Category Archives: New York City

Five Things I’ve Learned (about being a mom that is).

So now that I am six months into being a mom of 2 what have I learned? A lot, Here’s five short lessons from my first half a year of having two little ones.

#1.) Time Management 101. I had heard this one before, but 3PM is too late to do anything. Maybe not for the rest of the world, but for us moms 3PM is LATE. Are you kidding by 3PM I am pooped! Note to self: Please get a sitter in the am.

#2.) Poopie Diapers! Everyone’s favorite topic, I know. But when you have kids you talk about it a lot. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this one out. Don’t throw poopie diapers in the diaper pail. Put them in plastic bags and throw them out — as in out of your house — immediately. For 2 plus years I wondered why my daughter’s room was so stinky.

#3.) In case of Emergency!  Not packing a diaper bag? No worries.  You don’t really need it — or do you? One day I took my 2-year-old out to a birthday party in Brooklyn. It was just the two of us. We were having so much fun. She seemed like such a big girl now, holding my hand and walking beside me.  Ooops. I forgot somehow that she wasn’t potty trained. She talks so well that we just ran out the door and whoops! I was calling my husband: “Hurry up with that diaper, Oh my god.”

So after that day I decided to make a little emergency pack in my regular purse for both girls. Oh, I am so, so organized I thought to myself when putting it together. In a plastic bag I put the following: 2 diapers – one for the big girl, one for the baby, A small bottle of formula — just in case — a nipple for the top that is still the wrapper, something that can be used as a wet wipe in an emergency, hand sanitizer and a small Luna bar for mommy. Again, so frigging organized right?  You don’t know how many times I’ve eaten the Luna bar or pulled out the hand sanitizer. Hmmm…what’s missing from this awesome emergency baby packet? Today I knew. A pacifier. Argh! (This is where I swear).

Okay, so I took both girls out to a mama lunch with mama friends this afternoon with our babes. It was my two-year-old’s nap time, but I thought, she can make it, right? Wrong. She wanted her pacifier and I had been out on an audition earlier and only had my purse with me. Poppy had brought her to school. We weren’t thinking about what we didn’t have.  I looked all over and there was no pacifier to be found. A pacifier could have calmed the savage beast that my daughter turned into. She was out-of-control, like I hadn’t seen her since she was 15-months-old (the good old days I call them). As soon as I got the girls home, I put a pacifier in my emergency pack. What else am I missing? Not sure yet.

4. Are you a mom who auditions for commercials? Sometimes I still get invited to audition for commercials. I was an actress — yo. And I used to be pretty cute. But that was BEFORE I had 2 kids back-to-back. I don’t even look like a mom now, I look like a creature who came out of a cave who is starved and certainly due for a hair cut. As my husband so sweetly put it: “At those castings they are looking for fake moms.” You know, super hot, skinny moms who have perfectly gorgeous whitened teeth. Yes, of course I realize  that some of those skinny bitches are also moms. They probably put a fire out on there way there too. Whatever. My current size is actually the size of a plus-size model, but model I am not. I look so tired that I hardly recognize myself. I guess my agent hasn’t seen me lately (hope he doesn’t read this – ha!). Truth is, I like going out to these auditions, even if I most-likely won’t be cast, at least not in my current state. It’s a small reminder of my old life, the old me. You know the me that once had a job in an office. The me that dressed up to go out of the house once in awhile and looked put together.  More and more I catch myself going out in clothes once reserved for bedtime, or uh Target shopping in California. To go out in NYC wearing sneakers when your are not on your way to a workout is uh, not cool. It’s a New York City faux-pax. At least for me it is, I mean was. Now I’ve got a baby sleeping right in front of my closet, so I just grab whatever is there that might fit me. Turns out, nothing fits. It’s all either too big or too small. And my hairdo these days – pulled back mom do. But I’ve been rocking this look for years.  The difference? I go days without washing it now, or even brushing it sometimes. The other day I found that I had grown a dread lock. Yes, seriously. My hair also grew long when I wasn’t looking.  I guess when you don’t have time for hair….it’s time to pour perfume oil on your dread locks?

