Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lateness of the Hour

About the disappearance of my blog, I have merely been lazy. That I can claim. 

Many other things in the universe have been stirring about and thus, my attention has been drawn, focused and laid elsewhere. However, I have many things to say.

I have just finished my third theatre show in 5 months. Since I began my resurgence with theatre in late June, I have officially become an EMC member and am on my way - if I so wish - to becoming Equity. Oh, and I do wish. But I must garner the connections and experience before suddenly joining the union. Such is also said of SAG, but I was DEFINITELY ready to join that. However, the connections are devastatingly important. I'm still trying to establish a name among certain casting directors, but you can imagine such a ongoing task was nearly impossible while away in Sonora. 

I am back in La La to stay, though. Ready to shake ropes, crawl under barbed wire fences, trespass, bullhorn my way around the city. Wait, no, that's not exactly how it works. But there is no exactly, is there? Nope. Especially in the City that Never Texts Back. That is the NY equivalent nickname of Los Angeles, by the way. 

Instead, I have been using my time to understand the manifestations to be called out of the world's energy.  One foot in reality, one foot in idealism / delusion / dreams - and one eye, too. We must measure out the levels of reality with our consciousness. Awareness is key. And those that do not realize that are many. But carry on we do, through conversations, situations, moments and lives while struggling to understand the reality.  It does come to us, but it is within our perception - and that is a filter that must be continuously honed and refined.

My episode of Days of Our Lives has aired. I am auditioning for the Actors' Studio come Sunday. The number 39 is out and about and retaining space in my brain. Theatre ties are strong for a newbie. My reel will soon be getting a facelift and photos, well, photos are waiting to be taken. Not just on Instagram, mind you (but definitely also on Instagram). I have hiked a monster hike in Yosemite. I have made the greatest almond butters of all time. No joke, I was taught to do so and I am now a butter fiend...

Will the city of La La allow me to manifest these great, deep desires? I certainly hope so. Perhaps I will meditate on these urges - though I have an aversion to do so. Why, I do not know. Meditation makes perfect intellectual health sense. And yet, I find myself not taking the time to do it, despite its obvious benefits. I hereby vow to change that.  Since letting go is a giant factor in my life, so should I allow that theme to hold hands with time. 

You should too, if you have fifteen minutes. There's a great Ted talk on it somewhere

Love to you on this night.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Kinky-Haired Scrutiny

Desire, oh, desire.

 Do you find it like you turn over a rock, if you have the courage to do so? Does it already live in the hammock between your heart and mind, rocked by those more curious and prominent breezes and winds - or merely gliding over the negative space round body, skin and crevice?  When I desire something or to be a certain way, I find the resonance is what weights me into that decision - IF we are thinking of it carefully; IF we have practiced and questioned our sureness about what we want, wish to do, must have.  Resonance can be instinctual for some - free, impulsive, and they will run toward it with open arms, teeth flashing and gums salivating. But for myself, it was once instinctual, then sadly obstructed by the wool-pulls of life, and since it has been a careful journey of recognition through my natural introspection. Like navigating an underground Mayan temple, Indiana Jones hat in tow, and finding a beautiful item among the stony passageways. The untempered instinct will wish to pick it up for their possession at once! However, could there be an unseen rig or trap attached to its removal?  Is there a cost for having that thing, that thing we so desire and that so resonates with us at that time?

I admit that I have ruined many a moment by questioning it TOO much, but happily - and in this small mining town in Northern California - the instincts are re-materializing in my core, whole and beautiful. And I merely strengthen the muscle that scans the warm of that resonance so as to make sure it isn't the warmth of radiation instead.

Nurse Kelly - my role in HARVEY - is getting into full hip-swing. It may not be the Joan Holloway hip-swing that I wish it to be, but I am surveying the sex-bomb quality of this character with relish. The nurse uniform doesn't hurt either. Quickly I hit upon a vocal quality that is already transforming me in a direction I like. But does the director like it? I have no clue. He is allowing his actors to play while our blocking evolves with the patience of a spider - albeit one that isn't waiting to PREY per se, but as one who will know when it is time to strike; his many eyes watching over our cast of twelve. This being my (unexpectedly) third show in a row this year, I am keenly aware of the blessing to be on stage.  Live. Different audiences, different moments. Letting all of the factors affect you without completely sweeping you off of your feet. I am digging and deepening into my acting instincts like bare feet into thick, sopping mud right now and I love it.  Most saliently I question: how can you allow somebody else to delegate your creativity when only you hold the key?  Only YOU know what is in that magnificent and infinite box of your imagination and soul. Yes, remain open to that direction, to those new moments of listening, and to the wisdom of fellow actors always, but you have to know your own ground. Especially in the case that those others might be WRONG.

This is the constant problem of La La. An actor is a product, easily categorized and placed into the money-making machine. Unfortunately, we are relying on others' judgements and assessments - many under the guise of "professional" - which may or may not be accurate. Our industry is FOUNDED on people allowing us to go on to the next level because they have deemed so. Someone has to take you there. Someone has to introduce you. Someone has to SEE you.  And most of the time? I find the eyesight of Hollywood to be in desperate need of prescription glasses.

Sonora has told me otherwise. It has told me that I don't have to change myself in any way that helps someone else make sense of me. I alone need to make sense of me. If you know your product, you can tell someone about your product. What roles are you perfect for? What are your strengths as an actor? Use their language to interpret those parts of you that only YOU might know, creatively and marketably.  Often, it seems a game of helping others to visualize what you CAN be, never just what you are. Trust me, I am now tempted to walk into my first CAA meeting with my high-top Levi sneaks, skinny jeans, an oversized shirt and the kinkiest blonde hair this side of the Mississippi. Why not? I'm not like the other gals anyway. And if I know that, I'm ok with that, why can't I walk the line just like that? Acting is about transformation - and THAT I can talk about with abandon.

Be cautious AND live without inhibition. Is that possible? Of course. It is about being wise while also living freely.  Then sit back and watch what life repeats in your face. It might be a word, an animal, a person, an astrological sign, a number, a kind of light, a kind of darkness.  What is speaking to you? What resonates with you? When you find it, offer it your hand and regard its touch.  You don't have to run off into the sunset with it. You can have a moment, let go and move on. You have a choice. Just choose what makes you happiest and adds nicely to YOUR reality.

Oh - and go act your ass off somewhere too. The stagnant pond gets pretty scummy and no brave soul wants to take a dip after awhile.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Look Itsa Pooka!

I'm in a pulitzer prize winning play!

Well, yeah the play was written in 1944 and yeah, its been done a million times and yeah, Jimmy Stewart starred in a movie about it in 1950, BUT I was just hired on for another show with Sierra Rep in the fall. Whoop, Ety, and Doo, folks. 

