Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Personality

MOODS: Wild Cat
You're a bit of a romantic and have a taste for the exotic. You love feeling the sea breeze in your hair, sun on your skin... Slip those shoes off... You like to kick back. When it comes to art, you're definitely unconventional. You appreciate precision and hard work. As for music, it's the soundtrack of your world. You like to unwind and switch off: it gives you a break from reality. Your choice of treat shows you love being a little bit naughty. Being good all the time is a bore. You've got a good sense of fun and maybe an infectious giggle.
FUN: Escape Artist
You rally value your 'quiet time' - to recharge, and reconnect with yourself. You're not afraid to take yourself away from people and explore your imagination. For kicks you live to switch off and immerse yourself in another world. You are thoughtful and imaginative - you like to look at life from a different perspective. Cultured and creative. When it comes to holidays, you reckon they should always be indulgent - a very special treat and a chance to recharge your batteries in luxurious surroundings as well as spending quality time with family and friends. What grosses you out? You favor the natural look and can't stand a pumped and plumped, plastic appearance.
HABITS: Back to Basics
Even if you have a healthy approach to life, you still have your little vices that keep you going. It is all part of the routine, you're a creature of habit. Your choice of drink reflects your love of the stability and comfort of routine. As for the home, you have very cool and contemporary taste. You have a simple approach to style, but you like things to have their place.

LOVE: Touchy Feely
When it comes to love, you think sex. You have plenty of urges, desires, maybe even demands! Let others think of it, you like to take more of a hands-on approach! When you think of freedom - you think of being in charge of your direction. The open road and a full tank can take you pretty much anywhere.

Discover Your VisualDNA.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Official!

I've just been offered a permanent (part-time) position with SETC! I will be the assistant to Education Theatre Services. I will begin my new position on August 4.

I am so very excited about joining the SETC staff and being able to work in such a bee-u-ti-ful place. I just know I'm going to continue to love my new job!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Audience gets intimate with 'Cemetery'

Leslie Mizell, Special to Go Triad
WINSTON-SALEM -- Community theater is filled with people who go that extra mile to put on a show. Few of them do it quite as literally as John Collier.

The director of the Stained Glass Playhouse's "The Cemetery Club," which opens tomorrow night, commutes 26 miles daily from his home in Graham to his job as an oncology nurse at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill. Tack on an evening play rehearsal an hour from home in the other direction, and he'll have added 160 miles to his odometer by the end of the day.

"You go where the good work is," he says. "But I'll admit the price of gas is making me pick my shows a little more carefully. And I did just trade in my Highlander for a Corolla."

Collier has been acting in community theater for 25 years and directing plays and musicals for half that time. It was the touching humor in "The Cemetery Club" that drew him to the project.

"I saw the show about eight years ago in Burlington," he recalls. "The writing is very Neil Simon-esque. The humor is there, but it's a drama with comedy. It's about loss and forgiveness and redemption -- all heavy themes -- but it's disguised with laughs."

The 1990 play, which had a short 56-performance Broadway run, is about three New York widows who meet once a month for tea before visiting their husbands' graves in Queens. Written by Ivan Menchell, it shows the deft hand with one-liners he learned at the knee of his father, the late comedian Lou Menchell. Extremely popular throughout the world, it has often been compared to the heart-tugging "Steel Magnolias."

Collier likes the intimacy of the relationships among the women, which is shared by the audience in the small 90-seat Stained Glass Playhouse.

"The acting has to be subtle; it can't be bigger than life," he says. "A lot of people who auditioned primarily worked on bigger stages and weren't able to pull back their performances. But our cast easily handles the challenge."

Collier, who deals with issues of death and dying through his day job, recognizes an honesty and truth in "The Cemetery Club" which shows Collier that Menchell had dealt with loss. In fact, the play is partially inspired by Menchell's mother, an actress-singer who retired from the stage for more than a decade after the crushing blow of her husband's death in 1979.

