Saturday, March 27, 2010

You Better Look Around, and Left, and Up and Down, and All Around...

It's been so LONG! Oy...

I know, I can't get into this habit of writing once every two weeks or so, but this is gonna be a short one cause I'm exhausted.

With school and auditions going on lately, I'm feeling a little run-down... especially because I haven't landed any auditions =( A little depressing, but I guess that's just part of the game. I WILL go to the Spamalot call tomorrow, though! This time the alarm will go off, and I will be on the train bright and early. Oy again.

So, with that said, I'm gonna run, but I promise I will write a more detailed post soon... if something interesting happens.


Friday, March 19, 2010

It's a Mad World...

So I know this post should be about Miami... but it's not.

Instead, I'm going to rant for a minute about something that has been driving me crazy- why didn't Adam Lambert win American Idol???

I know, middle-America probably couldn't handle him. But if you put aside the glitz and glam, and funny costumes for just one second, can we PLEASE discuss the insane vocals this man has??? I don't know if you've listened to his single "For Your Entertainment", but the man BELTS A HIGH D-SHARP. What??? I'm lucky, on a good day, when I can belt a B-flat above middle C, and mix a High C. Pavarotti hardly ever even sang in that range, and Adam Lambert belts a D-Sharp. Not to mention, he riffs up to an F-sharp. That is SICK.

Not to mention, he's incredibly sexy. I'm just saying.

And the thing that kills me after all of this, the thing that really grinds my gears is that he is a trained singer. America finally had on their hands a bonafide, no-shenanigans, honest-to-god talented singer who had invested the time and energy into learning how to sing properly... and they couldn't appreciate him. Meanwhile, the Fantasia train can't read, was a teenage mother, and sounds like a dying cat, but for some reason Americans ate her shit UP. Why? Because she's black? Because she comes from an impoverished hometown? Because she was disadvantaged? It doesn't matter. In the end, she still sounds like she's killing chickens in the basement every time she opens that gaping hole in her face, but people like Adam Lambert are frowned upon.

This country needs to get a life.


Monday, March 15, 2010

I Ove-Lay Mother Sheeeeeeeeep

Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially a jet-setta!

I got on my first airplane this past Thursday around 3 o'clock (Oh, right, the flight was at 2:30... gotta love American Airlines), and let me tell you, it was a very interesting experience. After spending some time at the airport bar calming my nerves and doing crossword puzzles with Corey and Andrea, we finally boarded, and some time later we were taking off. Well, I will say that take off was not my favorite moment. As I felt the plane ascending and leaving the ground I already missed so much, my head was pressed firmly against my seat and my hand was leaving an imprint in Rachel's arm.

After a few minutes in the air, I finally worked up the courage to look out the window, and it was gorgeous! After I was finally in the air and level-ed off, I immediately felt a strange sense of security that even the turbulence didn't seem to shake. The in-flight was "Up in the Air" which I watched about 10 minutes of and conked out, but was continually woken up by the turbulence of the storm we flew through... the same storm that would make Friday in Miami wet and disgusting. Landing was extremely smooth (thank you pilot) and my first flight was ultimately stress free (with the exception of some storm-turbulence) and pleasant.

Miami itself will garner another post. There are no words for how much fun I had. Every night was spent out in Miami, eating great food, getting drinks, dancing, or just walking around the area enjoying being somewhere else. I felt so connected to all of my friends; I never slept for fear of not experiencing the magic... which according to Clay James is gonna get ya! Oy...

Flying home started out a little high anxiety. For starters, American Airlines was COMPLETELY backed up by the storms in New Jersey... because they have apparently never dealt with severe weather conditions before. So people had been waiting to get to Newark for two days, and many of them were trying to get onto my plane... which was then deemed the last plane to go to NJ until Tuesday. Amidst confusion and freaking out flight attendants and flight coordinators, we received an announcement, at least, that we should not worry because we had "a super captain". This set my nerves at ease, because it's always nice to know that one of the members of Team America is behind the wheel of a 757 taking us safely to our destination.

Luckily, with the exception of wondering what the turbulence would be like near NJ, I was not nervous at all to fly the second time! I watched out the window as we took off, waving goodbye to the beautiful, warm Miami, and watched the lights of the city get smaller and smaller. The flight was extremely smooth, albeit the flight attendants were not, and I even got to sleep for a solid 45 minutes at least.

All in all, I am so happy to have had this experience and to have shared it with such wonderful people. I'll go into a little bit more detail about the experience in Miami in the next post, but my fingers are tired...

Peace, Miami

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thank You for Being a Friend...

