Monday, December 31, 2007

Great Personality Test

This one really got me dead on- which is probably because it was 11 pages long and took about 20 minutes to complete. It is always fun to see your characteristics revealed on a page, and it is well worth the time. Here's my report:

you are a director

- As a DIRECTOR, you combine an unusual openness and passion for beauty and style with confidence and a down-to-earth sensibility that allow you to realize your vision.
- You are practical and pay attention to the details that others tend to miss.
- By focusing on what is real and concrete, you achieve more than those who always have their heads in the clouds.
- When it comes to what really matters in your life, you are confident in your ability to succeed.
- Having beautiful things in your life gives you pleasure and satisfaction - you have a keen eye for style.
- Even when problems present themselves, deep down you know you will overcome these challenges.
- When routines get too familiar, you become bored and start looking for ways to spice things up.
- You are open to new types of experiences – you are not afraid to take a risk on something new.
- You have a highly developed sense of taste – you know what looks good on you, in your home, and in the world at large.
- Your independent streak allows you to make decisions efficiently and to trust your instincts
- You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.
- You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation - friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.
- Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

If you want to be different:

Occasionally let yourself dream a little more, even if it doesn't seem practical or efficient.

you are encouraging

- Your outgoing nature, understanding of others, and directness make you ENCOURAGING.
- You want others to do well for themselves, and you generally believe in their abilities.
- You often know what's good for people because of your caring nature and your worldview.
- When you care about someone, you don't keep it to yourself: you are good at letting people know that you're thinking of them.
- Because you trust people, you take violations of that trust very seriously.
- You thrive in social situations, and even though you know who you like and who you don't like, you can interact well with many different types of people.
- You have a healthy respect for people who have earned what they have, and you strive to be similar to successful others.
- You are a loyal friend and a good listener.

If you want to be different:

- Sometimes, in the course of being encouraging, you can be a bit judgmental—this can make it more difficult for others to follow your advice.
- While you are an expert at getting the most out of the world and taking advantage of many experiences, you might gain some insight by taking the time to be alone, reflect on things, or just observe the goings-on in the world.

Here are the report links:

My personalDNA Report

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm a big winner!

I am an avid reader of "The Casting Corner" a blog put out by LA casting director, Mark Sikes, every week through Actors Access. This Monday, he had this in his column:

"Just when you thought The Casting Corner couldn't get any more interactive, I break down that final wall! For those of you who are still hanging in there this year and reading the column every week or those lucky enough to have popped in this week, you'll be glad you did. I'm going to conduct several generals with readers of my column! I want you to write me an email and tell me why we should have a general. I will read them all over and select a few people who really convince me we should meet. But there are a couple of guidelines.

1) You must be someone I've never auditioned!
2) Please limit emails to 100 words or less total!
3) Please attach a pic and resume, not a link, but an actual attachment!
4) Live in Maine? No problem! I will consider actors from all over the world and we can do our general over the phone!"

So, I immediately sent an email submission requesting a general, and I got it!!!! All I have to do is call his office after the holidays, and I can pick his brain for a few minutes. I could not be more excited. First, I am excited because based on my materials I look like someone he wants to know more about. And, second, because I get to ask all of the questions of this CD that I have always wanted answers to.

Have a question you want answered? Let me know by leaving a comment and I will see if I can work it into the meeting. Click to visit The Casting Corner.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I just saw this on the CNN website and it made me laugh. THIS IS NOT NEWS! The fire was actually in the 3rd floor of the EEOB, which is somewhat near the West Wing. That is certainly news. But the fact that the president and VP walked several hundred yards to look at their office fire IS NOT NEWS! Newsworthy is when they travel to California to survey the wildfire damage (many days too late, I might add). This is basically, "The president walked down the hallway today..."

Too funny...

West Side Story-Historic Rehearsal with Original Cast

I just found this video on YouTube and actually cried in happiness when watching it. This show is the reason I decided, at a very early age, that I wanted to be an actor and singer. To watch the cast members work together with original choreography is incredible. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What subways need

You know what subways need? They need to have a button, like a panic button, installed in every subway car, so that when someone throws up on the floor, the other passengers can hit the button and someone from the MTA will come in and clean it up. Same holds true for really smelly homeless people who fall asleep on the subway. I want a panic button that will let the MTA know that there is a stink on the subway and someone needs to take care of it.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Audition Update: Good but Different

I just found out that I was not cast in “Sunday on the Rocks.” I received a very nice email from the producer, but then I also received a message from the Associate AD, who said, “What I wanted to let you know is that when you walked out of the room [the director] was like- 'Yep, just right.' You read exACTly like [she] wanted her...with the grouping, however, she paired the four ladies differently. I am sorry we aren't using you THIS time, but when the next ones roll around- I will be sure to let you know.”

If you ever wanted to know what being an actor is really like, all you have to do is read the above. Even when you are perfect for the role, and even when people really like you, you still may not be cast. It could have been because I was blonde. It could have been because I looked too much like another one of the actors. It could have been... etc etc. The best news is that I will be on their radar for other projects, and that is the very best I can hope for in this situation. I am grateful that my work is being noticed, and I know it will come back to reward me someday.

I have 5 more auditions this week- onwards and upwards!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Audition Log- And So It Goes

Friday night I had a great audition for Ampersand Theater Company (a theater co-founded by my friend, Kristen). Their inaugural show is “Sunday on the Rocks” by Theresa Rebeck, who is known for writing plays with very strong female characters. After picking up an anthology of her plays, which included “Sunday on the Rocks,” I realized that I may have found my next favorite writer. I was thrilled to get to try my hand at the role of Jen for this audition. I came in with some very specific choices about the character and found some humor in the script, and the producers at the audition seemed to be pleased with it. We’ll see if anything progresses from here.

Yesterday I had the callback for Prospect Theater Company. It went well, but I did not get cast in the role. There were 5 women called back for this part and we all looked different but sounded pretty much the same. They asked us to sing a solo number from the show, and then once everyone was done they would pair us up to sing a duet. They called me in to sing the solo piece- I made some choices that ended up being different than what they wanted, so they gave some direction and had me sing it again. They seemed pleased with the adjustments I made, and then they asked me to read a little bit from the script. Then the producer said, “Thanks for coming in.” This seemed a little odd- kind of as though I wouldn’t be seeing him again, but I still had yet to sing the duet. They were running pretty far behind, so I I started to think that they might make a cut before getting to the duets- maybe they knew this when I was singing for them. I waited for about 45 more minutes before the casting director came out to let a few of us know that we wouldn’t be needed anymore. Ouch. Now, 4 of 5 of us women knew we were not going to get cast, but it always feels like a little punch in the gut when you find out that way. The good news was that it only stung for a little while, much like a band-aid being ripped off. But that is infinitely better than waiting around wondering if you are going to be cast.

We only book 5-10% of the jobs we audition for, so this is all par for the course. But I did learn something from the musical audition. I probably would have connected to the material more if I had been completely off book. I have 7 pages of music to navigate through, and though I knew the music well I did not have the words memorized. Had I been off book I would have been able to really perform the material instead of burying my face in the music. And though they may not have cast me anyway (maybe they loved my singing but I was too young, ultimately? Or too old? Who knows...) in retrospect I think that I could have been better prepared. So, I’ll put that in the back of my mind for the next time.

Things are starting to slow down in audition-land, though I am going to go to a few EPAs this week. Will keep you posted...

Friday, December 14, 2007

And... always listen to your instincts

I got another call from Stanley Kaplan Talent today, and something seemed fishy. The person who called, who was very nice, asked me if I was signed with anyone. I said no. Then she asked if I would send her 10 headshots and resumes. This struck me as odd- it is rare for an agent to ask to work with you sight unseen. I asked if she wouldn’t rather meet me first, and she said, “I have your resume in front of me, what more do I need?” She had a point- my resume is strong- but it still felt odd. So I said, “How about this- I will come by your office and drop off the headshots in person so we can meet each other.” She agreed.

And then I looked them up online. Yikes. They do not have a very good reputation out there. Some people like them, but moreover they are listed along with 2-3 other agencies as being one to stay away from. There is some feedback that their name was listed with casting directors as an agency they don’t want to deal with. And since I do have a good resume and a good look, I don’t want to take a chance and ruin everything I have done up until now. I really should have looked them up ahead of submitting, but when you do a bunch of mailings, you don’t really have the time to research.

