Michelle Holth - Scotch Tape
"One of the best secrets of the industry is using tape to shield your under eyes from loose eyeshadow. This helps keep the makeup from streaking beneath your eyes and avoids that raccoon dark-circle look! Simply apply a small piece of tape under your eyes and far enough below your lash line to where the tape sits right on your eye circle area. Then use another small piece of tape along the far edge of the eye diagonally down. Apply your eye makeup, and remove the tape. Do any extra blending if needed and you're good to go!"
If you can't quite visualize what we are doing here is a little video that I found from HaleyGCater on Youtube that might help. Thanks Haley! Now go try this trick! And one more use for tape -- if you are using makeup with sparklers/glitter, just roll up a little piece of tape and use it to gently take off the excess!
Michelle is a Paul Mitchell trained make-up artist/hair stylist for film/TV in Southwest Florida. Michelle and I met on set recently during the filming of the short film EMMA'S FINE. She is super sweet person and is very thorough in her work. Michelle was putting a smokey eye look together for one of my scenes and shared this little tip with me.
"I've always liked the smell of lavendar -- And what a good buy! One of the unknown gifts of lavendar for me is its ability to almost immediately kill the urge to scratch mosquito bites. It is a great tool that I'm using in my arsenal this summer. Hell, it IS my arsenal. I can use just a small dab and be done with it. I would recommend putting it on after a shower so it has more time to take effect. Bigger bites might need a second round of lovin' a few days later."
RB - I also use lavender on my feet at bedtime (think relexology!), on my serious sunburns (you know we live in FL so it is no joke down here!), use it during allergy season...sooo many other uses.
I am so happy to introduce my pal, LaShawn Keyser! She is a Stage Manger Extraordinaire and she gets it done! I worked with La at the Kitchen Theatre while performing the role of Frankie in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. If you know the show, then you know how scary that show could be for the actors because they are so (ahem) exposed and venerable. La was just awesome! She (and the staff at the Kitchen) made us feel so comfortable and relaxed which ultimately came right across the footlights (if there had been footlights -- we were in a small thrust (lol) house so it was a BLAST to play)! She is always on top of her game, is incredibly sweet but is a no nonsense kind of gal! An all around AWESOME Stage Manager! When Baltimore and Birmingham get together watch out! Double trouble! She is now based in NYC and is working all over the place.
Rachel B - Organic Coconut Oil
So this is one product that I use almost every since day without exception. I discovered Coconut Oil about 2 years ago and I have never looked back. I use it for body lotion (religiously), occasionally a tiny bit on the ends of my wild-woman-Florida-humidity-hair as a conditioner, lot of folks cook with it, practice oil pulling, use it for personal lube (TMI?), and the list just goes on and on. Truly this is the best solution for a body lotion I have ever found and it provides a natural SPF of about 5-10 depending on the study. I use it along with my Crystal Deodorant (that is another post...) to keep from getting too stinky in rehearsals. I use it for eye makeup remover -- even for the full face during shows. It helps with age spots (so I hear). Use it as chapstick. As a nighttime moisturizer...I am telling you the list goes on and on...Please check out a VERY thorough list here at Wellness Mama where she shares 101 uses. I got this large jar (30oz) for a mere $13 and some change during a sale at a health food store. And I love Dr. Bronner's Magic everything... I believe in their mission "...family business committed to honoring the vision of our founder Dr. E.H. Bronner by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality and by dedicating our profits to helping make a better world. All - One." I believe where we put our money matters so buy products that you feel good about! My soapbox moment on the soap company... I will do another post later about the soap I just can't live without...You can find good deals if you keep your eye out. A little goes a LOOONNGG way so the jar will last you several months. I say spend the extra on the Organic. If you are putting in and all over your body then you want the good stuff. And just think of the $$ you are saving on all those ridiculous cosmetic products by having an almost all in one with this product...Stay healthy.
"I have spent YEARS perfecting this recipe. Good for what ails ya."
