Introducing Chelsea Nachman as Laura Benanti at 54 Below

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Twitter sensation, Chelsea Nachman, has captured the hearts of anyone with a social media pulse, and we are ecstatic to announce that she will be making her New York stage debut as Laura Benanti in #SOBLESSED: Live! at 54 Below on July 27th, 2015 at 9:30 p.m., benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS!

We caught up with Ms. Nachman this week to ask her a few questions about what is bound to be the most important theatrical event of 2015, Hamilton.

How did you prepare for your audition for the role of Laura Benanti?

I literally did nothing to prepare.

Was Laura in the room during your audition or callback?

She’s Daisy, I’m Violet. We’re never apart.

Did you read with Patti LuPone or just a reader?
I took out my phone to ask Siri to just call me Laura Benanti, and Patti walked out.

How did you feel when you heard you booked the role of Laura Benanti?

Excited. Well, excited and scared.

Ms. Benanti made her Broadway debut as third nun from the left in The Sound of Music. How does it feel to be making your New York stage debut in a much bigger part?

In lieu of flowers, please send bottles of rosé to my private dressing room wait what do you mean

How does Laura feel about all of this?

SHE’S THRILLED but please do not ask her this directly just take my word for it thank you.

Are you familiar with Laura’s cannon of work?

Linney? Of course. What is this, amateur hour? #themothmanprophecies

Are you a fan?

She’s the best there is. (We’re still talking about Linney, right? JKKKKKKK LOVE YOU, BOO)

Are you nervous to portray such a prolific performer as Laura Benanti?

LOL (like used ironically, please never say ‘lol’ to me in any genuine capacity)

How do you plan to make the role of Laura Benanti your own, yet stay true to the character?

You’ll have no idea which one of us is actually up there.

Would you consider this your Meryl Streep moment?

More like my Jessica Chastain moment hey @jes_chastain do u want 2 come to this concert r u avail

Who will you be wearing?

No spoilers.


Hosted by Lesli Margherita (Matilda), #SOBLESSED Live! will feature performances by Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Chris McCarrell (Les Miserables), Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Kate Shindle (Legally Blonde, AEA PRESIDENT!), Alex Wyse (Deaf West’s Spring Awakening), Chelsea Nachman (Twitter), and TWO MORE AWESOME PEOPLE WHO WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER. The evening will be music directed by Drew Wutke.

TICKETS

SOMEDRINK ROTTEN: Annoying Actor Friend’s 2015 Tony Awards Drinking Game

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What an incredible Broadway season, right?! We had the return of Chita Rivera in a starring role, a PLAY at the Winter Garden, Kelli O’Hara surpassing Susan Lucci’s record for consecutive Best Actress nominations, a guy making a Tony nominated debut right out of college (kill me), an eleven year old making a Tony nominated debut (seriously kill me), three original pieces of theatre nominated for Best Musical, and An American in Paris.

Good things aside, the Tony Awards have to be the most brutal sport still legally presented on television. We’re essentially watching shows compete for their lives under the guise of celebrating “live theatre.” But like, the entire thing is pretty much a blood bath with tap shoes and foreword placement. It’s like watching a mashup of The Reaping in The Hunger Games and that Ramsay/Sansa scene from Game of Thrones, with occasional jazz-hands. Broadway isn’t just hard, it’s fucking fucked up, you guys.

I’ve heard that all the nominated casts are being forced to remain sequestered in a dressing room at Radio City until the final prize that decides their fate is announced. Then, the losers have to go on stage and join the winners, so they can all dance to “Oh, What A Night,” with everyone from Jersey Boys, who also won (in like 1996). If this is true, then the least we can do is support these brave actors of Broadway by getting royally shit-faced on our couches.

OK! Grab several of your favorite drinks, pour one out for Sound Design, and let’s get started!

THE RULES:

You might remember a few of these rules from 2014’s A Drinker’s Guide… and 2013’s  Drinky Boots, and I’m not even ashamed to recycle them because there were literally nine hundred theatre award ceremonies this year, and I’ve already forgotten which one I’m currently writing about.

