Friday, August 31, 2012

Norma in Motion.....


Recently while working on the set of a film I was paired with another actress for a sidewalk scene in downtown Las Vegas. It was an all night shoot. By sunrise I had made an interesting new friend!

Her story is a perfect example of how actors, performers, and artists can support themselves by combining talent and hard work with a variety of bookings to carve out a unique and fulfilling career!


Norma Wood as a human fountain, Seattle, WA

Norma Wood, dancer, actress and model is currently performing at the Venetian/Palazzo as a "Living Vine".  This requires her to be in full character....while slowly dancing.... on STILTS.! Earlier this year she was the Winter Angel for "Winter in Venice", and was one of the human fountains called the Sirens, in an event in Seattle.  Many of her unique roles of late have been with Living World Entertainment.. Living World Entertainment provides living performance creations by Priscilla Stephan.


Look closely and you'll find her......Norma Wood as "Living Vine"
Norma's career did not start in entertainment. Thinking she should go to college for something "practical", she completed her degree in computer science, and worked for a large corporation as a systems analyst for over 3 years. She was unhappy in this role. At age 27 she said she had an "early midlife crisis", quit her job, and decided she was going to be a dancer!

"In the pursuit of my goal I ended up in Las Vegas, a place where I had no home, no job, no car, and knew no one. Despite all of this, I decided to stay, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made." Norma Wood

After moving to Vegas then realizing that she really didn't know how to dance, she enrolled in the dance program at UNLV in 1998 and finished in 2002. While attending UNLV she earned money dancing in small shows and performing with local bands. She even performed in China.

Norma's first big job was in Jubilee!...She was hired after her third audition. It was also during this time she got her Screen Actors Guild card appearing in a scene with Jim Belushi in the "Vegas Baby" episode of the second season of "According to Jim". After 2,000 performances in Jubilee! she decided to move on when offered a position as a magician's assistant to perform on cruise ships. After a year of working as a magician's assistant, Norma found herself unemployed....Now into her 30's she thought maybe her dancing days were over.

Fortunately, that wasn't true. Because next came one of her favorite roles to date as "Oscar the Grouch" with Sesame Street Live!.......Norma says, "I loved being Oscar the Grouch, I got paid to be grouchy, but being Oscar has not been my strangest role. I think that sliding down the erupting volcano at Margaritaville into their gigantic blender and being scooped out on a giant fish hook ranks pretty high as far as strange jobs are concerned."


Norma as Oscar the Grouch. Yes, she danced in this! She also played
Mr. Noodle, a dancing cactus, and a dancing fire hydrant. Like most performers in a
touring production, she played several roles in each performance.
This past spring I went to see  another one of Norma's talents on display; choreography. She choreographed the dance numbers for "Reefer Madness the Musical", performed in the former Insurgo Theater at the Plaza, Las Vegas. It was a weird and wonderful show, and her choreography was energized, detailed and dynamic!

Between bookings Norma is also a Clark County substitute teacher, which she thinks is a great backup job for entertainers. Although substitute teaching offers no medical benefits, the flexible schedule allows performers to attend auditions and work gigs only having to sub when extra money is needed. For more information on applying to be a substitute teacher for the Clark County School District, visit. http://ccsd.net/employees/prospective/applications/substitutes/.

Advice from Norma to other performers and artists is to be open to trying a lot of different things. Some will be amazing, some not right for you, but you will always learn something valuable. She says to be sure to stand up for yourself and your rights in the business. Be professional at all times. There is a lot of work and equally as important, fulfillment, out there for those who reach for it.

Winter Angel, "Winter in Venice" December 2011     Photo by Peggy Palmen
Pictured: Norma Wood


Photo by Bill Hughes, Norma Wood and Gary Lunn

A review of this production can be found in CityLife 3/14/2012, 
by David McKee of the Insurgo Theaters production, "Faustus"




Living World Entertainment


Baskow & Associates


Norma Wood Website



Norma Wood is known as Norma Westwood in SAG/AFTRA.



Polynesian Dance


Dancing Fire Hydrant - Sesame Street Live

Aerial  - Margaritaville






Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1977 Las Vegas.....



