Megan follows her dream…

You’re supposed to have dreams, right? That’s what everybody says. But what are you supposed to do with them?
If you stop to think about it it’s somewhat ironic that people tell you to “Live your dreams” when in actuality dreams are what occur while you’re sleeping.
I think the hardest part of following through on your dreams is sticking with it. It’s so easy to put things off and say I’ll get to it later but sometimes in life you only get that one chance and if you don’t persevere you’ll wake up one day and wonder where it all went.
To me, following your dreams is like traveling down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. You never know what or who you might encounter along the way. Sometimes there may be obstacles and you may have to pick yourself back up again, but if you can make it to the end of the road the possibilities are endless.
I’ve known since I was four that I wanted to be an actor. I’ve had people laugh and scoff at me along the way, asking me if I wanted to be poor for the rest of my life, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I still feel that way twenty years later. I know for myself that if I give up on my dreams I will always wonder, what if?

 I don’t want to wake up one day and regret not trying to pursue my dreams.
Too many people give up on there dreams because it’s too hard or there isn’t enough time, but it only ends up causing unhappiness and regret.
So…follow your dreams so you don’t end up waking up one morning and asking yourself what if…

Published in: on March 29, 2008 at 2:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Zach addresses the Urban Tribe theory

Until this show came up I had never heard of this term.  It brought to mind rather politically incorrect images of roving bands of Italians roaming the streets of Chicago with bows and arrows. 

This might sound ridiculous, but it just goes to show the difference in perspective from someone raised in the suburbs and a die hard city boy.  Out by me the idea of a neighborhood as a cohesive group begins to fade after grade school and dissipates entirely with the ability to drive. 

The suburb where I grew up had remarkably high turnover and I, as one who had lived there all my life (albeit in different neighborhoods), was as close to a townie as anyone was going to get. 

Friends came and went and moved here and there, wherever their parents’ jobs ordered them to go.  I had one friend who was also a tried and true multiple generation St, Charles resident. 

As time went by and we watched more people move in and out this became a bond between us.  We formed our own small tribe.  Now when we cruise the streets of the old town despite my having moved to Chicago there is a bitter sweet sense of ownership. 

As if we have far more right to be there than these masses milling about us. 

When I reflect further on the idea of an Urban tribe, or old neighborhood, close knit community, whatever I would probably have called it.  I assume it must be something akin to the sense that I get when my friend and I.  Spend a Friday night in downtown St. Charles bouncing between bars trying to find one that reminds us of the town as it was when it was just ours. 

What makes me a good friend:  I have no idea.  I, in my more self pitied moments, would say that nothing makes me a good friend and my friends are fools to have mistaken me for one.  But that’s not true.  I have too much respect for my friends to believe them so easily duped.  I am a good friend because I revere friendship. 

As with anyone I have certain lines I cannot cross with my family and remain comfortable.  I also have no significant other, although from what I’ve observed the same holds true as with the family.  But with friends I know I can be open with my weaknesses without fear of reprisal or undue reprimand.  And thusly I return the favor. 

I covet my friendships and hold onto them tightly.  I thusly am there when my services as friend/confidant/backup are needed.  I am a good friend because I expect more from myself in a friendship than I do of my friends.  This is not some weak willed bowing to the designs of others rather I expect more from myself because I can only control myself. 

I cannot ask my friends to bridge any gaps that may arise because they may not have to skills so I trust myself to be the one to reach out.  I trust myself to be the one who can swallow pride. 

This may seem unfair but I am also a good friend because other than my weakest moments I believe that (when you are with friends you love) fair doesn’t enter into it.

Published in: on March 29, 2008 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Brian brings the food issue home

Let me start by saying that I love food and everything that it entails. I love eating and making food. I love the smells, sights, tastes as well as that incredibly satisfied feeling you get when you eat just enough without overeating.

And the memories I have, I love those. 

Some of the best times I ever had with my mom was when we used to cook together in her kitchen at home. Her as head-chef and I as her sous-chef, we would create dish upon wonderful dish with her gentle guidance. So there’s that, my much-more-than fond association of food and cooking.

Plus, it’s damn sexy. I was taught to cook, not so that I could fend for myself, but primarily so that I could impress women.

That’s how it began, because I knew food was sexy, I was sexy vicariously (well, I’m sexy anyway). In the act of impressing women, which I did (or tried to do) fairly often, I found that Italian food contained both the sometimes easiest and the most difficult dishes to make.

