Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Major Award

Today, as quite a surprise to me, I won a MAJOR award. I was just sitting at my desk at my part-time job, and the next thing I know, my co-worker, Michael, approaches me with a box and said 'Congrats....you are the recipient of this major award!' Well, needless to say, I was very excited. Who doesn't want to be the recipient of ANY award? And there I sat, suddenly a major award winner. Co-workers were congratulating me left and right, shaking my hand, patting me on the back...genuinely excited for my success. I think somewhere in the distance, I heard a band playing a triumphant march. It was all very sudden, very whirlwind, very high-energy and very exciting.

A first glimpse of the award.

The award said it was being awarded for my support of....something. And evidently, it was for something I supported on October 29, 2007. Oh yeah - and it was from Disney Destinations, LLC. So I sat for a moment and started putting things together.....October 29th? Well, looking back through my blog, it looks like I took a trip to the National Arboretum on that day. And I DID take some friends with me. So......hmmmm...I guess what I learned today is that Disney Destinations must own the Arboretum. AND...um...maybe they were really happy I showed up? But they needed to wait 3 months to get this major award made for me. So yeah...I was pretty honored. Oh...plus the award tells me how hot or cool it is in my office. SEE what I mean? MAJOR award.

See what I mean? My support? Thanks, Disney!

The major award came in this fancy box.

Here is the award set up on my...well, on Shanna's desk. (Shanna...take your vitamins.)

OK...so not only is it a pretty impressive award...BUT...it's even more impressive when you realize that it's an award that has an ON and OFF switch!

You guessed it....the base actually lights the award UP! Major...AND classy....

The big winner.

Co-worker Val was very excited to get close to the award....

and really study its craftsmanship. Secretly, I'm pretty sure Val wants to get the award next time.

And then the bottom fell out of my day....and it went from being a major award to a major bummer. One co-worker, whom I won't name by name...but for the sake of this story will just call....oh....Zangoglia. Yeah....so Zangoglia came up near the end of the day and said, "You know, Matt, that's not a major award at all. Michael's team got that from one of their clients, Disney, and no one knew who it went to....so it's been in that closet over there for 3 months. And since today was the day that closet over there got cleaned out....which we call 'Clean The Closet Thursday' around these parts...the box either had to be chucked out or given away. You just happened to be at the right place at the right time. So stop calling it a major award. It's a Galileo Galielei Thermometer. And right now, it's 68 degrees in here." And then Zangoglia walked away.

Buuut...it was actually 72 degrees in the office today. I looked at the thermostat on the wall. So yeah....this towering "award" was slowly turning into a tower of lies and deceit.

So in the end, I guess I wasn't TOO sad to know the actual truth...because major award or not, it's going to look PRETTY darn amazing next to my crystal bowling pin. And someday, if you're nice, I'll show you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jonny Delivers!

Although he truly works on his own time schedule, when called upon, Jonny Atkinson will always deliver. Sometimes, you just have to wait. I grew up in Mountain Time - I now live in Eastern Time - and I learned on tour that Jonny functions in Jonny Time. But once you get to know it, you get to know how he move!

THANKS, JONNY! LYG!

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Um......


A huge thanks to my buddy Clark for bringing this special talent show performance to my attention. (The poster on YouTube apologizes for the poor video quality...and so do I.) Things start to heat up about around the 0:58 second mark or so. Still, after a few viewings, all I can muster is a big, fat WOW.

Enjoy. And GOD BLESS AMERICA, indeed.

Cheers.
MAnderson

Monday, January 28, 2008

How HE Move

I'm pretty much a failure. After all that build up of 'How She Move' - I didn't even take a PICTURE for the blog in front of the movie poster. Pathetic!!!

LUCKILY - one person out there remembered to snap a picture with a movie poster! A huge THANKS goes out to Sir Steve Tipton, of Willy Wonka fame, for stopping in the NYC Subway system and getting a picture...complete with him busting a few moves of his own.

Oh yeah....the movie. Pretty dang good. Much better story/acting than I thought it was going to be. And like I said before, you can't beat a good step dance competition movie. So check it out, if you got the time. Or don't. You know....whatever works.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley: 1910-2008

"For the most part we are a happy people. We're mindful of and continue to pray for those who are experiencing hardship due to natural or man-caused calamity. But even those among our number who are bowed down with sorrow and pain, go forward in faith with the certain assurance that God lives and is watching over his children."

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“This is my prayer for all of us—'Lord, increase our faith.' Increase our faith to bridge the chasms of uncertainty and doubt. . . . Grant us faith to look beyond the problems of the moment to the miracles of the future. . . . Give us faith to do what is right and let the consequence follow.”

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"Criticism and pessimism destroy families, undermine institutions of all kinds, defeat nearly everyone, and spread a shroud of gloom over entire nations."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ways To Celebrate...

So...today I turn 34. Or, as I like to put it, 29 and some change. And when it starts to become 'birthday time' for me, I have started noticing a trend coming out of Hollywood. STEP MOVIES! Um...and no one I know.....well, besides Darci Nelson....is a bigger sucker for a dance movie than me. Last birthday, while the cast of Willy Wonka was in beautiful San Antonio, I talked the entire group into seeing 'Stomp The Yard' with me for my birthday. (COBRA! Seriously friends -remember that good time!? Let me remind you!!!!!) (PLUS we went to Chili's for dinner. Man, it really was a happy birthday.)

Well Hollywood has done it again! And that is lucky for my friends here in DC, because my choice for celebrating is going to see the newest Step Movie Sensation, How She Move. Plus we're going to see it downtown at the Regal Gallery Place Theater....and for those of you familiar with the area, you'll agree that it's the perfect setting to see this show. (Well...Union Station would probably be first.....but Gallery Place is a close second.)

So...if YOU are sitting there, somewhere, on this Friday the 25th of January wondering just WHAT you want to do to celebrate my birth...look no further. Find the movie listings for your area, check the times of 'How She Move', and head to theater. I'll even help: just click HERE for Yahoo Movies. IF you're in the DC area, and want to come for the whole experience at Gallery Place, buy your tickets for the 10:15pm show, and we'll meet you there!! Everyone be sure to take your camera and get pictures in front of the movie poster or theater and send them to me! And we'll have a 'How She Move' blog entry with everyones pics. I can feel the excitement radiating off you all as we speak. I don't ask for much in ways of birthday celebrations...and I'm pretty sure you can all put your mind to it and deliver THIS to me.

Step. It. Up.

Hope you all have a great weekend....m@

Monday, January 21, 2008

Closing Day Fun

Shlemiel closed this past weekend....and to remember the magic of Chelm, I used my camera to capture some of the magic of our final show for you all. ENJOY!

Dad. Thanks for the last name. It made me FIRST on the list of PLAYERS in the lobby.

Here is a look at the entire (empty) set of Shlemiel.

A couple of other angles of Chelm.

And THEN I got artsy. L: Looking up the ladder. R: Looking over the fence into the band stand.

A couple of views out to the audience.

The view out of Donna's window.

Backstage Left.

The real bosses: Lacey and Maribeth. Our 2 stage managers. Best you will ever find. Look no further.

Checkin' out my awesome dressing room station.

Dan packs up his dressing room STUFF.

OK this is one of my MOST favorite pictures I took. LOOK at all the awesome blues! Yenta and Gronam get cozy.

Mr. & Mrs. Shlemiel all costumed and ready to go.

The boys of the band. L-R: Daniel,David, Joe and Alex. HANDS DOWN the best part of our show was the musicians! Thanks, guys!

The band is warming up.

All my fellow sages. L: Rob and Howard SECONDS before we head on stage. R: Fred and Dan in a quick shot backstage.

Hmmmm...the flash didn't work...is someone lurking in the background?

DAN! Stepping into this family photo.

Howard can't believe the show is almost done.

Beginning of act 2, Justin, Isabel and Howard watch Daniel and David perform onstage.

ALMOST the same shot. One is just an "art shot". Both are Donna, getting ready to pop her head out the window and narrate.

Donna, mid-head pop and narrate.

Tom and Amy during the 'Meshuge' number.

"HELP! SOMEONE! My husband is meshuge!" (Hi Amy!)

Rob ponders life post-beard.

THAT'S ALL FOLKS! GO HOME!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Winter Blog Thaw

So I looked at the date today on an email....January 18th...and I realized I couldn't put off a blog entry any longer. Not so much because the masses have been clamoring. (By "masses", I mean my mom, my bored co-worker, Shanna, and some random teenager in Helsinki.) (And by "clamoring", I mean...well...not really clamoring at all.) More just because my December and January have turned into such a blurrrrr of activity and events that I needed the therapy that blogging has become to me to sort out WHAT just happened. (Namely....nearly 2 months passed in what seems like 27.5 seconds, and I'm just realizing it!) Here is my attempt to sort it out:

SHLEMIEL

So I can't believe that the last real entry I wrote was December 17th, right before we opened Shlemiel. Today, January 18th, we are WELL into our run of the show. How "well"? We close on Sunday! And when I think about the past month with the show, my head SPINS! The process getting the show open was anything but easy...and although it wasn't terrible, it definitely took its toll on all of us. But after we opened (having only really 2 weeks of rehearsals)and after the reviews were less than stellar (search for SHLEMIEL on the Washington Post website and find the review, if you want. No way I'm putting it on here for you....) and after we worked through a number of internal struggles with the production company, the show finally turned into such a fun, charming, silly experience....and I'm at a point now where I love doing it. Who cares what the reviews said (the Washington Times DID give it our closest thing to a rave....being 2.5 out of 4 stars. Oy!) - the general public who came to see the show actually really enjoyed the show...and the music...and the silliness that the stories of Chelm are. The show is an escape...and it's been a source of a lot of happiness for a lot of people. And I can say that when it closes on Sunday, I'll be pretty sad that it's over. But I can also say that after all that we went through to get it up on its feet, I'm proud of the show it turned out to be...and to claim it as my first real gig in the DC professional theater realm.