I headed to the set before sunrise for a 5:30 AM call time with curlers still in my hair, as requested by the hair/make-up department. This look reminded me of my mother back in the 1970's, which makes sense because this is where I was headed......1977 Las Vegas!

 

After passing through the wardrobe, hair, and make up departments, I was "rockin' it" in my blue eyeshadow, deep pink chinks and "Miss Breck" hair. Outfitted in a black polyester blazer, pantsuit, braided gold chain and of course "knee high" nylon stockings, I resembled Angie Dickinson in "Police Woman"....just needed the badge.

There were about nine of us portraying stage crew members, such as make up artist, hairstylist, wardrobe, stage managers, etc. This led to just a bit of confusion on who was being directed, whether it was the real crew or us, the "fake" crew.



"Nobody will believe in you unless you believe in yourself"....Liberace



Who knew he was so "mod"?
(Unable to locate source of photo)




My previous blog posts on this film:




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Best Little Whorehouse in.... VEGAS!


Secrets, lies, hypocrites, bribes, beautiful people and media hype.......No I'm not talking about the recent presidential campaigns. I went to see The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at "The Plaza", Las Vegas!

The musical, based on the true story of the legendary Texas brothel known as the "Chicken Ranch" was originally a Tony Award winning Broadway show. In 1982 it was made into a movie starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds.




A fellow thespian, Chris Rogers, is starring in the Las Vegas production of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as the energetic Senator. He invited me to come and check it out. My husband Bob ever so thoughtfully obliged to come along after a day of giggling babies...(to a night of wiggling ladies!)
  
What struck me the most about this show is that it has so much heart. I had forgotten that almost every character has a story. The Chicken Ranch owner, "Miss Mona", played by Jacquelyn Holland Wright struck the perfect balance between sensual and strong. Her solo, "Road to Nowhere" provides insight as one realizes Miss Mona is a bit of a frightened cat herself outside the walls of the brothel. Thank you, Ron Smith, "Sheriff", for reminding me of a combination of Gerald McRaney and George Strait. Amanda Kaiser as "Angel" was funny and poignant. Great pipes too! Claudia Cevenka as "Shy" was believable as a lost country girl. Geoffrey Tough stood out as the dancer to watch, and crossed between "Hill Billy" southern college boy and young TV journalist easily. Chris Rogers had the "yes man" senator down pat. Brittini Egizii was the perfect sexy "baby doll" and Skye Dee Miles as "Jewel", with her solo "Twenty Four Hours of Lovin" was a real treat!



"Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" now playing at The Plaza Las Vegas

Meet the full Las Vegas cast - (Link)



More on "Senator" Rogers - Chris Rogers was recently elected as Council Member at Large for the Nevada Branch of SAG/AFTRA. He graduated from U of Louisville, KY with a BFA in Acting, Minor in Voice from the School of Music and began his dance training with the Louisville Ballet. Like many Las Vegas performers, Chris also has a dual career. With a degree in MultiMedia from West LA College, his company (CHRMEDIA) provides digital signage, opening titles/end credits for TV/film, and presentations for corporations and trade shows.

For more info on Chris Rogers the actor, go to


Ya'll come back now ya hear!

Friday, August 24, 2012

All things Mermaid


What girl hasn't dreamed of being a mermaid? The long flowing hair, the luminescent tail gliding through the depths of the deep blue sea...

 A true hidden "treasure" in Las Vegas is the giant 117,000 gallon reef aquarium at the Silverton Hotel & Casino. Anyone who has seen this aquatic delight may have also enjoyed the beautiful and dreamy images nearby in the "Mermaid Cove Art Gallery".  I like to walk through this viewing area as much as the aquarium and have often wondered who the artist is.

Eric Beymer, Photographer



 
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting him, artist Wil Cormier. He mentioned to me he is experimenting with a method to provide customers a way to be embodied as mermaids in print. So I asked him to try it with me! He and photographer Eric Beymer recreated me as a mermaid with a process Wil is perfecting called "Faces by Cormier". This involved my sitting for a "headshot" which was then inserted and blended in by Eric with a “goddess like” mermaid template previously created by Wil.

Wil Cormier
Wil Cormier started his career as an illustrator after graduating from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in 1983. He studied human anatomy extensively and drew and painted from live figures for many years to sharpen his natural talent.

