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January 28, 2003

A Day Like Today

I live in a place where tourists stop every day. Just this morning, after taking Keith to the airport before the sun came up, I decided to travel back along the Lake Hollywood route, which allows me to get as close as vehicularly possible to the Hollywood sign. As I rounded the curve and came up underneath the H, glowing against the faint light of the oddly bright crescent moon, I thought, "I could just park here and watch this all day long."

Later in the morning, I ran errands that, during the weekend I'd bitched about not completing on Friday. As I waited at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine for the light to change, watching pedestrians stopping to photograph stars on the Walk of Fame beneath them, I thought, "I could just park here and watch this all day long."

This afternoon, I received a call from a casting director, asking me to come to his class at UCLA next week and speak to the students, talk with him about the class, make some plans for structuring my own curriculum, and such. I then received an email from another casting director, thanking me for helping her with a particular project she's working on. Then I watched Bravo's "The It Factor" and saw actors going into casting sessions with casting directors I've interviewed. I thought, "I like this life. What I do is cool."

I got an email from an actress who wanted to thank me for the advice I'd given her that has now led to her increased confidence in her audition situations. I told her that she's the one who has to go do the hard work. All I have are ideas and theories and experiences that worked for me. I can share those. And I can wish her well. The rest is up to her.

What's my point?

Well, it's really easy to forget the love of the day-to-day sometimes. I hear that I'm lucky to be able to do what I love for a living. I really don't think luck has anything to do with it. I busted my ass to get to live the way I do, and it's been a series of hard choices that have cost me some close relationships in the process. And, in the big scheme of things, I don't really mind.

Even when my day is composed of nothing "Hollywood" (when I go for a walk in my neighborhood and forget to look up at the sign), I still manage to find a patch of clover or some pretty little flower that thinks it's Spring, and I stop, and think, "I could just park here and watch this all day long."

And not take any of it for granted.

Posted by bonnie at 1:48 AM

January 27, 2003

Something Worth Sharing

Now THIS is a quiz I can live with.

Which OS are You?

Ah... now I can sleep happily.

Oh wait. Sleep? What's that?

More later.

Oops... just added... Cool Age Thingy that my mom would've loved. Just remember, I'm still Jenny from the Block.

Shoot! One more thing. Just as I'm getting really good about drinking my required 100oz. of water a day, I find this article telling me that my water bottles are poisoning me. Really? Who can debunk this so that I don't fear refilling? Anywone? Thanks!

Posted by bonnie at 11:16 PM

January 25, 2003

So, so, so much fun

Went to 15 Minutes of FEM tonight after dinner at Micelli's with Richard and Tracy. Very much fun, all the way around. Keith and I had scouted Crista at Comedy Union a few months ago and told her that she MUST apply for FEM. She did. She made it in. And tonight she was up... and amazing! I'm sure she won, but they won't reveal the results on the website until the morning. My friend Jonna of "Jonna's Body, Please Hold" fame will perform next month and then the big ol' Best of FEM night will be mid-February (I'm an industry judge... way cool).

Anyway, it's always so nice to see such talented people all in one place doing what they love. It really puts all the other moments of life, in which we feel resistence or frustration, into perspective.

For me anyway.

Posted by bonnie at 1:09 AM

January 21, 2003

Commercial Unrest

I watch a lot of TV. A lot. A lot, a lot, a lot.

And since I am not blessed with TiVo, I must also watch commercials. Of course, I do my best to time just about any other activity for commercial breaks, but when I do catch a commercial, a few things can happen.

I can say, "Oh, so-and-so auditioned for that one!" or "Hey, that's so-and-so!" or, as is the case with the examples that follow, I can stand up and scream at my television, "What the eff were you people thinking?!?"

I don't understand ad execs. I really don't. I suppose, if I did, I'd have done more than take one advertising course each in undergrad and grad school at the Grady College of Journalism (go, Dawgs) at UGA. And then, perhaps, I'd have become one of those odd little ad execs and lined my pockets with dollars made off of some of the stupidest ideas ever conceived. Instead, I get paid dunkets to share others' stupid ideas with you in the form of a rant.

What I've Learned from Commercials

Lie to your friends. When given the opportunity, make sure you lie. Your roommate asks whether you wore her black top last night. You flashback to the amazing party time you had, dancing away, wearing her black top, but recall (thanks, voiceover) that you used Secret, and therefore did not leave white marks on said black top... making it impossible for your roommate to know the truth.

Don't lie to your girlfriend. When she asks if you've been wearing that black sweater she sent you, tell her yes, you wear it every time you think of her... and when she guesses that it must be "so grey" due to all the times that would mean it's been washed, you can hang up the phone, cut the tags off the unworn sweater, run panicking to the laundry room, and... uh, oh... all you have is Cheer, and that won't fade your dark clothing. Busted.

Lose your gag reflex. If you ever want to shoot a commercial for Carl's Jr. and their new chili burger... well, you'd better be able to not puke during filming. (From what I hear, on the set, it's quite all right to do so after, "Cut!" is hollered, but that's it.) I get that we're supposed to think, "Mmm, yummy... big, sloppy burger with chili overloaded to overflowing." Okay. I've never enjoyed the whole "listening to someone eat something" hook to their ads, but with this one, where the chick sits down, positions the box the burger came in to have it catch the chili that spills off toward the floor, licks the edges of the burger to get what extra chili she can, and then "plop" again... more chili in the box... I just don't get how that's supposed to make anyone want to go buy that burger.

Have questionable anatomy. This one has long been a favorite. "My sister and I were at the gym and I got my period. I asked to borrow a pad, but she only had tampons." Let me state, for the record, that I know feminine hygiene ads are just about as bad as those Viagra ads I refer to as the "Bob's Boner" campaign (thank God Saturday Night Live... or was it MadTV... finally spoofed that one). But this one, from Playtex, includes the lovely tag line, "They're so comfortable--you can't even feel them." Them? How many are you putting in?!?

Mistreat your body and then brag about it. It started up after New Year's Day, as most "fix yourself up" ad campaigns do. This one is the Bally Fitness "feel the beautiful pain" series of commercials. Are you kidding me? Honestly, at first, I thought, "Nah... that can't be their campaign. Really. It's gotta be a one-shot, New Year's Resolution type ad deal." Oh, no. It's a whole roll-out campaign based on the premise, "I hurt so bad from my workout that I can't even move." The stupid one-shots of the actors describing the "morning after pain" was a bad enough ad, but now the almost public service announcement-tone one with the woman who "tragically can't cross the street today" because of the pain of the "amazing workout" she had the day before? Ugh! Please, ad execs, be a bit more responsible!

Use disclaimers liberally. I've always liked the little Zoloft ad campaign with the little blobby moving across the screen, interacting with a ladybug. It wasn't until a 17-year-old writing student I knew mentioned it to me that I noticed something really amazing about this ad, in which--remember--an animated blobby moves across the screen and then an animated drawing of the serotonin reuptake process taking place is shown--includes the all-important notice at the bottom of the screen: "Dramatization." Wow. Really? You mean my brain is not functioning as a cartoon?

Well. Maybe that's my problem right there.

Posted by bonnie at 6:56 AM

Must Shop

Oh, Amy, you're so brilliant. I really really really want to buy these Space Invaders Pillows!

Looks like the launch of Everything Else is upon us. Yay! I am so very excited! Please do go take a poke around (hee hee).

I am still happily low-carbing. It's hard some days, but most of the time, it's really cool... I'm actually learning how to cook and stuff. I have lost nearly 14" off the bod and have really been enjoying early morning walks, etc. It's just good to feel good. Really.

Hollywood Happy Hour is coming along nicely. Very excited for our March 6th kick-off event. Also very much looking forward to the Free Casting Director Panel on February 12th. In at-home activities, I did a pretty significant redesign of several elements of the Cricket Feet site and have more to do. Not just yet. Still ramping up for some new cool stuff.

Woo hoo!

Bed soon. Really.

Posted by bonnie at 5:06 AM

January 19, 2003

Press Release du Jour

I have been avoiding television for hours... hate those tape-delayed award shows! Just hope effin' NBC doesn't ruin this one like they did the Emmy Awards. Yes... they did a news teaser about 15 minutes before the award show ended in LA and showed the cast of The West Wing in the press room, holding their awards. Of course, that award hadn't been given out at that time, in the tape-delayed version of the show we had to watch here in LA... on that same effin' channel!!!

