Tag Archives: acting

Scares That Care! Weekend

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Williamsburg, VA as a “celebrity” at a signing convention. Fighting the “REAL MONSTERS” of childhood illness, breast cancer and more, Scares That Care! selects 3 families a year with financial burdens brought on by these issues. For the price of admission, participants are offered everything from classes and workshops to a Kids Zone with movies, books, board games, coloring books, costumes, crafts and a selfie station. The staff of the DoubleTree were all in the spirit, wearing costumes of favorite horror characters. As we all arrived, there was a screening of Piranha at the inviting indoor/outdoor pool and “Scaryoke” started up in the bar.  Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, decorations and costumes, festival, parade

Random Acts of Kindness and 3 Birthday Meals

My birthday celebrating started early this year with a dinner at John Besh’s Domenica with old friend Richard Dreyfuss and his lovely and amazing wife, Svetlana. Over the 25 years we’ve known each other, Richard and I have worked on 3 movies together, collaborated on a Katrina relief project and he even wrote the foreword to my book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. The menu from Executive Chef Alon Shaya, 2015’s  James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award winner, provided a delicious take on some traditional Italian dishes as well as offering show-stoppers like the Squid Ink Tagliolini with blue crab & herbs. We finished the meal with 3 beautiful and decadent desserts selected by our charming server, Cristina. Each dessert was decorated with a chocolate birthday banner. We were there for hours enjoying fabulous food and great company with perfect service. I’m definitely going back for that squid ink pasta dish. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Culture, Local Cuisine, Mama says, shopping

Jazz Fest Thursday!

Because people have jobs, Thursday can be the least crowded day of the entire Jazz Fest schedule. Add a cold rain until after lunchtime and things got off to a very slow start. I volunteered to work in the Kiwanis beer booth to raise money for local children’s activities and got to spend the day remembering everything I love about Jazz Fest. The “shoe forecast” called for boots owing to the rains the night before – todays showers weren’t predicted. But I loved seeing all the fashion fun “boot weather” brings out (favorite pictured below). My friend, Wendy, and I ended up wearing the exact same pair – extra funny since we met when she dressed my character in The Loft years ago.

We set up the booth, got a requisite Crawfish Monica, then wandered to the nearby Acura Stage to watch Cha Wa. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, parade

Another New Orleans Mystery!

If you’ve read any of my books, perhaps you’re already familiar with Charlotte Reade, the L.A. actor who returns to her family home in New Orleans to attend a funeral and ends up helping to find a birth mother in The Secret of the Other Mother: A Charlotte Reade Mystery. Charlotte’s search takes her down a path that starts in a laundromat in the 1950’s and winds through costume experts and a burlesque tour before landing her on the infamous Bourbon Street. Set during the Saints’ 2009 march to Super Bowl victory and the most-amazing-Mardi-Gras-ever, many of the details of those events are based on this blog.

Charlotte’s back in this second installment of the local best-seller Charlotte Reade Mystery series, The Hidden Huntsman. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2010, moving, oil spill catastrophe, parade, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

Independent Films in Louisiana

It’s true that since former Governor Bobby Jindal’s disastrous changes to Louisiana’s film tax incentive program a lot of the work has left the state. But independent filmmaking and homegrown filmmakers continue to take advantage. The good news is I’m still working plenty – the bad news is, with the far lower budgets,  I’m making far less money. That said, there’s plenty to love about what’s happening here. Last year, New Orleans local actor/director Griff Furst shot Cold Moon, a thriller by the the writer of Beetlejuice. Starring Christopher Lloyd, Candy Clark, Frank Whaley, Robbie Kay, Josh Stewart and Rachele Brooke Smith, the movie’s producer list includes Furst’s father, Steven, best known as Flounder in Animal House. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, entertainment industry

You Can’t Go Houma Again…

Since moving to New Orleans in 2009, I’ve been meaning to visit Houma. My mother’s childhood home, we used to go every summer until my Paw Paw passed in the 80’s. Maw Maw moved to Baton Rouge and I never returned to the home I had so many fond memories of – so I was thrilled to find I had an audition in Houma. Driving into town, I was excited to see everything but I’d already looked up the old house and knew many changes had been made. The meeting was at a spectacular new library. The Terrane Parrish Library had a super-cool wall of water flowing between glass, incredible displays and a giant room just for genealogy. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Local Cuisine

Krewe of Orpheus Parade

The Krewe of Orpheus parade is one of my favorites. The first all-inclusive Krewe (male, female, all races, etc.), Orpheus celebrates performing artists with glorious Kern Studios floral floats dripping with giant pearls. A Super Krewe of 1,300 riders, everything about the parade is grand. The parade opened with the Marines playing a sexy, bluesy version of House of the Rising Sun as waves of gas-lamp twirling flambeaux lit the way for giant school bands. The Simpson’s, Harry Shearer and Mayor Mitch Landrieu rode the first float followed by Castle‘s Nathan Fillion on the Monarch Float we rode in with Quentin Tarantino in 2014. Local-born parade co-founder Harry Connick Jr. waved from the next float. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2016, parade