Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Goodbye, 2007. You've been a hell of a year.

You've seen me take a big step and move in with my girlfriend. You've seen a new member added to my family, along with a beautiful, extravagant wedding in a tropical paradise. You've seen my first Fringe Festival, my first time singing in public for a loooong time, my first Christmas with the whole family that now includes Deb and Maria. You've seen me become a cat person again, and finally develop somewhat of a green thumb. You've seen me advance at work, fight for professional recognition, deal with difficult personalities and become a better stage manager. You've seen me develop some of my closest friendships and begin to understand how some old friendships change with time. You've seen me learning to forgive, and you've seen me learning how to cut hurtful people out of my life. You've seen the birth of a new second cousin. You've seen the death of a colleague. You've seen my baby brother graduate from high school and start college. You've seen me become a more confident, secure woman.

Ahead in 2008, the horizon seems limitless.... the only definite thing is my birthday. I'll be 29.

My last year in my 20's. I'm looking forward to it.

Sail Away With Me...

It's official.... we closed Greater Tuna tonight.

There are those rare occasions when the jaded theater professional lets their guard down and lets a show into their heart... and this was one such occasion.

John and Ben, I will miss you so much. Watching you every night has been such a joy. I love the way this show has grown and changed and adapted during it's run-- it's truly been such an honor to see such professionals stretching themselves and communicating with each audience to really making these zany characters their own.

Angela and Jess, my darling workhorses.... you two have kicked ass so consistently backstage. I'm so happy you've gotten to be such friends-- I hope this continues. Thank you for all of your hard work.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed... I hear rumors of A Tuna Christmas for next year. I would be truly honored to work with such an amazingly talented, truly professional, unbelievably fun group again.

So for now I'll say goodbye to Arles, Thurston, Didi, Harold Dean, Bertha, Hank, Jody, Stanley, Charlene, Chad Hartford, Petey Fisk, Yippy, Elmer Watkins, Leonard, R.R., Phineas Blye, Pearl Burras, Sheriff Givens, Vera and The Reverend Spikes.... you'll always live in my heart.

You will, you will.

And until then, remember our motto here in Tuna:

If you can find someplace you like better than Tuna.......


Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Friend Caitlin

This is me and my friend Caitlin this summer at our 10 year High School Reunion:

I've known Caitlin since we were... born. Mostly I remember her and her sister Christine (nice wedgie picking technique, Christine) looking like this:
But my friend Caitlin can KICK YOUR ASS. She's a professional boxer. The pictures below were taken at her fight in Prairie Meadow Casino in Altoona, Iowa.

Nice cornrows, Caitlin! She is not FUCKING AROUND. Look at her punch that girl! Right in the face!!!!!

This is her "I will destroy your town and eat your children" face.

I'm so proud of my friend Caitlin for being an awesome friend, a beautiful woman and someone who could totally take you.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A death in the family

We so often refer to the people in the theater that we work with as "family" and never more does this become so true as when tragedy strikes.

Jorge Maldonado, pictured on the far right above, died last night of what was apparently an aneurism. I knew him from Man of LaMancha. He was a beautiful, kind man with a sweet soul. He was also a hell of a performer. He is survived by his long-time partner, Steve.

All of my thoughts and prayers are with you, Steve.

Jorge's stay on this earth was much too short. You will be missed, Jorge.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's Funny 'Cause It's True....

(Click on image to enlarge)

Now this just cracks me up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Better than an MLT (that's a Mutton, Lettuce and Tomato...)

Two more wedding pictures that I loved so much I couldn't help but to post:

They both have such great smiles...

Words cannot describe how much I love this picture.

I get to see them soon, when we all gather in Homer, NY for Christmas. I really can't wait!

My thanks to my uncle, Chris May, for these photos.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Is This Okay?

Tucked away in my little booth, I see a lot more than just the show onstage. Especially in our current set-up, where I am pretty much facing the entire audience.

