Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is what a theatre education feels like.

Most of the time when I tell people that I have a BA in Acting and Directing, they say "And how's that workin' for ya?" Actually, my college education taught me a lot of important things about life thankyouverymuch.

1. Vodka doesn't just get you drunk, it also works like scentless febreeze.

No seriously. Cheap-ass vodka... a little bit of water... stick in in a spray bottle, and you have yourself some home-made scentless febreeze. Theatres use it on the costumes between performances, because hot lights + lots of dancing and moving around = sweaty, smelly actors. And if you're doing a show that has like 10-15 performances and don't treat the costumes? They'll get pit stains and be really smelly. So, vodka!!

2. A little bit of cornstarch goes a long way.

Theatre makeup is cakey and heavy and melts easily. And yet, you never see makeup running down an actors face while they're onstage after a big dance number. Know why? We use this translucent powder over our makeup that keeps it on. It's basically cornstarch. It also works WONDERS on lipstick. Put on lip stick... separate the plys on a tissue... put tissue over the mouth... brush on the powder... put lipstick back on. Works.

3. Condoms: Not just for sex.

Every theatre I've ever done shows at has put the body mic into a jumbo unlubricated condom before it is attached to the actor. Even at my CATHOLIC high school. When we got a new principal my junior year, he wanted to be very involved in the drama club. He reviewed all of our receipts. Including the ones for multiple backs of jumbo unlubricated condoms. He totally lost his shit at our director when the sound guy calmly went up to him with a mic and said, "Excuse me, Father, but we use the condoms to go over the mic packs since they cost $600 each and if they get wet from sweat, they'll break. Unless you want to buy us new mics after every show?"

4. Brandy doesn't just get you drunk.

Brandy is actually excellent for the vocal chords. A shot of brandy before singing is actually great when you have a sore throat. It also calms you down a bit. That's also why you can use brandy in a hot toddy. And if that doesn't work, cortizone shots in the back of the neck will do just fine.

5. Push-ups: Not just for working out.

I had an acting teacher who is one of my favorite people in the world. And she used to use push-ups as a technique for getting people energized. Getting them pumped. Jumping jacks does the same thing. Have a job interview? Feel like shit? Do 10 jumping jacks... you'll wake up, have energy, and your voice will be more clear because you're awake now. I've actually made a client do jumping jacks in the voice studio because A. he was pissing me off and B. he sounded DEPRESSED. DE-PRESSED. I don't want to invest with you if you sound depressed, guy.

But the one thing that I learned with my theatre degree that you really can't apply anywhere else...

Crying in acting class ALWAYS guarantees an A. Always.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So much LOST hatred...

I feel like there are two kinds of people. Those who love LOST, and those who HATE. IT. Most of my friends? Hate it. I think it's brilliant. It makes you think... it's very well written and incredibly well acted... and you really get invested in these characters. At least I do. I've said before that I'm not just a LOST watcher. I theorize... I watch episodes multiple times... I post about it on the internets (LOST boards, facebook, etc.) and I discuss LOST with a small handful of coworkers.

But I've found that while there is a large amount of my IRL friends who hate LOST, there is also another sub-set of LOST fans. Those who hate Jack. You know. The main character? I love Jack. Yes, he's whiny... and yes, he's mostly wrong. Why people didn't figure out in season 1 to never listen to Jack and always listen to Sayid, I'll never know. Jack is never EVER right. And he can be kind of a dick. But I love him. Maybe it's because I LURVED Party of Five and the rest of the Salinger gang. Maybe it's because I have faith in Darlton that they'll bring back S1 Jack in a redeeming way. He isn't my favorite character, but I don't despise him the way that a lot of fans do. And a lot of fans hate Kate, too! All of this surprises me. The only characters I hated were Nikki and Paolo, and Shannon. And look where they are now.

One of my friends promised me yesterday that he found spoilers for the end of LOST (yeah right) and he's just waiting until he can spoil it for me like the day of LOST's final episode. What an ass, right? I don't look up spoilers. I used to, but I don't anymore. And even when I did look up spoilers, Darlton is REALLY good about keeping big stuff very tight-lipped.

