Volunteers

Echo Park LakeThis morning I had a doctor’s appointment to check out an irregular mole. Good news: nothing abnormal, just an age spot (that was the bad news) The free consultation was in South Central so I used WAYZ to navigate the fastest route back to Hollywood. I realized at some point that I was nearing Echo Park Lake so I decided to park & walk around the lake instead of rush home to do work.

It was a beautiful warm and breezy summer morning so I took my time strolling around the lake. I even stopped and read about the history and really took in the recent renovations. I spent time with the animals. While taking pictures I noticed a red tailed hawk souring above and observed it for a moment. Then I noticed a man standing alone in the grass calmly raking leaves wearing khaki shorts and a vest that read “Volunteer.”
I asked “Where did you volunteer for this job?”
“At the Elysian Park office.” He replied. “I just graduated from college and I have some time on my hands so I went there to volunteer. It’s great, they pick you up and then drop you off.”
“Where?” I asked.
“Over at the office near Dodger Stadium. They will come pick me up and drive me back there.”
“And they provide you with the rake, the vest, and the trash bag?” I asked
“Yes.” He answered.
“Well, that’s just great. Thank you so much for volunteering. You’re doing a great job. What a nice place to volunteer.”

As I resumed strolling the walkway a lovely young woman wearing a straw hat holding flowers approached me and asked “Do you know any good Birthday songs? I’m meeting my friend here and it’s her birthday today.” I thought, well, she’s going to love this (thanks law of attraction) “I did singing telegrams in college,” I replied. “The birthday song for the telegrams was pretty cool, wanna hear it?” Of course she said yes, so I delivered her the full on Broadway style version. She FREAKED out (as I suspected she might) and after a series of failed attempts to record me singing it into her Iphone I offered to walk with her and deliver the song personally to her friend.

We began to walk together. On our way around the bend of the lake a woman holding a live green turtle upside down approached us. “Will you help me?” She asked. Apparently the turtle had been escaping the lake and wandering the surrounding land. The girl had been repeatedly returning the turtle to the lake and it had defied her each time, climbing back onto land and wandering toward the road. The solution this woman had come up with was to climb the large iron gate that encloses the bridge that leads to the island and place the turtle there where she thought it might be more safe. My job: Hold the turtle (upside down which makes you less likely to drop it when it’s pointy nails dig into your hand while trying to escape) while she climbed the chain locked fence successfully. I handed the wiggling turtle to her through the fence. As she ran down the bridge to the island with it she yelled, “Watch my purse.” Which she had left at my feet with her iphone poking out.

Once that heroic task was complete, we noticed the turtle swimming right back toward the land. “Look!” shouted the hero. “He just keeps swimming back to the land. I can’t stand here and watch him all day!” We shared a laugh about the turtle’s possible agenda as the turtle girl ran off in the other direction and the woman with the straw hat and I continued to walk. When we saw her birthday friend she broke away, then I snuck up on them and performed the singing telegram for the Birthday Girl. She was surprised and amazed and awed. She asked if it was fate, or had it been arranged to which I replied, “Both.”

My life is pretty magical and when I follow my intuition (stopping for walk around the lake instead of rushing home) the flow is true Bliss!

Happy Day everyone! Volunteer whenever possible. You never know what adventure might follow.

Be silly. Have fun!
Hollywood

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4 Steps to GREAT SKIN!

I’m not a doctor or a dermatologist; I am just a woman with a strict daily skin care regimen that that seems to be paying off!   Women always ask how I keep my skin looking youthful and radiant.  Here is a list of what I do daily.  If my regimen doesn’t work for you, modify it until you find what works or consult a doctor/dermatologist.

1. EXFOLIATE

I exfoliate my face morning and night.  I also always use exfoliating gloves on my body in the shower.  Skin is an organ that absorbs toxins, oils, dirt, and makeup day and night, not to mention all the dead skin cells hanging around!  Hands are not an adequate way to exfoliate the face and body.  I use a brush or a buffer sponge.  I treat my skin like I do my teeth.   I exfoliate for 2 minutes morning and night with gentle pressure in circular motions upward using an exfoliating sponge or brush.

