Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Brand New Day

The new year will be upon us in less than 23 hours, and mine is already off to a great start.

First, thanks for the 500 plus views, everyone! This is definitely a big success, unlike my last two blogs.

Ok, next, I am now in possession of my very own laptop.

(Internal Screams)

Think of what I can do now! I can make and publish my writing and entries sooner, maybe even pick up the speed of other social media works of mine!

Anyways, here's hoping this next year is one of my greatest, from my graduation day to who knows what other great adventures...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Don't Answer Me

I can't stop having the lingering thought I'm about to explain.


Clearly I know I have readers based on the graph feature on the Blogger main page, but it always puzzles me that no one ever comments on my posts.


(To let you all know, you don't need a Blogger account to write a comment; you can put it in as an anonymous guest but add your name if you like in it.)


Are my posts too boring? Too much detail?


It would just be nice to know how you all feel about my escapades when I jot them down to share with you all.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nothin' But a Good Time Part 2 (NYC Part 7)


The next two and a half hours were unreal. I kept expecting to wake up from the best dream ever, but it was all real!

Carrie was an amazing Sherrie! I was so enamored with her voice and had so much admiration for her; she's only seven years older than me and has been so fortunate as an actress. She was even trained as an opera singer, so maybe she could play Christine in Phantom one day! (In the meantime those operatic chops will be in handy when she takes over Glinda in the Wicked 2nd national tour! Good Luck Carrie!)
 She did an amazing belting riff during "High Enough" which blew my mind! She and Constantine did that song so beautifully and absolutely intensely. Whenever she was onstage I was fighting so hard not to say her lines or belt along to "Harden My Heart" , "High Enough" , and "I Hate Myself for Loving You".You could say Sherrie is my dream role.
 
Cody Scott Lancaster and Josephine Rose Roberts were adorable as Franz and Regina. The whole audience went crazy for "Hit Me with Your Best Shot". Bret Tuomi was a really good Hertz. He definitely has that accent down after doing the show on the 1st national tour.

 Genson was an awesome Lonny! He was a huge standout and stole the scene many times. After "Nothin' But a Good Time" he actually was called to flirt with whoever sat in the very front seat......which happened to be occupied by Mom. It was hilarious but also totally embarrassing! Now you see why I said what I said in the last post?

 Of course I loved Adam as Dennis. He is the one and only after all! I was completely blown away by Mitchell Jarvis as Stacee Jaxx. I hadn't known what to expect since he had spent years before in a completely different role, but he really hit it spot on. His rendition of "Dead or Alive" was so hot!

Of course, Constantine was the highlight of it all. His Drew has completely evolved, with his exaggerating faces and all which I loved and giggled at. That golden voice of his didn't disappoint either. When does it?? "Here I Go Again" ? The long high wail? Nailed it! "Oh Sherrie"? The "hold on" hold? Nailed. IT.
Throughout the show, I had such incredibly fun moments right in front of me.
  • During "We're Not Gonna Take It" when Regina tossed flyers into the audience I caught two of them!
  • Whenever there was a number I knew choreography for, I did some while I sat in my seat. I must have really bugged people; I might have blocked their way!
  • I joined in on the very obvious lyric in "I Wanna Rock!"
  • During "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" I heard other voices coming from the audience, singing softly along.
And of course, everything came together at the end with "Don't Stop Believin" . Once again several audience voices joined in with Constantine:
Just a small town girl...living in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere
 
However, it seemed like I was the only one joining in with Carrie, as she smiled and anointed her (SPOILER!) faux baby belly.
He's just a city boy...born and raised in South Detroit, Michigan! 
He took the midnight train goin' anywhere
 
As the song grew louder and more vibrant, I was, no joke, the first one up on my feet clapping to the beat of the melody. The rest of the audience, including Mom after I poked and prodded at her, followed so.
Watching the scene intently, I did the choreography and sang with the whole cast as they made their way onstage. Out of the blue, there in the aisle was Dennis in his angel wings, firing the glitter cannon into the crowd.
Then the guitar solo along with the birth scene, and then the whole cast went nuts with the chorus.
The end...the blackout, with lighters pointed in the air, the faint glows illuminating the stage...the deafening sound of the audience's applause and hollering. I had just had the time of my life.
We all cheered like crazy as the cast came out for the curtain call. Mine probably nearly cost my voice! Nonetheless, I screamed when Constantine and Carrie emerged hand in hand.

 Once the cheering and clapping died down and the band left the stage, and hurriedly got out of our row and " 'scused me" d through several people to get out of the theatre and outside the stage door. "And...I am the first one here! Whoo!!!" Yes that was aloud. Yes I was stared at. by a group of girls maybe around my age. But who the H cares? I was first!

