Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Actors who give back

Someone found this blog published by me through my company by typing "actors who give back" into Google. Not only does TAE come up 4th in a search that yield 823,000 hits, but I am responsible for the #3 entry as well, when I was the Communications and Member Services Director at the Actors Alliance of San Diego. I developed a charity night at our annual Festival in which a percentage of our revenues for 2 evenings of theater would go to a selected charity. I also created/produced nearly a dozen other charitable events and partnerships while at AASD.

I am very, very proud, and humbled that little ol' me might be making a difference, somehow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eyes are Overworked

Have you ever spent so much time looking at a computer screen all day that your eyelids get swollen? That happens to me sometimes. Like now.


Monday, January 28, 2008

The world keeps turning

I had a very good weekend for my career, if I do say so myself! First, as I mentioned in a previous post, I was selected to participate in a general meeting (by phone) with Los Angeles casting director, Mark Sikes, who is the author of the Casting Corner. Though we had slated 10 minutes to talk, we ended up speaking for over 40 minutes about trends in the business, and how I can best promote myself to casting directors and production companies on the east coast. Towards the middle of the conversation he commented that he found me to be very enterprising and to have great business savvy, and he said that this was not common among actors who are notorious for putting most of their energy into the creative side. He especially liked the fact that I was giving back to the community by providing solid coaching to actors through my coaching service. He said that based on my headshot and resume I seemed to be a very cast-able type, and the goal in the next 6 months should be for me to get good, solid representation. Between now and Feb 29 I have 7 meetings scheduled with commercial and legit agents, and I am actively developing relationships with about 6 others that I have met in the past few months. I think that I should have an agent sooner than the 6 months time frame. Mark asked me to keep him posted on my successes and to let him know if I am ever in LA, especially if I plan to move there. It was a great phone call, and I felt like a million bucks afterward.

Early on Sunday morning I had an audition for a student film. The piece was beautifully written, and the role I was going in for was the lead who gets to go through a whole series of emotions related to her desire to have a child. They asked me to prepare two scenes but they ended up asking me to do two more. Even if I don’t get cast, getting to perform emotional film scenes is a great way to start your Sunday- I felt creative and successful and ready to tackle the week!

Next up-- tonight I have an audition seminar with Kate Martineau from “As The World Turns.” I’ll be sure to post the details soon!

Friday, January 25, 2008


Tonight I went to a networking/audition session with Tori Visgilio at “One Life to Live.” What a fun casting director she is! Not only does she have a great sense of humor, but one on one she is incredibly sweet and supportive. She gave us a choice of doing a prepared monologue or reading cold sides for her. I was the first one to go, so I didn’t have much time to decide. But when I saw that the scene was opposite the character of Todd Manning, and that the scene revolved around whether or not my character knew his reputation, I knew I had to do the scene. I mean, come on, those of us who know OLTL know Todd Manning and how dangerous/sexy he is. There was even a line about his, “hair in a ponytail, and the scar across [his] face.” Awesome. I knew I could kick ass.

I went in and she asked which audition materials I wanted to do. i told her I would be happy to do the monologue but that I was prepared to do the sides. She asked playfully, “Well, does the monologue include anything sexy or suggestive?” and I replied, “Well, it IS about a threesome.” Well, that stopped her in her tracks, and she gave a smiled like, “Hey...!“ I think she liked that I was able to play along with her joke (except that I wasn’t playing, my monologue is actually about a threesome.) I went ahead and did the scene rather than the monologue- it will be fun to perform the monologue for her another time (gives her something to wait for!)

She seemed very pleased with the read. She asked me where I was from and what I had been up to. Then she noticed something written on my resume, and asked, “You can name the 50 US states in less than 30 seconds? Why do you know how to do that?” I explained that I learned a song in 5th grade called the 50 Nifty United States, and that I could recite them in alphabetical order. She put down her pencil and my resume and looked at her watch- and off I went! I stumbled over some of the words, but I really wanted to beat the clock- and I did! She thought it was so funny that I would put that on my resume- I responded that it shows that I have a freakishly good memory and that I find fun in almost anything, which I think is a good answer coming off the top of my head.

