Ahhh...

Sep. 10th, 2012 04:39 pm
ceebeegee: (Great Pumpkin patch)
Fall has truly started, now that I've had my first pumpkin spice latte!
ceebeegee: (Digitized Pumpkin)


You Are Strong yet Colorful



You sometimes seem like you're all business, but you have a playful side to you as well.

You tend to formulate ideas and make decisions alone. Once you're done, you're ready to talk to others.



You are a quiet and peaceful person. You have deep inner strength.

You are an island. You don't need anyone else to make you happy, and you are very self sufficient.


ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
So we just got the schedule for Rocky Horror and I'm tentatively looking at Saturday, October 15 for a trip to the orchard. (This is tentative until I can confirm I don't have rehearsal that day.) Who's in for a fun afternoon of apples, pumpkins, win and fall colors? The foliage should be at peak color! Of course I'll bring the football along--what's fall fun without tossing the pigskin?
ceebeegee: (Great Pumpkin patch)
So I've been reading about how badly Irene hit upstate New York, so I definitely want to plan an apple-picking/pumpkin-patching trip sometime soon, so we can give them our money! Gotta look after our agrarian brothers and sisters...

Rocky Horror Show auditions--as I mentioned, I heard a couple of weeks ago that they'd be bringing it back, minus a few cast members. I told Dave I would be very interested in auditioning for Columbia--I said I could tap some, but my weakness was picking up choreography quickly. This is because of my training--I'm hyperliterate (started reading at a very young age and read voraciously), and as an actor and as a classically trained singer, I've been taught to look at the page first. But dancers don't learn this way--they learn with their feet. Even with my athletic background, it's not as easy for me--there's a whole extra step in the learning process for me that trained dancers don't have, which really slows me down at auditions. When I was in rehearsal for my ship contract, we ran up against this with our choreographer when Aly and I were taught the Land of a Thousand Dances combination. One of the easiest combinations ever--just the dance steps that are outlined in the song (Pony, Chicken, Mashed Potato, etc.)--but we didn't know some of those steps and after an already exhausting day, not much was sinking in and it took us forever to learn the sequence. I was begging the choreography (Stacy?) to just STOP and let me write down the steps--I kept trying to explain to her that singers learn differently. But she didn't understand and just kept drilling us.

I make up for this lack by working my ASS off in rehearsal. No one who sees me dance in a show will ever see anything less than the most polished performance I can give. Susan can tell you, when she and I did shows together, I was constantly pulling her aside and making her breakdown sequences for me. Since I'm not nearly as strong a dancer as I am a singer, I can't get away with anything--I have to work TWICE as hard. At any rate, Dave seemed interested...then the following week I saw the audition notice go up on Facebook. Columbia was not listed, so I thought gee, I guess the other girl is coming back, and I emailed Dave. He said no, I was still in the running and Robert needed to see me tap.

So I did my homework. I hadn't tapped in over ten years, so I took a couple of classes at Steps on Broadway. They have Basic Tap on Saturday and Sunday mornings. (I cannot get over how inexpensive dance classes are--$17 a class! Susan thinks it's a ripoff but I'm comparing it to voice lessons which are easily $80 and up in NYC.) The one on Saturday was with an older black woman and there was just me and on other dancer in the class, so it was almost like a private session. She certainly knew her stuff but it was very, very detailed, small, micro-teaching, focused on technique. We didn't learn any combinations. The class the next day was more like a traditional tap class, with a lot more people (at least 25) and a guy at the front showing us the steps, breaking them down, and then combining them together. He went kind of fast but I'm proud to say I was able to keep up, although I was fudging some of those steps at the end! (Although it helped that I already knew how to do a time-step.) I really enjoyed the Sunday class and found it more helpful--what I need most is to build my tap repertoire and learn steps like back essences and the waltz clog.