Other folks from the audience made their way over. Mom had lagged behind because she of course wasn't too crazy as me. Anyway, a little more standing and waiting, and then the first one out the door was Bret Tuomi, aka Hertz. I got an autograph from him on his program picture. I didn't ask for a photo though.
Genson was right out after him. As he approached, I called out to him (no kidding): "Thank you for flirting with my mother!" His response?  "No problem!" He signed his headshot in the program and we took a picture.

Next, lead guitarist Joel came out! I immediately smiled as he made his way down to the gate.We took a great picture and both Mom and I thanked him for making our experience enjoyable.


Soon after, Teresa came out with Josephine, who actually didn't stop for photos and such. She must have wanted to get to le Poisson Rogue (club) early for the cast's appearance with Jessie's Girl (80's tribute band) later that night. We didn't have tickets for that, and I was still too young. (21 and older) It was my 18th birthday. Teresa did stick around though, beckoning me with "Come here, boo," as we took our picture.

Carrie came next! I was so excited to tell how much I loved her performance. "It looks like so much fun!" I added. "It really is! Thank you," she smiled. We turned to the camera.


Katie and fellow dancer/Young Groupie Alyssa Herrera came out soon after. I got signature from both but asked just Katie for a picture because I was most familiar with her. "I love all the backstage pictures on Instagram," I told her. "Oh, thanks!" she said. "I actually posted one tonight." As Mom snapped the picture I made a mental note to check my Instagram for that particular image.


A few minutes went by and I tried to spot a cast member that may have slipped out another way to avoid the crowd. I might have seen Andre Ward walk right past me. I had been hoping to see Adam, but he probably had to get to the gig early.
Mitchell came out pretty soon after that, and I told him how great he was and asked for his autograph and a picture. "Absolutely," he said, surprisingly very soft spokenly.
I totally had not expected that. Footage I'd seen of him he was always so outgoing as a performer. Then I thought this just may be his way of vocal rest. We posed and snapped the photo.


A lot of waiting followed after Mitchell left.

 Much anticipation built up inside my chest until I could see the familiar head of tangled hair walking towards us. "Be cool," Mom reminded me. "Okay!" I groaned. "I'm okay!" Geez, did she think I was still eleven? As Constantine signed and posed with the other fans next to me, my eyes followed him. He was just as handsome as always! And taller than me, thank goodness.

When he at last turned to me, I nearly squealed my hello. "Hey! I heard from Twitter you were coming," he said as he signed my program. He actually recognized me! Was it from my Twitter photo? The Linda Eder concert? There he had been standing literally a foot away from me after his set, so...? "Thanks so much for a great show," I said smiling into his brown eyes. "I'm so glad I could see you!"

 After our picture, I presented him with some gifts I brought for him, his girlfriend Angel, and their little Malena. "Wow, thank you, this is so nice," he replied.

 As I sighed, totally satisfied while he finished with other fans, I noticed a familiar face standing nearby him. Angel!
I made my way around the cluster of people and went over to her with the camera. "Hey Angel, do you mind if I get a picture with you?" "Oh, sure!" Click.


"Thank you, it's so great to meet you!" We had a small chat afterwards, with me properly introducing myself and discussing growing up on the West Coast; her in Nevada, me in California. I kept it short so I wouldn't leave her and Constantine waiting around and getting late for Jessie's Girl.
 I called over and they called over back to me and the rest of the fans to have a great rest of the night. My night was already great, thanks to them and the rest of the Rock of Ages cast.

Mom and I decided to go back to Sardi's for a little dessert. We talked about our favorite parts of the show and opinions on the jokes.

 (By ourselves later, I finally found out what a "suggested fellacio" is. Kids, don't ask your parents until you are of proper age.)

We also talked about my ambitions to be coming back to New York permanently within the next year, which I knew she and Dad were still skeptical about. I finally admitted to her, after keeping it to myself for so long, that whenever I saw them seem doubtful of their faith in me trying to be an actress in a big show such as ROA or any other, sometimes made me actually feel like Sherrie did with her parents, who never supported or believed in her dreams like she did.
 Mom says however, that she and everyone in our family believe in me completely. "Whenever I see someone else playing a part I know you could do, like tonight," she said sincerely, "I wish I'm watching you instead."

I was so touched. I can't believe I ever thought that no one in my family believes I can do it; I felt so foolish! I now felt so much more appreciative at what my loved ones do for me and promised myself to never forget that.

