Friday, September 30, 2005

Today's Happiness List...


• Kahlua, Vodka and Soy milk on ice, gently stirred
• Getting to know someone slowly but deeply
• Fantastic roommates
• Knowing you belong somewhere
• Having a dog look up to you lovingly from the floor by the couch
• Finding work after holding out the the right opportunity
• Soft and cuddly clothes
• Sleeping in until my internal alarm clock goes off
• Soft kisses
• Living in New York City
• Having a few really good friends in a new city who are helping to remind me of who I am and are shaping who I will become
• The F&%$ing Cool Women’s Society
• Laughter
• Having a sense of humor that keeps me sane
• Having the capacity to love deeply, risk greatly, and suffer humbly

Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's been a while

I am safely back in New York after a whirlwind visit to San Diego. As previously mentioned, I got cast in a small role on the hit UPN series “Veronica Mars,” reprising a character I played last season. This is what we in the business call a recurring role. I had a great time on the set, and have posted several photos on my moblog. Scroll down the page a bit- the V.M. photos start about 5 photos down.

Shooting a national television series was just a really good, tax deductible excuse to visit a bunch of friends in San Diego. My good friends Claire and Steve were gracious enough to let me stay at their adorable Hillcrest house so that I wouldn’t have to stay at my parents house 75 minutes away. Not because I don’t love my parents, mind you, but because of gas prices- good god!

I flew on late Monday night, and had to be on the set at 7:45am the next morning. I saw a few people I knew when at the shoot- my good friend John Tessmer was there doing background work (very lucrative if you have a full day free). I also saw Reggie Willis and Shaun T Evans. The shoot was fun. I did not have that many lines, but it is always great to be featured on camera! I had my own director’s style chair with my name on it, and they had a full array of food and drinks to choose from while waiting between takes.

Before I go any further- Yes, I did meet Kristen Bell. And yes, she is just as hot in person.

Here’s how the day was structured: At 7:45am I went into makeup and hair. At 8:30am I was done and went back to my trailer. I waited there until 10:30am (reading a good chunk of “Atlas Shrugged”)- they were shooting another scene before mine and that one ran a little long. I finally got on set at around 10:45am, and they immediately put us into rehearsal. This is much less about the actors and more about how the camera is going to be utilized in the scene. You have to show up on the set knowing your lines and knowing what your motivation is because the director is not there to help you in either of those areas. But the director will tell you when you are doing something they DON’T like. We rehearsed about 3-4 times before we rolled camera and sound. Last season, I wore a body mic, but this time they only used a boom for my scene (and possibly the scene after mine- I did not see a mic on anyone else either). Then we started shooting the scene. We did about 5-6 takes before the director was satisfied with the scene. The process of shooting the scene was very interesting. The first AD was the one who watched the scene live and called “Action.” The director was across the room behind a bunch of monitors watching the filmed action. He would call “cut” from there, and then the first AD would call “cut” to us. When the director thought the scene was done, he would yell “Check the gate” and they would review the scene again to see if they got everything they needed. The funny thing was that there were 2 or 3 AD’s, and each one would yell out what the director had said for their particular crew. So, the director would say “check the gate” and then you would hear an echo of “checking the gate,” “checking the gate,” “checking the gate!” Very regimented. Very cool. I finished up by noon, but had to stick around until they were done with the entire scene, in case the director needed to re-shoot anything I was a part of. This gave me lots of time to catch up with John, Reggie and Shaun. I got to leave around 3pm, at the official lunch break. What a day!

The rest of my time in San Diego was relaxing and fun, and filled with food and drink! On Tuesday night I went out with friends Claire, Brooke, Matt L and Kurt. We went to the Gulf Coast Grill, which has amazing New Orleans style food. On Wednesday I headed up to my parents place and had lunch with my mom, then came back down to San Diego to meet my dad for dinner. Later that evening I had coffee with Matt S. The next day I had coffee with my good friend Barb before an hour walk on Lake Murray- the weather was warm and perfect. I then met Anna for lunch and Devlin for coffee after that before heading back to the house to pack for my trip back home. Even though I had all of that coffee, I was still able to sleep for 3 hours of the 4.5 hour flight back to New York on the red eye, except that the guy next to me snored really loudly.

