Sunday, August 24, 2014

Layer Cake...

I serve a loooooooooot of cake over the summer.  Almost every Saturday somewhere in Malibu. Usually the view is killer, the sun sets brilliantly and the rental fee is sweetly over $20k.  I'm serving up this wedding cake that has been snagged from public presentation to be cut covertly in the kitchen and dispersed in perfect portions by sweeping the room. Trying to fill the hands of a swaying Aunt who has wandered aimlessly near. Also, maybe a bartender you've been ranting with all shift. 

All day today I have been responsible - not without restless Cheetah syndrome round my room, but hey, good things come to those who slowly chew on them while chewing on other things way too simultaneously and inconsistently and it ends up taking an inefficient amount of time.  Did I mention I'm sometimes like a befuddled physics professor / octopus that is reaching around myself for answers and actions to pair? 

I have tormented myself all afternoon by trying to complete the homework assigned: find a final scene with which to audition (in this specific intensive I have mentioned previously).  The FINAL scene. That means, the most dramatic? The most meaty? The most hilarious? Of the highest standards? Layer by layer, the pressure builds albeit like a bunch of heavy blankets, but suddenly I'm sweating and there's clearly a fan directly over my head - the only soundtrack I have for hours upon end searching online. I can't concentrate on reading scenes while listening to tunes. Lessen the distraction for Professor Octopus. 

So many options to consider when beginning a search (which subsequently began Thursday): Film or television? Well that question will never get resolved until I look at all actresses I resemble/aspire to - and how far back in history should I go - oh I love Carole Lombard but dated material and lofty ambition? Well, no I should be funny and sophisticated and this IS a comedy office, but wait what about Meryl Streep's resume, something from when she was younger? Is that too hopeful or too foolish? Make it your own. Dear God, there's so much television and I watch many things but not enough like Homeland - um, Claire Danes is too award-fresh for me to take a scene from that show, especially having never really seen it - again, who am I? Jean Valjean?  If I can't choose from drama or comedy, there's a problem when that intersects with film or television and maybe I should have chosen that genre first but I didn't want to discount anything. 

You can understand that I might black out in front of a wall of soup cans at the grocery store from the pressure. 

Regardless, I've made headway. In other news, I saw a seamlessly gorgeous film today (also a part of my "homework", heh heh) and was pleasantly surprised: Sin City (A Dame to Kill For). Stunning cinematography, perfect transitioning of a graphic novel brought to life, tons of terrifically dramatic voiceover by Rourke and Brolin with gritty, whiskey-sodden words. Blood lessened in its grotesque nature by being often white - I appreciated that, Rodriguez, nice touch. 

I do have a small bone to pick with Eva Green, however. I love... eighty-five percent of her. But that fifteen percent is what bothers me each and every time I closely survey her performance. Something is missing that sells me entirely.  With certain lines and moments, she seems to be skimming the pond, intention lost, point of view less seasoned and suddenly you realize you're eating tofu. Still, she is beautifully shot (no pun intended) and often completely naked - something for you boys to look forward to. But the scenes in the pool are devastatingly pristine and her career is going swimmingly as of late - a more resonant path of roles in an actress's career is nice to see after a slew of big-budget deflations. 

As I continue to mull over my own branding - which roles are most appropriate for moi at this time - there are some wonderful examples of casting today, especially on television. Higher grade actors being cast as repeating leads, carrying the weight of a season rather than a snippet of an afternoon. Also, unknown actors surfacing and adding butter to decadent cake mixture. Now, there are way too many delicious cakes to try.  A good problem to have as an audience member and a good one to pollinate with as a bee in the industry hive. 

We are most alive when we work - actors. We should be drawing energy and excitement from what we love and then pouring it right back in. The choices TO make become clearer and clearer the more time we spend ruminating on what they might be then seeing what sticks. Hold up - hey, this scene has a wholeness and points of view, relationships, moments - are all so clear to live. Trust me, it will become a piece of cake. "Preparation should free you to the unexpected." And fearlessness will quickly expand your understanding.  

The other day, on a break from work (oh I have interesting jobs) I shot an actual bow and arrow onto an archery target for the first time, Hunger Games style, yo. With some professional guidance and fifteen arrows, I stabbed those hay bales to death. But four wobbly sticks made it to the target and even punctured it. That's four more than I ever had before. #closertobeingapro

Let's make this a week of accomplishment, growth and strength. Aaaaaaand cake. Throw a piece of cake in there for yourself. Work a wedding or something. Make $. Get by. Hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle....

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