As per usual, all rules apply to what is happening on screen, through social media, or wherever you are viewing it.. Unless otherwise specified, drink when:

  • You hear the words: “live theatre”
  • Hugh Jackman doesn’t hop across the stage, destroying the opening number.
  • A winner thanks God in their acceptance speech (take one drink for them, and one for the latest national tragedy that God didn’t get a chance to stop because He was too busy helping that person win a Tony).
  • You roll your eyes.
  • A producer of an un-nominated show buys air time.
  • Anytime a moment is so awkward, your butthole literally clenches.
  • Jennifer Hudson sings “I Can’t Let Go” in front of a Finding Neverland backdrop.
  • Someone cries (drink twice if it’s someone you’re with).
  • The sound doesn’t work (drink cautiously because it’s going to be a long night).
  • There is a technical issue (again, drink cautiously because it’s going to be a long night).
  • Hollywood celebrity!
  • Helen Mirren wins another award for having limited range.
  • You get On the Town and An American in Paris confused.
  • Someone spells it Tony’s. #unfriend.
  • Various parts of the Internet don’t know how to handle “Ring of Keys.”
  • Someone uses the words #grateful or #blessed in any form. That includes ironically.
  • Harvey Weinstein replaces someone mid-show (drink twice if it’s YOU).
  • You see someone you know on stage.
  • You get bitterly jealous of said person.
  • Daisy Eagan goes through it.
  • There is a performance that has nothing to do with the 2015 season. Drink twice if it has nothing really to do with theatre.
  • The In Memoriam leaves someone out (finish your bottle if they don’t #Dim4Joan).
  • You see someone onstage who doesn’t belong there (drink at your own risk).
  • Someone does something that reminds you why you love theatre (drink twice if you found this annoying. three times if you found this sincere. four times because Chita, and why not).

The Kelli O’Hara Lightening Round

In honor of Kelli O’Hara’s six Tony nominations, just take six shots not matter what.

Remember to always drink cautiously, but unapologetically.

2015 AWARESIE AWARDS: Winners!

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The AWARESIE AWARDS honor excellence on Broadway, Broadway Internet, and more specifically: Shit the Tonys Leave Out

The 1st AWARESIE AWARDS were held at an elaborate ceremony on YouTube and presented by Aaron Albano, Iain Armitage, Mo Brady, Frank DiLella, Brian Gallagher, Megan Hilty, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Ashlee Latimer, Lesli Margherita, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Kyle Dean Massey, Julia Murney, Chelsea Nachman, Cesar Rocha, Krysta Rodriguez, Jordan Roth, Nic Rouleau, Tara Rubin, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, and Alex Wyse.

AND THE AWARESIES GO TO…

Best Sound Design of a Play

WINNER: Ian Dickinson and Autograph, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Jill B.C. Du Boff, Hand to God

Nick Powell, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Fitz Patton, Airline Highway

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Scott Lehrer, The King and I

WINNER: Kai Harada, Fun Home

Peter Hylenski, Something Rotten!

Jon Weston, On the Twentieth Century

Best Casting of a Play

It’s Only A Play, Carparelliotis Casting

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Daniel Swee CSA and Cindy Tolan CSA

WINNER: Hand to God, Telsey + Company and William Cantler CSA

The Elephant Man, Calleri Casting

Best Casting of a Musical

It Shoulda Been You, Tara Rubin Casting

Fun Home, Jim Carnahan Casting

The Visit, Calleri Casting

WINNER: Something Rotten!, Casey Nicholaw’s Phone

Best Replacement in a Play or Musical 

Martin Short, It’s Only A Play

WINNER: Emma Stone, Cabaret

The Hedwigs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Everyone, Finding Neverland

Best Production to Close Before the Tonys

WINNER: Side Show

The Last Ship

The Heidi Chronicles

Love Letters

Holler if Ya Hear Me

Play or Musical that Best Passes the BECHDEL Test

WINNER: Fun Home

It Shoulda Been You

Side Show

Airline Highway

Most Random Concert at 54 Below 

Sondheimas

This Will Be Our Year

WINNER: Lost Boys Live!

