Sunday, December 31, 2006

End of Year Stats

Every year I keep track of my stats. How many auditions I went on, callbacks I got, holds, bookings etc.

Just to give you an idea of how my first experience in the business contrasts with present day...here are my stats when I was working full time in the "business", supporting my husband through Business School, with no kids for the first part, and a 4 month old baby when I left for NYC:


2000-2002 in Washington DC
16 auditions
7 of those jobs called me back for a total of 14 times (Sondheim Festival saw me 6 times, and A New Brain, twice)
Booked all 7 jobs (ended up in COMPANY for the Sondheim Celebration)
Booked an additional 3 jobs that did not call me back
I did not book 4 of the 16 jobs.
I got 75% of the possible jobs.

This could mean a lot of things: 1. There is too much work to go around. 2. There is too little talent to go around. I like to think it is a combination.

A lot happened between that year and this year, but we will skip all that and just focus on the 2006 stats (as accurate as I can be with now two children, and a much busier life)

107 auditions
9 callbacks (that led to no work)
1 callback (and then a second callback, same job), that led to 1 job
18 holds that did NOT turn into jobs
33 jobs:
18 face/acting jobs (2 national commercials, 1 industrial, the rest print jobs)
15 other miscellaneous jobs (wrangling, a few live appearances, fittings)
5 jobs were booked with no casting session
8 clients were repeat clients

If we take out the miscellaneous jobs (because they are not counted in the 107 auditions)...then I booked almost 17% of the possible jobs.

Some might look at this percentage and compare it to 2 years in DC's percentage and think that I had gone down significantly: 75% to 17%....and yes it would be nice if I booked 75% of the possible jobs here in NYC....but the pay scale here in NYC is a little bit different from DC...so the numbers are ok.

I enjoy stats...hopefully you do too.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Condo Adventures Part 1

Welcome to Queens. Your lawyer is also a Caviar dealer. Yes, during our meeting with our lawyer yesterday, two different phones would ring. He answered one as himself, and the other: "insert Caviar Business name here". And I must say that the lawyer tone was a bit more intimidating then the Caviar tone.

As our lawyer went in and out of the office, making his own copies of the contract for our condo, my husband and I would exchange conversation.

The first: By looking around, it seems that our lawyer is WAY into cooking...there were cooking books all over. We also observed that he has three sons, and likes going on cruises with his wife....all based on the photos displayed.

The second: (and this is after the caviar phone calls started coming in): You know, if we had been here in Astoria for only 1 week, I think we would find this whole office (run down, messy), triple-business (caviar and lawyering, plus a travel agent in the front of the store) thing unacceptable. But since we know that Astoria is zen, we're cool with it.

The third: What was that he said about "Mr. Mexican" torching the place?

The fourth: Well, it seems like he's got our back...finding little things that we might not have understood, and acting quickly on them. This will work out just fine.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Dashing through the snow...


No, it has not snowed here yet. And when it does, we will not dash through it...that's for sure.
Tonight we put our twenty-month-old in her high chair for dinner, and as we were organizing her plate, we heard:

Da, dah, duh, duh, duh....duh duh duh DAH DAH DAH duh...

In the tune of: Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh.

Both my husband and I heard it, and we could not believe it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A few more gifts...

We just got home from our LONG trip away. Ok it was only 6 days, but that is long for us. Before we left I cleaned my entire house (750-SQ-FT apt). It was my Christmas gift to myself. Boy, was that a great gift. I walked into a spotless, sweet-smelling apartment. And now it is chaos again, 3 minutes after walking through the door. Oh well...

Then the UPS man rang. I did a little shopping online with a few gift certificates that I was given for Christmas, and my first package arrived tonight. I am really excited about a few items. I got this so cute trenchcoat, (in blue), this skirt, (in grey), and one very important element to this outfit (the one on the right) that one of my BFF's says screams VICTIM. I am ok with that...it just looks cozy and costumey to me. The sweater dress part arrived tonight, my bro and sis got me the bloomers (in dark grey, not the cream color shown), for Christmas, and I have tights, boots and a waffle to go with it. So fun.

I am looking forward to the rest of our new gifts to arrive so that my girls will be able to play with their new stuff, and so that we can get rid of some old to make room for some new...another gift to ourselves.

And finally, I had a conversation with a friend a while ago and I do not remember the specifics, but from it I have been determined to knit her a purple and orange scarf. I found the quirkiest, most random yarn that is mostly purple, with 3 inch hot orange sections on it. As a result, it knits up to be a purple and random orange-polkadot scarf. I am so happy I found it. I knit it during Pirates of the Carribean-Dead Man's Chest, and finished it off to Harry Potter. I am excited to give it to her as a HAPPY NEW YEAR gift.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas 2006

Christmas Day 2006
I think this was one of my most favorite Christmas Days so far. I have been asking myself why it was different this year than other years. This year I celebrated with my parents, and all of my siblings and their families.

Here is why I feel it was different from other years:
1. This year both of my kids seemed to be very present for all the festivities. They understood that we were looking at Christmas Lights/Festivities while we were riding the local trolley. They loved their presents, and even SHARED quite a bit this morning. They loved opening and giving their presents...picking them out ahead of time too.

2. This year my little sister (the only other sibling that is married) had her baby girl here. Last Christmas she was pregnant and didn't even know it, so it was extra special to have her little girl with us. She really brightened the holiday.

3. In the past 8 years we have added 5 of us to the original 6, and this year the family didn't feel so new, polite and as a result uncomfortable. I felt that we had crossed a comfort line and it really felt like we were a family. I found this to be reflected in the gifts we gave each other too.

4. This Christmas was different because it really inspired me to want to be more Christ-like. I can't remember the last Christmas when I was moved to be more Christ-like. Of course I have always been touched by the Spirit, and made a conscious effort to celebrate Christ's birth, as opposed to just shopping and spreading lies about Santa, but not always specifically moved. So, I want to be more Christ-like, and more specifically--more kind and patient. Yesterday at church, the lesson was the reading of this short story by Leo Tolstoy. It is totally inspiring and beautiful, and if you have a few minutes, worth a read. Where Love Is, God Is by Leo Tolstoy.

I know there are only 4 points, but I found them significant, and just thought I would share. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 12

I remember the moment that I realized just how lowly the circumstances of Christ's birth had been.

I was teaching children ages 3 to 8 this song called Once Within a Lowly Stable, the lyrics of which go like this:
Once Within a Lowly Stable
Where the Sheep and Oxen Lay.

Now, I had seen the creche scenes my entire life, and of course seen the animals. However, it had not clicked until that moment, that there were animals present AT THE BIRTH. I started imagining the animals, and all that went with them: bugs of all sizes, mice, pee, poop, food, snot, fur, hairs, smells....and I was completely horrified.

Then I started to imagine what the birth would have been like at the inn, and even that didn't seem ideal for me, and I was not giving birth to a Savior (I wasn't pregnant for that matter, but this was my state of mind). I then pictured the sterile and sanitized (we hope) hospital, and compared that to giving birth in a barn, and that is when I realized just how lowly the circumstances had beeen.

I was completely in awe. It seemed all wrong, and then all right the very next moment. I tried to picture the birth in the inn, in a tent, at the hospital, in a cart pulled by a donkey, everything and anything that might apply, and no, it just seemed exactly right that it occurred where it did. I was extremely humbled by this, and had never felt as connected to the story as I did in that moment. I am so grateful that I experienced it, and through the singing of children as well...what a blessing it was for me at the time, and continues to be today. Merry Christmas.



