Monday, September 25, 2017

Stop Using Our Vets As An Excuse To Stand

I am a kneeler. I intend to kneel until Trump is out of office when “The National Anthem” is played. I don’t care if this loses me jobs or opportunities. Those weren’t doors open anyway.
I kneel because I am a domestic violence survivor, and for years the fans saw no reason to protest the NFL as they protected abusers time and time again. I kneel to protect the right to marry the person of my choosing regardless of gender or sexual identity. I kneel to protect the immigrants in my neighborhood who work hard and want to become a part of the American fabric. I kneel to protect my right of choice. I kneel because our president is more dictator and less leader.
Stop telling me about the sacrifice of the vets. It’s just plain asinine, tired, and frankly pitiful. First off, our tweeter and chief called Neo-Nazi’s “good people.”
Both my grandfather’s fought in WWII as did my great uncle. As a matter of fact, my great uncle was a part of the troops that liberated the camps. He always cracked dirty jokes and seldom spoke about his experience. While as a child he frightened me, now I know he experienced things more horrific than we could ever imagine. To hear Trump call the Neo-Nazi’s “good people” would make him roll over in his grave. It would be disrespectful to the many brave young men who died in combat against the Nazis. Some no older than 18.
Trump does not honor the greatest generation rather he degrades not only their bravery and contributions, but every soldier who bravely served. Both my grandfather’s have their flags up in their hometown. They were called to service and went.
Trump dodged the draft the first chance he got like a prissy rich boy. John McCain served and was captured. I do not always agree with McCain politically but I respect his bravery and journey. I respect the face he struggled with PTSD and made a career for himself in politics after being a POW. If I met him I would shake his hand and thank him for his service.
Some are not so lucky. My ex boyfriend was not one. Actually I would call him my former partner because while we were not engaged we spoke about getting married and starting a home. He loved America and loved the fact he did two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. During one of his tours he was even injured in combat.
During a duty where he was to catalogue the dead for the day, an Iraqi soldier who was playing dead sat up and stabbed him severing an artery in his arm. Although he recovered and still worked, he could never completely straighten it. Like many returning vets, he was unaware of his rights and the United States government found ways to make him unaware of the benefits he was eligible for. He also took advantage of the 6 months of free counseling through the VA, and was put on meds that only made his paranoia worse. Like many young men returning from combat, he fell into drugs but was clean for a substantial time when I met him.
In many ways he was the most wonderful man I could ever ask God for. He was there when I was down and out and didn’t judge me once. Armed with a good sense of humor, he cracked jokes and was lively. Not to mention he loved my puppets and demanded one be named after him.
Like many returning soldiers he was  a giver. It’s no accident a great many vets end up as cops or firefighters, as they are professions where not only do they serve but they save. Many of our biggest fights were about him extending kindness and generosity to people who were flat out users.
But he was sick.
This meant mood swings. Psychotic breaks.
Daily tasks were next to impossible. He would keep a job but not for very long. While he would want to work the PTSD made it nearly impossible to get from A to B. Crowded city streets freaked him out as did loud noise. A crowded theatre and long line at a Broadway show meant a cold sweat. Sleep was something that he just didn’t engage in. He couldn’t.
As the psychotic breaks grew closer and closer together and he refused help and medication, I had to end it. There were people who told me I was a bad person for doing so, but it was more humbling when other friends confessed they were worried he would completely go off the deep end and kill me one day. Would he have hurt me? I would like to think no but the episodes were getting more and more unpredictable.
It ended badly as all relationships with the mentally ill who refuse treatment do. There were a million times a day when I had to remind myself that he was sick. It kept me from breaking everything in the room because of his actions. I also told myself his experience was the result of the trauma he suffered in combat, and that hopefully one day he will get the help he desperately needs to be a functional human being.
Currently, my ex is homeless and back on drugs. It’s less about him being a junkie and more about the fact he self medicates for pain and experience we as average Americans could never fathom let alone understand. He is not the exception but unfortunately not uncommon. America sends her troops to die and when they return too damaged to function they are on their own. And then when they end up on the street or in the correctional system we respond by telling them to “get it together.”
Once, shortly after I ended things with my ex, a vet was begging for change. He had returned from Iraq and lost his leg. I gave him a dollar. A man with a thick Southern accent said they were mercenaries just sent to die and there was no reason we should give them money at any time. It took every nerve in my body not to punch him. My bet is he stands for The National Anthem.
We freely make fun of the mentally ill in this country but we would never do that to someone with cancer. Because we don’t believe people with cancer deserve their fate even if they smoked 20 packs of cigarettes a day. Yet I have heard people call combat vets murderers and say they deserve their PTSD.
I have also heard people joke about mental illness. They make fun of people who have hallucinations, psychotic breaks, and mood swings. Crazy is a word we throw around casually. Once you know someone who suffers from a mental health issue, crazy becomes a word that is outright cruel. Because that “crazy” person might be a vet who is trying their best to get through the day.
Standing for the Anthem is your choice. However, don’t use the vets as an excuse for your bigotry and hate. Don’t use their sacrifice and their continual suffering as an excuse to silence the free speech of others. Don’t use the dead soldiers to denigrate the players. Many are young, black men who didn’t come from much but had the brains and ambition to use their athletic talent to get an opportunity, education, and better life for themselves and their families.
And I repeat, none of you would probably talk to a vet let alone help a homeless one. Trump is exploiting the vets shamelessly and has since he decided to run for office. He will throw them under the bus first chance he gets. Trump is also starting wars and will send more young men and women to die, or to come back damaged into a system that doesn’t support them.

