Pitch like you live.


People who have a career in sales know that you need to have a handful of useful and effective sales tactics and pitches in order to hook a client.  Think about it…you’re at the MAC counter and the make up artist keeps pitching you the same color of lipstick and saying the same groupings of words over and over.  It totally turns you off and you want to run away screaming.

Auditioning is the same.  You don’t want to go in always wearing the same jewel tone dress, tan shoes and singing the same damn song over and over.  After a while you turn into a drone; no one wants to work with boring people!  So pitch yourself accordingly.  Give yourself permission to NOT wear the same dress, tan heels and song and HAVE FUN WITH IT!  Sure, you’ll feel like a fish out of water for about a minute, but then you get this FREEING feeling that can become really addictive.  The key here is to be as prepared in your new outfit or material as possible, and only YOU have the super power to do that.

Remember: If you wouldn’t wear it in real life, DITCH IT.  No one in real life wears solid jewel tone dresses and tan heels FOR FUN.  So why are you doing it?  Find a pair of jeans, your favorite skirt, ANYTHING but that horrid dress.  Same with material.  Why have you been doing that same old song for the last 3 years and complaining about never getting a job or callbacks…DITCH IT!  Get into class or with a coach and find some awesome new material that matches your package and your personality.

Successful pitching is getting your material, type, physicality, energy, head shot, resume, online stuff all to match.  The SECOND something is off, you end up in the recycle pile because there are 300 people behind you who have it together and look more like a product.  Think about it…you wouldn’t buy LaDucas if they had a marathoner on their shoe box…that doesn’t match.  Same for acting.

Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone because that’s when the magic happens!

For more info visit: www.thebizofshow.com


If you get pushed over…GET BACK UP.


Not very long ago, I was in a yoga class totally zenned out, drinking all of the yoga KoolAid, breathing my way to peace.  It was a challenging class, but a fun one at that, where I could close my eyes and really enjoy all of the poses, breathing, and moments.  It was also a slower style of yoga, with a message of trust, a little hippy dippier than I typically go for, but found it refreshing.  We were getting into tree pose with our eyes closed.  Cool.  As a dancer I live for tree, but also find it too easy and often close my eyes for a good challenge.  Got into the pose, eyes closed, zenned out, breathing, no problems here. Awesome.  Then the teacher came and pushed me over.  I GOT PISSED.  How dare she come and ruin state of mind and beautiful tree I created with my eyes closed with a selfish push!

She launched into an eyeroll worthy lecture that hit me pretty hard through the rest of holding the pose (which was A WHILE).  She talked about how if you get pushed over, get back up and start again. It’s not that big of a deal.  Of course I thought, “WELL, if you hadn’t PUSHED me over, I wouldn’t NEED to start again.”  And then I realized 1) I CLEARLY needed more yoga in my life and 2) Humans are resilient if you choose to be.  But it’s all about CHOICE.

It was like I had an epiphany right there in that yoga class that I desperately needed.  I could be a complete bitch about it, throw a tantrum, and have it ruin the rest of my day. Or I could just get over it, pick myself up, and move the f$%k on.  Guess what?  Auditions, callbacks, and career bumps are the same.  You can recover and start again if you choose to.  The mind is the most powerful thing you’ve got.  So choose to be great and forget that crappy audition/callback you had!  Zen out and try again.

5 Essentials while carrying a show


It’s stock season!  This summer I’m carrying the show in a new musical.  In all honesty, I forgot how difficult and fun this was!  Carrying a show is a huge responsibility, and there are many ways you can set yourself up to be less stressed and more successful.

  1. Crockpot.  On every contract, I bring a crock pot.  It’s VITAL for getting through tech!  I pack it full of awesome recipes and BAM.  All the food I need with ZERO brain power.  It’s super healthy; or if you’re feeling like a good eat your feelings party, that’s an option, too!  No mess, no stress.  You can easily get a good crock pot for around $20; just make sure it has the timer for those 10 out of 12 rehearsals.  (For you muggles AKA non-show-people, that’s when we’re in technical rehearsals right before opening and work 10 hour days over a span of 12 hours).
  2. Travel blender.  I’m one of those annoying healthy people who lives for my green smoothies every morning.  Sometimes I have one for dinner and a snack, depending on the day.  It’s just a great grab and go item that again is no mess, no stress.  You can find them for about $100 and they come with a few travel containers and to go lids that don’t spill.  Perfect for packing!
  3. Water bottle.  I know.  Duh. But having more than one is a sanity saver!  Get three: one for each side of the stage and one for your dressing room!  Make sure they are always always ALWAYS full.
  4. Sit down on your breaks.  The other day I realized I was SHOT tired, and I figured out it was because I was standing on my breaks.  When you carry a show, you’re on your feet the entire time.  They need rest, too.
  5. Yoga mat.  As a yogi, this is everything.  It doesn’t have to be your yoga mat, just a yoga mat.  In fact, I didn’t bring mine. However, I do have my 90 pound pitbull Thomas with me, and he uses a yoga mat for training purposes.  I fully confess that I steal his all the time and use it.  It’s a great place to sit and make yourself focus or mediate or stretch.  Super useful in stressful times to help you get grounded before you step onstage.

