Sunday, June 2, 2013


Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi...Malaysia.  Exciting!  I don't really have the words to describe how interesting these places have been.  Mom and I have had some definite adventures to talk about when we return, but overall, it has been the trip of a lifetime.

Today we were in Langkawi, which is a small island in Malaysia.  We went on a tour from the ship to a place called "Underwater World" (no Kevin Costner, thank goodness), as well as a museum dedicated to the life of a woman named Mashuri.  She was killed because of a vicious rumour spread about her infidelity to her husband.  Strange how the past few days I have been sleepless yet again over the whole Wakefield thing.  It reverberates through time, I guess.

Shows are going well.  Though we have only done three of the five so far.  Only two more to go.

Highlights of the trip so far have been visiting "KL" aka Kuala Lumpur.  I got lost, took tons of photos, got mixed up in the local transportation, and loved every minute of it.  I would definitely go back.  Not too keen on Singapore, but from what i understand, my experience there was not typical, and I missed out on a lot of the more interesting things to see and do.  Shoulda stuck to my guns and gone out without a tour.

So now we are en route to India.  Mumbai, to be exact.  I am kind of excited to be going, though I don't think Mom is too thrilled about it.  This time around, I get to go ashore, and she has to stay on board, though.  When we were in China, she and Dad got to go while I stayed aboard.  Fair exchange, I think.

I do miss Dad, though.  And the kitties.

I have posted photos on my facebook page, and I hope to get some of Spinky's stuff up there as well.

Running out of time on this internet card, so more later!


Friday, May 24, 2013

I can show you the world

Shining, shimmering, splendid...

So the World Cruise has started, and let me tell you, what an adventure it is!  The crowd is...well... interesting.  To be honest, I have yet to meet a more rude and offensive bunch of people.  Nothing against the Aussies, as I do have several of them whom I adore completely, but this group is most annoying.  They think they are so entitled, and are so stuffy, it makes my blood boil.

In other news, Mom and I have not killed each other yet.  She has moved cabins three times already, and has now settled into my cabin as well.  Settled=taken over.  It is cramped, but we are getting along.  Together we almost caused an international incident, when she forgot to go through immigration in Sydney, although she did and they forgot to take one of her forms... ah, life is so exciting.

Shows are going well.  I'll be honest, it is nice having Mom out there to perform for.  She is always smiling, and the other kids in the cast enjoy her company as well.

Attached I hope are some pics for your enjoyment... they may be repeats from my Facebook page, but enjoy anyway.  These are from the first leg of our journey, from Hawaii to Brisbane.

Okay, it's not working... I'll try again later.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New ship, old friends

Hello, all!  I am on board the Sea Princess, en route to Hawaii and the South Pacific!  My trip to Australia was full of drama, starting with a 13 hour delay.  Have no fear, the airline put us up in a hotel for the night, so I slept well.  The following day, the flight was nice.  It went quickly, and I was able to catch up on some movie time.  Watched Silver Lining Playbook, or something like that, to see what all the hype was about with the Hunger Games chick winning the Academy Award.  Still trying to figure that one out.  I guess if you put the two roles side by side, there is some acting happening there.  But still...  huh?

So here I am on board.  It seems like I never left.  The ship is actually quite beautiful compared to the other two I was on, which is a nice change.  Of course, there is no consistency with the Princess rules and regulations, so it will be frustrating again to see what i can and cannot do.  Already, I have been excluded from the regular freebies like a bottle of water... no big deal, just frustrating.  I also don't have a bar account, again no big deal, just frustrating.

And then the big news... Mom and I have been planning on her coming to Hawaii to join the ship since February, and I went through major drama trying to get the paperwork in to get her on board.  I heard from someone in the main office that the paperwork was "pending" which means the paperwork was there, it just had to be approved.  Of course, now that I am on board, I asked yet again to find out the status, as Mom comes on in 11 days... and they play dumb.  They are saying they never got the paperwork.  Geez.  I have emails saying otherwise, folks.  The ol' "We are accountable." rule for Princess seems to count for everyone ELSE but the people who are actually accountable, right?

