Sassy Actress, with a Side of Quirk

Life Musings by a Real Drama Queen

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You


It’s been a while since I have written and that’s partly due to the fact that I have been getting to know the city! Also my tablet, which I use to write when I have some down time in between auditions, appointments, etc, died so I was without it! What am I supposed to write on!? My decrepit laptop (which I am using now)????

Anywho. I also was busy (wink wink) because my boyfriend visited for a few days last week! It was a glorious 4ish days, the longest time we have seen each other since the winter holidays. Long distance blows, but when I do see the boy? It makes it all worth it! I skipped some auditions during his visit, but thankfully there weren’t too many that caught my eye anyway. So, I took a little time off from running to relax with my dearest. No regrets.

And now, I am back at it again! A lot has happened since I last wrote, some good, some meh. Let’s start with the meh, because it’s meh. I had a bunch of auditions the last 2 weeks since I have written and before my boyfriend visited. I actually was lucky because I had a ton of appointments which streamlines my schedule soooooo much. I had some appointments for a few new plays for some festivals, I had a cruise line appointment, and some musical auditions, including one for a summer stock season. Well, here’s the short of it- No callbacks. Not a ONE! I mean, I am by no means discouraged but that sucks so hard. Like, blurgh. I felt good about the play auditions and even received a personal rejection email, so I am sure that I made a good impression even though they went another direction for the casting. The cruise line audition was good even though the material was a bit odd- I was called in for the “Astral Goddess” for a Interactive Magic show, but overall I felt good about it. Then I had an audition for a summer stock season and it sucked. So no callback wasn’t a surprise. And lastly, I had an audition for a musical being done in the city (unpaid) and I felt REALLY GOOD about my audition. And yet, you guessed it, NOT EVEN A CALLBACK.

So that’s meh, but that is not to say I am upset or frustrated. If anything, all this meh has given me some perspective. I think that I need to stop worrying so much about what the theaters want and just do what I want, what makes me happy. I also realized that I need some funnier songs. Or I need to make some bolder choices with my current songs, because I am gonna be honest…I am pretty damn funny. Also, writing about my mehness here helps me come to peace with the rejection and move on. This morning I had 2 auditions. I auditioned really well at both. I didn’t get called back at those either, but you know what? That’s okay, because I sang songs I wanted to sing and I had some fun while doing it. After those auditions, I rode the A train home pretty happy. Because let’s be real. Waiting around for auditions sucks. Listening to basic bitches talk about kicking their faces and belting up to the Netherlands sucks. Waking up at the crack of ass to sign a list that may or may not be accepted SUCKS. But ya know what? As soon as I go into that studio and sing something I love or do a monologue that I feel really passionate about, it makes it all okay. I felt good after today, even though I didn’t book a damn thing, and that’s how I know that this business is worth it for me. Those 30 seconds singing make it worth all the shit, to put it nicely 🙂

One of my infamous audition selfies ;)

One of my infamous audition selfies 😉

And guess what!? There’s even more GOOD! So, when it comes to side jobs, I have lined up some great gigs. I haven’t started working yet (meh) BUT I will be VERY SOON. I am part of program through SitterCity called Date Night Now, and I have some babysitting lined up through that (tell your friends with families in NYC to book me and then use my referral code dionna-eshleman for $30 off their first sitting!). I also have some other babysitting agencies I am interviewing with in the next month, so that is exciting. Babysitting is by far my favorite way to make money. I like it, I am good at it, and it is almost always FUN. Aside from the sitting, I had orientation for a fantastic catering company, so hopefully soon I will be rolling in the dough! Or at least paying my bills with income rather than savings. All in all, good stuff a brewing.

In other news, I saw some great shows since I have been here! I talked about seeing the Heidi Chronicles in my last post, which was great, but since I have seen 2 musicals! I got some free tix to see Disenchanted which is Off-Broadway at the Westside Theater. I took my sis even though she isn’t always into musicals…I lured her into it by promising pie at The Little Pie Company.

First, let’s talk about the pie, which we got BEFORE the show. Well, I could write a whole blog about the pie, and I don’t even generally LIKE pie. I got the Mississippi Mud Pie which was actually featured on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. Side note, if you know me, you know I am a Food Network fanatic…I could watch it all day…and now that I have cable, sometimes I do…Focus Dionna! Mud pie, yes. Well it was DREAMY. And decadent. And worth the 100000 calories it must have been. This pie is for the chocolate lover. Seriously, the crust is a fudging (hehe, get it?) brownie! The filling is a thick custardy mix of 3 different chocolates. It is incredible. They sell their pies by the slice, but at the end of the day they don’t always have slices left, so I had to buy a miniature 5″ miniature pie which was $8. Sounds pricey, but it was well worth it. I didn’t even eat half and I took the rest home and ate it in shifts! My sister got a mixed berry mini pie, which is very out of character for her (she’s an apple girl through and through), but she said it was amaze-balls! Well, she didn’t say amaze-balls, but that’s how I interpreted her response. All in all, a GREAT find right on the west edge of the theater district. I have already been back since then with the boyfriend, who is also a pie person. He had a slice of their signature sour cream apple pie. He inhaled it, but I got a small bite, and for someone who doesn’t like pie, I can honestly say it was the best apple pie I have ever tasted. Sorry mom, the Little Pie Company wins. One more note on the Little Pie Company. I love how unassuming and humble the shop is. It is all about the pie, no frills, unlike SO MANY overpriced bakeries in NYC. So yeah, all the feels for The Little Pie Company. Go check it out on West 43rd St, between 9th and 10th avenue.

So the show! Disenchanted was HILARIOUS! I really thought it was great and so did my sis! There was only one song that I didn’t like and it was super funny. outwardly so. I also liked that it wasn’t necessarily a musical with a book, but rather a variety show where each princess comes out and tells their stories the way they think they should be told. It was kitschy and witty and had the whole audience laughing from start to finish. I also appreciated that it was a 90 minute show- perfect! I highly recommend it for theater people as well as non-theater people- it is a super approachable show. Also, I need to play Cinderella in that show some time. Go see it and you will understand why!

I just realized that I talked for a huge paragraph about pie and only a bit about the musical…well, that’s where I am at. I love food, what can I say! I love theater too but Mississippi Mud Pie? It is easy to be upstaged by pie like that.

I mentioned that I saw another show last week. I went and met up with some friends and saw Something Rotten on BROADWAY! They had this stellar deal for their first few previews- their tagline was “Party like it’s 1595!” and the tix were $15.95! It was great! I had a lovely seat in the mezzanine and lemme say, that show delivered! For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Something Rotten is a new, original musical set in 1595, the year of The Bard, aka Shakespeare! Two brothers are struggling to write a hit play, partly because everyone is going cray cray for Billy Shakes. One of the brothers uses some unconventional means to figure out how to become successful and it becomes a huge mess. So, without giving away any of the juicy deats, this show mashes up a really witty musical with Shakespeare. It is a rip roaring comedy, with more jokes and puns than you can keep track of! It is one of the only shows I have seen that I am DYING to go back and see again. It was just so original, so different from everything else I have seen on Broadway. Nobody belted their face off or did a quintuple pirouette into a cooter slam and you know what- it was STILL AMAZING! I actually think it was better because it didn’t have those elements. This show really relied on some key elements of storytelling instead of showy, sometimes superficial pizzazz that musicals sometimes use to disguise a poor score or book. I am not saying those

Me at Something Rotten. I was crazy excited! Plus I had a big glass of vino so...

Me at Something Rotten. I was crazy excited! Plus I had a big glass of vino so…

elements of spectacle are bad, I just feel that sometimes they are used inappropriately in musical theater to cover up holes in the story (or the score, or the lyrics). I love those elements when they are used to enhance or move the story forward, but what I am saying is that this story didn’t really need it because it was so well crafted. They did have one HUGE and hilarious number but what made it spectacular for me was not necessarily the great dancing, but rather the smart lyrics and funny references throughout the song. The dancing enhanced the fantastic craftsmanship of an already hilarious song. So yeah. I loved the show. Sorry I ranted. I just got passionate. That’s a good thing, right? Also if I haven’t convinced you to see it by now, let me leave you with this. Christian Borle plays Shakespeare. And he is a rockstar. Literally.

If I had to critique anything, I thought the ending wrapped too fast and the ending number could’ve been more zany and a bit smarter. But that’s being picky. The show was kinda long, so I understand needing to wrap it quickly, but I felt that how they did it was a little poor. But not poor enough for me not to give it a 5 star review. It mixes my two passions, musical theater and Shakespeare. So good…so GO SEE IT!

I have been writing for a I am gonna wrap this up! I am actually going to write a post about what I have been cooking. Not necessarily recipes, but easy ideas on what to make that is healthy while also being budget-friendly. So if blended veggie soups and quick taco meat makes your heart pitter patter- read my next post!

Also, thank you for reading. This blog is primarily for me, but I do like the idea that I am sharing my thoughts and opinions with people I love and care about. So thank you for reading! Stay in school kids!

xoxo D

1 Comment »

Back to the Grind, Moving to NYC and Auditioning Up a Storm

Hey there world!

So I did not consisently blog during the second half of tour…oh well. I was a busy girl touring around the country. Apparently it wasn’t the best time to start a blog.

But here I am now! A lot has happened since I last wrote something. I finished my tour, moved to NYC, and am getting back into the swing of auditions during the tail end of the season. It’s crazy and wonderful and I am constantly busy and spending money. All in all, it was what I suspected thus far.

So I moved into my apartment on 179th St. and Broadway which is right in the middle of the Washington Heights neighborhood. I really like it so far- I feel safe walking around, I get to practice my spanish, and the A train is express. What’s not to love? I haven’t been able to thoroughly explore the neighborhood but I hope to do so when my lovely boyfriend comes and visits me next week. We have a knack for exploration. My room is actually quite cozy, with a spacious closet and dresser. I pared down my wardrobe because I thought I would be lacking space but now I wish I had brought MORE clothes…and I will very soon! I also really like the kitchen, which is a big thing for me since I cook whenever possible. I’ll be posting some recipes soon! Also, we have cable television…like ACTUAL CABLE. I have never lived in an apartment with cable. It’s a whole new world!

Aside from the apartment, life in NYC is pretty good. I kind of hit the ground running as soon as I got here- I had 2 job interviews and an audition appointment in the first two days of being here. I got one of the jobs (yay survival jobs!) but I haven’t started working yet. The audition appointment was pretty bad…like, a very bad audition. I was surprisingly nervous and I had absolutely no breath control or support when singing. However, I guess I needed to get one really bad audition out of my system…thankfully I wasn’t too disappointed. The artistic director did tell me that I looked like Erin Davie. I don’t see the resemblance myself but the compliment was a nice consolation prize since I obviously DID NOT book that gig!

While I was on tour, I actually sent in a ton of video auditions which was a bit of a pain while on the road, but doable. I didn’t book anything (womp womp) but I learned a lot from those auditions and I got a good feel for how to tape them for the future. I really prefer in-person auditions, even though I despise the waiting and the cattiness of the audition room. Because no matter if I book the gig or not, when I am auditioning live I know that what I am giving is exactly what I am feeling in that moment, good or bad. I find it to be a much more authentic audition. The good thing about video auditions is that you can do as many takes as you want! But for me, that leads to overanalyzing and overthinking. But ya live and ya learn and then you get booked…that’s how the saying goes, right?

I am currently at Ripley Grier Studios in midtown waiting at an EPA, which, for all you non-theater folk, means Equity Principle Call. Equity is the theater union and as a non-member, you tend to sit around a lot and wait to see if there are any open spots. It’s a crappy waiting game but it is sometimes worth it since you could book a union gig- which means you get points towards your card! It isn’t looking good for today’s call…but I’m hanging out because I have nothing better to do today. I actually already had 2 auditions this morning. One for Princess Cruise Lines and another for Disney World Vocalists. The Disney call was actually a union call that was WIDE OPEN. Like, any and all people were being seen. I went in and immediately was put in line to audition and was out in 10 minutes. Both auditions went well though I didn’t get any callbacks in the room. Nonetheless I am happy. At least I felt good about how I presented myself this time! Honestly, I think I was too short for the one call…apparently the ladies are supposed to be 5’5″ and up? Eh, either way, they were good auditions so I can’t complain. I mean, I can but I won’t.   Because that’s just so toxic, am I right or am I right?

SO yeah. That’s my life at the mo. Crazy and spastic. I really need a coffee. And a visit from my boyfriend…but otherwise I am great! Just livin’ the dream and getting used to the city. Send me your tips for acclimating! I feel like I am doing well but I love hearing about little pieces of advice. Best resources for actors, best place for coffee, best place to sit and just use the wifi all day!?

Ciao for now peeps!
xoxo D