It was simple to throw pasta in boiling water and create some sort of sauce to combine it with. Whether marinara, pesto, alfredo or scampi, all sauces were just scraps of things to let sit in a pan for a time, letting the individual ingredients lend their own uniqueness to the overall flavor. 

Not because I claim to be some sort of master chef, but just because somewhere along the line, each dish or sauce ended up tasting the same.

The challenge came from challenging myself and trying to mix it up a little bit.  In writing this (and I know how campy I’m going to sound) I am reminded that it’s much like working on this show.

Working together and whatnot, each actor puts in their two-cents with the director, each actor creates their own relationship experience with one another. As much as I enjoy the thought of being a groom in a play that, on the surface, is about a wedding, I’m finding that this is very much an ensemble piece.

Man, that sounded less corny in my mind. But I suppose it’s true. We are all invested in this show, emotionally or otherwise and I think we are all aiming to impress someone with what we come up with either ourselves or someone else. As for myself, I hope it’s a woman that I impress.

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nate dishes on…uh… dishes

To tell you the truth, I don’t know jack about Italian cooking besides the meals that I get at the local Olive Garden.  Oh and I really love Spaghettios….that’s Italian isn’t it?  I guess my toughest decision with Spaghettios is whether or not to get meatballs included. 

Let’s see… How many types of noodles I can name… Mostacholi, spaghetti, penne…yep that’s it. 

There is one thing that I have always questioned….When living in New York I had a favorite Italian restaurant that I ate at almost everyday and I put on about 20 pounds in 6 months…

It seems Italian food causes you to gain weight so why is everyone so skinny in Italy?  Makes no sense to me. 

The thing that really stands out to me and almost makes me jealous is the way that Italians do eat and this is kind of a dying culture in America, but it always seems that when Italian families get together, it’s always a big deal and there is always a lot of food.

Growing up when my family would get together to eat, we would have a small meal or sandwiches, but Italian families, it seems like its Thanksgiving dinner every night. 

Knowing what I know, Italian cooking is more then just eating, its about the people you eat it with and the environment you eat it in and that is something that’s special and you’ll never find that in any other culture. 

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dennis loves Italian food…

I freaking love Italian food.  It’s my favorite…hands down.  My Mom told me that all I would ever eat when I was really young was canned spaghetti and meatballs from Chef Boy Ar-Dee. 

Granted, that isn’t exactly Italian per se, but it was a good start to my Italian food eating career.  There really isn’t anything Italian that I don’t like – their bread is the best, add olive oil and parmesan and it’s even better.

Italian Wedding Soup is the delish, any kind of pasta with marinara sauce rules life, meatballs and Italian sausage are the best meats ever created, and let’s not forget PIZZA! 

If it wasn’t for pizza, I’d probably be 100 lbs lighter, but 80% less happier so it’s an even trade.  Just do the math.  

So now that I’m officially starving, I must go eat lunch… 

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

…and now a word from our sponsor…

Italian Lights; Not Stars
By Paul Barile
Directed by Rachel Rogers
Stage Manager Angela Schafer

April 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 7:30 p.m.

Keyhole Theatre
at the Josepheneum Academy
1500 North Bell in Chicago

Brian Barber – Megan E. Brown
Leslie Frame – Barbara Gayle
Zach Johnson-Dunlop – Scott Miller
Nate Polzin – Dennis Schnell
Keith Survillas -Will Wilson

For more information, call 773-282-0344
or log on at

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Leslie connects with Finola

Who I am, in the most relevant and vital sense with regard to my role as Finola, who I am is a girlfriend.

I have four very best girlfriends and they are the center of my world. Some fabulously intelligent person whose name  I cannot recall once said something to the effect of “Friends are the family we choose. Each awakens in us a whole world that did not exist before they came into our lives”.

My girlfriends are my family, my tribe.

As a function of being a girlfriend, I have also been a Maid of Honor. Three times. I understand the exhilarating and terrifying mental ins and outs of a woman about to walk down the aisle.

I know what Wedding Day looks like behind the scenes.

I have seen that glow, that unbelievable radiance over take many a bride.

I have also stared head long into the gaping maw of Bridezilla.

I once had to offer to call a cab and provide a last minute pre-ceremony escape for a bride who would not let go of a potted ficus tree.