I use an all-natural foaming face wash without parabens or sulfates.  Cream cleansers feel heavy and my face never feels clean, so I prefer foam.   I also use an at home microderm abrasion kit 3x per week.  I LOVE it and feel that it is an important part of my routine.   It makes my skin soft, my pores smaller, and has reduced fine lines in my face.  Never (ever ever) go to sleep without washing your face (No matter how much you had to drink or how cute he is).

2. MOISTURIZE

I give my pores a good solid cleaning so moisturizing is key.  I try to choose products that are paraben and sulfate free and I don’t believe advertisements.  I have done research about which products are scientifically proven and work for me.  There are only a few products actually proven to do what they claim.  I always use a cream with SPF during the day.

In addition to my moisturizer, I use a lotion 2x per day that has 10% Alpha Hydroxy acid (Retinol is also a good choice but requires a prescription). They are both proven to improve the surface of the skin.  It stings a little, it is acid after all, but that means it’s working.   I would rather treat my skin with a small concentrate of acid daily than go through a major acid peel later in life.   For added moister in dry spots, I break Vitamin E capsules, and put the oil  (along with avocado oil) under my eyes, on my forehead, lips, and neck.

3. HYDRATE

I drink water (almost exclusively), rarely drink alcohol, and use a humidifier in my bedroom.   I noticed many years ago that my skin looks younger in moist climates and older when I’m in the desert.   Putting moister into the air improves the look of my skin in a very short amount of time.  I use a vaporizer because I like warm steam but you might prefer a cold air humidifier.  Either way, use one daily if you can.  When I have access to a steam room, steaming is a part of my regimen.  I also keep a small spray bottle of water in my purse or car.  I hydrate my skin throughout the day with a fine mist of purified water over my makeup. It feels great and even wakes me up a bit.

Vitamin C is a potent anti-oxidant proven to promote collagen formation when applied topicaly, but once it has been mixed into a lotion it looses it’s potency in as little as 2 weeks.   Expensive vitamin C creams no longer carry the benefit of Vitamin C.   I did some research and now I buy Vitamin C in its pure powder form online (L-Ascorbic Acid) and mix the powder with purified water in a small glass spray bottle every week.  I spray it on my face and body morning and night.  Research “do it yourself Vitamin C lotion” and find a recipe that works for you.  You will save SO MUCH money!  I spend about $20 every 6 months!

4. SUPPLEMENT

In addition to eating consciously, I take 7 vitamin supplements 2x per day.   I take vitamin E, oil of evening primrose, black currant seed oil, B complex, Biotin, Vitamin C, and calcium/magnesium/zinc.   Do some research and consult your doctor or herbalist to see what combination of supplements is right for you and your skin.   I noticed that my skin was brighter after about a month of taking vitamin supplements and my nails grew faster.  My immune system also feels stronger.  I rarely miss a dose of my daily vitamins.

Finally: Smile and be Positive!  Nothing looks better on your face than a smile 🙂

That’s it!  It may seem like a lot, but these are daily habits that I rarely even think about.  It may take a bit of effort in the beginning but I believe that when you (and others) begin to notice your radiant skin, you will practice skin care with ease!  Nothing feels better at any age than hearing, “You have such great skin!”

Here’s a pic from my Iphone au natural 🙂

Love and Light,

Hollywood

 

 

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The Bikini and The Beast: Getting Naked

6pm yesterday I get a call from my commercial agent. “You have an audition tomorrow. Please check your email and confirm”

Like always, I checked into my account to bring up information about the audition, time, place, wardrobe, etc. 10am okay, Santa Monica…. all good, Bathing Suit…..did I read that right….wardrobe: Bathing Suit. My heart started pounding as I searched for the character description. “Brunette. All American looking. Attractive and fit. Must look good in a bathing suit, but not too skinny or too muscular.”

