I mean, could we have a more douchebag governer?

What a fucking idiot.


The Blue Sack

My buddy Joe gave me the title.

Blue Man gave me "the sack"... witty, isn't it? :)

Oh well, I can now say "the current economic crisis has affected me". The silver lining is that I only worked there part time, and I do have a well-paying day job, so money-wise, we're ok.
But, I loved working there, and I'm going to miss it terribly.

Anyone out there looking for a house manager for their winter show?
Or a Stage Manager for their Spring one?
I am clearly available.


side note

Let me preface this by saying that I love Obama as much as the next democratic guy.


Is it so wrong to want Jed Bartlett back in the Oval Office?

"....I'll be watching you...."

Jen Ellison has officially thrown her hat in the ring as my stalker.

Is it any wonder why I didn't stay after the show on Friday?:)

Don't you worry, stalker-girl, I'll probably be coming to see the show again.


Babies, Babies, everywhere...

While I know that my well wishes are not terribly welcome, I can't help but give them.
Mazel tov and congrats to Jenn & Tony.


placating Joe

I've been instructed to post. Post I shall.

During my blog "downtime" I have actually been writing, I've just been doing it in a journal (you know, those antiquated blank notebooks that you write in, you know, with a PEN)

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I'm more of a "jotter" than a writer. Here are some of the jotted highlights from the interim journal.

* (on the train) Actually just had someone nudge me in the back to push me toward the door - even though there was obviously people crowded in frontof me - and OF COURSE there was no "excuse me".

* The ratio of crazy people to normal folk in any CTA setting is much higher than in regular day to day life, in my humble opinion.
* Jeff Tweedy from Wilco came to Blue Man. This would have been far more exciting for me if I actually listened to their music - or better yet, even knew what Tweedy looked like. Still, interesting for a regular old boring Sunday @ BMG.

10/22/08 (I had actually made a note that gas was 3.25/gal.....it's 2.22 now)
*So, the song on the iPhone flipped to "Don't Fear The Reaper". Now, talk about a song that got ruined by comedic circumstances! I love the song- and I always have. Remember, Nancy was a young mom - Danny & I listened to a lot of 70's rock stations growing up. As a consequence, I heard plenty of Blue Oyster Cult (and Queen, which is on now...). Now, as an adult I have always associated the song with Six Feet Under. Great show, great song. Then Ferrell had to go and take out that damn cowbell.


PRETTY much says it all

(stole the image from Wil Wheaton's site, which he stole from elsewhere)

Ok,thats it....I promise...
No posts in 3 months, and now 3 in one night

DADA Friday

I'm going to opening night of WNEP's newest DADA show- "Schmukt Der Hallen".

Metaluna wasn't scary because I was in the booth, but for this one I'm in the audience.
Jen Ellison is totally gonna fuck with me.

"Now the first of December, was covered with snow..."

James Taylor songs always make me think of Jenn Leavitt Adams.


Good Karma

Yesterday was a good karma day.

Something spectacular happened - it's a little bit personal, so I'm going to keep it to myself for a bit, but suffice to say I feel like a million bucks because of it.

(and no, Sara is NOT pregnant)

color me confused

The Presidential race this year has had its share of ups and downs.... I believe I even said here on the blog that I was predicting a Romney vs. Clinton showdown... what a difference a few months makes, eh?

Those that support John McCain, while I don't agree with their views, I understand their need to stick with a conservative, like themselves.

Those who are supporting Obama (like myself), I obviously completely understand them.

You see, Barack was not my first choice. I found him a passionate guy, but I didn't know a lot about him.
My guy was Joe Biden - I have always loved his straight-forward talk. Sure, he's had some foot-in-mouth moments - haven't all politicians? He gets to the point, and he doesn't fill it with an over abundance of scenery-chewing vocabulary (**coughcoughJOHNKERRYcoughcough**). Joe had to bow out of the race a little early - he didn't get any kind of support during Iowa, so he set aside his campaign and got back to Delaware. My focus shifted to John Edwards, whom I have always admired. His positions were very similar to mine and I loved his commitment to the working poor - there was no one else making the promises he was. Edwards dropped out just before Super Tuesday, which is when Illinois votes in the primary.
Now, Sara and I were set to be in LA visiting my cousin Martin during that week, so with my absentee ballot firmly in hand, I pondered the list on the ballot.
John Edwards was actually still listed, having dropped out too close to Super Tuesday to actually be taken off the ballot. As much as I loved Edwards, I didn't want my vote to be wasted.
Next choice? Hillary Clinton. I have never been interested in Hillary - just a personal thing. I don't dislike her or anything vicious like some other people say, I just have never "warmed" to her, I guess is the word. Good legislator? sure. Great leader? ehhhhh....not so sure.
So this left me with one choice - Barack Obama. I put my "x" in the box, sealed the envelope, and dropped it in the Mission Viejo, CA Post Office.
Over the coming weeks and months, I found myself listening to Obama, and listening hard. If this was going to be my guy, I needed to know more. The things I have seen and heard have inspired me. He's a "lifter-upper", he can stir your emotions and get you thinking that YOU can indeed accomplish anything. And then when he's done speaking, you think about the MEAT of what he said - and you agree with him and see that his ideas have so much merit and he's so ready to be the arbiter of change.
Watching the Obama vs. Hillary stuff play out was painful to watch as a democrat. To watch the party become divided, especially over something as stupid as someone not knowing when it's the right time to leave? infuriating. The vitriol coming from Bill? It killed me. Bill was my guy, I voted for him. It wasn't like he was talking about a political rival, it was like he was talking about someone he HATED. It was awful.
Once Hillary bowed out, and after taking some time and throwing her full support behind Barack, it really felt as though things would turn around....
And then the rumblings began.
I started hearing about people who were Hillary supporters were going to vote for McCain.
I'm sorry....what?!?!?!?!?!?
Are these people even AWARE of what they're voting for? Because while understand the "nyah, nyah, nyah" motivation a bit, I wish these people would realize that not only is it a slap in the face for Barack Obama, its a SLAP IN THE FACE TO HILLARY. You are considering voting for the man that she RAN AGAINST... don't you understand how fucked up that is?
It's so screwed up, I can't even come up with a decent analogy to it!!!!!!
If Obama isn't your guy - I get it.
But if thats the case DONT VOTE.

wait, wait, I have the analogy. Remeber "Friends" when Chandler wore Joey's underwear and then Joey put on ALL of Chandler's clothes???? The entire argument started when Joey took Chandler's seat. Then Chandler took the seat cusions away.