SOUP FOR THE SOUL
Sauté for 7 minutes:
¼ cup olive oil
2 cup chopped carrots
2 cups celery
2 cups onions
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped ginger
add 2 chicken legs cut in two to the pan
add a box of low sodium chicken broth
add 2 cups water
add 2 cups chopped parsnip
add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
add 1 tablespoon sirachi or other hot sauce
add juice of one lime simmer broth for 30 minutes
then add: 3 cups chopped kale cook kale until wilted
add handful of chopped cilantro taste for seasoning
then serve with a lime wedge, sirachi/hot sauce and more fresh cilantro
Let me start by saying, Clavelli and I are birthday buddies (7/11!), so really what else is there to say. Clavelli is a NYC-based director and actor (TV, Film & Theatre)-- and is unlike anyone I have EVER met. He is truly an actor's director. He is one of my very favorite people to be on stage with! He has served as Associate Artistic Director at the Florida Rep, we have worked together as company members for about 12 years and have spent many an hour in the kitchen together was well. He is a wonderful teacher (acting and Linklater) so if you are in NYC, do yourself a solid and get a coaching! Google him to find him. It's well worth your time.
Rachel B - Inhaler Sticks
What are these little babies? Inhaler sticks, of course. These are AWESOME! The one in the foreground is Olba's Natural Inhaler (thank you Captain Obvious). And the poor little guy behind him is a well-used Net Stick. Let's start with Olba's. This is a GREAT company from Switzerland who really gets it. They provide a wide variety of products but this one is really my favorite. What's not to love (Peppermint, eycaluptus, menthol, cajeput essential oils)?!? Use this baby when you are dry in a low humidity situation, seasonal or whenever you need a breathe of fresh air. And then there is the Neti Stick. Ah, yeah.
The Himalayan Institute Neti Stick Aromatherapy Inhaler. Am I right? Come on, you feel closer to your higher self just by reading it. He is small but mighty. HA. "Opens the sinus and clears the mind." Same of the same basic essential oils as the Olba's but the Neti Stick includes Lavender for a little something extra. Olba's is going to set you back around $10 if memory serves at CVS/Walgreen's/ even your health food store. Neti Stick is a little cheaper if you can find it but I have only seen him at whole foods or health food stores (around $7). Although the interwebs just told me that Walgreens carries them. But the link above at Amazon will get you two for around $12 + shipping of course. How do you use it? You stick it up your nose! And breathe. And repeat on the other side. And breathe. Instant relaxation and clearer sinuses. Whatever it takes to help us to remember to breathe! The rules: don't be gross and share inhalers, don't go all middle school and huff these bad boys, and replace it if you have been sick or around every 3 months or so.
"I always eat lightly before a performance, but definitely have to keep a snack in my dressing room for intermission. Sometimes, this means I have to pretend I never saw the "No Food or Drink in Dressing Room" sign from costumes . My recent favorite is the LaraBar - it's soft, not dry, filling, and has no added sugar and lots of protein. "(If you want to try to make your own try these -- Peanut Butter HomemadeLarabars...RB) "I usually prefer to do some yoga or at least a little stretch to get the breath going. I find that works for me now more than an elaborate vocal warm-up. I used to sing at the top of the lungs in the shower, because I thought it was the only way I could project. Thankfully, I've given up that ritual and try to open the lungs instead and relax the body with simple exercise. I often get a scratchy throat and almost always feel like I'm fighting something; though like a lot of actors, I'm a hypochondriac. I take zinc - usually in the form of Zicam (click on the link to save 2 bucks! ). An older actress recommended it to me. I'm a fan, though I am open to any alternative suggestions bc it is a bit pricey!"
"Also for the throat: When I was doing THE 39 STEPS, my friend and Clown #1 in that show, Brad DePlanche gave me a satchel of these mysterious expanding nuts. He got them from "a guy" in Sarasota. They're Chinese, I think. You pour hot water on them and they expand and soothe the throat. he gave me a few other satchels, but I have since run out - so if you see them anywhere: let me know! (I am GUESSING these are Malva Nuts...but can't seem to find them online for sale...RB) PS: I'm also wild about ANYTHING ginger: ginger tea, ginger beer, crystallized ginger....I usually always have that around for the tummy. Also, my husband's a ginger."
I am so happy to have Deanna Gibson join us! Deanna is a NYC based actress who does it ALL! She is a wonderful comedienne, she's an excellent Shakespearian actor, she is a great singer, she writes and performs her own work, she is a yoga instructor and is an all around wonderful gal!