So, I am going to let them know that I would rather not freelance (which is true). I am so grateful for the help I found from the acting community at Backstage. I feel like I have dodged a bullet.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My submission got some notice

(And by submission I mean headshot and resume submission, not the kind of submission when you agree to be flogged...)

I just got a message from John at Stanley Kaplan Talent who said he received my headshot/resume submission (I sent a bunch of submissions out using the Ross Reports as a guide.) He complimented me on sending a nice package (they requested multiple photos to be sent) and told me that he is adding me to their files. I am not sure exactly what time means, since they are an agency. I assume it means that they have enough of my type so will keep me on file in case that changes. I would ask for clarification, but in the message John said that I did not need to call them back. So, I’ll just continue to postcard them with updates and see what happens.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New York Pick-Up Lines

I was on the subway yesterday and a man sitting next to me kept staring at me. It is pretty weird to have someone next to you actually turned in their seat to stare at you (you should try it sometime.) He had a big bushy beard and his clothes were filthy. I would have thought he was homeless, except that he didn’t have the familiar musk that the homeless are wearing these days. I tried to pay attention to my cell phone’s solitaire game, but the staring was pretty strong. I turned to him slightly and smiled as if to say, “Yes, I see you looking at me.”

He asked, “Do you want my phone number?”

I said, “Thanks, but no. I am living with someone.”

He responded, “I don’t even have a phone,” got up and got off the train, which had just pulled into the station. The people around me sort of chuckled. End of scene.

The other day I was walking home and I passed a guy who stopped in his tracks and, as I passed, said, “No one can tell ME you’re not beautiful! No, sir...”

Hmm. It’s kind of a compliment, but in order for his scenario to work there has to be someone else who does NOT think I am beautiful. One vote for, one vote against, which means I am sort of at zero. Not the best way to pick up a girl...

Audition Log: Learned Something Today

First off, let me start by saying that I got a callback for Prospect Theater Company- yahoo! Callbacks are on Saturday. At this point, all I can do is show up prepared and ready for fun- and then they will decide which combination of actors is best for the project. But the fact that I got a callback is really, really encouraging! I have to prepare 2 songs from the show and be ready to read sides from the script. This should be a lot of fun.

Monday I met and performed for agent Cynthia Katz of The Artists Group, hoping get feedback about my audition materials. She was very impressed with the monologue I’ve been using, and commented about how refreshing it was to meet someone who really knew who they were as an actor. What a huge acknowledgement! This is exactly what I have been teaching actors through The Actors Enterprise, and it feel so great to be validated. Cynthia said something very interesting during the Q&A- she said that monologues are not as much about showing that you can act, but really are an introduction of who you are as a person- are you someone they want to work with, to fight for? Very interesting stuff.

Tuesday I got to perform for Maria Higgins of Julie Tucker Casting and Val McKeon, a jr. legit agent with Innovative. This time I performed sides from a TV show. I was originally given sides for a 15 year old ditsy blonde described as having “enormous breasts.” Anyone who knows me is aware that I have nowhere the large breasts mentioned. I was lamenting this fact to my mother yesterday, and I told her that I don’t even have cleavage when hanging upside down. She laughed so hard she had to put down the phone. I’ve never made her do THAT before. So, I don’t have large breasts and, oh, I am not 15 YEARS OLD, so the sides were all wrong for me. I asked to have different sides set, and those were much better- for a 2-episode role from “Damages” which is cast by Maria’s office. I gave it a strong read and Maria gave me some adjustments to see if I could take direction and show another side to the character. I gave a strong 2nd read, and Maria thanked me for making the adjustment. And that was it! Short and sweet. She gave me a chance to ask questions, I wish I had thought to ask about my type or how good my headshots are working, but it is always hard to tell how much of that looks like business and how much looks like desperation or the need for applause. Next time I will be better prepared with some questions I want answered no matter how the session goes. Add one more notch to the “Learned something new today” log.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rare response from director

I actually got a "thanks, but no thanks" email from the director of the "lap dance" audition. It was short and sweet:

"Thanks for your terrific audition, but we did go with someone else. You should feel good about your work, though -- I thought you came in prepared and made nice adjustments."

It is very rare for actors to get any kind of feedback from an audition. So it was a nice surprise, indeed, to get an email like this. Most likely, my talent (or lack of) had nothing to do with my not getting the audition. It could have been a million different things- someone they have already worked with could have shown up; they could have wanted someone really tall; or really short; or someone with an accent; etc, etc, etc. But when we get rejected so many times (and the best actors do, often) it is hard to remember that so many non-controllable factors go into casting roles. There are things we can control, however. 1) being prepared, and 2) Being Direct-able. I feel fantastic that I was able to achieve everything that was in my power to achieve. I got to practice being prepared and being direct-able. And next time, when the circumstances are right, I'll use those skills to get the part that I am really right for.

Yay for good emails!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Audition Log: Musicals Galore

In the last few days I’ve had auditions for 2 brand new musicals being produced in New York City. I got both auditions by submitting my materials via email, then received audition requests within a week or two after that.

The first one was for a musical revue involving the devil and 3 of his right-hand women. So, I chose two wildly different songs to show my range, and I also was asked to do a monologue. When I gave my music to the accompanist, I commented that the acoustics of the room seemed really great. he responded, “Oh, I think it is rather gloomy in here.” Okay... not a good way to start. I began the first song, and it was obvious that the accompanist was having trouble with my music. Ultimately, this was fine because I was really familiar with it so it didn’t throw me off. When we finished, the accompanist apologized and I said, “Don’t worry- we’re a team and we did fine!” (I wanted to make sure this producer knew that I was a team player and easy to work with, even when things were not going as well as expected- hiccups at the piano can really cost you a gig.) The good news was that the producer asked me for a 2nd headshot/resume, which made me feel great and I sang very, very well.

The second audition was for the Prospect Theater Company and was pretty cut and dry. I showed up, did my thang, and left. This was a cabaret style musical but with non-traditional music, so I came in with a couple of pieces that matched the style of the show and did what I could with them. What was most impressive was the audition facility, which was the Manhattan Theater Club offices (apparently they rented the space.) It was kind of incredible to be waiting in the lobby looking at huge photographs of current and past Broadway shows. In a way it made me feel very small, because (holy crap!) these are the best of the best and I am in awe! But at the same time it made me realize how close I really am to having everything that I have been working for, and it was humbling and exciting at the same time.

If I am called back for one of these shows I will probably know in the next few days. If not, I won’t be notified at all. No bother- I still have many, many auditions coming up so I cannot pause for even a second to contemplate the “what if”s. That’s kind of the nice thing about New York- there is so much going on you don’t have time to give in to your neurosis’!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wonderful Strangers

Something happened recently that really made me miss my dad (who passed away almost 2 years ago.) I was out having a quiet dinner to myself while waiting for an audition, and I look to my right to see an older couple seated next to me. They looked to be in their early 60s. As they sat down, the man motioned with his head towards my plate.

"How is it?"

It took me a second to realize he was asking me a question. "How is it? Your meal, is it good?" he asked. I told him that it was, and we had a brief conversation about what was good on the menu. Throughout the meal he, or his wife, would ask me questions about New York (they were from Tucson but come to New York several times a year to see theater.) They were kind, jovial, inclusive. And I had a better dining experience having met them.

My dad used to do that. But I used to be embarrassed by it. He would just launch into joyful conversation with complete strangers, and I would always feel like we were imposing and I would get embarrassed. But this companionship with strangers was actually delightful, and it really made me miss the impact that my father had on the world. No wonder that my father's funeral was attended by dozens and dozens of co-workers from 3 different jobs he held over the years that we had never met. No wonder that those who couldn't make it held their own wake at an Irish pub and sent me pictures and video to commemorate it.

Now I have an extra smile for those I don't know, and I feel a little bit of my father with me. It is a little bit wonderful.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Subscription to Annoyance

For those who subscribe to magazines:

Have you ever noticed that you receive renewal letters several times throughout the year, even when you have many months left on your subscription? This happens especially around the end of the year, where they think they can dupe you into renewing early, as though the subscription runs Jan to Dec as opposed to whenever you initially signed up. I know they are not trying to cheat us- they’ll just tack an extra year on to what they already have. But still, what happened to the concept of sending a renewal once a year, close to the time the subscription is up??

I just received a notice from Glamour Magazine, and on the mailing label you can clear see that my expiration date is June 2009 (they duped me into thinking my subscription was up LAST year, and I had 8 months left!) Then we are also bombarded by notices asking us to extend our subscription and buy a gift subscription at the same time. Last year I bought a gift subscription for my sister to The New Yorker- to date, I have received 4 renewal notices by mail and 2 emails. Man, the amount that they are wasting on postage, paper and manpower severely slims down the return on investment on my paltry subscription.

