Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm Back!!!

Hello Dear Friends!
It has been quite a long time since I last posted. I'm so sorry for the delay! But I have lots of exciting things to share! First of all, after Into the Woods, I returned to NYC and had a lovely fall in the city. I spent my time working and just exploring. I got a new camera for my birthday, so I took some really beautiful pictures in Central Park and Washington Square Park. I have really grown to love this city so much. I'm so grateful to call it home. November 30th marks my two-year anniversary of living in New York so that is very exciting!
I am currently in Tennessee at the Roxy Regional Theatre performing in A Christmas Carol. We opened last night with a sold-out audience and they gave us a standing ovation. It was a wonderful opening. I was very excited. The cast is fantastic and we are having a blast. The show runs until December 18th. Come and see it!!!
I have some exciting news to share! After Christmas, I am going to be going back out on tour!! I am going to play Mrs. Rachel Lynde in Anne of Green Gables for the ArtsPower National Touring Theatre. This is the same company that I did Four Score and Seven Years Ago with at the beginning of this year. I'm thrilled to work for this company again. They are so wonderful and I love the work that they do. Also, I am a HUGE fan of Anne of Green Gables so I am very excited to tell this story! It means so much to me. So lots of good things are happening! I couldn't be more grateful. I am so blessed!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you all enjoy the holiday season. This is the best time of year. I'm excited to enjoy it with the people that I love and I hope you all do too! Happy Holidays to all!!

-Jackie O.

PS: The youtube video for this post is a song that is in our production of A Christmas Carol. This song is just gorgeous. Enjoy!! Its called The Secret of Christmas and its sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's Been Too Long!

Wow! It has been a long time! I'm sorry for the lack of entries recently. But, this will be an epic post since I have so much to talk about with all of you! So here we go!

Disney World: My family and I went on a wonderful trip to Disney World in the beginning of June. It was absolutely glorious and RELAXING! Can you believe it? Yes, I said relaxing. Usually one does not associate relaxation with Disney World, but somehow we did that. I think it was because we were all older so there weren't any meltdowns. Anyway, the rides were fun and the food was amazing. It was just awesome.

Tony Awards: I wish I could tell you all that I went to the Tonys and went up onstage, sang a big diva number and then won Tony, but of course that did not happen. Instead, I had a wonderful time at a friend's apartment watching the awards with theatre friends. We had a pool and I almost won, which made me very proud. The Tony Awards are always an exciting time for me. I consider them my superbowl. I was so worried that they were going to be while I was in Disney World, but they weren't! They were inspiring this year. The opening number was fabulous and Katie Finneran's speech made me cry. I loved them!

Finish of Survival Job: When I am not in a show, I work at an after-school program. The end of the school year was a very exciting time. We spent a lot of our days outside, which was wonderful in the beautiful New York spring weather. I am especially excited though because I was asked to teach a musical theatre class next year!!! I am going to be co-teaching it with the music teacher. I am really looking forward to this. I am also teaching yoga and wood-working. I love yoga, so I'm pumped for that. Woodworking will be a fun and interesting experience. I am missing my kids and hoping they are all having great summers!

3 Shows in 3 Days: I spent the week before I left for Tennessee for Into the Woods with my family. It was so nice to spend a few relaxing days with them. I got some important errands done and got to see my goddaughter a lot, which was great. I also got to go to the beach for a few days. One of the best parts, however, was that I got to see 3 shows in 3 days. My mom and I do this a lot and we love it. I saw A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the PA Shakespeare Festival, Promises, Promises on Broadway in NY, and Fiddler on the Roof at the Walnut Street Theatre. All of these shows were wonderful. I got to see some friends in Forum a and Fiddler which was nice. I also got to spend a great day in New York to see Promises, Promises. It was a great way to say goodbye to my city for the summer. I LOVED Promises, Promises, which was a big surprise since it got awful reviews. I thought it was great and Katie Finneran was amazing. I want to play that role someday. Fiddler was absolutely brilliant and reminded me how much I love the theatre. That show remains one of my favorites.

