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2009 Messages from Lucy

World AIDS Day 2009

Wow, it was fascinating to be shot down in Chinatown by NZ's PM. i showed up at Parliament with Dr Jim Salinger to present to our Prime minister, John Key, the money raised in traditional Kiwi form, dollar by dollar at cake stalls and sausage sizzles, in order to purchase him a ticket to Copenhagen for the world Summit on Climate Change. He declined to come down to meet us. Well, the man is running a country after all. Plus, the farmers are screaming at him over the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme, PLUS, China is breathing heavily down his neck (and not in a loving way) about the Dalai Lama's trip here. It was a tough day for the PM and I imagine we were just the icing on the cake.

John Key has great leadership skills, is smart and is immensely popular. We need him in Copenhagen to show our good faith in this critical World Summit on Climate Change.

I see our cousins in Australia, who fought beside us in two wars and who are our most valued trading partners, frying in heatwave after heatwave and it's only spring! How can we ignore their plight? If Kevin Rudd will attend the Dec 14 Summit, it would be an awful slight to our erstwhile brothers in arms. Our Prime Minister must go to Copenhagen!

Thank you all for jumping in boots'n'all.  You are an inspiration to me!  Perhaps we should take the “Lucy Lawless” out of FEEL THE LOVE DAY, since we really want to open the idea up to people who are not fans, right?  Hard to believe, but there are a number of them on the planet.

I am off to a Sign On promotion today.  Putting pressure on our government reps to come clean on Carbon Emissions policies.  Climate Change is The No. 1 issue facing the human race.  PLEASE SIGN ON TO A CLIMATE CHANGE GROUP IN YOUR AREA!!

We can contribute in ways big and small.  It's good to ask, what's in my sphere of influence?  If you were a child, then being a good son/ daughter/pet-owner and student is probably enough.  Maybe not littering is where a child's responsibilty ends.

Even for adults Climate Change discussions can be pretty tough.  But, conversely, every single change we make in the direction of sustainability is totally life-affirming.

How about the concept of a “soul tree”?  In the next year, I am going to plant a native tree for every person in my family, including nieces and nephews.  They will grow without much help as long as the drainage and light is okay.  They bring the native birds and my beehives have already produced our first batch of honey, which we put in all our old jam and pickle jars.  I love hearing the Tuis and dream of one day having Kereru or NZ Woodpigeon drunkenly crashing about the garden, high on Nikau berries.

You don't even need to go to a plant nursery.  Wherever in the world you live, you can pick up seeds from plants along the side of the road.  They are free and plentiful and you can see which ones thrive in your neighbourhood.  Just note the kind of aspect they are growing in and try to replicate that.  If they grow really big, don't plant them under telephone wires!  There's no reason we can’t plant sensible things even on small patches of ground, is there?  And fruit right off the tree is wildly nutritious.

We've instituted quite a few changes in our home of late, trying to get our lifestyle more in line with the environment's needs.  Showers are down to 5 minutes or as brief as possible.  We now buy cellulose trashbags (even dog-pooh bags!) that biodegrade but are tough enough to do the trick in the short-term.  Buying locally grown foodstuffs.  Low-wattage lightbulbs, turning on the heating as little as possible, opening windows instead of fans, planting an organic garden is next, plus chickens.  It is really, really fun!

Random thoughts of what I would want to do to get more out of my time on Earth.

If I am young:
1. Have lots of fun!
2. Be a good son/daughter/friend/student.
3. Maybe ask “do I really need a new one of those, or does my old one still do the job?”
4. Maybe plant something on the grass verge/in backyard.
5. Don't Litter!

If I am over 25:
1. Wake up!  I am now a grown up and I will never feel anymore grownup than I do right now.  Enjoy the fact that I have free thought and can question authority and belief systems and test them against my own gut feeling of right and wrong.  I can change my mind as I grow.
2. Enjoy the good things in life, the things that cannot be bought.
3. Enjoy my child's free thought.  The free child is invariably good and social.
4. Question anything/anyone that diminishes my health & freedom or that of others.  In their environment, being happy is an act of rebellion.
5. Question what tells me that without their product or belief system I am “less-than.”  In their world, being emotionally/practically self-sufficient is a sacrilege.
6. Get close to nature.  It will sustain me
7. Laugh a lot.

