Christmas Palm Trees

Hi All,

I’m really making large gaps with these posts.  I hope your holiday season is starting out merry.  I’m singing in a Christmas concert with my church choir.  Here is the event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/582314988874089/ It’s this Saturday, December 15, at 2pm at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Venice, CA.  Then I’m off to visit home for three weeks just in time for my parents to move out of the family home.  It’s the only house I ever lived in and where all my memories are stored.  I’ll be seeing all my friends in the Portland area whom I don’t see very often.  It’s slightly cold in LA right now and it’s to the point I actually have to wear a sweater to bed.

La Famille episodes one and two are written but three and four need to be finished.  I only have to take each section for each woman in the original screenplay and add 25 to 30 pages and edit all of them.  Then it’s the push to get this thing produced and in the hands of the right people.  The Go-Girls feature is officially cancelled.  I couldn’t get any money or anyone reliable to help me, so I had to finally tell everyone it was over.  I will be filming a pre-quel short that needed to have the production date moved due to Thanksgiving and the wildfires.  After, I will submit it to shorts festivals and see what happens.

On Veterans’ Day, I booked a co-star in new re-creation series and I had one line.  I got the most money I have ever gotten for a day on set, making my year total earned for acting $600.  That may look like a small amount, but it’s the most money I’ve ever made (except for when I did Rejected No More.)  There have been theatre auditions with the last one looking promising, but in the end, I wasn’t cast.  But my Shakespeare was on fleek.  So, no theatre credits at the moment.  I got my first SAG-AFTRA voucher from background on a music video.  I need two more of those to be eligible.

I got behind on my mailings so I’m making up for that now.  I did get two commercial callbacks in a row in July and September.  I met for a solo coaching session with Chris Game about my not getting callbacks and he helped me fix it.  I’m hoping for many more commercial auditions and finally booking them.  And finally getting some SAG-AFTRA TV/Film work.  Getting back to class is tough for me because of my finances.  I have to be able to pay my rent, but I really need to be in class.

Zip On Your Alligator Skin

Hi all,

Happy Mother’s Day!  I made sure to call my Mom today because I love her so much.  We’ve really become friends as well as mother and daughter.

Today’s blog title comes from one of the panels that I attended at the Film in California Conference two weekends ago.  The event was held at LA Center Studios and has been going on for many years.  The keynote speaker was the amazing actor, Courtney B. Vance, who got his start in professional theatre.  I needed to go home early due to a conference call for the 48-hr Film Challenge team that I was chosen for.  I was one of many actors so I will have to hear if the script they write for the competition has an acting role for me.  Whatever happens, I will help them out any way they need.  As you’ll recall, I’ve been on three 48-hr film challenge teams, including the IFP Phoenix 48-hr Film Challenge from which Business Casual came.  Well, the second panel I attended that day was about women who work behind the scenes.  The panel included TV director Millicent Shelton, cinematographer Loren Yaconelli, Chief Creative Officer Rachel Shane, and veteran Production Designer Jeannine Oppewall, who all talked about being a woman in the industry and how they have made their mark in male-dominated positions.  I really loved when in response to the question about who inspired them, Jeannine Oppewall responded that she was her best support and motivation back when she was one of the few female production designers.  She also said that every morning she “zipped on [her] alligator skin,” which is a motto I need to use from now on.  The industry will be tough and I’ve got to just push through.  While I have never wanted to have a technical position, I can certainly take my inspiration and motivation from any of the veteran ladies in the industry.  There was also a panel for the Amazon series, Bosch, which is exclusively filmed in and around Downtown LA.  It sounded like an interesting cop series, which my Mom would love if she had an Amazon subscription.  My parents now have a Netflix subscription, which can have additional users, so now I can watch anything on Netflix!  Unfortunately, The Handmaid’s Tale is on Hulu so I can’t watch that right now.  And there were exhibitors from every county of California with free cookies, chocolate, phone chargers, and even popcorn.  Of course, I also picked up the brochures and business cards even though I have no idea how I’m going to film in San Francisco.

