Friday, September 30, 2005

So, um, how does one go about becoming a pirate?
The preview audience loved it.

I'm so excited for the show to open tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

So it's getting colder outside, and I'm feeling like nesting. Eating really heavy foods, like tofurkey and tomato soup and mashed potatoes. I'll be curious to see how this apartment handles cold weather. Granted, it's not Chicago winter yet, but these windows aren't very good. I hope they can handle the weather change.

And my show opens on Saturday. It will be wonderful. And once it is open, I can start looking for other projects, be they acting or musical or social. It's time for a new project. Wish me luck!
My little dial-up connection is much faster at 2:30 am...
So the Pennsylvania gig fell through. The venue is going through a format change, which apparnetly includes nixing live music. Kind of a bummer, considering how many venues I've tried to contact and that this was the only one that booked me. Maybe touring in December isn't a great idea. Maybe I should just go to New York and have fun with my friends. And try to convince my formerly New York now Rhode Island friend to come down and hang out with me, too.

On the up side, I think my show is ready to open. The actors really stepped it up a notch tonight, which was awesome. Now if only I could get them to show up on time, and if only all the tech stuff would straighten itself out...

I really should be sleeping. It's so easy for me to stay up and do things until two or three in the morning when I don't have to worry about work the next day. How the hell am I going to go back to work on Monday and be geeked about reviewing contracts? Does anyone want to put a tour together for me? Seriously. Anyone want to be my manager so I can quit my day job and just be an artist?

Monday, September 26, 2005

I baked a cake last night. It was the first thing I cooked in my brand new oven. Nothing fancy, just a little one-layer chocolate deal with soy-butter-creme frosting. Put a glop of blackberry jam on top. And I must say, I make a mean chocolate cake. It was nice to christen my oven with such chocolatey goodness, too. And nice to be able to bake something on a whim. And cake cures all worries about a show one might be directing that opens on Saturday and only has two more rehearsals in the space with costumes and lights and stuff. Eep. Is it wrong to have cake for breakfast?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

So my Texas friend is safe. That's a good thing. I can breathe a little easier now. Apparently Rita slowed down and went farther east, so Houston and Galveston are in decent shape. I think. I haven't checked the news sites; I'm just going on what she told me. But regardless, my friend and her family are okay.

And on a totally unrelated note, I know they tell you when you're dieting (not that I am, but I hear this alot) to not drink juice. If you want the vitamins and stuff, they tell you to eat the actual fruit instead of drinking the juice. Which is really a shame because juice is a wonderful thing. I always forget how good it is until I get some to drink. Even if I just had some an hour ago.

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's actually going to happen. I go into tech tomorrow for my show. I put together music for it today -- preshow music, scene change songs, etc. I'm so excited, I can barely sit still. And my sound guy problems may be fixed, too. Yay!

Sorry. I'm just so excited. I'm so in love with this show. As much as my actors were low energy this week, I think having the lights and sounds and costumes and stuff will really get them jazzed up.

I love my little show.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

On the up side, my show got the stamp of approval of my theater company's artistic director last night. He came to the rehearsal and had some notes, but they were largely energy things -- the actors just not bringing their A-game, which has been a problem the last couple of nights. I think having tonight and tomorrow off will do them a world of good. But yeah, it was surprising how few notes he had for us. He usually really picks things apart, but this wasn't too bad. He even told me I had done a good job with stage pictures and keeping things interesting and whatnot. Honestly, I was afraid to have him see it -- it's my own version of needing approval from him. People seek approval in so many ways for so many things; I guess my big one is needing artistic approval from my artistic peers. Which makes sense. I don't know that I am one of those inherently artistic people, who knew from the time she was four that she was going to be an artist, you know? Yes, I did my first play at the age of four, and I started taking piano lessons and ballet lessons about then, too, but then I was pigeon-holed as one of the smart kids in school. Surrounded by people who did math and science and stuff and who didn't (and don't) believe that an artistic career is a legitimate one. Hell, half of my friends now don't come to see my shows anymore. My dad is more excited about me being a paralegal than a director and playwright and actor and musician. But it's the art that gets me going. My art is such a part of who I am; I guess I'm looking for approval as a person when I look for people with whom I can share my art. If that makes sense. I know I'm rambling a lot here. I'm tired and frazzled and I asked my boss to fire me yesterday and he wouldn't do it. He gave me work to do instead and honestly, it didn't help because I still don't give a rat's ass about this job or trying to get this work done. I'm tired of trying. Our little chat yesterday was too little too late, you know? But anyway, back on track. I wrote this play. I cast and directed this play. I coordinated the choreographers and composer and such. I have poured so much of me into this show that it will probably be difficult for me to take honest criticism on it -- I'll take it personally. So to get the stamp of approval of the artistic director of my's like he's telling me I'm okay. I'm valid. My art is worth something. It meant a lot to me.

