Archive for April, 2008

Back from down south…

April 14, 2008

J and I partied with his friends at Restaurant Eugene in Buckhead, Gerogia. Since I’ve been feeling pretty shitty being pregnant, I haven’t gone out in a while. We stayed out pretty late and since I couldn’t get wasted and STILL had a great time, I knew it was genuine.

The next day I woke up at noon, worked out and ate brunch. Then we went to the aquarium which was amazing. Afterwards we went to what I like to call The Tower Of Babel, or the CNN Center (it is an ugly building). It is the oddest building and had the strangest, bloodthirsty energy because the Hawks were about to play the Celtics.

The primary reason we went to the CNN Center was because J’s friends went on and on about Chic-Filet and he was frothing at the mouth to try it. As he pulled the foil back and excitedly bit into it and chewed, he looked like a kid opening gift at Christmas. His expression went from excitement to disappointment in 2 seconds after the first swallow. I ate a baked potato from Wendy’s.

Later, we ate at an Italian restaurant where apparently a lot of kids were dining for their prom.

I did not write, I suck.

On a cool note, a very nice director I’ve worked with before asked me to be in a reading of his this week, so that was cool. I also received an email from my stealthy, ninja producer who told me he found a good after effects guy for our short which is awesome. Why is my producer stealthy and ninja-like? Because I do not hear from him for weeks and he’s monosyllabic when he talks to me. But then whenever I wonder what is up with him, he does something really cool like this.

First gig of the year…

April 11, 2008

I booked a job as one of those folks from the Verizon Network.  When I booked the job I wasn’t eager to do it because I had a feeling it would painful.  As it turns out, I was booked as a “principal”, not an extra and the others I met were professional, working actors.  There were some 200 extras, but we got out of there before the poor crew had to coordinate with them.  

I met a lovely woman, who is an actress and also a perfusionist (she operates a machine which helps stabilize heart patients while they get cardiac surgery, no joke!) and her personality was so funny and energetic that it was a real joy to meet her. Her stories about her career were hilarious and she was a really smart woman who knew where she was going. I liked her because she really set her life up so that she could earn a living while pursuing her acting career.

We all dressed up as Verizon workers and we ALL had to wear Dickies pants. My pants were not fitting me because of my growing belly, but the wardrobe guy said to use them because they fit length-wise and he would split the back to make them fit. He had to split them quit a bit and it was then I decided that I would tell my commercial print agent I was going to go away for a little while. Sitting around, uncomfortable for hours isn’t like it was when I was not pregnant. It feels terrible. And I’ve learned that’s what a lot of acting/modeling is: sitting around in uncomfortable rooms for hours, waiting for your shot.

After the eight hour work day, I got home and fell asleep at 7:00. J asked if I could cook vegetables but I refused to get out of bed.

April 9, 2008

April 9, 2008

Today I woke up very early and went straight to my computer to write seven pages. I’ll admit the 7th page I pulled out of my ass but I wanted to get it done. Folks in class are up to page 27 and I didn’t want to be behind. Also, according to Israel, around page 45 things start to get easier so it encouraged me to write.

I also registered for an editing class and I’m VERY psyched about that. Finally I’ll be able to finish up my films.

I headed to class on the Upper West Side. The classroom temperature-wise was extremely warm and made everyone very sleepy. I had a difficult time paying attention due to the sleep inducing heat.

I totally forgot that I had to do a 16 week prenatal checkup so I scheduled that this Friday. After that J and I are off to Hotlanta! Yay! Change of scenery.

I realize that I need to plan my days with activities instead of chilling out by myself all the time. Being in class I definitely feel productive instead of depressed in our little apartment.

April 8, 2008

April 9, 2008

Today I was blue. This became apparent when my dearest friend with two children called me up and her children were chattering happily in the background. Every 2 seconds she had to gently reprimand them or address them: “You will get Elmo when we get home. Do you want Elmo? Do you want Elmo? Then please listen to Mommy. (silence) Thank you.” Then she cheerfully said: “See this is what you have to look forward to!” When she said that I felt miserable.

In the morning I wrote a bit but felt very tired. I free-wrote, I worked on a line or two on the one woman show. But I had a very difficult time writing and ended up packing up and heading home after an hour. I even booked a job for Thursday and found some way to make it a negative.

