Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

So, I leave super early in the morning tomorrow and I am not taking my lab top. I will write if I get a chance, but I have to be honest, I probably won't feel like it. Las Vegas brings 12+ hours a day of work and I am sure to be tired. I will attempt to reach a computer on my days off- Monday and Tuesday!
Today I'm taking my class twice. I am missing a class next week so I'm making it up this afternoon. I learned three songs, but I'm not so sure I have the words down. Hopefully it will all come together and I'll be brilliant. I am hoping to make it to the apple store this morning because I want to buy a recording microphone for my Ipod. It would be so nice to get rid of the antiquated tape recorder and to be able to record with digital sound that I can put directly on my computer. Thanks Jaz, for the suggestion!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ten on Tuesday

1. The name game has come to a stand still. I've gotten some really good suggestions. Please feel free to click on the link and add a name. Even if I know you and you don't want to have dinner with me as the prize, I can send you a bottle of wine if the name you come up with is chosen. Chances are I don't want to have dinner with you either, but it doesn't mean that you aren't creative and good with names!

2. Hurricane Dean struck Jamaica on Sunday. I find it peculiar that the reporters gathered on the northwestern coast when the storm was forecasted to hit the southeastern coast. I know that Ocho Rios and Montego Bay are the places that people (in the US) know in Jamaica, but Portland and St. Thomas were the center of all the action. If the hurricane were hitting somewhere close to the US coastline everyone would wonder why the newscasters chose to place their reporters over 200 miles away. Curious...

3. I have been thinking about all the people that I met when I was there. I hope and pray that they are all safe and recover quickly from the storm. In a place where you don't have much, a little positive energy thrown their way from us can't hurt (and maybe a dollar or two if you've got it to spare).

4. I received my Time magazine last Friday, but it was incomplete. The cover story is about how we as a society are failing our geniuses. I was really enjoying the article when I discovered that some of the pages were missing. How did that happen? Then I flipped to the story on Karl Rove and I couldn't even begin to read that one because the first page is missing. Now I know that my issue cannot be the only one to have this flaw. I'm all for saving trees, but Time there has to be a better way!!

5. I bought a water bottle from and then I left it at an audition. Of course when I went back the next day it wasn't there. I have felt guilty for carrying a plastic Aquafina bottle ever since. We really need to start thinking about why we buy water bottles. They really are completely unnecessary. Time had a great article about it in their last issue. Please take a moment to read it and contemplate it. You don't have to buy a reusable bottle, but it would be a great start.

6. My musical theatre class is kicking my ass. I have found most of the music that I need, but not the time to learn it all. But, I can't wait for the next class. It's good to be excited about something.

7. I'm going to Vegas on Friday. I have to go to set up the trade show booths for Grigg Studio. Anyone gonna be in the area, I'm off Monday and Tuesday and only have plans to be sitting by the pool. I need to look up an old friend Tara Palsha who I know lives there. It would be great to see an old friend.

8. I am typing from a public computer in a coffee house in NYC. I don't have time to go home before my vocal coaching so I thought I'd come here to update my blog. The only problem is that there is an ever-present timer ticking down the seconds I have left and I am feeling immense pressure to finish.

9. I moved out of my comfort zone today and sang for the Broadway company of Rent. I sang "I Can't Make You Love Me," by Bonnie Raitt. It went a lot better than I normally give myself credit for. I've never been really into popular music, so singing pop/rock songs frightens me a bit. I think that I did pretty well. I just need to get a more uptempo pop song in my book. Any suggestions?

10. Routine: n. a customary or regular course of procedure. I'm not good at giving myself one of these. There is so much I want to do, but I'm not sure how to fit it all in one day or week.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Long Week

I am tired. But I like that the week is ending and I have discovered some things about myself. I don't know how to say no. I am not good at taking care of myself first and others second. When you get shit on by a bird, people tell you that it's good luck to make you feel better (I got shat on yesterday afternoon). I am good at my craft, which was reinforced by a fabulous first class on "Audition Therapy" that I took. I need to really focus on bringing what I learned to an audition. The people in my class are all fabulous. They all also happen to be all women, which is very cool. And besides Joanne and I they all seem to have been with this business for a long time. It is great to watch them work and learn from them. Basically, I am so fortunate to be in this class. I really think it is going to be a turning point for me. And that is all I can write without falling asleep here at the keyboard.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh, Eleven on Tuesdays

11. I have the coolest family. Some guy posted an anti-gay slur on my brother's blog. Check out John's response to him here. And then my whole family responded. This link is just for my sister's response, but you can read Jim's on the Big Brother post comments page. I am so proud to be a member of this family (you can get on my nerves sometimes, but I love you!). You are all so well spoken.

