The wandering gypsy returns…

After a most enjoyable two months with family in Northern California, following a three month cruise ship entertainment contract that ventured halfway around the world, I am pleased to report that this rambunxious redhead is returning to New York City.

Considering I haven’t experienced truly cold weather since last winter, I am pretty nervous about the trek from the aiport to Astoria in a sweatshirt and my Dad’s old leather jacket. (Currently on the plane as I type.) I clearly wasn’t thinking about packing my full length “sleeping bag” coat that I normally don in below-freezing weather. I barely rememered to pack gloves and a beanie for this trip. I mean, can I really expect to survive the next couple weeks of real winter?

“Couple weeks?” you might ask…

Well, yes. At the end of the month, I return to California, this time to the mountain town of Sonora, for a three month run of Mary Poppins at Sierra Repertory Theatre. I’m thrilled! However, it seems that I cannot commit to one home for more than three months at a time. Is this my destiny?

In 2014, my “home” went something like this: one week at sea, two weeks in NorCal, three months in NYC, two weeks in England, nine days at sea, three months in NYC, three months at sea, two nights in NYC, two months in NorCal… (sigh)

It seems silly, really. And yet the question I seem to be answering more and more these days is:

“Where do you want to live? New York or California?”

or

“Are you going to stay in NYC now that you’re not doing any more ship contracts?”

6a00e54fb3acaa883400e550025a408833-800wiI have to admit that this is better than the questions about when I would move back to the Bay Area and find a man with whom I could procreate. But the honest truth is… I have no idea how to answer. How I wish I could give a tidy response, all tucked up with glitter in colorful cellophane with a big fucking bow. These days I respond with a blanket statement that soon I’ll be super duper rich and can live everywhere. That’s plausible, right? I think I’d make Santa Barbara my primary home… a nice townhouse in the West Village, private yacht in the Mediterranean, a sensible time share in Kauai…

I digress. Luckily I can always come home to my awesome apartment in Astoria. I doubt I’ll ever move out of that place.

Looking at my life in the arts – it doesn’t truly seem possible to predict or have any certainty of where I might live. I will return to New York in the Spring when Mary Poppins ends its run – but I am sure that my next project will take me out of town. (I have my hopes as to which ones pan out.) It used to confound me that this was a subject of such uncertainty, but I believe that the last few years I have spent living at sea – hopping from country to country and witnessing the remarkable minisculity of the world – have alleviated any sort of fears that this very uncertainly could exist my entire life. In fact, that, almost spinning of the globe and placing a finger, somewhat frees my spirit and excites my soul. If only my amazing kitty Marcel could always come along…

Look at the great artists of the past.Frederick-the-Great-at-his-retreat-Sanssouci Composers, painters, sculptors, poets – for them to survive in certain times, they were taken on by a patron who would house them, feed them, nourish their art and soul. In the theater world, the modern equivalent might potentially be an equity national tour with a weekly minimum and per diem. (Here’s hoping!)

It’s all very romantic and exciting. With a milestone birthday last year and my final cruise ship contract with Choozi Entertainment and Silversea coming to a close – there was a lot of anxiety and tense nerves surrounding my inner-thoughts on my future. But something must have snapped along the way. Maybe in a trip to St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Musuem at the Winter Palace? Or was it the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City? That last snorkeling trip at the Baths in Virgin Gorda? Maybe it was dinner and bowling with my family last night in Danville. Everything will be okay. I’m on the right path. I will honor my creative impulses and keep taking these risks. Because so far it’s paying off. And while I may not know where I’ll be this summer – I guarantee I’ll be having a hell of a time being my authentic artist self.

Update: I made it home just fine and am now nice and warm in my delightful apartment. Props to Hoyt Limo and my fantastic driver Giuseppe for the awesome service as usual.