I'm incredibly excited. A wide sprint closer to Equity status. A paid professional theater job. A chance to continue honing and disciplining skills on which I sorely need to work.  A continued relationship with Sonora, the socially pocked capital of California. A longer time to explore personal, artistic endeavors. More time to ponder the IOOF. More time to explore Yosemite. More time to thrift. More time to read. More time to write. More time to practice yoga on my lonesome which I do often now and love.  More to watch hummingbirds. More yards from which to eat organic tomatoes, plums, peaches, apples. More ponds to ponder near. More cheap Knob Creek at the Iron Horse. More life to live and work to do toward goals I was already churning like butter in LA - and knowing I am near enough to be back soon.  

I feel very patient about everything right now. I don't know why except the change of pace. The stir-crazy feelings that should usually encroach don't because I am working as an actor. Its like my process and energy in rehearsals translates to a swipe of the blood of the Lamb on my front door frame while the Angel of Death floats past toward a different poor soul to envelop. Ten Commandments anyone? Anyone? Charlton Heston? Cecil B. DeMille epic? Oh. Man. Pom-Pom. So good. 

Hey, I know where to get good espresso, a great salmon salad, so-so sushi and I have a simple syrup lil' gym to visit if I want to be surrounded by high schoolers and their funny masks. Yes, we were all like that not long ago and wait, many haven't changed except to evolve their mask, refining them to a tee no one would quite notice because others are either too self-involved or are adept at doing the same thing and bored by yours. What? I didn't say that. Even though you know its true, though I'm not admitting it for a second. 

Instead, I can be truly concerned with this incredible script by Mary Chase - a woman who is apparently indirectly responsible for the Donnie Darko screenplay (I'm speculating!) because in 1944 she wrote about  an extremely pleasant alcoholic man who is best friends with a six foot (and a half!) tall white rabbit named Harvey, who is a Pooka. What is a Pooka? Here is a Pooka.  It's kind of fascinating. And the fact that Ms. Chase could popularize such subject matter within such a strict era context was pretty groundbreaking.  Reading about the main character, Elwood P. Dowd, I was inspired by his wonderfully lovely demeanor and overall true embodiment of tolerance over all things - specifically people and the handling of life that he is tied to.  It doesn't matter how many options are before us, there are always people pulling us in directions without our approval or consent.  Elwood, despite his alcoholism and constant companionship with a Celtic spirit, added the most truly evolved element to the lives of his loved ones and well, basically all newcomers to his conversation. 

He represents fairness, love, peace and many of the qualities we yearn for our own race on a majority level. Global loveliness. John Lennon-like levels. But this was all in 1944. So I really just want to talk to Mary Chase and understand who she based these people on.

In La-La, time is of the essence. No one is getting any younger. Time is money. In it to win it and all that. All I can say is, I'll be right back after these messages...from the Universe. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Where the Wild You Is...

Welcome to the Afterlife. 

I'm in Sonora, California. It's not heaven, nor is it hell - despite the glowing fires visible last night from a lone Tuolomne cabin burning not so terribly far away, sitting like a vermilion fog across the mountainside. If Mordor was ever a real vision...Truly wild and uncontrollable rage of nature, awakening locals as normally as coffee brewing.  The smell of smoked branches and foliage permeating each household, clamping the hearts of loved ones personally tied to the meek bravery out there among the trees, or what's left of them.  I'm awash with helplessness and little relation to the whole thing save for my current location. Pay your verbal respects, know the containment percentages and buy a firefighter a Blackeye at Starbucks.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

I don't think Dylan was referring to a rim fire, but it is certainly fitting. I sat awestruck on the stroke of midnight, absorbing the orange cloud with my tired eyes and feeling nothing about myself, just wonder at a thing so powerful and so pure yet so foreign.  A sense of guilt lay suspended in the air for having thoughts of beauty tied to such a monstrous, damaging thing. I think I had the same experience with an ex once.  What can I say? Dark needs light and so on.

Earlier today, I claimed a need to be stirred and roused with emotion. I mean in the sense that one can have that uncontrollable, unconstrained wailing release of pure feeling. The dam is breaking. I am seeking a perfect host through which I can wet the dry walls of the well. You know, that Well that lives at your core being. Music has definitely stormed the sea up into a tizzy, but there is no wave yet to upturn the boat and lose oneself to the elements. Danger Mouse, Doves, Norah, Jack, Cass, CocoRosie - the emotional and the strange. I will take it for now despite their lacking crowbar efforts to crack the safe. Pair these things with a winding, rural drive and there is nearly a solution.

Don't get me wrong, it is a blessing to be moved by things.  But it is an intake/outtake issue.  Like Lion's Breath in yoga, one needs to exert as much as take in. The Libra in me screams balance, the Virgo in me seeks urgency and the Scorpio Rising watches with distanced interest how it all might play out.   Release is craved, in so many ways.  I believe the answers lie in the finely combed honeygrass 'cross these California landscapes.  The land may be burning, but it is also calling. 

As I age, the battle against myself to allow feeling, to allow instincts and to trust my own joys, horrors and reactions seems both less daunting and yet far more sensitive. I have been trying to give in to the wild parts as of late. I AM wild in certain parts - even the most conservative countryside has some wild patches here and there. But how will you know who you are if you don't explore these territories? If you let fear keep you on the same path day after day, letting the familiarity not only cloak you - but rob you of fresh air?  Breathe, my darlings, breathe.  Breathe every single day, long glorious breaths - unless there is smoke in the air.  I think therein lies the problem.   I am tumbling through youthful emotional spaces that may or may not have rattlesnakes. I say to all, yes, go, journey, but there are no promises of safety. Belt out a glorious peal of laughter but do not be affected by the emergence of judgement. Don't even give those disrupted humans the time of day. But go, GO into the wild, what's a little poison oak?

Round Sonora, I drive from town to town, county to county, location to location, rehearsal to rehearsal. I often pass the IOOF, it's proud electric pink lettering mockingly reminding me to enter on the side door. I'm not a man, so I'm not allowed (though I may be an odd fellow, I'll give myself that).  But as I steer away from the main strip, my headlights catch what appears to be a cat playing furiously by the sidewalk in the dark street, easily in harm's way. I wonder all at once if he is feral or a kitten or if he needs a home or has caught a rat. I park instantly around the corner and walk back to see if I might rescue the thing or at least absolve my curiosity.  On approach, the little beast is revealed to be motionless in a pool of blood. The witness of such wild writhing was actually of his last moments in death, a mere... ten seconds ago. I stand still, mouth covered by hand, and imagine the wealth of pain. Again, beauty in the horror. Or is it horror in the beauty? This strange portrait experience seems related to so many planes of the day and of Sonora in general. Equal parts terrible, true, lovely and pungent.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Perhaps this is all too cryptic for you today. Perhaps my head is so chock full of things from a lack of blogging and lack of release that things are thick as coconut oil been sittin' in the fridge too lawng. Perhaps being out of urban territory has inspired way more synapses firing than I ever dreamed.  

I don't know, darlings. But have a beautiful day, won't you?

