Throwback Thursday : The Secret Garden


A few days ago, an old friend and colleague of mine Gregory Cooke posted this video! I found it about a month or so ago while writing reflections on past blog entries. Being in rehearsals for The Secret Garden concert (a one-night performance this coming Saturday!) have brought back so many happy memories! These voices, this music…ahhh!! Glorious.

With The Secret Garden director Michael Osburn
With The Secret Garden director Michael Osburn. This was before I learned how to put on stage makeup, yikes!!

Coming down the home stretch with this show! I’m looking forward to a little bit of normalcy for awhile afterwards. My husband goes to bed before I get home and he’s gone to work before I wake up. It’s definitely hard, but he understands and supports me in my career.

In non-theatrical news, I’m writing a couple of articles, working on a giveaway with a friend of mine which should go up in a few weeks, new jewelry will be added to my shop, and this blog will get a facelift. My professional site got a revamp yesterday, so now it’s the blog’s turn!

One day, I will sleep again.

What To Keep In Your Rehearsal Bag

I’m currently in rehearsals for a concert performance of The Secret Garden with Just Off Broadway, Inc. Having performed this show before, I am so happy to revisit this absolutely beautiful score. This concert is a benefit for the Orange County Arboretum in Montgomery, NY. I am reprising the role of “Ayah” alongside Broadway veterans Marni Raab as “Lily” and Craig Schulman as “Archibald Craven.” Playing “Mary” is a young and extremely talented performer named Alex Thurtle who played “Annie” in my last show Annie Warbucks. I had forgotten how difficult this music is to learn, but it’s a welcome challenge. I also have no excuse for screwing up since I learned the show already once before!

Canvas Lace Striped Bag c/o Chicastic

Anyway, juggling a full time job and a show can be difficult. Last week, I prepared several crock pot recipes to freeze for the next several days (which worked out better and more delicious than I had originally thought!) and I packed my rehearsal bag. I like to use a tote, just because you can fit more inside. This Chevron Lace and Straw Crochet Tote Bag from Chicastic has seen me through this summer’s adventures beautifully. I took it to Alaska with me, and then straight to Annie Warbucks rehearsals. Here’s a list of what I like to keep handy in my rehearsal bag.

1. Rehearsal Shoes (character shoes, sneakers, whatever you need to have)

2. Toe Stretchers (see #1, yup)

3. Script and/or music (duh)

4. Water bottle (I like the ones that have built in filters, then you can refill them wherever you are)

5. Snacks or a packed lunch

6. Tablet / Cell Phone / Charger

7. Throat lozenges

8. Gum (you know, in case you gotta kiss someone hehe)

9. Shawl, Scarf or Sweater (rehearsal halls can get cold, especially if you’re sitting around for awhile)

10. Pencil pouch, pencils and highlighters – I like the Erasable Highlighters to use in the librettos since any sort of permanent markings will result in a fine.

11.Travel tooth brush and toothpaste

12. Book (if you’re not a tablet person)

13. Recording device (or phone) to record music

14. Flask (just kidding!!) Ibuprofen or aspirin

15. Notepad for rehearsal notes

16. Wallet

17. Keys (so you can go home and relax after a long day!)

The concert runs for one night on September 6th, 2014. The evening will begin with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:00 p.m. and will be followed by the performance at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and advanced reservations are required. To reserve seats, please call 845-615-3828

Hope to see you there!

Friday Favorite – Lucille Ball

When I was a kid, I Love Lucy used to come on after the morning cartoons. I’d watch TV in the mornings until about 10am. Because the show was in black and white, I wasn’t intrigued by the opening song and never really gave the show a chance.

Then one day I was too lazy to change the channel or couldn’t find the remote or whatever (nothing much has changed, really), but who cares. I sat through the opening credits and my life was changed forever. All of a sudden I was making that face. You know the face.

I wanted to wear little hats with veils like her, and I even tried to sew a bunch of lace and flowers to an old sundress to make it into a ballgown just like the one she and Ethel wore while singing “Friendship.” This is the closest I’ve found to a real one, but no flowers or sashes. I love love LOVE her wardrobe on the show!!

Speaking of, I want this!!

When Lucy died, I was only just a little girl, and I was really sad about it. I had only been a fan for a few months, but she’s one of the few performers I wish I’d met while still alive.