The next day I called Susan and asked if she could help me--originally I asked her to make up a tap combination and teach it to me quickly, under audition conditions, so I could get back into that mode. This evolved into my learning Columbia's combination from the movie. I found a breakdown of the steps online and then we compared it with the few clips of the combo that are on YouTube. (Richard O'Brien obviously polices his show quite thoroughly! Clips of RHPS are not easy to find online.) I learned it and was even able to do it a tempo after a couple of days--it wasn't pretty but I did learn it! Most of it looked fine but the chaine turns--turns are NOT my forte! I don't spot very well...

Robert has been sick at last week but was finally better for the weekend and we set up an audition appointment at his place, for Sunday evening. Saturday was my first volunteer shift for RightRides which was fun but EXHAUSTING. I did not get into bed until 5:30 am! So rehearsal for the reading of The Empress of Sex was not easy, because I was trying VERY hard not to fall asleep. After rehearsal I went over to Susan's apartment and tarted myself up good with fishnets, dance shorts and lots of glittuh eye makeup. And I did my hair in messy ponytails--I was going for the "kid who's stayed a little too long at the rave" look for my Columbia. I warmed up at Susan's place and on the train (which naturally took forever). When I got to Robert's place (his apartment is adorable, nice little restored ground floor place in the Heights), he got right to work and tested me on a battery of steps, including double-time steps, back flaps, and various shuffle and ball-change mini-combinations. At one point he asked me "can you do [ describes lunge-shuffle step]" I said "do you mean maxies? Sure." *execute right and left maxies* He asked if I could do wings--I said No! He asked if I could fake them--I hesitated and then, figuring the fake would be most convincing the closer my feet were to the ground, relaxed my legs from the knees down and then whipped out a fake wing. He said, good! Can you do two in a row? Sure. *does so, then does 3 in a row* He said to me in amazement, who knew you could tap?! I said well, I haven't done it in a while but yes, I have tapped in several shows. I was trying to remember them all--I started with Me and My Girl, then The Boyfriend ("Perfect Young Ladies" which technically was not tap as I did not have on tap shoes for that number since I was in the preceding scene but the technique was all tap and the other dancers, when they entered, all had on tap shoes. I *still* remember that combination!), Lucky Stiff ("Welcome back, Mr. Witherspoon!" *stomp, STOMP* "MIS-ter WITH-er-spoon...we always knew you'd be...BACK..." *stomp, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, stomp, ball-CHANGE*). I know I did another tap show as well but it's escaping me right now. ANYWAY, Robert said you've got the part. YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!

So so excited!!! I love it that this is a DANCE role, my very first one! (That is, my very first dance principal.) I mean, it's not Anita or anything but it's a by-God DANCE role. And I wanted it and I worked for it and I got it!

Robert told me where to find a rehearsal video of the combination so I looked it up--other than the wings, it'll be easy!
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)

  • How effing cool is this? NYC is going to introduce a bike share program--you pay an annual fee, pick up a bike at a rack and then you can ride it for up to 45 minutes. I LOVE THIS. I just think this is the coolest idea! For one thing, I would love to bike more but bikes takes up mad room--even with an apartment the size of mine, I want more space. It's also a pain to carry a bike up and down stairs. This is so convenient! And green-friendly, and community-firnedly, and it'll encourage fit habits! When I lived with Ryan and Cami I used to run errands on my bike--maybe I can get back to that.


  • The weather is getting chillier, guys, and you know what that means--apple-picking time! Gothamist had a cool feature on several orchards that seem to be pretty close by, and maybe less expensive--Apple Ridge Orchard is only $9 admission, and Outhouse Orchards has peaches and pears as well. And Dubois was voted Best Pick Your Own. Maybe we could branch out from our beloved Applewood winery? Or stick to the boozey good times? Let me know your thoughts, guys! Ooh, can't wait to make some apple bread.


  • I got cast in a reading! Duncan sent out an email to a bunch of us to submit ourselves to Oberon's reading of The Empress of Sex and the director cast me as...uh, the Empress, I think! Other people I know, like Walter and Amada from PCTF, are also in it. The rehearsal is next Sunday, and the reading is the next day. So now I gotta update my website.


