Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You Can Look, But You Won't Find

There are moments when I realize that what I'm trying to do for a living is strange. Like the moments when I get some sort of weird rush when I realized that I've really let go for the ten minutes I was in front of the camera and truly believed that I was actually performing brain surgery on an eight year old boy who ends up dying on my table.  Normal people spend their lives trying to avoid trauma like that... But not me.  I spend mine digging deep to learn to live it with honesty and total commitment in moments that were written for me and exist outside of anything in my real life.  Some moments that I wouldn't want in my real life. 

Then there are the other ways that it becomes apparent that what I do is strange...

Like the public part.  This, I imagine, will only get more and more interesting as my profile gradually develops from anonymous to household.  Though I'm at the beginning of that journey, I still have a little awareness for how "out there" I am, primarily because I use my real name as my professional performer name.  In fact, I generally don't give out my last name to a guy until the second or third date because a quick entry in Google returns a hundred pages of information on me.  Something about that is just not as fun as getting to reveal all that info myself. 

But obviously, some people do know my full name, and often I see it entered as a search term that drives traffic to my website.  (And rightfully so.  If a casting director or producer Googles me, you bet I want my Myname.com to show up at the top of the list.)    Nine times out of ten, it's one of the following:

"My Name"
"My Name actress"
"My Name Los Angeles"
"My Name myhometown"

But sometimes other search terms drive traffic.  Recently, someone out there was looking for something a little... um, extra...  and used the following search terms:

"My Name nude"

I'm really not sure if I'm grossed out or flattered... Sorry buddy, whoever you are. You could look through all 100 Google pages and still not find anything like that on me.  The only video you'll see is my demo reel, and it doesn't incorporate night vision.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Avoiding A Britney Moment

I try not to live in a place of stress.  The only thing that constant worry and fear brings is more worry and fear.  Worrying about relationship problems/money problems/career problems will only send you into a downward spiral of more worry, which in turn only generates more things to worry about.  I try to remain calm when times are tough, my audition schedule is nonexistent, my wallet is lean and my dating options are sparse (I kid you not, someone actually used this pickup line on me recently: as I walk by him to get to the bar… “Well helLOOO, Missuus Wonderfuuuul…” said in the most sleezy, douchebag way.  Seriously?  On what planet is that supposed to make me swoon?  And furthermore, if you’re hitting on me, don’t call me MRS!!  Now that I mention it, I should write a series of posts on all the terrible/weird/amusing pickup lines I’ve had said to me…)

I digress.

Though I’m generally very good at preserving my inner calm in the face of the tempest that is life, the reality is… sometimes it just gets to you.  I feel like I’m behind on about every thing in my life.  My hunch is that most people feel this way at certain times, but rarely share it.  Mostly because we’re all trying to give the outward appearance of positivity and pulled-togetherness.  But sometimes life – particularly the artist kind – is just plain hard!!  So I thank you for indulging me in the emotional rant I’m about to go into that I’ve kept mostly hidden from the people in my not-so-anonymous life.

I just finished paying all my bills, which all seem outrageously more than I expected and leave very little, if anything, left in my account.  It seemed everything hit me at once: website domain needed to be renewed, all my acting account subscriptions expired at once, big auditions necessitated expensive private sessions with the coach.  These days, it just keeps feeling like there’s just not enough to go around.

I’m also in the middle of making a survival job switch, a decision I've been meaning to write about for some time now.  It’s partly exciting to have an acting career that’s taking off so much that I’m no longer able to sustain a day job as I now HAVE to keep my days open, but the other part is terrifying because I need to find an evening job that can replace my current salary, and by the looks of my Hollywood-skinny bank balance (see paragraph above)… I’m going to need something that pays more.

That coupled with the fact that I’m trying to save money for my vacation in Hawaii in October and my trip to New York to run the marathon in November.  Save??  Ha!!  I’m scrambling to have enough just to cover my own ass right now.

My car needs a little repair and I’ve been avoiding taking it to the shop out of fear of the price.  The highlights in my hair needed touching up to avoid the trailer trash roots that don’t match my headshots.  I have been in my apartment for four months already and still haven’t been able to paint the walls like I've been dying to do.  I haven’t let myself buy a new pair of shoes in what seems like a century.  (All right, it’s only been about six months… but I’m what you would call a shoe girl and amateur fashionista.  Six months is a lifetime for a shop-a-holic.)

All the while I’m slowly driving myself certifiably insane thinking about my Marlin, who I never talk to and haven’t seen since the end of May, and won’t until his next trip sometime in August…. Is he thinking of me of course he’s thinking of me otherwise he wouldn’t have kissed me like he did the last time I saw him but why haven’t I heard from him and why do I even care it’s not like we live in the same city or ever will in the foreseeable future but let’s be honest I haven’t been able to stop thinking of him for about two and a half years despite that I’ve gone on about a million dates with other guys and his friend told me he’s crazy about me too but then why haven’t I heard from him except he did send me that movie and those books with a note inscribed on the inside cover but then why didn’t he respond when I texted him to come see me before August oh god now I’m in too deep and I should just end it now because I clearly can’t keep my emotions out of it but there’s just something about the way we look at each other but who knows what he’s really thinking because we never talk about it and even if we did there would be no point because we live on opposite sides of the country and nothing can ever come of it so why am I even stressing over the ajkslkalsdjfljasdjfasaaaaaAAAAAAAGH!!!!