Greater Tuna is a spoof-- it's a play set in rural Texas, and every sort of stereotype therein is fully explored and exploited for laughs. On top of your casual, thoughtless racists (the housewife who is trying to get Roots banned from schools because it "only shows one side of the slavery issue" and who is a member of Citizens for Fewer Blacks in Literature) there is a Klan member spoofed. And I must stressed spoofed. The racism of these characters is used as a punchline at the character's expense, showcasing the ignorance and sometimes downright stupidity of these small town folks. They say outrageously racist things and you are meant to laugh at the ridiculousness of these views.

Now we don't have a lot of African American subscribers up here in the Studio, but we do have some. I would say that four shows a week we at least have one African American in our audience.

When there are no black people in the audience, everyone laughs at the racist remarks the characters make. How stupid are these people, to say things like that! But a funny thing happens when a white person sitting next to an African American hears one of these remarks. Before they laugh, they always glance over at the black person. If the black person laughs, they laugh too. If they don't, the white person returns their gaze to the stage, somewhat uncomfortably.

This never fails. It doesn't matter if the white person is there with the black person, or if they're strangers who just happened to sit next to each other. Each time, there is a check-in. Is it okay to laugh at this? Is this funny? Am I allowed to be amused by their racism?

White people, relax. If you think it's funny, laugh. If it offends you, don't laugh. That's just what your African American neighbor is doing, why do you need their approval?

I don't know why, but the check-in really annoys me. But then again, I'm just a girl in a tiny darkened booth, wearing a red leather cowboy hat and staring at strangers watching a play. What do I know?

The awesome artwork of Charles Browning, including the painting at the top of this blog, can be found here.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Usual?

I would just like to point out that I have sucessfully been to Coco's 4 nights in a row this week.

I walk in the door and they instantly pour a Hoegaarden for me and a Stella Artois for Deb.

Nothing like being a regular... but still, it really speaks to the kind of week I've had.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Actors say the darndest things!!!

Ben, today, after half hour:

"I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is that Santa Claus is in the audience.

The bad news is that I spilled coffee backstage and I can't find where I spilled."

And now he's in his dressing room playing with the whoppee cushion his Secret Santa gave him.

This is why they call it family....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Seriously, folks...

If you have to set your cell phone to some obnoxious ring (and why do you have to? REALLY) please, please, please remember to turn it off before you attend an event.

Especially if said event has announcements before reminding you to do so. What, you think no one will call you? THEY WILL. And then we all have to be dragged out of the play/movie by some annoying song that made you feel clever when you set it ("I'm going to give Steve that 50 cent song! How witty is that??"), watch you realize that it's your bag/pocket making that noise, have to hear it amplified as you bring it out, and then have to listen to some sort of tone as you finally shut off the phone which you should have done before the show like we asked you to!

And inevitably you won't really turn off the phone at first, you'll just "ignore" the call. So the person will call you back. Lather, rinse, repeat. Not to mention how incredibly bright the cell phone screen is. Makes you easy to pick out of a crowd, I'll give you that.

People complain about youngsters and cell phones, and while I admit that not being able to enjoy a concert without the light of 10,000 pre-teen ADD texters is annoying, in my opinion old people are far worse. Trust me, from my little perch in the booth, I see a lot of old people pretending not to hear their cell phones as they go off during a show. And then arguing with their spouses about turning the damn thing off. And then trying to remember how to turn it off. Or worse, they answer it. Always before they've left the theater completely, though. Yes, we can still hear you say "Hello? I'm at the theater. Hold on..." in what you think is a theatrical stage whisper.

Turn the damn things off and leave them off for a couple of hours. Your hectic life will return to you in full soon enough, but can't you let that all go for just a little while? The rest of us would surely appreciate it.

Not to mention that the actors onstage and those of us behind the scenes are working really hard to create an illusion. But of course, you're very important. Your fellow audience members obviously don't know WHO you ARE.

Mostly, though, it's just really fucking annoying.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Break on through to the other side

I'm finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuna's open (hooray!), things at home are settling down and I'm determined to stay positive, work hard and have a great year.

It was a long tough couple of weeks, and things can only get better from here.

I'm looking forward to some peace and happiness.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


It's so hard to stand firm in something, especially something this Big and Important.

Am I shooting myself in the foot? Giving up the best I've ever had? Should I just be Content?

But I've been away for so long....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wish Me Luck

I've got something tough to do today.

Keep me in your thoughts.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Give Thanks

How was your Thanksgiving?

Mine started off great, thanks for asking. Deb and I got up very early on Thursday morning and drove the four hours to Homer, NY. We had a great breakfast, wonderful cheese and cracker platter (thank you, Deb) and one of the most amazing Thanksgiving dinners ever. And that's saying something. Along the way we got visits from Matt & Weas and Caitlin & Christine.

Pretty much the perfect day, right? Well, it would have been if, due to a horrific chest cold, a new atmosphere, a lot of stress and a lack of sleep, Deb's asthma hadn't started to act up. It had been bothering her all day, and periodically she would disappear to the back bedrooms to catch her breath.

Late that evening, after we said goodbye to Caitlin and Christine, it really got bad. Deb literally couldn't breathe. It was very scary. We decided that it was well past time to go to the hospital.

The staff at Cortland Memorial Hospital were extremely helpful and very speedy. They got Deb on a nebulizer right away and soon she was feeling much better. After chiding her for her one-cigarette-a-night habit, we were on our way.

We had planned to get up at 6am and be on the road by 7am, but since we didn't leave the hospital until just before 4am, that didn't happen. We got up at 8am and slowly got onto the road. Now the drive back to Philadelphia isn't a complicated one, but I still managed to miss two exits in my sleepless fugue.

Deb arrived just in time for Act I of Peter Pan to begin, and I was able to catch a small nap myself before my evening show.

So this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my wonderful family for providing delicious food and a warm atmosphere, the staff at Cortland Memorial for restoring my girlfriend's health, and my car for somehow knowing the way home by itself.

Now I'm just hoping Christmas is very, very uneventful. Because I'm still suffering from a little bit of a lack-of-sleep hangover.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stress Mess

Seriously, at this point in the process, it's supposed to be getting easier.

I feel like I'm still trudging uphill through the mud and the blood.

Some support would be nice. Some support that didn't involve my long suffering, ever patient girlfriend.

I can't handle this hot/cold moody shit either. I like to know where I stand with people. And why.

Rant over.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Annual Migration

It's that time of year again.... hard to believe Thanksgiving is just two days away. Weren't we just throwing hotdogs on the grill for the 4th of July?

Anyway, after our respective shows tomorrow night, Deb and I will climb into the old Subaru and make the 4 hour journey home through the dark mountains. Thankfully it's supposed to be warmer this year, so hopefully there will be no repeats of the terrifying black ice incident from last year.

Although we only get one day off for Thanksgiving and have to race back to Philly for our Friday night shows, we wouldn't miss this for the world. Something about the Thanksgiving meal at my house just means love to me. It's pretty much a cliche to take this time to reflect on all of your blessings, but hey, why not? I'm a pretty lucky girl, surrounded by people who love me.

And that's why they call it the most wonderful time of the year.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tuna Melt

It's tech week for our production of Greater Tuna. And boy, oh boy, this is one show you shouldn't miss.

The rehearsal process has been a ball-- much easier than I thought it was going to be. Last year around this time we were doing The Mystery of Irma Vep (apparently the Walnut has decided that this is the men-in-dresses-running-around-like-ninnies-and-being-excessively-silly slot) and sweating some major bullets over the copious costume changes, weird &difficult set tricks and thousands & thousands of insanely complicated light & sound cues.

Things are much more calm for Tuna-- oh, sure, we're still sweating a few costume changes, but generally we're in much better shape. Our two actors (John Zak and Ben Lloyd) are not only side-splittingly funny, but all around super nice guys.