"Each of the three women in 'The Cemetery Club' is at a different point in their grieving process," Collier says. "[Doris] is obviously not going to move past her husband's death. [Ida] is still respectful of her marriage, but is ready to explore having a new relationship.

"And [Lucille] has moved well beyond her husband's death since her marriage was not that happy."

Leslie Mizell has been covering the Triad's theater scene for more than a decade. Her column runs weekly in Go Triad. Contact her at

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rehearsal, The Cemetery Club

This is exactly how I felt tonight after rehearsing a particular scene. We had the water tonight, as we will for the rest of the run. Pat S. is one of my favorite actresses and a very good friend. So when it came time to throw the water in her face, I just couldn't do it. John encouraged me, rather loudly, and I did throw the water. A few drops landed on Pat; the rest of the water settled on the chair behind her. Per the script, Pat then threw her water at me. Bullseye! She got me but good.

After rehearsal, with tears in our eyes, Pat and I hugged each other. It's not us, it's Lucille and Doris.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

An Evening at the Theatre

Mikey, Mallorie and I worked concessions last night for The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem's production of Jekyll and Hyde. Selling "death by chocolate", "killer key lime pie" and "slasher strawberry" ice cream was a small price to pay for getting to see the musical for free. The show was, overall, amazing.

I was very impressed with the set, as it was the first time LTWS used mechanical tracking to change the scenes. Usually you only see these kinds of scene changes in professional theatre, and it's done using computer technology. But with the help of NCSA design and volunteer stagehands cranking the wenches, Jekyll's laboratory, Lucy's bedroom, etc. were moved into and out of place effortlessly. Add some red light, lots of fog and London backdrops - perfect.

The review was spot on regarding David Joy as Jekyll/Hyde. I've had the pleasure of working with him, and of listening to him perform in several other musicals. Still, I was unprepared by the range of his voice. I have never heard him sing like he did. He was absolutely outstanding!

Courtney Willis played Emma, Jekyll's fiancee. She had a gorgeous voice and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her onstage. Hyde's prostitute girlfriend, Lucy, was played by Lauren Stephenson. While Lauren was capable in her role, the "In His Eyes" duet by Lucy and Emma was owned by Courtney.

The ensemble cast was equally as talented. Michael Hoch stood out (as Spider), as did Miriam Davie and Michele Groneck. I was a bit disappointed in the choreography, which, at times was sloppily delivered. Once of my favorite numbers is "Murder, Murder" and it was a bit lackluster.

Bravos to everyone in the cast and the crew. The show was wonderful. If you haven't seen it yet, and you really should, you've only one weekend left. Go ahead and get your tickets, you don't want to miss out seeing David Joy in his finest role.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mr. Man Turns 6!

We've been receiving lots of Salem Gymnastics and YMCA party invitations lately. And that's fine for those parents who want to spend hundreds of dollars on birthday parties for their 6-year old kids. I simply don't have the money for an extravagant birthday party.

So, to celebrate Cade's 6th birthday, my mom and Bill and the Kellam clan headed to Chic-fil-a. The restaurant choice was an easy one - Chic-fil-a is fast, nutritious, and, most importantly, has a play zone. We ate lunch, Cade and Andrew climbed and went down the slide, and then Cade opened his gifts. He got some very nice clothes. My mom made him a new blanket, and we got him two The Backyardigans DVDs.

After saying our thank yous and goodbyes, we took Cade and Andrew to see Horton Hears a Who. Because we were full from lunch, we didn't get popcorn, and (surprisingly) the boys were very well behaved. Everyone enjoyed the movie; we clapped when it was over and laughed at the bloppers.

After the movie came the only part of Cade's birthday that I was a little hesitant about. Andrew was going to spend the night. Once we got home, Cade and Andrew went crazy; running around outside and riding bikes, shooting hoops and yelling at the top of their lungs. I figured they'd drop to bed early. They didn't head to bed until 9p.

