Had a couple of people ask about the musical and how things are shaping up. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, click HERE to view The Adventurista. This is the other blog in my life (scandalous, I know), which covers less of my random thoughts, rants, rambles and random cartoons and more of my adventures in Wonderland. You’ll find all kinds of Reefer Madness fun there, but here’s a sneak peak…
Bienvenido a Miami! March 5, 2009
You know you’re a part of something pretty special when, in the midst of learning four-part harmonies, you find yourself discussing the proper pronunciation of “bachanal.”
As we start delving in headlong this week, the “Reefer Madness” score is proving itself to be challenging, entertaining and ingeniously constructed. It helps that the cast is a talented, hardworking bunch who don’t take themselves too seriously. But can I be the first to admit there is nothing funny about high C’s?? Especially when you’re not a true soprano?
Also coming up: Sping Break. I’ll preface this by mentioning that I haven’t had a proper “Spring Break” vaction (ie, the variety where you go somewhere warm and sunny and spend a week being adventurous and hedonistic) since, hmm… since I was 18 (though I’m not going to lie, living in Austin sometimes felt like one long, extended Spring Break). 10 YEARS, people. That’s no laughing matter. So when I’m jetsetting to Miami a week from today, don’t hate me because I’m vacationing 😉 I earned this one.
But, ideally, I’ll be back with plenty to relate in the way of anecdotes and vacation tips and the meaning of life. (Or at least a good story about seeing the face of the Virgin Mary on an empanada??)
Violence and Nudity March 3, 2009
I’m not a violent person (although J can vouch for my innocent pugilism). But if I ever EVER came across this young man, say, at the grocery store (likely in the snack aisle), it’s safe to say his life would be in danger. Because I can’t bring myself to relay the story, I’ll post a link explaining exactly why this particular stoner is in such big trouble and why he should be in even bigger trouble (I’d root for the felony charges, but I’d rather see his victim make a full recovery).
Something about cruelty to innocents – it’s particularly brutal and monstrous, and those capable of it are a waste of life. Harsh? Maybe. But go read the article, come back and tell me this guy isn’t just taking up space.
On a completely unrelated topic, rehearsals for Reefer Madness began last night. The first was just an hour or so of going over business and logistics. We learned exactly what each of our roles entails, and mine, as it turns out, will be more of a challenge than I’d initially perceived. See, I’m handed a list of costume requirements for Miss Poppy, and I’m going down the chart and it looks pretty obvious: Waitress Dress, Apron, Character Shoes….. Red Lingerie. Huh?
You know those dreams where you’re in the school play, and you come out on stage for your scene and realize you’re clad only in your underwear? I think I just signed up for that. Because next I’m reading through the script and come to the part where, “Miss Poppy does a naughty bump and grind as the kids whoop and cheer her on…” Turns out the secretly villainous Poppy eventually shows her reefer den allegiances with a dance/strip tease. Hello, skivvies!
While, in theory, this sounds like liberating, riotous fun, the reality of dancing on stage in very little for my friends and (eee!) family has just hit home. The good news is, the majority of the cast shows serious skin at some point in the show or another, so I’m not alone. And I’ve got 2 months to get intimately comfortable with the idea.
And to find really great red lingerie.
Reefer MADNESS! February 23, 2009
Oh yes… I’ve been running around telling everyone and nearly forgot to bring it up here. Got a call last night from the director of Center Stage Players’ “Reefer Madness” offering me the part of Miss Poppy. I said yes before he could really finish what he was saying.
My last brush with the stage (well, the theater variety anyway) was in college. My freshman year. I began at Indiana University as a theater major, having spent my formative years either in a play or musical or waiting (impatiently) for the next. I finished college at University of Cincinnati, graduated with a major in journalism, working as the frontwoman of a cover band. From there, original music become my passion, and the theater (along with audiences of any substantial size) was left in the dust of my teens.
