Monday, January 31, 2011

Today was pretty cool...

You know something, Bob Geldof? I DO like Mondays. Especially if they're like today.

This morning I went to the ABC casting office, and was a reader for Marci Phillips for a few hours. She's casting 8 new pilots for the network, and my job was to read the scenes with the actors who were auditioning. It was so much fun, and really eye-opening and- dare I say- encouraging. All the actors came in and did great reads, and they were all different. It proved to me that there's no "right way" to interpret a character. Whatever you do, if you do it honestly, IS the right way. Marci is great, because at the sign in table, she has handouts with encouraging quotes on them by Mike Dooley.

Here's one: When just starting out on a new journey it's only natural to feel vulnerable. After all, it may seem that you have much to lose. But may I remind you that never again, at any other point in the same journey, will you have so much to gain.

It's all really inspiring, and just goes to show she's supportive of actors, and that's a nice feeling. As I see it, I got a 2 and a half hour audition for a super casting director. Pretty sweet start to my Monday.

And THEN...I went to Starbucks across the street, and the real fun began. As I sat there drinking my coffee, an older fella walks in, and as the place was crowded, he asked a woman if the extra seat at her table was taken. She invited him to join her, and they started talking about the headlines in the paper she was reading, from arts to Egypt. I looked up, and the sweet man was Jeffrey Tambor! On my way out, I was headed over to say hello to him, when another customer realized her wallet was missing. JT started to help her look for it, and so I started to help JT help look for it, so it wouldn't seem strange that I was just standing there in the middle of a crisis. Then, JT puts his hand on my shoulder and says, "My bag is gone. Someone took my bag." So we look around for his bag, and then he grabs me again and says, "Wait. I didn't bring my bag. It's OK." At that point, we chatted a little, I told him that I'd worked with some of his friends a long time ago at Milwaukee Rep, and THEN JT gave me his email address to pass along to them so they could catch up after all this time. That's right. I have his email address. As I left, he asked me if I was still acting, and said, "Knock 'em dead."

Then I called Dean, and bought refills for the Cat Litter Locker at the pet store across the street.

And THEN, I had lunch at Amber (a sushi place near us), and I thought I heard the voice of someone I knew, coming from the next table. I looked, and didn't recognize anyone, and then I began eavesdropping. The guy with The Voice was talking to his friend about science, and that's when I realized it was Ira Flatow from NPR's "Science Friday!" I didn't speak to him, but I did listen to him, which was just like having the radio on in a sushi restaurant.

Fast forward to this evening. After Dean and I ate dinner, we settled in for a little TV on the sofa, and heard our super awesome friend Libby Collins' voice on a commercial for Jared Jewelers. Next time you see the spot about their "Chocolate Diamonds," that's our girl. She is the Voice of Jared.

So today was about voices and actors and good sushi. And love. It's always about love.


Friday, January 28, 2011

If you hug me, I will lose it.

I thought that a window was closed, but it opened back up. And I'm holding sides for a pilot for ABC. And I have an audition for a play tomorrow, and The Best Husband Ever has gone to pick up a script for me for another reading I have Monday. And my dog is snoring, and I have a glass of wine.

I might cry.

There are all sorts of things I wrote down today that I thought would be fun to share, but right now, I just don't have it in me (that's what she said.) So, please accept this distilled recap of my day (above) until I can be funnier.


And thank you, Universe. I'll be real careful with what you're giving me right now.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Only Boring People Get Bored? I Don't Think So.

Last night, after the longest day in memory, I vowed that today I would do absolutely nothing. It was meant to be a sort of gift to myself, a day of relaxation and recharging. I envisioned myself making a healthy breakfast, catching up on my DVR shows, walking Hank for longer than usual, and maybe doing a little bit of shopping for things we need, like dog shoes and orange curtains. You know, typical New York stuff.