Not saying there isn't a lot of work still to be done. I've spent half of my morning already trying to figure out what songs I want to use as scene change music. If I use two Liz Phair songs, is that too much? Three? If one of them is preshow music, does that make it acceptable? If I edit out the "goddamn" and the "ass?" And I'm still worried about the costumes and props and sound effects. Will they be ready in time?

On the down side, I'm also really worried about my Texas friend and her family. Not to mention everyone else in Rita's path, but knowing that it is her sitting down there with boarded up windows, on the verge of losing everything in this storm...I'm terrified for her. And I know she's scared, too, and I don't know how much comfort I can offer her right now. Please, please, please send good energy into Texas to keep the people there safe. They need all the help they can get. Please let Rita slow down before she hits the coast. Please let the damns and boarded up windows and sandbag walls hold.

How selfish is it of me to be thinking of my play and what music to play in what scene change when my friend has to worry about her life and the lives of her immediate family and friends? Please be safe. Please be safe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

So, if, as the Christian right proclaims, Hurricane Katrina was God wiping New Orleans off the map for the evil, debaucherous activities that went on there, then Hurricane Rita must be God wiping Texas off the map for giving us the Bush family, right?

I'm sorry, that was really wrong.

Please, to all of you in Texas in the path of Hurricane Rita, be careful. If you are told to evacuate, do it. Hell, even if you aren't told to evacuate, go somewhere else. Take the essentials and go. I know there are a lot of you down there who are trying to rebuild your lives after leaving New Orleans, but apparently, Texas isn't much safer right now. Go to Montana or something. They have lots of open space, and no major bodies of water waiting to take over your homes. They might get a tornado now and again, but that season has kind of passed at this point.

Please be safe.


Be safe.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

You know what boy-shorts/hipsters are?

Low-rise granny panties.
I feel like it's been forever since I got to talk to you guys. I'm kind of in meltdown mode because, as per usual, everything seems to be coming to a head all at once. So here's a quick recap:

My kids show rocks. Dream Juice. I love my cast. I love my dancing vegetables. I can't wait to see the whole thing all put together, with lights and costumes and all that crap. I seriously can't wait. There is a lot still to do with it, but I have every confidence that it will come together and it will rock. Oh yes, it will rock. If you want to come see it, go to and poke around a bit. One of my dear friends is revamping the website and I think he's doing a bang-up job of it. There's some fun stuff on there for the kids show. Which will rock.

I choked, but I knew I would, and in a way it's better because now nobody really has to know about it and I don't have to worry about my indie musician friends losing respect for me.

Our fundraiser for the theater went really well and I had so much fun. Got two personal training sessions out of it, too, so that should be interesting.

One of my actor's husbands made several remarks the other night about "when you make it big as a director." It was really bizarre to me to realize that a directorial capacity is the only capacity in which these people know me. As afraid as I was that my actors would see through me and know that I don't want to be a director and would have no faith in me or the project because of that, my actors (and by extension, their families and friends) only know me as their director. They have faith in this project. They even seem to have faith in me as a director. It is a label I don't really associate with, so it's really bizarre that I was given that label. It makes sense because I am, in fact, their director; it still just sounds strange to me. My name appeared in the Chicago theater newspaper, too, as director and playwright of Dream Juice. I know I am these things; it's just weird to see that in print, you know? Like when you get married and for the first time write your married name on a check. It is true, factual information, it just looks weird because you've never seen it before.

To cope with my meltdown, I bought myself some new underwear. I spent way too much money on it, but I really needed new underwear. I'm wearing some of it today, including my first pair of almost boy-short panties and I have to say, they are rather comfy and I feel kinda sexy in them.

I really need a different job. For real. Anyone out there hiring?

I think that's most of it, anyway. I really am kind of consumed thinking about my show. Will the costumes be done on time and will they look like the drawings the costume designer first came up with? Will the sounds be ready in time for tech? That reminds me -- I have to e-mail the sound designer. I should go do that.