She said that she has a group of roles in my age range that are currently being played on the show, so that means there are storylines that can use people like me. That is very encouraging to know. I followed the ABC soaps from the age of 8 all the way through college, but I have since lost touch. Now I feel like I should go back and pick it up again. Llanview, here I come!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

My mother gave me an gift card for Christmas, and I knew immediately what I wanted to spend the money on.


Holy crap- the shoe selection on is amazing! And they have crazy discounts too. With my gift card I was able to buy 3 pair of shoes (well, 2 pairs and 1/2, I paid for part of the 3rd pair out of my own funds.) I just got them shipped to me today, and I love them!

By Naughty Monkey. Cost me only $37.47 (normally $74.95)

By Charles David. Cost me only $29.39 (normally $94.95)

By Anne Klein. Cost me only $29.69 (normally $98.95)

Now, those of you who have known me a while must be shaking your heads, wondering, “When did she become a show fanatic?” I think that a time comes in every young woman’s life when she asks herself, “Isn’t there something more to life?” or “How can I wear denim day after day without killing myself?” The answer is, plainly, cute shoes.

Now, the problem about cute shoes in NYC is that, a) they get ruined pretty quickly with all of the walking we have to do, and b) not all cute shoes are comfortable enough to handle the walking. So, I think for the first fews runs I will wear alternate shoes and carry my news ones in my bag, and then slip them on when I get to my destination.

Problem solved!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Real Age

My friend Courtney just took the Real Age test, so I thought I would too. It says that I am 28.4 (yay!) but based on the recommendations, I have a lot further to go, especially when it comes to having enough vitamins and exercising regularly. So, I am headed out to take a look at what daily vitamins I can take. Maybe I can find something that tastes like candy!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I don't know WHAT I was complaining about last time...


I find it interesting that my plastic “I Heart NY” take out bag has a big stamp on the bottom that says, “Made in Canada.” We even have to outsource the making of NYC marketing materials?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's all about networking

January has offered a large amount of networking opportunities, and I am snatching them up like a starved child! Last week I had four networking sessions with casting directors and an agent. Here is a breakdown of what happened at each meeting:

Monday- Meeting with Clint Alexander (Fox TV/Casting)
For this meeting, I was given a scene from “Damages” to look over. This is just about the “coldest” read I ever had- it was handed to me 3 minutes before I was to go in to read for him (I was the first in the room, so I had less time than other actors.) Luckily the scene was well picked for me, and I had a strong perspective for the role right away. The character was a feisty yet friendly prosecutor, and I committed to maintaining strong eye contact with the reader (who happened to be Clint) so that I could express a certain charisma and charm. When I was done, he remarked about how impressed he was with the read I gave, especially since I had so little time to prepare. He said that I had a good look and talent for what is normally cast at Fox, and once the strike is over and projects are casting again, he said he would call me in if there is a role I am right for. (He also said I seemed to fit the 24-28 age range- that I could easily play a college student to a mom of a newborn. Thank you to my parents for my youthful looks!)

Tuesday- Meeting with Nikole Vallins (Binder Casting)
For this meeting, I was asked to prepare a monologue and a contrasting song. After finishing my song, she asked me to sing another song in a different style. I then did my monologue. Nikole said that she was very impressed with my versatility. She said I would be a good match for both straight plays and musicals, and that I could play a wide range of contemporary characters. She said that she would take my information back to the office and share it with the rest of the casting directors.

Wednesday- Meeting with Merri Sugarman (Tara Rubin Casting)
This meeting was done in a group, and was more like a master class in auditioning than a networking session (though it really is ALL networking.) Each of us performed a song in front of the other actors and received feedback from Merri. She said that I made very strong choices for my song that were well supported by the text and the music. But she suggested that I, as an alternative, consider trying performing it a 2nd, simpler way. She asked me to sing it again, and the new version met with approval by Merri as well as the rest of the actors. I am looking forward to seeing her again in future sessions to try out new songs and get more feedback.