When we paid the bill for the chocolate dessert, Mom and I walked down the street a good few minutes before snagging a cab back to the hotel. How was I still awake? We didn't even keep track of what time it was until we stepped back into our room. Fifteen minutes to one.
 I fell asleep immediately as I laid down, makeup scrubbed off and comfy jammies giving my fishnet suffocated legs the oxygen they needed. Tonight had been a whirlwind of excitement, and it couldn't have been better all thanks to that amazing mother of mine. Thanks Mom, for letting one of my many dreams come true.

Now I just have to play Sherrie or Elphaba!












Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's My Life

I know you're all still waiting on the continuation of my New York trip, but lately I have experienced photography difficulties. However I will keep trying to finish.


In the meantime, today I have this post to mark a special occasion.


I have made a deadline on this day. I have pledged to myself that in the next five years, I will have the following:


  • be starring in a leading role on Broadway or on a National Tour


  • Have plenty of money to support myself


  • will have achieved recognition in the musical theatre community and possibly beyond


  • this is optional, but perhaps a guy in my life?


So, I have pledged these goals to myself to complete by Thanksgiving time of 2019.


If I have not done any of the above listed, I have decided to go back home, finish my education and become a preschool teacher.
Don't get me wrong, I love kids, but I know it may sound depressing for me to give up on my dream just like that after working so hard.


Who knows? Maybe I'll make a new deadline. We'll all just have to wait and see what happens.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nothin' But a Good Time Part 1 (NYC Part 6)

A long line was already outside the front doors to the theatre when we stepped out of Sardi's.
I was so excited as I walked down to catch a place in line for Mom and I; I couldn't stop smiling! I even let out a little Whoo! of enthusiasm as other audience members caught eyes with me.

I seemed to be the most dedicated fan in the line. Well, at least personally. I mean who else went to the trouble of putting on fishnets and a garter belt?!

Hey, it was all for the show's fashion.

Mom aimed the camera at me and I flashed my rock horns.


I have to say, the other pics I took that night, my horns look a lot better than in this one.



It didn't take long until we reached the door, where ushers were standing by to scan our tickets. There was a billboard right inside on the left wall with the cast members names on it.

I saw so many names I knew from the show's website and all the social media accounts I followed, and there was no attachment saying any of them were not in the show that night!

I did however, notice that longtime cast member Paul Schoeffler was not on the list. He must have been on vacation or something. I got a little bummed out; I was really looking forward to seeing him. I have his Captain Hook performance with Cathy Rigby on VHS.

The main lobby was a tight squeeze, with a large bar area for ordering drinks and a small corner booth selling memorabilia and shirts. I was surprised at the size, but not as much as I would be of the actual theatre.

It. Was. tiny.

I hadn't expected it at all. But either way, I was almost hyperventilating as we walked along the aisle looking for our row. 
There was the Venus Club, with its neon Live Nude sign and Angelyne poster! There was a sign for the show band Arsenal, for their song "I Want your Cans" !
And of course there was the Bourbon Room! Staircase, guitars, panties and all!



Mom and I read off our tickets as we inched down further. I couldn't believe it.

She snagged us seats in the very first row! SURREAL!!!

I hurriedly sat in my seat and started snapping POV snapshots. I couldn't believe how close we were going to be to the action!



Mom actually offered to switch with me so I could have the very middle seat, right in front of the point of the stage. I was completely satisfied where I was so I didn't even bother.

(Later however, I'll have a different opinion)

She told me to pose for a few pictures right in front so I happily obliged. As a moved across to each new location, I felt butterflies going up and down my throat. I was touching were the feet of the most kick-ass cast on Broadway would soon be dancing and making crosses.

I smiled so huge I could feel how tight my face was getting!



This next pose, I wish Mom got the Venus Club sign too. Come on, wouldn't you want to do a sexy pose in front of a strip club sign?


Scandalous! One of the garters is visible!


The thrill was building up inside me. More people were coming into the theatre. I hoped it would be an enthusiastic crowd; I didn't want to be the only one screaming at the top of my lungs.

Just a little while longer, and then I saw the band come onstage. I started applauding and cheering, and the rest of the audience followed.

 Joel Hoekstra, the lead guitarist came to the edge of the stage and started pumping everyone up as the pre-show announcements were being made. Occasionally he glanced down at me and Mom and smiled at us.

Wow, was it getting too be too much like a dream!

Then...it officially began. The lights went down, Arsenal started to play. LEDs came flashing up towards Joel as he started the big opening solo.

I got more jittery. My legs got shaky again. Mom even flashed horns up at Joel, and he gave us his most hard-core playing face.

All of a sudden the solo ended. A spotlight went up the staircase and to the door to Dennis' office, and out flying came Lonny himself, Genson Blimline.
"Come on feel the noise! Girls rock your boys!
We'll get wild, wild, wild..."

