Archive for the 'Finishing the damn screenplay' Category

Thanksgiving 2008

November 27, 2008

I had an audition on Monday, the first since I’ve had the baby.  I was really on the fence about going because I was exhausted and Baby M had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon and I didn’t think I’d have time to prep.  My friend encouraged me to go.

The verdict was that I didn’t suck, but I was definitely not prepared.  I was not in the right state of mind mentally and physically.  However, I do not regret going on the audition.  It gave me a barometer of where I was and what I need to do to get back into my audition mode.  I’m looking to take an audition technique class next month.

In writing news, the screenplay group is on hold this week and meeting up first week in December.  I’m still writing though.  How the hell did Sylvestor Stallone write Rocky in a week?  Or was it 3 days?

I’m also taking the solo show class which has been quite challenging.  I’ve wanted to write a solo show for some time and is precisely what I’ve been looking for.  The people are extremely talented, the teacher is experienced and has an excellent track record of getting shows off the ground.  Facing myself and my life has been interestingly tough.  I knew one really respected actress who took this class and she said: “After a while I realized I just need therapy!”  and I laughed because I knew what she meant.

Why am I doing this with a newborn infant?  Am I insane?  Actually, if I didn’t have a creative outlet with other creative people I believe I would be really insane.  Keeping myself tapped in and creating help me be a better person and therefore a better mother.  I never want to feel resentful towards my daughter because she is one of the greatest gifts ever bestowed upon me.   I want her to see her mother happy and fulfilled while hopefully being a caring and loving mom.

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37 weeks – 2-4 weeks to go

September 17, 2008

Sorry for not posting for a bit.  I’ve been wavering from feeling totally awesome to totally exhausted.

It turns out that the baby is transverse breech.  Seems my daughter is undecided whether or not she wants to come out or not.  So we are up for an ECV (moving the baby manually) or a C-section. Earlier I was super freaked out, but at this point, I realize how little control I have over things.  Yesterday we got a playpen/bassinet thing, a stroller and an extra base for the carseat/stroller thing.  

In strange/awesome news, I had an audition last week.  I got a call from my agent and he said there was a play going up in London in February.  They wanted to see me.  I asked if they knew I was eight months pregnant and the agent said yes, they don’t care, they want to see you.  I was split on attending this audition.  I was grateful for the opportunity but at the same time, I wasn’t sure if I was able to do it.  All the more reason to go for it.  I worked with my acting coach and a dialect coach. While I didn’t nail it out of the ballpark, I felt that I did very well at the audition.  That’s all I could ask for.  I also met another Asian American actress who has a little girl and she was super psyched to see me.  She ran over to me and gave me her number and told me to call her.

I’ll admit, these past few months have been a bit rough on my actor psyche.  But I felt if getting an audition at 8 months pregnant isn’t a sign to continue, I’m not sure what is.  I’ve worked hard these past 3.5 years and I realized that if I gave up acting to pursue a REAL JOB, I would not be happy.  I might even blame my child for sacrificing my career, but actually I’d have no one to blame but myself.

I admit I also was stuck with the screenwriting.  I hated the screenplay and began feeling utterly hopeless about it.  And when the going got tough, I decided to start drawing a greeting card line. I even printed a few up at the printer…but then after deep reflection, I asked myself, if I were going to die, what would be the most important thing to me to do?  Aside from being a mom and wife?  And a little weak, feeble and neurotic voice said: “The damn screenplay!”

Being in screenwriting class has been really helpful.  The people in the class are very supportive and have a very good sense of what works and what might not work.  Two girls in the class (who are also actresses and pretty terrific writers) want to pair up with me to continue on our work.  So I’m back on track and unstuck.

In other more important news, my friend’s mom has been feeling under the weather.  This woman is one of the kindest, most beautiful people ever.  Every time I see her and her family we are filled with love and warmth.  It just reminded me how precious time is and how lucky we are to have people like that in our lives.

The screenplay is finished…

July 14, 2008


Above:  My messy process….

Last Thursday I finished the script.  I didn’t plan to and it happened in sort of a strange way.  I had been transposing some things I had written last month into the script and found myself hitting various benchmarks within the script (midpoint, plot points, etc.) and then ultimately writing: THE END.  And that was that.  No confetti fell, no clap of thunder and no birds started singing outside of my window.  

That said, I also know that there will be countless revisions.  There are already things that I know won’t work or that need to be worked on, but I’m cool with that.  