Best at Keeping SMASH Relevant

WINNER: Jennifer Ashley Tepper

Annoying Actor Friend

Blessedterns

Neil Meron and Craig Zadan

Karen or Ivy

Karen

WINNER: Ivy

WINNER: Ana Vargas

The Ana Vargas Award for Overall Badassery

Roma Torre

Helen Mirren

WINNER: Krysta Rodriguez

Best Fan of Annoying Actor Friend

Blessedterns

Rachel Dratch

Angela Lansbury

Barack Obama

WINNER: Andy Mientus

Best Theatre Related YouTube Video I Watched at 2:30 in the Morning

Tituss Burgess sings “Meadowlark”

Patty & Emily Watch the 2014 Tony Awards

Opening Night of Fun Home with Broadway Style Guide hosted by Hayley Podschun 

Choosing the Right Font for Your Acting Resume

WINNER: ALL THE WICKED VIDEOS

Best Performance by Kelli O’Hara

Chita Rivera, The Visit

Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century

Beth Malone, Fun Home

Lisa Howard, It Shoulda Been You

WINNER: Kelli O’Hara, The King & I

Best Performance on Twitter

WINNER: Laura Benanti, @LauraBenanti

Lesli Margherita, @QueenLesli

Jordan Roth, @Jordan_Roth

Chelsea Nachman, @chelseanachman

Alex Wyse, @alexwyse

Jeff Heimbrock, @jheimbrock

HONORABLE MENTION: Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) and Everyone She Retweets

Best Performance by a Hashtag

WINNER: #Dim4Joan

#JenTepperProblems

#BroadwayConPanels

#Dim4Corn

The Elaine Stritch Unemployment Avoidance Award

Aaron Albano

WINNER: Cameron Adams

Charlie Sutton

Laura Osnes

Best Performance By Something That Makes You Want to Kill Yourself

Actors Who Still Say Shit Like “When it Rains, it Pours” on Social Media Like It’s 2011

WINNER: The AEA 99-Seat Theatre Agreement Debate

Dream Casting

Broadway.com’s “Smack Down”

The Today Tix Hamilton Lottery

Best Broadway Internet Brand/Organization

Playbill

The Book of Mormon

WINNER: Iain Loves Theatre

Patty & Emily: Comedy and Opinions from Two Broadway Fans

The Interval: Smart Girls’ Guide to Theatricality

Best Marketing/Advertising Department for a Play or Musical

Hand to God, AKA

WINNER: Something Rotten!, SPOTCo, Inc.

It’s Only a Play, AKA, DTE Agency

Fun Home, SPOTCo, Inc.

Hamilton, The Internet

Best Press Department for a Play or Musical

Fun Home, O&M Co.

Something Rotten! Boneau / Bryan-Brown

Hand to God, O&M Co.

On the Town, Matt Ross Public Relations

WINNER: Hamilton, The Internet

The ENSEMBLIST‘s Award for Best Ensemble in a Musical

An American in Paris

WINNER: On the Town

Side Show

Something Rotten!

AWARESIE of the Year

WINNER: Annoying Actor Friend

“Wow! I can’t believe I won! This is such a surprise! When I created the Awaresie Awards with the soul intention of awarding myself the top prize, I never imagined that dream would actually become a reality. I’m so incredibly humbled. I’d like to thank Twitter, Broadway, my fans, the Awaresie Academy, and most of all, Me, for without whom, none of this would have been possible. Goodnight, and see you all next year.”

6 Roles Audra Would Have Won a Tony Award for This Season

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It’s the middle of Tonys season, do you know where Audra McDonald is?

Last year, Ms. McDonald made Tony history with her sixth win for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. That’s great and all, but WHY STOP THERE. I admire and respect all the nominated actors and productions this year, the season could have used a little Audra, and here are a few examples of where she would have landed herself six more Tonys…

1.) The Title Role in The Audience: While I’m sure she was transcendent in all the productions she saw this season, Audra would definitely win the Tony for watching Helen Mirren — because I’d watch that.

