Category: #SoBlessed

SOBLESSED at BroadwayCon 2017!

LIVE! from BroadwayCon 2017, Andrew Briedis, writer and creator of Annoying Actor Friend, was joined by Broadway favorites Lesli Margherita, Eric Anderson, Keala Settle, Julia Murney, and Andrew Keenan-Bolger to present readings from his best selling satirical ‘how to’ book, #SOBLESSED: The Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business, an irreverent analysis of what life is like for both aspiring and employed actors and actresses in today’s world.

Recorded LIVE on January 29th, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City using an iPhone 6 and zero professional sound equipment, so we hope you enjoy the raw unedited audio on SOUNDCLOUD!

#SOBLESSED: the Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business is available on paperback, Kindle, and audiobook!

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

You’re a Queer One, Julia Jordan

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Due to scheduling, Jeremy Jordan is unable to appear in #SOBLESSED Live! at 54 Below on February 7th. We look forward to having him at a future engagement and are proud to announce that Julia Murney will be stepping into the role of Jeremy Jordan.

We caught up with Julia this afternoon to hear her thoughts regarding what is bound to be a groundbreaking performance…

How did you prepare for your audition for Jeremy Jordan? I was offer only, but I’m very familiar with his oevre.

What did you sing for it? Meadowlark. In the shower.

Was Jeremy in the room during your audition or callback? I have a photo of him on my piano, so-yes?

Did you read with Laura Osnes, Katharine McPhee, or just a reader? Andy Mientus

How did you feel when you heard you booked the role of Jeremy Jordan? Soy blessed, of course.

How does Jeremy feel? He’s starring in the Last Five Years movie & the Parade concert, so I’m guessing he feels Jason Robert Brown-ish.

Are you familiar with Jeremy’s cannon of work? I don’t like firearms.

Are you a fan? I have a ceiling fan, yes.

Were you on Smash? smashed potatoes are delicious-will there be some at the concert?

Are you nervous to portray such a prolific performer as Jeremy Jordan? I feel like everything has led me to this point…and I plan on being drunk so I’ll have no recollection as to whether I blow it or not. It’s kind of my thing.

How do you plan to make the role of Jeremy Jordan your own, yet stay true to the character? Wait-does his wife know that making him my own is part of the deal? She’s really nice…I would never.

Would you consider this your Daniel Day-Lewis moment? I would love a milkshake, thank you.

Who will you be wearing? Vintage JJ, by Jeremy Jordan. Also, pajamas cause this concert is so damned late at night.

#SOBLESSED Live! will be hosted by Lesli Margherita, featuring Wesley Taylor, Keala Settle, Michael James Scott, Adam Kaplan, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Megan Sikora, Ellyn Marie Marsh, and introducing Julia Murney as Jeremy Jordan.

February 7th. 11:30 p.m. 54 Below.

How to Get “#SOBLESSED: the Audiobook” for FREE!

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#SOBLESSED: the Audiobook was released on October 21st, and you can get it for FREE!

HOW DO I GET THIS SHIT FOR FREE AND STILL HELP BC/EFA MAKE MONEY OFF OF IT?

STEP 1: Go to AudibleTrial.com/theEnsemblist. (Thank you to The Ensemblist for this rockin’ promo code!)

STEP 2: Join Audible’s ONE MONTH FREE TRIAL (you can cancel later with no charge!)

STEP 3: Download #SOBLESSED.

BAM! That’s it!

WHAT DID I JUST DO?

A couple of things!

1.) You got your hands on a kickass audiobook featuring a cast that collectively has 3 Tony Awards (4 if you count Ivy Lynn’s Best Actress for Bombshell), a Golden Globe, 2 Oliviers, and 47 Broadway.com Fan Choice Awards (None of which belong to me).

2.) Since you made #SOBLESSED your first “purchase” as an Audible member, BC/EFA will make four times the royalty amount! AND YOU DIDN’T PAY SHIT!

3.) You also got yourself a credit for another audiobook! There are about two million out there, and I suggest Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son because ALAN CUMMING.

WHY SHOULD I BOTHER WITH THIS?

All of the writer’s and publisher’s royalties are going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The only people benefiting from the sale of this audiobook are the people BC/EFA helps every single day.

It only takes a few clicks and you’ve made a charitable contribution that costs nothing. You don’t even need to listen to the audiobook! But, I think you should because Brian Dennehy says the phrase, “Hey girl!” on it more than once.

#SOBLESSED: the Audiobook was recorded at Ripley Grier Studios and features Alan Cumming, Lesli Margherita, Megan Hilty, Julia Murney, Will Swenson, Keala Settle, Tituss Burgess, Krysta Rodriguez, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Brian Dennehy.

