I just got back a roll of black and white film that I shot on my Yashica FX-2 in Seattle, LA and on my cross-country road trip. I’m so in love with some of the shots, I had to share. I may never shoot digital again.
I’ve been missing taking photos of PEOPLE lately – I am looking forward to getting back on tour so that I have subjects around on a regular basis! I’ve been wanting to get some practice shooting portraits, so I asked my friend Lyn if she wouldn’t mind doing a shoot with me. She happily agreed and we got together yesterday for a couple of hours and shot a bunch of photos in 95 degree weather! Most of the shots turned out beautifully though, despite the heat – I couldn’t be more pleased. Thanks so much to Lyn for being such a great model (and her husband, Chris, too, who joined her for a few shots).
Okay, who’s next??
I’ve gotten so used to shooting digitally that sometimes its nice to go back to good old fashioned film. With film you actually have to think about what you’re doing, making sure your exposure is right, and composing the photo just so. With film you only have one chance to get it right. There’s no erase and do over. I’m still a total beginner when it comes to film, but I’m enjoying the challenge. The following photos are from a roll I just got back, shot in my neighborhood in New York, with a Nikon n80.
I picked up this baby two weeks ago!
My car! I’ve decided to drive this tour as I really enjoy it, and it makes life so much easier when traveling with a pet. I spent some of my hard-earned Spamalot pennies on this brand new CR-V. I love it. Its the first car I’ve had since buying my last Honda at age 22! I was really scared about the whole buying process, but it ultimately proved to be very easy and low-stress, and for that I am really thankful (go to Paramus Honda – they are the best!).
I closed “Everyday Rapture” this past Sunday. What a fun five weeks that was! I am so grateful that I was able to spend a few weeks working on that show and getting the opportunity to meet a really fun group of people. It was a really nice time.
Now I have four weeks off before rehearsals start for “Rock of Ages”, so I am starting to get my head around packing up suitcases again, and trying to figure out what to bring on tour! I have a couple of friends coming into town this week, and at the end of the month Tallulah and I are heading up to Toronto to see Ryan for a week or so (he’s there with the “Legally Blonde” tour). I’m sure the time is going to fly by.
Tallulah, by the way, is doing really, really well. Keep your fingers crossed that her great progress continues. Her appetite has been very good for the past couple of weeks, which makes me exceptionally happy.
Okay, off to shower now, and then head to the Met for two photo exhibits. I’ve decided that this upcoming year on tour will be a great time for me to start to create a photography portfolio. I really want to start doing some portrait sessions. If anyone is up for being a subject, let me know!
Well, its been a whirlwind few weeks with lots of ups and downs, and I can’t believe I’m only writing now! I have to be better about keeping up with my blog.
First off, work. “All About Me” opened, and then it closed. Ah, they can’t all be winners. It was definitely a challenging production period to be a part of – from starting with no script, to putting together a fully formed show in just four short weeks. I don’t really know why the finished product never caught on – it was definitely an enjoyable night in the theater – maybe it just wasn’t marketed well, who knows? At any rate, we did four weeks of previews, and two weeks of regular performances, and then closed on Easter Sunday.
Opening night was a lot of fun – my best friend Michele came into town from Belgium for it. I hadn’t seen her since her wedding in 2005, so it was lovely to have her here. She was an ASM for Dame Edna on the Dame’s first Broadway show, so it was a reunion of sorts. Our friend Ruth, who has also worked with Dame Edna, came into town for the weekend, too. It was really nice having lots of old friends around. And of course Ryan also came into town for about ten days to celebrate and hang out with everyone.
Now that all is said and done, despite the fact that I would love to be getting a paycheck right now, and there were some great people working on “All About Me”, I am sort of relieved that I don’t have to go into work there anymore. The rehearsal process was very challenging, but the run of the show was not at all, and I think I would have been extremely bored in the long run. There also were a couple of not-so-nice people working on the show, and I’m sort of glad to not have to see them everyday now – I’m not gonna lie! I am very thankful to have gotten the opportunity to work with Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) though. He was nothing but lovely and kept all of us in stitches every day. It was wonderful working with him.
