Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas means family, family means weird photos

It's my family's tradition to take a group portrait every 25th of December. Most years, we start off normal:


Then we add the dog(s):

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DOG IN SWEATER

Recently, I discovered something about myself: I LOVE DOGS IN SWEATERS. Behold! A photo of Domi, beloved pooch of Nic Dromard (my Fiyero in SF Wicked, currently Bert in the Mary Poppins tour), wearing a Canadian sweater. AND WHAT IS CUTER THAN THAT, I WANT TO KNOW.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Neti Pots May Not Be So Awesome After All

This article on Jezebel.com (from a longer one on LiveScience.com) is one of the more bizarre and sad things I've read. Apparently, two unlucky people in Louisiana used Neti Pots -- a homeopathic cold treatment that passes water up through your nose and sinus (watch my demo here) -- and a deadly amoeba living in their tap water burrowed its way into their brains and killed them. Double yikes.

Apparently this is extremely rare, but in light of this, I'm revising my Neti Pot stance from blanket advocacy to PLEASE BOIL THE WATER BEFORE YOU USE IT IN YOUR NETI POT SO AMOEBAS DON'T EAT YOUR BRAINS!

Thank you.
--FLR

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hugh Jackman is literally so awesome

Last night I went to see Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway at the Broadhurst theater with my manly yet sensitive boyfriend Marshall. As the near-supernatural theatrics unfolded onstage, we hooted, clapped, and more or less tinkled our undergarments. Why? BECAUSE HUGH JACKMAN IS LITERALLY SO AWESOME.

Let me preface by saying, I wasn't always a Hugh Jackman fan. In fact, on my first date with Marshall, I randomly quoted a then-recent People Magazine interview in which Hugh seemed, to me, too sickeningly good to be true, while Marshall silently thought, I hope it's okay if I later tell this girl that I kind of love Hugh Jackman.

Two years later, the relationship has grown and strengthened -- by which I mean my relationship with Hugh Jackman.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A very hipster Thanksgiving

Friends, countrymen, readers of Unnaturally Green, watchers of nonsensical videos,

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a gloriously familial time with my boyfriend, a.k.a. Gentle Rambo, and his Wisconsin-born, Pennsylvania-bred family of six (Rambo, like me, is a middle child -- observant, quietly brilliant, considerate, only slightly messed-up).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bye, bye carbohydrates (for now)

You know that scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson is like, "They'll never take...our FREEDOM!" and then everybody cheers and goes into battle? Under similar conditions, I would totally join the fight. Except you'd have to change "freedom" to "carbohydrates."

Freedom is nice -- don't get me wrong. But can you douse it in tomato sauce and twirl it around your fork? I didn't think so.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A brief book review: "One Day" by David Nicholls

One DayOne Day by David Nicholls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Where do I begin? This book is breathtaking, a profound representation of life, tragic and weird and unpredictable as it is. Nicholls chronicles two characters' intertwining journeys with such attention to detail, character, and emotion that I was staggered by its realism. A brilliant character study (of both its main characters, and even the ancillary players -- with spot-on dialogue), the prose is artful, whimsical, hilarious, and spontaneous. His chosen structure of zooming in on one particular date across two or so decades was genius, for several reasons. Many of these dates were not milestones; instead, they were markers of the mundane -- of life's "betweenness" -- times between great triumph, loss -- illustrations of transition, angst, and often confusion. In my opinion, this contributed to the book's profundity, slaying tragedy, and, again, its ability to capture "life." Read this book. You will be changed.

--FLR

Update 12.22.11: There are spoilers in the comments section! Be warned! (And sorry.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pub Day: the morning after

When we last left off, I confessed to living a double life: in self-publishing my book Unnaturally Green, I tried to appear (without lying outright) as if I had a publishing house backing me.

This past Friday, October 14 marked my book's official release day -- the day of consummation -- when all I'd been planning came to fruition in one, long, passion-filled night. Sales boomed. Nuns wept. I think I even saw a rainbow, even though it was night. I went to bed clutching my freshly bound paperback copy of Unnaturally Green.

The next morning, we rose together from the tangled sheets, to peer at each other. "Who ARE you?" I thought as I stared at my book, "and what have we done?"

One week later, here are my reflections -- on how one glorious evening turned into a full-on, committed relationship. And what I would have done differently.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to self-publish (and seem like you're not)

[as featured on The Huffington Post]

Writing is a lot like lying. You weave stories that aren’t true and ask people to believe them. So I thought it apropos to market my self-published book around one giant fallacy: that it wasn’t self-published.

Let me absolve explain myself.