Anyway, hi. I miss you guys. I'll be chattier again in a couple of weeks, I promise. Take care. Hug the wife and kids for me. And eat your vegetables!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I'm tired of being useless at my job. I go to the theater and have so much fun, and I'm good at that kind of thing. And then I come and sit here and complete the work that I'm given, only to hand it in and have it sit there for six weeks before my boss has a chance to look at it. How can you assist someone when he's too busy to talk to you?

I gotta get out of here. A job at the grocery store is looking mighty good right about now...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I am so in love with my show. I know I posted this yesterday, but it's true. We were a little scattered and unfocused last night, but it helped identify areas that we need to work on a little more, and that's a good thing. Especially since we have the time to work on them. Saturday is our first official run through, wherein everyone should know their lines and the dances and so on and so forth. I'm anticipating a pseudo-disaster, but I know we'll get through it. And, knowing my cast, they will probably really come through and surprise the hell out of me. They are working so hard, and finding little tidbits amongst themselves that just bring the show to life. I am so proud of each and every one of them.

It has really been an amazing journey, getting this show together. I remember about a year ago, maybe a little less, the company looking in my general direction to see if I wanted to head up a kid's show. My first thought was "no way in hell," but then I went home and the seedling of an idea began to germinate in my head. I said I'd do it. Then I spent eight or nine months, something like that, writing a script. Trying to tune into who each character is, what they want, where they are going. And simultaneously praying that this would ultimately turn into an entertaining piece. There are so many things in there that I think are funny, or that I think are cute, but I had no idea if other people would find them funny, too. I had a couple of readings, and started piecing together a crew. People said it was a good script, entertaining songs, interesting idea, but I always had that little seed of doubt in my head. I always do. It's how I'm made. And then I got to hold auditions, cast the people I wanted, and now we're in the middle of the rehearsal process and the script is coming to life. These characters who lived only in my head for so long are now walking around on the stage, singing and dancing and interacting with one another and I am so in love with them. It's a whole new art form for me, and I love the collaborative aspect of it. That I can say to person A, "How are the costumes coming along?" and person A will respond, "I pulled some stuff that I would like your actors to try on sometime. When would be a good time for me to do that?" And I can say to person B, "How do you think we should paint the stage?" and we'll chat and come up with a new color scheme. And I can say to person C, "Can we add this sound effect?" and person C comes back with something even more brilliant than I could have imagined. And I can say to my actors, "Let's all kick it up a notch," and they do.

I just about melted yesterday when one of my actors, the youngest one in the show, told me that he spent his entire day at school looking forward to coming to the theater and rehearsing.

I love that I get to share this journey with so many amazing people. I love that this is a collaborative art. The only analogy I can come up with for it is that I have given birth to a child and am now watching my baby grow up into an independent adult. I'm fascinated by the learning process. I'm struggling to find that balance between nurturer and disciplinarian. And I am so proud of the beautiful, wonderful person that my child is becoming.

If any of my actors see this, they'll think I'm a crack pot. Don't worry: I'll make sure they hear all of this stuff by the time we open. In the meantime, thank you to my actors. Thank you to my producer. Thank you to my costume designer and my composer and my sound designer and my choreographers. Thank you to my theater company in general for giving me this opportunity and for being there to support me along the way. Art alone is groovy. Art shared with others is what makes life worth living. Thank you guys for sharing this with me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I'm so excited for my show to open. I know it's distasteful to boast, especially considering some of the stuff I wrote yesterday, but I'm so in love with my cast. I see this show getting better and better with every performance. I'm so excited to have it all put together, with costumes and lights and sounds and all of that. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and that people will really enjoy seeing it.

Of course, I'm kind of biased. It's kind of my baby right now. But I think it is going to be awesome, and I'll know after October 1 what other people think, too. Yay!

Monday, September 12, 2005

As much as I love the things I'm doing right now that are keeping me so insanely busy, I am almost annoyed that I have so many responsibilities that make it impossible for me to pick up and go help hurricane victims. I got an e-mail from my Texas friend this morning, telling me just how horrible it is down there. Disorganized. Chaotic. Everyone is confused, a lot of the people who are supposed to be helping don't know what they are talking about, that kind of thing. I want to be able to do more than play benefit concerts or give money to various charities. I want to be able to go there and hug someone who lost everything, give them a bed and food and new clothes and clean water to drink, and let them know that they will be okay. They will survive. This too shall pass.