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Attraction

I was chatting today with my friend Sandy (who I’ve been working for since returning to the city and who designs the COOLEST jewelry ever – check out her facebook page here) about the amazing NYC theater experience, Sleep No More. Seriously, I could write pages and pages about how in love with this show I am, but I’ll save that for a rainy day.  It’s difficult to explain if you’ve never gone, but it’s an open house cum 360 degree, six floor stage that serves as a setting to a modern and avant garde interpretation of Macbeth.  Actors wander the space, creating scenes sporadically and effortlessly, and the “audience,” uniformly clad in spooky masks, voyeuristically inhabits and experiences the world around them.  If you’re lucky, and feeling open, you may have the luxury (or personal terror) of a one-on-one experience with an actor or scene.  It’s difficult to explain.  Basically, get your tickets now. Anyhow, when I went last year, I had not one, not two, but three bizarre experiences that were just for me and my entertainment (or anxiety).  Why was I chosen in these different situations? How was I so lucky?

I’ve always been one of the people that tourists, or anyone for that matter, come up to in asking directions, advice, etcetera.  I’m generally the one that takes pictures for strangers.  That zips up people in Gap dressing rooms.  Yes, I shop at the Gap.  People frequently ask how they know me because I look familiar “for some reason.”  People seem to feel comfortable around me – I’ve had some deep dark secrets confessed to me by people that I hardly know.  Whatever all this is, it cracks me up.  The more I get to know myself, mainly through my acting classes, singing, living in New York, the more I am realizing that I am truly an “attractive” person.  Hear me out.  I’m not saying that I’m Charlize Theron.  I’m breaking down the literal meaning of the word.  Okay – I’ll say it right now:  I loathe writers who quote the dictionary – it feels very sixth grade speech competition.  (Yes, I used that particular device in my school district second place-winning speech, “I Have A Concern.”)  But what exactly does the word “attractive” mean?  Cue the cheesy music and groans of all readers donning monocles.

at·trac·tive [uhtrak-tiv] adjective
1.  providing pleasure or delight, especially in appearance or manner; pleasing; charming; alluring: an attractive personality.
2.  arousing interest or engaging one’s thought, consideration, etc.: an attractive idea; an attractive price.
3.  having the quality of attracting.

There’s something outlandish and exciting about this for me.  I don’t usually look in the mirror and think, “goddamn I look hot tonight!”  But I do often acknowledge the fact that I have amazing people in my life, interesting situations coming at me all the time, artistic opportunities flying at my head, and yes – strangers asking how or from what they know me.  That really does make me an attractive person, and knowing this fact is unbelievably energizing. At Sleep No More, I had my bizarre experiences.  And I have them every day.  I say yes to opportunity and try to remain an open, positive, attractive person.  Now.  Let’s start attracting that Broadway contract…  😉

Pygmalion

I read it in high school, and, let’s just say… George Bernard Shaw had me at “ello.”  

Tonight I was fortunate enough to see his play, written in 1913, played out by an extraordinary group of actors.  The Roundabout Theater company (who also produced The Ritz, which we saw last night) presented Pygmalion at the American Airlines Theatre on 42nd Street, starring Claire Danes, Boyd Gaines, Jefferson Mays, and Jay O. Sanders.  I have always enjoyed Claire’s movies – but I was blown away by her presentation of Eliza Doolittle… most notably – her accents were impeccable!  This play gathers most of it’s plot, and humor, from the very fact that the heroine initially speaks in a crude Cockney gibberish, develops slowly in to a more proper way of speaking, then finally is presented as a proper “lady.”  For those of you not as familiar with the story, it might help to inform you that My Fair Lady is Lerner and Loewe’s musical adaptation of the play.  And if you don’t even know that (shame shame shame) – it’s the common plot that has set up such blockbusters as Pretty Woman and She’s All That.  Basically, the quintessential damsel in distress becomes reinvented by the heroic male… Has that story-line never struck anyone as queer?  Hmm.
Anyhow – the show was fantastic!  Afterwards, Brian and I headed to the bitter cold of 43rd Street and waited for Claire to hop into her driver’s SUV.  She wouldn’t pose for a picture with us (“I don’t do that, I’m so sorry,” she said) – but she did sign our playbills and had a very [brief,] pleasant exchange of words with us.  Such a lady!  We’ll see what happens down the road… this was her Broadway debut and Brian hinted to me the possibility she could receive some nods for a Tony nomination.  I guess we won’t know until next year!  And by the way, if you’re a New Yorker, you better get to this show ASAP because I believe it closes on Sunday.
That’s all for now… time to catch some zzz’s before my Improv 101 show tomorrow!