Ten on Tuesday

1. The naming contest is going well. I've gotten the most comments of any blog I've posted so far. Keep them coming. Also, if you have a blog and you want to add a link for the contest that would be great! I love my family (Charissa, you're like a member of the family), but it would be kind of cool to have some suggestions from people I don't know.

2. If there was a prize for most creative, Jim, you would be the winner so far. Twaleot, a little weird, but very creative!

3. I had the weirdest dream last night. I was walking/ driving down the street I grew up on, and as I drove down the street I noticed crocodiles crossing to get into the creek. I know there was no creek on Marhofer, but the side walk was gone and in place of it was a creek. As I rounded the corner, I all of a sudden was walking and I saw the strangest thing. There was an elephant battling a crocodile and it was winning. The elephant was using it's trunk as if it were a boa constrictor around the croc's neck. They were both making the worst noises I think that I have ever heard. It looked to be a fight to the death. The elephant was on its hind legs and holding the croc perpendicular to the ground with his belly facing out. It looked funny, but it was scary. Then I woke up.

4. I forgot how exhausting standing for 9 hours a day is. I'm beat when I get home from work, but I'm enjoying myself. We listen to great music and talk all day long. It beats waiting tables!

5. I get to go to Las Vegas for a week. There are three big fashion trade shows and we have to set up booths for them. I have gone before for work, but I've never stayed for strike, too. That means that I get two days free in Vegas and then I get to break down the shows when they are over. Two days by the pool, you can't beat that.

6. Karl Rove resigned!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm very curious if he was asked to resign or if he really does want to spend more time with the family. That seems to be the ready answer for anyone that resigns in any administration. He looked and sounded like he might cry when he made the announcement. With all his flaws, he is still a brilliant man (I'm sure a lot of people are having parties in celebration!)

7. The Colbert Report was not funny last night. We all have our off days, but it was unusually bad. Bad like Saturday Night Live bad. You know that kind of bad: the only person laughing is the guy on camera.

8. I saw Shakespeare in the Park on Saturday. The show was A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is free so I shouldn't complain too much, but it was the first time that I really didn't enjoy the show. I've tried to see as many of the shows I can and this one seemed oddly under rehearsed and poorly directed.

9. I start my musical theatre class on Thursday. I'm pretty excited.

10. I finished Philip Roth's Everyman this past weekend. It was kind of depressing. It takes you on this man's journey toward death. Basically, the book begins at his funeral and then it takes you back through his life from the perspective of his death. It was very interesting and thought provoking if you could get past the pages long tirades about the ailments afflicting the poor guy. I had previously read The Plot Against America, also written by Roth, and loved it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name...

So, I mentioned before that I am thinking of legally changing my name to Jodi Beck. The only negative response was from my brother Jim, who felt the need to tell me the history of my name. I am well aware of the meaning behind it all, but I have to say that if it really were as important to everyone else, then they probably would have called me Joyce all my life. I do appreciate the history. I love the name Joyce (I've always thought it was beautiful) and I think it's cool that it was my great-grandmother's last name, but it's just not me. And I loved my grandpa (Lester) to pieces, but Jodi Leslie sounds dreadful. I briefly tried to go by my real name in college, but it only lasted about half a semester. Every time someone would call me Joyce I would think that they were talking to someone else. I think that some of my professors thought that I was deaf because I wouldn't respond. Just imagine their confusion when this over- confident, college freshman walks up to them and says, "Hi, I was wondering if you would call me Jodi. It's my nickname and I don't respond well to Joyce." I was taking a full load of courses and I said that to all the professors I had that didn't teach a lecture. I think it was four people and they all looked at me like, "Wow, this girl is deaf and a bit crazy." I also think its kind of funny that at my wedding when we arrived at the reception the sign said, "Congratulations Craig and Joyce" and people commented that it was strange to congratulate the groom and the groom's mother-in-law. It kind of makes me laugh...

So, I want your help to select a middle name. Mom, you get extra points for any names you come up with. The prize for the name selected will be that I will come visit you after I get it changed and we'll go to dinner, and I'll pay with my debit card and officially sign my new name on the line. Because this is a public blog and people I don't know may feel the need to comment, if the name you suggest is chosen, I will not meet you for dinner, so don't expect it. I'll send you a bottle of wine and you'll just have to be content to know that you named a complete stranger. I will update you on all the names suggested each week, by whom they are suggested, and after four weeks I will bring the list to my mother and she and I will decide on the top three. Then you can all vote for which name you want me to have. Sounds like fun, right? I think so! So without further ado....

