august header
August/September 2014        
Oh, my dear, what a tremendous summer! The weather was sublime, the studios were hopping, and we were voted the number one rehearsal studio by backstage readers for the 8th time running!

Of course, the summer wasn't all roses and sunshine. The passing of two showbiz luminaries served as a reminder that our time on this stage is limited, just as the outpouring of love from their fans around the world showed us how important it is to bring laughter and joy to our fellow humans. So the next time you are warming up your voice, strapping on your character shoes, or running lines in the RG halls, remember Robin and Joan, and what a privilege it is to bust our butts in showbiz. As Joan herself said, "Listen. I wish I could tell you it gets better, but... it doesn't get better. You get better."

Birthday blessings to Cynthia, Mike, Sisco, and our namesake, Jeannie Ripley-Grier! Here's to our reliable, helpful Virgos!
-John Norman
Director of Operations
Ripley-Grier Studios

Big Apple Chapel

 I've heard performers say that the theatre is their church, but in the case of Big Apple Chapel, their church is our rehearsal studio. Literally. Surprisingly, BAC is not our first church group to find a home here, but they are the longest-running group to bring prayer and worship into our space, unless you include the countless prayers raised while waiting in line to sing your 8 bars. I had the opportunity to speak with one of BAC's founders, Bill Cobb, about what BAC is all about, and how they ended up with us.
"Well, we used to meet in a brownstone apartment before we came to you folks. We've always thought of BAC as a 'House Church'". The church is affiliated with the Plymouth Bretheren, whose groups are "all independent, self-governing, local congregations, and there are no central headquarters or formal affiliation with any denomination" (Wikipedia). BAC seeks to train its congregants to "Learn the truth, Live the truth, and help others live the truth", and as such, has no full-time clergy or official hierarchy (Mr. Cobb is a university professor). BAC came to us, as many do, hoping to escape the crushing rents of New York and find a place that they could share with others, but also call their own. Since many of the church members were in the arts, they came to look at RG, and were taken by its "clean, bright spaces and eclectic mix of people that mirrored the city". They settled into studio 16Q, and have been there ever since.

Big Apple Chapel is an open and accommodating church. For more information, visit them online at , or stop by 16Q on Sunday mornings.
feng shui color chart
Patricia Ripley 
Feng Shui and Fitness

Happy Birthday Jeannie! (9/18/99)


Traveling with family is a wonderful test of patience, compromise, and love so I always bring my Feng Shui philosphy along on the trip.

 In August we went on a three week road trip.  Butch drove 2500 miles with two teenage girls, me and a new puppy, Johnny.  We drove through 6 States and Washington DC and spent a week in Cape May, N.J.  We visited and were thrilled riding rides in 7 amusement parks boasting the highest, fastest and scariest rollercoasters in the world.  Whew!,  Butch went on all of the extreme rides, the girls on most of them and me on the wooden coasters and the traditional park rides, tilt a whirl, wild mouse, the scrambler. the carousel, etc.  We booked pet friendly motels (mostly Marriotts) to accomodate Johnny, our new beagle pup. Pet hotels are expensive, all having extra cleaning charges, but they were comfortable.  This was Johnny's first road trip and he handled it well..  

 We started at 6 Flags Park in New Jersey, then Dorney Park, Hershey Park and Kennywood Park in Pennsylvania.  Next was a side trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, really great, highly recommended. We headed to the king of parks, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, an unbelieveable place.

We overnighted in Charleston West Virginia and headed to Kings Dominion Park outside of Richmond, Virginia.  We made a spur of the moment stop in Washington DC and toured the monuments. The girls were thrilled to have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.  The last leg of the road trip took us by ferry to Cape May, out of Lewes, Delaware.  We spent a week there and went to Wildwood Park for our final park. (See Jeannie's Spot for the names of favorite rides).  During the whole trip I made sure we dined at the best local restaurants.

 I returned home with no weight gain, a first for me.  My advice is not to try to diet when on a vacation, but look for gyms and stay physically active. I have lost 3 lbs since beginning my plan outlined in the last issue and will continue on the path..


FYI:  I continue to teach my fitness classes at RG 131 on West 72nd St., (212 799-5433, ext. 204) for info. Also I am teaching two introductory Feng Shui classes in October: October 9th for the Oceanside Public Schools, Department of Community Activities, (516 594-2336 for info) and on October 20th for the Long Beach Public Schools Continuing Education, visit their Website to register.  Later in the year I plan to teach an intro Feng Shui at RG 520, to be announced.


                         Wishing everyone a wonderful end of summer and a beautiful fall season!  



Blessings,  Patricia


Get your RG Swag!
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13 years ago.
Like it was yesterday.

Teach Peace.
Employee of the Season!

Noe Rojas, pictured here with his lovely wife Sandra, came to work for us back in 2001. Anyone who lines up early for open calls at our 520 8th ave location knows him as our #1 early bird, coming in to open the flagship location every weekday at an hour when most of us are stumbling blindly to the coffee pot. He brings an unflappable stability to the front desk, with his seemingly bottomless reserves of patience and dedication. According to our records, he once took a sick day back in '04, but we're pretty sure that's a book-keeping error.
Need Space for a Fitness Class?

Yay, Nakeya!

Nakeya Page just became the latest winner of the Ripley-Grier Stop-Smoking Challenge! $500 for six smoke-free months!
Jeannie's Spot

Over the summer, I got to go on an awesome three week trip to seven amusement parks with my parents and my friend!! First, we stopped at Six Flags in Jackson, NJ, my favorite ride there is Nitro. Second, we stopped at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA, my favorite ride there is Steel Force. Third, we stopped at Hershey Park in PA, my favorite ride there is Skyrush. Fourth, we stopped at Kennywood in Pittsburgh, PA, my favorite rides there are Phantom's Revenge and Skyrocket. Fifth, we stopped at my favorite park, Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, my favroite rides there are Millenium Force and Maverick. Sixth, we stopped at Kings Dominion in Doswell, VA, my favorite ride there is Intimidator 305. And finally, we stopped at Wildwood in NJ, my favorite ride there is Great White. Over all, my top 5 favorite roller coasters are Millenium Force, Steel Force, Intimidator 305, Skyrush, and Nitro.

Jeanne-Michelle Ripley-Grier is the daughter of RG founders Butch Grier and Patricia Ripley.