Friday, March 30, 2007

YouTube Milestone

Oh happy day/week - I finally hit a half a million views with my evadeadbeat vids. As an added bonus, my Stuck in Vermont vid about the Burlington Craft Mafia got featured somewhere or other (?!) on YT and shot up to 12,000 views (Update: 40,000+ hits!?). Happy day!

Of course, it is not all fun and games. With hits and exposure come the inevitable hatred such as practically every comment left lovingly on my Green Day vids:

chaz911 (4 days ago)
like wtf? you're an adult, talk like one instead of rambling on like some teenage kid. you're video is pointless and the lack of evidence makes this very stupid.

SpitFire718 (2 days ago)
i would have thrown a pool stick at her face Dumb wanna be blonde

gelignite555 (1 day ago)
if i was billie id have killed her

jay5668 (12 hours ago)
you have no right at all to talk bad about billie he great at what he does and he dosnt deserve to be talk to badly like you did to him you stupid bitch

Oh my. The sad thing is, these comments are somewhat accurate! I DO ramble like a teenage kid and I AM a wanna be blonde! These kids are savvy.

Ah well, my YouTube account will no doubt disappear one day soon for copyright infringment and these kids can mercilessly attack some other childish grown-up blabbing all over the internet tubes. For now though, I will relish my little YouTube milestones for the smidgen of joy they bring to me. Happy Day!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

300 Spartan Fellows

Last night we went to see 300 to help me get in the mood for The Trojan Women tonight (last chance to soak up some suffocating Greek tragedy tonight, Friday and Saturday - oh boy!). I expected it to be constant fight scenes and not much else but was immediately sucked into the storyline, the impressive visuals and the solid acting.

It feels good to be transfixed and transported away to ancient Sparta where the ladies wear revealing tunic dresses and the fellows all have exposed washboard tummies. Hello! While the Persians seemed a bit overdone/stereotyped (either over the top gold-covered-n-gay or overweight and black), what are you gonna do, it IS based on a comic!

And all the blood splatters are so artistically sprayed that it is hard not to get into the mood. Most of the film was shot with bluescreens but that just makes the journey all the more delicious and surreal. I guessed 6 or more VFX Houses worked on the film but I undershot as it was closer to 10. What with Beastmaster being one of my favorite films, this is just a slicker, fancier Greek version.

This film takes place around the time Euripides was writing The Trojan Women. And there were many moments in the film - when the Persian King warns the king of Sparta that his women will all become slaves - that reminded me of our play. And although I doubt the Trojan war involved such ridiculously stylized blood-splattered battles, I have no doubt that, if that war really did occur, the experience was as dramatic for the warriors.

I assumed the film would make me more anti-war than ever before. And I think 300 does show little glimpses of Sparta, its women, its children and the devastating effects of war on all of them. But more than anything, it is just a fun, beautiful ride back in our ancient Greek matte-painted time machine. How can you not love a movie soaked in such visually stunning swaths of blood?

And tonight, I am gonna mourn Troy like never before and when I say, "Never to the whirl of Eurotas, not Sparta detested, who gave us Helen. Not look with slave's eyes on the scourge of Troy, Menalaeus," - well, I am gonna really, really mean it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

History and Syrup are Stuck in Vermont

"In this time, the most precious substance in the universe is the spice melange. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness."
— Opening monologue from the 1984 film Dune,
spoken by Virginia Madsen as Princess Irulan
Go to Stuck in Vermont to see two brand spanking new vlogs about Preservation Burlington's "A Date with History" at the Fleming Museum and the Maple Open House Weekend at Shelburne Farms.

Maple_3_evaBut I warn you, you cannot watch the sugaring video without hungering for maple syrup or something sweet. After editing this vlog late last night, I was CRAVING pancakes and made some as soon as I woke up with some Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup. Mmm...truly the nectar of the Gods.

"He who controls the [maple syrup], controls the Universe!" Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Dune

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shelburne Farms Meander

It has been far too long since I took a stroll at Shelburne Farms. I can't even remember the last time. So this weekend, with the warm weather and the Maple Open House Weekend, it was the perfect time to indulge an aimless wander.