Voting for John McCain is like taking the seat cushons away. In practice, it's a great way of saying FUCK YOU to the guy sitting in the chair, but then you're left with a couple of cushions and no chair to sit in...how stupid is that????



Wow... IT Department at work does one Security patch, I restart my computer and VOILA - I am able to VIEW everyone's blogs again.....





I haven't blogged since before we opened! Now it's AUGUST for crying out loud!!!!

Well, we opened, and had some good reviews and some great ones - the audiences just LOVE the show. Well, some people seem to not be sure exactly what they saw but they know they were entertained and thats good enough for me!

I'm going to be really sad when this show is done - I love working with these folks, and its great to work on a show that doesn;t BORE you by week 3. I'm not involved with WNEP, so the only way I can work with them again is if they ask, so here's hoping they do that!

We've only got 2 weekends left, and I'm actually only there for 1 or 2 shows this weekend because I have a prior commitment (family in town), so I have only about 4 or 5 shows LEFT! Boo!

Well, in other things - busy, busy, busy.... working at Blue Man pretty much anytime I'm not at Metaluna, and also working the day job - it feels like Sara and I haven't hung out in eons!



Don took some great pics last night at "Metaluna".

Here' s a great one of the cast (minus our 2 fab-oo understudies)

(there are some more great ones on his BLOG)

We had our first of 3 previews last night - and things went REALLY well. It was great to finally put it in front of an unsuspecting crowd. There were a couple of SUPER minor hiccups, and the cast made it look like everything that happened onstage happened for a reason.

Two more chances to see it for 5$, tonight & tomorrow night, then we're off on Thursday (not me, though - I have to work at Blue Man of course!), then we OPEN ON FRIDAY!!!!!


Can't even describe...

...how much this show is gonna blow your fucking mind...

....but it will....

(tickets are on sale now, mutherfuckers...)



Don is celebrating a milestone today. Congrats man.

I cannot imagine coming up with something coherant and worthy to say every single day. Heck, there are times when I don't post here for weeks. (Although, I've been trying to be better, at least one post a week, more if possible.)
I don't at all consider myself a writer - I'm a "jotter".
I just kind of "jot" down things going on in my life and things going on in the world around me.

I did some of that in college - I used to keep a "quote" book - and always jot down thinsg that I felt were worthy - and back in those days it was usually bawdy humour and double entendre's(sp?).

I've never kept a journal for any longer than a few months - there was usually a stopping point where I'd forget to write for a few weeks, and then there's the inevitable entry that starts "Wow - I haven't written in awhile!".

In comparison to Don, I think I've only got around 120 posts. Thats not a lot. But, it was only 75 or so 2 months or so ago, which shows I've been writing more - or rather, "jotting" more.
Most of the things I write are pretty mundane - stories about things me and Sara saw or did, shows I'm working on, shitheads on the CTA - just day to day stuff.

So how are things today?
* Sara and I have been working opposit schedules for a few days, so we haven't been seeing a lot of each other, except when we kiss goodnight.
* Metaluna rehearsals are amazing. It's the best show I've ever worked on, and I still have no idea what it's about. You're all going to love it.
* Today's CTA shit head? Today, I got a lot of ass in the face - and not in a pleasant way. Summertime sucks for close bodies on the train - smelly & sweaty - yuck.

Another mundane update tomorrow.

(oh, and Brownlee? it's your turn on Scrabulous)


Seven Words

My good friend Brownlee is more eloquent with his goodbye, but I'll use the Carlin standard and keep it just 7 words.

I'm going to miss you George Carlin.


seriously, folks...

My cup fucking runneth over.....

ok, as a point of reference, the last time they won the championship, I was in the fifth grade.

I'm 33 now.

*which,by the way, was Larry Bird's number... coincidence?maybe....

In Memoriam

Now, there were a bunch of GREAT political cartoons that came out expessing sympathy for Tim Russert's passing, but I really felt this one summed it up best. (cartoon by Bob Gorrell)


a good night all around....

  • On Tuesday night, we went to this:

  • and, met THIS person, as she was exiting by the Stage Door:

I had her sign THIS:

  • and for the record, I used one of THESE:

  • as we walked away....I did a lot of this:

  • Good times, good times......


We totally weren't in Kansas anymore

So, this past weekend was the wedding of my good pal, Michael Brownlee.

Sara and I packed up the car Friday, and left for the exotic locale of... Rockford, IL.

The wedding itself was happening in Delavan, WI, but I wanted to stay cheaply, so I booked an employee rated room at the closest Holiday Inn I could. Driving 30 minutes isn't that big of a deal when you're only paying $39 / night!
So anyway, with weather, traffic, etc, we pulled into the Rockford area just about 10pm.
Sara and I were starved, so we got some KFC and headed to the hotel to check in.

We woke up nice and late the next day - it's those damn room-darkening shades, they make you feel like you're in a coma, for crying out loud and you lose ALL sense of time!

The wedding was set for 5:30ish, but since it was happening at a Summer Camp, there were some fun and games planned for the time leading up to the ceremony - so there was an all around sense of "get there when you can". I love weddings with no pressure.

When we got there around 3:30-4pm, there was a spirited game of "Capture the flag" going on. That was defintely the first time that's ever been my first image of a wedding!
Shortly after that, the "storm sirens" went off, indicating there was a tornado spotted in the area. I'd describe how it went from there, but Don is so much better at it.

