Welcome to my world!

Come on in and make yourself comfortable. Friends are always welcome, so long as they're up for a little bit of adventure! When you're defying gravity, who knows how high you'll go?

Friday, September 2, 2011

September Already?? (Here's what I've been up to!)

Greetings, readers! My blog tells me that I've not posted to you since August 9th. Wow. I guess that means I've been busy! If you have been keeping up with my Facebook page, I do tend to update that more frequently. But the one nice thing about a blog is that I can give details here much easier!

 So let's see... what has happened since August 9th? Well, the farmer's market in Villa Rica has come to a close for the season. Thank you to all who came out and supported the locals! I started to sell freshly baked muffins there and will keep making muffins if I can find a good venue. You can also order from me online - I do ship!

I auditioned for CAST Productions' fall show, "The Marquis Crossing Ladies' Society's First Attempt at Murder" and was given the role of Beryl Overton, a somewhat dim-witted character. Rehearsals are already underway and we've finished blocking Act 1! Opening night will be October 29th, with a possibility of a special pre-performance on October 22nd at the Woodie Fite Senior Center.

About a week ago, I attended my first singing workshop at AMTC. I wasn't really sure what to expect, and so I came prepared with a song to sing but was rather uneasy about the whole thing. I'm still waiting for my coach to get back with me on my list of song options to see if any are brilliant or terrible ideas in his opinion. One of the main things we were told to remember is to make a personal connection to the song, and share that emotion with the audience. My song was "Big, Bad Handsome Man" by Imelda May, and once I heard that instruction, I started to panic! I mean, I don't have a man.. I never have. So the whole song really had nothing to do with me! I quickly racked my brain for some way I could connect this song to my emotions. Sing it about a fantasy man? No, I don't think so. About my Dad? The lyrics just didn't fit. OK... actor... someone handsome and famous that I could swoon over.

So I came up with Michael Buble. Yeah, I know he's taken now... but for a while, I imagined that when he sang "I just haven't met you yet" that he was singing about me!

So I went up there and sang about good old Michael as if he was really mine. My first reaction to my own singing was surprise at how loud and projected my voice rang out when I was SO nervous! I did run out of air a little, but fought against it and got through the song. My coaches liked it, and gave me some good pointers about how to present it in a way that was more like me thinking about my man, not teaching the audience about him, and how to use dynamics a little better. I think with practice, it will become one of my top two choices for SHINE. Watch for a video of me performing it soon!

I also was cast by ABC as a background actor for the new TV series, "Final Witness." It's a true crime show, with the stories reenacted and told from the perspective of the victim. There was a small group of us as background, so I'm sure I'll be in the episode unless they cut the scene completely. The best part? They needed someone who was familiar with line dancing and could teach it to the rest of the actors. Guess who got to play choreographer for the day? Yup! It was a LOT of fun, and very exhausting by the time they finished shooting that scene. I can't wait to see what it looks like on TV! At first they called me "Jazzercise girl" but shortly after everyone was calling me by name like I was one of the main characters. I loved that, of course. And there's a chance I'll be named in the credits, too. Not that anyone will likely see that, but you know I'll be looking for it! :-)

Tonight, I've been hired along with a group of fellow Jazzercise instructors to do a flash mob at a special event! I'm still looking for full-time work, but between these little paid gigs (which I absolutely love to do) and tutoring students during the week, I'm holding my own for now. I had a wonderful job interview a couple of weeks ago and am told that they have still not made a decision... so fingers are crossed for that.

Thanks for reading, my friends. August was a whirlwind, and in it came a lot of fantastic things. Here's to an equally incredible September!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Am Nanny McPhee (well... almost!)

OK, no, I'm not the next Emma Thompson. Not yet, anyway. But through a very long chain of events that only God knew to put together, I've got an upcoming paid role as a storyteller this winter! They're looking for an old, cranky lady with a cane and possibly some ugly warts... so I immediately thought of Nanny McPhee as an example for my costuming. Not that Nanny was all that cranky... she was very matter-of-fact and almost eerily calm... something I loved about her!

I don't have all the details just yet of what town legend I'll be telling about, but I'll be performing it for children and the parents that bring them, so the script should be too much of a challenge to write. I'm really looking forward to it, actually! I hope to have someone record photos and/or video of my performance so it can be posted here. Stay tuned, readers!

They're predicting another sunny day for the Farmer's Market @ The Mill tomorrow, so I hope my friends will come chat with me at my tent! I'll have lots of frozen chocolate bananas on hand to keep you cool.

Be blessed, my friends. I sure am!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Audition... Another Adventure

I participated in another audition today, and it went very well! It was at my new church. (Can I still call it new? We've been there since January...)

Our church has a really neat program for the children. The littlest ones (Birth through PreK) go to "The Farm" while the K-4th graders go to a big area known as "XKids City." (Our church is Crossroads and they just used the X instead of "cross" to keep it simple and cool. It's also how they did our church's website address.) There's a big stage that's nicely decorated with different doors that really work (for skits and such), a full sound system, lights, big screen... it's really great!

Anyway, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was ready to become a part of all that. So I let the coordinator know, and was sent a lengthy script to learn for the part of the storyteller. (The storyteller is basically teaching the "main lesson" to the whole group each week. There are also sometimes skits, videos, etc. involved as well as the worship time and small group discussions & crafts.) But learning a storyteller script is hard! It's very different from learning a play, since there is no dialogue and no other actors to help things move along! Just me.