I want to add "Pick up your dog-crap!" but that would be wrong tonally.  Except it is bizarre to use regular plastic bags to do it.  Our landfills will have two-hundred-year-old perfectly preserved snack-sized dog turds.

What will our descendants think of us?
Anyway . . . like I said, random thoughts.

Yours Truly,
Lucy Lu


Sharon has been bugging me to speak about Paw Justice.  Before I came back to NZ, my friend, a former Stuntman on Xena, Shaughn Campbell, asked me to participate in a petition to increase penalties against animal abusers.  He formed “PAW JUSTICE” and asked all his celebrity mates to join in.  There had been a couple of cases of extreme brutality that month, one involving some lunatic cutting the paws off a live kitten.  We all said we'd be happy to be part of it.  We are on an equal footing saying we concur that cruelty of any kind is not okay.  Paw Justice points out that people who abuse in this way do not stop at animals.

But the causes I have truly made commitments to are STARSHIP and the SIGN ON campaign.  I have been associated with the Starship foundation for nearly a decade and I am proud to be of service to them in whatever way I can.  They are a fantastic bunch of people.

The Sign On campaign is a most immediate concern.  We want our prime Minister in NZ, Mr. John Key, to know that he has the backing of New Zealanders to sign on to 40% carbon emissions reduction by 2020 as the scientists say we must.  Big Business is reactionary, but they need to recognise that no one ever went out of business by adapting to the times.  And no species ever went extinct by adapting to its changing environment.

That's what we have -- a changing environment.  We need to adapt our habits, homes, communities and business models.

There is a World Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December.  Our governments have to support health of our planet over profit margins.  Make sure your MP, Senator or Congressman knows your view.  They represent you.  What do you want them to say on your behalf?

Yesterday, I went on a Peace march here in Auckland wearing my Sign On shirt.  I found myself surrounded by animal rights campaigners in pig and chicken suits, which spawned a hundred jokes as we were crossing the road.  My pals from Greenpeace were there as were Maori elders and the Mayor of Waitakere, Bob Harvey.  It was a pleasant morning, though my dog was a bit hacked off at all the noisy humans screwing up her walk.  Not her idea of an outing.
Up and at 'em!

Sent Sept. 13, 2009:
Well, here we go again!  I have given myself a lovely cold a week out from a singing assignment.  The Supernova Swing event happens in Auckland this week to raise funds for Starship and give Auckland a truly celebratory night with all those great songs of the swing era.  I was really excited to see all the pros singing at rehearsal last week.  I was definitely taking notes.  Kirsten Morell has the most knock-out voice ever.  She transforms a big-band standard into something fresh.  It’s an old-fashioned word but she is delightful.

Actually, the reason I got sick this time has nothing to do with anxiety about singing.  I got so upset when the WWF report on Climate Change and Arctic melt off came out last week, that I just about started bleeding out my eyes.  I realised I needed to get better coping skills to keep being involved, healthy and effective.  I keep thinking about nurses dealing with constant trauma, loss, upset and how they have to keep believing in the everyday miracle.  We have so much know-how in terms of addressing our energy needs for the future, but there is little political will to take the kinds of steps scientists insist we must.  It is beyond frustrating.

In any case, it is nice to be participating in the Supernova Swing, something that has so much joy attached to it.  I am wearing something old, something new (by Liz Mitchell) and am now hunting for something to put in my hair.  This is the first day off I’ve had in a while and I am actually able to get the wig glue out of my hairline.  It is, after all, a very special occasion.

I will try to get photos out from the dressing room, but there may be no reception.

Singing “That Old Devil Called Love,” “Satin Doll” and “My Baby Just Cares For Me.”  Plus “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Peter Urlich.  And bv’s for Jason Kerrison on the song, “Amore.”
Big Fun.

