Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin carvers extraordinaire!

So Dan and I were walking home from my show the other night and outside of Gristedes on 54th, they were selling pumpkins! Yes, pumpkins! I didn't know you could buy pumpkins in the city; I thought you'd have to go out to a pumpkin patch in Long Island or something, but not so!

Dan being the eternal optimist that he is, made the decision to carve out the drama masks pattern that I found online, despite how difficult it looked to achieve.

We didn't have the proper pumpkin carving tools, so we had to use a kitchen knife, which certainly didn't make anything easier. Our lesson learned this year was to be a little more modest in our pumpkin carving goals or to be a little less modest in how much money we shell out on the proper accoutrements.

The final result was pretty, but didn't much resemble what we were going for.

I did make the pumpkin seeds into roasted cajun seeds to snack on, though. Those were delicious!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rolling out the green carpet

I'm not sure exactly what happened. One day, everything was fine in Commerce Bank Land. Blue pens abounded, along with free dog cookies and little red "C" piggy banks.

The next day, I go to make a deposit, and all of a sudden EVERYTHING IS GREEN! No warning...just green. And I have to use a new website to check my accounts online.

I actually really liked Commerce Bank. I hope TD Bank changes very little except for the carpet and the window treatments. Commerce is a relatively new bank, too. I remember just a couple of years ago when they started popping up all over the place around here. I guess it's really true what they say: everything in New York gets torn down before you get a chance to love it. I know I'm paraphrasing someone there, but I can't for the life of me remember who.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A rush of relief!

I remember, not so long ago, a time when native New Yorkers used to make me laugh. 

I'd hear one of them describe how they got anxious every time they left the city and couldn't wait for that moment when they walked back onto its crowded streets.

Well, up until today, I couldn't really relate to that. Sure, I've always loved New York. But feeling anxious in the outside world? That used to seem more than a little silly to me.

Today, however, I finally understood the feeling. 

I made the trek waaaaayyyy out to Long Branch, New Jersey (an hour and a half each way on the New Jersey Transit) to audition for upcoming season at the New Jersey Rep Company.

As I was sitting on the train heading out to the middle of nowhere, New Jersey, I actually experienced a moment of panic. What if i get caught somewhere far from the train and there's no subway to save my ass? What if I can't find a Dunkin' Donuts? What if I never find my way home? What if....? 

When I walked out of Penn Station at the end of the day, I felt a huge rush of relief to be back in my territory. Silly? Yes. Prententious? Maybe. Faked? No.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What recession??

Today I had the great misfortune of being forced into entering Bloomingdale's uptown.

Forced, you ask? Yes, forced. 

Dan got a $50 Bloomie's gift card from work this week and we couldn't find anything for our apartment (besides a single candlestick) that was cheap enough to get and Dan didn't fit into any of the men's clothes there. So he decided to let me get a new strapless bra with the money because I've been desperately wanting to throw out my old dingy one and we could at least afford to get a bra with the card.

So I walked into what is one of my versions of hell (designer-clad daddy's girls abounded) and was able to successfully obtain the much-sought after bra.

What really struck me was the shoe department, though. I couldn't help but take a picture as the aisles and aisles of $1000 designer shoes were being gobbled up by swarms of the wealthy and all I could think of was, what recession??

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adding insult to injury

I've learned to become numb to a lot of crap that actors have to deal with in the few short months that I've been working in New York City. 

It no longer bothers me to be treated as a number at a cattle call audition.

It no longer bothers me that it's pretty much a given that I won't get seen at an EPA.

It no longer bothers me when I have to sit around for an hour waiting to audition because they're running so slow.

It no longer bothers me to get cut off halfway through a scene, pretty much knowing that's it.

It no longer bothers me to be labelled too short, too blonde, too pale, too ugly, too pretty even.

But what I still find particularly insulting is when I go into an audition and give it my all, only to see the same role (followed by "still seeking") posted on Actors Access the next day.

How rude.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Non-cookie cutter cookie cutters

As some of you may know, I have a strong affinity for cookie baking. Since I acquired my own New York-sized (read: tiny, but adequate) kitchen in May, I have successfully conquered eight different cookie recipes.

One of my favorites, though, is the sugar cookie recipe that my mom has been using since I can remember. They're delicious and work for any occasion, provided you have the right cookie cutters and enough frosting/icing/sprinkles to make them festive.

One of the things I realized when I went to go make these cookies, however, is that interesting cookie cutters don't just materialize in your kitchen drawers, sad to say. And on my move-in shopping list, they had somehow been left off. We wound up with bath mats, a mattress, pots and pans, vacuum cleaner bags, etc., but cookie cutters didn't quite make the list. To further complicate matters, I discovered that I didn't even know where to shop for cookie cutters in the anti-suburban/anti-Walmart landscape that is New York City. I even asked a few online forums where to go and I didn't get much in the way of a satisfying answer.

What I found out today is that, like everything else in Manhattan, you shop for cookie cutters at a specialty store. I was walking back to the 8th street/NYU subway stop after rehearsal this morning and I strolled right by a kitchen store that has become my new favorite place to shop.

It's called Broadway Panhandler and it's at 65 East 8th street. Not only does it have nifty kitchen gadgets and cute tea sets, but it has a whole wall of interesting and unique cookie cutters for $1.25 a piece. Check out this selection:

I didn't buy any of the usual cookie cutter suspects, because I'll probably find a pack of 4 Christmas ones at Jack's for a dollar like I did my Halloween ones, but I was able to snag a bunch of cool ones like a wedding dress, a margarita glass, and a teapot. I can't wait to make some cute little sugar cookies for tea now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can I get a side of irony with my glass of wine?

As most of you are probably aware, tonight's debate was hosted by none other than my alma mater, Hofstra University.

Since I was eager to see the debate taking place on a campus so near and dear to my heart, (after my show got out at 10) we ran across the street and sat down at the bar to catch the last half of the action.

The specials included a Georgian red wine, which I was inclined to order simply to get a heaping dose of irony with my debate-watching. I was sitting in a Russian bar drinking Georgian wine and wondering if that whole invasion shenanigan wasn't just about booze.

We also just happened to be sitting next to the costume designer for Disney's "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody," which was cool because we got to pick her brain for a few minutes.

So, all in all, it was a great experience. I walked into the place wanting to scope out a bar named after a Chekov play and catch the end of the debate, and I walked out having enjoyed a $13 glass of irony and some uplifting conversation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A real New York City actress, am I...

Hold on for a second, while I do a little blatant self-promotion:

This weekend (Wednesday through Sunday), I will be starring in a production of "Jekyll & Hyde" at the American Theatre of Actors on 54th street.

This marks my first theatre production since graduating from Hofstra and I am immensely proud.

Here's to a great (if short) run!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Financial Crisis

In a depressing little twist on how bad the money situation has gotten here in the United States, the National Debt Counter that I recently showed you a picture of (Entry: "Dollars and Sense") has made it into national news.

I stumbled across an article today informing the nation that because our debt has increased so exponentially, the counter has run out of spaces and they have now had to get rid of the dollar sign space and use it to add additional digits.

What a great time to be poor recent college grads trying to make it in The Big Apple.

On the other hand, I read an article on Variety Online today that said that film studios are getting ready to go into production on about 40 films for next year, despite the nearly year-long filming stagnation over strike fears. That's the silver lining in all of this, I guess. That, and the fact that at least we're not in Iceland. I feel for you, guys.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Glamour at the New York Times Building

Last night, I was paid to work as an extra for the new NBC show "Kings." We were portraying opera guests and filming in the theatre within the New York Times building (who knew there was one of those?).

We were called in at 3 PM and I didn't get home until nearly 6 AM, so it was a long night, to say the least. It was my first night shoot and I can't say that I was a huge fan.

It was cool to get to be dressed up like a starlet, though. The trickiest part was them trying to find a dress small enough that didn't have the length to fit a real model. They did my hair all up like Audrey Hepburn, which ended up looking a lot better on me than I thought it would.

I can't say that I much like extra work, but it is nice to actually get paid and I love the costumes we get to wear. Being served "lunch" at one o'clock in the morning was a bit, weird, though. 

It will be airing sometime in January...I'll try to remember to remind you all to watch NBC.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spotted on NY Craig's List a few days ago...

This is priceless. What Manhattan home couldn't use a new urinal? I mean, really.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A little something magical

While walking home late one night from some babysitting adventure or another, I found myself walking past one of my favorite New York landmarks: the research branch of the New York Public Library. You know, the one with the big lions out in front (named Patience and Fortitude, interestingly enough). I was disappointed to learn that you can't actually check out books from this branch.

But I wasn't disappointed that night. While walking by, I noticed a solitary silvery shoe sitting all by itself about halfway down the main steps. It immediately reminded me of a fairytale...and though it was probably staged by someone who wanted to get a good laugh, I couldn't help but think that even if it was, I didn't mind a little "magic" in my life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And suddenly, I feel right at home again

Two things today made me feel like NYC is my home even more:

1. I started a 2-week trial membership at NYSC two blocks away and got to run my little heart out on the treadmill and then do a bunch of ab workouts in the weight room.

2. As I was walking to said gym, I noticed that about half of the stores on my street were closed. Did I lose track of the days? I thought to myself. Is is after five? No and no. It's Rosh Hashanah! THAT'S why everything is closed. And here I was just a few days ago almost getting a little sad because I missed the days off we used to get at Hofstra because of Jewish holidays. Awesome.