Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: likes and dislikes

Likes
1. Improv Cabaret: doing it at Chicago Improv Festival, meeting with NYC producer about it, getting legal advice about it

2. Not drinking in 2008
Dislikes
1. Not diving into improv training in NYC

2. Spending all my tour money this summer
2009 Goals:
1. Get Improv Cabaret into a legit NYC theatre

2. No theatre auditions

3. Maintain my tour savings

Face Cake

I found this photo on Facebook. I love it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thank you for voting

Thank you thank you thank you! I'm in the lead right now! Woo!

Cookie Asshole

Note: Mark (me) is now in Tucson, Arizona, and wil be here December 30 thru January 4.

How to be Angry Like Jesus First United Methodist Church, Shreveport, Louisiana

I walk into a neat looking local coffee shop. I just wanted to see what it looked like, and then I thought about getting something to eat. I looked at the bakery case and didn't see cookies, which is what I wanted. So I asked the employee behind the bakery case. We'll call him "Asshole."
Me: Do you have cookies?

Asshole: (waves hands over bakery case then speaks) We have Snickerdoodles.

Me: Ok, thanks (turns to leave)

Asshole: (indignant) You walking around looking for cookies?

Me: (dumbfounded at question) Um, no I am just taking a walk. (leaves shop)
WTF? Who "walks around looking for cookies"? Was I 400 pounds riding a hover-round with chocolate cake crumbs on my bedazzled pink t-shirt? I will return to this coffee shop and ask for cookies every day this week.

Monday, December 29, 2008

LA Day 8: Leaving

December 29, 2008: My final day in LA:

Me in a king
Woke up

The Standard: rooftop coffee
Had coffee on The Standard's roof

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Checked out


...and rode to LAX in a Towncar

LA: moving on

I stopped working on catching up with my daily posts about LA, so I moved all that to the side bar on the right side of my blog. When/if I get around to writing those posts, they'll be there.

Hit on Twice in One Day: the audio piece

I read a post on my friend Jason's blog wherein he describes getting hit on twice in one day by two older men. His choice of words and phrasing made me laugh. It had a slightly dramatic air. So I had to record it. And here it is!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vote: best guest

I'm up for "Best Guest" on Orlando's most popular podcast, Radio Rickshaw. The competition is stiff: Elizabeth Maupin is the Orlando Sentinel Theatre Reviewer and blogger, Beth Marshall is the Orlando Fringe Festival Producing Artistic Director. Terry Olson is an Orlando arts Guru and Tod Kimbro is a popular Orlando singer/composer. And then there's me. Click on the graphic above to vote and if you want to hear our appearances, click below:
Elizabeth Maupin: 8-28-08
Terry Olson: 8-28-08
Mark Baratelli: 5-11-06, 8-5-06, 8-13-08,
Beth Marshall: 5-2-06
Tod Kimbro: 9-29-08

Not many people have voted as of 12-28-08

A photo can say so much

Taken by Jayson in Anchorage, Alaska

It's MEEE!

Whee! It's my very first audience youtube video! More please! The first half is in blackness, but half-way through you see the stage. I know this was filmed in Beverly Hills cuz I recognize the theatre. Who made this?! If you look closely you can see me do this top hat thing on "You can do it on your head" and the tossing of the pita bread. Yay youtube secreat audience video!

And here's audio-only of the end of the song. Who made these?! Love it!

And here's the end of the bows

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jennifer Aniston bad, photographer worse

Faux-emotion look on face, finger on chin for no reason, saggy EVERYthing, sitting squat-style on a stool, in panties. And a hat. WHY?

Wind Beneath my Wings: drunk








(June 17, 2005) I was going through old audio clips and found this gem. According to my old 2005 blog, it says I made it "while drunk IMing." I am precious. It's me singing Wind Beneath my Wings as a duet... with myself.

Friday, December 26, 2008

LA Day 5: A pot of cocoa at The Beverly Hills Hotel



I ordered the "pot of hot cocoa" downstairs at the "Fountain Coffee Room" and imagined it being served in as ritzy-ditzy a fashion as the other foo-foo chee-chee places provided me (see above). At The Plaza, they give you your own silver pot on a silver tray, a cute white mug and a dish with three kinds of nuts. At The Standard they could serve your coffee in their hands and I'd have been happy cuz you're on the roof on a 14 story building in the middle of downtown LA. And Chadz Cafe in Montana was local coffee house style at it's best.

So, now comes my new warm-beverage adventure: hot cocoa at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I agree to pay the $5, am excited to find out how big a "pot" of cocoa is, and to taste what the Beverly Hills Hotel calls cooca.

