Monday, July 31, 2006

Update

I did the zombie shoot this weekend. I have a story to tell, but I don't have time to tell it yet since I have to go straight from the day job to pick out my wardrobe for the paid thing on the skater movie all night tonight. Suffice it to say that I had fun but I didn't get as bloody as I had hoped.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Caterpillar

I learned a new pole trick last night called the caterpillar. You go upside down then do a couple stripper push ups then dismount. My dismount is a little sloppy so I'll have to work on it. (I think I bruised Rio on my last dismount.)

I was very thoughtful last night during class. I was watching other students work. I was good at some tricks but I had trouble with others. I noticed the same was true for other girls with other tricks. I had a lot of trouble when I started learning tricks but it got better as I went along. I just had to practice. I just had to stick with it until I got it down. I realized that I've given up too early in the process with other studies (including ballet and tap classes). I figured since I didn't have it all down the first day that it was hopeless. In truth, all I needed to do is stay disciplined and practice.

Pole dancing classes - food for the body and food for the soul.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Waxidents Will Happen (not for the weak)

Today was waxing day. I went in to get my standard wax job done - brow and bikini. I had a waxident.

My waxer and I have been talking over the past few months about going to Rio De Janero. I made an agreement with Andrew that I'd go to Rio if he lost a certain number of pounds. I've been updating my waxer each month and she gets a little laugh out of my stories. I told her this morning that he had nine pounds to go.

I think she misunderstood and thought I was saying, "Hey, I know what'll be fun. Let's just go ahead and go to Rio today."

I didn't realize what was happening until she had smeared hot wax all over my goodies. At that point, I had three options.
1 - Say "Jane, stop this crazy thing!" and try to peel 1/4 cup of hot wax out of the zone without pulling out any hair.
2 - Let her do one side and tell her she must've misunderstood.
3 - Go through with it.

It didn't hurt so bad as my girlfriends have made it out to be. It was hot and a bit uncomfortable, but thirty minutes later I'm totally fine. Of course, I have an expert waxer.

I'm feeling a little bare, a little vulnerable right now. I had my waxident in the middle of a workday. At least I didn't wear a skirt today.

Secrets of the Dance Universe

I'm not the highest trained dancer. I look pretty ridiculous in my belly dance class since I've only successfully arrived to two classes that weren't cancelled. I can pole dance -- that is a certainty. However, I have learned some neat things that I want to share with my twelve readers that may help them in their athletic pursuits.

Regular dance/workout clothes - I hear people tout lululemon all the time, but it's damn expensive. For lululemon, hit their website and check for clearance sales in your nearest big city or check eBay. There's a place in L.A. called Danny's Warehouse. They're good for cheap shoes and leotards. I got my jazz boots for $10 there for the jazz dance class I started at the college in February. Old Navy has great yoga pants. There's also Capezio.

Specialty dance goodies - My belly dance teacher gave me this list of websites to hit for belly dance stuff. Some of these places had the noisy hip scarves for $40 and up. I'm cheap. I checked eBay and bought a really fancy one for $23 and change (shipping included). They have hip scarves for cheaper, but I wanted a fancy one that will last a while. They also have belly dance costumes on eBay for WAY cheaper than the other sites. The only downside to getting one through eBay is that they may not have the same return/exchange policy that a regular vendor would, so you have to pay attention to the fine print. For poles, I use a big silver model by Party Pole. Those are kind of costly, but they're good. I was looking for a spinning pole that was portable last night on eBay and I found some portable poles for under $150. I don't know how good they are but they're definitely inexpensive. I got my stripper shoes at Lady Studio on Hollywood Boulevard, and they'll give you a discount in-store if you tell them you're a student.

For aches and pains - I use Tiger Balm. It's all natural and it smells like Vicks. I love Vicks. I've also taken cal-mag for muscle cramps. There are a lot of varieties on the market. I like the kind you add to a cup of tea. Doesn't taste great but it helps the pain.

Other tips - I found this great website that gives lots of tips for belly dancers. There's a great article on the Capezio website about ideal weight for dancers.

