Hurrah! At long last, Dominatrix Breakroom is here. Check out episode 1 and be on the look out for the other 5. For more information on the series, check out our official website.
I'm very excited to be appearing in this year's Puzzle Festival. I was a part of the very first Puzzle and it's exciting to watch it grow. The Festival is the 24-29 of June featuring all new pieces. I'm appearing on the 24th at 7 pm in "Going Up" by Robert J. Daria, a one act about 6 strangers who get stuck in a stalled elevator together. Admission is free on the 24th, so if you're not busy, come out to Marble Collegiate Church at 1 West 29th St. and check it out! Here's all the other info. Hope to see you at the Puzzle!
I regularly see people on Facebook and Twitter requesting book suggestions. I like to think of myself not just as a bookworm, but as a well rounded bookworm. (Isn't that a common delusion, though: "well rounded") So, much like my last blog post, I've compiled a list of books you really should read. And because no one trusts a blind recommendation, I've categorized them for your convenience.
If you like feeling like you just got punched in the stomach by a book. On a side note, just go ahead and tack on everything Franzen has written. But do not read it on an e-reader.
If you want to read a book so intelligently written that you feel like you write at a kindergarten level. Much like the previous selection, please, please, please read every Don DeLillo book. And, as you'll see after three of his books, he is so multi-faceted, that if one of his books doesn't strike your fancy, (I don't see how it couldn't) another one surely will.
If you like feeling guilty about being white, or are black and want to feel really proud. Richard Wright can write a story so compelling and emotional that you are a different person after having read his books. Not many authors can do that.
If you like romance. I probably should add, and you like tragedy.
If you like coming of age novels. And also science fiction.
If you like books about dysfunctional families. Also if you like crying.
If you like reading about psychopaths. And possibly, you really enjoy nightmares.
If you like your history mixed with a side of drama. And you like impressing people at parties with trivia.
If you like exclaiming "WHAAAAAT!" while reading. Also if you like awesome things.
If you want to read my favorite book because you think I'm really awesome.
Now get to reading! And remember, you don't have to take my word for it!
As a child, I was very...VERY. I had a shocking amount of empathy. I cried when I learned Abraham Lincoln would not receive the birthday card I made for him because he was deceased. I also cried on our trip to Disneyworld when I told the "Blue" girl she was my favorite and saw the "Yellow" girl had overheard. ("Yellow" attempted to console me by telling me "Blue" was her favorite as well) So it should come as no surprise that I didn't want to hinder Santa's creativity by telling him what I wanted for Christmas. I would always write on my wish list "A surprise". "Santa" overheard me telling some things I wanted to my American Girl doll Molly (whom I thought was alive) or followed my passive-aggressive habit of circling things I liked in catalogues. But these eight items just weren't picked up on.
Item number one: Get In Shape, Girl! Now, what 5 year old doesn't need ripped abs? I envisioned myself wearing my LA Gears, and sweatin' up a storm. Alas, I was stuck to ballet for my fitness routine.
The Snoopy Sno-Cone machine. I could make frosty treats for everyone in my family! (Including Molly) I actually received this as a gift as an adult, but have never used it. 5 year old me would be very disappointed.
Ah, baking cakes in a microwave. With the Easy Bake Oven, dessert would have been a snap. This gift is complicated, because as an 8 year old, I was cast as the face of the Easy Bake Oven. When I showed up to the shoot the conversation went something like this:
Photographer: Hi, Natalie!
Me: Hi! (smiles, showing missing front tooth)
Photographer: Oh, no, we can't use her with a missing tooth. Here, Natalie, have a cookie before you go!
A Jem Doll. She was, after all, Truly Outrageous. (Or, as I thought she sang "Toodly Opageous") Though I was a Barbie girl through and through, I sure did want that Rock Star doll with her awesome pink hair.
I may have been one of the only little girls in the 80's without Jellies. Those little plastic shoes were in the forefront of all my fashion fantasies.
Why I wanted a doll that pooped, I'll never know. I guess I thought I needed a dose of reality in my playtime.
Sure, my Barbies had a mansion and a Cadillac, but they were seriously lacking in summer recreational activities.
In hind sight, I see this doll is really creepy looking. But I was a big fan of the movie, and was pretty sure I needed one of those magical weirdos.
My sister sent me a photo the other day of the three Bird girls at her graduation. I looked ridiculous. I'd describe it, but since a picture's worth 1000 words, I'll just show you.
