Sunday, August 31, 2008

Growing up thoughtful

My mother always taught me to think for myself and make decisions based on a mix of my gut feelings and the facts at hand. She warned against judging others and falling prey to stereotypes and prejudices. This is the reason she and I can have detailed discussions about contentious topics, even when our opinions fall on the other side of the issue from one another.

Which is why it is so delicious that, sometimes, her being so willing to consider other viewpoints brings her to my side of the table. A lifelong Republican, my mother was poised to vote for Hillary Clinton this fall. She is not a fan of Obama’s, so she has reluctantly decided to vote for McCain. But this is what she recently wrote about McCain’s VP choice:

Subject: Republican VP Pick

We didn't get a chance to talk about the pick......I am pretty sure John McCain just handed the White House to Obama. I am hoping that in the next few weeks I will begin to understand the McCain choice better and will be able to make some sense of it. I would have loved to see in my lifetime a woman in the oval office but I didn't just decide to support Hillary because she is a woman. I supported her because I felt she was truly the best choice, would be moderate but with a strong foreign policy and of course to fulfill my dream of a female president. McCain's choice has deeply disappointed me. He could certainly have chosen a more qualified woman if he felt a woman was necessary to help him win. I don't think I have ever been so disappointed in a presidential election. I guess I will just pout and sulk!!!!

Love, Mom



Man, I love her!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Those darned telemarketers...

I just got a call, and this is how the conversation transpired:

Me: “Hello, this is Erin.”

Them: “Erin? Erin Co--roin-ee- kat” (typical- no one can ever pronounce my last name.)

Me: “Oh, yeah. That’s me.”

Them: “Finally! Thank God! It’s been like pulling teeth to get a hold of you.”

Me: “Um, what?”

Them: “I am calling from the Police Officer’s Fund...”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but could you please take me off your list?” (I was a little perturbed by the way they had started the call, so why listen to their spiel?)

Them: “How... DARE you?!?”

(Silence, and I hear sounds of typing for about 10 seconds before they hang up.)

Yeah, so, note to telemarketers: The above is NOT the best way to approach someone if you want to get money from them.

Just a quick update for a busy gal!


Things have been going very well on the TV front. My 3rd episode of "One Life To Live" just aired on ABC- I played a maid from the fictitious country of Mendorra (and "under 5" role.)

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I have spent quite of time at “Guiding Light.“ I play one of their trusty bartenders in their ”Towers“ bar and restaurant. Background work, traditionally, is not a very glamourous job but this is a really fun gig. I show up for either the morning or the afternoon segment, and sit in a dressing room by myself or with another actor. Since I play a bartender, I don’t even have to provide my own costume (which is usual for background actors.) When on set, I interact with the principal cast & crew so often that they all know my name. That makes working on set really awesome- it is such a fun and easy way to make a living!

I am also rather active in the theater right now. I am working on a staged reading of the beautiful play, "Avow." I believe it is the first production of the show in NYC since its run Off-Broadway in 2000. I play the role of Irene, which is an incredible role for me. I am also doing another reading of the full length play, "Pills" which explores the nature of anxiety and how it can affect even the most stable of relationships. I play the lead role of Sally.

Let’s see, what else... There haven’t been that many auditions I’ve been interested in, lately. July and August seem to have been pretty slow, though the audition calendar seems to be picking up after Labor Day. Hopefully I’ll have some good audition stories to tell you about very soon!

Now I have to get to bed- tomorrow I have a voice lesson and then I am going to start working on my monthly postcards to agents and casting folks!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Set Your DVR To Record...


My 3rd and final episode of “One Life to Live” is scheduled to air Tuesday, August 26 on ABC (check your local listings.) Look for me in the Mendorra palace, and watch me get taken by surprise by one of the young series regulars!

In honor of the occasion, I have uploaded footage from my first episode to my website- click here to view it.

To see other demos, you can go to my Demos Page, or get links directly from my Resume.

While you’re at it, head over to my IMDB page where you’ll see the first 2 episodes listed. (Every visit helps raise my rankings on IMDB Pro- so thanks for your help!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

"We Don't Want Actors for Acting Roles"


“Looking for REAL doctors, not ACTORS playing doctors! Please state your specialty and any other pettinent information in the notes page (ie: articles, CV)”

Um, what? Have actors become so bad that it is no longer acceptable to a producer to have an actor imagine what it is like to be a doctor? Or is it that the producer is too cheap to hire a medical consultant to make sure that words and actions are consistent with what is done in the industry?