Soooooooooooo here's the scoop-

1- I apologize for being gone so long. I don't know how many people ACTUALLY read this, but I like to think it's somewhere in the 10 or 12 million range, so I feel bad when I don't acknowledge the fact that I haven't posted in, say, two weeks. I apologize to all of my many fans for letting you down.

2- I'm going to Miami tomorrow! I'm performing in an industrial for Children's Resources, a charity group that benefit... children. I don't know how exactly, but it's a charity, and it's for kids, so it has to be good, right? If you see on the news that an American Pedophile Convention was busted in Miami, FL over the weekend, be forewarned I did NOT see it coming... ok, maybe a little.

Anyway, I'm spending the weekend near South Beach, and then I go right into Spring Break... unfortunately, just as that starts, I'll be returning to good ol' NJ. Whatever, I'll take three days in Miami.

The real issue I'm having, however, is flying. Say what you will- call me names, taunt me, call me a sissy, I've heard it before. The point is, I've never been on an airplane, and I'm petrified. I've been listening to "Ironic" by Alanis Morrisette all day, and I just keep rewinding to the part about the guy who wait and waits and waits and waits to get on an airplane and then when he finally does, it crash lands into a fiery, hellish inferno.

Ok, so her version is a bit more subdued, but can we DISCUSS her serious downplay of this situation? An airplane virgin explodes in a fiery gust, and she thinks it's ironic. No, Alanis, it is terribly unfortunate and horrifying... ironic is not the first word I think of. I think that man is now a traveling spirit on a desert island, and he is represented by a spirit resembling a smoke monster that judges the island's inhabitants... just a thought.

Anyway, I'm hopping on American Airlines tomorrow afternoon, and I will be in Florida by dinner time. While I'm very excited, I'm nervous to fly, as well as a little anxious about how I'm packing my bags. I know I have travel sized lotions and potions, so that's gonna be a hassle, as well as all my diabetes supplies. I just have this terrible vision of getting stopped at check-in, having my bag searched, watching them look through my bag of needles and vials, and the next thing I know I'm in a room with a man with big hands, a rubber glove, and a bottle of lube, and he is NOT doing an oil change. I'm just saying.

So those are my fears as of now- I'll be sure to tell you how things go when I get back. And I promise not to go so long without writing this time!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Post of the Three-Named-Composer

Feeling a little off tonight, I'm just gonna post the song of the moment.

I’ll never be
A knight in armor
With a sword in hand,
Or a kamikaze fighter;
Don’t count on me
To storm the barricades
And take a stand,
Or hold my ground;
You’ll never see
Any scars or wounds -
I don’t walk on coals,
I won’t walk on water:
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
I am not anyone’s wildest dream,
But I can stand behind
And be someone to fall back on.

Some comedy -
You’re bruised and beaten down
And I’m the one
Who’s looking for a favor.
Still, honestly,
You don’t believe me
But the things I have
Are the things you need.
You look at me
Like I don’t make sense,
Like a waste of time,
Like it serves no purpose -
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
And if that’s what you believe you need,
You’re wrong - you don’t need much,
You need someone to fall back on...
And I’ll be that:
I’ll take your side.
If I’m the only one,
I’m used to that.
I’ve been alone,
I’d rather be
The half of us,
The least of you,
The best of me.
And I will be
Your prince,
I’ll be your saint,
I will go crashing through fences
In your name. I will, I swear -
I’ll be someone to fall back on!
I’ll be the one who waits,
And for as long as you’ll let me,
I will be the one you need.
I’ll be someone to fall back on:
Your prince,
Your saint,
The one you believe you need
I’ll be - I’ll be
Someone to fall back on.


Monday, March 1, 2010

To Be Free, One Must Give Up a Little Part of Oneself

SO many things going on right now.

I'm in one of my sentimental moods, so you're all just going to have to bite your tongues and listen for a little while.

1- I set my alarm clock for 4pm instead of 4am today, so at around noon I woke up, only to realize that I'd TOTALLY missed any window of opportunity to make it to Spamalot auditions on time. Not really a big deal, I wasn't even really that upset, but it was another silly thing for me to have done...

2- I just watched Rachel Getting Married for the first and second time. All I can say is, "WOW". Amazing movie that I think will garner its own post- alas, this is not it.

3- Here's the real reason I'm posting:

My most recent musical binge has been one of my favorite musicals, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I first discovered Hedwig when I was 13 or 14 years old, following my love of Rocky Horror into other cult rock musicals... obviously, Hedwig was the next step.

Unlike Rocky Horror, I was too young to really understand what was going on, although I knew I loved it. Now I've been giving it another listen, and a watch, and another thousand listens, and another couple viewings, and I'm officially obsessed. It is such a beautiful movie, I only wish I could have been there to see the stage show off-broadway.