Saturday, December 23, 2006

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 11


This window right in my very own neighborhood, takes the cheese for the best holiday window that relates to a business. Yes, the exterminators, who helped me identify my lovely pet mouse Charlie, a little over a year ago. Sick and twisted isn't it? But oh so right at the same time.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 10

When I exchange gifts with friends, we usually don't wait until ACTUAL Christmas Day to open. We like to open the gifts in front of each other. Since one of my BFF's is out of the state, this is not possible this year. When I got the package in the mail, my gift was very skinny (like paper), and wrapped in tissue paper, so that I could see through it a bit.

Though I THOUGHT about waiting until the 25th, this see-thru business peaked my curiosity and I had to open it early. It was a gift from www.greatergood.org I am sending two girls from Afghanistan to school for one year. My BFF purchased their school uniforms and supplies for one year, in my name. That is so cool. My friend always inspires me, and she has done it again.

I have started to become a little more aware of all the charitable causes out there. Watching Oprah helps, as well as reading the wide range of billboards that I see from simply utilizing my local subway. In year's past I have been particularly motivated by Cancer Research, but this year I have really been thinking a lot about Africa. I have tried to support the RED campaign in small and simple purchases, and spreading the word. I hope that this gift will keep my ears and heart even more open to opportunities that I can take to help others.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Third Person Thursday

She has never bought a condo before. She has no clue. She is hiring lawyers and signing her name on the dotted line a lot. She has complete faith in her financial guru husband. She's ok with not knowing every little detail, she has the basic idea.

She knows about the deadlines required, so she is trying to hound her attorney who seems to be invisible, but has a nice chunk of their combined change. She is hoping the attorney-guy is doing his job, but she just isn't sure.

She returns home from some new condo shopping, hoping that the attorney-guy has something to say, something for her to sign, some something that will show that he is doing some work. The red light is blinking. A message! It's the attorney-guy!

He is talking fast and she only gets bits and pieces. The tone sounds promising, but who is Christina? The sponsor is Jen Lee, the finance-lady is Carmela Dragonetti (no joke), and the bank dude has a name too, but now there is a Christina involved? She decides this is a good thing and calls her husband:

"Honey. The attorney-guy called and mentioned someone named Christina who is involved with something...I am not sure what he said exactly...do you know a Christina?"

Her husband says, "That's you honey, you're Kristina." Oh yeah.


She got in!

After the first round, and then the second round (which I didn't post much about), of auditions for Kindergarten, my daughter was invited to join the school today. Seriously, the BEST Christmas present ever. I am so excited for her future.

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 9


Hooray for Christmas Jammies!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 7



"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." ~ Burton Hillis

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


The parents have been in line for hours to get into the annual Christmas Show at St. Joseph's (the little Catholic School down the street, where my daughter bravely attends pre-K). Due to my competitive nature, I strongly considered arriving 3 hours early, camping chair, ipod and book in hand, to beat out as many parents as I could for the front row seat. But that did not sound like much fun.

Instead I decided to arrive about 25 minutes before it would begin, and take my chances. I follow directions very well. DROP OFF YOUR CHILD IN THE SCHOOL YARD AT 2:30. I dropped her off, and then I had a decision to make. I didn't know which way the line snaked around the block. Should I turn right, and assume the line floats up north and around, or go left and assume it snakes around to the front of the church. I went left, and then left again, and there was the end of the line, snaking around the corner and ending in front of the steps of the church. Wow, I was NOT close to the entrance at all. I was ok with it though.

My husband caught up with me right in the middle of Harry Connick Jr.'s Drummer Boy, and my music-listening was over. We chatted about our new condominium, and eventually made it through the doors of the school. The ENTIRE gym was packed with parents, and we heard a rumor there was a balcony, so we headed up there. We got third row balcony, just to the left of the obstructing basketball hoop. It got hot up there very quickly.

Then it began. The fifth graders acted out the Nativity Story. I have to say, in all my days attending plays of actors in a variety of levels, abilities, and ages, this was unique. It was so uniformly unique, I knew that these kids had been directed to do what they did. I hope that I can put it into words, because it was something else. I imagine the teacher gave this direction:

"Here are the rules of the play:
1. Whenever you say the word 'you', point directly out to the audience (even if YOU is a sheperd or an angel or Mary).
2. Whenever you say the word 'I' or 'me,' point with both hands, to your own shoulders.
3. Try to say your lines as much like a cheerleader as possible. Take breaks between words for emphasis, even though there is no punctuation that would indicate such.
4. Also, like a cheerleader, please nod your head for emphasis, especially when uttering the word Jesus.
5. When you travel from stage left to stage right, you may not counter or three-quarter turn, you may not put your back to the audience at any time. I would like you Mary and Joseph, to hold hands, and sort of chasse' back and forth when going from inn to inn.
6. In some plays the actors are taught to project, we just want you guys to yell as many of the lines as possible.
7. When you have a line, please wait until the person ahead of you has walked ALL THE WAY BACK TO HIS POSITION ON THE STAGE, before you even think about taking a step from your position ALL THE WAY OVER TO THE MICROPHONE to say your line.
8. If people applaud, just ignore it and keep saying your line anyway.
9. Half of you kneel on the risers for the entire 20 minute skit, and if you feel like you might faint for lack of blood flow, just pray that your line is coming up soon so that you can stand up and stretch for a second."

Hilarious right? This whole new style just kept me very entertained...so maybe I will take these techniques and file them away for future use!

Some of my favorite parts about the Christmas show are as follows:

Costumes: there were little angels, lambs, Santas, snowmen, reindeer, silver bells, shepherds, and my favorite, one lone eighth grader as the CHRISTMAS TREE during the song: Rockin' around the Christmas tree.

The 3rd graders did a really adorable dance with girls in christmas nightgowns dancing with Santa to the tune I WANT CANDY, but the lyrics: I WANT SANTA.

I really enjoyed the second graders chanting: Who let the ELVES out? WHo, who who who....

And of course I was oh-so-proud of my little pre-K girl who was front row center, singing and poeming her little heart out, and ringing her jingle bells at JUST the right time. It's moments like those that I need to hang onto when I am having a bad mom day.

All in all, it was a great experience, and I get to do it all over again tonight. Lucky me.

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 6

One of my favorite Christmas memories was the year I tested Santa. I was determined NOT to tell my mom what I wanted for Christmas, and ONLY tell Santa. I told Santa I wanted a tv for Christmas, and no one else...well almost no one. I did tell my Grandparents.

When I woke up on Christmas morning, I prepared myself for dissappointment--just in case I didn't get the TV, and just in case I found out Santa wasn't real. I ran out to the living room, and there was a TV. I was amazed, and I continued to believe.

Several years later I asked my mom about that Christmas. She said that on Christmas Eve night, in the trunk of her car was a TV. I think that my Grandparents had totally hooked me up. I guess my testing Santa theory had a slight flaw in it....I shouldn't have told them, but they did keep me as a believer for a few more years.

Even though I have known for a while that the Man in Red is a myth, I still sometimes believe he is real, and I still have that anticipatory feeling on Christmas Eve night, as fresh as it was so many years ago.


Naperville Men's Glee Club Concert ~ Silent Night

Click on more, to view a small clip from our Silent Night at the NMGC concert December 9th, 2006.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 5


One of my favorite decorations in all of NYC....the Cartier boxes showering down off the side of the building. Very theatrical.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 4


Tonight we had our Christmas party over at the church. It was a little bit thrown together because no one had planned one, so a few weeks ago my husband and a few of the ladies in the congregation (we call it a ward), got together and decided on a potluck party and service project.


The service project was the part that my husband was in charge of. He found an organization called The Children's Village, that collects wrapped (and labeled) toys for children. together with the organization, they made a goal that our ward could donate 40 toys. He sent a sign up sheet around, and got 60 toy commitments. We were glad, because realistically, we figured only about 40 would show up. By the end of the night we had at least 100 gifts wrapped and ready to go. The back of our envoy is completely packed, so that you cannot see when you drive.

