tanna frederick today

January 24, 2012

She’s doing WHAT?!

Tanna Frederick – photo courtesy of Irene Rubaum-Keller

Okay.  So our friend Tanna has done the following things:

– Acted in movies:

Hollywood Dreams, Irene In Time, Queen of the Lot, Just 45 Minutes From Broadway (to be released this summer) and The “M” Word (in post-production)

– Acted in plays:

A Safe Place, Always…But Not Forever, Just 45 Minutes From Broadway, Sylvia (this doesn’t include the long list of plays she did before moving to LA.

– She’s won a bunch of awards for her acting.

– She started Project Save Our Surf to help save the oceans and marine life, mobilized tons of celebs and regular folks to help out – and they’ve raised tons of money to support various worthy conservation and educational charities like Inside the Outdoors, Waves for Water, Santa Monica Baykeeper and Tumelo Homes.

– She runs marathons to raise funds for charity.

– She does Tae Kwon Do and surfs and runs. She’s in incredible shape.

I’m sure there are other things I don’t know about, but this is the short list to which she’s now adding… drumroll please…

DIRECTING!

Yep, Tanna Frederick can add directing to her credits. She’s taken on a play called Why We Have A Body, which was written by Claire Chaffee. The play is about a lesbian private investigator named Lili who specializes in men  who cheat on their wives, Lili’s sister Mary who holds up 7-Elevens (played by Tanna Frederick – yes, she’s acting AND directing!), and their mother, an archaeologist – a specialist in the female brain.

This is gonna be VERY funny. It opens on Feb 17 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica.   I’ve got it on very good authority that Tanna is a great director.

More details here:

http://losangeles.broadwayworld.com/article/WHY-WE-HAVE-A-BODY-Opens-217-at-Edgemar-Center-20120120#.Tx4WydlUlBA.facebook

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October 4, 2011

Surf24 is coming! Get ready! Wax your boards!

Tanna Frederick rides the waves - photo by John Heller

Okay, I have to admit that I’m not a surfer and the only reason I know the term “wax your boards” is because I heard it in a song someone wrote about surfing.

Project Save Our Surf’s annual Surf24 surf-a-thon is coming up soon – October 15-16. I’m going this year! I think it’ll be fun to watch. I’ve read about all the activities from past years and seen press about the various beneficiaries of Project Save Our Surf’s efforts. They do some really cool things. My favorite is Inside the Outdoors (www.insidetheoutdoors.org). What a great group! They do stuff with kids – taking them on field trips, they have an Outdoor Science School, they immerse them in the environment in such a way that they learn how it works and they get the value of taking care of our planet. Awesome organization!

Another of Project Save Our Surf’s beneficiaries is the Save The Waves Coalition. They are “a global nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the coastal environment, with an emphasis on the surf zone, and educating the public about its value.” They’re the only environmental organization that focuses specifically on surfing areas.

Santa Monica Baykeeper – “This program tests levels of bacteria from runoff and city drains which flow into the LA coastline from Malibu to Marina Del Rey. When people in the community suspect pollution, they can call a hotline and a volunteer is sent out to sample the water. The sample is then brought back to a lab to be tested. Each test for bacteria alone costs $100. Currently it is unsafe to swim in Los Angeles County beaches at least two days after it rains, due to the high concentration of pollution running into the ocean. As many of you know and may have experienced, high levels of bacteria can make surfers and swimmers sick with sinus infections, staff infections, rashes and colds etc. Santa Monica Baykeeper is determined to make a change in local water and beach laws, by using the test results found with their DrainWatch program. To learn more about Santa Monica Baykeeper check out the website.” Amazing! http://www.smbaykeeper.org/drainwatch.html

Tumelo Homes – This one is far-reaching. “The Home is known for its enthusiasm, progressive ideas, and high integrity for quality physical and mental care. The children are not simply housed and fed, but are taught and encouraged to reach their maximum growth potential. As a result, eight of our children have moved on and are attending different special schools in Natalspruit, Ekurthuleni, Gauteng.
The ages of the children at the Home range from three to 33-years old. The staff’s areas of expertise include nursery care, pre-school education, and education for the intellectually disabled. The Home is a place filled with love and laughter. The children are provided with 24-hour monitoring and care.” Wow!