I’ve been seeing this more and more and it just ticks me off. Next we’ll be seeing something like:

“Wanted: REAL people who imagine themselves in fictional situations, not ACTORS playing imaginative people!”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Mooned You

You are The Moon

Hope, Expectation, Bright Promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Finally- update to IMDB


One of my episodes of "One Life to Live" is finally up on IMDB! The one I did one month before is not up yet, though. All together, there will be 3 episodes listed (my last episode is set to air on August 26.)

Check it out: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1859555/

Going to my IMDB page helps my rank, so visit often!

Fishy Fish

So, I have this thing about eating meat. I don’t eat it that often, and when I do, I don’t want it to look anything like the animal when it was alive. I know that is hypocritical, or more plainly, ignorant, but I just don’t want to know where my meat is coming from. I have a real problem eating things like lobster, king crab, calamari with the little tentacles (it’s OK if it is just the rings, though...) If I forced myself out of my prescribed ignorance, I would be a vegan, no doubt. But if I can keep myself blissfully unaware of WHAT I am eating, I can usually enjoy it.

My vegan and vegetarian friends hate me right now. But they’ll have their last laugh.

So, Tom and I tried this new restaurant called “One Fish, Two Fish.” (Well, it isn’t new to the area, but it was new to us.) The menu was huge, so we had trouble figuring out what to order. I finally settled on the stuffed rainbow trout, and Tom ended up getting a crustacean smorgasbord (wow- I cannot believe spell checker didn’t get me on that one!) My trout would be stuffed with their famous lump crab stuffing, which I was really excited about because of all things “fish” I adore lump crab.

So, imagine my surprise when my dish was delivered to my table, and on my plate was a fish. Seriously. A fish. With a head. And a tail. And... eyeballs. I started to get really shaky. My palms began to sweat. The server walked away and I looked at Tom and said, “Help me. Please, get rid of the head. And the tail. Can you please, just, chop them off and hide them, or something? I cannot look at this fish that looks like a fish!” I was speaking rather rapidly and I was light headed. I could feel the room start to spin. So, he grabbed the plate and chopped off the body parts and hid them under a napkin.

He handed the plate back to me, and I looked blankly at the skin. “That’s not edible, right?” I asked. Of course not, so I handed him the plate back, and he proceeded to pull the skin off the fish for me. I finally got the plate back in front of me and took a few deep breaths. “I’m fine,” I thought. “I can pretend all of that never happened.”

And then I put my fork into the fish, and realize it had fallen upon... spine. Ugh. This fish had all its bones!!!! I looked up at Tom and started to get tears in my eyes. I said, feebly, “I can’t do this. This is ridiculous. Why do they serve fish this way???” But after a few moments I chose to “man up” and de-bone this fish myself. I mean, It’s reasonable not to want to cut the head off something, but I thought I should be able to take the bones out of it. It took me 10 minutes, but I was finally able to settle down and eat something.

Except I couldn’t- I was exhausted! When I ordered a stuffed fish, I expected to get a more tender version of cordon bleu. Instead, I had to obliterate the carcass like a school dissection project, and it wasn’t done at that. I had to nibble my way through every bite, just in case there were small bones that I had missed. Who knew that I was going to have to work that hard to get a little bit of fish? With all of the muscle and precision I had to give to the thing, you’d think I would have won a medal when I was done. I was looking for applause, but of course, none came.

Had I known from looking at the menu that the fish would be placed in front of me with a gaping open mouth, I never would have ordered it. See, I have never, in my entire life, ordered a piece of fish that came to the table like that. Part of the reason may be that I grew up in southern California, which is not a huge fish place. The only fish San Diego is know for is the fish in Mexican fish tacos, or lobster from Rosarito Beach in Mexico. Since we import everything anyway, there is no reason to prove its freshness by delivering the entire body to your plate.

The second reason for my lack of fish wrangling is that my father HATED seafood. So growing up, the only time we would ever have fish was when my father went out of town for business, and my mother would, in her rebellion, cook fish sticks for us. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I tried things like salmon, and I wouldn’t even consider sushi until I was in my late 20s. (Now, salmon and sushi are among my favorite foods, and just about the only meat I’ll eat, besides bacon.)