Good job everyone, and especially my DH for letting the Holiday Spirit bite him, and getting us to serve!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 3


My little angel (devil) ANGEL. Happy 20 Month B-day Today!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Third Person Thursday

Her creativity was completely sapped. However, she did manage to get put on hold for the Miami-job next week: Gynocare. She doesn't usually ask, but she had to this time:
"How many other girls from the agency are on hold?"
"4", her agent replied. Well, at least at her agency she had a 1 in 4 chance...who knows how many other girls were put on hold at other agencies.

She also managed to re-do her website. It still needs quite a bit of cleaning and tweaking (the resume page is quite a mess), but she likes the new, clean and sleek design. There is no going back to the old one, b/c it has been discontinued, so she better like it.

Now she will finish the last few bites of her new obsession: chocolate peanut butter Haagen-Daaz. Yum. Maybe by next THPTH she will have something more creative and interesting to write about. She apologizes.

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2

Top Ten Christmas Tracks of the Season:

1. James Taylor ~ Jingle Bells

2. Sarah Maclachlen ~ Song for a Winter's Night

3. Ann Margret ~ Baby It's COld Outside (I don't care what you say about it being a date rape song).

4. Il Divo ~ Rejoice ~ Where did I misplace my faith? Where did I set it down? Which one's the day that I forgot what this was all about? And I came so close to throwing it all away, but I'm taking it back again....so come and Rejoice....come and Rejoice....what was lost was found.

5. Some Children See Him ~ James Taylor

6. Snow ~ White Christmas Soundtrack

7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman ~ Sarah M. & Barenaked Ladies

8. Santa Baby ~ Macy Grey

9. Hallelujah Chorus ~ The Messiah ~ London Symphony

10. Mary, Did You Know? ~ Von Trapp Children

For more Christmas Music Discussion, click here.

Gynocare

I have a go-see today for Gyno Care---a product that makes heavy periods lighter. Since it is in my target niche, I think I might have a good chance. Cross your fingers, because it would mean a quick 2-day trip to Miami, right before I leave for Chicago for the Christmas Holiday.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Opinion: The Naperville Sun

You will have to enlarge it to read it, but it is pretty nice.

The only corrections are that I am not a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, and I have never performed on Broadway (close, but no cigar).

Glass Posse 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1


This is my book tree. Under it are all of our Christmas books, wrapped. Each day my daughters get to open one. They take turns, so that they open one every other day. It is really fun, and it makes our old favorite Christmas books seem like new again.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Picture a Christmas Concert

440 people traipsed through the cold and snow to attend my concert Sunday night. It was so nice of so many people to come and hear me sing. Some attending I had not seen in several years. It meant so much to me that so many people would attend. There was a whole team of people at the church who were organizing this event. There was a giant sign out front, newspaper ads, flyers, invitations, programs, and food.

I was nervous about this concert for a few reasons. First of all, I knew it had been highly publicized, and so many people were in high anticipation about my coming, even though they knew very little about me. Secondly, I knew it was at the end of a long weekend of talking and singing, so I was concerned about my voice holding up.

I slept in that morning, and went to the 1 o clock session of church. As soon as I got there, I almost fell asleep. I decided to go home for the next two hours of church to rest. I am really glad I did, because I took a much-needed nap. At around 4 o clock I got ready to go, ate some dinner, and warmed up. I met the kids choir at 5:30 and we had a great warm-up together, and after a few more moments alone, I felt ready.

I had to put away all the thoughts of self-doubt: I have never done a fireside like this before...am I ready? Will my voice hold up for the whole thing? Will I meet the crowd's expectations? Will I forget my words? etc. I put them away, and willed myself to enjoy the evening and be in control of the concert. I was calm, collected, and I did indeed feel in control of myself and my emotions, so I conquered my fears, and did the best that I could that night.

After an hour of performing, the fireside was complete, and I spent the next hour greeting audience members and signing my postcards. There were friends in the audience that I had not seen for many years, so it was nice to chat with them for a few minutes. I am looking forward to doing it again next season...maybe somewhere out west or in DC?...

Naperville Mens Glee Club

On the night of this concert I found a grey hair. Yes, about once a month I find a coarse, silvery strand poking its way through the sea of brown. I tried and tried to pull it out (because I don't believe that if you pull one out, ten will follow), and I was not successful. Then I decided I better leave it in, because everyone on the stage that night would have their fair share.

I sang with the Naperville Men's Glee Club, an organization that has been singing together for at least 18 years. There were of course a variety of ages, but like I said, a lot of gray hair. They were excellent singers, and excellent-looking, up there with their fresh hair cuts and tuxedos. I LOVE it when men sing, so I really enjoyed the concert.

We were joined by the Wesley United Methodist Bell Choir. It was fantastic to watch them in action with their white gloves and very specific arm motions. We were also joined by some family of the Glee Club, playing some wind instruments. I sang 4 songs from my album, accompanied by one of my oldest friends Mike Acquaviva. He and I sang our first solos back in elementary school: We've Only Just Begun (Carpenters), and went on to be in the freshman play, high school musicals, choirs, festivals, and the list goes on...together. He is now in his residency for Pediatric Anesthesia, but continues to play the piano and lead choirs all around the town.

I had a difficult time with O Holy Night. When I am singing about something that meaningful to me, sometimes my emotions get the better of me. The trip has helped me to navigate that a little better. I am always trying to strike a balance between giving a meaningful message and performing...I feel like I conquered it better at the Picture a Christmas Concert on Sunday night. Anyway, I was able to take a breath and hit the high note of O Holy Night, then I blew my nose and got ready for the Silent Night with all the performers.

I really enjoyed the entire experience. We got a standing ovation I think...if we didn't, we should have, because the entire concert was top notch. If you live in Naperville, you should look up the Glee Club...they have a wonderful sound and they are very entertaining.

The audience really responded to my music, and I had a busy evening following the concert signing some autographs and thanking everyone who came. I even had a few friends show up, which was so nice...I am always happy to have that added support in the audience, so thank you!

I think my favorite part of the evening was wearing my black gown, that I had not worn for almost 5 years. It looked perfect with all the tuxedos on the stage....I was really excited that I had that back in the closet. Thank you NMGC for having me sing with you this past weekend!

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Twin


Doppelganger

My Naperville Manager is my mother. She has been helping me handle sales in my hometown, and doing an amazing job. She carries around her bag of cds and promotes them as only a mother can. I am really appreciative of all of her help with my "holiday tour" including the cooking, cleaning, managing, and supporting me through all of my performances this past weekend.

I have always looked like my mom. We have always resembled each other. Apparently, in both of our old age however, we have become twins. 5 different times at my events this past weekend, audience members told her what a good job she did, and once when I was standing right, I mean RIGHT next to her. It was a very sweet little girl, and she was so embarrassed when I said....THANKS, I'm right here! I didn't mean to embarrass her of course.

Once someone who we both knew thought I was my mother, until I got a little closer. I am ok with this because my mother is a very attractive woman, and I am pretty sure my mom is ok with it, because I am 23 years younger then her, and she has entered that decade of life where she is studying the age-defying section of the beauty products, with her glasses on hand in case she might need to read some fine print.

I think for both of us, these occurences were unexpected, and really funny. My mom's response, at first was....no I'm the mom...but then she just started saying: THANK YOU. I think she might have meant that in a few different ways.

Thank YOU mom...see you in a few weeks.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Young Naperville Singers Concert Dec. 8th

Last night I had the opportunity to sing with the Young Naperville Singers. This is a children's chorus that was organized 23 years ago. I was in YNS from 1987 to 1991. I have already written quite a bit about them on this blog, so I will just skip to the concert.

