Archive for the 'Acting' Category

Edinburgh…New York’s got nothing on you…

August 15, 2010

Don’t get me wrong, I love New York through and through.  But this Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a whole ‘nother animal.

There are over 2,400 shoes happening on a given day and some have A-list stars or fire breathing with burlesque acrobats.  What makes you so special?

I’ve done one week of performing, of selling myself, of going out and physically getting audiences to come to my show.  I’ve gotten over my fear of self promotion.  Of acting physically silly in order to get people’s attention.  I don’t have an email blast to send to friends and family.  I am performing in front of strangers from all over the world and this is exactly what I wanted.

My senses have become sharper.  We’re always thinking about the next time we can promote ourselves.  I need to take care of myself so I don’t get fatigued, wonky or sick.  I’m performing for two weeks straight and it’s the closest thing I’ve done to a Broadway-type run…something over a longer duration and consistently.

This is an actor initiation for me.  This separates the weak and the strong.  On any given day I fall into either category.

I admire ALL people who have come to this Fringe.  The young, the old, the professionals, the students.  Most importantly, I’ve learned how to appreciate to perform for the very sake of performing, no matter what the circumstances.  I’ve been learning a lot from students who are performing for the sheer love of it.  Yes, they might care about reviews on some level, but more importantly, they are filled with joy.  They have smiles on their faces and they bounce about with excited energy.  After being in a city surrounded by everyone “TRYING TO MAKE IT” this joy and energy is quite wonderful to be around.

I met a student from Oxford who decided to pursue his love of acting.  He had the opportunity to get a full post doc degree in Icelandic Studies.  He decided to forget about that and go for his acting career.  He admitted it was completely mad…but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Naked Truth

May 18, 2010

Just got my period.  Have a nude scene on Thursday.  YIPEE!!

Transition from little pond to big pond…

February 6, 2010

For the past three years I was in the burbs and hated it.  I hemmed and hawed and complained.

I’m in the city.  I got my wish.  I’m no longer complaining.

Moving was slightly rough but I can honestly say that moving back to Manhattan has been the best thing for my family, for me personally and of course, my acting career.

I’m enrolled in classes, I’m doing readings, I’m seeing screeners.  I just updated my reel (I had no idea I could act!), I’m updating my website, I’m writing…I’m humming.

Email from the sound designer of my show…

June 15, 2009

I’m not sure what it is about the show that I’m in, but it’s been really special.  It’s fun, I love the team we’ve assembled, we’re always having a good time.  The people who are part of it are affected in a positive way. I just had to share this email I got from D, one of our tech guys:

“Hey I just wanted to thank you again for the experience and i hope all is going well. I’ve been running the soundboard for an off off broadway production of the Who’s Tommy at the Gallery Players theater and I’m about to interview for another board op job with the KNF Co in midtown and its all thanks to the experience I got working with you guys. So thank you again that theater bug has got me good now!”

Finances for Artsy Fartsy Me

June 13, 2009

Theatre Ledger

I’ve started tracking everything I’ve been spending on the show and wanted to get a nice ledger to record things.  Doing it in excel makes it less easy to access.  I’ve had rinky dink notebooks that I’ve misplaced or lost.  Before our rehearsal today I went to Staples and picked up a ledger.

This ledger is from B.F. Keith’s Theatre in Indianapolis.

This show consisted of Bob Hope, and it was a two man dancing team doing sometimes SIX performances per day.  Jigga WHAT?  Wow.  I love this site because it dispells the myth that actors (or artists for that matter) are genuises who are suddenly and randomnly inspired.  He worked his tail off and from these ledgers it shows he was more than a performer, but was business savvy.

Perhaps one day someone will put my ledger into a museum.  I can hear the tour now:  “This is an exhibition of Hottie Actress Momma, her wardrobe, videos of her performances, her writings and… her ledger.  Look!  If we browse in this ledger, we see back in 2009, renting a rehearsal space in New York City was only $15 per hour!!”

The city makes me feel good…

June 12, 2009
This bag would be gone in .5 seconds in NYC

This bag would be gone in .5 seconds in NYC

Had an audition for a theatre production.  I did two pieces and the folks were really kind about it.  We’ll see if anything happens.

(It was a challenge to get there, I had my friend roll Baby M around in the carriage.  Also carry her up and down the subway stairs.  It was worth it.  I needed to see if I had the pieces in my head and they are there.)

FOUND: A babysitter!!!!  I’m so excited!!  I have great hopes for this girl.  She is temporary till she goes to law school in August.

Had coffee with a woman, D, I met at the opthomologist’s office.  She is so funny and  cracks me up so bad.  She has a baby the same age as Baby M AND SHE IS PREGNANT AGAIN.   When she told me that, my face expressed shock and she choked on her cookie laughing.

Another day in the burbs…

June 3, 2009

Opening Day has long passed but the flags still fly...

Today I ran errands:  Pick up vitamins, mailed stuff out, took Baby M to the park.  I forced myself out of the house and called people.  It seemed to help ward off any wonky episodes.

While I walked around I my ‘hood I tried to make it my mission to find beauty in the area.  Camera in tow I looked…and looked…and looked…I really did.

I had a talk with my partner from our show and it’s very exciting.  We’re talking with someone who might be able to get the word out.  We settled some administrative business and feel we’re in a good place.  Since we’ve performed the show a bunch of times, we feel pretty good about our upcoming performances.

I have an audition tomorrow…

Reality TV Ya’ll- Shakespeare Style

June 1, 2009
PHOTO BY WILLIAM MARSH

PHOTO BY WILLIAM MARSH

I happened to catch a program about the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.  It was fascinating HIGH CLASS reality TV in that it showed the audition and rehearsal process of putting up Shakespeare in six weeks.

The auditioners talked about how the actors auditioning spent hours upon hours auditioning and then how they had to show all of their work in two minutes.  One actor said after an audition he would go back to his one bedroom apartment and eat ramen wondering what the hell he was doing with his life.

I’m at that crossroads everyday and especially right now.  I’ve been VERY heavily leaning towards saying “to HECK with you, Acting!”

Play Reading

May 20, 2009

I vowed not to do free acting work UNLESS there were tangible things that made the work worth while.  A playwright, who I adore, asked me to do a reading today, along with some pretty kick butt actresses.  Internally I hemmed and hawed, I had no idea how I could get a babysitter for rehearsal AND the performance.  I came very close to saying :  “Forget it”.  My very good friend who is an opera singer with an 8 month old told me to do it.   Guilt free…

UPDATE:  Hubby was late to get out of work and my mom was a bit stuck at our house (STRESSFUL).  I was exhausted, hungry and perpetually thirsty…but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.  The script is very good and fun, the actors were kind, giving and talented.  The audience was appreciative and it was such a fun time.  The co-artistic director of a pretty kick ass theatre company came up to me and simply said:  “Really nice work”  It’s moments like these that make me feel really happy abut being an actress.

5 Reasons To Do a Solo Show

March 24, 2009

Here’s the scenario:  4 weeks to workshop and write a solo show.  2 weeks to rehearse and be offbook and perform at a KICK BUTT off-Broadway venue.  Impossible, you say?  We did it!

I teamed up with another kick butt actress and we did two of our pieces to a super enthusiastic audience.  Many of my friends (actors and not) came up to me and said: “I want to do that too!”.  And they should!  Here’s why:

1.  Everyone has a story to tell. And I mean everyone.  Your Aunt Biddy, the mailman, your next door neighbor.  Sharing a story doesn’t have to be done solely by actors.  By sharing where you come from, expressing what you have on your mind, you make the world a better place.  It’s important to follow a story structure, having a consistent persona, overcoming obstacles AND having the lesson learned.  For more info on that, check out Matt Hoverman. He is one of the most underrated, talented teachers in New York City.  If you are thinking of doing a solo show, he’s the go to guy.

2.  It’s fun! When people are laughing with you and captivated by your story, it’s exhilerating.

3.  It’s Challenging It is not easy to write a show.  If you write a historical piece or an autobiographical piece, it can be challenging.  You hit road blocks.  If you set out to perform your piece, it’s REALLY challenging.  Your mind tells you that you’re crazy, that you shouldn’t be doing it.  It threatens to go out on you while you’re on stage.  When you successfully read your stuff or perform on stage, you trancend your negative thoughts.  It’s very empowering.

4.  It can be good for your career If you are an actor or thinking of pursuing an acting career, it CAN be good for your career.  The actors that I’ve admired have been writers themselves (John Leguizamo, Hugh Laurie, Liz Lemon…uh Tina Fey).  Most recently I learned that Aasif Mandvi, corespondent on The Daily Show had his big break after he performed  his solo show.  And why not?  It seperates him from all others in his “type” and puts him in the spotlight.  There are many actors who complain that their agents suck, that they are not getting the opportunities to be seen.  As an actor, you must make your own opportunities and “products”.  This is how you get seen, by putting yourself out there.

5.  Your show can make people happy After my show, I had one friend call me and tell me saw me face my fears about a certain topic and she had the courage to overcome an issue she was facing.  Another friend said that the show made him think about life and his son.   People’s eyes and faces were shining with smiles.  Yea, they had been touched by the story, but most of all (and most important to me) they had been ENTERTAINED.  With all the doom and gloom in the news, it feels fantastic to make other people feel good.  Yea, we’re all in this together 😀