So if you care about America and the vets, don’t stand. I will be taking a knee for a while it looks like. 

April Unwrapped

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Interview With Alain Nu: The Man Who Knows

1. How long have you been a mentalist? And how did you get started in the art of mentalism?

I became interested in mentalism around the time I was 8. I first learned about mentalism from (I believe) a book by Walter Gibson, called, The Master Magicians. It mentioned Alexander, who was the original "Man Who Knows." Mind reading and mental powers has actually always intrigued me. Around the same time I saw Uri Geller on the Merv Griffin show and was hooked. It was that combination of the two: One guy who I read about, and a more 'modern' guy who I actually got to see on TV, that showed me that entertainment could be expressed in a purely mental way.

Alain with his crystal

2. How are you the man that knows?

The very first Man Who Knows was Claude "Alexander" Conlin who was made famous for this title almost exclusively because of the entrancing posters of the vaudeville era, which depicted this obviously (non-Hindu) caucasian man wearing a Turbin and peering into a crystal ball. The posters of him continued to live past his own very successful career as a stage performer. So, I am not the first Man Who Knows. However, in my opinion, the title of Man Who Knows is a very specific one that depicts a mystery man that is neither a magician or a medium. Originally, I was dubbed the Man Who Knows by my manager, Clinton Billups. He had heard a reporter make reference to it after having seen me perform, and he was drawn to trademark it and dub me as "The Man Who Knows." So although, I may not be the original, if you Google 'The Man Who Knows", I am the top Man Who Knows ranking. This may not mean much to anyone else, but it's the little things in life, right?

3. Spoon bending is a part of your show-you can bend spoons with your mind. Can you let us in on that secret or not?

No! It's the cool and surprising part of my show... and now that we've mentioned it, I guess we'll strike surprising. Spoon bending is still, in some ways, a mystery to me. Sometimes people in my audience have been known to spontaneously bend spoons that they, themselves, bring to my programs. This is the original "Geller effect" in action. I talk about this (and I interview Uri Geller) in my most recent book, State Of Mind, The Man Who Knows Reveals the Secrets of Mind Over Matter. It is oddly hard to explain just what causes metal to sometimes bend so easily. Sometimes the multiple bends that my audience members can make in the spoons they bring, are even more intricate than the ones I bend myself in the show. So I invite you to try it—in fact, the first time we ever met face to face was in NYC and a spoon bent in your hand, remember?

Alain bending spoons on network TV

4. You have performed all over the world. What is your favorite place you have performed? And where can you be seen regularly?