The Give Me a New Middle Name Contest
Fill in the blank. Click on the comment button below and write down your idea in the space provided. If you want to give a brief reason for the choice, all the better!

Jodi _______________ Beck

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Karoke, Tornadoes and Such

So last night I went out with Meredith and Monique after work. Jazmin couldn't come because a friend of hers was playing Glinda in Wicked on the Broadway as an understudy and she went to see her. (We really missed you, Jaz!!) Well, I met Mere and Monique at the Rogue Bar. They were comfortably on their second drink when I arrived and I tried to quickly catch them. We decided to stay there and ordered a few appetizers to share for dinner. Then, it turned out that it was Karaoke night. All I have to say is that Monique is absolutely amazing. Every time that she got up to sing I thought that I might scream because she was so good. We ended up staying a lot later than I think any of us planned and we probably drank a little more than we planned too. So, we finally left the bar after 11pm and we all headed in multiple directions. Mere to Jackson Heights, Monique to Astoria, and me to Brooklyn (Jazmin is currently sleeping in my bed until the My Fair Lady tour goes out). And what should happen while I slept in good ol' Brooklyn? Yep, you guessed it a tornado set down. For those of you who do not know, I have a way of having bad weather cross my path.
2001- Tropical Storm Allison- Houston/ Galveston floods- working in Galveston
2003- Hurricane Irene(?)- North Carolina- working in Raleigh, Good ol' Girls tour throughout the southwest to follow
2004- Hurricane Charley- Ft. Myers Florida- working there playing Rizzo in Grease
2004- Hurricane Ivan- Ft. Myers, Florida- returned to play Liza in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
2005- Hurricane Wilma- Ft. Myers, Florida- played Aldonza in Man of La Mancha
2007- Tornado in Brooklyn, NY- staying there for a month...
Kind of crazy, right??
But, this morning's commute was dreadful. I have never experienced anything like it in my six years here. It took me two and a half hours to get into the city. It took a co-worker of mine coming from the Bronx over four hours. I hope I get an acting gig somewhere outside the hurricane zone soon!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ten on Tuesday

1. I need to buy a new pair of sneakers. I worked on my feet all day yesterday and my big toenail was hurting by the end of the day. I'm sure standing on an uncushioned concrete floor doesn't help.

2. I'm hoping that Mere, Jazmin and I can get together for dinner tonight. I love when we all hang out together.

3. Laughing in the morning is a great way to wake up!

4. I've decided that I'm not going to take that restaurant job. My gut told me no and I'm going to listen to it.

5. Working at Grigg Studio we talk throughout the day. We've been discussing the problem of entitlement that seems to pervade our society. I think that the accessibility of money (in the form of loans and credit cards) has something to do with it. When you use a credit card for things that you should be buying only if you have the money on hand, it gives a false sense of value that you didn't really work for. "Wow! He has the new iphone. He's cool." The unfortunate thing is that you probably couldn't afford it and it will sit on your credit card with all of your other materialistic things accruing interest and never really being paid off. Getting something for nothing. That's what entitlement is.

6. I'm kind of tired of the election already and I haven't even chosen who I want to vote for. More importantly, I'm tired of hearing how much money the candidates have. It makes me sick to my stomach to see so much money being thrown at these people when only one of them will win. I think the money would better serve us all if people decided to give to real charities. We might have rebuilt New Orleans by now if they got all this money instead of wasting it on the candidates for president. Most of the money will be spent on TV ads that don't give any real information.

7. Do you remember "lay-away?" I don't think it exists anymore. It was credit, without the credit. Once you paid for the merchandise, you got to take it home with you. Novel idea, right?

8. I signed up for a musical theatre audition workshop. It is four weeks long and I will end up with 8 new songs in my book!

9. I need to check if I can work out at any Bally's in the city. If I can it would be awesome because there is a gym near where I work and I could get a workout in during lunch. I've been kind of unmotivated when it comes to the gym these days and I need to find a better way to handle it.

