What a fun summer of narrating audiobooks ahead! My work will range from a young adult novel to tales of aliens in a future Earth. Check out the books to look forward at Tantor Audio!
I am loving sharing my voice on commercials and in audiobooks. Check out my recent work in the commercial below, where I am featured as announcer (I begin around :15 ).
This March-May, I look forward to returning to The Lyric Stage Company of Boston for "City of Angels!" The show is a musical theater homage to the Film Noir era, and I am a member of Angel City 4, reminiscent of the vocal jazz group Manhattan Transfer, who's music I knew inside & out as a child... and went on study in our high school jazz choir "Jive!"... (and then became a part of the first ever All-State Jazz Choir in RI- okay, enough bragging)... Za ba doo-op ba da ba da ba doo ba doo wop... Do come check us out March 27-May 3rd!
How far have we come from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream..." speech? Not being born yet at the time of the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, I cannot say for sure--- But, based on the too many horrible events brought to light in 2014, not nearly far enough. Consider reading the following article:
This weekend, Justin & I watched "Rocky" & "Rocky II" and was surprised to see comparably diverse casting in the 1970s movies compared to the majority of films that pop up today on Netflix, Redbox, and at the local Cineplex. This reminded me of recent conversations I have taken part in on Facebook regarding Disney's film adaption of "Into the Woods". Sondheim & Lapine's musical is full of fairytale characters who beg to illustrate the stories of many --a strong diverse casting possibility. It seems quite obvious the choice was made NOT to diversify. I mean, wouldn't it have to be? Last spring, I was a part of Lyric Stage's production of "Into the Woods" and our diverse cast gave the story connection to all of humanity, not just "white experience".
I'm interested to hear your thoughts. How have you recognized the Civil Rights Movement & Martin Luther King, Jr. today? Please share via comment below!
Here I am with the amazingly talented Mary Lampert while working on film "The Finest Hours" this past week. Always a small world-- was hoping to meet Mary, as she is a dear dear friend of my dear friend, Gloria Crist (they met years ago on the film scene in North Carolina)-- and I couldn't have been happier to land in her chair. Her previous clients have include Amanda Seyfried & Burt Reynolds. Anywho, I was transformed into a gal of 1952... Stay tuned for more details...
On my travels to NYC this week, I had the opportunity to take a class with Benton Whitley, CSA, who is a partner at Duncan Stewart Casting. He is super down-to-earth, approachable, and generous. It was a much needed check in on where I am at, and how I should be pitching myself. My audition book needs a little bit of work, image needs a step up, and I should be leading with my comic chops. Done & Done.
The foliage in New England is simply astounding this time of year in New England. Not to be trite, but this Fall I see it from a more open viewpoint. Since meeting my husband, Justin, a few years ago, I have learned to slow down and take the time to enjoy life. Enjoy both small and large successes. Enjoy quiet times. Before Justin, I found myself always filling my schedule with busy work which I'd hoped would catapult me to my next goal quickly, but instead caused stress, anxiety, fear and procrastination.
What I have noticed during this quiet time is that my personal & professional relationships begin to thrive when I allow time to breathe and live (without an intended outcome). It is that breathe that enhances the work, enhances creative flow, and gives me the opportunity to put it all in perspective. I am surprisingly finding myself procrastinating less, and making phone calls, sending e-mails that push me past my comfort zone.
Yesterday, I had a wonderful experience facilitating an Acting Workshop with the Tiverton High School Drama program in Tiverton, RI. As I took the actors through ensemble-building improvisational exercises, I found myself saying "breathe", "Keep breathing to support each other", "let lips be parted so that you can receive new breathe", etc. One student reflected on the experience saying, she was scared to jump in at first, but once the workshop was drawing to an end, she realized how much she had been able to be herself during our 90-minute session. How different would the world be if we took the time to breathe more, support each other with our breaths? Be okay with who we are, and not feel judged by others, but rather supported by the other?
As an actor and singer, when I both study and teach voice-work, breath is at the core. When I practice yoga, breath is key. Breath allows me time to listen, reflect, take in new thought.
During election season, I find myself turned off to candidates who are stuck to their talking points, unable to support their opposing candidates with their breath. How cool would it be if for a change we heard a candidate take a question from an audience member, and that candidate truly took the time to breathe with that person before answering their practiced response? It would be a much more interesting election, and might even draw more voters to the polls - if voters had a chance to see politicians humane side...