So I’m all set for my “mom” audition today. I got up pretty early, had time to shower and really put my face on. I nearly saw the old me behind those long dreamy eye lashes. I looked pretty good. I combed my hair, but didn’t really have time to blow it dry, so I put it up. Wet. I swear it looked good when I left.

When I got to the audition and saw all these beautiful versions of me with their perfectly coiffed  blown dry. I realized I had made a mistake. Hmm. Maybe I should wear my hair down?  Oh, can’t do that, it’s wet and I forgot to bring a comb. (Note to self: put an emergency comb in that bag).

What was I thinking? You don’t go to an audition with wet hair. I also had the baby in the carrier on my chest. She fell asleep and I had to go on camera with her there. Oy. Well, she at least covered my fat tummy. I’m not exactly waiting for my phone to ring.

5. Do something for yourself every day. Like today, I’m doing this blog. This is fun for me. Ah. Feels good.

Another Marker…10 Years ago this week my first play was produced!

10 years ago this week my first play was produced in NYC. The play was aptly titled “The Miracle.” It was about a young man who had lived with a false HIV test for three years. He discovers the test was wrong, but it doesn’t really change his life or his choices.

Because I didn’t know anyone in New York City yet, I was also the play’s director and cast all my friends in the parts. The play happened right after Sept 11th and it was such a scary time.  I was totally afraid to put on a play during such darkness, but there was light in this play and with these people. Plus, I was urged to continue. The play brought levity to a dark situation, so I learned that theater, my theater could heal the heart. I could make people laugh.

My roommate Gabe was our co-director and lighting designer. My other best friends were my actors. Somehow we filled those seats for every single performance. I remember sitting in the full audience feeling the energy and hearing the laughter. There’s nothing quite like it, hearing your own words being interpreted by actors. I felt so inspired…like if I can do this, I can do anything. You can’t go too far without good friends in this life. I love all my friends who helped with that production and I certainly haven’t  forgotten how much fun we all had. In December my 50th production/and or reading/public performance of my work will be produced in New York City since that crazy show back in 2001. Follow this link for updates. My play He Says His Name Is John, a one-act I wrote while commuting to my job in White Plains in 2007 is getting a small production at The Looking Glass Theatre’s Winter Forum. I wrote this play when I was working for Starwood Hotels and I took the train to work everyday. The only free time I had back then was during my train commute. I wrote this play in the first few months of the job. By the end of two years I wasn’t writing so much, I had been corprotized.

September 11th. Where We are 10 Years Later.

We are approaching the ten-year reunion of 9/11 which brings back so many painful memories for so many Americans, including me. I was in NYC for 9/11. I had lived here for a just over a year at that point. The summer before 9/11 had been one of the best in my life. Back then, I lived in a tiny east village apartment on 6th and A with my friend Gabe and all we did was party, party, party.  I took a bus to the West Village that morning because I wanted to use the computer at my then boyfriend’s place. He lived on 10th street, just west of 7th Ave. Just before leaving the apartment,  I happened to hear that a plane had crashed into Tower One of the World Trade Center. Therefore, I was the only one on that #8 bus who knew something bad was up. While everyone else was looking down, reading their books, I was looking up and saw smoke, people standing on their roofs. It was an eerie ride. When the bus let us out on Christopher and 10th at 9AM our lives would be forever changed. Here’s the article that I wrote about that day, still published in Friction Magazine which is still so poignant in my mind.

Where are we 10 years later? I married that boyfriend who lived on 10th street a few years later. We now have a toddler and another baby girl on the way. We still live in NYC. After 8 years of living in the West Village, in an apartment we inherited from a couple “who were too afraid to stay in the city after 9/11”, we moved to Battery Park City, a stone’s throw from where the Towers once stood. We live in a fancy “green” building with recycled central air and triple filtered water. 10 years ago I couldn’t even go down here because it reminded me of 9/11 and it felt dark and uninhabitable, like some sort of war zone. Now I live across the street from the buzz of the new “Freedom Tower.”