This past week I auditioned for Mary Poppins at Glendale Centre Theatre and I got a dance callback, but I haven’t heard if I was cast yet.  I’ve gone on EPAs for other theatre productions and no news from them yet.  I will be sending in a self-tape audition for a staged reading of a brand new play in Louisville, Kentucky, which will be in June.  And I have another self-tape for a table reading of a pilot that I procrastinated on.  Then, I had an audition for a paid short film yesterday for the cutthroat CEO/Agent in a Black Mirror/Westworld type of world.  I did have an acting teacher say I had an extreme casting.  So, I’ve got some auditions right now but I hope for bigger, Union bookings on recognizable TV shows, plays, musicals, and films.  I’m praying to God double time to make it all work out.

Springing Into Action

Hi all,

It’s been two months since the last post and I’ve been so busy!  I will be casting the other roles before beginning the crowdfunding campaign and contacting investors.  I’m a Filmmaker Pro Member of Film Independent, which you can also be for $250 per year. On that note: the site for Film Independent is http://www.filmindependent.org, where you can find out about membership, events, film grants, and filmmaking labs in screenwriting, documentaries, producing, etc. You need to apply and be accepted for the labs. My membership also includes two free casting sessions. I’ve already used my producer session perk. So, my task in the next two days is to contact potential actors for the remaining roles (I’m Amelia, of course!).

I am still auditioning for all the Equity theatres I can and I hope to get cast somewhere soon. The next two ones are Independent Shakespeare Company and Theatricum Botanicum. I’ve started volunteering for ISC and completed my first session last night for a screening of the documentary, Still Dreaming, about a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Lillian Booth Retirement Home for Actors. I had a wonderful time and the film was engaging and charming.

Recently, I got to see my acting teacher, Kevin McCorkle, in White Guy on the Bus with The Road Theatre Company and everyone was brilliant! You have got to go see it. It deals with some pretty heavy topics, so be prepared. The show plays Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm through March 18. http://www.roadtheatre.org/white-guy-on-the-bus-at-the-road-on-magnolia/

Next up classwise, I am taking a 3-week soap opera workshop with veteran casting director, Bob Lambert, and I am so excited! I am also attending the free industry seminar hosted by Billy Damota and Dea Vise at Acting Up Network on March 10. March 10 is also my birthday and since my Grandpa joined my Grandma in Heaven, I’ve been celebrating by myself. Check out Acting Up Network for great classes and seminars: http://www.actingupnetwork.com. Jodie, the head of the company, is one of the best people to know in the industry.

And the last piece of news is that I have a commercial audition this Tuesday via Skype, which should be interesting since I’ve never done an audition through my computer before. I keep pushing forward with my marketing, classes, and connecting. I’ve also gotten back into ballet classes and I really want to take more than just a class per week. I need to back up my special skills section on my resume.

Off Pitch

Hi all,

I’m still here.  Happy almost Halloween!  It’s my brother’s favorite holiday and his birthday is on Tuesday so everyone wish David a Happy Birthday!  In other news, I am blogging from a new Apple computer as the video card in the other one decided to die and after some drama getting the Genius Bar opinion, I decided to buy a new one.

This past week I got a dance callback after auditioning for Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical.  It was for the same company that I auditioned for for The Producers and they remembered me.  I was even asked to sing a second song, and I was really deft at finding one of my signature pieces, So Many People, from Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim.  I haven’t ever been asked to stay for a dance callback in a pro company, so this is great progress.  I got in there and broke out the dance moves.  We went in a group to learn the number, then in smaller groups, then guys and girl separately, and then alternating four guys and four girls.  It was all very Broadway.  Speaking of Broadway: I finally listened to the entire Hamilton soundtrack!  I was blown away and deeply glad that Lin-Manuel Miranda was able to bring his masterpiece to the biggest stage in the US and win multiple awards.  He really is a musical genius.  I was so inspired that I decided I am going to learn the song, Helpless, from the musical.  While I know the main roles are not for pasty Scandinavian people to play, I can still sing the music.  The common wisdom is that one should not sing a song for an audition from a currently running Broadway musical, unless that musical is a revival.  So this one is definitely for showcases for now.  I have also learned How Could I Ever Know from The Secret Garden, which came out when I was a little girl.  I will definitely be singing that one at my auditions from now on; I just need to go over it on the piano with someone, because while I can technically pull off singing it for the first time with piano at an audition, I definitely know from experience that it’s a bad idea.