You think that was rough reading on my blog… try being my poor roommate.  (M, I love you and your saintly patience.)

Letting yourself get sucked into that cycle is pure madness.  (And trust me, I'm the WORST at over analyzing, so do as I say, not as I do.)  The only solution is training yourself to calm the fuck down and trust that all will be resolved in the future and now is of little consequence to the big picture.  So that’s what I’m focusing on this week.  Deep breaths and just tackling a little bit every day.  One of my favorite movies released recently was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  (It’s still playing in a couple theaters.  Go see it immediately.)  A main character had a mantra that has calmed me immensely over the last few weeks:

“Everything will be alright in the end.  And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

*deep inhale*
*slow exhale*

Here’s to getting a little closer to the end when everything is alright.  Thank you for listening.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Be Good To One Another

My heart goes out to everyone in Colorado, but also to every person on the globe because this type of senseless violence affects us all.  What a terrible, terrible thing.  Shame on that gunman for ruining so many lives just because he could.  I take it  personally as he did it in a place that is not only near and dear to my heart, but brings so much happiness to so many people: the theater. 

I have no words.

But I pledge to fill this day, and everyone I meet in it, with all the love I can muster so that maybe it can counteract the needless violence and evil that was spewed into the world last night. 

Please do the same.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Peer Review

It's the little things. 

I was waiting my turn to give my read in my class this week, and another actress stopped me.  She joked, "I'm going before you.  I don't want to have to watch the playback of my scene after I've watched yours."

I laughed and moved into the "hot seat" to go next.  She stopped me again. 

"No, I'm serious.  I'm going before you."

It may not be an Oscar statuette or strangers asking for my autographs, but it still feels good to be complimented and have the respect of your fellow artists.  Maybe it's not just me who thinks that for some reason, I'm pretty good at this. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

And We're Back!

Welcome back from what I like to call the June-gloom.  No, I'm not talking about the weather... though it coincides with the hiding sunshine for which the expression is normally used around here.  I'm talking about one of the slowest months of the year, and the actor depression that inevitably socks in around us.  It's like PMS... you kind of know that it's happening and that it's normal, but that doesn't keep you from being really paranoid that it's actually real and that you're the only one who's feeling it and will never go away.  Without an audition on the horizon and hardly any breakdowns released, that creeping panic that your career is regressing rolls in like the marine layer on the west side.  For me this year, the normal June-gloom was magnified by the four callbacks that resulted in zero bookings for me in May.  That kinda "0-fer" stinks more than the LA river.

But life goes on.  I went to a film screening with an actress friend of mine last week.  As we were chatting, waiting for the film to start she said, "GOD, June was sooo slow!!"  It flew out of her like she'd been holding her breath until she could say it. 

Now this friend of mine, I've known basically since I moved to Los Angeles.  She had been here about four years by the time I got here.  She had some success and it's really taken off in the last few years.  She no longer has to have a side job, has a few TV credits to her name, and it seems like every other month I see her in a new commercial.  Girl is rockin' it. 

But June-gloom got her too. 

Which made me feel better.  I had started to feel depressed that all the momentum I thought my career was gaining was sizzling out and that I was back at square one.  I was called in for three television shows, multiple callbacks for each one and two feature films with callbacks.  I also had three other solid auditions that, though I didn't get called back, I knew they were good work.  And yet, no booking.  So then where am I?  Two months later and still back at square one.  Aaaargggh!!  That is so ridiculously frustrating.  Throw in an industry that comes close to a screeching halt for four weeks right after that... girl is going out of her mind.

But when my friend who is on TV all the freaking time blurted it out like it was driving her mad too... I didn't feel so bad.  In fact, it's kind of fun to know that I'm feeling the rhythm of this town just like everyone else.  I'm in the middle of it, not on the outside looking in.

But now it's July and we're back!  Most shows are coming out of hiatus, in a little over a week I've landed a meeting with the head of the theatrical department of a nice little agency and yesterday, I had an audition for big ol' SAG national.  I must have gotten rusty because as I was about to hand my headshot to the casting assistant... I saw the wrong logo on the back on my resume!!  Somehow, I had grabbed a headshot that had the my last agent's information on it.  Yikes!  Luckily I had an extra headshot and an extra correct resume, but unfortunately, unattached...  So yesterday, at 200 South -- one of the biggest commercial casting facilities in town -- I turned into one of those actors I despise... the ones who are rushing to attach a resume to their headshot in the waiting area.  (I mean really?  You can't come with at least that prepared??)  But I suppose that's a lesson for me that life happens to everyone at some point.  The next time I see an actor frantically stapling and trimming her resume in the waiting room, I'll try not to judge her.

Too much...

Welcome back in, kids.  Let's get moving.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On a Totally Unrelated Note...

This post has absolutely nothing to do with my acting career or yours.  Not a single stinking thing.  I'm posting it purely because I am an incredibly curious person and a nerd when it comes to information.  Just how nerdy, you may ask? 

I actually DVR Jeopardy.  'Nuff said. 

This makes me want to play a neurologist.  Or an optometrist.  I want to discover the science behind this ocular wizardry.