Friday, February 27, 2009

Am I right for this part time job?

Since I will be unemployed May 3 when this tour ends, now's the time to poke around for new opportunities. Here's one: "Editor/Content Manager" for three sites owned by the same company:
1. BroadwaySpace: runs on Ning (like the Orlando Improv Everywhere group), but BS is doing the $19/month premium service. How does it stack up against MTIShowspace, another theatre social network I wrote about in December?

2. Best of Off Broadway: calls itself "the most complete and exclusive source for Off-Broadway news, tickets, and show information."

3 Did He Like It: a gathering of Ben Brantley and other reviewers' reviews. The "he" in the title refers to Brantley
The job responsibilities will include:
- Coming up with feature story and video ideas
- Coordinating the production of feature videos with our crew
- Writing daily news blurbs and feature stories
- Managing reviewers
- Uploading photos, videos to websites
The ideal person for this position would possess the following skills and qualifications:
- Experience in theatrical media (preferably websites)
- Relationships with theatrical press reps
- Strong computer skills (graphic design, photoshop, video editing and HTML a plus)
- Excellent and exciting writer
- Organized and outgoing
- Interested in getting involved with a start up business and helping it grow.
We see this as a part-time position that would lead to full time. There may be the possibility to work from home. Salary commensurate upon experience. Interested applicants should email

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Feb 26 Cleveland: What is this?

What is this tile thing above the sink? It was in the bathroom inside my dressing room at the Playhouse Square Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio. It looks like a fountain to me. View all my Cleveland photos

Ending in May not June

It's official: my day job is now ending a month early on May 3, 2009. The producer told the cast, crew and musicians on the stage of the Palace Theatre in Cleveland. He mentioned the possibility of a tour next year. That would take this tour into its 4th year. I don't rule out the possibility of me returning, if they are interested in having me. You never know how things will go. Ideally, this Bleeker Street Theatre producer will like my solo show and want to move it along. But, if that doesn't pan out, I've got other options.

Is this me?

My friends Krisha and James sent me this photo and said this looks like me. I agree.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Travel: Columbus to Cleveland

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During the 2-ish hour bus ride from Columbus to Cleveland, I killed time by sleeping, reading this USA Today article about Facebook and listening to episode 182 of This Week in Tech.

The lady at the truck stop convenience store convinced me to buy two of the "2 for $5" sandwiches instead of just the one. I wanted the tuna, but fear of tuna backlash forced me to get one turkey and one roast beef.

Tonight I have a 5:30pm call for a 7:30pm show, but before that I am heading out for a Cleveland photo-walk.

All my Columbus photos should be uploaded by around 5pm tonight.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feb 24: Columbus Day 2


Today I walked three miles from my hotel to the something something conservatory and back, which was a giant glass building full of plants. My favorite room was the rain forest room because of the parrots. And what is so wonderful about orchids?

I got the feeling the employees at the Wendys on Broad Street thought I was stuck-up. And I also was under the impression a Double Stack came with mayonnaise. It did at the one in South Bend Indiana.

I don't want to sound negative, but in a week I am going to have the worst bus ride of the tour so far and of my life and I might go coma on these bitches just to get through it. Michigan to Louisiana. Over 900 miles in 2 days.

While I was not acting during the trial scene in the show tonight, I thought about how my job and my life differs from that of Kate Winslet. Is it possible to get from where I am to where she is before I die?

Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio (more photos)

Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio (more photos)

Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio (more photos)

Feb 23: Columbus Day 2

Columbus Ohio collage

Cold Morning: I'm in Columbus, Ohio, staying indoors after a brief hour-long walk around my hotel downtown. I was without the coat I left in Orlando, but with three layers of shirts and two pairs of gloves from Walgreens. The only gloves they had were red. Combine that with the yellow sweatshirt I wore and you have yes, a bald Ronald McDonald walking the streets of Columbus taking pictures of blank walls.

Homeless in Columbus: Downtown Columbus is clean and the requisite homeless people are too. The armless one (I'm not lying) on the corner whistled while swaying back and forth on the ground next to his coin bucket. Another one stopped me as I was walking out of a church and asked if I knew "where they sold newspapers." That's a new one to me. And I think the person at my hotel's front desk thought I was homeless... or at least poor. When I asked her where I could buy a coat, she said "The Wal Mart is 15 miles away." Wal Mart??? Meeeeeee? :)

Monkey Business: The woman who got her face ripped off by a chimp is having surgery in Cleveland, where I will be in two days. I have my nurse costume with me, so get ready for some wacky photo fun.

Afternoon Photowalk: I did a photowalk and made the collage above. Every gallery in the Short North Arts District was closed. The doggy apparel shop was open. Two downtown buildings, formerly banks, were across the street from one another. One is now a Radisson, the other is an events space and both have those old-timey bank vaults you could walk inside. The Radisson used theirs for the breakfast buffet. I didn't go into the other one.

The Palace Theatre: the best of both worlds: historic/beautiful in the house and renovated/modern back stage. (See Photos) Last night after having a week off where I NEVER once thought about this show, I was a little wobbly in the lyrics department. I know the lyrics, let's be clear. But I was searching for them and when you're searching for them, you can't act. But you CAN over-act, and that is what I did. Sorry, Columbus.

Party: After the show a cast member who is from Columbus and his parents threw a little cast party at a local bar called "Elevator." There's no elevator in it, nor napkins, but there was a server who looked like she used to be pretty and an abundance of veggies, chicken wangs and white plates. I met a few locals who were friends of the party-throwing cast member, including his brother (a hair stylist), a woman who is a buyer for Express (women's outerwear and dresses) and a woman whose husband owns a ski shop for which she does the bookkeeping.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Flight: Orlando to Columbus

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This morning I flew 949 miles from Orlando, Florida to Columbus, Ohio and forgot my coat.


Where I am on what dates:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday: not much and very little

Bought this Orlando Museum of Art shirt Wednesday

Thursday Feb 19, 2009: I did laundry at a laundromat my mom said was "full of homeless peoples' clothes," got confusing advice from the lady at the post office on how to change my address for the remainder of my tour, dumped a small pile of crap off at my $50/month apartment AKA storage unit and did not get help filing for unemployment (for the week I am off here in Orlando). I missed "Third Thursdays" downtown and a Tweetup hosted by an Orlando Sentinel writer so I could perform at SAK. There were 20 people in the audience but they seemed to enjoy the show. I did.

Driving: I've been tooting around Orlando in my car and it's like I never left, when the truth is I haven't driven a car (except for 3 hours in Cupertino) since June 2008. Cars need bags that velcro to the passenger seat. You can dump all the shit you collect along the way (fast food bags, receipts, used to-do lists) into the bag, then just yank it out of the car and take it inside. Instead, once you park you must then organize this small pile of crap and put the receipts in your wallet, the fast food bag behind the seat and the used to-do list in your hand (along with the keys and the cell you're talking on).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bye Madison

I wore long johns each day in Madison. The hotel was built on the side of a hill with a view of a gigantic ice-covered lake and was four stories... down. All three shows were practically sold out. You don't sign a piece of the wall backstage, you sign a page inside a book. If you come to Madison, eat at "Noodle and Company" and get the beef stroganoff with chicken. Don't make me get on that bus. Bye Madison.

South Bend Indiana quote

"Another performer of note was Mark Baratelli, who brought to life King Herod in a most interesting and entertaining way. He had the house in hysterics during "King Herod's Song." It was a fresh new twist to the tune and was truly delightful."

-Scott Novak, Niles Daily Star, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hannah visits a Wal Mart

On all three tours I've done, I've picked up extra money whoring. I'll put ads online, I travel with my costumes (spandex don't take up much room) and I can usually do out calls without anyone finding out.

Ok well last night I was in an unnamed city and I'm in a Wal Mart parking lot dressed as "Hannah." She's a spunky Latina with a penchant for daisy dukes and penises taped to legs. I'm there to meet a guy in a red hat driving a Honda. Now the hotel is nowhere near this Wal Mart so I've already shelled out $12 for the cab that will eat into my profit. And I'm wearing my painful silver sling-backs with the angel wings on the toes. I got the angel wings at a Michael's craft store in Nevada when we had a day off and decoupaged them to the toe of the painful sling backs.

I'm down $12 and my feet hurt, so I'm already in a bad mood. Then? The cast bus pulls up right in front of the Wal Mart. I see my roommate. I told him earlier I was going for one of my long walks. My "long walks" are when I am meeting a trick. I see my roommate and he sees me as he's stepping off the bus. He points me out to everyone but its clear he doesn't know it's me. I mean, it's funny to see a drag queen in a Wal Mart parking lot pacing up and down aisles chain-smoking and wearing daisy dukes, high heels and a "Leggo My Eggo" humor tee, right? I get it. But then they all start taking photos. Dammit. I march up to them and yell at them to stop taking my picture. I just know they're all gonna put that shit on Facebook and then everyone will know I'm whoring.

