Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So I'm listening to the BBC...

this morning and they are, like all the news outlets, talking about Obama's"first 100 days". They sent reporters to Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, SC and just outside Wichita, OK. One reason they went to Oklahoma was because it voted 97% against Obama and remains one of the most conservative states. Now I know a few folks from Oklahoma and they are good people, but the ladies the reporter spoke to...well, even he said that you wouldn't meet any more generous and welcoming souls...but then again, it was a disclaimer, and I get the feeling that the guy's not black.

He was asking the ladies about how they felt about the direction of the values in this country and one of them talked about how terrible it is now: "Homosexuality...marriage of the same sex, abortions coming out your ear," [out your EAR?] and then another lady started talking about "And the blacks taking over everything. You don't see normal ads anymore. They're all black black black black." She even believes that her business is going to be shut down because she's not black. The reporter asked her if the government or anyone had actually said anything as such to her and she had to pause for a second before saying "No, but the blacks are getting promoted more now; they're getting the higher positions now..." - "Well, you know, there might be some people listening who might find what you're saying racist," - "Well, it's racist coming down on me, now."

Man, I had hoped to hit Oklahoma while on the road last year and now I feel I need to make a special trip. I would love to talk to these ladies myself, as their view of "what are you?" would indeed be um..interesting, that's for sure...I think I would also like to give them a hug as obviously they have just not been getting enough love.

IN THE MEANTIME...MAY 22nd (good lord, is it really going to be MAY tomorrow?) I will be back at No Name at Otto's Shrunken Head testing out new material for Single What? Female. Come on down!!!

Peace --Alex

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Baby steps of revolution...

Just as I found myself happy that I am from the home of the American Revolution, I am very pleased to be a citizen of New York City. New York may have abstained when it was time to sign the Declaration of Independence, but Mayor Bloomberg is not abstaining when it comes to a woman's right to choose. He set up and signed the Clinic Access Bill which basically assures that women will have proper access to clinics. Whatever you may think of Bloomberg these days, you gotta give the man props for that...and why don't ya right here.

At the same time he is also pushing for gay marriage...as is Governor Patterson...as is the majority of the legislature...but there still could be a fight. If you live in this state, please call your assemblyfolk and senators and make sure that FINALLY gay marriage is an accepted right. My marriage has not been harmed by "the gays", neither will yours, people.

Peace --Alex

and KEEP PAYING ATTENTION!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Midnight Ride..for real...

Oh yeah...midnight on a chilly April night...hundreds of locals and tourists hanging out in Lexington, no less...guy in period clothing on a white horse calling out "Arise! The regulars approach!" oh yeah, it happened...

Normally when they do the reenactments of Paul Revere's midnight ride - and eventual capture - they do it during the day, so families and tourists can come out at a decent hour. The capture was actually done at the capture site in Lexington during the day on Saturday (missed that one, sadly). But it was decided that things would be done a little differently this year. This year, they did an actual midnight ride.

There is nothing like heading out to Lexington, MA on this afromentioned chilly April night and see not just the streets that were rolled up by 6pm or so, but the cars lined up on curbs for nearly a half mile and crowds of folks in their layers heading out to watch a historical reenactment.

We love our sports. We love our history (perhaps not quite as much as our sports, but close)

Even teenagers on skateboards and wearing hoodies were hanging out in the cold waiting for the sound of hoofbeats and huzzahs.

By the time my sister and I got to the Hankock/Clarke House, the parsonage where Rev. Clarke - a Son of Liberty - housed John Hancock and Sam Adams just before the "Regulars" hit town, there was already a good-sized crowd. It was just before 11:30 and the rest of Lexington was dark save for the Lexington Minuteman on the Battle Green. There had to be at least a couple hundred people clambering for a good spot across the street from the house, which was all lit up (yay! lights make it easy to find!) and ready for the show.

Just as the cold was numbing our fingers and making me feel like a citified wimp next to the teenagers wearing nothing but thin hoodies and t-shirts, a gentleman came out to tell us the story of the famous midnight ride, and how Longfellow's poem was wrong - okay not out right wrong, but there were definitely a few historical inaccuracies. The two main ones are how a) Paul Revere did not make it to Concord himself, and b) he never shouted "The British are coming! The British are coming!" (most folks still saw themselves as British subjects so that would have been...well, willy. The soldiers were called Regulars so most likely the cry was "The Regulars Approach!" or "The Lobsterbacks are coming!"...something like that.)