(PS, I took a photo of this door in Sonora four days before this event. It not only happens to be the very street on which my ill-fated stray died, its body was lying directly in before it.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Go North, Young Man

Fool's gold. You might say that one finds alotta that stuff in La La. If you pan the creek day after day (mostly because you don't have access to the A-List Ocean and also because doing extra work really isn't that different of a task), you're bound to find bits and pieces of something perhaps worthy. At least, that's a little of what it was like moving here in the first place, not knowing really anyone, growing up outside of the industry, searching for scraps - scouting - hunting. I always say that and imagine growing up on the outside of a great, incredible wall that encases some glorious, inaccessible city.  How to find a way in and survive in the meantime?

Of course, you're always a bit like Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters looking for the Gatekeeper; glasses askew, shirt untucked and heaving forth with an air of desperation and also unpolished debate.  Why are you worthy to go inside? These answers develop over time - as one gets to know one's self.   I think many actors' problems have exactly to do with that; being unsure with what they are capable of, where their limits are and how they fit in now and perhaps later. I find pitching myself to be exhausting, so lately I've been letting the work speak for itself.  Someone once communicated the sound argument that if you include, by practice and other means, your art in everyday life, like a true fusion of your mentality/physicality with said art, the work we desire will be drawn to us like a magnet.

This makes sense to me, except that waking up with the concept of acting is not so simple. There are plays to be read, workouts to be planned (and executed!), lines to be memorized, places to rehearse, diction to be perfected, movies to be seen, creativity to be tapped, people to meet, people to stay in touch with, people to run away screaming from, auditions to attend, hair to be done, checkbooks to balance, jobs to be found, and fool's gold to be panned for - among other things.  To incorporate the acting life is very much like stretching all the muscles of the body, as in yoga.  We breathe and flex for further progression into each category, all while trying to remain calm and focused.  The latter is much harder than it seems - Worry & Concern are terrible twins that tirelessly threaten to bully and mar the day. 

I have been proud of my progression this summer. Yes, I'll claim that statement! I have shot a national commercial, a guest spot on Days of Our Lives, a gun into the air as Annabella Schmidt in The 39 Steps, and soon I'll be heading up north near Yosemite to do Don't Dress for Dinner in the role of "Suzette", a French caterer and opportunist (Hey, I can play a caterer!! I can do that really REALLY well!!!).  I'll be working toward Equity status under this show as well as having a much needed vacay from La La. Don't get me wrong, love this town, but I need to TRAVEL, my friend. See some overgrown trees and squirrels, marvel at a cactus somewhere, move to a gold rush town in the middle of the northern state. Yes, let's do that. Oh, and I can't wait to attack their only thrift store.

More later on future endeavors. I've got other projects up my sleeve but they are in liquid form. I'll call you when they solidify. 

By the way, Breaking Bad is in four days. Four. August 11th. You haven't seen it? What is wrong with you? Get out your Netflix. Now.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Like a Rolling Hourglass...

My LA TV debut is a long time coming. Boy oh boy, I tell ya.

I got the good news this afternoon from my agent about booking a role on a very famous soap opera that I am wary to mention. Quick, lend me your tv guide articles! 
 (Who gets those anymore?)  Anyway, I auditioned for Marnie Saitta in February when I was dog-ass sick with the flu, BUT nevertheless very, very skinny - thanks, Flu!  I did my scene and Marnie just flat out told me that I'd never get cast in this role, or probably any role, because I look too much like one of their main stars. I didn't know who she was talking about, but I appreciated her candor. Hey, no skin off my toenail.

Suddenly last week I get a breakdown for a lookalike to this exact star for DoOL. I just realized that nobody probably ever abbreviates that title due to this outcome. Yikes. Anyway, COOL - Marnie remembers that I look like this woman and is calling me in! Mah-velous, dah-ling.

I was in the final throes of tech week for my play The 39 Steps when I received the audition.  There was a bout of confusion on Saturday (the audition being Monday) when I finally had a moment to open the sides. They were for a 17-year-old high school girl named Kira. And I thought: surely, they don't want me to play a 17-year-old version of this woman. Is this a flashback to her high school days moving forward into her...ahem, late twenties? How odd!  I finally deciphered that these are probably the wrong sides. So I received the right ones in the nick of time and ran to 3400 West Olive.

Bada-bing bada-boom. My only question thus far is, if this role is indeed an "Addict" (which that IS the name of the role and she is certainly high as a kite in the scene), then what drug is she using? I have to do some Youtube  research....or I could just knock on the gypsies' motor home door up the street and ask them if I can observe for a while. In exchange for a side table and some unwanted clothes, of course. Maybe a discman.

Anyway - I shoot next Tuesday. I do the show tomorrow night starting our second weekend of performances in Glendale. Oh yeah and I just shot a commercial for American Standard with a bad ass director in the shortest amount of crunched, stressed out time for a crew EVER. His work is here: Albert Kodagolian.

I leave you with a montage for THE 39 STEPS because its fun and you'll see a bit of what it might be about...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 39 Steps

Or..."Ze Serty-Nine Shteps" as my German spy character, Annabella, would say.

This just a blog of self congratulations. I saw a notice of audition for this play. I bought said play. I made an audition appointment for said play. I rehearsed German, British and Scottish dialects for said play. I attended TWO callbacks for said play. Now I have BOOKED said play! Hoorah and hooray! Huzzah and kazoo.

I'm most looking forward to the following spokes in the wheel:

1. It is an intimate cast with only four folks - I play three characters within the play - all love interests, fleeting to slightly more involved. The main squeeze, Richard, stays himself throughout. The other two guys  tackle a whopping 150 roles combined filling in every other character in the show - at points they are playing two to three characters within a single scene.

2. Physical comedy in the round - this play moves FAST because our  hero, Richard, is running AND pursuing AND just going going going until the end. There is little room for a moment of boredom, even for the cotton-candy-haired.  Time to pull out some heroes of physical comedy and get a-studyin'. 

3. Dialects! Yeah, I know, I won't shut up about them. Well, I LOVE THEM DADDY! I LOVE THEM AND YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! (Runs away sobbing to bedroom, slams door.) Other languages can not only be fascinating but hilarious. The mouth is a keyhole, the voice a key, and suddenly there you are unlocking perfectly wild characters from inside you. 

4. I haven't done a play in over 4 years!  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? That is absolute craziness. I miss live theatre horribly - oh, the stage! - and I have a feeling this will sort of purify my acting spirit.  All that distracting stuff floating around inside my head and chest? It will be shaken out and the good stuff will compress at the bottom near the diaphragm. That's where it needs to live. 

Of course I will remind everyone when this show is going up and I will personally strangle anyone that doesn't show in what will be a 5 weekend run. We open JULY 13th at the Glendale Centre Theater and run until August 17th. Very much excite! 

Here is a fun history of the theater if you are so inclined. A long-standing staple of La La and Glen-Glen.