Once we got the all clear, it felt like smooth sailing after that - sure it rained off and on, but Michael and Karyn were so laid back and gracious about everything, you just couldn't help but get caught up in the same feeling.

The ceremony was lovely, and I only cried a little bit.

The food was AWESOME! Who was expecting such delicious food at a summer camp, in the DINING HALL, no less? Seriously? Garlic mashed potatoes that were to DIE for, and a vegetable/rice casserole that I am still thinking about.

Then, for the reception/dancing period of the evening, they kicked the party off with a "first dance w/ slide show" that was so touching that I was bawling like a baby by the mid-way point. Hundreds of pics of them growing up, then together as a couple, then tons of shots of their families, and then a bunch of pics of their friends. I was touched to see a pic of me included (and a HILARIOUS one at that - taken just seconds after Kevin had knocked into my elbow and sent the upper 2 inches of my Guinness, foam and all, onto my glasses. classic)

We had a GREAT time - hanging with friends, sitting by a campfire, eating good food, slapping away the bugs and trying to stay dry.

Congrats Karyn & Michael - I love you both and I wish you nothing but good times and joy.

Mazel Tov.


Good News (for once)

Well kids, it looks like I’ll be participating in some theatre this summer – but it’ll actually be PAID theatre, will wonders never cease?
Anyway, joking aside, I’m now officially the Stage Manager for WNEP’s summer production of “Metaluna – And the Amazing Science of The Mind Revue”
My first rehearsal is tonight.

Let’s pray for non suckage on my part, shall we?


Want some wood?

Speaking Ring Theatre company is getting rid of some lumber...FOR FREE!!!

We're giving some quality wood away. It is currently assembled as a large shelving unit in our former storage unit. The shelves are like platforms - plywood and 2x4s.

You would just need to pick it up by next Saturday (5/31) at our storage unit at Fullerton and Western. All you'll need is a screw gun or two (battery operated) and a wrench to break it down (plus, some transportation to bring your lumber to it's new home!)

* (2) 7ft.longx2ft. wide
* (1) 7ft.x3ft.
* (1) 5ft.x3ft
* (1)10ft.x2 1/2ft. on casters
Some 2x4s (approx 8 qty, 10ft long)

If you're interested, just leave a comment here, or drop me a line


I'm an eternal pessimist

Well, not in my regular life....just in my sports life.

You see, dear readers, I'm from Boston. Being a sports fan has always been....an experience.
Other than the great run the Celtics had while Larry Bird was in residence, things have been pretty dismal. Not ALWAYS dismal, but the status quo was always "do good for awhile and then dissapoint them in the end". In my lifetime alone I've watched the Patriots get stuffed by the Bears at the Super Bowl in '85, the ball go through Buckner's legs in '86.... you see where I'm going....

So, since I'm so used to it SUCKING, it is a strange feeling when things have been going so.... WELL... as of late.

The typical Boston sports thing is to have something as BEAUTIFUL as the Patriots going undefeated last season, and then losing in one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets in years.

So basically I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop right now.
I'll let you know if it does. :)



So, Funeral home, Church Service, Chapel at the Cemetary, plus a big Polish buffet meal.

My eyes are sore from crying and my tummy is sore from polish sausage and sauerkraut.

Rest in peace Elizabeth "Betty" Kunath - you were a wonderful Aunt to my Sara, and you were a pretty freaking awesome wife, mother, grandmother and above all, a great lady.



I wanted to share, for those "Lost-ies" out there (read: Joe & Sara), Jorge Garcia who plays Hugo "Hurley" Reyes on the show maintains a Blog called "Dispatches from the Island".
Now, he OF COURSE can't talk about major plot points, but he's a funny writer, and the glimpse into things like craft services, etc are pretty funny.
There was a long stretch during the Writer's Strike where he went on vacation to Milwaukee, and experienced his first snow, and also the WONDER that is the Mars Cheese Castle. (I have held the exact same cheese in my hand for Sara, saying "Look, Wisconsin cheese!!!!")
It's good times. Check it out.

And now, onto better things....

"Lost" is just KILLING me these days - the show just rocks my world and I'm going to be very sad when it is no longer on.
Last night's episode was fantastic, and I cannot WAIT for the 2 hour finale on the 29th!!!


Thank goodness...

I would like to wholeheartedly thank John Edwards.

And I'm sure the rest of the Democratic Party would like to as well.
(Well, the Obama supporters, that is...)


"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone..."

As I stated in my last post, Sara's Aunt was really ill. In the "not sure how much longer" kind of way.
Well, she passed away quietly yesterday morning. I'm so sad for Sara's family. Her Aunt Betty was one of the swetest people - always taking care of others and such stuff. Christmas always happened at her place, and it was always a fun time.

Keep Sara's family in your thoughts...


"some...may say...I'm wishing my days away.."

what a whirlwind weekend!
And by whirlwind, I mean a whirlwind of emotions. Lots of ups and downs....

The ups?

*Sara and I went to see "The Police" at Allstate Arena Saturday night. Believe me when I say EFFING AWESOME. Elvis Costello opened and he just rocked. Sara and I looked at each other and kept saying "why do we not own more of his stuff?"

*Yesterday was Mother's Day - I called my mom and chatted for about a 1/2 hour - it was great to talk to her. We also did a get together at Sara's mom's - barbecue and bonfire. The weather was sucking, so we grilled on the front porch and then chilled inside all night (no bonfire). We had a great time - lots of laughs.

The downs?

*Sara's aunt is really sick. "They" aren't sure how much longer. It's really sad, her aunt is one of the sweetest ladies. I just makes my heart ache.

*and if my heart already wasn't aching enough.... There's a tattoo I have, which some have seen, some haven't. Here it is:

It's a beautiful memorial tattoo for my dad. I love it. It was designed by a great friend of mine, and I treasure it. If you check out one of the details, though, you'll see the second date is "5.11.88". Yeah, that was 20 years ago yesterday.

