1.26.2010

2nd Toastmaster speech

Before I officially begin this post, I just want to say that since last post everything's all right "musical-play"-wise. Bettina and I had a great time at our first rehearsal and we met about a dozen new people. We sang, we danced, and we did fun warm-ups for about 2 hours and that was it. Until next Saturday.

Anyway...Today I gave my second ever Toastmaster speech! I'm happy to say that I came more prepared and that I was a lot more confident on the morning of, as opposed to last time when I was FREAKING OUT MON! This time I had it all figured out and I had memories of how easy giving a speech really was in front of my group. Bettina and I came half an hour early to spend some time with our Toastmasters mentor, Angela. She gave us some excellent tips to improve our body language and eye contact with the audience. Sometimes when I speak, I shift my weight from one foot to the other when I'm standing up. You can tell I feel nervous just by that action. In the video below, I still do a bit of weight-shifting, but not as much as I would've otherwise. Check it out.
video
I appreciate all those who helped me with my speech this week and all those who are helping me become a better public speaking person, from my family to everyone in my club. This is a shout out to them. THANKS EVERYONE!

1.20.2010

Once Upon a Broadway Dream

Up to now I've been keeping quiet about something I'm being part of, but I can keep quiet no longer. Back in December, my mom found an ad on Craigslist for an audition for an original musical play, and I contacted the poster saying I would be interested in auditioning. Long story short, yada yada yada, I found out the poster's name was Yasemin, and we emailed and we talked on the phone, and we set a date for an audition on January the 11th.

That day my mom drove me, my sister Bettina, and my brother Adam (who was just tagging along) to our audition and we met Yasemin for the first time. Bettina and I auditioned separately, and we each sung a song and performed a monologue very well (details upon request). After that we stayed around to talk with Yasemin and we discussed when starting rehearsals were. She said it would start sometime in February and that she'd contact us during the week by email with the particulars. Yasemin was a very nice women, and she wrote the original play herself. She seemed to have everything under control, so on the drive back home, we agreed that we didn't have to worry until we got an email from Yasemin.

Fast-forward to this morning; 9 days have passed, and I haven't heard a peep from Yasemin (funny sort of expression, no? Who'd actually say peep when talking to someone =) ). This morning I get a phone-call from Yasemin asking me where was I Saturday the 16th? Huminah-huminah-huminah...wha? Bettina and I were supposed to come on the 16th?!? I said I thought February and I was sorry for the misunderstanding. I also said that my sister and I would see her this Saturday, and did I mention how sorry I was?

Have you ever had one of those days where you question your own sanity? Never have one of those days! Shira was out food-shopping, so I couldn't talk to her for a few hours and I was stewing in my own juices, feeling like an idiot for hearing February instead of Jan. 16th. I pride myself on my reputation for perfect attendance, and I go and miss the first rehearsal!

Finally Shira came back and I told her all about it, and she reacted the same way I did, only she called up Yasemin to iron out the wrinkles in our stories. It turned out that somehow Yasemin thought she called me on the 14th saying that rehearsal was on the 16th, but I swear that I didn't! Twilight Zone anyone?.......

Anyway, Yasemin takes responsibility, and we made sure that the very next rehearsal for the musical play, which incidentally is called "Once Upon A Broadway Dream", is set for this Saturday, the 23rd, from 1:00-3:00 PM at the same place that I auditioned. Hopefully something good will come out of this and I can enjoy the rest of my day. Peace!
~ Annette out.

P.S. Check out my Art Blog for my latest cartoon obsession.

1.12.2010

Dean and Me (A Love Story)

If the names Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are foreign to you, let me suggest familiarizing yourself with some of their material before checking this book out from the library or reading this blog-post: DVDs of the Colgate Comedy Hour from your local library, My Friend Irma and My Friend Irma Goes West, 2 of their first films together, an album of Dean Martin singing the standards or any of Jerry Lewis's movie masterpieces. Take your pick. If you have heard of this dynamic duo of comedy, than thank goodness! I finally have someone to talk to!