Also, here is the entire film of the same title on which this play is based, an early Hitchcock endeavor.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Behind the Candelabra

It was Memorial Day and I celebrated by watching Behind the Candelabra - the new Soderbergh experiment. I call his films "experiments" because he has that snowglobe-director style of perpetual motion genre, never quite settling into one. He's a less masterful version of Ang Lee, but they are neighboring provinces in the game of Risk.  It is both enticing and admirable to watch a director kind of "work out" his kinks cinematically over the course of a career.  However, I have a love-hate relationship with Soderbergh because his concepts keep charming or intriguing me all the way to the box office and then I leave deflated or disappointed. The Girlfriend Experience? Please. A dump in a toilet could act better than Sasha Grey and MAYBE since the movie is entirely CARRIED by her it might be a good idea to cast an ACTRESS who has perhaps a little LIGHT behind her dead, dead eyes.  Hey, maybe she's considered the Garbo of Porn but Steven's "crossover" worked as well as a zombie and a chicken falling in love.

Also, Bubble - a super low budget indie flick starring no one, but apparently it was the first film to be available for immediate dvd purchase at the counter when you've....just seen it...I mean, maybe you wanna buy the movie you just saw loved it so much.  And you wanted to take it home TODAY.  To watch LATER.  Or, immediately again if that is what you prefer. My question is: DID ANYONE BUY THAT FILM? I don't even know anyone who saw the damn thing except myself and an ex.  It might be worth calling him just to recap our vague feelings about a film from 8 years ago. I actually remembering liking it at the time, but not enough to be a proud owner afterwards. Also, that's when dvds were like $20.

Don't even get me started on The Informant. Yes, I walked out on Matt Damon. He was sending me on a fast train to Snoozeville and I hate fading in public. And you cannot make me watch The Good German again no matter how loyal I am to a Clooney flick.  A message to all directors: never ever shoot Tobey Maguire in black and white. His eyes were so bulbous and vacant, they had a natural 3D component.

All of this sounds like a Soderbergh hate party, but it ain't. Look at his credits on IMDB - there are a ton of good films all with astounding differences and risks that may or may not have been successfully sussed out.  But he is creating, doing, pouring, shooting, writing, producing, directing his passionate little heart out with projects that obviously aren't the easiest Hollywood sells. Who, I ask you, wasn't a little bit queasy imagining Michael Douglas and Matt Damon as star-studded (not crossed) lovers in a Swarovski whirlwind that is the story of Liberace?  Well, curiosity prevailed on that one.

MAN, first I must point out that Matt Damon just gets better with time. Six-seven years ago, someone proposed a seemingly common argument that Damon was better than DiCaprio and I scoffed mightily.  But I see the wonderfully connected strains, like gleaming golden threads, in his performances.  In Behind he is subtle - almost subdued - but very, very present and also marvelously committed. Michael Douglas comes across as everything you might expect him to be except that he is LIKABLE batting those deep brown eyes like they are swimming with innocent intention and not mixed with perversity.  He is a charming Liberace, but not overly so.  He doesn't really have all the right words, he just has lots of flamboyance (period-appropriate), talent, and luxury - lots and lots of luxury.  

Matt Damon mirrors the starlet who just moved to La-La.  Drawn to but entirely unsure of this extravagant, wigged man who may indeed be genuinely enamored, but is also very old and incredibly horny. We cringe and flinch when Douglas is near because he looks like such an ancient chic freak.  Plus we all know what he really wants - and what rich, famous Liberace wants? He gets. Such is this story - and Damon is sucked into a world that changes him completely and literally.  No, he literally gets plastic surgery in this film and the make-up is just fabulous, darling.  Mad props to that department.

Behind the Candelabra successfully reveals a sad transformation at the hands of the rich and powerful. A case of someone fair, grounded, moral and good being called by a siren and slowly sailing to her shore, only to have his head snatched off in a scorpion's instant.  If you date someone famous, or at least that deep into their own career and persona, beware that you will NEVER be - or at least stay - a true priority. The self is first in this case nearly every single time.  But Damon was being pursued by a skilled hunter on the hunter's land.  In the hunter's own LAIR even. So he didn't have much of a chance coupling that with, you know, LOVE - that darn concept, always obscuring everything.

I will keep watching Soderbergh's work.  He is one of the few true directors we have today despite not always executing with greatness, but he has his moments. And those moments are available for immediate purchase or download on your itunes.  PS, in staying true to his cat's cradle of media games, Steven made this film for HBO but it will be theatrically released come June 7th. PSS, BRILLIANT casting with Rob Lowe (and in general). Nice work, Carmen Cuba.

Monday, May 13, 2013


A dream plagued me last night. Or, a specific character. Over and over again I awoke in a bothered state and looked at my cell. Thirty minute bouts of time. Each moment of waking was heavier, more tired, and eventually a throbbing deeply rooted itself in the left temporal lobe. The sun was shining but the room cried rest so a silent spell was muttered to banish its clarity.

As usual I went about my day unsure but dreamy.  I decided on the first few order of things - breakfast, yes, but then what, how about reading that play, writing that blog or cleaning the floor of your room? Since the OCD nerves are most sensitive in my feet, I desperately swept the dirt and cat hair from the bedroom floor. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Amen. 

I nestled in comfortably to read "The 39 Steps" by Patrick Barlow - a comical and staged adaptation of the Alfred Hitchcock film. I have not been so thoroughly entertained when reading a play in AGES.  It wasn't just structured in perfect cleverness, it is also the kind of play one would have the time of their life performing.  Marvelous dialogue, classy melodrama with hilarious tongue-in-cheek tones - and dialects. Lots and lots of dialects.  I wound up dreaming within the reading, imagining the only female role so vividly and almost achingly, delighting in every banter and move she made. ('Why, I'd be perfect for that role!' the Actress thought)

Then the combatant mental reel turned on like a haunted radio, invading my mind not with possibilities, but possible impossibilities. Obstacles, hurdles, and skittish opportunities that appeared like brown rabbits in an autumn wood, lost upon approach. These thoughts were draining the half cup full!  Not destroying, but threatening and bullying any attempt to dream in good faith. It's strange when something we love - even an idea - is also so prone to our pain and hurt.  We lash out at our own good thoughts. Just the other night, a strange human sound wafted in from outside leading me to step onto the fire escape: was it laughter, was it tears? Protest? 

I looked down to see a man, huddled but standing against the brick wall by a dumpster, in a half light from the alley lamp-post. He was sobbing uncontrollably as a larger man moved to embrace him saying," I'm sorry, I just can't control it sometimes."  I froze, but was drawn forward to calculate and understand. I wanted to yell "Are you okay?" but there was only fear of the worst in my throat. This moment carried on with incessant crying at some sort of apology without being an apology.  Resistant embraces. Fear and love.  Words not reflecting behavior.  I silently turned and ran to call on some help.  It became apparent that these two men were lovers and were physically and verbally abusing each other. Eventually, the sob-stricken man weakly followed his boyfriend like a dying shadow down the alley and out of the light.