  • To which, BTW, I have been adding more and more content (note the video clip from The Promise and the audio of me singing "Come Away, Death"), as I get used to iMovie on my lil' Macbook Air. Everyone is right--iMovie is infinitely better than Windows Movie Maker. Truly, I cannot believe Dell or anyone would allow Microsoft to crap all over their hardware with WMM--it is easy to learn but has way too many bugs and is frustrating as hell. No program would be better than WMM.


  • As I announced on Facebook, I'm taking on a new project. I was so angry at the rape cop verdict, I decided I had to do something with that anger. I did some research and found out about a fantastic organization that really fills a need--a group called RightRides, that offers FREE rides home on the weekends to women and those who identify as LGBTQ (since the aim of the group is to tackle gender-based street/subway violence). I'm going to be volunteering with them as a driver! They operate from 12-3am on Fridays and Saturdays--if you need a ride, call (888) 215-SAFE (7233). They serve 45 neighborhoods in NYC, and they add more according to demand--so even if they don't serve your neighborhood, call 'em anyway so they'll add it!

    (888) 215-SAFE (7233)

    How much fun will that be? Riding around the city late at night, chatting with passengers--I'll be like a preppy, blonde Travis Bickle!


  • Happy Birthday, Prince Harry! He was born right around the time of my cousin Jessica.


ceebeegee: (Candy pumpkins!)
Yesterday Anya and I made pumpkin pie ice cream--we have TONS left over, if anyone wants some please feel free to stop by and take some home. I made it with the old-fashioned recipe which uses eggs so it's really, really rich--we both could barely finish our bowls. As much as I love summer, I love autumn, and after the heat this summer, I am very much looking forward to a productive season. And on that note--

Today I start classes--yay!, can't wait to buckle down and get all academic and immerse myself in times and cultures past. I love school so much. All of you can expect to be treated to breathless updates of Eloise and Abelard's scandalous forbidden romance.

Tonight Dave and I have a meeting about Pirates. And hey! No one commented on that last week, by the way--

Attention! I'm directing The Pirates of Penzance for TTC's inaugural season at Monroe in Hoboken!

Maybe that'll get your attention ;) Anyway, am thrilled and going over the libretto now trying to figure out what I want to do with it. I have some ideas--I'm going to try to give it a slightly more updated, streamlined sensibility without it devolving into the mess that was The Pirate Movie. (I will restrain myself mightily and NOT include "Pumpin' and Blowin'." Although it IS tempting.) Fewer ruffles, more simple hotness, a more knowing quality without its being too campy or winky. More musical theater, less operetta. I just better have some decent actors coming out--you always get amazing vocal talent coming out for Pirates but as someone who's seen and done the show numerous times, I can attest you don't always get decent actors.

I'll post about the US Open later but it was fantastic as always.
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
I'm spending Thanksgiving with Lori and Kevin down in Tom's River--can't wait for a nice long day of fattening food and good friends. I baked two pies for the occasion:



Pumpkin



Pecan

I bake everything from scratch, including pureeing the pumpkin and making my own crust. Last night I wrote this on FB and my friend Beth Diamond wrote that she was afraid to make a pie crust. Then my friend Debbie Heartley asked for the recipe, so I posted it. Three simple ingredients--flour, salt and oil. And it makes all the difference--nothing like making it ALL from scratch!

My Mom always calls cooking a creative art and I certainly think so--one reason I love pies is because you can mix it up so, throw in all sorts of things. I get especially crazy with my pecan pies, sometimes adding bourbon, rum, chocolate, different spices, all sorts of things. Pecans are such a rich nut, they can hold their own against almost anything. Mom has a fantastic recipe for a Christmas cake that's basically a kind of fruit cake without the candied fruit--it's just a very rich cake. The recipe calls for 6 eggs! I beg her to make it every year--it's an old recipe that was handed down to her from I think her grandmother. Southern, naturally--nobody does desserts like the South!