Waves For Water – “This young non-profit was started by pro surfer Jon Rose and local surfer Christian Troy. Their mission is simple, “get clean water to everyone that needs it.” They do this by sending easy-to-use water filters to areas without access to clean water. One $50 filter gives clean drinking water to a village of 100 people for more than an entire year. To learn more about Waves For Water check out their website at http://www.wavesforwater.org/ Incredible!

Did I mention that the celebrity surfing heat is on the 15th at 10:15am? I’m not the biggest celeb-watcher in the world but I’m getting up early, with camera in hand, to hopefully get shots of Jesse Spencer (House), Tate Donovan (Damages) and Gregory Harrison (Trapper John, MD – but I fell in love with him in It’s My Party).

Other celeb surfers include Sam Trammell (True Blood), John Slattery (Mad Men), Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives), Chad Lowe (24), Gregory Harrison (One Tree Hill), Michael Munoz (Amazing Race), Zoe Bell (Death Proof), Pat Parnell (Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit), Chris Bruno (Dead Zone), Galen Gering (Days of our Lives), David O’Donnell (Air Force One), Peter Brinkerhoff (Daytime Emmy winning director), Preston Davis (Entourage), John Philbin (Point Break) and Kathy Zuckerman (Gidget).

Tanna Frederick and the whole Project Save Our Surf team are amazing. Four years ago, Project Save Our Surf was a tiny organization. It’s growing like a giant wave. Come out to Surf24. You have a whole 24 hours to drop in and out, check out the scene, groove to the music, watch the surfing (or surf yourself) and get educated about what’s going on. If you can, why not join a surf team and surf? This is an easy way to be a part of something important, something that will benefit us and future generations. Project Save Our Surf is a BIG DEAL. We need their help to conserve the oceans and marine life and they need ours. This is a great bandwagon to jump on. See you on October 15.

June 1, 2011

Sylvia is a Hit!!!

Stephen Howard, Tanna Frederick and Cathy Arden - photo by John Heller

I’ve been checking the Sylvia website (www.sylviatheplay.com) and you should see the reviews! They’re incredible. My friend Edward took his whole family (his father, his wife, their two kids and two other friends) to see Sylvia this past weekend and they all loved it. He saw it at the Sierra Madre Playhouse and liked it even better this time, at the Edgemar. He, like everyone else I know who saw both productions (and loved both) say this one is much funnier. I guess a different director (in this case, Gary Imhoff) can really make a difference.

Tanna Frederick gets to go all out in her doggyness – and she does. I’d be exhausted after the first act if I ran around and did all the stuff she does. I know she’s in incredible physical condition. She runs marathons, surfs and does Tae Kwon Do, so all that physical activity probably doesn’t phase her.

There’s also the emotional range of her character. Sylvia is, like any dog, totally excited to see and greet enthusiastically. She goes into a rage when she sees a cat (one of the funniest scenes in the play). She’s in awe of Greg (played wonderfully by Stephen Howard) and at one point gushes, “I think you’re God.” When she sees that Bowser (the hot male dog in the dog park) is there, she gets all cute. When Greg gets her fixed, she’s really moody. She goes through all sorts of changes with Kate (Cathy Arden), running the gamut from trying to get Kate to like her to one-upping her, showing Kate that she’s the new Number One in Greg’s life. It’s amazing to watch.

Cathy Arden actually manages to get you to like and even admire Kate. She’s got a tough role to play and she really pulls it off. Under Gary Imhoff’s direction, her character is fuller, more real.

Tom Ayers is spectacular as two characters – the tough guy in the dog park (Bowser’s owner) and as Kate’s girlfriend from Vassar. He elicits some side-splitting laughter from the audience in both cases.

I’m not an actor or a director, and I don’t know how directors do what they do, but I think Gary Imhoff is a genius. He’s taken A. R. Guerney’s marvelous play, a frighteningly talented cast, a beautiful Joel Daavid set and created a masterpiece.

Check out the reviews – I haven’t seen a bad one yet!

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