Monday, December 14, 2009

December 12 of 12

Hooray for a weekend 12th of the month and me actually remembering to do it! It was a great rainy day here in sunny Los Angeles. Thanks as ever to Chad Darnell for the idea.

1 of 12 - Starting the day with caffeine and naughty Shakespeare.

2 of 12 - I love sitting on the porch when it is raining. Makes me think of North Carolina summers as a little girl. Our violets are very happy about the rain.

3 of 12 - Our bougainvillea is not very happy. Anybody have any suggestions?

4 of 12 - Luna has not had his coffee yet.

5 of 12 - Roomie and I braved the rain to visit the Bust Craftacular at the Echoplex.

6 of 12 - My craft fair purchase. I love puns.

7 of 12 - Rainy days are for baking.

8 of 12 - On the menu - vegan macaroni & cheese from the Skinny Bitch cookbook (SO PHENOMENALLY DELICIOUS!) and non-vegan chocolate chip cookies. We like to cover our bases.

9 of 12 - Carbfest commenced.

10 of 12 - Roomie and I get meta with our cameras.

11 of 12 - Seeing a show at the Raven Playhouse.

12 of 12 - Luna is Miss Cutie. Erm...Mister. Luna is a he.

Happy Holidays y'all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A good day!

Today was a good day. I auditioned for "Criminal Minds," became SAG Eligible, and my dad told me he thought I have a good singing voice. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paging Confidence

I was recently told that I have a unique perspective in my writing and that reading my blog is interesting. By someone who isn't my mother. So here it goes again. The floodgates are re-opened. At least to the small trickle of an idea that I have right now.

I'm pretty sure that a lack of self-confidence is a common plague of actors/twentysomethings/artists/people in general. I fall into all four of those categories and sometimes suffer more than my fair share of a lack of confidence. I know I'm the only one who can change that blah blah blah and more on that later.

Last night I auditioned for an improv team. I was very flattered to be invited to audition in the first place, as I don't always feel like I know what I'm doing when it comes to improv. I've been in the program for almost a year and am starting my seventh and final level next week.

When I have auditions for things that aren't improv, I'm excited. I feel comfortable. I usually feel like I have a handle on it and know what I'm doing. I don't always leave the audition feeling like I've rocked it, but I usually feel like it was appropriate for me to be there and that I haven't wasted anyone's time, my own included.

The difference in how I felt leaving last night's audition sort of astonished me. I did the standard self pep-talk on my way in, and the group did a great job of being welcoming and doing warm-ups together to make everyone more comfortable. And then I just felt sort of paralyzed. My mind went blank, which is never really a good thing, but in improv it's sort of antithetical to the point. I was paralyzed by my lack of ideas and by the judgey judgey devil-Lauren in my head that gets amplified when I'm nervous, scared, or generally feeling lost. I left feeling horrendous and embarassed that I was so bad and now all of these people know it.

Today I'm trying to figure out what the difference is between auditioning acting Lauren and auditioning improv Lauren. My comfort level may just reflect the sheer amount of time that I've spent (and not spent) doing each. But I can't wait that long to feel comfortable doing improv.

I always get to this point and feel like I'm just whining.

I want to believe in myself, and I usually do. I think I have an unfortunate reliance on empirical evidence with most things in life, but my "that was good" receptor may not be completely objective. I say may not, but of course it isn't. I've always been ridiculously hard on myself. That isn't objective.

How do you grow confidence? How do you stop watching and judging yourself? One of my acting coaches once said "Judgment blocks creativity." Of course it does, I'm living proof. But how do you stop doing that?

I always feel ridiculous asking those questions, especially since I work in a town and in an industry where if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will. So figuring this thing out is sort of important.

Going to post before I re-read, judge, and edit. What a ridiculous cycle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

12 of 12 for August!

Hiya! July 12 came and went completely unbeknownst to me...I've been in a bit of a fog. Here is my 12 of 12 for August! As always, thanks to Chad Darnell for the idea. Head on over to his page to check out the 12 of 12s from around the world!

1 of 12 - 8:14 am - There is a light at the end of the Wednesday tunnel...

2 of 12 - 10:40 am - Amusing myself at work, which solicited the response "Lauren, you're weird."

3 of 12 - 2:45 pm - Doing some recon. I need a periscope.

4 of 12 - 3:20 pm - Picking up my CSA box of veggies!

5 of 12 - 3:45 pm - The awesomeness that is the inside of my box of veggies. For $15 a week, you get one of these. They have pickup locations all over Los Angeles. Check out their website.