2.) The Dog in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: I didn’t get papered into this play, so I haven’t seen it. However, I am certain there is a dog in it and I’m curious what Audra could have done with the part. We haven’t seen her take home the Tony for playing a literal animal yet, and this would have been a great opportunity for her to show us some real acting “chops” because dogs, specifically, like chops of meat.

3.) Tyrone in Hand to God: Steve Boyer is performing in eight shows a week, playing two different roles. By laws of science, he’s technically doing sixteen performances in the same amount of time it takes Alex Sharp to do six. Maybe some of the pressure could have been taken off of Mr. Boyer by casting Audra in the role of Tyrone. We haven’t seen her take home the Tony for playing a literal puppet yet, and Best Featured Actor in a Play is one of the only categories she hasn’t won. I think.

4.) The Delivery Woman in Fun Home: This role isn’t even in the show. They only reference her through song. I just think Audra and Jeanine Tesori should work together.

5.) Anne Hathaway in Something Rotten!: Few people remember that before The Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway was simply the name of William Shakespeare’s wife. Not a word is spoken about Anne Hathaway in Something Rotten! and my only guess as to why not, is because Audra was unavailable. Can’t you just picture her belting out a hauntingly tragic and soaring act two ballad where she struggles with whether or not to stay with Shakespeare because he’s a major douche? Ugh. Just give her the Tony now.

6.) Harvey Weinstein in Finding Neverland: If Audra were playing Harvey Weinstein this entire time, things would have been much different.

27 Facts You Didn’t Know About the 2015 TONY AWARDS

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1.) Kristin Chenowerth is hosting.

2.) Kristin Chenowerth was in Wicked

3.) I like Wicked.

4.) I also like the Tonys.

5.) Except when Wicked lost.

6.) To PUPPETS.

7.) Congratulations, Hand to God.

8.) because of a lack of expertise among Tony voters in assessing elements such as “words,” they have decided to eliminate Best Book.

9.) Audra has three 2015 Tony Awards.

10.) The Tonys were named after Antoinette Perry, grandmother of Katy Perry.

11.) Katy Perry does not have a Tony.

12.) Yet.

13.) Hamilton won.

87.) Because it was based on Wicked.

14.) and Wicked always wins.

14b.) Except in 2004.

32.) When it lost.

15.) To PUPPETS.

16.) because a lot of Tony voters get confused paying attention in theaters, they have decided to eliminate winners.

16.) Does this dress make me look fat Ana Wintour

17.) I will be at the Tony Awards.

18.) or will I…?

43.) Tony Danza.

19.) If An American in Paris wins it’ll be the 14th time the Gershwins have won a Tony for best musical since dying.

20.) I would die for a Tony.

21.) You could murder me right now in Shubert Alley in front of the Matilda lottery.

22.) What I Did for Love.

23.) ugh that chorus line documentary

44.) because most of the Tony voters forgot to see the shows, they have decided to eliminate YOU.

24.) Let’s talk about the ELEVEN YEAR OLD WHO IS NOMINATED.

25.) jk im not a monster.

26.) but really it makes me feel bad about myself.

26.) And Fat.

27.) guys remember Serial

 

The 2015 Annoying Actor Friend Commencement Address

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I am tremendously #grateful to be here today addressing the graduating theatre class of 2015, who are only a heartbeat away from taking a job away from me.

You will never be as young as you are now. You are new. You aren’t jaded. You are undiscovered. You are a question mark in the theatrical landscape. Basically, you haven’t fucked up yet. People are going to tell you how young you are, and you’re probably going to take offense to that. Like, they don’t think you “get it.” Honestly? You won’t get it. I didn’t get it, and I wasted a lot of time thinking I did. I still don’t get it. Embrace the fact that you’ll be smarter next year and allow yourself to be the age you are at this moment. Also, be happy Spring Awakening isn’t a thing right now, and you’re not going to move to New York fresh-faced to find out you’re too old.

