Friday, July 30, 2010

Open the curtain, tie the knot

"Cliff Bayer and Caroline Miller are getting married Saturday in a novel wedding ceremony at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center. They plan to exchange vows as part of a two-act play. The couple are selling tickets to the play in lieu of traditional wedding gifts."

Read more about their wedding performance, and what people think, here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I've got a date tonight.


Someone I've had my eye on for quite some time and I finally got up the nerve to ask him. And he said yes! (Insert girlish screeching here!) So I'm sorta on Cloud Nine right now.

Who is the lucky fella, you ask?

I'm not sure I should say. I mean, you know him, and he knows you, and you know how that goes.

You really wanna know? Okay. It's -


Hahaha, you silly goose! Yes, Cade and I have a date to watch So You Think You Can Dance tonight. (Kinda like my dates with Mallorie to watch Gilmore Girls in the early years.) I've been promoting the show to him this season since there are such strong male dancers on the show. I've been asking him to watch it with me and he finally said yes.

I. Am. So. Excited!
Chris Daughtry's new music video, "September," filmed at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem on July 1.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Email from Steven!

From: Matijcio, Steven
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 4:52 PM
To: Amy Daluz; Cheryl Ann Roberts
Subject: thanks!

Hi Amy, Hi Cheryl Ann,

I'm just catching my breath now after last week, and wanted to send you and everyone in the Paper Lantern Theatre a huge note of thanks for your performance the evening of July 15. You contributed a truly unique, vibrant and thoroughly unexpected element to the evening, and amidst my conversations, I heard numerous people talking about the performance. It provided an important piece in what became a historic evening in the history of SECCA - thanks so much for helping us to celebrate.

It was a pleasure to work with you and everyone in the cast. I'm sorry I didn't have the chance to speak with you that evening, but please pass along my best to Cheri and all the performers. Their passion and energy were unmatched.

Thanks again,
Steven Matijcio
Curator of Contemporary Art
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Memorable Quotes

This is from Magic Hour by Kirstin Hannah

"We're pushing 40, but you still act like you're the homecoming queen, waiting to be swept off her feet by the football captain. It's not like that. Love rips the shit out of you and puts you back together like a broken toy, with all kinds of cracks and jagged edges. It's not about falling in love. It's about the landing, the staying where you said you'd be and working to keep
love strong."

Friday, July 16, 2010

From the Journal

Art center resumes mission to challenge community with an ambitious set of goals

By Mary Giunca | Journal Reporter
Published: July 16, 2010
(Journal photo by David Rolfe)
By 6:30 last night, Marilyn Burke had settled herself onto a grassy spot in front of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art with about 20 other people. "I thought half of Winston-Salem would be here," she said. "I've been waiting all year for this."

By 7, about 150 people lined the stone walk into the museum, awaiting the cutting of a ribbon and the chance to see the newly remodeled SECCA for themselves.

Eighteen months, $1.8 million and a new owner -- the state of North Carolina -- has transformed the gallery.

Larry Wheeler, the director of the N.C. Museum of Art, welcomed the crowd. "This is a new SECCA for a new time in a new North Carolina," he said. "It's going to charge up the community."

People snaked through in an orderly line peering around, as if afraid to miss anything. They took in the polished concrete floors that replaced the old carpets. They dropped business cards into a basket in order to make a live sculpture pose.

Lighted cases illuminated glass jewelry art. Patterns undulated on the walls. A dance troupe gathered in front of one of the works and performed. (Sidenote: The "dance troupe" was Paper Lantern, and they performed directly in front of the above pictured work.)

Over the course of the night, about 500 people made their way through the museum. (Sidenote: Many of us who were there last night feel this number is too, too conservative. We heard 3 times as many attended.)

"It's as if you've never been here before," said Mary Kerr, a longtime supporter of SECCA. "It's hard to even remember. They're really pressing your sensibilities."

Kerr said that she didn't see a lot of the people she usually saw at SECCA openings, and she said she thought that was a good thing.

SECCA's strategic plan lays out some ambitious goals for the museum, which closed in January 2009.

At the end of 2008, SECCA had about 128 members, and that year about 8,400 people visited the gallery.

By 2014, SECCA intends to sign up 1,200 members, achieve 80 percent capacity at activities and programs and increase gallery attendance 30 percent each year. In order to do that, it will need to reach out to the larger community in ways it never has before, longtime observers of the arts scene have said.

Last night was meant to give people a taste of what the new SECCA could be like.

Milton Rhodes, the president and chief executive of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, said that the community is ready for a new SECCA, one that will be a standard bearer.

"SECCA really has become a beacon for what the town is trying to brand itself as, a City of the Arts and Innovation," he said.

The community's roots are still pretty conservative, Rhodes said.

"Other places are changing rapidly against people's best wishes, but they're changing," he said. "We've got to move with that as a community."

Janice Ray is a teacher in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system and has lived in Winston-Salem all her life. Last night was her first visit to SECCA.

"For somebody like me, who wouldn't normally come to just an art exhibit, they should try to create some kind of event, where you come and stay for the night," she said, "with music or wine tastings."

Bruce Foriest, who recently moved back to town, said he had last been at SECCA 15 years ago to see Ruby Dee perform.

He wondered why those he sees at the Diggs Gallery and Delta Fine Arts had not made the trip across town to SECCA.

"I'm going to be advocating for it," he said.

Several people said that SECCA has always been too sophisticated for Winston-Salem and likely always will be. But energy, vitality and creativity were the watchwords invoked by many arts administrators and visitors.

