Author Archives: Flavia

BACKSTAGE : THE GODDESS

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Awhile back, I invited those of you who live near by to come see The Goddess, a play I had been working on. We closed in November and I’ve since been experiencing dressing room withdrawal. We were a very large cast of 17, extremely focused and easy-going group of actors. Goddess was a glamorous period piece, Hollywood in the 50′s fashion. You can probably imagine a lot of our time backstage was consumed by hot-rollers, bold lips, and cat-eyes.

Not the easiest but indeed the most fun. Putting on a show brought us here, but the energy exchanged during the daily get-ready ritual brought us close together, which I’m sure reflected positively in the work as a whole. Of all expectations involved in being in a play, I couldn’t quite picture that the wait to get back on-stage would be filled with so much warmth.

 

SLOWING DOWN

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These past few weeks have been a little busy for me. Aside from all the holiday prepping, I’m also getting things organized and ready to leave for Brazil for New Years. My goal starting today is to slow down ( or so I wish ) and fully enjoy the Holiday season before Christmas slips by. Aside from packing summer dresses and swim suits ( it’s the peak of summer down south ) I’m really looking forward to some family time both in the US and South America.

One of my favorite new traditions is our holiday card. Last year, we did a 50′s homemaker inspired theme and received some great compliments from family and friends. I honestly think we set the bar high and it’ll be tough to top it this year, but we’ll try. Perhaps I’ll share the new photo here or instagram and you can tell me which is your favorite. It’s so fun to look back at these holiday cards. We love doing them. I’m also looking forward to our big secret santa extravaganza party with friends in Indianapolis next weekend. But for now, I better get back to my checklist. Any cool holiday traditions to share? I’m so curious.

POPCORN : AMELIE

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Amélie is one’s of those movies I’ve always known I would enjoy but for some reason I can’t explain, took me too long to watch. Despite the huge popularity it gained in the US, I had also heard the movie was a great source of inspiration for someone who is tackling screenwriting and whoever said that is an Einstein. I’ve been writing, slowly but surely. Back to the movie though, it breaks many ground rules of screenwriting from the start. Descriptive narration is constant. The main characters hardly ever speak to each other and fantasy blends in with reality unapologetically. It’s just brilliant.

When still a child, a few tragedies happen in Amélie’s life. Two consecutive deaths in the family are enough to transform Amélie into a very shy and recluse young lady. One day she finds a box buried under the bathroom tile full of treasures from someone’s past. Instead of leaving it alone she decides to go on a journey to find the original owner and that’s when her life begins taking a clever turn.

Adult Amélie is played by Aubrey Tautou and I couldn’t help but observe that even though she’s a grown woman, living on her own in Paris, there’s a childish quality to her behavior that follows her everywhere. Even after falling in love she still carries that innocent but mischievous look on her face that is so intriguing. I honestly could never look at this character and think of her as the woman she is, with her grown-up job, her vintage apartment and her peculiar friends (or lack of them). That’s what’s so fascinating about Amélie. She gives us permission to look at her and really see the vulnerable child inside, while most of us spend our lives trying to camouflage what’s left of it.

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CURRENTLY : 01

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PACKING for a road-trip to Indiana where Elliott’s family gathers for Thanksgiving every year. Also on my checklist before heading south : plan this year’s table setup, snacks + candy grocery shopping, create playlists for the car. Then we can hit the gas.

CATCHING UP on my reading after a nearly three month commitment to a show and no spare time to open a book or magazine.  Right at the top of my pile are three volumes of French author George Sadoul’s Histoire Générale du Cinema about the history of world cinema. I got the Portuguese version because sadly, the series was never translated to English.

BAKING a deliciously moist banana bread recipe to share at the table with my loved ones. The secret ( from a castmate ) is banana bread mix from Trader Joe’s and two bananas for extra moistness. In the past I’d have been opposed to this but I’ve learned that not everything delicious has to be made from scratch.

LOOKING FORWARD TO doing absolutely nothing for at least a day or two during the holiday break. It’s so easy to get caught-up in being productive and forget that my mind needs rest too. Time is a limited commodity and sometimes I just need to unplug and enjoy idleness.

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BODY AND MIND : WORK IT OUT

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Last year a little before summer began to fade, I asked my husband to snap a few shots of me in a bikini while at my in-laws pool. I had recently flown in back from Brazil, meaning I was eating like there was no tomorrow and we were on our way back from the perfect weekend getaway. When I looked at the camera monitor to see how the photos were coming out, I nearly had a breakdown. I saw something I’d been avoiding for months.

It was a version of myself I did not care for.  Far beyond my ideal weight, I couldn’t help but feel very, very angry for the lack of respect for my own well-being. Oh yes, I cried. I also jumped in the pool, clothes-on because I’m dramatic like that. Now, before anyone starts making assumptions, I’m not talking about a serious case of obesity, an eating disorder, peer or media pressure. This is about me, an average size girl who lost track of her continuously terrible eating habits.  And if you don’t believe me, I put on belly weight only, and some face. Easy to sneak-in.

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POPCORN : THE GODDESS

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It’s been days since I’ve wanted to extend a very special invitation to my Midwest folks. Last month I’ve made my Chicago theatre debut in a first-time adaptation based on oscar-nominated screenplay The Goddess by Paddy Chayefsky at The Artistic Home. Set in Hollywood’s Golden Age, the play shines a white-hot spotlight on the making of a Hollywood star, Rita Shawn and her quest for fame and love.

A little insider’s secret, the story is rumored to be based off Marilyn Monroe’s life, besides Chayefsky denial. The brilliancy of it all comes with the realization that even though the story takes place over six decades ago, the topic has never been so current. I’ve been directed by the superb, John Mossman and it has truly been an honor. We were welcomed with a Jeff Recommendation, exciting press and fantastic reviews following opening while I get to play Hollywood dress-up four nights a week.

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PEN AND PAPER : BACK TO REALITY

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Hi there! It’s been long enough. After doing a lot of thinking about the blog and the direction it had taken, I decided it was a good time to take a break. Taking the time to reflect on what was important to me, and the role the blog assumed in my life was extremely necessary and re-energizing. When I began putting things in perspective I also made a few discoveries about myself. They ranged from my writing style to how I felt about the way I self-portrayed here. And I came to the conclusion that certain things were falling out of place.

Lulu Abroad was born soon after I graduated from college. My husband and I had just moved to Chicago and although we were very excited I was also terrified with the possibility of not finding a job right away. A blog just made sense. It gave me something to do and served as a great creative outlet. And let’s be honest, that’s what everyone else was doing so I figured I should have one too. And although it was all for fun at the beginning, it slowly began taking over my life. I realized early on that the field was oversaturated and that there were a ton of girls doing exactly the same thing. My chances of standing out and succeeding in a crowd of a million were slim. But if I was doing it for the pleasure, why should it matter? Well, it did.

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