Well, someone says it, as I'm yelling at them...

"Mark? Is that Mark?"

Oh shit. I run off back into the parking lot, heels falling off, wig still pinned to my head (I learned how to do 'good wig' from my last gig at a strip club called "Fudge Ripple") and these people are all following me.

I see the Honda and the red hat. Yes! $400 and a free meal at Taco Bell (I always demand the latter)! I go to open the passenger side door: he won't open it because 15 people are chasing after me. He pulls off and I fall on my knees and start to cry. Someone's cell phone rings. Have people never heard of vibrate?

The crowd of my peers slowly walks up to me and they ask me what I am doing. I don't know how to answer and continue to cry. One of them says "He's trickin." Most people sound confused as to what that means. I cry harder. I've known what that word meant for years. I;m not that innocent. The person who dentified my behavior as "trickin'" explains what its meaning to the group. They take a few steps back and turn to walk away to the Wal Mar. I watch them walk away, and with them goes my cover, my secret.

At the next company meeting I was going to bring up peoples' farting on the bus, but I know tonight get more focus.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Facebook: eat it

I fucking hate people giving these ridiculous "status updates" on Facebook. I want to write a show called "I fucking hate Facebook." I'll read my least-favorite status updates like a poetry reading and I will show photos of these horrid, horrid people on a screen behind me. Facebook: I hate you (except when I need you to market my shit on).

2-12-09 Review: South Bend Tribune (Indiana)

"Mark Baratelli made Herod’s comical scene the show’s liveliest and most colorful production number..."
-Andrew S. Hughes, South Bend Tribune, Feb 12, 2009 (South Bend, Indiana)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baltimore: scary clown heads

I saw this from across the street in Baltimore and did NOT want to get any closer to get a better shot. The one in the upper right hand corner looks like the logo for some band on a t-shirt at Spencer Gifts.

Swear this is real: bottoms & tops

I am not making this up. On my long-ass walk through Baltimore I found this sign:


And then ONE BLOCK AWAY I found this sign:


Not lying. Saw this with my own eyes in Baltimore.

Incredibad: Saxman

This is a song called "SaxMan" from the album "Incredibad" by Lonely Island that was released Tuesday. The song is funny. I hope there are 15 remixes available on Itunes. The group consist of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg (SNL). I know this has nothing to do with me, but I like reading about funny people doing funny stuff. Cuz I want to be them!!!

I breathe life

A couple folks on this blog left comments about the show on Feb 4th and mentioned me:
"Mark Baratelli... were also wonderful. The scene with Herod was absolutely hilarious!!"

"Similarly, Mark Baratelli... breathed so much life into two relatively small roles."
Hooray for google.

The one on the left is jealous

Not only does this film capture jealousy amongst wig heads, but notice the homeless woman calling out to me then seeing I can't hear her because of my headphones. Or as she calls them my "radio." I could hear her perfectly.

Put me in a room by myself with a giant mirror....

I'm gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Toledo, O-HIGH-O

Inside the Garret-Jacobs Mansion, Baltimore Maryland.
Yeah I am behind on my photo sharing.

Score: today at the venue in Toledo, Ohio, I got my own dressing room. I've discovered the $2.69 mini-sub at Subway. I went through my blog re-reading each post and found my favorite post. I don't have much to say today. Nothing's wrong. I'm just so high on crack right now I can barely type.

Money: a boring read

The Standard: rooftop coffee
My money problem since starting this job was this: each month my bank account would go up at the same rate as my credit card debt. But the debt was always $1k more then the bank account amount. How could this be? I make shitty money, but not THAT shitty.

And the only reason I even had credit card debt to begin with was I lived off my tour savings summer 2008 and didn't work. Shame on me. So for the months after I knew I was getting this gig, I lived using this zero percent interest APR intro-rate credit card.
I asked my credit card company what was going on. They didn't know.

I asked people who were good with money. They couldn't figure it out.

I read that free Suze Orman book Oprah was giving away on her wesite

I decreased my monthly cell bill by $20 each month by shutting off internet access.

I signed up for and have been watching my finances more carefully.

I've been more aware of how much I am spending on food, THE biggest expenditure while on this job.
But still no answer to why there was a leak in my finances. If I couldn't figure this out, I would be working for the next five months only to leave this job (a) in credit card debt and (b) with zero savings.

I kept the thought of "Why?" bouncing around in my head and came up with a solution. I had some spare cash in another savings account and I would use that to pay off my credit card debt. Done. I did it today. I am also not using my credit card for food purchases and am using, so hopefully I will be able to figure out if there really is something fishy going on, or if I was just doing incorrect math.