Take the work seriously. Not yourself. Especially at auditions. You will question every move, every beat, every note. You will tell yourself you might have gotten a callback if you wore a different blouse, or didn’t stumble over that line on the second page, or had enough time to pump the biceps before you put on that tank top. Maybe you should have given the accompanist clearer directions, or had a better hair day, or an extra cup of Throat Coat. SPOILER ALERT: Nobody has ever lost out on a role because of any of those things.

You will spend the majority of your career wondering, “What if?” without truly understanding that it isn’t about you. It’s because you weren’t Equity, or you were Equity. Or you weren’t tall enough, ethnic enough, specific enough. It’s never because you didn’t want it enough. It’s because you weren’t what they wanted to see when they closed their eyes.

Rejection is hard. Ignoring it is harder. However, the amount of stars and planets that have to align for you to book a job are often so vast that you might as well break into an ugly-cry every single time you lose the Power Ball or the Today Tix Hamilton lottery — although the latter was definitely grounds for some to reach the same daily level of depression one might fall victim to after forty-seven callbacks and no feedback. Don’t make it personal. Nobody is judging you. Except maybe that one girl in the back corner of the studio, because that bitch is always judging.

Never lose your discipline. After today, you will be making the schedule. The only person docking your grade for missing a vocal coaching is you. So, like, keep doing the shit you just paid all that money for and don’t let any of it go to waste. Seriously, your class’ tuition alone could make up the missing cash needed to produce Rebecca. Don’t be like Rebecca. Actually? Fuck it. Have the determination of Rebecca, the reckless abandon of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and the idealism of that, “I’m in tech,” line from Smash.

I know. You’re probably like, “Those were all disasters.” And that may be a possibility, but you know what? They dared to be bold. Whenever someone valiantly hurtles themselves into the unknown there’s a small chance they might become The Book of Mormon.

You’re going to meet Rachel Berrys and Karen Cartwrights and people who seem like everything came really easily for them. In most cases it probably did, but you have to remember that that’s their story and we don’t really know it. What’s your story going to be? Whatever it is, make sure it’s good and not something you would only watch if you got a comp ticket.

It’s time to go forth and spread your gift. Live your life like a final callback for the creative team, but never let the creative team stop you from living your life.


 

 

(An earlier version of this commencement address was published on May 21st, 2014, and I only slightly updated it because guys I’m really busy but more so just lazy.)

NOMINEES: The 2015 AWARESIE Awards

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The AWARESIE AWARDS honor excellence on Broadway, Broadway Internet, and more specifically: Shit the Tonys Leave Out

IT’S THE 1ST ANNUAL AWARESIE AWARDS!

An ‘Awaresie’ is an “intelligent follower of Annoying Actor Friend who is aware of the negative implications of social media masturbation.”

All nominees were handpicked by Annoying Actor Friend. Winners will be voted on by the Awaresie Academy, which is a group of industry professionals and random friends chosen by Annoying Actor Friend. We can not confirm that the entire Awaresie Academy has seen every play or musical on Broadway this season, but Annoying Actor Friend trusts them with their identity, so you should trust them with their opinion. WE AREN’T THE DRAMA DESKS OR OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NOMINEES!

Best Sound Design of a Play

Ian Dickinson and Autograph, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Jill B.C. Du Boff, Hand to God

Nick Powell, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Fitz Patton, Airline Highway

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Scott Lehrer, The King and I

Kai Harada, Fun Home

Peter Hylenski, Something Rotten!

Jon Weston, On the Twentieth Century

Best Casting of a Play

It’s Only A Play, Carparelliotis Casting

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Daniel Swee CSA and Cindy Tolan CSA

Hand to God, Telsey + Company and William Cantler CSA

The Elephant Man, Calleri Casting

Best Casting of a Musical

It Shoulda Been You, Tara Rubin Casting

Fun Home, Jim Carnahan Casting

The Visit, Calleri Casting

Something Rotten!, Casey Nicholaw’s Phone

Best Replacement in a Play or Musical 

Martin Short, It’s Only A Play

Emma Stone, Cabaret

The Hedwigs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Everyone, Finding Neverland

Best Production to Close Before the Tonys

Side Show

The Last Ship

The Heidi Chronicles

Love Letters

Holler if Ya Hear Me

Play or Musical that Best Passes the BECHDEL Test

Fun Home

It Shoulda Been You

Side Show

Airline Highway

Most Random Concert at 54 Below 

Sondheimas

This Will Be Our Year

Lost Boys Live!