“Oh no!” my mind races, “My agent thinks I look good in a bathing suit. My agent has never seen me in a bathing suit” thinking, “No, my agent has never seen me in a bathing suit.  Oh crap.”  I run to the mirror to lift my shirt and look at my stomach. “Okay.  Okay.  It’s not that bad.”  I take off my cloths and lean naked frantically rummaging through my drawers for every bathing suit I own. I try them on one after the other. “No…no…no….no, no, NO!” I have to choose. I turn to the mirror. “Okay.  I’m okay.  It said not too skinny so I know I have that part down.  Not too fit is what it said.” I stare at the distorted image standing in front of me. Based on my perception I decide that I fit into the not too fit category. “Why am I freaking out? OH my God I’m freaking out. Put me in a bin of spiders. Burry me alive with rabid snakes covered in grape jelly. Make me tap dance in a lobster suit. Calm down.”

“Cake,” I remember, “There’s red velvet cake in the fridge.” I run immediately to the fridge and begin to eat the red velvet cake with my fingers chasing it with milk from the carton. “Oh my gosh, I just saw this on Oprah today! Emotional eating. I am emotionally eating cake in a bikini in my kitchen” My cats sit staring at me. I put down the cake and decide to take action. I do 35 pushups, 100 sit-ups, and decide not to eat for the rest of the day. “I always wake up feeling thinner” I reflect, “when I don’t eat at night.”

I begin my nightly routine of washing my face, exfoliating, moisturizing, more pushups. I brush my teeth, take vitamins, and finally, go to fill a water bottle to put next to the bed. “Crap, I’m in the kitchen again. Fill the water. Just fill the water. You’re almost there, focus, FOCUS!” I peak in the drawer next to the fridge as I fill the water, you know, just to see what’s in there.

My eye catches an enticing box of….. “DOTS!” I contemplate, “I can eat some Dots. They’re fat free!” I begin to chew Dots in light of my open refrigerator. Dot after Dot I chew and chew. “I’m not going to loose weight in 8 hours. I’m fine” I tell myself. Many moments later, digging colorful bits out of my teeth I catch my reflection in the mirror on the opposite wall. The box of Dots is empty.

I’ve auditioned in fitness cloths a bunch of times, fine. I’m a runner. I work out. Fitness cloths, no problem. I have never, however, been required to awkwardly strip down quickly and unbalanced to a bikini in front of a camera man in a cold florescent casting room with an actor playing my husband uncomfortably watching (while pretending to look away) in his board shorts and t-shirt while the client observes anonymously behind a double sided mirror. Today, that is just what I did.

You know what? It was great! I felt great. Once I got through the strange process of taking off my cloths, I actually felt really good. The camera man had a big warm smile on his face, and the actor playing my husband willingly held my hand as we pretended to “walk along the beach” (basically we strolled slowly across the room and smiled at each other lovingly) Even when I had to do the dreaded 360 turn in my bikini I felt good. I was FREE! My mind had made a monster out of a kitten.

The mind is a cunning saboteur. When I was in college I will never forget the time a random girl I barely knew said to me, “I think you are so pretty” “Thanks” I replied. Then she followed it with, “I told my friend how pretty I thought you were and she said she thought your body was weird but I said I thought you looked like a model” My stomach sunk. Between all the compliments that random girl gave me that day, all I heard was “your body was weird.” I agreed with her friend. My body IS weird. My neck is too long, my hips too wide, my boobs too low, my ankles too skinny. My body is weird. I spent years breaking that agreement and creating a new one. I spent years overcoming the distorted image I created of myself and coming to a new understanding.

My body is awesome. Not because I’m skinny or fit, but because I can walk and run and play! My body is capable of standing for hours on end and walking long distances. My body can play instruments, and reach things in tall cabinets in my kitchen. My body is the vehicle through which I perform all of my daily functions. I am so blessed to have a healthy, functioning body!

But the mind is a cunning, cunning trickster. It didn’t take much to send me into a crazy downward spiral backward into the past. I recovered from this experience and have taken so much from it. Celebrate your body! It is the only one you have. Cherish your body! Cherish YOU! You’re the only one in the world and yours is the only body like it. You are an original model. We all are 🙂

Be Silly. Have Fun.

