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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tonight's event was great fun!

Thank you to all who showed up tonight at Housing Works NYC to see "Broadway Backstage," in which I sat sandwiched between Michael Kostroff and Arthur Anderson -- both of them wise and gracious gentlemen -- talking about Unnaturally Green, my little-memoir-that-could.

If you'd like a peek at what you missed, check out these videos on my Unnatural UStream Channel (and thank you to all who watched it live!).

Peace out, chickadees!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Playbill.com gave us a holler

Hey, fun friends! First off, today is Gentle Rambo's birthday! (He's my bf, in case you didn't know -- read about his rippling abdominals in my book. Or, get the popular coffee table book Hot Guys and Baby Animals, in which Rambo is featured holding a baby goat. I'm not joking about this.) Everybody wish him a happy birthday in your minds and hearts and possibly bake a cake and eat it in his honor. We'll be devouring a massive, sugar-filled brunch at Norma's ("the best brunch in NYC!") in a couple of hours to celebrate.

Secondly, Playbill.com's Steven Suskin mentioned Unnaturally Green in his most recent theater book roundup (we got a pic and everything!). Even though he admits to only paging through (but not reading the darn thing), it's cool to get another shout-out on a site as well-known and prestigious as Playbill. So, thank you, dudes!

Bye for now. Hug each other!

Hearts,
Felicia

Friday, January 13, 2012

Visit Hamburg and feel like a GIANT!

Check out this ridiculously awesome video of the "Mini Wonderland" (or should I say, "Wunderland") in Hamburg, Germany -- its most successful tourist attraction. (If small things made to scale don't particularly interest you, watch it just to hear the Augustus Gloopian narrator.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Watch live video of my Jan 24 event

While the fact that ye Unnaturally Green readers are scattered across the globe makes my life more exciting and colorful, it makes interpersonal interaction tricky. Take, for example, my January 24 book event at Housing Works NYC. I want to meet you all! But, alas. Plane tickets are mad expensive.

Luckily, there is hope!

Thanks to my lovely assistant slash voice student Lesley (who is a veritable online-media-organizational guru), recently I discovered that I can stream video online -- LIVE! -- as the book event happens.

Want to plug in and watch it all go down? It's simple:

1. On Tuesday, January 24, at 6:59PM EST, go here. (It takes you to my brand spankin' new UStream Channel called "UnnaturalTV.")

2. Watch, laugh, and applaud, and imagine that I can see and hear you! I will do my best to hallucinate visions that each and every one of you is sitting before me.

3. There may be ads that pop up on the site during the broadcast (between 5-30 seconds long). Fear not! These will go away eventually. Feel free to express your frustrations by shouting, cursing, and/or waving your fist in the air.

4. If you're going to be busy during the actual broadcast, the event will (if all goes as planned) be recorded and posted for later viewing.

Questions? Comments? Y'all know the drill!

Hope you can tune in!

Love,
Felicia

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Come see me talk books on Jan 24!

Come see me move my mouth while words come out! That's right: I'll be speaking about my lovechild/memoir Unnaturally Green at Housing Works in SoHo, NYC on January 24 at 7PM! The event is called "Broadway Backstage" and features fellow author-theater-people Michael Kostroff and Arthur Anderson. The event is free, casual, and will be oodles of fun. Yes: oodles. Bring your book and I will sign it, even if it's a totally random book I didn't write. Only kidding. Maybe.

Housing Works is a non-profit that provides support, housing, and services for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

Deets, location info and more on Housing Works' official site >

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Facebook timeline ends here

Eight years of ups and downs, prying questions, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. It's time to end it.

I'm talking, of course, about Facebook.

You, like me, probably waste hours on Facebook. You constantly check your mini-feed, looking up old friends, supplanting real conversation with "Miss you!" Maybe you browse through their photos, read through old exchanges, piece together their identities from fragmented clues.

Like me, you've probably gotten pissed off at Facebook once or twice. Since its inception, Facebook users have endured dozens of interface changes, many of them jarring. Each time, we rise up, indignant -- Facebook's gone too far! -- before letting quiet acceptance weigh over us, like a heavy, cozy blanket.

But I won't that happen again. Not today! Because today, I met Timeline.

The e-straw that's broken my Facebook's back.

You've probably seen the Timeline, a.k.a. Facebook's new layout. It aggregates all your profile's elements into newspaper-like columns, organized by year, placing photos next to wall posts next to status updates, in a sort of life collage. It frames each tiny experience as its own headline, and lets readers browse through entire years with single clicks.