I sang White Christmas as a solo, and then all the kids and the audience joined in on the refrain. The pianist played the most beautiful arrangement, that was nice and slow and sappy. I really enjoyed singing it with her.

In the second act I sang Mozart's Laudate Dominum. I was more worried about this piece because it is not often I perform classical music in front of a live audience. During soundcheck I got used to the acoustics and the choir singing behind me, and so by the performance I felt good. I was happy with the way the number ended up. I am going to order a cd of the concert as a keepsake.

Being around the children in the hallways before, and during the concert, and then singing on stage with them was so inspiring. Kids have boundless energy and enthusiasm for what they are doing in their lives. After spending time with them, I thought....maybe I could handle having a son.

I got a chance to speak with the third grade chorus and the 10-13-year-olds. The questions they asked were so fun. What was your favorite tv show when you were our age? What is your favorite food to eat? Have you seen Wicked? How old are you? Do you want some free airline tickets?, because I can get you some, my dad works for the airlines.

It meant a lot to me to sing with these kids and hopefully inspire them to follow their dreams.

The First "Holiday Tour" Adventure

The Mayor's Prayer Breakfast was Thursday morning. It was exciting because 500 members of the community gathered together to have breakfast and worship together. About 15 percent of the attendees were members of the clergy, and the same percentage of government workers.

It was the 2nd annual breakfast, so attendees were more excited to be there, knowing what was in store. My favorite part of the whole breakfast were the 6 children dressed as elves standing at the front entrance way, ringing bells, and yelling MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone who came through. So cute.

I got to sing 5 songs at the breakfast. All of them went pretty well. It is held in a large and vast gym at the local YMCA, so the sound is challenging, but I did the best I could. The guest speaker was Dr. Eboo Patel. He was very inspirational and well-prepared. I confess to tuning out for parts, but that is because I was focusing on the song that directly followed him. Sorry, Dr. Patel.

After the breakfast, I had the chance to meet a lot of "fans". I sold a good number of albums, and I think I autographed most of them. Every one who stayed to talk to me were new faces. I knew a lot of people in the crowd, and didn't see one of them afterwards. I thought that was really cool. I was really happy with the whole morning.

Here is where the adventure part comes in. We decided to count how many CD's we had sold based on boxes. We brought 5, and ended up home with 3. I was amazed that we had sold 2 full boxes. I did the math and figured out how much cash that would mean needed to be in the cashbox. When I got home to count it, only half of it was there. I did not believe that the nice YMCA ladies working the table had robbed me of half the money, and so I knew there was a box missing. My Naperville Managers (parents) and I went round and round about it. Did we bring 5 boxes or only 4? It was so early....we can't remember. I thought there was def. a box missing, but had my doubts as well, because WHERE COULD IT BE?

I did not panic. I called the YMCA employee WOmanning the table, and she said the whole area was clear, and no box was left there. I think it was my mom's idea to go and check for ourselves. So, we jumped in the car and walked in. My mom walked right behind a giant penguin that was no where NEAR where we had been selling, and it was sitting right there. I think my Dad had just unloaded them in the front entrance, and forgot to come get the last one.

Though I was dissappointed that we hadn't sold 2 boxes, I was so releaved to have my box back: SAFE AND SOUND.

ps. Is that how you spell releaved? It doesn't look right.....gotta go...more singing to do.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's going well...

I can't quite come up for air yet, but when I do, I will be posting.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

1 Day to go.

I cannot believe that it is the night before I leave. I cannot believe that the inspiration of last year's trip has come to this full circle moment with a cd in the mix. It is totally unreal.

Today's Dones:
~I got dangerously close to finishing my Christmas shopping at old faithful-TARGET. Love that store.
~Refilled my prescriptions.
~Packed: 1 1/2 bags are Christmas presents (I am going back in just a few weeks to celebrate Christmas in Naperville), the other half of the one bag are my clothes, jewlery etc, and a garment bag holds my dresses and tampons. Yup, lucky timing for me!
~Updated my ipod again-I messed it up---I'm new at this.
~Answered last-minute emails about my appearances.
~Finished up some notes for my high school presentations.
~Practiced. I have been so worried about the stamina of my voice, but today felt really good, and I only have to sing LONG programs on the last night, so that is perfect timing.
~Blogged. I am particularly enjoying this thread.
~Watched Studio Sixty....I liked last night's episode, they did a nice tribute to Hurricane Katrina...very cool.
~Watched part of Mickey's Christmas Carol with my daughters. Nice memories of my childhood.
~Ate Chocolate Peanut Butter Haagen Daz ice cream. I had a long day with the baby-she is getting her canines, and she was a beast the ENTIRE day.
~Now I am going to turn in at a very nice 10:00 pm EST. I will most certainly feel rested when the alarm goes off at 6:30, oh wait a second, I never need to set an alarm because my darling baby always wakes me up at the crack of dawn (b/n 5:41 and 6:12) every morning screaming: MAMA!

Concert Week

Today marked the beginning of the concert week. Here is what I have done to prepare today:

~I tried to be on vocal rest most of the day...I did pretty good.

~I bought an ipod shuffle. How does this help me prepare you ask? Well, I can study my music without using my voice....practice words, order, mentally review how I approach certain phrases, remember tempos etc. I thought about asking to borrow my husband's ipod, but I got a little Christmas check in the mail from my generous father-in-law, and thought...what the hey? hay? I am listening right now.

~Finished up Christmas shopping. I shopped for the hubby today. I am really pleased with my purchases, but he is hard to shop for, so I am prepared if he needs to return everything.

~Almost finished my Christmas postcards. I still need a few addresses and stamps.

~Printed out all my stuff. Trip itinerary, Concert Programs, High School Presentation/Handouts, Schedule, and what I need to bring with me to each venue, and wear at each venue...this will help me with the packing that I haven't started yet, because my duffle bag is mysteriously unnaccounted for.

~Shopped at Costco. Hopefully my children will get fed while I am gone....and not just on ice cream and pizza.

~Caught up on a few Accounts Receivables.

~Sweeped, Swiffered and Mopped the floors, vaccuumed couches and rugs.

~Bought THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER for my plane-reading. I just finished Christmas Carol, so I thought I should stay with the Christmasy reading theme.

~Tried on a gown that I haven't worn in 4 years...thinking it would be perfect for one of my concerts. It is still debatable...I have sort of shrunk in a certain place up top due to having babies, and I am not sure if I can make it work....I shall need a second opinion. Maybe a really big brooch will help.

~In case you haven't seen, I am giving away a cd for FREE, just click here to enter the Tales Freebie.

~Now I am going to pop some corn and watch my fave show, which is back!!! The Closer....on TNT....It's really great....really. Yeah, the date says Tuesday, but I am writing late Monday night, so same diff.

Forecast

It's cold in Chicago. I guess I better get packing....I need to add a few down-feather parkas and wool sweaters...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Last Quarter Tearsheets

As the year comes to a close, I am starting to gather the last of the tear sheets. There is nothing really that exciting, just a few jobs that are now accounted for.

Below is the Babies R Us Big Book Cover. I shot this cover with three babies, including my own. She actually sat pretty still for this one, so I thought she might have a chance, but Olivia got it instead. Fiona (of the playskool ad) and I also shot together, and I was pretty certain that she got the shot and she didn't...so I guess that shows that I know nothing.


A cousin of mine emailed me this morning with news that he had seen my photo on the Microsoft Website. I shot that job in October of 2005. I had checked the website before and found nothing....and to be honest, I am really surprised that he recognized me...the photo is pretty small. See if you can find me here.

