Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Want A Man (or Woman) With a Slow Hand

"Forget about Sinatra and Coltrane/or some old Righteous Brothers song/hey, even Barry White ain't gonna work tonight/if you really want to turn her on"

Bless you, Brad Paisley, for putting into song lyrics what I have always known. None of that cliched romantic music for me, thank you. Give me not only some 'Old Alabama' but Ronnie Milsap and Conway Twitty. Newer artist Josh Turner, you're on this list too. If you really want to turn me on, give me the music I've known all my life. Those deep-voiced, sultry songs that can become a lovely blur in the background as the fun gets going are my go-to sexy songs.

Nothing makes me shiver like 'Feels So Right' or 'Let's Take the Long Way Around the World'. 'Slow Hand' and 'Let's Make Love' go without saying, am I right? And if I'm feeling more contemporary, Josh Turner's 'No Rush' and Garth Brooks' 'The Red Strokes' or 'Shameless' get me revved and raring to go. I am aware this list contains no ladies thus far. Let me amend that: Dusty Springfield's 'Son of a Preacher Man', Gretchen Wilson's 'I'd Love to Be Your Last', and Heidi Newfield's 'Johnny and June'.

Future suitors, please take note.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The closing night of a show is always a strange thing. You've spent weeks (hopefully) backstage with your castmates (which I've determined is one word and bugger what grammar says), giggling, cracking inside jokes and marveling over the power and presence you each can bring to your roles on the nights you are really 'on'. I try to do closing night gifts, because I figure I've spent all this time with these people, I really ought to know enough of what they like that I can pick out something small that I know they will like. Last night's seemed to go over well, which made me happy.

I am one of those dorky people who really do prefer giving to receiving when it comes to presents. My favourite part of Chrismukhah (oh stick around, we'll get to that) is going shopping for people's presents. Yes, I do pick up the occasional thing for myself (Bath & Body Works is never safe from me in November/December) as well.

Anyway, back to the show. Cast parties, the biggest audience yet and smooth lighting and scene changes marked this last show for us. We filled in skipped lines and improvised when we felt the urge in our characters. Backstage we chatted about the cast party and what being actors is for each of us. I'm going to miss these people and only hope we make the effort to hang out or work together again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Should Have Gone to Medical School

I went to the doctor today. He told me the pills were working (I knew), the dose seemed good (I knew), I could talk and eat again (sensing the pattern?) the MRI didn't show any tumors, or growths (I did not know and had not previously considered). It took more time to schedule the three month follow-up than for the appointment itself.

So worth the thirty dollar co-pay.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Open Letter to Eddie Izzard

Dear Eddie,

First off, I love you. Seriously. You're totally awesome and I feel you should be told. It's not just that your stand-up routines are hilarious or your dramatic television roles are brilliant, it's you. As a person. My twitter is regularly filled with marathons you're doing (fair play to you, I can barely make the trek to the farmer's market that is a whole half mile from my flat) and charities you're supporting. Not to mention the world events you link to. Which, as an American, is important. Our news channels tend to forget there's a world elsewhere, unless we're supposed to be deathly afraid of it.

So, I think we should totally get married and have babies and live happily ever after. I would have written a song about it, but I have no musical talent and @Molly23 already did that for Stephen Fry. Let me make the case for why you should marry me: I am young, have been told I'm pretty; I'm healthy and don't have a history of mental illness in the family (one generation or two isn't a history, is it?). I'm relatively clever and can hold my own in conversation at dinner parties. I'm not materialistic (except where books and movies are concerned) and would totally share my clothes with you. (Do you still have those cute heels from Dress To Kill? No reason, just a casual chat) I won't expect you to be funny all the time and will always tell you when your eyeliner is smudged.

Of course I don't expect you to marry me just off a blog post (though I'd be fine with it). So if you're ever in Portland, Oregon someday, give me a shout. Or you know, an actual message because while you won't attract strange looks in Portland by shouting 'Beth!' in the middle of downtown, there's a chance I won't hear you.

Love (and I mean it),
Beth Damiano

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Top 11 FIlms I Wish More People Would See

I have a very deep and very true love of indie films. This means I can get away with being clever by quoting films I know no one but me has seen (most of the time). But since I like other people to like what I like (*rereads that sentence*...uh, yeah), I'm always lending these movies out to people when I know they'll like them.

Check out any of these films, you will not be sorry.

