Friday, October 23, 2015

Pick up pick up. Pick up pick up pick up pick up pick up.

Yesterday was my last day at my restaurant job. 

I had been there for three and a half years, and it was time to go. I was scared - money, stability, yadda yadda blah, but with some final pushing from my partner (who I met at said restaurant - definitely the best part) and from my little brother, I finally gave notice. Gulp. "What's next?" was a question I had (have) no answer to.

Over the course of my last couple of shifts, some of my favorite customers came in and we connected, swapped cards, followed each other on Instagram. One guy led with "Hey, I saw you on a commercial in a bar the other night!" I got nothing but support, and it felt meaningful that many of the people I had enjoyed most were coming through the door. It felt like a universal high-five about a decision rightly made.

And then, this morning, I won tickets on KCRW to see the band Kinky. Here is the song that inspired this blog post title - the chorus is the badass bass player Cesar saying "Pick up pick up, pick up pick up pick up pick up."


That would be the pilot I shot in June. Picked up to series. Announced in Variety.

I quite my day job YESTERDAY you guys.

Now, a dose of realism to go along with the excitement - my role was a co-star, with no guarantee of returning. But I spent three days with them and it was oh so much fun. Worst case scenario, I'll be happy to have the IMDb credit at bare minimum, if I don't make it into the pilot edit. The whole team was fantastic and I will forever be happy to have been involved. 

This is just to say - yesterday I tweeted this:

Flying high, friends, full of high-fives. Grateful, happy, excited, and forever a proponent of quitting your job.

Plus I have a date to a concert next Friday night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I have been asleep.

Somewhere along the way, I think I can trace back each little thread leading to the unraveling, I succumbed to bitterness. I allowed myself to let go of hope; I misplaced the faith that another great thing would (WILL) come; I let the losses of my personal life overwhelm me; I allowed the depression that weaves itself through my timeline, popping up every few years like a familiar enemy, to take hold. I lost myself. I stopped being an artist. I stopped creating. I was miserable.

I am waking up.

This shadowy place has been full of so much beauty – and that is what has lifted me up and carried me along. A new partner, new friends, reconnecting with old friends, time with my family, NEW family – I became an aunt!  My boyfriend has two wonderful children! – beautiful and rich new life experiences. I have been okay, just okay, absolutely okay. But I haven’t been my full self.

I am an artist, a creator, a thinker, a feeler, incontrovertibly. I cannot put those things away. When I do put them away, I turn gray and wither, or balloon, into a sad and angry shadow of myself: bigger, flatter, darker, duller.

I struggle to be open, to connect, to allow myself to be vulnerable, to allow myself to be myself. I struggle with fear. I struggle with self-acceptance. I fear that I will fail, and the person I am most afraid of disappointing is myself.

I share with you this cracking open feeling in my chest, these tears hitting my keypad,  because I am afraid to share it, because I want to share it, because I need to share it.

My apologies to you – I haven’t been my best. I haven’t been participating. I probably haven’t called you back. I let my little flame grow very small. I forgot how much I like to use metaphors. But I am here. I am back. I am still here. I never left. And I stay.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We're a hit! Hearts Like Fists at Theatre of NOTE

I'm in a comic book. Live, onstage, with fights. We've got unrequited love, good vs. evil, a vengeful supervillain, and masks. I play Lisa, a "dauntless heroine" (LA Weekly) "femme fatale" (LA Times) "...statuesque flaxen-haired stunner so va-va-va-voomish that aroused construction workers fall to their deaths whenever she passes by.  Adding to Lisa’s particular appeal is her mastery of the martial arts, as Dr. X discovers when the twosome get into a tussle and the blonde beauty manages to karate chop and kick her way to safety..." (StageSceneLA).

I am completely in love with my awesome castmates: Keith Allan, Pierce Baird, Alysha Brady, Grace Eboigbe, Alina Phelan, Rick Steadman, Jennifer Lee Weaver, and Dan Wingard. They are so awesome and talented and dedicated and we are having a BLAST. I can't gush enough. And then there is our incredible director, Jaime Robledo, and our awe-inspiring stage manager, Bebe Herrera.

Reviewers are literally raving:

LA Times Critic's Choice - "'Hearts Like Fists' is the the perfect summer date show: exhilarating, nerdy-sexy, and silly-smart." Charlotte Stoudt – LA Times

LA Weekly Pick of the Week - "Fun well done neatly sums up this brazenly silly and irresistibly funny show." Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

And we're 100% Sweet on Bitter Lemons, the LA theatre review aggregator.
We run Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm until 9/1, with added Thursday 8pm shows on 8/23 and 8/30. Theatre of NOTE is mighty but tiny, so I recommend getting tickets well in advance.

Tickets and more info are available at There are a very limited number of discount tickets on Stubdog and LA Stage Alliance.

So happy. I am having so much fun.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Art about Leaping

January has been a bit trying for me. I took time off to go home for the holidays, which was lovely, but I found it hard to get back into the swing of things when I got back. I've felt a bit wander-y and lost, lacking focus and not sure why.

I moved to Los Angeles four and a half years ago. My body rebelled, the relationship I was in ran it's course and ended, and I feel like a completely different person now. I marvel at how much I've grown, and how much every encounter and experience I've had has contributed not only to the dream I'm pursuing, but the dream I am living.

I quit a safe survival office job six months ago. I got my W-2 from said job last week, and had to firmly stop myself from looking at that number and starting a downward spiral of questioning that decision. (Again.) It was the right decision, I know it is, and I am very happy, but the last six months have been an act of piecing together paychecks, both acting and thrival, and it has been hard.

Bonnie Gillespie always writes amazing columns over at the Actor's Voice, but this week's struck me at the perfect time. I read it yesterday, misty-eyed as the rain cleared, and knew that I was waking up to propel myself back out of my Januarial funk. Please give it a read, it's called Pick Your Hard.

And then a beautiful friend, one of the many I've found here in LA, posted this poem on my wall:

Revelation Must Be Terrible

Revelation must be
   terrible with no time left
to say goodbye.
Imagine that moment
   staring at the still waters
with only the brief tremor
of your body to say
   you are leaving everything
and everyone you know behind.
Being far from home is hard, but you know,
   at least we are exiled together.
When you open your eyes to the world
you are on your own for
   the first time. No one is
even interested in saving you now
and the world steps in
   to test the calm fluidity of your body
from moment to moment
as if it believed you could join
   its vibrant dance
of fire and calmness and final stillness.
As if you were meant to be exactly
   where you are, as if
like the dark branch of a desert river
you could flow on without a speck
   of guilt and everything
everywhere would still be just as it should be.
As if your place in the world mattered
   and the world could
neither speak nor hear the fullness of
its own bitter and beautiful cry
   without the deep well
of your body resonating in the echo.
Knowing that it takes only
   that one, terrible
word to make the circle complete,
revelation must be terrible
   knowing you can
never hide your voice again.

  -- David Whyte
      from Fire in the Earth
      ©1992 Many Rivers Press

Dream. Leap. Choose. Discover. Choose again. Leap again. Dream. Don't give up. Pick your hard.

It will be hard. But it will be glorious.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm doing a Marathon on 1/21!

...but probably not the kind you're thinking of. (Those of you who thought I was capable of running 26.2 miles one week from Saturday, I LOVE YOU.)

My theatre company, Theatre of NOTE, hosts an annual Hollywood Performance Marathon as a fundraiser for our little non-profit that could. The Marathon is an all day and night extravaganza featuring performance artists, dancers, singers, jugglers, comics, etc. The day begins at 3pm and goes until the last man standing, usually around 3am...sometimes later. This is year number 17, and as an additional fundraiser, we have Marathon-athoners who are seeking sponsorship for watching. That would be me. (Although, in a moment of weakness, I also agreed to sing. I haven't sung in public since wearing a bear suit in my Missoula Children's Theatre days. We'll see how this goes.)

