I'm back-- and I bring auditions with me!

Hi, LJ-land! I know, it's been quite a while since you've heard from me (unless you're also on my Facebook, where I apparently can't shut up...), but you see, I've been a busy little bee getting up to all kinds of fun trouble as usual.

Today I share with you details of auditions for-- drumroll please-- the Capital Fringe Festival show I am co-developing with two other fabulous powerhouse women! I am totally stoked to be going to Fringe again (we're definitely in!) and even more excited to be part of creating something totally new and totally me-- a multimedia history of burlesque, entitled Cupcake Cabaret: A Brief History of Bad Women.

Even if you're not local to DC, not a performer of any kind, or not directly involved in the burlesque scene, please share and pass on to anyone you think might be interested in EITHER auditioning, or attending the auditions as audience. Read on for more!

*MWAH* and love to you all...


Are you a burlesque performer in the Washington, DC metro area interested in engaging new audiences? Are you a student or fan of burlesque who's been dying to actually get up on stage and turn that dream into a reality?

Here, fabulous friends, is a great opportunity for you!

Cupcake Cabaret: A Brief History of Bad Women is a new stage show being created by 4&9 Productions in partnership with The Soundry for the Capital Fringe Festival this summer. It'll be a multimedia history of burlesque, with actual burlesque numbers woven into a story about sisterhood and highlighted with archival footage and photography. We have already been accepted and will receive our performance dates/venue notification in March. (Performances will be in DC between July 12th and 29th.) We are currently auditioning for the show...but our auditions are just a little different than most.

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Questions? Comment here or feel free to PM me. Hope to see you there!
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Night of Joy! A Benefit Celebration for Jaqui MacMillan

I know a lot of you don't know who Jaqui MacMillan is. If you will indulge me for a moment, I would like to tell you a bit about her.

Jaqui is a musician, a master drummer, and a beloved drum teacher within the Pagan community and without. She drums with KIVA. She makes her living this way, and she shares her considerable gifts far and wide; she's worked in hospitals, battered women's shelters, prisons. She is also a radiant person who is kind to everyone-- the sort of person that the instant you meet her, she puts you at your ease and makes you feel like a longtime friend. Her smile lights up the room.

She is also among the many Americans who, in trying to carve out a living as an independent artist, cannot afford health insurance. Recently, she was diagnosed with a large tumor requiring immediate surgery. She got through the surgery fine and thankfully, the tumor is benign. However, her costs for the surgery and recovery total about $35,000. Fundraising efforts so far have provided her with about a third of that.

When I heard about it, I immediately thought, "I could do something to help her." And then Kelly Brooks, organizer extraordinaire of Fires of Venus among other things, got in touch with me to partner with me, and several other wonderful, generous folks signed on to help plan. And what was born was Night of Joy! A Benefit Celebration for Jaqui MacMillan.

It's on Saturday, December 10th, from 6-10 PM at the 2640 Space, a gorgeous artists' co-op in an old church on St. Paul Street in Baltimore. Tickets are $50 and $25 of that is tax-deductible thanks to our nonprofit trustee partner, drumSTRONG. It'll be a catered dinner with DJ, dancing, drum jam, silent auction, video booth, entertainment, and lots of shenanigans!

Obviously, I'd love for you-- yes, you!-- to attend. If you can't, but you want to help Jaqui out, our ticket sales page includes an option to make an "I'll be there in spirit" donation which is fully tax-deductible. And if you have friends in the Baltimore region, or who are part of the indie music, drum circle, or Pagan communities, please spread the word. I'm leaving this post public so it can be shared.

So if you don't know Jaqui, why might you want to attend?

1) Send a message to the world that we value our independent artists and the people who choose the path that offers little traditional stability, in order to do what they were really put in this world to do. You don't have to be Pagan or a music person or part of any particular crowd in order to believe in this.

2) It's a night out in December that isn't holiday-themed, so you can be joyful and rowdy regardless of what you do or don't celebrate at this time of the year.

