In Which Adri and I Do Not Sing Karaoke

My friend Adri and I have been singing karaoke together for about the past three years.  We have our favorite songs, and we have our karaoke group, and we have our favorite places.  But we also both sing professionally, he with his band Cabs, and I in the occasional musical theatre production or singing telegram.

Recently, a few people in the theater community have been singing cabaret nights at the Troubadour Wine Bar in Minneapolis.  I attended one for my friend Bethany a while back, and chatted with Adrian (different human being altogether) who runs the programming, and ended up booking an evening! (What?!)

For our theme, we've chosen "Songs We Can't Sing at Karaoke"...meaning songs we can never find in anyone's book, or songs we know we just can't get away with there. 

So...my first cabaret night (where I'm not just singing a song or two) will be Monday, October 23rd. Show starts at 8pm, free to the public. Come on down! But make sure to get there early to get a beverage and claim your seat, cuz the place is tiny!

See you on the 23rd for Cab Cabaret at the Troubadour! 

A Photo Shoot a Year in the Making

I met producer Mark Riddle almost two years ago, on a super fun 1970s commercial shoot for Medica. Since then, we have also worked together on the big radio/tv campaign I did for HealthPartners. In addition to being a freelance broadcast producer, he is also a photographer, so when he asked me if I'd be interested in working with him on an editorial shoot for his portfolio, of course I agreed.  

We started talking about this about a year ago, but both being busy people our schedules didn't mesh until everything finally came together last week. I saw the raw images yesterday and got to help narrow down the final images, and I am so excited! They look absolutely amazing!

 

And credits for the shoot: 

Photographer: Mark Riddle  

Makeup Artist: Mary K. Flaa

Hair stylist: Erianne Malchow  

Wardrobe Assistant: Abby Schoonover

Photo Assistants: Matt Porter, Scott McClure

Wardrobe Stylists: Jane Williams, Madeline Moon

Actor/Extra: Rod Kasai

Photos coming soon...in the meantime, here are some candid shots from my pre-shoot prep and a couple from the set!

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Erianne prepping my hair

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And styling it on set

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Our gorgeous location, The Commodore Bar and Restaurant in St. Paul

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Gorgeous eye makeup by Mary Flaa! 

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Erianne, me and Mary

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Post-shoot selfie! God, that makeup looks good!

Basilica Block Party...Just a Little Bit Late

I never claimed to be good at this blogging thing. 

MOM JEANS

My harrowing tale of love, loss, and the parrot that got away

Last month I shot a promo spot for the Basilica Block Party, a really fun little video spoofing Unsolved Mysteries-style tv shows. I worked with a (rather ill-tempered) parrot, and got to wear really unflattering mom jeans. Everyone from Periscope was really fun to work with, and I got to see Brandi Carlile and The Shins, so I guess it was worth it to wear the mom jeans and work with a diva bird. 

I Get to Say Spiderman on National Television

Ever wonder who does those really fast voiceover tags at the end of commercials? Well, I have a national spot airing for General Mills cereals, and I get to mention Spiderman...but no one will ever know it's me!  (Except that I just told you it's me...so...damn)

Not sure how long this link will last, but if you want to see my spot for GM/Spiderman Homecoming, check it out here! 

 

Let me talk!

I just got back my new narrative Voiceover demo! I'm so excited! 

If you'd like, you can listen to it here on Soundcloud

It was not quite a year ago that I got my commercial demo produced, and a narrative demo was next on the list. Mike Stalcar produced both of them...I just love working with him!

Also, a friend of mine and I are discussing a podcast we might want to produce in the near future. Keep an eye out for that as well!

In the meantime, if you need a female voice for a narrative or commercial project, you know where to find me! 

 

Bamboo Toilet Paper and a Trip Up North

Last week was a whirlwind of auditions (four on-camera, four VO, two theater), and rehearsals for Unsung, and the fundraiser for Candid Theater (I am on the board, plus I MC'd the event and performed at it as well), so I'm finally getting around to posting about my shoots. I started my week (last week) coming back from two shoots... One in Minneapolis, and one in Ely, Minnesota.  

On Saturday, I got to channel Joan from Mad Men on a shoot for a Kickstarter for Bim Bam Boo bamboo toilet paper, in a costume complete with Moschino vintage heels. It was a really fun shoot, very Poo-pourri in style. 

Keeping the lipstick intact while staying hydrated. V. important!

Keeping the lipstick intact while staying hydrated. V. important!

Vintage heels that fit me perfectly? It must be a dream!

Vintage heels that fit me perfectly? It must be a dream!

The whole team on the Bim Bam Boo shoot! How cool is this 360 photo courtesy of Kari Jo Skogquist?!??

The whole team on the Bim Bam Boo shoot! How cool is this 360 photo courtesy of Kari Jo Skogquist?!??

After that, I drove up north to Ely, Minnesota to play a nurse on the short film "Nobody's son." I can't post any photos from set, so here are a few pics from the trip up there...I spent about twice as much time driving as I did on set, so it's probably just as well that I show you glorious Northern Minnesota. 

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

Me. Lift Bridge. Cold. Wind. 

Me. Lift Bridge. Cold. Wind. 

Not many options. 

Not many options. 

