Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Belle in the Hood

Candice just shared this link with me and I loved it so much I post it here immediately!! How clever. Todrick Hall created this vid called Beauty and the BEAT! If you are a fan of Miranda and GloZell I believe you will enjoy this. I believe you will enjoy this if you like Beauty and the Beast. If you have a sense of humor, I believe you will enjoy this.

"I came to get my hair did!" "What did you call me?!""Oh isn't this a hot mess?!" Hilarious!! OKRR?! I watch it again now ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My talented friends!!

I have so many talented friends being in theater. Like seriously talented!! I have been blessed to meet so many people who I could fall asleep daily listening to sing. I wish that I could name them all, but alas ... this is about one specific friend. Casey is auditioning to sing at the Scott Alan master class in Salt Lake in a few weeks. Her video is below ... Enjoy!!

Talented, right? Right! She was just cast as Roz in 9 to 5 at Hale Centre Theatre. So best of luck to you Squitch! I hope they pick you! Love you, sis!!

Monday, June 18, 2012


Sometimes, with my overwhelming lack of natural hormones, I have really low days. Conversely, I have really high days. Having “off” hormones is a bit of a bipolar, out-of-body experience. Often I have one single quote going through my head. It is from the brilliant Broadway show The Drowsy Chaperone by Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison, Bob Martin, and Don McKellar. Man in Chair starts the show including  this gem: “Hello. How are we today? A little quiet? I’m feeling a little blue myself. You know, a little anxious for no particular reason, a little sad that I should feel anxious at this age, you know, a little self-conscious anxiety resulting in non-specific sadness: a state that I call “blue”. Anyway, whenever I’m feeling this way, blue, I like to listen to my music. So I was going through my box of records this morning – yes, records – and I was about to put on the 1962 sound track recording of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man – I had a craving for a young Ronny Howard. But then I said “no! Let’s have a treat! Let’s disappear for a while into the decedent world of the 1920’s. When the champagne flowed while the caviar chilled and all the world was a party” – for the wealthy anyway. So, I dug about and what did I find – but one of my favorite shows Gable and Stein’s “The Drowsy Chaperone;” Remember? Music by Julie Gable, lyrics by Sidney Stein. It’s a two record set, re-mastered from the original recoding made in 1928. It’s the full show with the original cast including Beatrice Stockwell as the Chaperone. Isn’t she elegant? This is a full 15 years before she became Dame Beatrice Stockwell. Can you believe it? Let me read to you what it says on the back – it says “Mix-ups, mayhem and a gay wedding!” Of course the phrase gay wedding has a different meaning now, but back then it just meant fun. And that’s just what the show is – fun. So. Would you … indulge me? Let me play the record for you. Please.” Isn’t it amazing how music can match ones mood? It can either lift my spirit, encourage the tears, or enhance the particular mood I am in. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Tony Sized Tweet

So last night, while watching the Tony's, Candice casually says "Did you know Scott Alan is coming to Utah?" She is the one who introduced me to his music years ago. Scott Alan is a brilliant composer! I have 3 of his CDs and am looking forward to his next one coming out. I follow him on Twitter because he has a show opening on Broadway soon called Home. I cannot wait to hear the whole show. He is brilliant!! 

Well last night he had been tweeting throughout the Tony's. I shot him a tweet ... just because I could. And he replied! I admit that I thought it was pretty cool. 

What you want to see it closer? Sure ... here you go. 

Well he is indeed coming to Utah for voice classes, master classes, and a concert. I was pretty excited! Sure he is not bringing any of the stars he has worked with in the past such as Shoshana Bean and Stephanie J. Block, but to hear his music ... I am all in!!

Check out Shoshana Bean singing Home

And Stephanie J. Block singing Never Neverland (Fly Away) ... there might be a swear in this one ...

The word excited is not even enough ... extracited is more like it. More info about his visit to Salt Lake can be found HERE!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Urban Farmers

I recently bought my Grams house which has a big yard and many memories. The garden that Grams used to plant was huge and on the side of the house. I remember helping to plant, weed and pick the veggies there. Peas were a particular favorite of mine; I loved sitting on the driveway shucking peas with Grams. Well now the garden is smaller, it is in the back of the house, and it is in planter boxes that my Uncle Ed built. We have a nice crop this year that includes some of my favorites and a few things I detest, but that others in my family like (cough green beans cough).

