MNDFL’s Meditation for Creativity with Emily Fletcher

Last Monday night, J and I went to the MNDFL Meditation in the EV for a meditation on creativity with Broadway veteran and founder of Ziva Meditation, Emily Fletcher (Chicago, A Chorus Line, The Producers, etc). I was intrigued because she was a former Broadway actress and who couldn’t benefit from being more creative? The cast of Small Mouth Sounds had been on the schedule as well (Fletcher is the meditation advisor for the show) but they were unable to make it. Eva Price, one of the producers of the play, attended, though, and talked about the experience of producing the play and trying to develop her own practice. 

We sat down and she first talked about her debilitating anxiety from being a swing in A Chorus Line (she wound up in the fetal position after she went on as Val for the first time) and asked her dressing roommate, who covered 6 roles (compared to her 4), how she stayed so cool and collected. Her dressing roommate introduced her to Vedic meditation (the training I completed in early August, though with a different teacher)  and her life was changed. She eventually spent 3 years training to be a teacher and opened her own studio (Ziva). 

She led us through her “Ziva Meditation,” which was like a body scan + light Vedic meditation + loving kindness meditation. She’s a really good teacher because she’s not too new agey. She knows her audience and qualified a lot of things that she said that she knew some people would be all skeptical about (ex. “as cheesy as it sounds, now visualize yourself sending love to everyone in this room”). 

I thanked her after and introduced myself, as did J, and she was super nice. Later on, I realized my Vedic teacher teaches at her studio sometimes so I might go check out one of his classes there, or one of hers.

As always, it was a really good time. I’m sure we’ll be back soon for another class, and sooner or later J will probably pick up his own practice. If you want to download Emily Fletcher’s free meditation, shoot over to Ziva Meditation and enter your email address and you’ll be able to download it for free!

Hamilton Prediction

I stopped reading the Hamilton cancellation thread on BroadwayWorld after I was able to buy tickets the last time they went on sale. The waits had gotten to 3+ days and there’s no show worth losing that much time over. So: no. I was wasting far too much time reading about teenagers “choose to be homeless” to obtain tickets to a show. 

But last night, I was curious as to how the waits were now that 3 of the principal cast members (including the writer) were gone and I was shocked – sort of – to see that you could now, apparently, get in line the day-of at 6am and get tickets for the show that night. 

I’m starting to think that Lin-Manuel Miranda, lyrical genius as he may be, let Hamilton be more about him – as Lin-Manuel – than about Alexander Hamilton and that Hamilton, the show, without him won’t last anywhere near as long as we all thought – Decades? Centuries?! 

I think the market will soon be saturated. Everyone who has the means to see Hamilton on Broadway soon will have done so and ticket demand, as well as ticket prices, will start to go away. I mean, it’s already been filmed for mass consumption. The tour is starting soon, too (and it has a pretty bomb cast). 

I’m going to place my bets on Hamilton running a good 5 years. This is a fantastic run for any show on Broadway, including Hamilton (and they’ve also already recouped, so fuck it, right?). 

We will see, I suppose. 

Laughing Into 2016

This picture is from last night. My boyfriend and I went to dinner at The Cellar for amazing mac’n’cheese and champagne before going to his best friend’s apartment for his annual New Year’s Eve party. I think in this photo I’m laughing because I just finished drinking all of the champagne (just kidding, but probably). 

There were lots of ups and downs, but it turns out that 2015 was lots of fun. I traveled to New Orleans, Chicago, as well as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. 

I dated lots of questionable guys and then went on a date with someone who wasn’t my usual type (this was a plus as my type was usually a flaky loser disguised as ‘artsy’) and he ended up being a wonderful guy and I was so, so happy to be able to ring in a new year with him last night. 

I left a job that I loved because I felt like I was stagnating and i took a job that was presented to me with a higher salary and more opportunity only to be disappointed when it didn’t work out. But shit happens.

I threw a couple of successful parties during my first year in my apartment.

I strengthened some of my friendships and ended a couple of others that no longer served me.

I read 25 books. I saw tons of theatre. I went to a bunch of stellar concerts. I kept on meditating daily and took a meditation master class. I renovated my kitchen (with lots of help from my family, of course) and afterward I cooked a ton. I also de-cluttered, which was awesome. I watched all three Star Wars and saw the new one. I watched too many TV shows on Netflix and not enough movies in theatres. 

In 2016, I’m going to concentrate on really sorting out what I want to do professionally. I excel at everything that I’m super passionate about and if I can find myself in the practically-perfect job, I’ll fly. 

Being happy is also a top priority. Fitness is next. I will keep going to the gym more mornings than not, maybe finally do a handstand on my own, and tone my arms because I hate my arms. I’m going to keep de-cluttering my apartment. I want to play more guitar and journal more. I’m going to read another 25 books. I’m going to keep making time to see my friends, including trying to see those that I don’t get to see regularly. 

2015 was great, but 2016 will be even better. Onwards/Upwards.

Last month I landed a ticket to Manhattan Theatre Club’s Airline Highway at the Samuel Friedman Theatre after learning that Julie White (!) was in it so how could I not see it?!

The play takes place in the Hummingbird Motel on the Airline Highway outside of New Orleans and is a pretty depressing place to live. The residents are throwing a “living funeral” for one of their favorite inhabitants, a former dancer named Miss Ruby. The other residents have pretty much not done a whole lot with their lives but they at least had a good time not doing anything. A resident who’s gotten out and done well for himself is coming back which is a problem for Krista, who was in a relationship (of sorts) with him for six years, still loves him, and is still in the same spot where he deserted her.

Bait Boy brings his girlfriend’s daughter with him to the party where she asks the residents questions for her high school sociology project and is filled with life from the fun and good times that these people are having while having not a care in the world.

Things get messy and I think the overall message of the show is that we spend our life running from ourselves and our feelings instead of actually, you know, feeling them. 

It’s dark, and depressing, but it felt relevant. 

So, I saw Chicago for the first time since 2005 (I worked there twice that year).   I believe this was the first time I truly enjoyed seeing it, at least since I saw the original cast in 1998.  Above, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, was my main motivation for seeing it again.  I know, I know, she can’t sing, blah blah blah.  But Roxie is not a hard role to sing, it’s more physical than anything else.  I went in with a semi-opened (and hopeful) mind.

My friend and I cringed at a few of the first notes she had to sustain for more than 2 counts in Funny Honey.  They fell just a bit flat.  I thought she was especially good in the song Roxie, though some of her notes fell flat again in Nowadays at the end of the second act.  We cringed.  A bit.

Other than those two songs, she was fine.  Her acting was cheesy, though it was appropriate to the character; and her dancing was fantastic, as I thought it would be.  She made the choreography look fantastic and effortless.

All-in-all, she lived up just fine to my expectations.  She may even have surpassed them vocally in some cases.  So, if you haven’t seen Chicago before, Simpson-Wentz won’t ruin the show for you and if you have, you will probably still enjoy it.