Monday, February 25, 2013

Cat Nanny 911!

" It's not a job for everyone--doing what I do.   Taking on the task of taming the frisky feline while its owner is away can be a tricky business.   Making sure these furry, somewhat elusive creatures get plenty of love, brushes, fresh food and water can take its toll on a nanny if she's doesn't know exactly what she's doing.   When you leave your cat home all alone for more than three days straight, don't be surprised if you come back to an upside down litter box and a clawed up leather couch.   That's where I come in.    I'm cat nanny."    -  Scene from Cat Nanny 911!

My dream one day is to perform a full length one-woman show and take it on the road, but the thought of it seems so daunting to me.  How does one even get started on such a journey?   So I prayed about direction and soon after an opportunity opened up for me to write and perform a short solo piece, and finally get my paws wet.

All Terrain Theater's Women in Solodarity: Cat Ladies is a showcase featuring female solo performances in honor of our quirky obsession with cats. This show, produced in association with the International Home Theater Festival, is All Terrain Theater's second showcase dedicated to promoting the work of female Bay Area theater artists.

April 5, 6, 12, 13 @ 8pm (Fridays and Saturdays)

April 6 @ 2pm

Directed by Rachel Bublitz


Written & Performed by Maura Halloran


Written & Performed by Theresa Donahoe


Written by Patricia Milton

Performed by Martha Rynberg


Written by Carol Lashof

Performed by Heather Kellogg


Written by Rachel Bublitz

Performed by Ramya Vijayan


Written by Susan Sobeloff

Performed by Colleen Egan


Written by Tracy Held Potter

Performed by Colleen Egan

Stage Management by Chelsey Little

This performance will be held at a private residence in Central Berkeley. Reserve your tickets for the address to our venue. Please note that there are cats and a dog on the property, and cats may be roaming around during the performances on April 12th and 13th. The show is approximately 90 minutes and is wheelchair accessible.



Produced by All Terrain Theater and The Downward Dog in association with the International Home Theatre Festival.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

The other day I included a bath mat with my laundry and put it in the washing machine.  When I went to check on the load a half hour later, the bath mat was so heavy with water that it tilted the entire load and interrupted the spin cycle.  No matter how many times I readjusted the bath mat, the washing machine would not complete the spin cycle, so I  finally removed it and the load was able to finish.

The mat was dripping wet, so I laid it outside by the clothesline in the back of my apartment building hoping the sun would dry it out.  Then I forgot about it, a few days passed, and then it rained.  I do this sort of thing all the time.

You would think that each time I stepped out of the shower and onto a towel on the floor that wasn't my bathmat, that I would remember to check on how it was drying outside.  But instead, I just got used to the towel being on the floor.  Because not only am I "out of sight, out of mind", but I am highly adaptable.  If something changes in my environment, I just get used to it.  If dishes start to stack in my sink, I don't notice them anymore until I have no more clean dishes.  If a sweater ends up on the floor, it becomes a fixture on the floor until the weekend comes and I'm like, "hey I should probably vacuum, by the way, what's that sweater doing there?"

I've been this way for as long as I can remember.  I do this at work too.  I have all sorts of folders out and pieces of paper on my desk that I should just put away, but the problem with that is if I file them away it's gone forever.  So I leave things out.   If they are not in front of me, they don't exist.

Then I try to make lists of things to do, but then guess what happens?  I forget where my lists are.  Then I'm like, "hey I know there was supposed to be something that I needed to do."  So then I send myself reminder emails, and then my inbox gets so full I get overwhelmed.  And then I adapt to my inbox being full and forget about it.  So then I write myself reminder notes on my hand--- and guess what--this actually works for me.

So instead of a piece of string around my finger, I opt for ink on my hand.  I know it looks tacky, like I was just at the club the night before and forgot to wash the stamp off,  but I don't care.  I guess I must look at my hands alot?  Why does this work?

I also have to put my gym bag in front of my door the night before a gym day--or I may forget to go the gym after work.   I have to put my rent check in an envelope and leave it by the front door, or I will forget to pay my rent.  I do have a calendar on my wall and that works somewhat.  As long as I remember to actually look at the calendar.