I really hate it when things are spoiled for me. The day I saw The Sixth Sense (with the whole family... including my 8 yr old sister who thought horror films were hilarious) I was on the phone with a friend. She asked what movie we were going see, and then she says "The Sixth Sense. Isn't that the movie where Bruce Willis is dead the whole time?" WHAT. THE. HELL. Why would you even say that?

And speaking of movies that are good that you need to watch before someone opens their big mouth about it... go see Shutter Island. Holy crap was that movie good. And despite what the trailer looks like, not even remotely a horror film. Not even close.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ticead amhain go dti an Baile Atha Cliath, le do thoil

I have reached a milestone. I applied for my passport... and I am traveling overseas for the first time. No longer can I say that the only foreign country I've been to is Canada, and it was so long ago that you didn't even need a passport.

For two years, my best friend has lived in Ireland, and I haven't been to see her once. Because it's expensive. Because anytime it might be possible, some expense comes up (like my water heater breaking). Because Gene wants to come with me, and sending two people to Europe is considerably more expensive than just sending one. Especially when just one person goes, you don't have to worry about lodging but two people can't stay at a friend's apartment.

It was actually Gene's idea. He decided that it was silly that he was the only reason I wasn't seeing my best friend while she's living in another country. Opporunities like this don't come up often, and I don't know when else I'll be able to see another country without having to worry about a hotel AND get to spend it with one of my favorite people. Plus all of the stuff that we'd want to do is NOT exactly stuff that he'd want to do. And he gets severely motion sick, so he'd be no good most of the trip.

OMG I'm so excited. I need to get a larger memory card for my camera. I need to get rain boots. I need to knit myself a sweater. I'm thinking of the Vine Yoke Cardigan by Ysolda Teague. I have the pattern, and I had started it in a different yarn but wasn't crazy about it (non superwash, yuck) and I messed up the first sleeve. And then I got super yummy Lorna's Laces for Christmas in Dusk. SO PRETTY.

So... I need travel tips! I haven't flown on a plane since 2003. I've never had a flight more than 1 hour before, and this one is almost 7 hours. What's your best travel experience?? I don't want the worst... I live in a land where your luggage always gets there, there is never turbulence, and airplanes fueled by magic and rainbows.

(oh, by the way, my title means "One ticket to Dublin, please.")

Monday, February 22, 2010

And this is why I don't go to bars.

It's not that I'm anti social, it's just that I don't see the need to go to bars. I'm not trying to meet anyone. I don't see the point in spending ridiculous amounts for alcohol. And I like to have conversations with people I'm with at normal volumes, instead of shouting in their ear.

As you can imagine, I know a lot of DJs. And one of my friends DJs at a bar in Philly pretty regularly, so we went to see him mix on Saturday night. The place was packed, mostly with bachelorette and bachelor parties. Can I tell you how much I hate bachelorette parties? Hate. My favorite bachelorette party I attended was when we went to a bunch of dive bars and tried to make the bartender do a swedish fish shot, but they were always out of Jager. But I digress.

I could barely move. This one really drunk girl (who kinda looked like Snooki from Jersey Shore) kept trying her best to knock me over with her drunken dancing. I had one vodka and ginger ale, except I didn't detect any ginger ale whatsoever which makes me believe it was out of syrup, so I really had a vodka and soda. It was pretty good. It needed a lime though.

When Gene and I do go to bars, we like to play a few games. One of them is "spot the celebrity." Not actual celebrities, just people who kinda look like other people. That night in addition to Snooki we also saw James Marsden, who was sucking face in a really awkward way with an overly drunk, barely standing girl. We also like to play "who is going home with the DJ," but we didn't play that yesterday since we were with the DJ's girlfriend. She was going home with the DJ (despite one angry blondes sad attempts). Last night we got to play a game called "How much is too much?" Girls started standing and dancing on the speakers (bad for the speakers, by the way). Started with 2 girls. Girls got down on their own, and 2 boys got up. 2 boys, not allowed to dance. Too heavy. Then, 3 girls got up to dance. 3 girls are okay. One boy got up with them, too much. Boy has to get down. Then 2 more girls get up there. Apparently 5 girls on expensive speakers is a-okay, but 2 boys is TOO MUCH.

