The Adventures of Permanent Lifestyle Change Girl: No Girdle today!

As I prepared this morning for my noon o’clock concert I reached for the long summer gown (with sleeves) and sandals to perform in, then I looked at the support garment (girdle) that I was planning to wear under it and then I glanced at the more athletic wear (wicking fabric long shorts and loose flowing brightly colored tunic) folded neatly, alongside sneakers which give me much needed support for my knees. I thought to myself: “standing elegantly but constricted in cute flat sandals with little support, long dress and girdle” vs feeling totally free and comfortable and because of my sneaks – being able to dance and strut. I chose the latter. I haven’t danced and frolicked like that in ages. I felt free, athletic and strong. I had great energy, stamina (thanks to the fitness with Trainer Jeremy) and I felt comfortable. I know the guys were like: “What is she wearing?” but once I let loose with all the joy of total freedom of movement and solid standing – nobody said anything else except “good show!” It’s not a look for every show but Damn! It felt good to feel totally comfortable and steady on my feet. It’s not for everyone, but then I never was one for following the status quo much.

In case you are wondering: “What’s up with the girdle?” I have been wearing a girdle or some sort of support garment since I was 13. I had a mother who grew up in the 40′s and 50′s and so besides “eat your vegetables” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” there was another golden rule: “Always wear your girdle!”


A Great Big Diva!: Never too late to make that dream happen!

I am finally fulfilling a dream I’ve had for decades: writing & performing my own one woman show. It will be funny (of course) and it’s a musical but I will also share a couple moments of heartache as well. I am collaborating with a monstrously talented writer in L.A. named Andrew Barrett and it’s been an amazing experience. (all thanks to my “angels:” former Young & the Restless Head writer P kay Alden and her husband Vern Nelson) my producers: Ira Antelis and Tom McDonald. ┬áStill, I wonder, what took me so long? ┬áThen I think of a line from my friend Deitra Farr’s tune: “It’s my turn, it’s my time.” And I realize it doesn’t matter “why!” All of the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s” in life can be turned into “I shall, I can and I will.” As long as you’re living, you can make any dream or ambition happen. It’s never too late.

I am reading select monologs from my one woman show on Saturday, December 2nd at 1:00PM
City Winery Chicago
1200 W Randolph St
TICKETS available to the public soon! Pre-sale starts today to vinofile members!

The Solo Show. Nothing in life worth having comes easy.

Planning for this one woman show is a somewhat daunting experience. But, it beats me talking about it for decades and doing nothing to make it happen. Dreams remain dreams because making the reality happen is so much harder! But it’s worth it. There are so many elements to prepare before we even get down to the performing part! And the whole while I am pushing down my own feelings of self-doubt and honestly, it is not easy to let go of the ownership of this work. I don’t mean the practical ownership like rights, but this whole thing has been in my head so much that as I deal with the mechanics of writing and mounting a show, it is making me a little scared. It is much harder than I expected to let go and let someone else “handle things.” I have been my own producer, promoter and leader for years. No wonder it has remained just a dream for so long! Continue reading ›

Random Thoughts from A GREAT BIG DIVA

Photo: John Gress

Random Thoughts from A GREAT BIG DIVA: It’s so scary to produce an original piece of work. People have asked me: “Why are you doing this? (My one woman show)” I have only one answer: Because I have to. I am compelled to do this work. I have tried to ignore it for years – ever since my days at University. It’s something that has never gone away. But it was safe in my head, in my notebooks and computer. Now I will put it out there, and that’s scary as Hell , exciting and crazy! It (I) will be judged and critiqued. if I have thin skin, it’s a wrap.

Here’s to thick skin!
My first reading of my work: A GREAT BIG DIVA is Saturday afternoon December 2. 1:00pm at City Winery Chicago 1200 W Randolph St. Chicago, IL

Choose Love. Choose Hope.

We must not let the horrors of humanity ruin us. There is so much negativity buzzing around us, so much hate and lack of empathy – yet there is more than a small bit of good still out there. We create it every time we show empathy for others. There is no sense in what has happened in Las Vegas. We must feel the shock, the horror of it. There is only the choice to pray (for non-believers, prayer can be a meditation or wish of goodwill), hope, and search for the goodness in all of us remaining as we try to keep going. We are like a herd of humanity. The predator (evil) strikes us and we scatter and run around frantically searching for safety, solace, peace and answers. Check on your loved ones, feel the pain of the loss and try to make today a good day in your own little space in the world and if you can do something to make the world at large better – do that. Do not spread more hate, discord or confusion. Choose love and empathy and remember to be thankful for the good that we’ve got. You are alive today. Start with that. Namaste. I acknowledge and honor the good in you.

Writing My Solo Show.

Okay, Okay. There has been lots of great stuff happening. I am skipping that list to go to the main event: I am actually working (under a deadline) on my musical AKA my one-woman show. After decades of talking about it, I am actively doing it. For real, for real.

My friend the acclaimed solo artist and teacher Arlene Malinowski, who also helped me form some of the early stories I had written, summed it up thusly: You just need to find someone to put their foot on your neck!

I found that person. I have a co-writer. This person has committed to helping me write and complete this show. Continue reading ›

I Survived a Weekend of Performing in 90+ Degree Heat!

Chicago Blues Festival Photo: Jim Funk

I was worried. Real worried. But I prepared. I went to the gym, worked out with my wonderful friend and fitness trainer Jeremy, who was mindful of what I was facing. I think he was a bit concerned too – and wth good reason. I am a 55 year old obese woman with two bum knees and I was scheduled to do two days of back to back outdoor performance in the heat and a private event. But I did the work. Continue reading ›

Baby, it’s hot out there!

The grit House afire. The Great Chicago Fire Festival.

How does one dress to perform outdoors in 90+ degree temperatures? Make-up, eyelashes, feathers, girdles …I don’t think so! Hydration is key, and nutrition (protein) – Once, I sang in the heat on an empty stomach … bad move. Continue reading ›

Give In to Hope and Love.

I am so inspired and moved by people who get past the horrible headlines and just continue their work of helping others. It’s an honorable calling. The mess that we witness every day makes some of us piss and moan but it also motivates us all to care. It is easy to criticize and berate our country and everyone else, but actually there are many great souls out here. Don’t forget that and remember to count your own soul while you’re at it. We can not give in to despair or cynicism. Yes, be informed but don’t give up hope. Every movement, all change starts with the hope that things can get better. And as always, Love is the answer.

The Great Betrayal. My Right Knee (formerly known as My Good Knee)

My knee blew out and I was stranded in the cinema screaming “Help! Help Me!” for 40 minutes. Continue reading ›