Friday, September 30, 2011

How singers stay healthy (or, attack of the neti pot)

In my book Unnaturally Green, I describe my daily vocal health regimen. In the video below you'll see a sample of some of the specifics. Most notably, I shove a neti pot up my nose and demonstrate how it works (video journalism at its finest). Hope it's helpful!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I am STRONG!

Dudes. Normally, I despise working out.

See, no matter what I do, my body stays the same. It's a good enough body. Healthy, muscular, a little hefty in the belly region. I've done the exercise DVD thing. Pilates. Aerobics classes. During each of my fitness "kicks" I definitely do start to feel better (i.e. I cease to be winded when climbing 1-2 flights of stairs).

But I always ask myself, where are the visible results?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

To an anonymous bully

So, you're a bully. My condolences.

I'm guessing you have a good reason, though. Most likely a gaping hole in your heart. Some people paint pictures, some start families, some volunteer at hospitals. Some try to bring others down.

Maybe, like the Grinch, your heart is two sizes too small.

Maybe something else is two sizes too small.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

Belated post to bid farewell to Amy Winehouse, who passed away yesterday at the untimely age of 27. It was she who uttered the words that first inspired this blog's title:

"I'm not a one-trick pony. I'm at least a five-trick pony."

From one five-trick pony to the other: goodbye, Ms. Winehouse! Your music kicks ass, and you will be sorely missed.

--FLR

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer in New York City

Ask yourself.

Is it a regular occurrence that your armpit sweat actually drips onto other people's shoes?

Have you ever wiped your brow with office supply paper?

Do people ever mistake you for having taken a swim, when really you've walked three blocks down a city street?

If any of these apply, then you, like me, are spending your Summer in New York City.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's true: I don't know how to write a book.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.  --Richard Bach
Here is a reenactment of that time nine months ago when I decided to write a book:

Me (interior monologue): Hey, I think I want to write a book.

Me (also interior monologue): Oh, cool. Do you know how to write a book?

Me (still interior monologue): Not really. But I know how to write...stuff.

Me (la la la): Great. So. Write a book then.

Me (out loud): Okay.

Person Standing Next to Me in the Elevator: What?

Me: Nothing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

To the Class of 2011 (of which we are all members!)

I don't know what's gotten into me, really. Why I've become nostalgic, grasping for carefree-er times.

Maybe it's something about this year's spring. The flowering trees, the torrential downpours -- the sweet and the terrifying, mixed together. Maybe it's because my little bebbe of a sister is shedding her high-school skin and enrolling in Northwestern's Class of 2015. (Remember, back in the 90s, when 2015 sounded like the most futuristic date ever? Aaaah my sister is an old alien what is happening...)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dear Certain Subway Riders (An Open Letter),

I can understand why you might want to take the subway. It's fast and moves underground, like those weird-faced snake monsters from the Kevin Bacon movie Tremors. Plus, despite the frequent delays and reroutings, on certain days it works like magic. Like those times when you spend the entire morning reading on the toilet and, by all accounts, are an hour behind, then somehow the stars (and trains) align to take you to your destination not just on time, but minutes early! Planes, automobiles, time machines, Jason Statham -- nothing could deliver such miraculous transport!

Whatever your reason for riding the subway, I don't care. If you are like most of the people I encounter there, you are doing it badly. Here is why.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So. This happened.

When will I learn how to banter in the workplace

The long-form joke and I are well-acquainted bedfellows. The winding, swirling, no-punchline, create a theme or mood then amuse with unexpected twists and turns (POOPY) joke -- she/he is my friend/bitch. Same goes for its cousin, the non-sequitur. Totally my game. Free-associations that beget strange and unrelated comments, like when a paint color reminds me of the afterlife, or my sushi rolls have personalities, or I point out which celebrities would have to mate to birth one of my friends.

But there is one joke in whose presence I cower, on whose frontier I will forever lag behind the other wagon trailblazer pioneer people: the Workplace Banter.

What IS Workplace Banter? What ISN'T Workplace Banter! It's those completely un-pithy one-liners that are totally benign and essentially just any old sentence in a normal conversation -- but which, for strange and inexplicable reasons, everybody ends up laughing at.

Workplace Banter is at first hard to spot, because it sounds just like a normal sentence. This is because it is a normal sentence, except said in a weird voice. And when it comes to your boss, or anyone prominent or "superior" in the office hierarchy, Workplace Banter can literally be when anyone says anything at all, whether or not it's in a weird voice.

Here, for your edification, are examples of Workplace Banter.

1. "Don't ask me anything until I've had my coffee!"
2. "Sorry, my brain stopped working."
3. Weird-voiced person: "Does not compute."
4. Boss: "Hi!"

Bear in mind that all of these statements would traditionally be followed by hysterical laughter.