In taking a hiatus from Marchioness, I’ve discovered time I never had before and interests I’d been neglecting. J and I are working on a children’s book, I’m working on developing an old idea I had for a graphic novel and finally, FINALLY found the opportunity to get back to the stage. The “Reefer Madness” thing came out of nowhere and was too good to pass up. Before I knew it, I’d auditioned and been called back. And then, in the midst of dinner, I got the call asking me to join the cast.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the musical, my character (played by Neve Campbell in the movie) owns the 5 and Dime, sings, dances and secretly helps lure teens to the reefer den. So good times 🙂
When I decided to set my music aside a few months ago, I felt all kinds of guilty, worried and even a little sad about doing so. But writing music and getting it heard is nearly a full-time job; the hours not spent at work were consumed by it. I knew that I could trade it in for a slew of other opportunities, and it turns out I was right. If I were sitting at home each night after work in front of the t.v. and spending my weekends drinking the nights away and sleeping late, then, okay, maybe all that worry and guilt would’ve been well founded. But I did it. Or I’m DOING it.
And it feels just as amazing as sitting behind the piano, so I must be doing it right. 🙂
The Grand Finale February 16, 2009
Saturday evening marked what would be the final GIRLS!GIRLS!GIRLS! performance – at least in its current incarnation. For those of you unfamiliar with this strange phenomenon that I inadvertently started a little more than a year ago, it can be breifly summarized as this: four female musicians from various (and varying) bands come together a few times a year to perform an ecelctic mix of both original music and old standards – frequently in four-part harmony, eliciting both Vaudeville and Andrews Sisters comparisons.
Valentine’s Day was our fifth and final show together, and what a way to quit while we were on top. With our biggest turnout to date, we packed The Thirsty Ear wall to wall for most of the evening. The crowd was rambunctious and game for what we were dishing, and by the time we wrapped the set with a fiery little rendition of “Fever,” even the air in that room was on fire.
But let me rewind – to approximately 6 hours before the show. To where I’m just waking up (for the second time that day) and having trouble doing so. Hanging on my closet door is a red dress. It was once floor-length with a little rhinestone pin attached at the waste, but is now stripped of any ornamentation and cut jaggedly to nearly half its former length. You see, about a week before, I’d had grandiose ideas about revamping my dress from Christmas into a saucy little number for Valentine’s Day. But here we were, day of the show, with an unwearable garment hanging limply before me and little hope.
Procrastination becomes me. What can I say?
Anyway – at this point, my roommate and fellow GIRL! shows up in the form of salvation. She was a former costume design major in college, and although she didn’t complete the program, she did pick up a trick or two, and we now had about an hour and a half to put said tricks to use. I did what little I could, evening out the cut we’d made and pinning up a rough hem, the she took over, and something miraculous occurred: a little sewing machine action and a few darts later, we had an LRD that was not just wearable but quite the stunner. I threw a short, black petticoat underneath, pinned on a black rose where the rhinestones had been, pulled on some black tights and 4-inch ankle boots and…. voila! Out the door with time to spare, AND that dress got more compliments than anything else I’ve ever worn to ANY show. In short: my roommate is amazing, and may have a place on the next Project Runway.
But I’ll quit boring you tales of small fashion miracles.
What I’m really getting at is that these shows have been so fun, so challenging, so musically educational, and have given me the best excuse to work with three women I would’nt otherwise have much opportunity to and to sing songs I would have no other reason to sing. It started out one thing, and became something so completely novel and endearing, and the audiences at these have been some of the most moving I’ve ever had the pleasure of performing for. I’ll write rock forever, but it’s priceless to know the other possibilities and to have tasted them.
Now – a brief photo-essay of my experience as one of the GIRLS!:
I Wasn’t Looking for Love… January 30, 2009
This time last year, I was trying my damnedest not to be a Valentine’s Day Grinch, when along came the Girls!Girls!Girls! Valentine’s Day Edition to spare me the trouble. It was difficult for anyone (single, coupled, lonely, jaded) to not feel loved that evening as the whole night turned out to be a giant, singing, dancing (yes dancing) valentine from me and the girls to everyone in the audience.
We were unsure a year ago how many people would want to spend their Valentine’s Day at The Thirsty Ear (notably lively and energetic, but maybe not the first place to come to mind when seeking romance). But out of the cold and into the warm, candle-lit club they came in droves. So, this year it’s on again. For anyone who’s never attended a Girls! show, the quartet is made up of three ladies from other musical groups and myself. Our own projects run the gamut from rock to bluegrass, but we come together a few times a year to revive old standards (and a few not-so-old) in three- and four-part harmony.
