November 26, 2009

Okay, twelve seconds of whining: I don’t liiiiiike being siiiiiick.  I would much rather be WELL and get to do the things I WANT without feeling DIZZY or HEADACHY.

Done.  Positive things about being sick:

-Hey! I have sick time at work! Huzzah for taking a day off.*
-Hey! I get to do things like call in sick and NOT GO places I DON’T WANT TO GO. Like Thanksgiving Eve service.**

So I’m sick, in case you couldn’t tell, but it’s sort of a working sick.  As in I feel sort of assy but not ultra assy. And I’m not vomiting so it’s not swineish, and I’m feverless so it’s not even flu.  (I typed ‘fly’ at first. It’s not fly either. Not even fly for a white g…irl.  Shit that was dumb moving on.)

Anyhow, I can taste, and walk , and exist and all that, so it’s time to get over it.  One thing sick-related though that I was like WTF about: apparently people with thyroid disease (which: me, and also the number one reason for people to visit my blog.  Well, that and searches for ‘lisa kelly‘ – and by the way, did I tell you, I found out it was Orla Fallon that Grandpa thought looked like me?  WEIRD RIGHT?  End parentheses.)

…apparently people with thyroid disease shouldn’t take cold medicine. Especially cold medicine with pseudophedrine all up ins, because it can fuck with your blood pressure and heart rate and shit.  Which of course I read on the back of the box AFTER I’d taken my second dose of those  savior/demon pills.  No worries, though, ’cause I did a google search (open twenty-four-hours, line up early for doorbusters on Black Friday) and that’s only legit for people with hyPERthyroidism, and I’m definitely in a hyPOthyroidism swing right now. And my heart barely beats anyhow.  We took my pulse today with Grandpa’s fancy machine, and it was 53. So I’m not in danger of a racing heart. Pass the pseudophedrine, maybe it’ll put me in a normal range!  Let’s ROLL.

*I felt like a douche for not going to work this week ’cause even though it’s a little like, “Hey look when I’m gone your workload goes up a million I AM VALUABLE KEEP ME AROUND” it’s also like… exactly the same except replace that capslocked obvious point with “…sorry about that.”
**Yeah about that. The only reason I felt like that was okay was that last time I took a Sunday off was May, and it was to go sing at a different church. And I got a substitute. And before that it was January ’cause I had freakin’ pneumonia.  End excuses.


Come together.

November 21, 2009

YO.  Tonight is the performance I underprepared and overnetworked for.  I haven’t put on something this big… shit, ever.

(For all y’all who don’t know what I’m talking about: my second job is at a church, which is experiencing some financial hardship.  I’m throwing a Cabaret night to try and raise some funds.)

This is the first time a project like this has been entirely mine – conception, production, recruiting, rehearsal.  Wish me luck, and return on investment, and fun!  Now I have to go find an outfit and get some nibbs at Costco and print the programs.  And start my period, but that’s neither here nor there.

Best audition ever.

November 20, 2009

So I did a show this spring and got totally hooked.  Now I’m auditioning for everything under the sun even though I have jack for time.  But hey, that’s how I roll.

This most recent audition is for a webseries, self-described as “an action-adventure fantasy comedy” by a a grassroots production company that’s had some really excellent dorktastic funny movies.  I’ve always been entertained by their stuff, and I feel like I was somehow in on the first level of their success ’cause I went to their premieres as a student, before they became a Cult Smash Hit.  You know that sort of “I knew them when” thing?  Yeah.  Got that.

When an audition notice came through for their new project, I was totally excited.  Irrationally so, ’cause I then did some research and FREAKED OUT, because they’re using a real casting director and doing a second round of auditions in LA and all that nonsense.  But hey, an audition’s an audition’s an audition, and it could be really fun – even one of the tiny single-appearance parts would be fun.  So why not!  I emailed, got an audition slot, and was sent sides for the character I happened to be most interested in — who, luckily, had no ‘partial implied nudity’ required!  YES.  WIN.

(I’m not linking to their site, ’cause I know how these googly analytics work and I don’t want them to trace back and learn just how ridic I am ’til the casting is final.  You know?  Yeah.  Anyhow.)