Anyway, I was able to pass the audition (whew!) and am scheduled to be the storyteller next Sunday. I'll be talking about God's grace and telling them the story of the lost sheep & lost coin from the book of Luke. I think this will probably be great stage experience for me... I've done the one-act thing, I've done musicals, and I've even handled short monologues. But a whole 5-6 minutes of speech? And being entertaining enough for K-4th graders while doing it? That's a new venture. You'd think because I'm a former elementary school teacher that it'd be easy for me... but it's not. Perhaps because when I'm teaching, the "monologue" or "speech" to my class is less planned out and more off the cuff? (Planned topic-wise of course, but not generally rehearsed). I'm eager to take on the challenge and know it will help me grow and prepare for opportunities to come.

~ Allison

Friday, July 29, 2011

You Can Help Me Fly!

For a $20 donation to my AMTC Fund (which goes directly to AMTC Atlanta, not me personally) you will receive a $50 gift certificate to Restaurant.com! I've used Restaurant.com before and LOVED it. Check it out!

Here's the link. Hope you'll consider this great offer! It's a win-win for both of us! http://apps.facebook.com/fiftygiftcard/?fund_id=193478

My First Modeling Workshop & Farmer's Market for August 3rd

Hello, readers! I went to a "bonus" modeling workshop at AMTC last night and it was fabulous! I learned quite a bit in those two hours, including a few things I want to remember for the next time I go in for any type of class:

1) Leave home early. It's a 35 minute drive if traffic is good... I made it OK but not early, and AMTC expects participants to arrive 15 minutes early. I'll do better next time!

2) Bring family. I think I was the only one who didn't, and while I thought it would be no big deal to do this alone, I found out that I really do need my support team. And my family is the best support team I've got!

3) Take pictures/video. I took plenty of notes, but if I've got a family member there to snap photos and/or shoot some video for me, I can use it for personal reflection and for updating all of you on how things are going! You can experience a little bit of AMTC along with me.

The whole workshop was about showcases, which are what I'll participate in at the summer 2012 SHINE event. Showcases are divided into categories like fashion modeling, acting, improv, dance, singing, etc. and the agents/scouts/directors attend the showcases that reflect the type of performer they're looking for. Cool, huh? I get to participate in 3 showcases as part of my tuition and hope to be able to raise a few extra dollars so that I can participate in more than that. The more I perform, the better my chances at a callback.

I worked with my fellow participants on how to do the photography showcase first (where they display photos from your photo shoot on the big screen while you walk the runway and introduce yourself on microphone) and then later on commercial runway. I tell ya what, getting the footing down is a little trickier than one might think! But thankfully my Jazzercise experience helped me know how to get my body to do what my coach was doing, and I think I did pretty good for a first timer.

They're going to be training the winter 2011 SHINE participants in the next few months, but I'm allowed to come to some of the workshops and to the dress rehearsal to get more experience. I can't wait! So stay tuned, dear friends.... more to come soon!

-- Farmer's Market Update! --
What a great week! I've made friends with some of the other vendors and we're bartering goods, just like in the good ol' days. I love it! The frozen bananas sold out in less than 90 minutes, so I promise to have LOTS more next time. I'm so glad they got such rave reviews!

I'll be making up some more sweet & tangy corn relish this week, due to popular demand, and the Memphis-style sweet BBQ sauce. I've had 3 requests now for pear butter too, so I may start working on a recipe for that. Feel free to send me your requests!

ONE last thing - I'm now on Facebook! Visit "Allison Wiener's AMTC Adventure" and like my page to get easy updates on how things are going, what'll be up at the farmer's market, and on my fundraising status. I've got some new ideas in the works, so I hope you'll join me there.

Thanks for reading!
~ Allison

Monday, July 25, 2011

Farmer's Market Forecast - Sunny!

Great news! The Weather Channel has predicted sunny skies for Wednesday, so I will be back at the Main Street Farmer's Market in Villa Rica, ready to offer my home-canned goodies and frozen chocolate bananas!

Also this week, I'll be headed up to the AMTC offices in Marietta for a "bonus" modeling workshop. They've opened it up to both fashion and commercial models, so I'm looking forward to a fun time and lots of learning. And working with those folks and others who are going through the same process is awesome anyway. I'm really looking forward to it!

The local production of "Hoodwinked and Hoodooed" has been postponed. We think that the new performance dates will be August 5-7 but I'll let you all know for sure. It's a great show!

Lastly, I'm auditioning next Sunday to be a storyteller in my church's children's program. The storyteller learns about a 5-10 minute script and then delivers that as the whole-group lesson during one of the Sunday services. Once I'm doing that, I'll also be eligible to participate in their dramas as well. I enjoy teaching kids and explaining things to them, so I think this will be fun! And it will give me another genre of performing to practice. Storytelling is very different from dialogue!

To those of you who are joining this blog as a result of meeting me at the Farmer's Market - please do leave a comment and say hello! You're welcome to "follow" the blog to receive regular updates as well. But I'd be tickled to know that you stopped by. :-)

Have a great week, friends!
~ Allison

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Farmer's Market Update for July 20th, 2011

Greetings everyone, and a big "howdy" to any new readers who have ventured here after purchasing something from my booth at the farmer's market!

This past sale went OK, though I'm afraid that the heat kept some of the shoppers away. I'm working on frozen chocolate-dipped bananas for this coming Wednesday to help everyone keep cool! It's a sweet treat I've always loved and I hope you all love it too!

I've also had a request for chow-chow, so I am going to work on a recipe for that. Please do let me know if there's something in particular you're interested in! I can't promise I'll be able to make everything, but I will certainly give all requests some serious consideration.

Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and support. I'm still looking for regular work (although I've gained some new tutoring clients and Jazzercise Lite customers recently), so please also keep me in your prayers about that!

Stay cool, everyone!
~ Allison