Sunday, 10 January 2010

A Be-tasched Ta-rah!

I am sick to my stomach. Its not from a rotten egg white (I think I have consumed around 24 of these this week, but more of that later) or a dodgy take away (or "out" for my yankee friends). No, its because in about an hour I will be shading in my moustache, fluffing out my eyebrows and donning my Sardinian woman disguise to brave the open mic night at DC's Palace of Wonders. It is a burlesque venue (no nipple sparklers for me though) and oddities museum and late night bar. It has a vaudeville stage. Ah, for a nostalgic like me this paring of words is like a call to arms. I'm mixing my metaphors horrifically - must be the nerves. Yes I am nervous. No, terrified. I have performed my little act quite a few times but not enough to have padded out to an entire show but this is the goal. No better venue I thought than an open mic night beneath heavy velvet curtains and a line up of misfits, which is what Mariela Frushtuupulu most definately is; a mother who has given birth to 4 girls, 4 boys and one sheep. The latter died (but tasted good) In Mariela's words "I milked all of them myself". She is a widow experiencing a second lease of life after her husband Erneshto has gone to his farm in the sky. She has an irreverant sense of humour and a somewhat warped sense of what the world is. She talks about topiary of her pubic hair and sings songs about past lovers. But she seldoms offends totally. I think its a 5ft thing. Still, if the act falls on its face, no harm will be done, we skip town tomorrow for Baltimore.

Yes, we are headed to a city where the cast have been asked to walk to the theatre in pairs. Not sure if they have to hold hands too though. The earth beneath our feet shifted a little on reading this. No strolls back after the matinee for me and Sam then. Apparently the theatre has been renovated to its jaw dropping beauty but is placed in a desolate par of town. If its anything like London, in about 10 years time it will be a melting pot of trendiness with fashionistas swanking the pavements (sidewalks). And so, DC, it is so long, till next time. For you see, dear DC, I fully intend to be hanging on my fellas arm or indeed he on mine when one or other of us gets invited back to the little house of white on that hill. I think I will make that a new years resolutions of sorts - one full on swanky night out once a year, at the least.....

Hey ho, goodbye Georgian terraces, fat museums, dignified avenues that stretch the city, History proudly puffing out its chest and strutting off into the sunset from every corner. It has been a good stay. Now, it would seem, reality beckons. Mum has gone home after 2 days of snow related delays and we are back to our little triumvirate. Certainly taking her to a deserted Dulles airport at night with only musak and the odd lonely broom a-sweeping in the cavenous corridors to send us on our way, was not on my top ten list of fun things to do. Especially the goodbye bit. She was, as usual, stoic in all her 5 ft-ness. I was, as usual, a watery residue of myself by the time I got Sam and I into a cab. It feels like we are abroad again. Having folks from home here, made me feel like I was almost back in London, now I have my traveller's eyes back into sharp focus. And my moustache eyebrow powder at the ready. It is of note, to me, that I have chosen to perform when the entire crew is on an overnight load out and all the cast have travelled back to their homes in New York for a couple of nights over travel day. I have the performing bug, that much is sure, but there appears to be a part of me that enjoys an annonymity. Actually I don't buy that attempt at modesty. In truth I must be scared it won't go down well and if our touring family were to witness this I would have to live with the memory of egg on my face for the next year day in day out. Ego schmego.

Speaking of eggs, I don't think my body knows what has hit it entering as it has into merely the 6th day of a 90 day grueling fitness regime. It is purely an experiment you understand. Why not experience this side of america whilst travelling? It can't all be food, drink, food, drink, drink food. Or can it? All I can say on the matter is that I am craving bread and pasta and generally food other than turkey bloody jerky and cottage bloomin cheese. I mean, either of those in or around a jacket potato perhaps, drizzled with excellent olive oil is rather tempting but it is of endless entertainment for my husband and I to watch myself eat like one of those posey tricepy men sweating down the heavy end of the gym. You know the ones I mean. The ones I mocked unashamedly back in Cleveland. Now look at me. Still, its only 90 days. There are worse habits I could be taking up other than extreme fitness. You, my friend, will most likely be spared the "before" and "after" shots. Or will you......?!

For now I take in our little home, the football blearing confused game from the box, my boys are talking in "touch-down" a language I have absolutely no desire to become fluent in. I can speak fairly fluent "finger-paint" and am enthusiastic about conversational "3-year-old" but the understanding of this stilted muscle bound ball obsessed knock down game is not strumming my heart strings in the least. Neither was weight training a few weeks ago. If I start writing about joining the local amateur football club please send in comments reminding me I am an actress and keeping ribs in tact is well within my interests.

Just when what my job is was becoming a slightly blurred memory of a not so distant past (I tell myself my job at the moment is blogger and novelist...neither of which are raking in the rent money but both giving me deep satisfaction) I got a call from my producer on the series I just finished filming for the BBC back in september. Its a comedy show, aimed at the pre-teen market. In a nutshell, there's a lot of time travel and crazy characters, of which I got to play a whopping 14. I was like a pig in poop swopping wigs and costumes and personas sometimes three times a day if the schedule demanded. Anyhows, my producer has asked for me to record some voiceover stuff and our soundies are going to help me. There will be a few bob and a case of beer in it for them. Everyone's happy. Course what would make all of us really happy would be for me to be looking at a fat green card stamp on my passport right now. Somewhere in the not so distant state of Illinois is our nice little case file sitting on a friendly immigration officer's desk waiting for the A.OK welcome to the land of the free tick so I can work and travel at will. This image has a habit of pricking my memory around about the time I have finally convinced Sammy back to sleep after his dead-of-the-night-pee. Its around 3. The witching hour.

So, from witches, to sardinian switching. My brow calls. My moustache wants to tickle the trendy burlesque hungry DC crowd. Wish me luck. Or just wish me laughs. Alright lets just pretend we are there....

My name is Mariela Frushtuupulu.
But they call me Charlie Chaplin because I have a
moustache and sometime I liked to hit my
husband with a stick.

Likka dis..........(chaplin wiggle).....(laugh?)


  1. You've GOT to let us know how the show went! I am so enjoying your blog. What a year!

  2. Thanks Rich! Bet you hate me calling you that - it certainly is an education. For all of three of us! Thanks for reading xxx