mother and said, oh thank you and then just sat there and then she looked at me to the nurse and said - oh, is it over? The nurse said yes. My mother said alright and walked out of the room.

I let go of my dad's hand, but then realized that he was still holding mine. I undid his grip and flatten his hand out on the bed. Then I went up to his head, closed his mouth and the one eye that was still opened. Then kissed my hand and put it to his forehead and said my final goodbye.

My mom then went back in after me to say her final goodbye.

Then, we came out and began the discussion that would continue the rest of the week. What next.

And, I realized that I had experienced, to this date, one of the most beautiful momments of my life. However hard. I was with my dad when he left this world.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Horribly Beautiful Yet Again, Part 2

So, at about 4:30, I was getting on the train to head up to pick up laundry and do a show, I got THE call. My mom hands the phone to the nurse. This is what she said:

"Stephanie, your father has had a massive brain hemorrhage, the neurologists can not operate, and they have determined that he is brain dead. He is on life support. Now, your mother has requested that we turn off the machines and let your father have a peaceful passing. But, it is your decision if you would like to turn them off now or wait until you get here."

I answer: "I'd like you to wait until I get there." I say this stepping onto the Q train. WTF was I thinking getting on a Subway? I would loose the nurse and could only hope to God that she heard me. I almost got off the train - realizing my folly - when the doors shut.

Believe it or not, I got really good service in the tunnel - never has this happened. She answered: "Well, we can't promise that he will be alive when you get here. Just so you know that. Let me put you back on with your mom. I am so sorry about this."

I only got to talk to my mom for seconds after the train went underground. I tried her again while I was on the bridge and then hopped off at 42nd St., got above ground and called.

Everything was a whirl wind from there on out. Do I try to fly out now - screw the show and go see my dad, who by all counts, is brain dead and not even there? Medically he is already dead, but what about spiritually? Did I make the right decision by keeping him on life support to see him this one last time? Even though I knew that went against his wishes. Then again, was this his life anymore?

My mom and I decided that it would be best for me to keep my flight for the next day and for her to get out of the hospital that she had been at for almost 24 hours. For the most part, the answer had been given, the waiting was over. As the old phrase goes, all that's left is the crying.

That night I gave my performance for my dad. Who would have loved the show - he took me to see Pet Cemetery and being that he was a biologist, thought the movie was hysterical. He found most horror movies - at least the slasher ones - very silly. My dad had a very dry sense of humor and sometimes a dark one at that.

I heard I gave the best performance ever. That I knocked it out of the ball park. That I rocked the casaba. Kicked ass. Near the end of "Dead Things..", I finally got the squib to hit the circ saw and as I raised it over head, it was dripping blood. There were yells and claps. And, as actors sometimes feel, that rush up your spine, that elation, the feeling of...I'm a rock star. From now on out, I think every performance is going to be for my dad.

After the show, I told the cast I would be leaving to be with my dad as he passed away. My mom told me to go out and have fun and I did. Finally ate a little something and had a few beers. It was really nice. And, the support I had from the cast was overwhelming. And, Brian Silliman gave me the best toast ever. Through all that was painful - there were some of the most beautiful moments of my life. Thanks to my friends and family. And, I will never forget this.

One note - about 3am my phone rang with a new voicemail. I called. It was my dad. It was the message he left when he was first out of the hospital, almost 3 weeks ago. He said he was out and eating a sandwich. I almost dropped the phone in disbelief. Christopher was there and he asked what was wrong. I told him about the message. I knew my dad was not out of the hospital. I knew this was an old message. I also knew that I had deleted it. And, that it was past the time period to have the phone even keep it. Christopher hugged me and said, there must be good sandwiches in heaven.

Next morning, I got up late - figures, but got to the airport on time, got my flight and was in Houston, TX and finished the calls to all my friends to let them know what was going on. Met my mom and her friends, Patsy and David Barnett, who had been with her since Friday night, at the hotel. The Barnett's took my luggage and stuff and my mom shuffled me over to my dad's room.

She chattered - like she does, especially when she is nervous. About what was going on with dad, her night with the Barnett family, all the things leading up to this moment. I had a hard time concentrating. All I could think about was my dad. And, if there was a chance in heaven or hell that he would just wake up. I mean, come on, I've heard of the miracle stories. Brain tumors disappearing, people waking up from comas, etc. Why not my dad? Why not now? I had been having a really shitty year - wouldn't this be the best thing that could happen? Something that would wake me up to the fact that there is a God? Or that at least someone was out there listening and answering my prayers?

