Archive for January, 2012

Mid-Weekend

I’ll be heading to Los Angeles tonight to attend that casting director Q&A tomorrow in Burbank. I’m so excited! While I’m down there, I decided to bug my friends to take me to get some local grub. What better way to enjoy LA than to cruise on the hospitality of good friends? I have to admit, I can’t stop hoping I’ll bump into my favorite guy in the world, Will Friedle. Of course, the chances of that happening are slim to none. From what I gather, he frequents the bar scene. I mean, I can only go to so many bars in one night. Plus, I heard he smokes, which makes no sense considering he makes a living off of his voice. Eventually, his voice will change. From the sound of Thundercats, it already has. Guess I’ll leave it up to the gods of kismet. I guess if I was feeling crazy, I could swing by his house & steal a clump of dirt from his front lawn…but that’s not going to happen. Although, it’d be hilarious if I did…and a little psychotic, haha!

I often think about what my meeting with Will would be like. Perhaps filled with tears, heart palpitations & immobility? Naw, I like to think I’m cooler than that. I imagine my chance encounter to go somewhat similar to the pleasant experience of when I met Matthew & Gunnar Nelson at a cafe. Or it could be awkward like the time I ran into Joe McIntyre at 3 AM; he was so completely tired & irritable that he took it out on me & my friend. I wanted to slap him. Or, it could be as awesome as the time I met Jason Marsden & he already knew my name. I wanted to hug him like a long lost friend. What a sweetheart. As memorable as these all were, I’m thinking my encounter would be most likely an admiration from afar, like when I spotted Katey Sagal in Carmel, Kathy Najimy in Los Angeles, Kevin Nealon in New York, or Kevin Pollack in San Francisco. Wow, lots of Ks in the house.

No matter what, I’m excited to be having a weekend experience in the middle of the work week. This is why I need a career change. I’d love to travel for work. Oh, we’re doing a movie in Canada & you need Canadian extras? I’d fly right over there in a heartbeat. I’m so excited over this career path I’ve decided to go towards. You have no idea how many have preceded this one. It took quite a long time for me to feel solid about something. We shall see what happens. The future is always unpredictable.

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Casting Extras & Faces

What a great first day shoot we had! But first all, let me just say that last week was a whirlwind of ups & downs for the film production. On Tuesday, after enjoying learning all about face casting from one of our makeup artists, Melissa, we found out exactly 4 days before the first shoot that the venue, Temple, decided to boot us out in order to rent it out for some corporate gig. I understand that businesses have to make money but canceling our agreement basically because something that paid more came along was completely shady, not to mention infuriating. Now that I think about it, it’s pretty ironic & arrogant for a place to be calling themselves Temple. May the gods of karma have mercy on you.

Moving on, our heroes, Club Mist, saved the day & allowed us to use their club. This place was the exact opposite of the goth look we were going for but to me, that was what was so great about it. It didn’t meet your expectations as to what “goth” is. The scene is supposed to be a goth club scene and yet, the place looked more like a white heaven that a dark haven. Nice contrast. The director, Matthew Abaya, made it all work. I had so much fun getting all the extras for the scenes. The makeup artists did an above & beyond fantastic job with the makeup on everyone.

We were there form noon until 8 pm. I assistant directed as much as I could and finally got to rest that night. Unfortunately, I caught a fever the next morning and have been under the weather ever since. I am constantly stopping to hack a chunk of lung every 2 to 3 sentences as we speak. Salty. Being able to be the one to get the extras for the film really solidified my infatuation with wanting to be a casting director. Moreover, a friend of mine sent me an email today.

It was for a Q&A event with a casting director who works for NBCUniversal. Mainly, it’s geared towards actors who want to know what casting directors look for but it says that you can ask anything you want so I figured hey, why not go to this event and make it a weekend on hump day? It was a very spontaneous decision but I shop by intuition and my intuition told me I should buy a ticket…then a couple of flights, then rent a car, and find a place to sleep. Done, done, done, & done. The event is in Burbank so I’ll have to fly down there. I do not want to drive my car down there & back on my own. Granted, I’ve done it before but I was younger then…ok, only by 4 years but still, I was more balls-to-the-wall back then. Ok fine, I did it for New Kids on the Block. There, I said it and that’s the honest truth. Don’t judge me by my questionable interests. So now, all I need is a restaurant to go to. Hmmm, which restaurant should I try? I just love eating in places other than home. :0)

Here are some pics

Jeff getting his face cast by the amazing Melissa

Michelle getting her face cast also by the amazing Melissa

The only time I’ll ever be behind the bar

Goth people in heavenly setting

Filming Scott & Kitty scene upstairs

Kitty doing her dance

I know, my captions is sooooo creative! Well, it’s 12:20 AM and I’m sick sooo….yeah.

Sitcom Nights

I turned on the TV the other night and this new show, “Are You There, Chelsea?” came on. I was busy on the computer so I didn’t bother to change the channel as I am rarely interested in getting addicted to any new sitcoms that might be so hilarious that I have to pass up opportunities to hang out friends just to catch the show. Yeah, I don’t use a DVR. I was barely paying attention when all of a sudden, Ali Wong walked onto the screen! I was overcome with joy. I still remember watching Ali in a play at Bindlestiff Studio back around 2005 or so. I think it was called Sleeper.