Also, some advice for those girls... if you're wearing a skin tight black mini dress probably made of spandex, and no underwear, you PROBABLY shouldn't dance up on something where creepy drunk guys can rub your legs and see your vajayjay. Just a thought.

Around 1am, I had had enough loud for the evening and wanted to go home, so we go back to our car. Outside, there is some dude with blood POURING down his face, and he's screaming at some guy and there's a girl in between them saying "Do me a favor. Baby, do me a favor. Just do me a favor" while bloody guy is still screaming and trying to go after who I assume punched him in the face. Then we see some guy smoking SOMETHING... that was NOT a cigarette, and I'm pretty sure NOT pot (I know what pot smells like. That wasn't pot). THEN!! I saw a hit and run. Well. I didn't see the ACTUAL hit and run. But I heard a car-crashing noise, saw silver car against black car, and 4 drunk people trying to walk, black car sped up... silver car chased him.

The only thing that would have made my night venture into Philly complete would have been some gang blocking off streets. Luckily, we got right on the highway back home after like a mile and everything was fine. And I love my friend and all, but I'm not going to see him again.

Friday, February 12, 2010

In case you weren't sure, I hate snow.

The greater Philadelphia area has officially broken it's record as the snowiest winter. It was 1995-1996 with 65.5" of snowfall that winter. I remember that winter.. I was 11. It was awesome! We had like three feet of snow at one time. My brother and I built forts in the backyard, as in we would pile all of the snow up in one big pile, and then dig a whole bunch of tunnels and have a snowball war. Strangely enough, it was very warm in our ice-houses. So far in the winter of 2009-2010, we've had 72" of snow. That's six feet. Six feet of snow.

I'm a little sad that I can't do that now. I mean, I could... but people would definitely look at me funny. Now that I'm a responsible adult (ha!) I really dislike snow. Though, this has been the first time that I've been able to stay home because of snow. Because I couldn't get out of my house. And even if I could get out of my house, if a cop found me on the road... I'd get a ticket with a pretty hefty fine. So I was going NO WHERE. Two whole days being stuck with Gene and no way to go anywhere else? You think I'd like that. I didn't. I was SO READY to go back to work today.

You would think that being home, and having plenty of time, that I would have exercised my little heart out. Nope. I haven't turned on Jillian since Feb 1. It's been a while. But I've been shoveling! A lot! My biceps are tired!! Tonight I'll get back into it. I've just been so unmotivated. I was so stressed out from the big work project... then it was "that time," so I was so not in the mood to do any physical activity... and then we got a shit-ton of snow. So shoveling was my exercise. I think I may have thrown out my back again. Stupid snow. I didn't even get a lot of knitting done! I can't find a single tapestry needle. I have no idea where they all got to. I have five... and I can't find a single one!

For now, I'm just going to imagine Mexico. Or Hawaii. Or Bermuda. And PRETEND like I'm not surrounded by snow and ice. Yuck.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snowpocalypse 2010

The sky vomited snow all over me yesterday. They were predicting 6-12 inches. Then it became 12-15 inches. Nope. 26.5 inches of snow. It's officially the second highest snowfall in this area, only beat by 1996 when there was three feet.

I'm not a fan of snow. In fact, now that I'm not a student... I hate snow. Yes, it's pretty. But then I have to drive in it and put my life in danger because I have to go to work. It didn't stop snowing until 3pm Saturday. They didn't think it was going to stop until 6pm or 8pm, so luckily it moved out of here earlier. However around 2pm yesterday, I get a phone call from one of my "managers" at work. This girl has no real power over any employees, really, but thinks it's her responsibility to boss me around all the time and treat me like a child.

