Jan 31, 2011

It's the last day of January and I...

Just got some photos back from a shoot I did at the end of 2010.

I haven't often had the chance to shoot with a group of models. So may gorgeous girls in the same place at the same time! Look at them! These photos make me super excited for the end of February when I can dye my hair (currently black for my play) back to red and pluck my eyebrows!

I currently can't get enough of this song:

I'm getting spring fever. I can feel it coming...then it snows. Over it. Bring on the sunshine and spring clothes.

I have isolated myself in rehearsals / preparing for the play...tonight's our last dress rehearsal. Tuesday, wednesday & thursday are previews. Friday we open!

I'm looking forward to being open and resuming a sense of regularity in my life. It's time to see my friends! I need to balance now with some normalcy.

I'm getting very excited to have an audience. I think we have a perfect cast and a magical show. I want people to experience this beautiful piece now.

It's time to get back to zumba. I like when I can go at least 5 days a week. The last couple it's been only twice...eeek!
With instructor training coming up on March 11, I need to feel as strong and ready for it as possible.

It's been two weeks & I still can't stop thinking about "Spring Awakening". My sweetheart and I are still talking about it. It's such a great feeling to feel so inspired and recharged from watching such a show. I went back into my Sundance Lab info from when it was at Sundance in 1999. I found the original cast list, totally forgot Roger Bart was in it!

I am strongly considering a new tattoo once this play is over...I know what I want, just can't decide if another tat's a good idea.

My City Guide interview is here:

That's it for now. Off to get ready for rehearsal.

“Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.”

Tweet me http://www.twitter.com/DeenaMarie

Jan 20, 2011

Acting School. Spring Awakening.

Last weekend we finally got to see "Spring Awakening". The tour came through for only two days and to my surprise, I was able to see the final night. I didn't think I'd get to see it at all with my rehearsal schedule. I bought tickets for myself and my sweetheart.

In 2000 I was able to see a workshop of S.A. at Sundance. It was a weird turn of events that lead me there but I remember getting to see it and see Duncan Sheik walking around all the time & thinking to my very young self that he was really onto something! ;)

It was one of those things that stuck with me and then years later I find out it is indeed now a full fledged musical. At the Atlantic Theater of all places! I graduated from the ATC Acting School. I've performed in the ATC theatre. And omg, Mary McCann was in it. She goes way back with ATC and was around while I was in school along with her husband, Neil Pepe. It seemed that great things were tangible and that some things are just kismet.

I never got to see it in NYC but I listened to the music, I saw clips of live performances. Woah, it was so different than what it was in workshops! I still loved it.

So here we are, last weekend and there it is. Live. Right in front of me. It was just what I'd wanted it to be. I don't often see plays I enjoy to this extent. It's been almost a week and I can't stop thinking about it. I wish I could see it again, ten times. It took me back to being a little girl in the audience, seeing something truly special and saying to myself, "I want to do that!"

There was something about how young the cast was and how much energy, ease and passion comes from performing when you're 20 years old. I saw the difference. I remembered what it was like to truly love every moment. I still do when I perform, but it's different. The second "Bitch of Living" started I grabbed my sweetheart and my eyes filled up with tears. I was never bored, I loved every second of it. I didn't want it to end. I was impressed by the little rock stars, really impressed.

But. I did leave with a bit of sadness hanging over me. I saw things in a new way. I'm on the other end of these roles. I don't feel older. I feel forever 20. It's weird to think I will age, I will play older roles, there are roles and plays that will never, ever happen because I have aged out. Well fuck.

My sweetheart said something along the lines of that being a good thing because then you can just sit and relax and enjoy it, not think "I could have done it better" and that it's a really cool show. I said that's the problem, that it's a really cool show! I want to be (or at least wish I could be) in that really cool show!

It's just...weird.

This, combined with the way we've been rehearsing for my current play, "Persian Quarter" has taken me down memory lane the last week. The memory of acting school. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. What a love hate relationship I had with NYC, school, myself, the people in my life at that time. I don't know how I did it. I'm the most proud of myself for what I learned, what I accomplished and for getting through it then I am with anything in my entire life. It's so precious to me. I can't sum up that time or put it into words to ever do it justice. I try, for the sake of conversations but no one will ever know.

I am thinking fondly of teachers (Bella, Lee, Anya who each said things to me that I'll never forget, who challenged me, who believed in me and who forever inspired me), of learning, of scenes, of rehearsals in that strange time that will never be repeated, that nothing will ever come close to.