I am really excited to be the Resident Man of Mystery at the famous Watergate Hotel in Washington DC. There, I perform for private groups weekly, however we are right now finalizing arrangements for a ticketed show which I will be premier there called "Secret Asian Man". No recording devices
are allowed, but even if you do, you'll mysteriously find an 18 1/2 half missing gap of audio, he he. Currently, the Watergate is my favorite place to perform. It is a beautiful and historical hotel and the people who come there are pretty excited to be entertained by me. However, the most amazing place I have ever headlined would have to be The Magical Empire at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. It would be hard to explain if you have never been there before, but just my stage alone had a curved back wall of an ancient Chinese mural and flanking both sides of the performing area were two very large, ornate dragons with smoke that subtly wafts out of their nostrils. Since it closed in 2004, nothing to this date has even come close to the spectacle and grandeur of The Magical Empire.

Alain's billboard in Las Vegas

5. You have written several books. What are they and where can they be purchased?

I have two books available on Amazon. State Of Mind: The Man Who Knows Reveals Secrets of Mind Over Matter and Picture Your ESP: Reveal Your Hidden Powers With The Nu ESP Test. You can find them in bookstores, and online retailers like Barnes and Noble and Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions. State of Mind is really a book that shows you example after example of how to think like a mentalist. It shows you how to do a few simple and beginner mentalist tricks that I have developed, then it shows you how being a mentalist is actually not about the trick, but about how, with an open mind, you can interact with reality in truly mysterious ways.

Alain's fans love his books

6. You had your own TV show on TLC. What was it called and when did it run?

My show for TLC was The Mysterious World Of Alain Nu and premiered in 2005. It was even seen internationally, including Continental Flights from Europe to Los Angeles. The only reason I know that is because I would sometimes get fan mail from people on those flights. It was an amazing experience, but I would be so much better now, if I was ever given another chance to give it another go. As you know, working on TV is totally different than live performance. So the next producer that gives me that challenge, know that I can take it to new heights.

The master at work

7. If you could have dinner with any mentalist from the past who would it be?

All my life, I have been known as an "underground mentalist" and part of that has to do with what constitutes that term. Most underground guys, are creators, and that doesn't mean that they would have had to be god performers. They just need to be clever artists that know the craft, like screenplay writers are to the film industry. Those are my peeps. Some of my closest friends are/were underground kings of their time. So if I could have dinner with anyone, I would want it to be Theodore Annemann. He was a true artist in the craft of mentalism. He was also a bit of a tortured artist, as he ended his own life two weeks before an important show he was expected to perform. But it's the artists within the field who are some of my closest friends, so if I had only one to choose, then I choose Annemann.

8. What is next for “The Man Who Knows?”

That's the one question that I never know. But I can say this: I am moving on up!

Alain amazing this group of people

9. What is your star sign?

Leo on the Cusp of Virgo. My birthday was actually the same day as the eclipse this year, so since you know me, that was quite significant... Lunar shit can't stop me now.

10. What do you eat for breakfast?

Most of the time, it's just coffee. Is that bad?

Monday, September 18, 2017

10. “Wow…..still living in your mom’s basement. Nice to see you believe in consistency.”

9. “Your kid is growing wiser and smarter. Not only is he on the honor roll, but it didn’t take him very long to figure out you were a loser.”

8. “You gained weight. But at least you’ll be ready to hibernate for winter. Wait, you hibernate every day because you don’t have a job.”

7. “You want your shit? I threw it away. I thought about selling it but it’s worthless just like you are.”

6. “I think it’s crazy you wanted me to wait for you until you got out of prison. Because when you were away, we both cheated with the nearest man who would listen to us.”

5. “I don’t want to be friends with you. You’re like used toilet paper. You’re ultimately good for nothing, make everyone uncomfortable, and a reminder that I sometimes make shit choices.”

4. “You relapsed on heroin? I’m so proud of you. It meant for once in your life you had a goal, got off your ass, and took some action.”

3. “I’m supposed to be jealous of your new girl? Honey, you are her problem now. And when she sees you sleep with the light on because you are afraid of the dark and answer to your mother there are no throw backs here.”

2. “Your new lady seems so sweet. Now tell me, how long did it take you to move in and try to live rent free? Just curious.”

1. “Who are you again? You look familiar but I can’t quite place you.” 

Bonus Disses aka Honorable mentions:

A: "Your family and friends are hassling me because they think I ruined your life. That is the only time you got off your ass and did something for yourself. They say they want you to do well. When I was 6 I wanted my dad to get me a pony and we didn't. Looks like we're on the same program there."

B. "I dumped you. But my mom's disappointed. It's not because you were so wonderful, she thinks you're a loser. She just always taught me to think for myself and never follow a crowd."