Frustrating.  So I have no idea what to tell the folks.  As far as I am concerned, Mom should still come.  They have the paperwork, and though it has not been approved yet, there is no reason why it wouldn't be.  It makes me mad.  Thanks, Ophelia.  This is your fault for not returning my calls way back in March when I still had time to do this crap.

I have words to learn.  Lots.

Costume fittings went well today.  Everything fits, more or less.  No having to let things out, thankfully.  I lost enough weight that I fit into all the costumes!  Whoo hoo!  Now to keep it off.  Should not be a problem, as the food here is way below what I expected.  Anyhow.   More later.  I have to get some sleep.  Second day of four that clocks go forward.  Yuck.

Oh, I forgot to tell you all... my grannie groupies are on board, too... Jeanne and Belinda.  They found me wandering the Horizon Court trying to find a place to sit and eat this afternoon...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Post-Mouse debrief

So, Disney was a huge success.  Had a blast.  Saw a couple of shows, and amazing fireworks display, some pretty cool butterflies, Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto... plus some pretty okay food, and spent about a hundred dollars, too.

I am going to post more about Spinky's adventures on Space Mountain, and a couple of the other roller coasters, and the disappointment he had with the new Little Mermaid ride  (He thought that Prince Eric was ugly).  More on that later.  Gotta run to the post office and get some stuff in the mail before boarding the truck and heading to the airport...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Epcot here we come!!

Presentation is over.  The shows are learned.  Well, they have been TAUGHT.  I can't honestly say that I have learned them all yet.  I still have tons of words to memorize.

More on that later.  So my latest quandary was to decide whether or not to attend the Disney Parks today.   I have a lot of laundry to do, had food to get rid of, i.e. eat, and packing yet to do.  Taking an entire day at Disney seemed like a crazy idea.  I also have yet to finish a project that I started for a friend several months ago.  She is in Tampa, so it was supposed to be done while I was here, just across the state.

Anyhow, I finally put everything in perspective, and decided to go.  It is the International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, and the last time I was in Epcot was when they first opened, I think in 1982 or something like that.  Who knows when I will be back, so Spinky and I are gonna go meet the mouse.

I took care of the Tampa project online and had it shipped to Lauren, I gave my extra food away to a family in the motel, and I got the letters written and envelopes addressed to the folks that needed them.  I don't fly until later in the afternoon on Friday, so I can get my check cashed before I leave, and if I get up at the butt-crack of dawn, I may even get the laundry done!

I am hoping that I can get some awesome photos taken to see if my creative eye is still attached.  I feel like since being home, I have not taken any good photos, nor have had the inspiration to do so.  Besides, Spinky deserves to see the world according to the world of cartoon characters.

Ah well.  I gotta be up early tomorrow, so I will keep this one short.

The presentation was awesome.  Not much more really to say.  I remembered the words to almost everything!  Hey Mambo is giving me issues.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Whatever happened to...?

Remember the days when going to a book sale was about the books and what they were about?  Gone.  All gone.  Those days are HISTORY.

I am in Cocoa, Florida these days rehearsing for the World Cruise 2013 on the Sea Princess.  There is a library across the street from the motel (yes, MO-tel) we are staying in.  This is the big weekend of their book sale.  Of course, being the book geek that I am (thank you, Grama Katona), I decided to become a friend of the library ($5.00) and go to the special members only preview sale the day before it opens to the general public.

What a new world I entered.  I guess this being South Florida, there are many die-hard book fans.  There was a line to get in.  Go figure!  Well, this was cool, as I waited for an hour.  I got off rehearsal early, and went to the library to get some solitude from my stress.

Apparently, people don't give a damn about books any more.  As I sat there chatting with some of the locals, they were talking about their scanners and stuff.  I told them I felt like I was an alien because I had no idea what they were talking about.  They told me that they go to book sales and garage sales and flea markets all around the southeast, and they have these scanners to see what value items have.  I thought, oh cool, okay, and that would be it.

