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I'm a professional actor/comic. I also teach stand up, improv & other comedy-related topics at our local vocational tech high school. Performing Arts Shop/Major. I have simple advice for new performers, absorb all the info you can from more seasoned/talented people in your artistic field. I am not just a teacher, I am also active on stage off campus in NYC and Boston. I would never take a class from a dormant performing artist. You can't learn new techniques from teachers who don't practice what they teach. Last, if you wouldn't perform on stage for free, this isn't the career for you at all. Seriously. My personal life is simple. I decorate with antiques & primitive items, love to cook, married over 20 years to my husband, 2 teenagers who test us daily, a couple of animals, and we all love to garden too. Pretty normal and boring except for my weird career in performing arts.

  • HELP ME!!! I need to fix my potatoes, what can I do to save this meal?

    I m an experienced cook and have made scalloped potatoes, successfully, for years. Today, I m using up leftover ham and cheese with my potatoes, layered. I made sure to salt each layer to help them break down, but they aren t soft yet.

    Cooking them in a two quart casserole dish, no lid, 400 degrees Fahrenheit and it has been an hour.

    I m going to put the lids on now, maybe that will help somehow?

    I DO NOT want advice which gives me ideas to use "Next Time." I m hoping that I can fix what I am making now please, thank you!

    9 AnswersCooking & Recipes4 years ago
  • Can I please get help from some FILM-ONLY actors? How to bond with eachother.?

    I have performed in leading roles for countless productions. Everything from the role of "Pepper," an orphan in Annie to Titania in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. At 45 years old, I have managed to spend over 40 of those years on the stage. Paid as a professional actress since I was only 16.

    My new dilemma is a wonderful, yet brand new experience for me. I am one of three lead/main characters in my first full length, feature film!

    It's essential that the three of us work well off screen as well as on, or the movie will appear fake. My relationship with the female in this movie is to be kind, motherly and protective. Intimacy as almost mother and child needs to be believable. The relationship I have with the male in the movie has a playful, teasing one another, comical aspect to it.

    As actors, while we are off camera, I have become fast friends with the guy. Enough for us to banter back and forth naturally. Our scenes have had the crew laughing to the point of tears, which rocks.

    The girl and I don't seem to have that instant connection, however. I'm kind, ask her all about her career, which she has no hesitation sharing. I feel like my own past experience intimidates her though. So, the girl and I have to bond more (directors orders).

    In theatre, cast members often do some improv, we have trust excersizes, etc. I get the impression that's not common for film. Am I missing something? Thanks!

    2 AnswersTheater & Acting6 years ago
  • How can I make sure my superiors notice my passion for teaching part time without butt kissing?

    I'm now part time, working in what's called an "Extended Day" program. I work as a Comedy Instructor under the Performing Arts Department. The job is only 4 days a week and one class per day for both Fall and Spring semesters.

    As a professional Actress, Singer and Comic, I'm either earning great money and moving from gig to gig or I'm auditioning for 3 months without any work. So a regular paycheck, no matter the size, was my goal in the beginning.

    I now realize that I absolutely LOVE TO TEACH! Never knew I'd be a natural. The students love my class, making me more popular in high school as a part time teacher than I was when I was in high school LOL!

    Because I love this job so much, I spend hours creating new ideas and plans both before the semester and hours sitting at my desk once the students go home as well. I want to impress those that have the power to hire me in our brand new performing arts department, and I am never shy about making sure everyone is aware of that goal.

    My issue is that I want to get the attention of the Administrators who rarely know much about us except through our direct supervisors. Also, I HATE butt kissing. Not only am I awful at it, I can't stand people who do it either.

    So, how can I eventually get that full time teaching job by impressing the powers that be with my dedication and hard work? Without bragging to them or butt kissing?

    Thanks! Renee

    4 AnswersOther - Careers & Employment7 years ago
  • Is anybody else over sensitive to hand lotion?

    It's difficult to explain, but even some expensive or organic hand lotions (or body lotions) seem to have some kind of "grit" or "texture" to them that can get so "yucky feeling" to me that I shiver. Is this normal? Does anyone even understand what I'm trying to convey?

    If you know what I mean, what lotion do you recommend I stay away from (I already steer clear of fragrance lotions) and which lotions are great on hands? I hope somebody understands this creepy texture-like feeling I get with most lotion and can tell me some brands that are more comfortable. Thanks! Renee

    2 AnswersOther - Skin & Body7 years ago
  • PLEASE HELP US RE-PURPOSE OUR SWING SET!? Here is a photo album of what we have and where it is right now, We have so much fun working on and changing around our garden every year. In 2006 I had a daycare and we bought a very expensive, public playground set. I just went out to check on the hardware and what we need to fix on it, I'm not a small woman and my husband is over 200lbs too, we can both jump up and down on the tree house part without any give at all. Our kids are teens, 2 are out of high school. One daughter will probably be married within 5 years to her long time bf, so we want to keep it for grand kids someday. I dream of a fun, yet forest toned, area for our teens to bring friends and have privacy from being heard if needed (not that we care who is a slut in school or why so and so called my daughter a fat cow, LOL). We have twin 18 year old daughters and one 15 year old son. THANKS!