Dean & Me is a book about the partnership, the team, the friendship, the illustrious career of Martin and Lewis. It was a wonderful history lesson for me, reading about how show business used to be in the '40s and '50s and how Jerry and Dean put together their act and traveled all over the country playing nightclubs from coast-to-coast, how they acted in movies, and met all sorts of famous celebrities. What I liked most about this book however was how wonderfully Jerry expressed himself about all the fun he and Dean had working together and all the good times they had on and off the stage/screen. Jerry was the wild one, the off-the-wall goof with a rubber face, loud, high voice, and a huge personalty. Dean was the handsome, charming crooner, who had a razor-sharp wit to match Jerry's crazy antics and a cool attitude that kept him through any adversity.

As I got further and further into the book, it turned into an emotional roller-coaster. After 10 wonderful, golden years, Jerry and Dean's working and personal relationship dissolved. They both struck out on their own, performing solo and living their separate lives. It made me sad to read about what Jerry went through; he and Dean didn't see each other again until 18 years later! Then I felt happy when I read about how, professionally, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin made good in their individual careers. The last part of the book was bittersweet, and it also made me tear up a bit when I read about Dean and Jerry's final reconciliation, and then Dean Martin's funeral after Christmas only 15 years ago.

What I love about reading biographies, and autobiographies especially, is that they are stories of real life, people who actually lived, and what they gave to this world to get a book written about them in the first place. My respect and appreciation for Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin as human beings, and not just famous faces, has grown exponentially just by reading this book. Would my brother Adam be the same person if not for Jerry Lewis? I don't think so.

1.10.2010

Baby It's Cold Outside!

I live in South Florida, home of one of the mildest winter climates in the country. This year I've experienced 34 degree nights and 37 degree days, for the first time ever without taking a trip north anywhere! It's so cold today, I'm wearing 2 pairs of pants! One on top of the other! Honestly! And I'm getting cabin-fever from sitting inside all day!

Well, actually, it's kinda nice spending Sunday at home, watching "Phineas and Ferb", reading "Dean and Me" (a wonderful autobiography from the great Jerry Lewis himself), and eating nice hot oatmeal. I feel so cozy and relaxed. *sigh satisfyingly*
Oh, another thing, Adam found this Billiards game online that's totally addicting, and everyone except my mom is going through this phase. O.o

1.04.2010

Another one of those New Year posts

I've got so many wonderful stories to share I hardly know where to start! It would take too long for me to figure out how to tell everything without getting into too much detail, because every detail is important, but I can list the incredible highlights from New Year's Eve to the end of New Year's Day:
  • Spent the afternoon of Dec. 31 at the beach with my 2 favorite guys in the world: my brother Adam and my dad Benny. We swam, chatted, played Paddle-ball, and ordered a pizza that never came!
  • Baby-sat for a friend of a friend on New Year's Eve. All three of us, Bettina, Adam, and I, were hired to take care of 4 kids: a boy/girl twin set (3 & 1/2 years old), and 2 older sisters (one 7, the other 10). We filled up juice-cups, changed diapers, watched our very own "Leslie and Kyle" webshow on their computer (the kids loved it), and saw the ball drop on TV. The older sisters were a great help with translating for their younger siblings, and we had an easy time with everyone because they were so well-behaved. We slept-over and the next day we made breakfast for everyone, and watched a movie until mom came back at 1:00 PM the next day. What a way to start 2010! ^_^
  • After we got paid (for babysitting 18 hours), I drove myself and my crew all the way back home so we could get ready for a New Year's Day party at a friends' house. They're Japanese-American, so there's always some great Asian party foods to sample. My family brought vegan sushi to the table. There was a lot of kids at the party, and we all had a great time playing "Rock-Band" and "Wii Sports" in the game-room.
That's all I can give you. Enough reminiscing for me. Time to start getting back to work!