So then the doors open to the sale.  Mass panic.  These folks didn't even bother to look at the book titles.  They were looking at the ISBN numbers to see what the book is worth for resale value.  This sucks, I thought.  I'd like to buy some books to READ, not to look at the ISBN number.  This lady was checking out the CD's and DVD's where I was, and literally, all she was doing was scanning the number and then either putting the item in her bag or replacing it.  I felt so cheated.  I was looking to maybe pick up a cheap soundtrack or cast recording to actually LISTEN to, and here she is, scanning and placing, scanning and placing.  Sheesh!!  What is the world coming to.

And then I started to think... I wonder what my collection is worth at home.  If only I had one of those scanner things.  That's when I decided to take my minimal purchases and leave.  I ended up with two DVD's and two CD's, all of which I plan to either watch or listen to at some point.

In other news... we are under tornado warnings until 8pm tonight.  It is now 6:30-ish, so not too much longer.  The weather has been funky the last couple of days.  Chilly and humid, and then warm and rainy.

Rehearsals are stressing me out, so what else is new, right?  We have been taught Stardust and Country Jam music, and the blocking for Stardust.  I didn't say LEARNED... just been taught.  I can't believe we only have five more days of rehearsal and then we are out on the ship.  I have so much work to do!  Tons of words to songs I still only know either the chorus of, or about 8 measures worth of the music.

I am cooking dinner tonight for Jenene and I... shrimp over rice, I think.  Maybe a scampi.  More later.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Am I doing something wrong?

It happened again.  I did my show for a small crowd, and it was tough.  My leading lady Darian told me that on those nights, it is best to do the show as best you can and take the time to refine acting moments, patter between songs, and other technical stuff instead of dwelling on whether or not the people in the audience are enjoying it.  The ones that are there are there to enjoy themselves.

So yesterday I had a really good day with a couple of the dancers, Brandi and Lisa.  They had asked me to take their new headshots, and so in Akaroa we spent the better part of the day doing just that.  Akaroa is full of wonderful backdrops with which to stage photos, and hopefully (I haven't looked at them yet) we got some useable shots.  In the meantime, I was getting a horrible sunburn, but more on that later...

I was in line to get back on the tenders, and a gentleman (I use the word loosely) tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned around, and this was the conversation:

HIM:  Are you the singer from last night?
ME: Yes.
HIM: I am sure you noticed all the people leaving your show?
ME: Uh...
HIM:  You know why they left?  You should have sung songs that cater to your audience.
ME:  Uh...
HIM:  You need to sing songs with more melody.  You have a great voice for those big numbers, but you need to sing those pop songs that people like. 
ME:  I was hoping that with my show being called "Broadway Dreams" people would know that they were going to hear Broadway songs.
HIM:  They didn't know the songs.  Where were the pop songs?
ME:  Can you give me an example of what you mean?  I'm confused.
HIM:  You know, songs with more melody. 
ME:  Can you give me an example?
HIM:  Oh, you know... songs like... "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"  like the ones you did from Shimmy.  The good songs.  Carousel!  There are some good songs there.
ME: Uh...
HIM:  Don't get me wrong, I liked your show, but there were a lot of people who didn't.  You should be singing the songs that we want to hear.
ME:  Uh... okay... I thought that with the songs from Gypsy, Brigadoon and My Fair Lady... Those are classics...
HIM:  I'm just trying to explain why people got up and left.
ME:  Uh... Thank you.

So that put me in a really foul mood.  I had spent months putting together my show, trying to find songs that highlighted my own personal career, as well as some new ones that people may not know.  I felt that I had a nice balance of the two.  Out of the 13 songs I sing, only three are ones the audience may not know.  And I thought I did a good job of introducing them, explaining where they came from, why they mean a lot to me, and they are some of the most melodic songs I have heard in a long time.  The entire ride back, there I was second guessing my repertoire.  Should I be singing more of the "same old" songs that every male singer sings and everyone is tired of hearing?  I can't wait until I get the charts for "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel so the guy can say "I told you so."  Sheesh.

