Welp. It is almost august and it is hot as 1) hell 2) balls 3) balls in hell here in SWFL. This week has been super busy with us beginning our rehearsals, meetings about ongoing and newly developing projects and taxes. Yep. Taxes in July. Not Christmas in July but taxes. I will just leave it at that. Every working professional actor knows the sad lament..."1099's, W-2's, unemployment, oh Christ." One word of advice...use the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program our union, Actors Equity Association, so graciously provides. Thank you AEA!!! We LOVE you! Orlando office rocks! Well, I am running off to study my words...and drink a nice big iced coffee.
So as you may remember from a previous post, I was lamenting that during the summer we grocery shop at Big Lots. Which is totally true but not for everything, just for those specialty international grocery items. ;-) Come on you know what I am talking about... Next time I hit up Big Lots I will show you exactly what I mean. And when we are working a gig near a Trader Joe's all bets are off. And because we do live in Florida most of the year, Farmers' Markets are part of the weekly ritual too... In the meantime, I thought I would get to the real staples of our household. So we eat primarily organic food. I know, I know, I know. "It's expensive. Organic food is questionable because the certification...blahblah blah." Here is my take. As far as I know, I only get one body to take this cruise in, this time around. If there is anything and I mean anything that I can do to increase my chances of my body staying healthy, I am going for it. ALL the women of my family who have passed have had some form of cancer and many of the men -- so I am not f'ing around with that. Or had diabetes or high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Again nothing to f with. Soooo...Organic it is. Here is a sample of my grocery list:
Organic Valley whole milk (and when we get residual checks the kind with the cream on top!)
Eggland's Best Organic Eggs -- from farmer when possible
Annie's mac and cheese or Horizon mac and cheese (so healthy...)
Organic in season veggies (staples are green beans, spinach, tomatoes, avocados, ....)
Organic in season fruit (grapefruit, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, lemons, limes-- we have a fruit smoothie every morning!)
Good cheese (hard and soft)
Kombucha - various brands
Stonyfield Yogurt French Vanilla
Organic chocolate bar of some variety -- best of list coming soon...
Organic or natural ground turkey
Fancy canned tuna (ha!)
Bren's favorite -- Pork Chops!
Organic canned and frozen veggie -- Publix has a good variety!
Recycled paper products
Organic Dr. Bronner's peppermint bar soap
You get the idea...We are not cra cra crazy eaters. We just try to choose the "greener" options. And we cheat of course.... I love milkshakes from our local joint here near the beach. But I read a quote that haunts my mind -- "The body is a sacred garment."-- Martha Graham. Make your body so happy that your soul wants to stay and play there for a while. Stay heathy, y'all! xo #healthyactors
hogs heads and puppets
The last 24-48 hours have been something straight out of a Twilight Zone episode...hang on to your hats and view pictures at your own risk...
Bren and I, after careful consideration, have begun the house hunt here in Florida. Well here is the deal... We ALWAYS come back to Florida. We have regular work here as actors with many theaters that we have good, long-standing relationships with, we love the community, we have many friends here, the weather is consistently gorgeous. What else could you ask for? As you can imagine, we are looking for something unique with personality. We looked at an Eco-House last week built by an old hippie with lots of land surrounding it- garden, outdoor shower, boat launch across the street, dead-end street but the house was just a little too weird even for my taste. Just not feng shui, if you know what I mean. This past Sunday we made an appointment to see a charming little house with a pool and lanai. We arrive to a chorus of barking dogs. No joke. Let me just give you the highlights: old dog piss on newspapers on floor in living room, 9 (that we saw) cats in various places around the house, at least 7 dogs (at quick glance as I was trying to avert my eyes) in a couple kennels in back room and the overpowering smell of shit out back where the realtor told us would be "the perfect place for a table and chairs." I can't make this up....We passed on that property.
So yesterday, I went for my follow up blood work from my Birthday doc appointment. When I arrived home, Bren was outside enjoying the glorious river. After fixing us a little lunch and working our scripts, I heard Bren say my name. My full name. Which never happens. "RACHEL!" I look out by the seawall and discover he has a look of horror on his face. "There is something floating in the water." ??? I look over and there is a -- what I can only describe as a mass of flesh colored tissue with black hair. "Is that hair? I think that is hair?" We call the Sheriff. I have images of crime tape and CSI sunglass wearing detectives covering the property. I will miss my appointment tonight because I will be detained for questioning. They will separate us and when they find out how liberal I am I might be in trouble...My mind races. Two very sweet young Sheriffs arrive at our home and walk around to the dock. One very casually walks over to the head in question. He pulls the brush back and without hesitation reveals that our gift from the river is a wild hog head. His partner joins him and explains how this probably happened. After talking for awhile about various things and a mysterious boat, they tell us of a lady who is living on the beach on Beautiful Island just across the river from us. Curiouser and curiouser. I head off to my appointment here I sit watching a puppet show with a variety of characters all created from George Bush puppets. The theme for the evening is honesty and lies. Yep. All true. Is there somehow a connection here?
On July 11, I turned well -- let's be real, I am not going to reveal that to the world. As I think we all know, we need all the help we can get out here in the wild world of theatre, film and casting...Like I want another reason for Casting Directors to think twice..."um no, I just don't see you as 30-35 any more. " Ugh.
I had a lovely celebration filled with all my favorite things this year. Some things good for me, some things not so good for me...Come on! It's my birthday! And on 7-11 you get free slurpies from 7-11! The Gods' must be crazy... So of course I got a Coke Slurpie! I mean it was free! It was by far the worst thing I have ingested in months...And was strangely delicious. I received lots of calls and cards and a couple of very sweet care packages from home filled with lots of wonderful goodies from people I love. And Brendan of course made the day very special -- even giving me a hand-made Birthday card. Oh to be married to a fellow artist! Life is so sweet. We aren't in rehearsals yet and are not running a show -- ie, we are out of work. Soooo, always looking on the bright side of life-- we had the whole day to share together by doing lots of things we love! Free birthday lunch with mild humiliation wearing a sombrero -- see pic here (Ha! Lucky for all us their site is down)! We had a beautiful dinner eating one of my favorite foods (sauteed blue crab claws!) and enjoyed G&T's and a fabulous sunset! And the best part of it was sharing the day with my man!
Time to get to work!!!! Ok so we are about to start rehearsals for a funny funny series of One Acts at Theatre Conspiracy here in Fort Myers. We have never done a show with them are really looking forward to this quirky show. We are in Act 2 and Act 3! So suckas, I better go get them words down because this process is fast and furious...SUMMERTIME in the theatre! Stay healthy! Can't wait to share my dressing table with you! #healthyactor #whatsonourdressingtable
I'm a southern gal with liberal politics who has worked my ass off and sacrificed a lot in order to be a working regional theatre actor. There are lots of working actors who are out here grinding without begin famous. And we consider that we have already MADE it. I really like to tell stories and solve the puzzle of the text. I LOVE untangling scripts and unlocking characters. I really give a damn about the planet and am an avid gardener. I love to get my hands dirty. I am completely fascinated by fellow journey(man) actors and how we survive and thrive. Ballin' on a budget, Baby. http://www.rachelburttram.com/