Best at Keeping SMASH Relevant

Jennifer Ashley Tepper

Annoying Actor Friend

Blessedterns

Neil Meron and Craig Zadan

Karen or Ivy

Karen

Ivy

Ana Vargas

The Ana Vargas Award for Overall Badassery

Roma Torre

Helen Mirren

Krysta Rodriguez

Best Fan of Annoying Actor Friend

Blessedterns

Rachel Dratch

Angela Lansbury

Barack Obama

Andy Mientus

Best Theatre Related YouTube Video I Watched at 2:30 in the Morning

Tituss Burgess sings “Meadowlark”

Patty & Emily Watch the 2014 Tony Awards

Opening Night of Fun Home with Broadway Style Guide hosted by Hayley Podschun 

Choosing the Right Font for Your Acting Resume

ALL THE WICKED VIDEOS

Best Performance by Kelli O’Hara

Chita Rivera, The Visit

Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century

Beth Malone, Fun Home

Lisa Howard, It Shoulda Been You

Kelli O’Hara, The King & I

Best Performance on Twitter

Laura Benanti, @LauraBenanti

Lesli Margherita, @QueenLesli

Jordan Roth, @Jordan_Roth

Chelsea Nachman, @chelseanachman

Alex Wyse, @alexwyse

Jeff Heimbrock, @jheimbrock

HONORABLE MENTION: Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) and Everyone She Retweets

Best Performance by a Hashtag

#Dim4Joan

#JenTepperProblems

#BroadwayConPanels

#Dim4Corn

The Elaine Stritch Unemployment Avoidance Award

Aaron Albano

Cameron Adams

Charlie Sutton

Laura Osnes

Best Performance By Something That Makes You Want to Kill Yourself

Actors Who Still Say Shit Like “When it Rains, it Pours” on Social Media Like It’s 2011

The AEA 99-Seat Theatre Agreement Debate

Dream Casting

Broadway.com’s “Smack Down”

The Today Tix Hamilton Lottery

Best Broadway Internet Brand/Organization

Playbill

The Book of Mormon

Iain Loves Theatre

Patty & Emily: Comedy and Opinions from Two Broadway Fans

The Interval: Smart Girls’ Guide to Theatricality

Best Marketing/Advertising Department for a Play or Musical

Hand to God, AKA

Something Rotten!, SPOTCo, Inc.

It’s Only a Play, AKA, DTE Agency

Fun Home, SPOTCo, Inc.

Hamilton, The Internet

Best Press Department for a Play or Musical

Fun Home, O&M Co.

Something Rotten! Boneau / Bryan-Brown

Hand to God, O&M Co.

On the Town, Matt Ross Public Relations

Hamilton, The Internet

The ENSEMBLIST‘s Award for Best Ensemble in a Musical

I spend most of my time on white contracts, so I’m going to defer the nominating responsibilities in this category to the professionals: Nikka Graff Lanzarone and Mo Brady of The Ensemblist.

An American in Paris

On the Town

Side Show

Something Rotten!

DETAILS REGARDING SEPARATE VOTING RULES FOR THIS CATEGORY WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT A LATER DATE.

AWARESIE of the Year (Honoring excellence in both performance and social media presence and innovation. There are no nominees in this category. Winner will be announced at the Awaresie Award ceremony in June.)


That about covers it! We look forward to presenting the very first AWARESIE AWARDS on June 1st, 2015 OR WHENEVER I FEEL LIKE IT. I have no clue how the winners will be revealed or if any of the nominees give a shit about this.

Some of you might be wondering why a group of anonymous people with questionable knowledge about the theatre are allowed to choose whom takes home the coveted and respected Awaresie Award, which is why I must point out that despite the lack of expertise among Awaresie voters in assessing elements such as sound design, it is better to potentially celebrate the art incorrectly, than to ignore the art altogether.

