Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aussie Observations

We've been in Cairns (pronounced CANS) for a week now, and start the long journey home tomorrow.  Very long, but that's another blog post entirely.

While we've been here, I've noticed some interesting things that Americans may not be aware of.  In no particular order, here they are.

1.  There are giant bats that fly around here, and they all live in the trees by the library.  They're knows as "Flying Foxes," because...they kind of are.  They're beautiful and eerie, and one of them pooped on our friend Eric the other day.

2.  There is a lot of instant coffee here.  Tons of it.  In the two times I've come here, I've not seen a coffee maker in a hotel, but I've seen lots of hot water pots for...instant coffee.  Also, people here will drink hot coffee or hot tea in the middle of a very hot day.  Walking along the Esplanade earlier, I saw many, many people enjoying a relaxing picnic with a hot mug of tea in their hands.  And it's 80ºF here.

3.  Bacon is different, more like country ham.  Not as crispy, but wider, and lots of it when you order it.

4.  There is no ketchup, but there is "tomato sauce," which is LIKE ketchup, but nothing like our tomato sauce.  It's more BBQ-y than ketchup.  But there is also BBQ sauce, so that's confusing.

5.  People refer to their significant others as their "partners," regardless of their sexual orientation.  In the US, I hear this a lot with gay and lesbian couples, but here, everyone uses it.  Pair this with the fact that few men wear wedding rings and it makes things confusing.

6.  Passengers ride in the front seat of taxis.  I took one last night, and as the guy who runs the taxi stand was loading people into cars, he always opened the front passenger door, rather than the back door.

7.  In addition to driving on the left side of the road, people WALK on the left side of the sidewalk.  This proves my theory that the people in NYC who don't keep right on the sidewalks are people who come from countries where they drive on the opposite side of the road.  In Australia, I am that annoying, walking tourist.

8.  There is virtually no free WiFi in Cairns.  It is pay-as-you-go, and slow if you're using a connection at a cafe or hotel, where you've got access to their password.

9.  There are no gummi bears, only jelly men.

10.  A surprising number of people walk around barefoot here.

11.  There is art everywhere.  Painted on the sidewalks, tiled onto buildings, mounted in's all over the place.  And Cairns is very kid-friendly, and wheelchair accessible, which is nice.  There's even a playground and a face painter at the local version of Home Depot, to keep kids occupied.

That's all for now.  I'll think of more to share...likely during our 14 hour layover in Sydney tomorrow.  Yes, you read that correctly.

But I won't be posting if I have to pay for WiFi.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our Radio Interview!

We are in Cairns, Queensland Australia, performing Andrew Kramer's one-woman show, Whales and Souls.  Yesterday, we had a great interview with Fiona Sewell of ABC Radio, and here is the link to it.

More bog posts to come.  It's a busy time, as we open TOMORROW on a double bill with La Mama Melbourne.


Our Radio Interview!

I'm in Cairns, Queenland, Australia, performing Andrew Kramer's one-wman show, Whales and Souls.  There will be blog posts to come, but for now, please enjoy this interview Andrew and I had with ABC Radio in Cairns yesterday.  I think we sound pretty good, frankly.  :)

Wish y'all could see this show.

Oh, wait.  You CAN.  We're doing this show in NYC in October, so clear your calendars for October 19-23.  We'll be at The Flea Theater!!


Friday, August 19, 2011

I Should Be Packing

In 9 hours, I will be on a flight to Australia.  In 6 hours, I will be in a car to take me to the airport.  In 5 hours, I will be weepy and Dean will be unable to pry me from around his neck.

And I haven't started packing yet.

I haven't even picked up the laundry yet.  I've not showered yet.  My To-Do list is long.

Don't get me wrong- I am so excited and very fortunate to be traveling to the other side of the world to perform Whales and Souls.  I'm thrilled to see old friends in Cairns, to bring these characters to life, to get to know my playwright friend Andrew Kramer better (22 hours of travel time should do it.)  I'm interested to see how the audience responds to the work there, and I'm excited to snorkel again on the Great Barrier Reef, and maybe even hold a koala again.

But you know, it's tough to leave your loved one for 11 days.  Tough to leave your cats.  REALLY tough to leave your dog.  It's tough to leave your kitchen and your mailbox.

So...what I have to remember is that I get to come home.  I get to do this amazing play in a far away, tropical place, and when it's all over...I get to come home.

And when I get back, I will not complain about walking the dog for a very long time.  :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

They're in There. Somewhere.

I'm learning lines this morning.  Well, right now, I'm distracting myself with a blog post, but I'm REALLY learning lines.  A lot of them.  All of them.

It's funny.  When I'm in a play with other actors, I don't feel as pressured to learn my lines quickly, because it feels like the cast shares the burden together.  As if it's only 30% my responsibility to be off book.  This is crazy math, I know.  There's a feeling that "the lines will come" once the cast gets in the habit of running the scenes over and over.  There's this trust that things will fall into place right on schedule...or sometime shortly after.

This time, it's different.  I'm my own scene partner.  If I plan on learning Beatrice's lines, I darn well better learn the ones for Tamara, because they're in a scene together.  I can't hang out backstage and listen for when Thandi comes on, because I AM Thandi.  I can't rely on Eedric's cue line to remind me what I say next, because Eedric is ME.  And I can't run offstage to the restroom during Joven's scene with The Creature get the idea.

Don't get me wrong- this is an awesome opportunity to test myself like this, to branch out and try something new.  But it is no small feat.  And with THAT, I return to my script.

I just needed a momentary diversion.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...Record a Sound Cue


This morning, the city's Tear Up West 75th Street Project has inched its way to right outside my door, leaving only one pane of glass between me and the thunderous sound of the jackhammer.  It's loud, it's tough to focus, and I'm wondering HOW my director and I are going to rehearse here this morning with all that clamor.

What an enormous inconvenience!  What a terrible distraction!  What a blessing in disguise!

It dawned on me, as I was listening to sound cues sent by our playwright, that we need a cue for a scene where construction crews come in to "improve" (and ultimately destroy) a small village.  So, I took my trusty iPhone, opened up the voice memo app, and VOILA!  A new sound effect for our show!

The construction workers looked at me kind of strangely, likely wondering if I was recording them so I could file a complaint.

The only complaint I have right now, is that they're not using a wider variety of destructive machines.  This cue could use some variety.