I hope these tips help you, no matter where you live. I know I would've never gotten all this information in my hometown before the internet.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Skin Ain't Cheap

In my last post, I talked about how I was cast on the spot to be the pole dancer in this independent film. Let me elaborate a little. I was told that nudity wasn't required in the film, but I had to tell them at the audition what my comfort level was. Now, I've got no problem being naked, mooning people or flashing a group of chicks with my ta-tas. I do have a problem with getting naked on film when I don't feel the nudity is necessary. I also don't get naked for free when someone else will profit from it.

At the beginning of the audition (when I was still in the running for the stripping instructor), I told them I was unwilling to show nips or holes, none of the goodies. I'd do a side shot in a g-string but not one of those shots from behind and only so much curve of the breast could show. This was when I thought I'd get paid. I did the audition then told her I could pole dance then she said "I'm casting you on the spot as the pole dancer" and I said "Cool" and then she said it was ultra ultra low budget so it was meals, copy, credit. I was so excited that I was going to get some pole footage for my reel (which could lead to paid gigs on name shows but maintaining the nips & goodies clause) that I didn't bother to correct my naked willingness.

I have to call the contact number I have for the casting assistant (?) and clarify that since I'm not getting paid I'll only do swimsuit nudity. I figure that's fair, right? Those extra few inches of skin are worth a lot more than lunch from Taco Bell and a DVD.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Special Skills Save the Day

I had an audition today for a little independant film. They called me in to read for the role of stripper academy instructor. I printed out the sides at work this morning and tried learning them in the parking garage right before the audition. The problem was that the text was really tiny, so it didn't lend itself to faking through the audition. (It's not a requirement to memorize your lines before every audition, but I like to do it and I see the pros do it on the DVD special features of films and television shows.)

I wore this top into work today, very booby. I slipped a tube top under it so it wouldn't be too distracting for the others in my office. Everything in the photo that's covered in black was exposed. I stopped by Borders right after the audition and I think I flustered the clerk with all the heaving and well-padded boobage.

Anyway, I got there and the audition was in the old "Rugrats" offices on Sunset. Huge building, very clean and modern but mostly abandoned. I guess "Rugrats" is no longer on the air. They're shooting this film there.

I went in and faked my way through, but my eyes were too glued to the tiny print on the page for my liking. After the gal finished videoing my terrible audition, she said she might call me to play a dancer if not the instructor. I mentioned I could pole dance and she cast me on the spot to be the pole dancer in the film. Cool.

Downside - it's unpaid. I'll only have to work a couple days doing two things I enjoy (acting & pole dancing), and I should get good reel out of it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Decisions

I was planning on going to LAVC this fall and taking a voiceover class on Thursday evenings. I have a great phone voice and I've done voiceover work. Might as well get the tech of it down cold and really know the tools of the trade. I should be able to walk into a recording booth and know exactly what to do, understand the terms and expectations.

But wait! I just got an email from my pole dance teacher that she's doing a master class on Thursday nights starting in August. I'm in the advanced class right now, so that's the next step. Of course, the class will run into the college semester and conflict with the class. Of course, I don't know how often she'll offer the master class. I do love the pole dancing.

So what the hell to do?

Andrew told me to take the master class. No telling when she's doing another, and I can probably find another voiceover class somewhere else (maybe not as economical).

This means that I'll be a pole master. Wow. My mom should be proud.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Working Out

I actually made it to belly dancing class yesterday, and class wasn't cancelled! That was a win for me. My body still feels awkward with these new moves, and I feel like I look stupid because I don't have the basics down yet. The cool thing about this teacher is that she encourages her students to take belly dancing from other teachers so they can learn different things. Most teachers (sports, dance, acting) discourage their students from trying to learn things from other teachers.

We spent a good portion of the class working with veils, which is an amazing arm workout. I felt things in my arms that I hadn't felt since I last played guitar.

That's right! I have three guitars, and I was thinking about when I last played. I used to play more regularly, but I've played maybe five or six times since things melted down around me in February. 'Gee,' I thought at then end of belly dance class, 'maybe I should pick up and play one of my guitars since I bothered getting them and it's a special skill I list on my resume.'

So I went home and played some. My calluses aren't what they were before. I could only play for thirty minutes before I got sore fingertips. I played just past the point where they were sore, then I stopped. I worked on some Alanis Morrisette tunes I pulled down from the internet. I didn't move as quickly from chord to chord and I had some trouble remembering the simplest things. I know I can pick up speed, but I have to work on it daily. That's the only way I'm going to get better at anything.

So from my belly to my fingers, yesterday was a lesson in discipline and the necessity to practice.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Direction

Andrew found our copy of True or False by David Mamet. I was a little more than halfway through it when I put it in some bag to take on set and didn't find it again until recently. It's an amazing book for actors to read. I think every actor should read and apply the data in this book before spending another dime on acting classes. I read a chapter before I wrote my play Thursday afternoon.

Anyway, Wednesday night I read this poignant chapter in the book that said to use whatever comes up for you as an actor. I had an audition yesterday where the guy wanted me to do a few improvs as the character with a couple guys auditioning for the other role. The director set up these circumstances to set up the improv and he just wanted to "see what happens." The way I was trained in improv, that's all you need (and sometimes you make that up as you go). Of course, I try to stay director-friendly and deliver exactly what they want. I was about to ask how he wanted it to end -- I give in to the guy or I try to leave. But before I made an ass out of myself, I thought "WWDMD?" (What would David Mamet do, for anyone who didn't catch that.) I decided to keep my fool mouth shut and bring what I wanted to the role. Why bother using actors instead of chimps when the actors don't want to make choices and risk anything? Chimps can follow direction.

So he liked me. Who knows if I'll get it. I do know that I made a choice that made me happy, and I think if I bring that to all of my auditions I'll at least increase my fan club numbers. Oh, and I won't risk being tagged and hauled off to the zoo.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Little Gift in the Mailbox

(We learned striptease and more lapdancing last night. I didn't think Andrew could manipulate a camera very well while I showed off what I learned.)

Yesterday I was talking to Andrew on my wayout the door to class about how I don't know when I'll get paid from the "Nip/Tuck" gig. He wandered over to the mailbox (since the mailman has been coming by after 5 PM the past few weeks) and checked the mail. Inside the mailbox was an envelope from Screen Actors Guild addressed to me. Inside the envelope was a letter. Here's the important part:

"Screen Actors Guild has filed a blanket claim on your behalf for compensation due to you resulting from your work on the above referenced production.

"It was determined that you were paid late. Your check should have been postmarked on 3-23-06, but was postmarked 4-4-06, making it eight days late. You are therefore entitled to late fees in the amount of $24.00

"Enclosed you will find a check for these late fees."

Dude! My checkbook was looking pretty sorry since I've been paying off a lot of bills. This was a much needed shot in the arm. I love the union! (I just need $1500 to officially join!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Graduation Pictures!

Here are the two really clear shots of me from the Flirty Girls graduation in June. These would really make my mother proud.
These aren't really tricks. I wish they got some pics of me flying through the air with the greatest of ease. I do make great stripper faces (when my face isn't covered with my mane of hair).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"It's a Shame -- All These Vaginas Wasted on Other Vaginas."

That was one of two lines I heard come from Dr. Christian Troy on the "Nip/Tuck" shoot I did yesterday. I played a lipstick lesbian. I'm in the background. You may never see my face, my arm, or my hair. The important things are that it paid, and I had fun.

Here are the big lessons I learned:

1. Bring less clothes. I brought a huge selection of clothing and shoes that fit the color palette, and I wore one outfit. They wound up letting me wear my bronze silk shirt (that I pulled out of the dry cleaning pile the night before). They provided me with a size 2 suit that they had to pin on because it was loose, witch shoes that got lots of compliments but had pointy toes and cramped the hell out of my feet, and big dangly earrings that I would never wear in day-to-day life. I wound up hauling my suitcase around, not wearing a thing I toted along until the shoot was over and I needed something cooler to wear home. Next time I do something like this, I'll jam two outfits into a backpack or a duffle bag and wear the third. If they want more of a selection, they can provide it themselves.

