cafeteriaThere are many things to concern ourselves with these days. It is my theory we can all take on at least one thing and make a difference. Food has always been my passion- in all aspects- from protecting our rights to clean water, to protecting the bees that help create our natural food supply, to organic gardening. It has inspired me at home and in my art. 

So, it’s no wonder when I heard about the hideous practice of Lunch Shaming, I hit the roof then I hit the ground. Lunch Shaming, you ask? What is that?? Well, it certainly astounded me how many people have not heard of it- even those who have children, which I don’t.  But I DO understand the power of food and family and the lifetime connections we develop around those things. It is one of the basic themes running through "The Meatball Chronicles." 

What is Lunch Shaming? Lunch Shaming is the practice of shaming children who are on a reduced-price lunch programming if their parents are not current on their payment. Yes, shaming the children. In horrible ways- from throwing out their hot lunch and handing them instead a slice of cheese, to stamping on their arm “I Need Lunch Money.”  I NEVER recall that happening in my public school- this kind of cruelty seems relatively new. My theory is that it began in the 80’s when we decided to only measure value by the bottom line and the worship the almighty dollar over personal values, public good and moral achievement.  For Instance, we now hear a box office record reported, not whether the movie was good. We hear about how much money someone has made or is worth before we understand how they have led their life or what they did in order to achieve their wealth. 

But I digress. When I found out about Lunch Shaming, I decided I could use my voice to raise awareness.  I realized that New Mexico is the first state to pass a law against this horrible practice, but that it is not a federal law. Michelle Lujan Grisham is working now in the House and Senator Tom Udall is working in the Senate to make this come to pass. New Mexico Appleseed, a nonprofit organization, is working toward that end crafting these bills and working on the policy level to end childhood hunger.  Perfect. 

As I tour my show "The Meatball Chronicles," I will be working to raise awareness about Ending Lunch Shaming and giving folks in each city an action they can do to help.

 Let’s do this.

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So thrilled I got to be interviewed by the NBC affiliate WCSH6! And yes, the necklace was made by my husband, David Forlano, especially for me!

"Debrianna Mansini is an actress. She played Fran The Waitress in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. She came to Maine to put on her one-woman show "The Meatball Chronicles."

The show tells the story of Mansini's family - she's one of six daughters in a loud Italian family - and it's interwoven with her grandmother's recipe for meatballs.

The stories and the food evoke a lot of strong reactions from audience members. She's had one audience member tell her that he got so involved in a memory triggered by her show that he missed some of her performance. She also decided not to actually cook the meatballs on stage, realizing that the smells of the cooking dish may interfere with audience members' inner processes.

One of the things that Mansini does as she tours the play is to work with a local chef to come up with a dish to accompany the show. For the Portland run of the show, which you can find at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, Mansini paired up with Chef Eddy at the Front Room."207 stills 0518 1_1495143414667_9497696_ver1.0.jpg

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The start of my Meatballs Tour is off to a great start! What a warm and caring community we found in the southern part of our home in the great state of New Mexico. Peter and Ceil Herman, the owners of the Black Box Theatre could not have been more supportive. And what a fantastic theater space they have created in LC. We worked together to get the space ready for the performance- our first chance to experiment with a large playing area for the video. The audiences were terrific and the response the show was…overwhelming. I don’t need to go on and on- the pictures tell the story, as I write this blog with the help of Cashew.


And yes, I found out Clamato and Beer in a can is a thing.






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‘I’ll call my mother . She can help you.

Your mother wants to feed babies chicken liver and brains Al, don’t be an ass.’



Some lessons just stick with you.
(These are a few lines from my solo show, The Meatball Chronicles, which is coming up next April 21-23 in Las Cruces at the Black Box Theater, btw).

Yup, my grandmother Florence. She was amazing. I think it’s because of her influence so early in my life that I recognized the value of good, healthy food. She only recently passed at 103 years old, with not one illness. She always said “If you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” That may be why I read THE JUNGLE with such vigor as a teenager. I was the annoying kid in the grocery store reading the ingredients label out loud. It just took a while for what I knew - what my Grandmother Florence knew- to become ‘chic.’

