The Lil' Blog Experiment

Lyric writing

One of the useful things about writing poetry - besides the crucial warming-up-of-brain factor - is that it gives you practice for writing lyrics. In January I workshopped 20K Leagues Under the Sea, a feminist musical electropop adaptation of the novel - I'm co-writing the book with the brilliant and hilarious Lee Trull. Shawn Magill is our magical composer and all 3 of us are writing lyrics. Below is a rough draft of lyrics I wrote for Conseil, the closest advisor of our heroine. The inspiration behind this particular song was to make this very Fun Girl Power Ballad - very poppy, very Cyndi Lauper. Who knows if it'll make it into the final musical - and because we all do lyrics, we refine and edit each other's writing along the way - but this is an example of how my silly poems seep into my work and a look at how lyrics evolve during the process. I'll keep y'all updated on the musical!


Wake up now, time to wake up

You’ve been getting lost in dreams

Shake it off now, time to wake up

No fantasy’s quite what it seems


You give a little bit more

Of yourself every day

I know you want to share, girl

But don’t give it all away


He seems to have the answers

Seems so confident and sure

But he can’t hear what you’re asking

So who are his answers for?


You gotta ask what matters

Not just to him, but to you.

You gotta gain perspective:

Nothing too perfect is true.


Wake up now, time to wake up

You’ve been so lost in a dream

Shake it off now, time to wake up

No fantasy’s quite what it seems


Look past the words he gives you

I know that they feel so good

But words can come so easy -

They don’t mean all that they should.


He lays this trail of sweet nothings

Leads you away from your friends

He says only he “gets” you

Who knows how that story ends?


Don’t give up on yourself now -

Not to give yourself to him

You have a worth beyond that

You’ve got some battles to win.


Don’t let him change you to fit

Into his own fantasy

Wake up - follow your own dreams

Find the woman you could be.


Wake up now, time to wake up

You’ve been so lost in a dream

Shake it off now, time to wake up

No fantasy’s quite what it seems.



Blogging: an experiment

Hiya, Interwebs! This is my experimental sojourn into blogging.

In my experience, personal blogs are often MOST interesting to read when they deal with a) specific how-tos: i.e., check out my guide to gluten-free waffles-only living b) contain a lot of drama: i.e, HERE'S A THINLY-VEILED 'ANONYMOUS' STORY ABOUT MY PIVOTAL ROLE IN AMELIA EARHART'S DISAPPEARANCE. Given that I do not know how to make gluten-free waffles (um - add powdered unicorn?) and that I don't plan on spreading thrilling! seedy! scandals! onto the Internetz (my personal scandals these days are pretty tame - although I am pretty sure my laundromat is using generic detergent instead of allergen-free, AMA), I'm unsure if this blog will be interesting OR, indeed, regularly kept-up. But I'll give it a whirl!

  Obligatory waffle image

Obligatory waffle image

Life is busy these days - I'm in rehearsals for my adaptation of VANITY FAIR at the Pearl, playin' Becky Sharp, and Becky's pretty deep in my subconscious, which is fun company. I have a bunch of other productions coming up regionally and in my much-beloved NYC, and I'm pretty tired! Happy but tired. If the nation weren't being run by a bigoted orange despot, things would be better, but so many of us are struggling with that. Today's my day off, and I'm doing all those things which actors do on their days off - running lines, reviewing songs and dances, and attempting to get some grocery shopping done. String cheese and bananas are my friend in busy rehearsal days. Also doing some playwritin' on my off hours, which is the norm.

I get asked quite often about my writing process, and the truth is I don't... really... have one? There are patterns, but I'm a big believer that every play teaches me to write itself. That being said, I often 'warm up' my writing brain by writing, um, morose and often not-amazing poetry. It frees me up. I have a poem below that I wrote the other week: I NEVER show my poems to anyone, so this is a scary thing for me to do. My poems are often quite dark - I'm clearing the cobwebs out of my subconscious.

Again, I'm unsure how consistent I'll be about blogging! This will be an experiment for me... it may quickly degrade. At the very least, you'll get some quality waffle stock photos.

  Exhibit A: waffle

Exhibit A: waffle

And now, a super dark poem!


The End

I'd go over to my brother’s

We’d make something decadent

Pasta alfredo; cheesecake

No worry about calories now

I’d bicker with my mother

Even at the end

Especially then

Whoever won

Would actually have

The last word


We’d put the kids to bed

They’d fuss, as usual, but

No more TV tonight

We’d sit around and drink

Too much red wine

Laugh telling old stories

My mom would fall asleep

It’d just be me - my brothers and sisters -

Waiting – who knows why -

And trying not to fade.