Hi guys!
I am beavering away on Sparty and collecting signatures for the “Sign-On” campaign for a 40% carbon emmissions reduction by the year 2020.  It's a big target but that's what scientists are saying is needed. 

Global climate change is a reality and certainly not all manmade but our behaviour and careless consumption is adding fuel to a fire.  Why would we not want to slow it's progress?

I've collected a couple of dozen signatures today and had a conversation with a colleague who absolutely believes the whole thing is a myth and that we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off on account of An Inconvenient Truth.  I was very interested to talk with him because I realized that if he believes carbon levels are less than 20 years ago and that the whole thing is media hype, then loads of people do.

He's going to bring in some data to back it up.  I'd like to see it.  I'd like him to be right so I can turn my mind to something frivolous --like being a popstar or a gymnast.  That's much more fun than reading data about no summer ice-cap in the Arctic in 10 years.

To whit, Greenpeace invited me to go do a look-see of the Peterman Glacier off the coast of Greenland where climate change is causing tropical waters to stream far north exacerbating glacier melt.  Unfortunately, I can't get enough time off work do it.  I am absolutely gutted.  I'm sure they will find someone great but I wish it was me.

Long time, no blog.

I guess I've been dealing with a lot of change in the past few months.  I have moved countries which, unfortunately, necessitated finding new homes for a dozen pets which could not be brought to NZ.  Island nations with endangered native wildlife take a dim view of importing reptiles and rabbits.  We also have magnificent fish which will have to go back to a pet store who is willing to take them.  This is a photo of our Lookdown fish.  He is about the size of a bread plate and about as thin.  We adopted him when he was small because the shop couldn't keep him.  "He'll school up with those other two just fine," they said.  But he moved in with the Lookdowns who had lived happily in the tank for about 8 years, promptly murdered them, and grew to double size.  It took me a while to stop hating him for that.

The good folks at Medusa, an amazing reptile shop in LA, have kindly taken our gorgeous Crested Eyelash gecko that Julius adopted because she didn't have a tail.  A few weeks ago, our dragons had a terrible fight and one of them was left bleeding.  Obviously they had reached sexual maturity and needed to be separated, which we did.  Three weeks later at Medusa, the guy said, "Looks like this one is full of EGGS."  Phew, I am so glad that we didn't wait longer and then I'd have to find homes for those little guys too!

Now I only have my kitty to worry about.  Quarantine in NZ is 6 months after a rabies blood titer.  It's a pain in the neck.  He can't even come down till the 6 months is up and then actual quarantine is a further four weeks.  He may go live with a friend in LA but he's an outside cat with lots of street smarts and she never lets her pets out because of coyotes in her area.

For all of you who were wondering, the YouTube video of my squatter in LA is in fact just me and my buddy Jason.  Some of you may recognise him as the guy who played keyboards in the first LA show, Chicago and NYC.  I think Daisy was holding the camera some of the time.  J did an animated show called “Len Fish” some years back.  It's genius.  Plenty of Jason's twisted humour.

A good deal of my time has, of course, been wrappping my head around a new character in a new show, SPARTACUS.

The lead role is played by Andy Whitfield.  He is a great star on and off-camera.  I love what he brings to the role.  He is a gentleman and a family man and I think that is what gives his character so much depth.  Naturally, he's bloody handsome to boot.

I am playing Lucretia, the Lady Macbeth character.  I can't distill her down in a blog, but it's a terrific role and I am proud of the work I am doing.  My husband, Batiatus, is played by John Hannah, who is a scream.  My other favourite person to work with is an Aussie actress called Viva Bianca.  She plays my Paris Hilton.  She is so mad on screen and so sane in real life.  She's the ideal colleague -- like Renee O'Connor.  Once again, I have lucked out.


My latest project with Greenpeace.  Ask the fans to check it out.  I am trying to make good on the Feel the Love promise!!  It is a campaign for NZ’ers to petition for carbon emissions reduction: 40% by 2020.