Into the Woods: And for my final update, I am currently in Tennessee rehearsing for Into the Woods. I am really proud of the work we have completed so far. I think that it is going to be a great show. The cast is so strong and everyone is perfect for their parts. I am playing Jack's Mother and I am loving revisiting this role. I played the part in college. It has been 3 years so I'm excited to find new things. Its a challenge! We open July 16th and run thru August 29th. If you find yourself in Clarksville, TN, which is near Nashville, come and see us! Its going to be a great production!!!

Well there you go! An update on what I have been up to! Whew! I wrote a lot. Kudos to all of you who read it. Thanks! See you soon!


PS: For my youtube clip, here is the amazing opening of this year's Tony Awards! Enjoy! Its awesome!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New York Summer

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone! Its a beautiful weekend here in NYC. Being the musical theatre nerd that I am, I can't help but think about the show Parade. For those of you who do not recognize it, Parade is a brilliant musical that takes place around Memorial Day. Its quite a powerful show. Look it up! The music is breathtaking.

So anyway, the main point of my entry is this: I am absolutely loving living in New York City. I am always coming up with reasons why I so love it. So...cue is my list!

Reasons Why I Love New York City
1. The buildings...they are just beautiful. The Chrysler building is my favorite.
2. The parks....I haven't found one yet that I didn't think was amazing.
3. The culture...this is a broad point, but there are so many artistic things to enjoy here.
4. The many options...REALLY GOOD FOOD.
5. The people...I love seeing so many different kinds of people in one place.
6. The activities...There are so many things to do here, especially free ones.

So there we go! I know its very general and broad, but that's what I love here. I basically love everything. I love my work, my friends, my buildings, my parks, and my city.

PS: For today's youtube clip, I am sharing Alicia Key's "Empire State of Mind Part 2." This is her version of the hit song that she sang with Jay Z. I know its cliche, but I love it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A New Book

I'm back!
Hello, my dear devoted readers. Today I am going to share my new obsession. Last Thursday, The Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee had a special "no-makeup" episode. My roommate and I were very excited. We LOVE the Today show and we watch it whenever we are home. So we went and did our laundry early so that we could get back in time to watch the episode. Thank goodness we did because I discovered one of my new favorite authors, Emily Giffin. Emily was on the show to promote her new novel The Heart of the Matter. Her first novel, Something Borrowed is being made into a movie and they are filming right now here in NYC. The interview was amazing and I was instantly interested. Sure enough, that afternoon, right before I went to work, I walked into Barnes and Noble and bought Something Borrowed. I started reading it that night and was hooked. I finished the book on Saturday morning. That afternoon I bought a used copy of the sequel, Something Blue. I will probably finish that in the next few days! I can't stop reading! Thank goodness she has a couple of books out!
Emily's writing just captures your attention within the first few lines. Her stories surprise you so you can never really predict what is going to happen. I also love how she deals with previous action. The reader is never bombarded with things that don't pertain to the story. I could go on and on. The books are amazing! You need to go out and buy them! Support Emily Giffin!!!

PS: My other favorite author is Lauren Weisberger. I am really looking forward to her new book coming out in August. She wrote The Devil Wears Prada. Support Lauren as well! I love all three of her books!

PPS: In honor of my favorite authors, today's youtube clip is the trailer from the movie The Devil Wears Prada. It is a fabulous movie!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Two-Show Day