Trust: a Learned Behavior

The last few years my husband and I rescued and rehabbed 2 pitbulls.  One was a bait dog and the other was found by the NYPD while neglected in an abandoned building in Harlem.  In this time we hired a dear friend of ours who’s an animal behaviorist, and he helped train us to be the same.  During the process, we became obsessed with animal behavior to the point where that was all we could really talk about.  We became sponges of information for all things behavior and behavior therapy: books, videos, theories, online forums, and endless chats with others.  Our friends would pick our brains or get annoyed with us because that was all we cold talk about for months.  In fact we can still sit around and discuss behavior training for hours and not realized how much time has passed.  This has really changed how we manage ourselves and view the world in a wonderful way.


Our biggest takeaway has been: trust is a learned behavior.  We have seen it over and over on a daily basis in both of our dogs, our chickens, and even in our marriage.  It’s made us better parents and humans by deeply understanding this.  It’s made us understand how important the CPRs of training (and life) are.  C – Consistency. P – Patience. R – Repeat.  This was not easy for someone like myself (someone who wants everything done yesterday), but I have a new and deep love for process.

The second day we had Ruby Keeler Floyd, she was still technically our foster.  We didn’t know how food aggressive she was at that time. All we were told was that she WAS food aggressive.  It’s important to note here that she only weighed 35 pounds when she should have been 65 pounds.  When you are dealing with the unknown in animal behavior training, you only hold on to one basic principal: You don’t hope, you know.  In this situation we didn’t know how bad the issue was, BUT we KNEW there was an issue.  Hoping would have lead to disaster.   

We were training her to sit and stay as we put the food down on the ground and gave her the command that it was OK to start eating.   I put the food bowl down and she came towards it before I gave her the “go” command, so of course, I go to pick up the food bowl and tell her no.  Instead of obeying, she came at me and tried to eat my face.  Now let me be clear if I was that starved, I’d do the same thing to a human, I don’t fault her at all.  In that moment, my husband and I KNEW we had to stand up to her.  We also KNEW that if she ever left our house, she’d be put down and there was NO REASON for her to be put down.  She simply needed CPR and trust.  In that moment we chose that she could and would do this; we recovered after some tears and shaking.  It was VERY scary.  We put her in her sit and stay, put the food down, and kept working at it until she got it.  She got it very quickly after that incident.

With CPR, you earn trust.  The coolest thing is: this isn’t just a dog training thing, this is relevant in life, too.  


Practice makes perfect…or does it?


Many humans strive for perfection.  We do this in so many ways that it’s a little disturbing once you step back and think about it.  We want the perfect body, the perfect skin…. kids, animals, house, clothes, attitude, test score, moment, key, furniture, food, electronic device, bike, car, shoes, china…you get it.  We drown in it.  Some actually seriously drown in it because AS WE ALL KNOW perfect isn’t a real thing.

Once I started looking at my acting career like a doctors or an athlete, I let go of perfection and it really helped me fly.  It’s all about practice, just like their careers.  They practice.  In fact, doctors don’t call their office a perfect, it’s a PRACTICE.  Artists are no different!

When you strive for perfection, you are killing your creativity with your fear.  Not to mention — Jesus, the EGO!  This is done in different ways.  One is to just not try because you won’t get it perfect the first time. (How BORING your life must be!)  One is to keep trying over and over while beating yourself up to a bloody mess.  (How bloody and dark your life must be!)  Another is to keep trying via “the thought method”. (Which, BTW didn’t work all that well for Harold Hill…) All of these are a form of self sabotage that come from fear.  How’s that working for you?

Stop it.  You’re demanding too much of yourself.  You’re inflating yourself too much.  Feel that fear and have FUN with it!  As the brilliant Sara Glancy says: Don’t get overwhelmed, get curious.

Just try once for NOT being perfect.  Please know it will take some time and effort because you are so prone to NOT FAILING.  And that’s OK.  But just like anything else it gets easier the more you do it.  Just try…or practice.


I trained my chickens.

Welcome to #thebluminettefarm our newest flock of chickens!
(In order of heads from your left to right: Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and Elaine Stritch.)

Roost (Noun): A perch upon which birds rest at night.

Roosting is a learned behavior.  Most birds learn from the older generation how to do this. If they don’t learn this behavior, it’s impending doom for butt lice.  As you can imagine, this is a terrible thing to have.  Since our girls were 6 weeks old when we got them, they were not able to learn this behavior, meaning WE had to teach them!  It was a TON of fun.  All you have to do is wait for the sun to go down, pick up the bird, and put it on a roost.  TA DAA!  From there, they figure out the rest.  As with any learned behavior, it’s all about consistency.

At first this proved difficult for me because I am a very short person and due to a design flaw, the chicken coop is made for a tall person.  Thankfully my husband is taller and we have a very tall neighbor who obviously has the longest arms.  It became a game: as soon as the sun would come down, we’d head to the coop.  I held up the roof so the 2 tall ones could get to the girls on the roosts.  Last night, the hubs and I went to coop to roost the girls.  We were SHOCKED when we opened the roof because the girls were already on their roost!  It took about 2 weeks to complete this training.  We are looking forward to other training we can teach our chickens.

Girls on the roost from left to right: Elanie Stritch, Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and Liza Minnelli.