A Note

Volunteering at the dog shelter has been occupying way too much time as of late. I’ve been scratched and nipped, I have felt uncomfortable, sad, angered, frustrated… but I also have felt love, hope, joy, excitement, and happiness. Cleaning up dog excrement may be far from glamorous… but it is completely honest. Opening gates and leashing dogs you don’t know or trust can be nerve wracking the first times you do it, but if no one walks the dogs, what chance to they have of not going mad, or finding homes? Heck, even most of America’s most hardened, incarcerated, criminals get an hour of yard time a day, and most of the dogs at the shelter did nothing wrong, they just happened to get lost, misunderstood, old, under-trained, or circumstances changed in their owner’s lives that forced them to give them up…

When I volunteered yesterday, I was delighted to have received a thank you note and picture of two elderly dogs that found a new home a few weeks back… I was also elated to have a terrified dog want to spend time with me (in her kennel) wagging her tail the whole time… I was overjoyed to see video of a dog that was too scared to come out of her kennel walking around and moving freely in the yard after one of the key volunteers carried her there. 

It really is a tragedy that so many shitty people are in the public spotlight, humans who are the furthest thing from positive role models in my opinion. Most of the time doing “good” work is thankless. At the shelter, 95% of the time we never hear from the people that we help or see pictures of the happy dogs in their new homes. [Though maybe I’ll start implementing a new idea I just came up with… creating fantasies of receiving letters and pictures directly from dogs who I feel like I may have helped improve their lives while at the shelter or by finding them a new home.]

We all matter. Everyone. All creatures are part of the greater WE. I grew up being told that WE are all God’s creatures, and that we should treat others the way WE would like to be treated. WE should treat others the way WE would want others to treat OUR mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, friends, or pets. Have I failed at this at times? Unquestionably yes, but we/I are/am flawed, and today and tomorrow are new opportunities for all of us to become better.

Regardless of whether or not WE receive thank you notes, WE can all choose to make a positive difference, to matter, WE can choose to help, to improve the lives of people in and out of our communities, or animals, whether it is when WE are being paid to do jobs, when WE are volunteering, or even when WE are just walking down the street.

It really does cost nothing to be kind and decent, but it really is worth so much. Thank YOU for every selfless, positive, and amazing thing you have done in the past, that you do today, and that you choose to do tomorrow.

– Quiche Out

Episode Two – 2 Million

Yesterday, Tuesday at 3 PM, episode two was launched on Brat’s YouTube platform, and I am happy to announce that Russell Fitzroy has made his 1st appearance.

I do not exactly know which episodes he will be in from now on other than the finale, but he will be throughout. A new episode released each Tuesday at 3PM, for next few weeks.

  • 16 hours after being posted, Episode Two already has 700,000+ views…
  • Episode One, released last week, has over 2 million…
  • And the Brat channel now has 2 million+ subscribers! — Congratulations Brat!

Link to the A GIRL NAMED JO playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVewHiZp3_LN8GHyhsDprhPwu9dJX9CgN

And if you’re only initially interested in seeing my character/work, in episode two, you can see that here on an unlisted YouTube video… https://youtu.be/gLoo4Jedu4Q

– Quiche Out

https://youtu.be/gLoo4Jedu4Q

Episode 1 was released. 1 million views in 1st 24 hours!

https://youtu.be/C8PQp7VUtN4

Well, my character did not make an appearance in #1… so I assume everyone will meet Russell Fitzroy in episode two. What is awesome however — is that within the first 24 hours of being released on YouTube — there were over 1 million views.

Over 1 million viewers in the first 24 hours!

I believe Episode Two will be released next week at the same time, but don’t hold me to it. Tuesday? 3 PM? And then over the next few weeks they will roll out the entire series? I really don’t know.

Watch Episode One now or wait and to watch them all later. Episode One is 21 minutes. Most of the comments on YouTube seem to be very positive.

https://youtu.be/C8PQp7VUtN4

-Quiche Out

A Girl Named Jo

Today is our last day of shooting… it is also the first day they released video publicly about the project.

Can be one of the first to see it. Here it is on YouTube.

– Quiche Out

Link: https://youtu.be/LHXqkvXvUUA

Cat’s Out

https://youtu.be/sl4us7t8R4w

I worked on this song with David Stahl, the accompanist of the class I had been taking at LACC this past semester, but with all the other songs I put up in and out of class, we never got to do this one publicly. Anyway, I shared it on Facebook a few days ago, so I figured I’d share it with you all too, in case you didn’t see the link.