My heart sank. Because when you need someone THAT much - that you allow them to strike you, lash out at you and then hold you, as if they were the only thing that existed (and not just once or twice) - it is not worth it.  I do not want to NEED my dreams because that is not how they are born. They are born out of a simple love and pure desire of the heart.  They are meant to be followed with strength, optimism and personal illumination - not crawled after in shame, surrender or especially guilt. A dream should not be both your lover and your tormentor. And the harping voices that whisper-scream to jade, fade, and beat down the beauty? Don't just avoid them in the school hall between classes. Stand up to them and reveal WHO YOU ARE and who you've always been since you - the Creator - began your dream. This isn't R.U.R.

That broken man obviously felt he had no one else to turn to, but that was his delusional crux.  Understand that one cannot live on a dream alone - else it is a foolish attempt to sustain health on imaginary food while in reality the body withers away.   In the meantime, sow fulfillment in the normalcy of life - however that materializes; friends, gardening, cooking, writing, church, books,  film, cleaning (ahem) - something!  

I have to hold on to my dream every single day. I also must to add to it, but it is worth questioning what is becoming of the plant we water.  Is it a grand perennial or is it Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors?  (FEEEEEEEED me, Evaaaa!) How is pursuing your dream changing you?  Make sure it is for the better no matter what enemies lurk and grasp - physical, mental, emotional or otherwise. When you spot an enemy on the horizon - simply breathe them away. Recall a moment of joy you have had connected to that dream. Or...just say "Hey, it's a dream." And stride on. 

I want to you leave you with the words of Ang Lee upon winning his first oscar for Brokeback Mountain (Um, sidebar they are making that into a  Warning: a brief sob is possible and also perfectly okay. It should always be. This may be serious stuff but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it. 

Hopefully when I see you next, I'll have something dream-related to boast about...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Late Wanderlust

Just a lonely tail of an evening off the boulevard.  My door is open onto the balcony and cars are whizzing through my brainwaves as I sit, words taught as a tightrope over my tongue.  I hear them passing at all distances - some near, some far - but mostly a pleasant burst of crescendo-ed air and the occasional engine roar, more like a kitten than a lion. I think about having a cigarette, but it would only be an excuse (in poor taste) to be closer to the boulevard.  It seems worth it.  A smirk. I never thought about wanting to be not just literally closer to a street, but somehow spiritually, like it is a heavenly place of traffic and those machines are just clouds gliding through with sound. 

A smoke and a concrete beckoning seem like a romantic notion. I give in, not without lugging my ancient PC laptop along, the one with the poorly researched and accidentally purchased-from-ebay double battery that mirrors a sort of orthopedic shoe. Hey, it's a lunker, but it's my lunker. 

It's nearly 4 am and I slip some headphones on so that the world is a song and the cool night air is within it. Music is the ultimate expression of art, tiered and molded any way you desire because sound cannot be limited in its shape. Even a lack of conventional notes, like John Cage was wont to do, composed an audience moving, breathing, coughing, anticipating, rustling programs and squeaking their chair parts, perhaps uttering confusion or pretentiousness - all for nearly five minutes. All music is an experiment and reflects exactly that in your life. To what memory or part of the imagination does a song attach itself to? Maybe it's this late theme of transportation and open road, or the fact that this song is called Universal Traveler, or that I heard a novel critique on the radio about a woman and her motorcycle this afternoon, but a fantasy of wanderlust and freedom is caught on the line and I'm dreaming of the possibilities I have yet to encounter (which are also born in the moment of my going). 

Go. For years, my internal response has been "I can't. Not yet."  It feels like a permanent and binding chain until I one day catch some current of success and suddenly I am whisked around, though aside will be eagerly scheduling my own personal, entirely overdue whisking to lands I've only read about or experienced second hand. I'm all for second hand things (I still love a good thrift store) but to travel is to physically go. Nothing can stop you from having a first time over and over again - with land, people, architecture, food, history (a first time with history? Sounds impossible!).  Nothing can rob your eyes of the sights meant for you to behold in that moment then and there, whenever and wherever that is..

How DO other people live in the rest of the world? What is totally alien to us as Americans that is perfectly normal for just as many folks? Why do we live and die our entire lives in one location without understanding something about how humans cultivate these indigenous societies and behaviors?  I have a yin and yang of understanding.  I can't fathom being manufactured into this world without an explore button, but I get the reasoning of choosing not to switch it on. It's always fear.  Everything - literally EVERYTHING - can be boiled down to fear of the unknown.  But oh, when you are in that sweet, confident state of mind where nothing scares you at all - you can go and be and talk and snark and breathe and break a rule and just have FUN and you will find yourself in the most liberating place of all, nevermind location.

Until I can afford to control the hands of the clock (and maybe slip a large bill into one), this will be my mental wanderlust. How far into my character am I willing to discover?  How much will I reveal to the world and really, to myself? Lately, a heavyset and parallel thought I've been recycling questions how deeply I will immerse myself into this acting thing until a mentally tangible and relentless muscle develops. There are so many levels to explore and I've been wasting time.  But, I sigh it away for the night.

However, tonight I had an adventure at work. The spirit was moving among all of us because the energy was brazen and experimental and filled with humor. The joy of people shined through - and yes, it was bright but also enlightening - because the beauty was visible, but well, so is that pile of crap over there.  All, not some, is highlighted and clear.  And that pile of crap doesn't matter because it is a part of it all and that....seems fine. In fact, I don't really give it much thought. I just accept that this world wouldn't be what it is without darkness AND light. Now watch the impossible walls disintegrate and blow easily back into the great expanse of sand. No obstacle and, well, no excuse.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stone Soup

Protect your heart, Los Angeles. 

In a sea of self-saturating tongues, leaking information via the art of a trail of goodies for hungry followers (those who simply don't want to miss out!), some of us normal ones sit here. We sit and absorb the carbon dioxide of the oh-so-busy-and-verbose until we realize we are leaning against a hollow tree that faces only one direction. And oh, there is an entire forest of them that stretches past Calabasas and even into Long Beach.

In La La, it is odd and often that we update each other about our lives and careers.  Though I normally note that this other person is smoothly scrambling to paint their life as extremely busy - terribly important being implied but not overtly stated. Then, between listening and making direct eye contact (which is as rare as an albino snake crawling on your head), I notice that this person has absolutely no connection to these "current events"; they are sans emotion. There is feigned excitement, expressed through the rapidity of words and not at all in the iris. A kind of flatness - like a beautiful sound hitting a dull acoustic-less corner - overwhelms the conversation turning their news into noise.  The radio becomes static when you realize you are pulling into an underground lot, does it not? This isn't too dissimilar. Like most industry folks out here, they live little in the real world. They create their own world. And it is your choice to get sucked in or not. It is perfectly okay to poke your head in, to take a tour, but most likely you will hit a dead end in ten minutes or less.

