Tag Archives: theater

Starting off on the Right Foot

17 Jan

Like a lot of people during the month of January, I’ve been doing some reflecting, re-evaluating and looking forward.  I started a running list of what I want my 2012 to be about, some directly related to acting, some not, but all under the same goal of honoring Me. Seems a little selfish, but sometimes you have to be. What I mean is, doing things that I want to do not have to do, doing things that make me happy and feed my soul, fulfilling my passions and dreams, enjoying this journey every step of the way– basically, having an overall positive outlook.

A lot of it has to do with language I use: getting rid of  should’s and shouldnt’s and have to’s and replacing them with like to’s, want to’s and choose to’s. More active, less passive. I also think that a more active, there-are-things-in-my-control, perspective will result in a more proactive year. The less you make projects and activities chores, and the more you make them fun then the more likely you will do them! For instance, I kinda hate submitting. I’d think of it as something I have to do if I want to be an actor. But, throw on a little music, imagine the different roles I now have the chance at playing, and it’s kind of fun!

So, going along with the doing things that make me happy and feed my soul, one of the items on my list is to do more theater I love. In other words, not worrying about pay vs no pay, industry audience vs. family and friends, potential connections vs. none at all, or even theater vs. film. Theater was what got me here to begin with. Anyway, I got what I wanted! I am starting off the year with two wonderful shows. The first, in February at Casa 0101, is called Occupy the Heart, a short play festival exploring the Occupy Wall Street movement. The second, in March at the Lyric Hyperion, is a new rendition of the Vagina Monologues, including an original ensemble-created piece. Not to mention both shows are with very cool people I like. I think I’m off to a good start!

Look Back to Look Forward

24 Jan

Low points are inevitable in the pursuit of any career. Acting is no different. It’s important to have concrete things to refer to when you’re feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing and are wasting your time, because when you’re deep in that funk it’s hard to see clearly.

I’m a pack rat of sorts when it comes to ticket stubs, cards, pictures and the like. I’ve been pretty good at keeping every postcard of every show I’ve ever been a part of. A fellow actor/producer/director friend of mine got this clever idea to frame all her postcards and display them in her apartment. I remember seeing the row of lovingly mounted show postcards and thought, that’s a brilliant idea. I always wondered what I was going to do with the growing pile of cards stuffed deep inside a desk drawer. So I thought the New Year is the perfect excuse to gather them all up, frame them and hang ’em up on my bare hallway wall that’s just begging for something to display. Now, every time I go to and from my room I have to walk past the little slice of history, the physical proof that I have accomplished a lot gosh darnit. And looking at that cluster of frames makes me feel inspired, eager to forge ahead and add to the collection.

I’m thinking one day I will be able to frame film posters…




Other ideas to keep those low points high!

Guest Post on Diversity at Note: Color Confusion

23 Feb

Another blog about a blog I blog…  This one was started by a fellow actor/producer/rock star NOTEr and it’s all about diversity in the LA theater world. It’s still young, but growing. I think it deals with important issues not only in the theater community, but in the acting community at large. I talk about some of these things in my first post on this brand spanking new blog.

Here’s a sample:

I am a half Japanese, quarter Irish, quarter Hungarian Jewish female actor born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

But to most people I look Mexican. (And to confuse things even further, my born and bred Japanese mother currently resides in Mexico… but that’s a whole other story.) After that, the ethnicities I usually get are Filipino and Native American. I can speak speak Spanish and Japanese conversationally, but I’m American and my native language is English. So, in the world of casting, where does that leave me?…”

You can read the full post on Diversity at Note.