– Quiche Out

https://youtu.be/sl4us7t8R4w

On Tuesday, May 29th, 2018… I dropped into The Gardenia, Los Angeles CA, to hear these fabulous musicians… Josh Nelson (pianist), Dori Amarilio (guitarist), and Jon Stuart(drummer). On Wednesday, May 30th, at 1AM, Keri Kelsey (host of the evening), called me to the microphone. Big thanks to Craig Cochrane for video.

Terrified Challenge

Four plus weeks ago I started teaching a class, at a well-known and reputable theatre school. Happily, I can report that the class feels to be not only going well, but has already exceeded my expectations.

I accepted the position for a few reasons… The second most influential reason was to hopefully learn more about my craft as an actor, through teaching others, recollecting my experiences, preparing for classes, and through other people’s eyes and their questions.  However, by far, the greatest reason I decided to take the plunge into education and offer up my nearly thirty years of practical and studied knowledge to others was that the whole idea terrified me.

I won’t list all the illogical fears that sprang up in my mind…because the only important point for this particular posting is that by saying YES to the opportunity, I was making a personal point to challenge demons of doubt.

Some of you may also know that I’m also currently enrolled back in college, part time… challenging other longly held beliefs.

Eight or so weeks ago I started taking Piano 101, and while I may never accompany myself in public, or play anything greater than simple children songs… the belief that learning piano would be a waste of time, and other resources… has already be disproven. Learning piano at such a remedial level has honestly, reminded me of the importance of taking baby steps (and repetition) in order to reach goals.

If it does require 10,000 hours to be an expert in anything, I’ve only got about 9,943 left… But seriously, it’s not about mastering the piano, or even playing the keys well, the process is really about learning something new, challenging myself, and increasing my knowledge base about music fundamentals to help me in other areas.

Lastly, for fun, I took a second class this semester, a large group, singing class…and while there are all sorts of levels that get up to the microphone to sing…I don’t think there is anyone who can’t improve something, or discover something to challenge themselves with.  So, after the first two songs in class went by… I made a point to ask the professor what she would challenge me with, knowing what she limitedly knew about my voice and repertoire.

She challenged me with doing a “soft” song…and doing a quick moving,  “patter” song, with some wordplay. That second suggestion, seriously, stopped me cold, and had my demons screaming again, seeded deep inside, again I found myself terrified…  Again terrified of something that couldn’t harm me…

  • “You can’t do a quick moving patter song…”
  • “That stuff’s for other people…”
  • “You get tongue tied…”
  • “You’d never be cast singing something like that…”
  • “In fourth grade the teacher thought that giving you one damn line was a stretch…”
  • “You can’t do it…”
  • “You don’t have that kind of voice…”
  • “You’ll fail…”
  • “You’ll make a fool of yourself…”

So, I took the challenge.

I took a few days, and listed twenty songs that I could learn, fighting the demons with each one. I considered each and then chose the one that I have had the sheet music for for over ten or more years, the same one that I thought might be the hardest on the list for me.

I even researched and presented my professor with a short paper on Danny Kaye, a performer who had a reputation of being able to do patter songs quickly and arguably as good as anyone had done them previously…hoping to discover a secret to the process.

Anyway, happily after weeks of memorization, and repetition, and working one word and one phrase at a time, finally this past week I performed it in front of my college classmates. It wasn’t flawless. It wasn’t “Professor Harold Hill” worthy (the character in the Music Man who sings the song in the 1950s Broadway musical) as it still needs work, ease, and smoothing out. Basically this was like a rehearsal run thru, without a director on board.

Regardless…as I don’t have to become a full-time facility member, or win a teacher of the year award, and…as I don’t have to become a professional pianist or play in public…the goal was not to be perfect, but to challenge the demons that terrified me for dozens of ridiculous reasons.

I’ll post a few clips of my college classroom performances below and two others. All have been previously posted on either YouTube or Instagram, I don’t know if you have to have accounts to watch them, but…

I guess we should always consider ourselves students and constantly seek to learn more… challenging ourselves especially when we have deep fears to something that can’t actually hurt us.

  1. What terrifies you that you can take steps to tackle?
  2. What do you do when someone suggests something that challenges you?
  3. When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

– Quiche Out

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