Ah well, I guess you win some, you lose some. That’s the nature of show business. And its kind of funny to have worked on at least one big Broadway flop! (Let’s just hope its my last!)
As far as work upcoming – nothing so far, but I’ve got some feelers out. I’m really hoping for another tour. Fingers crossed that something works out.
Another reason that I am happy to have some time for myself right now, is that the week the show opened, I noticed that Tallulah hadn’t been eating as much as normal, so I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with FIV – feline AIDS. It turns out that she probably has had it her whole life (her brother died of it, but we assumed he had contracted it from a stray that Andrea had taken in). Cats can live long lives with FIV if they stay healthy. Unfortunately Tallulah’s white blood cell count was dangerously low when I took her in to the vet, and her liver was showing signs of fatty liver disease, because she hadn’t been eating.
To make a long story short, I am now taking her to another vet – a cat specialist (who I am not entirely happy with, I am still searching for a vet who also does holistic practice as well as regular western medicine). Tallulah has been on antibiotics for about a month now, which have brought her fever down to normal and are warding off infection. I have done a bit of my own research and have started Tallulah on a serious vitamin regimen. It seems to be working – she seems much peppier, her coat is shinier – she seems like her same old self, except that she is still not eating much. I am also trying to make sure she gets fresh air and sunshine.
The food thing is rather frustrating. I am feeding her about a can of food a day through a syringe to make sure she gets the nutrients that she needs. The last set of blood tests said that her liver had recovered, so I just want to make sure that it stays that way. She is probably nibbling about a half a can of food herself, and grazing the dry food as well. I have given her every kind of food imaginable – from every brand of cat food, to chicken, tuna, tuna juice, chicken broth, eggs, milk, baby food, you name it. Its very frustrating not knowing what to give her. She takes the food I give her in the syringe just fine – no spitting out or vomiting. And she comes to the kitchen when I am getting her food ready, but then when I put it out, she sniffs it and leaves. I hope eventually we figure it all out.
As far as the vitamins go, I am currently giving her the following twice a day (in food): immune support formula (from Only Natural Pet), bone meal, calcium, echinacea, and brewer’s yeast/garlic. Soon I will be adding a multi-vitamin, vitamin C and probiotic (waiting for those to come in the mail). I am keeping my fingers crossed that the next time we go to the vet, Tallulah’s white cells are up so I can get her off those antibiotics.
If anyone else has an FIV cat and you have suggestions of ways to help keep my cat healthy, I would welcome them! Also, anyone with a cat who is a finicky eater – any suggestions would also be appreciated as to how to get my cat to eat again!
My parents came for a visit last week. It was great to see them – and although they arrived too late to see my show, being unemployed was actually a good thing, because I was able to spend more time with them. We went to the New York Botanical Gardens, Central Park and on the Circle Line cruise. I also brought them up to my neighborhood for brunch at New Leaf Cafe, a walk through Fort Tryon Park and a visit to the Cloisters. We also went down to Hudson River Park and walked underneath the George Washington Bridge. It was a really wonderful few days with them.
As far as crafts go, I’ve been totally focused on baby knits. I made a sweater for my friend Carrie’s baby, a blanket for Fin’s baby Evan, and a sweater for my sister’s soon to be daughter. I’m currently working on a blanket, also for my soon-to-be niece. I think I am going to break out the sewing machine today to work on another Clothkits skirt for me. Its been a while since I’ve used my machine – but springtime calls for sewing!
I’ve had time to get out and do some photography as of late, as well. I also splurged with some of my tax return money and bought a few new toys – a 35mm lens for my Nikon DSLR and a new digital rangefinder camera – the Olympus e-p2, which I am loving. It is so much fun and takes fantastic photos.
That’s about all for now – keep your fingers crossed that I get a job soon!
There has been a lot going on so far in 2010!