So, in that light, I am sharing with you what our trainers at Dynamic Fitness gym call 'the best cookie ever,' in honor of my gram, Florence.

I love Sally’s Baking Addiction. The recipe I began with is hers. I make my own organic vanilla every year and when I am done with the beans, I throw them in a big jar filled with organic sugar to flavor it. I do the same with Kosher salt. That will, of course, bump up the flavor profile in the end result. I try to use as many organic ingredients as I can. I followed her recipe, soaking the raisins in Triple Sec and hot water first. I added 3/4 cup of organic chopped walnuts and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. I used Trader Joe’s oven toasted organic oats. The most interesting change I made was taking out 1/4 cup of the organic all purpose flour and substituting it with a new ingredient, coffee flour. Coffee flour is super nutritious and it is a triple bottom line food. People, planet, profit.

So these cookies fall in line with ALL of my core values as an actorvist who cooks. Healthy for everyone and deeelish.

Click : Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies






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As April approaches, The Meatball Chronicles is making its way forward. We spent last week visiting the wonderful Black Box Theater in Las Cruces and aligning with a great restaurant there called Lorenzo’s for the companion dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed the eggplant special with pink tomato sauce. Chef Vince was fabulous and I am totally looking forward to his creation for the weekend of the show. Our road trip was filled with lots of unique road signs and a stop at the VLA or Very Large Array, in New Mexican.

One evening at dinner, we were chatting over Vietnamese and one of our guests mentioned how she had spent a lot of time cleaning her closet over the previous weekend. That did it! She was at least the fifth person, not including my self, who I know had been doing the same thing! I blurted out, “I blame Trump.” She nearly choked on her pho, shaking her head in agreement. And here is why, in my opinion- it’s a way in which we can feel some measure of control in what seems to be an uncontrollable, chaotic world. It is something we can do and ‘feel’ like something positive has been done, that we can quickly point to, that has changed. It’s often why I cook but last weekend was different. I have wanted to clean out my drawers for .... oh... a few years and just out of the blue, went at it with gusto. Several friends said the same happened to them. Now, we are not rocket scientists, but it made sense to us over our pho.

And at least our closets are clean


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You just can’t stop art. 

You can cut funds,*45, but we, artists, will still be here. Now is no exception.

My husband, David Forlano, was recently asked to be part of a new show with the theme ‘subversive.’ He is not usually a political artist, but these times bring out .... other sides. He came up with a title called “Balls to the Wall” referencing the Wall. And off we went, riffing on all the ways to make the project happen. And before we knew it, we were collaborating on another project with balls in the title. The show will be in July with our great friend Michael Freed in his Gallery, OffRoad Productions, in Santa Fe. And then, we will be off to the FringeArts in Philadelphia in September, making #TheMeatballChronicles happen. Balls, balls, and more balls,*45. Get ready. We are on a roll. With or without your money.

With thanks to


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“Coincidence takes a lot of planning.”


It’s a phrase I have heard quoted a lot lately. It is something said by the great Malcolm Nance, who is saying this recently in reference to politics and espionage. No, I am not a spy but more times that I think possible, my life as an actor overlaps with my zeal for politics and here is yet another. As I spend the last few weeks of February trying to get as prepped as I can in advance for the September 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, AKA FringeArts, coincidence and planning are high in my mind and activities. Ok, mostly planning. Renting a space from afar for The Meatball Chronicles, trying to imagine seats and stage, thinking about projectors, lighting plots and parking, lining up a restaurant from across the Country, and pulling in all contacts “Philadelphia” is the planning part. Yesterday, I mention my endeavor now to go to Philly, still many months away, to a friend and she says “Oh, I have someone who can help you on the ground,” then, I look up Malcolm on google to make a clickable link on his name to his twitter feed (for those of you who don't know who he is) and my eyes widen when I notice that he is PHILLY based!! So I am seeing in plainly obvious ways, how planning and ‘coincidence’ overlap. But mostly, it’s planning that looks like coincidence. Now... apply that measure of thought to our current politics....