Instead, I find myself in a self-imposed imprisonment, because it is so freaking cold outside. People back home in SC forget that we don't drive here. We don't get in the car to run down the Bed Bath and Beyond, we bundle up and walk there, wind slapping us in the face, and our freezing cold pants hugging our legs the entire way. Yes, there are cabs- but they are best caught on the corner, which is A) outside, and B) outside.

So, I'm here inside, vowing not to work, but it's driving me crazy. There are so many things I could be doing. Here's a list:

Clean out my closet
Gather, sort, and drop off the laundry (though it involves going outside)
Complete the Fringe application for The Salvage Company
Get ideas together for my LAByrinth group project
Update my resume
Play Wii
Clean something. Anything.
Drink wine
Dress up like Dean
Learn to say "I'm bored" in other languages
Enjoy Univision
Finally Put away the Advent Calendar

See, there are lots of things I could be doing. But apparently, I do not do well with unstructured time. If someone else says, "you need to be here for this event for this time period," then I'm great. But this "free time" doesn't sit well with me.

Side note: Dean just texted to ask if I'd broken into the bourbon yet. I was delighted to be reminded that we HAVE BOURBON IN THE HOUSE! But, I will wait until he returns.

I have learned a few things today. I've learned from several news outlets (Access Hollywood, Kathi Lee and Hota, and Perez Hilton) that Oprah has a half sister she knew nothing about. I've learned that the teenage daughter on "Modern Family" is actually 20 years old, and I've learned that Jack LaLanne's son will be taking over the family business. But today, I have also known heartache. I had to turn down a kick ass audition because I have a performance tomorrow morning. I ran out of dog food. And Hank's feet got cold on our walk, and passers-by looked at me askance as I carried him home. So all in all, things balanced out.

Tomorrow, I will tackle NYC once again, heading out face-first into the cold. I will do my work and I won't whine, and I will pack all kinds of things into a limited amount of time. I will rush around, skipping meals, riding trains, and lugging my bag for blocks and blocks and blocks.

And I will love every second of it. But until then, I'm going to cuddle with this dog.

Now, pass me the bourbon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

That's What She Said

I was going to call this post "Cramming it All In."

I've heard from a couple of fans lately that my public wants another blog post (thanks, Mom and Dad.) Hey, parents count as fans.

The truth is, I have all these ideas for things I want to share with you all, but I've been too freaking busy to actually sit down and write. If I find myself with a spare hour, which I do not lately, I am either walking to Trader Joe's for more hummus, dragging the laundry to the cleaners, or taking Hank for a walk. If these chores didn't exist, I'd use that free hour for watching Kathi Lee and Hoda, or I'd go to the gym and be "that girl" in the yoga class who makes everyone feel better about themselves.

But THIS morning, I am staking claim to a precious 30 minutes to share with you, gentle reader, all the things that have kept me so busy. (Side note: A while back I wondered if people would think I was talking too much about myself on here, and then I realized it was my flippin' blog, and if someone is here reading it, then they must be interested in what I'm doing, and if they're not, then they should make their own blog. Here is how: Step one- go to Blogger and make your own blog. Step two- write about yourself. Step three- try to get 49 followers, like ME.)

When I read that last part out loud, it was really funny. At least to me.

OK, so I'm doing this kids show, and I'm in this class where we have scenes to learn and direct and write, and plays to read and design projects to do, AND...drumroll, please, #serials@theflea opens tonight!!!! We've been rehearsing that for weeks now, and tonight is the big opening. (That, too, is what she said.) I might be taking a disco nap this afternoon and tomorrow, as these are late night shows, and I am older than everyone else in the show, BUT it's going to be a blast, and you should come if you're in town.

Huh. That's really all that's keeping me from writing. Doesn't look like much once it's written down, does it? It's really been a lot of memorizing, more than anything. You know, for scenes and stuff. So...that was it. I promise, it was all very time consuming.