I had my little cry first thing in the morning, with a resolve to not let it get me down this year -- but you gotta admit - that "20 year anniversary" thing is pretty heavy to handle. There are so many things in my life that my dad had to miss, it's too painful to think of them. So, what makes me feel better every year is I think of the things he DIDN'T miss. He was present for the birth of all 4 of his children. He was lucky enough to find love twice. He got to be the PROUD father of a great local baseball player (my bro). He got to do lots of things.

Those that know me know that I'm a rabid baseball fan, with a devotion to the Red Sox above all other things. I was brought up in a baseball household, what with Danny playing for as long as I can remember. One of the coolest things my dad was able to do, was bring me to my very first Red Sox game - and I TOTALLY remember it. It was cold fall night - late in the season, and we were playing the Detroit Tigers (it was a makeup game for an earlier rainout). It was a Friday night, and my boys won their game, 6-1. I remember cheering with my dad, huddling under the blanket, and cracking open peanuts together. We had a great time.

So, 5 years later, when my dad unexpectedly passed away, my stepmother was going through his things, and she was cleaning out his wallet and found this:

Yeah, thats a ticket from the game - and he had written on it "Dianna's first game". He had kept it in his wallet for *5 YEARS*. I cried like a baby when my stepmother gave me that ticket.

Over the years, I have kept it in a strongbox, and in a safe, but now I actually keep it in MY wallet. I know, i know.... my wallet could be lost or stolen, and it would be gone forever. That's true - but I would always have the memory of that ticket and I would always KNOW that it existed. And I truly feel that the ticket BELONGS in my wallet. And that's where it's going to stay.

I miss you so much at times dad that it aches. I look at that ticket and I look at pictures of you and I wish with all my heart that you were here. I just want to hug you and tell you that I love you.

I love you dad and I miss you very much.


Feeling hungry?

How do you make a "Tired Dianna" sandwich?

Well, first you need the base, your bread. My bread consists of a 40-hr a week day job. I'm on hour 39 of my 40 RIGHT NOW. My bread is imitation wonder bread - it looks tough but one swipe of the butter knife and it falls to bits.
Then you add your condiments, which is any EXTRA work you may do during the week. A light week will get you nice things like "Grey Poupon" or "pesto". Tonight is hours 12 through 19.5 of my almost 20 hour work week at my SECOND JOB. Not quite Miracle Whip yet, but it certainly wasn't Hellman's either.
Then there's your meat. The meat represents how much sleep you've had. The more fou-fou and expensive sounding the meat is, the more sleep you've had. This wasn't quite a SPAM week of sleep, more an "olive loaf" week.
ANd finally, there's your cheese. Cheese represents the amount of crap you've had to deal with. The better the cheese, the better your week went. I had a "fake american cheese in those cellophane wrappers" kind of weeks. No, not Kraft singles, the CHEAP version of that. Not an out and out crappy week (represented lovingly by welfare cheese), but just bad enough - you direct people into a theatre during a downpour and tell me what kind of week YOU had :)

Now, when I woke up this morning, I thought my sandwich was pretty bad. It could totally get worse, but I wasn't sure how that could be.
Then I got my side salad of cramps and my menstruation back of chips and knew my week was done.

over and out.



40 hours at day job


19 hours at Blue Man



And I'm not even working on a show right now.... Man, I am getting way to old for this.


want to...

I want to apologize to someone, but I know it's dumb to do it.

Maybe some day.

Not today.


"The Road"

I finished "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy a couple of days ago.

I've needed a couple of days to step away from it in order to write down my thoughts. And, in all honosty, I'm still sorting through some of them. It's a DARK and horribly depressing tale, so you need to wrap your head around some pretty horrific images.

Suffice to say, this is easily one of the best books I've read in a long time.

If you haven't read this very deserving Pulitzer-Prize winning book, hurry out and do it now.


Non-equity jeffs

Chris Jones has a pretty comprehensive list of the nominees, and for ONCE I actually know a bunch of people and wanted to say congrats!

First off, one of the best shows I saw all of last year was New Leaf's "The Dining Room". And lo and behold, nominations for both "Best Director / Play" and "Best Ensemble"!! Kudos New Leaf! I had actually initially gone to the show because one of the actors, Marsha Harmon, temped in my office for almost a month, and we (of course) talked about theatre every day - so when the show was up and running, some gals from the office and I went to see Marsha. What I saw was such a lovely, nuanced production - the ease with which the actors slid from role to role, and the way the theatre space was simply PERFECT for this show was unbelievable. (On a side note, I'm dissapointed that fellow theatre blogger Nick Keenan was not nominated for his sound design for this one... it was just wonderful, and so completely essential)

'Best Production / Play' kudos go out to my pals at Steep, for getting their show "The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui" nominated. I worked with these guys last fall, Assistant Directing their production of "Coronado", and I never have anything but praise for these guys (and gals now, too!). Congrats Steep!

Brian Parry was nominated for "Three Hotels" (I worked with Brian on the aforementioned "Coronado"), and Dana Tretta was nominated for "Cabaret" (we worked together on SRT's "Caucasian Chalk Circle"). Congrats you two!!!

Fellow Theatre blogger Rebecca Zellar's company GreyZelda recieved an actor nomination for their production of "A View from The Bridge". Congrats to your company, Rebecca, forthe recognition! (and, congrats to your actor, Nicolle!!!)

And finally, a dual nomination for Kimberly Morris, for her costume AND mask design for Lifeline's "Island of Dr. Moreau". Kim's sister Karyn is a friend of mine (and soon-to-be-sister-in-law to friend and fellow blogger Michael Brownlee), and I've never heard anything but MOUNTAINS of praise for Kim's work - I'll be sure to congratulate her in person at Karyn and Michael's wedding (which is in only 36 days - did you know that Mikey???)