Being uber dorks, Dan and I snapped simultaneous pics with our own cameras (pguon) and took the long trail through to the inn. It is lucky we had on our mud boots cause that trail is sloppy. If we had gotten up just a little bit sooner, we might have made the 4-H Club's pancake breakfast. Mmmm...

We stopped for maple syrup shots on the way into the woods and on the way out. I think I downed about 4 shots total. Za za zing!

I talked to Mark the Sugarmaker for a long time about the complex and nuanced Art of Sugaring (you, too, can learn Sugaring 101 in the Stuck in Vermont vlog this week, coming out Wed).

For instance, did you know that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup? And did you know that sugarmakers stay up into the wee hours burning the sugar water down to maple suger and arguing about which grade of syrup tastes best?

After strolling, snapping, syruping and vlogging, we headed to Shelburne to soak up the bar atmosphere at The Bearded Frog. After all that walking, we had worked up quite an appetite and proceeded to gorge ourselves on Bloody Marys and cheeseburgers.

Oddly enough, this meal didn't seem to upset my tummy when I performed The Trojan Women hours later. In fact, it was poor Alex who had to rush off the stage to puke mid-show. I think it was the maple syrup that kept me together. That stuff is like nectar of the Gods.

Trojan Women, What a Bummer!

Of course war is bleak, but a play that does nothing but hammer home that bleakness runs the risk of hammering its audience into stunned submission. "The Trojan Women" doesn't inspire or enrage us as much as it suffocates us with the heaviness of endless tragedy.
Burlington Freepress, Brent Hallenbeck

Three shows down, three to go: Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week - you KNOW you want to come and be suffocated "with the heaviness of endless tragedy." HAW! No really, you should come! It is a really, really good play, no matter what Brent Hallenbeck says.

Yes, "The Trojan Women" is a tragedy, and it lifts the carpet to look at the radiating effects of war that we often try to sweep away. But it's all too grim to leave us with strong feelings. "The Trojan Women" is a 90-minute lament.
Burlington Freepress, Brent Hallenbeck

This Freeps review really annoys me. The basic gist of what he says is that The Trojan Women is too much of a downer to enjoy. For starters, let's take a refresher course, IT IS A GREEK TRAGEDY!

Secondly, war sucks. Too bad we can't dress it up with lots of hot Helens with cleavage but when it comes down to it, war sucks.

Thirdly, even if you find a play depressing, it is possible to note its finer aspects such as the complex nuanced acting done by stage veterans like Ruth, Kelly, Jim and Joyce and the younger set such as Katya, Alison, Claire, Alex and Joshua. Additionally, the director, Eric Ronis did an amazing job with the lighting design and we all worked for many many hours to try to explore this prose down to its depths.

Perhaps it is expecting too much to ask an audience to sit through a sad play for 90 minutes. But I would like to point out that every day in Iraq and other war-torn countries, this is life. It does not end after 90 minutes when mercifully, our lives return to normal and we can go out for burgers.

They live the tragedy, feel it, breathe it and fear it all day long, every day. I find it sad that Americans find 90 minutes of tragedy distasteful. Well, not all Americans. Seven Days reviewer Lisa Crean gave The Trojan Women a far deeper examination:

Elements of the production reinforce the parallel between ancient and modern times. Ronis uses a soundtrack of traditional Arab chant to evoke a “timeless feeling,” he says. Several characters wear costumes resembling burkhas. Actors break the fourth wall and “make their appeals directly to the audience,” Ronis notes. King Menelaus enters “à la George Bush making a stump speech, pressing the flesh.”

Ronis believes the play’s themes “speak for themselves.” Their modern relevance is a tragedy even Euripedes could not have foreseen. “It’s a shame that this is what we do,” Ronis says. “This is what humanity is. And 2500 years ago, this play was written, and nothing has changed. Nothing has changed, except our weapons have become more sophisticated.”
Seven Days, Lisa Crean

I have heard this play hundreds of times by now and I still find something new and interesting to mull over each night we perform it. Call me a lover of tragedies, call me a melodramatic drama queen (both ring true) but there is good stuff here to ruminate over.

