Saturday, March 27, 2010


In which our Diva has acquired a teenage son

Casting has just been announced for a couple more roles in Raymond Did It, including Alex Smeltzer as my character's son Edgar. I had a great time reading with all the young actors at callbacks, and was very glad I didn't have to choose among them! I remember a couple points of really "clicking" with Alex in our reading, and I'm looking forward to being his onscreen mom. (Even if it is a little weird to suddenly have a teenager the first time I really play a mom!)

It's always exciting when the words on the page get attached to a living, breathing person, and you can really start working on creating the relationship between characters. Especially with Edgar's dad out of the picture in the movie -- just having a face for our kid gives me all kinds of new insights to work with in figuring out who he was and what our lives were before the movie.

Song for Today: "Sink 'n' Swim" by Plumb. I know this is the third song of hers I've plugged, but I've been listening to her a lot lately, and it's just what's in my head today so I thought I'd share.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Drive-by book plug

J.A. Cummings now has book 2 of her "Clans" series available in e-format.

(Full disclosure compels me to point out that this particular author happens to be my college roommate, maid of honor and one of my best buds. This does not make her books any less awesome. It does, however, mean I can testify that she used "clans" before White Wolf did. *g*)

Go forth and read.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Read this. Now.

In which our Diva is blown away on so many levels

Text of Theresa Rebeck Laura Pels Keynote Address (over at Melissa Silverstein's consistently must-read Women and Hollywood blog):

As an aside let me add, I would rather be called a witch than a man hater. Honestly ‘man hater’ really does need to be simply off the table... Someone actually called me that at a party a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to hit him. BUT I DIDN’T. Anyway, if you need to call me a name, the preferred insult would be “witch,” or “madwoman in the attic” is also acceptable.

For the record, I will also happily answer to either of those. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get my hands on every play this woman has ever written.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Cartoon Leprechaun Day!

In which our Diva is at least half kidding about that subject line

I wore my green today, in the form of a nice comfy soft wrap sweater that I barely needed. It's over 60, sunny, and amazing, and I will soon be taking a walk to take advantage of it!

For those at my primary day job, it's also Free Lunch Day. (Benefit of the company being owned by a first-generation Irish-American. We won't talk about the Dublin expat in the office next to mine, and how I sometimes have to check that my mental switch hasn't flipped to the accent that got drilled so successfully into my head for my very first professional play 20 years ago.) In the spirit of the day, and with Solàs on the BigBossLady's laptop, I attempted to teach a coworker sevens & threes and the Gay Gordon (yes, I know it's Scottish, sshhhh!), with hilarious results.

Continuing in that spirit (and speaking of Solàs, to which I once literally danced until I couldn't walk -- barefoot, dirt baseball diamond, live folk festival, blisters over the entire soles of my feet, we shall discuss it no further), I'm going to cheat and turn today's blog over to the incomparable Jean Butler and Colin Dunne in their take on the Graìnne and Diarmuid legend, Dancing on Dangerous Ground. I wish the show had been more successful so I could have seen it live, and I still think that kind of evening-length story ballet is the next logical step in the stepdance-fusion trend that started with Riverdance.

Also, if you'd told teenage me that hardshoe would someday be rendered screen-meltingly sexy, I would have laughed in your face. But, well, guh.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The nose knows

In which our Diva spoke too soon

Want something to blog about? Post that you have nothing to blog about!

Not that I regret the bunny, mind you, but almost no sooner had I made my previous post than the hot-off-the-editing-suite trailer went up on the Facebook page for Tasting the End, the black comedy short in which I play a hospice home-care nurse. Check me out in my stylin' scrubs!

Tasting the End Trailer from Ken Cohen on Vimeo.


In which our Diva is hibernating, sort of

It's been solidly above freezing for several days here in Chicagoland, and only scraps of snow remain on the ground. I can smell spring, and oh, I can't wait. Meanwhile, there have been auditions and a bit of writing and a couple of not-entirely-disastrous cooking experiments, but nothing to really hang a blog on.

Therefore, thanks to a heads-up from an old friend from our Columbus days, I bring you one minute and forty-seven seconds of a baby bunny eating a dandelion.

You're welcome.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A few of my favorite things

In which our Diva has been neglecting her blog again. Bad Diva. No cookie.

Watch: Being Human, the BBC series that sounds like the setup for a joke -- a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost share a pink house in Bristol -- but is in fact one of the more brilliant things to hit my TV in years. Anyone who knows me knows that my favorites list has always included various supernatural dramas, but the main thing that sets this one apart is its intimate scope. No Chosen Ones, no cosmic prophecies, no apocalypse-of-the-week. Just three people who happen to have some extraordinary problems, building their own weird little family. Even when they do inevitably get caught up in larger circumstances, the focus remains on protecting that family. Saving the world is a bit out of their league, just as it is for the rest of us.

Like all good fantasy, it isn't really about monsters. It's about how life is frequently and drastically unfair, but we find ways to make it worthwhile anyway. And how what really matters is looking out for the people we love. The three mid-twenties stars -- Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow, and Aidan Turner -- are individually superb, and collectively a perfect storm of ensemble chemistry. And creator/writer Toby Whithouse (who has written, among other things, the milestone "School Reunion" episode that reintroduced Sarah Jane Smith to the revived Doctor Who) has a knack for defying cliche, and for acknowledging the absurdity in dramatic situations without lessening their impact. For those on this side of the pond, BBC America has already aired the first season, and has announced plans to run the second (which has just finished in the UK) and third (which will be starting production soon).

Eat: It's the time of year again for my two greatest vices: Cadbury's Creme Eggs and Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. I've already stocked up on the former, stashing boxes in odd corners of the freezer to be rediscovered throughout the year. The latter have thus far eluded me. At this rate I'm going to have to start going from grocery store to grocery store until I spot a table of earnest little girls. I need my fix!

Read: Currently I'm in the middle of Derek Parker's lively biography of Nell Gwyn, the most famous mistress of the famously randy Charles II. It's unpretentious, full of all kinds of cool incidentals about Restoration theatre, and generally a very enjoyable read.

Listen: The other day, my mental soundtrack randomly started running Clara and Fabrizio's soaring duet that closes the first act of The Light in the Piazza, so I've been playing the cast album a lot. Still bowled over every time by the heartfelt performances and the utter beauty of the score. Still cry at two or three points every single time. If there's a "the" Broadway composer of this generation, Adam Guettel is probably it.