Sweet Sweet Summertime!

I finished my 2nd year of grad school!! WHEW! What an exhilarating semester.  I was fortunate enough to work on a fantastic scene from By The Way, Meet Vera Stark as Gloria Mitchell with my talented friend Javana Mundy as Vera Stark.  It was a time when I found out how funny pain is, and that it is in sad truth that real humor lies. Gloria was a sad, sick, ageing “America’s Sweetheart” film star of the 1930’s who had a complicated secret she shares with her maid who is also her relation.  While it was fun to play with the childish side of selfishness – it was very disturbing to feel the fear, loneliness, and desperation that Gloria carried with her.  The self deprecating aspects of her were very heart wrenching as well.

BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK by Lynn Nottage

BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK by Lynn Nottage

I also got to work on Nina from The Seagull – which I could use about another 2 years to work on and then some…however I had been working with her since January and found so many different notes for her.  The major lesson I’ve learned is that the prep is everything and to just let go – and with Chekhov – say things simply from where you are at.  My greatest character discovery was that Nina is not focused on being sad or in pain – she is reflective but moving forward – she is a hopeful!  Despite it all she will keep going.  Not my best performance but certainly one of my best growing experiences – and that is what school is ALL ABOUT. (Also thank you to Adam Alexander who helped me specify animal work for Nina).

I had an absolute orgasmically wonderful time this year  – working with my all time favorite director Nicholas Kowerko – on Mrs. Smith in The Bald Soprano.  A super strange experience to delve into the absurb and a wonderful way to take risks.  I loved how this play (and director) allowed me to use my physicality in the comedy and I learned how much work it takes to make the absurd – surd.  Making decisions of subtext and building a complex backstory has never been so important.  Luckily my scene partner Stefan Folkins (Mr. Smith) was open to communication in building our back story and we went through several drafts of getting on the same page.  It was an intricate and wacky journey, and I loved every minute of it.  P.S. It turns out I can do cartwheels in 3.5″ heels and a lace dress below the knee. Shout out: Thank you Michael Billingsley & David Frank!!

THE BALD SOPRANO by Eugene Ionesco

THE BALD SOPRANO by Eugene Ionesco

 

And somehow I forgot to mention on my blog that this past fall, Nicholas Kowerko also directed me as Rosie in The Donahue Sisters alongside my sisters Kim Rios Lin (Denise “Dunya”) & Bavlina Youri (Annie) who were brilliant. A very creepy, dark, and volatile experience and one I would not have been able to survive alone.  It was very challenging and also the first time I have ever appreciated when characters speak in unison.  I have never built a stronger family connection on the stage than with these smart, stunning, and HILARIOUS women.  Also, I need to give an ovation and a huge round of applause to Nick’s moment to moment direction, intense hands on involvement in backstory and the overall arc being laden in each moment, and ability to choreograph movement lighting and sound.  I was so thrilled to have a director who could seamlessly coordinate technical elements while also being able to be so involved in character work and choices.  I am still having nightmares about the prop baby we used as a murder weapon – this may never cease.

 

 

THE DONAHUE SISTERS by Geraldine Aron

THE DONAHUE SISTERS by Geraldine Aron

 

 

Bavlina Youri (Annie), Meg Mark (Rosie), Kim Rios Lin (Denise, aka "Dunya") *But tis better than Anastasia. Or Lara.

Bavlina Youri (Annie), Meg Mark (Rosie), Sweet Baby Jesus (as himself), Kim Rios Lin (Denise, aka “Dunya”) *But tis better than Anastasia. Or Lara.

 

 

After much delineation, it has come to be that Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl will be my thesis for rep in my next and final year of grad school.  I could not be more happy- and I’ll be with my boys – Stefan and Nick again!!!  I have never read a piece of literature so closely knit to my soul as an artist and I cannot wait to go on this adventure.

eurydice

playing Eurydice @ home – can’t wait!

Last June I started classes at Upright Citizens Brigade which I completed this April!! Now finished with 401 I can apply for advanced study.  I had incredible teachers Don Fanelli, Nicole Drespel, Corey Brown, & Tim Martin – YEAH I’M SERIOUS.  I want to develop my own style a bit more before I delve into more curriculum – so my best bud Taylor Gonazalez started a 2prov team with me called Total Babe!  We have had 2 shows so far (I’m on a brief hiatus for other artistry) and we will resume in June.  In August we have a show Under St. Marks opening for Kelly Cash – details to come!  It has been a great challenge and a very fun time working with this uber talented weirdo.  He’s someone you want to meet with every week and play with all the time, a very happy, funny and inspiring artist – and a genuine and caring human being – which always shows up in his work. (Don’t mind the Florida thing, it grows on you).

TOTAL BABE

TOTAL BABE *infamous bunny scene

 

Up next I am playing Isabelle Barber in a brand new one act play by Lily Rusek, “Mama’s Almost Birthday” which has it’s premiere at The Gallery Players in Brooklyn this weekend (May 29-June 1).  I have had an opportunity to work with the talented director Sara Lampert-Hoover who was highly praised by past associates and has definitely lived up to her reputation as a great director and visionary.  Lily has been a pleasure to work with as well and I hope she is pleased with our work.  Sue Glausen, Ziv Gidron, and Shelli Jean Grant are all amazing cast mates – and I wouldn’t want my family to be made up any other way! But for real…these guys are AMAZING.  ALL ABOUT THE WORK. #PROCESS

 

mab

Shelli Jean Grant (Rochelle), Meg Mark (Isabelle), Ziv Gidron (Lenny)

 

the gallery players

Following this show, I will be working with my BEST FRIEND AND ROLE MODEL ICON OF ALL WOMEN OF ALL TIME – Synge Maher (married to the great Chris Kateff…which is of no consequence to this blog post at this time, but let it stand for the record).  Synge is directing Don’t Dress for Dinner by Marc Camoletti, in which she has graciously cast me as the role of Suzette.  I will be busting out a French accent and maid costume – I hope the world is ready for this.  There is no better way to spend my birthday month of July than out of this city and in a physical farce!!! I cannot wait.  Also, very excited to be working at a regional theater I have not been a part of before – Millbrook Playhouse.  I’ll be there just in time to catch my friends Timothy J. Cox acting in and Lawrence Lesher directing Rounding Third! It will be a wonderful time – of that I’m sure. Dates & Ticket Information can be found here: http://www.millbrookplayhouse.org/shows/dont-dress-for-dinner

millbrook

Millbrook Playhouse July 2014

Millbrook Playhouse July 2014

 

In other news, I will be appearing in a comedy coming up December of 2014 @ Theatre Row!!! More details to come on this…

 

DECEMBER....2014!

DECEMBER….2014!

I have also begun coaching creative collaboration classes which I am developing into workshops.  This training combines my MFA learning along with my improv training. I am working on putting together my new company, Shades, and my mission statement.  More to follow with this in the coming year. Wish me luck – and please come to my workshops 🙂

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