So from here on out, I should be seeing some sort of savings, as my expenses (storage unit in Orlando, student loans, ROTH IRA, food, phone, web site fees) cannot possibly more than my income.

Press Mention: I were with memorable parts

"Also with memorable parts in the show were ...Mark Baratelli."
-Jessica Brown, The Penn, February 10, 2009

The lil' mention above was from the Penn State performance. She listed almost every lead, supporting lead, ensemble member, audience member and usher, so I cut them all out here. But know that they were with memorable parts as well.

Bialy: what is it?

Summer axed me what a bialy was, so here is the description and a photo of my own bialy sammich I ate at 5:45am a couple days ago on the bus.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Mariah Ballad

I found a wonderful site to use while drunk: Record a Mariah balled (you singing said ballad) and email it to someone.

Link to what I did that one day

If you want to read what I did Sunday Feb 8, 2009 then there ya go.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baltimore to West Point

Sun Feb 8, 2009: Today was bearable. I woke up early, hit the gym, took a sleeping pill, boarded the bus at 7am, watched two episodes of Anderson Cooper's 360 podcast and one episode of 30 Rock. That. Show. Is. Funny. I then thumbed through the New York Times and sipped a Starbucks (sounds almost humane, doesn't it?) before the sleeping pill swooped me up into it's soft arms and dragged me to sleep on it's feathered back.

Lehigh Acres, a town I spent a few years growing up in, was on the cover of the New York Times. The town is dying because no one is buying houses and everyone lost their jobs. The town had 30,000 houses from 1950 to 2000. Then from 2001 to present, they built 30,000 more houses. Now they're selling for 1/3 what it cost to build them.

We rode straight to the theatre for 2pm sound check and 4pm show, then rode to the hotel. I am sitting atop my bed inside a castle-shaped hotel at West Point academy (the military school) writing about myself.

Today begins a three-day span of soul-killing*** travel days:
Sun Feb 8: (Today) 7am-1:30pm bus, 4pm show
Mon Feb 9: 5am bus call, 500 mile day (10 hours), no show
Tues Feb 10: dunno the bus call, but 250 miles, 8pm show
***This blog is ALL about over-the-top descriptions of my life. I don't mean half the stuff I say.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I'm alone in Baltimore

Get out I'm eating in costume.

Seriously get the fuck out I got my coke out here.

I have my own room at the theatre in Balti-mewer and we are here for two nights. Woo god damn hoo thank 'Retha Franklin's hat. I never know when the venues will have enough rooms for me to have my own room. I walk into each venue, bitchy, and then it's revealed to me after wandering around backstage looking for my room. When I see "#5 Mark Baratelli" I smile and buy myself a dozen rozes. When it's the four-person room, it's cool really. I mean the folks I share the room with are nice and don't steal my pot so I'm ok. And I've only had sex with two of them so there's not drama.

Then there are the venues where they throw every male into the same room.

When this happens, a fire *somehow* gets set, usually on the roof. Or, like in Roanoke West Virginia at the HopsNHay Theatre Barn, ten people in the cast get ill. Or like in Irving, Wisconsin, the costumes *randomly* start disappearing/smell like pee/shrink. I'm a sneaky person and I carry matches, diarretics and urine with me at all times, even on the bus.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Life

Before I go to bed at 2am with laundry in the machine on the 3rd floor, the (new) knowledge that the cast of the "Grease" national tour in our hotel is Equity and cursing out my slow-ass internet connection, I wanted to say that I have yet to hang myself, quit the tour or buy a cat.

This morning: I wake up with the underside of a bus seat in my face, I sleep for 5 hours on one side of my body while someone else's snores softly wake me up, I get my food from a Subway (sammich shop) in a food court with the Chinese-food sample lady walking around to tables passing her goopy-red goo-covered chicken bits to people ALREADY eating their goddamn food.
Yeah after I finish THIS plate of ass-food, Dong Ang, I'll walk over to your shit-stand and order a plate of Kung-Foo-Yong to eat in the car while I cry my way to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.
Tonight: My dinner was a four dollar 7-11 sammich, I haven't paid my student loans/ROTH IRA/credit card bill in months and that girl I got pregnant (twice) is suing me for child support (for both of them).

Caught: I did the show drunk, again, and this time two people saw me swigging Jim Beam from my fur-trimmed carafe marked "Water" stage right behind the prop bin. I gave each of them a fifty and told them both if they said a word I'd accuse them of stealing wigs (which they did steal and I saw them steal them but they don't know it).