Just had rant about that a little bit... thanks.

Audition Log: Times 4

In the span of 24 hours I had 4 auditions and a rehearsal. Here is a brief overview of what happened...

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of meeting with agent Ben Sands of The Talent Mine. It was a really fun meeting. I performed my favorite monologue, which Ben loved and said was the perfect fit for me. We talked at length about what my goals were, and I mentioned my desire to play Glinda in "Wicked." He asked me if I had ever gone in for the role, and I said, “No, but I am going on for a general audition at their offices tomorrow.” Ben says, “How did you get THAT?” I told him that I had met one of their casting directors at an EPA this summer and that I had been religious about keeping up with postcards. Ben seemed impressed- hopefully he saw how hard I work for my career. I am not simply going to rely on an agent to get me work- I need an agent to fill in the gaps in my own marketing plan as opposed to having him be my entire marketing plan. We finished the meeting with him offering me a warm handshake (literally and figuratively)- hopefully in the future when there is an opening for my type category he will consider calling me in. In the meantime, I will keep him posted on how things are going for me through postcards.

Wednesday morning from 9-11:30am I had a rehearsal for a project I am working on with NYU’s School of Medicine’s Primary Care unit. I work as a standardized patient, with a program that trains actors to portray patients with certain ailments so that medical students and residents can practice their clinical skills in a low-key environment. It is a ton of fun, and it a behind the scenes look at what doctors have to go through to help patients. I love doing this kind of work.

After the rehearsal I had to run crosstown to get to my audition for the Roundabout Theater’s “Crimes of the Heart” which is being directed by Kathleen Turner. The audition was an EPA (Equity Principal Audition) for the understudies- the roles have already been cast with most the of people who did this show at the Williamstown Theatre Festival last year. This particular audition was only for the casting office and they probably saw more than 150 people for these 3 roles (all understudies do 2 roles each.) We were given sides from the show and asked to choose which characters we wanted to read for, Though I am actually in the age range of Meg and Lenny, I chose to read for the roles of Babe and Chick because these are the roles I typically play (plus, the bigger the theater the younger I look on stage.) The audition went smoothly, if quickly- which is to be expected when they see so many actors in an afternoon. The next step will be for them to call in 5-10 people for each role to be seen by the director, pulling from the 150 they saw Wednesday and the countless others who they have already seen at other auditions or who were submitted by agents. It’s a competitive process, but the good news is that I have gotten another chance to strut my stuff for this theater, which will help me be remembered that much more the next time I go in to audition.

After that audition it was time to head to Telsey and Company for my general audition with Rachel Hoffman. Generals are set up by casting directors when they want to get to know an actor a little better than just hearing 16 bars (30 seconds) of a song at an EPA. I was asked to bring 2 contrasting songs that showed my range and abilities. Telsey casts some of the top shows on Broadway, including Wicked, Rent, Legally Blonde, The Drowsy Chaperone... the list goes on and on. So, I was careful to pick songs that I knew would show me off specifically for the shows I wanted to do (like Wicked.) I sang a goofy, comedic version of “Embraceable You” and showed off my legit soprano (when I finished, the casting director laughed and said, “Good for you, Erin. Good for you!” - click to see my cabaret version of this song.) I then went into a contemporary, rock and roll version of the 60s R&B ballad, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” Rachel asked me if I was living in NYC full time now, noting that I had good credits on the west coast. She told me how happy she was to finally meet me- and I believed her (sometimes you never know...) I will be very excited to keep in touch and hopefully I'll be one of those actors she can feel confident calling in for specific projects.

After that, I head uptown to an audition for a staged reading by a playwright that I recently became acquainted with (for those of you who have seen my work- this is the playwright who wrote the “Key West” monologue that I have been having such great success with.) It was an interesting audition which consisted of me reading sides opposite a “reader” who was not auditioning with me but was hired by them to read with all of the actors. She was quite good, luckily. Sometimes they aren't, which can really throw an audition. This playwright’s works tend to focus on sexuality, so my audition consisted of me saying “cock” a few times, and I also had to show off an improvised lap dance (which I, unintentionally, made funny.) Despite what that all sounds like (and despite the fact that it took place in the playwright’s apartment) the audition was wholly professional. Anyone who doubted that would change their mind when waiting in the hallway to enter the apartment- there was a very old woman neighbor (who used a walker) who was so enamored by the process that she kept coming out to say hello. She kept saying he was “a fine, fine playwright and such a nice young man!“ I hope she didn't realize it was me shouting "cock."

My life is nothing if not interesting.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Audition Log #1

I am starting a new feature here at Theatrdiva: In Words, called, “Audition Log.” At Audition Log, I will recount to you information about an audition that has just passed- be it successful, unsuccessful, or so wildly unsuccessful I could perform an entire stand-up routine about how bad/funny the experience was.

This Audition Log is entitled: I DON’T WANNA

This evening I left the cozy confines of my home, battled fierce December temperatures as I traveled by bus and subway all the way to to Columbia University to audition for a student film. Here is the breakdown of the role:

Late 20's to Late 30's, role requires agility and flexibility, ability to bring forth desire, yearning and voracity through body movement and language. You have to understand and relay this woman's desire and desperation with a minimal of facial expression and a maximum of body activity (Upper body only)

The casting director (a student) requested, “Prepare a 3-5 minute monologue- I will also give some notes directly from the script for performance.”

When I got there, the casting director came out and handed me a script, told me to look it over and then come in when I was ready. I read the script, becoming more and more concerned as I flipped through 5 pages. The script is a dramatized version of an old joke where a child catches his mother caressing herself, moaning, “I want a man,” and low and behold, a few days later and man is at the house. The child is so impressed that he/she runs to his/her bedroom, strips down, and rubs his/herself saying, I want a bike...“

It was at this moment that I wanted to back away slowly. I was at the door, ready to walk in, and I was fantasizing about just running away. But, as an exercise in improv and true acting, I went inside ACTING LIKE I wanted to be there. They asked me to do my monologue, and then they asked me to turn my back to them, caress myself in that way that kids do when they pretend they are making out with someone, and improv a scene of saying, ”I want a man“ over and over, with different emotions, until I reached a ”climax“ and they would call ”end scene.“

Well, folks, I did it. I caressed. I moaned. I even added a sung High C at the end for effect (doesn’t everyone do that when they make out with themselves?) I believe this audition is another case of, ”Must read the script before agreeing to audition!!!“

I did sort of impress myself that I did it, though. Maybe I am not as shy as I thought...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I could already have it...

Just saw this news come up on Apparently, the World Health Organization is adding "overnight work shifts" as a probable cause of cancer. That does not bode well for those of us who do independent films and tend to shoot overnight.


CBS might get it right

I just read in the news that CBS is sponsoring a pilot program, CBS Mobile Zone, to provide free wifi to Midtown Manhattan. Wireless transmitters have been installed throughout the area at subway station entrances and routers have been distributed to some local businesses. There have been moves in other cities to do the same thing, and I am thrilled that New York City is the next in line to usher in the digital age for all residents.

This pilot program for midtown Manhattan joins a program already in effect which is wiring New York City Parks and Libraries with free internet access.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In anticipation of fame asks all of the big Broadway starts to fill out a survey they call the Cue and A.“ In anticipation for fame and glory, I thought I had better fill mine out in advance...

Full given name:
Erin Quinn Cronican. Try telling people your middle initial is Q. No one believes you (darn that John Q Public for ruining it!)

San Diego, CA

Zodiac sign:
Scorpio. Wait, why are you backing away slowing?

Audition song:
Will He Like Me? (age old question)

First Broadway show ever saw:
Noises Off.

If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?
Angels in America

Current show you have been recommending to friends:

Favorite show tune:
Oh gosh, there are so many. Mostly I like the opening a closing songs to Act I of any large ensemble musical. They are so dramatic!

MAC or PC?
Mac. For years and years.

Most played song on your iPod:
Morning Song by Jewel.

Last book you read:
The Complete History of Nearly Everything. It’s an incredible science book.

Must-see TV show:
Pushing Daisies

Last good movie you saw:
The Hoax. I didn’t expect it to be good, but it was.

Favorite card game:
Go Fish.

Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Toad the Wet Sprocket, in particular because they have broken up and rarely tour.

Pop culture guilty pleasure:
America’s Next Top Model. How can you be an actor and NOT watch this? As my main job is marketing myself to audiences as a certain character, I find immense value in watching models struggle with marketing themselves as a product.

First stage kiss:
Senior year “South Pacific.” My Emile was very tall.

How you got your Equity card:
An original production of a play called Oxygen, co-written by a Nobel Prize winner for chemistry and the father of the birth control pill (pun intended)

Worst onstage mishap:
I was touring with a musical that had canned music. At the end of Act I, the last track is many minutes long and includes a song, a musical interlude and then the final song. The technician heard the 1st song end and then, expecting that the musical interlude was on the next track, hit “forward” on the CD player. Since the CD was, in fact, at the end hitting “forward” started the CD over again. The technician realized what happened, muted the music, and cued up the CD again to the last track. Problem was, remember, that the last track includes a song, and interlude, and the final song. So when I paused on stage for the music to being for the final song, instead I got the beginning of the track with a song we had already sung 5 minutes prior. My fellow actors and I had to improv our way around this music for 5 minutes until we finally got to the music for the song I needed to sing. The time on stage was as long and grueling as it was to read this story.

Who have you played on "Law & Order"? Which edition?
The regular. Technically it was photo work, but I played one of many women who was murdered by the guest star. You saw my photo in an album the killer kept as a memento. I have also done background work on CI.

Worst costume ever:
For Oxygen, I had a corset underneath a very heavy 18th century ball gown, topped off with an even heavier, floor length velvet cape. In the scene I was supposed to go up and down a staircase and I could barely move.

Cats or dogs?
I’ve had both, but right now it is my dog, Denver, who I have had for 12 years.

Favorite cereal:
Frosted Mini Wheats

Who would play you in the movie?
These days it would be Naomi Watts or Marley Shelton.

Worst job you ever had:
Being a personal assistant for a manic-depressive millionaire.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Strikes, in my humble opinion

In my last blog, I promised that I would wax philosophic about the strikes that have overtaken my profession- both stage and screen. As you know, I am an actor, and though I am not a series regular or a Broadway star I am definitely seeing the effects of the strikes on my brethren. Everyone seems to have an opinion, but the opinion I hear most often (Brent- you are not the only one) is:

“I can understand the Writer’s Strike, but I am not sure about the IATSE Strike. What gives?”

So, I thought I would focus this blog on the Stagehand’s Strike and give you my thoughts on why we should be supportive.

The media states that the main issue on the table is that of the required amount of crew hired for load-ins. The League says that they are being forced to hire more people than they need for these jobs. This appears to be true, and when you hear the description of the conflict, the League sounds very reasonable. Who, in their right mind, would say that hiring more people than you need is fair? The media has played this out over and over, and the League has been very good at the “woes me” approach.

But let’s clarify things a bit- this is not a new issue on the table. This is (or was) a part of the previous contract that BOTH parties had agreed to and signed. This fact is not being played in the media- the fact that at one time the League said, “Yes, that amount of stagehands required is fine. We concede,” and now they are complaining about how unfair it is. You know, I am all for a group like the League coming to the table and saying, “You know what? We agreed to that but, as it turns out, it’s not such a good idea, and we want to change that aspect of the contract going forward” And when the League did this, Local One said, “Ok. Let’s negotiate. If we take that out of the contract, it will drastically reduced wages and/or benefits for our members. What are you prepared to offer in its place?”

NOTHING. The League has offered nothing. Instead, they whine to the media about how unfair the Stagehands are being. They call is “featherbedding” further degrading the union. Lest I confuse things further, let me put it in terms that most of us can understand (Note: This is an example, and is in no way meant to mirror exactly what has happened between the League and Local One. I don’t know how they negotiated the terms, I only know what terms they agreed upon. Now, for the example...)

Let’s assume you go in for your yearly review with your boss. You are due a 5% raise, but he/she says, “Bob, we cannot offer you a raise this year because we don’t have any more funds to do so. Instead, we are going to allow you to work up to 10 hours per week in overtime, which should give you a good boost each pay period.” You accept, and become accustomed to working 50 hours per week to be able to meet the rising cost of living. Then, let’s assume you go back the following year for your evaluation, and your boss says, “You know what? That was sort of a dumb move on our part. Overtime is costing us way too much, and we don’t even need you for all of those hours. You are no longer allowed to have overtime, and because we are still in financial turmoil, we can only offer you a 2% raise this year. Thanks for being a team player.”

So, let’s get this straight= You working at your same job, but making only 2% more when you should be making 10% more (5% for each year). The concession that the boss made for the lack of raise last year has been yanked off the table AND NOTHING HAS BEEN PUT IN ITS PLACE. The worker has lost 8% of income rightfully owed for a job well done. Is that fair?

Here’s the kicker. The employer in this case is not hurting for cash. The League is seeing record revenues since before 9/11. All Local One is asking for is for something to be put in the place of lost revenues if they lower the minimum of stagehands needed for load-ins. And apparently, the League is not prepared to offer anything- they are more interested in complaining to the public that the union is “featherbedding.”


I very rarely get into heated discussions about anything like this. I hate stepping in when both sides are so passionate. There are so many angles to this thing, and unless I am in the talks with both parties there is no way I could appropriately argue one side over another. I am sure I have missed things. Further, I actually have a soft spot in my heart for the corporations and producers who make it possible for me to do what I love.

As we speak (or, as I type and later you read), the two sides are talking and I have heard that the issue of crew numbers at load-in has been resolved. But I still felt compelled to jump in to explain why Local One needs our support. I have read statements released by my union on behalf of Local One. I have read statements released by the League and followed them through the media. The majority of stagehands are not making 6 figure incomes- they are working long, physically exhausting days for a mid level salary, and there is no job security- they always have a chance of losing their job due to shows closing.

Please support Local One. And support the WGA. And when this strike is over, please reward the producers by buying tickets to theater and films, download your TV shows- do everything in your power to show the entertainment industry how much it means to you. I truly believe that no one person is wishing ill will on another, so let’s treat each other with love, respect and honor.

-- End of Soapbox. Back to your regularly scheduled program. --

Thursday, November 22, 2007

IATSE Strike

It's been a while since I have posted- more on that later.

In the meantime, here is an outstanding timeline about the IATSE Local One strike on Broadway:

I will write my thoughts and opinions about this strike (as well as the WGA strike) very soon. Until then, please support these hardworking union employees. Thank you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Today's Happiness List

Today’s Happiness List is brought to you by:
The letter - F - for Filmmaking

Happiness is...

• Having a place to sit while waiting on the set

• Finding pieces of fudge at craft services

• Having people call me by my name instead of “Hey you” or “Stand In.”

• Working with great crew members

• Double time- not the kind where you have to move really fast but the kind where you earn twice your hourly pay

• Free Starbucks on set on late nights

• Getting paid just because I look like someone famous

• Mistakes in the schedule that allow me to go home after one hour with full pay (!)

• Meeting awesome actors who don’t have chips on their shoulders

• Avoiding those that do

• Finding wireless internet access so I can submit for principal while on set

• Making jokes like, “We’re called stand-ins because we stand in everyone’s way.” It’s not really a joke, though.

• Earning money towards pension and health care

• Earning money towards Unemployment, which I will file when I finish this project

• Getting paid to work in an industry that I love- living the dream!

Today's Happiness List...

Today’s Happiness List is brought to you by:
The letter - F - for Filmmaking

Happiness is...

• Having a place to sit while waiting on the set
• Finding pieces of fudge at craft services
• Having people call me by my name instead of “Hey you” or “Stand In.”
• Working with great crew members
• Double time- not the kind where you have to move really fast but the kind where you earn twice your hourly pay
• Free Starbucks on set on late nights
• Getting paid just because I look like someone famous
• Mistakes in the schedule that allow me to go home after one hour with full pay (!)
• Meeting awesome actors who don’t have chips on their shoulders
• Avoiding those that do
• Finding wireless internet access so I can submit for principal while on set
• Making jokes like, “We’re called stand-ins because we stand in everyone’s way.” It’s not really a joke, though.
• Earning money towards pension and health care
• Earning money towards Unemployment, which I will file when I finish this project
• Getting paid to work in an industry that I love- living the dream!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The crazies are shopping at Goodwill

I had an unexpected afternoon off, and after working many 14-hour days in the past few weeks I decided to treat myself with a trip to my favorite thrift shop, Goodwill. It was a typical Saturday afternoon in the store- lots of old ladies trying to use their senior discounts, and young women dragging their boyfriends through the aisles making them hold mounds of clothes while asking, “Do you like this color on me?”

I was in the dress aisle, and behind me I overheard someone whining aloud in a nasally, drawn out voice, “I can’t fiiiiind anythiiiiing!!! Where iiiiiiis it? Where iiiiiiis it?” I turned and saw an older woman with a buzz cut, dressed all in purple, who was visibly upset but also a little vacant. I thought she was talking to herself until I noticed that she was walking alongside another older woman. So I turned back to continue shopping for dresses. A few moments later, the whiner turned into my aisle, saying, “Excuuuuuse me! Excuuuuuuse me!” getting more and more agitated. I looked to see if she was talking to her friend, but there was no one anywhere near her. The “friend” was long gone and I started to realize that this woman was Crazy with a capital C. She slowly started down my aisle loudly proclaiming that “the devil wouldn’t let me find anything!” Then she steped right into me, reaching completely in front and past me to clothes on the other side of me, all the while whining like a child, “Moooove! You’re in my waaaaaaay! You’re in my waaaaaaay! Moooove!” Other people noticed this scene and gave me sympathetic looks. I picked up my hand basket and moved to the other side of the aisle. The woman started swearing, presumably at me as she pushed passed me, “F- you. F-you. A-hole...” I just smiled, took a deep breath and moved on, realizing that though I had the right to resist or complain to her about her behavior, it would be much better to just remain peaceful. A few minutes later, one of the witnesses came up to me and said that the woman had locked herself in a dressing room and wouldn’t come out. I just shook my head and thanked her for the report. It’s nice to know that the other shoppers were looking out for me.

I cherish these New York moments...

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I was on the subway tonight and looked down to see a white mouse, about 3 inches long, scurry across the floor of the subway. The mouse had a strange blue line down its back, almost like it had been drawn on with pen. The woman next to me said, "It's hers" and pointed to the girl across from us. The girl had blue and purple punks streaks in the black hair, and wore combat boots with a different colored lace in each boot. She bent down and scooped up the mouse and put it up the sleeve of her denim coat. But the mouse scurried out again, followed by a second mouse (which was plain white, with no blue stripe- maybe she drew on the first mouse so she could tell them apart?) The mice ran onto her arm and both got very calm as she pet them. She let go of them and they started cleaning themselves, both of them doing it slowly and exactly the same way, almost like watching people do tai-chi in Central Park. I turned to the woman next to me and said, “Well. Now I’ve seen everything.”

Monday, October 22, 2007

Left Brain vs Right Brain test

This is really interesting. How do YOU view the photo?

The Daily Telegraph- Australia

I can only see it clockwise- my brain won't see it any other way!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Discrimination in Casting

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to an article she wrote for Plus Model Magazine, talking about some recent casting calls requesting plus size women and the context of the casting. I think this article puts an important spotlight on the industry and here's my questions- at which point does comedy or freedom of speech turn into discrimination and keeping prejudice alive?

Jennifer Jonassen has an intimate style of writing which makes her an everyman's hero. Click here to read the article.

And click here for another article by Jennifer:

Now, if we could only get some writers out there to create GOOD roles for this type category!

I love a "Parade"

Below is a link to an incredible step by step outline of how the musical “Parade” was re-vamped for a tighter, smaller revival production in London. This blog is hosted and written by Jason Robert Brown, the musical’s Tony winning composer, and the blog entry helps readers get a little closer to how a musical is conceived and written. Things like this inspire me to no end! Please do read and enjoy:

Friday, October 5, 2007

New York Moment

Quintessential New York Moment: I was walking down 23rd St between 5th and Park Aves and a good looking Latina woman, between the ages of 30-40, was walking in the opposite direction towards me. She crosses the sidewalk closer to me, reaches out and stops me.

Her: "Hi. Can I talk to you for a minute?"
Me: "Uh..."

Did she think I was someone else? Did she need directions? Did I have toilet paper stuck to my shoe?

Her: "I'm a psychic, and I see so much around you." (does hang gesture "around" me)
Me: (Blank stare)
Her: "I can really help you. I see so much." (takes out her business card)
Me: (Catching on and pulling away) "Oh! No. No, thanks. Uh... no."

She should have seen THAT coming.

Later, Tom said, "C'mon, you wanted to take her up on it." He was right. I totally want to know what color my aura is. Sigh.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

This pretty much sums it up...

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with
You scored as Hedonism

Your life is guided by the principles of Hedonism: You believe that pleasure is a great, or the greatest, good; and you try to enjoy life’s pleasures as much as you can.

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!”

More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...







Justice (Fairness)


Strong Egoism








Divine Command


Monday, October 1, 2007

No surprise here...

A friend of mine sent me this great link- it is a quiz that tells you who you 'should' vote for in the US presidential election:

It was no surprise that I am very, very leftist, nor was it s surprise that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton absolutely tied as my best bet for a candidate. How is one supposed to choose when the quiz says we all think alike? Maybe I should run...

Best Cheesesteak Ever- A Review

The famed location of Sally’s fake orgasm in “When Harry Met Sally”, Katz’s Delicatessen, has been a staple for kosher American food for decades. But as of Friday, I had lived in New York for more than 2 years and still hadn’t eaten there. In 2006 a rumor started to spread that the deli might be closing due to condo/apartment development in the area. So when I walked through the Lower East Side after a great audition for an independent film on Friday afternoon, I decided to pop in to Katz’s see what the fuss was about.

When I walked into the deli, I saw a large room with table and chairs, and a huge walk-up counter that spanned the entire right side of the room. A gentleman greeted me at the door and handed me a pink ticket, and told me that for waiter service I needed to pick a table on the left side of the room (those who order at the counter can sit on the right so that the waiter knows not to serve them.) The pink ticket served as the meal ticket, on which the waiter or counter person would write the total cost of the meal, and you would take the ticket back to the front to pay. There were signs plastering the front of the deli stating that lost tickets would result in a $50.00 charge, no exceptions. I held onto my little ticket tightly and found a seat. The server was very nice- he asked me if I was from Ireland (I said no, but my family is)and brought me a plate full of fresh, assorted pickles. I ordered a bowl of traditional chicken noodle soup, as well as what ended up being one of the best cheesesteak sandwiches I have ever had. The meat was chopped into really small pieces and was marinated in some sort of incredible spice. They put on a small layer of swiss cheese and lightly toasted a fresh kaiser roll. I could have ordered it with onions and peppers but opted not to. The menu actually says, “We dare you to try to eat the whole thing.” I came pretty darned close, and I think the cheesesteaks are not as big as their pastrami or corned beef sandwiches. I was highly satisfied with my solitary lunch, topping it off by reading last week’s copy of The New Yorker magazine while savoring the meal.

The point is, if you are ever in New York and are craving a cheesesteak, this might be the place for you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Just realized that I forgot to fill you in on the agent call, and what has been happening in the last week. The good news is that I have been really busy- the bad news is that it keeps me from writing!

I had a great meeting with the agency. I met with the director of the New York office, and afterward he said that he and his partner would need to go over my materials together to make sure that they both were on the same page about me. They said they would be in touch this week with information about the next step. It was a very positive meeting. I'll let you know what happens.

Last week I was called by Playwrights Horizons to come in for a pre-read for the workshop production of the new musical, "Saved!" which is an adaptation of the film that starred Mandy Moore. I am audition for the Mandy Moore character, Hilary Faye. I've been seen by their casting associate and casting assistant at auditions, but the lead casting director has never seen my work. So, this pre-read is an opportunity to show them what I am all about before they bring me in for the producers. I may actually be too old for this role, depending on the age of the other cast members (the show is set in a high school). But I read much younger on stage, especially when I turn on my inner naive and energetic goofball! For the audition, I am preparing sides from the show, and I am singing, "Lost In Your Eyes" by Debbie Gibson. They asked for a Pop or Rock song, and since the musical is about kids at a Christian high school, I thought that singing a "bubble gum" pop song with "salvation" and "heaven" references would be a good match. I'll keep you posted on the outcome of this as well.

Other than that, I have other general auditions schedule the rest of this week and through next month. But I am taking two little vacations in September, so I won't really be around much to do auditioning. Hopefully one of these things will come through and I will have the chance for more work. But right now, I am enjoying the last days of summer in New York and am focusing on my coaching business.

Hey, if you have any questions about these or any other auditions, feel free to ask. Just leave a comment!

Note to self...

Don't try to floss your teeth right after you put lotion on your body. Apparently you need traction to hold onto the floss, and greasy hands provide the exact opposite of traction. What could have been a 2 minute endeavor last night became a 10 minute Abbott and Costello routine (minus the funny partner). Egads.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Me as a South Park character

I couldn't find the right pair of glasses to put on her, so she'll just have to be the contact-wearing version of me...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The news gets worse...

As reported in Aftenposten- News from Norway

Drunken moose alert in southern Norway

Experts are not sure how it will affect moose behavior, but if you meet Norway's 'King of the Forest' in the southern part of the country, he could be intoxicated - and potentially dangerous. According to a report from the Newspapers' News Bureau (ANB), the reason behind the warning is this year's early snowfall.

A warm summer has led to an unusual bounty from the region's fruit trees. The sudden and early snowfall has left some fruit under snowy cover, while still more remains on the branch. This fruit is fermenting, and also a readily available and tempting source of food for the region's moose.

"This is the first time I have heard that moose are getting drunk. But I assume that they react the same way people do to intoxication - some become harmless while others are the exact opposite," said district veterinarian Paul Stamberg in Kristiansand.

Martin Kolberg, head of the local animal committee in Telemark, warns people to beware of drunken moose.

"Be careful when you approach moose that have been munching apples for days. Their behavior can alter and they can become frighteningly aggressive. Clap and see how it reacts. If it doesn't retreat but instead comes even closer, by all means stay vigilant. It can be intoxicated and attack," Kolberg told newspaper Faedrelandsvennen.

This story was originally published on November 29, 2002.

Now you all understand how all of my pictures from Norway have a theme of alcohol in them. Even the FRUIT gets you drunk!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The truth comes out

As reported by Spiegel Online

GLOBAL WARMING FEARS- Norway's Moose Population in Trouble for Belching

The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.

Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year. Bacteria in a moose's stomach create methane gas which is considered even more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide gas. Cows pose the same problem...

Let it be noted that I live with a Norwegian. We may have a little global warming going on in my apartment, if you get my drift...

Agent meeting was postponed...

My agent meeting was postponed until Wednesday. Stand by...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Newsletter for my Coaching Business


I wanted to let you know that I have started an official subscriber list for The Actors' Enterprise so I can make sure that communications are only being sent to those who would like to receive them. It's completely free, and there are two lists to choose from:

TAE Email Newsletter- For performers or those who like to live vicariously through performers! This newsletter is sent every 1-2 weeks and includes helpful hints and tips about the business of being an actor, success stories from current clients and industry professionals, and answers to questions that come up from list members. It will be fun, energetic, and will hopefully be a motivator for you to get out there and get some BUSINESS for yourself!

TAE News & Events- For anyone, performer or non-performer, who would like to keep in touch with The Actors' Enterprise (everyone should sign up for this one!) This newsletter is sent out once every 1-2 months and includes general updates about The Actors' Enterprise. It features information about charity events sponsored/organized by TAE, as well as major updates about the staff, clients or the community at large.

Here is the link to opt in:

Thank you so much, in advance, for your support. Much love and success to you all!

Erin =)

Why do NYC bars rule?

One word...


Saturday, August 18, 2007

The hits just keep on coming...

I had an absolutely wonderful week as an actor, and am thrilled to be able to share it with you. I don’t want to share because I am gloating, but simply to pass on some encouragement and inspiration to those who are on the same path as me.

On Monday, I feverishly prepared for the final class of a 4-week workshop I took with casting director/director Jamibeth Margolis. The final week as structured as a “mock audition”: Jamibeth assigned each of us a show based on our type and abilities (mine was The Pajama Game)- it was our job to research the show and decide which character we would be right for, then 1) prepare a song in the style of the show (but from not the show) to use as an audition piece, 2) learn a song or two by that character and be prepared to sing them if asked, 3) bring your audition book in case you are asked to sing anything else, and 4) bring in your headshot/resume and dress the part. We would come in to be evaluated by Jamibeth (casting), plus an agent and a musical director. The auditions were to last about 10-15 minutes depending on how many songs they had you do, and they warned us that they may give immediate feedback and have us do the songs again. Detailed feedback would be given at the end of the class once everyone was done doing their audition.

I was absolutely thrilled with the process. Not only did I do exceptionally well, but my classmates also were amazing and I got a real sense of how valuable it is to take class along side other talented performers. The feedback was incredibly valuable, and I left the class feeling like I had really chosen the right profession, which (as other performers know) is in stark contrast to how you feel most of the time when you leave an audition. So, that was a very good day.

Tuesday evening I was sitting at home enjoying “The Notebook” on Netflix, when I got a call from Michael Cassara Casting, asking me to come to audition for a lead role in a show at the New York Musical Theater Festival. Now, I am scheduled to go out of town both from Sept 5-11 and Sept 18-23, which are smack dab in the middle of rehearsals. But I was happy to be called and went to the audition on Wednesday afternoon. It went well and I left the audition feeling like I had delivered for Michael and given them everything I had- now it was up to them to decide whether I was the right fit for the production. When you are as prepared as you can be, there can’t be any worries. Once I deliver a prepared audition, there is nothing left to be done and I know that I have done my job. I haven’t heard anything yet, and it is just as well. I don’t want to have to alter my travel plans, but certainly would if I had to. But the fact that I was called means that I did my job the other times I auditioned for Michael. I have shown him that I have some talent, and I am worth calling in. He also mentioned that he appreciated that I kept him updated by postcard. What a validation for all of the marketing work I have been doing!

The icing on the cake this week is that I got a call from the agent from Monday’s workshop, asking me to come in for a meeting on Monday. (Not sure if I mentioned to you that I am currently seeking new representation- so this is a big deal!) I feel like one hurdle has been jumped already- he has seen me perform 3 songs, he knows I am direct-able, he knows that I am easy to work with because he saw my audition process from beginning to end and saw me accept feedback easily. So now it is just a matter of finding out if our philosophies match, and if we think it would be a good partnership. I have to say, this agent was incredibly approachable and he seems like someone I would really love to have on my team. We’ll have to see how everything goes on Monday. I’ll be sure to give you an update when I know anything.

So, that’s it! Oh, also, I am also proud to say that I have successfully started my new coaching business for actors (focusing on the business side of show business.) I will be posting the particulars in a subsequent post. But in the meantime, feel free to check out my website, The Actors' Enterprise at

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2007

I swear, I didn't mean it!

Erin Blamed For At Least 7 Deaths In Texas

Remnants Of Tropical Storm Erin Unleash Heavy Rain

At least seven deaths around Texas are being blamed on what had been Tropical Storm Erin as the state deals with at least 6 inches of rain.Authorities in Houston said one person was killed and another was hurt when a waterlogged roof collapsed at a storage unit at a Houston grocery store, reported KPRC-TV...

To read more about the havoc I am wreaking across the southland, visit

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Filmmaking Permitting Concerns: Update

As some of you may have heard, NYC officials had planned to set some guidelines regarding amateur filmmaking and photography on city property, proposing limits on the amount of time someone could shoot before having to get permits to do so. This produced an outcry in the arts community and prompted a petition to defeat the plan, which was signed by thousands of concerned residents and supporters. Here is an update, as reported by One on One NYC's BizBuzz:

After a city-wide outcry that included everything from letters and petitions to a rap music video, the city has agreed to re-work their proposal to vastly limit photography and filming in the city. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting said they would redraft the rules to address complaints that that they could be too broadly applied. Maybe those birdwatchers in Central Park won’t have to have insurance to take a photo of those birds, after all.

Katherine Oliver, the film office commissioner, said in a statement, “We appreciate the feedback and collaboration of the production community in the city and look forward to revising our proposal.”

In addition to the web petition circulated here on BizBuzz, there were some less traditional forms of protest in response to the legislation. Comedy troupe Olde English produced a rap music video and then submitted it as public comment to the film office and the civil liberties union. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

'Proposin’ new rules to try to get rid of me/A million in insurance just to cover liabilities!/From Little Italy all the way to Harlem/Bloomberg’s jealous ’cause our movies won’t star him.'

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Not slowing down yet

August 4th marks my 2-Year Anniversary of moving to NYC!

Well, make that August 5th. I left California around 9:45pm on August 4, 2005 and arrived at 5:30am August 5, 2005. hence the confusion about the actual anniversary date. Maybe I’ll stretch out the festivities over a week or two like many of my friends do with their birthdays.