2 Cities, 1 Show: ShortLived 3.0

13 Jan

As some of you readers may know, I am part of the production company PianoFight. I am incredibly grateful for being involved with them as it has given me the opportunity, not only to act, but to write, direct and produce– not to mention a whole set of amazing friends. At PF, we are very much of the mindset that you make your own success. For example, our playwriting competition incepted in 2008 called ShortLived. This year, ShortLived 3.0, will actually be taking place in TWO cities at the SAME TIME! Craziness. So, without further ado… some self-promotion for this lovely show I will be producing:

Two Hella Awesome Artistic Mecca’s Pick Two Gnarly Grand Champions in One Crazy Dope Cross-Cali Competition: PianoFight’s ShortLived 3.0 … (it’s a really big deal)

LOS ANGELES— January 11, 2010—Premiering April 2nd 2010, SF/LA-based production company PianoFight kicks off its three-month long, audience-judged playwriting competition ShortLived 3.0 in San Francisco and Los Angeles, running every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00 PM at The Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission St (SF) and The Asylum Lab, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd (LA) April 2- June 26. Tickets are $20 at the door and online at http://www.pianofight.com and, as usual, brown bags encouraged.

Local playwrights and theater groups in each city will compete for audiences who decide the winners of the grand prize: the chance to pen a full-length play to be produced by PianoFight for a one-month run in two cities. The LA winner will receive a one-month run in LA at The Asylum Lab, and a second month-run at Off-Market in SF, and the same goes for the SF winner.

Born from a need to fill theater space and a desire to find new work, ShortLived has provided a platform for local artists to be seen, heard and summarily judged by the public. PianoFight selects the top playwright submissions from each city, eight of which are staged and performed each round of the competition.ShortLived 3.0 consists of six total rounds, each lasting two weeks. By scoring the plays on a scale of one to ten, the audience members decide which plays will stay on to the next round and which plays will be “short-lived”. At the end of every round the scores are tallied and the four lowest-scoring plays are replaced by four new plays. The highest scoring piece of each round garners a spot in the Championship Weekend (June 25-26) where the best of the best face off and the top voted piece in each city wins the grand prize: a one month run of an original work produced by PianoFight.

Last year’s competition introduced an opportunity for local theater groups to compete with their own material and actors for a shot at the grand prize. PianoFight will continue this aspect of the competition in both cities. Along with local playwrights, directors and actors, ShortLived 3.0 also features a constantly changing lineup of musical guests.

This year, ShortLived 3.0 features two competitions in two cities, all wrapped into one show. With ShortLived 3.0 running concurrently in SF and LA, audience members in SF will be able to participate with actors in LA and vice versa, through the power of the Internet. The opening piece to every show will feature the return of audience favorite, Xocko The Sock Puppet, reading opposite an actual auditioner (someone PianoFight has never met), and will require participation from the adjoining city, all streamed live via webcams and projected for the audience.

Past ShortLived winners include Daniel Heath, who penned the original “Fork Off On Your Own Forking Adventure Which You’ve Forked: FORKING!” and Bill Bivins, the most celebrated playwright from the 2009 SF Fringe Fest, whose full-length play “The Position” debuts February 4th at Off-Market.

PianoFight’s Artistic and Executive Directors, Rob Ready and Dan Williams respectively, will produce the SF competition, while PF Producing Company Members Nina Harada and Jeremy Mascia will head up the production in LA. Combined Artform’s Matthew Quinn rounds out the producing team.

PiANOFiGHT PRODUCTiONS is an SF-based production company founded by Rob Ready and Dan Wiliams in July of 2007. Teaming with Combined Artform’s Matthew Quinn and Steve Kahn, PianoFight became a managing partner of Off-Market Theaters in 2009. In it’s short two-and-a-half-year history, PianoFight has produced original works, premiered all-new shows, created and developed an online web series, and cut numerous short films, all while remaining true to its commitment of producing new work by new artists. For more information, visit www.pianofight.com.

ShortLived 3.0, a playwriting competition featuring local playwrights and theater groups scored by audiences, runs every Friday and Saturday night at 8PM at The Asylum Lab, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Vine), Los Angeles and at Off-Market, 965 Mission St (between 5th and 6th), San Francisco, from April 2- June 26. Tickets are $20 at the door and online at http://www.pianofight.com.


SF – Rob Ready – rob@pianofight.com

LA – Nina Harada –  nina@pianofight.com