One Curtain Falls, Another Rises

Or as my beloved uncle would say, “When one window closes, a door will open.”

Hmmm. Okay.

Or when one chapter ends, another begins unless it’s the end of the book.

At the end of a show or project that I spent a ridiculous amount of time on, there’s the post-show blues and all that jazz. Here’s the thing with me. I do feel that on some projects but other times I feel that the end means…a new beginning. A transition. I have shared with a few people that this year has been a transition for me.  The frustrating thing I don’t know where the transition is leading me. I am literally going with the flow.

Godspell closed on Sunday and though I am very sad (I was involved in it for 2 years), I am ready to get my three projects up and going. If anything, I can use everything I have learned on Godspell with these projects. So I also feel a new type of energy. It’s all very confusing yet so clear. It’s a  paradox.

It’s not only with my theater but other aspects of my life. I can feel it but I can’t pinpoint it. And maybe I don’t need to right now.

In three days we open with Imaginary. In three weeks we open with Twelfth Night.  In three months, the Estrogenius Festival goes into rehearsal and will open at The Barrow Group. I try to do balance family, work, and theater with as much grace as possible.

Here’s my note from the Universe today (www.tut.com)

“For all things and non-things that you may ever want, Malini, understand that sometimes the fastest way to get them is to forget them, and to focus instead on just being the most amazing human being you can be. At which point all of your heart’s desires, spoken or unspoken, will be drawn to you more powerfully than a magnet is drawn to steel.

Have an amazing day,
    The Universe”

You know what? I am an amazing human being. I just have to remember that!

 

Godspell Prepared ME the Way!

On October 24th of last year, I posted my second blog entry called Move a Muscle, Change a Thought where I opined about the opening of Godspell and how excited I was about being a Person of Godspell.

Well, we are closing on Sunday, June 24th and there aren’t words to describe the experience. So, I will take this opportunity to thank all of you who saw and supported the show. I know that Godspell touched many of you. As a matter of fact, I will always remember how fortunate I was to follow through on an opportunity, the connections made with my fellow PoGs, the Broadway education I learned. The one thing I want to share is when I was 30, I set a goal for myself. I knew at the time it was a pretty high one but I set it. I wanted to have a Broadway credit in some form by the time I hit 35.  I got my credit by 35. 

I’m really grateful because it wasn’t an easy journey. I could have walked away from my passion a dozen times. I am glad I didn’t but rather paused, took a break, went on vacation. That’s the best advice I can give anyone who is frustrated and wants out of whatever they are doing. Walk away and revisit. See if you are reignited or you are a wet wick.

So, if you want to catch Godspell before we close, click HERE.

And some fun photos:

Be the Change You Want to See

Over the last year, I have watched a lot of documentaries. Each night before bed, I usually am watching and learning about someone. Last week it was Bill Clinton and Bernie Mac. Then on Saturday night, I watched one that I knew nothing about and decided go for it since it kept coming up on our Netflix. Boy was I in for a a night of tears. Dear Zachary, was completely heartbreaking. After watching it, I thought about two others that have gotten to me and have stayed with me:  There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane and Unforgotten: 25 Years After Willowbrook.

None of these documentaries are happy. I was a mess after watching them. Thankfully, I didn’t watch all three back to back or else I wouldn’t be able to leave my apartment. I’ll give a quick synopsis of each. 

Dear Zachary is a film made by the close friend of the  protagonist (I don’t think I have used that word since college). Andrew Bagby was murdered by Shirley Turner after he broke off their relationship. Andrew is much loved by all his friends and they are devastated to learn of his death. Most people are upset when a friend dies but almost all the couples interviewed mentioned wanting him to be their best man or he was their best man at their weddings. After Turner is arrested, we learn she is pregnant with his son, Zachary. The documentary becomes a letter to Zachary but as the film moves on it becomes a true crime documentary. I’ll leave it at that just in case you want to watch it.