Hello Dear Readers,
This past Saturday, I had a very exciting day! I spent the day seeing Broadway shows. In the afternoon, my roommate gave me a ticket to see Enron at the Broadhurst Theatre. The show is very interesting because it can't be characterized as a play or musical. Enron is best described as a play with music and it stars Norbert Leo Butz, who is absolutely incredible. I got to sit in the third row, which was really a treat. It was thrilling to see Norbert giving his all. He put everything into that performance. Enron opens tonight and I am interested to see what the critics have to say. Personally, I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.
In the evening, I went to see Hair!!! I won the show lottery and paid $25 to sit in one of the "Be-In boxes." Wow! What a thrilling show! There was so much energy at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre that it was contagious. I didn't get to see the original cast because they are all in London. The new cast is wonderful though. Diana DeGarmo sure can sing and Ace Young is hilarious as Berger. I also really enjoyed Annaleigh Ashford as Jeannie. I also loved how the actors often went out into the audience and talked to people. It was so much fun. The best part, however, was getting to get up on stage at the curtain call and dance! They have also started to tape the dance party so that you can see yourself on stage, which was really cool. Hair is a beautiful show and filled with so much love, passion, and peace! It was inspiring!
What a lovely day I had!

PS: The youtube video that I am going to share with you today is the original revival cast of Hair performing on the David Letterman Show in a historic performance. The original cast performed at the Ed Sullivan Theatre back in the 60s and shocked the country!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Drowsy Chaperone

Hello Everyone!
This past weekend, I traveled to my hometown in Philadelphia for two occasions. First of all, it was my Goddaughter's baptism. What a lovely occasion. I was so proud and honored. It was a beautiful day! The second activity is what I want to blog about.
I went to an all-girls Catholic high school. I did the shows at my own school, but I also did them at our brother all-boys high school. This theatre program has an amazing reputation. People say that it is just as good as Broadway, so I was incredibly honored to be a part of it during my junior and senior years of high school. I did Bye Bye Birdie my junior year and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum my senior year. Both shows were amazing experiences and I learned so much about good theatre. I love to go back and see the shows because they are still just as amazing. I am so proud to be a part of this program.
This weekend was the last weekend of their show The Drowsy Chaperone. When they announced that they were doing the show, I didn't know a thing about it. While I was on tour, I listened to the whole recording and immediately fell in love with it. I was so excited to see it. The show did not let me down one bit. In fact, it was even better than I expected. The Drowsy Chaperone is the story of a man who is feeling blue and he decides to listen to one of his favorite records, The Drowsy Chaperone. As he plays the record, the show comes alive in his apartment. He stops the record throughout the show and makes comments and tells stories. It is just amazing. The book was absolutely hysterical. Various problems also occur with the record, which causes the cast to freeze or "skip like a record does." It is so funny. I was dying!
The best thing, however, and what has stuck with me the most, is the message. The show is about the joy of musical theatre. It has the power to change people. I related so much to the Man in Chair character. Whenever I am in a bad mood, all I have to do is listen to a Broadway recording and I instantly feel better. What a magical thing! I think that is one of the main reasons why I love musical theatre and why I love doing it. It is such a powerful art form and it has gotten me through a lot of hard times. I am so grateful for music.

In honor of this show, I am going to post one of the funniest numbers from the show! Enjoy I Am Aldolpho:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You Know You're a Musical Theatre Person When...

Hello Everyone!
It has been a long time since I last wrote. Last weekend, my extended family came to visit Ellis Island. The trip was a gift to my Grandpa. I went downtown to meet them! It was a fun afternoon! The best part though was when I went back to Manhattan on the ferry. I got to stand on the front of the boat!!!! It was one of those things that never happens, so I was pretty excited! Being the musical theatre person that I am, naturally I pretended to be Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl singing Don't Rain on My Parade. This inspired me to make a list:

You Know that You're a Musical Theatre Person When....
1. You stand on a tugboat and pretend to be Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl
2. You constantly sing showtunes.
3. You know certain historical facts or other scholarly information because of shows.
4. You go to see more theatre rather than concerts.
5. You obsessively learn choreography for shows.
6. You watch youtube videos of people singing broadway tunes.
7. The Tony Awards are much more important than any other awards show.
8. You have a list of roles you would love to play.
9. You can sing all of the words to any show.
10. You can always bring any topic back to a musical.

The funny thing, dear readers, is that all 10 of those points apply to me! I must be in the right field of work!