My last hypothesis for my fish freak out was my limited experience with fish preparation at restaurants. Growing up, anytime my mother “acted out” and ordered fish at a restaurant she would have the server take the plate back if the fish had a bone in it. So I was groomed to believe that if a fish had its bones, the restaurant had not done their job in cleaning it properly. So, I entered my life on the East Coast a veritable baby in the ways of seafood.

In the end, I kind of got a kick out of the experience. As I mentioned, had I known that the fish would have arrived to the table that way, I never would have ordered it. But it is kind of thrilling to get through an experience that you never thought you would have. Trust me, I will never do that again, but I get a laugh every time I think of the evening.

That said, I apologize in advance to all of the future servers who will hear me ask, “Um, does it look like a fish when it arrives?”

Friday, August 15, 2008

To honor Priscilla Allen


A dear friend and fellow actor, Priscilla Allen, just passed away. She had been in a nursing facility due to a stroke, and I know it had been touch and go for a couple of month. This still comes as a huge shock to me, though.

She was probably best known to audiences as the "Two Weeks" woman whose head explodes in the movie "Total Recall." But to San Diegan's she was known as the Grande Dame of the theater. She was amazing. One of my favorite experiences of her was watching her do was the short play, "The Ventriloquist's Wife" where she commanded the stage in dual roles, with spunk and a devious charm. I also had the good fortune to work alongside her in many, many staged readings. Not only that, but I had the extreme honor of being on her Christmas Card mailing list. She would hand-make cards complete with photos of her scantily clad from her early performing days- and she would always write something suggestive and sassy, quite in contrast to the typical holiday card.

She will be sorely missed.



Thursday, August 14, 2008

A word about Feedback

I have been performing with a monologue that I absolutely adore. It just plain feels good when I am speaking those words. I feel charming, quirky, warm, funny and charismatic when I deliver it, and I feel like I am at my best when performing it.

I have used this monologue as my main introduction to who I am as a performer. And because it is so solid, the feedback I have been given has been very detailed and specific, and has generally been very useful. Most recently, I have been given an astute piece of feedback, but I have been having trouble implementing it. And the more and more I worked the feedback into the piece, the more “in my head” it became, and it started to lose the spark it once had. I became puzzled- how could incorporating good feedback cause my monologue to grow stale? It really concerned me, so I put it on a shelf for a while and didn’t use it (a while being about a month.)

I revisited the monologue again last week when I had 2 EPAs back to back that required similar monologues. And I decided to give myself a little test. I would go in for the first EPA and do the monologue to the best of my ability while incorporating the feedback I had gotten. In the second EPA, I would revert back to my old style, hoping that whatever feedback I was supposed to retain would automatically show up.

The result of the 1st EPA? Flat, flat, flat, flat FLAT! I could tell that the auditor could have cared less about my piece. Places that should have had laughter were met with silence. Ick. I had had it!

So...I took a big step for my own career and determined that, while valid, the feedback I had gotten could not be incorporated in the current monologue I was doing. Period. I would take it into consideration when reshaping it from time to time, but in general I chose to go back to my original delivery.

So... The 2nd EPA... this one was a combined audition for 3 Off-Broadway houses. And. I. NAILED. It. It was delicious! I felt like myself again, and I was so proud of the work I did. As many will tell you, confidence is ALMOST everything. They felt it. I felt it. And I felt like a million bucks coming out of that EPA.

The lesson here is that feedback that you get in a class is wonderful and valid, but it might not always translate well in the audition room. In the classroom, there is room to nit-pick. The teacher is there to shape the piece as a package, but also to enhance each of the moments within the package. But in an audition, all that matters is the package. The audition goes by so fast that all they can get is a general feeling- they aren’t there to pick apart the piece and see where there could be improvements. (It would be a special audition if there was that kind of attention!) Frankly, I think the auditor just wants to know that the actor is a) a good storyteller, and b) would be good to work with. Beyond that, they’ll see what they need to see in callbacks.