Some say the Timeline layout is smart. It's a powerful tool. It used to be that -- unless you spent hours clicking deeper and deeper into the recesses of someone's wall -- old posts were inaccessible. Like one's memory, your past slowly languished. But now, off-hand remarks you made in 2004 are a living, breathing part of who you are. Your narrative. Your past, made present. Your identity.

Yes, there's something to be said about weaving together a story through primary sources (letters, emails, dialogue). But, Facebook? What kinds of tracks have we been laying?

Early on, Facebook lulled me into thinking it was fleeting, the way, in a real conversation, words are uttered, then never spoken again. So I posted messages on whims, while drunk, while trying to seem funny. But for years, Facebook has apparently been collecting my experiences, co-opting them as its own. Now I feel like somebody else, entirely separate from who I really am.

Somehow, without my consent, Facebook has editorialized my life.

And what kinds of bogus articles are these? Who is my editor? Based on what I've read so far, I want my staff writers fired.

These are not clues to who I am. They are presentational, misleading, and mundane. Facebook was born of minutia. Pokes. Prods. Who you liked. Little quips and jokes on that revolutionary thing called a "wall" -- a public record of who met who on the quad, what inside jokes were uttered in the dining hall, where you were going out to a party.

I guess it's easier to stay light than dig deep.

But let's not pretend it's anything more than that: life, light. Or maybe, life for the lazy: a social forum for people who don't feel like being social. It's no small wonder it was started by a shy and cooped-up college kid, trying to navigate through dorm life, campus politics, and tenuous relationship statuses.

So how did we get from there to the Timeline? Facebook touts its new layout as "collections of the photos, posts and experiences that help tell your story."

My "story?"

How did I let my story get told in such a lazy way? When did I become the sum of my inconsequential parts?

The Timeline crystallizes everything that I find awful about Facebook, and it boils down to this: we don't use Facebook as we should. It is a simulation of life, and yet it feels more and more like life's actual pulse. We have made it the focus of everything when it should be cowering in the sidelines. (And I don't exclude myself from any of these indictments.)

We should engage in meaningful experience, not obsess over the meaningless. And yet our attention has been captured.

But I'm tired of being snared in that net.

I'm a writer by trade, which probably explains why I'm so uncomfortable with the Timeline -- a place where my truth is constructed from others' chatter.

My Timeline. My story.

What happens when my profile is gone? Who will I be? What will I have? Where will my past disappear to? Will I remember my experiences? Or will I be lost without Facebook telling me who I am?

So what do I do? Yes, I love to interact with fans and readers. I want folks to have a way to stay in touch with me, connect with each other, and get my attention. I suppose the best way is to opt for Facebook Pages. They seem (for now) to be a more manageable, less obtrusive version of a personal profile. Easier to moderate. Easier to contain. No false claims that it's really "me." From now on, I intend to use Facebook for public and professional interactions only. And if you want to get to know me, you can email me, or read my writing.

But when it comes to my identity? My "story?" I need to construct a Timeline in real experience, not accidental history.

So, yeah. I quit.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Daniel Radcliffe is a baller

This past January 1, The Boy Who Lived ended his illustrious run in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. (I didn't ever get a chance see him. Sad face.)

But -- get this -- according to Playbill.com, throughout 30 previews and 315 performances, D. Radz didn't call out once. Not once!

Pretty incredible.

For everyone except his understudy.

Broadway will miss you, D. Radz! Come back soon, preferably in a show that combines all your prior stage turns -- singing, horses, full-frontal. They could update War Horse for you: make it angsty like Equus while infusing it with Priscilla Queen of the Desert dance beats.

I would see that.

--FLR

Monday, January 2, 2012

And the winners are...

This past week, readers nominated their friends and loved ones to win a signed and personalized copy of Unnaturally Green in our blog's New Year's giveaway. Many folks had heartwarming stories about why their person was deserving -- and I wish I could give away 12 copies! Instead, I only have three, to bestow onto three randomly selected winners. Here goes!

Congratulations to...

Marissa (nominated by Bryce)


Casey (nominated by Ashley)


and Quenton (nominated by Asher)!


Wooooo!

(Bryce, Ashley and Asher, please send me an email at felicia at feliciaricci dot com so I can collect contact information for your prize winner!)

Thank you to all who participated, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!