Monday, June 30, 2008

29 and holding...5 more days.

In 5 days, I turn 30. 30. Three Zero.
I think I spoke aloud words similar to those this past Fall at Metro Stage.
I didn't really think that I would be that pressed about it when the time actually came.
Strangely, I was wrong.
I don't know why I am having a hard time with this, but I really am. When people ask why, I frequently say that it is because I play a lot of 10 year old roles. It is partly that. It is also partly that I start to think about all the roles that I would love to play that suddenly people will think that I am too long in the tooth for.
And yet, It's still not even that.
It is all the things that I have not done by 30. Things that other friends have done. It is many things, and multifaceted.
I can't put all of them on this page. But they are indeed alive in my mind.

I look at this photo and think - wow - it's been a long road from there. If I knew then what I know now.
I know that I will be fine and this will pass and it really isn't a big deal and blah,blah,blah everything that people might say to make me feel less neurotic about it. But I also know that every single human has a different journey, and mine has made me feel this way about it.
Maybe I feel insecure and bad about turning this age because I don't feel secure in my finances, career, and all of the "adult world" things that really DO matter. And here I am (clearly already an adult,but really entering the 30 something decade) about to enter a decade where one hopes that one's shit is together by.
Guess what? My shit's not together. I freely admit that.
I guess that is also why this is all so hard. Money has been so tight this past year that I have started to have literal dreams of going back to school to get a degree in Meteorology and becoming a TV Weather Man. Nothing would make me happier.
If only I could afford to go to school.
Anyways, I guess I am just uncertain about much of my future, like everyone else, and instead of people saying "It's not a big deal", I guess I would prefer someone not saying anything.
It's easy for most in retrospect to analyze when they turned 30 and say it was easy. Whenever I talk to my fellow( not for long) 20 somethings, they get wide eyed and talk apprehensively.
30 is when the party is over, and it is game time if you are seriously trying make something of your life. At least that is how I see it.
Which may be wrong. I don't know.
It is just where I am tonight.
As I sit alone in my house and make candles.
Candles that will ironically be my birthday candles.
Sorry if this is maudlin, but - actually, no I am not sorry if it is maudlin.
I have a right to my feelings, and just an equal right to say to you all next week that "It's no big deal."
I reserve that right now, just as all of you have done in the past and will do in the future.

But for now, at 5 days and holding...not really sure what I am going to reserve.
That's all from 4431 Neurotica Blvd,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

PS -

It turns out that I DON"T have to work on my 30th B-day a week from today,,,*thank you God!*
Oh...and I saw Irma Vep last night, and had a great time. Brad and Fred are fantastic. Still assimilating thoughts on it, and more on it later...


How do you say the name of this show, some have asked...Think of it like this:
A) Insomnia
B) Karaoke
Put them together and what do you get?
INSOMNIEOKE at Signature Theatre
July 18th, 19th and August 1st all at 9:30pm
All tickets ONLY $15!!!!
GO HERE to buy them!

