Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Water Vendor Gets Goosed

So, as I just blogged, I sell water at Broadway shows.  about 15 minutes before the doors open to the theaters, us water vendors have to stand outside and sell to the people waiting in line.  The water is expensive, $4 for a bottle of Niagra water.  However, it is the only drink you can take to your seats, and it costs the same amount if you buy it at the bar.  A lot of people buy the water, and a lot understandably pass once they hear the price.  
Yesterday, I told an older gentleman that looked like Santa Claus that the water costs $4 after he inquired on the price.  He then made a joke that by charging that much that I was raping him...I thought it was a bit off-color but I chuckled for his benefit and went on selling water. A few minutes later I had to get back inside the theater to sell in there, so i cut to the front door, and Santa Claus happened to be right there in line with his wife.  I kind of nudged in front of him waiting to get in the doors when all of a sudden i felt a sharp little sting.  Santa Claus just pinched my butt, as he was holding his wife's hand.    I thought well maybe he didn't like that I just stepped in front of him and he meant to pinch my back.   So I craned my neck around and said, "Sorry, I'm just going to jump in front of you for a second to get in."  And Santa said, "I'm sure you are"  and he took his cane and raised it all the way up right in between my legs, to my nether regions!  
He was still riffing off of his off-colored rape joke!
I never thought I would be sexually harassed in my life, but it has now happened, by an old man that looked like Santa Claus who was holding Mrs. Claus' hand as the harassment went down!

P.S.  I couldn't care less, I wasn't offended at made for a good NY story! 

The Water Vendor Strikes Back!!!!

So as a night job while I pursue acting, I am selling water at Broadway shows.  I've only worked at one theater so far, and tonight an ugly incident occurred.  As I was walking down an aisle with my crate of water (yes like they do at a baseball game)  an usher told me I could not go down his aisle.  I told him it was my job to go down the aisle and sell water.  He said not now, (because he felt his aisle was too busy...there were about 4 people in the whole aisle, that is about as little crowded as that aisle is going to get), I again told him it is my job to walk down every aisle of the theater.  He then said I can't and I have to talk to my management.  I followed up by saying that he should probably talk to his management too, and he said he already has (because he constantly complains we are getting in the way.)  Then he literally pushed me by my crate out of his aisle.  This is in front of tons of high paying patrons of the theater.  I actually turned around and apologized for the scene to all of them.  This is the second time he laid hands on a water vendor.  A few weeks earlier he grabbed a water vendors arm and made her cry.  She did not report him.  I have.  And I have written out a complaint as well that I am contemplating on sending to management.  He messed with the wrong water vendor.  I actually stand up and fight for my own rights and the rights of others!
The stupid thing is, why would he think that I would want to walk down a congested aisle.  That is going to slow me down and hurt my own water sales (and I am mostly paid off of commission, so every water sold counts!)  Such an idiot!  
Well I feel a little better now that I got that one off my chest!

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's So Strange How Things Happen

