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Friday, October 14, 2011

Announcing, two new projects! (Coming this winter!)

Today is Unnaturally Green's official release day! (Can I get a wut, wut.) Our little memoir-that-could has been building steam over the past week -- but today it breaches forth like a green-baby-whale -- arcing over the water's surface against a golden sun of destiny. You heard me.

In that same week, we've gotten some great publicity, including blurbs on Playbill.com, BroadwayWorld.com, and awesome reviews on Amazon.comFlying High: A Wicked Fan Site and F*ckYeahWicked.

But what would release day be without further expression of my ADHD-like tendencies? Answer: boring.

So, I give you,

MORE FUN PROJECTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO (AFTER YOU READ UNNATURALLY GREEN (and recommend it to everybody you know, via email, Skype, Twitter, FB, your mom)):


1. An Unnaturally Green audiobook! Read aloud by yours truly (a.k.a. Felicia Ricci) (a.k.a. your faithful author-servant). (Coming this winter, hopefully in time for the holidays! HUZZAH TOWN!)

and, secondly...

2. A new e-book!

Well, e-booklet, really. Inspired by your emails, letters, and tweets, I've decided to write a little companion booklet to Unnaturally Green! It's non-fiction, and is best summed up as "a how-to guide for dreamers." It's tentatively titled:

Putting the Cart Before the Horse (and Other Great Ideas)
From Acting to Writing (and Beyond!): How to Do Stuff Before You Know How


Because I love y'all so much, I've decided to post an excerpt from the Preface before it's entirely ready. Because WHY NOT? (Blogging means writing stuff without consequence!) So, please enjoy the excerpt below, and excuse any typos!

[Copyright 2011 Felicia Ricci]
Have you ever daydreamed an extended montage of your future life? This happened to me all the time in middle school. It would start with my peering off into the audience from a big stage; cut to: taking a slow-mo bow; cut to: exiting the stage door, greeting fans—one of whom was somehow me, the 12 year-old musical theater dork. “Nice to meet you,” I’d say to myself. From there things would get logistically difficult, because I’d have to sign an autograph for myself, and then tell myself that I’d done a great job. Usually the reel would end on account of metaphysical confusion. 
The point is: everybody has fantasies. The phenomenon is not so phenomenal: it’s part of everyday life. And what guilt-free fun! At night when I can’t fall asleep I project new reels onto the inside of my mind—ones I’ve been scripting in my more recent years. Of book signings. Or trips around the world. Or buying my first house or apartment. Dreaming is glorious. It’s also important: the first step toward making something happen. 
As a champion for dreamers, I decided to write a companion to Unnaturally Green, my memoir about the time I understudied Elphaba in the San Francisco company of Wicked. My hope is to give fans, aspiring actors and writers a bit more insight into the logistics of how my story actually happened. How did an English major, with no agent or direct in-roads to show business, get cast in a megahit musical a little over one year out of college? How did she then veer off to begin another career, in writing, self-publishing her first book a year after that?

Putting the Cart Before the Horse sums it up. It means “doing something before you know exactly how to do it.” It takes courage. It takes blind faith. It takes a little bit of DIY and DTW (which I’ll explain later). But mostly it just takes a decision: a moment in time when you turn a dream into a goal. And then reach for that goal with all your might.
Growing up I was fortunate to have doctor parents who for some reason shared an overwhelming love for the arts. They shuttled me to dozens of Broadway shows and kept up to pace with local Rhode Island productions. In this way, my early theater education came from watching; I studied the actors onstage, at once in awe of them, and scheming about how I might one day join. In the meantime, I auditioned for every school play. I did summer theater camp. Later, in college I opted to major in English, while continuing to perform as a hobby. I learned theater by doing. But that’s just my path. 
Writing was another dream of mine, but more elusive. Always the bookworm, my earliest forays into writing involved transcribing other stories I’d heard or read. I wrote my first short story in fifth grade, called Violet Perfume, in which a man named Vincent Fusco stalked and murdered his secretary. (For a fifth grader, it was super edgy; if I’m recalling correctly, there was even a sex scene. And by “sex scene” I mean it said: “They moved closer until their bodies touched. Then they kissed.”) My high school English curriculum stirred my passion for language, and struck chords that resonated for the next four years, as I studied writing and post-colonial literature at Yale University. But the life of a writer seemed more mysterious, and less flashy than what I knew about acting. But still, it always interested me.
There's no denying it: I graduated—uncertain. What to do about a career? I tried my hand at acting in New York City. Then I got Wicked. Then I wrote a book. Then two. (But we’ll get to all that.)
For now, that’s the beginning of my story. An idea of it, anyway. Yours, no doubt, looks different. You have your own catalog of experiences from which to draw. From these experiences you’ve developed tastes, passions, wants. Your own dreams. Don’t worry: nobody’s beginning automatically leads to a somehow better or more successful ending. Sure, some people might get a leg-up in terms of opportunity. They might seem more skilled or gifted in the early stages. But that’s not the most important part. The most important part is you. What are your dreams? The opportunities will come. You just have to go find them, and be ready once you meet.
I’ll be the first to say that I am no expert on these matters. I don’t claim to be some great success—taking the world by storm, winning Tony Awards and Peace Prizes and becoming a millionaire overnight. (I mean, I’m only 25—and, on principle, perpetually green.) If you read my memoir, you know that all I have is my personal experience. From there I can explain the “how I did it” part, doing my best to extrapolate, where appropriate, what kinds of approaches that were most effective. 
In summary, the scope of this book is both small and enormous. In terms of content, it explains the attitudes and habits that I used in order to do what I've done so far (small). In terms of reach, if it encourages you to follow your dreams -- well, then, it's infinite.
If you’re ready, come on and jump in! We can share a cart, provided you let me sit in the front, because I get cart-sick. Without a horse, we’ll be pulling our own weight. But I think you’ll enjoy the ride.

Giddy up!
FLR, 2011

4 comments:

  1. That sounds amazing! I would love to read that! Congratulations on the success, Felicia! You deserve each other! ;)

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  2. I know what I'll be reading over winter break! :)

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  3. Yay!! More unnatural greenery to spruce up my bookshelves! I'm looking forward to your Christmas Cart (before the horse). (I seem to be speaking in "really bad pun" this evening :P)

    Also, that's awesome you're making an audiobook of Unnaturally Green! I know what my Mom and I are getting for Christmakwanzakah this year!

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