Fast forward to last weekend.  It’s Sunday, the day of the audition.  I’ve planned to go to a good friend’s house to use her photo printer between rehearsal and the audition.  (I need two copies of my headshot and two copies of my resume.)  The audition is scheduled for 6:20, in Seattle.  It’s 4:30 and I’m in south Seattle.  Perfect!

Except shit isn’t working.

Seriously, nothing is working.  We reboot, we recalibrate, we smack it around, we panic.  We try every damn setting in the damn mac and every subsequent damn setting on the damn printer and NOTHING is working.  I can get the resume to print, but the images get stalled and fucked up and a mighty storm of ghetto-ness rains down upon the earth.

And now it’s 5:50, and I have half an hour to drive up the scariest freeway in the world to a building I’ve never seen, find parking, put on some makeup (I’d figured I’d have plenty of time for that when I got there early.  HA), get in there and BE AMAZING.  Without headshots.  So I’m like, fuck.  I can’t bring them a handful of NOTHING to staple to my resume.


I put a piece of 8.5×11 paper up on the screen. I grab a pencil. I get to tracin’.

I should've gone to art school, eh?

And I throw my genius improvised I’m-not-asian-but-I-sure-do-look-it-in-these-faux-headshots in my bag and haul ass to the car.

(For the record: yes, I know, that’s almost the least professional thing I could’ve done, short of sharpie-ing .  But I was hoping that since their brand of schtick is the type  where events can go wacky any moment, nobody would throw me out on my ear.  Maybe they’d even like it!  Stupid.  I KNOW.)

I make my hasty way up the viaduct, number one place to avoid in an earthquake, and by some miracle, find the place.  It’s 6:18.  Joy!  Now to find a parking spot.  Consternation.

Shit.  The only available spot is in front of a fire hydrant.  Fuck it.  I take it.

I book it across the street, inside, upstairs.  I’m practically gasping for air, I’ve got a stitch in my side from taking the stairs two at a time for two flights, my hair’s half-plastered to my forehead from the rain, I’m flushed as only an Irish girl flushes, and did I mention I’m wearing exactly zero makeup?  And this is a screen test?  Meaning I have to audition for a camera?  Looking like a bedraggled homeless person?




Scene: Hallway.

“You’re Yvanka?”


“You’re up!”


I walk into the room, shake hands, introduce myself, and try to pretend I don’t look like a crazy person.  The casting director starts to give me a little more background about the character I’m reading, wraps up and asks me to ‘slate’.

Hell if I remember what that is. Was there was something in the email about it? Think, think think!  You don’t want to appear unprofessional, unkempt AND stupid, girl!

So I guess.  Isn’t a slate that clapper thing they smack together before they do scenes in movies?  So, information?  I look directly at the camera, say my name and the part I’ll be reading.  And then I plaster a big dorky grin on my face.  THUMBS UP!  Relief.

So I do the scene – it’s a monologue, really – and the casting director is laughing.   I’m hoping it’s because I’m funny, and not because I’m a laughable excuse of a mess of an actor.  She plays into my hope and says, “Great! We’re gonna have you do it again with these notes—” and she interrupts herself there to say, “Do you sing?”

The character description specifies that this character must have a strong singing voice.  Dingding!  If there’s one thing I can do, that’s it.  I can make vocal singing-like sounds.  Win!

“Yep!”  I answer.

“Would you sing for us now, so we can get an idea of your pipes?”
“Sure, anything specific?”
“Whatever you’ve got!”
Gah, I hate that.  Note to everybody ever: if you’re gonna ask somebody to sing, give them a little direction, okay?  Just a little would be great.  Thanks!
I ask a followup question – “Are you looking for something more musical-theatrey, or something more opera-y?”
“Oh, whatever works!”
Argh.  So I do both.  A little Spring Awakening, a little Gianni Schicchi.  I get a ‘wow!’ which makes me feel better about the eighty-thousand bungles that have brought me to this point.  Then she has me do the side again, incorporating a couple of notes she has.
Then the casting director stands and says, “Can you say INSTANT CALLBACK?!”
Ha!  Hahaha!  Ha!  Are you KIDDING ME?  HELL YEAH.  My first screen test, with well-received drawn headshots, wet hair, and no makeup?  It went well.
And I didn’t get a ticket.

