Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 5 Practical Gifts For Your Actor Friends

Wanna show your actor friend you care? Get them a thing!

How about I lend you a helping hand? Because, let's face it, actors are hard to buy for. We're moody and outlandish, and we gesticulate a lot.

Five-Trick Pony's list eschews conventional, some might even say thoughtful, recommendations (like Sondheim's Finishing the Hat, or sheet music, or theater tickets) and gets back to the bare essentials. Presenting,


GIFT IDEA #1: Scarf.

The gist: Simple, fashionable.
Why: Unique accent pieces like a toadstool scarf (at right) help your actor friend draw attention to himself, which provides a fleeting sense of self-worth. Also, they protect vocal cords.
But Remember: Every actor owns hundreds of scarves, so it's important to stay on the cutting edge of fashion. If he doesn't like it or you give him something he already has, just tell him it's a belt, or a prop.
Verdict: Perfect gift at an affordable price.

GIFT IDEA #2: Hot Guys and Baby Animals 2011 Calendar.

The gist: Hot guys and baby animals help you know what the date is.
Why: My boyfriend is featured in this calendar as the month of February. He is shirtless and holding a goat (I am not joking -- see right). And if there's one thing I've learned from working in theater, it's that pictures of my shirtless boyfriend can bridge any social gap. Regardless of race, religion, or voice part, people love to look at a hot dude, and then they all become friends. The United Nations should employ this tactic when negotiating with hostile countries.
But Remember: A small percentage of your actor friends might be straight males, in which case, you should reconsider buying this gift.
Verdict: Much better than the Hot Animals, Baby Guys 2011 Calendar.

GIFT IDEA #3: Money.

The gist: Easy, no wrapping required.
Why: If your friend is an actor, he is probably unemployed. If he is unemployed, he probably needs money. If he needs money, he probably wants it as a gift.
But Remember: You can't pretend to have spent more money on your money than the amount that's written on the actual money.
Verdict: You really can't go wrong here, except if you give out Sacagawea coins, which are heavy and comical.

GIFT IDEA #4: Double-stick tape.

The gist: Countless uses, hours of fun.
Why: The complete list of double-stick tape's practical applications would take me days to transcribe, so I'll simply list the most relevant: 1) Affixing headshots to the backs of résumés, 2) Sticking Twilight posters onto your ceiling, 3) Taming your assets in low-cut apparel, 4) Pinning up photobooth prints and/or Polaroids to your shabby-chic full-length mirror. Also, lends itself to a whole host of puns in the accompanying gift card, i.e. "Let's stick together!" "I'm stuck on you!" "We're double the trouble!" "Sorry I leaked your sex tape!"
But Remember: You run the risk of giving too good a gift.
Verdict: Don't think, just buy.

And, finally...

GIFT IDEA #5: Clinical Strength Deodorant.

The gist: Keeps you dry under pressure.
Why: Actors are sweaty beasts (I know from personal experience) and there's nothing worse than trying to impress an audition panel while you're crying from your pits. This gift helps prevent NWL (Net Water Loss), a dangerous armpit-sweat side effect.
(Water Bottle Input – Pit Sweat Output = Net Water Loss
if Pit Sweat Output > Water Bottle Input.) Plus, hardcore deodorant has all kinds of chemicals that shorten life expectancy, which means that after your actor friend reaches an uncastable age, he will suffer through fewer years of self-loathing and regret.
But remember: No one, especially an actor, wants to admit to using this. Be discreet!
Verdict: Life-changing, but be sure to hide this gift inside another gift.

And that concludes this year's list. Now, go be a good little consumer! Disperse!

And do add your own suggestions to the comments section.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trinity Youth Shelter benefit recap!

Blogoriffic Blogfriends!

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of performing in a benefit for Trinity Place, the GLBTQ youth shelter, alongside Shoshana Bean, Joey Taranto, Carrie Manolakos, Donna Vivino, Scott Alan, Neil Davis, Breedlove, SIRPAUL, Joe Hubrich, and my special friend and life-mate Libby Servais. The event was hosted by the brilliant Bianca Del Rio, who as a drag queen is much more attractive than I'll ever hope to be.

It was a rollicking, heartfelt evening, which is no surprise, given that it was organized from start to glittery finish by the inimitable Rob Harmon, who is a kickass makeup artist / general guru (I know Rob because he painted me green for a week when I was doing Wicked (he was the one who said on good authority that I was the sweatiest Elphaba to date)).

To kick off the event, Libby and I sang "I Will Never Leave You," a throwback to our Wicked standby days, when we literally never left each other's side, and then we hosted the first live auction of the night (of which there were many more throughout the evening). Um, live auctions are so much fun. It's the one instance in which the forces of peer pressure can be wielded for good!

Of course it was a treat to be able to watch the other performances, and I also got to reunite with several of my former Wicked castmates, many of whom were in attendance. What's more, I got a chance to talk to Shoshana Bean! She's the first gal I ever saw perform the role of Elphaba, so naturally I was starstruck. I don't entirely remember the details of our interaction, but I have a vague recollection of telling her, "I follow you on Twitter." There are some instances in which I can parlay my awkwardness into charisma; this wasn't one of those instances. She was exceedingly gracious, nevertheless.

Wanna see some photos from the night? Check out BroadwayWorld.com here and Playbill.com here.

Okay that's all for now! Bye!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's December! Get in the holiday spirit!

After you lovingly erect your very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree (which they actually sell at Kmart), watch this outrageous movie, courtesy of my friend Martin Landry. We met when we performed together in -- of all things -- a Chanukah Musical Review.