27 Facts You Didn’t Know About the WICKED 1ST NATIONAL TOUR

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1. It was based on the Broadway musical Wicked.

2. It was the first national tour ever.

3. It went around to towns.

4. The tour made 9 billion dollars.

5. Stephen Schwartz made 10 billion dollars.

6. I have 10 dollars.

7. Because I have never been in Wicked.

8. Megan Hilty was in Wicked.

9. She was one of the witches.

10. She was not a witch on Smash.

11. Ugly Betty was on an episode of Wicked.

12. Eden Espinosa was on it, to.

13. She was also in Brooklyn.

14. I have been to Brooklyn.

15. There are a lot of beards in Brooklyn.

16. Elphaba is Fiyero’s beard.

17. Ugly Betty would have loved Smash.

18. Many people were on the road with Wicked.

19. And many people from the road slept with people in Wicked.

42. My friend Lisa is such a Shen-Shen where can she submit herself?

20. Stephanie J. Block was the first Elphaba ever.

21. I wonder if the Stephanie Block who registered her name with Equity first is still alive.

22. Stephanie J. Block has a husband who was on House of Cards.

23. House of Cards was made famous on Netflix because of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

24. I know Tituss Burgess.

25. Tituss Burgess has never played Elphaba.

26. Why.

27. Robert Durst is the new Adnan Syed.

An Exciting First Look at #GRATEFUL

In honor of the new book I am working on, my intern wrote this wonderful piece that I swear I didn’t force her to write! Thanks, Blessedterns!

 

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Written by Blessedterns, Official Intern for Annoying Actor Friend

If a common thread exists in the career of every artist, it’s this: Nothing is certain, and, as Annoying Actor Friend says, “the shoe can drop at any moment.” So, what should any self-respecting actor do, whether she’s replacing a current Elphaba, or selling lipstick to the current Glinda? Remain #GRATEFUL, of course! And who better to teach us all how to channel “Everything Happens for a Reason” with Sierra Boggess consistency, than the most #Grateful, forever #SoBlessed, Annoying Actor Friend?

Following their SMASH-hit #SOBLESSED: the Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business, AAF takes readers on the next step along the yellow brick road of working and werking in show business:

“The subtitle to #GRATEFUL is ‘Everything Happens for a Reason.’ That’s a fairly standard statement that actors love to throw out when things don’t go their way—and even more so when they do go their way,” says AAF.

How does an actor achieve being #GRATEFUL, in addition to being #SOBLESSED? AAF says that, “The #SOBLESSED actor isn’t aware of strife or work ethic. They focus only on the great things that happen to them, and not so much on the how or why. The #GRATEFUL actor understands what they had to go through to get where they are.”

Speaking on his/her inspiration for #GRATEFUL: “I think that in a career that’s so steeped in fear over your own life choices, what’s better than taking a break from it all with a book that causes extreme anxiety about that? But seriously, I thought it would be fun to write and hopefully fun to read. It allows me to break form a little bit and play more with being random.”

#SOBLESSED told you which college to attend and how to file unemployment, but what about the hundreds of choices in between? With #GRATEFUL, you’ll have the chance to make all of these choices from the safety of your couch: “There are four main trajectories that branch into hundreds of potential paths — I may be in over my head. The reader gets to choose their way through anything from auditioning for a Broadway show to moving to LA for pilot season.”

So, whether your real life finds you on Broadway, performing as Elsa at birthday parties (#SurvivalJobs), or sitting in Kansas flipping-along-with-the-Pippins-Matildas-Kinkys-and-Mormonses, #GRATEFUL gives you the chance to create the career that your vision board has always dreamed of having. And don’t worry, AAF won’t leave you alone! “I am your cheerleader. And like any good friend, I judge many of your choices along the way.”

Can’t wait for #GRATEFUL’s release? Make sure you catch up by reading (or rereading!) #SOBLESSED; as a true sequel, #GRATEFUL picks up right where the #SOBLESSED protagonist left off: smack in the middle of New York City, where anything is possible.

