Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Minni-Apple Life!

Well, chickens - it was bound to happen sometime.... I moved.

I moved 3 years ago from NYC to Minneapolis.  I came back with my tall handsome Englishman and we have a beautiful home and have our two lovely Puggles (Crumpet and Doughnut).

Oh, the embarrassment of moving home was REAL the first 6 months or so...  I was pretty pissed off  and very sad we left NYC.  I loved my life there. I loved my friends. I loved the theatre scene. And I still never got my Broadway "Golden Ticket".  I came home with my tail between my legs and was so embarrassed that in my 8 years in NYC I only had 1 invited Broadway appointment, no National Tours and only booked 4 regional shows that were not related to Minnesota companies I've worked with before.

But the universe had a plan for me.  A big, glorious WONDERFUL plan!

Here's some of the Highlights:

I started my own company: Second Fiddle Productions.  We present rarely produced musicals that are well loved.  I've hired people that I love and people I've never met before.  I've given myself and others a chance to play dream roles.  AND I managed to get grant money for 2 out of our 3 years!  I am thrilled and hoping to have many more seasons in the future.

I was in a show that was a BIG DEAL to me: The Music Man at the Guthrie Theatre. (It was my "Broadway" - it's one of the finest theatre's in town.)  Being in that show was so validating - that I could book a show at a theatre I respected and have always wanted to work at - it lit my fire for the wonderful art of musical theatre all over again. Plus I got to understudy and GO ON for one of the tracks I was understudying - it was scary as hell but I was so glad I did it.  And I had two goals: don't fall in the hole onstage and don't forget your lines.  Chickens, I was successful with both of those goals!

AND I got to be in another show RIGHT AFTER Music Man closed - a wonderful new musical called Glensheen at the History Theatre. Was a brilliant cast and team. I was thrilled to be a part of it - and look!  We won an IVEY Award for Overall Excellence as a production!

Also - and this may be the most exciting bit of all - I'm pregnant! Right now there's a baby boy growing inside me!  Tomorrow marks 20 weeks or 1/2 way! (It's been a LONG 4.5 months, y'all, but I'm so glad he's still cooking away in there.)  So looking forward to being a Mom - and scared out of my mind - I loved nannying in NYC for little dude, but it will be different having someone need me full time.  February 23rd is the guess date and I am so excited to get to know him better!

So I guess all of this is that I'm super happy here in MN and I'm also going to try and start another blog here called "Actress in the Minni - Apple"... but seeing as how I'm producing, choreographing, evaluating high school shows and also being a rocking wifey and doggy mommy that project may wait for a further date. But wanted to keep you lovelies updated.  I do miss you and miss this blog of "another life".

Moral: You never know what the universe has in store for you.  It will guide you exactly where you're supposed to be.

Monday, April 15, 2013

2012 Part Uno

Lovelies... Let's re-cap the fabulousness that has gone on in my life over the 12 months!  Without further ado: Here's 2012!

- Crumpet spent a lot of time in the bath tub of our new lovely apartment on the Upper East Side.  She's such a weird little thing... But I love her dearly.

- I went back to MN to try out for Xanadu at the big dinner theatre there.  I didn't get Cleo, but I did get to rock out my skates and my pop song! (and bought - and later returned - these fancy PINK WHEEL SKATES!)

The Tall Englishman and I went to visit friends in Baltimore!  While we were there we saw an awesome band called the Leg Warmers!  It's an 80's cover band and everyone dresses up!  Super fun!

- The tall Englishman and I celebrated our 2 year dating anniversary.  He got me bubbles and roses!  What a guy?!

- I tried out the hair extensions that I bought to our wedding.  Here's my "Is this too much?" pic I texted to my BFF Linds-a-lou.

- We welcomed Nespresso into our family.  Life hasn't been the same since.  Thank you to friends who gave us big $ gift cards at Williams Sonoma.  We are both adjusting to having a caffine addiction.

- Big Mike and Lynette (otherwise known at my parents) came to visit us and we went all over NYC!  To the Macys flower show, to Union Square and also to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Was so nice to have them here!  (and no- I did not get the barbie... but I wanted to.)

 - I saw a TON of Broadway shows, but End of the Rainbow was one of my favs.  Not only because it had my new friend Don in it, but becuase Tracy Bennett KILLS it!  Judy Garland lived at the Belasco for 2 hours a day!