Have a wonderful, cozy, comforting Thanksgiving, everyone! Hug your family and tell them you love them!

ceebeegee: (Great Pumpkin patch)
Okay, we're trying this again. This Sunday (not tomorrow), Jason, Paula, Benjamin and I are going to go apple-picking at Applewood Farms again. There is one more seat if anyone wants it. We are splitting equally the cost of the car rental ($60-some) and the cost of the garage (Budget closes at 3 so I have to bring it back the next day--the garage will be about $12-15). I'm picking the car up at 10 so plan to be in Midtown by then. Any takers?

Sunday is forecast to be sunny and nice--yay! Gonna put on my jeans and pumpkin cap and go celebrate fall! (I'm going to get pumpkins in Inwood tomorrow--I think it may be too much for me to handle a bag of apples AND 1-2 sugar pie pumpkins AND a carving pumpkin AND a bottle or two of wine. I'm sure the farmers' market will have pumpkins.)
ceebeegee: (Great Pumpkin patch)
Well, bad-ish news (for Jason, Paula and me) and potentially good news (for Tesse and anyone else who might want to join us for seasonal hijinks but couldn't this weekend). The weather forecast for Saturday is crap on toast with a continued pattern of yucky and shivery. So we canceled the trip--this time. But we are hoping for next weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. The call to pick apples will not be DENIED!
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
Jason, Paula, Big Ben and I are going to Applewood Farms, where we all went a few years ago, to pick apples, taste wine, pick pumpkins, eat seasonal food and generally celebrate autumn. We are renting a car--we could possibly fit in one more (small) person (the rental page says it seats five) or if there are enough people who want to join, maybe you could get a car yourself and follow after. We will be leaving Astoria around 11-11:30.

Apples! Apple bread and applesauce and apple pie! And pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread! The best season of all!
ceebeegee: (digitized pumpkin)


The best holiday of the year!

Eat lots of candy and give yourself a big stomachache!

ceebeegee: (digitized pumpkin)
Happy Halloween!

The best holiday of the year! Cool days! Cozy nights! Pumpkins glowing in the window, flickering candles, sticky-sweet yumminess abundance!





If anyone's in Hoboken tonight, I will be there after rehearsal to hang out.

Saturday

Oct. 8th, 2007 06:30 pm
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
Saturday was a nice mellow day. I was originally planning to go to Hoboken for callbacks for A Christmas Carol but we're having some difficulty getting men so we postponed the callbacks. Which worked for me, I could sleep in. I eventually arose and drank coffee and then finally pulled myself together enough to go over to the Time-Warner store location to return the equipment and close out my account.

I walked back through the neighborhood and checked out various stors--there's a well-stocked pet store right across the way from Isham Park. There is a teeny little black kitten with green eyes named Lucy who lives there--Lucy cuddled in my arms as I shopped. After that I explored PJ's, which has to be the best-stocked liquor store I've seen since I moved to NYC. It's absolutely huge, with every imaginable variety and brand.

After that I got a manicure and pedicure at a place on Broadway run by some Vietnamese women. I asked them if there were any Vietnamese restaurants in the neighborhood--sadly, no (I love Vietnamese food).

A so-relaxing fall Saturday afternoon.

Sunday

Nov. 3rd, 2006 12:05 pm
ceebeegee: (Eloise in mirror)
So last Sunday I was downtown, meeting my friend Laurie. We were going on one of those Ghost Tours of the Village. I was walking down 14th (?) Street around 2nd Ave. and I pass by a salon. Guess who I saw in the window?