After he was finished, a short play began, telling the story of how word was spreading about The Regulars and how Sam Adams, John Hancock and Rev. Clarke were making plans for defending themselves against them. Soon enough, from down the street, you heard the urgent gallop of a horse and the cry 'Arise! Arise! The Regulars approach! Arise! Arise! the Regulars approach!" In comes Paul Revere, on a lovely white horse who only got mildly freaked out by the digital cameras and phones flashing from the darkness. We are told how Dr. Warren had send Revere out, Paul goes in, talks to the others, and a few minutes later, William Dawes comes riding down the road with the same message as his predecessor and is also allowed in to discuss the plan for the next day.

The ladies of the house are, of course, distressed and we hear talk of how the men are handling it and "will protect us". Yes, I would have like to have rewritten that section to have the ladies own up to their own plan of signaling the ladies of the town with cauldron signals or coded needlework, but most likely, what was written, is closer to what actually happened (though I am tempted to look this all up :p)

There is more talk of plans, children and house staff are seen peering out of windows or looking directly out of an open upstairs window, but soon all are shuffled back inside, made to consider what they will take when escaping, and soon Dawes and Revere are back on the horses and galloping past the crowd. Milita and camp followers slowly march out...show over.

And somehow no complaints from the neighbors...that we know about.

There may be pictures as the sister did bring her camera (I sadly remain without for the time being), but the battery was going so I haven't heard if they came out yet. Still, pictures or no, it was something very cool to see and be part of, and reminded me that I am glad to be from the area where the revolution began. It is also a reminder that no matter who is power here, we need to KEEP PAYING ATTENTION!!


Peace --Alex

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Feeling the powah...

Two of my Canadian cousins were planning on running the Marathon this year, but as one did not qualify, they decided to wait until next year to run. But, of course, my trip was already planned and I decided that while I may not be cheering on my cousins along the Marathon route, I could at least catch up with my friends and family up here over a slightly extended weekend.

So yes, I am the public library in Concord, but at least I sitting inside and not stealing WiFi from the parking lot and worrying about hitting the horn with the top of the laptop. The town is filled with more than it's usual Colonial fervor as this weekend, besides being Marathon weekend, is Patriot's Day weekend.

Yes way back in 1775, the British came out to shut up the Concord and Lexington rif raf and LOST, thus the beginning of the Revolutionary War and The Shot Heard Round The World. Presently, there are reenactors preparing for the parade Monday and tonight is the Patriot's Ball at the armory. I sadly have missed this ball every year and I hear it is quite the soiree, with folks dressed in their best Colonial attire. Thing is, back then, I most likely would have been the help...

In the meantime, I visited my sister at the Alcott House this morning. She had just finished up giving a tour and finger puppet show to a group of Brownie's (SO CUTE!) from New Hampshire. Gotta say, you really do feel the energy of a bunch of strong women in that house and I think all young girls-and women-should get a tour at some point. But as time is tough all over, Orchard House, like many places is not getting as much money to keep it going as it usually does. That may be one reason they are listed with Partners in Preservation. Partners in Preservation is like IdeaBlog and other such sites in that there is an amount of money ready to be given, and then YOU get to vote who gets it. In this case, there is $1 million dollars up for vote to spread around to various historical sites in Massachusetts and many of these historical sites are hoping you will vote for their site more than the others. And I am now doing the same thing. I am pushing that you vote for Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House.
If you ever read Little Women, Little Men, Rose in Bloom or any of her other work and were touched by it; if you have prospered from a decent education (thank Bronson Alcott for changing the way kids are taught); if you ever looked up at the Lincoln Memorial in awe at the sculpture (Daniel Chester French was a student of May Alcott); if you just liked the various movie version of Little Women and were ever inspired to come see the actual house where Alcott wrote the book and performed the plays she wrote for she and her sisters; if you have a feminist bone in your body (or not!), you have vote to keep this site going. It is a wonderful home to see and experience. Just as Louisa contributed so much to the empowerment of women all over the world, and the family contributed so much to this nation, please see that Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House gets the funding it needs from Partners in Preservation. I assure, you it's a hard decision as there are a LOT of great sites there to vote for, but please cast a vote for Orchard House. and VOTE NOW!