Thursday- Meeting with Dan Wright (Ann Wright Representatives)
This meeting was a little out of character compared to other sessions through this networking group. For one thing, the agent is much older than I was expecting. This really isn’t a problem if the agency is well established. But though they have been representing actors since 1962, there are only 5-6 actors listed on IMDB with this agency, which leads me to believe that the agency does not represent a lot of professional talent in film/TV (mediums that I am interested in.) And while Dan seemed to really love actors and was committed to their success, he also seemed to acknowledge that he was a sort of starter agent- that most actors will start with him and then move on to another agency when they become more established. This makes me wonder- if they have been in business since 1962, why don’t they have more successful clients? I have been acting for many, many years and though I am a newbie in the NY market, I think I would be better of working with an agent who has more clients whose careers I aspire to have. All of that aside, Dan really liked my monologue and offered a few interesting ideas about how to refine it. It is always good to get a fresh perspective, and I will definitely take his suggestions to heart.

These are just the first steps in the building of long term relationships with this companies. Hopefully this networking will be an effective way to get a leg up in this crazy industry!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Being Featured

Wow- I have been so busying in the industry that I have had nearly no time to write this blog! This is the first of two blogs that I’ll be writing to update you on what has been happening.

First, I spent a wonderful two days on the set of “Untitled Russian Project” (the name has not been released)- the feature film with Paul Giamatti. I did featured background work, which means that I had a specific role, but I did not have any lines. In order to get the part, the casting director had to submit my photo (along with 4-5 others) to the director and the director would choose the person with the right look to be in the film.The 4 scenes I was in revolved around a theater actor (Giamatti) who was rehearsing a Chekhov play. Michael Tucker played the director, and I played his assistant. The scenes we shot only involved 4 actors total (me included), and it was really great to be involved in such intimate scenes. The first one I shot was the opening to the film, and I imagine that I will get some good coverage in the film.

What was really fun was the chance I had to create a character completely on my own without dialogue to define who I would play. This meant that I could really do anything I wanted. One of my main goals was to give the director strong footage so that she would not have to edit around me. I have seen many background actors perform, and sometimes the actor does not take the time to fit themselves into the scene emotionally. They think that they are just a body, and that belief shows up in their eyes and in their face. So, when an editor works on the film, they have to cut the background actor out of the scene because they don’t match the intensity or preparation of the other actors. I wanted to be sure that I committed to the scene fully so that the director and editor would have full flexibility with the footage. I think I succeeded, and I am very proud of the work I did!

Up next, updates on the several casting directors and agents I met in the past week! But before that, I have to go drown myself in a cup of soothing coffee!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bookings galore

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I was booked on both gigs- the photo double gig for Naomi Watts with Grant Wilfley Casting and the 2 days of featured BG with Amerifilm Casting. Amerifilm called me first- both with the availability check and the booking confirmation, so I had to go with that one. This is for an untitled Paul Giamatti project (development page at IMDB Pro, not sure) in which I will play a "female director's assistant." I think my call time at at 7am in Brooklyn- yuck.

I had to make a somewhat uncomfortable call to Allison at Grant Wilfley. Now, all they had done was ask for my availability for doing the photo double work on Thursday, and then they would have the director decide if he wanted to use me. And I had not yet heard from them one way or the other when Adam at Amerifilm called me to book me. So, I called to let Allison know I had booked a longer gig and I was no longer available on Thursday. She said that they were planning on using me on Thursday and they were disappointed that I was no longer available. She said something about the director not yet approving me but that they we certain it would have been approved. It is a weird situation- it is not uncommon for things like this to happen but it still feels bad when it does. I don't want Allison to feel like I am not reliable, but at the same time I had to pick the project that a) seemed best for me at the time, and b) the one that actually booked me first. Just asking for availability is not a booking, and if I had held out for the photo double work there was a chance they could have passed on me and I would have had nothing. But most of the time being asked for availability leads to a booking so this ended up being a very sticky situation.