She called to tell me that I was scheduled on Sunday... that they WILL be open... and that she EXPECTS to see me. My response? Well.. I live in the city, and if they haven't plowed my street yet, I'm not going anywhere. Because I'm not shoveling 2 feet of snow in the STREET so that I can put my life at risk to go to a retail job. Sorry. You have a problem with that, then you can talk to the GM and get me fired, and I'll just get a different second job. It's not a problem. Here's the thing though. I'm one of those people who doesn't call out. When I call out? I'm severely sick (or just got in a car accident and am being taken to the hospital...). I feel so guilty about calling out when I'm sick or when it snowed and I honestly don't feel comfortable driving that I just go in. So she didn't have to call me and basically threaten me. She didn't say "or else" but it was most definitely implied. Anyone, except her apparently, who has ever worked with me or who works with me now knows that I'm very reliable and loyal.

I'm so fired up about it! And honestly, the roads might be okay now because it stopped snowing at 3pm and they had all night to plow and salt the major roads, but when she called me, it was still snowing really hard. AND! We were in a state of emergency. As in, if you're on the road... and you're not a government employee... you will be ticketed for driving. I am also not getting a ticket! The state of emergency is still in effect for today, but the ban on non-essential drivers has been lifted, so now I can't use the Governor as my excuse. We managed to dig one of the cars out (not mine... the road mine is parked in still hasn't been plowed. We didn't even try to dig it out). I haven't been outside yet, but I imagine that everything has been effectively salted.

Stupid retail.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Tuesday was a very emotional day for me. Very. I finally watched the finale of Dollhouse and LOST returned. I watch a lot of television, okay?

Personally, I think Joss Whedon is a genius. If you don't know who I'm talking about, he was the creator/head writer of Buffy and Angel... but more importantly of Firefly, Dollhouse, and Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. Check out the last three. Not that I have anything against Buffy and Angel; I loved those shows. But Dr. Horrible is hilarious. And Firefly and Dollhouse were GENIUS. Absolute genius. And FOX totally screwed Joss over. Firefly only lasted one season... Dollhouse managed to get two (and I really think it was because of major campaigning done on the cast and crews part, and campaigning by the crazy fans) but was cancelled with six episodes to go. Firefly has a cooler story, I think. Firefly was the best show on television that never got to finish its story. It was on FOX in 2002... and then was promptly cancelled. FOX showed the episodes out of order, put it on Friday nights (aka where TV shows go to die), and didn't promote it AT ALL. This was season 1 of American Idol, after all. God FORBID they plug anything else. A few years after Firefly was cancelled... Joss Whedon received a miracle. Someone wanted to make a movie to finish the story. It was called Serenity. I actually saw Serenity FIRST. Which was a big mistake. Because Joss Whedon LOVES to kill main characters. Angel? Anya? Joyce? Cordelia? Fred? He loves it. Loves to kill main beloved characters. So I watched Firefly KNOWING what is going to happen... and I cried the entire time.

Now for Dollhouse. If you have never heard of this show.. go get it. Now. It's awesome. There are a few weak episodes, but in general, this show is amazing. And it actually got a nice concise ending that makes sense. FOX actually never aired the original Season 1 finale. The Season 2 finale, Epitaph Two, was a continuation of the un-aired season 1 finale, Epitaph One. I cried like someone had just shot my puppy in front of me. I was puffy... I wasn't forming words... it was bad. Poor Gene comes downstairs to watch LOST, and I'm curled up in a little corner on the couch ready to punch people.

AND THEN I WATCH THE SEASON 6 PREMIERE OF LOST. Oh my god. It was such a mistake to watch that much emotional television in one sitting. Three straight hours of crying. Not. Good. LOST is my favorite television show. It's the only show where I own all of the seasons... and I often go back and rewatch. Mostly because I'm trying to prove some new theory I have. Yup. I'm one of THOSE LOST fans. The ones who pause the DVR because "Namaste" is written backwards on a painting in the background... the ones who write down whenever the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42 are used. I've seen the first four seasons in their entirety twice. And multiple episodes I've seen more often than that. Luckily, Gene is ALSO one of THOSE people, so it works out. But unfortunately, Gene is really pissing me off about LOST. Because he is convinced that there is inevitable disappointment in the series finale. You see... Gene was a Sopranos fan. I don't think I need to elaborate any more.

Darlton... please prove Gene wrong. Please give us the best season of LOST ever. I'm still a little upset with you for killing a few people that I really realy liked. But I have faith.