So, it's so strange how things happen in this business, the theatre/acting world. I just read my friend and MFA classmate Meg McLynn's blog (linked to on the right) about how she was about to move out of Las Vegas and then opportunity of her singing jazz came up and all her plans changed.
Things in this business change in seconds.
Another friend/classmate of mine was telling me how she was almost completely out of money in the bank, when boom, she gets a big off-broadway play followed by a commercial.
I have had my own swing of events lately.
As soon as i graduated from Columbia with my MFA, i immediately was cast in two small off-off broadway plays. The last one ended in November. From mid-November through December I had I think 4 auditions total, all for different touring equity kids shows. I got called back every time but didn't land one. Then I went home for the holidays and when I came back by New Years I was out of a job, job, and could not get one audition to save my life for all of January and half of February. I was pretty miserable and scared.
All of a sudden, when i was home one day, i check all the casting notices on the few sites that i look at, and holy cow, there was actually things i could go to and be seen in. I applied for about 4 auditions and was contacted for all of them plus did some auditions at One on One Studios.
Time travel back to October. I auditioned for an MFA director's thesis production of The Threepenny Opera which i love. On Christmas, i found i got a call back, but then i never heard from the director again, and chalked it up to that he found his cast and ended up not needing me to come in. Well at the very end of February i get a call from the director to come in and read with him for the role of Filch, the only role i really fit for in the musical. I had a blast working with him for probably around a half hour or so. And a day or two later I was offered the role. And let me tell you, I was psyched!!!!!!! Even though the job didn't pay, i was so happy to have an awesome role in an awesome musical.
However, at the same time I was waiting to hear back from a couple of the other theaters i auditioned for.
One was for the musical The Life that is playing in Wilton Manors, Florida, just outside of Ft. Lauderdale. I was supposed to get music to audition with from the director a few days before the audition. For whatever reason, it didn't come until the day before the audition, and i didn't get home until 9pm that night. Great, i have to learn three songs i've never heard before, without sheet music (just by ear) to sing a capella, and i have to learn them in a couple hours before i go to bed. So the trooper that i am did it, albeit with some complaining.
I go into the audition directly after my bartending class in the morning. I get in, and the director of the show and the writer of the musical, in which he was Tony nominated for, were sitting there. I decided to do a song called Don't Take Much, which is sung by a big pimp. My skinny, innocent little self was obviously not right for it, but of the three songs it was the best for my voice range and i would make this big pimp work for me somehow or other. So i'm all prepared to do this a capella. I planned to jazz up the song a little bit in my own way to make it my own (and used some techniques that Penny Fuller taught me when i trained with her). However when I'm about to start, they turn on a backing track. What? I wasn't prepared for that. I had messed with tempos when i was learning it and had no clue what the real tempo was. Luckily the director gave me some hints and i just went for it. I sucked!!! I got all off rhythm but just kept going, and doing my acting. When i was done, I just started cracking up right in the middle of the audition room. Surprisingly the director really seemed to like the audition, or something in me, i really have no clue but i got a good feeling about it. after the audition I stayed in touch with him, and got a really good feeling i would be cast in the show.
So now i have this great threepenny opera show to do, when boom, I do get cast in The Life, and it pays. Modest pay, but more than enough to pay rent!!! So even though i've only been cast as an ensemble role in The Life, i had to reluctantly turn down my nice role in 3penny. I couldn't believe it though. I hadn't been in a show for thee months, could barely get in an audition, and was running low on cash, when all of a sudden my whole life changed in an instant...for now!!!!
More craziness, just today, i got a call from an artistic director to come in and audition for a show out in NY as well. I unfortunately had to turn down that audition ( a first) because I would be in Florida during all the rehearsals! It's crazy how you can be sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo down in this business and then the next thing you know you go on a little streak. Hopefully when i get back to NY this summer, I can continue riding this streak for a while!!!! I need it! Don't we all!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's a circus outside.

So, today I feel like i'm at a red-carpet event. No, i'm not really at one, but there is so many photographers outside my work today. The reason being is that the one and only Piv is in my building today. That's right folks...Jeremy Piven. Unfortunately he's not at my office, then i could hiss at him. (I just don't like him, he seems awfully arrogant all the time. Probably why he is so good in entourage. Kudos to their casting directors!) No, he's at Actors' Equity today pleaing his case to the grievance committe for his antics on Speed-The-Plow. If you need background on the story, basically Piven left the show abruptly due to mercury posioning from all the sushi he was eating. If you want more insight read Michael Riedel's article in the NY Post here:

Anyways, i find Piven's actions to be very distateful. Who just walks up and leaves a show and then has their publicist...yes...not their agent, or themselves...their publicist call in and say they are not going to ever return. It is highly unprofessional as an actor to do. Riedel does touch on how to handle the seriously ill issue in his article. Plus, Piven took a job on Broadway that many actors would die for, and would be capable of playing, and then poopoo'ed on it.
I feel a little bit for Piven because supposedly mercury poisoning is terrible. It makes you feel terrible and would probably take you out of a show for a while. But days after leaving the show he appeared at one of the award shows. How sick could he really be?

I also find it ridiculous that he is even having to appear before equity. What are they, the producers of Speed the Plow, trying to do? The show has already recouped their investment. So even with Piven leaving the show, they still made a profit. Their is no way to tell how much extra money they would have made with Piven in the show, so what are they trying to get out of him. Plus, they got William H. Macy to replace him. He's a better, more respected actor, that is still famous enough to bring in an what are they complaining about? And their is talk that Piven could get banned from Actors' Equity (the theatrical actors' union) for the stunt he pulled. I find this absurd. Just let him live. The chances a big time producer will cast him again are very slim for years. This does not warrant a ban from the union. If you want to see what warrants a ban, type in Randy Quaid Actors Equity into google. Piven should not be banned.

Anyways, we will find out soon how it all plays out and maybe I'll end up in one of the pictures from the photogs outside!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Dennehy Splash