My mom tells me that he looks like himself and that he doesn't look that bad. This reminds me of my dad, who prepped me to see my mom for the first time after her Breast Cancer surgery. My dad said, "Now Stephanie, she has a lot of tubes coming out of her and she may look a little scary, but she is OK and all those tubes are helping her get better." I remember walking in and yes, there were the tubes and actually they weren't that scary. And, to be honest, weren't that many. Dad didn't realize that I had already starting watching horror movies - this was nothing. And, mom was awake, a little weak, but awake.

First off, it is freezing in the ICU section of the hospital. I know it is to keep disease and such out. All I can think is that they are keeping the bodies fresh. Sorry, I have a very sick sense of humor sometimes, and yes, this is what got me through this past week. Also, I am in short sleeves cause it is 85 degrees outside. Like 55 in the ICU unit.

I walk in his room. My heart drops to my stomach. And, it feel like someone is pulling my stomach out of lower back. My eyes well up with tears. All I can croak out is "Dad". He has tubes coming out of his nose, legs, mouth. There is the air pump down his mouth. There are wires all over him. His chest is moving up and down unnaturally, like some cheap body cavity in a bad B movie. His mouth looks like it has been stretched out - his lips are enlarged. All I can think is that this is not my father. How the hell can it be? He was a runner, he was healthy, he was not a smoker, all the doctors have always said that he was in such good shape for his age. This doesn't look like him. I can tell he has lost a lot of weight. He looks so frail. This is not my father.

My mom leaves for a moment to go to the bathroom, go talk to the Barnett's and give me some time alone with him.

I go from sadness, to anger, to remorse. "Why didn't you tell me dad? Why didn't you tell me what was really going on? Why didn't you tell me how you were feeling? This is not fair. You weren't suppose to go first. I was ready for mom to go first. Hell, I was ready for grandma (who has Alzheimer's and rapidly decreasing in health) to go first. That was suppose to be the next funeral. You can't go. I don't know how I can do this without you. How is mom going to do this without you? We are not prepared. And I am mad as hell at you for that. All those times you asked me to take you out in the woods when you got sick, when you knew you were going to die, to be alone and die peacefully with no fuss. Well, look at you. I can't do that now. You're on the 6th floor. How the hell am I going to get you out of here? Unfortunately, you're at a good enough facility. They actually care when their patients go missing. Look at you. On life support. The last thing you wanted. If you would have been more honest about things, this wouldn't have happened, now would it? This is what you get.....I am so sorry dad, I am so sorry. I am such an asshole. I should have just known. I should have been here. I should have been able to see your eyes one last time. Been able to shoot the shit about anything. I should have been here. You should not be like this. You deserve better than this. I am so sorry dad. I love you. Wake up. Just wake up. Prove everyone wrong dad. Wake up, wake up, wake up."

Or something like that.

Then, my mom came back. The nurse came in. We talked about my dad's condition and that the doctor would come in to explain more. Everyone was so sorry for what had happened. I sat there stroking my dad's hand, wondering if he had heard me or even knew I was there.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Horriblly Beautiful Yet Again, Part 1

As I said in my last post, I am not much of a blogger. This could be due to many different reasons. Don't feel my strong point is writing, time, topics. Regardless, I have a blog. And since then I have put some special topics up and some things that were silly. And, some that were just plain self-promotion.

I am not really sure what is Blog-appropriate and what isn't. I mean, I have an idea. I don't know if what I am about to write would be considered appropriate for the blogsphere. But, here goes.

I am hoping to write at least a 4 part series on this. My thoughts, my experiences and events of this past week. Warning up front - some of this is going to be pretty graphic. So, there you go.

But, for the most part, I want to write about my dad. Who he was, who he was for me and what he meant to a great deal of people. I also want to write about losing a parent. There are grief books and there are stories that deal with this all the time, I know. But, here is my story and a portion of my dad's. I want to get this all down while it is still fresh. I'm going to start at the end and work my way back.

Scott and I used to always have a phrase we would say when talking about our parents - mostly our dads - "My dad is never going to die. Do you hear me God." This was always done in jest and for amusement. Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, I screamed that at the heavens. Unfortunately, it didn't take.

My dad was probably one of the most healthiest humans I knew. Never smoked, ran almost every day, or when he couldn't he walked for miles. Seldom drank except socially or that one glass of wine before dinner. Almost never sick. Never had an operation. He was in top physical shape. The last time he went to the dentist, the dentist said that his teeth were in the condition of a 30 year old or so. He was 65.