His imaginative art has earned him numerous awards in the entertainment industry. He has also received many honors from the World Science Fiction Association for his creative book covers. He has also had the opportunity to sell to art collectors through Sotheby's in New York. 

Explore the underwater world of....Wil Cormier....

Headshot by Las Vegas Photographer Eric Beymer, who provides fine art, portrait, and studio photography.....Eric Beymer Photography

Thank you to our own Vegas "mermaid" Planet Hollywood headliner for your figure as template...www.hollymadison.com

Footnote:

Did you know The Silverton aquarium has "real" mermaids?

I was lucky enough to spot a mermaid in the aquarium the other day. The mermaids join the thousands of fish during certain days and hours for what is called "The Mermaid Show". These ladies have talent and experience beyond swimming around in a tank….

Click on this link for the "Silverton Mermaids"




 





Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just add "entourage"....


Brett Cohen set out to answer the question, if you present yourself as a celebrity, will the masses fall for it?

See his YouTube video at the bottom of this post to see that it worked! Clever guy. I always thought this would be the case. It's only half embarrassing to those who fell for it though because there are so many "so called" celebrities these days most people don't expect to know who they all are.

One important factor that Brett Cohen knows is that celebrities are usually surrounded by at least a few people, some who work for them or are provided for them, commonly referred to as "handlers". Stars are also often hounded by cameras when in public.  We have become conditioned in our society to take in a scene like this and come up with "it must be somebody famous".   Also, the location, NYC, L.A. Vegas, for example are places one would expect to see more famous people.

What I don't understand is why so many people wanted to have their picture taken with a celebrity they don't even recognize?....(Maybe they think someone back home will.)

The only really disturbing thing for me to see so much of in this video was that so many of the women when meeting this "celebrity" (that we all know none of them recognized), acted so "fan" like. The guy could have just gotten out of prison for all they knew. But because of the cameras and entourage, they just assumed him "crush worthy". Looks like fame, even the made up kind, is an aphrodisiac. So listen guys, just hire a bodyguard and an assistant to travel with you and you're good to go??!



Excerpt from BuzzFeed 08-23-12

Regular person Brett Cohen wondered what would happen if he hired bodyguards, paparazzi, assistants and a publicist and walked around NYC pretending to be someone famous. (His experiment worked.)


The "famous" Brett Cohen

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fitting at Four


Today was my fitting for the Liberace film, "Behind the Candelabra". Shoot starts this Friday. I'm looking forward to it as I always do this kind of work.

The era on the set re-created for this film is 1977 - 1987.

Liberace Museum 2010
Looks like I will be playing a member of the backstage team, like a hair stylist or make up artist for most of the shoot. This really just means I'm a featured extra, by the way. For this I was fitted with a black blazer which was sort of cute but polyester, though not the breathable kind, like we have now.

Also put aside for me for another scene is a baby blue chiffon collar dress, pantyhose, (remember those?), and white sandals.  Now that I look at that description it kind of reminds me of something Queen Elizabeth would wear.....I just need the white gloves.

The fitting yesterday was located in a ballroom at the Las Vegas Hotel converted into "wardrobe central". Everywhere I looked were racks of pastel polyester.  In the boxes and boxes of shoes organized by size, I spotted an actual pair of Dr. Scholl's "exercise" sandals...remember those?, (turns out they're still around, pretty impressive). There were also about 50 pairs of clogs....and of course, it wouldn't be the 1970's without men's white patent leather loafers!

The wardrobe stylists had their work cut out for them, as they always do. I got a chance to meet Dale, who is working in wardrobe for the film. She is also the new costumer/costume designer for the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company, so I know our paths will cross again, and two other great ladies also outfitting the actors in their 70's and 80's best.

After this it was a few minutes with the hair stylist who told me to come in with my hot rollers still in my hair on the shooting days and they'll do the rest. There were photos everywhere for us to take home of Farrah Fawcett, Olivia Newton John, Heather Locklear, Joan Collins, Linda Evans, Make up was different then too, no lip liner, sheer foundation, frosty eyeshadow, and lips.

I can't post any photos from the fitting. I signed a confidentiality agreement yesterday for the film which is almost always required by everyone working on a production. I think it's good to talk about projects, create some buzz, etc., but never to give too much away, out of respect for the finished "product". Artists don't show a half finished painting, and I think that's how film makers feel about exposing pieces of a film before its time.


