Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ask Toto A Question # 11

So, Toto, what were you doing when Dorothy passed out on the bed while you were in the twister?

Tish Dragonette Hargens

Hi Tish!

Excellent question! First, let’s consider the context – Here we are, running across the house, trying to follow Aunt Em to the cellar. Can I just point out that Aunt Em went down to the cellar FIRST!? Did she herd us down there in front of her? Did she try to make sure we were okay? Nope, she went down first. What can we learn from this? Aunt Em is not someone you want to have seated next to you on a crashing airplane. Aunt Em is out for herself and nobody else. Heh.

Secondly, Dorothy did not “pass out” or “get hit on the head from a flimsy window frame” as a certain movie would have you believe. The house was rocking from the winds very gently, so it basically rocked Dorothy to sleep, much like a cruise ship trying to outrun a hurricane in the Caribbean, ho ho ho.

But I couldn’t sleep. Nope, not me. HELLO! FLYING HOUSE ANYONE!? Who could sleep at a time like that, right?

There wasn’t anything I could do to stop the house from rocking and rolling, and I was too wired to sleep, so I did what any normal dog would do, and I practiced my salsa steps. (Nobody likes to salsa dance in Kansas.) I wanna be as good as these guys, see?

I think I could at least take Rilley, on, see?

Thanks for the question!

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

Monday, May 25, 2009


We're having auditions tomorrow, and the thought fills me with something halfway between guilt and joy.

I know plenty of people who get off on the power of being on the decision side of the table when it comes to auditions. That's never been me, and luckily it's not any of the producers or director of Say Goodbye Toto with me.

When I was growing up, I did my fair share of community theater. Children's Theater, Musicals, things like Annie, West Side Story, Oliver. I wasn't bad, but I wasn't a star either. I was usually a chorus member, someone in the back who could stay on key and not fall off the stage.

In those auditions, I watched the people on the decision side of the table, and they seemed to be taking themselves SO seriously. Like this was a life or death decision here, just WHO exactly was going to be Conseula!? We HAVE to cast a Mr. Bumble! You're not good enough to be Pepper the Orphan!

And I remember very well the needy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I AM good enough to be your Pepper the Orphan! I AM! Pick meeeeeeeeeeeee!

So now, I feel a bit uncomfortable on the decision side of the table. I don't wanna look like I'm taking myself too seriously. This isn't rocket science here. We're trying to put on a play! In the barn in the backyard (not really.) We wanna make people laugh!

I love auditions when people come in and make me laugh. I wrote the words, but if you can elevate it to the next level and make me laugh, I love you forever.

But over everything else, this is the important next step to getting this thing up and running. I don't know what to expect tomorrow. I don't know who to expect, really. But I know that when we're cast, it'll feel that much more real.

- Amy Heidish

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Have A Director! Again!

Okay! Back on track with an AWESOME director!

She's Jamie Virostko, who has directed plenty of great theater in Los Angeles. I just had my first meeting with her where we talked all about characters, set designs, audition sides, the importance of creating movement to define your environment, and Munchkins!

It's a bit of a sentimental reunion for us. Jamie played the role of Cinderella in my last full length play, The Big Ever After, which ran in 2005. She was exquisitely lovely in the role, and has a great frame of reference for my sense of humor and my writing.

I'm very stoked that she's at the helm, and before long, she'll be contributing pieces to this blog as well.

It's so nice to breathe again. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ask Toto A Question # 10

Ask Toto A Question #10

Ave, gentleman!

When you feel cold and warm at the same time,
when you read over the same line for the tenth time,
when your heart and thoughts somehow appear to rhyme,
and when a simple name conquers your whole mind,
then you are in deep trouble my friend... you are in what they call, "love".

I am longing for my one true love to join me in my journey; he would be easy
going, genuine, independent and emotionally available and able to communicate well. Things don’t have to be perfect all the time, as long as there is trust and honesty. It is important to me that he is very passionate and romantic. I also need to feel a connection; that magical spark or chemistry that holds It all together. I would like to meet a kind, faithful, generous, sincere and reliable man. I would like to have at my side trustworthy and constant friend. I would like to create a strong family with our children and to be happy for the rest of our life.

Feel free to get in touch with me http://(

Sincerely yourth

Hi Vally!

I gotta tell you, I’m a little confused. First of all, you’re not addressing me by my name, Toto, or by my many nicknames, His Supreme Fuzziness, Mr. Adorable, or King Oh My Gosh I Can’t Stand How Cute You Are.

I read the poem, but when I feel cold and warm at the same time, it usually means I’m sick. Dorothy can tell when my nose is dry and my eyes are runny and my ears are droopy that I’m not doing great.

I am definitely easy going, genuine, independent and emotionally stunted NO! available, I mean. Do I communicate well? Well, um, er, I guess so. Maybe.

Do I think I could feel a connection, magical spark or chemistry with you? You, who didn’t run your email through spellcheck or grammarcheck, and who addressed this email to four other people in addition to me?

Mmmm, no. I don’t wanna create a strong family with you (I can’t have kids, nothing down there.) I’m flattered, kinda, but Dorothy is the only one for me.

Hey, Dorothy, what’s a SPAM folder anyway, and why was this one in there?

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

Monday, May 11, 2009

Well, I Thought I Had A Director

My director, Kelly Ann Ford, contacted me over the weekend to regretfully tell me she couldn’t direct Say Goodbye Toto after all. She’s involved with a film that suddenly got a greenlight that would conflict right around the time we’re supposed to open.

It’s more wearying than anything else, as it means we’ve got additional work to do to secure a new director. And as I’ve said from the very beginning, I’d rather have the drama at the beginning, then after we open. Because here, we still have time to fix things. Not a lot of time, as we have auditions scheduled to go on May 26th. But some time is better than no time.

Every Los Angeles theater faces this issue – previously committed people dropping out to take a film or TV opportunity. There’s unfortunately nothing you can do about it. I’m not one to hold grudges, as I think Kelly is an amazing talent and hope to work with her in the future, and there’s way too many drama queens in the L.A. Theater Landscape for me to want to add my name to their list. Things always work themselves out in one way or another.

But I do hate being in the Land of Unknown Answers. Hopefully our time here will be short.

- Amy Heidish

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ask Toto A Question # 9

Hi Toto,

What do Munchkins taste like?



Hi Ryan!

Well, this is a gimme. Everyone knows Munchkins taste like chicken. If I could carry around some curry powder, ground ginger, and garam marsala, it’d taste like chicken from Bombay! But that’s a little awkward for someone who has paws.

If only the Munchkins would roll around in a puddle of salt before I chomped them. Then life would be just heavenly, and Munchkins would be quite tasty.

Thanks for the question!

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