Thanks for all the great thoughts for Earth Day/my bEarthday.  We are going to turn off all the lights/computers tonight and unplug anything that uses a phantom charge.  What a great idea.  Thank you for drawing my attention to it.  And thanks for joining in!!

March 28 also being my 11th wedding anniversary, I gave my husband two gifts.  1. I would go fishing with him.  2. I would not complain - (even on the inside).

For our anniversary, he gave me two gifts.  1. I would get my quota of fish.  2. He would smoke 'em for me.

Boy, do we know how to tear it up.  Apart from having to face the awful truth of killing what one eats, it was a lovely day out and we had a few good yuks with the crew.

This month we adopted a puppy from the SPCA.  She is a Shepherd X with we don't know what.  A “bitsa” as we call them in NZ - bits a this, bits a that.

Her name is Koha and at 14 weeks, she is proving to be quite the guard dog.  I am signing her up for obedience training because she may be a little too fierce for the gardener's liking.  I slept on the couch for a few days and had to take her outside every three hours to make sure she didn't pee her bed.  I train and walk her, so I am definitely her #1 human.  In a couple of months we will get another one, but I'm not looking forward to the week on the couch.  The next dog is not going to be as easy as this one to house train.
Photos to follow . . .

I am packing up to go to the jungle next week.  I feel it is a chance to see my kids in their natural habitat.  We are doing an ecotour in Ecuador.  We are going to be gone from LA at least 6 months (not all spent in the jungle).  I have been driving around this dirty old town saying goodbye to the places that have become familiar.  I'm already sad to be leaving our friends and our pets.  For a long time, my favorite radio has been Adam Carolla in the morning.  The second I got the kids off to school I'd tune in.  Without any fanfare he got axed last Friday.  Boy, that blew a big fat hole in my day.  Sometimes, I'd just have to sit in the garage once I got home and finish listening to some rant and laughing my ass off -- the bit about Queen Latifa was priceless.

I went in search of him online and managed to catch up with his first two podcasts, which he is broadcasting out of his basement.  Despite showing a much moodier/gruuuuesomer side of himself, he still managed to have me snorting uncontrollably on the sidelines of my kids' karate class, tears streaming down my face.  There's always something in his shows that you never heard anyone say out loud before.  The dude is now completely out of control and I gotta say, I love it.

Check it out:

I spent a fun day with the fabulous Gail Zappa recording a song from one of Frank Zappa's unproduced operas, “Hunchentoot.”  The song we did was “FLAMBAY.”  It's about the alien Queen who is in love with this big ol' spider, Hunchentoot (who has a harmonica over which he hunches and toots).  She is lamenting that though he lets her fondle his privates, he is, nevertheless, holding out for a woman with eight arms.  This unrequited love is driving her mad.

Gail came to my show at the Roxy and came backstage afterwards.  She invited me to come record with some of the musicians from Dweezil's band who won Grammys the next night.  She said I could sing any song I wanted, but she really felt “FLAMBAY” was something I should consider.  I listened to it with Joe, her producer, who worked on a heap of Frank's stuff, and I thought, holy shit, that's waaay too hard and in too high a key.  We chose “MAGIC FINGERS” instead and then at the end of the day we had half an hour left and I said, why don't you throw on “FLAMBAY” and we'll just see what happens.  I had never sung the song out loud before, thnking that the key was too high, etc.  But something crazy happened, something alchemical.  I have never done anything that outrageous before, and you all know that's really saying something.  You will all get to hear it in time, I guess.

We just did it in one take, but Gail and Joe were in tears afterwards.  To get the original music online, they had had to open a reel of tape from 1979 (or was it '73?) and it brought back a lot of memories for them.  They cracked a bottle of wine, and Gin for me, and we toasted what was a great week for the Zappa family.  I love those guys.

Hope you are all having some laughs where you are.