This is definitely not a show to be missed. We run November 20th-December 30th, so if you're able, please come and see it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First comes love, then comes marriage...

Well, it's official: my brother is a married man. Despite the, ahem, pretty crazy/hectic time that lead up to the ceremony, both the wedding and reception managed to be the most beautiful, wonderful affairs I have ever been to.

But because I was in such a frenzy, I totally spaced and didn't bring my camera. So pictures will be trickling in slowly, and from many different sources.

The following pictures were taken by my cousin (in-law?) Matt Coulter, who's a super talented photographer and an all around nice guy.

Beautiful bride Maria and her dad, beginning their walk down the aisle. Isn't she the most radiant bride you've ever seen?

The wedding party. A classy bunch, I tell ya.


Time to party... I don't know who passed out the percussion instruments to the white folks, but we tried to keep that rhythm going. Joseph was the Best Man, and his toast was just perfect. I'm so glad this awesome dude is my brother!

Oh, yeah, I don't dance.
(They were playing Queen, I couldn't help myself)
More pictures to come...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween was good to Mama this year...

Two parties in less than a week...

Beth threw a rockin' Dia De Los Muertos party. Death and 40's of PBR abounded.

Dead bitches (l-r): Frida Kahlo (Beth), the Virgin of Guadalupe (Amanda), Mother Nature (Dalice), Anna Nicole (me), Eighties Hair Metal (Rachel), Edie Sedgwick (Melanie).

On to the White Trash Party-- our third in Philadelphia. From the way my living room stank the next morning, I'd say it was an unrivaled sucess.

I wonder if this fellar appreciates my press-on nails?

Getting me some Texas-style lovin'...

Have you ever seen such fabulous bitches?

Yes, that is a celebrity changing a grown woman's diaper. Hey, things like this happen at my White Trash Parties.

A line-up: Heather (Melanie) Nicole Ritchie (Alison) Paris Hilton (Lizz) and... Christy. Who I worried was dead for 3 days after the party. I still have your sweater, Christy.

Cut out of the same cloth, these two.

No one does Roxborough trash like Bridget. No one.

"My gay boyfriend cheated on me with my Siamese twin!"

A Texas wedding. Deb tried to make her hair look like a mullet.
Nobody 80's dances like Melanie. Nobody.

Even apprentices get trashy... can you guess which one later walked into the screen door?

A wonderful party season. I'm already thinking of ways to make next year's party bigger, badder and trashier...

**my thanks to Carrie and Arizona for some of these pictures**

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My adventures in the Rich Port

First glimpse of the ocean: eternal blue, wind tossed palms.
Old San Juan: for the tourists. But do they ever look up?

Narrow streets, dark corridors. Painted bright to sweep things clean.

Something about the cross in relief against the turquoise tropical sky made a lump come into my throat.

I love afternoon haze on a city. Even the trees look sleepy....


We had to stop for shaved ice.... I chose grape. The sugar and the ice gave me a fierce headache, but it was worth it.

The phallic nature of monuments never ceases to delight me.

Not a bad final resting place-- lulled into your final sleep by the endless crashing waves, kept tied to restless spirits by the slums that lie just beyond.
All along the watchtower

Windswept plane of el Morro.

Fortress of solitude.

The unbearable lightness of being.

I'm fascinated by signage-- both official and graffiti.

One way.
Sunset over cobblestones.
Dinner at the Parrot Club. (l-r: Maria, Mom, Melissa, me)

The view from our wedding hotel. I kept expecting the ocean to rise up and swallow those tall buildings. The arrogance of man, building so high and so close to that beast.

Wedding shower cakes.
Everything's funny when the blindfolded bride to be has a condom in her hand...

Maria has no idea what's to come...

Dancing with Jonathan later in the evening.

Maria gives Mom a dancing lesson. Mom yells at hecklers.

Cooling off those dancing feet.

Back in three weeks for the wedding...