Ryan came to visit for ten days, and we had a great time. We spent New Year’s Eve with Patty and David and some of their friends in Brooklyn and then New Year’s Day with some “Spamalot” friends up in Inwood. We managed to see a lot of people and also a lot of things. We enjoyed the Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA and spent one day walking across the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn Heights where we did a self-guided tour. We saw more “Spamalot” friends at a birthday party for Esther Stilwell, a former the Lady of the Lake and even took in a Rangers hockey game at Madison Square Garden. It was a really nice time. Ryan is doing some work on the “Legally Blonde” tour, and hopefully we’ll be able to figure out a time when he can come back to New York again – and soon 🙂
A few days after Ryan left, Suzanne, a good friend from the “Spamalot” tour came into town and stayed with me for a couple of days. We spent one day walking a good portion of Manhattan from Washington Heights down to Midtown along the Hudson River. There is a fantastic trail that runs down the side of the island and it is well-used by joggers and cyclists alike. I think we walked 7 1/2 miles in total! We also spent time with other friends from “Spamalot” – a Mexican dinner with Tim, drinks over at Ben Whiteley’s apartment (our conductor from “Spamalot”) and lunch with Vera, one of our former prop heads. Suzanne is still in town (but staying with other friends now) – and so still on the agenda is a Golden Globe party and a haircut party with the “Spamalot” girls! (Suzanne is a very talented hairdresser so everyone has been waiting for her to get into town to get their hair cut!).
Other than hanging with my friends, I have been doing lots of knitting and reading and taking lots of photos. I’ve been trying to get my photo mojo back, which I feel I’ve lost a bit since moving back to the city, so I bought a stack of books for myself for Christmas to try and kickstart the inspiration. I think they might be helping 🙂 I’ve been making myself go on photowalks, and also checking out museum exhibits. I went to the Brooklyn Museum earlier this week to see the exhibit “Who Shot Rock and Roll” which showcased the work of rock and roll photographers from 1955 to the present – it was really great.
And so now, after a lovely three months off work, I head back to it tomorrow. I’ll be assisting my friend Jim on the show “All About Me” – Dame Edna’s return to Broadway 🙂 I’m really excited about it – you can read more about the show here.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful 2010 so far!
I’ve got some catching up to do here of my time with Ryan during his visit in LA, but unfortunately I have to pack, so it will have to wait! We leave LA tomorrow, and it really feels like the end of the tour is near, now. We’ve had a couple of long-time beloved cast members leave in the last couple of weeks and everyone is starting to pack up boxes and send things home. The end is clearly in sight.
I wanted to do something for the company before the show closed, and so I have been working on a book of my tour photos, which I put together on Blurb.com. The finished book “Travels on the Bright Side” turned out beautifully and it is now on sale at the Blurb bookstore. You can go there to check out a preview of the book. I’m so happy to see all the photos in one place – these past three years have been quite a ride!
Click on the book image to the right of this entry to be taken to the Blurb bookstore.
One of our cast members, Nigel, who has been one of our swings for almost as long as I’ve been on the tour, is leaving us after our LA engagement. Nigel is a really funny, talented guy, and he is going to stay in LA and give the business here a shot. To celebrate his time in “Spamalot”, he put together a video called “Spamarap” which he premiered last night at shot night. Check it out – it is HI-larious and really well done (be warned, there are some dirty parts – so not for the faint of heart).
More soon from San Diego!
Vodpod videos no longer available.
The days have been lazily running together here, which has been so, so nice. I’ve been up early every day and filling my free time with lots of things that I love – sewing, knitting, watching movies, hiking and seeing friends. Not so much sightseeing – and that’s okay by me. I’ve just been living a normal life for once!