Love and Light,
Hollywood

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High Five Guy

I have been running through Hancock Park all the years I have lived in Hollywood. I usually run at the same time and always down the same streets. Today, instead of running on the sidewalk, I ran in the street because there was more shade. In the distance I saw a young man running steadily toward me. “I’ve never seen him before.” I thought. I often pass the same runners and dog walkers, or nannies pushing strollers. This guy running toward me was definitely new, and, wait., was he smiling? The closer he got, the more I could see that, yes, this guy is smiling. As he came toward me, his smile became even more pronounced. Then, just as he ran by me, he extended his hand toward me. Instinctively I extended mine and we high fived. In the middle of the street in Hancock Park on a run I have been going on for over 15 years, listening to Death Cab for Cutie, a guy running past me gave me a high five.

I immediately felt such a strong sense of community! I actually said out loud, “Yes!” smiled, and even giggled a little. I felt like I was in the movie Rocky and some triumphant moment had just bonded us together. This stranger who had passed me had literally reached out to me and created a perfect opportunity for harmony between us. He had pronounced our one-ness in a simple gesture and I felt like we were in it together. I was filled with a warm sense of gratitude and satisfaction. I love knowing that we are all connected and that if we fearlessly reach out to each other we can truly connect and thus change each others life experience for the better.

The next two people I ran past were not interested at all in connecting with me. Now, I did not reach out to give them a high five, but I did smile and acknowledge them both, with no response. How did high five guy know I was receptive to his gesture? Did he high five everyone as he passed them? Was the moment we shared a fluke? What can I do to pass along the high five to others throughout my day? Although I did not literally pay his high five forward, I did make an effort to look people in the eye all day and give a warm smile to those who passed.

I hope that someone high fives you today. I hope that you are inspired to high five someone else. I hope that I can carry this feeling of community throughout my day and instead of burying my face in my phone (which I am quite guilty of doing) that I will choose to connect with those around me. We are just a high five away from feeling not so alone after all.

Love & Light,

Hollywood

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RIP Arius

My cat companion, Arius, died on Sept 5th. Arius was 16 1/2 years old and in great health. I got home from Burning Man the night of the 4th and he was fine. The next morning I found him on the table where he liked to sit. He looked like he was sleeping but as I approached him I could see that sadly he was gone. I feel incredibly blessed in so many ways. About being here. Being the one who discovered him. Seeing him so peaceful. Seeing him one more time the night that I returned. That I had time to spend with his body to say goodbye before I took him to be cremated. That he lived every moment of his life in good health. That I got to experience him for so many years.

Nonetheless it is shocking and deeply sad. I have definitely been thrust into a deep pondering stage and am beginning to consider where other energy can move around in my life. Arius had the courage to let go, and I’d be wise to follow his lead…metaphorically for now.

I got his ashes back on Tuesday. The poem that came with his ashes is beautiful, wise, and deeply comforting. I’ve posted it below.

I do like to focus on positive thoughts and obviously prefer not to feel discomfort. I have, for the first time in many years, allowed myself to fully feel these restless moments of sorrow. I was listening to Le Miserable today on my run and out of no where was so choked up I had to start walking because I could not breath. “It’s okay.” I thought. “It’s okay to be sad about this right now.” This too shall pass.

Love and Light,
Hollywood

“I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn’s rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the stars that shine at night. Please stand not at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die.” RIP Arius

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Casting Director Workshops

Casting Director Workshops: To take them, or not to take them, that is a question and long standing debate among actors. I think they are great and I take them as often as my budget allows (there are many to choose from but I go to
ACTORS ANGLE
) Here’s why:

CD workshops are a great way to establish relationships with people in the industry! It is rare to get one on one time with CD’s for major network TV shows and feature films. If you choose a handful of casting directors and repeatedly take workshops with them, they begin to know who you are. When you follow up with post cards and updates, they begin to remember you. With time and effort, fostering these relationships is one way to establish and forward your career. Sounds pretty good, right?

Unlike classes, CD workshops actually simulate the audition experience allowing actors to prepare a scene and perform it in front of a casting director. We all get nervous, I know I do. Auditioning can be a strange and unnerving situation even for the most experienced actor. Taking CD workshops regularly allows us to practice walking into a room and being relaxed in front of industry professionals so they not only see our work, but get to know us over time as people.

