Friday, January 30, 2009

Tugs at your heartstrings

There was a homeless guy panhandling on the train today, but his pitch was a little different than the ones you usually hear. First, it was LONG- it lasted 3-4 subway stops (he was very INTO his story.) Second, it included an incredible tale detailing why he needed money and food. The story he told involved him being wrongfully accused of a crime and held at Rikers for 9 months. The crime was the attempted sodomy of a woman. But apparently, they found the real guy who did it (they had the same profile, but not the same DNA!) and then let Mr. Homeless go. But during his incarceration he lost the room he had been staying in plus everything he owned inside it. And now he was asking for our help.

You become accustomed to tuning these guys out, because there are better ways to help than giving money on the subway. But this one was at once heartbreaking and entertaining. He pulled no punches- talked about what an asshole the judge was, how he felt about the predicament he was in. It was hard to know if he was telling he truth, but he had no interest in being likable, which lent him some credibility.

The lady next to me gave him a dollar and a plastic bag with food in it. He asked if it was cookies, and was disappointed to learn that it was yogurt.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Being attacked by the weather

Here is a Facebook Status conversation I initiated today (my comments in white, their in green...)

Erin at 3:29pm -
Erin wonders how snow somehow flies up vertically beneath her glasses.
Brandon at 3:34pm -
Stop breathing.

Cat at 3:38pm -
Erin at 3:43pm
They are like kamikazi flakes, diving in and then swooping up for the kill.
Karen at 3:46pm
LMAO You need goggles.

Einar at 3:50pm
I think it's your lovely peepers who attract the flakes. I mean, the snowflakes.

Brandon at 3:51pm
It's because your eyes are so BIG. Maybe try squinting.
Erin at 4:10pm
I feel like Gloucester in King Lear.
Brandon at 4:16pm
Your bastard son had you blinded, too?
Erin at 4:23pm
Bastard snowflakes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Reflections from a Pub Window

I had a lot of fun taking these shots. At first, I was trying to capture the snow and the street lights while trying to avoid the reflections in the windows. But then I decided to give in and am thrilled with what I got.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Audition Feedback

As I may have mentioned in a previous blog, I had an audition for a feature film last week. The audition went great- going in, I knew I was younger than what the role required but they wanted to see me anyway. I was very excited after reading the script- I felt I could bring a very interesting and youthful energy to the role. I came in with a strong background created for the character, and clearly defined my environment by my actions in the scene. And I gave what I thought was a solid 2nd take after I got an adjustment from the director. The production team seemed impressed, and the director commented that my adjustment was “very specific, very good.”

Several hours after the audition I got an amazing call from the director (herself!) telling me that they are only calling back women in their 50s for the role. The breakdown listed the role as late 30s/early 40s, but at the end of the day they decided that someone older would be a better foil for the lead character. The director wanted me to know that out of everyone who auditioned, I gave the best and most specific performance after the adjustment she gave. And she also told me that though the casting director really liked me before the audition, she may very well LOVE me now. I was blown away by these comments- I call that a major success. (and, for those of you who are students of mine- THAT is what I call the "Yes" Pile!)

Thanks to everyone for your encouraging words and thoughts!

Things I did for my career this weekend
Went to the gym for a vigorous workout
Took a “Power Dance” class
Had a voice lesson
Started doing a re-edit on my vocal demo
Blogged =)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sounds like a joke

A guy was standing still in the subway station, with his knees halfway bent and his knees were bending further very slowly, almost second by second. I must have looked concerned, because a girl walked by and told me, “He’s just on heroin.”

Monday, January 12, 2009

She's a Star- the Meter says so!

My IMDB starmeter is at, what I think is, an all time high... 53,201! Yippee! Thanks to all of you faithful clickers (and probably lots I don’t know about) my ranking went up 42% since last week.

To take a look, go here:

Regular IMDB

Seriously, I feel pretty good right now.

That might also be because I have an audition for a major supporting role in an indie this week. By coincidence I happen to know both the director and the casting director, and the director specifically asked me to audition (though I know she called other people too.) It is a role I could really sink my teeth into, so one of the things I am doing for my career today is to read the full script and then do a bit of character development for the audition.