10. I need to leave for work. I would rather go on writing all day. But, I am off to the land of foam-core and matte knives.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Many Things

First of all, I got a second and third interview at the restaurant I applied at. I am assuming that that is a good thing and it means that I'll likely be hired. The horrible thing is I'm not so sure that I want to be hired. I'm not going to name the restaurant because I have no idea if they have rules about blogging and because it is a corporate restaurant, albeit a small one, they most likely have rules about it. Anyway, the reason I feel weird is because today they made me take a test. I've had to do such things before, but they have always been specifically restaurant oriented tests. They say, what side of the table does the fork go on, what side of the guest do you serve the soup and what kind of wines go with which dish, that sort of thing. This was an SAT type of test with logic and math, and vocabulary questions. It was a timed test and after I was asked to fill out my name and do the sample questions I was directed to wait for the timer to start before I opened the booklet. 50 questions awaited me and I was to finish them in the time allotted (I was not told how long that would be!). It said in the directions not to pour over the questions too long and that most people do not actually complete the test. I'm a perfectionist at heart and if I have an idea how to come about a solution I will not leave the question unanswered. I finished 35 out of the 50 and evidently did well enough to be asked to come back for the third interview tomorrow. I asked, somewhat sarcastically, if I passed when the interviewer came back and asked me to come back tomorrow without offering the results. What's the point of taking a test like that except to find out how you did? She said that I did exceptionally well. My competitive nature wanted me to ask for numbers, for percentages, but I restrained myself. Why does this bother me so, you ask? During the first interview I was informed that the amount of money that I had written down in answer to the question, "how much money do you need to make a week?" was a bit high and that I would be hard pressed to make $200 below that. I thought this restaurant isn't so exclusive that this test is somehow necessary and if an interviewer isn't a complete idiot I would hope that they would be able to tell that I was smart enough to interact with people, take their orders, and bring their food out to them in a timely manner. The positives to this place are a stable schedule, a more laid back environment than I am used to, higher end clientele, and health benefits (something that has been weighing on my mind because I'm not sure how I could possibly afford them on my own after October or November). The negatives: less money, a corporate environment which I had come to enjoy not being a part of, and did I mention less money. I don't mean to sound greedy, but I was hoping that I might make similar money and have less stress. Is that too much to ask?

So, because I'm not sure how this will all work out I called an old boss who owns and operates a design studio for trade show booths and asked if he needed some help. I, of course, knew the answer would be yes, he invariably needs help always and I knew that he was heading into a busier season. The best part of this is I make my own schedule, I get to do something creative and I can train at this restaurant and feel it out for awhile before I come to a final decision. You can see what kind of work I will be doing at his website.

And finally, the reason I may seem to not be in the greatest mood is that in the midst of all that has been going on this week, I finished the final Harry Potter book today. It was a fitting end; although I had convinced myself it would be different than it was. But, it's over. It's kind of sad to say goodbye. I know that may sound silly considering I am the type of person who continues to reread books because I enjoyed them so much (The books I found myself doing that most with are C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series and L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series). But, there is something to be said for the first reading in which all the ideas are new and fresh and surprising and if you discover something before the author reveals it, you feel somehow prescient. There is a different type excitement as you turn the pages when you do it for the first time. Somehow when I read a book over and over I think I am somehow trying to reclaim that irreclaimable feeling.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Back to Life

Well, my time off is over. I am so thankful that I was able to take so much time off for myself. I was able to visit with my family (not as much as I would have liked- sorry, John I never made it to see your new house), visit with friends, and experience life just for me for awhile. I realized that by working second shift while I'm in the city I haven't been able to really experience life here the way I would like to. I am interviewing for a new job today (cross your fingers) that may not be as much money as I'm used to, but if it gives me back my sanity I'll be happy. I need to have a job that is flexible so I can go to auditions, but that I can also work during the day sometimes and have some weekends off. I hope that this restaurant works out. We'll see.

I hope that I will be able to continue blogging as much as I have, but with starting a new job and the audition season picking up it might be difficult. I have grown to love it though. It kind of began as a chore, but I have come to see the benefit to myself, my friends, and my loved ones. I think it's great that I have a place all my own to record parts of my life and my thoughts. It has given me a perspective about life and change. I think it's cool that when I Google myself now, so much of me comes up. "Jodi Beck" is not an uncommon name. Actor's Equity (my union) requires that only one person has each name, so it belongs to me in a way that is unique. I'm thinking that I may have it legally changed. It's something I have thought a lot about because my legal name hasn't been me really ever. I have always been Jodi Beck and it's real to me. I love my family to pieces, but it's weird that so many of us were named one thing and then called something else. It's enough to give a person an identity crisis. My Uncle Tim= Louis, my Uncle Ted= Lester, my grandma Rita(which was her middle name)= Mary, my mom's Joyce(which was her middle name, she did have it legally changed)= Ann, and me, Jodi= Joyce. Did that succeed in confusing you? Maybe I'll hold a contest to come up with a middle name. Mom, I'd of course give your ideas extra points! That would be fun, right?