Rhodes said that this time around, he thinks SECCA has a chance to fulfill its potential as a place for the community to gather and experience contemporary art that will alternately engage and delight, challenge and occasionally infuriate.

"I think the town has changed," he said. "The focus is on the creative class, a knowledge-based economy.

"SECCA will push us. It will challenge our standard."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grand Reopening!

Chris, Cheri and I arrived at SECCA right at 6:30p. We were a bit stunned that people were already gathering outside the doors. We simply walked in acting like we owned the place!

We headed straight for the band and helped Mike finish his set up. After ensuring everyone understood all sound cues, I went to find Pat to let her know we were here. I found her looking gorgeous and radiant. I realized that she was just as nervous as I was! I told her how beautiful SECCA looked and congratulated her on a wonderful job. She told me they upped their anticipated headcount from 500 to 750. From the people already gathering on the lawn, I replied that 750 was probably still a low number! Pat had some last minute preparations, as did Cheri, so Chris and I wandered over to the food. Unfortunately I was too nervous to even think about eating.

At 7p the doors were officially opened. Chris and I continued to wander around and I made mental notes as our performers arrived. I did take some time to marvel at two freeze artists, and Chris and I toured the Glasswear exhibit. At about 7:40p I made my way to a spot where I could oversee the performance. I couldn't believe how nervous I was, especially since I wasn't even performing! Chris was so good and kept me calm.

At 7:55p, as scheduled, the band took a break. I held my breath waiting to hear the a-weemas and literally felt my heart constrict when nothing happened. I turned around ready to race to the front of the building to find out what happened when Chris grabbed me. Above the din I heard the singing.

It was such a beautiful sight watching Chelsea, Nichelle, Scott, Tim, Alex, Amelia, Scarlet, Whitney, Serah, Cheri and Ann grooving through the crowd. As they moved into place, as predicted, the crowd parted not wanting to be part of the "improv". Upon realizing that Benji and Emily weren't in their line I began to panic. It was important for Emily to be there because her arrival is what cued the next song! I again turned to go racing over to Mike and again Chris held me firm. I saw then that Cheri was communicating a Plan B with the group and both Benji and Emily were fighting their way through the crowd. Emily finally hit her mark and I breathed.

The rest of the performance went smoothingly, and the crowd loved it! I was so very proud of the performers and so very honored to have been a part of SECCA's night.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Final Rehearsal

While all of the works were not installed as we had hoped on Monday, they were all in tonight. I didn't anticipate too much of a problem as I felt that our performers were seasoned enough to easily adjust to any changes. As Cheri and gang moved into formation and began the MJ piece, I noticed Chelsea was awfully close to a stalagmite looking work. Alex also got close to a work containing arrows.

Figuring that Stephen would need some reassuring, I spoke with Cheri about moving the line further back and closer to one side. It was during this conversation that Amy decided to completely take over (again!). As if she were God speaking from the Heavens, she yelled down to the cast and directed them to some pretty major blocking changes. I was extremely miffed. As the PM I had things under control! Cheri was even more pissed at the changes Amy was suggesting, and the cast was none too happy either. Fortunately we only wasted 10 minutes in determining that Amy's new vision would not work. Cheri implemented my suggestions and it worked perfectly.

After rehearsal, as we were walking back to our respective cars, Amy told me that she was just trying to calm Stephen. I didn't even respond. Her ridiculous outburst brought the entire project full circle and simply reaffirmed my decision.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spacing Rehearsal

I was extremely nervous about tonight's rehearsal. Not only was it our first spacing rehearsal (I had crossed my fingers that all the artwork was installed as promised) but Steven and Pat would be watching. True, the performance would fit the "theatrical, song, dance" clause in our contract, but it was a far cry from the Food Court video Steven had initially sent us.

I arrived and our participants were already A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh through the gallery. I greeted Steven and Pat as Cheri and the gang moved into formation and began the "The Way You Make Me Feel" dance number. My nerves increased and I took barely a breath. The dancing was the part Steven had been hesitant. As the group broke away and started the "Funk Soul Brother" piece I heard Pat giggle. I stole a glance her way and saw that she was smiling. I cautiously glanced at Steven and he too was grinning! A couple of the SECCA architects and at least one of the artists had also gathered and were grooving to our music. They all loved the "Over The Rainbow" finale.

My nerves immediately disappeared. I knew that if these few were thoroughly enjoying the performance, the Grand Reopening crowd would too.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

McDonald's Smoothie

I gotta be honest. It's their print campaign that made me want to try one. I'm a sucker for pink. The blue background and darker blue plate really make the pinks pop. My eye was immediately drawn last Thursday when I stopped by for some fries. Unfortunately the smoothie machine was being cleaned.

In trying to decided where to go to lunch today, I remembered the picture of the cool, refreshing pink smoothies. I got a Combo #5 with a Wild Berry smoothie.

Not too sweet and not too tart. I'm lovin'it!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Dramatists' Playground

Dramatists' PlaygroundThe Dramatists' Playground is an annual workshop hosted by the Greensboro Playwrights' Forum. Actors, directors and playwrights are challenged to write a play, rehearse it and perform it in less than one day. It provides a fantastic challenge for creativity and stamina for everyone involved.

The workshop will be from 10 am to 8 pm and the performance is at 8 pm in the City Arts Studio Theatre on the first level of the Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie Street.

The workshop is free to participants. You must fill out an application to be considered.

I've been seeking acting opportunities that will shake things up for me. Based on the above this sounds like the perfect thing. I mean, it's a little scary writing a play, rehearsing it AND performing it within 10 hours! Talk about challenging. Since I've got nothing to lose, I'm going to submit my application.