Right next door to me are true farmers, though. Adam and Dianna have one of the prettiest gardens I have ever seen. They run a nice business similar to the one where you go pick up a basket of food ... I cannot remember the name ... weekly. Anyway the one run by Adam is called Adam's Heirlooms. They have 4 farm sites in the neighborhood where they have built planter boxes and grow a variety of spring, summer, and fall produce. They grow their starts and sell them (I have their onions in my garden this year) and then during the summer months they sell their crop shares to the public. What a great idea! They love gardening and it is nice to see them do something they love.

Adam's garden from their website
In addition to the vegetables, they also have bee hives in the back yard ... which is why I think my garden is doing as well as it is. My favorite thing about living next to them is their compost pile. The first time they asked me to throw over my excess food and weeds I was like "um ... I do not think I can do that!" Honestly for the first few months I felt like I was doing something wrong by throwing my crap over the fence into the neighbor's yard! The time last fall when I raked my leaf pile to the fence and it all went over made me feel like I was the worst neighbor. I am so over that now! The weeds from my garden went over the fence last night and I finally did not feel like I was doing anything wrong. In fact Dianna was at the fence line working and smile broadly when the weeds went over. I loved throwing my rhubarb leaf pile over a few weeks ago. (btw I have some extra rhubarb washed and in the fridge if anyone wants some.)

Their compost pile got pretty high last fall and I guess they had an adventure with one of their chickens ... oh yes they have chickens too. Well on my side of the fence there is an apple tree, which I hope they use this fall! One of the chickens, apparently, saw a low hanging apple; said chicken climbed up on the pile, up to the fence, and came on over to try to get it. I apparently had a chicken loose in my yard because the creature could not figure out how to get back over the fence. Adam said he came to retrieve the chicken, I had no clue was over my fence. They raked down the compost pile so that did not happen again. I had no clue chickens ate apples. Insert your own mental image of a chicken eating an apple now...

Moral of the blog post? If you are looking for some produce this summer, I know a guy who can help you out. Check out the website for more information. When they claim to be locally grown, they mean it! So local, in fact, I can see it from my backyard! And some of the crap from my yard will fertilize their produce. I bet that will make them taste better to my friends!

Monday, June 4, 2012

FAQ: Theater

I am asked often about being a producer and director for theater and what I like more and what is my least favorite part. So here is a list of my FAQ about theater ...

Which do you like more: Directing or Producing?
I prefer directing a show. However, my job on the Arts Council is to produce. There are some changes coming to the Midvale Arts Council which will make me officially in charge of all productions. I.E. I get to choose what show we do, hire all of the staff, and help cast the show. I am not prevented from directing under these new rules, but it is hard to do both. I will be training some people to help me produce (they have to sit on the Arts Council to do this) so that I can direct as well.

What is the difference between directing and producing a community show?
The producer chooses the show that the council performs. The producer then is in charge of all of the budget and funds. As the producer I hire the staff, I pay the royalties for the show, I have to arrange musicians or recordings for musicals, I pay all of the bills along with the City reimbursing me, I oversee auditions and make sure that the show is cast right, in addition I have to make sure that the audition notices are sent out. During the rehearsals I drop in from time to time to make sure that the interests of the council are met and that it is still a (fairly) family friendly show. I take care of the program and advertising for the run of the show. During performances I make sure that the ticket sales are tracked and deposit the income from the sales.

As the director I get to let my artistic mind run wild. So I admit that I can usually read a script and see the staging come together in my mind. It is certainly fun to see that vision become a reality. The director gets to cast the show, with help from the producer, and gets to play every day with the actors. As the director I get to design the set and costume ideas that work with the vision of the show. I am a pretty laid back director where I let the actors come up with their character, then I step in with ideas of how to build their performance. I also let the actors do what feels natural to their character in regard to blocking. I step in with help in blocking when something just does not look right on stage. I think it is much more fun to direct because it is like moving chess pieces around the stage to win an imaginary game I play with myself.