Because I’m so close to it all, I don’t think about it so much anymore. That is, until today. I watched a special on the show Sunday Morning. It talked about the strength of the new building. A 747 full of fuel could fly into it and it would survive.  The program also focused on the stories of the victim’s families. So many people lost someone that day. Just like all the other New Yorkers, I remember seeing the images of the “lost” all over the city and one image in particular is still vivid in my mind. It was of a man with white hair and a beard. He looked like Santa. He could have been someone’s dad, someone’s grandpa, someone’s husband. Maybe he was someone’s everything. His photo was plastered everywhere. I must have seen him 100 times in different places. For some reason it was his story, a story I made up that had me so sad. His story was the story of so many.

I can remember wanting to help, but feeling helpless. I can remember that I couldn’t stop crying. When I’d try to stop the tears welled up and I cried even harder. Days turned into nights, then weeks of this. Nothing but shock, tears and fear. Everyone knew someone who knew someone who died.  My roommate Gabe was supposed to be there that day but decided not to go to work. He was lucky, so many were not.

Back then I was afraid to travel, afraid to still live in New York, afraid I’d never get over the shock and horror of watching it happen right before my eyes. But like so many, I’ve moved on. I had my first play produced a month after September 11th, and became a graduate student in playwriting at a NYC university the next fall. Did the experience influence me? My writing? Yes. I think, for me anyway, the party kind of ended on 9/11. That summer of debauchery was over. Suddenly, on 9/12/01 the reality of what I was in New York to do became clear and present. I wasn’t 100% sure of myself before 9/11, after 9.11 I had to be.

I feel there is an analogy between the Internet business and 9/11. The Internet business was so frivolous and new before 9/11. It was one big party with money being thrown around for and at anything with a dotcom sounding name in the title. No one really knew what was happening or what they were doing. I was part of this world. I worked for a few of these companies. It was how I made my way to New York City from San Francisco in the first place. Just like New York in 2001, there were a lot of vapid Internet parties, and yes, they were related and intertwined. The Internet business changed after 9/11 and by 2003 it had officially become something new and better. It was no longer vapid and full of cheap frills. Finally business owners figured out how to make money by using the web. Web 2.0 it would be called.  New York might as well be called “New York post 9.11” or “New York 2.0.” The new New York was not nearly as hard and edgy as she once was, but the people making up her dreams are and will be (Paris Hilton aside).

Stranger Danger

The horrible story of Leiby Kletzky, a lost Brooklyn boy walking home from day camp who was killed earlier this week is just so awful and depressing, and I am just thinking about his poor family.  But as a parent myself to a precocious little girl it has me wondering what am I going to do? How am I going to teach my daughter not to walk away with a stranger?

It’s just so hard to believe that this little boy wasn’t abducted, he just asked for help from the wrong person.

This made me think back on something scary that happened to me when I was 6 years old.  First off, I grew up in the country and yes, my mom had talked to me about strangers. Probably because  I grew up in the country and wasn’t flooded with strange faces,  I think I was indeed more afraid and aware when someone was a stranger. I can remember  being fearful of my step mom because she said she had been to France.

Living in a big city like New York, I think about how many people and situations our children are exposed to, which is both good and bad.  At the playground, in elevators, on the street in cabs, etc, we (as parents) are always talking to strangers and so are our children.

One day long ago in a small city near our tiny town my brother was playing soccer at an elementary school, one that was, at the time unknown to me. It was a cold, foggy Saturday morning and my mom was sitting in the car with some other soccer moms chatting and laughing, so I guess she let me out to play — right in front of them in a playground. Sure, I played for a few minutes, but kids get bored and soon I had wandered off toward the school buildings, probably excited that I would soon be old enough to go to real school myself.