Really, since August the print work for me has been pretty slow. In the last quarter, I have actually wrangled more then modeled. The next few jobs coming up will be my face in a gajillion hair magazines, the two book covers, and a small article in February's Nick Jr. Magazine.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Highlights: JTTW Concert

It was a success.

Members of our stake (the name for a number of congregations coming together as one group in a designated geographical area) tend to be perpetually late. Events start late, people come in late, we don't know who started it, but it is annoying to the small percentage of people who are on time (early) and just sitting in uncomfortable chairs looking at the clock wondering when something will begin.


I knew the concert would be brief (it ended up being 45 minutes, I was shooting for 1 hour), and that our talent would work really hard to make this a great performance. I did not want anyone who intended on coming to a concert, to miss it because of this perpetual punctuality (or lack thereof) issue.

My plan was to advertise the concert as beginning at 6:30, but intentionally begin it at 7. The idea was to bulk up the audience in that half hour and to avoid clock checking, provide them with a pre-reception. We had artwork to look at that the children had drawn, light refreshments, live carolers singing, Christmas decorations, a table with information about the church, and a host of ushers to greet people and help them find seats.

When I arrived at 6 there were already quite a few people there. And by 6:30 it was pretty full, but when I saw a large amount of people walk in at about 10 minutes to 7 (20 minutes late according to the flyer), I was so happy. These people got to see the entire concert, and we were not interrupted by latecomers noisily finding a seat.

So, the pre-reception was the first success of the evening.

The second success was the concert itself. The performers all looked smashing, and they performed with all their souls. Many people performing and in attendance could really feel a strong spirit. When the concert was over, a few of the ladies in the adult chorus had tears in their eyes, and I could feel it too. The kids chorus gave me the BEST hugs when it was over. I am really going to miss them. I took time early on to learn all of their names, and try to get to know them, and I will miss seeing them every Saturday morning, as will my daughter. She made great friends with some of the older girls, who were great examples to her and took her under their wing.

At the past two stake events that occurred, I made a note of how many people were in attendance. In July it was 67. I was really concerned that we would only have around that many show up, so I have been praying for many months that we could have a great audience...and sure enough, there were too many to count, and even a row of people standing in the back.

For me personally, I felt fine about my performance. At first, it was a really foreign feeling to be on a stage with lights. I settled into it during my third song...it took THAT long. I am glad to have it under my belt, because I feel more prepared for my "holiday tour" as my friends and family keep calling it. I sort of look at last night as a preview, like in the theatre when we have at least a week (some shows take months) to get used to being in front of an audience before it REALLY counts.

Today (the morning after) at church I had a lot of people tell me how great the concert was, and evidentally word had spread about the CD and I had a lot of folks interested today. I didn't have enough in my bag to go around. Next week when I am away, my business manager will have to handle that for me. Thanks honey!

All of you who wished me well in comments and through email/phone calls, I really appreciate you remembering and caring enough to say so. I could not have been happier about it, and it would not have been what it was without the commitment from everyone involved, especially my co-director, who will remain nameless to protect her top secret identity.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Joy to the World Concert

Tonight is our Joy to the World Concert in Woodside, NY. We have been organizing this since July, rehearsing it since September, and advertising it since Halloween. Last night we had our technical rehearsal, and everything is coming together nicely.

I am really excited about the variety of the performances. There are dueted violins, a guitar ensemble (including mandolin and bongo drum), vibraphone, guitar and soloist, adult and childrens chorus. I have been working most closely with the kids. They are so excited about the concert. In rehearsals it was like pulling teeth to get a little volume out of them, but as soon as they got on stage these past few rehearsals, they just stand there and practically scream out the music.

As their director, I have mixed feelings about this. I am glad that they are enthusiastic, but dismayed that the musical quality has been a bit compromised. I will have a chat with them at our last rehearsal this morning, in one last attempt to restore what we have been working on every Saturday morning since September, but in the end what will be will be.

Last night I really tried to sieze the opportunity given to me to perform my songs on a stage in front of a fake audience. It felt good to be under the lights again. I am looking forward to giving my message through song, to all those who attend tonight. I am especially excited about singing I Wonder as I Wander with the vibraphone.

It's gonna be great. Come on by if you're in the neighborhood...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Shout Out for Steinway Pharmacy

My love affair with Steinway Pharmacy started on a cold winter's night. My daughter had a super high fever that was making her lethargic. I was scared. She does not take medicine well, just the sight of it causes her to throw up. Literally. As a result, I give her Feverall suppositories when she has a fever. This night, I had none in my medicine cabinet. I also had no cash in my wallet.

I could not possibly drag her to the bank or the pharmacy, and I was worried sick about her fever. I made the phone call: "Hi, my daughter has a very high fever. I need some feverall. I need you to deliver it to me, and I have no cash, so I need you to trust that I will pay you tomorrow." I didn't think they would EVER go for it. Their response: "No problem." Five minutes later I had my medicine, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

There are several chain pharmacies within walking distance of me: Eckerd, Duane Reade, CVS etc. When my insurance changed and Steinway Pharmacy did not accept it, I was forced to deal with these completely incompetant, crazy pharmacies. Sometimes I had to go to two or three different stores in order to get all the prescriptions necessary to treat ear infections, strep throat and the like. Even though I went all the time, there was no spark of recognition in the pharmacist's eyes. You would think with their fancy equipment, computer systems and white coats that they would be the ideal pharmacists to have, but that is not the case.

At last my insurance changed back to an acceptable one for Steinway. Every time I walk in, the head pharmacist: Monsour F. Monsour says: "Hi Glass" in his Arabic accent. My prescriptions are ready no later than 8 minutes after I have turned them in or called them in. They even work around the insurance restrictions when I need my prescription filled a few days early because I am traveling or something. And, they often just give me my pills if I don't have enough cash, knowing I will come back and pay the difference.

I love that they care about me, trust me, and deliver what I need in a prompt and professional manner. This type of customer service exists very few places now-a-days and I am so grateful to have it, especially in a pharmacist. So, thanks Steinway Pharmacy!

Oh, and why is Steinway Pharmacy on my mind today? I have a sinus infection. I went to get my augmentin prescription filled last night. Yup, that's right, 1 day before my first concert of the season, 5 days before I get on a pressure-filled airplane to attend the rest of my performances, and I have a sinus infection. This is SO my life.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Third Person Thursday

She was nervously waiting for her salad dressing callback, when she noticed a tall woman with a pretty face walk into the audition. Her hair was a little less than a quarter inch long. It had obviously been shaved recently. She sat there looking at that girl wondering how she got away with shaving her head in the commercial industry. She didn't want to make a scene about it, so she went back to her book.

When she finished the callback, she rushed over to another audition. After that, she grabbed a quick snack and then headed down into the subway. When she stepped on the train, the shaved-head girl followed. Now was the perfect opportunity to ask about the hair.

Shaved-head girl was really open about her shaved-headness, and explained that she had been booked on a movie that was supposed to be a 6 month project, and ended up ending after 1 week, and she was stuck with a shaved head. It didn't matter that much though, because most of her work is stunt work, which requires wigs. It had however lost her a few commercial jobs, but she seemed ok with it.

After their conversation, she went home and looked shaved-head girl up on the internet, and sure enough she was a hard-working stunt girl. She thought to herself: I love this city, I meet cool people.

The very next week, she was driving in her neighborhood when she saw a tall girl with a pretty face and a shaved head on the sidewalk, being photographed by another girl with a hat on. She recognized her as her ballet-dancer-sometimes-see-at-the-gym-friend, Hollie. She went around the block and pulled over to say hi, and of course to ask her about the hair. Turns out, she had to shave it for a movie. Then the photographer pulled off her hat to reveal the same secret.