This past June he had to get off a plane that was going to Europe because he did not feel well. Not like my dad at all. His blood pressure was something like 210 over 80. Numbers, that for the most part would kill. But, not my dad. He was a tough ole bird. He got through that only to be faced with another challenge.

He found out that he had prostate cancer. There were a lot of different tests and many different opinions, second and third opinions. All pointed in the direction of removing the prostate. Once that was determined, I got the call from my mom.

He went to Houston, TX and on October 5, went into surgery. They (my mom and dad) both assured me that everything was very routine. They were in the best place in the world for this (and they were). Everything went as planned. He only had one minor complication, but the surgery was a success. The cancer was huge, and I was told VERY huge. But, it was fully removed.

We talked on the phone. I kept asking if I needed to come down. They kept saying no. And, things were looking good. He got that catheter out early. They were just staying at the hospital hotel until all looked good.

Then, Friday, October 19, after the show, we were doing photos and I had just dropped off the laundry, I got the call from my mom. Emergency, I may need to fly out to Houston that night. Dad had an attack.

Everything from then on was a back and forth of what was going on. Dad had a heart attack and the left descending ventricle was 90% blocked. They had operated, they had put a balloon and stints into his heart to get it back up to speed. And, everything looked really good. He was going from critical to stable condition. I booked my flight for Sunday morning.

Around 3pm, NY time, my mom calls again. I will find out later that my dad's blood pressure dropped down to 50/40 or something like that. They put him on medication to get his blood pressure back up, but something was very wrong. They found out that he had had a massive brain hemorrhage. They talked to 2 different neurologists and there was no way they could operate. The blood thinner that was keeping his heart going was the reason for the blood hemorrhage (that and a possible aneurysm/blood clot) and if they took him off the blood thinner, his heart would stop. Probably the biggest Catch 22 one could have.

He was unresponsive. He was not waking up. It would take a miracle - I mean an honest to God old testament miracle for him to wake. And, that was what we were all praying for.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Been Away For A Bit

I never thought I would be much of a blogger. A lot of my thoughts and such aren't really appropriate for public consumption. Hence, why my blog has a few postings here and there. And, originally, I started it for a completely different purpose. And, well, for the four or five people that read this, you know that purpose is now moot.

But, I hope to be back with musings about the world or about theatre or music or something in the near future. At least by 2008, eh.

In the meantime - check out the show I am in, directed a piece and helped with general production silliness. It is a scream. The Blood Brother's Present.. Pulp. The info is in the right hand corner.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What Tarot Card Are You?

Saw this on Scott's blog. Couldn't resist. :)

You Are The High Priestess

You represent mystery - secrets that are yet to be revealed.
You find yourself sitting between two worlds: one dark, one light.
You tend to hold these two worlds in balance, reconciling the two.
Open and welcoming, you invite others to learn your secrets.

Your fortune:

Something hidden, or latent, in your life is about to come forward.
You need to pay more attention to your dreams, thoughts, intuition, and imagination.
And if that involves tapping into your dark side, it will all balance out in the end.
You have a lot of potential dying to be unleashed, so let those gates open!

So, my blog has turned into a publicity site, but

hey, I got stuff going on. What do you want from me?

Friday, August 10th at 7pm Nosedive will be having a benefit to raise money for our upcoming season. This is only part of our HUGE fundraising campaign. Not only for the upcoming season, but hoping to sock some money away so we can get to Edinburgh next year. Help a Monkey out, folks. And, we hope to bring you fun and frivolity in the process.

This party will be featuring the band Aldenbarton, all your favorite Nosedive monkeys, a few never before seen video sketches, and everyone's favorite –CHEAP BOOZE!!

Vampire Cowboys Battle Ranch
111 Conselyea Street, No. 2L
Brooklyn, NY
Take the L or G trains to Lorimer/Metropolitan
Exit near intersection of Lorimer St and Metropolitan Ave. Start out going north on Lorimer St towards Conselyea St. Turn right onto Conselyea St

From 7-12am
Friday, August 10th
$7 at the door, $2 Beers, $1 Jell-O Shots.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just to Re-Iterate....

I really hope you can come out and see this. And, to those who have, I hope you have enjoyed it and THANKS! Re-Iterate....



