Monday, September 29, 2008

Opening Night of PS You're A Mess, and a surprise in class

We opened Saturday and rocked it. It went much better than I expected, since we showed up for dress and couldn't get into the theatre because it was double-booked...the people who happened to be in already were very unapologetic and didn't seem concerned with compromise. But we were awesome in spite of them. I had a great contingent of audience members. Don't know who will come to see me the rest of the run, but I loved having my favorite and most supportive peeps there. And it was fun, to boot. I'm still learning how to fully commit and create realities for sketch characters...more actor homework required because less is handed to you. Glad to have things to explore during the run.

I had a totally unexpected breakdown in my improv class on Sunday, of all places. We were doing sense memory exercises, and started with your bathroom sink, then the car, and then your childhood bedroom. Our teacher no sooner said "childhood bedroom" than my eyes pricked with tears, and to my chagrin, kept coming. I cried all the way through the exercise and couldn't stop.

Sense memory is often utilized by actors and teachers precisely because it is such a great way to tap into emotions, but I had never before been so blindsided by what I found. It was scary for several reasons: firstly, because I'm not completely comfortable in my improv class and there is one person in particular in there that I don't trust at all, and secondly because I completely lost control, which is scary for anyone but especially for an actor, at least in this capacity. I can't utilize my own personal emotions for acting if I can't control how affected I am by what I tap in to.

My vast vault of crap I have or haven't dealt with can be a treasure trove, but I want to access it on my own terms. I never expected to become so overwhelmed in improv class.

It made me feel vulnerable, which isn't a bad thing, but as I was sitting there trying not to break into sobs, my brain was also telling me that I clearly had a lot of unresolved stuff that maybe I should re-evaluate. When I could finally talk about it later, I realized that there is a large part of me that is afraid of losing my stuff by coming to terms with it and dealing with it. Part of me feels like as soon as I face and process it, I'll lose it and won't be able to access those feelings anymore.

I don't think this is a completely reasonable idea, but it did originate in my head, along with all the other things I think of daily that may or may not be ridiculous. I need to find a way to own my shit and work through it enough to be functional. I also need to remember that coming to terms with something doesn't mean you throw it away.

Unexpected deep thoughts from LaLa Land today. I guess I'll take them as they come.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I'm learning about myself, which is good. But some of what I'm learning about myself isn't that good.

I am an unprofessional unprofessional. I'm really good at being professional when I'm being treated as such and all of the people I'm working with are doing the same and acting that way in return. However, I have a very low threshold for unprofessionalism, and it makes me unprofessional in turn. Which isn't good.

Man, that's the second thing on the list of things I have to change about myself. The first being stop lying about the number of things I have to change about myself.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Though the scheduling for the rehearsals of this student film is turning out to be a largish headache, it looks like this guy wants us to do real character work, which makes my excitement mostly surpass my frustration. Yay! Real acting! Now if I can just get him to work with the schedule of my real survival job, we'll be set.

I read a fantastic article today called "How To Be Outstanding," and it contained quite a few gems that I furiously scribbled into my acting journal:

*When you are clear about wanting something, take action towards its attainment, and persist until you reach it, the universe will conspire to make it a reality. Your energy and determination will move people, and they will find ways to help you.

*The roadblocks you encounter on the way to reaching your destination are actually gifts. Treat them as challenges that you were meant to experience and learn from. They are like small tests that the universe presents us with, as if asking: "How badly do you want this? Have you given up yet?"

*When you listen to your heart, follow your passion, and do what you love to do, it's hard not to be outstanding. You're almost guaranteed to succeed.

And the one I most need to heed right now:
*Insecurities and negative self-talk derived from fear achieve nothing, except to convince us that we are failures and losers. These are lies that only appear real in our imagination.

So. Working on things and taking all of that under advisement. Yes, my life is sort of insane right now. But you know what? I'm that much closer to doing what I want to be doing. I'll make more of an effort to remember that instead of thinking about how exhausted I am.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PS You're A Mess

Aren't we though?

A good day

Yesterday was a good day.

It actually started rather poorly, with me oversleeping after getting home from rehearsal at 2am and subsequently being an hour late to work. On the bus to work I got a call from the director of the student film I had been called back for, but since I was on the 720 flying down Wilshire with fifty other people, I didn't answer. I waited an interminably long two minutes and then got the beep to check my voicemail.

I had a missed call that I hadn't seen, and it was from the casting director of a SAG commercial that was looking for swing dancers. I kicked myself, hard, because I hadn't checked my messages when I went straight from the Cricket Feet meeting to rehearsal, and she was no longer accessible by phone, as she was already in casting. The next message was the director saying he was casting me as the lead in his student film. Yin and yang in two messages.

The day turned around when the casting director called back asking me to come in later in the afternoon and Xan and I were able to work it out to leave work for the audition. So that was good. We danced well, and they said they were looking for people who were more spontaneous and less professional dancer. That's us. So now we wait.

The cherry was my friend getting free tickets to the musical "9 to 5," which stars Allison Janney, and calling me to accompany her. The music was great, the show was fun, and it was a blast to watch CJ from the West Wing sing and dance. She doesn't sing fantastically well, but she has magnetic presence and really is a great performer.

So that's my overdue update. "PS You're a Mess" opens the 27th, and we start tech on Sunday...I know it will come together, but right now we're certainly at the nail-biting stage.

I'm also doing the Cricket Feet Showcase again in November, and am eagerly waiting for my scene assignment. Tried the networking thing again at the bar after our first cast's hard, man. Especially when you're not drinking.

My episode of Trivial Pursuit airs September 29th, if you want to watch me embarrass myself with my slow trigger finger and go home sad. That's all I'll say. You can find out your local station and air time here.

That's all for now. I bought a Flip last week, so watch out for some YouTube infiltration.