What is the hardest part about doing theater?
Easy! The hardest part about doing theater in the South Valley of Salt Lake is that I am friends with MANY of the people who audition for me. It is hard to have to turn my friends away from shows. I have had to do it often, and it never gets easy. Never. This past Saturday I had to turn away 2 friends from a show that we had auditions for; they are both super talented, and I have worked with them on multiple times. The community of theater here is small. I have been blessed to work with so many talented people. I hate turning friends away from being cast. I always worry that people will take it personally and that it will affect our friendship. I have been turned down by friend I have auditioned for. In fact I was not cast in a show where there are only 2 women parts. 2 women auditioned for the show so I thought I was a sure thing. Not so much. They went out looking for another person to do the role. It was very hurtful at first, then I remembered that the director has the whole picture of what he or she is looking for and I did not fit in that vision. So I remembered to be gracious to him for not casting me because I have had to be that person and want people to treat my decision with the respect that friendship dictates.

What is the worst part about doing theater?
The drama. I do not mean in the script. I hate the drama that some actors will bring to rehearsal or performances. There is enough drama on stage, leave the crap home! I like to come to rehearsal or performance ready to leave all of my personal crap at home and become someone new on stage.

What is your favorite show you have ever done?
This is a hard question to answer because I have worked with so many GREAT people and amazing scripts. I admit I like to direct plays more than musicals; I also like smaller shows than the bigger ones. That being said I think my favorite show I directed was Cash on Delivery in 2001 because it was my first. My favorite musical was Nunsense in 2004 because the cast was small and easy to direct. I loved working with the cast and crew of Birdie and Seuss in 2008 and 2009 respectively because the kids in those shows worked pretty well with the adults.

What is the best part about doing theater?
I love seeing someone who normally would not shine as an actor make an impression on me. I have seen little kids come into their own as a force to be reckoned with on stage. I love playing pretend when I am on stage, and it is fun to see someone else do it as the director. I love working with volunteers in community theater because they want to be there and they put their whole soul into their part. I saw this happen with Seussical. I had actors dressed up as cats, birds, elephants, kangaroos, etc. I remember one girl dressed as a bird who owned the stage when she was on it because she owned her super sexy character. The other bird had to tow around an outrageous number of tail feather and would whip that tail around for the audience to see and you could tell she was proud of her work. I loved also in that show when the Cat would do little things to the other actors while they were performing (with permission) like spray the elephant with water during a rain storm. Often times the funnies things in the show are adlibed by the actors during rehearsal and I keep in the show.

Do you have a favorite person to work with?

Are there people you will never work with again?

Will you tell me who?
Um ... no. But thanks for asking!

Why don't you perform on stage more often?
Oh that is easy! I like to boss others around. But stay tuned because there is a dream role coming up and I hope to play the part!

Is there anything I can do to ensure getting cast?
Really no. However if you have talent, a pure desire for a part, and are willing to play any part it can go better for you. People who are only willing to play a certain part, ie a lead, might not get cast in the show at all. If you are willing to do any role offered I, as a director, am more likely to give you a shot. I honestly think that even really talented people who have played leads in the past should take a part in the chorus from time to time just to really appreciate the leads when they get them. I also think that not assuming you will get a part will make you fight for it more!

Are you a fan of people pulling pranks on stage or inserting lines?
That depends on the show. Usually I am not a fan at all. I do not think it is fair for the other actors and sometimes it is in the contract we sign that the council could be in trouble if caught. But I certainly think there are shows where it is appropriate depending on the reason. I.E. if there is some sort of technical issue and the actor needs to explain away an issue. An example is when we did Pirates years ago there was a HUGE skip in the cd one night. So an entire song was skipped. One actor quickly summarized the finer points in the song that were important for the plot and moved on. But doing it just to break another actor's concentration or character is not appropriate. The audience that comes closing night deserve the same show as those who came the rest of the time. They pay the same price for the ticket, they deserve the same show.  I do like having fun, do not get me wrong, but that is what the cast party is for.

So, that is it. That is all I have the time or energy to write about that. These are just the ones I am asked most frequently. Since I have not been a regular on my blog, I thought it would be an interesting topic ... at least for me!