"A formidable and seamless performance"
The Union Democrat, for Sierra Repertory Theatre’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
“What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happening.”
What a rich rich year and we’ve still got a few weeks left! So, before we do the New Year’s Eve thing, I want to honor a few of the deeply beloved experiences of 2019 by saying thank you to:
A new management team that’s kept me so very busy, arranging my appointments for the great majority of 82 auditions - so far. And thank you to my commercial agents who have filled in the rest.
Thank you to all the casting folks who have called me in and called me back, thanked me while knowing I wasn’t right for the job, all who sent my audition “straight to producer,” did countless “avail checks” and “on holds,” gave me great adjustments and, of course, cast me. I love auditioning and you are so much a part of that. Favorite casting response after a first read this year? “Perfect! You are ‘One Take Sheilagh’ from now on.” I admire this casting director’s body of work over the decades so much, and this was my first audition for her, that I spontaneously threw hands in the air ala Rocky.
Favorite booking of 2019 so far? Well, truth be told I loved them all and BULL, the hit CBS episodic is number one. It’s a super respectful and hard-working set that never shies away from friendly professionalism. The nature of the show’s structure creates gobs of last minute stuff - script edits, casting, location changes, etc - and the crew beautifully endures it, they told me, “because of Michael.” That’s Michael Weatherly, the star of the show, who is so kind that when he had to say a scripted disparaging line about my character, he apologized during rehearsal. O, and the private dressing room was fab. My kinda job.
Favorite surprise of 2019? Being invited to be an Artist In Residence at The Pajama Factory in Williamsport PA. Two months of artistic bliss descended upon me and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. In spite of having a niggling concern I’d be forgotten by casting by being out of town for two months, I completed my Residency having submitted 17 self-tape auditions from my Studio there, all executed by my “volunteering” other artists to be my readers (none of them actors and they loved it!). I am forever changed by my two month Residency - any wisps of “artist fraud syndrome” are dispelled - I know who my artist is, what she needs, what she can be flexible with, and what my creative process looks like - plus I’ve got an exciting solo show in development that’s going to give us gobs of fun. Fgs, it’s already gobs of fun creating it and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Favorite reach beyond my grasp of 2019? Unexpectedly finding two new voice teachers who have catapulted me into being prepared to audition for Broadway/National tour shows. I love and admire both of these teachers so very much, and two more disparate souls you couldn’t find - yet they share a common heart … the heart that loves artists.
Favorite nudge-almost-shove by the BigU? Repeatedly running into the owner of a busy voiceover casting and production house (we both have offices in the same building), and repeatedly being invited to “stop by anytime.” I finally did just that, had a delightful tour and chat, then two weeks later sent 8 auditions to them in response to their invitations. So, that ball is sure rolling. Bonus? I’ve got my own voiceover station in my apartment now. Thank you to the friend who took a Sunday away from his family to help me get situated with that tech stuff.
More about friends … I’ve made some beautiful new ones this year, and deepened friendships with others; enjoyed my beautiful fountained terrace garden of plant and tree being friends with the new additions of sweet strawberries; excellent health is an old friend of mine and continues to stay close; had salt water in my hair and sand between my toes (ah, the friendship of a Beach!); my Yoga and meditation practices continue to be grounding helpers and I’ve seen such plays and films, heard such concerts and been thrilled by such dance, that I’ve soared to many new heights.
Thank you to my patients in my holistic primary health care doc practice who continue to allow me to help them expand their own good health - thank you for understanding my commitment to you AND my commitment to my artistic work. They always shift appointments - sometimes very last minute - to allow for auditions and bookings.
Thank you to the Library for always letting me travel wherever and whenever and however - simply from my comfy many-pillowed bed; the library of whatever town I find myself is my oldest friend. And here we are now almost to Thanksgiving - this one marking the beginning of my 33rd year love affair with my wife. Who’d have ever guessed that this completely unsuitable-for-personal-intimate-relationships tattered soul would have managed this? Thank you, Cayce Crown.
With the early days of 2019 upon us, I try to sneak a peek wide-eyed with “what’s gonna come?” and I wish each and every one of us an enriching and very healthy new year. No matter what comes or doesn’t, I have two constants I can always rely on: Yoga and meditation. I love my home Yoga practice, always tickled with how my body changes from day to day. It’s a reliable mirror for how Life changes from day to day. Some days I’m smooth as silk; others I’m wacky off balance. Some days I’m nothing but acceptance; others I’m pleading for it to all go “my way.” Some days I’m in a perfectl Shivasana - corpse pose - letting my body and spirit completely give in to what’s so; some days I’m more of a resigned pass-out fgs leave me alone ugh nope no way no how wtf I said no. But every day Yoga is still just Yoga; Life is still just Life. I’m also a meditator and get some of my visions, my ideas from the quiet time. When my eyes are open again, the funny of it all comes in. Blending the idealized sometimes funny vision of eyes closed with the reality sometimes funny of eyes open, I offer this pictorial essay of how 2019 looks. I leave it up to you to decide which is eyes closed and which is eyes open. And remember: Namaste is good but you must always always always “namastayinbed” when you wanna.
Photo Credit Cayce Crown