August 29, 2008
The amazing and lovely Camille Bennett sent me a wonderful distraction, which just killed a half hour of my life in the best possible way. (Filled with giggles.)
Thanks, Camille! That was a fun break! :)
Now back at it!
August 21, 2008
Long Overdue Long Update
Phew! Okay, so.
I have been working on the edits for the 3rd edition of Self-Management for Actors since August began. I got my first seven chapters to proofers on August 4th. The book has 46 chapters. I continued to get chapters to my awesome proofers daily through the 15th and had all of their feedback by the 18th.
I've been entering changes and trying to cut content (the book was originally going to be 368 pages but looked like it would be 630+ pages as of the 15th) since then and--today--the 520-page *near-final* manuscript was FedExed to the final team of proofers who do the cover-to-cover read and get notes to me by the 29th.
And then this lovely book hits the printer on September 1st. And will be in stores everywhere by Thanksgiving (if not sooner).
Our international distributor tells us we've already sold 800 copies. Yay! But also: Oops. The book is now 150 pages longer than originally listed (and it's now also eight bucks more per book). Wow.
It was the last couple of days that were the most intense. I woke up at 6am Wednesday and said, "Today is the day I call failure on my SMFA3 goals." I just knew there was no way I would have everything ready in time. No way. But when I went to bed at 5am Thursday, I had logged in 22 hours of work on the book, 45 minutes nap time, and 10 minutes on Wii Fit.
I slept for four hours this morning and then finished up everything to have Keith take the manuscript to Kinko's to copy and then FedEx out. I was back in bed at 4pm and up at 7pm. So, my sleep patterns are wonky (and the heat works well with that... bleh) and now I'm feeling all buzzed and antsy. I've found that opening three weeks' worth of mail and paying a few bills has helped calm me down. Soon, I will listen to at least a week's worth of voicemails, as I've not even had the phone volume UP for at least that long. Book mode is serious focus, y'all.
In other news, the breakdown for the November 2008 Cricket Feet Showcase went out on Monday. Submission deadline is the 25th. Auditions will be held on September 8th. I'm so looking forward to meeting our new cast!! And to working with Chil and Eitan and Tamika and Keith again, as always.
I can't believe what a great couple of years it's been, doing this showcase. Just awesome.
I'm being interviewed by Spun Gold TV next week. This will mark my third televised UK interview in 18 months. First was for BBC Breakfast. Second was for UTV in Ireland. This is another London-based outfit and they're sending an actor to Hollywood and following her as she meets with people. Apparently, it is now known in the UK that I give good, "cheeky" TV in a very fun, biz-savvy manner. Cool. That'll help when we're ready to take the roadshow abroad.
News on that: We're going to try and do some LA-adjacent tours and speaking engagements in the last two months of 2008, and then we'll head to other cities and states (and countries?) in 2009. Very much looking forward to this. Haven't been on the road in a long time.
Saturday is my 20th high school reunion. I will not be there. Two main reasons: 1. August. 2. Atlanta.
I mean, c'mon! October, I could do. But Atlanta in August? Dunwoody Country Club in August? In formalwear? Really? Nah. I'll have more fun hearing the stories, I'm sure.
Let's see... what else?
The four-week class I was supposed to teach at the Hayworth got pushed to November.
I've lost 40 pounds since Christmas. (And five inches off my waist, thankyouverymuch.)
I get to hang out with the director of Another Harvest Moon next week and catch up on all the tales from the set and plans from here.
I can only imagine the tales will be outstanding (the ones I've already heard are hilarious and touching and inspiring).
And that the plans for this film are... big. I got chills looking through the photos at the website just now. Dear GAWD, this film is going to be amazing.
I still need to read a script that's been sent to me for a casting bid. It's a $2M thriller and looks good from quick skim of a couple of pages. (Honestly, I've been so busy with the book, there's been no time to do other stuff.)
I've learned I'm really good at compartmentalizing. (I mean, I knew that already, but it's become VERY clear with all of this work on the book this month.) When I go into book mode, I'm a machine. It has been nearly three years since I've had this experience, but it really is like riding a bike. It all comes back to you and hopefully you've given yourself enough empty road to not bump into anything at first.
As with the 2nd edition, I have both the HUGE worry that I've messed up whatever was good about the book by making changes to it AND the certainty that it might possibly be the best book for actors ever written.
This "sure you suck" and "sure you rock" simultaneous opinion is pretty tough to maintain, but somehow I find a way. ;)
Okay. Not sure what's next. So much got set aside in the past three weeks that I just need to start on something... but I also need to just CHILL. Perhaps I'll play computer solitaire for about five hours straight. That'll be fun. And maybe a walk to the beach when Keith gets home, just to remember what that's like. Oooh! Or a midnight trip to the gym. A good sweat in an over-air-conditioned facility might feel REALLY good right about now.
Or maybe I need to just sit here for a minute. :) Just be.
OH!!!!! HUGE thanks to the actor who sent me free passes to the Magic Castle (I've never been!!) and also to the actor who sent me half-off passes to Glen Ivy Hot Springs (I've definitely been!!) as encouragement for working so hard on the book. :) I love you guys. Also love my friends who made me take playdate breaks once a week or so while all of this was going on.
Man, I've got it so damn good it's just ridiculous.
I hope you can say the same, everyone. I've missed keeping up with you all. Catch me up! What's going on in your world?
August 13, 2008
12 of 12 for August 2008
Don't know what 12 of 12 is? Visit Chad Darnell for all the info.
9:04am: Working out with my trainer on Wii Fit boxing. Archie is not my trainer. He's my lump of encouragement.
9:58am: A kiss goodbye from Keith as he heads out to run a few errands and read a script I've been sent (a Nicholls finalist!) to possibly cast.
10:15am: My computer clock says 10:14am. Camera clock says 10:16am. We'll split the difference and call it quarter-past. ;) Twitter. I love this place.
10:56am: More edits on SMFA (3rd edition), which appears to be about 424 pages now. I think we'll go with that, rather than trying to get down to the original goal of 368 by printer deadline.
2:01pm: I've turned three chapters over to my proofers and am starting in on one more to get even farther ahead for the day. Archie is a very big help. (The huge stack of papers at the far end of the sofa = feedback from proofers. They rule.)
4:41pm: Uploading the fourth and final chapter of the day to the proofer patrol and updating the proofer assignment list to reflect what's in their hands (green) and what they've gotten back to me (purple).
5:22pm: Julie is on her way, so it's time to put on a little makeup, makeup. ;)
6:15pm: Ahh... there's my girl Rachael and a bucket of happy. Yeah!
6:48pm: Huge benefit to being regulars. We get told about "off-menu items" that aren't even the special of the day... but they'll make 'em. Julie and I both got the Santa Barbara Enchiladas (chicken and shrimp). Sooooooo good.
7:58pm: When Julie refused to let me pay even a little bit, she said it was b/c this was my birthday celebration (a month and a day late--but I'll take b'day celebrations ANYTIME). So, that means I need a birthday card. This is the card. ;) Julie even sang! I love that girl.
8:46pm: What night would be complete without a bottle of champagne and a fiercely competitive few hours of Wii? That Julie is FOR REAL!
It remains a good life, here. Hope yours is too. :)
Thanks, Chad, for another wonderful 12 of 12 experience. Always good fun!! :) Kiss, kiss!
August 7, 2008
Taking a very quick (2/3 of the day's work done) break from edits on SMFA3 to post two things.
One, I've found if I approach my writing/editing work with the same mindset I approach Wii Fit and iTunes playlists, I get a LOT done. I look at a master list of tasks and see where I'm under-performing and start there, build up, beat my last score, play what's not been played enough, and then go back to the master list to see what needs to be done next. Only when I've gotten two hard things done am I given a treat of an easy thing.
(No, that does not mean that I only value success unless it's part of a struggle, like I wrote about in this week's column. Although, I appreciate your concern. ;) Believe me, I'm much healthier now. In many ways.)
It's just an interesting pattern of my process. I tackle the hard stuff. Hit it hard. Work it over. Get it looking manageable. And then I get to PLAY with an easy one, with one I'm good at, with one I OWN. ;)
(Keith mentioned last night that it makes him sad to see me get frustrated when something doesn't work the way my brain thinks it should. For instance, we were playing this ridiculous bull-run game on Wii and the way you have to turn the controller in order to steer your... well, steer... is just beyond the way my brain can comprehend moving a game controller. I am sooo Atari 2600 generation, y'all. Anyway, I told him not to be too sad, seeing that, as it's my DRIVE. It's the same way I learned to play the piano as a child. I'd mess up my fingering, slam my fists on the keys, and then take a breath and start again until I got it exactly right. Which I always, eventually, would. Same approach, decades later. I don't mind it.)
So, I'm enjoying seeing the similarity in the way I approach my work-work *and* my play-work, as well as my workouts. Very interesting and revealing.
And, it would seem, efficient.
20 chapters in the hands of proofers already (and the first ones only went over on Monday). I am right on schedule with this book (assuming no days off between now and the 15th, when the last three chapters go to the proofer patrol and I begin entering changes based on their feedback).
(Oh, and the bull-run game left me in a pool of TEARS from laughing so hard, last night. It really is silly and fun and stupid and hilarious. Especially when I body-check Keith's bull with my bull's butt.)
Okay, so now for the second thing.
HOW CUTE ARE WE?!?
This is me with Rockstar Intern Julie at Showcaser Karaoke on July 27th. CLEARLY, we are up to something and someone doesn't want us caught at it. (But Kimberly caught us anyway. She's good like that.)
This photo just says SO MUCH and I love it all! :)
Okay, back to work!
August 4, 2008
21 Days of Wii Fit
Okay, so 21 days ago, I got my belated birthday gift of a Wii Fit.
I still so love it.
And folks asked whether it was worth the $600 for the "bundle" of Wii plus Wii Fit.
I seriously love it.
You tell me.
21 Days of Wii Fit
- weight: down 4.5 pounds
- BMI: down 0.73
- bust: down 2"
- waist: down 2"
- lower abs: down 1.5"
- hips: down .5"
- calf: down 1"
- ankle: down .5"
I'm so in love with Wii Fit!
Seriously, y'all. With absolutely NO change in my diet AT ALL, these are my results after 21 days of daily Wii Fit action. I do anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes per day, usually hitting the 60 to 75 minute area. My worst "Wii Fit Age" (on the day I started) was 49 (11 years older than I actually am) and my best was 23. Today's was 28. I tend to hover between 24 and 32.
I LOVE my Wii Fit!
So. Is it worth it?
Uh... yeah. ;) Definitely.
August 3, 2008
Twitter Survey: Couch vs. Sofa
Survey: Do you say COUCH or SOFA? And why?
See... I say "sofa." And I don't know why.
I hear people say "couch" all the time and I find myself saying, in my head: "Sofa. They mean sofa," as if I'm having to try and translate a foreign word or something in order to understand them clearly.
So, I decided to let Twitter help me with a quick poll (heh heh... she said POLE) and here's what I've learned.
Devin Pike (my whore) says: "Couch - it's what my family always called it. In fact, I don't think I called it a sofa when I was shopping for one today."
Okay, so people I will make famous someday who currently reside in Texas say "couch." Got it.
Mignon Fogarty (AKA Grammar Girl--so her opinion counts extra) says: "I call it a couch (and not a sofa) because that's what my parents called it." And then, when prompted by another Twitterer, followed up to say: "Now that you mention it, my parents did call it a davenport sometimes too."
Frankly, I never even heard "davenport" until I saw Wayne's World and the station owner said, "I just see two kids on a davenport..." and I had to look it up.
Jonathan Nail (LA actor) says: "I say both couch or sofa. I guess it depends on the size of the couch/sofa, or maybe how richly it is covered. :)"
I find that fascinating. That size or decorative elements cause the name choice. Hmm. Okay. Still reading.
Kirstin Benson (a most awesome person) said: "I like to attempt to keep it even. (Yes, I do actively think about this.) But, I think couch is accidentally used more often."
I love this answer. It's so OCD. Love it. Love it, love it, love it. It makes me tap things in rapid, even counts.
Colleen Wainwright (AKA Communicatrix) said: "I'm ambidextrous, as I am a greedy, wordy type. Although I draw the line at DIVAN."
And it makes me laugh like only CoCo can. Although I have to confess I don't even know how to say the word "divan," but I'm eager to learn.
Elizabeth Tindal (AKA Beffers) says: "after much pondering, I would say that my preferred word would be sofa, although in some circumstances I might use couch."
And that makes me think it might be a southern thing, seeing as Beffers is in South Cackalackie.
Joni Harbin (AKA MCJ) said: "Sofa - because I am a true Southern Belle. Same reason I say pocketbook vs purse, Coke vs soda, and Daddy vs Pop :-)"
Which nails the theory. Although I've never said pocketbook, I do say Coke and daddy, so if sofa is like those words, that would explain my use of it.
Patrick Carlyle (a super-cool cat) said: "couch all the way. in fact, i don't think i've EVER SAID THE WORD "SOFA" BEFORE NOW!!"
And that makes me really happy. Because anytime I can make Patrick do or say something he's never done or said before, it's an "I win."
What have we learned?
Twitter is useful for quick and dirty surveys... and sofa might just be a southern thing.
Back after a nap. Y'all be good.
August 2, 2008
AND... just like that.
All or Nothing
I actually said to Keith, yesterday, "I'm aware that I need help. I'm ready to ask for help. But there is no way to communicate the whole of what I need to any one person--or team of people--in such a way that will yield the result I need." In fact, when I did actually come up with a very easily-communicated, single task for which I *could* ask for help, I got none. I posted to my Proofer Patrol two days ago that I needed someone to volunteer to fact-check an old column I had written. It's been a couple of years; perhaps the info needs updating.
Now, on my team of Proofers, I have people who have already said they'll be experts in certain areas. So, I HAVE fact-checkers. Yet no one bunnied up. And when I asked again, yesterday, no one bunnied up. Do I need new volunteers? Have I asked something so completely unreasonable of a group of people who have agreed to fact-check by requesting someone "call it" so I know at least THAT little bit of my overall burden is being addressed?
But this is not a post in which I bitch about people who are graciously donating their time and energy and expertise to help bring this new edition to life.
This is a post in which I attempt to work out some of my "all or nothing" issues.
As you may know, we're working on getting corporate sponsorship for the Cricket Feet Showcase. So, our grant writer/corporate sponsorship proposal writer, contacts me every now and then and asks for things. A bio. My casting resumé. A list of current sponsors. Statistical data about our showcasers.
Yesterday, she asked for a list of the festivals at which the films I have cast have screened. I used to keep up with that. I used to keep a list of every single festival that every single film I cast went to. I kept a list of the awards each film won as well. And whenever I would discover one that I had missed, I would be livid. I would panic. I would scramble to update my website and resumé and then I would fret about how I had missed learning about the festival sooner. Had the producer neglected to inform me (despite the fact that it's in my casting deal memo that I will be notified of all festivals)? Had I missed an email? Was my server down? Had I been informed but was so busy at the moment the email came through that I hadn't made the update in a timely fashion and then forgot that I had been informed?
It was crazymaking.
So I stopped keeping up. Nearly every film of the 40-something I have cast has gone to a festival (some, up to 25 festivals). Every film I have cast that has gone to a festival has won an award somewhere. This was very important information to detail, per the corporate grant proposal writer. But I have let go of keeping up with it all! Believe me, when a film I've cast plays at Sundance or wins at TriBeCa or gets an Independent Spirit Award, I'll keep up. But for my own sanity, I had to let go of keeping that list.
"So, give me what you DO know. Give me your old list," the grant writer instructed.
You mean you want an OLD list. An OLD list that had ERRORS which is why I abandoned the list-making to begin with??
PERISH THE THOUGHT!
"Yeah. Just give me the list."
Panic panic panic. I have to update a list I stopped keeping up with 19 months ago. I have to get all of the information I've neglected to keep updated. And I have to get it NOW. I have to STOP working on the book I'm getting no help updating (again, I know both that I am getting help and that it is really no one's responsibility to help me update my damn book. I'm sharing the spirally place my brain went at that moment) and update a list I haven't been updating BY CHOICE and I have to get it exactly right and I have to do it right now.
Panic panic panic.
Even woke up in a panic attack this morning.
Still trying to shake it off.
My heart hurts. Physically.
Now, the logical part of my brain says, "Score 85% Gillespie. It won't kill you. Most people in life show up and score less than 65% and skate on by. MOST of the time, you score 99% and still kick yourself for that 1% you 'failed' yourself and others. By scoring 85%, you're still going to be ahead of most people on the planet AND you're still going to be providing something excellent. Trust that."
And the part of my brain that believes even 99% is a complete and utter failure on my part says, "SCORE 85%?!? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?"
Now, I know I've come a long way. Despite my extreme "self-talk" example, above, I really am a lot better than I used to be. I am a very high-functioning obsessive-compulsive. I know that. As Beffers said yesterday, "Your OCD is so much more productive than mine." Yes. My OCD is much more productive than most. And it's also much more productive than it used to be. It used to grip me like this... a lot. It used to block me from workflow. It used to require rituals that everyone noticed. Now, it requires rituals no one really sees. We have containment. ;) Me and my OCD have become co-conspirators for focused work.
MOST of the time, I use it as a tool to help me focus--to the exclusion of almost all else--and get more work done than most people could ever hope to accomplish. And do it well. I know that. I appreciate that.
But when the "old OCD Bonnie" comes back around, she gets REALLY freaked out about how it's going to happen. I'm suddenly back in grad school and even though I have a team of undergrads whose job it is to earn a grade helping me check facts in my Master's thesis and there's a huge committee meeting deadline looming, I know in my core that there is no way they'll ever do as good a job as I would do with the tasks because they couldn't possibly care as much as I do. About getting it right. About having it work. About delivering 99% or better. And if I don't deliver on time, I'm stuck in this degree program another semester... and that's simply unacceptable. (Why? I do not know.)
Just gotta keep reminding myself what I already fucking know.
It's not "all or nothing."
It's not "all or nothing."
It's not "all or nothing."
It's not "all or nothing."
I know. I know. I know. I know.
Even if I use all sorts of logic to break this down, even if I let myself off the hook for any self-imposed deadline, even if I say, "Screw it. I'm out. Not even going to do this," I do not get relief from this GRIP of fear, this panic, this block.
So, I'm not looking for logic. I'm not looking for, "there, there." I'm looking for a way to FEEL BETTER about where I am and what's stretched out ahead of me. And oftentimes, writing about what I need gets it going for me. ;) It's like the post relieves a bit of the pressure. So, that's what this is. It's an invitation--perhaps a demand--that the peace come.
Then the rest will flow like crazy! I know that for sure.
Posted by bonnie at 10:19 AM