Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out on vacation...

I should come up with something more snazzy like, "Gone fishin'" except Toto doesn't fish, and "Running around the plains chasing the chickens" sounds like more work than anything else.

All to say is that Toto and myself will be back on February 9th or so, check back then.


Amy Heidish

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ask Toto A Question #4

Dear ToTo,

How does it make you feel when people call you 'too too' with the oooo sound? Does it make you feel like dancing the nutcracker?! Just curious!

There's no place like home,

Hi Joooooooooles!

The good thing about my name is that it’s kinda hard to pronounce wrong. Unless Aunt Em’s drinking the hard stuff again. Then it’s “Too Too” all over the place. And she makes me dance. You humans love to dance with dogs, don’t ya? The whole picking up the front paws, and having us teeter dangerously on our paws walking backwards. And you think it’s so cute, oooh oooh look at that, we’re DANCING! Of course we’re dancing! You won’t let go of our front feet! We got nowhere else to go!

Trust me, I’m a heckuva dancer when all four paws are on the ground, okay? Have you seen the end credits to Slumdog Millionaire? I can TOTALLY do that dance, okay? Dorothy wears the tutu and dances to the Sugarplum Fairy, but I can Jai Ho like nobody’s business, ha ha ha. Thanks!

Ask Toto A Question runs every other week until the questions run out. Don’t let that happen! Send Toto your queries at

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Have A Director!

In my many years of writing and producing theater in Los Angeles, I have seen a lot of things go wrong. I’ve had actors drop out, directors drop out, props break onstage, costume nightmares, last minute switch ups in venues, cranky theater owners, directors and stage managers screaming at each other. I’ve had to let actors go, sometimes early in the process, once two days before opening night (that wasn’t fun.)

I’m not the only one this happens too, by the way. Plenty of my playwright/producer friends have had the exact same issues. I haven’t produced anywhere except Los Angeles, so I’m not sure if these mishaps happen everywhere, or if L.A. is just special in the way that 99 seat theater is considered the ugly redheaded stepchild of TV and film work. Actors follow the money, I suppose I can’t blame them. Respect for the craft might be nice, but whatever.

It’s gotten to the point where I fully expect something to go wrong, and mentally prep myself for something to go wrong, and all I ask is that the bumps in the road come at the beginning, as opposed to the end. I’m a Give Me The Bad News First kind of gal, ‘cause then the Good News leaves me on an up note.

But this time, the Good News has come first, and I’m choosing to take it as a sign that there will be more good news than bad.

And that is, I have a director! The lovely Kelly Ann Ford has agreed to hop aboard the Toto Train to Merriment. The Ark Theatee Company suggested her and she liked the script, and let the fun begin!

She’s been directing for quite awhile on the Los Angeles theater scene, she’s award winning! She’s big stuff, and we had our first meeting on Thursday. We got along well, and she even said she was prepared to direct the draft I gave her. Thank God that’s not the case, as I can do much much better than the current draft. As soon as I can find the time to write, heh.

But yay! Someone else is on board! I told her she’ll have to contribute a column soon. Hope that doesn’t scare her off.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ask Toto A Question #3

hey toto -

after judy garland's death in 1969, you toured briefly with pink floyd. were you involved on the studio sessions for "dark side of the moon," released 3 years later?

if so, did you ask the band to time the music as an alternative score to "wizard of oz?" and if so, was that your homage to judy garland?

SR, West Hollywood

Ah yes, I do get this question occasionally.

Dorothy still has no idea what people are talking about when it comes up, because I can’t get her to start the CD at the right point of the DVD (she can never anticipate the MGM Lion’s third roar, and we ALL know that’s the one for the superior synching alignment experience.)

Let me put it this way, SR. Do you own an Ipod or perhaps an Itouch? Ever used the Shuffle feature on it? Do you ever think to yourself, “Wow, that’s amazing, all my favorite songs are cued up one, right after another? How does that Ipod or Itouch know what my favorite music is?”

Fact of the matter is, it doesn’t, okay? But you’ve loaded it with mostly your favorite songs (or deleted the ones you like less) so is it any wonder that what happens during the shuffle is a shuffle of your favorite songs?

Coincidence is a powerful thing, but only gets you so far. “Any Color You Like” during the Dorothy/ Scarecrow “If I Only Had A Brain” scene? When “Brain Damage” would’ve been a much better choice, and only one track listing away? Starts to fall apart on examination, doesn’t it. And as much as I would like to take credit for influencing Pink Floyd in a maybe tribute to Ms. Garland, they were always bigger Monty Python fans than they were of Wizard of Oz.

Frankly, the experience of watching Wizard of Oz while listening to Dark Side of The Moon gets old after 15 minutes or so. That’s when people at most of the parties that I’ve been at head out onto the patio to fire up a (A WHAT, Toto? D) up the campfire? So we can roast S’mores?

It’s okay, though, SR. I don’t mind answering that question again. Reminds me of the good old days, of early quadraphonic sound systems, bad 70s hair, and mind’mores. Thanks for asking!

Ask Toto A Question runs every other week until the questions run out. Don’t let that happen! Send Toto your queries at