Yocals: Two locals got into a fist fight during my song and one of them pushed the other on stage on my lyric "Not without my pants." I smiled and pretended they weren't there while the stage manager walked RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME to the guy and pulled him off stage.

Family: My Mom told me she never said those things and went on to say, in her voice mail, that she drove my car into her pool and wasn't going to get it out until I came home and helped her mow the lawn. My Dad wrote me a Valentines Day card telling me he wants me to quit the tour and go into the Air Force. I told him I am too old and he said "That's what they have the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy." What?

And, to cap today off, this woman came up to me after the show and told me I reminded her "... of Liberace before he died of that gay disease."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Terry's coming back for the next two weeks.

Here it comes
After four days in Philadelphia, I started two weeks of one-nighters and daily travel days yesterday. Here are the cities I'll perform in and the miles I'll travel each day.
February 5 Syracuse, NY 374 miles
February 6-7 Baltimore, MD 330 miles
February 8 West Point, NY 245 miles
February 9 700 travel day 350 miles
February 10 Toledo, OH 350 miles
February 11 South Bend, IN 152 miles
February 12 Wabash, IN 78 miles
February 13-14 Madison, WI 297 miles
February 15 Platteville, WI 69 miles
I boarded the bus pissed the hell OFF! No reason. In fact, my pre-bus morning was superb: beautiful FREE gym, breakfast, coffee... And then I get on the bus and I am like "Mrah!!!!" (That's a lion roar) A friend helped me calm down. He does what I am calling "the parakeet." He slowly pulls the hood on my hoodie over my head while saying "Let's the put the birdy to sleep."

No Opps
We get to Indiana, Pennsylvania after a 100 mile ride and we are told there are no restaurants (or as they are called on the tour, "food opps", with "opps" being short for "opportunities") near the hotel and only one op near the theatre: La Bell de Taco. So praise Jesus for Wal Mart.

Yay Wal Mart
This worked out great. My old suitcase's zipper broke a week ago so I was able to buy a new one at Wal Mart for $15. And, I was in dire need of shoes, so I bought some ghetto-ass $17 shoes. I also bought some healthy stuff for dinner and some post-show snacks. Wal Mart is heaven when you're on tour.

Two hours off the bus
Before the show I hit the gym AGAIN (my Mom saw a photo of me and she said, and I quote, "Don't get fat on tour like you did last time. You can't be bald, broke, loveless AND fat. Jesus."), had dinner at the desk in my hotel room and then went to the theatre for the little musical program.

Dennys: you treat poor people bad
At the theatre I had a fun conversation with some people about Denny's free Grand Slam breakfast PR stunt. They say they spent 5 million on (a) 2 million free meals, (b) labor and (c) a Super Bowl ad. You know what that means? It costs Dennys around a buck for the Grand Slam, which they then turn around and charge people IN THIS ECONOMY around five bucks. And they're trying to posture this free meal as a sign that Dennys is cheap and poor folks should come back to them. Please.

Review: Edge Philadelphia

"And in his one moment of brilliance, Norris has Mark Baratelli play Herod like a fey send-up of the Jewish King, fawned over and fawning, eliciting enough laughter to set up a great contrast with the crucifixion scene." -Jim Rutter, Edge Philadelphia, Feb 4, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

There are worse things than Philadelphia on a Sunday

Feb 1, 2009: Click here to view all 500 photos from my Philadelphia trip. For a quick glance, read below.

This morning I saw

...the Liberty Bell, the outside of Independence Hall

...the vacant lot where Ben Franklin's house used to be before his grandchildren DEMOLISHED it and SOLD THE LAND & the 1980s underground museum below Ben Franklin's non-house.

Those are phones on skinny stands in the photo on the right. You pick one up, dial one of the fifty phone numbers on the wall in front of you, wait while each number you dial ticks off a certain number of "clicks" (remember those phones in the 80s?) and listen to an actor act like a famous person for 30 seconds. I heard Ralph Waldo Emerson read a poem. He ended it with "... and I'm Ralph Waldo Emerson."

These windows were below the white outline of Ben Franklin's house showing the home's actual foundation underground. That white stuff in the photo on the right is the foundation.

And then I did the matinee at 1pm. After lunch I walked a bit more and saw

...the Pennsylvania Reading Railroad building which is now the entrance to the city's convention center. The outside is stunning. Inside looks like a convention center.

Then I did the 6:30pm show and walked home to go to bed early so I could wake up early Monday on my full day off. Woo day off hoo!