Monday, October 20, 2008

my fan base



this past weekend, i took part in the imagination stage gala - which is an annual event they do as a fundraiser and as an evening where they honor someone with the 'imagination award.' this years honoree was debbie phelps, mother of michael phelps, for instilling in her son the ability to believe that anything was possible...even when others told him it wasn't. it was a great night - and debbie phelps gave a great speech.



but leading up to the gala, there were a series of rehearsals we had to attend, because there were a number of different performances that everyone was a part of - so pretty much all last week, we were busy rehearsing and staging numbers for the gala. and then on friday, we had our final dress rehearsal. at that final dress, they brought together all of the elements of the event - one of which was a collection of 3 little ballet girls from the classes at i.s. the girls part of the show was to present some gifts, and then at the end of the show, re-create the logo (seen above) from the evening on stage. they were adorable.

during our rehearsal friday, i was standing in the theater, waiting to hear what was going to happen next, and a door to my left, from the backstage area opened and someone from the i.s. staff came through the door with the 3 little ballerinas. they were probably 15 feet from me - and they came through the door - stopped - all looked at each other - then back at me - and all said, "HUCKLE! HUCKLE! IT'S HUCKLE!" their teacher tried to quiet them, but they were going crazy...and all i could do was laugh. finally we got them quieted down - and i grabbed my camera and took a picture with them. and then we went on with rehearsal.



throughout the night, whenever i passed through the backstage area, i could hear them explode into "HUCKLE! hi huckle!" whenever i walked in. and this 'royal treatment' lasted all friday night and through our entire rehearsal and performance on saturday night. at the end of rehearsal on friday, their teacher found me and said the girls all had something for me - and they each ran up to me and handed me pictures they had colored.



for those of you familiar with the richard scarry books, you'll know that huckle is a cat - so the girls dug through the pile of pictures to find the cat pictures. only finding 2, kit, one of the little ballerinas, opted for a dog but still labeled it a cat - just incase i was wondering. i've thought long and hard about this and i think this is the first actual collection of 'fan mail' that i have ever received. and it's perfect - because it comes directly from the demographic that 'busytown' is directed towards.

i was also delighted to find out from a mom of one of the little girls that her daughter, meg, was going to be a flamingo for halloween - based ENTIRELY on my cameo in 'busytown' as a flamingo lab tech. (if you've seen the show - you'll understand.) i was humbled, honored AND happy to find out that my work was influencing meg's life outside of imagination stage!


here is dame helen hedman, saying good bye to the ballerinas, from L-R: helen (the ballerina), meg and kit.

'busytown' runs until november 2 - so make your plans to see it now! you can check out ticket information by click here. and as always, if you do end up getting tickets, please let me know - i'd love to say hi afterwards!

Friday, October 17, 2008

why i love fall


the weather is great....pulling out the sweaters and jackets is awesome...but the real draw of this time of year is COLLEGE FOOTBALL! and tonight, it's a nationally televised rematch of last seasons WAC championship. (which, sadly, i will admit here that boise state lost.) the game is on the blue turf at boise state, and i am heading out on the streets of our nation's capital with my boise state gear on! the air is crisp...the leaves are changing...and the broncos are on tv.

fall is here and all is well!
GO ORANGE! GO BIG BLUE! FIGHT! FIGHT! BSU!!!!

man...look at it. makes me a little bit homesick....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

wordless wednesday: who will win!?


(almost wordless....leave your choice in comments....)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

friends, food, fun...and a creepy dude

so it's been a busy couple of weeks, as i've been weaving real life and life in busytown together! today we're going to look at a few highlights of the past 10 days or so...and maybe one or two lowlights, as well.

1. BUSYTOWN GUESTS!

so busytown is still going strong...and by strong, i mean sometimes we have shows and sometimes we don't. just depends on the day and who booked and whatnot. it is a fun show to do because of the reaction and response of the kids. but i'll tell you WHAT...it wears me out! the past 10 days, i've had a handful of fun visitors come to see the show...and although i didn't get pictures with all of them, there are a few that i got to spend a little more time with and snap some photos! thanks to EVERYONE who is making the trek to bethesda and imagination stage to see the show. and never fear...we're there until nov 2, so holler at me about coming or just make your plans NOW!


one of my favorite visitors has been miss louise block! she came dressed for october...and afterwards, i got to have lunch with her and her mom, allison! and then, betsy bear (emily) showed up - and louise was in heaven! betsy, huckle and louise pose for quick picture!


and then it was time for just betsy and louise!


luckily, she also had time for a picture with huckle.


another fun visit after the show was with my friend, sina and her daughter ruby - who have recently returned from 2 years of living in paris...and will very soon leave for 2 years to live in sri lanka. sina brought our good friend, anias, as well. and since sina and family were out of town for much of the 'motorboat craze', we spent our time post-show catching up! (sorry you missed this, nate!)