Oh, I'm not bitter.

But if they do that to me today, there will be hell to pay. And not in the good way.

Okay... here's the press release:

Hope you can join us!!

Take One Bookstore, 11516 Santa Monica Blvd. (five blocks west of the 405) 310.445.4050 Wednesday, February 12th, 7:30pm, FREE OF CHARGE.

Back Stage West Casting Columnist Bonnie Gillespie will moderate a panel discussion featuring casting directors Patrick Baca, CSA; Carol Elizabeth Barlow; Matthew Barry, CSA; and Michelle Foumberg.

Casting Director Bios:
Patrick Baca--CSA, partnered with Robin Nassif in Nassif & Baca Casting. Newly-elected to the Board of Directors of the Casting Society of America. Casting credits include "Halloween: Resurrection," "L.A. Law: The Movie," and the series "Strip Mall" in addition to studio and indie features, MOWs, pilots, and theatre. Currently casting two feature films.

Carol Elizabeth Barlow--has cast hosts, sketch comedians, and actors in shows like "Hype!," "WinTuition," "Primetime Glick," and in many commercials and music videos. Recently cast "Trigger Happy TV," "Scrabble," and the Jerry Seinfeld-produced pilot "Letters from a Nut." Currently working on pilots and a series called "Are You Hot?" for ABC.

Matthew Barry--CSA, former Broadway actor who has cast many features including "John Q," "Rush Hour," "Con Air," "Friday After Next," and forthcoming New Line feature "The Notebook." Currently partnered with Nancy Green-Keys in Barry & Green-Keys Casting working on features.

Michelle Foumberg--current casting director for the Oxygen Network's "Girls Behaving Badly." Casting credits include MTV's "Becoming" and CBS's "Big Brother 3." Constantly scouting for standup and sketch comedians as well as pranksters for her current show.

Hope to see you on the 12th!

Posted by bonnie at 8:00 PM

January 18, 2003

Progress, Not Perfection

Okay, so the website updates are going well. I'm pretty happy with some of the design work I'm doing and I hope I'll have it all up in short order (but not like a cook... you know).

First, I must let the world see this site (at its humble beginnings) that will someday be true greatness. It's Mugshots.org. The Hollywood section is my favorite, natch. Of course, I'm very sad that the Bert is Evil website has been taken down. Aside from that *insert moment of silence* this was a good discovery by Cool-Ass Norm of Somesuch-Whatnot.

We're going out to shoot pool with friends tonight. Can't wait! It's been far far far too long!

Lucy made the move to her new address (Lucy is the server, duh) without incident! Yay, Chip! You rock!

My last big insomniatic (is that a word) push yielded the beta version of the website for Hollywood Happy Hour, which we'll launch (the event, not the site) on March 6th. Really really really really excited!

Next casting director panel at Take One on February 12th. Man... there is just so much going on right now... and I'm not even touching on the big stuff. Really.

Just wow. 2003. It's. The. Year.

Posted by bonnie at 1:46 PM

January 17, 2003

Fair Warning...Again

Just got word that Lucy (the server this Blog lives on) will be moving this weekend. So... expect some down time and be happy when it's shorter than anyone imagined it would be. I have all the faith in the world in Chip, but Mercury is still in Retrograde... so, there's that.

Lots of lots of lots of lots of news and updates, but most of them will have to wait. I'm going to do some hefty site updates over at the bonsite and on Cricket Feet, but those non-paying things will have to wait for some paying things to get done... and then there's sleep... oh, but I'm not really doing that (thanks, Santa Anas, for returning yet again)!

So, expect news. Expect good news. But first expect delays. Anticipation is a good thing, yes?

Ciao (and yes, first I typed "Chow"). Tee hee.

Posted by bonnie at 5:02 AM

January 13, 2003

The Little Film Festival That Could

A few months ago, a few folks began posting on an actors' web board along the lines of, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!"

Now, this sort of thing happens all the time here in Hollywood, and even more often online than in the flesh. There's that whole, "Hey, yeah. What a great idea! Let's get that plan together." And then there's that whole, "Um... where'd everybody go?" thing when it comes time to put the work together.

Not this time.

This time, the principals were N. Barry Carver, Paul Molinaro, and yours truly, and we have this work ethic thing that, when combined, is truly staggering to behold.

To wit: Barry, in the last year, has produced a short film, a radio game show, a book of touching short stories, and... oh yeah, a baby boy. Paul, our own ActorsBone site owner, is a parent, a doctor, and is currently in his first year of law school (3.4 GPA intact) because three careers are never enough. Me, I've written that book on casting directors, am running that management company, and have started ramping up for Hollywood Happy Hour.

We like to work.

We really like to bring talented people together and help build relationships between all sorts of people who'll end up working together for years and years to come.

This weekend, we did just that.

With just two months of web-board posting and email forwarding to let people know about our festival--which distinguished itself from other major festivals out there by being one in which every short received airtime with three screeners, and each screener provided feedback to the shortsmaker--we received 100 entries (and from as far away as Australia, for heck's sake)!

Our screeners worked to get feedback to us in short order, so that we could quickly come up with the top 25 shorts for our judges screening, which took place in mid-November. Wow. What amazing talent! And the winning shorts were all just amazing. The budgets ranged from next to nothing to a whole heck of a lot, and the shortsmakers were from Los Angeles, Canada, Massachusetts, Ohio, the UK... well... we were impressed.

Turns out our audiences were too. We got going just a wee bit after 7pm each night and wrapped up (after the reception) by 10:30pm. Tons of happy shortsmakers in the room, shaking hands, exchanging business cards, and congratulating one another on jobs well done. The diversity was really grand. Our corporate sponsors, who donated membership to Showfax sides service, Breakdown Services' casting director mailing labels, and other goodies, were all pleased to see their corporate considerations going to good use.

And the best part? We ended up in the black. We decided, "Hey, let's put on this festival," put out the call for entries, actually put on two days' of screenings, put out a congratulatory display ad in Daily Variety (hitting newsstands just in time for Sundance opening parties), and have enough cash left to pay ourselves back for the expenses we're out. Not bad.

In the land of air-kisses and "let's do lunch" mantras, we made good. Real good. That's not bad at all.

Posted by bonnie at 3:32 AM

January 12, 2003

God Bless the 80s

And God bless VH-1 for devoting its day to the best decade ever.

Now... where's my opportunity to buy the DVD Box Set of this entire weekend's shows? Drooling like Homer Simpson.

Posted by bonnie at 1:29 PM

January 9, 2003

Photo Essay

I really like the "Day in the Life" Photo Essay Big Mike in Korea created.

Reminds me that I used to think, way back in high school, that I would like to take a Polariod of myself every morning before leaving the house. The idea came about because I was spending a lot of time writing down my outfits when I was in the 9th grade (yes, really... I was the "poor kid wearing hand-me-downs" then and it was very important to me to not look like the poor kid wearing hand-me-downs, so I kept a log of what I wore each day, to try and mix it up a bit and not have a "Tuesday Uniform" thing going on).

I thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be so much easier to do this photographically?" Yes, of course.

Anyway, as I got older, and probably when I was minoring in photography at UGA, I began to explore the idea of a daily photo... just to have a regular essay, an ongoing record, of changes in a life. Never actually did it, though.

As I'm typing this, I recall a find that Chip made: a discovery of this family's photo essay. It's pretty dang amazing (once you get to like 20 years of photos).

Posted by bonnie at 1:50 PM

January 6, 2003



Why is it that "TNT Knows Drama" and who made that declaration?

Why is it that, during "Law & Order" on TNT, TNT can run an alert sound (ala the FCC Emergency Alert System) and then scroll across the screen that "A Storm Is Coming... George Clooney stars in 'The Perfect Storm' on TNT..." and not be sued? God I hate AOL.

Yes, I blame AOL. Not Turner. He was always whacked. The evil advertising is all AOL's fault.

I drove through the greatness of In-n-Out today and ordered a Double Double "protein style." Aw, yeah, baby! They wrapped two burger patties with cheese and all the fixins up in a bunch of lettuce and served it with a smile. Damn, I love LA.