This is one fabulous remedy, friends. Ok. And I promise it is the best buck.50 you will ever spend. Seriously. When you begin to feel a tickle in your throat, RUN don't walk to your nearest Asian Market (Click here if you are lazy and want to spend more) and buy yourself a packet of Fufang Banlangen Keli. You will get about 15 little packets of Chinese Medicine excellence. Boil you some water, sit back and enjoy? Well I'm not sure I would go that far. It tastes kind of odd and your pee might smell a little funny but drink up, my friends, drink up! Drink about 3 cups of it a day. This website is helpful because it tell you some do's and don't for most effective treatment. Wow look at all the various things this $1.50 is good for! hm. I didn't know some of that! Very cool... Fufang Banlangen Keli. This is one of those that you will ALWAYS keep in your make-up kits...Just gotta know more about it? OK herb nerds, here you go...what is BenLanGen...
Marissa Toogood - Steamer
"My steamer (Personal Steam Inhaler) is probably the most useful and reliable
item in my preparation. Purchased at Walgreens for $20, I use it religiously during rehearsals and runs for a number of reasons. 1. Moisture! Whether your singing or not, the steam soothes and restores moisture to the vocal chords. 2. Sick! Soothes the throat and lungs, but also helps to break down the junk blocking your sinuses. 3. Cleansing! The heat hits your face and opens your pores. I like to use this before I deep clean my face so that my pores can open to release buildup and dead skin. 4. Stress! Sometimes you need a moment to clear out all the bad juju. Closing my eyes and steaming lets me relax and regroup, while benefitting in other ways. You can also add a drop of your favorite PURE essential oil to the water that vaporizes.(Make sure it's NOT a fragrance mixture) The pure oils add scent that relaxes you and takes you to that happy place. ( I like lilac the most) :) Hope this helps! Steam on!" Thanks so much, Marissa! I just checked Walgreens site and could not find them on-line but I am sure they have them in the store...if you want to stay home, here is a whole lot of choices on Amazon.
RB - We steam at our house too (but the old fashioned way with a stock pot and a towel over our heads!) But don't over do it...Use Caution -- it's boiling water, ya'll!
If you have ever had the good fortune of seeing Marissa Toogood on stage, then you know her name really says it all. She is Too Good! This girl is a beauty inside and out and man is she talented! I can honestly say she was the BEST Belle in Christmas Carol that I have ever seen. Marissa and I met at the Hippodrome Theatre (which is AWESOME) this past season. She plays such a wide range of characters and I hear this girl can SING!
Rachel B- Rosebud Salve
I love this stuff. I mean I LOVE it. I started using this product back in 1999 when I was an acting apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The Director of the Apprenticeship Program at that time was Sully White. One day while at her house, I was complaining about dry lips...and my life was forever changed. I have had more than one Make-up Artist on various locations for TV & commercial shoots use the product on me... It is an old formula from 1892 and can be used for everything from diaper rash to breakouts. From the official site -- "Rosebud Salve is perfect for travel as an eye make-up remover, cuticle softener, sunburn easer, dry skin healer, and frizzy fighter. Use Rosebud Salve around the eyes and on the throat for severely parched, dry, or wrinkled skin. It is usually in those bins at the checkout line at Sephora. Cost is around $7 bucks but here it is around $4 -- unless your husband gets hooked on it too...(ahem).
"For one serving: Buy a length of fresh ginger, about
the size of a finger, peel it, slice it into thin "coins" and boil them in about three cups of water. Brig boil down to a simmer until the water reduces, like a sauce. The longer you simmer, the more concentrated the "tea", which can be chilled and stored in the fridge. I take it full strength, until I get a large cup's worth, add 1 tsp of honey and a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon. Good to go. Sip slowly till finished, repeat as needed, miracles follow."
And a variation is the Ginger/Lemon/HoneySyrup. Keep in on-hand when seasons change...This miracle cure costs about $5 if you don't already have your honey. I think organic ingredients make a difference - personal preference.
You know Michael Marotta? Everybody knows Michael! He is everywhere, y'all! I mean this guy is WORKING! You might know Michael from his most recent directing work The Game's Afoot at Gulfshore Playhouse or his recent work as a performer in Cabaret at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Flat Rock Playhouse in Guys and Dolls or Florida Rep's The Fantastics. Michael is a wonderful guy and so fun to be with. I didn't spend near enough time with him (yet!) but he and Brendan played together last season. And this is where we were first introduced to his special concoction for sore throats. He tells me that he learned this trip from an opera singer as a remedy and is good for anyone who uses their voice (singer, actor, speakers...)