Don’t become the guy who complains about being in Wicked; this year, sit back, grab an Ana Vargas-sized glass of wine (sparkling for those of you too young to understand that reference) and take a break from the anxieties of show business, Annoying Actor Friend style.

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#GRATEFUL: Everything Happens for a Reason will be available on Amazon later in 2015. Blessedterns was created and is maintained by Ashlee Latimer.

LET ME TELL YOU WHY BIRDMAN WAS NOT LIKE REAL BROADWAY: The Annoying Actor Friend’s 2015 Academy Awards Drinking Game

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This isn’t Birdman‘s night. Or Boyhood‘s. Not Eddie’s, or Patricia’s, or even Anne Hathaway’s. The evening belongs to we, the people. This is social media’s biggest night, and I hope we break new ground in finding a way to make J.K. Simmons’ Oscar about us.

Between Neil Meron and Craig Zadan’s obsession with superfluous musical numbers, and Neil Patrick Harris’ mere presence, Broadway Internet is going to be weathering a four hour orgasm — so you may want to grab an extra bottle, or ten, to help you deal with that.

DRINKING RULES!!!

Drink every time…

  • Neil sings.
  • Neil dances.
  • Neil gets serious.
  • Neil cracks a joke.
  • Neil can do anything.
  • None of us will ever be like Neil.
  • Hugh Jackman shows up to say, “Musicals are back,” and then thanks his wife.
  • There’s a reference to the selfie of last year, or they do anything having to do with pandering to social media.
  • There’s an appearance by an actor you’ve seen in a Broadway show (drink twice if it was Emma Stone, because fuck man, how good was Emma Stone in Cabaret?)
  • Drink if you loved Emma Stone in The House Bunny.
  • She was also really good in Superbad.
  • Drink when someone says the word, “gay.”
  • Finish your drink if one of your Facebook friends is trying to live status the event, but their posts aren’t showing up in chronological order on your newsfeed.
  • There is a musical number that has nothing to do with any of the music nominated.
  • There’s anything referencing Into the Woods.
  • A winner says the word, “grateful.” (one of the songs nominated is literally called “Grateful,” so drink twice when it is performed, and finish your drink if it wins. Also, my second book, #GRATEFUL, will be released later this year. #staytuned. #shamelessselfpromotion. #drinkifyoumadeitthroughallofthesehashtags.)
  • There is an Adele Dazim joke (Finish your drink because that was like six years ago).
  • If someone makes an Adele Dazim joke that is followed up with someone else saying, “Let it Go,” finish the bottle and then beat yourself to death with it.
  • Joan Rivers on the “In Memoriam.” (because remember #Dim4Joan? See how I’ve already made this show about me and it hasn’t even aired yet?)
  • Someone mentions that the telecast is longer than it took to film Boyhood (or some version of that joke).
  • Neil is really proud of himself.
  • And you jump out your window.
  • Or DO you…?

In closing, I’d like to acknowledge that eight Best Picture nominees is a bit douchey. Some of us haven’t paid our SAG dues, and had to borrow screeners from friends. I didn’t get to see all of the nominated films, but here is my take on them based on their titles…

ANNOYING ACTOR FRIEND’S NOMINEES FOR BEST PICTURE

AMERICAN SNIPER
When a person posts something on social media that makes you feel inferior. 

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)
Like Smash, but with explosions and flying — so more realistic.

BOYHOOD
Newsies.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
A documentary following an aging actress who must tour the country on a tiered contract — and her recollection of days when every hotel on a full Production contract was grand.

THE IMITATION GAME
That thing where your director gets up during rehearsal and says, “Let me be you.”

SELMA
Eight non-Equity interns working in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival must commute from Selma, because the company manager couldn’t find them housing closer to the theatre. 

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Like, you know when the gays say, “That’s EVERYTHING?” But about music theory. 

WHIPLASH
The incredible true story of the cast of “Promises, Promises” learning the original choreography for Turkey Lurkey Time.