Before long I was lost and because of the fog, couldn’t remember the way back.
Out of the blue, a man appeared.  He asked me if I was lost. I was.
He said that he was a teacher and that he would show me the way back.
He held my hand.
As soon as he held my hand, I realized I had made an error. I was immediately uncomfortable and I had a feeling that he wasn’t a teacher.
We walked by a classroom and he pointed to it through the window and told me that this was his room and that he studies little girls bodies. I was very scared, and knew I was in trouble. I also knew that he wasn’t taking me back to where my mom’s car was. But I didn’t panic. I didn’t scream. I acted as normal as possible and actually continued chatting with him.
But I started thinking of how I was going to get away. I was looking around for where I could run, where anyone was. Where I could see people, hear people.
He took me to the back of one of the buildings and asked me to put my hands up against the wall, which I did. Then he asked me if I could take my clothes off.
I told him that I couldn’t easily do that because I had all my ballet clothes on underneath my clothes and I even showed him (I was wearing a pink ballet outfit with tights, all underneath my clothes) . He was not pushy. He calmly asked me if I would  take my pants off. I had the same response about the ballet costume and showed him again.
Then I heard voices, laughter. I looked to my left and I could see the other playground and that there was a girl was on a swing. From where I was standing, I could just catch sight of her when she’d swing to the back, because half the swing could been seen from behind the buildings where we were standing. This was not too far from us, maybe only one building away, and I realized that I was not completely alone and I needed to do something, anything.
So I pretended that I knew her. I yelled “Suzi!” Of course I didn’t know her or her name. I said to the man, “there’s my friend.”
So he said that I could go. And I ran over to the other playground. I waited until I felt safer and then walked along the sidewalk down to the other end where my mom was parked. I told my mom and her friends what had just happened and she drove me immediately to the police department where I gave an account of the story and a description of the man. They later caught him. He was a repeat pedophile who had molested other girls.

I realize that I was incredibly lucky and I learned a valuable lesson that day. I was a very independent, gregarious child and apparently before the age of 6, I used to get lost and walk away with anyone, despite what my mother had told me about strangers. When I was only one my parents lost me at the beach one day,  and turned to see my floating away in some wave. I was saved by a woman walking by who happened to see me.

This man could have taken me into the woods that were directly behind the school without a fence, or to a more private place. He could have been more forceful. This could have gone a completely different way, and I realize that I am lucky to be alive to tell the story.

One thing that struck me from my memory of this event is how easily I got confused and lost. Another is that I did have an awareness that this man was a stranger and I knew something was off right away, and I started looking for exits/strategies.
Outside of talking to our kids about “not going away with a stranger” maybe we need to talk to them about what to do if they become lost. What to do if they get in a bad situation. It’s easy to see how a lost child would reach out to someone who looks like a safe adult.  That’s what happened to me, and that’s what happened to this little boy from Brooklyn. Don’t forget, it’s very scary to be/feel lost to a small child. And there may not be a police man around.

My daughter is too little to talk to her about this yet, but yes, I am very scared. She is precocious and already runs away from me. She will be a handful when it comes to wanting her independence.  Sigh.

I plan to have this discussion with her as soon as I think she can understand.

A Delightful Evening of Social Romance

A Delightful Evening of Social Romance

I’ve always wanted to produce an evening of holiday themed plays and finally I’ve done it. Here’s a link to our press release on Broadway World.com

It’s a mini production, a night of readings, which has turned out to be a lot of fun, and it’s cheaper and easier than putting up a full production. These days, I really need to try to make my life a little easier…

To make up for the lack of production, we are only requesting a $10 donation. That’s a fair trade, right? The whole thing is a benefit for Manhattan Theatre Source, a theatre that needs way more than your $10 donation to stay afloat, but that’s another story.

Why you should go:

Do you like funny one-act plays, goofy songs, already miss the show Mad Men and often pretend that you are Don Draper? Do you miss the days when Santa filled your stocking?  Did you enjoy the book Memoirs of a Geisha, then consider how you might become a Geisha?  Have you ever met someone online? Did you like the movie The Social Network? Basically if you are a human and you live in New York City, you’ll enjoy this show. The only thing missing is alcohol, which you can get at the bar next door, North Square, which serves the best “Blood Orange Martini” I’ve ever had.

The new comedic one-act plays include: “Geisha School” and “How Don Draper Saved Christmas” both written by Laura Rohrman (moi) and directed by Li Murillo and Michelle Pace.  Sara Adler will perform 2 songs and there will be one other play “Cyberia” written by Aurin Squire.