All this talk about singing reminds me of a story or two.  When I was growing up, I was all about ballet and whatever side activity there was.  I wasn’t really aware that I had any singing ability whatsoever.  I knew other people who sang, but it never occurred to me that I could ever be good at it.  I took piano and then bass guitar, so I knew music.  I decided to take the plunge and join the liturgy band that did all the songs at my high school masses.  I labeled myself an Alto and then found out about being a cantor.  I only needed to join the cantor class.  I used to be so nervous about singing in front of people, that nothing would come out of my mouth.  Therefore, in the class I would try to sing the music and it came out all wrong, to the embarrassment of the coordinators.  My high school was not a place to test out your talents and learn that failure is a part of life; they had a reputation that they couldn’t risk at any cost.  All the cantors alternated weekly and one time when it was my week, one of the coordinators told me not to embarrass them.  You don’t say that to an insecure 15-year-old!  I had no self-esteem in my teens; it was bad enough I gained weight in the 8th grade and had braces.  My fellow students didn’t care if the notes were right; they told me “great job!” no matter what.  I wouldn’t realize until a really long time later that tension in the jaw muscles can make notes go awry and that nerves can really sabotage you.  For the next year, they decided that cantoring would be by audition only.  I missed the sign up, so I was out of contention.  I had started taking voice lessons at the behest of one of the coordinators and found out that I was a Soprano.  I had had a lonely moment the year before when I was singing the Alto part of a song and realizing that I was the only one and that I really wanted to sing the higher part.  The next year I was in time for auditions and had to audition in front of the choir teacher and the one coordinator, which is a great deal of nonsense considering choir had nothing to do with the liturgical administration.  I was actually never in choir.  Well, I found out the next week by reading the list on the coordinator’s door that I hadn’t made the cut.  He happened to be there at that moment and I gave him a look that said, “You’d better explain yourself.”  He tried to cover for himself and then I got the truth when he told me, “You have a beautiful voice, but you can’t sing in tune.”  Mind you, there was a girl who sang like nails on a chalk board that made the cut, so I knew that was ridiculous.

I would later sing in the church choir at college and then I met a voice teacher who showed me I could actually sing in tune and that I had a great deal of talent.  I took from Janet for three years before I went to Drama Studio London and I will forever be grateful to her for giving me a foundation of confidence.  I think I might be fully cured by now of my insecurities around singing.  It was only recently that I gained the ability to sing in an audition without getting really nervous and mucking up a note, or having my voice go thin on me.  I don’t fear the singing audition like I used to.  Now about those Broadway auditions…

The Supportive Industry

Hi all,

Right now I’m looking for the rest of the main production team.  So, here’s the ad: https://www.stage32.com/jobs/21717/Director-Financier-Line-Producer-Producer   I know that a great deal of people, especially here want money up front and won’t start at the ground floor.  Somehow anyone who makes a film is supposed to magically have money up front.  I had two useless phone calls with two industry experts who told me to get business collateral before I even begin funding.  But they had no advice on how to get it except for crowdfunding development funds.  I’ll wait for the official film budget to be finished before I set the amount for crowdfunding.  My trouble is that I have a tough time getting people on-board to give me money or anything.  I will give my best try to get the word out before I launch the funding campaign.  Maybe fliers in comic book shops or other marketing jaunts.  I’ll just have to review my crowdfunding notes and use my resources from Film Independent.

I had a great time volunteering at the LA Film Festival!  I mostly spent my time at the information booth helping attendees find what they needed.  We got vouchers for movie tickets after each shift.  I got to see Like Cotton Twines from Ghana, Opening Night starring Topher Grace, and the documentaries of Denial and Life, Animated.  They were all very excellent.  The film festival is a qualifier for the Academy Awards.  Many of the films sell out in advance so I didn’t get to see everything I had wanted to see.  I was going to be in a play but it didn’t work out; and that’s about all I’m allowed to say.  I did, however, get to see my friend, Sokrates, in a play at the Hollywood Fringe Festival called The Wheel of Invention, a dark satire of theme parks like Disneyland.