I couldn't help it; I  joined in with the chorus.

"Wild, wild wild!"

"What's going down, Broadway?!" Lonny yelled out.

The theatre whooped and hollered in response.

As the opening song continued, I marveled at all the elements I saw and the actors themselves:

Becky Riker doing the Rocketpop bit, Katie Webber scrubbing it down as Waitress #1 opposite Teresa Stanley's Justice Charlier.

Andre Ward and Adam Danheisser, the two longest running cast members embracing the 80's atmosphere.

And finally...

"This must be just like living in paradise!" "Just like paradise!"
"And I don't wanna go home!"

Constantine Maroulis bounded out onto the stage and gloriously sang:

"I ain't never goin' home!!"

The crowd erupted. Mom and I screamed together in excitement.


I was finally there; after all the time I spent wondering and watching and listening online, I was finally going to live it!
...

To be continued...even more in depth and more enthusiastic!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NYC Part 5

Previously...

An awesome college tour and reuniting with our Sesame Street friends.

Now... let the best night ever begin!

...

This was it. It was time to prepare for what I had been waiting for all these last weeks, days, let alone HOURS!

Rock of Ages, with its original star. HIM. Constantine!

I organized and showed Mom my outfit. However, she told me to slip on my black slacks for dinner over some of the pieces I had chosen, since it wouldn't be appropriate for dinner.
She had managed to get through and book us a reservation at Sardi's nonetheless!

Once we were ready, we got a cab and it drove us to 45th Street. We pulled up right next to our exact destinations.

Sure I was eager for dinner at a legendary hangout spot, but we literally had to walk past the Helen Hayes theatre.

The marquee caught me eye and I couldn't stop staring. It was too disbelieving! I wanted to get in there that very second, but we were going right past it!!!!!


It was still a good two hours until we had to be there anyways, Mom said. So that calmed me down.

When we were inside the restaurant, I immediately recognized Neil Patrick Harris' portrait right in front of us.

Two frames over, my mom pointed out Hugh Jackman's. I was surprised and a little giggly at it.
Personally I think it looked far from how I pictured it.


As I took a peek into the main dining hall, I saw another familiar face, more vintage then the first two.


The staff has some 'splainin' to do.

How many artists have there been doing the caricatures? And for how long?

  We were then led upstairs to our table. I got a little bummed out; what if the other portraits I was looking for were in the downstairs dining room?

Fortunately, I spotted a familiar face right as we got to the top of the stairs.


It was right out of the movie!

Once we sat down, I took in the atmosphere. It was really nice and fancy, and had a lot of typical New Yorkers also eating there; I was expecting company bigwigs and actors.





During the course of our time there, I couldn't help peeking out the window to stare at the marquee again and again.

Our dinner was pretty good; I had a Bolognese pasta, which I guess was okay, and Mom had scallops which I tried for the first time. I remarked how they smelled fishy but tasted more like shrimp, and had a rubbery texture. Mom said that they may have been a little under or overdone.

They had amazing bread and butter! Yes, I will say that I remember the bread and butter as a huge highlight of the meal.

Towards the end of our meal, I decided to slip into the ladies' room and put on my show clothes.
One The way I found and old favorite of my family's...

 Once I was through changing, I took the opportunity away from the table to go down and scope out for any familiar caricatures in the main dining hall. I casually walked downstairs, and quietly made my way to the maitr'd.
It's cool if I take a look at the portraits, right? I asked.

"Absolutely, go right ahead."

Whew!

I quietly strolled around the room. There were a lot of familiar faces I found: Will Swenson, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and even Billy Porter of Kinky Boots fame!



I'm pretty sure there were other names I was familiar with, but I couldn't recognize their faces in the drawings.

However I absolutely recognized Constantine Maroulis' when I found it, hanging just above the doors to the kitchen.


So adorable! Just like it was in the pics online!


Pretty soon, Mom and I were out the door, back en route to the Helen Hayes.

 Finally, it. was. TIME.

We were going to experience some magic in the next two hours.

Magic I would never forget.

Coming up, the moment a lot of you have been waiting for!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NYC Part 4

Here's a fun song to sing during this entry-

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away
on my way to where the air is sweet!
Can you tell me how to get...how to get to...

You know where!


Once the Pace tour was over, Mom and I decided to take a subway to Lincoln Center since we were all the way in the Financial District...
believe me, that would be a monster cab fare.



Once we got off, before headed straight to the museum we found a nice buffet restaurant and had a little lunch.

I'll spare those details, all we really did was just eat in there.

