Monday, January 22, 2007

Vote for my friend!

Hi, all. My friend and fellow actor, Ellen Haynes (aka BlondeAmbition) is being considered for the lead role in an online film competition. I just voted for her, and I think you should too! Her submission is quite good, especially compared to the others. Please stop by and lend her your support!

Erin =)

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Here is her email request:

Hi Friends and Family!

As you may know, I have qualified for the third of four rounds in a competition for a lead role in a movie. The three actresses with the most online votes move on to the final round. Voting ends this FRIDAY (Jan 26) and I am not yet in the top three. This is where you come in! I'm asking for your votes! Please forward this email to your friends and family... even your enemies! I figure I need around 150 more votes to move forward. It's close! If everyone out there forwards this to a few more people I'll qualify! All the details are below.

Here it is:

The movie is called "Live Mansion", it has a several million dollar budget and distribution. They are casting four actresses, four actors and a director through the online community at www.livemansion.com. How fun is that? I am up for the role of REBECCA: "Rebecca is a beautiful girl, but not one to flaunt it. She doesn’t assume she can go places in life simply because she looks good. Although lady-like, she isn’t afraid to get physical and dirty if necessary. A good athlete and intellectually gifted, she excels in school and goes to a top college."

I ask you to register on LiveMansion.com and vote! The whole thing takes about 3 minutes, and who knows... yours could be the vote that takes me to the final round!

Easy steps:

1) Go to LiveMansion.com and click on "Sign up free" at the top.
2) Fill out the form (they won't spam or sell your email address)
3) Check your email for a confirmation message from LiveMansion.com and click on the link
4) Go to "View Round 3 Contestants"
5) For the role of REBECCA vote YES for BlondeAmbition (me!)

If you run into a glitch on the site, close out of your browser and try again.

* extra credit (1 star) watch my video! My friend Arnold Schrader directed, Rob lent the camera and we had a ball!
**extra credit (2 stars) forward this email to ALL your friends and family!! The game is on!! Only a few days left!!

I appreciate your support. This whole process has been really fun so far, thanks for being part of it!!

Love,

Ellen

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Background work is cool

And by cool I mean really great to do and also very cold when you have to do it outside.

On Tuesday, I did my first session of background work for the new year. This time is was for the TV show Six Degrees, which has been on hiatus since early November. For those of you who don’t know, background work consists of many actors creating the atmosphere of a scene by filling in the gaps with “extra” people. This time around, I was in 4 different scenes:

1) I walked down the city sidewalk, pretending to talk on a cell phone, crossing between camera and the main action (for both a wide establishing shot and the close up).

2) I sat inside a coffee shop, pretending to talk to a friend while the main actor ordered a coffee at the counter.

3) I walked outside the coffee shop window while an actor, in a different scene, welcomed someone into the coffee shop.

4) I sat with my back to the camera while these two actors had a chat over coffee.

Normally, doing background work outside is not so bad, but this was the day that started at 50 degrees and then promptly dropped to under 30 degrees throughout the day and was quite stormy. And we were in Tribeca on the water. Not fun. Luckily, the crew gave us hand/feet warmers which we could stick in our shoes and/or gloves. They were awesome.

When not on camera, we sat around talking and reading books & magazines or doing sudoku puzzles. Compared to other temp jobs (which is really what this is) you really cannot beat it. And if you’re lucky, you get to be around really fabulous actors who make you feel very lucky to be working in this industry. And you can get star struck.

Case in point- the first two scenes I shot were with Campbell Scott. Now, obviously, I didn’t get a chance to talk to him because we were working, but how cool was it that I got to see him in person, working? He is a really nice guy (and cute!)- said hello to each of the crew members and kept the energy light and fun. You could tell he was happy to be back on the set. As we set up for the shot, I saw Mr. Scott walking with another recognizable actor, Tony Goldwyn. Soon I realized that Tony would not be acting in the scene but he would be directing it (!) This was a pleasant realization, as this meant that I would be able to look at him for hours while we worked (he is very hot in person, yo!) Plus, he has directed a number of great TV episodes and a few movies and I think he lends some credibility to a show that has a tough time in the ratings (though I have been a fan of the show from the beginning, as well I should have been. I did background work on the pilot!) In the last two scenes I got to see Hope Davis work. She is really great on the show and I have always been fond of her work (make sure you see “Proof.”)