Take time to breathe today, and let me know how you feel :)
My current gig, "Into the Woods", has me spending several hours a week commuting in my car. Last week, I took out a few audiobooks from the library, and have been staying inspired while on the road...
Carol Burnett's autobiography "This Time Together" has helped me examine my own life and career. She is such an original artist, a smart woman and a warm mother. All things I aspire to be (maybe someday I'll be a mom). As a musical theatre comedienne, she was able to accept her talents, and how others viewed her, and was able to launch her career as an insanely successful performer.
I was first introduced to Ms. Burnett's work when, as a high school senior our new theater director, Mrs. Schlink, chose "Once Upon a Mattress" for our spring musical. I was determined to land the leading role since it was my senior year, and when I listened to Carol Burnett on the original recording, I was even more determined. Here was this fearless, funny voice embodying a princess who came from the Swamp!! I remember rolling around on the floor during the audition, letting my silliest self shine, and since then, this wild abandon has helped me land and create numerous character roles for the stage.
As I prepare to join the stage actors' union, Actors Equity, this month and reach a new level of competition, success and fulfilling work forever balanced with fear and lack of confidence, Carol's stories could not have come at a better time. I highly recommend "This Time Together" whether you are a comedic actor, a lover of comedy, or just in the mood for some fun summer reading. I think "The Carol Burnett Show" will also need to be viewed in the coming year.
On another note, I am so thankful for my Mom today, as I type from an upstairs room in our home. For the first 9 months of my living here with Justin, the small room has been a mess of boxes, bookshelves and scattered papers. Last week, Mom, with her amazing interior decorating skills and attention to detail, helped me transform this room into a tranquil space. I sit in a chair which, I believe, my parents have owned since the beginning of their marriage- my brothers and I used to hide under it's small opening underneath-gosh, we were tiny! A fragrant hydrangea scented candle wafts through air, and I look at a beautiful bamboo plant Justin has shared with me, a small table from my late Aunt Esther's home, a fun leopard print chair pushed into my makeshift vanity, and a beautiful new area rug, a major deal from Christmas Tree Shop, which I splurged on last week!
It is a gorgous day outside- I've got to get out there!
Be well, and thanks for checking in :)
PS. Check out our "Into the Woods" Saturday Intermission Pic, featured on Broadway World here!
My most successful year to date- career-wise (& personally)!
I had such a blast creating four new relationships with Equity theaters this year!
1.) In April/May I was a part of the inaugural season of Ocean State Theatre Company's new home in Warwick, RI - closest commute ever :) A friendly, professional company- it was a blast to explore the classic score of "King & I", directed by Amiee Turner.
2.) The early summer brought my debut at the Ivoryton Playhouse in CT where FOOTLOOSE kept us cutting loose! Fab experience with a talented cast & director, Richard Amelius.
3.) Was so thankful to cut my teeth on some Shakepeare (in the park). Debuted with Colonial Theatre in Westerly, RI as Bianca in "Taming of the Shrew". So cool to work with a troupe that reconvenes each summer!
4.) This December, I was so thankful to be brought on to "Miracle on 34th Street" at Stoneham Theatre by director, Ilyse Robbins! Ilyse had choreographed "Ave Q" at Lyric Stage Co, and it was so good to work under her strong, fun & inspiring leadership again!
My coaching & directing career found new growth!
See previous post about my direction of 140 first-third graders in "Aladdin, Kids". Brought me back to my Missoula Children's Theatre Days! Such joy!
In the spring, I worked as a Puppet Coach for Roger Williams University's production of "Avenue Q", and realized I can never get enough of the show!! In fact, I'm about to Puppet Coach for another production in Massachusetts :)
Other fun gigs included classes taught at the Tiverton Middle School, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, Rockwell School and summer camp at Arts Alive Barrington.
My private lesson studio continues to thrive as I helped a few more students make All-State Chorus & Orchestra on voice and trombone!
Married the man of my dreams!!
Making the commitment to Justin was a joyful and amazing event that has led to me taking more time to stop and enjoy life! My goals will still be there if I take a few hours off every now and then...
Stay tuned to find out what 2014 is shaping up to look like...
Catch me on-stage this winter (Feb/March '18) at The Lyric Stage Co. of Boston in Orlando!