Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sometimes I Act

In sixth grade, I played the title role in our school play, Pinocchio. At the time, this whole scenario was really dope - a girl playing a wooden puppet who eventually becomes a real boy - gangsta. This gender bending, and the sass I carried about myself as a result of my star-turn, made me the sixth grade "It Girl" (peaked at 17). But even more than junior high popularity, I loved the ritual of rehearsal everyday after school in preparation for ... a spectacle. The concept of performing something that I'd premeditated a certain way but also required, relied on spontaneity, intrigued me. I also had the privilege of attending a school that valued theatre and all the creative arts that went along with it, like set and costume making, sound editing and lighting design. As a result of my creative juices being so fluffed by my school, Saint Ann's,* which also gave me and my classmates a lesson in the origin of Western theatre (we had to memorize Aristotle) has educated some of today's most relevant and talented artists, designers, actors, writers, musicians etc. (Thank you mom and dad for picking the chill NYC private school.)

It has an entry in the Urban Dictionary. Check it out:
*Saint Ann's School
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Ranked the best school in the country, St. Ann's is located in NYC. Known for the clintele of celebrity parents and constantly stoned high schoolers, the school excels in getting its students into their top choices for college, which gained the school the top percentage for a high school recieving the most acceptances into Ivy League schools. There are no grades, percentages, or anything like that at St. Ann's, substituting impersonal numbers and letters for long written essays about each student's accomplishments. The girls at St. Ann's are known for their incredibly expensive clothing and amazingly hot looks, while the boys at St. Ann's created and fullfilled the definition of a "Wiggah", but many still dress as preppy as possible. St. Ann's has insane ragers every weekend, where the weed is free and abundant. St. Ann's is the best, in all ways possible.
Oh, she went to St. Ann's, she must be brilliant.

Dude, I hooked up with a girl from St. Ann's!

There's a St. Ann's party this weekend!
Edge of 17 

At 17, I played Perdita in A Winter's Tale opposite John Buffalo Mailer. "She who has been lost" (my character's namesake) was pretty much on point for my tortured 17-year-old self playing the role of a princess raised by a shepherd. Like my character, and, perhaps every 17-year-old girl at times, I felt like no one could see my real beauty. 

Latin Poetry Class, Junior Year at Saint Ann's

Oh, and I adored flowers. My favorite monologue was Perdita's homage to flora. As a grown woman, I'm a flower enthusiast. Here's a glimpse into my present-day bedroom garden. 

My terrarium. 

Senior year of high school, rather than taking the stage myself, I wrote a play in my playwriting class that the headmaster deemed too provocative for students to act in for our playwriting festival, so the theatre department gave me a budget to hire actors. The play was called The Collector, and it was about a man who collected disposal women (drug addicts, prostitutes - people who wouldn't be missed) and kept them as pets. Matty Powers, who played the "Collector" was homies with Mickey Rourke and did a movie with Tupac. 

Anyway, I was more interested in boys and getting into the Ivy League (see Urban Dictionary def of the St. Ann's girl) than pursuing anything in theatre. So I gave it up. 

In my 30s, while I was getting ready to publish my book, I met some amazingly talented theatre and film people, like Lauren Rayner and Jeremiah Kipp and I decided I wanted to make a trailer for BEAUTIFUL GARBAGE. Making the film, I realized I still have a passion for production and visual aspects of narration. 

Several months after I made my book trailer, Jeremiah approached me about playing a drugged-out stripper in a short film he was directing, Lauren was producing, and which has recently been released, and garnering praise. You must check out The Days God Slept for a gritty look into indie filmmaking in NYC. It is an amazing short film about sexual repression and the mystery of getting to know a person intimately starring Lauren FoxWho'd have thought I'd catch the acting bug again as a 30-something? I wrote a column about the experience for The Huff Post

Production still from the set of The Days God Slept 
With Actress Kelly Rae Le Gault

My next role was as The Grey Sister, a Wiccan seductress who is part of a coven that entraps men and, after using them for sex, murders them in a bloodthirsty ritual. I spent 12 hours shooting Aualarre, an art film by Guillermo Barreira. 

With Actor Matt Cullen in Aqualarre

Soon I'll be expanding my range from stripper/sexy witch to a more challenging role (!) that I'm thrilled about. The project is in nascent development now, but is going to be a noir/sci-fi commentary on memory repression, sadomasochism, and repetition compulsion. There will also be bossoms, as I don't want to disappoint my fans. 

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