Muncie Local: Moore-Youse House Museum

The first time people found out that we were eventually moving to Muncie, Indiana for Marco’s new job, they were all like “Where is that? or “What’s there?”. A handful of people have heard of the place but for the majority they probably think its in the middle of nowhere (although our common go-to phrase has been “its 50 minutes away from Indianapolis” and its worked out just fine). Contrary to popular belief, Muncie isn’t as small as you think and I have heard of 2 famous people from this side of town (Woaaahhh) so I think that should count as something right? There’s David Letterman, the late night talk show host and Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield and if you still haven’t heard of any of the two that I mentioned then….I guess you google them. haha.

Usually when we travel, Marco and I take it as a challenge to find out what’s good about the place. He usually searches for good food places and hole-in-the-walls while I try to see the “Things to do” in the area which usually involves museums, art galleries, vineyards, parks, zoos, places that are more or less baby friendly since we’ve had Cassie. It’s no surprise that I’m treating Muncie similar to a place of travel, I guess you could say I’m trying to get to know the place, right?

So for our first stop, the Moore-Youse Home Museum.

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From my understanding, this home is said to be the oldest standing house in Downtown Muncie. It was built around the 1860s and was family owned for years until it was donated to the Delaware County Historical Society in 1982. The hours open vary depending on which website you happen to stumble upon so I suggest that you call 765-282-1150 to confirm. They also carry different information concerning the admission prices, some will say $2/ person (which isn’t much, really) while other websites will say its free of charge and donations are appreciated. Personally, during our visit they didn’t charge us anything for admission but we made sure to provide a generous donation.

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The room to the right, as soon as you enter, contained pieces of artwork and posters from a local artist named Eugene Mumaw. I understand that this was a temporary exhibit and I’d have to say that I enjoyed it immensely as he was the man behind the local theater’s historic posters for 30 years.

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Upstairs, two rooms were restored and allowed for viewing and I was pretty excited to see how they set up the place. The thing I love with house museums is the idea of getting a chance to peer into how these people lived their lives in the past, of course a good imagination is somewhat required but the environment or room, rather contributes a lot. They showcased the master bedroom and the children’s bedroom.

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I found the children’s bedroom very intriguing and rather creepy (although I am a big fan of “creepy”) because it had a good amount of eerily placed dolls all over the room as you can see for yourself. I’m pretty sure my brother Paulo would have freaked out, he’s such a big baby when it comes to dolls and clowns.

After taking time to check out the little vintage bits and baubles they had in the second floor, we headed back to the first floor to check the last room that we haven’t been into.

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An assortment of historical displays from US naval uniforms to intricate hand sewn/ embroidered dresses and accessories.

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As for the museum being kid-friendly, let’s just say my one and a half year old survived the place, older kids would do fine too as long as they don’t do anything crazy like jumping on the vintage beds and breaking the antique items they have on display as these items are very accessible. For tweens and teens, there is a chance for them to find this place very interesting, and its not really an extensive look-back into history so I doubt they would even find the time find it boring.

If you happen to be in town, I suggest you come by and visit this house museum. Here’s the address to type in your GPS:

122 E Washington St, Muncie, IN 47305

Enjoy!

~Rhea

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University Diaries: Geek Chic

(TOP: muscle crop top, UP Bazaar; P60/ SKIRT: pencil skirt, F21/ SHOES: sneaker wedges, Image/ PURSE: Kenneth Cole Reaction/ ACCESSORIES: Turban and Earrings, F21)

Okay….so I wouldn’t exactly wear this to UP on a normal school day but I figured that going to school early in the morning on a weekend for a performance should still count as part of my “University Diaries” so here’s what I looked like after a 10AM show for DUP’s The Country Wife.

Believe me when I say that sometimes I go for function “other” (and not rather) than fashion— this muscle crop top is what I usually wear when working out at home and since the staff and actors usually do warm ups for weekend morning shows to help us loosen up right before the performance, it’d be the easiest to move in this besides I needed to wear something that I could easily take off without messing up my curls. The pencil skirt serves as a “half slip” under my petticoat and the bag is just a perfect size for my script and other knick knacks like my make up, make up brushes, sachets of Kopiko 3-in-1 coffee and makeup wipes to name a few.

The turban I use not only as a hairpiece but also as a cosmetic headband to keep my hair away from my face while putting on my make up. Sad to say I am not wearing these specs for fashion sake, they’re real and I need them badly especially when I’m applying my make up backstage or reviewing my script right before “open house”.

The sneaker wedges—-for the additional inches, what’s new? Haha.

