The NYC MTA soils us all. -By Leah Bonnema (Stan-Up Comic)
When I first moved to New York City I was witness to an amazing event, one for the record books, straight upcrazy train.
Going Off The Rails
I was on the A going express (for those unfamiliar with the New York City train system, express trains skip a bunch of stops so you theoretically should get places faster and are definitely stuck longer with whomever else is on your car). I actually had a seat and was situated mid-train when a man got on with a bucket. He was tall, pale with brown hair and wearing a long dark jacket, but it was his actions that made him so memorable.
But books have served another purpose for me as I transitioned into life after college: I have so many friends and family members scattered across the country, and swapping book recommendations, having Skype book clubs, and following one another's book choices on Goodreads has helped keep us close.
So here are some quotes on reading, whether you're already an avid reader or you need some inspiration to pick up a book this week:
Mariah's next album is titled #1 TO INFINITY, but here are a few other ideas that were tossed around...
by David Davila (Diva Enthusiast)
(No online news source has posted the undoctered version of this photo yet)
On the heels of Mariah Carey's hot new record deal with Epic Records and her upcoming #1's Vegas residency... Mariah's people and Epic's people were quick to start planning her next big comeback. We were privy here at crazytown to a few of the ideas that were thrown away. We're not saying we went through Mariah's trash, but we're not saying that we didn't.
What we're saying is that if someone theoretically did go through Mariah's trash they might find a lot of chiffon, empty bottles of self-tanner, and Dunkin' Donuts boxes... but without further ado, may we now present:
THE TOP 10 REJECTED MARIAH CAREY ALBUM TITLES
OF ALL TIME!
MOODS - Before Mariah Carey wrote the famous title song of her second album she was thinking of naming it MOODS. Not many people know this, but she was just feeling all kinds of moods back in 1991. Lucky for Mariah she opened up her famous thesaurus and came up with the fabulous name, EMOTIONS!
DO DO RE RE MI MI - When Mariah confessed to producer Jermaine Dupree that her childhood nickname was Mimi, he was like "Yo! Have you ever seen THE SOUND OF MUSIC?"
PONYTAIL - To this day Mariah is furious that she let her people talk her out of naming her CHARM BRACELET album PONYTAIL. If only she hadn't listened to them, then no one would give that little Mariah-wannabe credit for making ponytails fashionable again!
REMNANTS OF A DRAG QUEEN I KIKI'D WITH - After Mariah married Nick Cannon she spent a lot of time trying to create a family and in that time finally living as a "grown up," she fondly remembered her days partying with her back up dancers on tour, and her stylists, and dressers, and publicists, and make-up artists... and basically all her gay friends including that one Drag Queen she kiki'd with that one time... gosh... what was her name.... ???
SYRUP - Mariah likes syrup. She likes syrup on pancakes, and in her coffee, and on her Chinese wontons. Mariah likes syrups almost as much as she likes Butterflies, rainbows, and little lambs.
Y = Mx + B - Mariah's favorite math is actually Geometry so it's no surprise that she almost considered naming her last album after this slope equation. Especially since her bedroom name for role playing purposes is Agent M.
DOUBLE RAINBOW - This was actually released in Holland as a remix double album version of RAINBOW... but when Usher found out they cut him from his duet track with Mariah he sent a cease and desist.
CONFETTI - Because it makes Mariah feel great about herself! She's often quoted as saying: "I'm Mariah, I look fabulous in this nail polish and I love confetti [whistle tone]!"
THE RECLUSIVE DIVORCEE - This was actually going to be the title of her Vegas residency album, but luckily Mariah's mom was around and slapped some sense back into her, like she had to do after GLITTER. It wasn't pretty, but she's back baby!
ME MYSELF AND I AM MARIAH - This one is actually still on the table for a possible 2016 release...
... and now for the 90's jam of the week. Of course it's MARIAH!!!!!! It's one of my favorites... the one time Mariah tried to dance in her video!!!
DAVID DAVILA is a musical theatre writer from South Texas. His musical MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY (with Noemi de la Puenta and Howard Post) will be seen this year at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and his musical VOX POP (with Mark Andrew Garner) will be seen at Musical Theatre Factory on February 18th. He is also the author of the Tex-Mex plays ADAN Y JULIO, MEN OF GOD, ABUELAS OR THE POVERTY CYCLE, CREDO, REQUERDOS OF MY LIFE, ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, and AZTEC PIRATES AND THE INSIGNIFICANCE OF LIFE ON MARS. He's also the composer/lyricist of the musicals #52SONGS, CORNER GIRL, FUCKING BEAUTIFUL (with Sean Havrilla), and the song cycle TALES FROM HIGHWAY 281. He is a self proclaimed Voxist, a Diva enthusiast, and founder of Lone Star Theatre Co. Wanna talk about it? www.daviddavila.net
Our life in Oklahoma is finally beginning to take shape. By Alan Winner (Performer, Writer, Producer)
As each box spills more of our belongings into place, I see the future sketching out in front of me.
I know the roads here better because we spent the whole day driving soon-to-be repurposed tree branches from our house to the studio. In rush hour it’s a 45-minute drive. With no traffic, 20 minutes tops. The street names are now drilled into my brain. To be honest, I’m feelin’ kinda Okie…
We hit up ACE Hardware this morning for a weed-whacker… because we have an ample yard to tend to now. Our long backyard that is currently over-grown with weeds and wild grasses of varying length and hue of green, giving (if you blind your periphery of the wooden fence) the feeling of standing in a small patch of a forest.
Our dog, Sammie, bounds through the blades surpassing her height chasing small wildlife. So far, rabbits, blue jays, robins, squirrels; not to mention persistently investigating the fencing on either side in hopes of one day playing with the neighboring dogs, whom she’s only met through the thin slits between the pickets.
I lay down to sleep on our memory foam mattress and loll off to the sound of actual crickets. Engines and traffic noticeable in the distance, but only just.
My thoughts have room here. My attention span is expanding, and the solitude of driving as opposed to mass transit is incomparable.
I always forget until I get out of it, how demanding New York is when it comes to how you constantly have to spend energy splitting your attention. From erratic Uber drivers, to pain-in-the-ass neighbors upstairs who sound like a crash of rhinos on the weekends, New York requires all of our attention all the time.
Out here, I can think of something I need or need to get done and drive directly to it. I don’t have to climb the hill that almost 100% of my friends have complained about having to climb to my apartment. I don’t have to layer my clothes and always have a bag full of whatever I may need that day. I can leave all that shit in my car!
There are so many other things I could complain about when it comes to New York. But I won’t. Because I still love the damn place. I’m back Sunday for a week and then in town most of May directing a play and shooting a couple episodes of our comedy series.
I’m looking forward to all the travelling. It reminds me of how huge our country is, yet somehow manageable. When I was a kid, the car ride always seemed to take forever… because I wasn’t behind the wheel. When I drive, I can click into this calm place and be fine with however long it takes me to get somewhere.
Driving makes me feel free, as does sleeping without noise pollution, and watching our dog chase a fucking rabbit. The freer I feel, the easier it is for me to put my thoughts on a page, and finally get my projects completed.
There’s a long path ahead, but it sure looks interesting…
Lists in my favorite Sondheim lyrics. By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricist)
Like many Musical Theatre artists, I love all things Stephen Sondheim. I discovered his work in middle school, when a music teacher of mine decided to pop in a VHS of Into The Woods (a show I lovingly refer to as “beginner’s Sondheim”) instead of teaching class. I was in awe. The music! The characters! The story! I remember loving the scene in act two when all the characters are gathered onstage together deciding whom to give to the lady giant. I remember thinking how cool it was that the Narrator got pulled into the story. There was something about the very three-dimensional characters in that show that I had never experienced before – having at the time only been exposed to musicals in the vein of Grease and Guys And Dolls (also good shows, but not nearly on the level of Sondheim).
That first exposure to Sondheim set off an all-out obsession. I would fiendishly tear through the showtunes section at Borders Books in Newark, Delaware for any album that had the name Stephen Sondheim on it. I remember listening for the first time to Sunday In The Park With George in my bedroom and thinking I hated it, then playing it again, and again, and again, until I couldn’t stop. I tried to write alternate endings to Sweeney Todd where Johanna was able to discover that Sweeney was her father. In high school, I would blast A Little Night Music in my car on the drives down Paper Mill Road to see my secret boyfriend (if that’s not the gayest thing you’ve ever heard, I’m curious what is).
After that first Into The Woods class, I opened a notebook and attempted to make a list of all the characters in the show. I wanted to see visually on a piece of paper all the people gathered from different stories in one place. I’ve always liked making lists. There’s something about them that for me creates order out of scattered thoughts – and I have a lot of scattered thoughts. But lists can also be used for another purpose: to create truly beautiful and insightful song lyrics. Since Into The Woods is about morals and storytelling, many of the lyrics in the score are what I call “story-songs.” They travel a narrative arc. But another Sondheim show that I’ve loved for years contains a multitude of list songs, and I didn’t realize it until it was pointed out to me.
What happens when you put thousands of writers in the same convention center? Interesting things, my friends. By Annissa Omran (Writer/College Student)
This past week I was lucky enough to attend AWP Conference 2015 as a part of my school's undergraduate literary journal. As a Creative Writing major, I'd heard of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs many times, but this was my first taste of the industry in a concentrated setting.
The conference was held from Thursday to Saturday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which means I got to see snow for the very first time.
I had an absolutely wonderful time doing things and going places that I'd never anticipated and attending panels that opened my eyes to some beautiful possibilities in fiction and poetry.
A few internet tidbits from my new favorite late night show. By Rachel James (Treasurer/Writer)
When Craig Ferguson announced he would be leaving The Late, Late Show, I was bummed. This was the one talk show on network television that I would actually try to watch. He had a way of interviewing people that just made it feel like two people having a conversation, and not like someone trying to hock their wares. His loss was awful.
However, I’m happy to report that The Late, Late Show has been revamped with capable hands. James Corden has proved to be an amazing addition to the late night canon. He is using his skills as an actor and performer - along with game celebrities - to create sketches and bits that make people tune in. Below are a few of my favorites thus far.
Every Tom Hanks movie ever
In his first episode, James Corden and his staff decided to go big or go home. Luckily, Tom Hanks was game.
Crosswalk the Musical: Grease
Because why wouldn’t you stage musical numbers in LA crosswalks?