Saturday, April 22, 2017

New Full-Cast Farce from The Online Stage!

I had a blast participating in this short series of farcical situations as a member of The Online StageArcadian Adventures With The Idle Rich by Stephen Leacock has no shortage of silliness from the, well, idle rich.

"Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) may be considered the Canadian counterpart to Mark Twain. For many years he was professor of economics at Magill University and published a number of well-regarded texts on economics and political science. However, he is best known today for his many volumes of humorous fiction. During the 1920s he was one of the most widely read authors in the English-speaking world and was considered by Jack Benny and Groucho Marx to be one of the greatest comic writers of all time.

In Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich, Leacock applies a satirical scalpel to the foibles and pretensions of the wealthy and the powerful. He not only probes the quirks of traditional power structures like corporations (public and private), political parties, universities, and churches but also finds time to poke fun at one of his favorite targets - the world of psychic phenomena.

A Little Dinner with Mr Lucullus Fyshe
The Wizard of Finance
The Arrested Philanthropy of Mr. Tomlinson
The Yahi-Bahi Oriental Society of Mrs. Rasselyer-Brown
The Love Story of Mr. Peter Spillikins
The Rival Churches of St. Asaph and St. Osoph
The Ministrations of the Rev. Uttermust Dumfarthing
The Great Fight for Clean Government

Narrated by Cate Barratt.
Cast: Lucullus Fyshe - Jeff Moon; Dr Boomer - Ron Altman; Fareforth Furlong - Richard Andrews; Mrs. Rasselyer-Brown - Lee Ann Howlett.
Additional voices supplied by Bob Neufeld, Ben Stevens, P. J. Morgan, Brett Downey, Denis Daly, Andy Harrington, David Prickett, John Burlinson, Alan Weyman, Joseph Tabler, Susan Iannucci, Becca Maggie, Jennifer Fournier, Ted Wenskus, Leanne Yau, Arielle Lipshaw, and Marty Kris.
Audio edited by Denis Daly."

To listen to a sample and/or purchase head to Audible here.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Amigurumi Easter Eggs and Recording News!

I can't believe that today marks only two weeks until Easter.  Where has the year gone?  It's nice to be busy but, sheez, sometimes I'd like to go into slow-mode and take time to breathe.  Well, as usual, I had been looking at Easter items I could make for my three nieces.  They're now 10, 9, and 7 years old.  I love being an aunt and I know it won't be too much longer before I'll have to start choosing more 'mature' gifts for holidays.  Of course, M&Ms are always welcome!

This year, I found a terrific Amigurumi pattern for making colorful Easter eggs.  I worked these three up in an afternoon.  (Hurray!)  They're crocheted and you can find the pattern here at the website Petals to Picots.  I used Lily Sugar 'N Cream cotton yarn in variegated pink and variegated lilac.  My results are below resting on some Easter grass.

So, each niece will receive an egg, a tube of M&Ms and an Easter card in the mail.  I'll suggest using these as 'prize' eggs when they have their various Easter egg hunts.

As far as work is concerned, I've been super busy.  I'm just finishing up narrating the second book in the series about former Florida Highway Patrol Officer Floy Turner during her years as a Special Agent with the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement.  This one is called Behind Her Special Agent Badge: Murder, Mayhem, and Life in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.   Floy and her co-writer Sherrie Clark picked up where the first book, Behind Her Miami Badge: Undercover, the Cocaine Wars, and Life in the Fast Lane, ended.  I've really enjoyed telling Floy's 'story' in these books.  The upcoming book features her work on the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 into the Everglades, and numerous cases involving murder, drugs, and human trafficking.  This book ends just before the events of September 11, 2001.  The third and final book (which Floy and Sherrie are currently writing) will begin with 9/11.

I've also been involved in full-cast recordings with The Online Stage.  I post here when the recordings become available on Audible.  Right now, there are several I've worked on that are in post-production.  One is a full-cast version of Little Women.  I play the narrator in that one so it was a pretty big project for me.

After I wrap up Floy's book, I'm starting on the second book in the 'Imogene and the Boys series' by Hunter Murphy.  These are cozy mysteries and are a lot of fun.  The first one featured Imogene, her son Billy, and Billy's partner Jackson solving a murder mystery in New Orleans.  (Imogene in New Orleans.)   The second book is titled The Curse of the Bridal Chamber and takes place right here in Florida.  The setting sounds suspiciously like where the Weeki Wachi mermaids hang out.  Hmmm...

