Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I don't indulge in rants very often so I'm entitled to this one now.

Lately I've had a few newbie actors ask me for advice in getting started.  Some have been wise and taken it (not that I know everything but, hey, I've been around the block) while others have chosen to ignore it.  I've heard every excuse "I'm not interested in taking classes, I don't need to get a professional headshot, I can get auditions with no experience and no agent, I don't want to do theater, just film". 

Well, good luck with all that.  Yes, I am working now.  NOW, after eight long years of paying my dues, of keeping my arse in class, taking workshops, working on my career on a daily basis, challenging myself in every possible way, taking care of the business side and busting my butt constantly.  Riding the highs and lows and everything in between, I'm finally booking work, FINALLY.

But if you think you can take short cuts, don't need to work on your craft, are above theater and are going to be the next big thing, GOOD LUCK.  Let me know how that works out because you will officially be the first to accomplish it.

For the rest of you, thanks for listening and appreciating that this is a damn hard thing to do.  And the only way to do it is through hard work and putting in the time.  Lots and lots of time. 

End of rant. 

Thanks for allowing me the indulgence and keep on keeping on. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Class is for Growth

I started back to acting class last night and it's about high time.  My goals this time around are to figure out what I'm doing wrong, what I can do better and learn from watching others.  My first night was humbling but good.  There are some great actors in there to learn from.

Even though I've been auditioning and getting call backs for more of the "good stuff" (i.e. NOT commercials), I haven't been booking yet.  It's time to figure out what I need to be doing to stand out and add in those elements my acting that will set me apart and get me the part.

As I said, my first night was humbling.  I did a scene that I had done previously for my demo reel.  The director directed it "big" so that I could get some good emotional pops for my reel.  Unfortunately, that didn't carry over well into class last night and I got some good feedback on it being too far over the top.  With some tweaks and suggestions from my coach, the second performance was MUCH better.  I walked away feeling a little defeated but thankful for the feedback.  One of the things I've always struggled with is criticism, constructive or otherwise. 

Then my coach said some magical words that made it all better...Class is for growth, not to perform. 

Wow, so simple yet so profound.  Class is a safe place to try things out, an opportunity to get feedback that you wouldn't otherwise get after an audition, a place to grow and learn and challenge yourself.  But not a place to perform. 

As actors, we feel like we always have to be on and can't make mistakes.  Life is a performance.  Acting for growth is a difficult concept to accept yet so magical when you do. 

I wrote those words in big letters across the top of my notebook and will be referring back to them many, many times.  Class is for growth and I'm ready to grow. 

Keep on keeping on. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Faith and Adversity

My faith journey and acting journey have been closely intertwined.  My life hasn't always been easy and beautiful.  Partly due to my upbringing and partly due to bad decisions, I had some pretty rough years.  Healing and personal growth have been my focus for the past several years.  Every aspect of my life has not only improved but has been better than anything I could've ever dreamed. 

In yesterday's sermon, our pastor posed this question "If God asked you today if there was one thing He could change in your past or present circumstances, what would it be?".  I thought about it for a few minutes but couldn't come up with one thing.  Every single experience in my life has lead to where I am today.  I wouldn't change any, good or bad. 

It's much the same with acting.  The bad auditions, being re-cast, feeling like I had no one on my side, seeing others get the job when I just knew I was better, the battle to feel like I was good enough when I had not one tangible sign of it, all of it lead me to where I am now - in a season of success and blessing.  In a place where all of the hard work feels like it's finally paying off. 

I wouldn't change any of the adversity in my life, it drew me closer to God and knowing His will for me.  It gave me character and strength.  Most importantly it strengthened my faith.  I pray differently now, instead of asking God to deliver me from my circumstances, I ask to teach me the lessons I need the most.  I ask for the experiences in my life that are not easy, but will help me grow. 

Seasons of success are incredible.  But seasons of adversity, in the long run, can lead to things that are even better. 

Keep on keeping on. 

Friday, September 30, 2011


Since last Friday I...
  • had a callback for a feature film,
  • had an audition for a recurring role on a network series,
  • worked a print job,
  • had an audition for another feature film,
  • had a callback for a national commercial,
  • and...booked my first national commercial!
Tomorrow I'm auditing a film acting workshop.  Sunday I have a fitting for next week's commercial.  Then on Tuesday, I'm shooting a scene for my reel and Wednesday is the commercial shoot.

Holy cow!  I'm in acting heaven.  :)

At the beginning of this year, I committed myself 100% to reaching some milestones this year - one of them to become SAG eligible by booking a national commercial.  None of this happened by accident.  I came up with a plan and worked my tail off.  Of course, God brought me the opportunities and learning experiences but I had to have the game plan to be ready and make it happen.