The Kraine Theater (85 E. 4 th Street)
previews July 10 & 17 at 8pm
Runs July 24-29 & July 31-August 5
Tue-Sat at 8pm. Sundays at 2pm

Twelve-year-old Kicken Petchio (Paul Wyatt* ) is not long for this world. Dying of "undisclosed cancer", his only escape is into the wizardly world of his favorite books: the Henry Shield adventures, written by A.R. Crowling ( Shelly Smith). When his father ( Brian Silliman ) arranges for Kicken to meet his favorite author through Last Ditch Wish, Kicken gets more than he bargained for. As characters from the book come to life and Kicken crosses the threshold between reality and fantasy, he learns that nothing is ever what it seems. Taking its cue from the beloved Harry Potter books, The Magic of Mrs. Crowling is for lovers (and haters) of fantasy everywhere.

Dennis Hurley* as Valiaare
Ronica V. Reddick* as Charcane
Brian Silliman as Ramsey
Shelly Smith as Mrs. Crowling
Patrick Shearer as Dazzelin
Paul Wyatt* as Kicken

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity Association. The Magic of Mrs. Crowling is an Equity Approved Showcase.

Lighting: Sabrina Braswell
Fights Designed by: Chris Doering
Original Score: Larry Lees
Designer: Robin Mates
Poster Art: Afua Richardson
Stage Manager: Stephanie Williams
Publicity: Emily Owens PR

Tickets are $18, $12 for students and seniors
SmartTix 212-868-4444

Friday, July 20, 2007

And, This One is Just Promotional

Nosedive Productions is having a fundraising event to raise money for our fall season and to take Nervous-Boy to the Edinburgh Fringe next summer.

This Saturday we'll be having an event at Nice Guy Eddie's. It's a $20 cover for an open bar (beer/well drinks) from 9 p.m. to midnight.

What: Open Bar with the Sick Little Monkeys
Where: Nice Guy Eddie's, 5 Avenue A (and the corner of East Houston Street)
When: Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 9:00pm to Midnight
Who: You, Me... All of Us!




The Kraine Theater (85 E. 4 th Street)
previews July 10 & 17 at 8pm
Runs July 24-29 & July 31-August 5
Tue-Sat at 8pm. Sundays at 2pm

Twelve-year-old Kicken Petchio (Paul Wyatt* ) is not long for this world. Dying of "undisclosed cancer", his only escape is into the wizardly world of his favorite books: the Henry Shield adventures, written by A.R. Crowling ( Shelly Smith). When his father ( Brian Silliman ) arranges for Kicken to meet his favorite author through Last Ditch Wish, Kicken gets more than he bargained for. As characters from the book come to life and Kicken crosses the threshold between reality and fantasy, he learns that nothing is ever what it seems. Taking its cue from the beloved Harry Potter books, The Magic of Mrs. Crowling is for lovers (and haters) of fantasy everywhere.

Dennis Hurley* as Valiaare
Ronica V. Reddick* as Charcane
Brian Silliman as Ramsey
Shelly Smith as Mrs. Crowling
Patrick Shearer as Dazzelin
Paul Wyatt* as Kicken

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity Association. The Magic of Mrs. Crowling is an Equity Approved Showcase.

Lighting: Sabrina Braswell
Fights Designed by: Chris Doering
Original Score: Larry Lees
Designer: Robin Mates
Poster Art: Afua Richardson
Stage Manager: Stephanie Williams
Publicity: Emily Owens PR

Tickets are $18, $12 for students and seniors
SmartTix 212-868-4444

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What Book are You?

Yes, I haven't blogged in ages.

No, I have not done all the memes I have been tagged with.

Yes, I have about 3 posts in Edit that I have not finished.

And, I am hitting you with this.

I am not lame, just really busy. And, apparently, a really bad blogger. (I just got internet access at home people - what do you want?!?!)

OK - here you go! Enjoy my silliness! And, you can enjoy as well.

You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

And, I am hoping to post some pics of me from a Hair Show I did. Spooky, spooky.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm Angry....

I just wanted to blog for a second about a friend of mine who, on her blog, got attacked by a posting nut.

Now, some of her other friends have chimed in (including myself) and this retarded little dwarf had the audacity to then personally attack the people who were telling him to knock it off. Some things were little jabs, some were down right personal and mean. I don't believe he even knows who he is talking to. Very dangerous.

I believe I know who this is. Not someone who is a close friend or even a friend by any stretch of the imagination, but an acquaintance of Virtual Catnip.

I believe we all have a right to an opinion and should express them. But, personal attacks on people, on their blog that having nothing to do with the posting, is down right cowardly.

I would like this said person to come up to my face and say what he said. Please. I beg you.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I should be blogging about something else....

But, the photo below just made me laugh. A friend of mine at work directed me to the site: This is taken directly from their site:

" is a collection of sites dedicated to females in mainstream comics. Our goals are to foster an attentive, empowered audience community and to encourage respect and high-quality character depiction within the industry."