I can’t believe I get paid to do this.

And the pay is pretty good- SAG actors get $126 for the day, which averages out to about $16 per hour for an 8 hour shift (though they don’t always keep you all 8 hours, in which case you still get $126- awesome). Plus, you get time and a half for every hour over 8 hours, double time for hours over 12, and you get free meals. Plus, you get other perks if certain criteria are met: 1st- if you are not fed within the first 6 hours of work, you get what is called a “meal penalty” for every additional 1/2 hour you do not get fed. Think of it like an employer getting fined for not giving you a break during your shift. 2nd- You also get premiums (read: extra pay) if you work in the rain, if you work in fog, if you work past 8pm (with an extra premium if you work past 1am, and so on). And these extra payments are no extraneous- they all make sense. The union has negotiated the terms with the producers so that the actors are protected, and it is much cheaper for the producers to keep the actors late than rescheduled them for another day, so it is a win-win.

It’s not glamourous, and it doesn’t feel like “real” acting work because we don’t create characters or contribute to the plot. But it is a very real part of the industry and it allows me the opportunity to spend my days on the set instead of at home or in an office somewhere. So, when you watch the show and you notice some coffee shop scenes, see if you can find me!


Demonstrate yourself

I have posted some new demos on my professional website. Feel free to stop by and take a look!

I am about to post a blog about a background shoot I did the other day, but I have to go get some lunch first. Stay tuned...


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Get your facts straight

Just got this in my inbox from my good friend, John. I love that these things are circling the internet...

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Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality, who dispenses advice to people who call in to her Radio show. On her radio show, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... end of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord -Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, as we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? - Lev. 20:14.

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Sincerely,
A gay man who's trying very hard to be "Christ-like"...!

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Blogger's Block

Do you ever get Blogger’s Block? Let me set the scene:

You love to blog. You have friends that blog every day and you think, “Man, I want to blog every day!” So you tell yourself that tomorrow you will start blogging every day.

But the next day you sit down at your computer and you don’t have anything you write about... yet. But you figure that if you sit down again later, you will have something. Anything. You don’t need much, right?

So many ideas pop up throughout the morning and midday you sit down to blog. But then you realize that these several ideas are bigger than just one blog and you don’t know which one to start with. Plus, time is running out for other things you have to do. So, you think, “Well, I can write all of the ideas tomorrow, and it will be like 3 blogs in two days, and then I will be ahead.”

But the next day, you end up really busy so you don’t blog that day. And the ideas, which were really fresh the other day, are seeming stale. Several days pass. New ideas that could have come up have been pushed down by the old ideas, because you figured you didn’t need any new material. But now, 6-7 days later and no blogs, you are wishing you had made room for the new ideas because you are back at your blog, staring at it blankly. The clock mocking you. Your blog mocking you.

And so the cycle continues. You’re back to looking at your friends’ blogs thinking, “I wanna blog every day...”

Does anyone else go through that?


Monday, January 1, 2007

1 job down, 5 to go...

Friday, December 22, was a beautiful day. Not only because is has been unseasonably warm (we don’t even have to wear gloves, and it is officially winter!)- but because that Friday was my official last day at the job that has been sucking my life dry for 25-30 hours a week. You’ve likely read the story in a previous blog so I won’t go into why I quit. But, suffice it to say, I was so excited that I even deleted the company’s links from my browser so I don’t have to look at them anymore.

You may be wondering what I plan to do with my time now that I am a “free woman“ but those of you who know me well know that I always have way more on my plate than just one job. I have 5, to be exact. Here is what I am focusing on in the months/years to come:

• Communications Director, branding company for socially-conscious organizations
• Communications Director, independent film company
• Advertising sales rep, national theatre magazine
• Executive Director/incorporator, brand new non-profit that I am starting in early 2007
• Actor!

2007 has a lot in store for this budding entrepreneur. I am excited to be able to share this journey with you.

Happy New Year!


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