I’ve also been doing lots of planning for the next couple of months. I have all my housing booked through the end of the tour. After getting used to apartment living again I’ve decided that I really can’t bear to go back to a hotel, so I’ve managed to book vacation rentals for the rest of our engagements, except for San Jose. That’s okay – I can deal with one more hotel. In reality, there will be more than just one more hotel. We have a week off after our stay in Tucson, which I am in the process of planning what to do during that time – I’m thinking maybe a day or two in Sedona, then a few days at the Grand Canyon, and then maybe the weekend in Vegas. There’s also a cross-country trip to plan. That’s right! I’m driving across the country after we close in Costa Mesa, taking two weeks to get back to New York City, with stops along the way to visit friends. Really, all this travel planning has been the most exhausting part of the last three weeks in LA, which have otherwise been really relaxing. Oh, and I think I may have a sublet lined up for November in New York City, which, when it is all officially settled, will be a big load off my mind.
So back to things I’ve been doing here. I’ve been hiking a lot with Suzanne, one of our hair supervisors. We’ve been going out twice a week to check out the trails around town. We’ve hiked Runyon Canyon, Mount Hollywood and Verdugo Mountain (which almost killed us!). Its been a really great way to get some exercise, and to get a totally different perspective on Los Angeles.
I’ve spent some time with a couple of great friends. I’ve met up with Chris a few times – we went to Venice Beach on my first Monday off and then made dinner back at Chris’s house with his boyfriend, Sean. Chris and I also went fabric shopping in the Garment District at the palatial Michael Levine’s, and he took me to the Renegade Craft Fair (which was SO awesome!). I also met up with my friend Kathryn, who is in town working for the summer. Kathryn and I worked together at ACT and both moved to NYC around the same time. She left town for a few years to go to grad school, but now is back and I’m looking forward to hanging out with her lots when I am back in New York in the fall. Her job brought her to Santa Monica this summer until August. We met up for lunch at the Alcove Cafe in Los Feliz (which was so cute, and super delicious), and then we drove up to the Griffith Observatory and walked around for a bit.
There has also been lots of sewing happening! I have been continuing to meet up with Roy and Suzanne on Thursday afternoons at work to do some sewing in the wardrobe room under Roy’s tutelage. But there’s been lots of sewing at home, too. I’ve finished a set of placemats and napkins for Ryan, and two skirts from kits for myself. In “class” I finished an Amy Butler top – photos of that to come. I’m so pleased that I actually made good on my word, and finally learned how to sew! I have been saying forever that I wanted to get one of the many talented wardrobe folks that I have worked with to teach me, and I finally did!
I’ve been enjoying the lifestyle here in LA so much – I know I probably wouldn’t like it in the winter (I do love the seasons on the east coast), but as far as summers go, LA is a pretty perfect place to spend one. I’ve been going to the farmer’s market in Hollywood every Sunday to stock up on fruits and veggies for the week, and have been spending a lot of time out on my sunny patio (as has Tallulah – she loves lying on the brick, or in the shade behind the plants).
Two outings that I have done that border on “sightseeing” were visiting The Grove, and also the Annenberg Space for Photography. The Grove is a beautiful outdoor mall – its smaller than I expected, but very pretty, with fountains and brick streets – I spent an afternoon walking around, partaking in some retail therapy 🙂 And the Annenberg Space for Photography is an awesome museum in Century City. Currently the exhibit is “Pictures of the Year International” – the winning photographs of the top photojournalism competition in the world. The photographs in that exhibit are astounding – the images are so full of emotion and story and power. Some of the images I don’t know how the photographer captured them without getting themselves killed. I spent a lot of time wandering through and then spent a good hour watching a couple of slideshows in their digital gallery. I so recommend going and seeing this exhibit if you are in LA – these photographers really do make good on their promise “to give the voiceless a voice.”
And that’s how life is going here. Oh yes, and there’s the show as well! It’s doing really well here – the audiences aren’t quite as rambunctious as San Francisco, but the houses have been full and appreciative.
I go back to the Bay Area for a few days this week for my brother’s kidney transplant (please keep he and my sister in your prayers for a smooth and quick recovery!) and then I’ll be back in LA for another five glorious weeks!
It has been a busy couple of weeks here in San Francisco. Mostly I have been trying to see people and catch up with old friends. I’ve been trying to layer that in with time for myself, and – oh yeah, work! But its been a challenge! I have definitely been feeling a bit burnt out the last couple of days, but I wouldn’t trade being here for anything.