I know there are people all over the world who are suffering every day. I wish I could help all of them. I wish I could reach all of them and do something to make it better, even just for a short time. But I'm so mired in the mundane and the immediate trappings in front of my face that I can't do that right now. I have to go to rehearsal tonight, both for my show and for our upcoming theater company fundraiser. I have to return the vacuum cleaner that a friend of mine let me borrow. I have to pay rent this week, and pay my credit card bill, and book rehearsal space for next week. I have to call the sister of a fellow company member to talk to her about putting together a field trip for her students to come see my play. And all of this stuff keeps me from going to New York to do the Avon Walk with my friend. It keeps me from volunteering with the Red Cross, helping hurricane victims who have relocated to Chicago. It keeps me from following Bono to Africa to work with AIDS patients.

I guess I have to take comfort in the fact that the things I am doing bring joy to some people's lives for a short period of time. I will make hundreds of children smile with this show I have written and directed. My voice comforts people hundreds and thousands of miles away when they have a rough day. I can take some comfort in that. I hope that one day, I can do more. But for right now, the best I can do is pump positive energy into the universe, and donate money when I have it, so that's what I'm going to do. And to all of you out there who are taking your family vacations to New Orleans to help rebuild homes, or who have taken volunteer jobs at shelters, or who pick up and bring clothing and medicine and hope to the poorest villages around the world, thank you. Thank you for giving of yourselves like that. You are my heros, and I hope I can be one of you someday.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Got my new oven. Yay!

Got booked for a gig in Pennsylvania and have to put together lots of promo materials to send out that way. Yay!

Have gigs tonight and tomorrow. Yay!

Going to court tomorrow. Not yay.

I mean, it will be good in that justice will be served and whatnot, but I'm really nervous about going. I'm afraid of any sort of attacks they might try to make on my character. I am afraid I'll get flustered and say the wrong thing and look like an ass in front of the judge. I'm afraid the judge will tell me I'm asking for something I have no right to (even though, according to the Chicago Municipal Code, I do). I'm just scared. Equally afraid of winning and losing. If I win, how do I enforce the judgment, or will the court do that? If I lose, how much are the court costs going to be that I have to pay, and how stupid will I look? My boss, the lawyer, thinks I have a pretty solid, straight forward case, so that is comforting. And he's going to talk me through some stuff a little later today, so I can go in there tomorrow feeling a little more prepared. But what if they don't show and default judgment is entered against them; who enforces that? Why the fuck did I decide it would be a good idea to do this in the first place? I'm not a greedy person. I could have just walked away and let the whole thing slide. You know me; I don't like being obtrusive and this, to me, is a very obtrusive move. It is completely outside of my comfort zone and it scares the piss out of me.

Wish me luck tomorrow, kids. I'm going to need it.

And yes, I do feel very selfish asking for good energy when there are so many other people out there who need it so much more than I do. I'm doing my best for them, too, with the benefit concert tomorrow, which I'll be plugging at the show tonight. Forget I asked. Send your good energy to the hurricane victims who need it. And the people all over the world suffering and living in poverty and whatnot who really need a break. I'll get through this court thing. They really need your support. Please send it to them.

Okay, I feel a smidge better now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I feel for people with nut allergies. I really do. I honestly think one of the most wonderful things in the world is nuts. Peanuts. Almonds. Cashews. Brazil nuts (or "nuts" as they call them in Brazil). Pistachios. Filberts. Walnuts. Maybe I'm just a little iron deficient as of late, but I've really been enjoying nuts and nut butters. For as much as cashew butter is a big nothing, almond butter is amazing. Quite possibly tastier than peanut butter. Would it be too weird to raise my children on almond butter and jelly sandwiches instead of p.b. and j? But seriously, people with nut allergies never get to experience the wonder that is almond butter. Or the joy of throwing some cashews into a stir-fry at the last second, so they're warm, but still crunchy. They will never get to know the joy that is pad thai!

My condolences to those of you out there with nut allergies. For lunch today, I will eat almond butter on your behalf.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I get a new oven tomorrow!

I think I told you, my oven was in pretty sad shape. The burners work fine, but the oven never gets hot when you turn it on. And the surface of the thing is cracked in two places and gets extraordinarily hot to the touch, even when the burners are not on. So I called a couple weeks ago to ask them to come take a look at it, and the guy didn't notice that there was a message in the maintenance voice mail box for about a week, but then he sent someone out the very next day to take a look at it (this was last week Thursday, maybe). And I just got a phone call saying that they are going to deliver a new oven/stove to my house tomorrow, and then they'll send out an installation guy. I'm getting a new oven tomorrow! Hooray! Just in time for tofurkey season! I can bake a cake! I can cook a frozen pizza! I can bake potatoes! I'm so excited, I can't even tell you. And how sad is it that I'm getting so excited about a new oven?