So Columbians… or Columbusites… or those of you living in Columbus: If your plans for the 14th are looking a little, well, vague, allow me to clarify. No matter what you do earlier in the day or evening, arrive alone or with your date at The Thirsty Ear at 9pm and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ve never played a show that didn’t get a little out of hand (in the best sense of the phrase) at some point or another, so a good time is guaranteed.
See you there!
The Great Holiday Post (At Last!) PART I January 13, 2009
I know, I know. I thought I’d had enough of the red and green, the twinkling lights, the tinsel, the mistletoe, the Santa hats and the radio station that plays Christmas music 24 hours a day (right – actually I HAVE had enough of that station), when suddenly in through my e-mail box came a deluge of photographic reminders of how exactly I had spent the past month.
Which is good, because they’re probably the only way I could’ve remembered all this. Between the delirium of illness (through which I partied hardy nonetheless) and the ever-flowing seasonal cocktails, piecing together the events of the last 30 days might’ve been much like recreating the birth of the universe.
But never fear!
J and others have come through with a wealth of evidence which I will use to regale you with tales of Christmas past.
Part 1: In Which Everyone Says, “I Told You So.”
We begin with a frigid evening early in December, which I believe I have already mentioned. As part of J’s Christmas present, I wanted to take him to see Wildlights, the Columbus Zoo’s annual light display. A friend to all things sparkly, J was bound to be captivated. I would give him the gift of lifelong memories! An unforgettable evening of whimsy and splendor!! (That, and I remembered they have phenomenal hot chocolate, for which I had a killer craving). So off we went, gallivanting through the icy park, laughing in the face of the great winter sky as he spat an icy mix.
And the next day I awoke with a sore throat.
And the following day I had to call in sick because I couldn’t remove my now 45-pound head off the pillow.
And so it began… Not the best season to be sick. With so much on the calendar, I decided I’d rest for a few days, then power through the holidays, cold or no. Sophie proved to be an amazing caregiver. Not only did she stay by my side as I slept, but in an effort to keep my spirits high, she would perform little shows for me using wrapping paper and bows for costumes. I swear. She performed the entire libretto of Sweeney Todd one afternoon. It was terrifyingly good.
That Friday was the office holiday party. I had spent hours going back and forth with the event planner, making sure everything would be amazing that evening, and now here it was. And I was still looking a peculiar shade of pistachio and having trouble staying conscious. It seemed I was doomed to miss out, but at the last minute – I rallied. I jumped in the shower, and it’s stunning how when you get cleaned up you can fool yourself into thinking that because you look pretty damn good, you must feel equally splendid.
This line of thinking got me to BoMA (the Bar of Modern Art) fashionably late, and the party was underway. There was the standard white elephant thing, in which, for a brief moment, I held in my hands a signed headshot of none other than MICHAEL BOLTON. With two (count ’em, TWO) subway gift cards taped around his face. The heavens opened up, light poured into the room, the ethereal voices of angels rained down (or maybe the was Michael, himself! Who knows?). Then, with a violent wrenching sound, like the crashing of thunder… Michael was taken from me, and I ended up with a How-To picture book instead. And no Subway to ease the pain.
But the party went on and the open bar remained – well, open. And things progressed as they do in these situations. When people started to venture onto the dance floor, I knew it was time to make a clean getaway. I was feeling light and euphoric, but had completely lost my voice and was starting to be at odds with my four-inch heels.
And the next day I awoke sounding like a frog. And feeling as I’d imagine a frog might.
And I had a show the next day.
I was supposed to join my roommate and another fellow musician to perform some holiday tunes Andrews’ Sisters-style at a local benefit for the homeless. And I was to sing the high parts. And I was currently capable of spot-on impression of Carol Channing. But, as they say, the show must go on. And it did. There might’ve been a gallon of tea and some questionable doses of Nyquil involved, but I was there and I sang, damnit! (And I even smiled a lot, for which Vick’s gets my unwavering devotions).
Disaster averted. Parties attended. Free drinks unwasted. Homeless families aided.
And this was just the beginning….