Friday, July 27, 2012

In Which I Am Now a Voice Actor, and So Is Alex!

Yesterday, I recorded a radio spot! Amazing!

Basically, Libba Bray is publishing this awesome-sounding new book, The Diviners, and they're creating these radio spots that are basically scripts abridged from early scenes in the book (if you "like" the facebook page, you can read the first few chapters), so Faye was helping look for actors to record the voices. Fortunately, the actors she knows are us!

So Alex and I got gigged on to do these spots, and yesterday we showed up at the studio to record. I did the voice of Evie in the first scene when she gets to her uncle's place; Alex did a magnificent job voicing first the douchey, rich, young man who gets freaked out by a Ouija board at a party, and then the staid Jericho, assistant museum curator. It was so much fun! Evie was kind of hard for me, because she's a flippant, flirtatious flapper (OH YEAH I JUST DID!), outgoing and a party girl - basically the opposite of me. If I knew how to do a flirtatious tone, I would have been employing it for years, eh? But it worked out - it only took two takes plus one more for extra, and then in like five minutes Libba and the producer were able to patch together the best of Alex's and my line readings into one smooth spot.

So how cool is all that?!? (They paid us, too.) I don't know when/where they'll be - aired? published? I don't know what you call it - but I'll be sure to let y'all know! Anyway, now I want to do voice work all the time, because it was so freaking great! The end.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

When I Am Rich

I will buy all of the jars of honey that look intriguing to me, no matter how expensive! I will probably have ten kinds of honey at a time, which is not minimalist at all, but which I will really enjoy!

In Which I Get Hit by a Banana

I have done some fun things since I got back from California on Sunday!

I was totally wiped when I got in, especially as the plane landed an hour late and then it took another 45 minutes to get my baggage due to a carousel mix-up. I took a cab home, took a shower and a nap, ate dinner and chatted with Faye and Katie, and then went straight to bed, as I reported to camp in New Jersey first thing Monday morning! It was an intimidating week of lots of commute and early every day work coming after a week of dress rehearsals and Winnie the Pooh performances and travel, but I made it and had a good time! Mainly by forcing myself to go to bed by 9 every night (well, 9:30-10, more realistically).

So on Tuesday I went to a book event at Books of Wonder; Kristin Cashore, Melina Marchetta, and Gayle Forman were on a panel asking each other questions, which was very fun. Of all the books by all those authors, I had only read Fire by Cashore (which I liked but didn't love), though of course Faye has been telling me to read Marchetta since the day I met her. Well, I'll tell you: The panel inspired me, apparently! The next morning I picked up Graceling, which had been sitting in my house since November and which even Alex had read before me and really liked. I had picked it up once before, read ten pages, and thought it was stupid - and now I can't even tell why! Because I read it in one day, because it was magnificent. And then I made Faye lend me Bitterblue ASAP, and read that in a day and a half. If you're interested, my reviews on Goodreads are here and here, but the summary is, they're basically my favorite thing since Tamora Pierce. Which is what every review I've ever read of them has said, so no points for originality Shoshana - and they're not even that similar to anything in the Pierce canon, and they're maybe targeted a little older, but they just give me some similar feelings.

Anyway, I lay fairly low until Friday, as I was still trying to get enough rest in to make it through the week. But on Friday afternoon, I went straight from work to karaoke with Katie and Faye and other people in publishing (mainly Katie's coworkers at Soho, it looked like), which was fun. Karaoke is still fairly new to me, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but it is growing on me some! Emily came by too, and I haven't seen her in ages, and then we all trekked back to Renselaus/Pemberley (the name of that apartment across the street from me appears to be in transition), played a little Mao (I made some very good rules! I like this game and no one ever wants to play, so it was very fun for me!), and then went to an Irish bar (is there any other kind in Sunnyside?) up on 46th to hang out and listen to some Irish music, which was totally great.

And then yesterday, after FYA book club, which is always way more fun than I even remember, and after browsing the farmers' market, which was magnificent and bigger than I've ever seen it and I can't wait to actually do some grocery shopping, I met up with Edlyn for a show called You Art What You Eat at Slap Dash. This was a hilarious experience. Also a cool one, but primarily hilarious.