It is ALIIIIIVE... )

The tour was not very good, BTW. The guy who did it called himself "Dr. Phil"--he was this doughy guy who dressed and looked like the Penquin, with a top hat and tails, and he walked extremely slowly between the various locations which caused *me* to be very cold. In that kind of weather, I need to move. He had this terrible, nasal, rote delivery, which is the absolute kiss of DEATH (so to speak) for any kind of historical tour--especially a ghost tour. You have to love what you're talking about, and communicate that to your audience. And in Washington Square Park, there are HUNDREDS of bodies buried beneath...it used to be a potter's field during one of the yellow fever pitbreaks. Just IMAGINE visiting here late at night..and thinking of who could be buried beneath your feet! They need actors who love history for these tours, not bland academicians. (I say this with a grain of salt, as he was pretty skimpy with the facts. He mentioned the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, and I had to fill Laurie in on that event, since he didn't seem to know much.) And he kept pimping for tips--annoying.

Afterward Laurie and I went to McSorley's, one of the locations we visited. We wanted to have a beer and sat down--immediately this guy who worked there, an older Irish guy, sat down at our table and took over the conversation. I'm not kidding. He sat down and just started talking to us and from time to time he would get up to do something for the bar, and then come back. He was nice enough (and he did buy us several rounds) but I didn't really realize until after I'd left how annoyed I was. Laurie and I never really got a chance to talk bcause every time he sat down, he would take over the conversation.
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)






The beautiful Hudson River Valley
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
So Michael, Tesse, Duncan and I all drove out to an apple farm in Orange County, New York. I got up early Saturday morning and dressed appropriately--my new sequined pumpkin tee-shirt, a thermal long-sleeved shirt underneath it, braids and my pumpkin cap. We all met at the Avis in Midtown and while we were waiting in line Michael offered to get me coffee. I gave him my Starbucks card and asked if he could bring me a pumpkin spice latte. Apparently Michael HATES Starbucks but very nicely got me one anyway, even calling me at the counter to ask if I wanted whipped cream.

The drive was guh-moregeous. The leaves this year are not as dramatically beautiful as they have been in the past, but they still looked just lovely. When we got there, we headed immediately to the winetasting section--we got 6 tastings for $3, and then the very nice woman who took us through the tastings even gave us extra (I think we actually got 9 tastings). We got a lil' loopy on wine and bought some--I got a bottle of "Apple Blossom Blush" and Blackberry wine. I'm glad we did the wine first because later on it was very crowded.

Seth and Rachel joined us, and we all piled onto the tractor trailer and went to the orchard. I kept whipping out my football and throwing passes to Michael. I think I need to buy a better football, because my yellow one is somewhat deflated and a little small. OTOH, it IS lemon-yellow, which is so me! When we got to the orchard, the first trees we saw had small and unimpressive apples--then we noticed the trees farther back had much bigger apples toward to top. We could've used the apple-picker, but what fun is that? I climbed up several trees and pulled them off, dropping them into Michael's and Duncan's bags. I love climbing things. God should just save time and reincarnate me now as a 10-year-old boy, because clearly that's what I'm meant to be. I am just such a tomboy. I love jumping off things and climbing them and throwing things.

The one tiny flaw in the day was the weather--it was beautiful but a little too cold and windy. When we were in the sun it was okay but I had to keep my jacket on most of the time, which covered up my pumpkin-tastic sequined tee-shirt.

We had hot cider and cider doughnuts (mmmm...) and hot dogs and chili, and then we rode the tractor again, to the pumpkin patch. I got one sugar pie pumpkin, to puree and make pumpin bread and pie. Then we drove home, although we got a bit lost finding our way back out. The countryside is so pretty there though, so even lost, it was lovely. When we got back into the city we opened up the trunk and discovered our apples had gotten out of the bags and commingled promiscuously. They were all over the carpeted bottom of the trunk (which was very clean) and some had gotten bruised. I scolded them for their misbehavior and then we divvied them up. I can't wait to make some apple pies and apple bread.
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
After I got back into the city, I was tempted to just go back home and sleep, but Duncan had called me the night before about Caroline's picnic in Central Park and I wanted to say hello to her. I swung over there, called Duncan and then Mickey to get directions to the exact location, and then finally found them on the Sheep's Meadow. We hung out for a while, sitting and chatting or trying to throw around a Commerce Bank frisbee that was far too susceptible to the wind. It being fall, and a Central Park picnic, I wanted to throw around a football (that is what fall is FOR, that is one of fall's FUNCTIONS--to throw the pigskin) but none of us had one. I was really itching for one--I should've gone home before the picnic to get one (and to dress more warmly--it really was quite chilly).