Do the work, pray a lot, keep the faith and it WILL happen.  This week, I'm proof.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It. Happened.

Yesterday I found out I was one of the first choices for a SAG national commercial and today...I booked it! 

I'm so overwhelmed with emotion right now - from elation to disbelief to crying and back again.  Maybe that sounds silly but I've waited SO long for this and have been second choice so many times, six this year already! 

This one is mine.  I'll finally be SAG eligible and in a big, fat, GREAT way.

To God be the glory.  I'm beyond blessed and humbled. 

Keep on keeping on. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Updates, Updates, Updates

It was a weird week in the acting world.  Although I don't know what would constitute a normal one.  I had three SAG auditions in four days, followed by a non-union commercial audition.  Four auditions in a week, not too shabby.  Three went great, the other, not so much. 

The first was for the out-of-state feature film that I blogged about earlier in the week.  I was really curious all week about this one.  Did the girl I carpooled with get it?  Did another woman at our agency that books everything get it?  Was it the other, younger girl?  Well, we may not know who exactly got it for awhile but I do know it wasn't me or the other two women at my agency.  Our agent e-mailed us yesterday to let us know that it had been cast and no one with our agency got any of the roles.  Bummer.  Oh well, it was nice that she gave us some closure, which is rare. 

I had a SAG commercial audition last Saturday that shot on Thursday.  I was asked to be an extra for that one but declined.  The money would've been nice but I have to pick and choose my extra jobs due to taking time off from my pesky day job.  It sort of pays the bills. 

On Monday, I had a SAG national commercial audition.  I have a callback for that one next Monday, yippee!  That brings me to 27 auditions, 10 bookings and 10 callbacks for the year.  I like watching those numbers grow every year that I'm at this.  I'd really love to book this one and think I'm a great fit, just sayin'.  My goal is to get SAG-e this year.  The time is dwindling down but my auditions have been pretty consistent.  One of these just HAS to be the one. 

And now for the fourth audition, well I bombed that one.  It was an open audition, meaning we had to audition in the front of the room while all of the other actresses (the competition) watched.  I'm really comfortable auditioning in front of just about anyone...except my peers.  It always rattles me a little more than I'd like.    Not to mention that my scene partner and I had no chemistry whatsoever and it was all improvisation.  Disaster.  No need to worry about a callback on that one.  Moving on.

So I'm hoping this consistent auditioning streak continues.  If for no other reason, the law of odds in on my side.

Keep on keeping on!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Film Callback

I had my first ever callback for a SAG feature film on Friday.  It was out of state so I carpooled with another actress with my agency who was called back for the same role.  Awkward?  Sort of, but I viewed it as an opportunity to get to know an experienced actress a little better.  Not to mention, we both saved some gas money.  :)

She drove and we chatted on the three-hour drive and got to know each other a little better.  We had met before in a casting director's workshop earlier this year.  She was the reader in the workshop and I was a student.  At the time, she was starring in a critically acclaimed stage production in L.A. that the workshop director had written and produced.  I already admired her work.

Neither of us discussed the part we were auditioning for but we exchanged stories about our backgrounds, how we got started and I, of course, asked her many questions about her experiences in La-la land.  Once we got there, we discovered only four women had been called back to read for the role.  I felt super-honored to be included in that foursome. 

I went in before her and read four scenes for the film's director and casting director from L.A..  They both gave me great feedback after each scene.  I felt totally relaxed and comfortable for the first time in any audition.  I was connected, in the moment and fully present.  That alone was a major accomplishment. I walked out feeling pretty good. 

My friend went in next.  About mid-way through her reading, I heard applause.  When she walked out she gave me a thumbs-up sign and we signed out and left.  Once outside, she asked how I felt about it and I told her that it went as well as it could have.  She asked if the director applauded when I was done.  I told her no and she started laughing and told me that he did in hers.  It was an off-hand remark, no harm intended, and we both started laughing.  I congratulated her on an applause-worthy audition. 

On the way back, we discussed our insecurities as actors.  I was surprised to learn that she plays the same head games with herself that I struggle with on an almost daily basis.  We agreed that the psychological game is sometimes the hardest thing to overcome.  I told her that I honestly hoped that she would get the part if I didn't (which she probably will anyway).  And I meant it. 

Overall it was a great experience and I wouldn't have changed anything if I could have.  It's another milestone for me.  A feature film and only one of four called back.  I'm ecstatic for that alone.  But it was about more than that, I gained some valuable insights and learned that even though we compete for roles, it doesn't have to be ugly.  Will I be disappointed that I didn't get it?  Of course.  But if it goes to a worthy opponent, then so be it. 

I'm moving on up.