Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

"Oh, had I but followed the Arts"-William Shakespeare

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bits & Bobs

It's Bits & Bobs time again, overdue, but hey, it's Summer!  Let's see.. on the acting front, I just finished a commercial for our local electric company. It's my second one for them as a hand model (go figure, never saw that one coming). I had an audition for an independent film with Dibacco Films it will be filming next year. I got a call back for October. My fingers are crossed for that. I'm hoping to do some theater in November. Summer is usually slow on the acting front, so I plan to take a trip in late summer to Dublin, Ireland. I will blog while there so stay tuned. I plan to title it.."Doing Dublin". So looking forward to it.

I just finished reading Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs "The Wheel of Darkness' It's the 8th book involving the intriguing, eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast. Even though he is a recurring character, all the novels are stand alone novels. You don't have to read them all to know what's going on, (but why wouldn't you? Seriously!)
Aloysius & his ward Constance have taken themselves away, to a Tibetan monastery to quiet their minds and refresh their spirits with deep meditation. One evening the monks call on Pendergast, they are in dire need of his FBI expertise. They are the guardians & keepers of an ancient object called "The Agozyen" which was sealed in a box & locked in a vault. The vault is checked once a year. Days before Pendergasts' visit the vault was checked  and it was revealed that the box holding the "Agozyen" was missing.
They enlist Pendergast's help to retrieve the object: The obstacle? The monks were forbidden to open the box containing the "Agozyen" so they have no idea what it looks like. So Pendergast must follow the trail of something unseen.  The trail will lead him to the maiden voyage of an oceanliner. The story becomes a hair-raising, bloody, nerve-wracking, cozy mystery with suspects at every turn. As the object reveals itself Pendergast faces his biggest foe...himself.

I am a huge fan of Preston & Child, they are amazing writers. You are entertained and educated with every novel.

I have recently discovered a band, that I have fallen in love with. I first heard them on the soundtrack of a movie and was so struck, that I scrolled the credits to see who they were. They are called SALSA CELTICA. They have blended Salsa & Celtic music into a melange of flavor that just knocked my socks off. They have been on repeat for month on my MP3.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Brave stand, Down Under

My Reel of the week is 1990's "Quigley Down Under " This movie is on  my top fifty favorite movies list, it satisfies on so many levels.  I love Westerns, this fits the bill, even though it takes place in Australia. It's a story full of depth and heart and stars one of my top picks for movie cowboys, Tom Selleck. He plays the title role of Matthew Quigley a sharp shooter from Montana who answers a newspaper ad initiated by ranch owner Elliott Marston (Alan Rickman) Upon his arrival he meets Cora ( played flawlessly, achingly & amazingly by Laura San Giacomo.) a deeply troubled woman who mistakes Quigley for her long lost husband, Roy. She clings to Quigley like another appendage, much to his consternation.
Once Quigley arrives at Marston's ranch, he learns what his sharp shooting skills are needed for: Marston want Quigley to clear his land of the indigenous Aboriginal people who reside on the outer edge of Marston's land.
This goes against everything Quigley believes in, and shakes him to his core. He wastes no words, letting Marston know his feelings on the matter. This makes him public enemy #1, and Cora joins him. She's guilty by association.
They find themselves on the run in the harsh heat and desolation of the Australian outback. trailed by Marston and his ranch hands, determined to eliminate Quigley and cease his meddling in the laws of British rule in the bush. The Aboriginal story is the same horror story told time and time again with Indigenous people all over the world. The movie does give you a sense of the beauty of Aboriginal culture.
Tom Selleck is a scholar at playing the brave, moral, sensitive cowboy. In all his roles, he has an air about him, he is so...dare I say it? Gallant! Yes I said it. That is the most apt word to describe his performances, it comes through in all his acting roles.
"Quigley Down Under" satiates the Western girl in me, even though it's firmly planted Down Under.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Mirror, Mirror on the.....Yeah Whatever"

My Reel of the Week is this year's "Snow White & The Huntsman" The retelling of the brothers Grimm "Snow White". This was a chance to do something fresh and unexpected. They definitely took the tale down a darker road then Disney chose.
We all know the story, so that was no surprise. Kristin Stewart plays the title role. It was a stretch,but she tried her best to rise to the occasion. She did have some good moments, but overall it was mostly lackluster.
Chris Hemsworth was cast as the Huntsman. He did well with what he was given, but hey, he was a lovely sight.
Charlize Theron was the Queen. She was appropriately shrill and evil. Some reviewers questioned  the fact that the mirror on the wall was voiced by a male. I thought it was perfect casting.  Drawing from real life and the role that males play as barometer of self-worth and self-esteem for some women.
The real stars of "Snow White & The Huntsman" were the seven dwarfs and the landscape. Cinematically , "Snow White" was a triumph, it was visually a Smorgasbord. The dwarfs were funny , well fleshed out & endearing.
"Snow White" delivered if you lower your expectations and just soak in the visuals (That includes Mr. Hemsworth). Bask in the landscapes and enjoy the dwarfs.
In retelling the "Snow White" tale , Hollywood was presented with an opportunity to show a multi-cultural view of the oft told tale, but sadly it chose to continue the one dimensional , colorless version.
As an aside saw "Prometheus" today and evidently, their are no women of color in 2089, and Charlize Theron thought she was still the Queen, Oh well, we still have the Lion King .

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bits & Bobs

Time to check in on what I'm tapping my feet to, staying up late with and getting a paycheck for. I just finished filming a commercial for Powerpay. I play a shopper in a La Di Da Boutique. It was short and sweet, fun and I was well paid. I've also just finished my round of auditions for the Summer Theatre season. All that is left is awaiting the results and reaping what ever fruits grow from my labors.
Now onto what was keeping me up nights. I just turned the last page on my latest read. Jeffrey Deavers' "EDGE: Corte is a senior federal protection officer, called on to protect the life of a Washington D.C. police detective who has been targeted by lifter Henry Loving. Corte has run afoul of Loving before. Loving Killed Cortes' partner a few years before. He has made it his business to get into the psyche of Loving. but no plan is perfect. If Corte wants to keep his charge alive, he and his team will have to keep one step ahead of Loving. I literally could not put it down. It was a slick and  taut cat and mouse game. I hate when I am forced to speak out loud, carrying on a conversation with an inanimate object, namely the book I'm reading. Uttering nonsensical statements like, "Oh, my god..don't" or "don't you know...", but there I was , shaking my book trying to knock some sense into it. Jeffrey Deaver is a great story teller. He manages to fully immerse you in the lives of his characters. You find yourself rooting for them and hoping for the best. EDGE is a tale with dozens of twists and turns and a surprise around every corner. Bravo Mr. Deaver!

My Mp3 player is playing the many incarnations of Chris Cornell, "Soundgarden", "Audio Slave" and his solo sountrack work. I love his voice, it floats down over me until I feel it head to toe. He's one of those singers that begs you to listen with your eyes closed, so you can really soak it all in.  Especially songs like : "I am the Highway" and "Black Hole Sun" I've been listening to those songs for years, and they never grow old for me.