17 June, 2016

Day-off Rituals: a List

1. Tea with my [*adorable*] teapot
You know that thing you experience every once in a while where you see a belonging a friend possesses and you quickly become Gollum-level-obssessed with owning it too? You get all “myyyy preeeecioooousssss’ about it and MUST own the thing or you will surely turn into a shriveled up old Hobbit? Yeah. That is exactly how I felt about Lara Pulver’s teapot when I stayed with her in London last September. I saw that she owned, used and loved a perfect PERFECT little teapot and basically I TURNED INTO SMEAGAL. Frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t put it in my luggage but I resisted and simply did the next best thing: I turned it upside down, wrote down all the information, and bought my very own that I now covet beyond all reckoning. I adore both it and the tea it makes.

I use it every morning, but on days off I am able to indulge in it even more.

2. Walking without “purpose”
Nothing clears my head, organized my thoughts, and fills my lungs with goodness better than walking. What began as a family tradition (going on “The Walk” —walking from our front yard, up the hill to Cranbrook Road, around the bend and back again on the border of Birmingham and Beverly Hills, Michigan), is now a way of life. I live in New York City now, which offers better city-walking than almost any other place on earth, but I don’t discriminate—take to the streets and the mind will clear, calm and steady itself. Rain or shine.

Sometimes I walk to music, more often these days to podcasts or audiobooks, sometimes to silence, or simply making myself available to the sounds of the streets themselves.

And there is no time to enjoy walking more than when there is no time table to keep— one can utterly trust their instincts, follow their gut wherever they wish to go, and allow fate to blow you where you “need” to go.

Afterall, I live in New York City! There is always something to take in. But you don't have to live in the city that never sleep to find an adventure. 

3.  Reading
Reading for leisure is a true luxury nowadays, and while I enjoy an audiobook like you cannot believe, there is nothing that can compare to holding a real book in your hands—its weight, feeling each paper page between your fingertips, and the joy of a margin note or the carnal love of the crack of a book’s spine.

So, for a couple hours every day off, I’ll just be over here snuggled up with my cat, reading Anna Karenina, thanks.Speaking of which...

4. Snuggling with Tatiana
...Who wouldn't want to snuggle up with THIS GOOSE?!

5. Calling / connecting with / touching base with close friends
I try to have a meaningful interaction with at least one person on my “apocalypse list.” It doesn't have to be long or particularly meaningful, just a little "Hello, I'm glad you are in the world."

It keeps me grounded and in touch with what matters.

6. Cooking
I like to cook the majority of my own meals, and when you are on an 8-shows-a-week schedule, cooking for yourself can be a real humdinger. Luckily I have a SYSTEM!

The first part of said system is buying a bunch of delicious organic meats and vegetables and things in bulk about twice a year, bagging them up with labels and putting them in my freezer.

Second, on my days off I look ahead at the week to come and pull out a few bags of frozen delights, combine them with a few recently purchased goodies and do a great big cookout (because it takes the same amount of time to cook one chicken breast as it does to cook seven…)

It’s also a great way to relax, invest in your health and well-being, and to listen to lovely music or a good book, all while making magic in my lovely kitchen. Then Ta-DAAA! A week’s worth of delights are ready to go!

7. Writing
Nothing brings me greater creative joy than engaging in creative writing.
Here are a few of my favorites:

The Convict's Wife

Mikhail gazed upon his wife from across the room.

Shura’s assignments often varied according to the wants of the camp. She would attend the hospital ward one day, work the kitchens the next, as many of the wives did. She would cook in vast quantities, clean endlessly. She swept, organized rations, and maintained as reasonable a level of sanitation as possible, often to no avail.

But just now Mikhail caught a flash of the girl he had first encountered. He smiled to himself. How they had kept their guards up! Never had Mikhail felt so strongly for a woman, and it had frightened him.

So many men had encountered her and been intimidated by her passions, by the strength of her will and shrewdness of her mind. She clearly expected him to be the same. Shura was proud and vain, often contrary; but despite her limited knowledge of the world, there burned a flame within her of a kind of universal wisdom.
He was captivated.

In her presence he felt free to not simply recant and debate the academics of his ideals, but to open up his heart and release his overwhelming passion for them. He had been teacher to her little sisters, but truly he learned from her.

Mikhail had known women, oh yes, but here was another kind of creature altogether. She would ask illuminating questions, challenge him with a fire that would ignite him. It was intoxicating. It was real. Once he felt what it meant to love as he knew to love Shura, he was incapable of anything else.

Shura made him feel, even at the height of their arguments, almost indescribably understood. When Shura threw her eyes upon the world she saw what he saw, and he, in turn, shared her visions too.

It was not political. It was human. Their intimacy felt familiar from the very first moment. They would wake, and, despite their bleak surroundings, would wake happy and warm. They spoke of a future filled with fruit trees.  They touched each other’s hands, enfolded in each others' company. Then, they would pour over the newspapers and wonder what their friends were doing now. We shall change the world, they vowed, and we shall do it together. There were no more games, no proud veneers, no wonderings or hesitations. They were clear.

His love for her was a reverence, not a worship.
It was a joy received from her very existence.

    “You taste sweet,” he whispered that evening as he came up for air after making love to her. They were buried beneath a collection of woolen blankets in the dead of the night, silver moonlight reflecting off now thawing river and falling through the threadbare curtains.

Mikhail didn’t cling to, clutch or embrace her. He held her—her long, radiant hair, her crowning beauty, surrounded them in a perfumed blanket. He caught its fragrance and was breathless.

They were in this, together, for a long time to come.

Arlington: a World Premiere Recording

Broadway Records has announced that Arlington: World Premiere Recording will be released digitally and in stores on June 17, 2016. The album is currently available for pre-order at www.BroadwayRecords.com and Amazon.com

Grammy Award nominee Alexandra Silber (currently starring as Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway) stars in this intimate musical, which focuses on a young Army wife trying to keep herself from a nervous breakdown as her husband fights overseas. Written by playwright/novelist Victor Lodato and award-winning composer Polly Pen (Goblin Market, Bed and Sofa), Arlington was originally produced Off-Broadway by the Vineyard Theatre in 2014, about which The New York Times declared "Sarah Jane is flawlessly portrayed by the gifted singer Alexandra Silber," while The New York Observer called the score "melodic and lovely." Now, Broadway Records brings Alexandra and pianist/actor Ben Moss into the studio to commit this stirring musical to disc. The album is produced by Michael Moritz, Jr. and Jeff Berger. This album is made in part by a generous donation from The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund.

"Arlington is, without question, the most challenging and illuminating piece of theatre I have ever had the privilege to be a part of-from the controversial subject matter, to the arresting use of direct address, to the monumental vocal task. From the moment Jack Cummings III asked me to be a part of the original 20-minute version at Premieres in 2012, to the fully-realized Vineyard production in 2014 directed by Carolyn Cantor, it was a thrilling and terrifying challenge from beginning to end. That Sara Jane will now live forever through a recording is beyond my wildest dreams and expectations." -Alexandra Silber

14 June, 2016

Things I've Broken - A List

- Countless glasses
-    and Plates
-    and Mugs
- …a fast
- Concentration
- Some promises

- In, shoes
- I’ve taken a break
- I’ve seen dawn break
- I’ve broken
-    “Through”
-    “Down”
-    and “Out” … all countless times

- My middle finger
- My front door
- The hearts of a few

The Magic Garden, Philadelphia

02 June, 2016

Performing on The Tony Awards

Sometimes in life, an experience is every single thing you hope and dream and pray it will be. This was one of those.


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