Today's video clip is a special one. Elaine Stritch is one of my idols. She is an incredible performer. Anyway, she came to perform and have a q&a session at my college the year after I graduated. My professor invited me to come back and see her. It was an awesome afternoon. I will never forget it. She performed a few songs but my absolute favorite was 50 Percent. It was so powerful! Here it is!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lovely Weather

Greetings from New York!
I am finally back home in New York!!!! I finished my tour exactly a week ago and it is a very strange feeling. I must admit that I miss everyone and the show terribly. It was a joy to be a full-time actor for 4 months. The experience was such a gift. However, I also must say that it is so nice to be home. I missed New York so much. It is such an amazing place and I got used to the familiarity and convenience of it all. But I am back and luckily everyone that was in the tour with me lives in the city, so we will see each other often. We are also going to have a reunion dinner next week, which will be fun!
I returned to New York this morning after a long weekend in my hometown for the Easter holiday. It was wonderful to be home and to see my family. There is a new baby too so it was a joy to spend some time with her. I have really come to realize how lucky I am. I am blessed with an extremely supportive family and my life is filled with so much love. It was something that I definitely took for granted when I was younger. I am so grateful that I got to spend some time away from the craziness of life for a few days. It was a welcomed break, especially after tour!
I also returned to my day job today. I am so happy to be back, especially on this beautiful day!!!

So for my video of the day: An ode to New York. This is a cover of the popular Jay-Z/Alicia Keys song Empire State of Mind. Andrew Kober and a special guest perform the song at Joe's Pub here in the city. It is my goal to go to a show there soon! It seems so cool!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Miranda Sings

Hello All!
Tomorrow is the last show of my tour. We were supposed to finish on Thursday, but the show was cancelled, so Wednesday is the end. I can't believe that this experience is over. I had such a good time and met some wonderful people. I'm going to miss seeing them everyday! Thank goodness we all live in the same city. As much as I am going to be sad, I am excited to have a mini vacation in my hometown of Philadelphia. I'm looking forward to family and friend time over Easter! It will be nice. When I get back to New York next week, I will go back to my old job. I am very lucky because I am an actor who loves her side job! I work downtown at an after-school program. I basically get paid to have fun! Its wonderful and I missed my kids so much! I can't wait to see them. I'm also looking forward to seeing my co-workers. Then, after the school year is over, I will be leaving New York to go to Tennessee for two months to do Into the Woods. Its an exciting time!!! :)

For today's video, I have decided to share something that always makes me laugh, without fail. The actors in the broadway show Rock of Ages started making backstage videos. They are very clever and extremely well-done. For their ninth video, they decided to get youtube personality Miranda Sings to come and give voice lessons to all the actors. I had the pleasure of seeing Miranda perform here in New York and I had a wonderful time. I never laughed so hard, which says a lot! If you don't know who Miranda is, check out her videos. She is a girl who believes that she is a fabulous singer and will one day play Elphaba in Wicked. So, without further ado, here is the video!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Hello All!
So, last night I was taking a trip down memory lane. I moved to New York City on November 30, 2008. It was one of the most exciting days of my life. I was pursuing my dream! I was very lucky because I moved to place where I had a bunch of my friends. Three of my best friends were already living in New York when I moved here! On my first night, one of my dearest friends took me to dinner. It was such a nice welcome! Then the next day, after a long day of interviewing for a job, I went with him and another friend to a cd release signing and performance. It was very exciting for me and seemed very "New York." I loved it and as a bonus I was introduced to a new composer's work! I am a huge fan of Scott Alan now! Well, the next day a ton of videos were put on youtube. I still can't get over the fact that I was there! So here is a video of Natalie Weiss singing Kiss the Air. It is a beautiful song and probably my favorite!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jackie Hoffman

Hello Readers!
OK, so today I am going to share something pretty hysterical. Jackie Hoffman is currently playing Grandma in the new musical adaptation of "The Addams Family." She has also appeared in "Xanadu" and "Hairspray." I am a HUGE fan of her work. She is always cast in the comedic character roles, which is usually what happens with me, so I feel a special bond with her. I hope to one day be as funny as her. I basically want to play every role that she has played. She's brilliant. has a video blog series and they asked Jackie to make one. She just posted her third video and I have never laughed harder. You need to watch all of them, but especially the third one. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Stephen Sondheim Theatre

This is exciting news for the theatre community!! Last night, at the curtain call of Sondheim's birthday celebration it was announced that the Henry Miller Theatre will be re-named The Stephen Sondheim Theatre!! To make this even better, I was watching the news and they reported on the event. They showed Sondheim's reaction to the news and it was absolutely adorable. I am so excited for him. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful artist!

