WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

It's raining in Boston. It's been raining for a few days now. This makes walking around the city quite miserable. Today, on this miserable, rainy day, I witnessed a random act of kindness at the corner of Harvard and Commonwealth Avenues in Allston. I was stopped at a red light while driving home from a very blah day at work and I noticed a blind man crossing the street with a cane. He was wearing a raincoat but had no hood and no umbrella. He made it through the crosswalk but when he tried to enter the waiting area for the T, he ended up in the street on Comm Ave where there was quite a bit of traffic. He was on the other side of a blockade and couldn't find the opening. A young man came down from the T stop and helped the blind man to the platform where an unrelated young woman sheltered him with her umbrella. And then the light turned green and I moved on with my life.

After a discouraging day, seeing this one act of do-goodery brightened even the gloomiest of days. I hope this story brightens yours and I hope that you try to pay it forward. And just in case this didn't quite brighten your day enough, here is a picture of me dressed as 8 year old Bryanna Qu8tl!nnn in The Emperor's New Clothes. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Going Home

Tomorrow, I'll be going back to my undergraduate stomping grounds as a guest. I've been invited by a class of graduating senior theatre artists to talk about the Boston theatre scene, my career and the artist community I found since I graduated Brandeis. I just spent two hours working on some notes and outline, and I have some interesting tidbits:

Theatres that didn’t exist before 1980 – The Huntington, ART, New Rep, Nora, BPT, Wheelock. One of the oldest we have is the Lyric, which was only founded in the mid 70's.

Shocking to think about...how young the Boston theatre scene is... Many of the aforementioned theatres are world are known internationally, and they're barely older than I am.

One of the topics I'll be speaking of is the sheer number of new companies that have popped up in the past decade. Many of which are even within the past three years. I've talked alot about community in this blog, and I think that's going to be what carries this movement through the next few years. I've recently gotten a wind of what the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston is up to. It's an exciting time to produce fringe theatre in Boston!


Volunteer Artists

Performing Artist Survey:
If you perform or have performed music, theatre or dance, we would love to hear from you. This link is to an online survey conducted by Pete Cormier, managing director of Cornerstone Performing Arts Center as part of his doctoral coursework at Lesley University. Simply click the link below to take the survey.


Any questions, please contact Pete at 978-855-8160 or pete@cpacfitchburg.org
A Pilot Study of Volunteerism by Performing Artists Survey


I'm at a pretty typical crossroads, almost two years out of college. Totally broke, a passion I want to pursue (that will keep me continually broke), and no idea what the fuck to do next. It's overwhelming. And lately I've been pretty emotional about it.

I know, most of you are thinking, "Well duh, you're an actor, of course you're emotional!".

But truly as a person, I'm usually pretty cool and collected. I often say I know I'm meant to be an actor because it's totally antithetical to everything that I am as a person but I can't imagine my life with out it. It's what makes me really happy, really alive, centered. And this feeling of late of being off center, of being unsure, of being not myself really set me thinking.

I like to work in lots of facets of theatre and for the past 6 months that's what I've been doing. I directed, I was an administrator, and right now I'm rehearsal stage managing. I've considered myself lucky to be able to keep opening up my network in these different ways. To be meeting new people and experiencing different kinds of work. Most of which I'm pretty good at. The logical, Type A, control freak in me excels at scheduling, lists, and bossing people around. A necessary trait for any good director/administrator/stage manager.

But it's not what I love.

I love acting. And without it, I'm finding, it's hard to make everything else make sense.

I guess I never realized this before.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Audience Dilemma

Hello everyone and welcome back from the weekend! As usual, I'd like to plug something (not so shamelessly!) before I get to the goods. Brandeis is having an alumni film competition and my friend Anthony and I created this film. I'm not sure if you'll get the jokes if you didn't go to Brandeis, but if you could at least click on the link, it will help us get closer to winning! Also, you know you want to watch me playing a pretty baller detective. Thanks faithful followers!

But back to the blog. Kenny has previously talked about how audience members influence each other at the theatre but today I'd like to talk about how the audience can impact the actors. I just finished my run of The Emperor's New Clothes. Now, the majority of our audience is under the age of ten years old which means that when they think something is funny they laugh out loud. They don't hold back! And, hey, as actors we are expecting them to. Hell, we're hoping that they will because we'll know we're doing out job right. But today's audience, while decent sized, was the silent type. They had weird bursts of laughter (mostly at rowdy children) but for the most part didn't laugh out loud. It didn't throw off the whole show, but it definitely shook the actors a bit. I know we're not supposed to TRY for the laugh, but you better believe that we want it. And every time the audience doesn't laugh, it makes us jump another hurdle in hopes of getting your attention and your approval.

I mean, that's the point of live theatre right? That each performance is different and the audience is one of those factors that makes each one unique. I've said this before and I'll say it again, the relationship between the audience and the actor is symbiotic. We give you our best and we hope that you'll help us along. But now I've started thinking, what happens when you're at a show that you're not enjoying? You can't walk out (well, you could, but I would suggest doing it at intermission, mid-show is plain RUDE not to mention TACKY) and you can't throw fruit as we're not in Elizabethan England. I mean, what if the actors are doing a great job but the script is poor? Or there's crappy direction? If you're losing interest because of one of those factors, it still effects the actors. I'm not telling you to fake enjoyment and I'm not telling you that you have to like everything you see. All I'm saying is, when you go to the theatre next, think about how once you enter the house, you are part of the show. Whew, thinking is hard. Your turn to tell me what you think! What is your relationship with the audience as an actor or the actor as an audience?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Invitation

The Audition Workshop Circle

Saturday, March 20th
2:00 - 5:30pm
Audition Location TBA (Greater Boston, Accessible by T)

Sought: Young actors of all types and experience levels.

Attention Young Theatre Artists: Do you want to strengthen the local scene and create new avenues for young actors, directors, playwrights, etc, to network? Join us for what we hope will be the first of many Audition Workshops, focused on the young and emerging Boston Theatre community and our collaborative nature. The workshops are free of charge.

On Saturday, March 20th, we will be conducting an Audition Circle Workshop. This is an avenue to debut new material, work on existing audition pieces, or just get some feedback on pieces you like. Each participant will be given three minutes, strictly enforced, to perform a monologue or two of their choosing. This will be followed by 8 minutes of peer observation and suggestions.

We will focus on constructive criticism, NOT direction, as we believe each artist must choose their own material and make it their own. After all participants have had their pieces worked, we will then all redo our monologues one by one so that we may self evaluate what discoveries we may have made. We believe that an audition monologue is best prepared with an audience and that our community should strive to collaborate at all levels for the purpose of artistic growth and networking as we prepare to mold the future of the Boston Theatre community.

We have space for 10 actors so you would like to be a part of this event, please e-mail us at colabtheatre@gmail.com with the subject "Audition Circle RSVP" ASAP. Include a headshot and resume and a sentence or two about yourself and why you are interested. Spots will be given on a first come first served basis and no audition is required. If there is space, you will be e-mailed back with further details. If not, you will be added to a wait list and given consideration for the next time we organize such an event. Please feel free to forward this information to all young actors and interested parties. If you have further questions or queries, please contact Kenny, Mary-Liz, and Erika at (colabtheatre@gmail.com).

The CoLab Theatre is committed to cultivating artists and the creative process. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of the actor through side-to-side networking, providing practical venues for risk taking and development, and strengthening artists’ ties to the local community by broadening exposure and access to the theatre. We strive to create an environment where actors are free to experiment collaboratively with other artists and new scripts.
We focus on the how not the what; the process, not the product.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things I Need

Several things became obvious to me today.

1. I need more sleep. I overslept my alarm today and was late for my call. Both of our shows went well (we had double performances of The Emperor's New Clothes) but it was not the best way to start my day. This also resulted in me taking out my aggression at my roommate (sorry Jor!) which was not fun either.

2. I need new gym sneakers and a haircut. It's been awhile for both. The end.

3. I need to work on my organizational skills. Or a personal assistant to follow me around and remember where I put my keys. Whichever.

4. The New York Times needs to stop ruining the Olympics. Don't post the results before they air on NBC people! We want to be surprised when we watch Lindsey Vonn race. I'm not going to tell you how she did. Although I will say I'm happy. Nevertheless, boo to you NYT. Boo to you.

5. While I'm not observing lent, I'm having a little mini two week lent per suggestion of my personal trainer. (That's right, I have a trainer.) It's going to be hard to avoid certain foods and um... beverages but I figure if I'm paying this much for a trainer I should give her suggestions a try.

That's my life in a nutshell. Oh, and sign up for the next Audition Circle on March 20! The info is posted on our Facebook page if you're interested. There is a link to it at the top of the blog. We'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wicked Ill Yo

Today's post will be a brief post. I'm currently resting at home, hopefully finishing up a few days of a nasty cold. I'm starting to feel better but I've gotten absolutely nothing accomplished past few days. I dislike feeling useless. Blegh.

