Thank You! Why, You are So Welcome (It Goes a Long Way)

Thank you goes a very long way. Michael Roderick wrote an excellent post on his blog about saying thank you. Believe it or not, many people do not say thank you. Did I belabor the point?

This recently happened to me. I connected two people, both of whom I knew well, and I wasn’t acknowledged for it. I am thrilled that they will be working together as I knew it would be a good fit. However, I found out about it in a roundabout way. And it kind of hurt. Then I got stuck in my head and was wondering if I was making it all about me. Ian had to talk me down. Then I realized, a simple note saying hey Malini, much thanks, would have been the most professional thing to do. Anyway, here’s Michael’s post as he really nails it.

Also, Josh Rivedal’s The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah, is available on pre-release. Click HERE for more info! And click on my video below as I give my Tony Award Nominated Thank You Speech!


I’m sure to many folks this seems like the simplest of statements, but I am amazed every day at how easy it seems to be for people to forget about it.

A perfect example: Yesterday I get an email from an organization that I am a part of forwarding an email from some one who I introduced to the organization. I took time out to find this person during another event, tell him about the event the other organization was hosting and in fact, bring him to that event. At the end I also took the time to introduce this individual to someone at the event who could be helpful to that person’s producing career.

So guess what the email was about? It was thanking the organization for introducing him to that individual who he has worked with on numerous occasions. No mention of me taking the time out of my schedule to help connect him. Kind of makes you not want to do that kind of introduction again doesn’t it?

There’s a big lesson in here today for producers at all levels:

Look carefully at who helped you get where you are today. If you haven’t thanked them, take the time to do so today. If you’ve gotten donations even if they were smaller than you hoped for, say thank you. If you were invited to a party that you might not have been able to go to had it not been for a certain person, say thank you and finally, if you have volunteers who are working for you for free, say thank you.

The more people feel appreciated, the more likely they’ll help you in the future and as much as it sucks, the opposite is also true.

So look through that address book today. Is there anyone you forgot to thank?

Let the whole world see it. Thank them here in the comments below. Use fake names if you want, but let them know you thanked them. That is what keeps the relationships going in this business.

I’ll start:

Dear Readers,

Thank you for subscribing to my blog and being willing to get my posts in your email daily, thank you for re-tweeting the posts that you enjoy, and thank you for your insightful comments. You all are the reason I keep writing this blog and the reason that I have gotten more readers and become better known over the time this blog has started and I am grateful for that. Thanks also to those who get my info by Rss feed or some other method that is not email. The fact that you still find a way to read and respond to my posts is greatly appreciated. You all are the reason I write this and keep writing it and your support means the world to me.



There. Now your turn:


Guest Blogger: Josh Rivedal’s Stripping Down to the Bare Truth (Naked in Alaska)

valeriehagerThis week I saw a one-woman show Naked in Alaska, written and performed by Valerie Hager, and came away a changed man.

How? Like any good piece of the theatre, I uncovered a life lesson by watching Ms. Hager’s performance.

Being naked is an important part of life.

Naked in the metaphorical sense (sorry to disappoint all of your voyeuristic junkies).

To bare one’s soul, to open up about one’s sordid past, to disclose one’s private personal foibles—this is much braver than making a living dancing nude.

Ms. Hager performs her autobiographical piece with an earnestness and makes her work look effortless—two factors that belie the risk involved in this theatrical undertaking.

Putting your life story on stage for all to witness is no easy task—trust me, I know; I have my own Gospel to tell. What if audiences don’t like it, what if they say that your work, your theatricalization of your life is no good? That would be the worst thing in the world—like, worse than being told you’re not funny or you have an ugly baby.

Ms. Hager takes a huge gamble in creating and performing her life story—and it pays off. She lived in her truth and told her story and the audience connected with her honesty and candor. I imagine if she continues to play her deck wisely and doubles down with Naked in Alaska her future payoff can be huge.

Back to being naked (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Baring one’s soul on a stage—not everyone has that gift. But that doesn’t mean the lesson doesn’t apply all of us.

Whether you’re asking for a promotion, creating some sort of art, or mustering up the courage to ask your crush out for a night at the Cracker Barrel; we have the opportunity to take a (somewhat calculated) risk and share our souls with the person sitting across from us. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Temporary embarrassment? Egg on your face? A dinner alone at the Cracker Barrel? What’s the best thing that can happen? Oh, I don’t know, you get what you wanted!

Speak from the heart. Speak openly and generously, and for the benefit of the other person. Be brave. Show a little metaphorical ankle… or some metaphorical cleavage—oh, la, la. Be vulneOKrable in your dealings. Ms. Hager does it in her show and it’s taking her on a wild and fulfilling journey.

Get Naked. Go see Naked in Alaska. In no particular order.