One thing about being in LA is that a number of people are not willing to reach beyond themselves to be helpful.  I have seen postings from successful actors saying to not contact their Agent/Manager about representation as you should do that work yourself.  And certain hiring people saying that they won’t accept auditions from non-union people, or even people with SAG-Eligibility, or talking about a casting that’s agent submission only and expecting people to not ask about being considered.  We are all hungry for work and deserve more respect and openness.  Making things limited and impossible doesn’t make companies and hiring individuals look better; it just makes them look closed-minded and discriminatory.  Most of us actors are really talented and dedicated people, not little flies to be swatted off.  And hiring individuals or really successful actors need to remember that success or power doesn’t make you superior.  I went to two EPAs and had no chance of being seen because the Equity actors get to go first and no one wanted to (or was permitted) to squeeze anyone else in.  This isn’t New York so I was surprised.  I got really hurt and angry after waiting six hours one day and a few the next with the lady making the announcement that non-union people wouldn’t get seen for a long time.  She then told me that being number 13 on the non-union list meant I was never getting seen.  I wasn’t available the second day of auditions.  She also told me that the company has resident artists so it would be very difficult for me to get in in the first place.  I saw so many people younger than me who were already union, including one really entitled and snotty brat who went to both auditions.  I know not all hiring entities or successful actors behave this way.  But the entertainment industry needs more community, not divisions, entitlement, or more closed doors.  We are all important and have a great deal to offer.  So, please support your fellow artists and creators and be nice and make opportunities for others.  Maybe donate an hour or two of your precious professional time to help someone create a funding promo, or maybe make some footage or a SAG-AFTRA New Media project to help your friends get SAG Eligibility.  Helping others is no assault to your dignity or street cred.

On Stand By

Hi all,

I have my LA apartment.  It’s smaller than my former living room, but it has an accent wall, a granite counter top, gated access, my own parking space, and no cockroaches.  At first, I was so upset about uprooting my life and coming back to the place that broke my bank account and broke my heart.  But I now have security that I didn’t have before.  I am taking an acting class and have begun to go on some theatre auditions, many of which are EPA calls and one for a concert reading of a musical at Rubicon Theatre (that’s in Ventura).  I received an audition invite off of Actors Access to audition for a video game prototype.  I sent that VO self-tape as soon as possible.  I did, of course, rehearse the script beforehand and do my scene study.

Right now, I am taking the commercial improv class with veteran casting director, Jeff Hardwick.  You might remember him from casting Untold Stories of the ER.  I’m having a great time in class and we do specific improv games to help us when we audition for commercials, as many commercials require improv.  We also get to look at commercial copy and learn what to do in group auditions.  Almost everyone in the class has an agent.

I did submit to many different agents, however, it was a targeted list and not a blanket one.  I heard back from one agency inviting me to come to an open call for clients, so I will definitely be there.  I basically submitted to agents that allow direct submissions.  There are some agencies that are excellent that had no information about submissions, to which I sent one-sheets.  Only one was refused.  There are two top agencies, that I did not previously know about, that have a specific disclaimer banning any and all unsolicited submissions and materials.  I looked into managers, but the only few I knew about require significant credits.  I wonder what manager takes on someone developmental like me.

The dates for the pilot are not set yet, so I am trying my best to keep my schedule open for them.  I’ll provide more information and updates about what I have been up to.  You will see that Go-Girls funding campaign sometime soon.  I know it’s taking some time to get going.

Boxing Day

Hi all,

It’s been two months since my last blog post.  I just didn’t get back to the blog.  Tomorrow I drive off to LA! (or today according to the blog calendar).   I have some potential places that I will be looking at and I hope I get one of the good ones.  You can be assured that I have a day job in the works; I just need to resubmit some things.

I revived my role of the Young Woman in Spirit, the short play that I did back in 2013 at the Herberger Festival of the Arts.  The performance was on December 13 at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts.  It was freezing cold outside and I had to wear a sweater with my sleeveless dress to not get hypothermia!  I was really happy to play the role again and be onstage one last time before leaving.

I attended the Filmstock Film Festival Actor’s Showcase, but wasn’t able to make the film showings.  I had considered being part of it again and everyone thought I was, but I couldn’t think of what piece to perform.  I had my mind stuck on moving anyway.

The pilot might turn out to be a film based on prospective marketability.  That’s some fancy business speak, but the project is still on.  I can’t tell you the finer details yet until it happens.  The Go-Girls has a poster and we will finally launch that crowdfunding campaign, plus some equity crowdfunding and hitting up more investors and producing partners.  The company will be officially set up and we will get started.  I will be hitting up some actors, maybe personally and not through agents.  I will have to see what works best.  Using a casting director is ideal as that is what a producer should do.  Here is the poster for your viewing pleasure:  go girlsposter1