I will say that this previous weekend was a delightful weekend. I think we can sum up the CoLab's unofficial motto as "Work hard, play hard."

I'm going to lay down a bit more.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Making Lemonade

After the debacle of a canceled vacation I decided to make the best of a 4 day weekend here in Beantown....here are the highlights

- The opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, a theatrical event of epic proportions.

- True West - being given a strong showing at Cornerstone Performing Arts Center in Fitchburg MA, the two lead actors are switching roles each weekend. I'll be going back for round two this Friday. Runs through March 7.

- My first (and second and third) round of "Prairie Fire" shots (I didn't partake)....from what I witnessed it looked like a Grotowski exercise gone awry

- A reunion with Tequila. Our relationship is volatile at best, but this weekend we had a good time together.

- Ties that Bind, produced by the upstart GAN-e-meed Theatre Project. Great work by awesome women (and a few good men too ;-) ) and great friends. In my opinion they are the Small company to watch this year. They're next endeavor, BOOBfest is a fundraiser happening Feb. 23 at the Boston Playwrights' Theatre.

- Skype dates with far away friends. Those of you spread far and wide from your besties know, a web cam and a wireless connection can be a saving grace for those times when all you need is someone who doesn't care if you stuff your face with cookies and watch Figure Skating instead of actually talking....or someone to run last minute lines with. Whatev.

- Sleeping late on a Monday.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends - let us know your highlights!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Erika's Weekend To Do List

Okay Folks, here is my must do list for you this weekend! It's Valentine's Day - who cares? - do something nice for yourself this weekend. I've compiled a list of my favorite things right now and if you're looking to try something new, I highly recommend the following foods, tv shows, music, and PERFORMANCES. Ready, set, go!

Plays I'm In:
- Saturday, February 13 at 10:30 a.m. - The Emperor's New Clothes
- Sunday, February 14 at 6 p.m. - My Sister is An Actress --> This is a one night only event that is going to be wonderful. It's short and free and I'd love to share it with you all!

TV Shows I'm Loving:
- Modern Family: This is the best show on tv right now. The script is hilarious, the performances are sharp, and the humor is dead on. The show focuses on the intersecting lives of three families and the hi-jinks that happen to them. Claire and Phil have a "typical family" with three kids and a mini van, Claire's father has just married a much younger woman and is dealing with having a stepson, and Claire's brother and his gay life partner have just adopted a baby. It's phenomenal. The pilot is currently up on hulu. I suggest you watch it.

- It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: While I was originally opposed to this show, it's actually pretty funny. I seem to be mesmerized by shows about people who never seem to go to work, and this is one of them. (The other one is CougarTown. I'm embarassed to admit it but it's true.) This is a show about nothing, similar to Seinfeld but much crasser. The great thing about this show is that the improvisation that occurs. Most of the actors are trained improvers and it comes out in their performances. Give it a try, if you don't like it, I won't judge you. But Frank might.

Foods I'm Excited About:
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes at the Cheesecake Factory: These are a new addition to our menu, ONLY AVAILABLE ON SUNDAYS BEFORE 2 p.m. Thankfully they are only available once a week or I would be SO FAT. Anywho, if you're looking for a yummy VDay Brunch, head on over to your local Cheesecake and order some. Mmmmmm...

- Trader Joe's Dried Mango: Looking for something sweet to eat but don't want to indulge in another bag of conversation hearts? Try these. You might still eat the whole bag, but at least it will be healthier for you.

Music You Have to Hear:
- Michael Bublé: His new album is called Crazy Love and the song I love is "Haven't Met You Yet." It's fabulous and makes you want to jump up and dance around your room. Perfect for all of you lovely singles out there.
- Lady Antebellum: The album is called Need You Now and they are making me enjoy country music. My pandora is tuned to them nonstop lately and the best part is their station also plays Taylor Swift - what could be better?

That's all. Happy Vday Everyone - I LOVE YOU and hope you have great weekends!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Play! A Play!

Stage plan for Vsevolod Meyerhold's production of The Magnanimous Cuckold (1922)

So Erika, MLM and I have been stewing over our desire to do a show! Thus far in the history of the CoLab, we’ve been focused on producing the Audition Circle as our personalized contribution to the local scene. But at a certain point, you just want to get up and start acting again!