I probably won’t be back in San Diego until the holidays, so I was glad to have gotten a chance to visit. For those of you who I was not abel to see this time around- I will make it a priority to see you next time!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Finally... an interview appears

For those of you who are dying to know what has been happening on the "day job" front, here is an update:

I have an interview scheduled tomorrow for a job as an assistant at a non-profit organization. The job is part time, flexible and for a cause I believe in (global unity). They said they received dozens and dozens of email responses from their ad on Craigslist, and narrowed it down to 12 people who had great cover letters and relevant work experience. It is nice to get some positive feedback once in a while! At least I know my cover letter is pretty good.

I also got an email response to another job I applied to. This was for a music company who want technical & organizational help getting into the 21st century. This is the PERFECT job for me. They said that 100 people responded to their ad, but they threw away 98 of them. They asked me a few questions about specific skills and availability, and I am waiting to hear back. I have responded to countless ads and rarely get a response, so 2 in one day is pretty exciting.

I sure hope I get a job soon. I am getting tired of eating whenever I want to and watching cable TV all day, though I am caught up on all of the reruns of "The West Wing" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." I need to get back to a time when I had no time to do anything but work, drink coffee, run around, and make a difference in the lives of others. As an unemployed citizen, I am not even making a difference in my own life. I thought that being unemployed would give me endless hours to do all of those things I always wanted to do, if I only had the time. But, as it turns out, all of the things I want to do cost money, and then I feel bad about spending it, so I end up staying home and watching TV, which I have already paid for. It seems fiscally responsible, but it ends up being depressing. It's a sickness, I tell you. Crossing my fingers for a good job to come along...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

When a door closes...

...another opens.

In mid August I got a residual check from a rerun of the first Veronica Mars episode I shot. Whenever I get a check like that, I have to send 10% to my agent. This time around, though, I have been waiting to send the check because I needed it to be accompanied by an official "I no longer need San Diego representation" letter, and I had not yet written the letter. So, last Thursday I decided that it was finally time to write this letter and get it in the mail. Part of my writing the letter was letting go of my San Diego career, which was very successful, in exchange for an unknown but presumably more successful career in New York. I had been feeling a little uncertain about the transition, but felt it was time to jump in with both feet and see what developed. No sooner did I start the letter did the phone ring with a calI from my agent in San Diego who says I have booked another episode of "Veronica Mars" (UPN TV series) in the same role as in Season 1. Wahoo!!!! My first recurring role! I will be flying to San Diego this coming Monday night, shooting on Tuesday, and spending Wednesday and Thursday with family and friends, then flying home Thursday evening on the red eye.

Here's where the "door closes, another opens" mentality comes in. Had I been hired by any of the companies I had interviewed for in the past couple of weeks, I would probably not have been able to do this gig. Ideally, I would have found a job that would have allowed me the time to go, but usually they would not let the employee have the time off so soon. How cool is that???

I am not one who believes in fate or the stars (or religion), so let me just say what an incredible coincidence it is that I was writing that letter and the phone rang at the same time. I acknowledge that there are some things you just can't plan. Maybe, more than anything, this is life telling me that ending chapters and starting new ones is not such a bad thing. Like any door closed, something can still come knocking and you can open the door back up to let it in.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Link of the day


Want to know the state of affairs in the US? Type the word "failure" into Google, and see what pops up as Number One result. (I learned of this courtesy of my friend Rob- visit his photo blog.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Update for my peeps back home

Howdy, friends!

Just wanted to send you a short update from NYC. I am doing really great here. Each day that I wake up in New York I am that much more certain that I belong here. I love the pace of the city, the fact that I can walk 1/2 block from my front door and get take out at 2 in the morning, and that no matter how much I do in a day, there is always something new to experience the next day. 

Theatre

I have not yet begun auditioning because I wanted to get settled before jumping in with both feet. As I look on the Actors' Equity audition hotline, I am finding that most of the auditions are for gigs out of town, and I would prefer to stay local. But starting next Monday, I will be auditioning for some local plays and musicals, so keep your fingers crossed for me. Another one of my plans is to visit a few of the open mic cabaret places in NYC. I don't plan to try to do cabaret for a "living" (people rarely make money at it) but it is a good idea to get to know the industry by singing for your peers, and open mic nights are a lot of fun too! Last week I was at a piano bar and the singer sang "I Could be In Love With Someone Like You"- the deleted song from "The Last Five Years." I got so excited by this that I threw money in his tip jar and thanked him, telling him I did the show in San Diego. As I sat back down, he said, "Wait a minute! You can't tell me that you did that show and then just sit down. Come back up here and sing a song!" So, I went up and sang "Summer in Ohio" from the show, and the crowd loved it. In that moment, I didn't ask myself "Is there anyone in the crowd who can get me a job" or "I should be paid for this"- it was simply the joy of singing music I love that propelled me. This is what it is all about, folks. Get out there and do what feeds your soul, AT ALL COSTS. 

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now... =)

I interviewed to be a part of an invite-only playwright/director workshop, and have been accepted! This workshop is run by a local director who is passionate about pairing up playwrights who have strong scripts with strong directors so that the play can be further developed for production. The idea is that if playwrights and directors collaborate early on, the play can be packaged more strongly and submitted with greater chance for production. The playwright and director work together on mounting a reading of the play for the workshop participants to watch, and feedback is given and more work is done to improve the show. More than 100 plays have seen productions through this workshop, and as a director I will be meeting some of the greatest up and coming playwrights, directors and actors. The workshop starts on Monday- yippee!

I learned about the above workshop through Judd Lear Silverman who, as some of you may know, is the playwright of "Correct Address"- the show I directed at the Actors Alliance Festival this summer. Judd contacted me after hearing about the Best of the Fest awards for the production, and when I told him I was moving to New York, he told me he lived in Brooklyn and would love to welcome me to the city when I got here. We have since met for lunch and talk numerous times via phone and email. He saw my production of "Correct Address" on DVD, and was so impressed that he recommended me for this workshop, which he is a part of as well. I could not be more thrilled about working with Judd and his colleagues. 


Work

I am still working to find the perfect job that will give me enough money to live while allowing me the flexibility to do theatre. I have found the job that comes the closest is being a personal assistant, and there are lots of those jobs available in NYC. I have had 3 interviews for this type of work and have gone very far in the process, but have yet to find the perfect fit. Judd Silverman also recommended me to a temp agency, which I have signed with, and they are working on finding me ongoing temporary work that will meet my requirements. I am meeting lots of people and am actually having fun with the job search, but now it is time to start making some money (since it seems to go so fast here!) I'll keep you posted on my progress. Of course, if you have any suggestions, or contacts in the NY area that I should know about, please let me know!


Housing

I got REALLY lucky with the housing situation here in NYC. I moved here with a 1 month sublet in Queens and before the sublet was over, I was notified by the tenant that she would not be coming back, and I would be allowed to take the room if I wanted it. Yay! The apartment is amazing, in an amazing location, and I am only paying $565 to live here (plus utilities). I love my roommate, and we have another roommate moving into our vacant 3rd bedroom on September 15. I am thrilled that the housing situation worked out so well- I am not sure how I got so lucky but I really am grateful!


Well, I'd better go in case I give myself carpel tunnel and can't work. If you plan to visit the NYC area, please contact me! I would love to go out for drinks or pizza!

I miss you all, 

Erin =)

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Best Website EVER


If you want to see something so disturbing that you will laugh yourself silly, go to this website:

http://samugliestdog.com

Look around at the photos- too funny for words!

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

We knew this day would come

I have finally seen a cloud in my month of sunshine... I am still unemployed. I have been sending out resume after resume and have had a fair share of very good interviews. In fact, I think I have won the award for the most times a person has heard, "It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make. We were very impressed with you, but we have decided to go with someone else."

It's not like I haven't heard these words before. This is what life is like for an actor every week- sometimes several times a week. You peddle your wares- in an actor's case, it is themselves. It is hard to face that sort of rejection in theatre, and it is just as hard to face it in the "real" world too. It sucks to come in 2nd, even if it is 2nd out of 100. I guess I have one thing to be thankful for- at least in these cases I am getting a phone call. As an actor, you usually don't get anything- you only know if you HAVE the job, and never hear that you DON'T have it.

The reason the job search has been so difficult is that I am looking for something very specific. I am looking for a flexible full time or part time job that will allow me to move my hours around if I have a theatre gig or audition. I have an insane amount of administration and managerial skills, as well as non profit experience. There are a lot of these jobs available in New York, but there are also a lot of people applying for them so I have to work harder (and longer) to find what I am looking for. I am lucky that I have saved up enough where I don't really have to worry about working for a while, but if I can find a job sooner than later, I can use the savings for dance classes and voice lessons, a much more worthwhile expense.

So, if you know of a job opening that fits this description, please let me know! =)


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