Basically, I think I need to take a vacation.  I was hoping to go to New York City to see some shows during my time off, but I don't think that is going to happen.  I have a lot of irons in the fire for the time I am off until I have to go back into rehearsals.

I've been rewriting some of the score to my musical, which is a good thing.  I am going to be in talks with a theatre in Texas who wants to hire me for a teaching/directing/writing position.  I am going to be meeting with some folks about a full time teaching position at a middle school in Raleigh starting in August.  And then I start rehearsals for the Sea Princess on March 28th.  Time is going to fly.

There has been a lot of other stuff happening on board as well.  I don't really want to go into detail, but there is a reason why the saying "loose lips sink ships" is true.  Folks just don't know how to mind their own business, do they?  I guess when there is nothing else to talk about, the fact that you have to talk about others behind their back is the way to go.  I admit, I have been guilty of this, but I always try to put a positive spin on it.  I will try to do better.

Today we are in Wellington, and I stayed aboard all day.  I had a little too much to drink last night, and decided to sleep it off today.  Tonight is a big party the dancers and singers are throwing, where you have to show up in someone else's uniform.  A uniform swap party!  We have one show of Save the Last Dance tonight, and afterward it is on to the party.  I will not be drinking tonight.  Last night was a fluke, and I was feeling sorry for myself because of the conversation with the idiot.  But there were a lot of positive things on my facebook page, so I am feeling better.

My Dad is calling me on e the phone, so I am going to go... more later.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The New Year is upon us!

So, I guess I will continue writing on my blog.  It is a  way to vent out my frustrations when I have them, as well as a voice out there on the web.  Ah well.

So last night I performed my one man show "Broadway Dreams" again.  What a tough crowd.  Small and quiet.  From the opening number, I couldn't help feeling "what the heck am I doing this for?"  I guess they liked it in the end, but again, they were very quiet.  I got spoiled I think on the world cruise and on other cruises where I had time to get to know some of the passengers.  This time around, we had only done one show, so they still haven't been able to grasp who I am yet.  It happens.

After the show, I was de-greeting the guests, and a guy comes up to me and tells me in no certain terms that I didn't have enough Elvis in my show.  I wanted to call him a freaking idiot, because it was a show about Broadway music, but I bit my tongue.  I guess this show really would work better in the states.  While I was performing, there were six people that got up and left during the show.  Right in the middle of numbers.  What the hell is that all about?

Aside form being rude, it made me feel like crap.  Like the job I do was sucking so bad that people would get up and leave in the middle of it.  Talk about a blow to the ego. 

Live and learn, I guess. 

I couldn't sleep last night.  Again.  I have tried soft music, warm milk, reading, watching tv, meditating (which to me is a joke), as well as a good old attempt to relieve tension.  TMI, I know.  But what's a guy to do when he can't sleep and it is becoming a habit that I cannot get out of.  As a result, I have literally slept through two ports, and have now been on the ship for six days with no shore leave.  Very frustrating.

I tried to make it into a positive thing, though.  I dragged out a couple of other projects I am working on, including a play and a musical (Paul...) and tried reading the source material again for the musical (Paul...).
All to no avail.  I think I wrote half a scene of the play, which I think is actually going to be a great vehicle for a young actor, but it just isn't going where I want it to. 

Ugh.  Even as I type this I am thinking to myself...who cares?  The monsters are talking to me, I guess.  I am supposed to be starting The Artists' Way again, but I have such a lack of motivation that I just can't get past the opening paragraph of the author's notes.  Go figure.

Hopefully tonight will hold something different in store for me.  I am going to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, as well as get up at a normal time.  We have two shows tomorrow night of Save The Last Dance, so at least tomorrow night I should be somewhat tired. 

I have nothing more to say, really.  So, until next time...