This bit of Crown Heights appears to be at that early stage of gentrification that's actually really cool, with a dramatic variety of businesses from cheap unisex haircut places and cheap but potentially delicious restaurants that have been there forever to a brand new (and utterly delicious) gelateria. You know, the stage before long-time residents can no longer afford to live there (and neither can the artists who were the forefront) and their communities get broken up and big box stores start moving in and kicking out the interesting little businesses both old and new. Anyway, the point is, I was enjoying it for now at least!

And then there was the actual show. First I had some free refreshment, aka a vegan low salt low fat cholesterol free whole grain mini doughnut, which was better than I expected but not, you know, something I would ever actually eat again. Maybe that gives you an idea of what this crowd was like. Throughout the first act, a piece of art played on a projection screen behind the presenters: an 11-second loop made on a scanner of a person playing with cotton candy. During this act we had a shy and sing-songy reading of a personal essay about Montana and eating cherries, which was actually well-written, I think, but it needed a better reader or I needed to have it on paper in front of me. Then we got a reading of a story - which (this was too good) has now become part of the novel this guy is working on, called City of Princes - which again was actually pretty good. So some of these pieces were surpassing the expectations I had developed upon arrival, which was cool.

The first intermission was then followed by a very strange piece during which a guy threw bananas at us, ate bananas very quickly, and shouted a bit, all underscored by songs that mention bananas. I myself got hit by a banana, which I quickly slid into my purse, since bananas were on my shopping list and now I guess they're not (in fact, I already had a banana in my purse, which I had purchased at a coffee shop only an hour before!). Still, though this banana piece was bizarre, it was actually quite entertaining. It was followed by a neat video called Grub by none other than Jeff Stark - a montage of freegans prepping and eating food and washing their dishes. And actually, I am kind of interested in freeganism and I might go to the Grub community dinner sometime and help cook! At any rate, the freegan video was followed by a video called Taco Monday, which seemed to be primarily hand drawings of tacos coming out of other things, with supporting roles filled by hot dogs, remote controls, middle fingers, and chicken legs. I have to admit, that one seemed kind of stupid to me, but I was probably just not the right audience.

After the second intermission was an audio presentation of a recording of a guy's very intense sleeptalking, which made me uncomfortable. Also, there was a PowerPoint about beekeeping, which was great, because I freaking love all the kinds of honey ever! I think there are probably 8 different kinds of honey in my apartment right now, and while I can't take credit for it all (I'm gonna guess that there are four of mine and four of Jamie's), I definitely appreciate it!

And then I went home and the train was very slow and then I went to bed. And now it is today and I will hang around here and get shit done and maybe help them paint over at Renselaus-will-soon-be-Pemberley. See ya!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Three Songs

So one great thing about being in California is driving, because the great thing about driving is that I listen to the radio, and learn new songs! Here are the three new songs that I learned listening to the radio while driving in California for the last month - well, the ones that stuck.

Well, technically Ya'el introduced me to "Little Talks," but then I promptly heard it about 50 times on the radio! I haven't listened to any other Of Monsters and Men yet, but I want to.

I haven't watched this music video yet (although I have read a description of it!), but the song caught my attention immediately when I first heard it on KFOG. It's the rare sad ballad that doesn't strike me as boring, overwrought, and/or sentimental, which makes it class A in my book! (not in a drug sense) (and unlike his other hit, "Lego House," which I had to turn off in the middle)

I liked this song a LOT and IMMEDIATELY, but it took me three listens to figure out most of the chorus lyrics... which completely shocked me when the words finally registered! I had been thinking, "what a nice fun song about running!" Obviously, this required some reevaluating. But disturbing as it is, I still really really like it. Too bad I don't love any of Foster the People's other stuff (of the 7 or so songs I've listened to), although "Don't Stop" is ok. Somehow all the rootless elements going on in their other songs really click here.

So that was my California summer in music! (Plus the song I wrote on the way back from SLO, but I don't know yet if it's any good.) Now I'm back in New York, starting up camps in New Jersey at Porch Light, beating the heat, scrubbing the bathroom, borrowing Melting Stones from Katie, memorizing some poetry, thinking about hosting a tea party for my birthday (fancy tea! fancy tea party dresses! watercress sandwiches! macarons sandwiched with ice cream in honor of the hot summer! scones! maybe I'll finally get my act together and make some clotted cream!), gearing up for J-West... blahdidy blah, life as usual :)

Hopefully I'll be better about blogging this month! Fingers crossed, eh?