Cinderella’s mice…

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” -Mark Twain 

Today I went in for my “muslin fitting” for the costume I will be wearing this summer running around Edith Wharton’s The Mount Mansion grounds, playing Egeus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shakespeare & Company. The role was written for a man but I will be playing him as a female dressed in a tailor-made 1830’s riding habit!

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I have always loved playing dress-up, part of why I enjoy acting so much. When I get the perfect costume, combined with a great role, it can transform me into a fantasy world where I get lost. I suppose it’s a lot like writing and how you can disappear into a book both as the author and as a reader. Just add an outfit to that and BAM you get the full sensual experience! Continue reading

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Cinderella in Cannes (Third and Final Cycle)

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Night views of Cannes from the after party

(Continued from Cinderella in Cannes Part 2) Having slept but a few hours, I boarded a shuttle bus to the Nice airport. On the flight back to NYC I was seated next to an adorable couple. I discreetly admired their holding hands and obvious affection for each other. They were having the best time and eventually I got drawn into their mischief. Norwegian Air was fantastic and had a touchscreen at each seat where you order food and drinks and the attendants bring it to you. My row-mates were enjoying keeping a tab going and sending wine to my seat as well. I don’t know if I have ever laughed so long and hard on a flight and I’m sure we were innocuously absurd to the other passengers. My new friends kept trying to hook me up with the guy in the seat ahead of me, Continue reading

Cinderella in Cannes (Second Cycle)

(Continuing along to France…) The drive to Cannes was long but Paul was a super (and fast!) driver. The first night we spent on an overnight ferry (see Cinderella in Cannes Part One) and I fell asleep with a distinctly strong smell of fish in my nostrils. We ended up pulling into Antibes, France, just a few miles northeast of Cannes at 10pm. I went out searching for a sight of the beach Continue reading

Cinderella in Cannes (First Cycle)

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Cannes, France

First off let’s get the pronunciation of Cannes right. People here on the east coast  of the USA say CAHnnes, in a hoity-toity way. One friend corrected me when I said CANnes, France. So I looked it up and lo-and-behold my high school french didn’t fail me, it IS “CAN” rhymes with fan.

The reason to get the pronunciation correct is that the film Continue reading

The House that Cap Built

The street where I live

The street where I live

After a hectic summer, I have moved all of my belongings from Seattle, Washington to a small town in Massachusetts. I grew up in the country but I have never lived IN a small town. Here in Lenox I can walk to the dry cleaners, the market, the library, the post office, restaurants, bars, get a great latte and giggle with a friend in a fabulous bookstore. Small town life suits me. Continue reading

Anticipation…

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I’m heading off again for another 8 weeks on the road. This time it’s a bit different in that I have been hired to accompany a group of young adults that are acting in a feature film. We will be traveling to 5 central US states. When the 18-23 year olds are not acting, I will be taking them on excursions and showing them some of this great country I love. I am also there to help them process their emotional responses to the film work they will be doing. Pretty exciting stuff! Continue reading

Fowl play in foul weather…

I took a few very chilly walks this week…brrr…but always worth it. The first was on a rail trail where I strolled from Massachusetts into Connecticut and got obsessed with taking photos of these beautiful barns.

Ducks have been on my mind as I read Eckhart Tolle’s description about how they are able to squabble and squawk at each other, then turn, flap their wings a few times and swim elegantly away without ruffled feathers. He recommends that we do this too. Let the emotions roll over you and then flap your wings, throw them off and get back to the business of living in the now. He does not advise reliving, revamping, or re-saying what it is you should, could, or would have said or done, but just let it go. On my walks there was a plethora of ducks to illustrate his point.

I took a sojourn to Stanley Park in Westfield, MA. It must be a lovely park when it’s not zero degrees. They have a special bronze duck, named Ozzie, on a little island in the middle of a pond. A few years back the real Ozzie was killed by a teenage boy stomping him to death. The town kids brought in their pennies to fund a campaign for a memorial for the murdered Ozzie.

As I came up the hill there arose a cacophony of squawks and duck calls (they sounded eerily like the ones my mother would practice for duck hunting) that stopped me in my tracks. The pond was FILLED with beautiful, iridescent male and female ducks and a white swan.