Monsoon Season

Hi all,

Looks like I missed a post for July.  Two weeks ago, my friend, Luca Patruno, and I made our film short, Climbing Stairs.  He organized about everything and even bought lunch.  I had the pleasure of working with Brian Osback as DP and Robert Price as the Head of Sound.  I was so happy how everything came together and the film looks really good.  I never imagined my film on a whim would end up this full-fledged and awesome.  The trailer is now available on YouTube and here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFBZDOAb9R4 

I am in steady rehearsals for Once On This Island.  Be prepared to be blown away by a hurricane of talent.  If you are in the area on September 8, the performance will be at 7:30pm.  Tickets are free and available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/once-on-this-island-tickets-12300614469

I was also just cast in The Murder Mystery Company’s Phoenix troupe, which is the third highest-grossing murder mystery dinner theatre in the country.  It will be an ongoing gig.  Additionally, I have an audition for paid fundraiser performances of Oklahoma set on an actual cattle ranch tomorrow.

I have a significant local audition for the film of a web series that I have long wanted to audition for next weekend.  I will move forward with finding people to join me with producing The Go-Girls.  I connected with director/producer, Jake Katofsky, on Stage 32 for advice about making my feature.  It turns out that special effects, location shooting, and the like will make the budget about $200,000, and this does not include publicity and marketing costs.  I could have it filmed in Phoenix for less cost than LA, but I really want it filmed in LA.  A scene in Third Street Promenade is not feasible for an indie film.

The time for my day job to resume is upon us and I am certain to get some sub assignments this coming week.  Quitting the day job is not happening any time soon.

 

All Together Now

Hi all,

Yesterday was my birthday and my grandpa’s too. Guys and Dolls officially opened last week and we’ve had a full house each night. As always, I worked during the day in a classroom and rehearsed and performed at night all last week. Now not only am I a Hot Box Girl, I get to play the role of Mimi and say some lines. I get to twirl a ribbon and wear a calypso costume for the Havana scene and bear my mid-driff as a sexy farm girl. Of course, I wear a body-shaper leotard, so you don’t see my actual tummy. The show runs Thursday through Saturday, at 7pm each night. The site for tickets is http://www.donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com.

I was also cast in a VO film project through a local production company. I can’t provide details beyond that as it’s a major project. It’s an excellent step in the right direction.

I received the news last week that The Go-Girls did not win the screenwriting contest. They had me film Interview videos so people could get to know me and my script. I actually learned how to make films on my computer on iMovie and add opening graphics. I never knew how to do that before. Now I can film auditions anytime I want. The link to the playlist is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdzazEYOsJo&list=PLtdOV1g2RdSv1vvfa6pEeHIMkvkZvOv_Y

I’m also just about finished with La Famille. I should introduce you to all the characters. I promised to send it to someone a really long time ago. I’ll have to find someone to translate much of the dialogue into Cajun French. If you’d like the job, let me know. The script has a great deal of characters and locations.

I’ll be finding new housing sometime next month and it looks like there are many affordable options. I have to find Summer employment or book a great deal of commercial principal roles. I have applied to children’s theatres and learning centers. I have even more places to contact.

Razzle Dazzle

Hi all,

Today’s blog title comes from the musical Chicago. In one of the many little quizzes they have on Facebook, I received the result that the Broadway musical I should star in is Chicago. I love Bob Fosse’s choreography. I have been cast in Guys and Dolls with Don Bluth Front Row Theatre. I am very glad to be onstage again and I’ll be playing a Hot Box Girl. I’ll be doing a great deal of dancing. The show runs from March 6 through April 12, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7pm. You can purchase tickets at http://donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com/etickets/index.php?cPath=6

I also auditioned for a VO feature film this past Sunday produced by DB Rich Productions and it went really well. I would be excited to be part of the project and it pays.

I have heard from the people at 8 Sided Forum and they have posted my statement of purpose. Here is the link:

http://www.8sidedforum.com/group/8×8/forum/topics/2014-8×8-finalist-the-go-girls

I now have to make a series of videos answering interview questions. I’m not well-versed with editing and filming so I have recruited my friend to help me out. It was recommended that I post the videos this week. I have to squeeze that in around rehearsals.

In the meantime, I am also working on my song repertoire and my vocal technique. I have been meaning to call my acting coach to go over my monologues. I have been working on a monologue from the character Jenny in Abstract Expression by Theresa Rebeck. It’s mostly run-on sentences and a bit of babbling. It’s a challenge going for both film and stage. I also have to finish La Famille. I have about 78 pages done so far.