The Benefit is one night only. Wednesday, November 10th at 8PM at

Manhattan Theatre Source which is located at 177 MacDougal Street/cross is at 8th

The Confidence Man on a Boat

The Confidence Man

The Confidence Man

Actors from The Confidence Man

Actors from The Confidence Man

A couple of weeks ago, I set out for yet another New York City adventure – late in pregnancy too, which surprised everyone.  My friend Lara Gold was acting in a play on a boat, so without knowing too much about it, a friend and I booked tickets for the opening night of previews of The Confidence Man, which was a play being performed on the Lilac, a boat found on Pier 40 in NYC.  I was excited to go see a show on a boat – that’s a little different, but this experience was a complete surprise for me and my unborn baby.  The Woodshed Collective, a young group of producers who like to do interactive, large ensemble plays in odd places – like an office space, or on a boat for example, decided to tackle The Confidence Man by Herman Melville.  When we arrived at the pier of the Lilac on Pier 40, we were put in groups based on the number of our ticket and assigned to a docent, who would be our guide for the 2-hour boat play.  Turns out, this was not a normal play at all.  It was many interweaving stories out of the book put to dialogue – and depending on what number (or who your docent is) you will be seeing a different story.  Our docent was hilarious and a great improver, and the stories were fun too — though, none of it made much sense to be honest which is probably because they were out of context.  The experience, however, was still extremely unique and I did feel like I was in a different time altogether.  Even though the boat never left the dock, baby and me were in for the ride of our lives. The audience members had to run all over the boat, up and down and, well, for anyone of you who have a disability, have a hard time walking or standing – or happens to be 81/2 months pregnant, I wouldn’t suggest it.  I’m glad that no one mentioned the running around to me, or I probably wouldn’t have gone.  For now, I’ll chalk it up to one more wild adventure for a pregnant lady who loves drama.

Venue Name: The Lilac
Venue Address: Pier 40
Venue City: New York
Venue State: NY

Where: New York-NY Venue

Source: http://www.woodshedcollective.com

When: 8:00pm Wed 9.16.09-9:30pm Wed 9.16.09 with 15 other show times tonight through 9.26.09

Go To the Fringe Festival – See Viral

If you are new to New York or just visiting, you might be wondering what’s “The Fringe” and why should you go? The NYC Fringe Festival is one of the largest and best festivals of new plays in the world. Every August for the past nine years companies from all over the world have come to NYC to showcase their work (from dance to theater) and hopefully get some needed recognition and sponsorship of producers. Many little Fringe shows, playwrights, actors and directors go on to be quite successful. Urinetown came out of the Fringe as did Matt and Ben and many others. Doing well in the Fringe can really help a playwright get to the next level in their career. I’ll be short and sweet with this one because this play will close and you must see it. Viral, a new play by Mac Rogers (who has written several other successful Fringe plays and other plays around the city – read my review of his last one) scores on so many levels that I think newbie playwriting students should go see this play as an example of how to hit every element needed to make a great play, which is extremely difficult to do and rare to see. Talk about it afterward and try to analyze what makes it so great. In Viral, Rogers brings the audience into his characters bizarre world effortlessly; and by the end we almost don’t want to leave it. First of all, he starts out right by choosing an intriguing subject matter (watching someone’s last breath). However, a great subject matter does not alone make a great play; it’s the je ne sais quoi that makes a play go from good to great, but playwriting professors will tell you that it’s the combination of craft and the uniqueness of the world that you create. This play has both. Rogers didn’t just create compelling characters with believable dialogue, he makes us root for them. More importantly he gave them something to do, a problem — with life and death stakes that takes the entire hour and half to resolve. Viral centers around three fabulously dysfunctional misfits who get off sexually by watching people die via “painless suicide.” The forth star of the play is the client, the dark and sexy Amy Lynn Stewart, the victim who wishes to die. The big question to be answered by the end of 70 minutes is clear and you won’t be disappointed. Obviously I don’t want to give too much away, but just know that the ride in Viral is a hideous and beautiful journey, well worth and hour and half of your time. Playwrights of every pedigree (and producers) should pay attention to this one. It’s extremely rare to see a play working so well with so much craft in place. I can’t tell you how many plays that have been lauded in recent years actually aren’t terribly well crafted or worth all the hype. I’m not saying these plays aren’t  enjoyable to watch; they are. In my opinion they are just a tad overrated. Those of us who know better, who are shooting to someday write a play that follows the rules that are so hard to master, should look no further than Viral, found in the bowels of New York City at the Fringe Festival: it’s perfection!

Viral is only playing for two more performances, so catch it while you can.