Our audience Sunday night was small and consisted mainly of mothers but we still put on an awesome show because the play deserves it. It is a solid tale, a tragic tale and one that is sadly as relevant today as it was
thousands of years ago. The moms know it, Euripides knew it, most people who have been to Iraq know it. And I am proud to be a part of it and every night, Kelly brings a little tear to my eye when she says:

Hear, O mother of children give ear to what I urge so well, that I may cheer my drooping spirit. 'Tis all one, I say, ne'er to have been born and to be dead, and better far is death than life with misery. For the dead feel no sorrow any more and know no grief; but he who has known prosperity and has fallen on evil days feels his spirit straying from the scene of former joys.

PS And check out this review of an interesting re-telling of The Trojan Women with pop songs! I want to see this!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lily Kicks ASS!

Jeez, you just have to watch these clips to believe them. Some behind the scene gems from I Heart Huckabees in which Lily Tomlin goes cuckoo and starts bitching up a storm. Luckily, a crew member left the camera on for her angry tirade.

Better still is the second clip in which the director of the film, David O Russell gets fed up and attacks Lily in front of the entire crew. This is the Hollywood I love. None of this prim and proper bullshit! Give me tantrums, screaming hissy fits and pushing crap off of desks in an angry rage! Bring it!

Said Lily after the shoot/boxing match:

''I'd rather have someone human and available and raw and open. Don't give me someone cold, or cut off, or someone who considers themselves dignified.''

Go to Defamer to see the clips and read the backstory. Thanks to Dan for the hot link!

Trojan Women Tonight!

(Me and my Trojan ladiez.)

March 23 - 25, 29– 31: "The Trojan Women"

Champlain Theatre presents "The Trojan Women." The images are too familiar: an old woman wailing over the corpse of her infant grandson; an adolescent girl sexually abused by a group of male soldiers; a city on fire, its towers crumbled, as the few survivors huddle together in fear and helplessness.

Euripides wrote "The Trojan Women" in 415 B.C.E. and sadly the very images he conjures of women as victims of war ring as true today as they did nearly 2,500 years ago. Intensely emotional, this great Greek tragedy will be brought to life by Champlain Theatre in a technically bare-bones production under the direction of Eric Ronis.

Performed in Champlain College's Alumni Auditorium at 8 p.m. Tickets: $14 for general admission; $5 for Champlain students with I.D. Call 651-5962 to reserve tickets.

Tonight is the preview, general public can pay and free to Champlain students!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Craft Mafia are Stuck in Vermont

The Burlington Craft Mafia are a bunch of gals after my own heart. They are hard-working, detail-oriented, talented, artistic, obsessed and they don't sleep much. And they make all sorts of delectable goodies that you can wear on your body!

I drove home with a beautiful blue beaded necklace with a heart on the end from Kacey's table. But if I had been carrying my checkbook, well, there would have been trouble because I wanted to buy everything!

And may I just say that Colin Clary is a fine, fine musician and it was so nice having him play pretty music in his rainbow colored sweater. Add that to sandwiches shaped liked stars, nifty goods a plenty and a room full of cool people and the evening was a smashing success! Thanks to Studio STK for hosting!

Go to the Stuck in Vermont blog at Seven Days to watch the vlog of the evening!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Deadbeat Incommunicado

If lately it seems like I dropped off the face of the earth and do return emails or phone calls, do not blog, vlog or YouTube - it is not because I am a lazy bastard (well, perhaps that is a part of it) but it is mainly because I am being a Trojan Woman all day long, every damn day.

This means lots of standing, moaning, sniffling and wailing. Standing in pools of light, here, there and everywhere, and clumping all over the stage as our various lighting cues are set. We four chorus women act as the main furniture of the show because we are on stage the entire time and there is not much in the way of sets.

We are as big as tents in our shapeless square brown pieces of cloth and all you really see of us is a square bit of face and two hands peeking out from beneath the folds. As a novice actor, it is a bit harder to act when your body is completely encased in robes. But I guess I will just have to rely on my clown face to get me through.