I called my friends who are actors/artist types who don’t have a 9-5 situation. One musician friend, who just came back from a tour, said that downtime can be difficult to deal with. He made me feel better by saying that it was a very real issue and not something to minimize. He said: “I just came back from a tour where crowds of people are cheering for me and now I’m in my apartment by myself and feel like: ‘This sucks.’ “. As artists, we experience the extremes of the joy and exhilaration of performing to mind numbing, soul sucking work or boredom. Striking that happy medium is a challenge.

I spoke to another actress who also agreed that battling boredom was difficult but she had learned to plan her days which helped.

It’s something that I’ve learned that is challenging and I’ll have to find ways to address it instead of being bogged down by it.

Afterwards, I went out for a 30 minute walk in the sunshine. That was helpful.

April 7, 2008

April 8, 2008

Met up with SC for lunch in K-town and we looked over each other’s monologues. He had two from a Mamet play which were good. It inspired me to get off of my butt to learn my own and audition for that acting class I’ve been meaning to take. We also agreed to meet up on Thursday to write.

After lunch I headed to uptown to meet with the graduate screenwriting students. The BEST piece of advice was from Israel and he said that when you’re writing a play or a screenplay and you want to change the beginning, don’t do it. Just make a note of it and move forward. Don’t go backwards because you risk changing the tone of entire piece. I’ve been guilty of starting from the beginning and I have experienced how it can lead to analysis paralysis.

The students had to have 21 pages done. Even though my work isn’t being read in class, they’ve inspired me to keep up with them pace-wise.

As an actress, the class is very good for me. I’m able to read and keep nimble by reading fresh copy. However, as a writer, this class is excellent. I feel like a sponge that greedily soaks up all the information I can get.

April 6, 2008

April 6, 2008

Today I’m exhausted. If I were a mac computer, I’d be in “sleep” mode right now.

April 5, 2008

April 6, 2008

Yesterday I went to see Cai Guo-Qiang’s show at the Guggenheim. I enjoyed it, he has a large body of work that filled the museum. I am not the hoity toity artsy type but I did feel it was a bit accessible. One comment running through my mind was: “This seems like the Disney World type of show.” From the Guggenheim’s point of view, they need to have a show that brings them revenue.

April 4, 2008

April 5, 2008

I did not feel well today. I’m finding that having a full day of activity one day leaves me slightly incapacitated the next.

I did a little research for this movie I’m supposed to be in which deals with adoption. I’ve read blogs about women who infertile and how they go through the struggle of trying to conceive. One actually showed the needles and vials they used. Another blog talked about how she had 5 miscarriages. I’ve complained a lot about how bad I’ve been feeling, but I’ll stop that now. (The above comment “I did not feel well today”was not a complaint but an observation)

April 3, 2008

April 4, 2008

Today I met with the other people who were helping to judge work for the theatre festival here in NYC. I drooled at the woman’s large apartment and adorable pomeranian. We discussed the plays and justified to each other why we scored them the way we did. Afterwards I met my friend for dunch (lunch/dinner) in midtown at this horribly cheesy bar/restaurant with 10 huge t.v. screens. He was on Broadway for many years and it turned out it was one of his favorite places.

I then headed downtown in the West Village to the screenwriters’ workshop where I am participating as an actress. I loved it. The students had written the first seven pages of their screenplay. Unlike some writing groups I’ve been in, the feedback and comments were very helpful and insightful. After reading many screenplays I was able to discern what worked and what didn’t.

What works:

-Simple, direct scenes are better
-Allow the reader/viewer to get settled in their environment before jarring us into another (unless it’s a purposeful device)
-Less dialogue is better in screenplays
-Focus on one character, not five
-Show don’t tell
-Details are important, what a character wants, their relationship to each other and their environment

I respect the teacher, the students and the process. Being in this environment is useful to me as a writer because it helped me ask questions about my own script and character. Also, this class is extremely valuable not because it’s going to make me a famous star but because it’s feeding my soul.

April 2, 2008

April 2, 2008

Today was a restful day and yet there were cool developments:

I got a callback for a job that would be shooting in a few weeks. It shoots for a week so if I booked it, that would be nice.

Hoping to get the commercial I had the callback for yesterday. Crossing fingers.

Just got an email from my modeling agency that I’m hold for a print job next week.

Today I sat on my couch, I did research on one person shows and wrote a few pages.

I had a discussion with SR today about frustrating managers/agents. She ranted about how frustratingly apathetic her agents seemed about her career. It’s understandable but I reminded her that these agents aren’t holding our hands but they were giving us opportunities to build our careers.