C. "Your best friend wanted me to sleep with him after you left. Even he doesn't like you. But he eclipses you in one way, he's a bigger loser than you. I didn't think that was possible. Granted, I hate myself for loving you but not enough to sleep with your idiot sidekick."


Friday, September 15, 2017


It was July 2012. I was all about being a reality star. This was a strange time in my life. I was spotted on the street by fans and thought I had arrived. I had and I hadn't. I had because I wanted to be on TV and be recognized, plus the world knew about my puppet babies. I hadn't because it had all become about the wrong thing.

Prior to this picture being taken, I felt rather stunted and depressed. I wanted to jump out my window and didn't know why. I wasn't sincerely suicidal. More like uninspired and depressed like a Smith's song. Then I applied to do The Coney Island Talent Show. It was a long way away from where I lived and I almost didn't go. The trains were crap that day. But something told me to go.

I got there and it was another snag. There were kids. NO ONE TOLD ME THIS WAS A FAMILY SHOW. FUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!

Except I couldn't say FUUUCCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!

So I literally had to rewrite my act on the spot. Bob Greenberg was so supportive and told me I could do it. He was one true friend as I sweated under my arm pits. For so long May Wilson and I had done the late spots at the clubs. We had been dirty. We had been raunchy. We had been as bad as can. Now we had to be good.

It felt like the longest time before we got onstage. When we did, we did our clean routine we had put together on the spot. We actually did surprisingly well. Everyone, adults and children, laughed. There was something so wonderful about being on the boardwalk entertaining people of all ages. So often in NYC comedy becomes about being angry and deep that we forget it's about making people laugh. And also, so often do we get deep into our depression of not getting what we want because the business isn't fair that we forget the root word to funny is FUN.

I didn't win, but I did a good clean set. Bob and Joe Bev rocked it as Abbot and Costello. The World Famous BOB was so cool and sometimes I sweat she is a totum animal of mine. Maybe I didn't win the cash money, but I made people happy that day. And I walked away feeling inspired. That under all my insecurity, maybe I could make this a career after all. Note, I left feeling awesome and loving comedy. And when I saw my window that night, I saw the stars to my dreams instead of a bottom where I wanted to jump and escape.

April Unwrapped: My Naked Dreams Revealed

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Interview with Nicola McEldowney: Puppet Master and Genius Behind Creative Block

  • Nicola McEldowney

  • 1. What inspired the creation of Creative Block? 

    I was thinking about creativity and the loss of it, and how that can change a life. The two main characters, Claire and Thibaut, are artists in two very different fields who deal with having their creative pursuits blocked. They don't face it the same way and they don't share the same resilience.

    The story started out as a much longer screenplay which was quite realistic. As a short, it evolved into something more surreal, involving balloons and music and magical realism, maybe even some silliness. But it's still the same story of creativity lost.

    The other direct inspiration was the first movement of Francis Poulenc's Piano Concerto, which doesn't appear in the final film, but some of his other pieces do.

  • 2. You address the subject of depression in Creative Block. What made you decide to tackle this issue in particular? 

    I've dealt with depression on and off since I was 18 and it's a huge creative killjoy, so one way to combat that is to create stuff about it. Paradoxical but true.

    Also, it turns out A LOT of people are glad when you depict depression in the arts. When I was doing my initial fundraising and publicity to make this film, I posted videos where I talked about having depression and how it informed the film, and I heard from quite a number of people who were touched and could relate. I was really pleased - not that they could relate, of course, but that I had struck a chord with them. 

Photo credit: Arnaud Galy

  • 3. Before Creative Block, you had a webseries called Callie and Izzy. Where can we see that and when will it be back?  

    Ah yes, and now for something completely different! Callie & Izzy is a very silly webseries about a girl with Puppetitis B, a rare disease that makes an evil puppet grow out of her arm. I love it very much and you can watch all 24 episodes at They're very short. Go watch them. 

Callie and Izzy 

  • 4. What inspired you to follow the career path of puppeteer? 

    Watching the PBS shows "Storytime" and "Lamb Chop's Play-Along" as a kid, and going to France to study puppetry as an adult. In Paris I met my friend, the late Marion Chesnais, who was the daughter of Paris puppeteer Jacques Chesnais. Marion's puppet collection and her stories of touring the world in the 1940s with her parents' troupe made me want to be a puppeteer. 