Here is a video of one of my favorite Sondheim pieces: "Finishing the Hat" from Sunday in the Park with George. I actually saw Daniel Evans perform the role and he was incredible:

Here is the link to the news report:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Stephen Sondheim!

Today in Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday! For those of you who don't know, Sondheim is perhaps one of the greatest musical theatre composers ever. I love his work and he is just genius. His melodies are haunting and the lyrics are poignant. I'm excited because I will get to be in one of his shows, Into the Woods, this summer. Its a beautiful show, and just like any other Sondheim musical, it has a wonderful message. Happy Birthday Mr. Sondheim from one of your biggest fans!

In honor of his birthday, here is the video of one of my favorite Sondheim pieces: A Little Priest from Sweeney Todd.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Greetings from New York City!!
I am finally home!! Happy first day of Spring everyone! Well, I just returned home from an amazing day! The day started with a lovely lunch at Blockheads, which is this super cheap Mexican food place with great food and margaritas. I met two of my friends from college who came to visit. It was absolutely wonderful to catch up and we got to sit outside! It was awesome. Then, I went and got some cheap sunglasses and a new hat because I lost my other one. I found exactly what I wanted, which was great. After that, I walked to the Lincoln Center library and borrowed some original broadway cast albums that I wanted to put on my ipod. I love going there! They have a great collection! Then, I walked back down to Columbus Circle and just sat and enjoyed the sunshine! After that I went downtown to the village to go to mass at this new church that I recently heard about. It was nice. After that I had some dinner and then I went to Ritas for a free water ice to celebrate the first day of spring. The line was down the block! Now, I am finally home and just reeling from a great day! Its great to be home!!!

PS: Here is the link for Blockheads! If you are in New York, check it out! Its a great place to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful day!

PPS: In true tradition, here is another video. The Drowsy Chaperone is my new musical obsession. I can't wait to see the production my old high school theatre program!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Second Video

Whoops! Here is the second video:


Hello Again!
One of the best things about this tour is that sometimes we stay out of the city and other times we have to stay in hotels. It was really nice because I didn't have to sublet my apartment, which was a relief! Tomorrow I am going back to NYC after three and a half weeks away. I am so excited!!!!! The weather is going to be beautiful too this weekend, which is fabulous!
In honor of the end of the three and a half weeks away, I have decided to share two youtube videos that the cast of my show are OBSESSED with. They are quite funny...wait, strike that...they are HILARIOUS!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hello World!

Hello World,
Welcome to my blog. I have been inspired by my friends who have their own blogs to start my own. So here it is! I'm kind of excited!
My name is Jackie and I am a young professional actor living in New York City. Yes, I said actor, even though I am a girl. I don't know, I just prefer that term. It sounds better.
Anyway, I absolutely love living in New York City. There is no other place like it in the world. I am still in shock that I live there. There is so much to see and do, its incredible. My roommate and I try to do something new every week. The only requirement is that it has to be either free or cheap. We have found a lot of interesting things. I will have to share our experiences on here.
Right now, I am out of town performing in a children's theatre tour in a Civil War musical. I am having a blast. Its really a blessing to be performing in some incredible theatres. I also love being able to discover new things in the material with every performance. That's truly a gift with a long run. The tour is almost over. While I am sad that its nearing the end, I'm excited to get back to New York. I'm looking forward to a New York City spring!
Well there it is: my first post! Thanks for reading!


PS: This song best exemplifies my feelings of New York City. Its "Only In New York" from Thoroughly Modern Millie: