Author, Actor, Playwright, Excellent Parallel Parker

Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water are now available for Kindle and Nook!

Monday, March 24, 2014

In Which My Voice is Featured in "The Walking Dead"

I'm in the last episode of season 5 of THE WALKING DEAD. That's my voice in the trailer. Cool!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Meanwhile, thirty-odd years later...

I've been having professional headshots made every three years or so, since my mid-twenties. Black and white was the order of the day for actors in the 1980s. Then, as in the second half of The Wizard of Oz, color was invented. Looking at these two selves, I notice the older me is more engaged, though thinner of lip and extremely low on melatonin. Both have that oh-so-employable "Whaddayoulookinat?" attitude, and I particularly like the weird eyes in the recent shot. "Come another step closer and I may have to bite you," it says. Not exactly the message one wants to convey to a director, but hey, it beats, "I'm desperate," although not by much. I'm more in demand than I was in 1980-something, a testament to persistence rather than anything else. In this business, longevity pays. Stick around long enough and you might get lucky.
And we have been lucky. And we're grateful.

Now go on, get outtaheah before I get desperate.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In Which I Create a Spark

So I’ve been having trouble bonding with my house. We didn’t choose one another. It used to belong to my former husband and now it belongs to me. We’ve been cordial, the house and I, but really, we’re missing that spark. So I’m going to create one. A spark, that is.

I’m building a wood burning fireplace. Well, I’M not building it. I’m paying out the nose to have it built for me. It’s not finished. Right now, it looks like this:

And this:

I’m putting a lot of pressure on this fireplace. I’m convinced this fire place will bridge the gap between the house and I, make me want to come home to it, make it okay to sit quietly and read. Or write. Neither of which I’m doing enough of. In other words, I’m banking on this fireplace to make me fall in love with my house, and by association, my life.

I could be setting myself up for rejection and/or major disappointment. What if the fire place does nothing more than make my house smell like smoke?

That’s already happened, by the way. I lit a fire last week (after talking with the contractor, mind you, and getting his go-ahead) and everything went really well. Until it didn’t. I forgot about the tarp over the chimney.

The good news is, all the smoke detectors in my house work.

Did you know that you can yank the battery out of a smoke detector and it will CONTINUE to screech? True fact. Here’s another: it takes a day to air out a house that has been smoked. And it was a LITTLE fire. Teeny tiny. Like, it could hardly even melt a hunk of brie on a stick. Not that I tried that.

But things will be different tonight. Tonight, they’re calling for snow, and I’d REALLY like to fire up this sucker, move the couch back where it belongs, pour a brandy, sit down and pretend to read a book while smoke goes UP AND OUT of the chimney. That would make me really happy. That would make me love my house. That would make me love my life.

And if it doesn’t, then I’ll get a pony and name it Sparky. THEN I'll be happy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Voiceover for Brandermill Woods

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Some people were nice enough to give me an award...

Outstanding Women in the Arts: that's me and Anne Westrick. Congratulations to the other honorees: Sukenya Best, Amy Black, Susan Greenbaum, Laura Loe, Sara Belle November, Joan Olmstead Oates,  Terrie Powers Miller. So proud and grateful. Thank you Style Weekly and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My voiceover for Korbel

Friday, December 21, 2012

In Which I'm Still Here

It's December 21, 2012, and I'm still here. (Cue Elaine Stritch in full Sondheim regalia.)

One year ago today, I was shaken awake by two masked gunmen who put a pillow over my face, and held a gun to my head. After a four hour ordeal involving duct tape and lots of yelling (at me), the felons left with my wedding rings, some Christmas gifts, my laptop, cell phone, credit cards, and a few other easily pawned items. They are still at large.

When I asked my husband to replace my wedding rings, he didn't answer me. That's when I knew I was in real trouble. Ten days later, on January 1, he announced his intentions to leave our marriage. He refused marriage counseling, and my downward spiral began.

Yesterday, I spoke with my therapist, and she said something incredibly kind. She said, "Irene, seeing you and hearing you today is so far from what I heard and saw a year ago. I'll consider it a special Christmas gift."

Then I started blubbering like a blubbering blubberer, and she thought maybe she spoke too soon.

But you know what?

I feel good.

I found out this month that:

a) I do not have pre-cervical cancer (as feared) and get to keep my lady parts,

b)  I am cast in a lovely role in Noel Coward's Hay Fever at Virginia Repertory Theatre,

c)  my play, Miss Palmer's School of Penmanship and Civil Behavior will have a reading in Kansas City,

d)  I am being considered (along with 4 others) to write an exciting new play that I can't talk about yet,

e) and that I am "a very beautiful woman," this being said not by my mother, but by someone who has gently touched my face and my heart.

This blog marks the end of a writing block that has shaken my self-confidence, and hollowed my soul. What's there to blog about when the black dog has you around the middle and is giving you the good ol rag doll shake? But that's over now. Thanks to Prozac (hey, big fan here) and sleeping pills, I have wakened refreshed, and can see the sky.

On my birthday, December 7, a friend took me inside the Jefferson Hotel just to soak up the Christmas atmosphere. I watched parents taking pictures of their red velvet children in front of nutcrackers, ribbon, and poinsettias. The tree in the lobby drew every eye to that glorious ceiling, and I thought, "Where has Christmas been?" I felt, literally, as if I was waking up after a year-long nightmare. Thank you, friend, for taking me there.

And thank you Kristin Swansen, for your literary salon. And thank you Bill Patton for tennis and company (you stubborn old goat). Thank you Melissa Rayford for caring so deeply. Thank you Terry Duncan, for Thanksgiving and holding me. And thank you mom and dad, for coming to see me and helping me in the yard. This spring, the fruits of efforts will pay off, and my world will have color. Thank you Dorothy Holland and my kids in Acting 201. You forced my brain onto a familiar track, challenged, and gave me joy.

Thank you everyone I will see today for coffee, cookies, creative thinking, wine, and love.

I'm changing my name back to Irene Mary Ziegler, but that's the only thing I'm carrying forward from my old life.  I'm stepping onto a new stage, and I'm going to make it my bitch.