We chorus women are versed in the 4 "C"s: Clumping, Crying, Clinging and Complaining - we also clutch, carry on, canoodle and curry favor. There is something strangely comforting about being a part of a chorus entity. I am not sure what I will do when I no longer have my chorus posse to cling to - it will probably take weeks to get used to being unattached to them on a regular basis.

As exhausted as we all are with day after day of rehearsal and tech, there is always a sense of camaraderie on the stage. And even if I have been standing for 4 hours straight and my legs feel ready to buckle underneath me, Ruth manages to crack me up with some smart ass remark, or one of the soldiers makes me burst out laughing, Kelly shoots me a wink, Alex says something naughty under her breath or Claire puts her head on my shoulder and it all seems ok.

I guess this is what it feels like to be a player. The work can be excruciatingly dull and exhausting at times but when you are with a fine group of people, it all seems worth it. Now my only worry is that I will crack up. The play is so relentlessly depressing and we are so slap happy from countless rehearsals, it seems plausible that we might crack under the pressure and punctuate each sad ode with fits of giggles.

Such as tonight when Alex was complaining to me about the Greek masters who are gonna take us away and molest us. I run my hand down her face and say, "Night is a queen, but I curse her."

Not sure why but this started me off of a jag of giggles which then infected Claire's next speech. I think it could hit us like wildfire if we are not careful. Hope we can at least make it till closing night without this happening!

So in two weeks all the madness will be done and hopefully you will still be my friend then. And in the meantime, if you are local, come and see The Trojan Women - and if you are lucky, you might come on a night when comical sheenangans ensue! Otherwise, expect pain, pain and more PAIN! Revel in the tragedy! YipeeeeeE!

And in closing, my favorite line of the show which I am lucky enough to deliver, "The bright pronged spear immortal of THUNDER might SMASH IT!" Oh yeah, tell it like it is Euripides!

Friday, March 16, 2007

New DBC on YouTube

Jesus, in case you aren't as sick of me as I am, you can now watch some of the new March episode of The Deadbeat Club #30 on YouTube (you know, the crappy episode I threw together in one measly evening).

In which Eva blabs about her dream job vlogging Stuck in Vermont for Seven Days, her upcoming show The Trojan Women, DBC mail and Margot and Eva give out the Deadbeat Oscars for 2007.

SpielPalast 2006

Please to enjoy some super duper sexy SpielPalast Cabaret promos HOT off the presses - the first is pics, the second is video. Oooh la la, I am getting both excited and frightened about the upcoming SpielPalast in May...eeeek!

As the stunning chanteuse Sara Dawn sings:

"We sleep in the daytime,
stay up all night,
we're creatures of habit,
it's nothing to be frightened of,
it's tough to be alone,
it's a sad, sad world but there's always the show..."

Come See The Trojan Women

Euripides wrote this powerful Greek tragedy back in 415 BC and it is still as HOT and relevant as ever. It kind of sucks actually. You would think that by now we would have figured out how to avoid war, destruction and the murder of innocents but alas, no such luck.

If you are in the mood for some delicious ancient Greek tragedy (and as an added bonus, you get to see me in a burka!), come see The Trojan Women playing at Champlain College:

March 23 - 25, 29– 31: "The Trojan Women"
Champlain Theatre presents “The Trojan Women.” The images are too familiar: an old woman wailing over the corpse of her infant grandson; an adolescent girl sexually abused by a group of male soldiers; a city on fire, its towers crumbled, as the few survivors huddle together in fear and helplessness.

Euripides wrote "The Trojan Women" in 415 B.C.E. and sadly the very images he conjures of women as victims of war ring as true today as they did nearly 2,500 years ago. Intensely emotional, this great Greek tragedy will be brought to life by Champlain Theatre in a technically bare-bones production under the direction of Eric Ronis.

Performed in Champlain College’s Alumni Auditorium at 8 p.m. Tickets: $14 for general admission; $5 for Champlain students with I.D. Call 651-5962 to reserve tickets.