HOLIDAYS

I love the holidays. I'm always a sucker for the parties and the gift giving and the gathering of friends and family. And this year, er...last year (2007. Keep up with me, peeps!) I missed it all. With my Jewish-themed show going, and a rough rehearsal process, and shows on the 23rd and 26th, I just missed everything I love about the holidays. I managed to make it a Christmas to remember, though. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with friends who were also in the DC area...and I had a great time. From a Christmas Eve meal of Indian Food with the Rosmans (who are Jewish...and had a fun time peppering me with questions about family Christmas traditions), to Christmas Day FUN with the Oliphant's through the streets of DC on our favorite 2-wheeled people movers, to Christmas Dinner with The Benedetti's, a Walsh, a Benedetti-Walsh, and a smattering of others, and finally to a movie with friends late Christmas night, it definitely was a day of activity, happiness and fun. And what I loved most about it is that it made me appreciate my Christmas memories and Christmas traditions from growing up even more. The 2007 Holiday Season in my book was definitely different....but it was definitely great! Oh yeah....and HAPPY 2008.

SEGWAY TOURS

I spent a fair time in December, when I wasn't rehearsing Shlemiel, picking up tours with City Segways. I really love the cold - and it seems like people who sign up for a Segway tour in December KNOW it's going to be cold - so for the most part, the tours were fun and exciting because everyone is a good sport and up for the adventure. And did I mention that it was also cold? But I really love the opportunity to do the Segway tours...because the people I meet are, on the whole, HYTSERICAL. And I will NEVER, EVER, EVER get tired of showing off Washington DC! Washington DC is really beautiful around the holidays, too...so that made it even better.

WASHINGTON SPEAKERS BUREAU

So, for those of you who know my history in DC, you'll be surprised to know that at the beginning of the year, I took a part-time job with my old employer, The Washington Speakers Bureau. In Alexandria, Virginia. I'm helping an agent and associate team here, Team MM! I'm basically doing admin stuff....mailing and data entry and updating and what not. Really, whatever the bored co-worker I mentioned at the first wants me to do. I call her the Slave Driver. But just because it's more fun than admitting that she's actually my BOSS! BUT - although the work is mindless, and can be pretty boring, I can't complain....because it allows me to pop in my ipod, listen to music, and re-connect with people and an industry that I love! So when I'm not: doing Shlemiel or giving Segway Tours, I'm sitting at a desk in Old Town, researching bounce back emails and adding new clients to the ML. HAHAHAHAHA. That was just some of the lingo they use there. It all just basically means that I'm busy doing Shanna's job while she eats bon bons and goes out to get her nails done. And I'm ok with that....

LOOKING AHEAD

So, strangely, I feel caught up. Or as caught up as I'm going to get. And looking ahead, into 2008, I see a big, open playing field. I do have another show lined up. I'll be doing a second show with Theater J here in DC. It's a WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL called 'David In Shadow And Light'. It's based on the story of King David from the Bible. More details to come. That goes into rehearsals at the end of March. I'm also just starting work on a community theater show here in the area, 'Urinetown'. I'm choreographing the show - and get to work with 2 dear friends that I worked with on 'HONK' a few years back, Andy and Elisa! It's going to be a lot of work...but I'm ready for the challenge. I'm also gearing up for the 2008 Segway Season...so all of you who are planning vacations, get your butts out here to your Nation's Capital and take a tour! But seriously....if you're around and want info...just holler. I'd love to have you along. You gotta book early...we're a big deal in the DC, yo! I'll also continue doing random work with the WSB...as long as they need me or can stand me. And in the mix somewhere there, I'll be doing auditions here in DC and maybe a couple up in NYC, looking forward to the 2008-2009 season. The whole point is to LTD...and the only want to do it is audition! So that's what I'll keep doing.

Hope this finds you all safe and well, and well into your new year! I hope 2008 is full of happiness and blessings and goodness and joy. And I hope that 2008 is the time YOU decide to LTD, whatever it may be. Take a chance...embrace your passion...and remember to breathe. We'll see you back here real soon...with more updates, stories, pictures and happenings. Until then....Happy MLK Day!

Peace.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Favorite Song

You're not going to want to miss this hot new hit. I love it. And I bet you will, too. Consider it my New Years gift to you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: 2007 Year In Review

JANUARY 2007


FEBRUARY 2007


MARCH 2007


APRIL 2007


MAY 2007


JUNE 2007


JULY 2007


AUGUST 2007


SEPTEMBER 2007



OCTOBER 2007



NOVEMBER 2007



DECEMBER 2007