That's my news of the day..

Peace -_Alex

KEEP PAYING ATTENTION!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Forgot one!

I knew that there was someone I forgot to add to the list there.

Joanna Parson - She has a fab and fun show called "Reddy or Not", a cabaret featuring the music of Helen Reddy. I have seen it and it truly hysterical. Helen Reddy herself saw it and agreed. There is going to be a benefit performance this coming Monday the 20th on behalf of the Transport Group - an excellent theatre company, perhaps best known for the ever fabulous A Train plays. Go. See Joanna. Support local theatre. www.joannaparson.com
(And if you do not make it to Reddy or Not, 4/27 is the nexy Happy Hour Salon hosted by Ms. Parson!)

In the meantime, I would love to thank Bolt Bus for having WiFi. And the man for his acquisition of a laptop for me. it may be an older model, it may be second hand, but it has the latest Mac software and is in my lap right now as we pass a truck from the New England Casket Company (is that a bad sign?). Sooooo excited, I can't even tell you.

I am heading up to MA to catch up with friends and family and may actually catch the Patriot's day parade for the first time in what seems like aeons. I did grow up in Minuteman Land, was in a fife and drum corps and my dad used to narrate the reenactment of the Battle at the Old North Bridge. I have marched in that parade and know some of the reenactors. For me, this will be a trip...and one day I will get the man up there to see it as, well, he has too. I don't think I'll drag him out for the dawn reenactment of the Battle at Lexington - for which there remains a huge crowd - but definitely the parade. Who needs the Marathon when there will be muskets?

Peace and Happy Weekend all! --Alex

KEEP PAYING ATTENTION

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blog...List

I cannot beLIEVE that it has been just over a year since I did my fabulous trip. I would love to be promoting the cross country tour of Single What? Female, but sadly that is not the case, BUT I will be testing out new material again May 22nd at No Name and a Bag O' Chips and am looking for other venues as well. The great reaction at the last event really inspired me to make sure I get as much performance time as possible for this, so here's hoping :)

If you would like to relive any of that fab journey, feel free to go back to the April and May 08 archives of this blog :)

IN THE MEANTIME...

My husband and I have a list we have generally put out weekly about events going on around town. I am taking it over this weekend as well, I know too many fab people doing awesome work for me not to.

*No Name and A Bag of Chips - THIS FRIDAY at Otto's Shrunken Head. Eric's got a great line up including close up magician Lee Alan Barrett and the BTK Band! the show is twice a month and dude, it is FREE!!! No cover, no minimum and there is lots of funny. You can't ask for much more than that, my friends.

*Prospect Theatre - I love these people. I've done my cabaret with them as part of their "Dark Nights" series and did the fab show "Museum Pieces" last Spring. The two main things they got going on right now are the new musical Golden Boy Of the Blue Ridge which I hope to be catching soon AND Map Quest. Map Quest is like Museum Pieces in the sense that teams of writers have been asked to write short musicals, but this time rather than pieces of art, it's Map Quested locations. I am very excited to see this, particularly as the team of Alden Terry and John Herin are back and we all so dug singing their Kasinsky-based piece last year.

Perhaps a story - My friend H.R. Britton runs a storytelling evening at The Tenement Museum called Lower East Side Stories. He himself is a great storyteller and has his own show in the works. Tonight's theme: Down and Out in New York- basically tales about being broke in New York and who;s not feeling that right now? He's got a great line up including the ever fabulous Faye Lane AND if you have a three minute tale to tell, you can put your name in a hat and get a chance to tell your story! 6:30pm TONIGHT!

BIG NIGHT OUT! - TONIGHT is the one year anniversary of The Big Night Out hosted by Jennifer Wren and Bill Zeffiro. I am the co-producer of the Featured Composer Series the Big Night Out offers and tonight will be a great feature. The legendary John Meyer will be performing tonight after the open mic and will indeed be worth catching. Head on down to Dillon's Reprise Room on 54th between Broadway and 8th. Show starts at 9pm!

AND BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT...

*The Savvy Actor - Need career help? Wanna do something for Earth Day? Wanna do these things together? Wednesday 4/22 the Savvy Actor and Industry Power Play are having an Earth Day soiree. You get to help the earth as well as help yourself to some fab entertainment industry help from both these groups. I don't know Industry Power Play just yet, but I do know the Savvy Actor folks and they really are excellent. We are artists, but we are also a business and they will help you easily be both. I was working with Kevin (and will again when I can properly pay him) and I would not have gotten as far on SW?F again without him. If you would like to meet The Savvy Actor folks on your own for FREE, there are still a few spots yet for their seminar on faster and better mailings: they have a fab service which my friend Doug uses (surely you know Doug Shapiro) and I will start using myself once I have a proper voice again :) The seminar is at Pearl Studios at 6:30pm, Monday 4/20.

*And now that your taxes are done...they are done, right? But perhaps you want to start saving more, perhaps do some safe investing? Or finally start that emergency fund? Get life insurance? All those fun grown up things? See my friend Shawn. Shawn Cowls will not try to sell you anything and he spells everything out for you. Call him at his office and tell him Alex sent ya: 212-697-1355 x614

Now get out there and enjoy the gorgeous day! (well, at least it is gorgeous here in NYC...:))

Peace --Alex

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A job that requires little talking...

video

but does require basic fire safety...

Gotta say, though that spinning fire last night is indeed one of the coolest things I have ever done and that poi is a new joy. Thank you Claire de Luxe , the ladies of my poi class, and thank you husband for getting me her class as a Christmas present(!!!) My shoulders might be a bit sore, but the stress that comes with being unemployed somehow disappeared with the sounds of spinning of flames. (should I be worried that I didn't stress so much about the fire flying around my head as much as I do about whether or not I will hear about a second interview from Fracture Atlas?)

I sadly backslid a bit..again...with the vocal progress. I was doing REALLY well, but then got tense, talked too much in loud places and while the nodes are smaller, they are still there and that is not good. SO, if you see me talking in a loud place, tell me shut the hell up! (or just pretend you are Dianne Wiest in Bullets Over Broadway and say "Don't speak, don't speak...")

IN THE MEANTIME...it's recommendation time. Since I can't plug myself much right now, allow me to plug my friends!

The Savvy Actor - Jodie, Kevin and Doug (surely you have heard of Doug!) are the people you want to talk to if you are looking to give a boost to your career. We are not just artists, we are a business and The Savvy Actor can help you be the best of both. I've been seeing Kevin myself, have seen Jodie perform, and know Doug and his ridonculous business savvy so check out the website and CALL THEM!

Shallow Graves Magazine - My friend Sean Kelley - professional juggler/jester, owner of and performer at the King's Feast in Rhode Island, and devoted metalhead - and his wife Yvette have started this magazine. "Shallow Graves Magazine is...a cross between Fangoria & FATE magazine. A lot of the Horror mags out there today are mostly Horror with a touch of Supernatural. We're Supernatural with a touch of Horror." And they have an online radio program Friday nights as well on blogtalkradio.com.

And while I mentioned Claire, my fab poi instructor, I should also mention the troupe she is with called Lady Circus. They will be at Bonaroo this summer if you're heading down to Tennessee, but you can also see them here in NYC as a group or as solo performers. They really are amazing and worth catching!

No Name...and a Bag O' Chips!
- Eric Vetter has been hosting this show for 15 years now and it only gets better and better. He's got a killer lineup Friday 4/10 including Tom Shillue (SuperNormal, HBO, Comedy Central...go Norwood!), and Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing). I have been testing out material for years with him and am every grateful when he's got a spot for me. The show is at Otto's Shrunken Head on Friday nights and starts at 7pm SHARP! Comedy, music, variety and CHEAP DOOR PRIZES! What more could you want?

Lastly but certainly not least - BIG NIGHT OUT! I will be working the door tomorrow night and it's OPEN MIC ALL NIGHT LONG! It is a good time, you get to hear some amazing music and voices and heck YOU can test out that new audition song for your book, your new showtune or pull out a fav standard you'd never get to sing anyplace else. Come on down to Dillon's on 54th for the Big Night Out!!! And dude, it's $10 ($5 with an Equity, EMCC or MAC card) and a one item minimum. That's cheaper than a movie these days :p

And people, Obama may be going a little stimulus crazy, but look what he walked into. He was left with pure ridiculousness and is trying to work it out within his first 100 days it seems. Somebody get that man a nap at Yelo between trips to the G-20 summit and the next government bailout...

KEEP PAYING ATTENTION!

Peace --Alex