Joshua Rivedal is an actor, playwright, and international public speaker. He wrote and developed the play, The Gospel According to Josh, which has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada. His book The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah, published by Skookum Hill, is available for pre-order in August, 26th 2013. He wrote the libretto to a Spanish language Christmas musical Rescatando la Navidad.


Tues., Aug 20 @ 2pm
Wed., Aug 21 @ 7pm
Sat., Aug 24 @ 1:30pm



Guest Blogger: Nick Radu Reviews See Jane Give Up Dick

Sharing your truth is never easy. So I always have deep respect for anyone willing to make a drastic change in order to improve their life. Then tell us what they did to get through it. And See Jane is so much more than just celibacy for 365 days. It’s self-cleansing. Definitely check out one of next five performances! Nick Radu is my guest blogger this week and my, now, co-writer of Imaginary. Here’s his thoughts:
What’s it like to give up sex for an entire year?  And could you do it?  Writer Devin Preston went on that very journey and she has shared the answer with us in one of the NYCFringe 2013’s best one-woman shows.
As soon as Jane (Meghan O’Neill) hits the stage she greets the audience, makes them laugh and sets them at ease as they travel back with her to that year of chastity.  O’Neill breaks the fourth wall with precision and excellence, allowing us into the living room of her life.  It was so wonderful to watch Jane chip away at the block of life, creating the sculpture of the woman she didn’t even know.   The comical writing, O’Neill’s wonderful timing and use of Jane’s very own power point presentation was all wrapped up in the perfect bow known as Isaac Klein, the director of this charming piece.
The sarcasm and wittiness of this show hold your attention as you laugh with Jane, and at her, but the beauty and tenderness come through as we see a woman grow and change and find something she never even was looking for: herself.  Anyone looking to find those shows in the Fringe that have just the right amount of everything will need to be sure to make a stop at the Steve & Marie Sgouros Theatre at 115 McDougal and check out “See Jane Give Up Dick.”  You will not be disappointed!
Nick Radu is an actor/writer/director currently living in New York. His recent play, Imaginary, went to it’s second staged reading at a backers’ audition and is currently in transition to a screenplay for interested parties. He is writing numerous plays and a novel, at present, and will be directing a staged reading of a fellow writer’s original work for Black Henna Productions.

Malini’s Theatre Rite of Passage: FringeNYC 2006! Plus an Invite

251035_546264348755026_1307133885_nSo I sat down with the Fringe schedule last week.  Now for those of you not familiar with the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC), here it is in a nutshell

  • largest arts festival in North America
  • more than 200 shows
  • 20 venues
  • 16 days

I have two shows in the festival – Naked in Alaska & See Jane Give Up Dick – just in case you didn’t get the memo – in addition to a friends who are in shows. Not that doesn’t include the local theatre being produced. I really should call this Malini & TBB Tour Summer Shows because I’ve already seen two shows – Beckett in Bengali with Horse Trade and Les Mis with Andrew Koslosky’s company in Douglaston. Today is the 5th.

Black Henna was part of the Fringe in 2006. Wow. That was a whirlwind of a year. We produced three show – 2 were in festivals – and I was on a tv show for ITV called The Happyrams. It feels like yesterday. Anyway, I think any artist performing in NYC should do the Fringe if you can. It is truly a rite of passage.

Here’s a quick breakdown: Once you are accepted into the Fringe, you then have to begin the work of gathering your team. And when I say team, I mean a solid production team. If everyone isn’t on the same page…DISASTER. Once that production team is created, the Fringe wants you to have an ACR which is basically the liaison between the Fringe & you. It’s a very important position that should be the only position assigned to that person. Then the usual steps to putting together a show. Now here’s the thing. You usually do not find out where and when you are performing until almost three weeks before the festival opens. So everything has to be minimalist. Especially since once you have your dates and venue, you then have to make sure you stick to the run time of your piece because there’s a show right after you. So you have 15 minutes to 30 minutes to strike and get out of the space. And your times vary throughout the 5 performance run. So you may be performing at 10:30pm on a Tuesday and 1pm on a Sunday and 3:45 on a Saturday. It’s intense. So imagine now trying to be in a show and supporting others. Crazytown.

In retrospect, even though my stage manager sprained her foot (and believe me I still hear about it 7 years later), I had no clue how to produce for the Fringe(that’s a separate post) , Michael Quinones’ Naughty Prep School Stories was one of the best experiences I had in directing. And I am glad I got the opportunity to produce and direct for the Fringe.

I am also glad that I am doing the PR for my two shows. I have created a FB event so if anyone wants to join me and the many shows I am seeing, feel free to join me. The Fringe has a festival pass so you may want to check that out!

Here’s the event:

Anyone link with a name is someone I know and have worked with on a past production.