My Favorite Bad Movies: Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula

Well, it's been awhile since I have put in an entry in this series, and I have been watching some REAL stinkers of late, so I will kick back into the Favorite Bad Movies series with this schlocker from 1966.
It stars (and I use this term loosely) John Carradine,Chuck Courtney as William 'Billy the Kid' Bonney, and Melinda Plowman as Betty Bentley, love interest of Billy, and lust object of "Dracula".
First of all, this movie should have been called "Dracula is a Dirty Old Man", but unfortunately, that title is already taken. The movie begins with John Carradine's character sharing a stagecoach with a tubby whiskey salesman, and an old woman and her brother. The stagecoach is travelling at night (? Is that really supposed to be night?) because vampires don't hold up under the sun too good, natch. The old broad regales "Dracula" with details of her life and reasons for travel, ignoring a crucial horror movie rule: never tell a stranger wearing a top hat and cape and a big clown-like bow tie too much about where you are headed to, who you are going to see, and why.
She prattles on about her niece, who lives on the "Double Bar B" ranch, so named for old talky broad's husband, since passed away. She went up to Boston to fetch her Brother, who was going to help old talky broad on the ranch, now that talky old broad's husband is dead. She informs "Dracula" that her daughter "Betty" has never met her Uncle, whose name we learn is James Underhill.
Still with me?
Still awake?
It's been like 10 minutes of the movie so far.
Wake me up when the killing starts.
At this point, old talky broad's brother, who seemed to be trying to sleep through his sister's tedious conversation, wakes up long enough to say "Easy - remember, your heart..."
Which I guess means that she can't even talk without risking a heart attack, which was a first for me to hear. She tells "Dracula" that her daughter is "18 and beautiful", upon which his eyes look like they are going to come out of his sockets. She whips out a photo and asks if "Dracula" would like to see it.
The eyes get even bigger if that is at all possible, and he says one of my favorite lines, "18 and beautiful? Yes, I'd like to see it!"
Ok, let this be a warning to you, mothers everywhere. When an old man ogles your daughter's picture and then repeats "18 and beautiful", as his eyes look like they might be on the verge of popping out, you might want to call the cops ASAP. Just saying.
Speaking of the old coot, why I keep saying "Dracula" in quotations is this: they never ever really say that he IS Dracula. He never says that. The name "Dracula" is never even uttered once in the film. So why the title is as it stands is beyond me, and probably most of the other people who saw the film. Which is probably about 45 people, including me.
"Billy the Kid" actually is supposed to be the notorious William H. Bonney, here played by Chuck Courtney, who I have to admit is sort of dreamy in a 60's way. Nice blue eyes. William is "reformed" now, and is trying to live a clean life with his girl, Melinda Plowman as Betty Bentley (daughter of talky old broad). Betty Bentley muses that after she and Billy are married they will be Betty Bonney and Billy Bonney.
No, this is actually a scene. I'm not kidding.
Well...what drags on from here is predictable and a snoozery. But do I recommend it? Absolutely! It is perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon fraught with laughs,or perhaps if you are in a deep coma and not expected to awaken any time soon. It is full of bad rubber bat effects, bulging old man eyes, Red flashlights pointed at faces "special effects", and one of my favorite death of a vampire scenes ever captured on film.
Watch it below...

Oh yes...bullets won't stop him...but throw a gun in his face and he's down for the count.
This made the movie totally worth sitting through. I laughed until I cried, actually.
So check out Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula if you are a masochist for this stuff like I am.
Or if you are in a coma.
You will definitely be entertained for a second or two.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Last Visit

I went to closing night of The Visit at Signature Theatre this past Sunday night.
It was the first time that I got to see the show, and what a night to see it on. The energy in the room was electric, and the audience was unbelievable. John Kander was there, and much of the show I found myself looking at him watch his own show. It was a very special evening.
Many Kander and Ebb shows have an iconic image or moment in them, and the most powerful moment that I experienced was when Chita was alone in the woods, sitting on the bench with her cane. She sang my favorite song in the score, "Love and Love Alone" and it was just one of those moments. I will never forget it. I wish I could remember all of the gorgeous lyrics to the song to post them, but I can't. During that song, you saw through to the heart of Claire, and the pain of her past and impending future. If irony has a sound, then it is this song. It simply drips with it. It is very much like an "I'm Still Here" dealing with aspects of the heart.
And I am not knocking the rest of the cast or George Hearn, who were all fantastic, but this was the moment and song that hit me the hardest.

George Hearn's voice is still an amazing instrument, and his acting was superb. I loved his rendition of "I Must have been Something". To see he and Chita in such a small theatre was an unusual treat. I got to talk to George, Chita, and John Kander after the show at the closing night party.
It was great to speak again with John Kander, as I haven't seen him since Kiss of the Spider Woman. I thanked him for everything, and in typical John Kander style said,"No, thank you."
It is strange to see the Kander and Ebb festival come to an end, and a little bit sad as well. I was lucky enough to appear in 2 offerings for the festival, Kiss and A Smile to Hide the Pain. But all things end I guess. Shaking John Kander's hand and saying goodnight, I walked out to my car thinking how surreal my life sometimes is.
Never would I have guessed while I was in High School listening to Kander and Ebb music, or watching George in Sweeney Todd, or Chita in Kiss of the Spider Woman that I would ever be in a place where all three were in the same room with me. Talking and laughing and shaking hands, and part of a festival that I too was a part of.
It is indeed a small world.