6 of 12 - 3:58 pm - Food porn of my lunch.

7 of 12 - 4:30 pm - Loving the library next to my building.

8 of 12 - 5:52 pm - Traffic artistry.

9 of 12 - 6:11 pm - View from Beverly Glen. There are worse commutes.

10 of 12 - 6:20 pm - My chauffeur.

11 of 12 - 8:45 pm - Finally hanging stuff on the walls.

12 of 12 - 10:45 pm - Hanging out on the roof trying to see the meteor shower. We saw two. Apparently I lack a steady hand.

Thanks for checking it out! See you in September, when hopefully my focusing abilities will be better.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Have you Googled yourself lately?

I know internet privacy is an ongoing issue and the mantra "be careful what you post" has been told to us all repeatedly, but I just discovered a new (to me, at least) and alarming site when I Googled myself. is one of a few sites that now troll the web and aggregate EVERYTHING about you on one convenient page. My full name? Check. Phone, email, birthdate? Check. Photos from the Friendster account I created almost 10 years ago, that I haven't even logged in to in almost as long? Check. Spock also offers the "feature" of people being able to tag you with whatever term they want, which, as you can imagine, is not always a good thing. Here is an article on Spock and the tags - and here is another article in Wired -

I never used my full name on Myspace, and my facebook profile is only viewable if you are my friend. I have now gone through and deleted my Myspace and Friendster accounts. As actors, we are in a tricky situation, because our LA Casting, Actors Access, LinkedIn, and personal webpages are also showing up, so any contact information listed there is now added to the Spock page. I know this is available by any Google search, but somehow it's scarier to me to have it all in one place.

The Spock privacy policy states that since they pull their content from the web, the only way to avoid having it on their site is to remove it from the web. Since I'm not going to remove my resume and contact info from Actor's Access, I guess I just have to live with it. If you create an account with Spock, they email you whenever anyone edits your profile. I'll be doing that, since it seems like the only way to try to stay in control of any invalid or unsavory information.

The articles are from 2007, and I know that I have googled myself since then, so I'm not sure why I'm just seeing it now. I know there isn't much to be done, but I just wanted to give everybody a heads up. You might want to Google yourself more often. (Giggity. I've wanted to say that every time I've said "google yourself.")

So. Be warned. And yet another reason I'll always keep my blogger identity at least thinly veiled.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 12 of 12

Happy June! This 12 of 12 is pretty Luna-riffic. As always, thanks to Chad Darnell for the idea. Check out other 12 of 12s from around the world at his site.

Here's my day:

7:05 am - 1 of 12 - I took a nice picture of the Seattle-like weather here in LA, but the computer wouldn't read it. So you get Luna tired from moving.

7:32 am - 2 of 12 - Nice art at the Universal City Red Line station.

7:55 am - 3 of 12 - 302 from Sunset and Highland to UCLA.

10:30 am - 4 of 12 - Ad. Dic. Ted. It's terrible.

11:17 am - 5 of 12 - See all these files? They are now alphabetized, thanks to yours truly.

1:29 pm - 6 of 12 - Lunch with my long lost bestie! We haven't seen each other in 3 years!

4:15 pm - 7 of 12 - Craftiness attempts to defeat boredom.

7:12 pm - 8 of 12 - Luna trying to get me while I organize my closet.

7:45 pm - 9 of 12 - Xan putting together our over-the-toilet cabinet. Yay!

10:05 pm - 10 of 12 - Luna is ignoring me because he knows he should not be on top of the empty and non-earthquake-proofed corner cabinet.

10:30 pm - 11 of 12 - Have you tried this stuff? If not, go buy some immediately. Delicious.

11:55 pm - 12 of 12 - Me and Luna. We've had a little champagne.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bad Blogger. BAD.

I just slapped my own wrist to accompany the title. (I really did. I hadn't before I typed it, but then I felt like I was being untruthful, so I actually slapped my wrist. But not hard. I'm so Method.)

Yeah. Life happens. And sometimes it gets in the way of writing. I know I am the very first person ever to have that problem.

I moved, so that's my excuse. I moved one weekend and then my best friend from college surprised me with a visit that was two years in the making the next weekend and now this coming weekend my mom is coming to visit me for the first time in the two years I've lived in LA. I'm very excited. And somewhat sleep-deprived. And a little stressed about the state of my bathroom and bedroom. But the over-the-toilet cabinet has been purchased and is camping out in our bathroom so that every time we go in there it can prod us saying "So...when you going to actually put me together? I don't do it myself, you know." But buying it is half the battle. The other half is putting it together. And then the third half is actually putting things away in it.

