"SJB'S" "This Place I Know" Availiable on iTunes...

Stephanie J. Block's powerhouse solo album is availiable for purchase on iTunes... The oficcial release date for "hard copies" of her album is June 2.

Striking Skin Care page on facebook

I just created a Striking Skin Care page on facebook. If you've tried the product and love it, look for the page, become a fan and leave a comment on the wall. Type in "Striking Skin Care" in the search box on upper right hand corner of your facebook home page. The company would love to hear from you!

Interview with Donna Vivino

Here are Some Questions I asked Donna Vivino, and she graciously answered them! Thank You so Much Donna :)
Donna- Who were your big inspirations to get into Musical theatre and Broadway?
DV: I was inspired by the movie WEST SIDE STORY that I watched when I was in elementary school.
If there is one person you could meet, who would it be?
DV: I would love to meet my great grandfather from my father's side of the family. I never got the chance to meet him and I would love to have talked to him about what it was like to come to America.
What is one Elphaba that you have not seen that you would like to see?
DV: I want to meet the Elphaba from Gregory Maguire's novel. I don't think that is too likely though!
With the exception of Katie who was the actual first you went on with, who was the first Glinda you performed with?
DV: I did my "put-in" rehearsal...which is technically a dress rehearsal although I was the only one in costume -- I did my first run-through as Elphaba with Laura Woyasz as my Glinda.
What is your favorite song in the show and Why would you say it is your favorite?
DV:The Wizard and I. It is so full of hope and I love being able to portray that side of Elphaba.
What is your favorite scene in the show and Why would you say it is your favorite?
DV: The bedroom scene with Glinda. It is such a great scene where we get to really see the friendship develop between the two girls.
What is your favorite costume in the show and Why would you say it is your favorite?
DV: I love the Act Two dress -- obviously. It is just so beautifully made!
What role on Broadway would you love to Play that you have not?
DV: One that isn't written yet. Truly. I want to originate a role in an original musical!
What is the craziest thing you have signed at a Stage Door?
DV :I was asked to sign a young boy's forehead.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while playing Elphaba?
DV: Richard (Fiyero) and I have gotten stuck together at the end of the show when we pull away from each other after hugging. The straw from his scarecrow costume has gotten caught on the buttons on my costume and sometimes it takes a while for us to get unsnarled.
Thank you Donna! :)

You are welcome.

What is a peptide?

My friend Deb asked for a short explanation of peptides (“50 words or less”, she said), but if you know me, you know that I can’t give a short explanation of anything! I’m going to cut and paste a few things about peptides that I’ve written or that I’ve found on the web so that you have a clearer understanding of what a peptide is.
The first piece is cut and pasted from wisegeek.com and gives a scientific, yet easy to understand explanation of peptides, but doesn’t necessarily tell you how it relates to skin care. It’s a good place to start, though.

Wisegeek.com says:
Peptides are compounds which are formed by linking one or more amino acids with a covalent bond. These compounds are classified as polymers, because they typically link together in long chains. All animals on Earth have peptides in their body, and in a way, peptides are one of the building blocks of life. When a peptide chain gets especially long, it turns into a protein. Peptides and proteins represent a wide world of possibilities, and many molecular biologists spend years researching the functions of single peptides and proteins to learn more about how the body works.

When discussing peptides, a lot of scientific terminology tends to get thrown around, and it can help to know what various terms mean. A covalent bond is a type of chemical bond which occurs when atoms share electrons. The specific type of covalent bond formed in peptides is known as a peptide bond or amide bond, and it forms when the carboxyl group of one amino acid attaches to another. Carboxyl groups are clusters of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen molecules, in case you're curious.

The classification of a peptide as a polymer is sometimes confusing to people who are not familiar with this use of the term “polymer.” While many people mean “plastics” when they talk about polymers, in chemistry, a polymer is any sort of repeating chain connected with covalent bonds. Polymers can get extremely complex, as one might imagine.
A peptide can perform a wide range of functions in the body, depending on which amino acids are involved. Some can regulate hormones, for example, while others can have an antibiotic function. The body is also equipped to break down and reuse peptides; if you eat meat, for example, the enzymes in your intestines break down the protein at its amide bonds to create an assortment of peptides which may be digested or excreted, depending on the needs of your body.

The dividing line between a peptide and a protein is somewhat fluid. Proteins are much more complex than peptides, because they are so much longer, and most proteins are folded into complex structures to accommodate all of their amino acids. As a general rule of thumb, if more than 50 amino acids are involved, the compound is a protein, while shorter chains are considered peptides.

This next piece is something that I co-wrote for the company that I’m consulting with now called Helix BioMedix. We wrote this piece to accompany Striking, the line that we just launched that contains SmartPeptides™. It tells you specifically what SmartPeptides™ will do for the skin. It’s also important to note that these peptides are in the product at efficacious percentages, which means, we put in enough so that it will work, where as some companies put it just a tiny amount for a marketing claim (this happens more often than you think).
What is a peptide?
A peptide is a chain of two or more amino acids. The amino acids that make up a peptide can be sequenced in a particular order that will stimulate different responses within the body by landing on key cell receptor sites and communicating a specific function or task to the cell.
Helix BioMedix’s SmartPeptides™ are sequenced to stimulate the skin’s own natural protection and repair functions. Think of them as tiny messengers sent to kick the skin into gear and make it look better. Some of the SmartPeptides stimulate collagen production while others help restore keratinocytes. Let’s take a look:

Heptapeptide-7 is the latest advance in peptide technology from Helix BioMedix. This bioactive peptide has been shown to promote keratinocyte proliferation and migration to support skin renewal.

Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14 boosts collagen production thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles and increasing firmness of the skin.

Hexapeptide-21 works deep within the skin to stimulate the skin’s own natural repair and regeneration system. Tests have shown that this peptide controls visible signs of photoaging while calming the skin.

There are a few other peptides on the market that I’m either fond of, or that you’ve heard of like the copper peptide family that includes Prezatide Copper Acetate and Copper Tripeptide-1 (check out my blog for 10/17/08 for more information), Matrixyl aka palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (for more info go to http://www.crodausa.com/, click on “new search” and type “matrixyl” in the search box) and Argireline aka acetyl hexapeptide-3 (which claims to be a topical wrinkle relaxer, think “topical botox”).

If you have more questions about peptides or want me to dig deeper, let me know! And Deb, sorry. Your request for an explanation of peptides in 50 words or less got a little bit out of control. I kept it under 1000, do I get points for that????

New WICKED London cast officcially announced.

As of May 11, this is the New West End Cast of WICKED:
Elphaba-Alexia Khadime
Glinda-Dianne Pilkington
Fiyero-Oliver Thompsett
The Wizard-Sam Kelly
Madame Morrible-Harriet Thorpe
Nessarose-Natalie Anderson
Boq-Alex Jessop
Dr.Dillamond-David Stoller
S/b for Elphaba-Ashleigh Gray
S/b for Glinda -Sarah Earnshaw

Goodbye Kerry Ellis

Longtime Star of London's WICKED, Kerry Ellis, departs the London production today, May 9, 2009, with no scedueled Plans to return to the show. Kerry began In September, 2006 as Idina Menzel's original Standby in London, and took over the role on January 1, 2007, and continued in London through June 7, 2008, where she departed the show, and began performances at the Gershwin Theatre in NYC as Elphaba, on June 17, 2008, where she starred opposite Kendra Kassebaum's Glinda. Kerry Departed the Broadway company on November 15, 2008, and returned to the London company on December 1, 2008. She plays her last performance tonight. Kerry will be greatly missed, and if anyone has any stories of Seeing or in or after Wicked, leave them as a comment! I would love to hear your stories!
Kerry's Replacement, Alexia Khadime( she is AMAZING!) Begins Performances on Monday, May 11. Goodbye Kerry! :(