If you choose the right workshop there are many other benefits as well. I recently started taking workshops at Actors Angle because of some added perks they offer and I’m loving the results! Every session is put on tape and the day after my workshop I am emailed a link to watch my scene! It may be scary at first, but approaching your work with a critical eye can help you improve and grow. I am able to really see where I need work and if I am on the right track with the scene I choose. I LOVE being able to watch my scene and I am so happy to find a workshop that offers this perk.

On that note, I am not a fan of workshops that have actors do cold reads. Cold reads do not simulate a real audition where you have time to prepare, make specific choices, and be off book. Find a workshop, like Actors Angle, that allows you to perform a scene of your choice. This way you can really target market your best work.

I also think it is important to choose a workshop where you perform your scene alone in a room with just the casting director and a reader, as it most closely simulates an actual audition experience. Who needs the anxiety of a room of actors watching as you try to present your best to a CD? Not to mention, you will likely never perform an audition for film/television in front of a room of actors.

Casting Directors at Actors Angle also provide written feedback about your scene and how they see you as an actor. They may also provide feedback about your headshot and other comments to help you better market yourself. I always take note of comments that the casting director says in the room and write them down on my comment form before I leave. This way I am sure to remember the details that always seem to fade on my drive home as I obsess over my work and what I could or should have done differently. Written feedback is invaluable and I would only choose a workshop that provides it.

Me on set playing Mrs. Peacock

I have been to many workshops in town and have often been left with a bad feeling because the environment was cold and unwelcoming. Maybe it’s because as actors we often feel that we are competing with each other on some level, or maybe it’s just my own insecurities. Either way I sincerely appreciate the atmosphere at Actors Angle, where I feel incredibly supported and welcome. I also network in the lobby where the environment is friendly and professional. Also, this is the first CD workshop where I was given a time slot for my scene work so I didn’t have to sit around for hours uncomfortably waiting. If you haven’t taken CD workshops out of fear or discomfort I encourage you to keep trying to find the one that is right for you!
As always be silly and have fun (oh, and Break a Leg!)

Leave comments below if you have any questions and I’m happy to answer them. If you want to check out Actors Angle I strongly encourage it! There are hundreds of workshops to choose from and in my opinion it is the best one in town!

ACTORS ANGLE

Love and Light,
Hollywood

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Making CENT$

When good friend and film producer Jessica Goldstein asked me to watch the teaser trailer for her upcoming film CENT$, I was not expecting to be so emotionally moved and intrigued.  Her work is solid, don’t get me wrong, but we all know someone making an independent film and sometimes it’s hard to capture the projection of a full length feature film in a short trailer.  Check it out:

This successfully peeked my curiosity about the film’s content, the story that inspired it, and her film making process.   I had a moment to sit down with her recently and chat with both her and the film’s writer/lead actress and native American, Tiger Moon.  While the story in the film is fiction, it is largely influenced by Tiger’s real life story.

As the product of a failed foster care system,  a childhood riddled with physical and emotional abuse, a pregnancy out of wedlock, and a subsequent period of surviving life on the streets with a child, Tiger has worked hard to beat the odds which have never been in her favor.   I asked her how she had made her way from the alleys and into college and she responded “I heard once that only 2% of foster kids graduate from high school and I did not want that to be me.  Then I heard that only 10% went to college and I did not want that to be me either.  I wanted to beat the statistics not be one.  The indigenous part of me gives me an extreme sense of compassion and that’s a big reason I think the way I do.”

One of the things about the trailer for CENT$ that stands out to me is that it incorporates visual art effects, music, and story telling.  It is not too avant garde to understand that it focuses on homelessness yet I can tell the film will take me on a visual and audio journey along with it’s story.  I was curious how Tiger decided to tell her story in such a way and she said, “I want to tell the story creatively so it can ease it’s way into your consciousness.   Spoken word and poetry helped me to realize that I could be an example for change and an inspiration instead of another statistic.   Art saved my life.”

CENT$ is a conscious art film that strives to break stereotypes and humanize homelessness. In order to produce the feature film, the money must first be raised through the project’s Indiegogo campaign.   From the Heart Productions graciously offered to be a fiscal sponsor for the film after the concept caught their attention in 2010 when Tiger submitted the treatment to their yearly competition. The great news for you is that your donation is TAX DEDUCTIBLE!    I have been told that a donation at any level, even $10-$20 is helpful.   Please take a moment to watch the trailer and contribute what you can.