She explained to the two shaved-head-girls that she had met another shaved-head-stunt-girl the week before and asked them to tell her why all the shaved heads. The girls said their were ten of them who had their heads shaved. She asked if it was worth it, and they said yes. The name of the film? I AM LEGEND, starring Will Smith.

As she drove away she thought: I think I have to see this movie.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Had a good feeling...

...about an audition I had last week for Three Musketeers. When the phone rang last night at 6:30 and it was my agent, I made a bet with myself: "Betcha it's a callback for Three Musketeers!" And it was. So, I was really excited. It is one of those floating Musketeers Bars Commercials that we have all seen. I love when I am on hold for a commercial that is casting 4 women. I feel like my chances are a lot better, but I will probably show up and be competing against 400 other girls.

After that audition, I HAD to have a Three Musketeers Bar. I literally went straight to the deli when it was over and bought one. I am SUCH a sucker for the power of suggestion. That Snickers campaign this summer all over cabs and billboards, is why my working out was all for naught, or shall I say, NOUGAT. SATISFECTELLENT, NOUGATCITY,PEANUTOPOLIS---all in those oh-so-recognizable letters. Man I am mad at them.

So, I have to decide before I go, that I will not succumb to the temptation of chocolate....and just walk out and enjoy a sip of my water. Mmmmm...yummy water.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

1000 words...


I don't know exactly what to say about this photo. A lot comes to mind, all at once:

~We do not look good while we dance.
~This does not look like dancing.
~I look perfectly comfortable in this position.
~My husband looks uncomfortable.
~We are not good dancers.
~My ankle looks really weak, like it might buckle at any moment.
~Shouldn't my husband's hands be in a slightly different position?
~I like my rabbit fur bolero
~Why was he looking right into the camera, and I was unaware of it, that is so not like me...
~We should really take some dancing lessons.
~We don't dance much, so I guess it doesn't matter.

My husband came home from work today and handed me this photo. We went to his co-worker's wedding back in September, and apparently this photo was not worth keeping for them, as it has a little proof mark on the right corner. Hmmmm....I wonder why they wouldn't want to scrapbook this? Don't they know I am Kristy Glass...and documentation of my famous dancing is very valuable?

Monday, November 27, 2006

It's Monday...watch out for flying pigeons



That would have been cool if it had hit her, but I think it was behind her, not in line with her.

It is less than 2 weeks until my performances begin. Strangely, I do not feel any more stressed than usual, which is either good or bad. Either I maintain a high level of stress all the time, and am thus severely cutting into my life expectancy, or I am really prepared for my upcoming performances, or I am just completely numb after an entire year leading up to just 1 week of my life.

Maybe I am just crazy.

Yup, that sounds about right.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Black Friday


Today was the first time that I went into Manhattan for Black Friday. I knew it would be crowded. I did not know that it would be THAT crowded. I had this brilliant idea that everyone would be shopping, and no one returning, so I lugged my twin aerobed into the city to return at the Macy's at Herald Square. I figured there would be a customer service line JUST for returns. Nope.

The lines were miles long. I didn't even know where any of them lead. I was afraid to stand in a line, in case it lead to the men's room, or an express checkout (where I could not return), or somewhere else. The whole store was madness. It felt like you were in an ocean of people, trying to navigate through the coral reef or something. I did not want to subject my family to waiting for me, so I just lugged it around on my stroller for the next 6 hours.

We started at 34th St. and Broadway and walked all the way to 87th and Lexington Ave. It took hours. We made a few stops for food and hot cocoa, and of course to look at some of the Windows. Macy's and Lord and Taylor both had animitronics. We also saw the skaters at Rockefeller Center, and the snowflakes at Saks. It was really fun to people watch today. Tourists, locals, Christian Slater, all eye-candy for us.

I tried to capture the droves of people in the above photo. It is taken from 59th and 5th Ave, looking south. The sidewalks were packed. The Upper East side was more sparse, but still busy for the UES. My favorite store windows there were Betsey Johnson and the two Ralph Lauren stores, so pretty.

I did not buy one thing today (accept food). Granted, I only went INSIDE about 3 stores and 2 food establishments, but still...It was just really fun to be out in the beautiful weather with my family, looking at all the festive decor, and trying to snap a Christmas Card photo. The Christmas Season has officially begun at our house and definitely in our city.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Silverware Turkey


Turkey made of silverware.

80th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade





It wasn't my most favorite Macy's Parade of all time. It was REALLY WET. I am glad that my wonderful husband went early and staked out some spots under some scaffolding. We were warmer and dryer than most, and did not require umbrellas. As a result, our view wasn't quite as good, BUT the balloons were being flown VERY low because of the wind, so it didn't matter that much. Super Grover was pretty much licking the pavement the entire parade. Poor Grover.

There was a little adventure at this year's parade. First, my daughter had to go to the bathroom, which believe it or not, has never happened. I walked about a block to a parking garage and a very nice man let me use their facilities. Phewsh.

Then a hotdog/pretzel vendor came UNDER the scaffolding and parked his truck. The smoke was TERRIBLE. We were all breathing it in and smelling like a campfire. I asked a police officer to step in, and he told the guy to leave. About 10 minutes later her came back again. I was on my way to get the cop again (he had moved a ways away), but then I spotted Santa Claus on the parade route, which means the end of the parade, so I let it go.

That's it.

The dinner turned out pretty well. I thought the turkey was a little overdone, but at least we didn't have to wait several more hours for it to be done. Everything was hot and delicious and the gravy was fine....

I unfortunately was hit with a sinus infection thing yesterday, so I actually fell asleep twice during the day, and at night, watching CSI...so I must have been legitimately sick. I feel much better this morning, and I think I will drag my posse into Manhattan for some SIGHT-SEEING.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Glass Posse Thanksgiving 2006

I officially have less time than required to pull together this meal, but I am going to try dang hard.

The menu:

Turkey, stuffed with sage and lemon (thanks Rachel Ray)

Sweet Potatoes (a la fattening Boston Market kind)

Macaroni and Cheese-I am not southern, but this is something that I incorporate in my Thanksgiving, never had it growing up, just like the idea

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

NEW ADDITIONS THIS YEAR
Rolls-orange if I am lucky

Salad:
chilled roasted beets
chilled boiled yukon potatoes
chilled boiled string beans
spring greens
goat cheese
dressing
SO YUMMY and SATISFYING

Crockpot Dressing: I don't like stuffing the turkey, plus it adds cook time, which I DON'T need since my oven is already slower than the average, and we had to wait a bit longer than I wanted to last year.

Dessert will be whatever they have at the grocery store, I am NOT baking dessert this year.

I also need to make cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for the men who go early and stake out a parade spot for us. However, I just heard the forecast, and it is not the best, so that will decrease the amount of crazies who are willing to get utterly chilled in the name of thanksgiving fun.

I just read back the email and I see that it is heavy on carbs...I might need to ad a green dish..maybe green bean casserole...can't go wrong with that.

Happy Cooking/Eating/Sleeping/Parading/Familying.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Can you tell me how to get...

Yes, this was one of the best days of my New York Life. I love Sesame Street. I love the Muppets. I love the amazing art of puppetry. I love children's television. I love my daughter. To have all of these come together this afternoon, made me smile from ear to ear. I am so happy.

The first time I visited Sesame Street was a few years ago when I was pregnant with my now 19-month-old. I met Gina and Grover. I saw the amazing Jerry Nelson in action, and also Peter Linz, some of you may know him as Snook on the BIG BIG WORLD. And how can I forget Noel Mcneal,
who plays BEAR in Bear in the Big Blue House.