So there it is…a theater actor’s “very functional” take on Geek Chic. Enjoy!

~Rhea

“Lucy…Lucy!!!”

It’s been 7 years since the time I was supposed to graduate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman (not too long considering the fact that UP theater students are notorious for that), and it’s safe to say that it also has been 7 years since the last time I’ve set foot on the Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero Theater stage. Two words—-nostalgic and nerve-racking.

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Backstage at today’s 10am show with the girls and our beloved director Tony Mabesa. #Sundayfunday

After I got married last June to my boyfriend of 9 years and fiancé of 2 years, Marco and I decided that it would be best for us to stay awhile and finally work on my thesis instead of flying back to Houston. I was hesitant partly because I wanted to start working on a routine for us as a newly married couple in Houston, my current comfort zone (get jobs, pay bills, save up for a house and maybe start our own family) and partly because I was anxious and scared as hell to be on stage again. So when the call for auditions came out, I was fretting like crazy but I went through it anyway. I decided to go on the first day of auditions to get it over with and it was strange seeing familiar faces, more or less the same people I’d bump into when I used to audition for plays a few years back. It was nice to see some good ‘ol friends also going through the audition process with me, we were handed a section of the script and we were asked to read some lines. I did my best to act like I wasn’t nervous… I might have failed miserably but I gave it my best shot. If I remember correctly, the number of auditionees reached 40 that day, but they might have cut down that number since Sir Tony had to leave early.

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Dulaang UP’s Audition Poster for The Country Wife

A week after auditions the results came out…I GOT IN!!!! Thank God!

Performance thesis, here I come.

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Dulaang UP’s Audition results for The Country Wife

You can only imagine how anxious I felt when I was handed a 162-page script for both the English and Filipino version. Sir Tony announced that he wanted us to learn both languages so we would be equipped to do both…now, that’s twice the challenge but when you’re in a Dulaang UP play under Sir Tony Mabesa, you never say never. The first day I walked in Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY) for rehearsals, the first thing he asked me was…

“Sino Ka?” (Who are you?)

“Rhea, sir. I’m playing Lucy, sir.” I replied.

“O, hahawakan ka sa boobs ha…ok lang?” (Your boobs are going to get groped , is that okay?)

Yep, with Sir Tony you never say never. Thank God he changed his mind!

After that I decided to ask him if I could officially make this my performance thesis for my bachelors degree and he agreed with no hesitation. Before migrating to the US in 2007, I was set to do my performance thesis on a Shakespeare play also directed by Sir Tony but wasn’t able to push through with it because I had to leave right away. I left with a heavy heart thinking that I missed my chance to be mentored by the one and only Tony Mabesa, it’s funny how 7 years after I am back where I left off and I am extremely grateful for that. From what I hear this might be the first and last Restoration Comedy Sir Tony is doing, come to think of it, I made it just in time.

 We rehearsed consistently on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and when one of us would miss rehearsals he/she would bring the cast and the staff something to eat. Boy, did we have a feast all the time. Haha. But rehearsals were not just about pigging out and making new friends, every single one of the cast and the staff gave this production their all. We all worked hard adjusting to the language (or languages for that matter), adjusting our schedules, adjusting to each other, adjusting to changes, adjusting to new lines, new blocking, new set, new rehearsal venue—It’s really amazing how the theater is capable of bringing wonderfully talented people with totally different backgrounds, different eccentricities and different quirks but one passion and that is what we have brought to the stage of the Guerrero Theater.

Here are the sensational actors and actresses that I get to work with in no particular order (unlike the promotional posters and the playbills, haha), the cast of Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife/ Ang Misis Kong Promdi, Directed by the one and only Tony Mabesa and Translation by the multi-awarded playwright Nicholas Pichay.

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Sir Tony Mabesa

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 Sue Prado, Sari Estrada and Martha Comia as Margery Pinchwife

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George de Jesus and Tarek El Tayech as Mr. Pinchwife

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Neil Ryan Sese and Jay Gonzaga as Mr. Horner

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RS Francisco, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino and Arvin Trinidad as Sparkish

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 Issa Litton and Karen Gaerlan as Alithea

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Ian Ignacio and Carlo Tarobal as Harcourt

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Jacques Borlaza and Leo Rialp as Sir Jasper Fidget

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Adriana Agcaoili and Dolly de Leon as Lady Fidget

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Rizzy Alejandro and Bea Paloma as Dainty Fidget

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Chona Fernando, Ron Biñas and Joanna Lerio as Mrs. Squeamish

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Francis Mata and Ces Aldaba as Doctor Quack

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Brian Arda and Sigmund Pecho as Dorilant

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Ms. Aurora Yumul as Old Lady Squeamish

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Giancarlo Patelo and Joseph Nabong as the Servant

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..and last but not the least Regina Ramas – Mendezona (me!) and Yvonne Ricaro as Lucy.

Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife Rehearsal Clip

—-And now for my shameless plug!!!

Don’t forget to catch me as “Lucy” on these remaining dates:

The Country Wife:
November 22 SAT, 3 pm
November 27 THU, 7 pm
November 29 SAT, 10 am
December 6 SAT, 3 pm

Ang Misis Kong Promdi:

November 20 THU, 7 pm
November 23 SUN, 10 am
November 28 FRI, 7 pm GALA
November 30 SUN, 10 am 
December 4 THU, 7 pm
December 6 SAT, 7 pm
December 7 SUN, 10 am

Country Wife Press Interview

P.S. You might have heard reviews about our play to be a bit raunchy, vulgar or sexually explicit but as Sir Tony Mabesa would say … “The theater should disturb and excite” and that is precisely what we’re doing.

Now, pick a date, buy your tickets and catch us on stage! See you there!

~Rhea

Chasing the Fiddler

Superstar much. Cool beans!

I made it in. Thank God.

Erik and his stage facial-hairs. Haha.

A quick Hi and Bye. Let’s catch up next time, dear.

The most artistic, most creative and most brilliant minds I’ve ever encountered were always in the theater and yet it was also in the theater where I’ve come across a bunch of not-so-nice people—the divas/divos, the ill-tempered, the dictators, the schizophrenics, the backstabbers and the bipolars; pretty much every single one with a personality problem (count me in, haha) are behind those bright red curtains. Sometime when you’re lucky you come across one or two that are genuinely nice and it’s a no-brainer that they’re for keeps.

When I did Oliver, I was blessed to have met more than a handful of those and those who are all too familiar with the theater industry know that each run comes to an end one way or the other and so it is up to us to keep whatever relationships we’ve established going. Not all the time you get a chance to share thesame stage with them and so I do my best to support my friends in their upcoming productions.

Erik, one of our Fagin’s from Oliver landed the role of Fiddler for HFAC’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Even before their show opened i promised him that I would watch one of his shows. The production run was from July 12-28 and I figured I had all the time to pick which show to watch within those 3 weeks. For plays, I normally pick the middle week, I let the 1st week slide by coz that’s always considered the adjustment week, the time where everyone is fixing their kinks. On the second week, an unexpected long distance complication caught me by surprise and I was distraught pretty much the remaining days of the week. I had one week left, Friday came and I called for tickets and the show was SOLD OUT. They said If I did show up, they could put me on the waiting list and could possibly get a ticket. I ‘googled maps’ the place and it was 45 minutes away from home without traffic. I decided to wait ’till the next day. On Saturday, after all the painting was done I called once again and they said thesame thing—SOLD OUT and show up for possible tickets. I had a bachelorette party that night and knew that there was no way I could take the risk of driving 45 minutes away only to find out that there were no tickets left so I decided to wait for the last day—Sunday.

I’m not sure how I thought Sunday would be a lot better because when I called they were completely SOLD OUT. They didn’t even offer the waitlist anymore and I felt so bad coz I had all the time to watch it, I wasn’t sure what I was going to tell Erik. It’s a good thing my fiance advised me the night before to just go anyway and make that effort to be there, at least I could tell Erik I tried. If I couldn’t get any tickets Plan B was to get him flowers and leave it there so he could get them by curtain call. So I did the 45 minute drive, only to find out 10 minutes away from my destination that I was driving to the WRONG PLACE. For this production, HFAC decided to do it at a bigger/better venue which was 15 minutes away from where I was and as it is I was running late for the “possible waitlist”. This was going sooooo WRONG but I kept praying anyway. So I finally got there 30 minutes before the show and I walked in, acted stupid and asked them  if I could purchase a ticket. They said tickets were sold out but they could put me on the waitlist and I was just grateful they were even gonna put my name on there. There were probably 6 people in front of me but I figured my chances were a lot better since I only needed one ticket and they were in 2s or 3s. Prepared for defeat, I overheard a lady selling tickets to the couple behind me  for $8. The tickets were selling at $15-$20, while the couple took out money to pay her, I couldn’t help but stare at the lady, my face silently asking her why she didn’t offer them to me, I was literally a few inches away! I guess the stare was too obvious because she looked at me, smiled and asked me if I wanted to buy one, she was selling 2 more. I immediately said YES and started to look for cash. Uh-oh. I remembered that I usually don’t carry cash—I have debit, credit, check and loose change but no bills; I went through my purse anyway. Yes! I found a $5 bill now $3 more, I was ready to pay her with loose change when I found another $5 bill folded neatly in one of the small pockets of my wallet.  The lady said she would look for change and I told her that she need not to—I honestly thought she was an angel. So just like that I got my ticket, grabbed a playbill, walked in the theatre, had an usher show me my seat and it was third row from the stage, very close to the middle. WOW! really good seats for half the price. Yep, that was an Angel that helped me get in.

As for Erik’s performance—he was FANTASTIC. I knew he could play the violin but didn’t think he ROCKED at it. I’d have to say that, that was World-Class performance especially when he played those musical pieces during intermission. BRAVO dearie! So I’m guessing you’re a quadruple threat—you can sing, act, dance and play the violin. Hah! I am so proud of you!

I chased the Fiddler. Now, I’ll have to catch him as Angel in Rent. Oh, this boy!

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WHAT I WORE:

(TOP: 5, 7, 9/ SKIRT: thrifted/ PURSE: thrifted from Goodwill/ SHOES: Necessary Clothing/ BELT: from Mita Bo/ WATCH: New York and Company/ BANGLE: Charming Charlie’s from Rachel/ EARRINGS: Colorado Mint/ SUNGLASSES: Shasa)

Top and Skirt from Pauline’s Closet. Hah! My turn to borrow clothes.

Comfy Denim Button-ups are a must-have

~Rhea

Museums and Musicales ❤

One wonderful thing that I adore about the United States is their Free Museum Day which usually is scheduled on Thursdays (here in Houston anyway). Truly it satisfies an individual’s thirst for knowledge without having to spend an arm and a leg for it. And it makes me smile to see kids who are constantly hungry for education, to learn something new. Not everyone can appreciate Art—museums, musicals, ballets, operas etc.,and you can’t force someone to learn to like Art, it just doesn’t work that way. I’d like to think I’m one of those blessed few who can genuinely enjoy a whole afternoon stroll at the museum. 

They say “An Idle Mind is the Devil’s Workshop”, that probably is VERY true and I don’t have any intentions of just sitting here and waiting to find out. This was my initiative to take the kids (my siblings) out and explore the museum district. Their minds are not necessarily “idle” but I don’t think the constant use of iphones, ipads, the television and the computer is good for the mind either. Sure, there’s Google–you can just sit there and learn a lot of stuff from the internet and there are a bunch of educational reads and games online but the actual experience of watching a play and going through the walls of a museum is a whole new experience in itself—it is just PRICELESS.

And here we are—Houston’s very own Children’s Museum

The kids’ most favorite thing at the museum and did I mention that it’s also the most crowded section next to the Kidopolis.

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KIDDIE TENDENCY #1: Acting giddy inside the museum

Angelie’s creation survived the test of Sturdiness

KIDDIE TENDENCY # 2:  Expressing my creative side through LEGO

(Note to Via Antonio: naiisip kong nakawin ang LEGO para sa BrickItOn mo, haha)

You’d be surprised how a $1.00 fruit bar can make you feel like a millionaire on a hot scorching day.

KIDDIE TENDENCY #3: Eating Ice Cream and sitting at the side of the walkway

After the free trip to the Children’s Museum, we walked to the Miller Outdoor Theatre for Theater Under the Stars’ Production of Chorus Line and failed to get free tickets. Ugh, I don’t want to stay on the hill.

Waiting until they announce the release of the unoccupied seats. Yes, we scored half a row for all of us.

TUT’s CHORUS LINE—Woohoo, here we go!

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Photo care of the Houston Chronicle

 

One of the strongest images  A Chorus Line left with me—truly impacting

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WHAT I WORE:

(BODYSUIT: thrifted/ SKIRT: abastract; Forever 21 thrifted from Plato’s Closet/ BELT: 5,7,9/ WEDGE SNEAKERS: Image/ CLUTCH: Vera Wang/ EARRINGS: from Philippines/ WATCH: Big Lots/ SUNNIES: Shasa)

Electrifying Blue pop-outs

a stroll in the garden before heading out to Miller Theatre

Neon. Shapes.Prints.

Love how these cinch belts create the image that I have a very small waist

I’m not a sneaker person but I had to get one of these to feel the difference of the wedge-factor. Haha.

~Rhea