AriZoni Awards

August 4, 2011

Oh yes, and one more thing – I received a Zoni nomination for Actress in a Major Role for my last show at Desert Foothills Theater!

This one:

In fact, every single person involved in the show received nominations!  The whole cast, our director/choreographer, music director, lighting designer, sound designer, set designer, everybody!

It’s nice to be one of the cool kids, especially after my epic fail at Phoenix Theatre auditions.

It’s even nicer to have an excuse to go shopping for a new dress for the awards ceremony!


That’s one of my favorite quotes of the night, courtesy of Sonia, right after we discovered the theater bar was cash-only, and right before we filed into the theater and I realized we’d gone around the side instead of down the center where the red carpet and fake paparazzi were, and unless I wanted to look like an idiot and frantically back pedal and scootch around back to the center aisle to get my picture taken by a 20-year-old photography student, I’d better just mosey on in and take my seat.

And so I did, missing my fake red-carpet moment, and then I sat my butt down in the 2nd row (woo!) and didn’t move my aching ass for two and a half hours.  Ouch!

Also, I didn’t win, and am now seriously questioning my worth as a human being.  I mean, WHAT AM I?!

But Mary our director won for choreography, and Toby for sound!  And so we were well-represented, the show was great, and I enjoyed being in my dress and my fancy jewels, with my handsome man at an awards show.

Afterwards, Mary tried to give me her choreography award, “because I made it look so good,” and that pretty much made my night.  Then we went over to the restaurant, FINALLY found some alcohol, and schmoozed the night away.  I got to chat with all my theatre buddies, and remembered once again that one of the best things to come out of this whole durn quest is all the friends I’ve made.

Then I tortured myself awhile, because I should GET UP and schmooze with people I don’t know, like all the producers and directors of theaters I’d love to work for (hello, Theatreworks, Fountain Hills, ABT!), and so finally I dragged myself out of my seat and wandered the patio aimlessly until I saw Sonia again and escaped to the safety of her side.  And then, lo and behold!  I got to talk to the tap-dancing horse.  THE tap-dancing horse, from Hale Centre Theatre’s “Sleeping Beauty” production, the tap-dancing horse that Moo idolizes, her go-to character for most games of pretend.  I regaled the horse (actually a very talented young man named Skylar) with tales of Moo’s devotion and he seemed impressed.  After a discussion about the dying art of equine tap-dancing, I returned to Herbie and Julie.

“Where have you BEEN?” they asked.  “You just missed the directors of Fountain Hills Community Theater and Southwest Shakespeare.  I would have introduced you!” Julie said.

Oh, shit.

“Where were you?” Herbie demanded.

“Um… talking to a tap-dancing horse.”

They thought that was preeeetty hilarious, but it was all worth it, because when I picked up Moo this morning at my mom’s house, the first thing I told her was that I talked to the tap-dancing horse.  Her mouth fell open.

“You DID?!?!?!?”

And I told her how the horse hopes she takes tap-dancing lessons some day, and how he bets she’s a wonderful dancer, and she fell into my lap and giggled and giggled and giggled, and that made me happier than any new dress, fancy jewelry, or shiny gold plaque ever could.

Although – that jewelry was kind of to-die-for.  Maybe next year I’ll have another reason to borrow it again.

The whole look (since I rambled on about it so much):

Zoni Awards 011


















With Mary, beloved director/choreographer and Zoni award winner! (She can just add that to the shelf with all her Emmy’s and Oscars.)

Zoni Awards 003

With Sonia, after we FINALLY found some alcohol:

Zoni Awards 008

My date (we’re very misty/mystical out on the patio):

KK Zoni

Back home at the laptop, refusing to take off my finery:

Zoni Awards 013

So here’s what I said after winning last night:

“Thank you so much!  I want to thank everyone at Desert Foothills, especially Meribeth and all the wonderful volunteers, my incredible cast, and Mary who I love so much even though I’ve only known her a few months – I’ve loved her choreography for so long, watching Sound of Music and Mary Poppins over and over again, it’s like I’ve loved her my whole life.  Thank you to my husband for supporting me, pushing me, making me laugh (and all the massages), and to my family and friends.  And I just have to tell you a quick story – I studied theatre, went to New York and did the whole thing, and was too chicken to ever go to a single audition.  And then I got to a certain age and thought, “Really? I’m just going to be a big chicken my whole life?”  And so I gave myself six months to get cast in ANY show, and one year later, here I am winning this award, and that is CRAZY.  And I don’t know why I was so scared of all you people, because I couldn’t have been more warmly welcomed.  I am truly honored to be a part of such a kooky, dysfunctional, deeply talented family of actors and artists.  Thank you!”

Isn’t that a good speech?

Yeah, I didn’t win.

And I really wasn’t expecting to (the award went to an actress from Nearly Naked’s “Blood Brothers” with a formidable voice and the most intimidating bosom I’ve ever seen), and the only reason I was hoping to win was because it would just make such a great ending to my story.  But I’m quite content to hold off on giving my story an ending at all.  I’m hoping there’s still a lot more adventure to come.

But isn’t that a good speech?!

I think I’ve possibly built this night up in my head a little too much.  I mean, I’ve been studying pictures of celebrities on the red carpet, as if there are going to be pictures of me in People magazine tomorrow.

Get a grip, Mama!  …No, I don’t want to!