Which I think is a great idea. Having not read comics obsessively for 15 years or so now, I don't really know what that world is like. I had hoped better. And, in some instances, it is. There are more female super heroes. But, after a brief history lesson, I was told that things are pretty much the same in that vein.

I am not going to get into my views here. I actually should do some more work and actually catch up on some of my friends' blogs as well. I will say, that yes, misogynistic work in comics is still mainstream. Does it bother me, a lot. No, not really. But, I can see when you are a huge fan and female and it gets shoved down your throat on a daily basis, how it could become enraging.

So, anyway, I decided to click on an article about the new statuette from Marvel depicting Mary Jane doing her husband, Spiderman's, laundry. Of course, his super suit. Just take a look at this:

Uh, wow.

1st off, you would never lean over like that to put laundry in a basket. I don't care how sexy you are. Come on people!
2nd, doesn't the way they have shaped her stomach and her pink thong (I had to read the article to figure that it was indeed a thong) make it look like there is something wrong with her hips and torso?
3rd, that is just not Mary Jane.

After reading the article, I was glad to see that other people were also not just upset (of course), but also did not think this was an adequate representation of the character.

However, the piece has sold out.

And, in closing comments - when I did go to the article, the advertisement to the right, was for Breast Cancer Awareness. Do with that what you will.

Hopefully more interesting stuff soon - although, this at least got a laugh for me.

Friday, May 04, 2007

More Music Please

Sorry I haven't had any original posts in the past few. This of course is not really original, but trying to get into the habit of blogging more - for the 3 or so people that read this. Hopefully making your work days more interesting - or at least - a good time waster.

I have been making lists of songs that have stuck out over the past few. I stopped a couple of weeks ago because I knew I would not get to blog for awhile. The show, the work and the general exhaustion has left me a little brain dead.

And, speaking of shows - to those who were involved or those of you that came out to see the Suburban Peepshow - Thank You! Thank you for everything! The show went very well and admist the craziness, I really had an awesome time. More news and updates on what is coming up from Nosedive Central soon.

And, I still have a posting I want to do about Trailers - the art and draw of them. And, how much I am noticing the theme running around in other forms (the fake trailers for Grindhouse and recently Doonesberry is running a Trailer for upcoming strips).

But, on with music (unfortunately, didn't get to research a lot of the newer bands here - sorry - hope you can try and listen to some - some you have definitely already heard):
New Order - "Blue Monday" (and of course, it was on a monday. upbeat, fun, song, brings back memories of an awesome church trip I took to Missouri where someone actually gave me their new order tape.)
Cold Play - "Shiver" (i have liked cold play's songs, but haven't loved them. kind of sad bastard music. but, this one was really well produced and musically beautiful. it is from an older album i believe.)
Tear for Fears - "Seeds of Love" (wow! the production on this is amazing. so many layers. i forgot how good this song was. of course, not that this is from that album, but anything from the big chair is awesome and amazing. makes me wanna go back and listen to the other album - yes, i am forgetting the title. :P)
The Feeling - "Never Be Lonely" (bitter sweet song about couples and the ins and outs, but at least they will never be lonely. i like it cause he says "they can bloody well try it". i like me some english folks.)

That's it for now, I had A LOT more songs written down, but can't remember why I really liked them. But, I had been writing them down for a couple of weeks now. And, we just closed a show. And, I was brain dead. But, I'm back folks!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Dæmon Achaean

So, from Philucifer, through Cat I went to the Golden Compass website and took the test. I know, there are probably 100 more things I could blog about, but this is pretty darn cool.

And, the most interesting thing - when seeing or choosing a power animal - it has almost always been the wolf.

Although, since I am letting you guys do some choosing here - it just may change.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut dies

After sustaining a head injury from a fall, Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84.

When I was in 8th grade, I had a choice of books to read for a book report. I remember seeing the name, Slaughterhouse Five and pushing past people to sign up for it. I was a horror buff even back then and it sounded like a fun book to read. Well, wasn't the type of horror I was thinking, but introduced me to a new type of horror. And, to an incredible author, who a few years ago, I was blessed to meet.

We are losing some great and influential writers this year. I look forward to who will be there to take the torch.

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt." "So it goes." - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

Thursday, March 29, 2007

UK Virgin Radio Rocks!

So, one day at work, I couldn't keep my eyes open. I tried massive amounts of coffee and getting up and walking around every few minutes. Didn't work.

