Monday, November 24, 2008

So, Kind Reader - tell me what to do

So I've never directly addressed anyone who might be reading this, instead preferring to erect a pseudo-fourth wall in the blogosphere, I suppose. The wall is coming down, folks. I have three followers (hey-oh!) and the time has come to elicit response.

So. I am a creative person. When you get to the root of why I want to be an actor and what I want to do with my life and why I'm slogging through the slog I'm slogging and yadda yadda yadda, it boils down to my need to create and feel like I'm contributing something through that creation. When I'm working on a project or I have something in the future I'm working towards, no matter how small it may be, I always feel better.

So. My question to you is this - what do you do when you don't have anything creatively exciting in sight? Or anything creative at all?

I'm not at that point. I have a reading next week that I'm very excited about, and I know that I'm always only a step away from doing something myself to pull myself out of the cubicled fog of 9 to 5-ery, and I still have two more performances of my sketch show. But I want to know what other folks have done to keep themselves from falling into the Depths of Despair that are somewhat unavoidable when creative people aren't expressing themselves.

I see it in myself, and I see it in the people around me. I was always happiest in high school (possibly the only times I was happy in high school) when I was doing a show, and that hasn't changed. The people I love most in this world don't do well when they're not working on or excited about something. It's hard to watch, especially because I recognize the feeling. (Also, right now, it's compounded by being really broke and there not being any work, which is terrifying. I have three friends in the temp world who are achingly desperate for work.)

Self-discipline isn't always my strong suit, but I'm trying to change that. So I thought I would ask for some advice. Any help avoiding a self-imposed mental quagmire filled with self-doubt and questions about self-worth with a side of self-loathing is greatly appreciated.

So. Thanks in advance.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I got a call from an agent! ...that I would never work with

How sad is that?

There is an Agent who shall remain Nameless who has been calling in every actor since the last showcase, pretty much. I'm one of the last of my little crew, and the other folks who have taken the meetings had to put up with a lot of BS and wasted time to get pitched photographers and other scams. (As well as one instance of a person who actually worked with him and ended up putting up with verbal abuse and severe name calling - the kind that is technically sexual harassment. This guy is a peach.)

Also, if I hadn't already had an army of red flags at the ready about this guy, the following phone conversation would have really put me off:
Me: Hello, this is Lauren.

Dude: Hi, this is _ calling from _'s office at the _ Agency. We've had your headshot on file and would like you to come in for a meeting. Can you come in today at 4:45?

Me: No, actually, I won't be able to do that.

Dude: Oh. Well what about tomorrow at 4:00?

Me: Could I check my schedule and call you back?

Dude: Why?

Me:...because I'm on avail for something tomorrow that I'm not sure is going to pan out, is there a number I could call you back on?

Dude: I mean, is it about other representation?

Me: I just really need to check my calendar. If there isn't a number I can call you back at, then that's fine.

Dude: Well, I guess. You can leave a message at _.

Me: Okay, thank you.

I mean...really? Is that rude or am I just over sensitive? Granted, I knew that I wasn't going in as soon as he said the name of the agency, but I wanted to be able to call back so I could decide how to handle it. When he started being pushy, I was really tempted to say "Actually, I've heard horrible things about your boss and have absolutely no desire to come in and meet with him, thank you very much." But I decided I shouldn't burn a bridge. At least not overtly. So saying I needed to "check my calendar" could have been lame, but it also could have been the truth. I also could have been driving. I mean, I wasn't, but good grief!

So anyway. I hope now that has broken the seal and other agents will call. You know...ones that I don't know to be verbally abusive scam artists.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh! I saw a fantastic play in Los Angeles!

And I forgot to talk about it. Shame on me.

Last Friday, I was kindly treated to The Production Company's production of "M. Butterfly" by David Henry Hwang, a play I have loved since reading it in college. I was excited to see it performed, but a little nervous, since the narration is non-linear and the whole play is pretty conceptual and somewhat nebulous in concept.