Swiss fucking Miss. They served me Swiss Miss instant "cocoa." I asked the waiter if my guess was right, and he proved it by showing me the Swiss Miss bag.

Fountain Coffee Room, Beverly Hills Hotel
Fuck you Fountain Coffee Room
at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Whoopee!

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Gay-ass cake at the Farmer's Market in Los Angeles

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008: I doubt it

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Where I had Christmas Day lunch

Lunch: The waiter attempts to make a fabulous first impression by bringing me two foot-long breadsticks standing upright in an empty drinking glass... just as I stand up to go look at the Antipasto Bar, which was 20 versions of carbs and oil. Awkward conversation begins. Later, I get asked to join a woman and her friend at their table because I am "alone at Christmas." I thought this was nice.

Coffee: The Starbucks line was double-looped. I'd say there were 20 people in line and 10 people waiting for their drinks. An angry man left the line and walked past me saying "Y'all must really want you're coffee." I didn't. I was just killing time before the...

Movie: I slept through "Doubt" in the handicapped row next to an elderly woman.

Coffee Again: I went back to the busy Starbucks and one of the employees recognized me. The line was just as long and just as fun to wait in.

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Me in twenty years

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Christmas greetings from Burbank

Friday, December 19, 2008

LA Day 3: Hollywood

There it is.

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Inside

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Crossroads of the World

Rest in Peace

At the end of my walk Thursday, I found this marker indicating that someone died on that corner.
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Look at the birth and death dates:

If you can't see them, the birth date is 1-13-62.

The day they passed on? 12-19-98... exactly ten years ago today, Friday. R.I.P.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

LA Day 1: Disney, Dorothy and Taper

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Walt Disney hall thing

LA Day 1: I walked a few blocks from the hotel (homeless people everywhere) to the area around the Disney music hall thing. It's fantastic on the outside: the shiny silver panels, the rooftop garden, the views of the city. The inside is like the 1970s-esque Air Force base church my Dad used to go to: wood everywhere and yet according to the audio tour, it's ornamental, not acoustic. What's great about the audio tour is (1) it's free, (2) it's self-guided and (3) it really does take you all the way through the building so you feel like you get a good look at it.

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Dorothy Chandler Pavillion

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(the side of) Mark taper Forum

Walking in the main plaza between the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Mark Taper Forum (Did they have an aversion to the word "theatre"?) is a journey back in time to the 1960s. While I am still bitter that they destroyed so much of America's historic architecture and downtown neighborhoods to build this period's designs, I can appreciate them. Though, the Mark Taper Forum looks like Tomorrowland.

I saw other stuff like government buildings and what not, but these are the highlights.

As the hours drifted away, I walked back in the direction of the hotel. I ate a Subway footlong (the employee charged me tax but did not charge the guy behind me) and walked back to the hotel (got lost) where I caught the city bus (worse than a NYC subway at rush hour) to the venue (stunning) with much (not all) of the cast.

Photos: the theatre

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Marquee at the theatre

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The other side of the marquee is not blank.

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The actor who played my role the last two years.

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This sign is a couple blocks down the street from the theatre. I thought I was in Beverly Hills, but a local corrected me. It's in LA. ...but the sign!

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Next door: Dolly Saken's School of the Arts. I'm taking tap.

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On the very next block: Larry Flynt and Hustler

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The stage and proscenium

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From the back

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Seating and a group of 15 watching our mic check

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The backstage area is CRAMPED. I share a dressing room at this theatre with half the male cast, some chickens and a watermelon storage box. The room is the size of my shoe with my foot in it. But since it's the biggest room back stage (kid you not) it's become the sort-of green room, since the green room is taken up by the band since there is no pit. Oh yes.

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Poster hanging right outside my dressing room. Wednesday night I spoke with a person who SAW this show two years ago who said it was awful. He said Linda Evans cannot act and that the theatre was packed opening night and empty the rest of the two-week run.

Hot-tarded: the Alaska to LA flight

Bye, hell pit: Monday, December 15, I said "Eff you, you cold-air-icey-sidewalk-depression-inducing-hell-pit" and left on a flight to L.A. It felt like a dead moose had been lifted from my lithe, supple shoulders.

Lost phone: The airport's security gate was super-quick but I thought they lost my cell phone so I threw 'tude at this security guard and found it a second later in my Publix tote. She looks at me and says, "Patience." I looked at her and said, "Lesbian."*

Night night: I swallowed a sleeping pill, got on the plane and went to sleep until I was awoken with an offer for coffee. Hell, yeah. Half-doped and half-Mark, I filmed myself making it:


Pouring crap into crap on drugs

And then we landed...