My second visit was today. I have been waiting to take my daughter to the Street. She had to be 4 years old, and time could not have moved slower. Today we saw a scene with Elmo, Telly, Slimy, Oscar the Grouch, Maria and Gordon. Simply Heaven. Oscar of course is played by the incomparable Caroll Spinney, who also plays Big Bird. He was so good to us. Oscar even laid one on me, my second adulterous kiss in two days...ay ya ya...(remember I got engaged yesterday?).


These folks have been making this television show for a hundred years, and they were as fresh as daisies. Everyone was so kind to us and gave us extra special treatment. They have cameramen there that have been at it since day 1, and one even has a muppet made to look like him. Rosita was not in the scene this afternoon, but her muppeteer, Carmen brought her out and did a little photoshoot, and even asked my daughter if she knew any spanish words.

Maria and Gordon (Sonia and Roscoe) were so nice and patient with all the kids. They were (obviously) playing a King and Queen today.

My daughter's favorite part was Hooper's Store. She wanted to order something. My favorite part was just seeing it through her eyes. When we left the building she said: "That was excrodinary"



As we were ringing Grammy to tell her about the days adventures, Mark Feuerstein rode by on his bike. I said a quick hello, and he sort of acted like he was going to stop to talk, but when I just said hi, he picked up his speed again. I think that I might not have recognized him if I hadn't just walked by the 3 LBS Hair & Makeup Door located in Kaufman Studios, right next to the Sesame Hair & Makeup Room.

I love that Sesame Street is right down our Street, and I feel so happy that we have had a chance to experience it first hand.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Engagement Day

So, my Friday engagement was postponed to this morning at 10:40 AM. I will get engaged over a nice Asian Salad, and then I will head East a few blocks and eat a Three Musketeers Bar with 3 girlfriends. 1 callback, 1 audition, life is good. And even better is that I will have one daughter at school and the other at home with a sitter...I am glad there will be no schlepping.

In other news, I am making progress on the album front. Last night I just sold my 200th CD, thanks to my friend JJ who put in a record order at 20 cds. My business manager (DH) and I were really excited to get to that point in our sales. Also this weekend, my friend helped me put together my album posters for the appearances I make where I am not permitted to sell, and also to put next to the sales table at appearances where I am allowed to sell.

They look really good. My graphic designer for the album put these together and I ordered them off of snapfish, then my friend mounted them on some black foam with photomount adhesive. I am pretty sure all of this was cheaper than if I had gone to a framing place. I am happy. Now, I just have to figure out how to ship them to Naperville. That will be Tuesday's project.

I think that with my combined appearances where I can SELL Cd's, I will reach close to 1000 people. I have about 800 cd's left to sell for this season, so I think it might be doable...we'll see! That would be nice if I was sold out by December 12th...then I could just coast through the holidays.

This past weekend I had a going away party at my home and it was filled. It was really fun. And then I took my daughter to a birthday party on Saturday, so two parties in one weekend equals: a day or two of vocal rest. I am really feeling tired. I have to watch it on Thanksgiving at the parade...I must be quiet, I must be quiet, I must be quiet. Ay ya ya...that's hard for me.

I know this post has been random, but sometimes my life is random, so there you go. Happy Beginning of Thanksgiving Week. I have my turkey bought and in the freezer, how about you?


Sunday, November 19, 2006

LOST MITTEN PHILOSOPHY

Every winter I lose stuff on the subway. Usually it is hats, gloves or scarves...mostly gloves. I usually rush off the train, and then when I hit the cold and go to reach for my various coverings, I realize I have left them on the seat where I was sitting, or when I stood up, they fell off my lap, or because they were put haphazardly in my pocket, they fell out.

I am dissappointed of course, mostly because I am cold, but then I think/hope that someone who needs it more than me, will find the item, and make good use of it.

I try to resort to this philosophy whenever I am dissappointed about losing something.

There are a few kids who sing on my Christmas Album. As part of their "payment" I gave them each 5 cds to keep or give away to their families. I found out yesterday that one of the kids grandma's left the bag of cds on the train. He says he still has one, so I guess there are 4, sealed CD's in a plastic bag riding the train around New York.

At first I was really dissappointed that she had lost those CD's, because that represents lost profits or lost opportunities (because most likely I would have given those 4 cds away as a demo, if I hadn't given them to this child's family). But the more I thought about it, I realized that I could apply my LOST MITTEN PHILOSOPHY, and that made me feel better.

I picture a grocery bag sitting on a seat with these cd's inside, and I wonder who found them. Did they pick them up and look at them? Did they read the front and back and then make the decision whether or not to take one or pass? Did someone find them, and not even think twice about it, grabbed them up and tried to sell them on the sidewalk for 4 dollars? Did 4 different people find the bag and each take one? Did they go home and listen to it? Did they like what they heard and therefore visited my website to find out more? Did someone turn them in to some sort of MTA Lost and Found?

My mind was racing with the possibilities, and thinking about those 4 cds riding the MTA and what sort of adventures they might go on, and where they might end up, made me feel a lot better about the loss. In fact, I think I might have turned it into a gain.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Macy's Day Parade


One of the greatest things about Thanksgiving in this town is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Remember watching it as a kid on tv? When I watched it I thought that the crowd seemed very noisy, and that the parade was just balloons walking down the street. As it turns out, being there in person is quite different from watching it on tv.

The first thing that struck me about the parade, is that even though there are thousands of people on the streets watching the parade, and the band is noisy and the people are cheering, it is quieter than I thought it would be. Maybe because Katie Couric and Willard Scott were always sort of YELLING into their microphones, I thought I would have to yell to talk to my family and friends, but that isn't the case...and when there are pauses in the parade, it is quiet because it is the winter air that invites that still and quiet. It's hard to explain, but true.

I love that aside from the occasional grumpy viewer, most people are really thrilled to be there and the atmosphere is totally festive: Happy Thanksgivings's are exchanged, the pace of walking is cut down from a frantic power walk, to a stroll, and there is a lot of smiling and looking at each other in the eye, which will all fade the next day.

I love watching the people in their apartments open the windows or walk out onto their balconies to watch the parade. Last year there was a beautiful greyhound dog perched on the sill, watching the parade go by.

I love the Macy's workers. It is my goal SOMEDAY to walk in the Macy's Day Parade. I will have to get a job at Macy's first, and then go to clown school, but I am up for the challenge for sure. There are SO many clowns, and balloon holders, all dressed up to match each other or match their balloon.

This is a side of the parade that you cannot experience from televsion. The parade for the locals is more about the "little people" making it all happen, then the big balloons. Last year we must have had at least 20 clowns stop and throw confetti at us (speaking of confetti, I find pieces of it up to 6 months after the parade, while cleaning my house), one clown donned my daughter with his giant glasses, another picked up her friend and gave her a clown nose, and a fourth stopped and dance with my Dad for a few minutes...that personalized attention really makes the parade, especially for the little ones, oh, and the grandpas.

I also love events that touch so many people. I am always amazed at sporting events when the entire crowd sings together the National Anthem or during the seventh inning stretch, and this is a similar phenomenon. Being in the throngs of people reminds me that EVERYONE is celebrating at the same time. We are all eating turkey and showing gratitude together, at the same time. I think it is the closest we come to being truly peaceful, and it's one day a year.

I love the subway ride home, talking over the morning's festivities with each other, and anticipating the smell of the turkey that has been cooking all morning, as soon as you walk in the door. It truly is one of my favorite events of the year, and I hope someday you will come to NYC and experience it too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Third Person Thursday

She opens the mail and actually reads the flyer. Macy's 2-day sale, extra savings from 8 to noon. There is a griddle for 17.99, she thinks; "Wow, we could all eat pancakes together instead of in shifts, or one pancake at a time." There is a portable DVD player for 99.99, she thinks: "We have a bunch of plane trips coming up, NOT on jetblue, that could come in handy...two headphone jacks? sign me up!" There is an aerobed on sale for 89.99, she thinks: "Our aerobed knock off just bit the dust, and we have company coming for Thanksgiving...I better get to this sale!"

