Monday, July 25, 2011

Talking to Myself...Again.

So, I have a LOT of lines to learn before I head to Australia next month.  Like, ALL the lines in the whole play.  LOTS. OF. LINES.

Usually, rehearsing scenes with other actors helps the lines stick in my brain.  Like when you hear a song over and over again, you eventually start to pick up the lyrics, right?

But what happens when the other actors in the scene are YOU?  When YOU are all the actors?  When you are in a scene with yourself (or selves, as the case may be.)

Enter the iPhone.  Have you seen that voice recorder app on there?  The one you thought was for grocery lists or to record that great screenplay idea you had on the train.  It's quickly becoming my best friend.  I recorded all 26 scenes of Whales and Souls as individual sound files, and can now listen to them as I run errands, ride the train, my script.

Some people are visual learners, some are kinesthetic learners, and some learn by hearing things.  When I was teaching school, we recognized that the more ways you can impart information to a person, the more likely it is to stick.  Having a kid read a chapter on the civil rights movement is one thing, but having him watch "Hairspray" as well helps to drive the message home. (You see, it's about the civil rights movement...and DANCING!)

While I would love to watch "Hairspray" right now, I will instead be listening to the sound of my own voice for hours on end.  Like Dean has to do every day. (Ba-DUM-dum.  Enjoy the buffet, I'm here all week.)

Send me good thoughts.  Otherwise, I might be calling you to run lines with me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Show Me the Funny


Long ago, I was in an improv group in Columbia, SC.  We were called the We're Not Your Mother Players, or more fondly, "The Mothers."  We were a cool group of funny people, and most of us are still friends to this day, at least on Facebook.  Articles were written about us, we graced the front pages of local newspapers, and some of our scenes are STILL being talked about today (Jesus' Birthday, anyone?)

Fast forward many years, and I find myself in NYC, doing what actors do to "get in the room," so to speak.  Taking the right classes, honing some dusty skills, that sort of thing.  While I have a lot of experience with improv, including seven years of teaching it to middle and high school students on a daily basis, it's nice to have a recognizable improv training program on my resume.  And here in NYC, though there are many good places, Upright Citizens Brigade is one of the best.  You can thank Amy Poehler for that.

Yesterday, I started Improv 101 at UCB with Ari Voukydis, and it's going to be so much fun.  We have 16 people in the class- all of whom really want to be there.  No lines to learn, no attitudes, just pure, sometimes-clean fun.  The 8-week class has a graduation show, so get out a pencil and mark your calendars!  Please join me at 2:30 pm on Sunday, September 11th. read that correctly.  We'll be doing comedy on the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil.  

I sure hope we're funny.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

(The recap above was for LAST week's show, but it was so funny, I had to share it here.)

Last night we wrapped up week 4/Cycle 3 of #Serials at The Flea, and once again, I had a great time.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, here's what happens:  5 teams each perform a 10-minute original play.  At the end of the show, the audience votes for their 3 favorites.  At the end of the weekend, the 3 teams with the most votes come back with Episode 2 of their show, while the 2 losing teams each have to start from scratch and come back with an entirely new show.  On Saturdays, there's a band, and everyone has a great time.

This week, I got to work with some brand new Bats, and get to know some of the older Bats better.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  This group of actors is the most drama-free, supportive, smart group of people I've worked with in a long time.  Every person there takes their work seriously, even when they're wearing fake beards, fairy wings, or holding a giant puppet.  Even when they're saying lines that would get their mouths washed out with soap, or when they're doing a line dance.  Even then.

It's nice to be a part of something, especially in a city as huge as this one.  To have a place to go, a place with friendly faces and work to be done, and opportunities to be grasped...well, it's pretty great.  I feel really lucky these days.  Incredibly lucky.  And I plan to make the most of it.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Indie Film on the Horizon...


Filmmaker Chris White has cast me in his upcoming feature, GET BETTER.  (See photo above, featuring my fellow actors Robert Linder and Traysie Amick.)  His recent work, "Taken In," was just released this week, and he's currently on a 20-city tour promoting the film.

In GET BETTER, an adult daughter cares for her dying father...while helping him achieve a long-forgotten dream (that's where I come in.)  The film will be funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately life affirming.  Shooting will begin this October, and you can learn more about GET BETTER, Chris White, and the rest of his work by clicking HERE.

I'm excited to work with some of my favorite people...and some soon to be favorite people, I'm sure.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One Woman Goes to Australia


I'm heading to The Cairns Festival next month!

I am excited and honored to be returning to the Cairns Festival in Queensland, Australia next month, performing Andrew Kramer's one-woman fable, Whales and Souls.  In the play, a leader of a small, rural village is enticed by a large monetary offer that could change the town forever. Meanwhile, an unusual creature emerges from the lake with an ominous warning for the villagers. Whales & Souls is a gritty, sensual fable that examines the way we relate to the environment, ourselves, and each other. It was developed by Kramer under the terraNOVA Collective Groundbreakers Playwright's Group in New York City and is presented by The Salvage Company.  And I play ALL the characters.

Performances are August 26, 27, and 28th, and we plan to mount it in NYC when we return.  I'll keep you posted!