Had the greatest time ever with you all this weekend.  This one was so challenging, I never want to go back to regular shows again.  I love a good musical and this was one rock-opera I would like to develop further.  Maybe add a couple of other songs and work out the lighting design a bit more.  Big thanks to Joe LoDuca for making it all happen.  He put together a fantastic team and it all went brilliantly.  The band brought all their good humor and talent and I love them for it!

Special thanks to Laura Sperrazza, my lovely co-star.  She was everything I could have hoped for.  I saw her in Frank Zappa's “Joe's Garage” and thought, that girl looks kooky enough to play “Gloria” in my show.  Turns out Laura and I work very similarly and we quickly developed an easy working relationship.  I'd love to get her to reprise this role once more and see how the character develops.  Sperrazza is part of my dream team.  Thanks, Laura!

Cat Crimins was wonderful as MC for the evening.  She makes the greatest nun, don't you think?  Funny, Cat!  I don't know if you realised it at the time, but Cat was working in the themes of the evening: Temptation/ Sin/ Love/ Redemption.  I believe these are things my fans understand because most of us have found ourselves on the margins of society and we all crave transcendence through love.

I really have to thank the folks at Creation, without whom I never would have done any of this.  Adam and Gary, who believed in me and set their team on the job to realize each project.  They put up the capital and handled the business end of producing these shows and cons.  My head would explode if I had to complete the tax formalities of even one band member.

Sharon, who has needled me into action and who first encouraged me to do the very first Roxy show.  Honestly, had she not been there at that moment the impulse would have died on the vine, as it were.  Without her, I would never complete a blog.  Thanks, Sharon.

Warner, who has become a gun editor of my stage shows.  Thanks, Mate!  And Stephanie and the rest of the Creation Team.  I don't know what the heck you guys do, but you look good doing it!

The gorgeous Gail Zappa has invited me to cover a Frank Zappa song.  I am incredibly honored.  I am looking through his oeuvre.  That's a whole lot of oeuvre!  Any suggestions?  You know I like things fruity.  Suggestions?

Most of all, THANKS TO YOU!!! -- for coming so far, and when the economy is so strained.  I appreciate your continuing love and support.  You still blow my mind with your generosity to one another, to Starship and to your own communities.  I boast about you -- I truly do.  No actor feels more pride over the goodness of their fans than do I.

The band was SHOCKED by your fervor.  I tried to tell them, but they never get it till they are having their eardrums blown out by 500 Xena fans.

Love, Love, Love,
Lucy L

No, I'm not illin'.

I am just working on myself.  I need a mental/spiritual tune up.  Don't you feel it's time to keep our family and friends close?  I don't know where we will end up, but it will be a simpler life, for sure.

Hey, maybe we should focus Feel The Love Week on reducing our carbon footprint?  Whaddaya say?  I'm sure we can all discover ten ways of putting Mother Earth first.  Like, why do we buy huge heavy-duty rubbish bags to put all our unrecyclable plastic in?  That's just stupid.  Why shouldn't we keep a box up in a cupboard to start a collection of blown lightbulbs and dead batteries and then dispose of them once a year at the recycle center?  It's just not that hard!

What other things can we come up with?

There is no reason this planet has to go to Hell in a hand basket. Let's get on it!

Dear Friends,
Something is happening here.  I have a bit of business to take care of Downunder and then I will be gone a while.  I have some studies to do and may be off the radar for some time.  So this month is like a going away party!
I am excited to see you one more time!
Lucy aka, Unco aka, Polly Butter, aka, Fog.

I just had my first run-thru with my guest artist, Laura Sperrazza.  I saw her dancing and singing her ass off in Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage here in Hollywood.  I immediately went, "That's the girl!"  The part in Pleasuredome was initially conceived for a WASPy type, but this girl's energy is so infectious, I had to throw out that concept.  I think the fans are going to love Laura!

Saffy, played by me, is a schoolgirl who, despite warnings by Mother Superior, goes to the city and is mesmerized by Gloria, played by Laura, a denizen of the night.  Saff is introduced to a whirl of Temptation: Drugs, sex and violence.  Can love pull her through?
More to come!

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