3) You can wear whatever you want. All those colorful costumey things, or the garb you love dearly, or the hot outfit you never have enough chances to wear? Wear it here. Be eye candy and enjoy the wild variety of eye candy around you.

4) How often do you go to an event where you can bribe people to do crazy stuff on your behalf? Well, you can do that here!

5) If you like to drum or you like to attend drum circles, it's a chance to enjoy a great drum jam in the cold months, when these things tend to be pretty scarce. Bring your glow toys!

6) Need a gift for someone, or want to treat yourself? Check out the amazing array of stuff that deboranter and velvet_c and others have collected for the silent auction! You could get a great gift at a great price.

7) Meet new, awesome people! Know how at most events everyone tends to cluster up with their friends and it's hard to break the ice? Well, here it'll be way more interactive. People will be going out of their way to draw you into the fun.

8) When was the last time you treated yourself to a special night out, where you got dressed up and danced your butt off and it was really an occasion? Something that isn't work-related, where you can let your hair down and be silly and creative and not have to be all professional-networky and on your best behavior? Give yourself an experience. You deserve it.

Spread the word! I hope we'll see you there!
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My Power

Writer's Block: It's payday!

What would you do if you had a million dollars?

I prefer to think of it as WHEN I have a million dollars. =)

Right now? I'd buy a car and give the Cruiser to Random as per the original plan. No-- TWO cars. The sturdy, lightly-used Forester, and the foxy Camaro I miss driving so much.

I'm not going to blah-blah about all the tax etc details-- take it as read.

I'd want to earmark a big chunk towards buying land and building my intentional community in the Hudson Valley. I'd want to put some funds towards travel. I'd want to use a chunk-- probably not even that big a chunk-- as seed funds to make some awesome events and creative projects happen.

Most importantly I'd want to set things up somehow so that I would receive or withdraw about $40k per year for however long I could. That would be enough to take care of my living expenses plus some extra, and therefore I could decide when I felt like working, when I felt like not working, and when I felt like taking a big bold risk, and I wouldn't have to worry about whether I could survive. Going to dance class and working with a voice coach could be my day job and I'd be pretty ok with that.

But I'd take about a month to just spoil myself like mad. Eat at great restaurants, see shows, get an oceanfront room for a week, buy a few shiny gadgets, do a few spa days with all the trimmings, replenish my wardrobe, and go on the mother of all shoe-shopping expeditions. Still to discount places, but yanno. I might, however, drop a mint on a fine pair of Louboutins because, sexy and also I have never spent that much money on an item of clothing in my life. Yep, this would be my month of shallowness and I am not ashamed to say so.
Going Places

Writer's Block: Time to move on

If you had to relocate to another city, what would you miss most about the place you're leaving behind.

Well, I *am* going to relocate in the next few years, up to the Hudson Valley, so I've thought about this very question quite a lot.

Hands down, I'll miss the people the most. I have a community and many networks here, full of wonderful people whom I love deeply or at least am extremely fond of. And actually there's even the people I don't *know* per se but who are part of my life here-- the vendors at the farmer's markets and the clerks at stores and waiters at restaurants, where we don't even know each others' names in some cases but there's always a friendly hello.

I'll miss summers here-- the Reston farmers market, the U-pick at Great Country Farms, Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods at WT, all the WT concerts, Screen on the Green, opera dress rehearsals, Capital Fringe...summers in the DC area are really pretty magnificent.

I'll miss museums that are actually free.

I'll miss the quirky stuff. Artomatic (if it ever happens again), the Peeps diorama contest, Fringe, AVAM, BOUND, Obscura, the Crucible, the Drunkhouse, the Red Palace, being in the home of the 48HFP. I love that DC has this veneer of boring that underneath is teeming with freaks and nerds and subversive artists and free spirits. I love catching glimpses of license plates or bumper stickers that are geek/nerd/freak shibboleths and knowing that Hey, Those Are My People.