  • 5. In addition to being a puppeteer, you are a writer and lyricist. Tell us about some of the musicals you have written. 

    I wrote a musical comedy called "Aisle Six" about a supermarket with a curse on it. It was produced at the San Diego Fringe Festival in 2013 - in fact I think it was the first musical they produced - and then later in the NYC Fringe, where it was produced in an Off-Broadway theatre, the Lynn Redgrave Theater.

    I also collaborated on another wacky musical, "Barber from Outer Space," with my friend, the singer and writer Rachel Gambiza.

  • 6. Where can we see Creative Block? 

    You can't, for awhile, I'm afraid!  Not easily, anyway. For the next year or so it will be in film festival competition, which means I can't show it publicly online. However, it will be appearing in festivals if all goes as planned. It's already been a 
  • semifinalist in the Los Angeles CineFest and a selection of the Mindfield Film Festival, also in LA. 

Photo credit Elizabeth R. Mealy

  • 7. What is your astrological sign? 

    Aries. According to my knowledge of astrology, which comes entirely from Cosmo, this means sparks will fly in the bedroom this month but I may have a catfight with a coworker.

  • 8. What do you eat for breakfast? 

    This is the truth: a multi grain bagel with one egg white and a slice of tomato. I've inferred from various reactions I get that this makes me a boring and vaguely disturbed person.  I'm not sure why but I've come to terms with it. It's cool. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

10 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. As a kid I became a ventriloquist, but was able to study Japanese wooden puppetry in college as well as Balinese shadow puppets. I am also proficient with hand and rod puppets. (Henson style puppetry).

2. When I was 9 I had a near death experience and survived a rip tide.

3. My best subject in 4th grade was history and I won the class award, and also won the award for most books read several years in a row. I kind of cheated, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was my bedtime story.

4. Growing up my dad made sure we knew The Bible. While I am liberal now, I understand it incredibly and am annoyed when people put in words and events that aren't actually there. It makes me even more angry when they use it to take rights and freedoms away from others.

5. I was a gymnast as a kid and was even on a high level track before I got injured. I then tried to become a platform diver and while I wasn't afraid of heights I sucked at entering head first. My career ended before it began.

6. I swam summer club as a kid and my event was the 50 meter butterfly. When winter came I was a part of a local figure skating club. I was mediocre at both sports but showed a ton of spirit.

7. As a kid I had a German Shepherd Collie named Snapper, a goldfish named Goldie, and two Hermit crabs named Hermie and Pretty Nice.

8. I grew up without cable and with three TV channels and my parents said no TV on school nights.

9. I wasn't allowed to date or talk to boys in middle school let alone high school.

10. I was deathly afraid of the dark as a child. So much so that I slept with a night light on until I was about 11. Now I enjoy the dark quite a bit.

April Unwrapped

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sugar High

A few years ago, I was riding the wave of being a reality television personality. It was amazingly fun. Before being on reality television, I thought comedy clubs were going to be my home and final and only destination. I poo pooed the idea of doing a reality show. That was for freaks and geeks. Then they called and asked, "Was it true I left my fiance for  a bunch of puppets?"

Yes it was true. I told them everything. Next thing I knew, I was on reality TV.

I thought with the show would come more chances to perform, and there were. But other doors opened. One was the chance to be a paid talking head on a web network. The other was to make music. I sang as a part of my day job for years, singing telegrammer. But I never dreamed of making music.

My friend Marcus Yi and I spoke about the perfect man and thus this masterpiece was born. Nate Mitchell is my sexy gingerbread man. I haven't made music in a while but would love to make some again.

Either way, here is my flashback Friday memory.

As I desperately seek my Mr. Okay, I hope I don't accidentally eat him.

Buy April Unwrapped: Proceeds Go to Hurricane Harvey and Irma Victims

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Q and A with Irene Hernandez, Creator of Parental Guidance Suggested (An Unfortunate True Musical Dramedy)

Irene Hernandez

1. What inspired you to write your show?

Parental Guidance Suggested (An Unfortunately True Musical Dramedy) was inspired by a particular daycare I worked at that treated my education and childcare and teaching experience with suspicion. I even felt that way at the job interview, where they didn't understand my resume and the residencies I worked at. They assumed that I was unreliable. And I didn't even get the job yet. That should have been my first clue of the awfulness  to expect.