Now, I like my job. Yes, a lot of the tasks are mundane and mind-numbing. Very repetitive. Probably why I couldn't keep awake that day. (Very interesting side-note: doing crafts, creating, there are some mundane things when doing that, but yet I never get bored or sleepy - it becomes meditative. Guess it is true - doesn't matter how mundane, if you are creating, it keeps you awake. But, pushing paper and electrons, just doesn't cut it.)

So, I tried to figure out a way to keep awake - MUSIC. Of course. Now, I have an Ipod, but I ever so often get sick of the songs it picks, so I wanted something more random. So, I updated my RealPlayer and went to the radio section.

I used to listen to Virgin when I got sick of my CD's at work back in the day. But, I forgot how much I loved it. Not only do they play popular music, but some older music, and some of the cool alternative bands that we all used to listen too and think we were the "cool" ones. Also, it is just interesting to hear news from there, and the fact that I get the Friday night party hits at 4pm.

So, where I am going with this, I am hoping to shed some light into the music I am listening to. And, for all you music buffs, you may want to check some of these guys out or maybe even download a couple, in your own fashion.

Here are the first eight that caught my ear:
1. Paolo Nutini – "New Shoes" (definitely a song about not having anything, life is not going well and getting a pair of new shoes to take away the blues. sung by a man? weird. makes me want to go shopping! i did check out the rest of his album - not as good as this song. he is very bluesy, but really white man blues. good chill out music.)
2. Talking Heads - "On a Road To Nowhere" (the beginning of this song is great! harmonies, no instruments, then it just opens up. it was a nice surprise. totally forgot about this one. good traveling song. i mean, isn't not knowing where you are going 1/2 the fun? sort of?)
3. Scissor Sisters - "Take Your Mama Out" (i have loved this song since the first time i heard it - which i think was on virgin radio. ever so often they play it, mostly on the drive home-which again, is at like 11am or so. god, it is great! brings a smile and a little jump in my step. and, you will want to sing it all day. to the annoyance of all of your friends.)
4. The Fratelli's - "Chelsea Dagger" (just a really up song. makes you wanna dance. go ahead, you know you want to. they have another song which is very different. has a country swing beat. and, they are already on wikipedia. but then again, who isn't?)
5. The Fray - "How to Save a Life" (still a favorite, but it is starting to wear on my nerves at little. overplayed - gotta hate that. but, i think it will be a song that 5 years down the road, it will come on and a warm sad feeling will come over me.)
6. Mika - "Grace Kelly" (this song has also hit the states. which was weird to hear on a u.s. radio station. he talks about wanting to be like Grace Kelly and then says he tries a little Freddie, but this song is definitely all about Queen. such a queen sound, that I think, somebody is going to sue someone. ;) )
7. My Chemical Romance - "I Don't Love You" (they are definitely one of my little guilty pleasures. upon another listening, it actually is a good song and has a disturbing abuse second chorus. good job guys.)
8. John Spencer Group - "Keep On Running" (why didn't they play this at some point in Studio 60? for jordan and Danny. it would have been perfect. even as a cute parody. or he could have been serenading her with it. it might have been a little creepy stalker, but weren't they already going into that territory?)

Hope you get a chance to listen or have heard some of the above. More next week!

Friday, March 16, 2007

It's My Birthday!!!!

It doesn't matter what is going on in my life - I am always excited about my birthday. Not sure why. I know a lot of people, when bad things are going on in their lives, their birthdays come around and they crawl into their shells. And, as we good friends should do, pull them out, kicking and screaming to say, "Come On - It's Your Birthday - Let's Party!" Then again, it could be the inner alcoholic who is just needing a reason to go out for a drink. I hope it is the first one.

I usually am counting down my birthday for days, sometimes weeks. This year however, I only counted down the last few hours. This is actually going to be a hard birthday for me. I hope to be able to write about what all that entails soon, but not quite yet.

But, back to my birthday. So, today, I am concentrating on the excitement of my birthday and being born (I mean, come one, think about it. Being in a warm safe place for 9 months, then all of the sudden being jettisoned in the dark down a long tube and squeezed out. For a horror movie buff and roller coaster junkie - that sounds pretty darn exciting). And, at 4:25pm today, EST (I had to do a lot of math, b/c I was born in NM and it was not day light savings time) I will be letting out a large squeal in celebration of the time my little head came out and screamed at the world.

And, just for jollies here is my horoscope for today. May all of you have a wonderful day and you should b/c - IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!