In the end, you have to be able to stand behind your piece as a reflection of who you are as a performer. Outside feedback is good, but it is OK to set it aside in favor of preserving the overall presentation. This was a huge lesson for me- and a relief! It is so nice to know that even if I set aside the feedback, I am still honoring it by giving it a good, solid try. I feel released from the burden of all of the feedback I have gotten over the years. Touchdown, Home Team!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Global Warming? Bah!


Um... someone needs to tell the skies above New York City that global warming is afoot. It is 69 degrees right now, and only stands to hit about a high of 84 in the next 10 days. I know that wishing for un-godly hot weather is odd, at best, but folks... in order to put up with the freezing weather of winter, I MUST have ridiculous heat in the summer. I need to be begging for cold weather to swoop in before it actually happens. That’s how it was the first summer I moved here, and I loved it.

Weather... get to it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wow- 2 hits in a week!


After what seems like a huge professional drought from the summer (due, in part, to a couple of vacations), I have had an incredibly successful week. Thank Dog (sic).

First off, remember the web series I told you about a few weeks ago? As I mentioned, the producers invited me to meet with them to discuss the project and the role. The role I originally auditioned for was a supporting character in the first 4 episodes of the series. The producer said I was in serious consideration for the role, but in the end they wanted me to be in a role that has more longevity (!) The caveat is that the role is only talked about for the first 8-9 episodes, and then is physically introduced at the end of the first season. The coolest thing about this is that my character is talked about from day one and is the long lost love of one of the lead males. My character speaks on camera at the end of the last episode, and then in Season 2, I become a series regular.

How rad is that????

The 2nd hit this week was a CMAIL I got in my inbox from Actors Access (those of you who are actors in major markets know how fun it is to get a CMAIL!) The CMAIL was from the producer of a developmental reading I had submitted for. He told me that he knew from looking at my photos and experience that I was exactly what he was looking for, and was offering me the role without having to audition (!). I read through the play, and he was right. The role is perfect for me, she’s a little bit smart mouthed, a little neurotic and very vulnerable. It’s a short contract, just a few days of rehearsal and one night of a reading in September. I can’t wait!

It’s really awesome to have good news, after so many auditions and submissions that don’t go my way. I have 3 more EPAs that I am going to this week- and I’ll bet they go well, considering that I am walking on air of confidence!

Yay, Me!

This week this my 3rd anniversary of living in New York- Yeehaw! I am not sure how to calculate the actual anniversary. I came into town on the red eye- I left San Diego at 9:30pm August 4, 2005, and arrived in New York at 6am on August 5, 2005. So, I’ll probably just celebrate the whole week like many people do for their birthdays!

But there are two other things to celebrate. One- Aug 5 is my dear friend Courtney’s birthday. Two- she had a birthday party on August 5, 2005, where I met my boyfriend, Tom. So, August 5 is Tom’s and my anniversary - 3 years of dating! Tom likes to joke that he couldn’t DARE give me a chance to meet anyone else, which is partially true. I mean, he had also just moved to New York (from California... creepy coincidence!) and we were both unemployed. So, we got to explore the city together while everyone else was at work. Or, to be more accurate, we got to sleep in and sit on the couch watching TV while people were at work, and then got to go out and eat, drink and be merry until 4am!

Incidentally, I thought that all of the walking in New York would help keep me thin, but I didn’t count on the increased alcohol (due solely to the fact that I no longer utter “I can’t, I have to drive...”)

I really do feel like I am a New Yorker now, though I wouldn’t dare say that to a real New Yorker. Depending on who you ask, you either need to be in New York 5, 7 or 10 years before you get to call yourself that.

So, in honor of my move to New York from southern California, I will take some time to examine the city and notice the differences between my home with my hometown. Stay tuned... and in the meantime, take a look through through the archives to see other posts about the vast differences between the Left and the Right Coasts!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Do you have a blog?

If so... I would love to read it! Please leave a comment with the full blog address so I can check it out. We have to support each other!

My dad was so smart...


You don’t have to read all of this, but just glancing at the first paragraph you get a sense of what a smart and articulate guy my dad was. I mean, he worked at NATO, for cripes sakes!

Anyway, I miss him... that part doesn’t really seem to get easier.

(By the way, I find it funny that the name of the publication that this was written in is called the Air Chronicles... see the connection?)

Please support this writer!