During an economical meltdown where propaganda abounds, it makes sense to contribute to projects that help create awareness and understanding between us.  It makes sense to support and fund art that strives to uplift and inspire.  CENT$ is well worth your 2 cents

Help make CENT$ by contributing here: indiegogo.com/cents

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Happy Valentines Day!

An original song for you 🙂

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“Caught”: Pure unadulterated theater: Amen!


When my friend Derek Meeker showed up on a Facebook chat I had no idea it would lead me to the bubbling gates of “Caught,” LA’s longest running play (and for good reason.) He was swinging in for the lead and I surely did not want to miss out on his performance.   Going in feeling a bit disillusioned about the Los Angeles theater scene, albeit optimistic,  “Caught” renewed my faith again and again as its seamless script was played out by an ensemble cast worthy of any Broadway stage.   “Caught” draws its audience in, taking us with it on a delectable domestic journey of love, courage, acceptance, and eventually forgiveness.

Click here for a full list of cast and crew.

I grew up in the theater and have been around gay men pretty much my whole life.  Hell, without gay men who would have so closely befriended the younger, more abrasive me years ago?  Welcomed my bold personality? Cheerfully celebrated me at various 80s nights and disco techs?  As friends, colleagues, and mentors, gay people have always been, well, just people to me.

Discrimination against gay people should have ended long ago like puritan witch-hunts and prohibition.  Unfortunately, as “Caught” so eloquently reminds its audience, homosexuality is still widely misunderstood and unaccepted, challenging families, friendships, and even gay partnerships themselves.

On an immaculate set only a few feet from its entranced audience, what these 6 actors achieve is nothing short of perfect.  It is a true privilege to witness actors 100% devoted to living in the world of this play 100% of the time.  Not an accent is dropped nor is a moment lost between this talented ensemble cast.  Their commitment, combined with the spot on direction of Nick DeGruccio and a flawless script written by David L. Ray, leads to an unforgettable theatrical experience right here in Los Angeles.

If you think of the romantic leads as a gay couple at the beginning of the play, I assure you that by the time you are crying along with them at curtain call, Troy and Kenneth represent any loving couple going through a period of accepting each other (and themselves) “as is” before an impending legalized partnership.

I had no idea that it was Derek Meeker(Troy)’s first time performing with co-star  Jason Dechert(Kenneth) as their chemistry was tangible even from a foot away where I could see their every, ever so slight movement.  As was the love between Kenneth and his sister, Darlene (Deborah Puette) and her daughter Krystal(a stand out performance by Amanda Keschak.) There is so much love and conflict between the 3 that with tears, laughter and a multitude of emotions between, I found myself truly invested in the success of these relationships.  Often relieving us from the weight of it all, Splenda(Michah McCain) serves as a silly and wise old soul whose interjections consistently make the audience unabashedly LOL.  Richard Jenik is perfectly unlikeable as antagonist J.P.

Without beating us over the head with religious doctrine or making a mockery of it, the story brings to light the conflict between religious hypocrisy and true righteousness proposing, “Maybe somewhere in the middle is a good place for all of us, right now.”

If you are still conflicted about gay equal rights perhaps taking someone out for a night of theater is a good way to open up a dialogue about it.  With gay marriage just legalized in New York and other states (and eventually all of them) certain to follow, now is the time to open your mind and search your own consciousness for where you stand and perhaps where you are willing to be flexible.  Experiencing “Caught” is a great place to start!

Catch it before it’s too late at the Zephyr Theater on Melrose.

Click here for tickets and show times.

Open your heart.  Be silly. Have Fun.

Hollywood

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The Burning Opera: Bravo!

Appropriately performed in a spacious and eclectic private loft nestled in the back alleys of downtown’s fashion district, The Burning Opera “How to Survive the Apocalypse” delivers a rockin’ night of FUN and spectacular performances by a multi-talented cast and crew!

Click HERE for a detailed list of who’s involved!