After a while, Duncan, Paula, Susan Rankus and I left for a Starbucks, to warm up a bit. (I had caramel cider--mmmm....) After that I went home and as I walked into the courtyard in front of my building, there were 4-5 guys tossing around a football. I didn't even realize what I was doing--I stopped, put down my stuff and held out my arms. The guy noticed me and tossed it to me and I whipped off a spiral pass back to him. All the guys were like "Damn!" The bad thing about being a girl is, everyone assumes you're not athletic, and then they never want to play with you. The good thing about being a girl is, everyone assumes you're not athletic--and so the bar is set so low, it's easy to impress them. Especially when you throw better than they do! We tossed around the ball for a little bit and they asked me what my team was. "This season, it's the Saints." (Who are now 5-1 and I'm pretty sure it's their best season ever.) They said they were waiting for a pickup game and wanted me to change and come and join them but I demurred, since I was so tired. We exchanged names and then I staggered off to bed where I napped, waking up at 9:30. Weird sleep schedule, but I HAD to sleep.
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
Guys, it's October and we know what that means--pumpkin patching! And apple picking and rolls in ze hay! I have been thinking about renting a car and going upstate or into rural New Jersey to get some apples and pumpkins--this page here links to a place that offers that, plus there are more places to go listed here . I can get a great rental car rate through USAA (the military credit union--I belong through my dad) and Rachel and Seth will also be manning a car.

If a lot more people want to come, we will have to get another car, or just squeeze in. I figure between Seth/Rachel and me, we can accomodate between 8-10 people. Also I was thinking about going the morning or afternoon of the 21st (Saturday). Who is interested? Email or comment here if you want to be included.








Woo hoo! October!
ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
Dave Zimmerman recommended me for a staged-reading directing gig at _gaia, that women's center/studio thing (not exactly sure what it is) in Hoboken near Doug's old apartment--Stacy did a lot of stuff there. The woman who's running it is going to call me on Saturday to discuss details--I'll be at the RenFaire all that day so thank God for cell phones! Seriously, whatever did we do without them? She emailed me to say "feel free to pick a play"--except that I don't know the parameters. Any play? Does it have to be all female? How long? Are actors auditioning or can I use my own actors? I wouldn't mind doing a reading of Agnes of God--I've directed it already but it's such a rich play, I could certainly mine that vein again. The reading goes up in mid-October.

Also tonight I'm auditioning for a reading--Jason Kendall, the husband of Donna, for whom I did the Shakespearean cabaret in May, produces "Shakespeare Saturdays," a series of readings of Shakespeare plays up at the Inwood branch of the library. I think the deal is, two rehearsals and then the reading, so the time commitment is minimal. They're doing The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale this time--the thing is, they're really trying to target minority actors. I got an email about it and then Jason emailed me personally, saying "Did you get the audition notice?" I said yes--I'd like to audition but I'm not exactly a minority. He said "In my mind you are--a woman with talent, humor and intelligence." So I'm going to that tonight--trying to figure out if I should do "These are the forgeries of jealousy..." or "Gallop apace..." from Romeo and Juliet. I would do one of Puck's monologues but there are no roles in either of those two plays that are Puck-ish--I'm shooting for Portia or Hermione/Perdita.

Such a lovely day! New York is the best in the fall.
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
It's kind of cozy right now--it feels like fall a few weeks early, and the view from my apartment window, with the river in the background and all these cars with their lights on in the rain, is evocative. It makes me want to curl up and knit and bake a pumpkin pie.

Speaking of which, at my Halloween get-together (where we'll all watch thpooooky movies), I intend to make some pumpkin pie ice cream (with REAL pumpkin puree, from scratch!).

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