We’re in the early process of deciding what we want to do, but we know we will produce a show by the end of the year. We decided against starting off with a published work, as there will be plenty of time for that later. Moreover, why not start off with something totally wild and chaotic? So far, our ideas have ranged from night of original short plays and sketches, to Viewpoints style composition pieces, to Chuck Mee-esque reworked Shakespeare. Literally, anything can happen at this point. Regardless, I know the focus will be on a project that puts the actor at the center of the creative and decision-making process.

I think actors can afford to take more aggressive reins of a creative process. I don’t know that we have enough opportunities to give artistic input in our work, especially in the context of published work. Personally, I find myself constantly struggling with my creativity as an actor. I think we can all relate to that in some manner. I hold back, I doubt, I ask questions that close doors rather than questions that open them up. As an actor, I do the opposite of what I would ask of myself as a director.

I recently purchased the revised, 2002 edition of “To The Actor” by Michael Chekhov. In the foreword at the start of this edition, Simon Callow discusses this struggle in the context of a larger phenomenon:

“Experiment became centered on design and concept, both under the control of the director. The actor’s creative imagination – his fantasy, his instinct for gesture – was of no interest; all the creative imagining had already been done by the director and the designer… [actors] had lost control of their own performances.” (Callow, pg. xiii)

I haven’t gotten very far in the book, but I feel much of what Callow laments is what The CoLab rallies against. Hopefully, by providing the creative control to actors and encouraging them to take the plunge into the unknown, this first show and others we produce will carry over into other productions by helping to liberate ourselves from doubt and self-awareness. As much as I respect and myself use the Stanislavski “system”, I believe the American interpretation has led many actors to hold back. We are so scared of acting “falsely” that we act safely. We shouldn’t be interested so much in “what my character wouldn’t do” so much as “what my character will do.” To quote a former acting teacher: "I'm not asking you to act falsely. I'm asking you to act truthfully, but expand of the possibility of what truth can mean."

So what does this mean for our little show? Who KNOWS! But it’ll be liberating…

As Sanford Meisner once said: “Play! Play! It’s a play!”

Simon Callow quote from the forward of To The Actor On The Technique of Acting: Revised and Expanded Edition by Michael Chekhov, originally published in 1953 and then republished by Routledge in 2002.


My post today was going to be very short and simple. It was going to say "Mary-Liz is headed to Hollywood for the weekend, and if all goes as planned will be a movie star by the time she returns next week." With a picture of the Hollywood sign. It's going to be 70 and Sunny in LA all weekend.

But instead I am going to do a short rant. I am NOT going to LA this weekend. Because all of the flights out of Logan on my airline for today AND tomorrow are either sold out or cancelled. Yes cancelled do to snow. Yes snow.

Wait you don't see any snow either? Good I was afraid my rage had blinded me.

And who came up with the term "Snowmageddon" for this so-called blizzard?...oh right Obama, who lives in DC where everything shuts down and people panic over 2 inches of snow (OK so DC is getting slammed, but I'm ranting here, so whatever.) I would remind anyone who decides to refer to the snow storm (or impending or totally blown up out of proportion or never going to happen) as Snowmageddon that it is WINTER - it's not like we're getting 2 feet of snow in June, it's February. In Massachusetts. And DC for that matter which barely qualifies as the south.

Guess I'll have to postpone that plan to become a movie star until a later date, when my flight won't be snowed out. Or just cancelled. For no good reason.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Role To Sink Your Teeth Into

That's what Zach says I'm ready for. A role to sink my teeth into. I love acting - and I'll try any role once (ha - that joke ALMOST worked out) - but I feel like I haven't played a real person in awhile. Children's theatre is a whole different animal and while my role is fun, it's not built to push me in the way I want to be pushed. So a few weeks ago, I received an email with an 8 page script attached to it and the offer of a role. (If this sounds familiar, Kenny and I are in the same show. Please refer to yesterday's post to read more.) And all of a sudden, I'm down the rabbit hole again and I can't wait to explore. I'm not saying that this is the role of my life, but for now it's a fabulous snack to work on until dinner comes around, ya dig?

We take roles for different reasons, but this one drew me in because of its simplicity and honesty. The world of the play is scary and at the same time filled with the innocence of childhood. I'm playing a thirteen-year-old, the forgotten child in a family who turns a blind eye their son's "special interest" in his sisters and never speaks of the reasons their older daughter left home at seventeen. The feeling I get from this role makes me remember why I ever wanted to do this to begin with. In ten minutes, we experience laughter, pain, sadness, and the fear of the unknown. In eight pages, we see people on the surface and we take a peek inside and see who they really are. For a short while, I get to tell someone else's story. A story that is more common than I wish it was. And in this brief moment, I get to show you what I love doing. And that's what it's about. So I'll continue auditioning and searching for a full length part that will push me in the same way, but for now I'll sink my teeth into this and on this Valentine's Day I'll remember my first love... the stage.

