25th Anniversary

“I was raised to go to heaven. That was the main thing…” – Mimi Kennedy.

With both humor and savvy, Kennedy reveals the complex and inescapable forces that pushed her onto the stage even as a child. Born into an eccentric but practicing Irish-Catholic family, a young Mimi dreamed of becoming an actress or a saint. She turned to the stage as a place to live passionately without consequences, but sex and ambition ruined her chances at canonization and she traded heaven for earthly pursuits.

A must read for those considering a career in performing. 

Mimi Kennedy, “TAKEN TO THE STAGE: The Education of an Actress,”
Title page image: The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson appearance.

“While attending parochial school in upstate New York, Kennedy formed a lofty goal: to join her beloved saints in heaven by way of Broadway. As she explains in her good-humored, vivacious, combined growing-up-catholic/showbiz memoir, she embraced the theater because it was spiritually safe, a place where she could act out earthly  temptations without endangering her soul…grace and joy—qualities in abundance in this spirited reminiscence.” – Publishers Weekly.

To order an autographed copy of Taken to the Stage visit Mimi’s shop.

“Anyone who has ever dreamed of acting must read this book. In fact, anyone who has ever acted must read it. Mimi Kennedy is hilarious, acute, sympathetic, and a genuine daughter of the theater. This is one of those great theatrical memoirs!” – WENDY WASSERSTEIN, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winning Playwright

“I loved Mimi’s book! She is a wonderful and original voice and I hope to play her in the movie!” – TERRI GARR

“When I first met Mimi Kennedy and heard her talk, I knew I had met a philosopher…not just an actress. I am delighted that she has written a book and recommend it highly.” – ABIGAIL VAN BUREN

Mimi Kennedy in 2021 recording the audio version of “Taken to the Stage: The Education of an Actress.”

This vaccinated summer, I’ve been recording the audio version of my 1996 mid-life memoir,  “Taken to the Stage: The Education of an Actress.” 

Voicing what I wrote 25 years ago, about my childhood formation and my dedication to becoming an actress no matter what, has been transformational. It’s been especially thrilling to do much of it in a studio used by The Eagles. 

The producer at the helm is the brilliant John Boylan, a friend from childhood. I remember him playing his guitar for my sophisticated older sister, introducing us to “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” and San Francisco Bay Blues.  Our families shared nearby summer cottages on Canandaigua Lake. We were all Catholic, meaning we were raised with high aspiration for this life and the next. The humor required to leaven our guilt when we inevitably missed the mark was much in evidence as we worked. I’m writing a new Foreword and Afterword for the project, so it will bring listeners up to date to “Dharma & Greg,” “In The Loop”, “Midnight In Paris” and “MOM” – and how I navigated the years between.

You may not know John Boylan but you definitely have heard his work. 

((Ahem))

Get to know GRAMMY award winning Producer John Boylan:

John Boylan is one of the most successful record producers in contemporary music. He has produced over fifty albums which have sold more than forty million records. His work crosses all boundaries of music, from rock to country, and from children’s music to film soundtracks.

A chance meeting with Linda Ronstadt at West Hollywood’s famous Troubadour club gave John a chance to explore some of his musical fusion ideas. Linda asked John to help her form a new backup group for her next solo tour and he quickly turned to the extended family of struggling musicians playing in various bands at the Troubadour’s Monday night “open mike” concerts. First to be hired was Detroit transplant Glenn Frey, followed quickly by Texan Don Henley, who had been pitching his songs to John, hoping to get Linda to record them. Rounding out the band were ex-Stone Canyon Band member Randy Meisner and ex-Flying Burrito Brother Bernie Leadon. With this solid line-up behind her, Linda’s career took off. Her next album, produced by John, became her first gold record, containing the hit singles, “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” and “Love Has No Pride.” In addition, John signed a two-year contract to manage her career, during which he negotiated her release from Capitol Records and landed her a long-term contract with Elektra/Asylum. After several successful tours during 1971, John helped Linda Ronstadt refine her sound into what would be one of the cornerstones of the California country-rock movement. However, everyone involved began to realize that her backup group had a special chemistry all their own. John recalls: “They were four great singers and they were writing some incredible songs. It seemed natural for them to try for a record deal.” Signed to Asylum Records by founder David Geffen, the group became the Eagles, one of the most successful rock bands in American history.

Read John Boylan’s Full Biography

Watch Linda Ronstadt on CBS Sunday Morning:

From PopCulture: ‘Mom’ and Allison Janney Receive Big Emmy News Despite CBS Cancellation

Mom received three major nominations for the 2021 Emmy Awards this year following the CBS show’s cancellation. Mom ended back in May after Season 8 came to a close, and many fans and critics praised the show in hindsight. Now, the people behind the series — including co-star Allison Janney — are seeing that praise come to fruition.

Janney is nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance on Mom this year, alongside Aidy Bryant for Shrill, Kaley Cuoco for The Flight Attendant, Tracee Ellis Ross for Black-ish and Jean Smart for Hacks. Mom is also nominated for Outstanding Directing For a Comedy Series for the episode “Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak,” directed by James Widdoes. Finally, the same episode is nominated for Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series, highlighting editor Joe Bella.

Read Full Article Here

In case you missed it:

Going Places’ Adds Alysia Reiner, Mimi Kennedy & Miranda Rae Mayo

From Dead Line Read Full Article Here:

“Kennedy will play Sue, the free-spirited owner of an eccentric, rundown desert retreat.”

Mimi and the cast of Mom on Ellen

Join actress MIMI KENNEDY as she discusses Gage’s critique of politicized religion with Gage Director SALLY ROESCH WAGNER. 

Purchase Tickets Here

These two friends chat as they explore Gage’s warning about the conservative Christian attempt to take over the government in her DANGERS OF THE HOUR along with Gage’s vision of a “true” religion of freedom and justice in PUTTING THE FEMALE BACK INTO GOD. 

As relevant today as they were when Gage wrote them over 100 years ago, these writings provide the framework for celebrating Gage’s 195 birthday.  If you would like to read these provocative readings before the event, order here

Mimi will be joined by composer/singer COLLEEN KATTAU, presenting her original musical tributes to Matilda Joslyn Gage. 

Then come back for a special chat* (Purchased as an add on to the regular admission.)

Join Mimi and Sally as they explore Mimi’s journey to both acting and activism and how she came to know Gage. 

Followed by a Q and A and brainstorming with participants about how to bring Gage’s ideas into a theatrical performance.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GAGE.

Every year for decades my family and friends have gathered at my home for one of my favorite Christmas traditions, a reading of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

This year our Dickensian evening was a bit different, we brought the victorian classic to the internet age. We gathered across time zones and miles via zoom. 

Here are tips on how to have your very own Zoom “A Christmas Carol” party.

STAYING ON THE SAME PAGE!

Download the PDF of “A Christmas Carol” above.  This is Dickens’ full story not the script of the play. It takes place in five chapters called “Staves”. It helps if everyone is using the same text because it is easier to follow along. Our party had some attendees using their own copies and they do fine. But they had to pay attention to where we were in the story if they had glanced away to fill their glass or let the dog out.

HAVE A MODERATOR OR DIRECTOR IN PLACE.

Have a host in charge that can keep the event moving.

They need to be able to:

  • Stay for the entire story.
  • Be familiar with zoom so that they can mute and unmute as needed.
  • Keep an eye open for Admitting late comers into the meeting.
  • Reassign parts on the fly at the start of each Stave.

TAKE BREAKS.

Break between staves if needed. This will also give you a moment to chat about something or grab a snack. Let participants know that they can take breaks as needed to tend to things that come up and to turn off their video so it doesn’t distract from the reading.

CASTING!

Cast list download above. Here is the list of speaking parts in each stave. Assign the parts to participants before hand and you’ll have the most fun. People will stay on because they know they are needed for the “performance.” On the PDF above next to each character in parentheses is the page number cue. Again, this is helpful if everyone is using the same text of the story.

Things to keep in mind when casting:

  • Narrators should love to read out loud. Try to cast strong readers for the narrator and Scrooge. Strong readers will relax everyone else.
  • Share the Scrooge and Narrator parts. Assign someone new for each stave or alternate.
  • The 4th Stave features cockney accents. These can be fun but long and tedious unless the readers are nimble.
  • The Spirit of Christmas Future has no lines. Don’t assign to someone who likes to speak.
  • I reserve the part of Jacob Marley every year. Assign to an enthusiastic over actor!

If you want to see these characters performed beautifully watch the 1951 film version starring Alastair Sim. Watch the trailer and find out where you can watch here.

Merry Christmas,

Mimi

Mimi’s 2018 Christmas Blog Post of Clips from “A Christmas Carol” 

Host a Zoom Reading of “A Christmas Carol”