Congrats all around!


for crying out LOUD

I cannot WAIT until people stop talking about Rev. Wright.
The distraction from the true issues is driving me NUTS.


::tiptoe up onto the soapbox::

Let me preface my current rant by saying I am by no means an animal rights activist, but I still feel that animals have SOME rights - like, you know, to live and all.

First - There was a story on the Today show this morning about the woman in Florida who found an alligator in her kitchen. It was full of amusing stuff like her 911 call, waiting around for the animal control guy, etc etc. All good fun, right? There was a wild animal expert of some kind or a zoo-type person who was trying to explain the behaviour by saying that gators are hard wired for 3 things - eat, mate, swim (I'm paraphrasing) - so the expert guy says the gator was most likely going after the womans cat (eating) or caught a scent that smelled like some boots he wanted to knock (mate). The end of the story made a small remark about how the gator was finally taken out of the poor woman's kitchen (ha ha ha) and then taken away where it was destoyed. Okay, now back to you Meredith.....

Wait... destroyed? For doing what all animals do, which is follow their instinct? really?
You're telling me this gator, couldn't have been subdued and then released back in the everglades or in the wild somewhere? donated to a zoo? It HAD to be destroyed?

Now, there was also a story from California about a bear trainer who was working with a bear (black bear or grizzly, not sure), and he was bitten on the neck by the bear and killed. And the newscaster said "they are deciding whether or not to destroy the bear"
WHAT?!?!?!?!? For following it's animal instinct of "bite on the neck anyone who makes me do something I don't want to do" - like be in movies - apparently this was a bear that had been in some films...
Now, I understand that the killing of the trainer is tragic, and this defintely signals that Mr. Bear is now retired from the movie business --- but killing him?

Recently, you may have heard about the couger that was roaming around Roscoe Village in Chicago and was shot and killed by the police. (and by couger I mean the wild cat, not and 45 year old female sex pot). And when I say shot, I mean the couger was pumped full of lead. The pictures I saw show at least 3 shots hitting him. The cops said they were "charged" by the couger and had to shoot it in self defense. Yes, it was a residential area, yes there were families and kids around .... but my heart feels like there HAD to have been some other way. I know, I know --- hindsight is 20/20 and I wasn't there and all that crap. But the news just kept showing the cops slapping each other on the back, etc, and it made me kind of sick.
They couldn't stay in their cruisers and use the PA to tell people to stay in their houses?
Lincon Park Zoo is a 10 minute drive away - and I'm sure they had SOMEONE there that could have handled this....

What do you think?


Auditions are Dante's unknown 9th ring of hell

Don has listed some audition tips in today's post.

Here are some more.

1. Don't tell me this is "the part you[ve always wanted to play"
I had 3 chicks tell me at Crucible auditions "I've ALWAYS wanted to play Elizabeth Proctor".
That's AWESOME... thank you for sharing....NEXT!

2. Don't try to be OVER nice to the auditor out front (me).
I'm a cynical asshole, and I don't take kindly to flirting.... oh, and by the way cheesedick, I'm GAY, so put it away and waste your masculine wiles on another chick that cares.
Thank you...NEXT

3. Ladies - wear underwear.
I shit you not - last full audition I sat through when I was directing, I was flashed 3 different times by 3 different leg-crossing chick auditioners. Trust me, I enjoy the view, but it makes me forget what character qualities I was looking for. "Wait... what show am I directing again????"
Thank you again ladies.....::wink, wink::..... NEXT

4. Be prepared to do anything with that "great" monologue you have in your back pocket.
I've asked people to do it WITHOUT the blocking they've set up, and it totally throws them..... really people?
Best audition ever - the director asked the audtioner in question to do his monologue as a gorilla - to free his body and get him doing somthing totally out of the ordinary.
He did the best fucking gorilla I've ever seen, and it in some ways IMPROVED the monolgue.
Needless to say he was cast - and I've worked with him twice since then and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. (Moral of the story: Paul Fagen does a MEAN gorilla. SO cast him, already!)

I KNOW that headshots can be expensive - but isn't it worth it if you can actually get roles because people look at your picture later and say "Great audition - great picture".
Now don't get me wrong - I've never been in the room and had people say "that picture sucks - there's no way I'm casting them", but if there's a chance we would look at the picture later and not recognize you, shouldn't that be a sign that you need new ones?

As a CONSTRUCTIVE point, I would encourage actors to try sitting out front during an audition and checking in people, or sitting inside and watching auditioners just a couple of times in your life. It will help you make smarter decisions IMMEDIATELY.

I promise.

(oh, and Red Sox won yesterday, so I'm in a chipper mood!)


It's the most won-der-ful time of the year...

It's the time of year that makes me feel like my brother and I *are* related...

We may have very little common- but we can ALWAYS talk about baseball.

There's a line from "Field of Dreams" that says it best for me. Yeah, yeah, the movie's cheesy...but the entire thing was all about a guy having a second chance to "have a catch" with his dad.

James Earl Jones' character says: "The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time."

Baseball has marked the time.

It sure has.

I could tell a story or two about the meaning that baseball has in my life - but I won't. :)
Just know that it means a lot.

Sox win, 6-4.


called out for calling out

So, I called out Kris Vire for his lack of a new blog for 10 days - he apologized and obliged with a new post.

Then I thought about it.... If I'm hard on others (in a vaguely stalker-ish kind of way), then I suppose I should update for my 3 readers as well. It's only fair.

"The Diviners" closed this weekend. It was the best play that no one saw. Our house were kind of lacking, but the show itself never lacked. These guys gave their all if it were 7 people or if it were 37. There were some backstage tensions during our last full production, so it was great to have a tension free run. Actors who liked each other - professionals who brought their A-game every night. And every time I listen to that soundtrack I just want to hug Joe & Steve. Should you have a chance to hire Toxic Bag Prod. to do your sound design, DO IT.