Well, here it is Friday, and I am blogging from work during lunch. Still no computer at home. (Something about I need a new router?). So it is this tedious work blogging holding pattern. I have a few things to post today, so I will throw them up as I can the rest of the day.
What's new?
I've been working on my latest cabaret, Insomnieoke non stop. Also working almost non stop at day jobs. Tomorrow it will be exactly one week until my 30th birthday. *tick,tick,tick,tick*
And I just found out that due to scheduling problems, I will spend a majority of that day WORKING at TicketPlace.
I was so bummed.
I just wanted to spend the day doing fun things that I love doing, and now I will be selling tickets to Shear Madness to grumpy tourists. Not my idea of a fantastic 30th. Oh well. It is what it is.
I am going to go see Irma Vep tonight at Arena. I am excited to see Fred and Brad, and can't wait!
I will be posting a few more things shortly, but that's about it for now.
Talk soon,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Well, I have finalized my song list, and I have to say that I think you will have an absolute blast if you come to see me! You will hear songs by:
Amy Winehouse
George Michael
Stevie Wonder
Dixie Chicks
The Carpenters
and...wait for it...
Olivia Newton-John.
oh yes.
It is going to be a fun evening, so put on your pajamas and come have a sleep over!
Visit SIGNATURE THEATRE's website for tickets, which are ONLY $15!!!
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


An interview with my husband, Matt Conner, who just announced as a recipient of the American Musical Voices Project.
You can read it HERE.

Sh*t I like right now...

Our computer is still out of commission and I am about to crawl up a wall. Sorry no recent posts, but it is hard to find time at work to do much on here.
So let's play a quick game of catch up with each other...
My parents paid a visit last weekend, and it was fantastic as always to spend time with them. The time is never enough, of course, and I wish I didn't have to work so much and could take off and see them more, but that's how it goes.
I have been working at the tanning salon and TicketPlace, making candles, and working on my upcoming summer cabaret, entitled Insomnieoke. Details to follow.
The Kander and Ebb Lucy Bowen McCauley show ended on Sunday afternoon, and went very well. I hear that there are great pictures from it, and as soon as I get them, I will share with all of you.

I just finished reading The Alchemist, and I have to say that I thought it was an amazing book that has totally changed my way of thinking. It is a life changing book, and I am so glad to have read it. Kurt Boehm got it for me and Matt for Christmas, and I read it this past week. Thanks so much for sharing that book with us, Kurt! I really loved it.

My last Netflix was:
The Tingler

A real campy treat of a film. I watched it the other night with Kara Tameika Watkins, and we laughed the whole way through. What fun it must have been to be in the movie theatre when the screen goes black and Vincent Price's voice yells,"The Tingler is loose in this theatre - scream - scream for your lives!!!"
*sigh* Good times.

I'm not much on contemporary pop music, but I have to say, I've been really digging Madonna's Hard Candy. Great beats and hooks, and just makes you want to dance. Favorite tracks: 4 Minutes to Save the World, Candy Shop, Give it To Me.

Ok, that's a quickie from me to you. Talk to you soon.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Here is the official promo shot for June candles which are all different shades of white, eggshell, beige, and khaki. Not one of these is truly the same. I want them all to have differences, but retain the same theme of color and feel. The scents are Egyptian Cotton, Sun Dried Cotton, and Clean Linen.
They should make your home smell like sheets fresh off of a June clothesline.
To place your order, visit CANDLES BY STEPHEN.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wigged Out

"The show was delightful. I saw it last night. Was there anything unique about Friday night's performance that won't be repeated in further performances? :D "
writes in Googla Monster, frequent commenter on ye old blog.
Last night, Eleasha's wig flew off at the end of one of her songs.
Did you just hear what I said?
wig flew off.
I died.
I had to sing the next song, and all I wanted to do was laugh. It was the hardest thing to do ever. When the show was over, I came off stage and collapsed in a ball of hysterics.
So yes, Googla, something happened that WE SURE HOPE won't happen again happened last night!
I'm still laughing about it...
The show, PS, is fantastic. Come and see us!


Tracy Lynn Olivera and Evan Casey are ENGAGED!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Handy Man

Just because no one's day is complete without a little Alberta Hunter...Enjoy!

Let's make an arrangement...

Just wanted to share these pictures...
I made these flower arrangements out of flowers found in my front and back yard. They are made up of Queen Anne’s lace, Yellow Primrose, Clematis, and backed by some Aucuba leaves.

These are made up of largely the same plants, Queen Anne’s lace, Yellow Primrose, Clematis,Aucuba leaves, but added is one single Hydrangea bloom.