    1 AnswerDo It Yourself (DIY)7 years ago
  • I need ideas on how to use a piece for my primitive decor?

    I have this weird 2X4 piece from our deck construction which looks to me like I can create something to match my primitive decor from it. The piece is simple...4 cubbie holes in between 2 2X4 blocks of wood (cedar) that are 4 feet tall by 1 foot wide. It's not really a ladder, solid, but I think it could be some sort of a display piece. The problem is what to display, each of the 4 cubbies is only 8 by 8 inches, so items or a collection would have to be interesting, primitive and small. I like to always give people pieces or areas in my home to look at due to being fascinating. I just can't toss this weird piece of wood from our deck construction!

    I thought about white crackle paint then display somehow antique medicine bottles. It's really heavy, so I don't know how to hang it securely, but I believe it might look good in my bathroom (I have a slipper tub, Victorian furnishings mixed with more primitive items, all with a seashore feel to them).

    Ideas? I hope I described it ok, 4 8 inch square solid wood cubbies side by side to come to a 4 foot long piece. THANK YOU!

    6 AnswersDecorating & Remodeling8 years ago
  • What steps do I have to take to become a SAG member in the USA?

    I am now Non-Union and thought I was just fine being Non Union until I was an Extra for a feature film. The Screen Actor's Guild extras had better food (served all day long, of course), receive much better pay and they were allowed to leave the set hours before we were (because the company didn't want too much SAG "Golden Hours" to pay out for overtime). They sort of treated the Non Union actors like prisoners or second class citizens and it bit BIG time!

    So, while talking to another Non-Union girl who has 2 SAG vouchers now and said she only needs one more voucher then pay the dues and she's a SAG actor. Is that true? Or is there more you have to do?

    I realize that the dues are expensive and am prepared for that. The next feature film I will be in DOES offer SAG vouchers so I thought I should have some sort of plan so I can join the union.

    Also, I was told that the Screen Actor's Guild pays you in between gigs and is better pay than unemployment! Is that true?

    Thanks to all of you for helping me out! After over 35 years on stage and screen, I figured it was probably time for me to join the actor's union so I'm taken seriously :-).

    3 AnswersTheater & Acting9 years ago
  • How can I have a micro-beer shipped if it's illegal to send to a residence in my state?

    When we were visiting Utah this past February, my husband, a beer enthusiast, saw a sign for "Polygamy Porter" with the saying, "Why have just one?" on it. He keeps mentioning it and how funny it was to him but he never tried it while we were there.

    SO, for Father's day, I thought it would be cool to buy him a case of it and have it shipped. The problem is not that the company won't ship it, they will. The problem is that Massachusetts won't allow for beer to be shipped to a residence. So I'm pretty stuck.

    My parents are too straight laced to do anything illegal, so it's not as if they could ship it in a plain box to us and risk it. I thought that possibly I could have it sent to a local specialty liquer store or something though. Does anybody know if that's an option before I begin calling places all over Massachusetts?

    Thanks so much!

    2 AnswersBeer, Wine & Spirits9 years ago
  • What Makes a Great Character Actor?

    I have been an actor since the age of 3 on stage and in film. I know my own definition of the differences between an actor whom does ok and a truly great character actor, but wanted to know what you all thought.

    Please keep in mind that a character actor is someone able to transform into almost any person by actually becoming them in their own minds. They are very different from most actors since their attention to portraying very different people is extremely believable. For instance, look at Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan. Same actor, but he is very good at becoming 2 very different kinds of men.

    An actor who just holds his own is someone who is usually the same person in everything they are in, just change their name and storyline, but the acting is not very different from show to show. I think of people like Kevin James, Adam Sandler, and a few other actors I can't think of at this moment. Sure, the movies are entertaining, but really, what has changed in the actor other than their name and where they are in the story?

    I'm most interested in the character actor though, since I am aspiring to be one myself.

    To me, Johnny Depp is a great character actor. Ever since I watched him play John Dillinger, I knew it. He seems so flexible with his talent that I'm always amazed. Not everyone is a Depp fan, but I do admire his dedication to detail and bringing each person he portrays to life on screen as a believable person.

    So, what about you? Any favorites? Do you think it's learned or do you believe it's a talent?


    2 AnswersTheater & Acting9 years ago
  • How do I brighten up a small bedroom for a teenage boy?

    My son's bedroom is small and, unfortunately, on the dark side of the house. So he has very little natural light. He said it depresses him (I don't blame him) but we are not rolling in money and can't really do much to make it bigger. What's worse is our neighbor has this row of annoying trees at the property line and refusees to cut them down! I want to paint his room in a color that is bright but not girl like. His furniture is wood, a dark wood but it was a great deal. His room theme is all boy, airplanes, baseball, football, cars and posters of pretty women (he's a teen, LOL).

    Any websites or ideas?


    6 AnswersDecorating & Remodeling9 years ago
  • Is there a website with wav files of accents?

    One of my strengths as a character actor is the ability to not only perform with various accents, but to be able to perfect the dialect to a degree where natives from that area believe me :-). I studied dialects in college throughout obtaining my theatre degree.