1. Ten Inch Hero-my all-time favourite film ever. In turns, it's hilarious and heart-wrenching. It's clever without being gross and if nothing else, Jensen Ackles (of Supernatural fame) delivers a monologue about buying tampons while wearing a kilt. It's worth it just for that.

2. How To Rob A Bank-if you ask me who my favourite actor is, you're going to get an answer of "Nick Stahl" at an excited volume, complete with flailing arms. This is one of his lesser known (a feat for such an underrated actor) films, but it's wonderful. Also fantastic is Erika Christensen of Parenthood fame. It's got the perfect combo of action and clever dialogue. Great, great film.

3. Funny Face-Sure, everyone's seen Breakfast at Tiffany's and Sabrina, but this is the best (IMHO) Audrey Hepburn movie. For a start, she's opposite Fred Astaire and their whip-fast dialogue would give even newspaper editors a headache. I'd like to believe more people have seen it, but the number of blank looks I get when I mention it proves me wrong.

4. The Trip-better than Brokeback Mountain, but just as heart-breaking by the final frame. Happier ending than Brokeback and funnier by far. Riffs on the trends of the decades as we follow two lovers (Tommy and Alan) through their relationship and reunion.

5. Reflections in a Golden Eye-Liz Taylor at her shrewish best and Marlon Brando like you've never seen him. You will not be sorry.

6. Fired Up!-not as well known as Bring It On, but waaaaaaaay cuter.

7. My Best Friend Is a Vampire-Ickle Robert Sean Leonard (of House Fame) gets turned into a vampire and parties it up. No sparkling here and it's great '80s camp.

8. Open House-trust me, it's 'Fantabulous' and the songs will be in your head for days.

9. Peter's Friends-Name a great British actor. Yep, they're in this film. From the always great combo of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie to such quotability ('Do you have any Equal?' 'I am famous for having no equal.), this is a fantastic, wonderful film.

10. Little Voice-seriously sweet British film. Bonus points for young Ewan MacGregor.

11. The History Boys-an amazing play turned into an amazing film keeping all the original cast together, which is almost unheard of. Brings up a lot of discussion about the nature of education while still be clever and funny.

Top 11 Films it Shocks People I Haven't Seen

So I LOVE movies, I really do. But there are some that it still shocks people that I've skipped. Yes, yes, The Godfather is a classic; sorry, I don't like gangster films. All right, White Chicks is the funniest movie ever (to quote my college roommate), sorry, not my kind of humour. I had never seen The Wizard of Oz until last year and missed out on Sound of Music until I was twenty.

So here it is, in no particular order, be prepared to wonder how I can claim a love of cinema having missed this films.

1. The Godfather-all I know about this film, I know because of You've Got Mail.

2. The Godfather Part II-all I know about this film, I know because of Serendipity.

3. Singing In The Rain-collective gasp from all my musical theatre friends...there we go.

4. Knocked-Up, The Hangover, White Chicks, any number of hit 'comedies'-I just don't find these funny (from what little I've caught of them), not my sort of humour, I'm afraid.

5. Saving Private Ryan-Tom Hanks and Matt Damon and yet I still haven't seen it. Really dislike war movies.

6. Fame-don't love the 80s quite enough, I'm afraid

7. Captain America- Love Chris Evans though I do, I heard too many bad things about this.

8. X-Men: First Class- ditto, excepting Love James McAvoy though I do.

9. Footloose- this fact really disturbs some of my theatre friends. I don't know why.

10. Casablanca-what shocks people most is I have no earthly desire to watch this movie.

11. A Christmas Story-because I have literally no desire to. Literally no desire whatsoever. This fact shocked the daylights out of my friend Chelsea and thus I have added it to this list.

Friday, September 16, 2011

In Defense of Slytherin House

(because I'm the kind of person who not only cheated on every test to be placed in Slytherin, which I think qualifies me anyway, but actually cares enough to make this case)

Slytherin House gets a pretty bad rep. Personally, I blame He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for this. One bad apple spoiled the whole bunch for a little while, but I think we've got our own back. What does the Sorting Hat say about Slytherin? Does it say 'You must be this evil to ride'? No it does not. It says and I quote (because I can):

"Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends."

Cunning is the main word here. Not evil. Not meglomaniac. Not horrible hair or no nose. Cunning is the major qualification for Slytherin. And what's wrong with being cunning? This is like hating on Captain Kirk for changing the parameters of the Kobayashi Maru test (told you, serious geek here). In general, we may not be as wise as Ravenclaw, but we can find the back door to any solution. Sometimes even the side door.