2. MR. YOGATO CONTINUES TO CHANGE MY LIFE

so those of you who facebook with me know that i have been talking much of this mr. yogato the past few weeks. that's because, basically, it's one of the best places to get a delicious treat in the entire district of columbia...and you really don't even have to feel that bad about it. delicious and pretty healthy. just check it OUT, yo. plus, it's always a good time when you go there. (and i DID go there...a few times in the past 10 days! emily levey made me go twice...and i didn't argue.) last time we went, i got 5% off for the 'challenge of the day': being able to touch my nose with my tongue! get out! but seriously...if you are in washington dc and haven't tried it yet...get thyself to mr. yogato almost immediately. (try the original tangy with mango and granola. life-altering.) also, if you're going...call me. chances are high i will be willing to meet you there. emily will, too.

emily happily shows off her medium mr. yogato with chocolate and raspberries.


a closer look.


a look at my favorite....mentioned above.

3. SING-A-LONG 'MAMMA MIA"

that's right...this week at the arlington cinema and drafthouse, they are showing the sing-a-long version of the movie musical of the summer: MAMMA MIA. hello? tonight was $2 night to get in...so we went. i mean...order a diet coke and some key lime pie, kick back in your plush seat and sing ABBA hit after ABBA hit! it was a good end to the day...and for those of you interested...check the website. i think it is around for 4 more showings this week. i mean, seriously....'how can i resist ya'?


sierra and her sister, merry, enjoy the show.


just a couple of shots of the screen. good times.

4. DEFINITE LOWLIGHTS

just 2 things that come to mind:
-i've been having the lamest computer issues. evidently, i got some spyware or something on my computer and it's been affecting everything. and it's a big ol' pain in the arse. it has definitely made me cranky. but, thanks to some friends and some spouses of friends, i think i got most of it worked out. but seriously...all that virus crap and spyware and adware and wormware and CRAPware stuff...it's not good. so you know...stay away from it if you can.

-aaaaaand last night, roommate tyler had to call the cops because he saw someone UNDER our front porch, watching him through the window. no joke. totally creepy. it was all very surreal - especially because it was like 1am and tyler knocked on my door to see if everything was cool up here...and when he opened the door he had a shotgun and was all wild-eyed. wacky. so then we spent the next hour talking to the cops and taping up brown paper over the windows in the basement. and then i spent the next HOUR after that trying to fall asleep but being all wound up and creeped out. but luckily, i live on the top floor....so if someone were looking in my windows, they would be pretty easy to spot...dangling from the powerlines outside the back of my house. but bottom line - it was definitely an exciting night at the t street house. and not good 'exciting.'

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

oh hell no!

so there is a local theater doing a musical later this season based on a classic novel - and recently, i've been hearing about a number of different people (friends and co-workers) who have been called in to audition for the show.  now, as an actor who is always trying to find that 'next gig', i started getting a little bummed out that i wasn't part of this seemingly endless group that was getting called in.  granted, it isn't a theater i have worked with at all in the past, but i thought maybe because i had recently met the artistic director and had sent him my headshot and resume (upon his asking), i might be part of the mix.

well, today, all sadness of not being invited to this audition was washed away - when a friend who WAS called to come in sent me an email he got regarding the audition and the show, in general.  here is the direct paragraph from the letter...with only the named of the show XXX'd out:

“Not your typical musical, XXXX XX XXX XXXX has a physicality that is intense and theatrical. Although there are elements of conventional "numbers" that resemble other musicals, the nature of the way the music is interwoven with the action creates a very physical, visceral style where stamina and physical fitness on the part of the actor will be key. Also, because people play dogs in this piece, or rather, people play people PLAYING dogs, there will be, as part of our rehearsal process, movement exercises and structured physical exploration to find the "style" of how this effect is achieved. Before rehearsal begins everyday, there will be warm ups designed to build stamina and increased agility. There is stylized violence, physicalized representations of motion and speed, and highly theatricalized styles of movement that will be utilized to tell a story in a style all its own. Although there is dance (or choreographic elements) in the show, the primary focus of our rehearsals will be an ensemble-based approach to creating this style.”
----

ew.....seriously?   i believe i did this earlier this year....and wanted to die.
 i have 2 words for this "approach":   oh buoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

a new memorial

on september 11 of this year, a new memorial opened at the pentagon - honoring those who lost their lives on september 11, 2001. i have been wanting to check it out since it opened - and this past saturday, at the end of a long day, i found a little extra time and energy to head over and finally get a look at it. my good friend, rachel oliphant, accompanied me. i was happy to have her along and it was nice to be able to share the visit with someone that was easy to talk to about any thoughts or feelings that might arise.

the only thing i really have to say in regards to my experience of visiting the memorial is how blown away i was by the sight of the 184 benches. each bench represents someone who lost their life at the pentagon - and i was moved and deeply affected that night by what the number '184' actually looks like. it is staggering. the memorial is well worth a visit. words don't do it justice - and pictures really don't either. but i figured the best way to share it with you is by taking a few shots and posting them here. as the quote near the entrance of the memorial says, 'we will never forget.'

i hope you all have a chance to visit this beautiful and thought-provoking new addition to the washington dc sights. it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

approaching the memorial near the entrance.

an inscription near the beginning.