54 Reasons You Should Go To “@Actor_Friend @54Below” — (j/k there are only 9)

It began as a tweet. That tweet turned into a blog. The blog into a book. On September 20th, that book comes to the stage in an event I’ve often referred to as, That Time I Challenged Myself to See How Long I Can Drag This Out.

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There probably really are 54 reasons you should come to @Actor_Friend @54Below — one of them being that it’s an extremely tedious title to type. However, I won’t bore you with more than 9 of them, because even I have the attention span of sorry I just got back from watching all of the songs in Pete’s Dragon on YouTube while in the middle of writing this sentence.

The Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Give A Shit About @Actor_Friend @54Below:

1. This Shit is For Charity: Proceeds from this event will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. I know there are a lot of BC/EFA events throughout the year, and there should be because Broadway Cares is FUCKING AWESOME.

2. Interactive Drinking Game: You may be familiar with my drinking games, and quite possibly have played many of them alone (I know I have!). This time you won’t have to. We are taking Annoying Actor Friend drinking games to the next level at 54 Below! It will blow your mind like a BuzzFeed article. You’ll be playing throughout the show and competing for prizes alongside friends, or people you don’t give a shit about. Also, you don’t need to actually drink to participate, either!

3. Fun Autographed Things: There will be “@ctor Friend” signed copies of #SOBLESSED for sale benefiting BC/EFA, as well as signed stuff by members of the @Actor_Friend @54Below cast! We will also be auctioning off a copy of #SOBLESSED, signed by the cast of the audiobook. There are only two of these out there in the whole world, so bring your checkbook — otherwise you’ll have to duke it out for the remaining copy at the Broadway Flea Market the next morning.

4. I Might Be There: I am currently trying to work out the comp situation. I’ll get back to you.

5. This Shit is For Charity: Everyone involved in making @Actor_Friend @54Below happen is doing it on their own time, for a cause we give a tremendous amount of shit about.

6. Because Broadway Bound: If you are doing a regional show with a predominately Equity cast, then there is a 100% chance your show is “eyeing a Broadway run.” This show is no different. We are 100% eyeing a Broadway transfer in the unconfirmed future. So, this One Night Only event is the very first workshop of #SOBLESSED: the musical. Don’t you want to see it first, so you can tell all your friends about the cut songs when we open on Broadway?

7.  Surprises!: I never know what the fuck is going to happen on any given day.

My Monday began with this:

And ended with this:

This concert is no exception. We have stuff planned, but you know… A lot of unexpected awesomeness can happen in 75 minutes.

8. The Cast: What the hell is going on with the madness of this cast? Seriously. I’m not in it, so I can speak openly and freely without fear of breaching on #ShamelessSelfPromotion.

Kyle Dean Massey and Nic Rouleau are the stars of Pippin and The Book of Mormon. Lesli Margherita has a freaking Olivier Award. Stephan Wallem is in the middle of filming the final season of Nurse Jackie. Paige Faure is making one of her last New York appearances before taking her Cinderella on tour. Jessica Grove´ began her career as a teenager opposite Mickey Rooney and you know she has batshit stories about that. Nikka Graff Lanzarone was in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I’ll say that again. Women. On. The. Verge. Of. A. Nervous. Breakdown. The Musical. And Tony nominee Keala Settle is a fucking wild card. This night was designed to be epic.

I couldn’t be more #blessed and #grateful to have this cast. You don’t want to miss them.

9. THIS SHIT IS FOR CHARITY.


We hope to see you there!

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS NOW BUY THEM NOW THANKS BYE.

A.F.

How #DIM4JOAN Happened and Why Jordan Roth is the Future of Broadway

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I’ve only tried to get a hashtag trending once. That was #smashtag, for the season two premiere of SMASH. It came about as close to happening as, “fetch.” So when the Broadway League announced that they were not going to dim the lights in honor of Broadway performer, writer, and investor, Joan Rivers — I was like, “THIS IS MY MOMENT.” I feel only Joan Rivers would fully understand how I tried to make this about me.

At first I tried #CanWeDim for “Can We Talk?” and then #WhoAreYouDimming for “Who Are You Wearing?” but they didn’t seem very “trendable.” This is where I must give credit where credit is due. Enter: Alex Wyse (@alexwyse). I told him I wanted to reverse the Broadway League’s decision by trending a hashtag, and he suggested (among several funny joke ides), #Dim4Joan. That is when I took to Twitter with —

Staying with the theme of my namesake, I annoyed the shit out of my followers until it caught on. It didn’t really take long, because it seemed obvious that a mistake had been made. People were more than passionate enough to come together in an effort to fix it. Every so often we are #blessed with a beautiful moment on social media. This was one of them.

Lovers of Broadway know how important Joan Rivers was to Broadway. We wanted to thank her for her contribution to, and undying support of American Theatre. By the time #Dim4Joan had become a trending topic — next to The Giants and #TheTeenWolfFinale — Jordan Roth (President of Jujamcyn Theaters) issued this statement:

BOOM. Jordan-EFFING-Roth.