This "out of sight, out of mind" disease is terrible on friendships.  I have a routine and the people I see the most are the ones that are part of my routine.  I apologize if I have affected you.  It's not you, it's me.  No really.  IT'S ME.  Please forgive me.  I will write you on my hands next time. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A Writer's Meltdown (Not to be confused with "An Actor's Nightmare")

Years ago when I was taking drama classes at Diablo Valley College, I saw the play "An Actor's Nightmare" by Christopher Durang, performed for the first time.

I loved it.  It was basically a young man on a stage in his underwear, clutching his private parts while staring into the audience like a deer into headlights.  Other actors around him came on and off the stage briefly with a few lines here and there, but he stood there in the middle of it all, petrified.  He didn't know what play he was in, or what line he was supposed to stay next.  It was, indeed, every actor's nightmare.

As an actor and writer, I get to experience not only the actor's nightmare, but the writer's meltdown.  Now, I googled the term, "writer's meltdown" and apparently we all have different definitions of what this means.  My meltdown is simply, not so much having writer's block, as much as second guessing what I have already written.  Is this funny anymore?  Was it ever funny?  Does this make sense?  Is this redundant? Clear?  What I thought  was a good idea at the time, or maybe even genius--is now muddled and I am not so sure.  And then of course the worst self critique of all - is this BORING?  As a performer myself who bores so easily, my biggest fear is that my writing and performing will put someone to sleep.  I mean, we are supposed to entertain people, aren't we?

In the annoying introspection of it all, I sat on the side of my bed questioning myself and praying, "Lord, I know I am good writer, but help me with the translation".  I sensed Him telling me to just do it anyway.  I am going to have to learn by doing and there is no way around it.  No number of writing classes, workshops or lectures is going to make me be a better writer.  Writing is going to make me a better writer.  I will have to be okay with not being great at first, but just simply, getting through it.  As long as I have a support group in place, a solid set of friends, I will be just fine.

As I closed my eyes, I saw a picture of a fist punching through a paper wall.  The wall is thin, and easily penetrated.  It's not as difficult as I think it is.  I just have to punch through it.

Alright, enough with the meltdown.   And on with the show.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


Every morning after I wake up, I put my sweatshirt and pony tail on, grab my purse, and walk down the hill to Starbucks to get my usual grande iced coffee with two pumps of classic sweetener.  Rain or shine, sleet or snow (well, we have no snow, but you know what I mean).  Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall.  It never fails me.  I want my vice and I want it when I want it. 

I know it sounds expensive, but I don't have kids, so I figure since I am not spending money on diapers and college educations, I can have my Starbucks everyday.  It's all about perspective.

During my daily jaunt down to the main boulevard my mind fills up with all sorts of thoughts and for some reason becomes the best time to get ideas for writing.  I have had rest, I am getting my first exercise of the morning and ideas flood my brain.

This morning I was thinking about youth and first loves.  But maybe not the way you're thinking about it.

You see, I bought a curling iron yesterday.  It was an impulse purchase inside a CVS Pharmacy.  I only meant to get toilet paper and such and ended up buying a curling iron as well.  I took it home, unwrapped it (that was a feat within itself) and plugged it in.  I haven't used a curling iron since the 80s.  When I was young, I had all that energy to play with my hair.  I cared about what I looked like.  I styled it and practiced in front of the mirror for maybe not hours, but certainly alot longer than I would ever care to bother now and I just thought--

Why don't I care anymore?  And this got me thinking of a scene from  the movie "When Harry Met Sally".

HARRY: How long have you been dating Joe? 3 weeks?
SALLY: A month.  How did you know that?
HARRY: To take someone to the airport, you are clearly at the beginning of a relationship.  Which is why I never have anyone take me to the airport at the beginning of a relationship.
SALLY:  Why?
HARRY: Because eventually things move on, you don't take them to the airport anymore and I never wanted anyone to ask me, "why don't you take me to the airport anymore?"
SALLY: It's amazing. You look like a normal person, but really you are the angel of death.

I know it's wierd but this made me think of that curling iron and I just thought- How come I don't curl my hair anymore?  Is it because my relationship with my hair is past the honeymoon stage and I no longer care?  What happen to all that energy and youth?

And while I am currently not seeing anyone romantically right now, I can at least rekindle the spark with my hair.    I don't know how long this will last, but I am ready to start the fire and passion again.  I want to care again.

Reunited and it feels so good.