Hair – check!  Jewelry from Mom – check!  Moo safely ensconced with Nana and Grandpa, playing “Dinosaur Train” – check!   Bad, amateur French manicure as applied by Mama Rose – check!  Tic-Tacs – check!  Now to play with eyeliner and try to find the perfect pair of underwear.  Why did I not buy Spanx??

Can’t wait to see Neil Patrick Harris tonight!

Oh, wait…

Getting it Together

September 18, 2009

So I’ve got the dress:

The Dress

















I’ve got the shoes (but gold):














I’ve got my grammie’s awesome jade cocktail ring, my mom’s gorgeous gold bracelets (I think she might hire a security guard to follow me around all night), and her vintage purse, and new earrings from Nordstrom.

I’ve also got a handsome date with a new shirt and tie.  (Mama:  “Everything is purple.”  Herbie:  “No!  No purple.  Can’t you get me a more manly color?”  Mama:  “I”m telling you, everything is purple.  Purple is cool right now.”  Herbie:  “Well, as long as it’s a manly purple.”)

I think I’m ready for Monday!

Oof. And also, Meh.

September 1, 2009

Bad cold (Moo and me) + evil canker sore (just me) = crappy week.  BUT – good diet.

I am not prone to canker sores, so I don’t know what was up with this sucker, but it would NOT go away, and as a result all I could do for a whole week was nibble graham crackers and slurp soup.  And the shed pounds would be great for going out and trying on dresses for the Zoni awards, but I felt so awful I could barely manage to roll off the couch to feed my child.

Finally, on Saturday, the pain and congestion haze eased up a bit and I found myself in the car on the way to Nordstrom.  Herbie looked at me kinda funny when I said I wanted to go shopping, considering I’d barely grunted three words at him all week, but I had to get out of the house, and seriously, time is running short and I need a dress.

No, not just a dress.  An AMAZING dress.  An amazing dress that I can afford.

That exists, right?

I thought I’d find dress nirvana at Nordstrom, but I didn’t even find any tempting enough to try on, and yes, I did get up the nerve to look in the “Special Occasions” alcove, where the salesladies divebomb you as soon as you cross the threshold. 

I ended up at Macy’s, again, and found a handful of dresses to try on, including one I’d tried on previously, now 50% off!  Here it is, with the other top contender:

Silly 017



















My favorite is on the right.  It’s actually a pretty plum color, and although it looks shapeless on the hanger, it’s very flowy and makes me look skinny (YES).  The other one is kinda sexy/slutty, in a way I think Herbie would love, but I’d be afraid to eat anything all night.  I almost bought the plum one, as a just-in-case-I-don’t-find-anything-better dress, but then my nose got all stuffed up again and suddenly I just wanted to be back home on the couch.

So here I am, three weeks to go and I haven’t found anything very enticing.  I thought I would find myself torn between 10 or so different stunning dresses, but it’s hard to find anything that I think will please me, Herbie, and any potential directors I might talk to at the Zoni’s.  It’s also getting increasingly hard to resist the color black.

And what about shoes??

Mmmm, shoes….

glitter shoes















What?  It’s an investment!

The Dress

August 16, 2009

So after a week of wandering around feeling slightly stunned about receiving my Zoni nomination (a very annoying week in which I kept catching myself standing in the middle of the room, staring off into space while holding a bra/cupcake/bouncy ball in one hand), I’ve moved on to the really important business, namely, finding THE DRESS.

How divine, to have an excuse to buy a fancy dress!  Or fancy-ish – I think this is a cocktail-dress occasion.  Hell, even if everyone else wears jeans, I am wearing sparkles and spangles.  I have spent almost every night searching Bluefly, Nordstrom, even Saks and Neiman’s although I totally can’t afford those dresses.  It doesn’t hurt to look, and dream, and obsess, right?  Oh, Zac Posen, you silken genius, you…

Last week when my sister was in town, I dragged her and my mother to Macy’s to watch me try on dresses.  They were very polite about it.  My first mistake was believing I was about 10 pounds lighter than I actually am.  Here I was envisioning sexy cut-outs, fitted sheaths – no.  No, and also, goodbye sugar (except for that truffle I had at lunch…).  I made up a few rules: 1) No black unless the dress is really interesting.  2) Avoid wrinkly satin.  3) No, Mom and Herbie, I am not going to rent a dress.  I also learned a few things – 1) Strapless is not a good look for me.  2) I am getting older, and must carefully avoid “prom hag” syndrome, wherein I look like I’m trying to pretend I’m 16.  3) I am probably going to have to find high-quality boob tape.

I’ve tried on dresses at two more stores since then and obsessively searched websites.  I don’t know why finding the right dress is so important, but it is SO. IMPORTANT.  Herbie, I can tell (with each murmured “mm-hmmm” when I show him a dress online), does not really understand.  But this is easily my most important wardrobe purchase since my wedding dress.  Just with a much smaller budget. 

See, I do not expect to win an award.  There are 10 nominees and those that I saw were amazing in their roles.  Receiving a nomination is the highest honor I could hope for, the biggest celebration of my fulfilled quest, so in a way, this dress is my award. 

Here are some of my favorites, which I totally cannot afford, but quietly blow kisses to nonetheless, when Herbie’s not looking:
















carmen marc valvo










purple ruffle dress












Nicole Miller