Jujamcyn owns five Broadway theaters. Four of them are home to shows that won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Obviously they know what they are doing over there. However, it goes beyond what shows they bring in. It’s all about understanding what is going to be the next big thing.

Twitter can be an ugly place. It’s been known to end careers and spend an obnoxious amount of time documenting One Direction. Sometimes social media is so full of noise you just want to drown your smartphone. However, if you aren’t at least paying attention to what is happening on social media, than you are a solid decade behind everyone else.

If Joan Rivers passed away in 1998 and the same decision was made, I guarantee you there would be no dimming in her honor. The technology wouldn’t have allowed for our voices to be heard. That’s not the way we roll these days. Broadway is so often ridiculed for being blind to what’s current, but Jordan Roth and Jujamcyn were like, “We’re not going to fuel that stereotype.” They listened. Disney followed. Then the Helen Hayes. Hopefully everyone else will soon join 2014 and pay attention — or continue to suffer this less than stellar press.

I’ve never been more proud of a community coming together to show love and gratitude for someone else. People like Joan Rivers push entertainment further. They bring what we love to the next level and challenge us to do the same. Jordan Roth saw that, and I am thrilled to see what the future of Jujamcyn brings us.

I’d tell you all to go out and by a ticket to a Jujamcyn show, but they are always heavily sold and I certainly can’t afford a house seat.

See you all when they #Dim4Joan.

UPDATE: Shortly after the publication of this post, Roundabout announced that they would dim their lights as well — followed by this statement from The Broadway League:

BOOM. We did it, y’all.

Credit to Robbie Rozelle (@divarobbie) for the #Dim4Joan meme.

 

 

That Time We Did It First

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You’re going to laugh because I’m about to make an attempt at being serious for a moment. Look, it’s my second birthday and I’M SO OLD, so I get to do whatever I want today.

It’s been exactly two years since I created Annoying Actor Friend. For those who have been with me since I drunk followed three hundred people, you’ve seen how this has morphed into a somewhat different thing than it was when it first started. While looking back on the hashtag-memories, I had an epiphany about this community that I thought was pretty awesome.

The New York Times recently published a fairly detailed article analyzing the various misuses of the word “blessed” on social media. When I first read it, like any good actor, I made it all about me. I was like, “I did this already. I did this two years ago.” In retrospect, I’ve learned that it wasn’t really me who did it. We did it. I’m still a loser behind a computer, but I’d have been an even bigger one if you didn’t relate to what I was saying and encourage me to take it further. Our group of theatre actors really were at the forefront of social media behavior awareness.

People have always been obnoxious on social media, but we’re actors and we sort of found a way to break new ground in that subject. And we were the first to start calling that behavior out. The Times published their article in May of 2014, because it took that long for the topic of “blessed” to even get on the radar of an audience their size. Had they covered it in 2012, I don’t think many of their readers would have understood. It wasn’t an epidemic yet.

As far as I know, we were ahead of any articles devoted to the word “blessed.” (i.e. BuzzFeed, HuffPo, Cosmoetc.) As well as any number of studies analyzing social media character traits or articles explaining how not to be a douche online. We were even a year ahead of the Fallon/Timberlake Hashtag Video.

We’re in an industry that is constantly being criticized for being out of touch, and yet we were at the forefront of how to appropriately communicate on the fastest evolving technology on the planet.

And that makes sense because our first job as artists is to communicate. (<— LOL! And I’m back.)

But seriously. It’s pretty awesome. We did it first. It’s like neighborhoods, people go where the artists go. However, eventually what was once exciting, fresh, and cheap is no longer magical. Sooner or later you realize it might be time to leave Astoria.

#NOTBLESSED: Always a Bridesmaid

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The Tony nominations came out last week and I wasn’t nominated. Most of us weren’t. Whatever! You know what sucks balls more than that? The New York Times’ recent article, “They Feel Blessed,” by Jessica Bennett.

OK, the article doesn’t suck balls. It’s written extremely well (even if the tone is filled with the wonder of your favorite older Aunt discovering hashtags for the first time), and it brings an important concern of mine to the masses who might otherwise not have been exposed to the vitriol that occurs when encountering the word “blessed.” What bothers me about this article is that it’s about two years too late to the party. Social media is a mean bitch. If you don’t tweet the tweet or blog the blog at the height of a subject’s relevance, you’re screwed. It just seems odd to read an article such as this over half a year after I released a book literally called #SOBLESSED.

I get it. I’m a blip on a radar that nobody is watching. I can’t take offense to this. Still, I am THE ORIGINAL Annoying Actor Friend, and I will certainly find an elaborate way to make it about me. You know what this feels like? It’s like when you come up with a “bit” in a workshop, but then they cast someone else for the Broadway company, and when you go to see the show, that other person is performing your bit! And I’m not talking The Book of Mormon workshop, where at least you get a monthly royalty check that pays your rent. This is more like a “Lab.” All of the work, but no right of first refusal.

