Friday, August 29, 2008

Uninvolved

I've had a strange experience with our new theatre company. I'm very active on the administrative side of the company, but not so much with production. I was part of our intro show. I helped select the season. I didn't audition for the one acts because I make more money dancing on the nights that the show ran than I would acting. Same story with our current production. The cast of The Tempest is huge, and most of our members are in the show. That's how it was last summer at a different theatre company doing A Midsummer Night's Dream. I didn't have the available time to rehearse for Tempest and I make more money as a dancer so I didn't waste the director's time auditioning.

It's been really strange being uninvolved. I've helped with fundraising and I'm going to help with the build tomorrow and Sunday morning. I'm glad I made the decisions I have, but I still feel strange and a bit disconnected from the group. I guess I'll get over that when we start rehearsing Pin-Up Girls next week.

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Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #5


Andrew and I both got one of these shirts, but I'm the only one who went to the shows. These were special shirts available through the fan club with the purchase of tickets during the pre-sale.

I bought tickets before Thanksgiving 2006 for shows in Memphis and Fayetteville. It was a great excuse to fly back to see my family in Arkansas. I also love to share the gift of John Mayer. He really inspires me as an artist, and I love dancing around the house to his music.

I spent a crapload of money on tickets for these two shows. I got two tickets to each with really good seats at both. I wore this shirt to the Memphis show I went to with my dad. In fact, I bought my dad a navy blue long sleeve tee exactly like this one in Memphis.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Play is Underway


We did the photo shoot for Pin-Up Girls nearly two weeks ago. The way the production calendar works, the graphic artist is supposed to have the promo designed about eight weeks from opening night. We'll have postcards printed in a couple weeks so we can start promoting the thing well before it opens.

The funny thing about all of this is that we had to do a photo shoot before everyone was in the same room to read the script together. There are certain bonds that had to show up in the photograph. I've known one of the actresses for over a year, but the other one just met me a couple months ago and we've only seen each other a few times. We had to fudge the "I know you so incredibly well" part so it would sell in the photo.

I think it turned out alright. My friend Chris Beyond shot these. This is one of the two options for the postcard.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #4


Where we last left off, I went to my second JM concert in Irvine. I was officially a fan club member. As a member, I joined about thirty other Southern California fans for the sound check. Sure, we were at the very back of the orchestra section, but we got to see JM and the band warm up. It was like a private concert.

Because I wasn't in jail--er, acting class-- and because I have a good job with a good boss, I was able to take off half the day to make the trip to Irvine with plenty of time to enjoy the sound check and have dinner before the show. We also had plenty of time to get free stuff and see Brett Dennen on the side stage before the show started.

This is my first JM hoodie. It has the hummingbird design on the breast and "John Mayer" on the sleeve. I dressed in layers that day, knowing that So Cal weather promises a warm midday and a cold night. I had shirt #3 layered with a light blue shirt, then the hoodie completed the look. I was able to afford a hoodie, which was a nice milestone in adulthood. (Some people buy houses and have babies. I bought a hoodie.) I had to retire this hoodie after wearing it every day for a year. The stains stopped washing out and the dog chewed holes in the pockets while in search of treasure. Of course, I couldn't throw it out. I still wear it to bed when it gets really cold.

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Showgirl Tip: Costume Cleaning

I'm a lazy costumer. I machine sew where I can, glue where I can get away with it, and hand sew when I must. I use rhinestones (glued on) so I can't launder all of my costumes. How do I keep them from smelling like ass (I hope)? I have a special wardrobe in my bedroom that holds all of my costume pieces. There are a couple industrial sachets that smell of lavender and sandalwood. I love the smell so much that I have essential oils blended so I can smell like the sachets. Of course, that doesn't clean the costumes.

For a quick fix, I have bottom shelf vodka (store brand) in a spray bottle. I can use this on pieces that absolutely should not be dipped in water. I can also use this as a quick fix on armpits of costumes. The alcohol kills the bacteria that makes the costumes smell like ass. If you try this, be sure to test it on a part of the costume that's not visible when you wear it. Don't want to accidentally bleach out the color or make it run. This is great for the bra that's absolutely covered in rhinestones.

For other pieces that can't go into the washing machine but can get wet, I hand wash. I don't use Woolite because it can make colors bleed and fade over time. We saw this happen when Andrew tried hand washing ties in Woolite. Penny Starr, Jr. told me to use Ivory dish soap. I've used it on a white costume with beaded fringe and fake pearls and it washed the funk out. I've used it on other underbits and gloves with great success. Use it the same as Woolite, leaving your costume in the cold soapy water for a little while, swishing it around, rinsing and hanging or patting dry. It's fabulous.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Comic-Con Debut


It's been a couple weeks, but I want to share my Comic-Con experience. I was super excited to get the chance to perform outside of Los Angeles. (I love L.A., but I also like the ideas of mini-tours to other towns.) The drive there wasn't terrible and we slept slumber party style in the producer's hotel room.

You may notice that I'm not as wonderfully green in this photo as I was in the Griffith Park photos. I was a better shade of green in the Los Angeles show as well. See, at the L.A. show we mixed liquid green makeup with lotion for ease in application and removal, as well as a look of authenticity based on Star Trek. For the photo shoot in Griffith Park, I had a few hours of makeup application from a professional. He applied pancake makeup with a sponge. It lasted a long while but the end of the day it was flaking off my inner elbows.

San Diego was a very different beast. You can see bald spots in the photo. I tried the same application we did for the L.A. show -- lotion and liquid makeup. I would put some on, try to apply a second coat and it would wipe it right off. I think I spent a good two plus hours enlisting the help of others to fix the coverage. I tried makeup primer and it wiped off like rubber cement from those credit card applications you get in the mail. We tried applying straight makeup and it would crust up and flake off. We wound up using gold and green eyeshadow on the bare spots. It was pretty crazy.

With all of the makeup difficulties, I had so much fun at this show. I'm eager to go back next year for Comic-Con but I'm performing something completely different. The 'Con was neat. I got some free stuff and swam through the sea of nerds in search of a Lost t-shirt. Good times.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to Class

My belly dance teacher, Jamilla, just started up classes again in Hollywood. With my tailbone injury, I haven't been able to do Pilates and I just got the strength in my legs to spin on the pole again. Without a regular fitness class in which I can comfortably participate, I've added a few unwanted pounds to my frame. Belly dance is great for strengthening the lower back without putting direct pressure on my pained areas. I was thrilled to find out she was teaching again and immediately enrolled.

I felt great my first day in class. I've become a better belly dancer over the past two years, and the new choreography is much easier to remember since I know a lot of the basics. There are still a lot of things I can't do (skill wise), but my hands no longer look like flaps or bear claws when I dance. The burlesque has really helped me with my dance presentation. I'm going back next weekend to get even better.

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Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #3


I joined the John Mayer fan club (Local 83) after reading an article in a men's magazine about tickets. The seats for my first JM concert sucked a bit. We had to hike up the hill like mountain goats to have seats slightly better than the lawn. The article suggested joining the fan club of an artist you love to be sure to get good seats. I've been a member since summer of 2006.

As a fan club member, there are special deals that take place from time to time. When Continuum was released, there was a bundle available to fan club members of a special t-shirt and the CD, dropped on the day it hit stores. Only fan club members could get this shirt. I got my regular fan club package the same day. Felicity and I were both happy. She still enjoys the shirt (see photo).

This shirt is more comfortable than the first two. They just joined forces with American Apparel when the shirt was released. It feels like someone broke it in for me without leaving the wear marks. The shirt reminds me of happy times, of concert and album anticipation. I wore this shirt to the sound check (when they still had them for fans) just like the other Local 83 members. I even made a new friend.

No, I didn't get to meet John Mayer.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hootchie Cootchie in Hot Springs?

I grew up in the Bible belt. Sure, there were strip clubs that lined Central Avenue between the bathhouses and the business district, but it was still the Bible belt. We had pretty strict blue laws when I was growing up and there still are a few blue laws in place. Of course, we also had the mafia vacationing there in the 1920s and 1930s.

Anyway, I've gotten some interest from some people in Hot Springs for me to return home to teach a burlesque class and put on a show. We'll see how that develops. I'd have to make enough money from the whole thing to offset the cost of the trip. I'm also not able to make contact with venues and dance studios in person, so they may think I'm some snotty Californian trying to get a deal. Who knows. It is nice to be in demand, though.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #2


I've been told that musicians make more money off merchandise than they do off touring. After my first John Mayer concert, I wanted to show my support so I headed over to his website to see what else I could buy. Since I was still spending money on an acting class and showcase, I didn't have much in the bank to spend on JM shirts. I scanned the shirts to see what I really couldn't live without, and I found this.

The charm of this t-shirt is that it tells you exactly what it is. It's a t-shirt, size small, bar code on the front. It's heavier than the later merchandise. This is back before they started using American Apparel. It's a sturdy shirt. I think it's one he designed himself. It was also on sale. I love this shirt but I rarely wear it because it's so thick.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #1


I decided to do a little photo essay of my John Mayer apparel. I learned long ago that musicians make more money off merchandise than ticket sales. I try to do my part by helping support what I love.

This is my very first John Mayer shirt ever. I bought it in the summer of '04. I was very interested in seeing this bloke in concert but wasn't able to make his shows at other venues until this point. It's a very simple shirt with the Heavier Things logo on the front and tour dates on the back. I didn't have a hell of a lot of money at the time so I had to chose a shirt that I'd find in a trunk in fifteen years that would remind me of that one time I saw John Mayer when I was in my twenties. I wasn't the same superfan I am today.

I bought tickets for this event months in advance through Ticketmaster. At that time I was in an acting class that was preparing a showcase. This showcase cost me and Andrew many hours of our time and about $500 each. Early in the scheduling process, we made it known that we had tickets for this show and we didn't want to miss it. Around two weeks of the JM concert, the director/acting teacher announced that there would be a rehearsal that Saturday that would go into the evening. WTF?! And it was mandatory. Double WTF?! We politely mentioned our tickets and were chewed out. The entire showcase experience wasn't stellar up to this point, so we were ready to walk and kiss the $700 or so that we'd already invested goodbye so we could go see JM live. Part of that passion came from the principle of the thing. We were totally honest with our intentions early in the process, we wrote down this as a conflict, she scheduled a rehearsal on concert day and was rabidly against us leaving the full day and night rehearsal to go to the concert. (The showcase was two weeks away and we had one scene. There were two guys who were in more scenes that showed up late/left early.)

How did it all resolve? We obviously went to the concert. We left the rehearsal as late as we could to make the drive to Irvine and still catch the concert. We were there in time to climb the mountain to our fairly crappy seats in the mezzanine (one better than lawn seats) to catch Maroon 5 as the opener. I spent the entire show marvelling at how JM could work the guitar, hoping that one day I would have one-tenth of the skill he has on guitar. I'm still waiting for that day to come. We left the acting class a month later and never looked back, and I've spent a lot more time and money enjoying JM.

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