Other Things I am Doing for my Acting Career Today
- Getting together with my friend Kory, and we always talk about the industry and our current joys and frustrations
- Submitted for 2 more shows via email, and 2 via casting websites, and put 2 EPAs on my calendar
- Scheduled a voiceover session for a feature film I starred in last year. We are almost done with post production!
- read and the Hollywood Reporter RSS feeds

By the way, I saw on an Equity notice today that one of the projects needs “Actor/singers with authentic period voices.” Um, how is that possible? Is there any way we could be truly authentic and live in the “here and now”?

Enjoying Breakfast at a Bistro

Sometimes it is so nice to just be able to sit and relax with a cup of coffee and watch the world go by.

Relics and Traditions

One of the reasons I love New York so much is how much history we have here. Growing up in San Diego we got a little bit of history, but history usually was chronicled from 1920 onward. Not so in New York City. And the kind of history is also so different, particularly cultural history, which even after 1920 is lush and inspiring.

I recently read this article about the renovations at Carnegie Hall and how one of the tenants in the upper floors refuses to give up her apartment which she has lived in for over 50 years. She is a photographer, and has photographed the likes of Yul Brenner, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Henry Fonda, and Paul Newman. She raised her family in that studio, has done all of her photography work out of there... It’s simply amazing.

I absolutely love this city...

Sunday, January 11, 2009


As promised, here are the results from my efforts in the last few days (and by “promised” I mean that I committed to adding those to the bottom of my posts, and in the last few, I forgot!)

Things I’ve Done for My Acting Career....recently
1) Watched the Golden Globes
2) Hosted my company’s “Bite Size Business Soiree” (even when wearing my coach hat, I can promote my actor-self!)
3) Started reading “This Is Our Youth”
4) Did a reading of 2 short plays for a playwriting group, then passed out my business card to the other actors
5) Uploaded a link to my website for my sketch comedy video
6) Added a “Be a Fan” newsletter link on my website
7) Read Backstage, and followed other industry trades like, The Hollywood Reporter, NYTimes, NYPost, etc.
8) Submitted for 2 musicals and a sketch comedy group, and was already called in for 2 of them
9) Found out that I was cast in the SP Program at Mt Sinai

Life is good!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fan Newsletter

In a moment of brilliance (or perhaps a lifetime of dunce-ness leading up to that moment) I had added a Fan Newsletter signup to my website. And the idea came from the nicest man I met on the subway.

I was headed down to a class I was teaching on the business of acting, and I was applying my makeup on the subway. When I finished with everything, I casually turned to my left and saw a jolly man sitting next to me. He was amused by my handiwork, commenting that I must have a surgeon’s hand to be so precise on the train. He then asked me if I was an actor, and we got into a conversation about films and theater. He really seemed like a fan of artists so I gave him my business card so he could look me up and follow my career, and he gave me his in return. And then it occurred to me- I already had a newsletter set up for industry folks- why not expand it to include fans of my work?

Building a fan base is exactly what actors should be doing in their career. Fans can be agents, casting directors, producers, fellow actors, and regular folks too. Thinking about my career in this way has given me a little jolt of excitement. If you want to know more about newsletters and signup forms, leave me a comment!

By the way, my new friend checked out my website and then left me a very nice message about how excited he was to know about me. How cool is that?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Friday

Good news! I just got word that I have been hired by the Morchand Center at Mt Sinai School of Medicine to be a part of their standardized patient training program. This is the biggest training program in New York and perhaps on the entire Eastern seaboard. I am very, very excited to be working with them.

As I mentioned before, I am in pre-production on a brand new web series where I play the title role. "Poor Elise" is having its pilot shot in the spring, and we are currently scouting locations, interviewing production folks, and starting our online marketing efforts. It has been very exciting being a part of the process- I have been working with the writers to develop the back story of my character, and the project is leaning toward the"art film" genre, which is rather unprecedented for the internet. A lot of care is going into the visual style and the music - I will be very excited to show you the pilot when it is done!

I just posted new headshots by the esteemable Peter Dressel- take a look at my top choices here. You can also see some new modeling photos shot by John Baker. See those in the modeling section of the Photos page.

And, I would be foolish if I did not ask you to stop by my IMDB page. Just one click can raise my star meter through the roof, imagine what 5, 10 or 25 could do!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Subway Sense Memory

I am sitting next to a guy on the subway who is wearing the same cologne as my high school boyfriend. It's creepy and comforting at the same time. It also fills me with a bit of rage, but I can accept that it's misplaced and let it go... (those of you who know the story of my HS boyfriend will understand the rage!) It's such a phenomenon of a big city like New York- where else can you sit unreasonably close to someone you don't know and have such a visceral reaction!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Streets as Junkyards

It is amazing what you will find one the sidewalk of a New York street. In response to Diary of Manhattan Actress’ blog post (involving a photo of the frame of a bike with all of its parts missing) I am posting my own photo, which I’ll call its companion piece.