The show revolves around Hedwig Robinson, a transsexual punk-rocker who is following his ex-lover in an act of vengeance after his lover stole his songs. I know, it doesn't sound very deep. It is a little campy sometimes, but what show about a tranny rock star wouldn't be?

The real beauty in the story is in what it is really about- love. Hedwig's life has been the constant struggle to find love, losing love, being betrayed by love, and still finding a way to keep loving. Hedwig, whose real name is Hansel, was living in East Berlin before the wall was torn down. He wanted to marry a US G.I., but could not as a man. He sacrificed his body (or a piece of it) to marry his lover, who after marrying him and eloping with him to the U.S., leaves him. The story goes on, but I don't want to totally ruin it for those of you who might be interested in watching it.

My point is, I'm so drawn to the drama of the story, as well as the amazing writing by John Cameron-Mitchell and Stephen Trask. It is such a poignant story about the vulnerability of love and humanity. I am trying to produce a concert version next fall or spring, but I have a LOT of details to work out before that will ever happen. I am so connected to this piece right now, though, that I feel I have to do it.

One of the songs in "Hedwig..." is called "Origins of Love", and it is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. The song uses mythology and an idea first introduced by Aristophanes, which tells the tale of how love first came to be. He explains that humans used to consist of basically two bodies connected back to back (two faces, 4 arms, 4 legs, etc.), and those beings were very powerful. They were going to plan an overtaking of the Gods, so Zeus split them in half down the back and they lost their power. Now, they are looking for their other half, and that need is what we called love.

The song is much more poetic, and it is truly a gorgeous song. Just one of many in that show that makes you think about things in a much more abstract and vulnerable way- almost nothing about Hedwig is black and white.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them
As they talked; while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love.
It was before the origin of love.

The origin of love

And there were three sexes then,
One that looked like two men
Glued up back to back,
Called the children of the sun.
And similar in shape and girth
Were the children of the earth.
They looked like two girls
Rolled up in one.
And the children of the moon
Were like a fork shoved on a spoon.
They were part sun, part earth
Part daughter, part son.

The origin of love

Now the gods grew quite scared
Of our strength and defiance
And Thor said,
"I'm gonna kill them all
With my hammer,
Like I killed the giants."
And Zeus said, "No,
You better let me
Use my lightening, like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales
And dinosaurs into lizards."
Then he grabbed up some bolts
And he let out a laugh,
Said, "I'll split them right down the middle.
Gonna cut them right up in half."
And then storm clouds gathered above
Into great balls of fire

And then fire shot down
From the sky in bolts
Like shining blades
Of a knife.
And it ripped
Right through the flesh
Of the children of the sun
And the moon
And the earth.
And some Indian god
Sewed the wound up into a hole,
Pulled it round to our belly
To remind us of the price we pay.
And Osiris and the gods of the Nile
Gathered up a big storm
To blow a hurricane,
To scatter us away,
In a flood of wind and rain,
And a sea of tidal waves,
To wash us all away,
And if we don't behave
They'll cut us down again
And we'll be hopping round on one foot
And looking through one eye.

Last time I saw you
We had just split in two.
You were looking at me.
I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar,
But I could not recognize,
Cause you had blood on your face;
I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine.
That's the pain,
Cuts a straight line
Down through the heart;
We called it love.
So we wrapped our arms around each other,
Trying to shove ourselves back together.
We were making love,
Making love.
It was a cold dark evening,
Such a long time ago,
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was the sad story
How we became
Lonely two-legged creatures,
It's the story of
The origin of love.
That's the origin of love.

The art used in the movie to depict the origin of love is amazing. I've been wanting to get a tattoo for a long time, and I'm going to be very candid when I tell you what it was, and what I think it will be-
For a long time I felt very selfish. I felt like I was not always able to truly love others because I couldn't put their needs before mine. While I feel like I've changed a lot as a person, I still sometimes struggle with love, and I don't think that I've ever really fallen in love. I know I'm young, I know it seems silly, but it's a very vulnerable feeling, and one that I struggle with. I wanted to get a tattoo of a narcissus flower on my left ankle, and then when I knew I'd fallen in love and truly felt connected to someone, I was going to get a blooming lotus flower on my right ankle.

Right now, I think what I'd really like is a picture of the artwork done for the two bodies in 'Origin of Love' on my left ankle as a symbol of my search to find, and sense of admiration for love. The art work looks like this:



So in closing, everyone should watch 'Rachel Getting Married' and 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch', and then you should come see my production next year =) Hopefully, if I can make it happen, I will keep you posted.