I worked at the job for exactly 6 months and 1 week and the two lead teachers I worked for had less education than I did and used workbooks for their lesson plans. Almost every time I set something up, they rearranged everything, like the sleeping bags for nap time or the clothes stored in the cubbies. They also criticized me consistently, to the point that I counted once. The average amount of criticism in a 10 hour day, for 10 dollars an hour, was 6 times. So basically, I was criticized every 45 minutes.  

The character of Miss Perfect was based on those two teachers, as well as the daycare owner who made me scrub the door and walls with bleach. When I tried to clean with Lysol wipes, she made me do it again with a bucket of hot water, bleach and tough sponges. I ended up with my complete arm in pain that took 4 months to heal.

The toddlers were attached to me and really liked me, which complicated the situation. They had complex personalities I observed and experienced up close on a daily basis. The character of Annie was based on a little girl who was a picky eater who only liked drinking yogurt, who took toys away from the other kids and pushed kids away in line for the slide and had epic tantrums. The character of Jenny was based on any of the kids who Annie made cry. The character of Milo was based on twins that I genuinely loved, who would both run in different directions at nap time and I would have to monitor because they took forever to fall asleep. The character of Peter was based on a little boy who was potty training but would never get to the potty in time and would pee everywhere, especially during nap time, where he would always pee in his alligator sleeping bag. I would have to air out that sleeping bag after nap time on a daily basis. He would also want my attention all of the time, talk a little too loudly and would tell me that he didn't like me: Miss Irene... I don't like you. He would say that to me after asking me to read him a book, while helping him at lunch time, even though he drank juice more than he ate, and after asking me to play with him. To this day, I still don't know if he understood what he was saying, or if he knew perfectly well.

Irene gets scolded by Miss Perfect

2. Tell us about your background as a theatre artist. 

I am an actor, playwright, director, producer, singer and songwriter. I always wanted to be an actor and started my training at 19 at Playwrights Theater in Madison, NJ. It was an adult acting class and everyone there was twice my age and incredibly talented and generous and through them, I really learned my craft and I acted in plays. I later studied theater further at Montclair State University, but honestly, the only classes where I genuinely learned were voice, movement and playwriting, where I learned format and rules, so I can break them in my storytelling. After graduating with my BFA in Acting, I moved to NYC, where I joined several theater companies and acted in numerous productions and films.

While I was at university, my actress friend and I felt incredibly frustrated with the acting program, the choices of plays performed and the favoritism with casting. I came across a producing workshop in NYC and joined and learned all the ins and outs of producing your own work. After discussing everything I wanted to do, I was encouraged to create my own theater company. When my actress friend moved on from acting, I created Dancing Frog Theater Company in 3 days. That was 7 years ago and I have produced and created numerous productions and still do.

As an actor, it's been a frustrating  experience with auditioning because I am naturally impatient and the idea of waiting for a part is maddening. When I started writing plays 6 years ago, my main reason was to write myself parts, to challenge myself as an actor and show what I can really do. Though I tend to be cast in dramas, as a playwright, I write dark comedies, so it's refreshing to play comedic roles, but grounded in reality. I love creating a world as an actor and writer and write interesting characters for other actors as well. Directing naturally came from my understanding of the acting and production process. As an actor, I don't like to be told what to do and I approach directing the same way: I ask actors questions during rehearsals and gently guide them to owning their characters and create an environment where they can be free to create. 

I also created a web series on YouTube called Brand New Me, about an awkward young woman who created the longest New Year's Resolution ever and tries to cross off resolutions off of her list in every episode. It is a lo fi series and I write and direct every episode and play the awkward main character, Desiree. I have created 5 episodes so far, and am editing another episode and writing new episodes as well. Each episode is on location, so I hope to create more episodes this fall. 

Irene has a moment with the audience which is quickly disrupted by arts and crafts

3.  When is the next time we can see Parental Guidance Suggested (An Unfortunate Musical Dramedy)?

So far, Parental Guidance Suggested (An Unfortunately True Musical Dramedy) has had 4 shows at Theater For The New City as part of the Dream Up Festival. We have 3 shows left: Wednesday, September 6th at 6:30pm, Sunday, September 10th at 8pm and Tuesday, September 12th at 9pm. Tickets are $15 and can either be purchased at the box office (cash only) or can be purchased online through Smart Tix:

4. What is your astrological sign?

I am an Aries and it definitely applies to me: I am adventurous, a born leader, incredibly stubborn, and I go my own way.

5. What do you eat for breakfast?

For breakfast, I am a zombie without my morning coffee with amaretto creamer and if I'm in a hurry, I have cereal, basically whatever brand of cereal that is on sale that week. When I have time, I like to make my vegetarian omelette (I'm not vegetarian, but my omelette is so delicious, that it doesn't need meat) with whole wheat toast, but I've been so busy lately with my work (which is awesome) that it's been forever since I have made my omelette.

Poster for Parental Guidance Suggested (An Unfortunate Musical Dramedy)

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Thousand Miles (Vanessa Carlton)

It's Labor Day and my last big day to wear white. I am observant of these things. Memorial Day you start to wear white and Labor Day the white goes away. On Easter white is welcome, but there are other pastels for the day that are appropriate.

Whenever I think of Labor Day I think of the movie White Chicks. It's the Wayans Brothers at their best. It's funny and a little silly. And if you remember when Paris Hilton was someone, before becoming eclipsed by Kim Kardashian, it brings a tad of nostalgia. It brings you back to a time when Perez Hilton was fat. Lindsay Lohan was pleasantly in and out of rehab. Britney Spears was shaving her head. And Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston were alive.

Labor Day has always been an unlucky weekend for me. I have gotten dumped several times on Labor Day. Then I was on the standup tour from hell where we were stranded. After which there as a friend break up and the stomach flu. The worst was when the guy I was seeing went to prison and he didn't tell me he was going.

Talk about the best/worst call ever, "Listen baby, you know that fine I was paying at the court house. Turns out they love me long time and I am not coming home for another three years."

Yesterday I did a photo shoot with a semi-well known photographer. A few weeks from now my merch store opens. I am also taking steps to apply to graduate programs with my writing. I am also producing a weekly show and am starting to headline.

The good news is, the only people who seem to be testing the judicial system lately are my family members. Which shows that some things are consistent. And when things are consistent you know there is right in the world. So bottom line, none of my boyfriends are going to prison. I also can't get dumped because that would involve having a relationship and home girl is having her fun and doing her.

I am going up to Woodstock to visit my buddy. It will be fun. There will be a lot of lesbians. New York State was the first to legalize gay marriage. So to celebrate I will be looking for my next mistake and next big comedy bit. Hey, I am equal opportunity, kiddos.

And if all else goes wrong, there is the uber white girl anthem "A Thousand Miles."

My last chance to wear white
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Friday, September 1, 2017

Don't Smoke

Back in the day before I wore my Dickey's Dress out, I was trying to be cool. My photographer friend Terry Snee took this photo. I wanted to look like a bad ass so I asked him for an artificial cigarette. Terry obliged. My mother, of course, was horrified.

Her reaction was one of pure anger. I was living in NYC away from her reach. She demanded to know if I smoked.

I lied and said I never had. The reality was I tried it during theatre camp and wasn't impressed. When I moved to New York, I tried to take up smoking to impress a dude. I also found it calmed my anxiety because ironically it makes you slow down and breathe. My whole life I have struggled with anxiety in some shape and form. Of course I only smoked sparingly once I discovered booze and binge eating had the same effect. But both made me gain weight, plus they made cardio harder.

I didn't want to tell my mom I had smoked here and there because she was a trainer. And also I didn't want to hear all the blah, blah, blah, about how it killed a few of my family members. I had one cousin who was caught smoking who had to visit his grandmother with lung cancer in some hospital and the story sounded depressing but also hit in a place where my stupid lay all too comfortable.

These days I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I eat healthy. But you got to admit, a cigarette does look damn cool on camera. Smoking makes you a dumb ass, not a bad ass. Yet the look is classic.

This photo made several guys who dumped me run on back. It made me get a shit ton of creepy fan mail. As I read my creepy fan mail asking if they could have sex with me and my puppets I thought, "Fuck you ex boyfriends, I don't need you. I have stalkers."

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