All in all, Cade had a very nice birthday. He was happy with going to the movie and he had a really good time with Andrew.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Sent: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 9:22 am
Subject: On The E190!
I asked my co-worker to snap a pic of me on our smaller aircraft, the Embraer E190 before the passengers came on. Someone commented that it looked like we were flying to Heaven because of the way the picture looked. hahaha. It does look a bit white lightish and hazy. haha.

Hope all is well with everyone!


Thank You, Patricia!

I got a call today from Phil Powell. He's the director for The Little Theatre's upcoming production of Don't Dress For Dinner. While auditions were last week, he apparently didn't have enough folks show up. Patricia gave him my number. His voicemail said he'd seen me in The Foreigner, thought my performance was great, and was hoping I'd come to callbacks next Monday. I quickly called him back and accepted his invitation.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Make Plans to See This!

IN COMMAND: Lead actor makes Jekyll & Hyde a winner
With its current production of Jekyll & Hyde, The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem is taking on quite a challenge, one that proved worthwhile during last night’s sneak-preview performance.

The show, which will open tonight at the Arts Council Theatre, proves a solid winner for lots of reasons. One of the most important is the man who plays the title role(s): David Joy.

Joy plays Dr. Henry Jekyll, a London physician who hopes to find a cure for his father who is suffering in a mental institution. He experiments on himself in an attempt to separate the evil and good, and in so doing, the evil begins to take over in the form of a new persona named Edward Hyde.

This transformation, of course, underscores the show’s exploration of good and evil warring with one another. It goes back and forth, calling on Joy to play two different characters over the course of a fairly long night (the show lasts more than 2 hours and 30 minutes).

Joy remains in command of the diverse material from beginning to end, proving particularly compelling during his transformations. He is the affable, idealist and workaholic Jekyll one moment and someone completely different in Hyde the next. And each part of the Jekyll/Hyde character is drawn to a different woman: Emma (Courtney Willis) and Lucy (Lauren Stephenson).

In musical terms, some of the soloists are not on top of every note in their parts. But they conquer enough of Frank Wildhorn’s almost-operatic music, and in convincing-enough fashion, to make us overlook the occasional deficiency here and there.

The chorus sounds powerful and, setting an example for many other groups to follow, enunciates each and every word clearly — which is so important in Jekyll, in which music dominates. Margaret Gallagher proves an adept music director.

The imaginative stage direction of Bobby Bodford and the choreography of Benji Starcher are impressive. Scenes that would otherwise look crowded and/or static come alive in visually inventive ways.

What scenic designer Bland Wade has done with the sets is noteworthy, too, proving that a lot of interesting looks can be achieved with just a few materials — which include a couple of red frames and backdrops of drawings that evoke Victorian England.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Thank You

Mikey, Dee, LeeAnn, Bill, Dad, Mitch, Zach, Ashley, Mallorie, Dusty, Mickey, Myla, Kris, Allison and Jeff for your birthday emails, e-cards, cards, and Facebook/myspace comments. You made turning 39 (gulp) a lot more bearable.

My Birthday

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday. Since it was raining, I took advantage of the dreariness by relaxing in bed, reading Confessions of a Shopaholic. (Hey! It's my birthday, I get to do what I want!) For lunch I was surprised with take-out from my new favorite restaurant, El Triunfo. They make pupusas, which has quickly become my favorite dish. Absolutely delicious! For dessert - a bag of my beloved Skittles. (I am so addicted!)

Cade gave me a pink lighted vibrating hand held massager. He told me he wanted to get it for me for when I get sore working Union calls. I also got a gift certificate to Kohl's and some cash. (I'll be heading to Edward McKay's within the next few days to spend that cash. Or....I might order some stuff from Amazon!)

All in all it was a very nice birthday, even though I'd been dreading turning 39. (Or as someone told me, I was actually entering into my 40th year.)