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Mary may hit closer to home as I know that most of my readers remember the 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash.  Eight people were killed when Diane Shuler drove her SUV in the wrong direction on the Taconic . She collided head on. She died along with her daughter and three nieces. It was later found that she was DUI and DWI which was shocking to those close to her because she never showed any indication of alcohol and drug abuse.

Unforgotten: 25 Years After Willowbrook deals with aftermath of the atrocious treatment and living conditions of the developmentally disabled. What a horror story! Willowbrook State Institution was located in Staten Island and has since been demolished.

It got me thinking this weekend, as I was on the Taconic sharing my feelings to Ian about all three documentaries, what specifically moved me. I am not good at remembering the plot points of movies and plays unless I love them or they are part of our pop culture.  Otherwise, forget about it. It is so gone from my head. Then it hit me.

At what point do people become inhumane? How do people turn a blind eye. How does the justice system allow a woman who is accused of shooting her husband to keep custody of her child with no follow up. How do people see an erratic woman with children go about her business? How does Willowbrook happen and no one say anything until it exposed. It makes me think about the instances I kept my mouth shut when maybe I should have said something. I remember one time seeing a guy with fire in his eyes screaming at this woman on the train. I really wanted to say something but I thought she’s going to be okay because she’s in public. Can I say Kitty Genovese? Or when I was teaching and I suspected one of my students being a victim of child abuse. I was a young teacher and didn’t know what to do. There are so many moments like that and I am sure that others have experienced the same in some form. 

I won’t take actions in my own hands but I will speak up. Willowbrook was 30 years ago but that doesn’t mean this isn’t going on today. Diane Shuler was a high-functioning alcoholic. No one saw the signs of her disease. And poor Andrew never got his justice. At least, his parents, David and Kathleen Bagby are advocating for law changes. It was a lesson for sure this weekend as we drove the winding highway of the Taconic.

As a dear friend says often: Be the change you want to see.

Memories… Light the corners of my mind

Last night I reunited with friends from my time at the Actors Studio Drama School – (Cohort VII in the house!) It had been about nine years since we last saw each other. Oh, the memories of graduation. The slight memories of the afterparty. I was told there was an after after party. I can’t remember…good times. The one thing we kept repeating is how much we missed each other. It seems like yesterday we were all struggling to complete our MFAs with big dreams and high hopes. For the most part, some of us are still on that path and others have created amazing new lives. The point is we were still able to connect on very personal level…nine years later.

When you spend three years in a conservatory living, breathing, eating the craft with others, you have no choice but to connect. Especially in a program that focuses on bringing your personal truth to your character. I remember a few times wanting to drop out of the program because it was really hard. Thankfully, I had a partner-in-crime (now husband) who wouldn’t let me do that. For him, I am so incredibly thankful.

My time at ASDS was the best and worst three years of my life. The work and dedication was tremendous but I did it. We all did it. And are still doing it.

So to Cohort VII, our ten year reunion will be underway…once I get through the summer 🙂 It was great seeing all of you!

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You are cordially invited to the staged reading of Nick Radu’s Imaginary.

Starring: Monica Barczak, Renee Delio, Melanie Jolley, Brett Miro, Paul Morisi, Laura Packer & Paul Robilotto

Performances are listed below. Reserve tix: malinism@rocketmail.com.

Friday, June 29th at 8pm
Workshop Theater Company
312 West 36th Street
$15

Sunday, July 1st at 2pm
Once Upon a Time
8761 111th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens
$15

Synopsis:

Jack Cartwright has passed on after being involved in a tragic car accident. Before passing on to “the other side,” Jack must take on the job as Imaginary Friend to 8-year-old Molly Hamilton. Jack is just another notch in Molly’s candy lipstick case as she has been through six Imaginary
Friends already in her short life. Sampson, the angelic spirit in charge of the Imaginary Friend Network, explains the rules of imaginary friending to a reluctant Jack, who finds the task slightly more daunting than he expected.