Produced and performed by experienced Burning Man enthusiasts and a few virgins (people who have never been to the annual event held in the desolate dusty outskirts of Reno), this multi-media production manages to capture the essence of Burning Man’s transformative highs and lows with vibrance and artistic integrity.    The costumes serve up enough fur, feathers, lace, and skin to satisfy any visual palate.  The musicianship of the alternating band members (each cast member chameleons between instruments and roles) is top notch and is matched by authentic and poetic performances of singing, dancing, shadow art puppetry, and moments of  deliberate silliness.

The story loosely follows a couple attending Burning Man for the first time.  Since the woman experiences an initial resistance/overwhelm and the man experiences a desire to explore, we follow them on separate journeys towards love, freedom, and eventually complete surrender.   What I love most about the Buring Opera experience (and it is an experience) is that nostalgia for my own personal expeditions on the playa began to spring up from my subconscious and by the end of this couple’s odyssey I found myself in the timeless mindset, or rather soul set, of Burning Man.

For a festival that is so hard to explain to those who have never been (and even harder to capture with media) this production satisfies a multitude of senses in the way that only a live show can.  Because the music and shadow puppetry often serve as metaphors and never attempt to “explain” what Burning man is, this live show is able to take us on a voyage with it begging the question, “When we stop consuming what can we create?”

There is an intermission that seems more crowd driven than clock driven offering ample time to meander around the spacious loft space and mingle with other guests, many who I had met before and some old friends, and a bar if you indulge in spirits.  After you fall in love with the costumes in the show, you can deck yourself out in similar attire as there are a plethora of vendors selling hand made clothes and accessories.

During the second act it occurred to me that Rock Opera stylistically perfectly captures both the chaotic and synchronistic nature of Black Rock City (the temporary city created by Burning Man participants).   I continually delighted in the masterful musicianship of both the instrumentalists and the vocalists.

At the end I couldn’t help but think, “What does this performance provide for the person who is Burning Man curious but has never been?”  So I asked someone who has never been what her experience of the show was.  She said that she thought Buring Man seemed like a place where anything goes and everything is accepted.  She said the show made it seem fun and interesting and that she really enjoyed the performance, the music, and the overall experience.

Bottom line: for Burners this show is a MUST SEE and if you have never been to Burning Man GO!  If what the show proposes is true that “You don’t know who you are until you find your Avitar” then you best get to it!   Attending the Burning Opera is a great place to start!

For tickets, info, and show times click here.

To read another smokin’ review of the show click here.

Love and Light to you all and as always:

Be Silly.  Have fun.

Hollywood

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Drop Box: Do Something Different


I just took the most challenging fitness class of my life.  Seriously, my arms are shaking and I’ve already made 10 typing errors.  “I feel like I’m going to puke” Michael, who encouraged me to purchase the Groupon, said as we stumbled, disoriented and depleted out of our first class.   We have 4 classes left.   Without the saving incentive I may have never faced my fear of those big scary machines that seem to stretch and bend you in every direction challenging your strength, flexibility, and as I found out tonight, your balance.  I almost fell over after 20 minutes.

I already overcame my greatest fear on Wednesday: Auditioning in a bikini, and another of my fears today.  I submitted myself for an audition for a major network TV show.  I don’t mind being submitted by an agent or a manager (or with an industry referral).  Even though I believe in myself and the work I do, for some reason I have a fear around promoting myself to industry professionals.  For some reason my mind makes me think that they are way over there in the sky somewhere and I’m just little ole’ me down here in the brier patch.   This is even despite the fact that I am a working actor and have a lot of experience on set.  My fear makes no sense.  It is holding me back.  I found out that the show Dexter is currently casting a role for an upcoming episode that I fit the character description of.  So, with the encouragement of Ken Costanza (who runs a fantastic workshop at House of Actors) I drove over to their offices today and submitted myself.

It turns out that the casting office isn’t some golden palace in the sky with bars and angry watchman waiting, not to cast me, but to cast me away.   It was just an office building in the valley with an old elevator that took me to the 3rd floor and dropped me off in front of an office with a box outside the door that said “Drop Box”

Here’s my VLOG about the experience.

I will continue to push forward through my various fears by taking action and I encourage you to do the same! And, as always, don’t forget to be silly and have fun!

Love and Light,
Hollywood

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