I had the unfortunate experience of being pick-pocketed last week. I was on Haight Street, and someone snagged my iPhone out of my bag. That was a big drag. Partially because I had just replaced my phone a couple of weeks ago when we returned from Alaska, and partially (well mostly) because it ruined my day off, having to go downtown to AT&T and deal with it. My lousy afternoon was remedied though by dinner at Donna Rose’s house. Donna is a former stage manager who I worked with many times at ACT. I just love her to death. She hosted dinner for myself, Elisa (another stage manager from ACT) and Gregory (an ACT company actor) at her place in Pleasant Hill. It was such a lovely evening – catching up on all the ACT news, and hanging with old friends.
The next day, I attempted to do what I had set out to do the day before (before the whole phone snatching debacle) – go to Golden Gate Park and take some photos – and this time, with a close eye on my iPhone, I had better luck. I walked around for a couple of hours snapping shots. It was really nice out and it was fun to see how the park has changed (the newly remodeled Academy of Sciences looks amazing), and what has remained the same.
We have been on the “Broadway schedule” here in San Francisco, which means two shows on Wednesday, and only one on Sunday. While two on Wednesday kind of feels like a drag while we are doing them, having only one on Sunday is amazing. It really feels like we do get a proper weekend, having Sunday evening free. The week does go by quickly though with the two shows on Wednesday, and last week we also had an understudy rehearsal thrown in on Thursday. To make the most of the week, and so that it didn’t feel like every waking moment was being taken up by work, I made myself get out of the house early on Thursday and headed over to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Originally I planned to go the SFMoma to catch the Georgia O’Keefe/Ansel Adams exhibit which I had seen previously in Santa Fe and just loved. When I arrived though, I realized there was another fantastic photography exhibit there as well – Robert Frank’s “The Americans”. “The Americans” is a collection of photographs that Frank took in the 1950’s as he traveled around the country, observing American life. They are a truly fantastic collection of candids. I’m so happy that I was able to see the exhibit, because it was really inspiring. If you are in the Bay Area, try and see it while it is here!
After understudy rehearsal, I had my first sewing class! Roy, one of our wardrobe supervisors, agreed to teach me and Suzanne (one of our hair supervisors) how to sew. We are having a blast. First Roy taught us all about the machines and the different things they can do. Then we practiced stitching on scraps of fabric. And then, we each made a pencil case – with a zipper! We are currently working on tote bags, and then we are moving on to garments (I am making a top, and Suzanne is making a sundress). I’m starting to look at sewing machines. Suggestions for a good beginner machine, anyone??
After the show that night, I went over to Lyn and Chris’s place (two of the actors from the show) for drinks with Lyn. It was really nice hanging out with her. I love Lyn a lot – she makes me laugh. She is definitely one of the people I have connected with most on the show. We had a really great time. It was funny being back at the Steinhart, too – the apartment building Lyn and Chris are staying in – its where I stayed when I came back to do “A Christmas Carol” at ACT in 2002. It seems like forever ago.
On Friday, I had lunch with Katherine, one of my closest friends from college, and then did some shopping at Britex Fabrics for all my sewing projects.
That night at work I was ecstatic to find that my Duaflex camera had arrived! I ordered the old Duaflex from ebay to use to take “Through the Viewfinder” (TtV) photos. Basically you build a “contraption” around the Duaflex to block the light, and then you use your digital camera to photograph the image on the Duaflex’s viewfinder. You end up with some really cool grainy images. I’m having a blast playing with it.
On Saturday, my voice teacher from high school, Sandie, came to the matinee along with Kathie, the mother of three boys who I used to do theater with in high school. My friend Carrie and her husband Patrick were also at the show, and I gave everyone a tour afterward. I then had lunch with Sandie and Kathie and caught up on what all the kids who I used to do junior theater with were doing. It was so great seeing both of them and I’m looking forward to trying to connect with some of Kathie’s boys when we get to LA (where two of them live).