On the slightly more tough guy side, I sent my EPK to six coffee houses between here and New York to see if any of them want to book me for my little east coast tour. Damn, that was nerve wracking. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I hope at least one of them responds. I hope they don't look at my EPK and just start laughing. But if I don't send out these e-mails, I'll never get to play anywhere, right? And the more I send to, the better the chances are that I'll get booked. Wish me luck!

I get a new oven tomorrow!
Two of my very dear friends married each other this weekend. I don't get to see them as often as I would like to anymore, and in a lot of ways, I feel very removed from their lives. But they asked me to be a part of this day with them, and I am so honored that I was able to be there, and stand up while they proclaimed their love for one another. Thank you for letting me be a part of that.

The thing that I found most beautiful, though, was the absolute joy on the groom's face once the wedding was over. Not because the stress of the planning was behind him. Not because of the mountains of gifts yet to open. But because he now gets to be married to the woman he loves. He wants a marriage. To her. Specifically. And now he has it. And he was glowing brighter than I think I've ever seen anyone glow before. I know he'll take care of my friend. And I know she'll take care of him. That, to me, is more beautiful than the giant flower arrangements or the perfect cake. Though the wedding itself was gorgeous, too.

So congratulations to my friends. I love you and am so happy for you. Thank you for letting me be a part of your day. I wish you many more happy days to come.

Friday, September 02, 2005

So I'm playing a benefit concert for the victims and survivors of Hurricane Katrina. It'll be next Friday, September 9 at Java 101 in DeKalb, Illinois. I know a lot of you aren't anywhere near DeKalb, but if you can make it out, that would be great. I'm playing at about 1:00 pm, and they've got music lined up to go all day. They're hoping to raise at least $10,000 to send to those who really need it. Or, if you want to help out, but can't make it to the show, please visit and make a donation. Every little bit helps. My Texas friend is seeing a lot of the people who have been evacuated and she says it's like a third world country down there right now.

I feel good about this show. Like I'll be doing something to make a difference. If you can make it, please do, even if you show up later in the day and see someone else play. There are millions of people who lost their homes and jobs and essentially lives in a matter of hours this week, and they could use a hand.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Rabbit, rabbit.

Happy September.

My friends get married on Saturday. Another has a birthday tomorrow. I play two gigs this month, and have four performances of Bad Seed. Moby's birthday is in a couple of weeks, too. And by the time this month is over, my show will be ready to open. How crazy is that?

I got another gig rejection today. I'm kind of starting to wonder why I have an EPK.

My hair is cute and shaped and everything. I made my stylist's night. I was his last client and he just had a blast messing with my hair. I didn't have the heart to tell him I was going to go home and wash it out instantly. And in all truth, I didn't wash it out instantly; I bought shoes first. Cute little silver shoes to wear in the wedding on Saturday. These shoes are so NOT ME. Little open toed kind of strappy sandle things with clear heels, but they really are cute and they were only five dollars, and I'm starting to think maybe I could become a shoe whore. You know, one of those women who wears more than the same three pairs of shoes every day. I have always said that the shoes make the outfit. Am I going to become one of those women who goes out on dates wearing jeans and really uncomfortable looking but very sexy heels? Wait, that would require me dating. Nevermind.

I got a message from a sort of friend today, recommending an artist to me. He saw her play live, was blown away, and forwarded her info to me. I like her; her stuff is good, and she has a gorgeous voice that actually has something behind it. But I think what made me happiest about it was that this sort of friend of mine thought I might like this music, too. He thought of me. That makes me happy. God, I'm such a dork.

I think a lot of my dissatisfaction with my appearace lately comes from the fact that I don't see myself very much anymore. In my old apartment, my bedroom closet had mirrored doors, so I saw myself all of the time. Clothed, naked, whatever, I saw myself all of the time. Now, I only see myself for ten seconds a day when I check the mirror on my way out the door to make sure nothing is hanging out where it's not supposed to be, and truth be told, it was much better for my self image and acceptance thereof to see myself every day. I think I should invest in another mirror.

There was a very brief moment the other day wherein I thought I had found a way to contact that friend of mine from high school who has totally disappeared, but it was an old e-mail address that now just bounces. I have thought of taking the part in front of the @ and putting every bit I can think of that goes after an @ and just sending out a big, blanket e-mail to see if maybe he just switched providers.