I scheduled a reading of it in August with a few actors, I’m excited to hear it out.  I’ve also FINALLY registered with the screenplay writing class which starts next week.  So I might be able to hear some things before I have the reading which is good.

Had dinner with my family last night and my brother inadvertently gave me a compliment.  He looked at me and stated flatly:  “I thought you were supposed to get fat when you get pregnant.  You look the same except you have a belly”.  Thank you, dear little brother 😀

June 4, 2008 – New Writing Technique

June 5, 2008

Today I took the train in to Manhattan and during the commute decided to put the order of my script on index cards. Every transition I would be able to physically see rather than try to recall what happened by thumbing through my script. I got this tip from Ben Affleck talking about writing Gone Baby Gone. What often puts me in a muddle is trying to figure out what happens where and figuring out how it all fits together. It’s enough to make me want to clip my nails, pluck my eyebrows, wash dishes or do anything to avoid having to deal with it.

I met with my dearest friend R for lunch and then headed to my brother’s graduation at Radio City Music Hall. It was almost three hours and by the end of it, I had to get out before everyone left. Sitting in the chair while pregnant was quite painful. The highlight were the CEO of the A&E channel and Chris Matthews of Hardball. The both stressed the importance of sticking with things and being absolutely tenacious with whatever your passion was. They offered personal and stories of their humble beginnings and how they “made it”. The female CEO of A&E described herself as a girl from Queens and Chris Matthews said his first job was as a Capitol cop so he might infiltrate Washington’s “in” group.

Apparently some people think Chris Matthews is a jerk, I’m not sure because I haven’t seen him in action. But what I do know is that I liked what he had to say today. I hope I can find that speech on YouTube.

Yoga, walking, meditating, writing.

June 5, 2008

Today I walked to the music store to work.

Before I left for work I read a few chapters of Syd Field’s book, The Screenwriter’s Problem Solver. It was really helpful because I do feel I’m bit hung up on the main character being interesting enough. There are some things I need to think about including: the character’s point of view, the character’s relationship with others and what the character intrinsically wants.

While at work I listened to the Creative Screenwriting Podcast and listened to the producer of the movie “Waitress“. I had heard about the murder of actress/writer/director Adrienne Shelly two years ago. But when I heard Michael Roiff talk about Adrienne and how she herself was pregnant and became a mother while making this project happen, it really touched me. Apparently she had become pregnant and being an actress felt torn about becoming a mother. She had worked so hard to cultivate her career and suddenly found herself at a crossroad (sound familiar?). He said that Adrienne showed it was possible to have it all, to be a mother and to have a career. It was inspiring to hear and it made me Netflix the movie and get my ass hauling on my script. You hear of people being hurt or arrested in the news and they are more or less flat characters or intangible. Listening to Michael talk about Adrienne being a wonderful mother, a writer/director with a clear vision made her come to life for me, flesh and blood.

Tomorrow I leave for a meditation retreat for a few days. I’m a bit nervous about it but also excited. They are always hard work but worth the effort.

I forgot I went to yoga yesterday and that was fantastic.

I also FORGOT to register for the screenwriting class I planned to register for so I’m a bit bummed. My buddy told me not to worry and to go to the class to see if I could be added in. I love my friends.

Celebrity Quote

June 3, 2008

Funny quote from Triggerstreet.com

“A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to be known then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.” – Fred Allen

Happy Monday

April 21, 2008

I took the blog down temporarily due to a blog snafu but it’s back up now!

I met with MG today and he showed me photos he had taken of his travels in Morocco, Spain, Tusnia, The Netherlands (where we got to meet up last year), Sweden etc. They were beautiful and also laid out by this really cool Flash application he created.

I went to lunch at Cafe Gitane with AS and we ate the yummiest food. She talked about how she has begun interviewing famous Hollywood types and gave really hilarious accounts of doing it We share the same philosophy in life, of creating your own opportunities, of being persistent and going after what you want. Having a conversation with her was invigorating and a lot of fun. I encouraged her to work on this show she wanted to do and she encouraged me to do an online video of finishing a script.

I dropped by SMC’s house and worked on my screenplay, some of the edits that needed work. Psyched! SMC also yelled at me to get the short he acted in done. I needed that.

Then I dropped by BY’s apartment to tape his audition for a casting in LA.

Then I went to SK’s birthday party at The Rusty Knot. It was a lot of fun, I saw a few old friends from my old day job. Headed home, ate and fell asleep.

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.