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Inspiration takes many forms and comes sometimes from places we never expect. Sometimes when we aren't even looking for it, it pops up. For me, it often comes while I am cooking. It is the place I go to - the kitchen - to seek refuge. To create. To extend myself when I think I can no longer do so. It’s a place for healing that I can share. It’s a win win my husband will tell you....

trump flag

'Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home!' That was what it felt like listening to the media spew about his ‘tone’ being ‘spot on.’

Watching what little of Trump’s SOTU as I could, his behavior was not unexpected. I knew he would ‘perform.’ It’s what people with his disorder do when they are cornered. And he, being the consummate entertainer above all else, took that national platform and dangled a big carrot in front of all the world-look at the shiny object-as proof. “Oh, see... he IS a president, listen to his new tone! He IS normal!!”

No. He isn’t.

Those of us who have lived with and were able to identify as disorder his Disorder, were NOT surprised. We expected it. And watching the ecstatic reaction to his ‘tone’ made me want to scream like my hair was fire. Didn’t you all SEE this flip flop in the last 20 months during his campaign? Do you all have amnesia? Didn’t you hear his ‘false flag’ comments a few hours earlier regarding the attacks on jewish cemeteries?? He turns on and off when HE NEEDS to do so. Wait for it, he will be back. Back to twitter and his bitterness. Back to his disorder of personality and our national crisis. The biggest crisis being that, as a nation, we refuse to see the Emperor has no clothes. And he is parading around naked - in front of all of us.

I am going to bake. Maybe a carrot cake.


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Well... 2016 is starting off with a bang! We are already in pre production on my solo show The Meatball Chronicles, directed by Global Story Coach Tanya Taylor Rubinstein, which opens in May at the Railyard Performance Center.  For Giving Productions will be well on the way before that happens. We have several staged readings coming up and are locking down the end of the year shows now. On February 14th, we will bring back "Hearts of the West- Stories of the Mail Order Brides" at Center Stage in the Santa Fe Center for Spritual Living for one show only at 2pm. Then in March, also at Center Stage, "Rapture, Blister, Burn" by Gina Gionfriddo. If you missed this intensely smart and funny show the last time we did it, be sure you catch it now- this run is a benefit for Emerge NM on March 5th at 7pm and March 6th at 4 pm. Both shows directed by Janet Davidson. Tickets are only $20. Center Stage is located at 505 Camino De Los Marquez.

Stay tuned here for details about The Meatball Chronicles as it rolls along!   Gratitude. 


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I am very excited to be playing Gerogia O'Keeffe opposite the great Ali MacGraw! We are doing a selected reading from the "Awakening in Taos" screenplay. Thank you for casting me Mark Gordon! And thank you to the producers of this special project about the enormous contributions of Mabel Dodge Luhan.

Please feel free to share. 

Awakening Invite jpeg

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This week, i shot the promo for a new sustainability project! I will be the face of it because i walk the talk- we have an urban organic garden, solar panels for heat, hot water and electricity. Our car is a plug in hybrid Ford Cmax, and we have a large water catchment system. I am very excited for the launch- watch here for the news!!



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Our theater compnay FGP Ensemble is performing two shows in tow locations this weeknd- i will be performing in Hearts of the West- Stories of Mail Order Brides as part of the Night Wave Santa Fe Event and my colleagues Tatyana Stavrowsky and Christpher Dempsey ( both from our production of Rapture, Blister, Burn)  will be at Warehouse 21 doing the acclaimed production of SLOWGIRL!! Here in Santa Fe from the Geffen. Scroll thru below for details.


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My awesome coach Al Garcia posted this on Facebook and i just HAD to reply. I have always been aware of food since i was a child- likely because of my grandmother , who is about to turn 102 this May. She was what some would call (and did) a "health nut" and i recall her a lot of her advice~ " If you don't have your health , you don't have anything, " and "Everything in moderation " and she meant everything NATURAL. There is no need for chemical substitutions if you are moderate with nature. I remember her showing me a cartoon about saccharine and rats and never forgot it. Thanks Gramma.