The baby has croup the night before, but she HAS to get the deals. She drags the baby to the mall. There are two malls right next to each other, and she parks at the wrong one...oh well, she can walk the block, it's not that cold...of course she isn't thinking about all the purchases dancing in her head that she will have to schlepp back.

Chaos surrounds her as EVERYONE is trying to get their hands on the DVD player that is only 20 bucks if you spend 50. Every time she asks an employee about the PORTABLE DVD player, they don't listen and thinks she is talking about that one....finally someone understands and has the key to opening the portable dvd player cabinet.

She is carefully balancing her griddle, aerobed, portable dvd player and impulse-buy-but-very-necessary steamer on the stroller, with sick baby protesting holding hands. Now it's time to pick a line to stand in and it's Russian Roulette. She chooses well. There is a nice couple behind her with one item, the FRY DADDY. Sweet. She approaches the check out and hands Tara the 10 dollar off coupon which apparently you cannot use unless you are paying for your purchases with the Macy's charge card.

She only has two credit cards: a United Miles Plus Visa and Bloomingdales. She wants to get out of there and use the coupon, so she decides to open a Macy's account. She goes through the process...name, id, address, social security # etc., only to be told that she already has a Macy's credit card: She thinks..."well I wonder where it is..." Apparently you don't need the plastic to use the card....my what consumption has come to.

She checks out with her Macy's account, and then begins the carefully balanced walk on elevators, down stairs, up escalators and to her car. She is home 1 and a half hours after she started...not bad. She calls her husband and boasts about her deals...according to the receipt she saved $192.04. She told her husband that the aerobed was even cheaper than they thought...59.99 for a twin.

Her husband said: Honey, a twin sleeps one person. She said: No, it's double, twin...you know twins equals two. He explained that a double and a twin are not the same, and that twin indicates two separate beds for two separate people. This of course does not make sense to her, why would anyone call something a twin and then make it for only one person.

She considers going back the next morning, but just CAN'T do it. She finds a good deal on a queen aerobed on ebay: 82.90 and free shipping. The next day she opens her portable dvd player only to find that there is no remote control (as the box indicates), and the battery pack has one peg broken so it doesn't hook onto the base. She has already thrown the box and packaging away because it is recycling pick-up day, so feels less-than-optimistic about successfully exchanging it.

She has not opened the steamer yet because she is afraid of what might be wrong with it, nor has she tried out the griddle. Next time she sees the Macy's ad in the mail, she is going to recycle it, instead of reading it.

I got engaged on Monday...and I will again on Friday

On Monday I had an audition for Kraft Salad Dressing. I didn't write about it until now because I thought it went really bad. Here was the scenario: A very prop-heavy scene: salad dressing, salads, cups, table, chairs, a fortune cookie with a ring in it, and chopsticks. There was no copy (lines), but a very detailed scene of a guy and a girl having lunch. The girl is eating her salad, the guy is nervous, she gets to her fortune cookie, opens it, and there is a ring inside.

So I got to the audition about 20 minutes early, and was the first female signed in, so I went first. The guy I was paired up with, seemed really nervous as we were waiting to go in, so during the audition he was like double-nervous because he already was nervous, and then he had to act nervous too.

It is uncomfortable to do scenes like this with someone you have just met, but you just have to let it go. I did my best. It was also a difficult audition because there were so many acting beats and no written lines, and the casting director was trying to figure out how to direct us and what to say. We were sort of the guinea pigs. After it was all over I didn't think it went very well, so I walked out of the casting office and forgot about it.

Yesterday during my daughter's ballet class, I got a call from my agent putting me on hold for the commercial, and letting me know about a callback on Friday. I was really surprised. I had to wrack my brain to remember what she was even talking about...then I had to try to remember what I was wearing...so, anyway, Friday it is. I wonder if the nervous nervous guy was called back too...

Today I am treating myself to a babysitter because I have 1 go-see in Brooklyn (C-gate), 1 in Flatiron district of Manhattan (HBO), and a podiatrist appointment near my home, all in a 3 hour time frame. Yup, something funky is going on with my toe nails....I think it might be the start of some beautiful fungus...gotta love fungus...does a body good.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Book Covers

This is the final book cover for Susan Elizabeth Phillips' new novel. This image is from amazon, and is for the audio book. The actual book is pretty much the same thing. If you like the dress, it's on sale now. This will be my first book cover, and I am getting excited about it because the author and I are from the same home town, and we are talking about making a joint appearance at my favorite local bookstore there.

I just got all the proofs for my second book cover, via email today. Below is a crop of one that they did NOT choose...I will wait to reveal the actual cover, once it is listed on amazon...I guess that will mean that amazon is revealing it, not me...but really it's not my place to do so.


I am reminded of my baby's book jobs...the first of which I wrote about here. I recently discovered this book. My baby is on the bottom left corner, and the two of us are on the back of the packaging. She also took a bunch of photos about a year ago for another plush book that I have lost track of...but here is one of the frames:

So, if anybody spots it, let me know.

Updates on Album Sales coming soon. Happy Day.

19 months old






Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Heart Mary J. Blige


The woman merely needs to walk on to a stage and I get tears in my eyes. When she sings I just can't take it...she just moves me faster and deeper than any other singer I have ever listened to. She is raw, vulnerable, present and sharing it with the world, and it is completely inspiring and fills me with hope.

Here I am pictured with Mary at THE GAP on Lexington. She appears in this ad for the RED CAMPAIGN which I have tried to support through spreading the word, and wearing the clothes. Make something RED one of your stocking stuffers TODAY!



Sunday, November 12, 2006

An Adventure



Sometimes I forget about a project that I have been pretty involved in for the past 3 years, but this past weekend I was reminded again. It all started when I answered an ad in Backstage looking for an actress for the pilot of a new infant video series. What really caught my eye was that the driving force behind it were former Sesame and Disney execs.

I attended I think two auditions and got the job. I shot the pilot back in 2003 in a lickity-split one day shoot. 2 years later I spent 2 weeks creating three infant DVD's called Eebee's Adventures. I had such a great time doing this project for a number of reasons:

1. The creators are crazy passionate about Eebee. It's nice to work with people that care so much.
2. I love puppetry. When my kids and I watch Sesame Street, I am more enthralled then they are...seriously. Eebee is a puppet, and requires two puppetteers and a puppet wrangler, which is endlessly fascinating to me.
3. I love babies. I got to work with SO many babies during this shoot. It was so fun to see how they would react to Eebee and the materials around them, and being on a set that was about 4 feet off the ground.
4. I have babies. It is great to work on something that your children will relate to and understand.

There are more reasons, but those are my top four. Anyway, I recently learned that Eebee's has a contract with FAO Schwarz. This toy store is housed in the same building where my husband works, so I am very familiar with it. On Friday, the creator of Eebee's and Eebee (along with the puppet creator and puppeteer) were roaming the store telling people about the product. I decided to go and hang out. My baby LOVED meeting Eebee. I had a great time seeing them, and seeing the display of the product. We even brought our own Eebee home with us...I mean come on, I had to.

Here is a photo of my daughter and me in front of the set back in 2004. In my tummy was the other daughter, pictured to the left. I really had such a great time working on this project.

If you want to check it out, here's how:
~Video-on-demand: Check out an adventure on your kids on demand, absolutely FREE
~Eebee's website
~Amazon.com for some reviews...don't believe the one reviewer, those eyelashes were NOT fake.
~My website, a clip is here.

Have an adventurous day!