I give you Draco Malfoy as an example. Now sure, you could love him just because he's really really really ridiculously good-looking (which, I learned at Dragon*Con, if you say to Tom Felton will earn you a laugh and humble 'I don't know about that'), but he's more than that. Take Half-Blood Prince. Draco's eluding Harry at every turn, always one step ahead. He's being cunning. While Harry's persistence in following Draco (don't get me started or we'll be here all day) is how he catches him because Draco's being (say it with me now) cunning. And no one can say Draco Malfoy is evil. Mean, yes. But actual evil? No way. He couldn't kill Dumbledore and let's not forget his clinging to Harry like a damsel in distress (seriously, don't get me started) in the final book because he's fighting against the Death Eaters. Oh, redemption.

Sure, some wackadoodle evil has come out of Slytherin, but this House has been around for hundreds of years and until Voldie, no one else was trying to take over the friggin' world. Hitler was a bastard, doesn't make all Germans before and since Nazis now does it?

So, I say, Slytherins let your green and silver flags fly! Smirk all you like, because while the Gryffindor's (which is hard to spell) are saving the day and the Ravenclaw's are making the grade and the Hufflepuff's are all singing "Kumbayah", we're the ones sneaking into the kitchen for extra pudding. And isn't that what it's all about?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(Almost) Everything I Know In Life I Learned From Labyrinth

1. Labyrinth is spelled L-A-B-Y-R-I-N-T-H and will impress the heck out of people when you can spell it at six years old.

2. Don't take things (including baby brothers) for granted.

3. Never say the phrase "This is a piece of cake".

4. The way forward is sometimes the way back.

5. Start your wishes with "I wish", less dramatic, but more effective.

6. The Bog of Eternal Stench: is what it says on the tin.

7. Fairies bite.

8. Always ask permission.

9. Don't take the brass ring out of the knocker's mouth or you'll have to find a way to get it back in.

10. Information is easily exchanged for baubles.

11. You remind me of the babe.

12. You're only allowed to throw your own head.

13. An oubliette is where you put people to forget about them.

14. One door leads to the castle, the other to certain death. One of the door guards always tells the truth, one always lies.

15. When things get wild, chilly down, chilly down with the wild things.

16. When you think things aren't fair, figure out what your basis for comparison is.

17. Forever is not long at all.

18. Be careful what kind of help you ask from The Helping Hands.

19. "You're mother is a fragging aardvark" is a great insult.

20. Don't listen to false alarms when you're on the right track.

21. Have a cup of tea with the worm who showed you the way.

22. Every now and then, for no reason at all, you need your friends.

23. Truth hurts like hell.

24. Before you start wishing things away, make sure the Goblin King isn't in love with you.

25. Be kind to owls. You never know who they might be.

26. Jim Henson is the patron saint of youth.

Theory 1A

So I don't know about you, but as I kid, I read a lot. I mean, a lot. I mean, so much so that I read every book of note in my school library by the time I graduated. Seriously, I was reading about dream interpretation and how to do claymation because I'd finished every novel in the joint.

As a kid I also watched a lot of movies and TV. I mean, I played board games and did jigsaws and had tea parties and read the aforementioned lots of books, but also movies and TV were heavily involved in my down time. (This is a theory as to why I became an actress) So, since I was an unpopular child, I had one best friend in the real world (Mary, who is still my best friend to this day) and dozens in make-believe worlds.

I listened to Sara Crewe's stories in her attic chamber, I tended The Secret Garden with Mary Lennox and Dickon, I contributed to The Pickwick Portfolio with the March sisters, I galloped across England on Black Beauty. I crossed a vast library with books for companions to get to the exit, I danced along with Fred and Ginger, I "wanted so much more" just like Belle, I was a part of Ariel's world, I traveled to Africa with Simba and to Arabia with Aladdin and Jasmine.

Add to those the friends I made in music (I was secretly Mandy Moore's sister and was totally going to marry Aaron Carter) and the lessons learned from the country radio station and you have my background pretty well mapped out. So, you're wondering, what the heck does this have to do with anything. Well, I just wanted to give you a brief overview before I start posting about how (Almost) Everything I Know In Life I Learned From Labyrinth or Adventures in Cooking Like Samantha from American Girls, so you'll be fully aware of what sort of things to expect from this blog.

We all ready?