Happy Tuesday! If I’d had a brain in my head, I would have realized I couldn’t write a blog the first two days this week and just scheduled the first new blogisode on Wednesday. But alas, I believed myself to be superhuman blogger, so I over scheduled myself.
Would it be fun for me to just do a blow-by-blow of Friday am to the present moment? Let’s go for it.
And in all seriousness, when I tried to think back to Friday, my mind was a blank. But now I think it’s starting to come back to me.
Two work things. Oh wait. Three.
1) I found out that I will (hopefully–nothing is signed–but I have the green light) be blogging for a major company. As the details shake out I will (obviously) be able to tell you more, but I am starting to allow myself to be a teeny bit excited. I am really sorry to start with a cliff hanger, but I promise I will break all the news here first. I will also be able to keep this blog going, so no worries there (or as Rob said, “So now you’re writing two blogs?” Uh. Yeah. No biggie. I love it.)
2) I had a meeting at The Bronx Zoo because I am producing, writing, directing, casting, shining shoes for a brand
new event at The Bronx Zoo–it’s a new musical with puppets called AVENUE ZOO. Here’s what I can tell you. It runs weekends starting April 21st, it runs all spring and (we think) all summer), and it will be (for those of you familiar with the Zoo) in the Asia section at the little stage by the monorail entrance. There is also a snack stand with giant souvenir cups with screw off lion’s heads, so get a refillable coke and a pretzel and come watch the show. I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity, and it is even cooler than I am allowed to tell you just yet, so more breaking news there as well. Again with a cliffhanger.
But really, I was walking through the Zoo and was just like, “pinch me” because I love the Bronx Zoo so much. It’s too much fun.
3) Just to toss in some additional fun, my car completely overheated on the way there, so I pulled in to the meeting with a steaming engine and by the end my (new) boss was helping me pour water and coolant in the car. As I said to her, “Well, now you really know me.” I got the fluids in the car, it was fine, and I raced down to pick up Charlotte and Beatrix (who were with a sitter) and then we all drove to Penn Station to pick up my in-laws who were arriving by train from Greensburg, PA at 5pm. Yes. 5pm in midtown on a Friday. In my formerly steaming car with the kids. BUT–as much as that sounds like a total recipe for disaster, it went beautifully, we pulled up just as they walked out, we loaded them in before any cop could yell at me for loading in a taxi lane, and off we went. Buh-dah-BING.
And then we scored a parking spot right outside of a restaurant called 5 Napkin Burger on 84th street, Rob raced up from his Evita rehearsals and we all managed to spend 45 quality minutes together before he raced off to rehearse show #2 of the day.
3) I took everyone else back to our apartment, got them loaded in, took the car back to the garage, and promptly posted the following status update on my Facebook page:
Who speaks Yiddish? (I’m not kidding)
Allow my to explain why. I got an audition for a very popular television show, which shall remain nameless, and the scene I had to do for the audition was in Yiddish. Allow me to clarify. Not a Yiddish accent–in Yiddish. I said to my agent…..”Um. I don’t speak Yiddish, I’m not Jewish, this is crazy, no way.” He agreed and called to say that I wasn’t coming in, but was told by the casting agent that they really wanted to see me because I have the right look. Allow me to clarify. The right look was “Russian Jew, immigrant, heavyset.” One out of three ain’t bad. I agreed to go in. No time to be offended by the “heavyset” remark when you are dealing with a show this big, was my feeling. Especially since
I haven’t had a lot of big TV auditions. I haven’t ever had a big TV audition. Call me heavyset! Cut me a check!
So the problem on the table is
And here’s reason # 5,623 why I love Facebook and I love this blog.
I got back several responses, but the most intriguing one was from my Facebook friend Amy Toporek posted at 11:02
pm: My parents know enough Yiddish to prob help out…
And then at 11:05 I get this from Vivian Barnett Toporek, not a Facebook friend: I’m Amy’s mom…..what do you need to know how to say?
And we’re off and running. So to cut to the chase, I e-mailed Amy the scenes, and then I suggest maybe making a voice memo on an iPhone or an iPod and emailing the pronunciations to me. Which Amy did with her Mom the very next day, and it was the nicest, greatest thing anyone has done for me in a very long time and made the phrase, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” very poignant this weekend. Vivian (the Mom) talked me through the dialects of Yiddish, and spoke each line with Amy (hilariously) coaching her. Amy is also an actress, and served as director and cruise ship director for the taping. It was a joy to listen to them, and all they wanted in return was a little shout out right here…..on this very blog…..so Vivian and Amy: This blog’s for you. Thank you so, so much.
I told Amy if she ever needed a coaching on how to play a Nun, I’m her gal. I know that crap cold.
I will get to what happened in the audition in a minute.
So. Moving on to Saturday, Charlotte had a scholarship exam at an all-girls’ Catholic School in New Rochelle (the sister school to my high school in Cincinnati), and had to be there at 8:15. So we were up at the crack of dawn and driving her and her two number two pencils to New Rochelle. And then I drove BACK to Manhattan and picked up my in-laws and Beatrix. And then we drove Beatrix to our friend Lisa and Jonathan’s house in Irvington, New York so they could watch her while we attended the scholarship reception in New Rochelle, 25 minutes away. So then we drove to New Rochelle (again. Tired yet? It was only 11:25am at this point and I was ready for bed.) WE went to the reception, had some lunch, picked up Beatrix, said thank you, thank you, thank you to my excellent friends, and then drove back to Manhattan. And we had about an hour and a half to rest.
A babysitter showed up for Beaz, and Dom, Marlene, Charlotte and I piled BACK into the car and drove down to midtown to have dinner and see shows. They were seeing Anything Goes because they have loved Sutton Foster since Rob did Little Women with her on Broadway in 2004? 2005? I’m forgetting. Anyhoo, we’d already seen it, so we arranged to go see Godspell at the same time (I am a TONY voter, so that is why I see a bazillion shows, all for free, if you were wondering. It’s the greatest job ever.)
So I score a rocking parking spot on 8th Avenue and 45th street, send Charlotte and my in-laws in to get dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Kodama, and I sit and wait for the parking to become free at 7pm, congratulating myself for my excellent parking. Until, of course, at 6:50pm, a cop knocks on my window and kicks me out of my glorious parking spot, “Ma’am, this is a no standing zone until after 7pm.” RATS. But, because I refuse to ever, ever pay for parking, I scored an almost as glorious parking spot on 45th and 9th, just beating out a BMW with Connecticut plates (Ha!). I go into dinner, where they have already ordered for me, and we had a great time, with just enough time to spare to race them over to 43rd street between 6th and 7th, and the for Charlotte and I to make a mad dash through Times Square to 50th between 7th and 8th.
As we were walking as fast as my in-laws could humanly handle (in giant Saturday night crowds), my mother-in-law Marlene looked at me and said, “Visiting you is unlike visiting any of our other grandchildren.”
So listen, I’m at 1500 words, and still have a lot to go, so let’s end it here and I will finish up this story tomorrow. Here’s a trailer of coming attractions (bring your popcorn):
1) A major disagreement with a box office guy.
2) A summer trip to an exotic location.
3) My TV audition.
4) The all-night cough.
5) Beatrix’s birthday (and the birthday that almost didn’t happen.)
(To read the continuation of this story, go here.)