8/9 @ 7:30pm FREEFALL FROSTBITE @ The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ La Mama –Paulie Philip8/10@ 1:45pm SEE JANE GIVE UP DICK @ The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theater (Players Loft) – Isaac Klein & Devin Preston

8/14@ 7pm LIKE POETRY @ The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ La Mama – Katie Braden

8/15 @ 9pm NAKED IN ALASKA @ The Celebration Of Whimsy (The C.O.W) –Valerie Hager


8/17 @ 12:45pm BIG DUMMY @ The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theater (Players Loft) –Kia Rogers

8/17 @ 5:30pm A FUTURE IMPERFECT @ The Celebration Of Whimsy (The C.O.W) – Kristin Shields Meves

8/18 @ 2:30pm JACK LONDON @ The Celebration Of Whimsy (The C.O.W)

8/18 @ 5:45pm NAKED IN ALASKA @ The Celebration Of Whimsy (The C.O.W) – NOTE: GROUP OUTING

8/21@ 7:15pm LIGHTS NARROW @ The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theater (Players Loft) – Vincent Marana & EstroGenius

8/22@ 6:15pm PERSEPHONE @ Teatro LATEA – EstroGenius

Guest Blogger: Cas Marino Absorbs Naked In Alaska!

NIA_Photo_Request_FotorOh boy! It’s getting  hot in here. I met Valerie Hager after a performance of her one-woman show, Big Man, at Stage Left Studio. I was instantly blown away by her performance and felt totally bummed that I missed Naked in Alaska in the EstroGenius Festival last year (yes, she was in the 5 % that I didn’t get to see!).  Since it’s the same 7 people in theatre, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that we shared a mutual friend in my best guy pal, Cas Marino. I eventually did see Naked in Alaska at Dixon Place and knew I had to be a part of it in some way. And I am. As Marketing Director, I have the best opportunity to get people to see this piece of art. However, when it comes to really capturing the spirit of the show in words, I turn to Cas. Here’s his two cents:
Never, in my experience has Alaska been so damned hot.
Nor has being naked been so damned meaningful.
That being said, in discussing Valerie Hager’s one-woman lightening bolt, “Naked in Alaska”,  we’re not talking about the actual climate of the Last Frontier, or the actual state of undress this artist just barely denies us with a few lacy and fringed bits of propriety; we’re talking about an audience’s mounting passion for a story and a cast of characters that hits in waves of empathy and curiosity and delight as a brutally honest young woman lays bare her true story of life as an exotic dancer, with an equally brutal courage that allows us to journey with her from the Deep South to the Way North and back, instead of merely sitting in the dark watching a staged version of some well-organized postcards.
You don’t see “Naked in Alaska”.
You absorb it.
So much so that to call it what it is in theatrical terms — a One-Woman Show — is to do the piece an absolute disservice, and to completely undervalue the One Woman whose show and story and naked truth we meet here.
The dozen or so characters embodied by Hager as she invites us into the gritty details and relationships and decisions that manifest in her sweeping story so instantly become as real in our temporary life with her as they were in her own.
The diminutive Hager needs only to affect a change in stature, a flip of her flowing hair, or a curl of her lip, and a whole other person has joined or replaced her entirely on the stage. She is simply that adept at pulling us into her private universe — so much so that we have no choice but to feel the presence of each of the characters that had, quite obviously, such a profound effect on her experience in this period of her life that they now impact us similarly as we share in it momentarily.
It is beyond rare to find an artist who is at once this gifted a storyteller with this level of craft and acting chops, who also has the power to write with such a visceral glow as to not simply deliver a monologue to an audience, but to virtually bring her audience inside her own head to experience that internal monologue right along with her.
The fact that the gorgeous Ms. Hager is also worth every dollar bill in your pocket when it comes to her mastery of the brass pole, which she works onstage to punctuate her story the way a seasoned novelist painstakingly employs ellipses and exclamation marks, is more than just a bonus for the visual aesthetes in the house.
Expertly directed by Scott Slavin, who knows the artist with an intimacy that shows in every aspect of the work, this microburst of theatrical brilliance will have you so engaged and leave you so enamored of the life that is Valerie Hager’s autobiography-in-progress, that if they’re anything like “Naked in Alaska”, such possible sequels as “Wearing Jeans in Starbucks” or “Throwing on a Robe because the Chinese Takeout Delivery Rang the Bell” couldn’t possibly be anything less that completely satisfying.
Cas Marino is an actor, singer, and director in New York City. His work as a spoken word artist and monologist has been seen by a wide variety of audiences, as well as his national television and radio appearances. As a freelance writer, he’s covered topics in print and online media ranging from pop culture and sexuality to food, fitness, nutrition, and theater.