For my other blog posts on this film....


Open Call - "Behind The Candelabra"


Feelin' g-r-o-o-v-y for Liberace


"Behind The Candelabra"








Saturday, August 18, 2012

The "Look In" Glass


Last year Kjerstin Gruys decided to go a year without looking in a mirror, including the entire time planning her wedding and the BIG day! When I read about her intriguing story in a women's magazine last year I immediately subscribed to her blog to follow along with her challenge.

Now that the year is over she says....

"Now I think a lot more about how I feel, than how I look."  

Kjerstin Gruys

I started my blog around the same time Kjerstin did, March 2011. She published hers right away, I wrote in mine for over a year before publishing. She was braver than I, or maybe just more ready to share herself and her story. Once you put yourself "out there" as a blogger, your stories live in cyber space and it's impossible to take them back. Especially if, like us, you are writing mostly about your life, it takes a kind of "Teflon" attitude that whatever feedback you get you will have to be resilient and let it bounce off you.  (It's okay, you can't please everyone anyway).


She inspired me as I read some of her posts while writing mine. Our blogs are not about exactly the same thing. Kjerstin is a sociologist and Ph.D. student. I am in entertainment. However like most American women we both deal with issues of looks and body image and both talk about it in our blogs, to varying degrees.

I have never had an eating disorder, but have dieted several times like many others and have lost and gained the same 15 lbs over the past 20 years. I have found that for me, exercise and sports are a necessity in my life because if I do that regularly I  feel energetic, attractive and confident! If I don't, it brings me down and pretty quickly. This blog is about her today, so I'll stop there for now.

Kjerstin has had a lifelong battle with body image and in her case an eating disorder and was brave enough to share her story. This is why I am blogging about her blog today, to share with others who struggle with this. Also, I see her going far with her seminars on image and fashion. She is trying to change from the inside out, society's perspective on women and beauty by going directly to the fashion and media industry and urging them to represent reality instead of "skeletons with skin" to model the clothes us normal size women buy and wear, for example.

She inspires me because I have always felt that the way the media and fashion industry portray these "perfect" images of women is, whether intended or not, actually a form of oppression. It makes many women feel less than they are. This can affect someone not only because they can develop an eating disorder, but because if you place so much of your value on looks and on top of that don't feel like you look good enough, it can affect your choices and take your focus away from the what you do have to offer. As consumers, we are the ones with all of the power, and if we start to stand our ground, things will change for the better.

A recent news feature about Kjerstin's personal story and her efforts to change society's perception of beauty:

http://news.yahoo.com/video/mirror-free-bride-080000264.html


Here's her blog:


A Year Without Mirrors






Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shaking up Shakespeare!


"My sickness grows upon me"......

The above is the last line of Shakespeare I have spoken since playing Regan in King Lear. (She was being poisoned to death by the way, they were big on that back then.)

I loved performing classical theater. I was introduced to it because it was required as part of the program at the Stella Adler Academy. All students had to take two semesters of Shakespeare. In the beginning I was intimidated. I thought the actors who did Shakespeare were mysterious beings who were born knowing how to speak Elizabethan Poetry and Prose. Who was I to think I could be one of them? Turns out I was! The truth is that every actor is, if you are willing to learn the fundamentals and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

King Lear, Los Angeles
Karen Wendt, Anna Wendt (as Regan)
 At some point I'd like to get involved in theater again. This is why I've had my eye on the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company. Yesterday I visited the LVSC and spent an hour with the Director, Dan Decker, who gave me a tour of the facility. The LVSC has moved into the former Reed Whipple Cultural Center just north of downtown. With 34,000 square feet of theater, rehearsal and office space, the potential for this organization is impressive and exciting!

Dan Decker also spoke with me about their exciting upcoming production of Hamlet!


William Shakespeare's Hamlet has been interpreted in many forms. Some use modern settings, costumes, and music, while keeping the traditional dialogue and flow intact. Others have attempted to change Shakespeare's words and write their own......with mixed success.  Dan's approach is different.

"What I do is edit the narrative flow to bring it more in line with contemporary audiences. I don't change the dialogue. I streamline the production by removing the characters and subplots modern audiences would consider extraneous, while maintaining the integrity and heart of the story and its original language. "   - Dan Decker

Dan noted that today's society was raised on audio, visual and "story", more than words. By enhancing the production in these areas while truncating it in others, the play speaks more to current audiences.

"William Shakespeare himself would have approved of this. He was not an elitist", says Dan. 


Auditions August 18 - 20

Las Vegas and surrounding area actors, you are invited to participate in open auditions for Hamlet this weekend.

There are always new productions coming up with this group. It may be a good idea to audition for Hamlet if nothing else, as an introduction to the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company.  Especially the guys....... you may have talent in this area that you never knew you had....like  John Leguizamo, Ethan Hawke, and Paul Rudd.

Don't forget to call and make an appointment - 702-527-6800 - or send resume & head shot to casting@lvshakes.org

Open auditions 8/18 - 8/20 for Equity and Non-Equity.

There is some pay.  

Rehearsal scheduled: Sept 10 - Oct 5.

Four performances Oct. 6 - 27, Saturdays




  
 

 

 


 

 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fifty Shades of Ms. Brown




"What you have to do is work with the raw material
you have, mainly you, and never let up."

Helen Gurley Brown 1922-2012

Helen Gurley Brown will be remembered by most for her post as longtime Editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Her first book, "Sex and the Single Girl", published in 1962, was considered quite controversial at the time. A list of her books is as intriguing now as they were back then; "Sex in the Office", "The Late Show, a Semi Wild but Practical Guide for Women over 50", "I'm Wild Again...Snippets from my Life and a few Brazen Thoughts".....to name a few.


The first time I saw her name and likeness was when I got my first issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine in ninth grade.  I remember thinking, "There is so much juicy stuff in here, should I be able to buy this??".....Oh, it was delightful....things I didn't get to talk about with the older girls, explained to me here, in my language, page after page!

I grew up in a Midwestern small town, before the internet was more than Compuserve, and with parents who, bless their hearts, did not and still don't want to pay for cable TV.  There were few references to such sophistication and glamour as Cosmopolitan Magazine! I wanted to look just like those tall, perfect, sophisticated beings, and dress like them too....not to mention live out their courageous and exciting lives! It was my dream future in the mail once a month. Some of the articles had such enticing names I was embarassed to leave it lying around the house, what if my parents saw?

Seeing Ms. Brown's picture and letter from the editor was a monthly occurrence for me and millions of other women through the 1990's. Until, one day, she wasn't there. A new person's face and name appeared, Bonnie Fuller..... I gave Ms. Fuller a chance and I'm sure she was great, but the magazine took on a different tone after that that just didn't fit me. It was punchy, fun, and saucy, but the high glamour had "homogenized" into something more mainstream. Helen Gurley Brown's Cosmopolitan had provided me with an exotic version of life, one that I would only sometimes attain, but I still loved it the way it was....the fantasy of what's "out there".  When the familiar subscription card arrived in the mail later that year, with a sigh and a long pause I tossed it out, and with it.....a little bit of magic.

As many know, Helen Gurley Brown was an original "Peggy" in Madmen, so to speak. Starting out as a secretary in the 1960's and moving up the ranks quickly to copywriter, was beyond rare. (Just ask my mother in law, Marilyn, who worked on Madison Avenue for 42 years).

Ms. Brown has also been compared to the "Carrie Bradshaw" character from Sex and the City, but I don't agree with that one quite as much. Carrie Bradshaw was funny, witty, cute, but Helen Gurley Brown was a trailblazer! Back in 1962 people didn't even use the words "sex and a single girl" in public. She wrote a book about it!

Helen and her late husband, David Brown, recently formed the "Brown Institute for Media Innovation", a $30 million venture which will be housed at both Columbia University and Stanford. "B.I.M." was founded to develop journalism in the context of new technologies. He was 91, she was 88 at the time. Both progressive thinkers, they focused on the future, and left a legacy of providing education for "up and coming" writers and artists.

Her love of life, zest for the sexual health of the female, and her flair for putting it all in writing are what I will most remember about Ms. Helen Gurley Brown.

Photo by Radu Razvan Gheorghe, www.dreamstime.com






Thursday, August 9, 2012

Yeah! A Hangover...