Here's how it works:

Much like a swimathon or walkathon, I'm looking for people to sponsor me as an audience member (and singer...gulp) for a certain dollar amount per hour I stay at the Marathon.  If you want to contribute $5 an hour, but don't want to spend more than $50, you can do that. You can say $5 an hour or a total of $50, whichever comes first. Meaning if I only make it 3 hours, then you only owe $15. But if I stay for 16 hours, you only owe your max pledge of $50. Capping your donation is, of course, entirely optional. :) Your donation is also 100% tax-deductible as we're a licensed 501(c)3 organization. (And if your company does matching gifts, we'd be thrilled to make that happen.)

I'd love it if you could kick in anywhere from 1 to 1 million dollars an hour. (I'll probably shoot for the whole 16 or so hours because I am competitive by nature.) No amount is too small! ANYTHING you can give to support will be gladly accepted and greatly appreciated.

After the Marathon, I'll report back and let you know how many miles-- er, hours I made it and how much you owe from your pledge. You then give/mail me cash, a check (made out to Theatre of NOTE) or complete a transaction on PayPal and boom, you can feel good for supporting the arts and laud me for my capacity for caffeine consumption. I'll also be tweeting my experience, so you can have a live feed of my growing delirium. If you're in Los Angeles, please come watch! The Marathon is always a good time.

Please email me with your pledge if you would be willing to sponsor. Thank you for reading such a long post, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Frendz Pilot

Had a blast last weekend shooting the pilot of "Frendz," a show created by Formosa Cinema Club for Celebrate the Web 5, a web pilot festival.  Please go watch "Frendz" on their website and vote for us! You can vote once a day. The winning pilot gets funding to fully develop and shoot the rest of the season. I play Miss Pippy, a princess imaginary friend. Check out my adorable co-star:

How can you resist that face?

I was super impressed with the cast and crew and am very pleased with how the pilot turned out. Be sure to watch, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quarterly Report?

Cast and crew of 11/11/11 at
Big Bear Horror Film Festival
Apparently sporadic posting is all I can manage these days. I'll try to be better. (Who am I kidding...I've said this before. But truly. Perhaps a new leaf shall be o'erturned.)

Made it to the Big Bear Horror Film Festival for the screening of 11/11/11, which was a blast. So exciting to see the movie, and to have so many familiar faces from Theatre of NOTE in the cast. The trailer is up on Asylum's page, if you'd like to see it. I'm not in the trailer, but you may recognize fellow NOTEr and AllMySons-er Nicholas S. Williams in there... Full movie will be streaming on Netflix starting November 1.

We're scary.
This weekend I'll be performing in Haunted House of Improvised Horror at iO West for the second year in a row. I'm stoked - last year's shows were deadly fun. (Get it?? See? I'm funny.)  I lost my clothes in one and got eaten by a giant pot plant in another. Good improvised times. Please come to the show if you're in LA - Friday 10/28 and Monday 10/31 on the iO Mainstage at 10pm. Seriously, Hollywood is a great place to be on Halloween weekend. Very low-key and family-friendly...

You and your friends tied any office chairs together recently? My friends and I have. We had a fantastic time being Office Rowers in a Nokia spot at the beginning of the month - if you're stuck on trying to figure out what an Office Rower is, imagine a line of rolling office chairs being "rowed" and pulling a coxswain with a megaphone... can't wait to see this one. We had a blast. My legs were sore for days. I was excited to work with Company again and get to meet the good folks over at People Farm Casting.
Concord Crew = Best. Rowing. Team. Ever.

I continue to love NYCA and San Diego County Credit Union! They re-negotiated to use footage from the commercial I shot in January for an industrial, and then called me in to do voiceover for a radio spot. I went to ON Music and Sound last Friday, met our wonderful sound engineer Tony, and fellow voice actor Terry and I were in and out in 40 minutes. This was my first time doing voiceover - um, nobody told me how much fun it is!

This weekend I'll start rehearsals for "Barbie Boy," a short film I'm shooting with Nick Corporon in December. I'm excited to work with Nick for the first time, and to shoot with my Stephen Book classmate William Kidd - we ran into each other at the callbacks and ended up both getting cast. It will be fun to have a "husband" who I've been in acting class with for over a year.

Whew. That was a lot. Maybe that'll teach me to post an update more often. :) Thanks for reading. I'm grateful to be working, healthy, alive, and living my dreams. Hope you're all doing well!