Not that I’m #ungrateful. I understand that I have a niche audience who supports me, but overall, the people that matter don’t give a shit. I’m like the fucking Bridges of Madison County of the Internet.

So, why is my dance belt in a bunch? Because I want the New York Times to do a fucking story on Annoying Actor Friend, #SOBLESSED — and remember the crazy AEA shit that went down in the winter? I mean, NY1 covered Annoying Actor Friend two months ago. Does the New York Times really want to be two months behind NY1?

Furthermore, I want all you Awaresies out there who’ve been on my crusade to take pride in knowing you were all aware first. I want you to hold on tight to that thing about you that is original, and scream you’re fucking face off until someone takes notice. Make it about you. If you don’t, ain’t nobody else gonna give a shit.

Stay #blessed, and always #grateful.

AF.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter, “Social Netwerking Etiquette” in #SOBLESSED, where I give my take on the word of the day:

1.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORDS

bless·ed  adj.

1. a. Worthy of worship; holy.

b. Held in veneration; revered.

Constructing a proper tweet or status update is akin to crafting an intricate lyric. It’s all about the words. Stephen Sondheim once said, “I’ve always thought of lyric-writing as a craft rather than an art, largely a matter of sweat and time.” I relate to this because when I tweet, “#blessed,” it’s not just an off-the-cuff hashtag, but rather the product of tedious rewrites meant to evoke empathy for my self-appointed holiness. Actors are like the Sondheims of social media!

When choosing a hashtag to properly articulate how #lucky one feels about their good #fortune, actors steer clear of options like #advantageous, #propitious, or #opportune. Instead, we lean in favor of the most revered adjective in the English language: #blessed. It’s the only word to appropriately describe how I feel whenever something fantastic and worthy of envy happens to me. However, trends come and go so quickly around here. What was once “fierce” is now “everything,” and while it’s great to honor the classics, perhaps it’s time to move on. Millennials are forward thinkers, right? The simple act of plugging #blessed into Thesaurus.com blew my mind with a plethora of synonyms that could really push the envelope in social media #gratefulness. Think of how of how groundbreaking it will be when we start trending hashtags like: #adored, #sanctified, #divine, or #amongtheangels.

 #SOBLESSED is currently on sale on Amazon.com

#TBT: A Year.

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Dear Awaresies,

It has been exactly one year and one day since AnnoyingActorFriend.com launched with Get SMASHed, a drinking game for the season two premiere of Smash. How do you measure a year? 525,600 Hashtags. 20+ SMASH Recaps. #SOBLESSED: the Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business. An impromptu union revolution. It really goes to show how much can happen when you really don’t give a fuck. Now, if only I could approach my auditions in the same way…

Thank you for supporting Annoying Actor Friend. I kept this going because people cared. If people didn’t care, I’d probably still be doing it, it would just be a lot more sad.

Always #grateful,

-@Actor_Friend

p.s. If you know anyone famous or important who is looking to hire writers for anything please email contact@annoyingactorfriend.com. THANKS! #ShamelessSelfPromotion

#SOBLESSED UPDATE: First Draft Completed

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Hey Awaresies!

It has come to my attention that many of my new followers have no clue I am writing a book. For those who are new, here’s a recap:

“In the style of my SMASH Don’t Give a Shit blogs, #SOBLESSED: the Annoying Actor Friend’s Guide to Werking in Show Business is a satirical ‘how-to’ book that explains everything from choosing the right college, pounding the pavement, and getting your Equity card to regional theatre, Broadway, national tours, and of course, behaving on social media – all in a quest to find what it means to be #SOBLESSED.”

As of today, September 14th, 2013, I officially have a completed first draft “manuscript.” Some refer to the first draft as the “throw-up draft.” This is when an author throws everything onto the page to see what sticks. My “throw-up draft” was definitely index finger induced and I will work tirelessly until October 8th to clean up and deliver to you a  streamlined product that lovingly walks the line between cohesive story telling and WTF-Was-He/She-Smoking?

I began writing #SOBLESSED in June and I would like to share with you a few things about my experience working on it thus far…

  • I now know more about the SETA contract than I ever wanted.
  • CollegeConfidential.com is a fucking scary place.
  • I lost an entire week of productivity to Orange is the New Black.
  • It is possible to make references to both Game of Thrones and My Best Friend’s Wedding in the same sentence when discussing national tours.
  • I’ve spent more time on Kickstarter.com than anyone ever should.
  • I felt personally disgusted in myself anytime I made a reference to a musical.
  • You can never have enough hashtags.
  • This business is fucked up.

 I hope at least five or six of you are as excited about this as I am!

Stay #blessed.