More notes later on the tours that last for days and even weeks - aka meeting a true Hollywood Minotaur and then sniffing them out in their dark maze, simultaneously praying to leave unscathed.

But when walking away from these more everyday interactions, I wonder if what I'm doing is right or if it is productive. Do I have to fake the level of productivity in my life? What if reading Hedda Gabler every day IS my productivity? I'm not filming anything RIGHT right now. I haven't been on a commercial audition in a month, God knows why (untrue as of yesterday!). Should I be scratching away at the surface like an impatient teenager or gnawing like a mindless rat? I'm also not inflating the truth of my life to sound more desirable than it is.  But isn't that then "my problem"? Shouldn't I be talking myself up constantly like I've got the golden ticket and life is peachy keen with whip cream and I'm doing this and that and ABOUT do this and that and it's amazing and wow and can you believe it? Sure you can its no big deal. Just doing what I love (humble shrug) (cell phone rings) Hello? Yeah gimme a red camera and I like four shots in my Venti. 

Beware the silver-tongued (also the golden, bronzed and even the scrap metalled). More importantly, trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it.  Living in Los Angeles - nevermind dating - but living here becomes truly a quest for trustworthy individuals, GOOD people, and purer hearts.  They are here somewhere - but like a pig to truffles, you've got to learn to sniff them out. And if you REALLY want to find the most excellent of the lot, this pig has got to go and get a Masters in Sociology so that he can identify levels of transparency with a scientific snout.

I remain persistent, but I don't remain without eggshells in every professional relationship I have.  A lot of risk comes in HOW we interact with people and it is driven by my own need for knowledge and also passage into the next level of the game. Can I play that game without getting my hands dirty? That's what gloves are for.

Hey, I didn't move here without first evaluating how grounded I am.  I knew this town would shake things up but, like a snow globe, I'm still exactly who I am after these experiences. I am in control of myself. I do know that I won't be spouting off nonsense like an old garden hose, but I am consciously learning to speak positively of the things that ARE churning in my industry pot. Without giving away too many ingredients, mind you.

I can say with confidence that most of what people are stirring these days is nothing more than Stone Soup.

Friday, April 26, 2013

(Keep) Your Friends Close

Have you ever had a terrible roommate experience? My answer - yours too - is YES.  

But somehow I have stumbled upon a seemingly uncanny young woman with whom to share a household. Oddly, about five years ago, I was standing in her apartment in Chicago - an old milk bottle factory (I'm told) - as a stranger in the middle of a wild theater bunch celebrating a trifecta of actress birthdays, one of which was Jocelyn's. I watched her perform the very first time I saw her. I like that fact very much, I do! (said in an Oliver Twist voice)

Then I meet her again in Los Angeles. Actually, I don't know that we really met outside of a sloppy Hey-Hey when she was busy whooping it up and I stood there awkwardly.  But here are we now, two actresses facing this town under the same roof.  

Tomorrow night is the premiere of her first feature film entitled "Your Friends Close".  A title that has ever-so-slowly grown on me upon first hearing it and has now reached barnacle status after viewing the film myself. 

I will say very little about it except these three things:

1. This film is game-centric.
If you are a gamer, you will adore it. If you have played games, you will like it. If you have any interest in the future of games - their possible and perhaps dangerous evolution -  see this film.

2. This film is very smart about relationships - hence the title.  It is an ensemble film with a concentration on a couple and their emerging battle that floats in and out of the public eye.   

3.  This film contains a sequence that you will not be able to turn away from, not for one second. I remember the very moment that my brain locked onto the screen and all else faded away. Total concentration command. Hm, sounds like a game instruction.  

If you are in Los Angeles and wish to see this film tomorrow night - Saturday, 4/27 - click the Link below the poster. (Um, she also has the most awesome poster in the roster....'nuff said.) I am very, very proud of the Fox.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Staring at Orchids

Hm. Staring at orchids is a bit like star gazing. No, celebrity star gazing, not millions of years old star gazing (though some celebs may seem this way). There is this gorgeous flower, almost too beautiful in its structure to be real, and yet it is extremely fragile, particular, vulnerable. But you can have one for only $14.99 at Trader Joe's. It is yours for a time. The time you take care of it of course. It requires certain amounts of water and acidity. It requires sunlight but not direct. It needs an open space filled with loveliness and I find it brings such warmth to a cold table. 

Actors are so similar. They bring something real and beautiful to the screen, to the story, to the person that they are for this film only. We buy them for about the same price at Arclight or for our own DVD purchase (that won't be around much longer you think?).  And we basically talk like we own them, don't we? "Her performance was terrible. She sucked." "He looked like sh**." "Why is her hair this way, that way?" We buy magazines with the visage of so and so and the interview with whatsername. We do own them in a way. Popularity is innate with celebrity, with the relevance of actors / actresses. We need you to like us! But like the orchid, you don't have to like anything else except the way we look. The way we add to the ambience. Even a hick in Kentucky can appreciate its exotic nature and leave it alone. 

I think of real beauty all the time. What IS it? To me, it is a natural quality - a person's skin and features, yes, but it is the personality that glows underneath that pins one down so resonantly. Isabella Rossellini is a great example. Never modified. Always herself. She does and asks you to accept. Do you? Usually yes. If not, who cares?  Does a new wrinkle scare her? No, she welcomes it to the party and says don't make too much noise.  I wake up and think "Oh my, my skin, my scars, my everything in the morning" - but is that not what makeup is for? What being a woman is about? I don't know exactly. Yes and uncomfortably no.  I love how makeup can transform but honestly? I look terrible with too much on. I look like a clown or at least not myself.   Give me concealer, mascara and lip gloss and I'll be happy. 

This blog is only a musing.  I think of photos that make people/actors/models look incredible. But they are normal with normal flaws. Some skinnier than others but so what? Where is the REAL beauty today? I love Carey Mulligan's face. She has a funny, slopey nose and demeanor, but she is pale with large, soulful eyes and such wonder!  Her beauty is strange but exactly what I want to see, like an orchid. I cannot wait to see The Great Gatsby. Entirely enthralled in anticipation.  I must read it again before it appears, it has been too long.

Anyway, I wish we could appreciate humans for their natural beauty. Many people come through my work that are just stunning but not aesthetically gorgeous, just overwhelmingly beautiful in their personalities. It humbles me and astounds me. It upsets me too.  But one day when I have enough power I will influence that portion. 

Love to the universe on this night. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Headshots are a Pain in the...

Well, HEAD of course. 

Little dollar signs floating around in your brain, obstructing your vision, writing checks and handing them over - flinging them quickly at people you have to pay for the deposit, the session, the hair and makeup, the "costumes" aka pieces you bought specifically for this shoot, the online proofs, the actual prints, the PER PHOTO CHARGE on every acting website your agents use and updating on every workshop site you are a member of (bends over panting in exhaustion), I mean Dave Chappelle would say gawDAYum. 