And it was fantastic. The Chandler Studio is a teeny 33 seat theatre give or take a few folding chairs (which my butt was not happy about sitting on, but that's what you get without a reservation), and the small space was perfect for a play as intimate as "M. Butterfly." I was very impressed and excited to discover the company. I will be sending them a headshot forthwith.

I am amused by the pomposity of this whole post, so I'm going to leave it. ("Forthwith?" Really?)

Anyway, great show! Unfortunately, it closed last weekend, but they did a great job. I'll be eager to check out more of their stuff.

Also, begone, self-doubt "why aren't they calling me" demons!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Forgotten lines and an egg?

That's what my anxiety dream was about last night - we were showing our scene and I couldn't remember any of the lines, so I just let my scene partner do all the talking. And I was holding an egg. Analyze that. I have no idea.

I've now completed my second Cricket Feet Showcase, and it went very well. I was happy with my scene both nights, except for the minor "why aren't they laughing as much as last night?" feeling I already mentioned. That's what happens when your first audience is fantastic.

My feedback was actually fantastic, which was very exciting:

Everyone for the most part was pretty darn good, but Lauren was really good. Shows versatility.

Fun persona for broad sitcom.

Favorite scene.

Good character transition.


So that's great. I felt good about that. But - no one checked the box marked "have actor contact my office." ...why not?

I'm trying not to dwell on that, but it's hard. I've heard of someone else who got tons of rave reviews with no contact requests, but that doesn't really make me feel better for either of us. I am hearing of folks who are getting called in, and I'm super happy for them, but it is really hard to not ask "But why not me?"

I'm trying not to dwell on that and to just focus on the possibility of people remembering me when they need me, and then Wham-O! For now I'm following up with thank you notes with a callback to my scene - probably getting "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in everyone's head in the process. Heh. I sang that in the scene and it's been in my head 78% of the time for the last month and a half. Now I share.

I was addressing a postcard to an agent that turns out is in the same building I work in, so I took an elevator ride to drop it was sort of anti-climactic. I was expecting the receptionist to see me, gasp, and yell for the agent to come and sign me on the spot. That didn't happen. What gives?

Friday, November 7, 2008

What a week!

I was relieved to the point of tears with the results of the election. Filled with elation and hope and restored faith in the humanity of Americans, a word I can say again now without cringing.

My only sadness is about Prop 8 here in California. I really didn't expect this state to vote to put hatred and prejudice into the constitution. The Prop 8 protest yesterday was right outside my office building. I ran down and wanted to join, but had to leave for the showcase. I took this and some other pictures, viewable at my Flickr page.

As for the showcase, it went very well. I felt great about the scene on Wednesday night. We hit it and the audience loved it. Last night I had a little bit of the second night slump/"why aren't they laughing as much as last night??" blues, so I think I tried a little too hard and it wasn't as real. But I think it still worked. Hopefully somebody wants to meet me!

I felt better about the networking portion, but I didn't really meet anybody this time either. So hard. Argh.

Happy Friday. I need sleep.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I am so so sorry for the "Say Yes to Marriage Rights" ad that appears below - I am doing my best to get it removed. Please disregard. No on Prop 8!!!

Gift-ing and Gift-ed

My favorite acting/showbiz blogger does it again. The Actor's Voice this week talks about The Gift.

The Gift being the ability to walk into a room and realize that what you have to offer is a gift to whatever audience may be assembled. What a great way to think about it.

It also reminded me that what I have is already a gift...the whole reason I am where I am is that for whatever reason I love doing this one thing and I happen to also be better than average at it. That's my gift.

The gift is also being able to do what I love. That's the ultimate gift and what makes it worth pursuing.

Thanks for the reminder, and for the gift of a new way of thinking about my gift. I'll remember the gift I have, the gift I give, and the gift I pursue.

Lauren signing off, heartfelt and fruity.