This is an arrangement I did in a water bowl, with Peonies. I used their leaves to cover the other surfaces of the water that the blooms did not cover to give it a swampy or lily pad like look. I anchored the blooms in place by using riverbed pebbles in the bottom of the bowl.
I did these on a day when I was cleaning up the house and thought "Wouldn't it be nice to have some fresh flowers in here?"..but with prices of things what they are, did not dream of buying flowers. So I took a look around my yard and trimmed these. And the satisfaction of having done it myself made it all much better than anything that I could have bought.
Oh, and PS...our computer is still being repaired, so my blogging and e-mail hours are only during my office hours at work still. *sigh*


This just in from my brother, James:
"Most of you know that our home isn't a home without the pitter patter of little feet...and paws. Well, after over a year of failing health, our dear dog of 12 years, Katie, passed away. The house seemed quieter, and our other dog, Wendy, missed her dear friend very much.
So with happiness, and lots and lots of tail-wagging, we would like to introduce our furry baby, "Tanner"! It's been seven years since we have had a puppy, and he has brought lots of joy to our home already! Thanks for the opportunity to let you know of our good news!"

Welcome to the Smith dog clan, Tanner!

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Smile to Hide the Pain

I had another rehearsal for A Smile to Hide the Pain, Lucy Bowen McCauley Dance troupe's entry into Signature's Kander and Ebb Celebration today. As I may have told you, Eleasha Gamble and I are singing the music, accompanied on the piano by Jeffery Watson. It was fantastic to sing with the dancers dancing right around us. It has been such a wonderful and collaborative process.
And today we ran through everything twice. It went fantastic, and this is truly an amazing troupe of dancers.

You really don't want to miss this. It really is going to be a special evening!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Irma Vep Anticipation...

Go take a listen to DC Theatre Scene's podcast interview with Brad Oscar and J. Fred Shiffman...I love it! It is building my anticipation to go and see Irma Vep even more!


A NEW top link is listed to the right side, Matt! This is Matt's composer website, with all of his professional details, and sound samples! Go and check it out!
Also Matt has been announced as a 2008-2009 winner of the American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation award! Click HERE for more information!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


The storms that raced through the DC Metro area yesterday proved to be deadly. A man was killed in Annandale when a tree was toppled over onto his car. I was working at TicketPlace, and nervous as I could be about Matt and Buddha's safety. It was frustrating to me, because I was in DC, and not able to be home to take care of Buddha. I wanted nothing more than to go home and make sure he was OK, in case something happened. Then I hear that there is a tornado in Falls Church headed toward Arlington, and I was INSANE with fear for my poor little puppy alone in our house. My head would flash nightmare images at me, including the old pine tree in our back yard falling into the house.

Round one of the storm was very strong, and the lightning was very intense. Also the wind, which seemed to blow the rain horizontally. Trees in front of TicketPlace bowed to the ground. When the first round was over, we had a break for a few hours, and I worked extra hard to make sure that all of my closing work was done timely so that I could get out of TicketPlace and get home before round 2 hit.

I took the metro Orange Line towards Vienna and LORD WAS IT PACKED! We were jammed in there like sardines to the point that I had to close my eyes just to not freak out from claustrophobia. When I got to the Kennedy Center (where I parked) I pulled out of the garage just as the rain from round 2 started. I white knuckled it all the way home as lightning struck trees literally right outside my window on the parkway. I was terrified.

By the time that I was almost home, round 2 had already started to ease up. I parked my car and by then had already talked to Matt, who informed me that power was out at our house. Since we usually cook Buddha his dinner, and that was going to be an impossibility, I decided to walk over to Bradlee Shopping center and pick up a can of something for Buddha to eat. Getting there I saw that the power was out for the entire shopping center. I started to walk back to my house and for a moment pondered walking to 7-11, but the sky was threatening looking and rain had started falling again, so I headed home. Halfway home it started pouring down, and I began to run.

I lit candles (Mine is the best house to be in when the power goes out, ps)and listened to WTOP on my NOAA Weather Radio. I also broke out my LED flashlight, which is the best damn flashlight that I have ever owned; brighter than a regular one, and it lasts FOREVER.
Round 3 was not as bad as the previous 2, but boasted some pretty scary lightning all the same.
My nerves were so frazzled from the stress of the day. I can't tell you how jangled I felt. By 10PM, I was exhausted. I sat and read by flashlight with Buddha (who was also scared, ps) cuddled on my lap. It's funny how every once in awhile we get a storm like that, almost like Mother Nature sits up and reminds you who is in charge. A storm like that can stop everything dead in its tracks. TV's are off, lights are off, life itself stands still until the storm has had it's say and rolls on. I guess I wish that the storm didn't have so much to say, however.