The only time a hangover is good news is when it's the movie, and it's coming back to Vegas!
Yes, "Hangover III" starts shooting here in October, according to IMDB, (Internet Movie Database).

According to the "Huffington Post" and IMDB, much of the third and final installment of this film will be shot in Tijuana, Mexico, (the site of many real as opposed to reel hangovers). At some point in the film the gang will head to Vegas....which is where me and my thespian and production professional friends come in!
The cast list again looks like a party I wouldn't mind attending...

Bradley Cooper as Phil
Zach Galiafianakis as Alan
Ed Helms as Stu
Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow
Mike Tyson
Mike Epps as Black Doug
and Heather Graham is back too as the loveable stripper, "Jade"

Hopefully the third movie will be a great wrap up, as it's supposedly the last. And hopefully I'll be in it, which will make it the best "Hangover" ever.....(if only in my book.)
 

I know a lot of people didn't like the second movie as much as the first, but I actually did. It was a little edgier, almost dangerous, but I thought it worked. These guys were supposed to be in way over their heads and it was believable that they were. Like in this movie, I have learned in life, that even the weirdest or scariest situations can oddly enough, be made better with a little comic relief!


Dreamstime Laura Rinder  



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Open Call....


Liberace returns to Las Vegas....by way of Michael Douglas, in the HBO film, "Behind the Candelabra".

The upcoming production, shooting partially here in town, prompted the need for a true Hollywood tradition...the "open call". (Otherwise known as a "casting call", or "cattle call".)

Open calls go back to the beginning of film making. Used more often in cities where fewer films are made, OC's are also done in big industry hubs like N.Y. and L.A.

What casting directors like about them is they can see a lot of actors quickly, in one place, and in person. (Helpful, since actors don't always look like their headshots....some not even close!)

I think there were about 350 who showed up to be seen by Rich King of Rich King Casting, David Anthony, of David Anthony Casting/Background Players, and several other associates.

Rich King Casting is based out of L.A. and has cast several features. Recent projects include several episodes of "True Blood" and "Big Time Rush", the feature, "We Bought a Zoo", and "Get Him to the Greek", (to name just a few).

The good thing about open calls for actors is that anyone who participates is seen by casting. This is not the norm in the biz. Also, both union and non union can usually attend an OC, which is a big plus for non union actors trying to for union eligibility.

The majority who attended the open call yesterday will not land any of the limited speaking roles, but instead be hired as "Background Artists"......the actors who are seen next to, behind, and surrounding, the lead actors in a film or television show.

I have not been to an open call in a long time, as most of my work is booked directly through casting, so it was so fun to see everyone again. Plus, there's always a happy buzz in town when a feature comes to shoot.

We'll see where I land in Liberace's (recreated) world!




Rich King, Miriam, and Garrett
with Rich King Casting


Hi from the Las Vegas Hotel, (formerly Las Vegas Hilton)


The "gate keepers" Guy Chapman, Actor, and
Arttours Weeden, Actor and S.A.G. Board member

Special thanks to Rich King and associates for letting me take your pic.



For more information on

Rich King Casting




David Anthony Casting, ("Like" on Facebook)


"Behind the Candelabra"





Monday, August 6, 2012

Legacy of a Bombshell


Marilyn Monroe. Only a legend is still remembered five decades after her death.  She was no saint, but she was an angel.

She oozed vulnerability. Something most of us women and girls have a lot of. It is not a strictly female trait but I don't know any of us that don't have it, and that don't try to suppress it on a regular basis. After all, we can't all go around feeling all day......(I wish we could).

Marilyn was "sex in heels".....a blessing and a curse. Why? This caused many to overlook two qualities about her due to being distracted by her beauty. She was funny, and she was intelligent. Yes, intelligent, about others, their feelings and behaviors, what made them tick. I have read that she could tap into you just by talking with you, looking in your eyes, picking up on whatever you were feeling, then say something meaningful, poignant....kind. Everyone fell in love with her. Those that didn't hated her, there was no in between with Ms. Monroe.

My own Marilyn Monroe experience was short and dramatic.....in true "Marilyn" style. Just after completing the two year program at the Stella Adler Academy in 2000, I was cast in a film about Marilyn's last feature, "The Misfits". The film was to be about her and Clark Gable's tumultuous on set relationship which in the perspective of the writer was because they were secretly in love....

I read some books on Marilyn Monroe, watched all of her films, worked out the character internally from my perspective, bobbed and died my hair blonder, and bought the same Chanel red she lipstick she wore. Of course I told everyone about the film and there was even a blurb about it in Variety Magazine.  It was going to be filmed in the desert, like "The Misfits". We did a photo shoot and they cast the other lead actor, who was to play Clark Gable. 

"The Misfits", the original 1961 film shot in the Mojave Desert, was remembered as a troubled, sweltering, uncomfortable experience. Both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable died soon after, he from a heart attack, her an overdose. Arthur Miller had left Marilyn shortly after the film's release to marry a script supervisor he met on that very set.  

In my case, I withdrew from the project after the first day of shooting.  (The only time I have ever done this.) The director was seriously coming on to me since hour one, (how fitting as I was playing Marilyn Monroe right?). Also, he never got the union waiver he promised to so I could even be in this film. The actor playing Clark Gable also left because the director made him do a dangerous stunt with a horse that sprained his hand. (Needless to say, with this guy at the helm, the project was never completed.)

As I was driving home from that one day of shooting, I broke down in tears over everything that happened and rear ended another car with the new convertible I had just gotten the month before! Arghh...fender bender. 

By the time I got to my sister's apartment I was a mess. She took one look at me and said......"Margaritas", as she grabbed her car keys.....and off we went to a nearby happy hour. I didn't even change my clothes. This dusty, dirty, tear streaked Norma Jean at least had a good story for the bartender.....
Me as Marilyn....albeit briefly
A MUST see, it's beyond funny!...The classic,  "Some Like it Hot", Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. She is also hilarious in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "How to Marry a Millionaire".

Colorized still from "Some Like it Hot"
PRPhotos.com

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do Tell...


Last night I went to an event where people do nothing but stand up and tell a story. It's called, "The Tell".

I checked it out because it seems like a simple yet refreshing idea for a show. Storytelling. Several different people from all walks of life, get up on stage and tell a story, has to be true, ten minutes or less. 

"The Tell" is not overly produced or embellished. I like this. Sometimes this format can result in true entertainment "magic". Also, admission is only $5. Can't even see a movie for that.

As I was watching and listening to people share their personal tales, accounts, adventures, etc., I realized one reason it was so enjoyable. This form of communication, someone just telling a story, is less prevalent today with "multimedia" coming at us from every angle. It was also nice that nobody interrupted the storyteller, as so commonly happens in a group. Someone will be telling a story and just when it gets to the good part, somebody pipes in with their own similar tale or anecdote, or a cell phone goes off. That didn't happen last night. Well, someones cell phone did go off, but we had him arrested......

Dayvid Figgler, Producer and Host of "The Tell" is a performer, author and trial lawyer in Nevada. Interesting guy.....bet he has some good stories to tell....

Dayvid's Wiki Page

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Artistry of the Tapas




I love brunch....

I am a bruncher.

However I rarely "do brunch" because many are just breakfast buffets....not the same thing to me.
I want a nice table, brunch selections delivered to me while I sip champagne mimosas or fresh coffee and relax with friends. This doesn't include getting up several times during the meal.

You'd think these types of brunches would abound in Vegas, but not so. We are the home of the most marvelous buffets in the world, but the, "sit back and we'll bring it to you brunches" are hard to find.

So, discovering a true brunch, the "all you can eat" Tapas Brunch at Border Grill, Las Vegas, was a real delight!

There are artfully designed gourmet selections of tapas, or small plates, such as Fritatta Tarts, Yucatan Egg Benedict, Skirt Steak and Egg, Mexican Rice Pudding Parfait, Plantain Empanada, Crispy Potato Rajas Taco, and Churro Tots....to name a few.

Of course, this got me curious about the chef, Executive Chef, Michael Minor, who originated this delightful concept for Border Grill. Michael, thank you. It was nice to meet you. 

I am pleased to see the Santa Monica, California location has added this as wellMay your brunch tradition continue!


Mmmm....my tapas! 

(Taken with my Android, because any food can look good in a stock photo).