It was such a great accomplishment to see someone from Bindlestiff onscreen, and on prime time no less. I have a dream that one day, Bindlestiff Studio will be like The Groundlings, nurturing artists & propelling them towards success. I never thought it would happen until I saw Ali. I am so proud of her for doing her thing. I just wish the show was casted differently. To be honest, I didn’t feel that Laura Prepon really captured the essence of Chelsea Handler. I wonder if she had ever watched Chelsea’s talk show. Even just watching it one, you truly get a sense of the crass & sarcastic nature of Chelsea. I didn’t really see that in Laura. If Chelsea’s personality were a 10, Laura is imitating it at about a 3. Maybe it’s just because it’s the 1st episode. I’m hoping it gets better as time goes on.

However, I applaud Laura for trying to take this character on. It’s not easy to play a character that already exists, much less performing side by side with your character’s real life persona standing right beside you. If it were me, I’d be wondering if she thought I was doing a good job, if she thinks I suck at playing her, if I’m saying it the way she would have said it. And I understand that Laura is probably just putting her own spin on her character but I think a lot of the audience would still be comparing the two.

I liked the characters but I did lose interest in the plot of the episode. Perhaps I was just too busy doing my AD work to pay enough attention. Although, the show I watched yesterday, Rob, starring Rob Schneider was so hilarious that it kept me from doing my work. I love comedies that get me that way. I haven’t seen a sitcom do that to me since Living Single or Martin. There is just something about ethnic humor that has a special spark to it. You either get it or you don’t. And even when you don’t get it, it’s still funny! I think I’ll be tuning in from now on just to see what else they come up with. Wow, I haven’t watched sitcoms since 2000. Epic.

Career Moves

Whenever anyone has asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I have a million answers for them. I’ve veered towards so many different paths that I’m getting lost in my career GPS system. I have wanted to become a sketch comedy writer, a screen writer, an actress, a fashion designer, a preschool teacher, a real estate agent, a restaurant owner, a professional baker, a banker, a hotel manager, a journalist and this is just from what I remember. At this point, it’s time to make a decision.

I’ve recently come across a career that I have never been more excited about pursuing. I think I really want to become a casting director. I don’t know why I never thought of it before. I am comfortable around celebrities, I love watching people audition, I have been on both sides of the spectrum and I loved it a lot more when I wasn’t the auditionee. Currently, I’m helping a local filmmaker on their first feature film & I’m the assistant director & I’m in charge of all the extras for the shoot. My emails are overwhelming but I can handle it. I’m finding that a lot of people want to be extras but when it comes to communication, it’s pretty iffy. You just never know who will actually show up, especially when I tell them they have to come dressed in goth clothing. All of a sudden, that’s too much work and instead of letting me know they are no longer available, I guess I just have to assume they are out if they don’t reply. If any of you ever want to be a movie extra, it’s best to reply.

Anyway, on Sunday, I spent about 3 hours with the fight choreographer, working on the training for the actors. I just went for the workout & boy, was it hard. I don’t think I’ve ever worked out my body so much before. Today, I am sore in places I never even knew had muscles. I ended up kicking, punching, & crawling around the floor like a caterpillar. The workout was reminiscent of those once-popular Tae Bo tapes with Billy Blanks except the Tae Bo workout was a lot easier. Man, the things that actors have to go through to fulfill their roles as their characters require so much work. I have a much higher respect for actors who can grunt through it. I used to think they just walked around onscreen, saying someone else’ words. I never thought about the physical aspect of it all as I’ve only performed onstage & never had to do any type of fighting, jumping, or kicking. I hope this pain goes away soon. I can barely go up & down the stairs due to some stressed calves & weak knees. Let’s just hope my body recovers soon. In the meantime, I’m going to spend my days recovering from this hot mess of a workout.

Happy New Year

Every year, the entire world always gets into writing their new year’s resolutions, including me, of course. We fall into believing that a new year means a new beginning or a brand new start. I’ve had the same resolution for the last 23 years, which in fact, is the same resolution for probably over 50% of the United States and that is to lose weight.

Well I’m not going to continue with my tradition anymore. Instead of making resolutions of empty promises of things I will do, I’m going to make promises to myself of things I will not do.

I will not…
1) lie to myself.
2) tolerate drama.
3) put myself down.
4) let fear get in the way of my goals.
5) waste time dwelling on coulda, shoulda, woulda.
6) restrain myself from being happy.
7) allow negativity to overcome my positivity.
8) let embarrassment stop my imagination from freeing me.
9) pretend it’s all good when it’s not.
10) be afraid to speak my mind.

That’s enough for the year. I’ll do my best to refer to this list whenever an applicable situation approaches me. I spent the weekend watching “Intervention” on A&E and realized that there are so many people out there who take life for granted. There are many individuals whose lives are seemingly perfect but no one’s life is perfect. I shouldn’t compare my life to anyone else’s life because there will always be someone who has it better or worse than me. My very basic bottom line goal is to just find my happiness and pass it on. There’s no point in being happy if you can’t share it.

Happy New Year, all.