I've had a wonderful influx of friends from the past coming back into my life lately. I was lamenting some of my lost or forgotten friendships, and they seem to be coming back one by one. I have lunch with a dear friend on Friday who just came to LA for some reason having to do with creating theatre. We think we haven't seen each other since 2006. It's hard to imagine who I even was then. Hopefully the new and more evolved me will still enjoy the company of the new and more evolved her.

My visiting friend last weekend saw my new apartment and my cat and proclaimed me a grown-up. For the first time in my life, I thought maybe that isn't such a bad thing. But I still know that I'm not really. Maybe I'm just getting better at living like one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A letter to my brain

Dear Brain,

I love you. I appreciate you immensely. My conscious side of you can't even begin to comprehend all the things you do for me or the complexity of how you work. I would be no one and nowhere without you. You have my lifelong heartfelt self-pumped thanks.

Could you please do me a favor? When I go to bed, could you please just take a rest? That's really all I ask. I don't want you to shut down completely. I want to reward you for everything you go through for me every day. For the things you process for me and the things I have buried deep in your recesses that you don't make me face on a daily basis. Thank you. Take a much deserved break. Please. I implore you.

We don't need to imagine earthquake scenarios every night. We don't have to go through all the options for furniture arrangement in our new apartment. We don't have to make a design for a shelf that would hide the litter box in the bathroom. And when it's time for bed, we don't need to worry about anything or anyone. We can reserve that for the upright hours.

Last night I tried to help you. 9:15 pm, I'm brushed and washed and in bed reading to try to slow you down. Lights out twenty minutes later. We're exhausted. My eyelids snap shut like brand-new tupperware. And off you go. To the races. You wouldn't even stop after I took an Ambien two hours later. When I finally fell asleep, you were delightfully contemplating the hallucinations behind my eyelids that were created by your refusal to succumb to the drug's delightful induced stupor.

I'm going to give you another chance, and most likely, another after that. Let's face it - we're in this together, for life. I'd really appreciate if we could reach some sort of compromise. You know where to find me. I eagerly await your response.



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12 of 12!

"12 of 12" is a cool thing started by a guy named Chad Darnell. Check him out for details and 12 of 12s from around the world!

1 of 12 - 8:04 am - I love when they keep old ads. One of my favorite drivebys every morning. (Soon this will no longer be on my commute - we're moving!)

2 of 12 - 8:45 am - Breakfast: coffee, apple, and actor's access.

3 of 12 - 1:45pm Clusterbundleness. Ah, Westwood.

4 of 12 - 2:03 pm - Doing my part to support the USPS...

5 of 12 - 2:17 pm - I did not make the purchase.

6 of 12 - 3:05 pm - I want it!

7 of 12 - 6:11 pm - I love these trees. They are in bloom all over LA and are gorgeous!

8 of 12 - 6:28 pm - Being artsy while locked out of my apartment.

9 of 12 - 6:30 pm - I will miss this view when we leave. Roof access rocks.

10 of 12 - 6:33 pm - So heartbreaking! I saw Luna in our window and he started meowing frantically for me and trying to get to me. I felt terrible!

11 of 12 - 8:47 pm - Got into apartment, hugged cat, and left to come sign the new lease! Celebrating with the future roomies.

12 of 12 - 11:16 pm - Long day. Bookshelf clock says time for bed.

Thanks for checking out my day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thoughts on doing what you love

Yesterday evening, on the way home from hiking at Runyon Canyon, we passed a guy walking his dog in his scrubs. I don't know who he is or if any of my assumptions are correct, but it just made me think how wonderful it must be to do what it is you love doing. What if I loved coming to work everyday at my survival admin job? What would it be like to be content and happy with where you are and what you do? What will it be like when I can say the same for myself?

Xan and I were talking recently about how much easier life would be if we were content living somewhere else, pursuing different careers, and raising babies like so many of the people we know who seem to be perfectly happy doing that. It seems like a romantic ideal, but the difference is that we know ourselves and know that while other people are happy with that, we wouldn't be. Good to know, I suppose. Sometimes I wonder if I had a Morpheus offering me a pill where I would remember nothing and be content with a different life if I would take it.

I don't think I would. But sometimes it's tempting.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Rearranging your thinking is powerful stuff.

Friday I got a call from the guy that I had an awesome audition and callback with back in early March. I emailed him after the audition thanking him for his kindness, which truly was above and beyond. He told me the only reason I'm not in the show is that I was too young and pretty to play his wife and that he wanted to extend himself to me as a resource. I think that is so awesome and can't wait until I'm a working actor and can extend a hand to someone who is just starting out.