I gave Allison my availability for the rest of the month in case they had other photo double work they needed, or other stand in work. We'll see what happens. And once I find out my actual schedule tomorrow and Friday I can call them in case I can somehow do both. They work with so many actors that I am sure this snafu won't really affect me long term. but in the short term I am filled with both happiness that I will make some money this week, and ickiness that I was unable to book these things more smoothly.

Oh, and I left a message for the theater casting director about the audition, but have not been called back yet. We'll see if they can hold the audition another day...


Wait, what month is it again?

They really want me

I got another call today from the background casting agent for Naomi Watts' film- this time they want me for photo double work on Thursday. They need an alternate actor to shoot a scene where Naomi's character is driving across the 59th St Bridge. What is fun about this is that I would be the primary actor working in the scene. The less cool part is that I am wouldn't be working with any other principal actors (for example, Clive Owen, who stars in the movie with her.) But I may not even choose to take the project, should they pick me out of the group. Through another casting agent, I was put on avail for 2 days of featured background work on another project which shoots Thursday and Friday, conflicting with the Naomi shoot. I have not yet heard one way or the other yet on either project- which is pretty par for the course. They'll call you, put you on avail and then they may never use you. Ultimately, I would choose the 2 day gig- 1) because it pays more and, 2) I get actual screen time. With photo double work I would be on screen but the assumption is that I am Naomi. If I did the other project I would be playing my own character on screen. Plus there is always, though a slim, chance of an upgrade.

As if that weren't enough, this evening I received a call from a theater I had submitted for asking me to come for an audition on, you guessed it, THURSDAY. Why they couldn't choose Wednesday, or Friday, I will never know. I should have confirmation from the films one way or the other in the morning (Wed), but in the meantime I am going to call the theater and see if I can come in to see them any other day BUT Thursday.

I guess this is a nice problem to have- if only one of these projects could propel my career to the next level!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Speaking of resemblance...

I just got a call to do a week of stand-in work for Naomi Watts, who is on location shooting a film in NYC next week. Unfortunately, next week I have a bunch of seminars scheduled with agents and casting directors, as well as 4-5 theater auditions, so I had to turn it down. It’s a tough choice- the ability to make about $1000 and meet a production team who will be able to see that I am a similar type to Naomi, vs taking the steps to advance my career with local agents and CDs. I think I made the right choice- and I am looking forward to seeing what I can generate through the meetings next week!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Politics of Dancing (um, what?)

My friend, Judd, posted a very well-spoken reaction to some of this weekend's news on his blog. There is one section in particular I wanted to pass on because it seems to echo some of the thoughts in my head about the upcoming election.

I didn't realize until after the Iowa caucuses how much I wanted Senator Clinton to win the Democratic nomination. I have been hesitant to make any strong choices before seeing how things pan out because I want to know how the candidates would fare after a long fight (they always seem to change their tune.) But after Iowa I was trying to search for the words to describe how I was feeling about the senator coming in third after being so far in the lead, and Judd's blog has really pinpointed some saddening facts about this woman running for president.

Read it by clicking here.

Now, you certainly don't have to believe the way I do about anything I put on this blog- but for the future of our country I strongly encourage you to learn everything you can about the candidates and vote for someone you feel will represent your needs in Washington. Talk to your friends and family and inspire debate in others. Like it or not, change is coming- we just have to make sure it is a change we can get behind.

PS: My mother, a Republican for nearly her whole life and a 2-time Bush voter (well, 4, if you count Bush Sr.), is voting for Senator Clinton. She believes that Clinton may be the right choice for the first woman to run the White House. Could you imagine??? Oh, happy day!

Friday, January 4, 2008

For the ladies

This is a special message to the ladies out there who have a fear of what lurks on public restroom toilet seats:


I am sorry for shouting, but good god people. There is very little that can be transferred from a butt to the seat and picked up by another butt. But if you HOVER, the pee splatters all over the seat and creates wet problems for the next person. Don’t you notice the toilet seat when you turn around to flush? Can you not see the nastiness you are leaving? It should be common sense to at least wipe off the seat of it gets wet, but people are apparently afraid of their own pee.