Let me explain my hesitation…I have been snapped at by nasty geese and chased by trumpet swans. A few years ago, unbeknownst to me, I walked near a couple of nesting swans and let me tell you, they are huge, beautiful and terrifying when they are mad. Wings out and slapping the water, with necks that stretch straight at you, they pursued me as I ran away as fast as I could. I will always remember that narrow escape with nervous laughter. So as soon as I heard the din and cackle of fowl noises my fight or flight response kicked in and I thought twice about going forward.

Thankfully there was only one swan and she/he didn’t seem to be nesting and the whole pond was welcoming me with open, clacking beaks fully expecting a handout. As I forged ahead, they calmed down and decided to leave me be since I did not come bearing gifts like the Magi. I was just another shepherd coming to gaze at the scene without even the poorest offering. I saw Ozzie’s burial island with many ducks perched around him keeping him company. I had a Lord-of-the-Flies moment of horror at the idea of a gang of boys taunting and killing an innocent duck. I am glad that they have honored the outpouring of rage against a senseless act of unkindness.

Stanley Park, MA

Stanley Park, MA

The collected pennies for Ozzie brings to mind the play I am in at the moment where I perform the role of a mother of a coma patient. Every time my character arrives at the critical care facility to visit her daughter, I place a head’s up penny on the floor by the bed to bring good luck into the room. Pennies have been a simple reminder of good fortune for a long time. I hear that we may do away with them altogether as they are not worth enough in our currency to bother printing them. But for the many reminders of simple, priceless good will, I hope they stick around.

Two songs came to the forefront this week. I wish I had the DJ skill to mash them together…I think it might come out quite magical.

The duck was dancing by the water, quack, quack, quack                                                                                The rhythm made him think he oughta quack, quack                                                                                        He was dancing to the samba, the samba, the samba                                                                                       Oh, goose, oh.

This little penny is to wish on                                                                                                                              And make your wishes come true                                                                                                                         This little penny is to dream on                                                                                                                       Dream of all you can do

The goose was gaining passing by, honk, honk, honk                                                                                        He stopped and gave the dance a try, honk, honk                                                                                              He was dancing to the samba                                                                                                                                The new thing.

This little penny is a dancing penny                                                                                                                      See how it glitters and it glows                                                                                                                            Bright as a whistle, light as a thistle                                                                                                                 Quick, quick as a wink up on it’s twinkling toes

Then a lovely swan swam by, in all her majesty, and she loosened up.                                                 Hoochy-coochy-coo did that swan.                                                                                                                       She joined the duck and goose and did the samba too.                                                                                    You should have seen the kind of samba she could do.

This little penny is to laugh on                                                                                                                               To see that tears never fall

They did the samba so long, they all fell right in the water.                                                                           While they were singing away,                                                                                                                           quack quack quack, quack quack quack

This little penny is the last little penny                                                                                                            Most important of all, for this penny is to love on                                                                                           And where love is, heaven is there                                                                                                                          So with just five pennies, if they’re these five pennies                                                                                     You’ll be a millionaire

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq27GXKM-yg (Danny Kaye- “5 Little Pennies”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-AS7dpGuH8 (Karrin Allyson- “O Pato”)

Icy Beauty of Connecticut Crystal

Sheffield, Connecticut

Sheffield, Connecticut

I have always had a romantic notion of winter in Connecticut after being raised watching movies like Christmas in Connecticut, Holiday Inn and White Christmas. There were horse-drawn sleigh rides, beautiful inns with huge fireplaces, hot toddies, snow-covered barns, bells, singing and plenty of picturesque magic. Continue reading

A Pictorial Toast to 2014

Another full year flies by with many new homes, hikes, plays, friends, family and surprises. What a lucky girl I am, in love with life, my girls, and the next adventure around the corner. Looking back as I dream forward. Happiest 2015 to you all!

January…

February-March… Continue reading

Mapping the River of Life

I know, I’ve abandoned you, my sincere blog readers, as I got busy with life. I have missed writing and sharing with you all. I’ve been in Lenox, Massachusetts working for Shakespeare & Company and seeing so many of my goals come to fruition. I found a “map” that I created last February of all the hopes and dreams that I had at the time. When I unpacked from yet another move 7 months later, there it was, and four of the six things I had schemed about had come true already! These were things that I hadn’t expected to see happen until many years ahead.

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Private Eyes at S&Co

Continue reading