August 19, 2012

"Gallery Girls" + The Arts

Last week, I caught the series premiere of Gallery Girls, the latest reality TV show on the Bravo network. It's about a group of young women -- many of which "come from money" -- who aspire to have careers in the New York City art scene. Most of them are working in galleries as interns. Some of them want to be art dealers/buyers. Some of them are working to open their own galleries.

The NYC art blogosphere has blown up in response over this past week -- in fact, some NYC artsies have invented drinking games to go along with the show.

And in spite of my appreciation for the girls' sense of style, I have to admit that I side with majority of commentary from the artsy blogs I've read. The tragic flaw with these girls is that they want the money and the fabulous life of the NYC art world, but don't seem to be willing to do much of the work that it takes to get there. I have to laugh at the absurdity of the girls sweeping gallery floors in mile-high Louboutin heels. I shake my head at those intern girls who balk at the idea that they might actually be expected to do things and show up on time while they are at work.

Not to mention the fact that when it comes to working in any type of art (and in that, I include writing, music, and other mediums besides paint or sculpture), it takes time to be successful. In fact, most artists do not see financial success in their lifetimes. If you know your art history -- as many of these art-history-degree-holding gallerinas should -- then you know that many of the greatest artists did not see monetary success in their lifetimes. So many artists throughout history have spent their lives in poverty while they struggled to make livings for themselves through their art. As a result of the frustrations brought on by this struggle, many of them succumbed to depression, drug/alcohol addiction, and other demons ... which is part of the reason why one sees so many great artists who died at age 40 or younger. And then, of course, after the artist's death is when their work will actually start to bank.

But none of this matters to the gallerinas. They go on blowing their parents' trust funds, thinking that the money will just continue to fall into their laps -- and then they act surprised when people are upset with them for showing up late (or not at all), or when they're otherwise not willing/ready to work. (They also act surprised when Mom & Dad cut them off.)

That's my two cents (or more) on it, anyhoo. There's more vids where the trailer came from on Bravo's Gallery Girls webpage, if you wanna check it out and get the full extent of what I'm talking about. The next episode will be on tomorrow night as well; check your listings.

August 11, 2012

Acting + Character Longevity

Today, I was just doing a random search on YouTube - -as one does on a lazy Saturday -- and came across a video that showed "morphing" sequences from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series that was popular back when I was in middle school.  (It wasn't the video above -- but this is still enough to give you the idea.)  Oddly enough, there was one particular comment on that video that had given me some pause for reflection as a performer.

The comment had referred to the actor Jason David Frank, who had portrayed the character Tommy on the Power Rangers series through several incarnations.  The comment had essentially posed the following question:  how is it possible for an actor to do the same gig for so long?

And here is my answer/musing about it.  To be honest, that is something that a lot of actors dream about -- if for no other reason than it provides them with a steady paycheck, hehe.  But all joking aside, I, as an amateur actress, have grown quite fond of some of the characters I have played, and wish that I could still be playing them.  As an actor, one often gets fond of being "in a character's skin", so to speak ... especially once one has spent so much time trying to get into a character's skin.

Although I must admit that character longevity seems to happen more often on stage than it does in movies or on TV -- and it's something that stage actors covet.  Take, for example, the Russian actor Yul Brynner.  He played the role of The King of Siam in The King and I more than 4,500 times on stage.  (Can you imagine that?)  This does not include playing the role in the movie version in 1956 (seen below).  He became so immersed in/attached to this role that, after shaving his head in order to take the role, he adopted the look as his own, and kept the shaven head for the rest of his life.

One might also consider Michael Crawford, who originated the role of The Phantom on stage in The Phantom of the Opera.  He performed the role on stage nearly 2,000 times.  (And this role surely involved quite a bit of time sitting in the makeup chair, in order to add the facial deformities!)  According to Michael's Wikipedia article, he admits to having somewhat of an emotional attachment to the role, and being broken up at finally leaving it.

But what do my fellow actors out there think?  Would you want to stick with a gig for that long?  Have you ever been so fond of a role that you weren't ready to give it up at closing?

April 1, 2012

The Hunger Games

Move over, Twilight trilogy!  The latest thing is The Hunger Games, a trilogy of novels written by Suzanne Collins.  The film adaptation of the first book in the trilogy was just released in movie theaters last weekend.  I didn’t see it during opening weekend because I wanted to read the book first.  My thoughts are below the cut, to spare anyone that might not want to be spoiled.

February 11, 2012

Docs To See Before You Die

Some time back, I was watching a series on Current TV hosted by famed documentarist Morgan Spurlock, entitled 50 Documentaries To See Before You Die.  Spurlock had some interesting choices in his list -- some I had already seen, some I hadn't.  Here is a small list of docs that I think you should see before you die, with links to trailers included when possible.