OH! I took a class with Marci Phillips, the casting director for ABC, and 4 days later, they called me in to be a reader, which is pretty cool! I'll let you know how that goes. It was pretty exciting to get a call from ABC, though at first I thought it was the restaurant I'd been to the night before (Pipa, at ABC Carpet and Home), calling to say I'd left my card there. :) There was sangria involved.

I have to sign off now- the gym calls (it's two blocks away, and easy to hear), and I have scenes to read and rehearsal later. To pique your interest on upcoming topics, I will leave you with this list of actual notes from my phone of things I want to blog about:

Dunkin Donuts v. Starbucks
New paper (don't know what this means)
Koran on Kindle
Go fuck yourself
Tattoo Diana Death Symbolism
German texts

Yeah, I'm not so sure these notes will be helpful...but I'll give it a shot.
Until next time...

Monday, January 3, 2011

New News for the New Year

Remember where you were on New Year's Eve 1999? Didn't 2011 sound like the future? Like, Star Trek future, only without Shatner fighting monster men.

Well, some exciting things have happened as 2010 drew to a close, so I thought I'd share them with you now. You know, kind of like one of those Christmas letters your Aunt Ruthie sends from Omaha every year. Only this one is from me. And digital.

First things first: we finally got a TV. It was a Christmas present to ourselves, and it's pretty awesome to have actual live news and sports right in our living room. But after 6 months of NPR and Hulu, I've realized there are some things about TV that I have NOT missed. I've not missed how easily we can get sucked into staring at the glowing screen, regardless of what is on it. We found ourselves watching an old episode of "Hannah Montana" yesterday, simply because it was on. Also, I have not missed all the commercials. Granted, there are advertisements on Hulu, but they are fewer, and they are kindly tailored to my personal tastes, thanks to whatever hoodoo Big Brother is working on us.

I'm especially excited to have a TV (and as of tomorrow, cable) so I can watch this TV show I shot recently. It's a new series set to air on the Sundance Channel, called "Garo Unleased," and it follows designer Garo Sparo as he creates new outfits for people and their new lives or special occasions. He makes me a fancy party dress, and it was definitely an experience. I'll let y'all know when it airs.

Next Sunday, I start the Master Class at LAByrinth Theatre Company. It runs for the next 5 Sundays, from 10am-6pm, and I'm excited to be taking part in such an intensive class. LAByrinth has a great reputation, and boasts some famous names in their roster of company members, like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lynn Nottage, and Michael Shannon. Our first class will consist of movement, voice work, and writing, and I've been told to bring a notebook. I hope I can find a really good Hello Kitty one. Or Hannah Montana.

Things are heating up at The Flea Theatre, as we get closer to the start of our Serials project. We've been divided into 5 teams, each given the task of developing a 10-minute play. Beginning January 21st, late-night audiences will come to the show, and see all 5 short plays. They will then vote on the 3 shows they'd like to see return the following week with a new "episode." The 2 not chosen have to develop a NEW show to present the following week, and try their luck again. It's been a great way to meet super people, and it feels good to be a part of something bigger- not just a show, but a whole theatre company. Working at The Flea is definitely making it easier to be away from our beloved Trustus Theatre in Columbia, SC.

Finally, on January 13th, I open "Little Red Riding Hood," with the Manhattan Children's Theatre. It's been cool to see the caliber of actors working on this show- one of our actors went to Yale- and I laugh at every rehearsal. It's a sweet gig- daytime shows at 11am, and it's directly across the street from The Flea! Plus...they pay me. Thanks to Jerry and Jim at Columbia Children's Theatre in SC for showing me the ropes before I got up here. :)

It's funny...ok, maybe not "haha" funny, but interesting... there are days when things feel pretty bleak, career-wise. When I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, if things will ever take off, if this is worth it. And then Dean tells me he believes in me- in US- and I forge ahead. And then, I write things down to share with you, and you know...I think I'm doing OK.

Hell, I might even be doing great.

Happy New Year!