So, as I've said before, funny things happen all the time in theater behind the scenes that not many people know about. I'll write about one of my recent auditions shortly. And i'll try to get my classmate Tonya to write about what she saw happen to Cherry Jones in Doubt a few years ago. It's a great story.
Anyways, I just read on today that the amazing actor Brian Dennehy took a mighty big spill on stage the other night. Pretty scary thing to see, I'm sure. However his brilliant recovery made it somewhat humorous in the best possible way. Dennehy is currently starring in the Goodman Theatre's production of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms in Chicago. I hope this show transfers to New York, because it has received amazing, amazing reviews. And i've never seen an O'Neill play yet.
Anyways, during a scene where Dennehy's character is praising God for his newborn son, he fell off a raised platform, tumbling to the lower stage below him, all while holding the "infant". About the fall Dennehy said, "It was a stupid mistake. I was trying to play beyond my own means and lost my balance." I remember thinking Dennehy was an old man 15 or so years ago when he was in Tommy Boy (He wasn't that old, but in my young teen's point of view, he was), so despite aging gracefully, he obviously hasn't gotten younger over time. So the fall was a big deal. However, Dennehy handled it with grace and all the class of an actor. He supposedly turned to the audience and said, "The baby is not injured!" Brilliant, brilliant brilliant. And then continued the play with out a pause. And performed the subsequent nights as well. He is 70 years old!!!! I can't even imagine.
Dennehy continuing the play, no matter how much pain he was in, shows the true class of an artist that loves, loves, loves his work. I know many actors who get a cold, or a small injury that complain about going on, or don't go in to rehearsal or something. I think that is crap. There is only two ways i'd ever miss a performance/rehearsal. If i was throwing up and would risk getting everyone else the flu, and if i have a migraine...and even with a migraine and flu i'd try to push myself through. How could you not. How could someone not do what they are being paid to do. How could someone let people down that are paying to be entertained by them. It makes me furious when i see that happen. And for an older gent, I give Dennehy all the respect in the world as a classy actor!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hedda Hedda

So, it has been forever since I last blogged and I apologize for that. My life has been a little chaotic since I got back from Minnesota December 30th. But things are finally back on track. I've had some good auditions and hopefully will have some more good ones in the next couple of weeks, and I am starting bartending school February 9th, which should be interesting since I don't really drink much and can maybe name a total of 10 drinks, 9 of which i have never tried! However, i was somewhat comforted when i sat in on part of a class and one girl didn't know what was in a Jack & Coke!!!! At least I won't be the biggest idiot in the class!

Anyways, back to the theater world. I told you crazy things happen backstage and at auditions in theater that an outsider would never know occurs. Roundabout Theatre Company has just opened a revival of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. It stars most notably Mary Louise Parker (Weeds) and Peter Stormare (Recall the woodchipper scene in Fargo). Anyways, the show has universally been reviewed as a disaster. But what led it to this fate? Famous Broadway gossip columnist for the New York Post, Michael Riedel, lends us some insight. Check out his article here. I guarantee you'll find it very interesting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2 Things I've Fallen In Love With

So, this is a rarity, but in just the last 2 days, I've fallen in love with 2 new things in the entertainment industry. One music video, and one TV show.

First, lets go with the music video.

At the end of each year, does their 40 best videos of the year article, where you can watch each video. Last night, I went through each video and one stood out. The song is called Toe Jam by The BPA. The BPA is Fatboy Slim's new project. The song features Dizzee Rascal (I'm not really into rap and hip-hop so I have no idea who that is), and David Byrne. Yes that David Byrne of The Talking Heads! Every year there is one amazing video that comes out that just totally enhances a song, that is usually already pretty darn good by itself. Think Weezer's Buddy Holly or Beastie Boy's Sabotage. Well The BPA's Toe Jam is that video for 2008. Basically there is a large group of young men and women who look like they are from the 70s who strip down naked for what seems to be a swingers "gathering". For most people, this is already pretty enticing. However, those pesky black csensor bars are up covering all the essential bits. What is amazing is that the director choreographed everything so those balck censor bars "dance" throughout the video. I don't really know how to explain it, but check it out. Here's a link:   you'll see a link for the video in the upper left corner: 

The other thing I fell in love with was a new TV show. To preface, there was this awesome underground game we played in High School called Assassination, about 200-500 or so students would play depending on who was organizing. Whoever organizes the game, takes all the people registered to play, and organizes their name in one giant circle or loop. Whoever's name is in front of theirs is who they are trying to assassinate (with water) and nobody knows who each other has going after them. So player A tries to assassinate player B, B is after C, C is after D, etc. Once player A gets B he gets all of C's cards and goes after his target. Lets say A just assassinated B, and B had already assassinated C and D. Now A would be going after player E. The game goes on until the final two players try to assassinate each other to win all the money. The game is so much fun and for those couple of months a quarter of the student body is absolutely paranoid, trying not to be assassinated. Anyways, I was flipping through channels 2 nights ago when I hear on the Sci Fi network (which I never watch) they are playing a real-live action video game to win over 25,000 dollars,, called Cha$e. Instantly, I was hooked. The premise of the game is similar to Assassination, which hooked me even more. Their are 10 contestants called runners. They are let loose in part of a city, ie the warehouse district of LA, or Universal Studios in LA. Throughout the next hour, they are being tracked down by Hunters, who try to tag them. If they last for the first 55 minutes or so (only a few of the 10 do) the finish gate opens, and whoever gets their first wins the game and the money. That may not sound interesting to you, but watch one episode, I never have seen a gameshow that is so intense! Watch episodes for free here: