Tag Archives: Eclectic Company Theatre

We’re No Heroes Monologue Show

17 Jan We're No Heroes, Eclectic Company Theatre

Eclectic Company TheatreI love starting my year off acting. Like last year I did the One-Day Play extravaganza once again! (See the photo below of me in action.) And it was a blast! This year, I was asked to be a part of Eclectic Company Theatre’s writers group in their monologue show at the end of January. I quickly said yes since I love the director Taylor Ashbrook, and I would be performing a monologue by one of my favorite writers from ECT, Chelsea Sutton. There are 9 monologues total, all written by members of the writers group: Taylor Ashbrook, Laura Lee Bahr, Mark Bate, Niki Blumberg, Jeff Folschinsky, Sean M. Kozma, Ken Patton and Tyler Tanner. The actors (who include a couple of the writers) include: Taylor Ashbrook, Paul Duffy, Fuz Edwards, Sean Kozma, Ann Simmons, Tyler Tanner, Jonathon Trent, Carolyn Wilson. Some of the monologues are from plays they had written and some written especially for the show. There are funny ones, sentimental ones, and a couple that really make you reflect on life.

Eclectic Company Theatre One Day Play

I played Veronica Mars in the first half and then Josephine the Camel in the second half.

It was a fast rehearsal process. We had about 10 days to memorize and work through some blocking and minor tech with only 3 actual rehearsals. The monologues range from less than a page to almost three pages. Mine landed at just over two pages. And while I cursed Chelsea’s name the first few days of memorization (sorry Chelsea, you know I really do love you), I knew it would come because I memorize a play in 12 hours every year on New Year’s Eve, and for this I had 10 days, so no problem!

Actors have to stay active. We can’t rely on getting a TV or film gig every other week to keep us going. So while we wait for those opportunities to come in we “stay in shape” by doing theatre, taking classes, and just getting together with friends and working out our acting muscles. Doing this monologue show has been a lot of fun and it’s exciting to do a whole story in a mere 8 minutes. I really like Marley (my character). She’s my age and is experiencing what most 20-somethings go through as they near the dreaded age of 30: a slight panic of “what the f*&@ am I doing with my life?!”. And while I feel lucky that I don’t work in a fast food joint, I feel her pain (and panic). Chelsea captured that without making it a sad and depressing. It’s a very funny piece and I’m lucky that I’m the girl who gets to bring her to life for the first time.

If you’re in Los Angeles I hope you can join us. There are only 4 performances: Friday and Saturday January 17, 18,  24 and 25 at 9pm at Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91607. It’s Pay What You Can so come by and enjoy a fun night of theatre that you’ll never have the chance to see again! Running time is approximately 65 minutes. And be sure to follow my Instagram account to see photos posted from the event!

We're No Heroes, Eclectic Company Theatre

We’re No Heroes

Belgian Dubbel-Part 2

16 Jan Belgian Dubbel

This is a continuation of a guest post by Timothy Sprague.

About 5 to 7 days later, it’s time to move the fermenting wort from the “primary” fermenter to the “secondary”, which is a 5-gallon glass carboy. You can see the sludge at the top from where it was gurgling and fermenting for the past week. One of the main reasons for moving it to the other container is to filter out this unpleasant leftover goo. Some of it always remains as sediment, which will be filtered out again in the bottling process. Once it’s all in the glass carboy it will continue to ferment a few more days.

beer sludge, beer fermentation

You can see the sludge that is created during the first week of fermentation

Transferring the beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary one, the carboy.

Transferring the beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary one, the carboy.

When the brewer feels it is ready, the prep for bottling begins. Learning when it is ready develops the more you brew. Technically, you are supposed to do a “gravity reading” and bottle when the gravity is at the right level.  Gravity is a measurement of the amount of solids vs. liquid in the beer.  I don’t do it because every time I have in the past, my beer never gets to the right gravity level. I instead wait 10 to 14 days, usually closer to 14. The nice thing with beer is it will continue to get better the longer you wait before you drink it.

The bottles get sanitized before being filled (use a tub or sink of VERY hot water) and in addition I use a 5-liter keg. On this occasion, I was using a new stopper and had a hard time getting it to stay in the top of the keg. My solution was to use a mallet, but that was after having to empty the keg back into the carboy a couple of times. This factored into the final product, in my opinion, which I’ll talk about later. The sugar (3/4 Cup Brewers Sugar)  is boiled with a few tablespoons of water in a saucepan on the stove, which is then poured into the carboy. Then it’s time to fill the keg and bottles.

Adding the boiled brewer's sugar to the beer in the carboy.

Adding the boiled brewer’s sugar to the beer in the carboy.

Bottling the beer in a small keg.

Bottling the beer in a small keg.

The caps get squeezed on to the bottles one at a time. But I primarily use the large hinge-top bottles these days.

bottling beer

Using a handy bottling tool to get the caps on the bottles.

Belgian Dubbel

The finished product in bottles and a small keg.

The photo below was taken about 17 days after bottling. At least 2 weeks is required for carbonation, but it’s best to give it a bit longer. The end result has a nice color and carbonation, but also a strong banana odor that should not be present. At this point, it also had a “diacetyl” flavor, which is a technical term for a mildly unpleasant after-taste. This usually indicates that the beer needs more time in the bottle. My guess is that my somewhat sloppy efforts when bottling may have affected the flavor. Especially since I had to make a couple of attempts at filling the keg and had a bit of an overflow when I added the Brewer’s Sugar. But that’s one of the great things about brewing. If it doesn’t taste right after a few weeks, give it longer and it will most likely improve with age.

Belgian Dubbel

First taste after a couple of weeks.

The taste had improved somewhat by New Year’s Eve, when Sarah and I sampled it after The One Day Play, but still didn’t seem quite ready. Sarah, who is not a beer fan, did like the taste and said it wasn’t as bitter as other beers she’s tried. I am going to let the keg and remaining bottles sit tight until next month’s Poker Tournament fundraiser at The Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village-hope you can join us for a drink!

Sarah and Tim enjoying a glass of Belgian Dubbel on New Year's Eve

Sarah and Tim enjoying a glass of Belgian Dubbel on New Year’s Eve

THE BLIZZARD in Hurricane Season

8 Jul

I’ve been in rehearsals for a one-act festival since the middle of June at The Eclectic Company Theatre in North Hollywood. It’s the same company that I do the 24 Hour Theatre with on New Year’s Eve. Every summer they do a one-act festival called Hurricane Season and this year is the 10th Anniversary and my second time participating in the festival. Two years ago I was in play called “Out Of Order” and played an angel who was more goth than white robes (see picture below). It was a lot of fun and am so excited to be in the festival again. This year they are doing something a little different, instead of each block of plays performing one weekend, each block will perform two weekends which we are all super excited about! There are three plays in each block and three blocks of plays. So if everyone can do math that makes nine plays over six weeks. (Still with me?) Plus at the end there will be a fun awards ceremony that is voted on by audience members throughout the festival. (So you should come and vote for my play! hehehe!)

"Out Of Order" Hurricane Season 2011. Margaret Flynn, Darrell Phillips and me.

“Out Of Order” Hurricane Season 2011. Margaret Flynn, Darrell Phillips and me.

I’m doing “The Blizzard” by Chip Bolcik, directed by Rebecca Hayes. It’s a two person comedy about a couple, Jill and Charlie, who get into quite the argument about the future of their relationship while on an adventure vacation to the North Pole. I play Jill (obviously) and Christopher Poehls plays Charlie. We’ve been having a lot of fun trying to pitch our tent, working a camping stove and discovering how hot it gets when bundled in lots of snow clothes under a bunch of stage lights. We think we’ll lose some weight because of all the sweating we’ll be doing, lol.

The line-up of plays for Hurricane Season 2013

The line-up of plays for Hurricane Season 2013

It’s fun doing a one-act festival. You meet a lot of people, see a lot of different plays, and it’s kind of nice doing a play without a huge time commitment. And in the summer it’s just perfect. These festivals also give playwrights a chance to have their new work done. There’s a little bit of everything: drama, comedy, black comedy, farce-we have it all and if you’re in Los Angeles, I hope you can join us (and vote for us! lol)! My weekend is July 12-21, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are only $15 and can be bought here. Until next time!

New Year’s Eve Acting Extravaganza!

1 Jan

In case you didn’t hear, I performed in a play on New Year’s Eve this year that was written in 12 hours and rehearsed in the following 12 hours. It’s a One Day Play Extravaganza! Yes, I am that crazy, and yes, it was TONS of fun! This was my fourth year participating (and the third year it was a full length play) at Eclectic Company Theatre.

The cast of the One Day Play 2012, Foo-dohk-o-lips!

The cast of the One Day Play 2012, Foo-dohk-o-lips!

I moved to Los Angeles on November 1, 2009. I didn’t have a lot of friends yet so when I saw a post on Actors Access a couple of weeks before New Year’s Eve, I thought, “Why not? I’ll get to act, meet new people and have an interesting New Year’s Eve celebration.” So I submitted and was asked to send in a “casual” photo with a black shirt (ie. my costume). Each writer had to write a ten minute scene for two people. They had to include a random prop (not of their choosing), a random line of dialogue (again, not of their choosing) and two actors drawn at random. Directors were also randomly assigned to each scene. Most of the writers wrote one scene and a couple of them wrote two scenes. The directors also each had a scene and a few had double duty. Our call time was 8am, December 31, 2009. I arrived with coffee in hand, not knowing a single person in the room. I remember sitting in the audience area as people arrived wondering what I had gotten myself into but it was too late to turn back now! Most people seemed to know each other, but there were a few like me, sitting quietly sipping coffee and trying to wake up.

Susan, Dean and me after our long day!

Susan, Dean and me after our long day in 2009/2010!

Everyone was welcomed and scenes were passed out. I was blessed with an amazing scene partner and an awesome director, both of whom I am still good friends with today, Susan and Dean. For the next 12 hours we blocked and rehearsed our scene. Our prop was a can opener and we were roommates on New Year’s Eve (all scenes took place on NYE), I was trying to sleep and Dean was playing super hero with the can opener. It was a lot of fun! So then in 2010 our illustrious leader Kerr messaged me and asked if I would be up for a full length play instead of 10-minute scenes. I definitely had to think about that-memorize and rehearse a 75 minute play in only 12 hours?!?! I had to be crazy to do it, right? Well I am so I said yes, and on December 31, 2010 we did our first full length play, set in an insane asylum for toys. I was a goth angel addicted to meth who was killed then brought back to life and possessed by a demon. Oh you silly writers. It was easy to say yes for 2011 and this time we parodied reality shows. I was part of a writing duo with the fabulous Beth that kept pitching ridiculous shows. I was a complete nerd while she was a knockout; we ended up as lovers by the end of the play. Makes total sense right? This year was no different with the ridiculousness. There was a foodocalpyse on the verge and it had to be stopped! There was also a super-disease that had been created and somehow had to be cured. It was a happy ending (except for Dr. Ween who was the evil mastermind) for all. We get a read through, a blocking rehearsal, a cue to cue and one full run through. And while at 3pm it always seems that we’ll never have a show by 8pm, somehow it always comes together. And the 10pm show just gets better!

I was a toy goth angel addicted to meth (and later possessed by a demon). My favorite year!

I was a toy goth angel addicted to meth (and later possessed by a demon). My favorite year!

2011, the nerdy reality show writer.

2011, the nerdy reality show writer.

I was Micasa Von Pyrex for One Day Play 2012!

I was Micasa Von Pyrex for One Day Play 2012!

After four years of spending my New Year’s Eve with amazing theatre people I don’t think I want to spend it any other way. I’ve played an ordinary girl, a toy goth angel, a nerdy reality show writer, and now a dinnerware obsessed caterer. I’ve made lifelong friends, learned valuable acting lessons, and had a grand old time doing what I love to start off a new year. It’s been said that how you spend your New Year’s Eve is indicative of what the year will bring for you. Can’t wait to see what this year brings for me. So cheers to a great 2013 for all!

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