I still can’t believe she kept a “one-take” policy on set. If you got in her way (literally), you got run over (literally!).

Here’s a video of Desi remembering his time with Lucy. Wonderful.

Throwback Thursday – The Motherland

Yvonne de Salle from Sing at Home Mom

This photo was from the last time I went to the Philippines, about 7.5 years ago, just a few days after I met my husband. I loved those pants I’m wearing! Perfect for the hot hot weather out there! ! While I was enjoying an 85 degree Christmas, my husband (who had no idea he had just met the love of his life!) was skiing in Colorado! I could only stay in The Philippines for about 5 or 6 days because I was in performances of Peter Pan at the time, and the other actress with whom I shared the role just found out she was pregnant. I don’t think the cast was privy to that information yet but when I found out I was all the more grateful that she was able to fly for me.

It was rough traveling so far for just a few days but it was worth it. I was able to attend the wedding of my Auntie Jasmine, reconnect with a lot of family, and delve deeper into my roots.

What a different world it is out there. It aches inside when I think of the terrible weather that the country has sustained recently. Ondoy was bad, Haiyan was worse…and who knows what is to come next?

The Philippines is such a beautiful country and her people are strong and resilient. I hope to bring my husband there one day. It is important to me that our future children know where they come from. They will not have as much “Filipino-ness” as I do, but they must never forget their heritage. And they must learn to eat balut. Don’t gag, it’s delicious!

I Got A Rocking Chair

As you get older, it's important to have good seating.
As you get older, it’s important to have good seating.

I bought myself a rocking chair a few days ago. For my porch.

Here’s to completing one more trip around the sun! Considering how close I was to not completing the first one, I am thankful for every year. It’s funny how the trip just gets faster and faster and faster and it seems like I’ll wake up one day surrounded by all of my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren! Oh yes, I plan on sticking around for that long. I want to be that crazy old lady that just says what she wants whenever she wants. I do that already but I keep my filter in check. It seems the older you are the crazier you’re allowed to be.

According to Facebook, I share my birthday with 5 other people and a cat! Coincidentally, my friend Jesica and I have the exact same birthday, and her brother and my brother share the same birthday. I never thought I’d meet anyone sharing my birthday, but to know someone with a sibling that shares the same birthday as mine does? Looney tunes, man.

A few nights ago, I started what is already proving to be a daunting task! I am consolidating all of my blogs from across cyberspace into this one. I have blogs that trace all the way back to 2003! Reading through some of those entries brought back so many memories! I’m going to try to keep them as true to the original as I can, but if you think my potty mouth is bad now, back then it was far far worse.

I considered leaving the entries as they are, and for the most part they will be. The curse words will be edited out (mostly), photos and links will be updated (for the sake of making them enjoyable and relevant), and I will be posting a commentary underneath each post. I’ll also be including the e-mail newsletters I sent out while on tour back in 2004-2005. This project is going to be an interesting way to relive the past 10+ years, and it’s a little scary! There was one attempt to bring these back a few years ago, but I scrapped the idea because I was embarrassed at how immature I was back then. Then I look around at some of the goons walking around the earth today and think “Screw it, I wasn’t THAT bad.”

Here’s to many many more trips around the sun!

An Actor’s Job

What is an actor's job, exactly?

This post is inspired by a actress friend of mine. She is beautiful, talented and one of the sweetest people I know. Like all actors, all she wants is to perform good, provocative and artistically satisfying work in the industry she’s chosen. Over lunch one day, she expressed her biggest fear was not being liked. “I’m an actor. It’s my job to make everybody like me.”

Whoa, hold up.

“No,” I said. “That’s not your problem.” It should NEVER be your problem.

And that is true for anyone in any industry. Whether or not someone likes you shouldn’t be your problem. It’s theirs. All you can do is be the best and most honest self. It’s taken me years to really put this into practice in my day to day life, and even now it’s still difficult. I just have to keep reminding myself.

In addition to taking care of your physical and mental health (because this should be your number one priority), an actor’s job is to:

Study
Prepare
Create
Audition
Perform

There will always be people who like you and people who don’t. Let them decide based on your true self. And if they don’t like you, it’s not your problem. It really isn’t.

Repeat after me. “Whether or not someone likes me is NOT my problem, it’s theirs.”

You are beautiful, and you are enough. Just the way you are.