Last night I watched 'Into The Wild" finally. Cried my eyes out, I have to say. Even though I had read the book and completely knew how it was going to end. What a great performance by Emile Hirsch - he was amazing.

And lastly, had "more than 6 hours" of sleep last night for first time in about 3 weeks. It was DIVINE.



  • There was a little kid at Blue Man last night who was just jumping up and down on his seat during the finale he was so excited (there was no one behind them, so that didn't matter)Stuff like that just warms my cynical heart.
  • There's a WMFA chick I work with at BMG (that's the shortened version of "wicked-mega-fuckin-awesome") who is having some health problems and is on a leave of absence. I think about her daily and I keep hoping the good mojo I keep sending her via my brainwaves is helping.
  • "The Diviners" closes this weekend, so starting tonight there are only 4 more chances to see it! 312-458-9374 for reservations.
  • Yesterday I got the wedding invitation for 2 of my favorite people in the whole world - it made my heart smile :)
  • Sunday is the first day since Easter that I haven't had to be at either my day job, BMG, or The Diviners. Let's just say I plan on sleeping in...HEAVILY.

That's it for now I guess....


To quit or not to Quit?

There's a lot of ker-fuffle over at Don's house regarding 2 female actors who dropped out of slated shows due to being cast in "Shout! The New Mod musical". I have some pointed responses in the comments...

The bottom line (IMHO), is that regardless of whether it's a great opportunity or not, quitting a show SUCKS. Replacing an actor a week or 2 before a show opens sucks in the obvious ways (finding someone, getting them caught up with blocking, and getting them off book), but it is the UN-obvious ways that can do irreparable harm to a show.
Even losing the smallest cog in the wheel right before heading into tech week can change the emotional and psychological makeup of your cast - not to mention, your cast that is still in place will need to work even harder while you bring the new person up to speed, creating a hostile atmosphere if not handled correctly.

I understand the idea of artists having "better prospects" - but there should still be at least SOME element or respect for the dudes that cast you in the first place...

Let me tell a story... and I will humourously refer to myself in the third person. (it's long, go grab some coffee first Brownlee)

Years ago, when a wee Dianna first descended upon the Chicago Theatre scene (1999 - 2001), she had some early success working for a couple of smaller companies - she always thought herself woefully under-qualified, so she took whatever she could get. One of those was a gentlemen's handshake/agreement in earnest to stage manage a smaller company's fall & spring shows. (This is a company that no longer exists, but she still won't tell you...). Well, in the fall they produced a fairly ok version of Guare's "House of Blue Leaves". It was the first time she even read the play and she really enjoyed it - plus, the production wasn't bad. Working with the Artistic Director and Managing Director was... strange... and.... complicated....
They weren't unprofessional - but they were weird to work with. Needy and over-emotional. They both were in the show (in the leads, of course), so it created some conflict here and there.

Now, in between the Fall and Spring show for the company described above, Dianna was hired as ASM for the About Face production of Neil LaBute's "Bash: The Latterday Plays". This was (and still is) one of her most artistically satisfying production of her career.
When Bash was drawing to a close, the then-PM of About Face, Greg Copeland, told me they loved me, loved my work, and I had a great relationship with the SM (Cassie?). They wanted to hire me for their next show, "The Terrible Girls". He described the show - it sounded awesome - I was totally excited.
However, dates for the Terrible Girls fell directly in conflict with dates for "Un-Named Company"'s Spring show of "Death and The Maiden".

Herin lies the conflict (and it hurts to write in third person, so now I'll stop): I never had a contract with the other company - we always talked about it, but we just never got around to it. But I was conflicted about leaving "Death and The Maiden" to work with ABout Face. While it was an AWESOME opportunity, I was new to the city, and I was afraid of burning bridges etc..
I spoke with Greg about it, and I explained that even though I didn't have a contract, I didn't feel "right" about leaving them - Greg completely respected my decision, and that was that.

Now, before we started "Death & The Maiden", The Artistic Director told me that the Managing Director was going to direct. (and of course, AD was slated to be the female lead). I explained to the AD that the MD is very emotional and confrontational, flies of the handle, yadda yadda, and she cajoled me by saying "well, you'll only have to deal with him during rehearsal... once the show opens he'll be gone"

Let's flash forward to the Thursday or Friday before tech week. It was a rehearsal I couldn't make it to, so the Asst. Director ran the rehearsal - and I find out later that the MD/D had a SHOUTING match with the male lead, and the actor stormed off and left the rehearsal. I spoke to the AD, and she said worst case scenario is that the MD could step in and learn the role quick --- I nearly shit my pants - - the MD I don't like, that always reacts strongly to EVERYTHING - I now had the prospect of dealing with him for the additional 8 week run.... oy vey!
We convene for the Saturday afternoon rehearsal - things are going ok for awhile - and then....
ka-BLOOEY! Director and Actor start shouting at each other, and actor (rightly so) tells the director fuck you, and storms off saying "I Quit!"
The director picks up the script, jumps on stage and says "lets keep going - looks like I'm gonna have to start memorizing these now"

As I left the rehearsal, my hands were shaking and my mind was reeling - I did what all women in my family do when they are freaking out - I stopped at the store and bought a pack of cigarettes. I had a standing date to meet my friend Lisa at The Melrose Diner that evening anyway, so when I walked in and she was already at our customary booth, she waited until finishing her page she was reading to look up - and when she did and saw me frantically puffing on a cigarette, she said "holy shit - what happened?". I related the story - said I didn't think I could handle another 8 weeks of this. I told Lisa I thought I should quit. She agreed. I called the AD the next day (Sunday) and said I couldn't work with the MD anymore, and that the propect of another 8 weeks with him was enough to make me chain smoke. She tried to get me to stay - I refused. I stopped by the theatre the next day after work to drop off the keys to the space and the audio disc for the show - the AD answered the door, and the MD was in the background - he looked like he wanted to punch me in the face. I didn't care. I handed off the items and said 'see ya" and I was out of there. I never felt so free in my life.