    ANYHOW - I am bushing up on my dialect skills by studying different more subtle American accents and Great Britain accents (like the difference between someone from East Boston (Eastie) and, say, South Boston (southie). It's subtle but locals know where you are from.

    Are there any websites with not just explanations of how the dialect sounds, but also .wav or midi files to practice?

    Thanks! This is a personal goal of mine, celebrating the English language as well as how other cultures convey it, as well as local slang. It's such a fun talent to use when auditioning too!

    2 AnswersTheater & Acting9 years ago
  • In my first film ever and nervous about not knowing where to stand?

    I have been acting on stage since the age of 3. Last year began taking classes on film acting and auditioning and was cast in a television show (Celebrity Ghost Stories) but it was all improv. I just stood where I was told, not much acting (I was a zombie).

    Tomorrow night is my first REAL film shoot where I have a supporting role with lines. Being that I'm stage trained, I'll be tempted not to have my back to anyone. I want to make a great impression and I know I can act the role, I just don't want to look stupid and awkward when it comes to blocking.

    Any advice from stage actors who moved over to film?


    2 AnswersTheater & Acting10 years ago
  • I have a dilemma about visiting my parents and how they feed my kids?

    At the end of Feb. my husband and I are visiting my parents with our kids. My parents are excellent grandparents, however, they don't take some of our values seriously. One thing I'm really worried about is that we don't eat junk food in our home. Don't get me wrong, we eat well, we just don't eat anything processed or canned.

    Part of this is because our son has ADHD and it helps with his behavior (eating healthier).

    What I know is going to happen, however, is that my parents will feed them junk food as a "treat" because "grandparents have a right to spoil their grandchildren."

    My dilemma is that I don't know how to tell them not to feed the kids junk food while we are there because I don't want to hurt their feelings. Like I said, they are GREAT grandparents (and nice people). They just don't understand why we won't eat processed foods and make everything from scratch. My father thinks we are going off the deep end because we choose mostly organic foods and try to avoid anything that has chemicals that we don't recognize.

    My son recently went to a birthday party and they had junk food there. He ate, of course, and ended up puking all night long!

    So, any advice on how we can continue to feed the kids how their bodies are used to eating without insulting my parent's hospitality? I know I am going to offer to cook a lot of the time, which should help, but my mom is not an avid cook or baker and I know any treats she has will be packaged and not home made.

    Thank you!

    5 AnswersFamily10 years ago
  • Need advice on warming up my vocals in public?

    I am auditioning for a musical role in an off-Broadway production in New York on Monday. I usually warm up for auditions in my car, but I will be on a train for 4 hours getting to the city and then I am in public (Penn Station - BUSY) traveling to my hotel to drop off my stuff and immediately to the audition. I can't think of a good way to warm up without looking like an idiot, but this role is very important to me and I want to do well. I have to be able to hit some high notes, which I just can't manage successfully with a cold voice.

    Any advice?

    5 AnswersSinging10 years ago
  • Any advice on warming up vocals while on a train?

    I am auditioning for a musical role in an off-Broadway production in New York on Monday. I usually warm up for auditions in my car, but I will be on a train for 4 hours getting to the city and then I am in public (Penn Station - BUSY) traveling to my hotel to drop off my stuff and immediately to the audition. I can't think of a good way to warm up without looking like an idiot, but this role is very important to me and I want to do well. I have to be able to hit some high notes, which I just can't manage successfully with a cold voice.

    Any advice?

    1 AnswerTheater & Acting10 years ago
  • Does anyone use a software program specifically for actors?

    I need to have a way to organize all of my bookings, classes, expenses, schedules, contacts, etc. in one place. Maybe with a feature that has an alarm to alert me to make a phone call or remind me of an audition? Anyone?

    2 AnswersTheater & Acting10 years ago
  • How to make your teeth brilliantly-movie-star white?

    Other than a trip to the dentist, what products or tricks do some of you use to keep those pearly whites bright and sparkly? I floss and brush 3 times a day. Any other tricks?

    5 AnswersDental10 years ago
  • How do I stop excessive sweating on my face?

    Looked through some old answers, but nobody seems to have my issue. See, I sweat a lot due to a condition. No problems with body odor (thank GOD), but it's so embarrassing when my whole head is sweating! My makeup slides off, I feel just gross. My only savior is colder weather without humidity or air conditioning. Any help on this one?

    4 AnswersOther - Beauty & Style1 decade ago
  • Practical Advice Needed for TV Audition?

    I was wondering about any tricks of the trade for looking put together and camera ready on a hot day for an audition. My audition is in New York and I live in Boston so I'm going to be on a train for 4-5 hours as well. I just don't want to look as if I'm melting before their eyes so maybe someone has a few makeup tricks? I'll change into my auditioning outfit after my trip.

    So, my question is how do you have a "fresh from the shower" look after traveling on a hot day? Oh, and I made sure to have an early train so that I'm early for the audition too. Thanks!

    3 AnswersTheater & Acting1 decade ago