January 31, 2006
SMFA2 Is Here!
The second edition of Self-Management for Actors is IN LOS ANGELES! Woo hoo!
Gonna do a little social gathering on Thursday evening, if you're around, in town, and local to Santa Monica. Comment/email for more info. We'd love to have you with us for the wee celebration. Meanwhile, I've GOT to stop freaking out about the idea that maybe I've ruined my book by changing it at all since the first edition. Ah... rebagging groceries, right?
Anyway, stay tuned for big, official events. Meanwhile, I can't wait to hear your review of my new baby!
Your score was 54 in Unbelievability!
You are your author's imaginary friend, but you're not really the type of character fiction writers should aim for. You're more than a little out of the ordinary. You might have had some really crazy experiences, or have an unusual talent or two. Maybe you were even born with a tail. Whatever it is that makes you unique, it does the job well, because there are very few people like you on this planet. A novel with you as a character would be a guilty pleasure to read. It would be considered intellectual junk food, of course, but damn fun to read nonetheless. Even if many people didn't want to pay actual money to read about you and your exploits, surely it would be checked out from the library at least... once every couple of months.
You scored higher than 64% on Implausibility Link: The Are You a Plausible Character? Test written by coldrose
Oh, and in kitty news: Thwok has taken to getting high... on adhesive. She has been caught licking the top flap of unused manilla envelopes, then making that *ick* *ick* face... then licking again. And again. She HAS to be getting high from this. Why else would she continue to do it?!? Freakshowkitty!
Hiya! Been awhile. Busy. Office is looking gorgeous (photos to come) especially thanks to a stunning new lampshade with crystals hanging from it (beautiful present from the Lindsays). New fax machine "system" is really cool. Next, we're going to put up a stunning curtain to divide the "office" and "living" spaces. Oh, and I'm going to finally get a desk. (Did you know that you can't buy a desk like I want anywhere in person in Southern California?? Yeah. Gotta go online. Drat.)
Meeting tomorrow with Gary about a new joint venture with a major trade publication. Eeeeee! I'm quite giddy. Also finally got paperwork done for another casting gig, which means I'll be releasing some info in an official capacity soon (on several projects at once). I'm just blown away that it's already almost February. Wow.
Oh, man, I haven't even mentioned the fact that the second edition of Self-Management for Actors reaches our warehouse TOMORROW! Ack! I so kept thinking I had more time to prep--and now it's almost here???? Ack! I had a dream that it was a huge bomb and no one bought it and I cried and cried. And then I went over to Deb's house and slept on a leather couch, took drugs in my sleep, and woke up with Christmas lights strung all over me. When I woke up, I was craving a Sloppy Joe. Do you think that's normal?
More catch up later. I need a shower.
January 29, 2006
HB to MMSM
Yes, it's another birthday. But this one is extra-special. Today is the day my musical soulmate was born.
His name is John and we've never met in person, but he lets me call him Leemsy and we share excellent (near god-like) taste in music. He wrote about how "all of us" intersected in a recent blog entry, to which I'd add that it's also through this little online connection that I met my hubby, who endures and even enjoys how much love I have for my musical soulmate.
He is also glad Texas is not closer.
Happy birthday, Leemsy! You are greatness.
January 28, 2006
Happy Birthday, Everybody
There are two days of the year on which the MOST people I know were born. One of them is 1/28. The other is 9/11. Seriously. Eight of my good friends share today as a birthday. Six friends share 9/11 (with another five sharing 9/12). Wow. Lots of numerological karma, having this many friends with the same b'day, wouldn't you say?
Okay, so happy birthday to all of you! Wish I could play with everyone.
Now, on to the tagging I got from the greatness that is Nini.
While I have a list of "Little Known Facts at the bonsite (which was way fun to go back through, since I created the list in 1997 and have only updated it a few times since), I still am having trouble coming up with My Five Weirdest Habits, which is what Nini has challenged me to do. I mean, how many of my "things" are habits and how many are OCD rituals? Well... I'll do my best.
1. I am incapable of turning a volume that is measured in numbers up or down to any increment other than five or zero. If my car stereo's volume is on 38, I know Keith was driving last, as I can only have it on 35 or 40. Period.
2. I rewrite lists. This is actually how my OCD was first suspected (by a teacher in high school). I was rewriting a list in Spanish class and my teacher sat me down for a heart-to-heart about rituals and habits and phobias. It was quite revealing. I still rewrite my lists, but not as often as I used to, since the SixHundy takes care of most of my list-making anymore.
4. I cannot make a list with item number three included. Blame somesuch. It is said the "There Is NEVER a Three" rule came from the mis-remembering of a Monty Python sketch, but I've never watched Monty Python, so I can't say for sure. Whether it was supposed to be number six or number three or whatever, it has stuck as number three with my group of online friends, and it is now something that I can't NOT do.
5. Doors must be left all the way open or all the way closed. Period. A door left "ajar" or open but not all the way up against the wall behind it is somehow offensive, out of order, going to cause me stress, or create chaos in my life in some way. Want to drive me crazy? Come over, open all of my cabinets, leave all doors half-open, and put your purse or backpack on the floor (bad feng shui). I will need a valium.
6. When I bowl (which I rarely do anymore), I sing (in my head), "Mary had a little lamb," as I approach the release line. I took bowling as a phys ed in college (woo hoo) and this was the tactic taught by our instructor. My average was around 120. I liked that class.
Next, a wonderful link that was shared by the greatness that is Tony on the 24th. Only wish I'd opened the email then. But how can you know there's brilliance in the inbox? It's like the time I let a phone message go unanswered and later learned I had been cast in the "Deadbeat Club" music video, but missed it, since I figured Eric was just calling to invite me to his party that weekend. Ugh. That's what you get, busy girl!
January 27, 2006
A recent comment-based exchange with my NBF Erik (who is doing a very My Name Is Earl-ish list-y thing that I totally love and about which I will blog later) reminded me of one of the jobs I was BEST at, in my teens and twenties.
I made a great beard.
It's kind of sad that straight gals growing up these days will no longer have the pleasure of being their gay best friends' prom date (or, if they DO have the pleasure, they won't be ever-hopeful, like we clueless '80s girls were, that perhaps somehow, someway, something romantic COULD come out of it all, if the DJ just played the EXACT RIGHT SONG as we danced on the shiny gym floor). Girls today will never get to be the "fake girlfriend" introduced to mom and dad, when the folks would come into town and want to meet their son's lady love. Today, everyone knows everyone is gay and there is just no need for the fake girlfriend anymore.
Sad, really. In the '80s, I was often faked out by my gay boyfriends. In the '90s, I was in on the fake-out of my gay boyfriends' families. In the 2000s, no one is being faked out and, in a way, that's just sad. There's a whole generation of creative, beautiful, wonderful young ladies out there who will never get to play make-believe at that level. I guess it's good that there's more good stuff on TV these days. But what on EARTH would I have done with all of that spare time, had I not been such a kick-ass beard for two decades? Man... I could've been president!
Ah, just as well. I treasure my memories of planning to have David's children while we were choreographing his dance number for the school cabaret, being sweetly serenaded by Gary on the ride home from drama/dance camp and believing that meant we were in love, helping John get dressed in drag while telling his girlfriend we were at a movie, and eventually being the opening act for the BoyButante Ball '95. Wouldn't trade having been a bearded lady for anything!
January 26, 2006
First off--meeting was rockstar. Three hours. Lots of good stuffs. I'm exhausted.
Now, so Keith is finished with his day in casting (awesome) and on his way home, he's supposed to pick up our new fax machine, plus continue the ever-frustrating search for Swingline Tot 50 staples.
See, I have two Swingline Tot 50 staplers, circa 1975 (so, not exactly as pictured above... much more old-school). Mom bought one in red and one in black. The black one became mine. When she died, and I cleaned out her desk, I brought the red one home to LA to rejoin the black one. I also brought home her one box of staples for it. Since then, I've used up her box of staples and the box or two that I had from my stash. I'm down to like 100 or so staples for the Swingline Tot 50. And guess what they don't make anymore.
Well, I *can* buy Swingline Tot 50 staples *if* I buy a crappy, ugly, clunky NEW Swingline Tot 50 stapler, but isn't that going to get a little silly, at some point? I've found some online auctions for them, but that is not a long-term solution. Bummer.
Anyway, Keith has now left the office supply store b/c, in an hour or so of wandering around and trying to spend several hundred dollars (quite a few several, seeing as he was looking for a desk and the new fax machine, which we'd decided would be a really rockstar one this time [y'know, one that replaces the answering machine, caller ID, and cordless phone as well]), he was not being helped. He's much more patient than I am. I asked if he'd found a manager and he said, "Yeah, I think that's part of the problem. A dozen customers, a dozen employees. And they're all actively avoiding contact with us, as we wander around trying to spend our money here." I said, "COME. HOME. We'll spend our money elsewhere." And we shall. Eff them.
Of course, lovely Pisces that he is, he's gotten in his car, called me to tell me he's coming home, and then he sees another office supply store, so he pulls in and makes another attempt. Bless his patience. I am my mother's daughter (read: a hot head about such things) and I have no staples for her stapler.
On This Day In Casting History
I received my letter of intent for casting Wanderers of the Wasteland (FKA Swirl) from the amazing Visualize This team;
three directors who are reviewing the script for Retribution (the crime drama shooting in Upstate New York) have come back to me with interest;
the morning has been filled with final messenger deliveries for casting suggestions from the "big agencies" on How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone in anticipation of my meeting with the Hyphenate Films guys this afternoon.
And the new office looks AMAZING. Surprisingly, I think the "new den" is going to be my new favorite getaway. It's like a library. Little TV for DVD/VHS-watching, speakers from the household sound system (so we can do the whole XM, CDs, radio thingy), all of our non-industry books for pleasure reading, windows on two sides of the room, the lovely ceiling fan, and all of our TOYS! Yeah, that's going to be my new favorite in-home getaway.
One casualty from the redesign: our fax machine. No biggie. I bought it in May 2001 for $30. It's time to upgrade.
Thanks for all of the comments, everyone! I'm so glad to hear from y'all! More updates when I have more than a moment's break. Ack! There goes my SixHundy alarm--letting me know it's time to structure today's A-list actor casting presentation. Woo!
January 24, 2006
Shows I've Never Seen
Snaked from the greatness that is TV Squad (sign up for the feed, if you haven't already. Plenty of goods).
George Lopez Show
Two and a Half Men
Oh, and in case you're NOT a gay man with gal best friends reading my blog, you should go read this so that you're caught up to speed.
Meanwhile, it's almost time for the Official Shon/Keith 80th Birthday Party Bash. If you're not already on the invite list, you need to make contact, so that you can be a part of the silly (old people) fun. (Hee hee... that's what younger wives do.)
January 23, 2006
Well Earned Break
Because some of the best "downtime" after a day of building office furniture and moving stuffs all over the place--we are sooooo going to have the BEST home office on the planet--is a quiz, I took two! Yay!
This one from Chip:
Which Rock Chick Are You?
You are the Universe card, sometimes called the World card. The Universe is the complete, perfect whole. The spiritual path has come to an end and enlightenment is reached. Events have reached completion. The different facets of your life are well-integrated and harmoniously balanced. This is an ideal state in which to rest and feel the true state of your vibrant physical being. Your creative potential is maximized and you have achieved goals that you have set for yourself in the past. After enjoying the pleasure of this state, a new cycle can begin with new challenges and triumphs that will keep you feeling alive and keep building on the foundations you have planted thus far. Image from The Stone Tarot deck.
brought to you by Quizilla
Finally, I'd like to give a big BREAK A LEG to my honey, who has several rockstar auditions tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'll be continuing my work on the home office and the casting lists for the meetings coming up this week.
Oh, and if you want to see the face of evil, go here. Yes, she worked for me, three years ago. Yes, she knows EXACTLY as much about Hollywood as she tries to make it seem as if she does. Truly. And that should tell you plenty. *snark* :\
January 22, 2006
Yay! Office reconfiguration is underway. Our brilliant system for shopping (Keith on location; me here with the Internet to "see" what he's seeing, plus other things to suggest for him; us on the phone; me with measuring tape and existing furniture; he in the store, seeing the set-up they're already showing, in case we need inspiration) looks to have worked pretty well. He did the rounds at Ikea and Office Depot and, after a wee delivery charge (way way way so much cheaper to do a buy-in-store and pay-to-deliver option than to buy online and pay very high shipping [and wait for two weeks vs. having stuffs here tomorrow morning]), we're good to go!
Most excited about my wall of cubbies for actor headshots, demo reels, and active files of scripts and current projects.
Now we just need to find a few of these pretty red cubbie bins for the "loose stuff" so that Thwok doesn't scurry on the things that would be too exciting to knock off and chase around. They were out of red at the store and they're not available online. Trip to Covina coming up!
January 21, 2006
OMG. I finally get it.
So, today was officially the castingest day EVER. I spent hours importing footage from films I've cast* in order to edit down my official casting demo reel. Lots of editing still to do, but what a happy job that is!
Meanwhile, I am putting final notes together for the next several casting gigs, details of which should be available in the next couple of weeks. Rock ON!
Okay, so where's the "I finally get it" stuff coming into play?
Well, as I watch the rough footage from these films I've cast (for the umpteenth time), I see imperfections. Typical. Same as when I reread my columns and get bummed out to find a typo or misplaced modifier or (*shudder*) split infinitive. It's just ugly. But it's human.
Okay, so at one point, I take a (well-earned) break. I'm looking at the cover art from one of the films' DVDs. It's gorgeous. And, reflecting back on how I felt the VERY VERY VERY first time I saw footage from this film, I felt truly flutter-filled with joy. I then thought, "Aw. It's a dayum shame that, the more I've looked at it, the more of its flaws I somehow see."
wheels turn... smoke pours from ears...
Wait a sec. What have I seen more of IN LIFE? What have I spent MOST OF MY LIFE focused on, simply due to the fact that I've had the most constant exposure to it?
That'd be ME.
Holy crap. Is a big part of the reason I see so many flaws in myself the very fact that I keep LOOKING? And perhaps those who consume only a fraction of me truly do have a much more balanced perspective on what my WHOLE is?
Just a load of thoughts, on a Saturday. Next time I get hyper-self-critical, perhaps I can just remember to take a dose of ANYTHING ELSE long enough to shift my perspective. Then realize, hey, I'm not that bad.
< Ali > Word. < /Ali >
* Have I mentioned how happy I am to finally have footage from even a FEW of the films I've cast by now?
You So Got It Wrong
CNN just announced that Grand Magazine has named its "sexiest celebrity grandfather of the year."
Who beat out sexy seniors Paul Newman, Harrison Ford, and Robert Redford?
Yup. Tony Danza.
So, it would seem that "ability to judge what is sexy" is the first thing to go. *shudder*
Another Adventure in Cooking
Okay, so we bought corn meal for the gluten-free corn dogs we made the other day. Problem is, they don't sell corn meal in one-cup packages. Good news: there are recipes for other things made with corn meal RIGHT ON THE BOX. Who knew?!?
Last night: tamale pie with fresh guacamole! Yum! I'm soooo proud of myself (and Keith helped a BUNCH, of course, but he always cooks really well. Me? I burn water). Only one casualty: I burned the eff out of my right thumb/wrist joint area. Click "Continue reading" to see the recipe for both the tamale pie and the guacamole.
In other news: I have a new beverage obsession. Brace yourself, people. I'm drinking like four big glasses a day. Ready? MILK. Who'dathunkit?
Tamale Pie (adapted from the corn meal box, since I don't like all the stuffs they like)
1.5 lbs. ground beef (or shredded chicken or whatever)
1 sm. onion, chopped (we used 1/2 a medium red onion, since Vidalia onions aren't around here)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
16 oz. gluten-free enchilada sauce
1 c. whole-kernel corn
1 tsp. salt
2.25 c. yellow corn meal
2 c. water
12 fl. oz. evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. diced green chiles
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
3 oz. sliced jalapeños
FILLING: cook beef, onion, and garlic in large skillet until beef is browned; drain. Stir in enchilada sauce, corn, and salt (next time, I'll put the corn in the crust, not in the filling).
CRUST: preheat oven to 425F. Grease 12x8 baking dish (we used butter, since PAM is *not* gluten-free). Combine corn meal, water, evaporated milk, and salt in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chiles. Reserve 2 c. corn meal mixture; cover with plastic wrap. Spread remaining corn meal mixture on bottom and up sides of prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 min. Cool in dish on wire rack. Spoon beef filling into corn meal crust. Spread reserved corn meal mixture over beef filling. Bake for 20 min. Sprinkle with cheese. Turn off oven, but pop the dish back in the oven to melt the cheese. Garnish with jalapeños.
2 fresh avocados
juice of one lemon
.25 c. diced red onion
1 Tbs. sour cream
1 Tbs. prepared salsa
salt & pepper to taste
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch chili powder
1 oz. sliced jalapeños
Seriously, this made so much food, I've had to freeze it for many meals to come! Hope it reheats from frozen well. It does reheat from refrigerated well.
January 20, 2006
Buncha damn drunks...
Happily nabbed from my favorite co-ed Katy:
Q1) Have you ever been drunk? Yes.
Q2) How old were you the first time you got drunk? 16. Junior prom. Oh, peach schnapps will never smell the same.
Q3) Have you ever gotten/given digits while you were intoxicated? Much more likely to ask, "Who ARE you?" the next day, but yes.
Q4) Have you ever drunk dialed? Good lord, yes. Worse: drunk emailing. Thank goodness for the sent items folder and delayed SEND/RECEIVE settings.
Q5) Have you ever been drunk in front of family members? Um, how else can you be around family members?
Q6) Have you ever had to cover up the fact that you were drunk? Probably.
Q7) Have you ever been arrested for any alcohol related crime? Nope. No record whatsoever.
Q8) Have you ever hooked-up with someone while drunk? Isn't drunkedness at the root of the definition of "hooking up"?
Q9) Ever forgot their name? See Q3.
Q10) When was the last time you were drunk? I seem to recall it was a day that ended in "Y."
Q11) Have you ever been on a drunken binge? A bender? Sure.
Q12) Do you need alcohol to have a good time? Nah, I idle at a good time. Booze is a bonus.
Q13) What kind of alcohol gets you the most intoxicated? ???
Q14) Favorite liquor: Vodka (gluten-free brands only, of course).
Q15) Favorite beer: there is no such thing. Beer is icky.
Q16) Have you ever woken up after a night of drinking and found throw up? No. My friends are very good caretakers.
Q17) Have you ever swam drunk? Sure! Isn't that how nightswimming/skinny dipping happens?
Q18) What kind of a drunk are you? Emotional.
Q19) Is alcohol like "truth serum" to you? No. More like "sex serum." What?
Q20) Favorite drinking partner: Ah, Susan Hines, 1995-1997. We'd head over to the Engine Room, each buy a pitcher (Dry Blackthorne, baby), chain smoke, shoot pool, throw darts, and have a blast. Ah... I miss grad school.
Q21) Who is the most annoying drunk that you know? Probably people like Jonathan and Kenneth. They don't realize that being drunk is a relapse for them. That's pretty sad. Not so much annoying.
Q22) Who is the most flirtatious drunk? Mila. Luckily, she's also way hot.
Q23) Do you have a drunken nickname? Not that I know of.
Q24) Funniest drunken scene in a movie: Anthony Michael Hall telling the "Jake" character in 16 Candles that women are all "bitches, man!"
Q25) Favorite song(s) about drinking: Gosh, I guess the only "drinking song" I know is the Chumbawumba song, circa 1997.
Q26) Have you ever woken up next to someone you didn't know? Define "know."
Q27) Have you ever been hit on by someone way older than you? Have you BEEN to Dan Tana's?
Q28) What's the worst buzz kill? Having a gun pulled on me. Yeah. I've never gotten so sober so fast.
Q29) Have you ever dated a bartender or bouncer or cocktail waitress? Of course! I was a bartender. Duh.
Q30) Do you ever say to yourself, "Dang, I need a drink?" Have you READ my blog?!?
Q31) Do strangers ever buy you drinks? Not since getting rufied. Now only Michael buys me drinks, and he's the one who pours 'em.
Q32) Have you ever drunk too much on a date? Probably not. Back when I was dating, I was usually pretty anxious about "getting it right," so I probably didn't start over-drinking until there was relationship pressure involved.
Q33) Is there anything that you refuse to drink? Anything that will gluten-poison me. And beer. That's just icky.
Q34) Have you ever been drunk on a plane? Until my prescription for diazepam ran out, no. But after that... um, yeah. Flying is stressful.
Q35) Have you ever gotten drunk during the day? Define "day."
Q36) Have you ever had to run from the cops and leave the beer behind? No cops. No beer. No issue.
Q37) What's your favorite drinking game? Asshole. Oh, how I miss HRH John and the mid-'90s.
Q38) Have you ever injured yourself while drunk? Sadly, I am much more self-injurious sober.
Q39) What's the most destructive thing that has happened while you were drunk? Should I remember?
Q40) Ever been drunk at a concert? Sure.
Q41) Are you still friends with someone you met while wasted? Hmm. I usually drink with people I know, so I'm not sure that I've met people while drinking who are still in my life... but probably. I don't keep score like that so much and I *did* go to a party school.
Q42) Why do you drink? Because I can.
Okay, Levitz. It's ON!
How dare you tarnish Happy Sofa Day? I am traumatized.
Of course, it seems we're not the only ones burned by the corporate restructuring and lack of customer service provided by Levitz (sucks).
See, we bought the extended warranty on the sofa we bought in November 2004. In June 2005, we noticed a busted seam, in a location making it clear it was a weak seam to begin with, not a "we messed it up" thing, but either way, we bought the extended warranty for a reason, right? June 2005, we call out a service rep who inspects the damage, agrees it's under warranty, and tells us a replacement cushion cover will be shipped out that same day.
Fast forward to 20 January 2006. Keith has now called Levitz no less than five times in the past six months. He has spoken to CSRs, managers, shipping clerks, you name it. And they all have lied lied lied lied about the status of this cover. Today, finally, after Keith was lied to ("It shipped 12/31/05," [Funny, considering when he called on 1/3/06 he was told it hadn't shipped yet, due to a problem with the manufacturer--problem turns out to be the fact that LEVITZ HASN'T BEEN PAYING ITS BILLS and the manufacturer is not sending them a gawtdayum thing anymore.]), he asked to speak to a manager, who explained that, yes, that was a lie. It hadn't shipped. And it won't be shipping unless this new company that bought Levitz somehow gets back on good terms with the manufacturer--oh, and that's only if they REMEMBER to take care of those of us who've had open orders since June 2005.
Oh, quick question. Was the manufacturer shipping replacement covers for furniture under warranty in July? Yes. Where's ours? Oops. Okay, how about in August, when we called to find out where the cover, ordered in June, was? Oops. Okay, how about in October, when we called and were told the CSR was physically walking down to the shipping area to make sure the order was placed? Oops. How about in November, when we were told there'd been a shipping problem that had since been fixed and that our cover was on its way? Oops. How about in December when we were told it would ship on 1/2/06? Oops. How about on 1/3/06 when we were told it hadn't shipped? Oops. Y'all lie lie lie lie lie lie.
Can we come down to a showroom and take a cover off a floor model? No. The manufacturer has taken back its furniture at the few remaining Levitz (sucks) showrooms. Can we get our money back (even partial refund) on our furniture and the TOTALLY USELESS EXTENDED WARRANTY? No, don't be silly. Of course not. Can we request that we're notified if/when things work out, so that we'll know we have the replacement cover coming? Pff. Silly woman!
Is there anything we can do? Nope. We've filed a complaint with the BBB, but from the looks of the complaints at the My 3 Cents site, it won't do a bit of good. Seriously, our problem is NOTHING compared to some of the treatment others have received (and on furniture issues worth many more thousands of dollars than our little sofa) from Levitz sucks.
Welcome to doing business with bankrupt companies in the 2000s, people. It's the Wild West all over again. I'm going to start looting.
First the rant. I get the need for the whole word verification thing on blog comments. I really do. But for the love of all that is holy, shouldn't the word (read: the jumble of letters put together and somehow *called* a "word") be, oh, I don't know... readable?
WTF was that supposed to be? Believe me, I tried several things... none of 'em allowed me to comment.
Now the rave. I have a new favorite thing (man, lots of new favorites so far this year). Our Pavillions is selling a new brand of foods called "O Organics." Um... yum. We always have to go to stores not-so-convenient as the right-up-the-alley open-24-hours Pavillions when we're buying my gluten-free goodies (other than produce and basic meats and such). Forget buying any yummy snacks or processed things. Until now.
Okay, way way way yummy: "O Organics Cheese Curls" (white cheddar). Yeah. Good stuffs. Yum.
And with that, I'm to bed.
PS--Sis, want another casting job? I think I have one more for you.
January 19, 2006
Our copy of Crash arrived today. Greatness.
Lookee what Keith made for me.
Big day in casting. Just signed on to cast a feature shooting in NY. Brings total feature film casting gigs for the first half of 2006 to FOUR. And, passed yet another casting gig off to my sis. Yup. Big day. I need a nap.
Oh, and thanks, folks, for the head's up on comments being wonky. I've changed some settings. Please try to comment now, if'n you please.
January 18, 2006
B/c V-day Is Coming...
I defer to the greatness that is Chip on how to celebrate correctly.
Click here to do yourself (*giggle*).
God Bless Hollywood
Fairly typical conversation at dinner.
"Hey, that guy (referencing someone in a commercial we're watching at the bar) has auditioned for me three times in the past six months. He's on my shortlist! He's not only in this commerical, but also in the X commerical."
"The X commercial that co-stars Y? Y is in my class! That's a GREAT ad!"
"Yeah! Yeah, that's the one. He's been booking commercially like crazy--and I've had him on my list quite a bit lately. That feels pretty good."
Pass the yummies. It's an average day in the 'wood. And who'd we spy, sis? Patrick Stewart or somesuch? Yeah. Good night. As per usual. (PS--all drama resolved on the ride home, as you'd expect. As I told teh Ash, there's enough drama in life. No need to have drama at home.)
I LOVE So Much!!
So, I've spent two solid hours importing my RSS feed links (which were categorized as "RSS feeds" and "Lazy RSS feeds"), plus my good ol' fashioned non-feed blog links and links to things I would NEVER bookmark as feed-food (until NOW, baby) into the greatness that is Rojo. I am so so so so so so so so so happy already. LOVES me some Rojo! It is my new TiVo. Thank you, Beffers!!!!!
And then, the greatness that is Tony emails me a link to this: Seth Green as Chris Griffin reading from Star Jones' new book on the Adam Carolla show. Holy Hell, that's some funny stuff. Wow. I'm just more in love every minute today.
Spent the morning listing and re-listing my categories and subcategories for the new home office "system" (and I cannot WAIT to get this project off the ground), plus fielding calls and emails from producers in--get this--England and NY (plus FOUR more in LA) about upcoming casting needs. AND I officially handed off a project I don't have time for to another amazing casting director, my sister Deb.
* = disclosure to come. Stand by.
Cool New Thing
January 17, 2006
Anyone else watching Anything To Win on GSN? Fascinating television!
Tonight, I learned how to count cards at MIT. Layst week, I learned how to win the Boston Marathon. Awesome.
Another Kitchen Adventure
We tried out the Gluten-Free Pantry recipe for mini-corndogs today.
Much more like a hot-pocket and less like a corndog, but still tasty. I think we'll create the "dough" again in the future and fill it with veggies and meats and cheeses and such. That might be the best use of it. Still... fun to use two things we didn't own until this weekend: rolling pin and cookie cutter.
3:06pm addition: Could it be bad for an eight-pound kitten to eat a quarter of an uncooked hotdog? It sure was fun watching her drag it out from the kitchen, pouncing on it and playing with it as she took bites from it, while it rolled about on the area rug. I swear, she'd be a GREAT barn cat.
January 16, 2006
Long Lost Meme
Oh wow, so as I'm cleaning out the storage units of my computer (getting ready for the cleaning out of the storage units of my apartment), I come across this old meme (my first, ever) initiated by BrYan (and answered in the comments section of his old old old blogs, it seems). I thought I'd posted them here, too, but I didn't (it seems), so I'll put it here now. Hop in the wayback machine, okay?
Oh, and if anyone has advice on the redesign of our home office (with Feng Shui in mind), I'd love to hear it.
Date: June 6th, 2003 - 08:30 pm
Oh, cool! I like it. Whatever it is.
> 1. How did you meet Keith? What was your first impression
> of him and did you have to change it or did you have him
> pegged from the start?
1a. On the Internet, of all places. He was on a Yahoo group for gamers and one of his fellow posters invited him to join a Yahoo group he moderated. This group was in support of the magazine he edited (fans and staff writers posting together), and, I was one of his writers. So, Keith started posting in that group and eventually we started emailing offlist, exchanged photos, made phone calls, met in person, etc.
1b. My first impression of him was that he's intelligent, clever, geeky, intense, funny, cynical, and generous. All of that is true. But all of that is just part of who he is, so even though I "had him pegged" (somewhat), there was much more to learn about him that has rounded out what I think of him now. I see flaws now that I didn't see at first--and I also see deeper degrees of the wonderful qualities he possesses. And... he's just a big ol' goofball. ;)
> 2. How did you get into casting as a profession?
By accident, I think. I came to LA to act and I ended up taking on a temp gig with Back Stage West as a survival job. They quickly learned I had a brain and some writing ability and asked me to do a regular column, interviewing casting directors. As an actor, I could think of no better job than being paid to get in front of casting directors with whom I'd never get auditions, this early in my career here.
Over three years, I interviewed 200 or so casting directors and found them to be wonderful, creative people with a really cool job. I became the go-to gal when anyone needed to speak with an "expert" on casting in Hollywood. And, casting directors started calling me to ask for help in putting together projects.
A few months ago, I got a call from a casting director who needed a casting coordinator for a reality show for Fox. I told her I'd get some names together and get back to her. She said, "No, Bon. I mean YOU." I figured, "What the hell?" and went in to interview (expecting nothing). I put a dollar amount in mind, knowing that the only way I'd do a job-job (as I LOVE freelance living and do not love office work) is if it paid, in four or five weeks, enough to print my second book this summer. Well... guess how much the job paid. Yup. Exactly.
So, I took that gig, turned down the next one (needed time off and still was working for Back Stage West), then left my job at Back Stage West over some political whatnot... just in time for the next offer to work in casting (17% pay increase and all).
When I started this most recent job, I was asked, "Did you realize you were doing the job of four people on the last show?" I said, "Y'know... it FELT like a lot of work." This time, I had an assistant and only 1/4 of the job assignment. I LOVED it and decided, if there's a place for me in future casting assignments, I'm open to taking them--mainly because I CAN do four or five weeks on, two weeks off, and so on.
So... as soon as I say yes to jobs three and four (next week), I will close the management company I started last year, as it is considered a conflict of interest to be in casting AND talent management simultaneously.
> 3. What is the furthest you've travelled for pleasure? For
3a. 4316 miles according to http://www.ofps.ucar.edu/sbi/catalog_hl y-02-03/other/lat-long.htm from Atlanta to Madrid. Twice.
3b. 1932 miles from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Twice.
> 4. If I gave you $5000 on the condition that you had to
> spend it frivolously, what would you do with it?
God. Define "frivolously." I'd say a down payment on the way-too-expensive car I want (the Infiniti FX45) is pretty frivolous, but you might disagree.
Hm. How about having a bunch of friends come into LA for a big dinner party at one of the most posh places in town, followed by helicopter tours of the city at sunset. Good enough?
> 5. Cricket Feet?
When I'm happy, I get "cricket feet," meaning, I rub my feet together like a cricket. So, if the goal is to be happy (a status evidenced by having "cricket feet") a company with that name should lead to happiness.
And I think crickets are major good luck, in many cultures.
This was fun! Now what? Do I ask you questions?
12 Minutes in...
...and already I'm over the Golden Globe red carpet coverage by E! and the whole Ryan/Isaac dynamic. Leave it to Giuliana and Debbie, please.
And tech difficulties-a-go-go too? Did y'all fire your A-team crew while you were canning the other red carpet gang?
Running commentary will be at Somesuch, as usual. ;)
Because Hal Tagged Me
Four jobs you've had in your life: Gosh. Only four? Hmm. I'll pick the more obscure ones. Hand model, improv comedy traffic school instructor, nation-wide corporate trainer for Chili's, in-store storyteller for Disney.
Four movies you could watch over and over: And quote from, right? ;) Clerks, Sixteen Candles, The Sure Thing, and Office Space (though, again, it's way hard to pick only four).
Four places you've lived: Hotlanta, Athens, Hollywood, Santa Monica.
Four TV shows you love to watch: I'll pick current ones only. How's that? Nip/Tuck, My Name Is Earl, Everybody Hates Chris, and Real World/Road Rules: Gauntlet 2.
Four places you've been on vacation: Madrid, Maui, Scottsdale, NYC.
Four websites you visit daily: somesuch-whatnot, Breakdowns, IMDB-Pro, Showfax.
Four of your favorite foods: I'll choose ones I can actually eat (as many of my favorites are long-lost gluten-filled loves of my past life). Green corn tamales from El Cholo, carrot ginger soup, Il Moro's Insalata Garga, and Dan Tana's lobster with garlic seared asparagus.
Four places you'd rather be: Wow. I feel like this will be a cop-out, but I love where I am. I guess I'll choose places that would indicate a very big shift in my level of prosperity. Copperwynd, 404 16th, the pimp penthouse at the Palms, another "wing" of my estate (wherever that may be).
Four albums you can't live without: Another one that's impossible to narrow down to four. Viva! La Woman (Cibo Matto), Murmur (REM), Doolittle (Pixies), and Element of Light (Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians).
Four magazines you read: Real Simple (thanks, Jodi!), Living Without (thanks, Gary!), Daily Word, Wired.
Four cars you've owned: Ha! I've only owned TWO! The Hatchmobile ('86 silver Toyota Celica hatchback) and The TicTac ('90 white Mazda Miata).
Four people to do this meme: Hmm. Well, Hal already tagged the most-likely do-er (Ames), so I'll tag Krispy, Leems, Suzer, and our world's newest blogger: Aleta.
January 14, 2006
A Day in the Life
Since an average day for me is about 30 hours in length, these photos begin at 6:19pm November 1st and end at 11:30pm November 2nd. The above is a photo of my headshot files, which were a big focus of this particular day, seeing as a breakdown for a film I was casting went out around 4pm.
6:19pm: just over two hours since the breakdown went out and I've received electronic submissions from almost 100 talent agents and managers.
7:20pm: got a cool Canadian TV series on DVD in the mail, Salema is bored, and I'm watching America's Next Top Model season one on VH-1.
8:30pm: Nip/Tuck is on. Awesome.
9:30pm: conference call with the film's director and producer, discussing "name" actors we may want to go after.
10:33pm: pistachio snack break.
11:20pm: casting deal memo (revised) has come in via fax. Thwok loves to guard the fax machine and its droppings. Sometimes she loves to walk on the fax machine and keep faxes from coming through acccurately. She is not the best office assistant.
November 2nd, 12:44am: cantaloupe snack break.
1:11am: brush teeth, check for more grey hairs.
2:20am: Archie, too, is bored.
3:30am: kitty bath break.
4:28am: running three different Internet browsers to review headshots, resumés, and demo reels (some of which I download). Finally ready to get some sleep after I play a few games on the SixHundy.
10:02am: good morning, sunshine! Thwok is on my ass, Archie and Salema are in the "staging area," knowing it's time for wakey, and that means no more sleeping (in this room, anyway). Note all of the scripts on the bottom shelf. Half are projects we've worked on. One fourth are projects our friends have worked on or on which we've considered working and passed. The last fourth are projects we're considering.
11:08am: typical first morning after a breakdown goes out. Eleven new messages since 8:30am.
12:05pm: choosing sides from the script for prereads, on the phone (headset) with an agent, reviewing casting suggestions on the Breakdowns website.
1:20pm: my favorite judge is on. Awesome.
2:30pm: color-coordinating priority submissions, pitches, and wishlist actors from the producers' notes. Yes, 90210 is on.
3:35pm: Keith and Archie (Archie is ALWAYS between).
4:44pm: more of same.
6pm: Keith has returned from Faith's with copies of her new headshots (gorgeous). VH-1 is airing I Love the '80s, which always rocks.
7:15pm: reviewing two more submissions.
8:20pm: same, same, same.
9:44pm: bored yet?
10:11pm: I've been typing so much I've had to put on my wristbrace and ghetto elbow wrap (cut up socks). Analyzing actors' credits, pulling out duplicate submissions, dismissing unqualified or incorrectly submitted actors.
11:30pm: quick shower, then time to leave the house! We're going for a walk. Finally.
Opposite of Grace
What's the opposite of grace?
I put spiritual grace above most things. I like to endure hardships (if I must) with grace and an open heart. So why is it that, physically, I am the opposite of grace-filled?
My body has been taking a beating so far in this short year. A couple of weeks ago, I slammed into a railing in the courtyard, putting an enormous, deep, long-lasting bruise on my upper arm. Last night, I not only arrived late for the screening (something that already had me unhappy, seeing as being late is about the rudest thing I can think of), but I slammed my wrist into a column on the wall. Hard. Talk about making an entrance!
So, I'm already feeling self-conscious and too fat to go out in public among the cute Hollywood people and I arrive late and make everyone in the room look at me as soon as I walk in, by hitting the wall so hard. Fine. Breathe. Enjoy the movie. Love the performances. Soak in the happy feelings of having put together another amazing cast. So, the movie's over and I walk out of our row and into the aisle. I'm hugging a couple of the actors, thanking them for making me look good, and then I step back to introduce Keith. As I step back, my heel goes off the step and down I go, backwards, all the way down the stairs and flat on my ass, then shoulder, then head. I land and squeal, "Wheeee!" It's the only thing I could think of.
Now, my mom had what she called an "embarrassment karma" issue. She would muster up all of the courage it took to go out in public and then find a way to embarrass herself once there. I thought about that, as I remained on the floor, gathering up the shards of my pride before attempting to stand again. Ugh. Nothing so humiliating as an ego smackdown.
But I'm human, and accidents happen, and I moved forward with grace (I hope) to make up for the lack of grace I have, physically.
But I'm left thinking about Mom and her issues. I'm left wondering why I'm beating myself up so much right now and whether I'm simply externalizing the self-loathing that exists within or I'm attempting to break myself down to slow the progress I'm facing on other levels. Like maybe I don't deserve my career success? Or the amazing relationships I've developed? What on Earth could this be about?
Hell, maybe I'm just a klutz. But I like to look at life a little more deeply than that. Blame Charlsie. Mom could analyze a freckle on a flea. *sigh* I don't know. I'm conflicted. And I'm dressing in bubble wrap from here on out.
January 13, 2006
So, I saw the Brokeback Mountain movie yesterday with Dawn. Then we went to the El Cholo (yes, I know that's two times the "the" there; extra "the" is as cool as adding an S to the end of store names, like The Krogers), where we met up with Keith and my favorite Hollywood couple. We had fun. *I* had too much to drink. Yeah, yeah... I know.
Anyway, really liked the movie. Will review it at Monitoring the Culture tomorrow or so. Gotta get ready to go to the screening of Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall now. Yippee! I LOVE getting to see movies I've worked on, finished. That's rockstar cool. Jesse gave me a rough cut of a few scenes from the film in which I cast him and Shanna last night. Can't wait to watch it. The rough clips I've seen so far are amazing. I'm finally going to put together a casting demo reel here soon. Woo hoo!
PS--Have I mentioned that the director of How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone is up for an Independent Spirit Award? Yeah. Way way way way effin' cool. It's just that kind of a year so far. Blissful!
January 11, 2006
Just got this email from Anna Christopher, rockstar director of Queen of Cactus Cove.
Great news! Queen of Cactus Cove just got into the Florida Film Festival! This is the fifth festival we've been invited since we finished in November but this fest is by far the most important ! The Florida Film Festival is a top ten festival in the US and a qualifying festival for the Oscars. What does that mean? I'll tell ya! The winner of the Grand Jury Prize Award for Best Narrative Short will automatically qualify to enter the Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards. Yeah!
I spoke with the festival director today and he told me how much the selection committee loved our film. They got around 600 shorts. They ranked 'em, put the top 60 up on a wall and debated them for 12 hours. Queen never got questioned. He said everyone just loved it for its heart, simplicity, universal appeal, unique setting/characters, strong themes and high quality of filmmaking. Wow! He also said that no one had to champion the film because it was an all-around favorite. Aw, shucks!
Our film will screen twice--once for an audience with 'audience ballots' and once for the Grand Jury and Special Jury. The festival is March 24-April 2. We'll keep you all posted on how Queen does!
Roadtrip, anyone? Effin' awesome news! *beaming happy casting director*
January 10, 2006
Because Sometimes There Are No Words
Seriously. Visit the time suck that is Bad Tattoos.
Thanks to the 15-Minute Hipster for the tip.
And yes, I'm secretly relieved that none of the tattoos *I've* (ahem) seen in person made it to that site. Yet. *giggle*
Nabbed from the great Beffers.
PS--Dear Rhetorical Letter Writer, I frickin' love you.
January 9, 2006
Too Busy To Blog
Holy Bejeebus, did the new year start off with a kablammo or what? This town is on FIRE!
I am seriously so freeeeekin' busy casting and prepping for the next (and next and next) gig that I don't even have the time to talk about it all. Suffice it to say that I just found out I now officially have coverage at the biggest talent agency on the planet. That's so effin' cool.
January 7, 2006
Twelve hours ago, it was 88 degrees with 10% humidity. Now, 58 degrees with 44% humidity. Now, I can clean up after all of the nosebleeds and finally get some work done.
Phew! Biggest thank gawd comes from having avoided migraine hell. Man, that's impressive.
January 6, 2006
The "Queen" has done it again!
Meanwhile, the revamped casting site has gotten some pretty high-profile attention. I'm now in talks for THREE MORE FEATURE FILMS, all of which will shoot mid-2006. Oh, and that's NOT including How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone, about which I'm already so freeeeekin' excited.
2006. Rockstar year.
Now, if we could get rid of these pesky Santa Ana winds, I'd be über-blissed out.
January 5, 2006
Thank you, Santa
The long search for an Oscar host is over, with an official announcement from the academy expected to come early Thursday morning.
What the hell? It's as good as any other post to mark 1000 at the SpyNotebook.
It's nominating time over at the Bloggies. I saw posts over at CoCo's and Cliff's blogs about nominating and thought, "Hmm... what the hell!" So, I nominated each of the following favorite blogs AT LEAST ONCE (and NO, I'm not going to tell you in which category I nominated which blog). We'll see how my picks did, come the 20th.
Oh, and if you see blogs I've missed that SURELY should be nominated, check back to previous years' winners. Many of my favorite places have already topped the Bloggies lists. Further, if you're sure I should've nominated *your* blog (but I didn't), consider what turns me on: humor; accuracy; consistent posting; and details like proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If you're not so big on that stuffs but you want to be nominated, heck, go on over and nominate yourself (like I did). C'mon! If you can't say you love your own writing, how can you expect anyone else to do so?
Boom Boom Beautiful
Goin' to the John
How Was Your Day, Dan?
It's a Talking Sport
Query Letters I Love
Scenes from a Charmed Life
Sibling of the Groom
The Actors Voice
The Wicked Stage
Things I Find
This Is This
Trevor F. Smith: Exterior
January 4, 2006
Adventures in Kitchening
Okay, so I braved the kitchen, filled with bowls and knives and things and emerged victorious.
My Pasta Mexicana with Salsa was way yummy, though I'll cut the jicama and cucumbers smaller next time (I think Keith may have miscommunicated "julienned" to me). Recipe is below, if you want the details.
Tonight, I made Stuffed Spinach Pesto. Way yummy. I realized, upon making it as described below, that it looked a lot like tabouleh, so I added a couple more of my own favorite things (tomato, cucumber, balsamic vinaigrette) and ate it with corn chips.
Keith says that's a sure sign I'm becoming more confident in the kitchen: modifying recipes. I did that with my artichoke spinach dip for Christmas too. Hmm. Maybe so. I'll still make him do things that involve appliances.
I'm now enjoying another goodie prescribed by the Living in the Raw book: ginger lemon water. Yum!
Reggie Bush can fly, yo.
Oh, and my next entry will be #1000 at the ol' SpyNotebook. I hope it is worthy.
Pasta Mexicana with Salsa
1-1/2 C. tomatoes, diced
1 C. fresh corn
1 C. cucumbers, julienned
1 C. jicama, julienned
1 med. avocado, thinly sliced crosswise
1 C. salsa (recipe below)
1 T. virgin olive oil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. chili powder
dash of cayenne
1/4 C. cilantro, minced
Combine tomatoes, corn, cucumber, jicama, and avocado in a medium bowl. Add salsa, oil, oregano, cumin, chili powder, and a dash of cayenne. Mix well, then pour over vegetables. Add cilantro and toss gentley to distribute vegetables evenly.
3/4 C. tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. red bell peppers, minced
1/4 C. yellow bell peppers, minced
1/4 C. red onion, minced
1-1/2 T. cilantro, minced
1-1/2 T. virgin olive oil
2 t. chili powder
1 clove garlic, pressed
Combine the tomatoes, peppers, onion, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Stir in olive oil, chili powder, garlic, and cayenne.
Stuffed Spinach Pesto
2 C. spinach
1/2 C. sunflower seeds, soaked six to eight hours and rinsed
2 ears corn, removed from cob
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 t. salt
In a food processor with the "s" blade, pulse chop spinach and sunflower seeds. Mix in corn, red bell pepper, garlic, and salt.
January 3, 2006
Great news about a few films I've cast.
Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall will have its first public screening on Friday, 13 January 2006 at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood. I can get a limited number of guest passes. Lemmeknow if you want to join us for the screening of this awesome dogma film.
Queen of Cactus Cove, after being named Best Live-Action Short at the LA International Children's Film Festival, has been invited to screen at the San Diego International Children's Film Festival between April 7th and 9th. Before then, however, we have a campaign for which YOU can help! While we didn't get into the Cinequest Festival, we have been invited (as a "high scorer among programmers") to screen at Cinequest Online. They have a Viewers' Voice Competition in which visitors to the website can register, screen films, and VOTE in February 2006 to determine which films will then screen between March 7th and 12th in San José. Check back for a direct link. Our film's not up there yet.
More cool stuff going on with projects for 2006, details of which will be shared when appropriate. ;) Hee hee. Life, she is good.
I'm Goin' In!
See, I don't cook. I burn water. So a raw recipe is much more likely to not suck (or at least more likely to not burn down the house) and I'm going to attempt Pasta Mexicana and Salsa. No pasta... that's just the name. I know. It's weird. Jicama = Pasta, in this case. But I've been wanting to eat raw for years and I'm pretty dang excited to try this.
If I don't post again for days, come rescue me. I'll be pinned beneath various green things, cutting boards, and mixing bowls... a wall filled with condiments heckling at my mangled body.
January 2, 2006
Flickering Image Film Festival
Please join us Saturday, 7 January 2006 at the AFI Mark Goodson Auditorium, 2021 Western Ave., Hollywood 90027 for the screening of the ten winning films for the 2006 Flickering Image Film Festival.
I'm pretty dang happy--having co-founded this li'l festival a few years back. This year, I'll be moderating a panel featuring Gary Marsh (Breakdown Services), Nick McCarthy (*Alpha 60), and Joel Viertel (Hyphenate Films). The panel discussion begins at 5pm and the winners' screening is at 7pm.
There is a requested donation of $2 admission at the door. Reservations are not required but seating IS limited. For more info and a map, click here. Hope to see y'all there!