Okay, then we had a short walk to Lincoln Center. I immediately started taking photos.
 
This is a digital picture being displayed on the cube!
 
 
I quickly found out which building we had to find, then we headed straight for it.
 
Amidst an interesting looking art fair.
 
 
 
I also snapped a pic of some ad posters for the Metropolitan Opera.
 
Who knows? Maybe I could switch over someday.
 
 
 
A short trip through the fair and we landed outside the New York Performing Arts Library.
 
The exhibit was in plain sight, right in the center of the lobby.
 
 
I went up to the front desk and explained why we were hear, but the woman simply said "Go ahead."
 
It didn't cost anything? Wow...
 
 
Mom joined me as I pushed open the door to the exhibit. We were immediately greeted by the famous lamppost sign,
 
 
 
and right next to it was a familiar looking pair of eyes peeking through a familiar looking trashcan.
 
Suddenly, out came Oscar the Grouch.
 
 
 
 
Oh, but the fun was just starting! Check out who else we ran into!
 


 
 
 
Here are two very special ones, performed by a dearly departed member of the Muppet family.
 
 
RIP Jerry Nelson
 
 

 
 

Other friends we saw...
 

 
 


 
 (Those of you who don't remember, this is Hoots the Owl, one of Kevin Clash's first characters)
 
 
And in a huge space in the corner...
 
 
For a while I pondered over how he was being kept upright. Mom thought they probably stuffed him, but I noticed Snuffy had on giant toe shoes, so he couldn't have.
It wasn't until I came back around a second time when I saw he was actually hanging by wires on the ceiling, like Super Grover.
 
 
Only his were more noticeable.
 
There were also characters featured that my mom definitely didn't know about. Luckily I did thanks to a blog on the Sesame Street website and in their big 40th anniversary book.
 
There is a special version of the show specifically for certain countries around the world, and the characters on display happened to be from Ireland's Sesame Tree.
 
 
(My dad's side is mostly Irish, so it was pretty significant to see.)
 

 
There was even this diagram here with the names and countries of other Sesame Street's around the world!

 
Not only were there Muppets around the whole room, but there were behind the scenes videos and actual pieces of music, scripts and storyboards straight from the archives.
 
They even had the Lifetime Achievement Emmy the show won on display!
 
 
 
I took photos of the picture displays videos whenever I saw familiar faces:
 
 
 
Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente
 
 
 
Head writer and puppeteer Joey Mazzarino (aka Murray, Skinky, etc)
 
 
Martin P. Robinson and Bryant Young show the mechanics of Snuffy
 

 
Big Bird and the man behind him, Caroll Spinney. he has been doing both the Bird and Oscar the Grouch since the show first started. He is now 80 YEARS OLD and still working...wow.
 
 

Matt Vogel, director, producer and puppeteer of several characters. He took over physical performances of Jerry Nelson's characters after he became unable to due to lung illness, as with non-Sesame characters like Floyd, Robin, and Lew Zealand. He also performed Constantine in Muppets Most Wanted, and is Caroll Spinney's stand in and mentee for Big Bird.
 
 
I even saw a glimpse of a clip from a DVD set I got, featuring vintage behind the scenes clips.
 
This one just happens to show Ernie and Bert being performed by the legendary Muppet duo, Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
 

 
 
There were several other familiar faces: David Rudman, who performs Cookie Monster, Baby Bear, and Scooter and Janice from The Muppets, along with Tony nominated Stephanie D'Abruzzo, still nobly at Sesame's side as a core performer, her main one being Curly Bear.
And Ryan Dillon, known now as the new puppeteer behind Elmo. He's okay, but seeing as I met Kevin Clash with Elmo, I just can't get used to someone else doing him.
 
 
 
This is Peter Linz down here, assisting what looks to be Stephanie again with a princess puppet. He is better known for his character from The Muppets, Walter.
 
 
I also found a better quality picture of Frank Oz, this time performing Grover. He actually still occasionally comes back to the show for a little bit of puppetry amidst being a busy director.
 
 
Okay, I'm probably boring you now.
 
It was a great exhibit with so many amazing things. Sure it was mostly filled with toddlers and preschool kids, but it's not like there's an age limit, right?
 
Kids at heart, right?
 
It was pretty tiring after being on my feet since that morning, so Mom and I decided to go back to the hotel early.
 
We could rest, and get ready for Rock of Ages that night! Even try and make negotiations for dinner, if we could find a place near the theatre.
 
Little did I know that tonight was going to be the most exciting exhilarating time I'd ever have in my 17 year life!
 
Coming up, dinner with a thousand faces on the walls, the rock show to beat all rock shows, and up close and personal with the stars!