- Mad Men premiere at the Roosevelt Hotel!  Martinis' all around!  Candy Cigarettes!  Was a GREAT party and my friend Linds a lou joined me for the fun times!

- LOTS of walks in the park with Crumpet and the Tall Englishman!  I loved the cherry blossoms!  Crumpet loved eating the goose poop.  Sigh.  My doggy eats the poo...

I was lucky enough to be in a FANTASTIC reading at the Manhattan Theatre Club!  (Can I get a What, what?!)  The best bit for me (other than working with the awesome creative team and being ASKED to be in the reading was the fact that on Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. 3/4 of the room got up and left to go do their BROADWAY SHOWS!  Chickens - I didn't realize how many of my fellow reading buddies were ON THE BROADWAY!  (and there I was sitting with them, singing with them, making something come alive with them... SO flipping exciting... and good for the old ego.)

I took a rockin scene study class at Jen Waldman Studio.  It rocked my socks (I learned a shit-load) and I think EVERYONE should be a part of that at least once in their lives.  And because I was feeling good about being an actor and felt like I was deserving and worthy, guess what!?  (DRUMROLL.....)


Lovelies - say "Hello" to DORALEE RHODES in 9 to 5!  

The Tent Theatre in Springfield, MO graciously asked me to be a part of a super fun summer stock production!  I got to share my gift with the fine people of Missouri!  The entire team was just a joy to work with - from the artistic director to the box office people - everyone was lovely... I was so happy to be there.  
Plus - they padded me up for the bra - I actually think it looks like it could be natural, yes?

Also, whilst at Tent Theatre (I just love that word "whilst", don't you?) I got the opportunity from the fantastic Mr. Huff to HOST the Broadway Backwards event that the Theatre has been doing for the past few years.  What an awesome experience -People are TAL-EN-TED!  I also got to sing myself... super fun.


I got some new headshots done before I left and LOVED the Doralee shots I had my friend Nathan Johnson take!  Aren't they CUTE?!

During my off time from the show I squeezed in some volunteering at the local Pet shelter.  That's where I met a little girl named "Wildfire" who I promptly re-named "Doughnut".  She's 3, beautiful, smart and was a little overweight.  I knew she was meant for me.  

The day before my birthday was "Gotcha Day" and James and I went and pulled her from the shelter.  I cried.  Now we are a little family of 4.  My friend Mitch watched Doughnut for the summer while we figured out a good time to bring her back to NYC.  I am so grateful for his willingness to look after her.  As well as my parents who took over looking after her in August.  So many people love this girl - but it's hard not to when she has such a winning personality.  (and now she's skinny after a few months at "Nana's Fat Camp".)

Then it was my BIRTHDAY!  WHAT FUN!  (ahhh... to be 29 for the 3rd year in a row...)  We celebrated on Lake Minnetonka with a Pink Champagne cake.  I love cake.

James and I also went to Washington D.C. for a long weekend.  I got to go to the Smithsonian while he was in meetings...  Guess who I met there - KERMIT!  My life is complete now.

One more thing I forgot to mention-  I went to see the Dixie Stampede when I was in Branson.  It was some good down home, country fun!  I have never seen so many sparkles and horses in one place together.  Would be great to go there if you had a family.  I remember seeing an old fashioned shoot-out like that in Phoenix when I was younger and I loved it.

All in all chickens it was a pretty nice first half of 2012!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


CHICKENS!  I know, I know- it's been a while since I've blogged...  Sigh.  BUT-  I was just in a wonderful reading at the beginning of March called Luck!  It was at the JCC in Manhattan and it was FAN-TASTIC!

I was in the ensemble, but I did have a stand out role as the palace gardener!  (my favorite line was "Rutabaga, Leek! Apricot and Plum!")

The music was by a GREAT off Broadway composer named Brad Ross (Little by Little) and the book was by SMART, TALENTED actor/ writer Mark Waldorp.  Also, it was directed by the LOVELY, INTELLIGENT and IMAGINATIVE director Michelle Tattenbaum.  

And lovelies - I just about wet my pants when I realized who was in the cast!  ALISON FRASER!  PEOPLE - "The Night it Had to End" was my LIFE when I was 21!  I listened to that song more times than RuPaul wore high heels!  She's lovely and fantastic and played the lady in waiting to the Princess! And also the charming CHRISTIAN NOLL was playing Mazel the good luck fairy.  BRILLIANT!  She's so freakin talented.  

The rest of our cast was equally talented/ creative/ lovely/ all around awesome people.  LOTS of Broadway vets.  I felt very honored and proud to be at the same table as them... Also was a bit of a confidence booster, as I felt like I could hold my own with this group of SUPA awesome folks! 

Plus loads of my family and friends came to see it - even Little Dude that I nanny for came!  (He's almost 7 now - so he totally got the story!) 

Universe - I'm ready!  More opportunity like this please!  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Somebody's getting Married!

Lovelies, the Tall Englishman and I tied the knot - TWICE!  Once on April 8th (for the civil ceremony) and once on August 27th (for the "real" wedding).

Here's our first set of wedding pics from the NYC "paperwork" wedding, Compliments of Nathan Johnson Photography...

We had our ceremony at Rice Park in St. Paul, MN and the reception across the street at the historic James J. Hill Library.  It was a stunning venue.  (yes that's right, Landmark center behind us is featured in the movie the Mighty Ducks...)

My uncle Chuck took the pic below - not our photographer...

Here's some wedding thing-y's that I'm very proud of (and they have lived on through my friends copying them!  Which I love!  Immitation is the biggest form of flattery!)

1. Our Photographers DNK Photography/Video - AMAZING.  And I've had 2 friends ask to use them...  They took some truly spectacular pictures...

2. The flowers.  Shelli De Blitzen at Forever in Bloom floral did just beautiful work.  I was obsessed with my bouquet and LOVED what she did for our centerpieces...

 My Boquet was orchids, English Roses (for my tall englishman), and regular roses... I was obsessed.  Plus it held up for 3 days!  Well done Shelli - I will use you again!

3. Our Cake & cake topper.  Amazing Spice cake with apple filling - compliments of Queen of Cakes.  I want to eat that cake everyday!  So yummy!  Plus- look at the cute design I asked them to do - they executed it brilliantly!  (Bottom tier, NYC; Middle Tier, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Top tier: Liverpool - where we're from and where we met.)  Plus my girlfriends mom made us the topper- SO Cute, right??  It's The Englishman, myself and Crumpet!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lou-lou- LOUBOUTINS!!!

Lovelies - My dreams have come true!!

No, no, I'm not married... Yet.  BUT I am the proud owner of a fancy pair of Louboutin shoes!

Oh JOY, lovelies!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Marriage... is what brings us.... together today... (A la Princess Bride)

Lovelies,  I am in the bowels of wedding planning...

The Tall Englishman and I tie the knot on August 27th and we are currently seeing the price tag go up and up and up...  (and I'm not helping - look at the cute ring bowl that I want to get from ETSY!  We can keep our rings in it after the big day - I love a good ring bowl!)

Le sigh.

Here's some things that got added to the wish list:

1. Video-ographer...  Very good thing to have to remember those moments in between when the photographers will be shooting.  We might just end up giving one of our friends a flip cam and saying "go in peace".  Any thoughts about this from other brides??

2. Flower upgrades.  Instead of doing 2 big arrangements with hydrangeas, I thought it would be nice to do 6 small arrangements with lovely tea roses, some hydrangeas and also other flowers in shades of purple!

Plus I want to have anyone who wants to be an "honorary flower person" whatever age go to the back and grab a little basket of petals and TOSS AWAY down the aisle before any of the wedding party go down!  (Side note: I'm still a little bitter - but I was a very bitter 10 year old as NO ONE had asked me to be a flower girl.  I don't want anyone to say "If only I could've been a flower girl" - well now is their chance! Go to the back - grab a basket - and off you go!)

3.  Wine and Beer Open bar - all night, not just the one hour we planned....  In every magazine I've read it says that you wouldn't invite your guests to come to your house, serve them a glass of wine and then say "Hey - now I don't want to give  you any more wine - so tough cookies.  You have to pay for your own now."

So thus at a wedding you should pay for at least wine and beer for the whole night.  Now my family are not big drinkers, so this should not be a problem.  But the Tall Englishman's family is... English.  Fill in the blanks yourselves, Chickens - there will be booze a-flowing with the aide of our guests from across the pond...  (ca-ching! ca-ching! ca-ching!)

This is not mentioning the pair of Louboutins I'd like to get... They're only $695.  A small price to pay for happiness if you ask me... (PS - that was supposed to be sarcasm via typing...  I haven't worked on the Upper East Side THAT long, thank you very much!)