"The Pardon List"

Last week I shot a short film...just a small role, playing Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress (and wife for 40 hours). Reunited in the afterlife, after Eva has spent 30 years waiting for him in purgatory, Hitler has a moment in front of the parole board...but will he ruin his chance to escape hell?

Originally, the script had called for me to punch Hitler...then it was a slap...and then they finally settled on having me hit him with a riding crop. It's really hard to say what the tone of the finished project will be, honestly, but I'm curious!

Back to Class!

The Actors Workout is still on hiatus while Raye is off galavanting in London doing Nice Fish (which only runs through Feb 11, so if you are in London, get tickets now!!), so meanwhile, I've decided it's time to face my fears of watching myself on camera and take another class. 

I started Michele Hutchison's on-camera class last Sunday, and I'm super excited that it's going to inspire me to create more of my own work and start writing for myself more. Can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring! 

Now, excuse me while I go work on my lines for the scene I've got to prepare for next week...and the scene I'm prepping for Raye's first day back...

Invisibly Busy

As actors, so often, much of the work we do goes unseen. The training, the preparation for roles, keeping in shape, auditioning, taking classes, etc. 

Even the actual work we do may never see the light of day. Films go unfinished. Training videos get a limited audience. Plays can only be seen by those who attend, and are never seen again. 

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German Night

Growing up in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and being from two predominantly German families, Oktoberfest was always a huge part of my life. At my school, we learned songs in German and had our own Maple Leaf parade. 

The artist as young German girl

The artist as young German girl

My friend Brian Kelly must have intuited this Teutonic nature of mine when he asked me to be a roaming performer at the Saint Paul Saints German Night a few years ago.

The original Ricola family: Andy Kraft, Carin Bratlie-Wethern, Ryan Robert Nelson, Billie Jo Konze and Clarence Bratlie-Wethern

The original Ricola family: Andy Kraft, Carin Bratlie-Wethern, Ryan Robert Nelson, Billie Jo Konze and Clarence Bratlie-Wethern

The second year, while thrift shopping, I found my own dirndl (something I was obviously sorely missing in my life). 

The Ricola cousins: Jane Caplow, Kevin McLaughlin, Paul Sommers and myself

The Ricola cousins: Jane Caplow, Kevin McLaughlin, Paul Sommers and myself

I wasn't able to do German night last year, so I am happy to be rejoining the Ricola family this year to cause havoc at the game tonight.  More pictures to follow, I'm sure. 

Can't join us? Okay, I leave you with a joke: How many players on a baseball team?

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NEIN!

Home Improvement

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts about the VO business lately and reading up about it, and have gotten inspired to make some improvements to the recording cave. I added some more lights, moved things around a bit, and added even more sound proofing tiles. We live under a flight path in South Minneapolis, but mostly when I'm in "the cave," I can't hear outside noise at all! Pretty impressive, actually. 

 

Where Did Last Week Go?

Hello friends! I just shot a 💣TOP SECRET 💣political ad last week...cuz, campaign season. I got to be on set with a bunch of people I know, including my roommate! It was just an extra gig, so I probably won't be visible anyway, but it was great to be on set! 

 

Also, last week, I performed for the first time at Off-Book, which is this really great improv show at Huge Theater where one actor is off book for a scripted scene, and the other actor doesn't even know what scene they're in and has to improvise the lines between. I was given a scene from John Patrick Shanley's play "Where's My Money?" Talking to the other actors who were doing the scripted part, I found that almost all of them were similarly terrified, whether they had done Off-Book before or not. Most of them were respected actors around town who I'd worked with before, so I really felt like I was in good company. Maybe I'll go do it again sometime, but I'll let the adrenaline wear off first!

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Off-Book

Next weekend I will be performing for the very first time at a unique improv performance called Off-Book, where the scenes are performed by one actor who is off-book, and one who has no clue what the hell is going on. I will be the off-book person, so I have some memorizing to do this week!  

From the website:

Come see Off-Book,,Saturday, August 20th at 8:00pm |$12 in advance, $14 at the door

Half-scripted, full speed ahead. It is every actor’s nightmare: getting thrown on stage to perform a play you’ve never read. That’s also the premise of Off Book. We have an actor memorize a script, then send them on stage with an improviser who has no idea what’s going on. Then we sit back and watch the magic happen.

A long-time HUGE Theater favorite, adapted with permission from Upright Citizen Brigade’s Gravid Water.

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Evil Twin at the Minnesota Fringe

It has been a wonderful week and a half at the Minnesota Fringe Festival! We sold out our Friday night show this weekend, and today we almost sold out our final show as well! 

Last Sunday, we were featured on the front page of the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. 

Look Ma! We're on the cover! 

Look Ma! We're on the cover! 

Although I don't usually read reviews while I am performing in a show, being the producer, marketing person, actor, etc. makes things a little bit different, and I bent my rules and read the two major reviews that we got, One in City Pages and one in the Star Tribune. We were so happy to be featured in two of the top news outlets in the Twin Cities!

 

Our hope is that this show (and the Twins and Fluffy) will have a future beyond the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Perhaps in another festival somewhere exotic and exciting! Or perhaps a whole other adventure for them to go on! In any case, if you'd like to keep up on those things, please like Evil Twin on Facebook, and we will let you know when those things happen!