By 10:15PM, miraculously, the power came back on. Buddha was brought a dinner from the 7-11 by Matt, that consisted of: a hot dog, ham, and a container of Caesar's dog food. Buddha seemed thrilled to both eat and watch TV again. I know that there are many still without power, and hope that all of that is fixed soon. It was a roller coaster of a day for me, the like of which I hope not to experience again any time soon. Anyone else have any storm stories from yesterday? Tell us about them!
Also - here is some useful information for all of you Arlington residents, brought to me by Arlington Alert:
Downed Power Lines: After a storm look for any downed power lines before cutting up any debris. To report downed power lines, contact Virginia Power at 1-888-667-3000.

Safety Message: When traffic lights are not working at intersections, treat them as a 4-way stop.

Debris Removal: To have debris collected from your property, please follow normal brush collection procedures. Go to or call 703-228-6570 and select Option 2 to request a brush collection. Debris is collected on your regular trash collection day by request only. For more information, visit

The Weather Channel also featured a video segment on the Capitol Area's Wednesday storms.
There you have it folks.
Stephen, your storm watch reporter. ;)

Sources: The Washington Post, Arlington Alert, The Weather Channel.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Go HERE and check for details.

King of Pizza!

We had a reading of Matt Conner, A.K. Brink, and Ryan Dean's new Children's musical, The King of Pizza last night at our house, and the response was terrific! Felicia Curry, Kara Tameika Watkins, Kurt Boehm, Laura Kelly, A.K. Brink and Nancy Hollenbach were in attendance.
The reading went over very well, and I think that they learned many things from it.
I think that the piece is so adorable, and can't wait to see it fully realized soon (Matt has had meetings with a theatre to be named later that is interested in producing it very soon!).
The evening was fun, and we all ate (of course)pizza as we read the show.
The book and score are very Shrek-ish, as in funny to adults and children at the same time(I love when the old King kicks the bucket). The songs had us all in stitches, as they pastiche all kinds of genres and musical styles (as there are many different ingredients in making a pizza).
It was fantastic to see Ryan Halbrook, A.K. Brink, and Matt Conner's work come off of the page. Highlights were Laura Kelly's hysterical Mozz character who keeps passing out at random between fits of hysteria, Kurt Boehm's Martha Stewart-esque Gardner by the name of Basil, Kara Tameika Watkins' French baker that was played with a Josephine Baker style, and the force of nature that is Felicia Curry as "Patti", a butcher who sells her patties on her Patti Wagon and used to be a star singer. She now belts out numbers on her wagon while trying to sell her wares. All were hysterical, and handled with ease by the very talented cast.
Look for this show which will be equally enjoyable to adults and children very soon!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Strongest Tornado ever...

This tornado had the strongest wind speeds ever recorded on earth, in excess of 300 MPH!

Ps....still no computer at home. :(


Monday, June 02, 2008


We are not sure what happened, and it is now in the hands of an expert, and will hopefully be back soon. I am writing this from my computer at work, where I will post from until the laptop is back.

I wanted to let you all know that June candles are ready, but I have not had a formal photo shoot with them as of yet. This is the June Family preview:

They are several different shades of color, between white, eggshell, beige, and khaki. Not one of these is truly the same. I want them all to have differences, but retain the same theme of color and feel. The scents are Egyptian Cotton, Sun Dried Cotton, and Clean Linen. Prices are listed over at CANDLES BY STEPHEN.
Thanks to all of you for making May the most ordered candle yet! Let's see if June can beat May's record!

I also wanted to let you know that I had rehearsal for Signature and Lucy Bowen McCauley's Kander and Ebb Dance Extravaganza, A Smile to Hide the Pain today, and it went VERY well. To see the dancers dancing this gorgeous choreography to Kander and Ebb's music was truly an experience. Check out the details of it OVER HERE. I am very excited to be a part of it, and Eleasha and I are singing our ASSES off!

Ok...gotta go home to a computer less home...:(
Till tomorrow...