Once and for all, read this report on how there is NOTHING to be feared from sitting on a toilet seat:

Article: You can find more germs on a desktop than a toilet seat.

If you still have to hover, PLEASE clean up after yourself.

Thank you.

Poll- Who Do I Resemble?

In the acting business it is only natural to be compared to other people in your field. I have heard a wide range of comparisons, especially since going blonde, so I thought I would see what you think. Below is a list of everyone that people have compared me to (click link to see photos): leave a comment and tell me your vote:

Leslie Mann
Naomi Watts
Amy Adams
Nicole Kidman
Kristin Davis
Holly Hunter
Marley Shelton (just did stand in work for her)
Kali Rocha (more for her personality than looks, I think)
Winona Ryder (really?)

You can also write in a vote!

Poll- Who Do I Resemble?

In the acting business it is only natural to be compared to other people in your field. I have heard a wide range of comparisons, especially since going blonde, so I thought I would see what you think. Below is a list of everyone that people have compared me to (click link to see photos): leave a comment and tell me your vote:

Leslie Mann
Naomi Watts
Amy Adams
Nicole Kidman
Kristin Davis
Holly Hunter
Marley Shelton (just did stand in work for her)
Kali Rocha (more for her personality than looks, I think)
Winona Ryder (really?)

You can also write in a vote!

Audition Log: Artsy with an Edge

I started out the new year with a couple of great auditions. First, I was called in for a play called “Warning: Adult Content.” I was called in for a role described as, “Late 20s. Beautiful. Damaged. Manic depressive. Strong singing skills a must. Smart and forgiving. Incurable romantic.” Apparently the character was a singer, so they asked me to prepare a song (to be sung a cappella) along with a monologue. I auditioned for the director and the playwright, who were very nice. They seemed to like my monologue- they laughed in all of the appropriate places. When I was done, the director asked me if I had another monologue that was a little “darker.” I did and I performed it. When I was done, the director said, “Thanks- that’s exactly what I wanted,” and the playwright joked, “Thanks for bringing me down!” It was nice to know that I could be well prepared in a situation like that. I hadn;t performed the dramatic piece in months, and it was nice to know I could pull it out of my back pocket and give an honest performance.

I then sang a verse and chorus of my song. When I was done, they asked me if I was familiar with the roles that are available in their show. They said I would still be considered for the original role, but that they also wanted to consider me for the lead role. The only caveat- the lead role would likely include some tasteful nudity. They asked me my thoughts about that. Personally, I have no moral problem with nudity. I have a nervousness about it because I do not have a 20-year old body. I am sure I could do some conditioning in the 6 weeks before opening, but holy crap it makes me nervous anyway. I am a shy girl, and am not great with vulnerability. But if it was a good script and I have a chance to grow as a performer, I would be more than happy to do it. Plus, it is better to try out nudity on stage rather than in film- a stage performance fades into the ether when completed- film is forever! They told me that they would like to consider me for both roles, and they would be in touch if they need to see me for callbacks. I would be satisfied either way- I felt like I accomplished something in the audition and I could easily leave it at the door.

After that I went to a seminar with commercial agent Lakey Wolff from CESD. Lakey was great- she had just the kind of personality that I click with and would be a joy to have on my team. I performed short commercial copy and then spent the rest of my time asking questions about her impression of my type and fit in the industry She said that I have a good look that would allow me to do a large amount of roles. She said I might be able to do “young mom“ but that mostly I am a girl next door with an artsy edge. She said that my hair color (which has highlights, lowlights and some red underneath) is what makes me a little more edgy, and that my personal style seems artsy. She picked which headshot she preferred for commercial work, and said that the headshot looked just like me (which is so great to hear!) She asked me to keep in touch with her by email, and I certainly will!

So far I have 3 auditions scheduled next week- but I am sure more will come up!

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