The first straight play (non-musical) I did in college was Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge. That was the semester I was supposed to be taking a break from theater to focus on my studies. I only went to the audition to help out as a reader. And because I had nothing to lose I gave it my all and I got cast in lead. And so it was a wonderful surprise when my then director and former professor recently invited me to see a matinée performance of the new Broadway production of the show at The Lyceum Theater.
New Yorkers are not rude people. It’s just that we can get through the day without a lot of extraneous chitchat. We can communicate with each other with a quick chin lift, a head nod, and if need be, a series of simple yet eloquent hand gestures. When I first began travelling outside the City, I was baffled by the strangers who spoke to me for what seemed like no reason. ‘Good morning?’ What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is this a set up? What kind of scam are you running here? ...
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My Seven Favorite Moments from The Con
I was invited to perform at my very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. For science fiction/fantasy fans this is like being asked to suit up and be the starting quarterback for your favorite team during the Super Bowl. I am not a casual sci-fi fan. It’s my area of expertise when I co-host StarTalk with Neil de Grasse Tyson. I’ll spare you my long list of book, movie, and TV show loves. Just know that my geek runs deep, or so I thought until I got to Dragon Con.
Jun 10th, 2015 by theurbanerma
I’m geeked to be working in San Francisco this summer. They say its California’s version of New York, so I feel right at home in another city I can't afford to live in. Since it’s my first time in this bucket list city – I already gotchu, Minneapolis – I intend to make the most it. My first official tourist act was strolling through The Mission. Well, actually, the first Cali thing I did was go shopping at Ross. I bought an $8 dress that probably won’t last the week, but it's pretty and it made me happy. READ THE BLOG
Thanks to Netflix I’ve now watched all 10 seasons of Futurama, the science fiction animated cartoon series created by Matt Groening (Simpsons). It began in 1999 on FOX and ended in 2013 on Comedy Central. Digesting 14 years worth of an awarding-winning TV show in just a few months adds to my sci-fi street cred but it’s changed me. READ THE BLOG
When a friend group texted that she was getting a pair of dogs – golden doodles, adorable – for her daughters, we immediately began suggesting pet names. Over the course of two days (geez, maybe it was three) we all had a blast sharing possible nom de pups that I saw had cultural, musical, and generational relevance. In an example of the upside of drinking and texting we began with "Barnes & Noble" and ended with "Simon & Schuster." Take a look at our list and see if we missed any. Feel free to add to the list and share which one you like the best. READ THE BLOG
“Baby Girl.” That’s what James Evans, the father on Good Times, called his daughter, Thelma. Years later it’s also how Bernie Mac referred to his youngest niece on his self-titled TV show. Baby Girl is a familial term of endearment within the African-American community. In my family I’ve had many pet names including – but not limited to – Boo, Slow Poke, Madam, and She Who Must Be Obeyed 2.0. READ THE BLOG
Someone said, “Leighann, what’s your favorite romantic movie?” Believe it or not I’ve never been asked that before so I had to think about it for a second. My head tilted to the left, my eyes stared off into space, and my body went still. I do that sometimes when completely caught off guard. It looks like I’m processing a data download from My Mothership. “What’s my favorite romantic movie?” I was as shocked as anyone when I heard myself say, Hellraiser.
One of my biggest fears is that I’ll get a Phone Call From Home in the Middle of the Night when I’m too far away to do anything about it and once again I’ll be angry that we still don’t have Star Trek transporter technology; and disgusted that we invest more time and money in restricting human movement then in facilitating it. READ AND ENJOY THE BLOG at TheUrbanErma.com.
Jan 22nd, 2015 by theurbanerma
One day when I was waiting for the subway, a young woman with an expensive camera introduced herself as a Columbia University graduate student in its photojournalism program and asked permission to take my picture. If it was a scam – and I always think everything’s a scam – it sounded like a good one so I said, yes. When my train came and we were about to part ways I gave her my business card hoping she’d send me one of the pictures but equally sure I’d never hear from her again. But she emailed me that night and asked if I would be the subject of her day-in-the-life class project. Again, I said, yes. READ THE BLOG