I'll post here as things progress... 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

New Full-Cast Production from The Online Stage on Audible!

A new full-cast production of a classic Greek tragedy has just been released on Audible.  Hippolytus by Euripides and translated by Bob Gonzalez features cast members from The Online Stage.  I play the nurse in this and I loved the chance to sink my teeth into that character.

Euripides (c. 480-406 BCE) is the author of 18 extant plays and many more only surviving in fragments. He is the youngest of the three great Athenian tragedians with Aeschylus and Sophocles.
Hippolytus, bastard son of Theseus and the Amazon Hippolyta, has sworn chaste allegiance to the goddess Artemis, thus severely offending the goddess Aphrodite by failing to revere her. Aphrodite swears revenge and promises that he will die before the day is done, taking with him Queen Phaedra, wife of Theseus. Aphrodite sickens Phaedra with uncontrollable lust for Hippolytus, and when he vehemently spurns her, he sets in motion the events that will seal his doom.

Aphrodite - PJ Morgan
Artemis - Linda Barrans
Hippolytus - Russell Gold
Phaidra -Erin Louttit
Nurse - Lee Ann Howlett
Theseus - John Burlinson
An Old Huntsman - Ron Altman
First huntsman/Messenger - Andy Harrington
Second huntsman - Alan Weyman
Third huntsman - Alan Weyman
Chorus leader - Jennifer Fournier
Chorus One - Leanne Yau
Chorus Two - Elizabeth Chambers
Narrator - Alan Weyman

Audio edited by Alan Weyman. Freely adapted by Bob Gonzalez from the translation by Ian Johnston.

To listen to a sample and/or purchase, please visit Audible here

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Frida at the Dali in the 'Burg!

Duane, Linda, and I had been looking forward to the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Dali Museum in St. Pete as soon as we heard it was coming.  We finally made it over there and we weren't disappointed.  Besides the beautiful print above advertising the event, there was a flower wall that we absolutely loved.  It just seemed so 'Frida' since she was so often seen with flowers adorning her hair.

Full view of flower wall.

We noticed a number of people having their photos taken in front of the flower wall (above).  I'm not big on silk flowers but this was beautiful.  There was a short documentary film you could watch -- it ran about 5 minutes -- that showed black and white footage of Frida walking about and with her husband, Diego Rivera.  There was quite a bit of information about the dreadful accident that nearly took Frida's life.  I'm truly amazed that she survived it.  Here's a pencil sketch she drew while laid up after one of her many surgeries.  This was a recreation of what happened to her.   

Frida's sketch of the accident.

Here's a photograph of Frida with her parents and siblings.  I actually thought that Frida was in the front right.  Duane knew immediately that Frida was on the left wearing the men's suit.  I would never have guessed.

Frida (far left in suit) with her family.
 I thought this particular piece of art by Frida was very 'Dali-esque' and not her usual style.  I really liked it.

Frida's 'Dali-type' work.

Out of all of her works on display, I found myself drawn to this particular self-portrait.  I don't know why since it doesn't illustrate her usual bold colors but I think it was my favorite.

One of Frida's self-portraits. My favorite.

Close-up of a section of the flower wall.

After we finished viewing the exhibit we spent a little time in the Dali gift shop.  Always a nice place to browse and drop a few dollars.  All three of us bought a few things.  I settled for a cool 3-D Frida bookmark.  

Then we headed down Central Avenue to the old downtown section of St. Pete.  We had a terrific and relaxing lunch at the Community Cafe.  We've eaten there before so we knew we already loved the food.  They were preparing for another art exhibit by local artists.  This time the theme is Flower Power.  The cafe is a busy place and they do a lot to showcase area talent.  

Another great day in the 'Burg! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Utopian fiction short story live on Audible!

A utopian fiction short story by Winnifred Harper Cooley that I recently recorded is now for sale on Audible.  It's called A Dream of the Twenty-First Century.

Not long after the beginning of the 20th century, a woman has a dream about what she imagines the 21st century will bring. This utopian fiction piece was written by Winnifred Harper Cooley in 1902. Cooley is best known for her book The New Womanhood. Cooley's mother, Ida Husted Harper, was an author, a journalist, and a prominent figure in the United States' women's suffrage movement.

To listen to a sample and/or purchase, please click here

Friday, February 10, 2017

Two new full-cast recordings from The Online Stage!

The Online Stage (of which I am a happy member) just released two new recordings on Audible!  I have small roles in both recordings.

First up is The Mantle by Nikolai Gogol.  I play the landlady and Akaki Akakievitch's daughter.

"The Mantle" follows the life of a civil servant, Akaki Akakievitch who just loves his work! Born in St Petersburg, he is a copy writer, meaning he copies text from one place to another. In his spare time and after work hours, he also copies. When given more responsibility, he begs to return to...copying. One particular winter, he notices that, between home and office, he is cold, his mantle is threadbare, and he can no longer repair it himself. Our conflict begins here, as Akaki seeks a solution to his threadbare mantle.

Nicolai Gogol is a wonderfully observant author and his characters are so rich that we feel we can understand their points of view. This tragicomedy is Russian society in the mid 1800s at its most delightful!

Cast: Akaki Akakievitch - Ben Stevens; Mother - Linda Barrans; Petrovitch/ Tovarisch/Sentry - Jeff Moon; Superior official/Doctor - Russell Gold; Assistant/Shouting man/Friend - Andy Harrington; Landlady/Daughter - Lee Ann Howlett; District Superintendent - David Prickett; Man in street/Lower officials - Alan Weyman. Narrator - Susan Iannucci."

To listen to a sample and/or purchase the book, head to Audible here.

The second recording is the children's classic Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  LOTS of roles in this book!  I play the cook and the old crab. (No snarky comments on that last one!)

Alice is played by an actual 7 year old -- the wonderfully talented Miranda Hodges!

 "Join seven-year-old Alice as she tumbles down the rabbit hole to have an adventure in Wonderland, in Lewis Carroll's classic novel beloved by children and adults alike. Alice encounters many strange and curious creatures in Wonderland, including the anxious White Rabbit, the rather unhelpful Caterpillar, the disappearing Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and his guests at their tea party, and the horrible Queen of Hearts.

Featuring the voices of Noel Badrian, Miranda Hodges, Joseph Tabler, Leanne Yau, Susan Iannucci, Chyanne Donnell, Andrew Coleman, Ben Stevens, Lee Ann Howlett, Anastasia Durning, Richard Andrews, Caprisha Page, Jennifer Fournier, Linda Barrans, Denis Daly, Erin Louttit, Brett Downey, Elizabeth Klett, Charlotte Duckett, PJ Morgan, Garrison Moore, Amanda Friday, K.G.Cross, Brett Downey, John Burlinson, Maureen Boutilier, Jeff Moon, Michele Eaton, Marty Kryz, Carol Box, Alan Weyman, and Bob Gonzalez."

Please note that All proceeds from the sale of this audiobook will be donated to Charity Water, a non-profit organization which is dedicated to the building of sustainable, community-owned water projects around the world.

To listen to a sample and/or purchase, click here

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My latest audiobook now for sale on Audible!

My latest audiobook just went on sale on Audible.  Very proud of this work since it covers a part of Florida's history that should be remembered.  Black Cloud: The Deadly Hurricane of 1928 was written by journalist and author Eliot Kleinberg.

"The deadly hurricane of 1928 claimed 2500 lives, and the long-forgotten story of the casualties, as told in Black Cloud, continues to stir passion. Among the dead were 700 black Floridian men, women, and children who were buried in an unmarked West Palm Beach ditch during a racist recovery and rebuilding effort that conscripted the labor of blacks much like latter-day slaves. Palm Beach Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg has penned this gripping tale from dozens of interviews with survivors, diary entries, accounts from newspapers, government documents, and reports from the National Weather Service and the Red Cross. Immortalized in Zora Neale Hurston's classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, thousands of poor blacks had nowhere to run when the waters of Lake Okeechobee rose. No one spoke for them, no one stood up for them, and no one could save them. With heroic tales of survival and loss, this book finally gives the dead the dignity they deserve. The new, updated edition of this important book is published by the Florida Historical Society Press."

To listen to a sample and/or purchase the book, head to Audible here

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March - Saturday, January 21, 2017 - in St. Petersburg, Florida

I participated in the Women's March held in St. Pete yesterday with three of my friends.  I want to thank the organizers of the march and the St. Petersburg Police Department for helping to make this such a friendly and peaceful event. 

Overview of the crowd
Duane, me, JoElla, and Linda
According to the Tampa Bay Times, this was the "largest demonstration in city history" for St. Pete with over 20,000 participants.