Now, let me start by saying I was 21, so I can't be held too responsible for the STAR SHAPED BELT?!?! How did someone let me do this? Then again, this was what I was most inspired by, beauty wise.
I suppose it could have been worse. I could have worn hot pink underwear ribbon over my green leather pants, or whatever that is. To be honest, I'm really just thankful I didn't get any tattoos at this very delusional stage in my life. Now somebody tell that confused 21 year old she looks nothing like Britney Spears.
I was in the Flatiron district for an audition and had some time to kill, so I wandered around Union Square park for a while before going down to the train. A man approached me:
Man: You've been following me for quite some time.
Me: Oh (laughs awkwardly)
Man: I don't take kindly to stalkers.
Me: Ok. (starts walking further down the train platform)
Man: Just kidding, you're really pretty.
Me: (walking further away)
Man: I LIKE THAT YOU STALK ME!
A couple hours later I came out of a screening in midtown (Middle of Nowhere, you should see it) A woman approaches me at a traffic light:
Woman: Where did you get your bag?
Me: My purse?
Woman: No, your Beatles bag (a tote bag with the Abbey Road cover on it)
Me: Oh, it was a gift, I'm not sure where it's from.
Woman: Because I love the Beatles.
Me: Yeah, me too.
Woman: I really love them.
Woman: So, where do you live?
Me: Um. Astoria.
Woman: Cool, you headed there now?
Me: (walking quickly away)
I was making my infamous spaghetti and vegetarian meat balls when I realized I was out of olive oil. One of the many wonderful things about NYC is the bodega. Populating nearly every street corner, they have everything from olive oil, to deli sandwiches, to beer. I encountered someone purchasing beer.
Drunk Guy: (seeing we're both in the tiny aisle he's trying to leave) Oh no.
Me: It's ok, go through. (stepping back to give him passing room)
Drunk Guy: Are you a dog lover?
Me: Am I a dog lover?
Drunk Guy: I'm sorry. I'm sorry! You're too pretty to deserve that! Forget I said anything.
Me: (confused gets in line behind him to pay)
Drunk Guy: No, you go ahead of me, I'm just a drunk guy, ignore me. I'm sorry!
Me: (paying the girl at the counter)
Drunk Guy: I've been drinking all day. I'm sorry. You're too pretty for that. I'm sorry!
I'm really confused. Am I out of the loop, or is dog lover some type of slang? Maybe I don't want to know...
It's an odd thing, the EPA. (Equity Principal Audition, for those of you not versed in the lingo) Because actors are numerous and opportunities few, the line fills up rather quickly. As a result, if you want to audition at a specific time, you have to get there early. As in, two hours before the call early. Which leaves you with two or more hours to contemplate all your life decisions (as one does early in the morning) on the sidewalk. Alternating between awkwardly leaning on the cement wall and sitting on the free AM New York paper on the ground, I encountered a lot of interesting people. There are, of course, the other actors in line, but also the homeless, the scattered drunks still out and about from a night of debauchery and the confused 9 to 5ers wondering what a little blonde lady is doing slumped on the sidewalk with a backpack the size of her entire body. Here are some of the more memorable conversations (awkward of course) I had with them.
Drunken guy: oh hi.
Me: (ignoring him on my phone)
Drunken guy: What did we do before phones, right? No one had little buttons to push. (Looks over my shoulder) What are you doing, Facebook?
Me: (polite but awkward laugh that says leave me alone)
Drunken guy: You are out late, huh?
Me: No, up early. We're waiting for an audition.
Drunken guy: Well you are going to book the job for sure. You want a coffee? I'm buying.
Me: No thanks.
A girl waiting next to me had a Tinkerbell bag. A homeless woman approaches her.
Homeless woman: Woohoo! That is a great bag!
Girl: Oh, thanks. It was a gift.
Homeless woman: (Bending down closer) What is she? She got wings?
Girl: It's Tinkerbell.
Homeless woman: That b&*$h stole my wings! (Gets in her face) Give me back my mother*$#@ing wings!! (slowly saunters away)
And my personal favorite.
Homeless man: B&%$h, why your feet wrapped up like that?
Me: (ignoring him)
Homeless man: Look at me!!
Me: (Looks up)
Homeless man: Those are some crazy feet. Why are they wrapped up like that? Walks away, muttering to himself about my feet. (photo of the foot "wrapping" below)