So, 4 days later, instead of being at opening night of Death and The Maiden, I attended a preview performance of "The Terrible Girls" at About Face with Lisa. We had a LONG conversation after the fact about whether or not I should have ever gone back to the other theatre company, whether or not I should have just ACCEPTED the Terrible Girls job....
I'm still (7 years later) not sure which decision would have been right....
Would I have been happier at About Face? probably.
But I still feel I learned a valuable lesson staying with the other company - I learned how far my threshold is, what things I will and will NOT accept in a job environment, and I also learned that sometimes (regardless of the consequences) you HAVE to feel empowered enough to be able to walk out the door.

Now -
My situation was a little different than the gals involved in 'Shout", but the essense is the same....
Knowing when to quit or not...


a month? really?

Wow - I had been doing so well updating the 'ole blog. Obviously I must have fallen asleep late in the day on February 26th and I *JUST* woke up!

Lots going on....

"The Diviners" opened back on the 14th, and things are going good. The reviews are good, and the show is great, but audiences are a little thin. I think we were just dealing with that "second weekend" lull - ticket sales look good so far for this weekend. Cross your fingers that we can pay the bills.

Things are busy at Blue Man (it's GROUPS season!). Which basically means my days are filled with high school kids hopped up on sugar, who don't understand that when I say "no pictures allowed in the theatre" it actually means that you can't take your camera out and take a picture of you and your friends in the poncho. Last night, we greeted a large group, told the kids (in full view of the chaperones) they couldn't take pictures at any time. So, they go inside, show starts and my staff caught one of the adult chaperones FILMING the entire opening sequence.
oy vey.

Don't mind my bad humour - I'm currently in the middle of day 3 of my 6 day-72 hour work week - and those are just the hours I get PAID for. I also have to house manage for Diviners tonight, and that's FREE!!!!! Somebody swing by the theatre tonight and bring me a pillow!

I discovered something super cool last night - the first linking of my blog on a "non-friend" site!
Sure, Brownlee and Sara have links to me on their blogs, but they kind of have to. Sara because I live with her, and Brownlee because I'd kick his butt if he didn't.
Anyway, I digress...
I started at Don's blog, where he did a "3 things I learned the hard way" meme and tagged some folks - I follwed the tags around to other people's blogs to see how they answered it, and I finally got to Rebecca's blog from GreyZelda Theatre. I don't read her's as regularly as some of the others, but I do check in a couple of times a week. Well, I must have missed on the sidebar that she has a link to my blog! How sweet! Rebecca and I have never met (don't ya love the internet), but she seems like a real tough cookie, running her own NFP Theatre group, starting topical conversation, etc.

So, I've returned the favor ---------->
and Rebecca's blog is now listed with mine - and she should get traffic from maybe 2 more people...who are the sum total of people who read my blog!



were it not for Marion Cottillard and Tilda Swinton I might have had a shot at winning the Oscar pool.
stupid surprise winners.

(however, yay for Javier Bardem & Daniel Day-Lewis)

oh... and wanna feel a little old?
Daniel Day-Lewis won for My Left Foot 20 FREAKING YEARS AGO!!!!!!


Brownlee's a bastard...

...because he "tagged" me with a blogger meme.

My Media Week

Recent reads: "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Phillippa Gregory (makes me super excited for the movie, FYI). Just finished "Water for Elephants" last week - loved this one. Made me want to go out and join the circus. (sort of - not REALLY). Right now, I'm reading "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides. I'm about half done, and it's great so far - HIGHLY recommended.
For christmas, Sara got me "Love in the Time of Cholera", and I know it is a classic and something TONS of people recommend (hence why Sara got it), but I'm having a tough time. It hooks me for awhile, and then it goes away. I'm about 1/2 done, but I keep putting down.
I'll pick it back up again when I'm done with Middlesex. I promise.

There isn;t too much to choose from, right now just LOST and Project Runway.
And - me & Sara's comedic discovery - Carpoolers. Now, it's not a comedy that's gonna change the world, but it just makes us howl with laughter each week. They smartly held back some of their new epeisodes, and they've been showing them for about a month now (they're On Demand too, check 'em out of you can). Re-runs wise, I can't EVER stay away from Antiques Roadshow - the show fascinates the hell outta me!
There is one show I caught the other night on PBS that I HIGHLY recommend. It took this group of African Americans (some well known, some not) and traced their roots all the way back to slavery, and identified whether their ancesters were slaves or free men. It also traced their DNA, and suprisingly showed some European DNA, etc in these folks. They also were able to trace their DNA strains to particular African Tribes. So they can now say "I am descended from the 'X' tribe in Nigeria". It was VERY moving.

Music: good lord, I can't remember the last CD I bought. Sara is the only way I hear new music - I never listen to the radio (on my own) anymore. We listen to the radio in the car - so usually I hear somnething cool, and then ask Sara later "Who was that?" I'm liking the Alicia Keys song "No One" right now - it's in heavy rotation in the car (especially when we're feeling lovey-dovey). I only listen to my iPod at work, and I usually either shuffle The Shins or The Beatles. Nice contrast, eh?

I'm supposed to "tag" five other bloggers.
But, since Brownlee is one of the only bloggers I know, I'll have to leave that part out.


oh, and another thing...

.... I'll put 10 bucks right now that in November it'll be Romney Vs. Obama.


life moves PRETTY fast

It feels like I just picked the dates for our California vacation yesterday, and here we are --- almost time to go!!!!
We leave on Saturday - we're booked on a later flight, but we're hoping to standby on an earlier one (fingers crossed). Then, we're in Cali til 2/7 -- YAY!!!!!!

It's not super hot, but mid - upper 60's is better than Chicago, thats for DAMN sure!