I'll miss the Rudes. =( And I'll miss the DC theater scene for its incredibly rich nonprofessional theater scene and its very very fuzzy line between professional and nonprofessional theater. It's a wonderful place to build a performing career, in that sense.

I'll miss being so close to the nation's capital. It is, admittedly, pretty cool to be so close to the inner workings of the country and so many famous buildings and locations.

I'll be sad to have so many more miles between me and Virginia Beach, which is one of my favorite places in the world so far.

I'll miss the beauty around here. For all its planned communities and strip malls, northern VA is really extraordinarily lovely and green. I love the changes of the seasons here, and I even have a little teeny fondness for the way everyone goes batshit insane the instant there's even a hint of snow.

It's still very scary to think of leaving and it makes me really sad to think of not having all these things around me every day, but I felt the same way when I moved out of Manhattan and I know that it won't take me long to start putting down roots in the Hudson Valley when I get there. It's a fear of change, and the sadness of knowing that a big chapter of my life will be closing at that point. But NY has always been my ultimate home, and I never planned to be away from it for so long. It's where I want to settle for the rest of my life, the place where I will finally-- eventually-- have the house and land that I plan to stay on for good, where I no longer have this sense of being in transit, unsettled. But ideally, it's also a home base from which I can travel to see the people and places I miss.

OK. Enough wistfulness-- time to get back to packing.
Music Faerie

More CDs-- Less Obscure

I've got some more CDs I'm parting with-- these are much more mainstream, but I figured I'd list them here anyway, since I'm shipping other stuff to people.

Same deal-- I would like to get a couple bucks for these, and if you aren't local, I would ask that you cover shipping. But if you're really interested and really broke, talk to me anyway.

Louis Armstrong - "All Time Greatest Hits"

4 Non Blondes - "Bigger, Better, Faster, More!"

Barenaked Ladies - "Stunt" (unopened-- we got two one year for Xmas)

Vivaldi - "Greatest Hits" (the Four Seasons)

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "Interview with a Vampire"

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "Frankenstein" (Branagh version)

Beethoven - Romances # 1&2, Moonlight Sonata, Waldstein, Pathetique

Blues Traveler - "Four"

Alanis Morissette - "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie"

Harry Connick Jr - "When Harry Met Sally"


Bjork - "Post"

Cherry Poppin' Daddies - "Rapid City Muscle Car"

Five for Fighting - "America Town"

Rachmaninov/Philadelphia Orchestra - The Bells/3 Russian Songs

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "Immortal Beloved"

Ministry - I have no idea what this title is supposed to be but it looks like "KEIANHOO"

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "The World Is Not Enough"

South Park - "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics"

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "Braveheart"

Alanis Morissette - "Jagged Little Pill"

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "Evita"

South Park: "Chef Aid: The South Park Album"

Music from the Motion Picture "Pulp Fiction"

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

Motion Picture Soundtrack - "The Wedding Singer"

Prokofiev - Symphony No. 5, The Meeting of the Volga and the Don
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    productive productive
Music Faerie

Remaining CDs from Purge

These CDs are still up for grabs. Per my last post, I would like to get a couple bucks for each plus shipping if you're not local, but if you are really interested in something and also short on cash, talk to me. I'd rather make a gift of something and have it go to a good home than to just dump it at Goodwill where chances are it will never be purchased, my eclectic musical tastes being what they are.

Zingaia – “Soles on Earth”

Elizabeth Patterson – “Pengalleon” (Celtic, flute I think)

Shanon – “Celtic Classics”

Coheed & Cambria – “Live at La Zona Rosa”

Gitane DeMone – “Life in Death ’85-‘89” (goth/torch)

Hungry Lucy – “Apparitions” (goth)

Mory Kante – “Akwaba Beach” (African, upbeat)

Kronos Quartet – “Henryk Gorecki: Already It Is Dusk and Quasi una Fantasia”

Sky Cries Mary – “Fresh Fruits for the Liberation” (alternative)

Everyone who's asked for other titles, I will try to get them shipped by the end of the week. akrissy, I have yours set aside and will hook up with you when you get back from vacation because I failed to ping you last night or tonight.
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Music Faerie

CD Purge

So, I'm being hellaciously productive today, clearing all kinds of stuff out of the house via Freecycle and listing stuff on eBay and such the like. Yay productivity!

Among the items to be purged is a whole bunch of CDs that are too obscure or eclectic for the tastes of the used book store (which also sells used DVDs and CDs but whatever) and that aren't really worth the trouble to list on eBay. I can give them to Goodwill if no one else wants them, but considering that some of y'all share my strange and adventurous musical tastes, I thought I would post them first and see if anyone was interested.

If you're local, I can set them aside to give to you in person. If you're at a distance, I am happy to mail.

All CDs are in good condition with all the original inserts. I'd love to get a buck or two for them, but if you're really interested and really strapped for cash, I will gift them. And again, I'd like to be reimbursed for shipping cost if you want the jewel case too (shipping for that comes to probably $2), but if you want just the CD/inserts in a sleeve and/or you're really strapped, let's talk-- I would mostly like to see these go to people who want them.

Zingaia – “Soles on Earth”

Elizabeth Patterson – “Pengalleon” (Celtic, flute I think)

Irish Pub Songs

Shanon – “Celtic Classics”

Coheed & Cambria – “Live at La Zona Rosa”

Gitane DeMone – “Life in Death ’85-‘89”

Anthony Stewart Head – “Music for Elevators”

Original Cast Recording, “Sherlock Holmes” (yes, this was a musical, by Leslie Bricusse)

Wendy Carlos – “Tales of Heaven & Hell”

Hungry Lucy – “Apparitions”

Jai Uttal – “Music for Yoga and Other Joys”

“Prophecy” (a collection of Native American music)

Global Collective – “Red Sands Dreaming”

Motion Picture Soundtrack, “The Last Mohican” (case is cracked but music is awesome!)

John Richardson – “Celtic Drums”

Masters of Classical Music – Mozart

“Dancing on Your Grave” (a goth compilation from Cleopatra Records)

The Louisville Orchestra – “Two American Ballets” (The Cakewalk Ballet & the Incredible Flutist)

Mory Kante – “Akwaba Beach”

Basia – “London Warsaw New York” (contemporary jazz)

T. Thorn Coyle – “Give Us A Kiss!"

“Cajun Vol. I – Abbeville Breakdown”

Kronos Quartet – “Henryk Gorecki: Already It Is Dusk and Quasi una Fantasia”

Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble – “Hot & Sweet Sounds of Lost New Orleans”

Bix Beiderbacke – “The Ultimate Collection” (30’s era jazz trumpet)

Brent Lewis – “Earth Tribe Rhythms” (pretty awesome drumming)

Sky Cries Mary – “Fresh Fruits for the Liberation”

ETA: Strikethrough items have been claimed!
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    productive productive

Writer's Block: Teenage dream

If you arrived at your front door and saw your first love standing there, what would you do or say?

I'd be surprised if I recognized him. The last time I saw him, I was 7 and he was 9.

It was a sweet little summer puppy love. My family went to a bungalow colony in the Catskills every summer, one owned by friends of my grandparents. We would go for two weeks and have wonderful outdoor time in the fresh mountain air. I think it's the campfire that everyone would sit around for hours every night that set me on the path to my intense love of fire circles now.

Anyway, that summer there was a new family there for the first week of our stay, and they had two little boys, ages 7 and 9. The older son and I were "boyfriend and girlfriend" within two hours of my arrival; I can still so clearly remember my family unloading the car and greeting our friends when I looked up and saw this little blond boy standing by another cabin and staring at me. He came up to introduce himself after we were unpacked and I'd gone outside to walk around, and we stood out there for who-knows-how-long, talking and talking, even when it started to rain on us. To the extent that I believe in love at first sight-- of which I am somewhat skeptical in my pragmatic old age-- I believe it happened then.

We were inseparable for that week. We'd go for long walks to explore "dangerous" places in the woods, or down along the quiet road, where he'd pick me huge bouquets of wild tiger lilies (insisting as he did that "it's the man's job to pick flowers for the lady" if I tried to help); every morning my mother would open the cabin's front door and find him with his face pressed up against the screen, looking for me. He got jealous one day when I played too long with his younger brother, until I exasperatedly explained to him, "I LIKE Sam but I LOVE you!"

When his family left, we cried. He gave me my first kiss...an innocent little peck on the lips, shyly ventured on one of our walks. I remember that year I had a wholly unreasonable terror of quicksand, which I had never encountered yet was deathly afraid existed in the woods we explored. He coaxed me on to keep exploring and having adventures, solemnly promising that if I should fall into quicksand, he would risk his life to save me. That made me feel safe enough to venture on. In retrospect, I think it was sweet that he took my weird fears seriously and didn't laugh at me.

I only talked to him once after that week, four years later. We promised to write and call each other but of course we never did.

I'm sort of torn on the notion of seeing him now that we're adults. On the one hand, I kind of think it's better to preserve that perfect little memory as it is, a lovely fairy tale that's part of my personal mythology. I kind of wouldn't want that muddied by seeing who we've become and finding out all kinds of mundane things about each other. On the other hand, I've always been curious how he turned out, what he's like, if he remembers that summer as fondly as I do. And I'd enjoy having the chance to thank him for casting the mold of my preferences and expectations in romance...that tone was set very early, and is one of the key reasons why I've always expected to date sweet, gentle, emotionally expressive men with a sense of valor who treated me like a queen. He deserves to be thanked for teaching me at such an early age that genuinely *good* men are totally hot. =)

I admit I've Googled his name from time to time, but it's just common enough that I've never found anyone I could be certain was him. So I guess if he showed up on my doorstep, once I got over the shock, I'd laugh and say, "Well, clearly the Universe decided it was time for our paths to cross again. Come on in, we've got a lot of catching up to do."
Diva lips



When Random is settled at work, and I am done with an errand or two and back home, I am so going back to bed.

Didn't get home till 5:30 this morning. SO WORTH IT. Obscura was AWESOME yo. Small posse-- just four of us-- but we had a blast, hit the Broadway Diner after we shut down the club, and it was so so so much fun.

Obscura is highly recommended. Great music, great cross-section of gothiness, and it was big enough to be totally fun but not so crowded that you couldn't dance or move around. Lots of eye candy. Bartender was the coolest. I was not inside two minutes before I started making friends-- it was that kind of vibe, you could just start talking to people and everyone was chill. They even gave out music samplers, just CDs written on in Sharpie and somehow that homegrown look did my little heart good. swandust-- who looked like a regal Goth empress, totally gorgeous-- and her crew did a fantastic job and I think everyone who has a lil' goth in them should check it out. Club Orpheus, second Fridays. Do it. (Sad that BOUND DC is always going to be the same night. But C and I did not get nearly the friendly vibe that I experienced at Obscura last night.)

I totally needed that. I must order my life so that it is easier for me to more regularly be out playing until the wee hours...I feel most myself when I do.
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Business Pinup

Writer's Block: The winning ticket

What would be your first purchase if you won the lottery?

My freedom-- mainly from the 9-to-5. I'd probably work at least as hard as ever, if not harder, but I would never get up before 10 AM or park my ass at a desk at someone else's behest ever again.

And geographic freedom. I'm not gypsy enough to not maintain a home base, so were the concern about how to financially maintain such a base effectively removed, it would be a lot more realistic to traipse all over the world to my heart's content.