For more information on the show, head over to the GAN-e-meed Theatre Project website. You can also check out some information about the shows and actor bios here. The evening consists of three one acts (read - this will run under an hour!) on February 14 and is FREE. If you've nothing to do, I'd love to see you there.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Morality of Acting Immorality

The words are burned into the script. Just a few minutes before, I didn’t know this eight page world existed. It could’ve been a novel, a film, a five act, three hour classical masterpiece. But instead, it runs no more than 8 minutes.

I received the script shortly after I accepted the part, casually, as I would any other project. The name generic, the title simple. I opened the pages with a fresh untouched mind. I encountered a young girl of a family utterly disconnected from reality. A father with expectations impossible. A sister who flees for safety. And a brother denied his childhood, reaching towards the only love he knows.

I realized who my character is. Or, more accurately, what he is… I attempt to commit an action, morally reprehensible and emotionally disturbing. A moment of weakness, of longing that manifests itself in a way that I don't think many people would've been prepared for.

An eight minute American beauty. An assortment of dark sides, critiques of the functional family. And yet, I’ve learned from past mistakes that an actor shouldn't critique. She doesn’t judge. He empathizes. We understand, and then we commit the action. The actor acts against what is obvious. Paraphrasing Stanislavski: “If you play a villain, find the good in him. If you play a hero, find the villain.”

This is one of the most vulnerable roles I’ve ever taken. Somehow, these eight minutes have condensed more complexity than most of the roles I’ve accepted thus far. I hesitate to even write what he does, partially due to the mystery of storytelling, but also due to my discomfort with the action. If this was a real individual, and I stood witness as a third party, I would condemn him. Many of us would paint him a pervert, a monster. At the very least, a predator.

Plato believed that the theatre corrupted society. Among his charges: that an actor who portrayed an evil character would learn and adopt corrupt characteristics. Of course, he probably would’ve made a terrible actor. In any case, I go forward with this challenge embracing my discomfort. If it scares me, I have to do it. I already feel like this might be one of the more important roles I’ve accepted. It won’t be the biggest, or the flashiest, or the most praised piece of work I ever do. But I think it’s important. Very important for me. Jim and I are evolving together, as I try stop trying to “understand” him, and just accept the reality of the play. When I walk down the street, I can look down on him. But from the moment I walk onstage, to the curtain call, I have to want something very disturbing. I have to want it with painful sincerity.

I have to be honest.

For more details about Kenny's show, My Sister is An Actress, please visit www.ganemeed.org or click on the link below:

Ties That Bind is free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to come for the 6pm performance of three ten minute plays.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Under the Sea

It's official. After my costume fitting this morning and receiving my script, I will be playing the boy crazy, human hating, Coral (a mersister) in Wheelock Family Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID coming in April.

Stay tuned for updates including....
Acting with Children: Why is there vomit on my shoe?
These EMC points are going to my hips
The day job vs the professional acting gig.

Get ready for a wild ride kids.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


First, shameless plug, The Emperor's New Clothes opens this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. If you like children's theatre or have a child to bring to the theatre, COME. If you want to see me acting like (and as) a child, COME. For those of you who don't know, I am playing a bratty eight-year-old in the show. My character sits in the audience with the other children but unlike the other children, when I have an outburst, the actors on stage respond to me. I've been having fun. I do things like yell, and stomp my feet, and... eat my hair? It's been an interesting character process but I think I'm getting the hang of it. I'm nervous to sit next to an actual child because they'll know I'm faking! In actuality what I'm nervous about is the improvisational part of my role. If the little girl sitting next to me asks me a question, I have to answer! If the kid behinds me pulls my hair, I have to say something snotty yet PG! Ah! This is certainly going to be a new challenge for me, but I'm gearing up for it and I'm looking forward to Saturday morning. I hope you all go out and do something artsy this weekend, even if it's just taking pictures of your puppy on Sunday morning (join us next week when Erika begs her roommates for a puppy) or reading the Arts and Entertainment Section of the New York Times. And if not, I hope your team wins the Superbowl. (And since I don't actually know who is playing in the Superbowl, I'll be watching the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.) Enjoy and I'll see you all again next week!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Playwright Opportunity for Queer Theatre


Not too much to say today. I do want to quickly pitch a project that an old friend is producing in Michigan. It's a bit of a ways out, but I know the producer (Michael Carnow) to be extremely competent, talented and good people:

Who Wants Cake? seeks submissions for new summer Gay Play Series

FERNDALE – Who Wants Cake? is sounding a call for new, original one-act plays to be performed as part of its new Gay Play Series. As the Detroit-area's newest short play festival, the GPS Festival is striving to provide early-career writers the opportunity to see their work produced, giving them what is oft-needed exposure.