The Angertons.

November 19, 2009

On Friday, I went out to the old homestead to have practice-thanksgiving.  It wasn’t supposed to be so, necessarily, but Mom got a cheap-ass turkey and invited everybody over.  So we brought/made potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry dressing… it was damn fine.  Best moment of the evening – Dad asked me to stay and watch a movie.

“What’d’ya got?”

“Um,” Dad says slowly, “The Angertons.  It’s brother and sister movie, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and that pretty girl who is… good at acting…”

“What?  The ANGERTONS?”  I pick up the Netflix envelope and start laughing.  He’s rented The Savages.


November 11, 2009

In choral singing – hell, in all singing – the rests are just as important as the production of sound.  The rest is where the vocalist gathers energy, prepares their body for the onset, cues the accompanist, mentally readies herself for the next phrase, makes a connection.  The breath, the moment between the words is integral to the truth of singing.  Without proper use of the rest, the tone falls flat.  Support fails.  The voice fails.  Disaster ensues.

So instead of posting some stupid-ass bullshit yesterday, I went to bed.

Help me, friends.  What do you want to hear?  Anything?  Are you  satisfied with the bullshit, or the silence?  Comment.  Share.  I need your guidance.

Sick day.

November 9, 2009

I woke up with a pretty big headache – I’ve had it since yesterday at about three – and aches, and general malaise.  So I called in sick.  If we were being completely honest here, I don’t know how much of that choice stemmed from the desire to just have a damn day already and how much actually came from a desire to get well.  Though, in some small way, aren’t those the same thing?  Good, I thought so.  Thanks for validating my choices.

The headache stuck around though, all day, even though I got some substantial sleep and ate well and drank a lot of water and took ibuprofen and all that crap you do when you don’t feel great.  So it rolled around 4pm and I said, “Self? There’s a 4pm yoga class.  Why don’t you see if you can stretch that headache right out of your brain.”

So I did.  And it did.

It was fucking HARD though, today, let me tell you.  It was downward dog after plank after warrior, and lots of hip and shoulder work.  And then like, a goddamn handstand?  And a pose where you balance on the floor using just your arms and your core and lift the whole rest of you up?  And I was like, “The light within me NAMASTE NAMASTE OH GOD center center center don’t die NAMASTE FUCK.”

Probably the headache ran from the yoga.

Anyhow, the moral of the story is that yoga cures all ills even if your soul is screaming.  And that I am now a stereotypical yupster who looooves it.

But yay: the headache is over and I can go rehearse without fear of punching somebody out.  (Which is good because we’re rehearsing for a church fundraiser.)

Balls.  Let us pray.


November 8, 2009

A friend of mine just tweeted, “Why don’t musicians get weekends?”

Amen, sister.

This weekend I had three rehearsals and two services, as well as a session with the youth and Sunday schoolers. And I went to an opera and a play, to support my friends and colleagues. Tomorrow I work, then rehearse. I don’t have two days off in a row ’til after Christmas. (Yes! After! I have services over Thanksgiving. Agh.)

It’s a good life, but sometimes you just want to go see a movie, go shopping and have some frozen yogurt, you know?

It’s intermission and I am blogging in the theatre lobby. I bought a diet coke and I’m having diet-coke-buyer’s remorse. Why did I buy diet coke? I mean, it’s like twelve degrees out. (Relatively. I’m a pansy when it comes to temperature.) There’s hot coffee, there’s not time to drink an entire diet coke. What I really want is a cookie, which goes with coffee, so I didn’t get coffee. And now I have a half-can of waste coke.

This is the smallest audience I’ve seen in a while. It’s a 2pm actor’s benefit performance, and it’s funny and inappropriate and silly. It’s a good show, they’re ringing the five minute bell, and I just made small talk with a thin man in an argyle sweater. He asked me how I could drink something cold when it’s so cold out.

Time for act II!

Two instances of brights.

November 6, 2009

And I’m on my way to direct my choir.  Don’t want to do it, but it’s my job and there we go – we do our jobs.