Some brides are so nervous they cannot speak. Some brides are so happy they cannot stop laughing. Some brides are sure. Some brides are not so sure. Some brides cry.

A bride seems to hold all the light in the world, each in her in her moment.

While I have never been a bride myself, I have logged many hours in extensive study of the Bride in her natural habitat. And the knowledge and wisdom I bring from these observations in my capacity as eternal Maid of Honor are my most essential qualifications for this role.

Beyond being a seasoned Girlfriend and a frequent Maid of Honor, I am a Chicago girl, born and raised. I really think that says it all.

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brian talks about the Urban tribe

I used to blog constantly. A trend that faded slightly when I graduated from college and found less and less motivation to critically expound upon observations made in and on my life. In accepting my role in this show, I never thought that I would be coerced…oops, asked to write about my experiences, much less given topics at the behest of the playwright that seemed obscure at first glance.

But in thinking about what an Urban Tribe is, I realize that Tommy, my character and his mates are the epitome of said tribe. Granted, I had to do a some  research on what exactly an Urban Tribe consists of, but it’s easy to see with a little enlightenment.

An Urban Tribe is an expression coined to refer to “microgroups of people who share common interests in metropolitan areas.

The members of these relatively small groups tend to have similar worldviews, dress styles and behavioral patterns. Their social interactions are largely informal and emotionally-laden, different than late capitalism’s corporate-bourgeoisie cultures, based on dispassionate logic.” (Maffesoli 1985) Or so sayeth the all-knowing Wikipedia anyway

In my mind, I draw associations of friends that you’ve grown up with, that you have roughly the same conversations with after so much time has gone by. I think of people you know so well, that you know their attitudes and thoughts and mannerisms nearly as well as your own.

I also think of social circles of people that choose who gets in and who does not. Individuals can’t approach the tribe and expected to be acknowledged, much less accepted unless they unseat the head figure of the tribe.

Also, on that note, when I think of an Urban Tribe, I think of a loss of individuality.

As the neighborhood characters of the Italian Lights; Not Stars, Lenny, Feeb, and (my character) Tommy exhibit Urban Tribe qualities, they cease to be Lenny, Feeb and Tommy, but considered as one LennyFeebTommy. 

They are all considered in the same thought and the same breath. To know one is to know another. Not to say that there aren’t the individual dynamics between the three of them, but they are very much a group, with Tommy (the coolest) as the figure head. This stemmed from their lifelong friendships from childhood to present.

All being such neighborhood brats they were forced to grow up with each other and, in my mind, somewhat forced into becoming friends. They enjoy their roles in the group, but I think that comes from it being expected of them and what they are used to

I think I’ve started rambling, or at least I’ve got that quality in my mind, so I’m going to try to wrap this up. It’s been enjoyable to start blogging again, to some extent. However I think I’ve been agonizing for far  too long on how to come to some sort of conclusion. So I’m going.

I’m gonna be out with my Tribe.

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Scott on Italian Food

Italian food is everywhere.  You can go pretty much anywhere in this country and find an Italian restaurant somewhere near by.  If not, stop by at the nearest diner and they probably have at least spaghetti on the menu.

Granted, a lot of the Italian food we eat probably isn’t anywhere close to being authentic, but that’s part of the magnificence of it.  Italian influence can be found in the majority of American foods.

Throw pretty much whatever you want in with some pasta, garlic and olive oil and chances are it’ll turn out pretty tasty.  Believe me, I use at least one of those ingredients in almost everything I cook and I haven’t had any complaints yet.  At least, not to my face.

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nate Polzin Plays Anthony DiMenza

My name is Nate Polzin and I’m pretty much the best actor on the planet.  Okay, so maybe Brad Pitt is a little better.  I am really excited to be cast with this very talented group of actors in Italian Lights; Not Stars.  This is my first theater experience in the great city of Chicago and I am looking forward to launching my Chicago theater career with a bang. 

I’m a cheese-head at heart, growing up near the great city of Green Bay and this opportunity gives me a chance to keep my mind off the retirement of the great Brett Favre.  Yeah, depressing I know…. 

I was drawn to the role of Anthony because of the ego that he has and the respect that is given to him by the people around him.  Anthony is a take no prisoners type of guy and I knew this would be a fun role to play. 

I feel I can bring the ego, the muscle and the overall confidence that is needed for this role, oh and the good looks. 

I’m looking forward to bringing this entire Italian family to life and having a lot of fun in the process. 

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment