Audition Lesson #1

Well I auditioned for the show last night, and have not heard anything. I assume this means they are going with one of the other actors.

Auditioning has not really changed much. Most of the actors are tall, gorgeous, and have a range that is out of this world. I am short, cute, and have about a 3 octave range. I’m generally outclassed by proffesionals.

However, I do like to audition, and I do get hired. So I think it is important to catalogue any additional “New York” audition lessons I learn.

Lesson #1:

Just because they say your singing acapella doesn’t mean you won’t be asked to sing with a piano. This means you need to warm up for any potentially difficult accompanied songs as well as whatever you are going to sing acapella. I walked into this audition, and saw the pianist. They said they decided I should sing with accompaniement. I had about a minute to find something in my satchel that I could pull off. I sang “Bring on the Men” but failed at my attempt to do the cool vocal display that the end I do. This made me feel a little bad about my audition. So I will certainly prepare better next time.

Audition to be a dick….literally

So I am auditioning to play”Hyde” who plays the penis of “Henry” in a musical which is appropriately named “Henry and Hyde” The plot of the show is:

Henry & Hyde is an outrageous version of the classic tale. In this version, Henry Jeckyll is the young accountant for the infamous televangelist and “pit bull of American morals,” Jack Swigger. The show humorously chronicles Henry’s coming to grips with the dark side of his long-repressed sexual desires and his need to break free from the stifling constraints that he has allowed to be placed upon his behavior. The catalyst for his journey is his alter ego, Hyde, the life-sized personification of Henry’s penis. Through Hyde’s audacious guidance, Henry is finally able to find the love of his life and to balance his ideas of morality with the hunger of his sexuality. In the mean time, televangelist Swigger is haunted by his nightmares of God speaking to him in the form of the African-American, cross-dressing Gigi.

I think this sounds like a funny role for me, and more importantly it looks like a fun role. I’ve got an audition (I’m supposed to be singing something Acapella…what should I sing to prove I can play a penis?) tomorrow. I definitely hope I get it!

I can definitely say this is not a show that would be done in my hometown!

Cash (North) vs Credit (South)

So since I got out on my own my mother has told me to make sure that I “carry cash” because sometimes “there are places that just don’t take credit cards.” I must admit I NEVER paid any attention to this warning, because everywhere in the South that I lived (Little Rock, Memphis, and Houston) took credit cards. In fact just about everything took credit cards with the exception of vending machines. I lived in a cashless existence, and it was very easy.

Now that I live in New York, there are entire guide books dedicated to the places which are “cash only.” I’ve visited an ATM more in the past month than I did all last year. There are also a bunch of places that only accept certain cards. Most Italian restaurants only take American Express, which neither me nor my boyfriend have. We have had to leave one of us at the table while the other one runs to an ATM just to pay for dinner a few times. It is strange.

I find it strange that the North is supposed to be “ahead” of the South, and yet the South seems to have made cash a relic.

Does anyone know why this is?

Candle Bar Review

309 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10023
(212) 874-9155

Type of Bar: GAY Bar

“So this place gets 5 stars, because it drastically surpassed my expectations.

First: The music. I hate going to bars (that is bars not clubs) that has the music blaring so loud I feel like I’m in a nightclub instead of a bar. I feel like if your are going to act like a club, then be one. If you are going to be a bar, be one. Bars are about conversation, and candlebar is definitely a place to have a great conversation.

Drinks: The best way to start a conversation is over a good drink, and candlebar delivers! The price seemed a little steep for the location, until I saw what I was getting. For $7.00 of my hard earned money I was given a drink that was was well mixed, and was much more liquor than mixer. I found myself ordering several more, and encouraging everyone to do the same.

Ambiance: If candlebar was lacking anything, it might be in this category, but that is only if you prefer your gaybar to have that asian influence clean line look. If you don’t mind your bar being a bar, then candlebar won’t ruffle your feathers. The bar features a long bar with a long range of barstools, a pool table, and a few booths. I have to say it was a little annoying having to get out of peoples way while waiting for a drink, but it invited conversation and mingling. So in a way it’s slightly cramped quarters could be seen as socially inviting.

Experience: What I have to say is that Candlebar is the first gay bar where I felt like staying more than an hour. I didn’t feel rushed, I didn’t feel ignored, I just felt welcome and intoxicated. The people who frequent the bar range from 20-40. This means that you’ve got a lot of different people to talk to. The nice thing is…people in Candlebar are not afraid of talking to you. In fact even my shy self found myself talking with strangers and making new friends.”

The many sides of Broadway

One of the biggest reasons I was excited about finally living in New York was the theatre scene. I have been doing theatre for about 15 years, but in the south it’s not considered a prestigious past-time, like oh say….football. In some ways I have to admit I enjoyed this. As a self-proclaimed actor I was considered interesting, and the title carried with it a sort of exoticism. In New York, when you say your an actor, it is generally met with a “and how is that working out for you?” kind of nod. So, I miss the status of being more interesting because I was not afraid to bare my soul, body, voice, talent on a stage in front of many viewers.

However, moving to New York gives me something I have never had. Access to theatre 24/7. Whether I am in a subway with rhyming beggars, on the streets with live musicians, or in a Broadway, off-Broadway, or off-off-Broadway theatre. I am constantly surrounded by people working in theatre as a business rather than a hobby. Since I moved to New York I have seen two shows, and I think they sum up a lot about the variety of theatre you can see here within the “Musical” category. The two shows were:

 

 

Spring Awakening

This was definitely the crowd pleaser of the two that I saw. The show is young, (there are only two actors who play adults), and has music that is very emo-pop with a Broadway twist. I had heard the soundtrack, and enjoyed it, but the songs were kind of hard to really place within the context of the show. The show takes place in the late 19th century (1890’s) in Germany. Although the musicals addition of microphones and general music type makes it feel wonderfully current/timeless. Kind of like a modern day Shakespeare. At any rate, it’s about kids who are kept in the dark about sex, and what happens when parents refuse to talk to their kids or even recognize that their kids grow up and will be sexual human beings. This makes for an incredibly interesting plot, and because of the presentation I was hooked by the end of the first song. As an actor, I was immediately impressed with the talent of the cast. The singers sung intricate and tight harmonies. Many of the actresses looked incredibly young, and most actors were in incredible shape. The lights, the set, everything had this polish that I’ve rarely seen off a Broadway stage. It was incredible. Perhaps the most “awakening” experience was the fact that they managed to write and produce a show on Broadway that has the first act ending with two actors having sex on stage, while the other actors are singing and present on stage. They also managed to do this in a way that did not seem forced, weird, or cheesy. I cried, but mainly just at the idea of these children all wanting affection from their parents who are incredibly cold and afraid of the sexuality of their children. I was slightly disappointed to see that they gay characters were kind of reduced to comic relief, but I guess wi  teen pregnancy, domestic abuse, and death by improper abortion, adding on dramatic gay subplots would have been a little much. Having said that, the show still managed to not be bogged down in the doom and gloom of it all. True to emo-style the teenagers might have complained, but they were upbeat about it.

The other show was:

  SITPWG

I know the score of Sunday in the Park withGeorge backwards and forwards. I can sing every song, and I own the DVD of the original production with Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin. So my expectations were incredibly high! Luckily this production actually exceeded my high expectations. One of the reasons was not only the incredible acting, but the use of media on an entirely white canvas of a stage. There were projected images to illustrate George Seurat’s painting, was simply incredible. Towards the middle of this clip you can see how some of it works:

 

 I cried, the audience cried, it was just beautiful. Jenna Russell who is the female lead in the show is one of the finest actresses I have ever seen in a musical. She broke your heart portraying both “Dot” a model who is in love with George, but cannot be with him because of the artists inability to connect with her as a human being, and as “Marie” the child of “Dot” who is nearing the end of her life and is trying to convince her grandson the artist (also named George) the importance of not only being an artist, but being human. Connecting. Although I certainly enjoyed “Sunday in the Park with George” more, it is more difficult to recommend. The music is not exactly hummable (to use Sondheim’s self-criticism from Merrily we Roll Along) and the plot is very similar. The genius of course being that pointillism works that way, but for someone who is just wanting to be “entertained” rather than attending “art” the show is a hard sell.

The nice thing is…you don’t have to sell it! There are plenty of theatre goers who want intellectual art, and plenty more who just want to be entertained by some good songs they can sing along to in their car. Both are constantly available in this city, and that I love. In the south, even the incredible theatre scene in Houston, these options are just not as readily available. Primarily out of lack of demand, but for people like me who want it all, it is nice to have it at last.

 

 

 

Aria Comparison

So a friend of mine is playing Micaela in the upcoming semi-staged shortened version of Carmen by G. Bizet.

I had a friend who did the aria Micaela sings for a vocal recital, and she did something not usually done with the ending. I asked her where she got it, she blushed, and then admitted it was from “Carmen Jones” the version with Dorothy Dandridge. Thanks to the wonderful world of YouTube I now present both versions of the aria side by side.

First the aria from the opera sounds like: 

The “Carmen Jones” version sounds like:

The production is “one night only” on this Saturday. June 14th at 7 p.m. at

The Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

152 West 66th Street (behind Julliard)

New York, NY

http://www.espressoopera.com

Admission is $20

I am sure my friend will be a wonderful Micaela!!!

H.K. Cafe – Review

H.K. Cafe

Really my rating is 2.5 stars.

This place has a wonderful location, and a rather attractive atmosphere. So when I walked in I was thinking “4 stars!”

I had made reservations, but they didn’t ask me about them. They just sat us, so all the extra information I gave them regarding my dining experience was thrown out the window.

Then our waiter came along. He was fun, but scatter brained. I will be ragging on the service for this place for the remainder of the review, but I do understand our waiter had it hard. There seemed to only be 2 waiters in the entire place, and there was a team of 18 girls behind my date and I. So I get it, we are not as important as the tip he would get from them.

THAT BEING SAID!  The service was atrocious! Our waiter took our orders, but had a number of other people handle us. I think we were served by a dish boy, and the other waitress had to get our check. We waited 45 minutes after our plates had been cleared to get the check. On top of that, the waiter forgot a drink order completely! It was ridiculous.

So Bad service really hurts their star rating, but I am willing to give more stars for good food.

Alas, the food was boring. It wasn’t that it did not taste good, it just tasted very bland. There was no culinary surprise that would make me want to come back. All I could think was that I could have made it cheaper from home. The Chicken Paillard was dry, but the vegetables were well cooked. It was just not worth going back for.

So why 2.5? The drinks. The beverages at the bar are worth going to. Just don’t come in a hurry, nor come for the food. Just drink here.

Reviews

I’ve decided to add reviews of shows and restaurants as a part of this blog. It might not actually reference my southern background, but it is a review from my perspective. They can also be found on YELP.

Grades

TSU lounge

So this is a blog about my experience in New York. Well….in order for me to keep having experiences in New York I need to successfully transfer from Thurgood Marshall School of Law to a law school here in New York. To transfer I need good grades.

WELL I GOT THEM!

Criminal Law (Fall Semester) = B-

Torts (Year Long Course) = B

Lawyer Process 1 (Fall Semester) = B+

Civil Procedure (Spring Semester Only) = B+

Contracts (Year Long Course) = A-

Property (Year Long Course) = A

Lawyer Process II (Spring Semester only) = Unknown

Cumulative GPA = 3.41

I want to Celebrate!!!!

A review of the “flavor tripping” party

Breakfast @ Tiffany Party

So the party was crowded, and made me think of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

What is “flavor tripping” like you ask? Well it is WONDERFUL, but strange. The Miracle Fruit is a lot like a grape, in taste and texture. You put the thing in your mouth, remove the flesh with your tongue, and then swirl the stuff around in your mouth for a full minute. Afterwards you dive into the fun food that you want to taste differently.

My first bite was into a lime, now I love limes anyway, but this was incredible. It was like eating lime sugar. Not a bit of it was sour at all, it tasted like a lime pixie stick. I ate many. The cheese we ate, had a sweet after taste (but not exactly like frosting), and was yummy.  The strangest was that Guinness beer really did taste like chocolate milk. It was fun to taste things so differently, but I was happy when my real taste buds returned. Some of it lingered longer than others. Limes tasted like sugar for a full 30 minutes, but somethings didn’t taste different after about 10.

The biggest shocker was Rhubarb. I had to taste rhubarb before the fruit to even know what it was SUPPOSED to taste like. It was like lime celery. Afterward the fruit, it was very sugary.

Unfortunately I did not get to try tequila, but oh well. Perhaps next time.

It was a fun low key party.

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