(Brought to you by
Today's Outlook for Friday March 16, 2007
The intelligent Aquarius Moon joins dreamy Neptune while highlighting an exact trine between expansive Jupiter and constrictive Saturn, a great time to set realistic goals. Today's second configuration involves Mercury supporting a passionate Venus-Pluto trine, giving us the ability to talk about our deepest desires. Together, these two separate powerful planetary pictures indicate an important day, but it's up to us to turn it into something special.

Today for Pisces:
Your intuition can get you out of a difficult place today, for you will simply know what to do as long as you don't try to figure out the source of your knowledge. This is not about book learning, nor is it about facts. Somehow you are receiving vital information directly off the airwaves, as if you were a radio tuned to a station that's broadcasting the answers. Listen carefully and act without questioning.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I Wish I Could See What I Look Like When I Talk…

I have been trying to see myself lately. I think the next step in my life, to really find myself, is to look outside of my life and really take a look at me. From the way I act and reactions to what the hell I physically look like when I am explaining something or laughing or talking about something I am passionate about.

I have caught glimpses of myself in the reflections of windows or other mirrored objects when talking to people. Only recently, I have really started looking at them and not trying to change what I look like. You know, you see yourself, your real self in the reflection, and you change the look on your face to look more natural or attractive or just adjust your hair.

I did this with a recent conversation then went back later and remembered what I looked like when I was talking to this person. We were having a serious conversation, then there was a funny moment and there was a moment of wow, do I really look like that. It wasn’t bad, but a real seeing of myself. It was a good reflective moment. Later, this lead me to thinking about acting and an experience I had when I was in the conservatory.

I do not have one specific method or practice of acting that I follow. I have a lot of different texts on acting and have worked with people who follow a different method. I like having a hodge podge of experience and different methods I can draw from.

So, when I was back in AMDA, (prior to this I had a BA in Theatre and Music and was on my way to a BFA in Musical theatre before I graduated) funny enough, I had never really dissected a musical theatre piece (song) to perform. All the time I was directed, it was a generalized notes given from the director. And, some directors were more worried about the movement than the actual emotional interpretation.

I wasn’t a huge musical theatre junkie and one of the reasons was the show would stop, the person would sing and then we would go back into the piece. I didn’t see a lot of performers make the connection from the story to song. And, in some cases, not the performers fault, but the pieces themselves. But, when I did see that rare moment of connection, with the story to song to the emotional elements of the song performed, it was magic.

I had a hard time when I first really began to dissect pieces for the action and emotions for each line. Not with finding the emotion, but with the showing of it. especially with showing sadness. How do you do that, not cry, and stay on key? Then, how do I show longing without looking like I was doing the “floating away” head or the “nothing in that head” puppy dog eyes?

I remember this one girl in my group who was amazing. At the end of it all, she was the top girl in my group, got to do the solo performance in front of the agents and head of the school, etc.

I wanted to know how she did it. Did she just have some amazing life experience to draw from? Did she just have an amazing imagination? What? How did she bring across these feelings in her songs and make it look so effortless? She didn’t do a lot of hand gestures or over choreograph. It was all natural movement. She was very subtle and she was really connected to the piece.

I asked her one night when we were hanging out – what was her method to practice/act a song. I remember her looking at me sideways – like the answer was just so obvious and then she told me what she did. “I practice every song in the mirror. While I am learning the music, I practice in front of the mirror and perfect my facial and body movement. I know what sadness looks on my face. I know what anger looks like – how my body is, what muscles tense where. And, just like dance, you want to get it into muscle memory. I do it all at once so that I don’t get stuck feeling a note with a certain look on my face or my body in a certain position.”

Honestly, I was a little heartbroken at the time. I thought she drew from her experience and just felt these pieces from somewhere in the depth of her soul. But, in looking back, it makes a lot of sense. I knew then why I had such a problem with musical theatre and with my own musical theatre performances.

And, it does make a lot of sense. When I get angry, what muscles tighten up? When I cry, what does my mouth do? When I am happy, how do I stand? If you do these physical sides, the brain will associate that physical characteristic with the emotion.

I ended up using some of this method when I was in a musical a few years ago. I ended up feeling very connected with each piece of music. I believe I made the transition from speaking to song fluid. And, from what my audience and fellow cast members said, I did an amazing job.

There, hopefully I have put a feather in your cap and gave you something to think about – all you musical theatre actors out there. Of course, this has been stated in some way in acting books, so not really saying anything completely new here. Or, you think I am absolutely wrong – in which I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Peter O'Toole: Pure Genius - Or Is It Just Those Blue Eyes?

