The Olympics are always an inspiring time for me. I marvel at the perseverance of these elite athletes, the dedication to their training regimens, the mental preparation to maintain focus in a high-pressure environment, and the passion for their sport.


I also admire their steely determination when they fall or make a mistake; I mean after all, they are human.  But time and time again they stand back up, take a breath and pick up where they left off.  Even if they don’t win a medal, they are still Olympians—no one can ever take that away from them.  If they continue to train and don’t loose their passion, they can come back in four years and compete again.


Actors-what do you do when you don’t “medal”?


We have the same passion for performing, we train extensively, and we know deep inside that we are built for our sport.  But there isn’t the equivalent title of “Olympian” to hold on to, to take pride in after we don’t book that important gig.   After you’ve been in final callbacks for a Broadway show/major film/TV pilot and don’t book it, no note goes on your resumé.  Perhaps the casting office and creatives will put you on the short list for the next project you are right for. Your friends and loved ones remind you how amazing it was that you “got that far”.  Your agent consoles you with the predictable platitude: “they went in another direction”.


So how do we stand back up, take a breath and pick up where we left off? PRACTICE

Time, precious time!

That is the truth Maestro!  I posed for a photograph on my roof a year ago—I knew it would be the promo shot for my 2015 Birthday Cabaret.  Challenges prevented me from working on the show, but I was determined to honor that commitment to myself.  Fast forward to September when I actually started writing, only to be challenged again by another life altering event.  Luckily, I had a great team in place: MY maestro, John Johnson, my writing coach, Ruthy Otero and my director, Celine Rosenthal.  It takes a village!

Rehearsals began 9/28, with a script in need of rewrites and music needing to be arranged.  A plan yes, time…NO!  Sheer will can make the impossible happen.

Two days to go. Join me if you can. 

October 12, 9:30 PM for Captain MJ’s Fantastic Journey.


I'm a writer!

It has been so interesting writing this show.  While writing is viewed as a solitary enterprise,  my collaborators have brought it to life.

Ruthy Otero, “storytelling goddess”, challenged me to present dramatic conflict, not just a Hallmark card.  My dramaturge/director, Celine Rosenthal, clarified the moment to moment work, and then made certain that the sum of those moments equaled the arc of the story.

Note to self:  when wearing my “writer’s hat” in rehearsal--trust the writer. The actor/musician will always muddy the work.  Please don’t see this comment as a slight to the contributions of actors/musicians, but they (WE) desperately want to bring their own experiences to the work, to personalize it.   But the story belongs to the writer, and the rest of us  need to honor that (myself included).

Less than one week to go.  Back to rehearsal.  MJ