On Sunday, we had the luxurious one-show day and then I headed over to North Beach to meet up with Fin, Mary, Erika and Tristin for dinner to celebrate Fin’s birthday. I was so excited to finally be in town for a get together, and to not be working, no less! We had a yummy meal at Mona Lisa, and then walked down to the wharf and around Pier 39. It was a double celebration of sorts, as it was not only Fin’s birthday, but she is also expecting her first baby! So exciting.
I knew that my next couple of Mondays off were going to be busy, so I made it a point to spend this past Monday and Tuesday just doing stuff around the house, like cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping. Ryan was planning on arriving in town on Friday so I wanted to make sure everything was ready for him. I also wanted to spend some time working on some of my projects – like getting my Duaflex contraption made and cutting out the pattern for my tote bag (my homework for sewing class!). It was a very productive couple of days – and it was really nice to just check some things off my list of “to dos”.
On Wednesday, we again had two shows. Thursday I went downtown at noon and met up with Katherine and Monique, my roommate from college, who I hadn’t seen for nine years! Monique was in town for a few days with her daughter Amelia for a mother/daughter trip. It was so great to see her – it was like no time had passed (except that she now has an eight-year-old daughter and two sons!). We had such a nice time catching up. We ate lunch at Lori’s Diner, a 50’s style restaurant on Powell Street. Amelia was a hoot, too – the spitting image of her mom. Sassy and funny and smart. Definitely her mother’s daughter. I really hope it is not another nine years before I see Monique again. I love her so much!
In the afternoon, after splitting off from Monique, Amelia and Katherine, I went over to North Beach to do some scouting for a pub crawl that I am putting together for next week. And then, I went in early to the theater for sewing class #2! We started putting together our tote bags. We didn’t quite finish before our show call, though, so you’ll have to wait until next week for photos of our finished products.
And then on Friday I did a big shopping run in the morning for supplies for the BBQ I am throwing on Sunday for all my Bay Area friends – and in the afternoon, Ryan arrived! He had spent the previous four and a half days riding his motorcycle to San Francisco from Green Bay. I was so, so happy to see him. The next two weeks will be all about adventures with him. I have missed him so!
For the past year I have been doing a project on Flickr called 365 Days. The object of 365 Days is to take a self-portrait of yourself every day for a year. I started taking my SP’s last March while we were in Orlando. I’ve missed a few days here and there, but today I finally took my 365th self-portrait!
It has been a wonderfully rewarding project to be a part of. I have “met” many, many fantastic people through comments on my photos, and through commenting on others’ photos. There is a large 365 group on Flickr, but a smaller group exists of “knitterly and crafty types”, which is the most amazing community of women, some of whom I have actually met in person this year, and many others who I “talk” to on a regular basis online through comments on each others photos. It has been the best part of the project to get to know these gals and to see them everyday in their photos!
So, here are my 365 stats!
Miles traveled: 28,378
States visited: 25 U.S., 3 Canadian provinces.
Number of cities I stayed in: 47 – Orlando, Birmingham, Greenville, Raleigh, Dayton, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Appleton, Madison, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Vancouver, San Francisco Bay Area, Edmonton, Calgary, Philadelphia, Toronto, Syracuse, West Point, Great Barrington, Ottawa, Norfolk, Boston, Pittsburgh, Sioux City, Denver, Fayetteville, Des Moines, Cincinnati, South Bend, Peoria, Chicago, Detroit, Huntsville, Melbourne, Tampa, Austin, Atlanta, Wilmington, New York City, Cleveland, Seattle, Anchorage.
Plane Flights: 24
Bus Rides: 13
Long Car Rides: 13
Overnight Bus Rides: 4
Rental Houses: 6
Days it took me to complete this project – 390. Started March 28, 2008. Completed April 20, 2009.
The record I have of my days over the past year is absolutely priceless. I only have to look back over my 365 set to realize how lucky I am, to take in all that I have experienced and learned, and to sit back in amazement at the things I have seen. I AM BLESSED.
Below is a mosaic of some of my favorite self-portraits taken over the year – they are the shots I am most proud of.