Our only plans so far are to relax, do some beach stuff, go to the San Diego zoo (hopefully), and I'll be watching the super bowl on this Sunday - thats it for now! We're renting a car, so we're planning to do some driving around, for sure - checking out this and that.
(I personally think it'll be hilarious to swing by where the writers are picketing and get some pics of celebs!!!! - Sara thinks I'm nuts :)

Between planning for California, and anticipating the new LOST episode tomorrow night (WOO HOO!!!!!!!), there's not much else on my mind, I guess.

There's a couple of hot theatre topics out there in the blog land, but I've been commenting on other people's blogs and not really posting here -- arguing over equity vs. non equity and such....
it hurts my head after awhile.


Preview or No-view?

There are some great blog posts out there (from yesterday and today) that are discussing the use and need for previews in theater. There's some great stuff from Rob and Kris, so go check it out.

Personally (and with SRT), I've always looked at previews more like an "invited dress". SRT has always had lower ticket cost (around 5 bucks), but since most of the audiences end up being friends and colleagues who comped in, we only make about 50 bucks at the most.

And although this has never happened, if something catastrophic were to happen, I would probably be inclined to refund money if need be.

The value that SRT gets out of it (I feel) is letting the actors get used to a non-tech-week audience. People who have NEVER seen a run of the show before, and the laughs or reactions are fresh and new - and sometimes in unexpected places (who knew they'd laugh at "x"???). This all assists the actors and the designers to help fall into the RYTHYM of the show. Pace can be the make or break part of a show, and getting a chance to test out the pace is a godsend.

Now, if someone saw an SRT preview, hated it, and then ran to their blog and posted about it - I would be SO DISSAPOINTED.... but I would have no reason to be angry about it.

By opening up for a preview, you roll your dice on the criticism.

Some folks, like the folks at GreyZelda, discuss why people use them at ALL.

Where do you fall in this discussion???


A Promise

If Mitt Romney says he's the candidate of "change" one more time, I'm going to punch him in the throat.


fudge update

back from Saugatuck.

and lo and behold the Fudge shop (Kilwin's) was CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.

My brain can't even process a vacation without fudge purchased.


picture pages....

I know I already posted today, but I'm feeling a little nostalgic and I thought I'd post some pictures ... little explanations accompany each one.

For all who know my cat Maxwell, who is a big fluffy beast --- check this out! Look how TEENY he is companred to my hand! He was the CUTEST kitten ever.

In this one, my good pal Michael is about to take a pie in the face during one of SRT's annual benefits. Ty Cobb paid about 20 bucks for the right to smash that pie.... and Michael looks VERY happy.
This is a promo shot we took for Coronado. Not only do I love the shot, but the idea for the set-up was mine (looking in mirror, yadda yadda). It's a great shot and a great memory of my first Asst. Directing gig.
This shot was actually taken by Michael, the pie-man above. He's quitethe talented photographer, and SRt is very lucky to him around to take advantage of his skill. This was a promo shot for The Crucible, and capturing the motion of the girl's hysteria coupled with the unwavering focus of Abigail is just HAUNTING. (check out the lighting design, man - John Horan - if you've got a chance, book him - the SUBTLe use of that window gobo - any other designer and that window pattern would have been WAY more pronounced. John's touches were awesome)

And I'll end it on one shot that, no matter what, I will always love. Taken by Michael as well - he did a great job, because the love and absolute joy in their faces is evident.

Have a great weekend everyone.

off we go

Sara and I are headed to Saugatuck again this weekend. A little bit of a longer stay than the last time (last time we got there around 730-8pm, and left about 4 or 5 the next day), this time around we leave later this afternoon (around 230-3pm?) and should get there about 7 (time change), and we'll come back around the same time Sunday.

Also, this time around, Sara's mom is coming with us, which should be fun. I don't thiunk she's ever been to the Michigan shore, and Saugatuck is SOOO cute. For the New Englanders, its a lot like Bearskin Neck in Rockport, shops, gallerys, etc... and always the allure of "Home Made Fudge".

What is it about those sleepy little towns that have a high tourism population part of the year, and their fascination with having HOMEMADE FUDGE?

I don't mean to tangent here, but think about it. Any kind of waterfront village that has that whole "New England-esque" quality tries to push the home made fudge on you. All of the ACTUAL New England sea-side vilages I know and love (Salem, Rockport, Gloucester, etc etc...) all had their own Fudges, plus even further north - in fact, when Sara and I were staying in Portland Maine back in September we bought some home made fudge - no lie (and I even got pumpin pie fudge, which thoroughly grossed out Sara and delighted me). When we went to Saugatuck back in early Nov.? We bought fudge...
Not only does Saugatuck have an extensive candy/home made fudge shop, their home town version (Kilwin's) actually has *2* location in the downtown area - they're only a few blocks apart!

Why, people? Why?
Why the fudge?

Oh, and for the record, this time around I think I only want to get some vanilla fudge cuz thats my favorite :)
Anyone want any?



So in a couple of weeks, Sara and I are headed west (California, to be exact). And i'm STOKED. I've never been to California, and neither has Sara, so we're dying to get there and check out the beaches and parks and the sites -- we jazzed, defintely.

I'm bummed about ONE TINY THING, though.
We'll be out of town 2/2 - 2/7, which means we won't be able to vote in the Primary election.
It may seem small and insignificant to some, but not to me.

I had plenty of issues with the last election in 04, but my biggest complaint was my CHOICE. John Kerry just wasn't my top choice for the Dems - BUT, since I didn't push a candidate during the primaries, I couln't really complain.

This time I don't want to be faced with that - I would rather go to the polls in November knowing that I did everything in my power to get who I felt was the best person for the job into that office. And now I can't do that.


best of 2007? what?

Apparently, Kerry Reid liked Coronado.

a lot.


"3. "Coronado" (Steep): A mystery about past indiscretions and betrayals unspooled in this play by novelist Dennis Lehane ("Mystic River"), but it was the performances here that I loved. The actors swerved from playful seduction to cat-and-mouse anxiety, and I bought it every step of the way."
(emphasis is mine, not Kerry's)

i'm actually a tad speechless.