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Just Sayin' ... we are standing up! A great post i wanted to share 

From Buzzfeed


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Most exciting news today! Just after visiting director Sydney Freeland in LA , her film Drunktown's Finest screened in Denver. She is an amazing young director who has a huge future. Today brought the news of LONDON! Drunktown's Finest was selected to screen at the London Sundance Film Festival - one of only 20 that were selected. I am so thrilled the she cast me in it and most of all, having had the extraordinary experience of working with her. The festival is April 25, 26 and 27. I will be working here performing with Janet Davidosn's awessome For Giving Production's company in The Space at Casweck Galleries in another David Lindsay Abaire show called "Kimberly Akimbo." As my dear friend has said, it is an embarrassment of riches to be working so much at what i love to do. I am not embarrassed, but feeling blessed!

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I am obsessed with the show VICE on HBO. Its a rough ride but exhilarating to see real journalism on important issues. After seeing images of ice cleaving off Greenland in real time, I cannot get my head wrapped around just how loud the alarm bells should be ringing and they are not. So I wonder, other than tweeting my fool head off, what can I do? Keep setting the example and hope others will follow. We CAN do something , individually, right from where we are.
We are getting PV on our roof soon. We already have solar heat and hot water, a plug in hybrid, and strong water collection. Here is a pic of my heirloom tomato starts - can you identify all the recycled items?
 I was recently inspired by my friend Matt Berlin. I was asked to work on his project called The Return, whose subject matter is not too far off from those alarm bells. What is didn't know about was his non profit in Kenya providing clean water, called Other Paths. People can do amazing things. Today, I am growing non GMO tomatoes. And reminding you all to do something for your mother earth. Do it NOW. We can't wait.

Tomato Starts

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Getting ready to leave for LA. When i  get back , i get into rehearsal for two more  shows of Rapture Blister Burn, then i dig into David Lindsay Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo. I love his writing and playing Margie was the role of a lifetime so far.


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I have the best extra curricular job - i am developing a new performance destination called The Space at Casweck Galleries. I believe that galleries are competing with the internet and need to become more than just a bricks and mortar location. I wanted to combine the arts- visual and performing and voilá- The Space is coming into being. The theater company i belong to called For Giving Productions started the experiment with a staged reading of "Motherhood Out Loud" which accompanied the event "Art Matters | Santa Fe" and packed the house. Our next show also supports "Art Matters" theme of 'collections'- we will perform a collection of letters of the mail order brides called "Hearts of the West." Its an amazing collection that tells of the desire and struggles for relationships while the West was being settled... and shows us how some things never change.

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My trip to Sundance Film Festival has come to a close. What an exciting adventure it has been. I look forward to Sundance 2015. I hope to see Robert Reddford and Sydney Freeland and all my friends from Drunktown's Finest there... if not before!

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Damon Albarn does a little gig at Sundance Headquarters.

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Acura insider has a great tent at Sundance film festival. I am here for my role in Drunktown's Finest. My bestie Robbi Firestone, commission portrait artist, and I took photos in the cool car photo booth Acura has there. They sponsored my dinner at the fabulous 350 Main and are limo ing me around as I twitter about them. I went back to thank them and WOW, my dear friend Anne Litt was there from KCRW live broadcasting for the Festival. Imagine my joyful surprise!! Thank you Acura for helping make this an amazing adventure!!

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Robert Redford introduces the world premier of Drunktown's Finest at Sundance Film Festival.

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Ok, now we have the fashion portion of getting ready for Sundance Film Festival. I took my co star from Drunktown's Finest, MorningStar to see fashionista Magita Story from Elven Velvet . Her dresses will be seen on the red carpet during Oscar season. We are so lucky!!

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Getting ready for the Sundance Film Festival is no small thing. And getting dressed for it is one of many journeys i am encountering. I was lucky to be dressed by two of Santa Fe's best - Elven Velvet and Atelier Danielle. And now, for the jewelry. I was generously accommodated by Patina Gallery and the collections of FordForlano!

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