Tuesday, May 28, 2013


There is something about writing.  Something that grabs me and holds me and refuses to let me go.  If I didn't have to sleep, I wouldn't stop.  The pull is almost as strong as the pull to perform.  To perform words that I actually wrote.... that's a dream I didn't even know I was dreaming until I started a Final Draft script by Anony.  What an adventure...

Summertime and the Living is Not-So-Easy

It comes every year.  I've warned you about it before.  It's almost here.  Merely days away.  After this weekend, you and I are looking straight at it, right into the eyes of that dreaded beast.  

What is it, you ask?  The June slowdown.  Nearly all of television is on hiatus and the army that runs it is out of dodge for the next month and a half.  Stars and above-the-line-crew are on fancy vacations in the tropics.  Casting directors are enjoying much needed rest away from the hectic office.  Agents are taking their first deep breath since pilot season started and exhaling to evaluate their client lists, making cuts and gearing up for the cycle to start over again.  (Fortunately for me, I don't think I'm in any danger, but I guess you never know.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.)

This is the time of year that those of us who don't work enough to really need a vacation find ways to keep busy during the break.  We catch up on sleep and seek out hobbies to keep our subconscious minds from doing that thing we all inevitably do this time of year... freak out and worry that the reason it feels slow is because our careers are falling apart and we'll never work again.  (Have you been reading this blog long enough to figure out that this is a reoccuring theme in my life?)  The only saving grace is that feature film production tends to pick up a little in the summer, so it's a good time of year to get on a project and ride it all the way to Cannes or Tribeca or SXSW.  

It is also the time of year that coffee shops start to fill up with wannabe screenwriters out-of-work actors trying their hand at producing their own material.  I'm no exception.  I guess someone has to be the cliche... I write to you from one of my favorite little neighborhood spots.  I've had an incredibly successful and momentous first half to the year, so in an effort to keep the irrational self-doubt at bay, I'm putting my extra audition-free daylight hours into something I've wanted to do for a long time.  I have a couple screenplay ideas swimming around in my head, and I did win a "most promising young writer" award about a million years ago, so I've decided to stop thinking I should and just do.  Even if none of it sees the light of day and it ultimately becomes just a creative outlet during the June slowdown, I'll try my hand at a little FADE IN/FADE OUT action.

Waiter, another latte please!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Post-Show Come Down

In any profession, there are the little insider secrets and parts of the job that don't get much media.  The less sexy side of being a lawyer is that you spend long, long, long, looooong hours sitting in a little office writing.  Professional dancers get endless injuries and bloody feet.  Movies don't show you the dirty, gag-worthy aspects of being a doctor.  Distance runners inevitably hit "the wall" and battle their bodies and minds to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Actors?  Ask any one of us and you'll get a knowing nod when you mention the "Post-Show Come Down."

It's that moment after you take the final bow on stage, the light fades and you look up only to hear the lonely swish of the broom as the theater usher sweeps away any sign of an audience.  It's that moment when the 1st AD (Assistant Director) announces "That's a wrap for Anony," the film's cast and crew claps for you and you take one last breath on the set, determined to remember everything, then slump into the airplane seat to go home. Then it's that moment when you step through your front door and realize that beautiful, wonderful, spectacular show you've put your entire soul into is gone.  It's finished, your work is complete and the absence leaves a gaping void in your life.  This demon has also been named the Post-Show Depression, and I liken it to the Mean Reds.  In case you don't know what those are... no one better than Ms. Golightly herself to explain...
Whatever you call it, it's that side of being a working actor that no one talks about but it's very real.  I've been working a lot lately, which is a wonderful, incredible gift... but it's still impossible to avoid the Post-Show Come Down.  I've been battling that sinking feeling as I don't have another job lined up just yet.  Debilitating fear creeps in that I'll never work again.  I feel exhausted at the thought of, yet again, being back in the place where I have to fight to get a freaking audition.  It's hard to transition back into the grind of the endless hustle.  

So like any normal person, I have been subconsciously fighting this inner demon with carb loading and ice cream.  Which, (no big surprise) doesn't do a damn thing to yield more auditions.  Thank heavens for yoga and 5 mile runs, otherwise I'd be out of working shape with all the fro-yo and pasta I've had in the last week.  Still, it is in these moments that I have to remember to just let go of the irrational fear that this train won't keep moving.  I am not, in fact, back at "square one."  I will have more opportunities; I will work again; my career will continue to climb.  It may not seem like it now, but career -- and life -- will actually move on.  

I tell you this not to depress you, but because I have vowed to show you what it's really like in the trenches.  The Come Down is normal, and we all go through it.  So if you're nearing the end of the run of your play or your film is wrapping, just know you may experience something similar.  With love, let go of the past project.  Let go of the fear of what the future may (or may not) hold.  You may have to dig deep, Lord knows I certainly sometimes have to, but you too can push through and keep on fighting the good fight.  There is always, without fail, something bigger and better on it's way. 

Get excited for that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Step One, Fly Back. Step Two, Hustle.

Well, my bags are packed and I'm leaving on a jet plane.  What an adventure, this movie making business.  It is long hours, and hard work but it's oh so glorious. It's waking up early and in the makeup chair as the sun rises. It's fifteen hours under the watchful gaze of that beautiful lover, the camera. It's wardrobe craziness as we switch from script day 1 to 5 then back again for pickups. It's continuity mania, crap... did I hold the drink in my left hand or right hand in the master shot?  Did I cross at line A or line B? It's being secretly scared shitless that I won't be funny... But then it's the director saying "genius" and "brilliant" after every take.  It's thanking the extras and falling in love with the other principal cast more and more every day because they're so freaking good. It's beers after wrapping and tears as the new family parts, but see you all back in LA... And maybe Sundance if we get lucky.

It was amazing and fulfilling and never enough. But alas, it must eventually come to an end then it's on to the next thing. As I was packing bag last night, there came that little reminder that its back to the hustle. My agent emailed. As soon as you're back, get your ass directly from the airport across town to your next audition.

We waste no time around here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Am In Heaven

You know that feeling you get when something amazing happens?  Like when your football team is behind and throws a Hail Mary pass as time runs off the clock... And catches it... And wins.   Or when time slows down as you follow along on your ticket as the announcer reads the winning raffle number and, one by one, you realize it's yours.  Or like when you find a twenty in the pocket of a jacket you haven't worn since last fall. 

This... shooting a principal role in a feature film... Is so much better than that.