And now listen to me blab all about it (and draw some ties to the war in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan):

There is this line in the play, "What can one woman do against the might of the Greek army?" and it ALWAYS reminds me of John Nichols in STVT11 recounting the significance of the seemingly insignificant actions of ONE woman named Cindy Sheehan in August of 2005, "They tell us our activism means nothing because they don't want us to be active."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sexy SpielPalast Part Deux

Displayed above are far more of my tonsils than anyone besides my dentist should probably ever see. These pictures are courtesy of Nicci (the sexy lady in the blue wig) and they prove two things:

1. SpielPalast throws a sexy party
2. I have a knack for looking crazy in almost every picture ever taken of me...hmmm...

And for a far better recounting of the evening than I could ever give, check out Emma's sister Penelope's blog which gives a nice flavor for the night and is also a super duper cool blog (check out her earlier post about the odd internet age we live in and how it is hard to be intimate within it)!

It is impossible to tell in the pictures but my dress was so short that it seemed like more of a long shirt. Add that to ripped white fishnets and cherry red doll-cheeks and I felt a bit like a slutty ragdoll.

This was fine at the sexy party but felt a wee bit awkward at Shaws on my way to the party. Still, there is something fun about being dressed up oddly in a grocery store. It sparks my inner-child who is still excited about playing dress up, even if the check-out girl decides to look at me funny...

And now for a bite of tasty Spielpalast Cabaret which goes down smooth like silk and leaves an after taste of cream and honey!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ewan the Dreamboat

He sings, he dances, he moons, he acts, he has an earnest smile that sparkles, jeez, I need to splash some cold water on my face. Seriously though, they broke the mold with this one:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

dug Nap is Stuck in Vermont

This is what happens when you have rehearsal every night and still stay up until 8am to edit your videos - you get sick and you stay sick. Argh. I am so tired of feeling like crap!

But that is not why I am here. I am here to tell you to go to my Seven Days blog, Stuck in Vermont, to watch my video about dug Nap's sold out show at FlynnSpace Friday night, "My Imaginary Girlfriend."

I really like dug and his cards and his hats. And speaking as someone who has not only had imaginary boyfriends by the boatload (Ewan McgGregor being my favorite no doubt) but has also been an imaginary girlfriend - well, I just found the show quite touching.

Please tell me what you think of the vlog!?!?! Now I go to bed...but first, I pee on everything in the whole wide world! tee hee!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wha...Where?? No Way!

I have to admit, I am skeptical, yet intrigued none-the-less. In the two days since I posted my fancy, smancy Clustr map upgrade (thanks Junk Thief!), my blog has gotten hits from all over the world. Is this for real?

Tokyo, Sydney, Brussels (Digibudi?), Amersfoort, Milton, Lille, Petah Tiqwa (Israel!?), Zagreb (Croatia - is that you Tonci?!), Rome, Hamburg, London, Leeds, Manchester (James? Marti?) and lots of other British towns I have ever heard of.

Is this really possible? Is it feasible that in the span of TWO days a person in each of these foreign, far off towns stumbled across my blog? Seems far fetched - but super cool to even imagine.

And that is only overseas, stateside there have been visitors from Bellows Falls, Springfield, Hartford, Columbus, Nashville (hi Tony!), Boston, Stowe and, of course, Burlington (probably all visits from me!!). Jeez. I want to believe this is accurate but it is just too weird...

The other really cool thing about Frappr maps is that you can leave a message, picture and your name! It is like an animated guest book without the opening reception!? Whether it is real or not, I am loving it! My new favorite tech toy, thanks internet!

Sexy SpielPalast Saturday!

Make no bones about it, the girls and boys from SpielPalast Cabaret know how to put on a sexy shin dig: Phinn juggling and reading fortunes, top secret experiments, a naughty kissing booth, a hot-n-heavy human VS android boxing match, a sizzling fan dance, a sultry cigarette girl, feeling Paula's box, Charles Dead or Alive playing with a silent movie, and booze courtesy of sexy fishnet-encased ladies (one of 'em was me!)!

Va va va voom ladies!!!