I actually have a couple of other blog entries in the hopper, but read this article with Peter O'Toole on Backstage and just couldn't resist. Please, if you have the time, take a gander - Sharpest O'Toole. The title is a little hokie, but the article is great.

The man is pure genius. I don't think there is a single movie he has been in that I haven't liked. Even the one with Steve Guttenberg and Daryl Hannah and the haunted castle - High Spirits - I had to look that up on imdb. Anyway - Peter O'Toole was brilliant. And, on that note - here is a quote from the article about taking work as an actor:

Back Stage: I recently read an interview in which you referred to your 1991 comedy King Ralph as "bottomless stupidity." Do you always go into a film with the same amount of commitment and dedication, regardless of the project?

O'Toole: Oh, yeah. Whether theatre or cinema, acting is what I do for a living. It's how I put steam on the table. I have to earn my living. And the longer I go on living, the more expensive it becomes. I'm not going to get a Venus or a My Favorite Year or a Becket or any of those through the post every month. Maybe every 10 years I might get one. I can't always be the supreme judge of the material. If it's a good job, I'll do it. It's like asking a musician if he turns up and he's going to play Dvorak and he doesn't like it, will he bugger it about? Not at all. He's going to play it. You go out there and you plow your author. That's an old 18th-century English expression: "Come on, old plowhorse, plow your Shakespeare."

This whole article is just delightful. First there is just hearing the inter workings of a master craftsman. Then, there is the wit of a grumpy old man. Then of course, what he has learned in his years.

So, honestly, not really a blog entry, but a more - go and read this. Seriously folks, I will get a new one out soon - a real one. Promise. :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

5 Things You Don't Know About Me

Well, the meme lives on and heck - gives me a reason to keep this darn thing updated. So, I was technically memed by Philucifer who basically brought the challenge to the world (or at least the world of his blog readers). But then Virtual Catnip got me by name. SO....

5 things you don't know about me. Some may be new, some are definitely, no duh.

1. I am adopted. My birth parents were 15 and 16 (or 14 and 15)when I was born. I believe I was 25 or 28 days old when my parents came to pick me up, although they knew I was coming since Christmas. Which leads me to..

2. I have a Pooh Bear stuffed animal that is older than me and is probably the only possession that I have had all my life. They gave it to my grandparents as a "she's on her way" message. He has been traveling with me all my life and makes a great pillow on long plane trips.

3. For those that know me - I have a long braid extending from my hair. But, do you know how long I have had it - hmm, hmmm? Well, it is going on 19 years. Yup. That's a long time. And for those of you who are grossed out - I wash it everyday and re-do it about once a month so it's not stinky.

4. I have been a performer/director/writer in some capacity all my life. Whether I was creating a song and dance routine for the Christmas family dinner, writing a play for us street kids to perform, directing said street play, dance recitals, piano recitals, band concerts, choir concerts, theatre, rock bands, acting up and acting out. Probably why I don't have a huge vocabulary or knowledge in one realm of the arts. I have jumped around so much that I know all the bits and pieces and no real huge chunks - but I am trying.

5. I have only broken one bone in my whole entire life. My collar bone. I was playing hide and go seek in and on a camper van and fell off of the roof and then a week later was roller skating and landed on the arm of the side I fell on. The kids who were hanging out with me said my elbow went all the way up to my ear. I was in the weirdest sling for 6 weeks - it was like shoulder pads that went all the way around both shoulders and arms and attached in the back.

That's about it. I was trying to think of more interesting things, but I think I will keep those to myself. :)

As much as I would like to tag someone else, I am letting the buck stop here, since the whole world was tagged - see above - everyone else would just be a double dip.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

And, finally - Steph Does the Meme

Philucifer [aka Charlie Willis], tagged me, Scot and Pete. Sorry guys it has taken me awhile.

So here goes:

1) Find the nearest book
2) Open to page 123
3) Type lines 6-8 of said book
4) Tag three others.

There were two different books closest to me- Prometheus Rising (Robert Anton Wilson) and The Panic Hand (Jonathan Carroll). I felt after the events that took place this week, I should use the Prometheus phrases, but am a little conflicted, so here are both of them:

Prometheus Rising - "Why, it would be positively indecent not to do it the way Grandfather would...Give us the child until he is five, and he will have him for life."

The Panic Hand - ", on the other the man with the fishing lines. The man with the dog thinks, if the other dog looks up, I will wave at him. There will be luck if he waves back. Somehow that will mean everything."

So, eveyone I know has been tagged with this. But, maybe these 3 would like to give a stab (although, I think only one person out of the three actually reads my blog. :)

Courtney, Jessica and Lauren