Landing. Snow is pretty.

With ten minutes to catch our connecting flight I ran/walked to the plane, but stopped to capture these two poster faces:

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EYES!

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He's hot-tarded.

I got on the plane: I noticed a seat was empty in first class. The air waitress told me to get off the plane and buy the seat upgrade at the counter. Did I mention it was final boarding call? The guy at the counter was helping me until his coworker demanded I get on the plane. I took my original seat because (a) I'd save the fifty bucks by not doing the upgrade (b) I'd still have a decent window seat in the back and (c) that air waitress was non-hot-tarded.


Take-off at Seattle airport


More take-off


...and more

I land, get my luggage, ride an hour on a bus, get off and dump my luggage into a glorious 20th floor hotel room. Whee! I'm here. I'm in L.A. for the first time in my life!

I have no clean clothes.

To be continued...

*The "lesbian" part is a lie.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoot me Pedro, but don't hurt the blind girls

Where we left off: It's Monday evening, I've just landed in L.A. and I have no clean clothes.

Many steps to laundry: I phone the concierge (jealous?) and he says they don't have guest laundry facilities (dammit) and it's a mile-ride away (jealous?). I get directions to the laundromat from the concierge (who speaks in horribly broken English), get directions to where I can fetch a taxi, go downstairs to get cash from the ATM (one of those ghetto $3.75 fee ATMs no less) to pay for the taxi, walk across the lobby floor to the front desk to get change to pay for the taxi, walk back across to hail a taxi.

Que? The whatever-you-call-the-guy-who-hails-you-a-cab looks at the address I got from the half-ass-English speaking Concierge and has no clue what it means. Awesome. And it's raining. He deciphers it and explains it to the cab driver. Should I have tipped the whatever-you-call-the-guy-who-hails-you-a-cab? The cab ride is 3 minutes if that and costs five damn dollars (dammit).

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Inside the laundromat

If my mother had seen this laundromat she would have sent the police to rescue me. It. is. ghetto. People who look safe but then you get close and see they're scary as hell were walking outside, washers had ants all over them (not shown in photo) and I was alone except for two blind Mexican peasant girls*.

I left my laundry and walked down the insanely scary street shouldering my large, empty IKEA bag like a sign screaming "Kill me. I'm gay."

I was going to be killed.

And I was wearing shorts. Make of that what you will.

I found a grocery store that was not-so-ghetto and inside found a huge $4 sub (truly an insane value), some cheap-ass oatmeal for breakfast and a Coke Zero. I walk back to the laundromat with the treasures in my IKEA gay-purse through what is sure a gang zone, and move my clothes to a dryer. I have to say at this point, the one happy thought I carried with me as I wrote out my will was "Hey I have a grocery store a mile away from my hotel!'

After Anchorage, this was good news.

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My knees, my IKEA bag, the $4 sandwich, the oatmeal and my detergent.

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Inside the laundromat looking out, wondering who would come in and rob me, shoot me in the face and steal my sandwich.

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No one dared call the police after the homosexual was gunned down. They let the phone lay, cleaned up the body and went on about their Mexican-American ways.

I finished one half of my $4 sandwich as my laundry dried, folded the laundry when it was done and...

walked back to the hotel.

Am I insane? Yes.

I was scared, but I did not want to pay for the cab back. I am broke, I don't make much money and I can run fast. The walk was thrilling in a bad way. Crackheads scoped me out as I skipped past them with my giant blue bag full of clean bikini briefs, a half-eaten sandwich and dreams.

I made it back alive, put my clothes away and had one packet of oatmeal before bed.

*The Mexican peasant girls is a lie.

Fail

Guerilla Art in store windows: Sick Tweety bird

You can't spend more than half an hour outside. It's that cold. If you do go outside, your face hurts and you can feel the snow through your shoes. No kitchen. Not even a microwave or fridge in your room. And no grocery store, Wal Mart, or Target to buy food. Your only food choices are expensive sit-down places, the mall food court or the snack machine in the hotel. This was Anchorage. Now you know what I haven't blogged for a week.

Wallet Phone

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This woman in a restaurant was talking on her cell phone and the cell phone had a wallet attached to it.

Steve Martin

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Robyn P's mother (Mamma P) mailed me this Steve Martin autobiography a few weeks ago. She said I remind her of him. I read it before the show in my dressing room in white socks.

A Short Film: Don't Talk


The Film

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What I was looking at #1

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What I was looking at #2