Howdy! I need to do a little shout out for my friend, who just had a book published! Not only is she a wonderful friend and fantastic writer, but she is part of the Broadway theater community a dresser (she’s worked on a bunch of hit shows in the last 5 years.) So, it is important that theater folks show some support!

I went to her book release party, and she couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming. Here is the information- the print version will be out in the spring but 2 versions in digital are available now. The more we can support her work now, the better it will be when the print edition becomes available!

Hex Breaker by Devon Ellington.
A Jain Lazarus Adventure.

Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.

$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Visit Devon’s blog online for in depth views about her work in writing and theater.

Please support this writer!


Howdy! I need to do a little shout out for my friend, who just had a book published! Not only is she a wonderful friend and fantastic writer, but she is part of the Broadway theater community a dresser (she’s worked on a bunch of hit shows in the last 5 years.) So, it is important that theater folks show some support!

I went to her book release party, and she couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming. Here is the information- the print version will be out in the spring but 2 versions in digital are available now. The more we can support her work now, the better it will be when the print edition becomes available!

Hex Breaker by Devon Ellington.
A Jain Lazarus Adventure.

Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.


$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Visit Devon’s blog online for in depth views about her work in writing and theater.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fancy-schmancy

One of the great things about living in NYC is how vibrant the culture is here. And not just theater- film, writing, art, fashion... it’s all here. Tonight I got a glimpse inside two of these worlds. In the late afternoon I attended a book release party for a writer friend of mine, and in the early evening I went to an invite only premiere screening of my friend’s film, Wake, held at Tribeca Cinemas. I got to dress up and drink sangrias and eat empanadas. I also got to see my name on a VIP guest list and stand in front of the movie posters to have my picture taken my several different photographers. It was almost like these parties were thrown just for me. Well, here’s to dreaming.

Oh, and by the way, Tom and I look really good together on the red carpet!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Feel like I'm on a roll...


Or is that “a role”...

I have had a bunch of auditions recently, and I have been called back for a few of the roles. It has felt... well, it has felt great. I have been so busy, in fact, that it has been tough to have time to write this blog. Each night this past week I have been spending time preparing for the next day’s audition. It is wonderful to be able to plan one day at a time and not get too wrapped up in the result of each audition. If today’s doesn’t net me a job, I have another one tomorrow. And so on. This is why I moved to new York- I could audition every single day of the month and never run out of opportunities.

More important than getting cast is getting to show my skills to a new batch of casting directors. I was able to meet Carol Hanzel and Judy Bowman, two independent casting directors that I had yet to meet in person. They have now been added to my “follow up” list and I look forward to keeping them apprised of my adventures in this wacky business!

I got a wonderful phone call from the casting director of the web series I auditioned for. The producer really loved my work, and decided that they would like to create a role for me in their project! I have a meeting set up with the director on Saturday to explore the possibilities. At this point, nothing is decided so the project or role could fall through. But it is so wonderful to meet someone who jives with my acting style- and I am open to whatever direction this is headed.

Another very exciting development is my involvement with a beautiful play, which I will be doing a reading of in September. This role is absolutely perfect for me- the character is strong, sexy, self-depricating, passionate, idealistic, and wildly vulnerable. Our current director has a huge passion for this show, and he is hoping that there is some way for the show to have a life after the reading. He has been in touch with the playwright, who has given the reading his blessing and will be in attendance. But the playwright is also in talks with another group who has some names attached, so it is likely that our version will end with the reading. The director did tell me today, however, that the other show’s participants will be coming to our reading, and that their show many not be fully cast. So, there is a slim chance that I may be able to move on with the project no matter who is producing. Here’s hoping...

Next week I am scheduled to go to 5 EPAs for various shows. It is a real struggle, sometimes, to wake up in time to get a firm slot in that day’s audition calendar. I know- sob, sob... but I tend to be a night owl and get all of my best work done after midnight (it is 1:46am as I am typing now.) If I go to sleep early, I am cutting into evening work time, and if I sleep a full 7-8 hours I cut into morning work time. Argh! But, as frustrating as this can be, it is the life I choose and I am thrilled with the choice. But I am just happy that I don’t have an audition in the morning!

House Potato

You know... It is very hard to find stuff to write about when I never leave the house. I guess that’s what happens when I work for myself and all of my work is done from home.

I am a boring boss. I should fire someone.


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