Also bear in mind that this is universal Workplace Banter. I work in a real-life office right now, but I have also worked in theater, and the same exact rules apply, if you can believe it. Same rules, with a few notable theater-specific additions:

5. Person after they've done something really easy, like move a chair: "That's why they pay me the big bucks!"
6. Any person during rehearsal or performances: "We're going to Broadway!"
7. Person, yelling: "Belt your face!"
8. Sarcastic person who has to move one prop or carry scenery: "But...what's my motivation?"

In summary, Workplace Banter is everywhere. You cannot stop it. And if you want to succeed, you'd better learn how to do it!*

--FR

*Alternatively, you can just blog about it and stubbornly not engage, like some ashamed career floater slash outcast. What is "success," anyway?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I admit it! I'm cheating on this blog with my old blog!

It's time I came clean: I have officially restarted my old, WICKED-centric blog UNNATURALLY GREEN, and have been posting once, twice, sometimes THREE TIMES a week! I know, I know.

How could I?

FIVE-TRICK PONY followers, I still love you. But I have unfinished business with my old blog.We have a...history. You understand?

And I will still post here! All the time! Honest!

And, in the meantime, if you can withstand the inevitable sting of jealousy, check out the latest UNNATURALLY GREEN post, "Shameless sap and ANNOUNCEMENT!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hey, my book has a website!

Check this out and try not to pee your pants because those pants are dry clean only!

http://www.FeliciasUntitledWickedMemoir.com

(It's uses flash, so you won't be able to view it on your mobile device or any manner of iTabletThing. Only old-fashioned computers. So antiquated.)

The "Learn More" page includes a contact form for you to sign up for my mailing list. No spamming here -- just periodic updates on the book's official title (to be revealed soon...), its release date, how to order advanced or signed copies, and how you can get involved in spreading the Wicked-memoir love across this great wide earth.

Hooray! Getting psyched for this, everybody!
--FR

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SECRET POST!

KNOCK KNOCK.

WHO'S THERE?

A WICKED MEMOIR BY FELICIA RICCI

A WICKED MEMOIR BY FELICIA RICCI WHO?

COMING SUMMER 2011.

(Tell your friends. And stay tuned. And eat your vegetables.)

It feels good to say "no"

In the past week, I have forged new professional ground.

I have said "no."

That's right! I, Felicia Lisbeth Five-Trick Pony Ricci, have just turned down three concerts and two plays. And I feel really bleeping good about it.

No, (<--there it is again!) I'm not writing this to instigate an indulgent, communal ego-stroking, wherein everybody who reads this "oohs" and "aahs" at how popular I am, then writes about it in the comments (although I cannot stop you!).

On the contrary, I wish merely to recount the extremely novel, somewhat surreal, experience of drawing a hard line. And sticking to it.

Setting boundaries can be hard for an actor. The theater industry is designed in the opposite way. Many people believe that if you want to make it in the biz, you'd better be prepared to do anything and everything people ask of you (within reason, you sicko!). So if you're an actor on a mission, primed and ready to make a splash, it's in your best interest to get involved as much as you can, cultivating professional relationships, honing your craft through new, unpublished work, and, well, saying "yes" to everything and anything. This can be a wonderful and exciting practice.

But for those of us who are unsure...who need to examine the road signs before continuing down what they thought was the right path...

"No" is a beautiful word indeed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SORT-OF FORMER ACTRESS / EVOLVING HUMAN TAKES OFFICE JOB WHILE WRITING BOOK, LIVES TO TELL TALE (SO FAR)

Here are some of the day-to-day benefits to working in an office.
  1. FREE PENS.
  2. If anyone speaks, they do so in low, soothing tones.
  3. It is customary to wear clothes that need not be geared toward
    1. Rigorous movement or dance
    2. Concealing pit stains
    3. Showing off ones “assets”
  4. If I wake up with phlegm in my throat, THAT’S OKAY.
  5. If I arrive a few minutes late, THAT’S OKAY.
  6. I can eat and not worry about the timing of subsequent bodily functions. (Oh yes, I went there.) (And yes, that’s something you have to consider when working in the theater.)
Here are some downsides to working in an office.
  1. I am required to more or less stay put in the building, even when I’m not particularly needed.*
  2. Unlike my prior experiences with the unbridled, persistent gregariousness of nearly every actor I’ve ever encountered, it is not a matter of course that one’s coworkers introduce themselves or even speak.**
  3. Brunch has become a competitive sport, as I no longer have the special privilege – sometimes curse – of being free when everyone else is busy; instead, I must submit to the workweek / weekend dichotomy. Gone are those solitary week days, when I used to scour the lonely streets for companionship, wander into various places of business, and wile away my idle hours at an empty movie theater, pondering what exactly it was I was doing with my life, where I was going to find my next paycheck, and why the weekly cost of concessions add up to nearly half of my unemployment insurance.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE!
*Upside: …during which time I can compile inane lists, like this one.
*Also: slightly reminiscent of my standby stint, no?
**Although, this is oftentimes a good thing. As a point of contrast, I would, if I had the capabilities, submit to you one of several live actor-subjects I’ve encountered at various auditions, to whom a mute individual would be, in many cases, preferable.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WTF!

This post is called "WTF!" because that is definitely what you are thinking.

First of all, you're like WTF! Why has it been a month since Felicia has written?! Second of all, you're like, WTF is this post?! Why is it so cray-cray? Third of all, you're like, WTF is Felicia doing with herself? She's, like, dropped off the face of the earth! Fourth of all, you're like, WTF in general! WTF is going on here?!

I'll tell you WTF is going on.

It is a new era, my friends. A new era of adventure and confusion and triumph and fear and loathing in Las Vegas. And, you guessed it, a new era of saying "WTF" like all day long.

I've lately made a bunch of big decisions. Nothing too earth-shattering. I mean, all of my anatomy remains unchanged (I think?). Just career-wise. I'm stepping up my game and moving more toward full-time writing, as opposed to full-time acting.

I know, I know! You're probably like, WTF?! Because that is what this post is called, and also because what I just said probably made you think that. But, fear not. I'm just embracing my creativity in a different way. I'm currently employed full-time as a copywriter, and it's a pretty sweet gig. Meanwhile, I'm writing a memoir. Yep. You heard me. A memoir. (Cue: "WTF!") But more on this soon. I wanted first to put that out there and make you all be like "WTF?!" before I shoved the details down your throat at a later date. Just know that, professionally, I'm shifting my focus (for now), while in the meantime I'll continue to make musical theater mischief on YouTube, in the streets, in your dreams, in your mom's dreams, and just continue to be a weirdo in general.

In summary, it is my duty to embrace my FIVE-TRICK PONY nature...which is to explore, challenge, question, forge new and exciting paths...

...and to make things up as I go.

Honestly? It's kind of really freaking fun. And also kind of makes me be like -- you guessed it -- WTF.

--FR

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dr. Stripper

I didn't want to mention it, but here I go. Tomorrow, I shall play Candy the Stripper in a staged reading at Theater Row. Candy, I've decided, is stripping her way through med school. That's not anywhere in the script, it's just something that helps me through the day.

Wanna hear my favorite lyric from the show?

"Mr. Hot Dog Man, come as soon as you can / I need a little meat in my roll."

Sarcasm.

Do you know what's funny about being a stripper? It actually feels like you're a stripper. There's no discernible difference. We're actually not doing anything racy that involves any nudity, so it's not like I'm super exposed or anything. But it's weird how if you're asked to "pretend" to get down and dirty, it's actually like getting down and dirty. The frame of it being a "performance" doesn't make it any less revealing.

In other words: pretending to strip in a play feels a lot like stripping for real. Because that is what you're doing. Because, like, plays are supposed to be, like, real. That's what acting is, man.

This post brought to you by Obvious: Making Obvious Things Obvious Since Forever, Obviously.

Also brought to you by: Felicia Is Low On Blog Material.

--FR

P.S. Here's what I'm thinking for my next post: "How Not To Stay In Shape." Thoughts? Seriously, though.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rehearsal for Real-Life, Real-Life Rehearsal

Today's is a food for thought-type post.

To all you working actors out there: Before performing professionally in NYC (or beyond), in your amateur days did you ever suspect you were merely "rehearsing" for an eventual "real-life" theater experience--one that would be vastly different in its professionalism?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Started in the Biz of Show

Oftentimes, aspiring actor-folk email me with nuts-and-boltsy questions about Showbiz. The main trend I see is that young performers are curious about the process of getting started. How, they ask, do you go from complete newcomer to employed NYC actor?

Thusly, I present to you, Felicia's Quick Rundown of How This Shiz Works, with accompanying photo of Felicia doing jazz hands.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

An Outrageous Sequel Medley

In August 2010, my li'l sis and I presented an outrageous thirty-eight song medley using no papers or notes -- only our tired memories. This, my friends, is its outrageous sequel.

Filmed in one take (again, with no notes), it picks up where Medley 1 left off ("Valjean's Soliloquy" Les Misérables) and ends with a triumphant homage to our collective youth.

Or, better yet, ends -- for now. Because in a world of outrageous medleys, every ending is a new beginning...

Enjoy!
--FR