June 29, 2007
A New Experience
I have earned a living as a writer for the better part of a decade. But, as anyone who has followed my career knows, I write nonfiction. I get paid to write nonfiction. No one seeks me out to create fictional worlds and populate them with characters (for that type of experience in my career, I have to be hired to cast fictional scripts I did not write).
And even though I have written fiction, it encompasses about 5% of the work I have ever put out there and less than 1% of the work I have ever been paid to put out there. That said, I did attempt The 14-Day Screenplay Challenge last year (as you may recall).
I got a grand total of about 18 pages into the script and then gave up. Ah, well... it happens, right? At least I tried.
Cut to a couple of months ago. It's time to start reviewing material submitted for the Cricket Feet Showcase. We've done a call for submissions and we're ready to read! I figure, "Well, hell. My 'screenplay' is only three times the length of some of these scenes we've been sent. Why not at least get coverage on it?"
So, I strip away its identifying marks (like with the rest of the submissions) and send it along to the reading committee. Turns out, folks like it. Every submission got a "consider," "consider with rewrites," or "pass," and every writer got a "consider" or "pass." My work got straight considers, even though there was hardly a scene to use. It was the start of an unfinished screenplay. There was no stand-out scene to put into showcase format. There were no two characters speaking to one another for any length of time that could work in a showcase scene. But it still got considers.
During final scene selection and casting, I took another stab at Moshi's world. I pulled the scene that had the most potential for showcasing--even though it was only one-third of a page in length--and fleshed it out, bringing it to four pages. Having lost all objectivity on whether this scene could possibly work (and being totally unsure as to its strength as a scene, at this point, since what was originally assessed was NOT this piece, really), I handed it off to my partners (Keith and Eitan) and told them to have their way with it.
Each did some punch-up. Each tweaked a line or two. And when I read the final version, I was very pleased with it. This was getting exciting.
I cast two extremely likable and high-chemistry actors in the roles and then I handed the script off to Anna (our director--who is also a phenomenal writer) and told her to feel free to continue with rewrites as necessary, as she certainly recognized that this scene had been severely retooled from the first version, anonymously submitted to the team (including her) over a month ago. She came back with another round of changes that improved the scene even more. I was delighted.
Cut to last night. We had the showcase "first looks" session, wherein we got a chance to see each scene in its pre-Anna shape, to get our first feel for where scenes should go and where we are strong/where we need work. And as I watched the scheduled scenes get checked off on my spreadsheet, I realized something potentially life-changing was about to happen. I was about to hear my words performed live for the first time.
Yes! It's true! People don't typically gather on stage to read my columns aloud or do dramatic readings from Self-Management for Actors in front of an audience. "Oh, crap," I thought. "What if it sucks?"
And then Emily and Kerie took the stage... and they were brilliant. And the words they were saying were brilliant. And the beats they were taking were brilliant. And the ad-libs they threw in were brilliant. And the improvised moments were brilliant.
Best of all, the audience laughed. And not because they knew I wrote the scene or anything like that. They laughed because it was funny. And sweet. And real.
Holy crap, that's a delicious feeling. I think I might be hooked. And just like the short-short story was always my speed (when I did write fiction), the five-minute, two-person comedic scene seems to feel right for me, now. Awesome. It. Is. On.
June 28, 2007
So, last year, Quinn spent a LOT of time telling us how much he wanted to live in Hollywood and be an actor. A. Lot.
And it was cute and sweet and funny... and something that he never really let go. He continued to mention it throughout the year during his phone dates with his dad. Uh-oh.
All right. Fine. Let's bring Quinn to set. Let's let him see how it all *really* works. Demystify the process.
So, Quinn goes to set with Keith for the last part of Keith's shoot (this is the part where he gets stabbed in the chest and all that cool stuff--of course, Quinn would've found it cooler if he had been stabbed by Spongebob or Harry Potter, but, whatevz) and the boys return after days in the desert and my first question (after the unlatching of the "I don't ever want to stop hugging you, Bonnie" glee) is:
So... still wanna be an actor, Quinn?
Apparently it was very boring and there were hours and hours and hours of waiting around and then about five minutes of cool stuff.
An actor no more.
June 27, 2007
"Did you get what you wanted?"
My mother was a complicated woman. I mean, she was simple (like most Depression-era kids were), she saved everything, she always worried she was being abandoned or undervalued, and she was also really smart. And maybe that's where it got complicated.
It would've been so easy for her to have just been broken and country. But instead, she was also fiercely intelligent. And she did groundbreakingly cool stuff in the field of Esoteric Astrology. But being country, she was embarrassed when Oprah asked her to join John Gray and Iyanla Vanzant in the late '90s when she was doing the "honor your spirit" series. She was sure she'd be judged and called a fool.
Cut to a decade later and her simple-but-smart daughter feels all sorts of personal turmoil and wonders how much of it is inherited and how much of it is learned and--most importantly--how much of it has to stick around a moment more. Oh, how I love being in my "nine year." Those of you reading who don't know numerology, pardon the shorthand. But I'm actually thrilled, because the first half of 2007 has been all about seeing evidence of what I don't want to take with me into my next nine years. And the keepers headed forward with me... wow. I'm just thrilled. (And really eager to get going with the purging of the other stuff.)
Beautiful, brilliant, lovely, goddess-like Frances Uku reminded me yesterday that there is value to cutting off what isn't working. That it is hard to make the break, but that in the end our personal strength comes from our ability to show up and give (which means that sometimes we DON'T give).
So, I think back to a year ago, when I joined the MySpace (which turned out to be a great idea, since doing so--and then promoting stuffs there--more than tripled my column's readership) and ceased visiting all online forums whose moderator didn't send up a flare asking for my attention. (Believe me, I had been all over the 'net. So paring down to about nothing was a huge cut.)
But now, it seems that it's time for me to make another cut. I've had to bring on more helping hands than I ever thought I'd need. So, maybe I need to do another round of "gotta go's". Be less accessible. Yeah, the idea makes me shudder (and I'm not sure that I can actually do it), but perhaps self-preservation is the theme for the end of my 9 year.
Anyway, I think back to one of the last things my mom said to me before she passed away. I was in the kitchen with my stepdad and one of my brothers, crying over how I'd been--yet again--lied to and screwed over by another family member. Mom--fading in and out from a room away--asked what I was crying about and I said, "Momma, don't worry. It's the same old so-and-so bullshit it's always been." And she asked the same question she'd asked anytime I wanted to be upset about that family drama.
Did you get what you wanted?
And this is when I stopped crying and said, "Y'know what? I did. Thanks, Mom. You're right." I got past the emotion I was feeling and embraced the fact that--even though I got hurt along the way--I got what I wanted out of the encounter (in this case, a ride to the airport, after having commuted home to be with my dying mother; the fact that I had to deal with the bullshit baggage that had nothing to do with me meant nothing, in the final analysis).
All this to say, another round of cuts is coming. I love being accessible. I love answering questions and being available and building up my readership through my posts and creating "brand loyalty" through having such a transparent process in all things. But maybe I now understand that there are parts of the job that require inaccessibility. Maybe it's okay to be full-on out of touch.
Then, when I am in touch, it's a seriously big deal. And it's a choice made from where I'm supposed to be--not where I *think* I'm supposed to be, being all filled with perfectionism.
Hmm. Something to consider, as I move into the "taking better care of me" part of my nine year. And next year, when I ask myself, "Did you get what you wanted?" perhaps I'll be okay with the being called a snooty bitch, which has already started happening.
As Uku mentioned: "The best thing you can do is step out of the ring. It can be hard when you are a naturally helpful person. There are plenty people who appreciate your time and insights. Unfortunately they don't make as much noise!"
So... I'll come back around to answer the question: "Did you get what you wanted?" at some point. And today the want is this: HAPPY.
June 26, 2007
Am I a "Rules" girl?
No. I am not a "Rules" girl. I never did that whole "don't accept a date for Saturday if it's requested after Wednesday" or "no sleeping with him 'til after X amount of time" or whatever (seriously, I don't even know exactly what The Rules are, just that they all looked ridiculous when I skimmed them when the book came out years and years ago).
But I *am* a "Susie Policy" kind of girl.
I actually believe, when IMDB or MySpace has a system for fixing problems (see pages 2 and 6 of this thread and/or pages 4 and 5 of this thread for my take on 'em), that that's good enough. And getting worked up over how fair or unfair the system is just a waste of energy.
And when drama comes up, I'm one to remain solution-oriented and focused: "That's great. I hear you. Now how do we fix this so that we can get on with the work?" And what I have low tolerance for is folks who get in my way while I'm working.
I've never understood the need to wallow in the drama. I've never been one to have a conversation that didn't involve how to improve a condition. And people who look for ways to complain, bitch about unfairness, or vent instead of working on a solution to the problem simply baffle me.
Yes, I vent. And when I'm done letting off steam, I am GO for takeoff on fixing the situation, leaving it better than I found it. And if it's not fixable, I'm out. I'm not going to sit around complaining while trying to find workarounds when there are direct routes that get the job done just fine.
I guess I just don't understand creating "movements" to "right injustices" that don't seem to exist. I'm a by-the-books kind of gal and if I don't like the way some system works, I don't try to make sure everyone else sees the flaws... I channel that energy into creating a new system that works better for me (and maybe for everyone else).
When I speak to groups of actors, I hear things like, "So, you're saying I need to do this in order to book more work?" And that question just blows me away.
I am NEVER saying that doing ANY one thing is going to result in ANY other thing, as far as this business goes. It's an unpredictable, unfair, illogical, irrational, fickle, ridiculous business. And I love it. LOVE it.
If there were a pill you could take to make you book more work, I'd have developed it and I'd sell it and I could retire from doing the harder work I do every day.
I guess I just don't understand the mindset that has some folks ignoring the hard work they could be doing in order to get better results and instead looking for ways to fight the system over things they're never going to control (and which don't have anything to do with their success in life anyway).
What do I know?
Oh! I know what I know! This particular Mercury retrograde has been excessively ass-kicking to the highest order.
And our UPS lady has a crush on me.
That is all.
June 25, 2007
First Casting Announcement
Whee! Very excited! We have attached our first two actors to Another Harvest Moon.
Congratulations and welcome, ladies. Very excited to have you on board!
Woo hoo! I love this job!
June 24, 2007
The Actors Voice, 6/25/07
Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.
Authenticity vs. Type
Last week, I touched on the whole "authenticity vs. type" dilemma that many actors face. You hear so much about the importance of knowing your primary type and marketing yourself accordingly that you might lose sight of the fact that what we're actually asking that you do is really simple: Know who you are and get on our radar as exactly that essence. That way, when we need your type, we know who to call.
Everything you put out there should "sell" your primary type. When we started Cricket Feet, Inc., five years ago, we created a little "placeholder" logo that didn't really mean anything, just so we would have something. This year, we decided that it was time to hire a graphic designer to create our "real" corporate image. I am so freakin' excited to roll it out next month that I'm beside myself! But coming up with that image required money, time, and research into what our "brand" is. What we did is what I'd advise you do (and try not to wait 'til your fifth anniversary as a business to do it).
Ask yourself, "What am I?" Write your own breakdown. You know how those go, right? They're about 20 words in which a character's essence is described. This is not the time to think about all of the many flavors you can bring to any role. This is the time to get very specific. What is your brand? What are you selling? Once you know the answers to these questions, it becomes rather simple to make sure that your marketing materials fall in line with your business plan, with your mission statement as a provider of a service. I'm talking about getting your website, headshot, resumé, postcards, business cards, even the font that you use on these items all in line with that brand you've decided on.
Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn about whether an ex-agent could blacklist a former client at Showfax.com.
As always, THANK YOU for reading!
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.
June 23, 2007
Hot Date Tonight
Ooh, one of my favorite things we do while Quinn is in town is hit a few big summer movies.
It's Clobberin' Time! Woo hoo!
I love that we can walk to any number of theaters from here... and to do so at sunset with my stepson is one of my favorite things. Yay! Summer rules!
June 22, 2007
Two of my favorite numbers...
...are 86 and 37. And both are due to those numbers' prominence in movies that are key to most folks of my generation.
Guesses are welcome. ;)
Another favorite number is 42, and for exactly the reason you would imagine. I fly my geek flag high.
Funny thing, listening to Quinn talk about how Keith and I don't have real jobs. I started to correct him (Y'know, figuring this is the kind of thing a kid picks up when listening to what others like to say about things they don't understand.) and then realized, "So what if folks see our careers as having nothing to do with 'having a real job'?!? Do I care? Nope. Not a bit."
I like that I can earn money while sitting around in my jammies watching 90210 on Soapnet. And that Keith can earn money while getting to pretend he's being killed by another person who is pretending to kill him. And that both of us can earn money while playing with--and like--an eight-year-old, because we've set up our adulthood to look a lot like childhood.
Glad it looks so simple to folks. We know where the heavy lifting is done. And we get sore from that stuff too.
But I wouldn't trade a bit of it, because it allows for plenty of snuggle and sugar time with my stepson. While I'm on the clock. So there!
June 20, 2007
As we're heading out...
...for our Lucy/Quinn playdate (yay!), I find this awesome interview with the lovely and talented Faith Salie.
It includes fun little bits like this:
Based on the photo gallery on your Web site, you definitely do not "have a face for radio." Why radio?
That's for sure a compliment, so thanks again. I endeavor never to have an ass for radio either.
Is there anything that isn't "fair game"? Is there anywhere you won't go? Any taboos?
There is nowhere I won't go, in theory. However, I'm also not interested in being a contentious, "gotcha"-style host. Nor do I want to be snarky in my humor. I take my role as a host quite to heart. If I could send every guest a handwritten thank you note and a Coca-Cola cake, I would. So with that in mind, even as I'm asking the tougher questions or calling people out on their preposterousness, I like to do it with playfulness.
She's just so damn cool. Yay, cousin! Bonus points for the Miss Aphrodite shout-out. Seriously.
June 19, 2007
Meme from Amy the Writer
Originally nabbed from Amy the Writer.
1] What was the highlight of your weekend?
Lots of anniversary sex.
2] Whose car were you in last?
Mine. The TicTac.
3] What color shirt are you wearing?
4] How long is your hair?
Almost to my butt.
5] Who's on your mind right now?
Quinn and his cool dad Keith.
6] Last movie you saw at the theater?
Eesh... probably something I cast. A New Tomorrow, maybe?
7] Last thing you ate?
8] Last thing you drank?
9] Where did you sleep last night.?
My bed. With Keith. Duh.
10] Are you happy right now?
11] What did you say last?
On the wall on the way in. (To Quinn, about where the light switch is for the kitchen.)
12] Where is your phone?
Between our two printers.
13] Favorite comedian?
David Spade, lately.
14] What color are your eyes?
15] Who came over last?
Eitan. (To see Quinn's three-room fort.)
16] Name the last three things you bought?
Dinner at El Cholo, dinner at Burbank Bar & Grill, Dinner at El Cholo (and this is over the past two weeks or so).
17] Who do you hate?
Ann Coulter. She is the reason anyone ever uses "the c-word."
18] What are you listening to?
19] What is your weapon of choice?
Elbows of death. (Ask Keith.)
20] What's your favorite smell?
Oh my goodness, it changes so frequently. Ginger. Fresh-cut lemon.
21] Does someone have a crush on you?
Oh, yes. Everyone! ;)
22] What were you doing at midnight last night?
Rubbing my husband's back as he slept.
23] What was the first thing you thought when you woke up?
Dear god, Quinn sleeps less than I do!
24] Are you left-handed?
25] Spell your name without vowels:
26] How many pairs of jeans do you own?
27] What colors do you wear most often?
Black and denim.
28] What's for dinner tonight?
White corn tortilla burritos! Homemade!
29] When Is Your Birthday?
7-11, baby! Only a few more shopping days!
30] Who was the last person to send you a txt message?
I don't "txt."
31] Last time you went swimming in a pool?
Last year while Quinn was here. We went to La Costa Resort and Spa for our anniversary trip and spent a lot of time in the water.
32] Where was the last place you went shopping?
33] How do you feel about your hair?
Best hair in Hollywood, baby! ;)
34] How's the weather?
Freezing! I love living at the beach!
35] What's one thing people are always saying to you?
36] Have you ever visited another country?
Sure. (Spain, mostly.)
37] What's your standard greeting when you answer the phone?
38] Do you own a pair of handcuffs?
I used to. Down, pervs. It was seventh grade and I got 'em on the Washington DC safety patrol trip at some "sell crap to tourists" store.
39] Do you use the word pussy?
Absolutely. I use all the words we've got!
40] Do you put ketchup on your eggs?
41] Do you put mayo on your burgers?
Where would I put it? I can't have a bun!
42] Have you kissed somebody in the last two weeks?
Even in the last two minutes!
43] Who did you dance with last?
44] Song playing?
None. Watching TV.
45] What color is your underwear?
Yellow with little blue flowers.
46] Do you want platinum or gold for your wedding band?
It's platinum. And it's lovely.
47] Do you think that the tobacco companies should pay for people's medical bills?
Um... I think we should have universal health care. How's that?
48] What scares you?
Woo! That was FUN! :)
June 17, 2007
The Actors Voice, 6/18/07
Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.
We're All Fans
Let's talk about Paul Potts. In just under a week, he went from shy sales rep at Carphone Warehouse to opera-singing superstar winner of Britain's Got Talent. On message boards and in blog entries worldwide, this inspiring underdog story has brought people to tears and created opera-lovers out of previously Top 40-only types. Even when the news hit that this "non pro" had actually spent years performing with the Bath Opera and had even studied under Luciano Pavarotti, Paul Potts still had our hearts, as everyone loves a success story.
When I first saw Paul's audition footage, I cried. Having worked in reality TV casting, though, I also wondered how much of the timing (this clear winner of a candidate being brought into the mix in the absolute last possible slot prior to finals) had to do with the producers' need to create buzz (check: at the international level, even), to form a feel-good story (check: Average Joe has a voice like an angel), or to prevent the "real" story from hitting before votes could be counted (check: he won the show, and the story hit). I got mad at myself for being such a cynic. "Just enjoy the performance, Bon," I said to myself. And enjoy, I did, as Paul continued to advance through the process.
Funny thing is, even after learning more about his professional training and experience, my enjoyment of his story--my enjoyment of his performances--did NOT diminish. Sure, I was disappointed in the reality show culture for its seemingly insatiable need to dupe its fans (even when authenticity is often good enough material to score viewers), but I still really enjoyed listening to Paul Potts sing. And that's what makes this issue a good column for actors: When it comes right down to it, we are all fans. We all love a good show. And that simple truth should empower you to nail every audition you get!
Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn about billing at Showfax.com.
Also, if you haven't already done so this weekend, be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV for an amazing POV from indie film producer Brendan Davis.
As always, THANK YOU for reading!
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.
Don't Go Transforming
Yeah, you know it. "Just the Way You Are." Right?
And seriously, if you love Billy Joel *and* the Transformers (and who--at our age--doesn't?!?), this is the video for you.
Credits are as follows: The BRILLIANT master Keith Greenstein (who is, was, and always will be "my other Keith"). He has much cool stuff at his website. He is BRILLIANT (and that will always be in caps, re: him).
Go worship him appropriately. He deserves it. Go, Spartans!
June 16, 2007
Newlywed No More!
So, you're only a newlywed for the first two years you're married, right? Well, that means we're finally an old married couple.
And since we've been together for nearly six years now, I guess you could say we've had "old married couple" status for a long time. ;)
That said, today is our 2nd anniversary. *beam*
For those who aren't familiar with the tale, let's have a little storytime, shall we? (Note: photos are in chronological order. Click to enlarge.)
Keith and Quinn were in Catalina. Our friend Cathy volunteered to take some family photos of us. We decided to choose Thursday the 16th, because the Beverly Hills Courthouse does weddings on Thursdays. We were going to secretly make these family photos our wedding photos. And no one would know but us.
But when Keith called the Courthouse, they were overbooked for the 16th. We would have to come back on the 23rd. But Quinn would be gone by then and we really wanted him to be with us as we wed.
So, while Keith and Quinn played in Catalina, I lamented the death of our covert wedding plans to our friend Aleta.
And, amazing woman that she is, she took it from there.
Within less than 48 hours, we had "a guy," a license, and a date at sunset. I emailed my dearest friends who represented successful industry couplings and said, "Show up at the bluffs seven blocks from our home at sunset on Thursday. Bring a flower."
And that is why my bouquet is so gorgeous. Everyone brought a flower (and several people put a lot of thought into it, choosing flowers from their home states or that were in their wedding bouquets or that signified something about our relationship or theirs) and lovely Anna tied 'em all up with a bow for me.
After an afternoon of photos on the beach, Quinn and Keith met us up on the bluffs and, at sunset, our friends stood in a semicircle before us and in moments, we were married.
(I wanted to use wedding vows from Beverly Hills, 90210--y'know, talking about how David got Donna after all these years because he waited for her all that time that she was a virgin--but Keith wouldn't hear of it. We were just gonna wing it. And wing it we did.)
We have two "rules" in our marriage. The first is that we trust that we each have the other's best interest in mind and at heart at all times. The second (and the one that I find far more important, really) is: "Always go for the funny."
Seems to be working just fine. ;)
After the "I Do" part of things, we walked around Santa Monica as a group until we could find a place that would accommodate our party. We held our impromptu reception at Ye Olde King's Pub and there was much champagne... and even gluten-free wedding cake!
When someone said that the best man needed to give a speech, Quinn looked up at his dad and asked what meant. (This had already been a long, long day for the six-year-old kiddo.)
After getting a quick tutorial on best man speech-giving (I think Keith said, "The best man talks to the group about the bride and groom and how much they love each other"), Quinn hopped up on a chair and glasses were raised.
"My dad and my step-mom got married today. And that means that they love each other and they will live together until they are both dead."
Perfect. Applause and tears everywhere. And then a quick, "Hey! That was my first speech!" from the brilliant child, who of course wanted to then give another and another and another. ;)
As I write this, Keith is flying back from the shoot to have our anniversary together tonight and then Quinn will arrive for his annual visit with us shortly. It is always our favorite time of year.
When I think about my upbringing (wherein survival and independence were values championed far above partnership and investment in others--since others can go away), I realize that every day Keith is in my life is a triumph of human connection over going it alone.
Thank you, honey, for being stubborn enough to prove me wrong, when I told you from the very beginning that I would drive you away within a few months.
I've never been so happy to say, "You were right." (And thank you for the lovely flowers too. You're one smooth hubby.) See you soon!
June 15, 2007
He gets a callback, so he takes what would be his local days off and comes back to LA.
While he's here, he gets another audition.
He's now back in NM and guess what.
A callback for the audition he happened to have while he was here for the other callback.
But this one he can't come back for.
What wonderful problems!
Okay, so I'm super happy. My stepson arrives next week and Quinnfest '07 is on. Woo!
Oh, and if you want to be inspired (or just bawl like a little baby like I just did), watch this video.
Hee! I'm happy.
June 13, 2007
So, finally... it's 12 of 12 for June!
And it's funny! Because the bonus pic was SECRET (and my girl Anna totally gets what a big deal this "secret" pic is... it could be the end of my new gig, but I blog on behalf of 12 of 12 and that's that).
11:11am: Slept in, wrote in my journal for an hour, then got up and had left-over PF Chang's gluten-free yummies. Yeah.
3:15pm: I'm heading out. I gotsta go. And that's the mail I haven't opened yet. Good thing Wednesday is intern day.
4:20pm: Best three dollars ever spent. Word.
4:36pm: 'member Dean and Deluca from Melrose Place days? Yeah, that's Aaron Spelling HQ, baby. I used to live over there. Ahh...
5:54pm: Ferrari Carano and the (still unnamed) BlackBerry. Yeah. Good times.
6:01pm: Chillin' w/ my girl Anna and, well, there's been booze and then there's gravity and, well... you see what happens then. (Nice rack, BTW.)
6:10pm: Um, yum. And Anna will point out there are wine bottles on the cushion behind me. Coooooool.
7:11pm: We're at SAG and there are really important pieces of memorabilia to sign. Good thing Anna's around to do the deed! Hee!
7:21pm: Ah! I'd have loved it if we had had this pic taken *at* 7:11 (seeing as Greg and I were both born on 7/11), but there's only so much geek a world can take. ;) Just the same, we had a way good time! Hee!
9:01pm So, the SAG talk with the Heroes gang is over and Anna is molesting her friend Beth (who is married to Jack and who is so cool that she wears hot boots AND tells you where she bought 'em and for how much--SO the sign of good people). Hee!
9:10pm: And because this month's bonus pic is SECRET this photo is included (and it so wasn't gonna be, since we got in trouble for snapping it).
10:22pm: It's Gimlet Time, baby. Anna's first trip back to Dan Tana's since Joe's memorial months ago. But here she is in Joe's seat... and she was treated like royalty (as a goddess should be).
11:01pm: Keith has arrived! (Yes, what you've suspected to be true is true. Keith has come back to LA (for a callback--nice problem to have, natch) and will boomerang back to NM for his shoot again this week. Nice. Busy... and happy... life is that good. Oh, and hello, Craig! You rock!!!!!!!
So, there's my 12 of 12! Not loving life right this second, but, hey... what can you do? You love it some days and others... you just show up and do the deed. That's me right now. Fair enough.
Woo damn hoo!
June 7, 2007
"Broken Windows" Blurb
Oooh, this is so cool! Love it!
From the piece at indieWIRE:
"Many times in films I feel that the women are there to show the men," [director Tony Hickman] says. "Like, if the man wasn't in the film the woman wouldn't have a role. I wanted to take some interesting characters, follow them, watch them, not really manufacture the drama just have them come from the characters," Hickman says about coming up with the stories.
They plan to have it edited in time for the Sundance deadline. Man, I have a feeling I'm gonna be LOVING January 2008, babe. Woo!
June 5, 2007
Keith Appreciation Post
I'm exhausted. EX-hausted. My head is swimming with the busy-ness and intensity and non-stop-ness of my life right now.
And I miss Keith (who, for the better part of June, is OOT on a shoot). I miss him a whole bunch. Yeah, yeah, yeah... for all the reasons you miss someone when he's away, but I really miss him after this event at SAG tonight.
First off, it was an amazing event. Probably one of the best I've done there (and I've done a bunch. A. Bunch). But when you BYOM (bring your own Marine), you are guaranteed something that I've learned is pretty much essential (and which was especially essential tonight): crowd control.
See, I'm a Good Southern Girl. And that means (in addition to always offering guests a drink and always arriving with something for the host) I will always stay and talk for hours beyond what is necessary or even healthy, unless someone forces me to say NO to people and LEAVE the building.
And Keith is really good at helping me set those limits. Left un-Keithed, I will offer myself up forever and ever until there is nothing left and I am so drained I cannot see straight, much less enjoy the company of anyone still pawing at me.
I talked, non-stop, for five hours this evening. Even over "dinner," I was being asked about my career and my journey and my process and and and....
Now, lest you think I didn't enjoy the hell out of my time at SAG, let me set you straight on that right now. It was awesome. Seriously outstanding. And even though I couldn't even look at the box of cupcakes from the Bluebird Café (damn gluten), they were lovely. And the flowers are freakin' stunning. And about 90% of those in attendance tonight GOT me. That's about as good as it gets.
It's just when the very very very end of the night is me begging to have the last "all about me" questions (that are really being asked of actors who already HEARD and DISMISSED the answer I gave about this exact thing during the talk to 200 of 'em simply because they want "more face time"--boy if they knew how bad the impression they leave is, when they persist like this) asked while we "do a Sorkin walk-and-talk" to my car, I'm suddenly reminded in the most painfully obvious way that Keith is good for me. He's really, really good for me.
He's my entourage of one.
And I miss him.
PS--I've gotten into exactly NO trouble since Keith left town. I think karaoke night is in order, tomorrow. Who's in?
June 4, 2007
Just on the off chance that anyone out there was
wondering whether Uma had lost any of her personality
or her passion for life and for the objective truth of
life, or her love for me or her friends and family, or
her desire to act and express her love and art, or her
respect for others and the world and all its
blessings....don't wonder....I don't.
She continues to work and improve on everything and
continues to be more frustrated at times because her
improvement illuminates more of the path ahead for her
and she can see more clearly everyday where she's been
and where she wants to go. To risk the broken record
instance, it's going to be a long road. But she is
less bling to it as each day passes. This reveals to
her the tragedy she escaped and the love she's been
given and produces. Yesterday on our walk she said -
and this is a direct quote, "I just want to do what I
need to do today, tomorrow, and the next." And we
were talking in the context of her recovery.
I'm at a starbucks in orange county about to go play a
job and Erik and Lauren Campadelli are with her by
turns today. When Erik came over this morning he
remarked that she is more verbal than she was even
since last Monday. And today in physical therapy at
home she was working on her right arm extensively. I
have a video now of her extending her right arm away
from her belly (while lying down thereby making it
easier to isolate the shoulder muscles from helping.)
I think it was called 'external rotation'. This is
good. As soon as our home PT saw that Uma could move
her arm at all she just 'floored it'. Uma has
actually done nothing but get better since January
31st, despite everything including hydrocephalus.
There have been two times now that I've left her at
home alone for a couple of hours. She's getting better
at calling me on the cell phone. One time she actaully
dialed my number rather than just utilizing the
'return' feature after I had called her. I really
wrestled with this - when do I let her stay at home
alone? One of the answeres to that question revealed
itself when I realized that there have been many times
where I've been working in the studio for a couple of
hours without checking on her. She could have had a
problem during that time and I might not necessarily
have known about it. The difference being that when
I'm not actually at home I would need to have someone
close by to check on her if needed and I believe I
have that option among about a dozen friends all of
whose numbers are in my cell phone and written in my
phone book. Uma was so excitied the first time I left
her at home alone. Her autonomy is thrilling to her.
In this she hasn't changed at all.
Last weekiend we had a nice visit with her aunt, uncle
and cousins in Malibu. Her aunt cooked spicy sri
lankan style food and it was actually a bit much for
Uma. This was the first really hot food since 1/31.
She made it though.
She now sees one of two physical therapists six times
a week and a speech therapist three times a week. We
can carry on this way for many months and we will do
I can't wait 'till she and I can carry on a nice, long
conversation. That's something we used to do almost
daily and sometimes, when I have time to think about
it, I really miss it. I think it will probabaly happen
Thanks again for all the help, prayers, visits and
Bye for now,
Just got home from dropping Keith off at LAX. (Note to self: Remember to move his car before the street sweeper ticket-writer does the evil lap on Wednesday.)
I miss him when he goes away. Even when it's for a really, really, really super cool thing like this. (And he's the type who'll let me brag about it in public, but not put it on my blog 'til it's all shot and he's back from location.)
But I'm proud and excited and will miss him a whole bunch...
...and will try really really really really really hard to STAY OUT OF TROUBLE as I catch up on various playdates with my friends. ;) *polishes halo*
It could happen! I could stay out of trouble the whole time Keith's gone. No, really! Stop laughing.
Okay. I need a nap. Big day ahead. Woo!
June 3, 2007
The Actors Voice, 6/4/07
Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.
So, last week, I participated in a SAG Foundation event with fellow casting directors Bruce Newberg and Erin Toner. We talked about everything from what online services we use (Breakdown Services, Actors Access, IMDB-Pro) to the likelihood of unrepresented actors getting seen by us (everyone gets a shot) and from headshots (no one cares if they're in color, as long as they look like you) to demo reels (we love 'em short and online). Obviously, we didn't always agree on "what works," but that's part of what makes these free events so awesome: Actors get to learn how things are done in specific offices rather than assuming that everything is done the same in every office. Just like actors aren't all alike, CDs aren't all alike.
One of the emails I received after the talk seemed to have something in common with another email that I had received about last week's column on creating your own demo reel footage. Both supported my theory that sometimes all an actor needs, in order to start making things happen, is to just start making things happen! And that often requires a paradigm shift. We tend to get so caught up in all of the things we think we're supposed to do that we miss out on doing things that actually might be a lot more powerful (and more fun)! For example: I said (at the SAG Foundation talk) that if actors took half of the energy they put into "finding the right agent, targeting mailings to CDs, getting a better agent" and put that into creating their own short films, showcases, or plays, the people they're so eager to get in front of would seek them out!
But if you've been conditioned to believe that the busy, frantic energy you're putting into mailings and meetings and researching people is "enough," it might take a true paradigm shift for you to understand that you could choose to work smart, not hard.
Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a twist on the need to change your name, in the Your Turn section at Showfax.com.
As always, THANK YOU for reading!
Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.
Son of a FUCK!
Sorry, but I've got to rant!
I did my top-of-the-month backup of my computer's guts and somehow did an overwrite of last month's backup (which ordinarily wouldn't be an issue except that last month was when I did the BIG purge-of-years'-old-emails backup that then ONLY existed as text files in that May 1st backup).
So, now--just like when Keith first came over in August 2001 and tossed out my "old" Netscape Mail profile thereby losing all of my last few years' of Mom's emails--I've lost a buttload of archived stuff that may or may not be important. Because how can you know? It's not 'til you have that moment when you think, "Oooh! I have that email! Let me look that up," that you decide it's all gone, gone, gone and it's now over, over, over (at least in the absolute proof sense). But I am now prepping myself for the for sure-ness that it's gone, no matter how important it might be.
It's over. The 1's and 0's are no more. Big fat suckola.
And so what?
That's the bigger question. I mean, what does it matter if that stuff is gone any more than it matters that a box of my favorite books got destroyed in a flood or a box of my old love letters got destroyed in a fire? It's all a reminder of the bigger point: today, I am this. And that's it!
Ah, well... life is bigger than what my backup drive can contain. And if it all goes away, it doesn't diminish my value.
June 2, 2007
Cousin Faith in Tomorrow's NYT!
Hey, everyone, make sure you pick up the June 3rd New York Times to read all about Faith Salie's ability to raise the listenership of public radio in just a few months' time!
You can also read the piece here.
What makes her stand out on public radio is her down-to-earth approach. She doesn’t hold back on genuine (read nonjournalistic) gasps of “Oh my God” astonishment or delight.
Yay! Hee! And yippee!
Congratulations to our July 2007 Showcase cast!
I am so excited about our cast!!!!
Ingrid Sanai Buron
J. Eddie Martinez
Vanessa Claire Smith
(Of course... as I'm sharing love and MySpace links, I should give shout-outs to our director Anna Christopher, rockstar intern-in-training Jennie Roberson, and ME... your cruise director... Bonnie Gillespie. Woo!)
(Links to other MySpace pages will come, when I learn them... heh; official "actor page" links will be up at the Cricket Feet Showcase website next week.)
THIS SHOWCASE IS GONNA ROCK!!!
Thank you, everyone, for your patience with me during this nearly impossible/certainly difficult decision-making process! I am thrilled with this new cast. Holy crap, just wait 'til you see these kids! Wow!
June 1, 2007
Casting Is Exhausting!
Let me be more specific. Casting for the showcase is exhausting!.
Y'know how--with every production of any kind--you have that one "hell day" that is just really "not right" (and once you have it, you're glad it's over with)? Well what I'm hoping was "hell day" for the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase July edition was yesterday.
Partner in the hospital. Director late. Session runner late. Forty actors early. Blah blah blah.
(Honestly, as hell days go, it was low-end drama; but it's not the way I like to get started, just the same.)
At one point, actors were shivering out in the alleyway waiting to come in and audition (for some reason, Keith wouldn't let them go wait in the hallway inside), and I figured, "Well, it may be really cold on May 31st in Santa Monica, but at least it's not like March 31st in Chicago or something!" I'm all about the glass half-full, baby!
Anyway, even the worst day doing this kind of job beats the best day in other careers, I'm sure.
Point is, Anna and I met before the auditions and then for two hours after auditions (which ran an hour over--thank goodness for the Cricket Feet checkbook, baby) to go over our casting choices. And we met with Eitan on IM for a two-hour meeting today to fight for our favorite actors in pulling the final cast list together. MAN! It's exhausting!
Anna said, "It's not like when we cast Queen of Cactus Cove and I could look at actors and say, 'She's Billie. She's not. She's got a Billie quality. She might work.' This is a totally different casting process!" True. And it's awesome.
I'm now officially exhausted. Check back for the *real* blog entry in which I list all of these amazing actors' names, link to their sites, display thumbnails of their gorgeous faces, and congratulate them officially. It won't be long now.
Man... I didn't think I could be this excited, exhilarated, and exhausted all at once. Phew!