And I "smile to myself knowing I left tear drops all over the streets of NYC"
an excerpt from one of my poems from that time.

BRAVO to the "Spring Awakening" cast. It's been awhile since I've been hit like that with a performance/show that was charged, inspiring and won't get out of my head.

THAT'S why I do this.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Persian Quarter at SLAC :

Um...remember when I said I wanted a break? Now that I'm in the thick of "Persian Quarter" I don't. :) It just makes me want to do it more. I want to do everything and it's hard to stay at rest. It really is. This is one of the biggest pieces I've ever done. Big big big in every sense of the word. From scenes that are over 30 minutes long, to the most difficult dialect I've ever had to learn (thank god for IPA - to those in school, PAY ATTENTION) to a new style of dancing, to these particular costumes, to dying my hair again for the role. The list goes on. The undertaking is huge. The emotion is huge. The memorization. Technicalities to my own physical and emotional state. It's a lot.

It's stressful. It's very very hard.

How did I get so lucky?


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It makes me look back fondly on my school days. Remember what I came from. Who I hoped to be. I had all the hope in the world and the confidence that this would work out. I feel I was there right when I was supposed to be.

Everything is kismet. No, I'm not on Broadway. But that's okay. I'm where I'm supposed to be. It's all relative.

Now I'm on the fourth year of working consistently as a member of Actors Equity. In really great shows. Roles actresses would die to play. Again, I am constantly aware of how lucky I am. I am more than appreciative and thankful. Very very thankful.

I want to do this as much as I can, for as long as I can, while I still can.


Jan 14, 2011

Where I am. Today.


My brain is 100% occupied by the show ("Persian Quarter" at Salt Lake Acting Comapny) so it's good I'm not able to do any other projects during this time. I couldn't split my focus if I tried. This play is big. Really really big in every sense of the word. I've got a lot to do. It makes me simultaneously not want a break after and want a break after. Week two of rehearsals wraps up tomorrow so we're in the thick of things now.

Mr. Old Man Winter needs a punch in the nutz. After the impromptu snow storm last night, my 15 minute drive home took me an hour. I'm ready for spring.

I signed up for my zumba instructor training in March. I am excited and totally scared to venture into something completely new. I have so many questions about how this will work. First and foremost, how will I memorize THAT much choreography?!

I am trying to make super duper grown up plans and decisions, but as we all know, that doesn't come easily to me.

I think I might be the most indecisive person ever to walk the face of the earth. I guess by now that's not gonna change.

My sweetheart's latest silly:

Him: Did you wash your hair?!
Me: Yes
Him: It looks so good when you wash it!

We watched "Despicable Me" the other night. I absolutely loved it. So adorable. I cried. Toy Story 3 got nothin' on that!

Next week my hair goes back to super dark. Temporarily. For the show. I totally agree it should be dark for this role and usually could care less about what color or length or style it needs to be for a project, but for some reason I'm really not looking forward to this. I feel so much like me right now, at this exact moment and I don't want to change it.

Remember a few blogs ago when I talked all about "saying no" and taking a break? I've already had to say no to a bridal runway show, the big Caper hair show in Vegas (same one I got to do last year) and a film shoot. And guess what? Saying no doesn't come easy, either!

Still, I feel like 2011 is all about the new. Trying new things. Different, changes, new. With me and those near & dear.

My dreams are so weird right now. I dream about the same things over and over and over. Water, the end of the world & people I knew in NYC. That's about it. So it was very surprising to me the other night when I dreamt of trains. Trains? WTF?

I looked it up and found this:

Psychological Meaning: Your future is ‘on track’. As trains follow a fixed route, this dream may suggest that you are being helped with your journey through life.

I'll take it!

Jan 7, 2011

There, art thou happy?

Every time I start to complain to myself, when something that I love to do stresses me out or overwhelms me, when I forget for a minute that I asked for it and that I AM lucky, this section of "Romeo & Juliet" pops into my head:

What, rouse thee, man! Thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead.
There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slewest Tybalt. There are thou happy too.
The law, that threat'ned death, becomes thy friend
And turns it to exile. There art thou happy.
A pack of blessings light upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love.
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.

Jan 5, 2011

That's Amore!

Me: I can't believe you didn't say, "this chick is wack! I'm out!"
Him: No way! I said, "this chick is wack! I'm in!"