I am still sick, but I do not believe it is strep throat anymore.

I know that Splenda made me sick. Twice. I have a pretty severe allergic reaction to the fake sugar stuff, so I recommend that anyone who has ever had any kind of food sensitivity start with a small bit of Splenda before investing in a big package of it (it's pretty pricey).

Okay, so for the second time since beginning Atkins living, Splenda has made me sick-in-bed-for-a-day sick. Well, I guess my immunity was worn down enough that my bod got a throat/sinus thingy too. And then the Santa Ana Winds kicked up with a vengance (haven't let up yet) and, with the weather hiting 90 degrees this weekend, my allergies just blew out. BIG TIME. I've had the air conditioning on constantly to try and cut the heat of my body right now, but I've become convinced that Atkins eating has reset my resting metabolism to a higher level. I no longer have cold feet, cold hands, cold nose... I am officially "going through the change" (as my mom would say) at the ripe ol' age of 32.

Well, this morning, a casting director called me back from my call on Friday about doing an interview. He sounded like I do: like Suzanne Pleshette had gargled glass, smoked a pack of Pall Malls, and French kissed Bea Arthur.

I said, "How are you?" He replied, "Better than I sound." "Hey, me too!" I said. And we decided to meet anyway. At the start of our interview, he offered me a Sucrets. Dayum, that shiite is strong!

Anyway, I noticed, after taking a Sucret, that a stuffed monkey was sitting on the edge of this man's desk, facing me. I tried not to look at it. I mean, c'mon... I'm conducting an interview here!

He mentioned something about his schedule and checked his computer monitor, on which was taped a picture of a sock monkey with the slogan "I fling poo" underneath its big red mouth.

How the eff am I supposed to conduct an interview in these conditions?!? Tee heeeeeeeeeee.

Well, I handled it okay, methinks.

Oh, and I got a raise. I am now officially making MORE than $0.10/word for my work at Back Stage West for the first time in three years.

Bout damn time.

Where's my Nyquil?
The Book Is Here!

Rose Knows: "All in all, people are weird. Thus, literature." - November, 2002, Somesuch-Whatnot

Posted by bonnie at 6:56 PM

January 4, 2003

Well, Crap

So... I was booked on the radio show Back Stage Live for tonight. I was really looking forward to it. Good fun. Live talk radio. Happy stuff.

Instead... I go and get strep throat. Jealous? Ugh. Me no likee.

Of course, I can't rest for any length of time, because every time I do try to rest, I start thinking of all the stuff I want to deal with on the computer. Then I get to the computer and feel too sick to even sit up and compose anything.

Oh! And the chick who hit my parked car on either New Year's Eve or early New Year's Day, despite the fact that she left a sweet note about paying for the damages, has not returned a single phone call since we went and got the estimate. So... I'm thinking, either she didn't actually hit the car, but someone else did and left a note with her name and number "for fun" or that, once she heard the estimate (Keith left it on her voicemail), she decided to back out. Or... she's just busy. Yeah. Whatever.

Thinking it may be time to post her name and number on the freekin' Internet. We'll see.

First I need to feel better.

Oh, here's something I was going to post yesterday.

So Very Human

Got a call from a casting director whose name I changed in 75% of our interview in the book. She said she liked the book very much, but that she didn't like being renamed. Of course, I'm thinking, "Like once or twice, right?" Oh no... I renamed her EIGHTEEN TIMES in our five-page interview.

Got some comfort from a multi-published friend who said, "No matter how many times it's been proofed, something is always going to get through." Ugh! But something THIS big? Of course, it makes me feel like the whole book is useless. Gotta love that all-or-nothing mentality I seem to embrace.

So, now instead of doing a straight reprint from this edition when this print-run sells out (which, based on the figures we just received from our distributors for December alone, should be quite soon), we'll have to do $15/page edits and perhaps not even be allowed to call it a revised first edition without issuing a new ISBN, bar code, etc. Ugh. "Oh, bother," as Pooh would say!

Okay, I think that's everything for now. Yeah. Photos from New Year's Day to come. Just have to feel better first. Recommendations for personal health care here would be greatly appreciated. Cheers,

Posted by bonnie at 10:54 AM