It's a lot of money to be an actor. Talk about an occupation of torrential risk to pursue - pursue! Not interview for, CHASE. Literally chase down while spending money on things that will "eventually" pay off.  I once explained to a friend a list of expenses I had to keep on top of my normal everday life ones.  I talked for like ten minutes in this list. It is CRAZY - especially if you are single and working to pay every bill yourself by having more than one job.  Even joining SAG was a mere $3K.  And don't get me started on hair appointments.

Anywho, I have new headshots. My hair is longer, darker, curlier - and I needed something warmer ontop of something current compared the "Ice Queen" series I took last. That's not a put down! I love those photos, but they are so blonde and snowy. The following were taken by Adam Sheridan Taylor. Please ignore the fact that I look like Norma Jean in the blue commercial shot - wait, that fact will make me a lot of money! Spread the word!  Well, I think these shots cover a few facets of my personality, definitely not the majority, but we'll see how CDs respond.

Oh and speaking of ice queens, I watched Frost/Nixon last night. FINALLY.  Michael Sheen is pretty fabulous, I have to say, though his actual conversations - outside of the interviews - with Nixon leave him seeming nearly speechless, which is a poor script choice in my opinion.  He lets Nixon talk and talk and talk and chooses to say nearly nothing every time. One word responses with a polite awkward smile. I did not understand that. It seemed meek and hobbit-like. Frank Langella - to be expected - is a force. Michael barely reckoned with him, but his phone call to Frost in the middle of the night - loved it. Sadness, anger, and left with nothing but those tangling negative tapes to play endlessly in his mind until death. The film also did a lovely job of clarifying the emotion of the nation during that time by showing tons of news footage in the era. 

It's a bit long, not particularly impressive filmmaking, but a great exercise for actors to watch.  Michael Sheen and Frank Langella exemplify exactly what I was talking about in my last blog - they are tasting that cake the entire time.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dirty Socks and Dirty Martinis

I was working on a scene today. One I am rather familiar with at this point - meaning lines memorized for weeks, lines misinterpreted for weeks also, and intentions and ownings unclear. Too often I am watching myself, listening to myself, judging myself, critisizing myself - all while speaking these g*()#@!m lines. Yes, it's been a  problem for a long time.   Yes, I get better when I go deeper.   Yes, I'm tired of talking about it (at least in life, not on this blog). 

So I decided I was forgetting a lot of things. I instead began rehearsing aloud the two pages prior to where my scene started. It spoke volumes more of where my character, Elizabeth, REALLY was. She has a lot on her mind but her best friend is talking her ear off because she just wants to escape from her family and get drunk on the porch while they fold laundry and enjoy a Texas sunset. That's more routine than anything, but today Elizabeth is not quite as cheery or chatty, there's something amiss, but not totally obvious. My interpretation of this darkened mood was coming from where the characters immediately and literally WERE, meaning disconnected from the prior part of the play. I looked at the circumstances surrounding them, but what other moments (and I mean MOMENTS, true pieces of the present) brought these women here and now. And the feeling is so FINE in the beginning of the scene that only a true, life long bestie would be able to tell that something is wrong today outside of other days.

James McClure, author of Laundry and Bourbon, has given his actors a thousand brilliant tells about the relationships in this play. They may be two simple Texas gals, but they've known each other nearly their whole lives.  They were friends during their first kisses, their first periods, their first times. Honestly, this one-act is like a homemade chocolate cake that's been sittin' out on the picnic table just long enough - the layers are rich and oh-so-satisfying to dig your fork into and then, to taste.  That's the part I'm getting at today: the taste. 

You can think about how something tastes if you've had it beore - you have to. But eventually you get to a point where you must actually taste it but in your mind.  You are LIVING in that moment therefore you are tasting it before our very eyes. You are not thinking about what you are doing, you are not watching it or listening to it - you are experiencing it, full-fledged and thick-blooded.  Do you know how important the imagination is to an actor?  I hate to continue stating obvious things here but what most people don't understand about Los Angeles is that many actors go through the motions of the lifestyle / career and NEVER really engage in the moment or even know what that means. I BARELY know what it means, but I'm on the brink of it again. As a kid, I had the craziest imagination and could entertain myself on a stump in the woods for hours pretending this and pretending that. So I used to have a clue.  Actually - just read my next blog: Children Have All the Answers.

Anyway, I am suddenly going through this scene line by line, asking a thousand questions about if I was the one experiencing these things, what would I do? How would I feel about it?  What kind of reaction would I actually have if I saw a gorgeous, heaping cloud and it reminded me of God and the Universe and LIFE - and people giving life?  And I know I am pregnant in this moment and my husband hasn't been home in two days? It's all too much. Then how can I expect my friend to understand anything is wrong if I don't speak up? Why am I hiding it from her? Because she is judgemental about me and my life, she is envious and puts me down in these soft quick ways. But I love her and I don't have anyone else to talk to about it - and unlike that cloud, my face is about to burst into a rainstorm but I have to hold SOMETHING together so that my friend doesn't gloat in the needed nature of that moment.  I need comfort.  And I know she loves me.  I give her the benefit of the doubt because that is what I do and for many years we've gone through a number of important moments - persevering just fine.

That covers about half a page in a four and half page scene. So I'm sitting there going line by line and just thinking - wow, I'm making these lines really BIG, meaning like "dramatic", but then I'm really - no really! - feeling some of them.  And I remember that I feel things in a big way - meaning me, Eva Swan. I just forget that I am capable of it because I have a tendency to go invisible (51% introvert, 49% extrovert) and make my own experiences small while in public so as not to disturb or distract (See my next blog: The Neverending High School).  So I ingest! But with acting - it is my JOB to react and to show those reactions with as much detail and commitment as possible!  Can you imagine really - no I mean really! - living life that way? Oh please, you might think "I do! I strive for that every day!" but come on, be honest - think about it. You have self consciousness a thousand times a day for whatever things, maybe even the same thing. And things - namely people - stop you from fully realizing all of the potential of those moments. You might be closer than I am to living life so freely, but I see the nerves on peoples faces or the dark thoughts that loom and keep their personalities prisoner.

Sidebar - you also know you've seen that person who lives closer than anyone else to a free life and they just GLOW.  That is not not a rare thing. 

The point of this blog, I suppose, it just to say I've tapped into the maple tree. I've attached a spigot.  Now I am slowly turning the handle and extracting. I hope to do that onstage one day here in LA. And also Broadway. But that is down the road. For now, g'night and Happy Taxes. Don't forget to file for an extension at least!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

OCD Lucy

Ummmmmm, did I mention I have become a cleanfruit? I say fruit rather than freak because I do NOT need to have everything clean all of the time or I don't sleep at night or break sweats. I have simply been on a cleaning kick which has now upgraded to glistening, dust free fruit status.  Look, people, I JUST learned that the key to organization is to have a place for EVERYTHING which I most certainly do NOT.  So I'm starting with the little things that you suddenly realize are BIG THINGS once you've cleaned them, then the organization can happen in a sparkling space.

So every once in awhile I want to share things that amaze me when I try them.  I am ashamed to admit that I have not written about the magic eraser, but in due course.

I just scoured the tub which probably hasn't had a thorough clean was installed. And Lucille Ball used to own this building. I literally have hated showering in it because of the red gook / bacteria that has built up from a bad drain and also from tile sludge-rust. (Hey!  It's red because its Lucy Bacteria!  Well, I'm with Ricky on this one, I don't love it and never have. Yeowch.)  But you know those spots in YOUR tub that could be....well, let's not think of what they are and just focus on how stubborn and permanent they seem when you clean like a normal person with a can of foamy spray, or in my ex boyfriend's case, powdered ajax - a product he somehow time warped into his shopping bag.

Today, I used this concoction recipe to get the sticky difficult residue off of a seemingly hopeless tub with LITTLE EFFORT.  Use a brush with a handle, yo - SO much easier while you're bending around in there.

In a mixing bowl (not large):

1 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of liquid soap
A few drops of Tea Tree oil (or Peppermint)
Water mixed in until it is a PASTE, not a watery mess.

Wet your tub first, then WHAMMO use this stuff to make that tub DANG white again. So white you'll think your tub is Salt Lake City!

Also, I used it on the kitchen sinks. A. Maz. Ing. (Toe-touch) CLEANING NERD!
I may live in this now. Gleaming heavenly white!


Toby Guidry!

That's who I took a workshop from on Saturday, 4/6.  Full circle for me because he was the very first casting director I workshopped with in Los Angeles. Or anywhere actually.

He is extremely kind.  Unusually nice man for his position. He explains everything in great detail and with good humor.

I prepared a scene from the Actors Key sides vault - ughk - it's always excruciating to go through those sides and find ones that don't SUCK or that are in the vein of the television show that CD is working on.  Since Guidry is on The Ordained (yes I sent a tape in for an audition, yes I got good feedback, no I didn't get the role) I needed something powerful, or with a power play and shout of professionalism. Most everyone in The Ordained is a lawyer, politician or shark. There will be many other characters I'm sure but as far as the pilot goes - aggressive, sharp lawyer types.

I played a flirty journalist finishing up an interview with a young, cocky entrepreneur where I ask him a question leaving him flustered and off-kilter. And perhaps, extremely concerned! Dun dunnnn.

Anyway, I FELT I was totally natural and that the acting portion was clean and good.  But my instincts involving the interpretation of the scene were less, are less? honed. I made a rather obvious choice at the end rather than taking a specific risk that made WAY more sense for dramatic purposes. Toby pointed this out - I agreed - we did another little take and I got my little grade sheet a few minutes later.

That was all well and good.

The unfortunate part of this story is that I keep learning disheartening things for actors that live in Los Angeles. Toby assured us that 90% of the time when filming outside of Los Angeles, say Arizona or Georgia, New Orleans or New York - those roles outside of the series regulars (co-star, guest star) will be cast LOCALLY.  So unless I live in New Orleans, I won't get cast in a role I should be competing for HERE.  But it's not here, it's THERE.  And I don't live there or have the means to fly myself back and forth to audition and then fly myself there and put myself up in a hotel while we shoot if I AM cast.

Toby let us know that for The Ordained there were at least five actors he had to push for casting in the co-star/guest star level, but he had to make each one aware that they had to fly themselves to New York, put themselves up and fly back - all on their own dime.  Did they take the opportunity? Of COURSE THEY DID.  What actors will pass up another credit, another role, something that could deepen your career or "take it to the next level" on a show like that? I suppose I would take it too. But even in THIS case, Toby knew these actors already. He was familiar with their work and they are working, so for someone like me to get that kind of opportunity is grim - as I have yet to get to know many of the CDs in town.  Hm, I think that should be a shared responsibility with my agent, but so far I am scrounging to pay for workshops and the other side of this seesaw has a note that says "Back after lunch!"or "Back after you book something yourself!"

I'm not orange peel about it or anything.

All in all, I've gotta go keep seeing Toby. I need him to recognize me as a good one in the masses. The extra spectacular daffodil among the thousands, brighter than a highlighter made with liquid sunshine. I'll get there, guys....eventually.

The Place Beyond the Pines

You know The Place Beyond the Pines?

Go. Go there now. 
I'll go too.

Emory Cohen.  Where. Did. This. Kid. Come. From? He plays an entitled, white gangsta wannabe with Marlon Brando cool and bit of his thickness. No he's a charming knucklehead whose need to manipulate and control people fills the gaping father/son void. Daddy, I want attention! I got it, now... I'm scared!  Kid is killer good in this film. Enough reason to see it.

That and Dane DeHaan - who we all already know is a badass.  He's got that Gilbert Grape edge and is always looking gloriously ragged, like... all the time. Feral cats can barely compare. His hair and skin are kind of the same color when your brain recollects him. But he's the type that is either totally unnoticeable or completely unforgettable. Guess which the avid fan eye will see? If you saw Lawless (aka formerly The Wettest County), you'd remember he stole the show in that flick.

Also, Gosling is in it less than you think (no complaints here, getting a little bored with his cool-boy loser characters), Bradley Cooper has a double chin (I'll bet he's SO self conscious of it, but don't you love seeing actors from those unflattering angles? I'm probably just envious of his success), and Eva Mendes's boobs look GREAT.

Finally: Ben Mendelsohn. Are you kidding me? Authentic. Pure authenticity and truth in the moment.  What chops that guy must REALLY have.  And when will he star in something? Probably never. I mean STAR star in something.  He should be the lead in House of Cards.  He's the kind of actor I want to spend TIME watching, which is why I immediately think of a series.  Anywho, I want to marry him.  Just kiiiiidding, that alcoholism was a little too believable.

I don't have a lot to say plot-wise. The notions are interesting. The motives unclear. The relationships and passing of our genetics is fascinating and unexpected. For an actor, good character study in vignettes, I would say. I loved the structure of the film even though it was lacking a few beams.

If you take anything away from this blog today though, let it be that you should never EVER go see At Any Price.  At least Derek Cianfrance can direct an actor. AAP is like watching a live version of The Grinch (aka Dennis Quaid) caring a liiiiiiiiittle too much about corn. Remember me saying that thing about talent being attractive? Dennis Quaid is now the Elephant Man.  Heather Graham's only purpose in the film is to lose a shoe in the corn silo.  (Insert corn hole joke here.) And watching Zac Efron is like watching a film I already saw, The Paperboy.  Though actually, his agent was probably like "HEY ZAC - I know you just DID this kind of role, but you were surrounded by like AMAZING actors so how about we do this role AGAIN but instead you do it with DENNIS QUAID and you'll look AMAZING too this time around??!!!"

Zac: .............................sure. ("..........." indicates laying by pool finishing skinny girl mojito)