January 2, 2012

Tech Reviews: Droid RAZR, Kindle Fire, and Apps

This past Christmas was a big one in terms of tech stuff for me. As an early gift, I got a Droid RAZR, which is available through Verizon Wireless.

I've been wanting a smartphone for a VERY long time -- my dad is an iPhone enthusiast, whereas I was always more seduced by the BlackBerry and Android phones, and Android ultimately won out.

Keeping in mind that this is the very first smartphone that I have ever owned, I don't have much to compare it to. But, the OS has been fairly slick and reliable for me, and the connection speeds are fairly decent too -- this phone comes with access to Verizon Wireless 4G LTE, where available. Something that some people might also find as a plus with this phone is the size of its screen. I've had comments from family, friends, and passersby about how huge the phone is. It makes it easier for people with vision problems to see, but the disadvantage is that it makes the phone rather cumbersome to try & carry around in your pocket.

The main complaint that I have with it is the battery life -- which, from what I have heard from people who use Android phones, is a common complaint with Android phones in general. Some Droid-owner friends of mine, I believe, have been able to find stronger batteries for their phones ... but with the RAZR being so new on the market, I'm not sure if anything like that is available for it yet.

Another surprise tech gift that I got this year is Amazon's Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire is basically a step up from previous e-reader devices, because it also gives you access to Internet, email, and Android apps through the app store. The Kindle Fire, as you may have guessed, operates within the shell of  You get access to books, magazines, music, & movies from Amazon, and the Amazon app store gives you access to many popular apps for Android -- such as Facebook, Words with Friends, Twitter, Pandora Radio, Angry Birds, and such. But it does not give you access to Android Market, nor many of the other apps that are otherwise available on Android Market. That, and there are more paid than free apps in the Amazon store, it appears to me.

The bottom line for the Kindle Fire is, if you want the full functionality of a tablet, you're better off spending the extra money for a tablet, as opposed to the Kindle Fire. But, if you just want something that gives you some Internet functionality (browser, email, etc.) and access to some of your favorite Android apps (with better battery life than you get on an Android phone!), a Kindle Fire may be a good choice for you.

Now:  APPS!  The biggest struggle for me has been finding the perfect app for posting to my social networks.  I like the look and feel of the official Twitter app for Android, but it does not give you the ability to post to Twitter & Facebook simultaneously.

One app that I've tried and seem to like is Seesmic.  Personally, I don't like the look of it as much as I do the official Twitter app, but it does pretty much everything I need it to do, in the way I like to see it done.  It's fast (for an "unofficial" app), there are no ads, it posts to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously, and I prefer Twitter apps that give you buttons to go between your timeline, your replies, and your messages, as opposed to just making you slide from one screen to the other.

Anyway, this is just a start of something, in hopes to get this blog rejuvenated over the coming year.  =)  Keep watching for a lot of stuff, and  here's hoping for lots of good stuff in 2012!

July 17, 2011

Stephen Sondheim and I

For me, Stephen Sondheim is one of the “Holy Trinity” of Broadway musical composers – along with Rodgers & Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber.  I guess I first became acquainted with the work of Stephen Sondheim when I was in high school, when my drama teacher showed the class a video of “Into the Woods” – a musical involving many well-known fairy tale characters (Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, etc.) being put into some very real situations.

While I liked the story, I was not conscious at that time that The Name Of The Guy Who Wrote The Music For This Is Stephen Sondheim, And I Should Try To Look Up Some More Of His Work.  hehe.  I became fully conscious of Sondheim many years later, when I was in college and I heard the soundtrack to the show “Sweeney Todd” for the first time.  “Sweeney Todd” is a musical thriller about a barber who slits the throats of his customers, then gets rid of the bodies by giving them to a pie shop owner, who grinds them up and uses them as filler for her meat pies!  I had chills the first time I heard the music from that show.  Some of you may recall that they made a film adaptation of it about 4 years ago, starring Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd.

And I also just became acquainted with another show of his, “Company”, which my theatre group will be performing in Spring of next year.  It’s about a guy who is celebrating his 35th birthday – most of his friends are married and he’s not sure if that’s what he wants.  This particular song is the one that I can’t get out of my head.  hehe!  Buzz is that they’re making this into a movie too, starring Neil Patrick Harris.

July 4, 2011

4th of July Parade

I marched in the 4th of July parade with my theatre group today.  Smile  It was a lot of fun.  We march in the parade every year.  This year, it was nice because it wasn’t quite as hot as last year.  It was still pretty warm, though, and my skin does not like the sun very much, so I wore lots of sunscreen.

This was our float for the parade:


And here are a bunch of other floats waiting for the parade to get started: