Thursday, September 23, 2010

On Asking and Telling

Our service men and women, both the straight and the (closeted) gay ones, are dying for their country. Why are we squabbling about an archaic policy that keeps people shamed and quiet when they are literally laying down their lives to keep the rest of us safe?

It's ridiculous and it's hurtful.

On a completely different note, I started culinary school yesterday. It's exhilarating, if a bit overwhelming at this point. More on this later....

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Last night I attended the opening night of the Keila Cordova Dances piece entitled As Big As The World.

It was a wonderful show. Catch it if you can-- it closes this weekend.

For the last three Fringes I've stage managed Keila's productions and they have been some of the most wonderful times of my stage management career. Keila and Andrew are so wonderful, the dancers are sweet and funny and very talented, plus there's always a baby hanging around to play with. It has been the essence of the Fringe Festival for me-- hard work + long hours + great people= a perfect experience. The very beginnings of creation, the birthing of Art.

It was weird to see the show merely from the audience's perspective, but I loved it. A huge thank-you to Keila, Andrew and the dancers for creating such a great work and for all of the wonderful Fringe-y memories of years past.

And in other news...

I started working as the pastry chef's assistant at the Fountain this week. It's totally fucking awesome.

My first day we made simple syrup and berry toppings and apple turnovers and then experimented with honeycomb candy, which was later made into an ice cream. Yesterday we made brownies and hot fudge and absinthe truffles. Yes, you heard right. ABSINTHE TRUFFLES.

I never saw myself interested in pastry/candymaking. But I'm fascinated. I love it. I want to learn everything I can about it. It certainly doesn't hurt that the pastry chef (her name is Davina) is awesome and funny and sweet and a GREAT teacher.

Next week I'm going to learn how to make ice cream. What the WHAT? This is so exciting.

AND on Thursday I made a trip up to New York to pick up my official Natural Gourmet Institute chef jacket, houndstooth pants, aprons and side towels. Plus of course I got some drinking done with Kris, Leah and Kelly. It's going to be a fun year.

It's real, people. It's really happening. So fast. Less than two weeks now.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Soda Jerk

Mixing a Japanese Thirst Killer at Franklin Fountain.

Despite the occasional rude customer ("can you just shut up and give me my change?") I'm really getting into this job.

Come visit me. I'll scoop you some ice cream or mix a phosphate for you. And you can be one of those lovely customers that makes my day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Leaves of Change

It's that time of year again, folks: last night was the official opening of the Philadelphia Live Arts & Fringe Festival and for me, the unofficial beginning of Fall.

I had the privilege of attending Jenn Rose, Dan Kazemi and Steve Pacek's production of Untitled Project #213 in my old stomping grounds at the Walnut's Studio 3 space. Philadelphia people, don't miss this show. It plays this weekend only and it's the best piece of theater I've seen in a very long time. Poetic, beautiful, deeply heart-wrenching. The technical elements were absolute perfection and the performers were astonishing. Thank you so much for such a wonderful theatrical experience.

After the show, when I finally stopped sobbing, I pulled myself together to go to the opening of this year's Festival Bar with Amanda and Arizona. The venue has changed (and become a little more clubb-y and less art-y) but the cheap beer and dancing remained.

It's going to be a great couple of weeks.

In other news........

For those of you who follow me on facebook (become a fan if you haven't already!), twitter (ditto) or at The Cozy Herbivore this news is a bit old, but for the rest of you, here goes:
Yep, I gave my resignation to the Walnut Street Theatre. I am changing things up to the extreme, following a dream and going to culinary school this fall at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York. I will be commuting there two days a week for the next ten months. It's a huge step for me... I have never done anything but theater in my adult life. And I love it, I still do. Once the theater gets into your blood it never leaves. It's like malaria.

But the schedule was really wearing me down, and more than that, I have felt a wellspring of creativity bubbling up inside of me for several years now that has been up to this point rather frustrated and unfulfilled.

Let's face it, being a stage manager is an exciting and interesting job, but it is not creative in any way. It's a facilitating job-- I helped artists create all day every day. And I miss being a part of that creativity. I have no interest in theatrical creativity myself-- I'm no director, not cut out to be an actor, and my design work is woeful. Still, I itch to step out from the sidelines, to not always be the woman sitting quietly at a table taking notes about other people's art.

Since I was a little girl I have always loved to write, and in recent years I have discovered an abiding love of food and cooking. It's suddenly become my dream to channel both of these loves into a new career. I'm thinking I would like to get into food writing or recipe development. Or possibly be a personal chef. I don't know exactly what, yet. But I do know that I don't want to spend too much time in a restaurant kitchen. Because, let's face it, if I am complaining about the long night hours and the low pay of theater, how is restaurant work any different? Right down to the crazy behind-the-scenes drama, the two are linked in an adrenaline-fueled, sleep-deprived junkie sort of way.

In the mean time, a girl's gotta make her money, so I got a job at the Franklin Fountain. If you're in Philly, you simply must check this place out. It's awesome, handmade artisan ice cream served in the style of a turn of the century soda fountain. Right now I am a soda jerk, but on Tuesday I begin training with the pastry chef to be her assistant. The Fountain has purchased an old fashioned candy shop next door and will open it in time for the holidays.

Never in my wildest foodie dreams did I think I would get into candy making, but I am fascinated and terribly excited to learn all about it. I especially love that the Fountain is committed to local and seasonal ingredients, prepared in an old-fashioned way.

So now I've caught you up and I can stop dropping mysterious hints on this blog about Big Changes. Onward...