So it’s dark, damn you Daylight Savings, and it’s cold and rainy and altogether PNW-standard outside.  I’m driving Lizzie, who does quite well, and I’m listening to NPR and jamming along in the left lane.  I’ve gone a different way, because I have plenty of time and I want to hit up Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte treat because UGH I had a long week and a long day and I don’t. even. want. to. be. here.

I have a really pleasant and positive attitude, you see.  Just the thing to conduct a church choir.

Driving along, minding my own business, jamming forth toward the sturdy borough of Burien.  And smooth as glass, this truck swings in behind me.  Real close-like.  Round lights.  He’s right on my butt, but I’m like, whatevs, he wants to use my excellence to pass the other lane.

We’re jamming, we’re jamming.  We pass the cars in the other lane.  He’s on my butt.  This is annoying.  I have to stay in this lane because mere moments from now, the freeway ends and I turn left.  And?  He turns on his brights.

I’m surprised, to say the least.  Surprised enough to mutter, “What the fuck?” – but I choose to do exactly nothing.  Because there’s nothing to be done.  He keeps his brights on.  Moments later, I get into the right-hand left turn lane.  He gets into the left-hand left turn lane.  He turns off his brights.  We turn. I go to Starbucks.  He doesn’t.


So I’m in the line at Starbucks, and I use my downtime in the drivethru to download the Nov. 4th NPR Fresh Air podcast with Terry Gross’ interview of Jane Lynch. (Excellent, by the way.  More on that later.) The wait is long, but not too long, and when I get to the window, I’m informed that the woman in front of me switched her order – decided she wanted decaf – and that my drink (double-tall nonfat one-and-a-half pump pumpkin spice latte, no whip)  is on the house, because of the wait.  I protest, she insists, I accept.

I drive away, listening to the non-Jane Lynch parts of the podcast. (Also excellent, but David Plouffe is just somehow not quite as compelling.  What? Don’t judge.)  I get back on the freeway for a short hop to the next exit.  A gigantic truck pulls into my lane.  His lights line up directly with my rear window, but he’s keeping an appropriate following distance, so no big deal.  We both veer to the right to come to a stop at the end of the exit.  I reach up to adjust my mirror so I’m not blinded.

But, this truck’s driver turns off his lights.

I am blown away.


November 5, 2009

So I’m in class (again, surprise, what is new) and this professor, boy is she a pistol.  She literally wrote the book(s) on the subject, and has no qualms about reminding us that she is the foremost authority on about nine different themes, theories, topics – she’s got it.  She’s very confident and compelling, and she’s obviously got her shit together.

This professor likes me, it seems.  I’m quick and I flourish and I do things with a touch! of! flair! and am generally more interesting than the standard unengaged MBA or blowsy executive she’s usually dealing with.  That’s my theory, anyhow.

So she’s always throwing out big long complicated phrases, memory-trigger sorts of sentences that make no sense unless you’ve heard their context – and then are helpful, but WHOA does she use them often.

In class last night, I was zoning out in that special way where you’re nodding your head when some little snippet makes it past your shut-down-brainwall but otherwise you’re effectively staring into space.  (Not that it wasn’t interesting.  It was.  I was just DONE – finished a case study and an entire midterm exam in the space of six hours, terrible quality work but COMPLETE – and before the lecture we had to sit through an hour-long presentation about Not Being an Asshole in Business.  Valuable. More on that later. Anyhow. End parentheses.)

So, Professor McConfidence said, again, “How you measure me is how I will behave.”  She was talking about throughput metrics in supply chain management, but hey whoa! That is true in LIFE.  DING!  BING!  SHAWING!  It got through my brick mental wall and hit me in the brain.

I am a SHIT student right now. If I was at 80% in my undergraduate years, I’ve gone progressively downward through the MBA.  These professors are probably getting 20% from me.  I show up, and I do the assignments, basically.  Some of them. I don’t EVER fucking READ, and when I’m there, I’m on my computer, screwing around.

But nobody catches me.  I get As.

How I am measured, that’s how I will behave.

You think my work is acceptable?  Hokay then!  I will keep it up.  No matter that I could do about ninety times better.  No matter that this is completely mediocre, when compared to my potential.  No matter!  I will continue this behavior because it is rewarded.

One of these days it won’t be.  That’ll be a relief.