Friday night I got a call from a student who found me on LA Casting and was friends with someone on my resume. When he called the other student director, he recommended me and now I'm shooting with him this weekend.

I think that's pretty neat.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I broke the seal...

...and now I can't stop! Two in one day!

The episode of "Leaving Bliss" that I'm in is up. Xan and I both have small parts at the beginning. I'm thrilled to be involved in something so hilarious. This episode features David Lawrence from "Heroes." My friends Shanna and Steve have done yet another fabulous episode.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Want to be a good actor? Try being a kid.

My mom can keep tabs on her children by the frequency of their calls. With my sister, no news is good news. With my brother, no news is good news because if there is news it's usually big news. And with me, no news means I'm not doing very well.

The same seems to be the trend in my blogging.

I'm fine, please don't be alarmed. But March was rough for me, both personally and actorally. (Those are the same thing. But I just made up 'actorally' and I wanted to use it.) March was a month filled with more self-doubt and "what am I doing with my life?" moments than I would like. But March is over now, so we're moving on.

I just started the Foundation Intensive at Margie Haber Studios. I had been shopping around for acting classes and had audited another that I hope to attend in the future, but we happened to go to this orientation the day after it occurred to me that I haven't been in an actual acting class in a time long enough to grow a fairly medium-sized child, and that that is entirely unacceptable, so when they said "Class starts Tuesday and we'll offer you $100 off" I jumped at the chance.

Last night was our second class. I like it. I spent the beginning of the first class battling my ego in my head, as only about 4 out of the 14 of us have any acting experience whatsoever. But it doesn't matter. It's all on-camera and it's all audition technique, both of which are things I desperately need to learn.

The approach is basically "Hey, remember when you were a kid and you played and used your imagination? That was when you were a good actor." It's interesting. Actually imagining and living the life of the character is already helping me get more specific and more truthful and less actor-y. The beautiful side-effect is that this approach allows me to find the art in creating a character every time, even if I only have two pages of sides. I've found a way to link acting with auditioning that works for me. That makes me happy.

As with all things, I'm taking some of it with a grain of salt. I will concede that I have some bad habits that I need to un-learn, but I don't think I need to throw out everything I've ever learned about acting ever. That's a bit extreme. I appreciate what the teacher is saying, but her approach is at times lacking in the finesse department. She yells and curses to make her point and then says "I'm not yelling at you, I'm yelling with you" or "I'm sorry, I'm just very passionate." That sounds an awful lot like the guy who treats people like shit and then excuses it with "Sorry, I'm an asshole. That's just who I am." But hey, we all have our faults. And her nuggets of brilliance outweigh her moments of yelling.

So. I apologize for the writing hiatus. I hope you're well and April is a beautiful month for us all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

With a Little Patience, 'Leaving Bliss' Has Arrived

My friend Shanna's hilarious webseries got reviewed by tubefilter! You should watch all the episodes so that you'll be caught up by the time I have a part in Episode 7...

With a Little Patience, 'Leaving Bliss' Has Arrived

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 12 of 12

My March 12 of 12 is live in Decatur, GA, where I'm home for my grandmother's funeral. Good to be home and to see my family while we celebrate Mama Sue's long life.

1 of 12 - 9:30 am - Up and at 'em. View from the bedroom in my Mom's house.

2 of 12 - 10:00 am - Mom doing some morning emailing.

3 of 12 - 10:45 am - Brunch with my dad and sister at Sun In My Belly in Decatur. Got my grits fix!

4 of 12 - 12:00 pm - Time to wake up our brother.

5 of 12 - 2:45 pm - Shopping with mom and sis. Looking for funeral wear...found awesome tracksuit instead. That should work, right?

6 of 12 - 4:12 pm - Trying to cash in the change Mom's students brought in for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We think we broke the machine.

7 of 12 - 5:45 pm - Mama Sue was a looker in her day. I love looking at these old pictures.

8 of 12 - 7:30 pm - Peter, my brother, climbing a tree per usual on our walk before dinner. Loving daylight savings time right about now.

9 of 12 - 7:35 pm - Whoever preceded me in the Candler Park parking lot shared my sentiments.

10 of 12 - 8:07 pm - Artistry to accompany paella at La Fonda Cantina.

11 of 12 - 10:45 pm - Peter on the phone with his ladyfriend.

12 of 12 - 11:55 pm - A trip down memory lane before bed. Love that Mom has all these pictures out in the living room.