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There’s always that negative stereotype of New Yorkers: they’re all loudmouths who yell at you instead of talking in a moderate, even, “indoor voice.” I always thought this stereotype might have emerged from the idea that New Yorkers had more attitude or are more “in your face” than other people. Nope. Now that I’ve lived here for 2 months, I know now why many New Yorkers are well-trained in the art of yelling and have little concept of speaking in a normal tone sometimes: NEW YORK IS FREAKIN’ LOUD!!!! From the buses to the honks of taxi horns to theContinue readingWHAT???!? SORRY, OUR TRAIN IS HERE….WHAT????

“Riding the A,” a poem by May Swenson

Riding the A by May SwensonI ridethe “A” trainand feellike a ball-bearing in a roller skate.I have on a grayrain-coat. The hollowof the caris gray.My facea negative in the slatewindow,I sitin a litcorridor that racesthrough a darkone. Strok-ing steel,what a smooth rasp—it feelslike the newest of knivesslicingalonga longblack crusty loaffrom West 4th to 168th.Wheelsand railsin their primecollide,make love in a glideof slicknessand friction.It is an elationI wish to pro-long.The stationis reachedtoo soon. “Riding The A” by May Swenson from Things Taking Place: New and Selected Poems. © Little, Brown, 1978. Reprinted without permission, please don’t sue me.

New favorite (& cheap) place to eat: Hummus Place!

It’s super-cheap for being a sit-in restaurant(we got two hummus meals and split a frozen dessert and paid $22 after the addition of a hefty tip). And only 20 minutes on the 1 train from our house to the 72nd stop! Speaking of the train, on our way back, Pete and I found ourselves the only ones on what appeared to be the only non-air conditioned subway train car. We had the whole (albeit hot) place to ourselves! If you ever find yourself in New York in this position, take advantage of it. Run around. Swing on the bars.Continue readingNew favorite (& cheap) place to eat: Hummus Place!

“You don’t have a look!”

This is one of the many lines spoken by the character of Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s brilliant play,”Master Class.” The play is a fanciful recreation of an actual series of Master Classes that Callas did in the prestigious Julliard school during the 1970’s. Callas, who was a legend opera singer of her and all time, says this to a young singer who is quite at the mercy of her criticism. In any event, this one line has stuck with me for quite some time after I got to know the play. Although this line is spoken to the FirstContinue reading“You don’t have a look!”

Stealing America: Vote by Vote, The Movie

The last two presidential elections both came down to a relatively small number of votes, and in both elections the integrity of the voting process has been called into question. With the upcoming election looking to be similarly close, the time has come to ask the questions: what happened in 2000 and 2004; what has changed since; and what can be done to ensure a fair and honest tabulation of votes in 2008? STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote brings together behind-the-scenes perspectives from the U.S. presidential election of 2004 – plus startling stories from key races in 1996, 2000, 2002Continue readingStealing America: Vote by Vote, The Movie

Not tall enough for…ensemble?

So, I check Actors Equity casting calls, and see they’re looking to cast future replacements for ensemble singers as thus: “Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, and Basses. Looking for singers with big, healthy voices, impeccable diction and wide ranges. Sopranos should not hesitate in showing off their sustained high notes and basses should give us their best ‘low’. Understudies for the Principals may be drawn from the ensemble.” I think…wow, I fit the bill. I have a wide, legit, big healthy voice with a high sustained Eb…perfect. Then I notice at the bottom of the breakdown: “Female Singers:Height, 5’6” to 5’10”. “Continue readingNot tall enough for…ensemble?

First Audition Coaching Session

Just came back from the first audition coaching session in New York. I hired my friend and UCLA alumn Brian Hobbs, who is a pianist, arranger, musical director and writer here. He was my music director/pianist for the first show I directed in college, “Assassins.” It was fantastic to work with him for an hour on an upcoming audition song, and I feel so lucky to have him as a resource. I paid him for his time, of course, but he’s only 20 blocks away! What could be better than that!?! I’m not a super-good musician and (although I haveContinue readingFirst Audition Coaching Session

Awesomenesses In New York

Check these out in NY: Town Shop – if you women out there think you’ve got the wrong bra size, go here and they’ll (quite delicately) fit you for the right one. Save up, though. Each will be around $50. TDF: Theater Development Fund – if you can prove to them you’re in one of these groups: “full-time students, full-time teachers, union members, seniors (62 or over), civil service employees, staff members of not-for-profit organizations, performing arts professionals, members of the armed forces or clergy,” then you can get Broadway and off-Broadway tickets for $34 with only a $27/year membership.Continue readingAwesomenesses In New York

League of Independent Theater

Reading this week’s TimeOut NY magazine (issue $669, July 24-30), I came across a small interview with John Clancy (founder of NY Int’l Fringe Festival) regarding what success on Broadway is. His quote on the matter, “Success is having the respect of people you respect.” He is also just starting up an Off-Off advocacy group called the League of Independent Theater, and I’m instantly smitten with the concept surrounding this group’s mission: “1 – To promote the artistic and economic interests of theater professionals working in New York City in theaters of up to 99 seats;2 – To organize andContinue readingLeague of Independent Theater


In addition to booking Equity full-paid productions and being involved in new musical works, my goals this year are a continuation of some projects I have yet to complete. For my benefit and your information, they are (in no particular priority): Compile professionally recorded audio and create a “demo” of my many vocal styles. 1 minute, tops. Finish a music video I shot 2 (!) years ago – here in New York, actually – utilizing a song called “Playground in New York.” Written by Erin Kamler, it’s the thoughts of a young girl coming to New York for the firstContinue readingProjects

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