The plays submitted should have a performance time of 30 minutes or less and deal directly with issues or characters that are identified as gay/lesbian/transgender, or contain a gay sensibility. Straight plays (no pun intended) and musicals will be considered.

From the initial submission pool, a final line-up will be chosen by a panel of judges to be performed over two weekends in July 2010. From those performed, an audience poll will be conducted to select one script that will receive a full production at The Ringwald Theatre during the 2010/2011 season.

All submissions must be delivered by hand or via post to The Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward Ave. Ferndale, MI 48220.

Submission guidelines:

* The submitted script must be the script proposed for presentation, with no major alterations necessary.
* The scripts should be previously unproduced
* Please provide an approximate running time and a one sentence synopsis on your cover sheet.
* Neither fax nor email submissions will be accepted.
* Submission materials will not be returned.
* Only one entry per person will be accepted.
* The deadline for submissions is April 17.

The festival's final line-up will be announced in June. Casting and directing opportunities will be announced at a later date.

Who Wants Cake? opened the doors to its resident home, The Ringwald, in May 2007 with Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy. Quickly, The Ringwald became a mainstay of Detroit's theater community. Who Wants Cake? was named the 2008 and 2009 Best Theatre Group in Channel 4's Vote 4 The Best contest.

For more information about The Ringwald, log on to www.whowantscaketheatre.com.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A work-out and a shout-out

Oh my God.

After a three year hiatus I decided tonight was the night to return to Pilates. My personal favorite of all workout and strengthening techniques.

Junior year of acting school we had a new movement teacher and the first hour of our three hour lab class with him was a vigorous and regular Pilates mat based work out. At first, I hated it...and him. I thought terrible thoughts about my movement teacher and the new head of the department who brought him in. "Devil's Spawn," I thought, "what kind of self-degrading torture is this?" and then three weeks went by, and then four, and by the end of the semester the work out was just a warm up and my body was in great shape. And I hadn't even realized it! Then we moved on, and didn't have that movement teacher again. No more weekly Pilates. No more "Pilates Body".

Since graduating from college I haven't been making the time to regularly work out in any meaningful way, and though I've maintained a "desirable" weight I am most definitely out of shape. So tonight I thought "It's time, I need a pick me up, and I like Pilates, and I currently have no rehearsals going on, so why not." And I had a great work out. The next step is getting out of bed tomorrow...I'll keep y'all updated on how that goes.

Also a shout out to some good friends and great performers - go see Carny Knowledge currently running at the Cambridge YMCA.

It's being put on by a small local group Fort Point Theatre Channel who are definitely working the edges of the "guerilla theatre" movement. They work in odd and non-traditional spaces and or with material focused on the darker parts of the psyche and taboo phenomena...as well as flash performances of classic American plays. William Saroyan's the Time of Your Life was produced at the bar Lucky's Lounge in the fall of 2008 - the playwright set the play in a bar....yours truly played a sassy hooker. And another short play/mixed media event Gods Monsters and Others focused on different types of sexual perversion.

The performances in Carny are solid for the most part, the plays, gathered from national entries, are a window into a world we often write off as non-theatre, and the side-shows scattered through the space include a contortionist, a tarot card reader, jugglers, a glass walker, and a straight jacket escape artist. It's not perfect, but it is a spectacle worth seeing. Get your freak on and head over to the Cambridge Y this Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.

Monday, February 1, 2010


How many of you made New Year's Resolutions this year? Go on, raise your hands. For those of you who raised your hands, good for you. For those of you who didn't, well we're in the same boat. But today I decided something. In 2010, I'm going to be honest with myself. If I do something, I pledge to own up to it and take responsibility for my actions. But, I'm not going to apologize for it. I am who I am and at twenty-three I'm allowed to question things, experiment, and live my life moment to moment. I'm allowed to jump headfirst into a project without thinking through the details and I'm allowed to screw up. And if I hurt someone in the process, I will apologize to them, but I will also remain true to myself. There it is, ladies and gentlemen. Erika's 2010 resolution. Let's see how this plays out...