Save for going away to college, I'd never up and moved to a big city before. Make that ANY city other than the one my parents moved us to when I was 8 years old. I am a southern CA girl by nature, though you wouldn’t know it to look at me (blonde, yes, but I have the milky white skin of a Minnesota farm girl and confuse people with my lack of valley girl affectation.) And my college experience doesn’t count- I moved from San Diego to Los Angeles so no real culture shock there.

But I digress. I moved to NYC for a number of reasons: 1) to experience moving to a new place with no ties that bound me; 2) to have a more challenging career as an actor, and; 3) to see if NYC would really be able to keep up with my own fast paced nature. And, my, how the city has delivered. I am just as enamored of the city as I was 2 years ago. Maybe more so. Occasionally I will be in midtown and look up from my walk and notice the Empire State Building in my line of sight, and it never fails to impress.

Every day brings new, crazy experiences. Here are a few perks from today:

9am- Wake to say goodbye to a houseguest who was in town for a wedding (when you live in a popular and expensive city, it becomes necessary to provide refuge for your friends.)

9:45am- Walk my dog outside and tried in vain to “curb” her (which is to have her pee off the curb instead of on the sidewalk.) When I do this, my dog waits to see if anyone is looking, and then when she is sure of an audience she puts on her “I’m being abused, call the ASPCA” look. I got a couple of these looks today as I dragged her to the curb- she has this incredible locking mechanism in her legs which makes her look pathetic. I am waiting for an arrest warrant. During the walk, she is approached by an older woman with short pink hair. It is the sort of pink where you are not sure if the woman knows it is pink- sort of a baby pink. I don’t have any clue what kind of hair dye results in pink hair. Let me also note that this woman didn’t say a word to me as she stopped to pet my dog. This is pretty typical. People will walk up and have an entire conversation with the dog and never even so much as look at you. And they use baby voices. And they speak of me in the 3rd person, as in, “Oh, you don’t want to go in with that mean mommy, do you? You just want to stay outside like any normal doggie. Poor baby! Can’t mommy just let you enjoy the fresh air?”

10:05am: Late for my breakfast with my friend, Kathryn, because my dog was dawdling in our walk. No doggie bag for her.

11:30am: I am on my way to the subway to travel to Astoria, Queens to get my hair touched up (read: not a natural blonde, and today it is showing). As I get into the upper part of the station, I hear my train just pulling in. I would have to run in order to get there in time, and I would likely miss it. I ran to the turnstyle, swiped my Metrocard, and started running to the stairs of the platform along with a man in his late 40s/early 50s. “There’s no way we’re making it,” he said. “Oh, I’m making it,” I said. “And I’m holding the door for you when I get there.” Sure enough, we made it. Score one for the Cronical.

4:00pm: I am finally done with getting my hair done and I go to have a bite to eat. I enter an empty restaurant and I am seated by the server at a table directly facing a man eating his meal alone. Awkward... As my food is served, he leans in and says, “Bon appetit!” Which was very nice. He also wished me a good day as he was leaving. Maybe it was my fresh, blonde hair that enticed him.

4:30pm: I was waiting to get on the subway to Manhattan when a young woman elbows her way to get ahead of me into the train car. She keeps pushing, which seems really aggressive and I am about to push back. Then I realize that she wasn’t pushing intentionally, it was her gigantic purse pressing into me and she was completely oblivious. I wanted to push her anyway to punish her for having such a big purse, but I am actually a pretty nice person so I didn’t.

5:15pm: Got home, set up some audition appointments, practiced some audition songs, and read some theater websites to get caught up on the business. I also watched a little bit of “Astrologer Forecast” on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN)- Jupiter is apparently creating some wonderful new things for us in the next few weeks.

8:00pm: Ordered NY pizza to be delivered, and when we called they somehow knew our address and door buzzer without us even identifying ourselves. Normally we don’t get it delivered, because the restaurant is literally 3 doors down and across the street, so we were very surprised. They must have had very fancy Caller ID. Big brother is watching.

9:30pm: I am blogging to you good people.

By the way- welcome to all of the wonderful viewers at BlogCatalog. I recently signed on to this blogging community and somehow people are finding me and liking this blog. Go figure!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Save Amateur Filmmaking in NYC

(This is a repost from MySpace, so forgive the grammar- the message is still very important, though...)

As you might know NYC is trying to pass a law saying that any photographer or filmmaker who has a) five more more people in a location for more than ten minutes or b) two or more people in a location for more than thirty minutes will need to pay for a permit with a million dollars worth of insurance per person on set! This will basically stop all amateur filmmakers and photographers, and it will also affect tourists who want to have their time in NYC captured digitally.

Won't you please sign an online petition that goes to the mayor asking to stop this bill from passing? It takes only a few seconds and it would be a huge help. The petition website is:

Here is an article about the proposal, as reported by the Associated Press:

Even if you are not involved in the visual arts at all, please do it to help those of us who are. For all of you actors out there, there will be a dramatic decrease in student and independent films out there for you to be a part of. Please sign the petition and please also consider copying and pasting this into a bulletin on your page or post on your blog.

Thank you!

Save Amateur Filmmaking in NYC

(This is a repost from MySpace, so forgive the grammar- the message is still very important, though...)

As you might know NYC is trying to pass a law saying that any photographer or filmmaker who has a) five more more people in a location for more than ten minutes or b) two or more people in a location for more than thirty minutes will need to pay for a permit with a million dollars worth of insurance per person on set! This will basically stop all amateur filmmakers and photographers, and it will also affect tourists who want to have their time in NYC captured digitally.

Won't you please sign an online petition that goes to the mayor asking to stop this bill from passing? It takes only a few seconds and it would be a huge help. The petition website is:

Here is an article about the proposal, as reported by the Associated Press:

Even if you are not involved in the visual arts at all, please do it to help those of us who are. For all of you actors out there, there will be a dramatic decrease in student and independent films out there for you to be a part of. Please sign the petition and please also consider copying and pasting this into a bulletin on your page or post on your blog.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Great casting story (not mine, though)

Below is a link to a great story about tenacity and creativity in this crazy world of being an actor. I hope you enjoy it:

Saturday, July 14, 2007

There's nothing on TV

Oh, wait. Yes there is! Get ready for the RSP Championship, live in ESPN2. That's right, RSP (Rock Paper Scissors) is in full swing, and you can see it along with witty color commentary by past champions.

Think I'm kidding?

Pretty damned funny...

One of the reasons I love New York

A week ago I went to a see a friend of a friend in a sketch comedy show at The People's Improv Theater (P.I.T.). My friend said something about the sketch troupe being a part of a larger evening of comedy that may include some nudity. Turns out that the first Friday of the month, The PIT hosts a show called the "Naked Stand Up Comedy Showcase."

True to its title, we sat through an evening of naked stand up and naked sketch comedy. It was well worth my $8 ticket- not because the naked men and women were nice to look at (they weren't, necessarily) but because seeing other people naked can help you feel better about yourself (and I do.)

Oh, and we saw a very large man with a case of elephantitis of the testicles (and inchwormitis of the penis...) You don't see that every day.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

And the winner is...

News from the cubicle marshmallow fights:

Tom first emails and says, "I AM VICTORIOUS IN BATTLE!"

He then rescinds the comment, forwarding a challenge from a co-worker: "How could this be when the preliminaries said “Frank (last name deleted) came out with guns blazing”? And to quote one Tom (last name deleted), one of the members of the opposing team, “Frank, I wish I were on your side!” as he went off to nurse his wounds. I think the results have been rigged. We demand a recount. But in the meantime we await the video review."

But, in the end, Tom's team was awarded victory.

See the video review here:

While watching the clip, take a look for friendly fire and enemies crossing the lines. Please also note that my boyfriend, Tom, was the one who eventually fights with a box on his head.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Multiple Choice

I'll give you a few choices to explain what this is:

A: The Cingular man/logo
B: Hans Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back"
C: The Virgin Mary in my pat of butter

You decide...

Saturday, June 30, 2007


It doesn't take much to be an extraordinary person- it just takes rigorous commitment to a few ideals:

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean it.

FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.

SIX.. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say "God bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your

TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Updated My Demo Reel

Howdy, folks! Because I was tired of the old footage I had on my reel, I decided (very late) last night to try to add new footage with my limited film editing knowledge. I think I did a pretty good job! The transitions are not as smooth as I would like, and I still need to add titles so that the viewer knows what project each clip is from. But since I have been submitting to more and more projects, I needed to make sure my reel was up to snuff as quickly as possible.

For those of you who aren't familiar with what demo reels are, it is a short film comprised of performances on film & television that can give prospective employers a taste of what an actor looks like in a final product. I got some fantastic footage from a short film I shot last October, so I was able to add that to the reel, replacing a short film I had shot 4 years ago. I am hoping to get some rough footage of the film I am shooting now so I can show some of my comedic skills (which, right now, are being featured at the end of the reel with a snippet of a cabaret performance.)

UPDATE 1/29/2008

I have done another update with some new footage. Check out the results here. Be sure to let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Let the games begin!

My boyfriend just sent me this memo that he received at his corporate banking job. No joke:

You are all invited (actually required) to attend the First ever Loan Area Marshmallow Fight. The event takes place on Friday, June 29, 2007 at 11:30 AM --- right here – no need to move from your cubicle (you may actually want to use it as a “foxhole”)

Rules -

• Time limitation 90 seconds
• Office division will be the middle filing cabinets
• The team with the least amount of marshmallows on their side of the office wins --
• No eating your ammunition in order to win
• No licking your ammunition prior to firing
• No heating/burning your ammunition prior to firing
• Marshmallows are the sole type of ammunition

Ammunition will be supplied and distributed evenly – do not attempt to smuggle in any additional ammunition in attempt to create an advantage. Ammunition is provided by the sponsor and is marked with the sponsor’s logo. Anyone caught with illegal ammunition will be fined by the sponsor.

The winning team receives the official sponsor provided Stay Puff Man Trophy which they can keep proudly displayed until the next fight.

My boyfriend is going to kick ass.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New blog

Ok, folks. I have started an additional blog called New York Cronicals ( I am sure you are wondering why I would consider starting a 2nd blog when this first one is so tough to keep updated. Well, in my crazy head, it makes sense to me that I will blog more if they are better organized. And those of you who read my blogs know that I tend to talk about 1 of 2 things- theater or NY living. So, to help myself organize my thoughts, I started a 2nd blog. Those of you who know me well know that the name of the new blog is a play on my name- I hope you like it...

So, from now on you will find my various writings on two blogs. Feel free to subscribe to them via the RSS feed at the top of the page, or the Atom feed link at the bottom. And I promise I will work harder to keep these updated. In the meantime, if you have questions about my life as an actor or a New Yorker, feel free to email them to me and I will respond in a blog!

Welcome to My 2nd Home

Howdy, folks. I have started this new blog called New York Cronicals in addition to my old blog ( I am sure you are wondering why I would consider starting a 2nd blog when this first one is so tough to keep updated. Well, in my crazy head, it makes sense to me that I will blog more if they are better organized. And those of you who read my blogs know that I tend to talk about 1 of 2 things- theater or NY living. So, to help myself organize my thoughts, I started this blog. Those of you who know me well know that the name of the new blog is a play on my name- I hope you like it...

So, from now on you will find my various writings on two blogs. Feel free to subscribe to them via the RSS feed at the top of the page, or the Atom feed link at the bottom. And I promise I will work harder to keep these updated. In the meantime, if you have questions about my life as an actor or a New Yorker, feel free to email them to me and I will respond in a blog!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Update for my Peeps

Hi, Friends!

It's been a really long time since I have sent you an update, but I am sure you have all been very busy with your own lives so it couldn't have been too much of a problem!

Things are going really great for me here in NYC. I am living on the Upper East Side, just south of 96th St (more commonly referred to as "At least it's not Harlem.") We have been here about 9 months and just received our lease renewal notice. Not only do they want us back (thank goodness) but they are only raising the rent $45. Yippee! Less exciting is the fact that they have just started construction on the brand new 2nd Avenue subway, for which "Phase 1" is 1/4 block from my apartment. This phase of the subway will not be complete until sometime after 2012, so for the remainder of my time in this apt, we will be contending with lots and lots of noise from the construction. But this subway has been in the works for decades, and it is nice to be present for a little bit of history being made. Here's to hoping that the vermin that are displaced from construction are unable to crawl up the five floor walkup to infest my apartment. I have a hard enough time, and I can take the stairs.

Tom and I have been living together very happily these 9 months. Denver (my dog) has completely fallen in love with Tom and is plotting my demise so she can have him all to herself. Sadly, I don't think Tom would mind too much... (ha!) My mother came to visit NYC in March (for the first time since her early 20s) and we had a great time exploring the city together. And several other friends have come in for visits- Crystal, Julie, Lori, Laura, Brooke, Sara, and some others that I am forgetting (sorry!) New York is a great place to visit, especially this time of year. So, if you plan a trip this way, please let me know so I can see you! But don't visit from Sept 5-12: during those days Tom and I are taking a vacation to Jamaica, which will be my first time in the Caribbean. Being from southern CA I never understood the allure of a tropical getaway. But here in NYC, we have been bombarded by advertising for every possible island- I guess New Yorkers really need to get away.

But I still love it here. I still get caught up in how wonderful it is to be in a city that offers so many opportunities. I meet people who work in every corner of business, industry and culture. There are always streets blocked off due to movies being shot, buskers entertaining the masses in the subway hoping for your dollar, and crazy people reminding you of how colorful life is. It really is an amazing place to live. And I have been so lucky that many of my friends have moved, or are planning to move, to the city. I love seeing Kory, Kristen and Kathryn at auditions, and I am looking forward to seeing Brandon soon (when our schedules permit). And Laura swears that she will be moving here soon, and I cannot wait!

I have a lot of really fun news in the performance front. First and foremost, last week and I had a wonderful interview with an agency here in NYC and on Friday I was asked to sign with them. On Thursday, I will be going in to finalize paperwork and get into their database so they can begin sending me out. There is a lot of work in New York for film and television in addition to theatre, and they also have a very good musical theatre department. Having an agent will really make a difference. Having self-submitted for the past year and a half to local projects has been exhausting, so I am very excited about having them as a part of my team to help get me some exposure.

Despite not having an agent (up until now), I have been very busy as a performer. I work fairly regularly with a developing playwrights workshop, doing readings and helping to dramaturge new works. I will soon be wrapping a lead role in an indie feature, which should be submitted to film festivals this winter or next spring. I also shot two short films in the latter part of 2006 that screened this spring here in NYC. And right now I am working on two original theater projects that will have their world premieres in May & June. One is a play about relationships, comprised of short works by well known playwrights including David Ives, Charles Mee and A.R. Gurney (whose piece "The Problem" I am performing). The 2nd show is a brand new, cabaret style musical that is being produced in an effort to earn an Off Broadway production sometime in the fall.

In addition to everything above, when I need some extra cash I am able to do quite a bit of background and stand-in work for TV and film. There doesn't seem to be as much a stigma here in NYC with extra work as there is in LA. Somehow, people here know that being an extra is a great way to make money while you are between gigs, and doing it doesn't mean you don't have the skill to do larger roles. Then again, I haven't done any recurring work since moving here- maybe I would feel differently if I was doing principal work and then had to go "back" to do background. Who knows? =)

For my day job, I have been fortunate enough to be able to pare down my consulting work to handle only one client- a national theatre magazine that is dedicated to helping artistic directors and theatre managers know how to run their businesses successfully. I sell advertising to theater suppliers- anyone with a product, program or service to sell to the theatres should be advertising in this magazine! And anyone who runs a theatre should be receiving it. If either of these apply to you, please let me know and I can help you either way.

How To Stay Updated
So, as you can see, I have been keeping busy, which is why I have had a hard time keeping in touch with everyone. But there are other ways to track what's happening in Erin-Land -- online!

First- I have two main websites:

My professional website- You will only find acting and consulting related information here.

My personal website- You will find all of the personal stuff under my alias "theatrdiva" because all potential employers Google their prospects to see how/what they blog. I want to keep that part of my life private, so you will only find links to these sites on this web page. This became apparent to me when a potential consulting client told me how much they liked my vacation pictures from Norway. Yikes.

Interesting anecdotes about auditioning and performing, plus other mildly amusing rants,

Photo Albums and site of my newest hobby: abstract/artistic photography

This is a great way to keep in touch with me without having to work that hard at it

I would love to hear how you are doing, so please keep me posted!

Erin =)

The Fine Print

All content in this here blog is released under a Creative Commons by-NC-ND license. That means you're free to share it, republish it, refer to it, include it in your wedding vows, whatever... PROVIDED you

a) credit me (with my name, my blog's name, and a link back to my site- displayed at the top of the blog)
b) you don't change anything
c) you don't use it to make money.

To view the license, click here. To learn more about Creative Commons, click here.

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