Bike parts and a full ski suit. Well, I'll be...!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Well, Now I've Seen Everything

I subscribe to a pretty cool blog that has free downloadable applications, with a new one posted every day. This application made me do a double take, and say, “Um, what?"

Application helps you keep track of your exotic pets: Exotic Keeper's Record is a database management tool for herpetologists. Whether you're interested in reptiles or amphibians—or even invertebrates—Exotic Keeper's Record can help you keep track of your collection of creepy-crawlies. You can maintain a record of feeding, molting, injuries, and more with this tool.

Are there any herpetologists in the house? I didn’t think so.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Swapping one activity for another

There were two activities I was going to do tonight which would have greatly influenced my career on the networking side. Instead, I opted to stay home and work on audition materials for this weekend’s audition. Part of me feels badly that I missed these events, but part of me also feels great that I put my audition preparation before socializing (even if the socializing was career driven.) It’s a constant battle when being your own boss- sometimes you have to make the tough choices in order to prioritize, and there is no one to blame but yourself (having a boss would be so much easier sometimes!) But it was a very productive evening, through and through.

What I Did For My Acting Career Today
1) Read 3 acting related blogs
2) Took two 10-minute walks to get the blood/muscles going
3) Finished reading the play for this weekend’s audition
4) Selected my audition piece based on the play, and started planning
5) Signed up for a new casting service
6) Looked into “how to do a valley girl accent” for a reading I have on Monday

Not that exciting, but productive, as I said. Hope for more and better this weekend. Now I am off to plan for a meeting I have tomorrow for an audition event that I am helping to produce. Busy busy!

The Smells of New York

This will be an post that gets added to as time goes on, and I welcome your comments/additions to add to the fun. One of the most wonderful yet unsettling facts about New York is that you are constantly experiencing strong smells. Some of them are fantastic, and some of them are downright filthy. This blog post is dedicated to all of them.

The Smells of New York (in no particular order...)

Hot, Candied Nuts ....probably my very favorite smell....
Fresh blossoms on tree-lined streets
Homeless people
Christmas trees in December- yum
Urine (from dogs and people)
Bakery smells, such a butter that is being warmed
Garlic from Italian restaurants
Garbage, which is waiting to be picked up in the evenings

Leave a comment and tell me- what smells stand out to you?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Playing real people

I saw “Milk” on Monday, and was absolutely blown away. What a great film, and what a great job Sean Penn did. I have not yet gotten a chance to play a “real” person, and I am wondering how good I would be at it (I came close when I did “The Wizard of Oz” and was asked to revive Billie Burke’s performance.) I have always been really good at mimicking voices and accents, but when I do so it feels like a hollow performance. I am preparing for a developmental reading of a play where I need to have a valley girl accent. When I do the accent perfectly, the acting suffers. And when I act, the accent suffers. Therefore, I have to do a lot of preparation so I can do both at the same time (like walking and chewing gum at the same time?) I can only imagine what it must be like, then, to have to do a honest portrayal on a real person. Anyway, I loved “Milk” and I would welcome the challenge of researching someone and affectionately portraying them. Yay for Sean Penn- he is a pleasure to watch.

And now for a new feature for the Theatrdiva...

What I Did For My Career Today
I have created this new section for accountability and motivation... sometimes I’ll get through a whole day and think, “I didn’t do anything for my acting career today!” when in fact, I did. Or, sometimes I feel like I do much of the same thing day after day. If I write about it, I might notice the trend sooner and spice things up by throwing in something different (liek, perhaps working on accents AND acting!)

So, here we go...

1) I went to the gym and did 35 minutes of intense cardio
2) I went through 2 casting websites and 1 casting newsletter and submitted for 3 projects
3) I re-read a play in preparation for an audition
4) I blogged! =)
5) I sent out invitations to a bunch of production folks- I am starring in a web series this year and I am setting up a networking event so our executive producer can meet some NYC production folks when he is in town. So, if you are involved with anything BEHIND the camera, shoot me an email and I will send you further details.

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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