2. Doing homework is good. As soon as I found out I booked the show, I rented the first DVD of the series. I wanted to know what the hell was going on instead of showing up and saying "Who is Martina McBride?" or "What's an Omarion?" I didn't feel like a completely ignorant asshole who didn't care enough about my career to do a little research because I spent the $4 and three hours to find out something about the show.

3. Taking comics = w00+! I'd like to be more awake next time I read an issue of Civil War. This makes three issues I've read on set while tired. The great thing about comics is they're not as wordy or involved as True and False by David Mamet. (It's a good book, just tough to read on set.)

4. A Southern accent can buy dinner. I approached the catering guys after everyone had eaten lunch and asked if I could have them wrap up a piece of chicken for me so I could take it home for dinner. Then I turned on the accent so they'd think I was so cute. Yeah, I got free chicken, creamed spinach and asparagus. I was then told to hit up the fellow at the barbecue for some steak. I waddled over and batted my eyelashes, spoke like a Southern girl, and walked home with enough food for me, Andrew and the dogs.

5. Take salt and potassium. I lost so much water sitting out in the heat and humidity yesterday that I came home with a headache. I took some salt and potassium when I got home, but I really needed to take them as a preventative as soon as I started sweating. That would've saved me hours of discomfort after the shoot.

6. Get a damn sticky lint roller for puppy hair. Felicity thought it would be fun to help me pack, so she crawled into my suitcase full of clothes to gaze lovingly at me while I tried to pick out the right three pairs of shoes to take. Thusly, my dark clothes (everything in the suitcase) were sprinkled with little white puppy hairs. I need to remember I have a dog from time to time.

7. Get the most flattering clothes tailored to make them even more flattering. Since I lost weight, a lot of my great clothes don't fit anymore. My size 4 suit falls off my body, my leather pants sag, and all of my skirts that used to fit at my waist are now low-rise. Since my clothes were so loose, they put me in a size 2 suit and pinned the waist so it would fit. I should probably take my clothes to the tailor so I can wear my own stuff.

Anyway, I had a fun day and I was there less than eight hours. This is the picture of me waiting for mealtime. Look at that crazy hippy hair! It matches my bronze top.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Discipline of Student Filmmakers -- Or "How I Wasted Part of My Morning in Hopes I Could Help Someone Out But Was Shunned"

Well, I think that title describes most of my morning. I got an email at about 7:30 this morning (sent last night at 11:42 PM) that my presence was requested at an audition for a student film. The email read "Please attend!!!" They wanted to see me at 11 AM, and fortunately for me, I tried out my new makeup this morning before going to work so I could see how I liked the application. I got the email via L.A. Casting, where I did submit for a handful of student films that sounded like they could give me some interesting reel. I took off an hour and a half from work to drive over to an audition at an expensive, unnamed film school in Burbank.

When I got there, I found no signs directing anyone to any area for casting. In fact, there was a sign on the door to the school's suite that said no one was in and to sign below with your name and what you wanted. I decided to try the doorknob. Smart. I walked in and there were still no signs. I've been there before and they usually put up signs. I waited for the first available body to walk past the front desk to ask where I should go. She looked lost. She found out where the auditions were being held and told me to sit on the couch. A gal came in for the same project and someone else ushered her up the hall to wait. I figured since I already checked in with someone they'd know I was there. I had a conversation with two different guys who were called in for other random projects. Some random guys wandered through the area to find out what one of these guys was there for but they ignored me. I guess I looked to comfortable on the couch. A third guy came in and sat on the couch by me. I'd been there for thirty minutes by this point. The gal who came in after me left. Some random guys asked the guy what project he was there for and they told him to wait on the couch. When they came for him AND F*CKING IGNORED ME - AGAIN - I left. I waited around for forty minutes and was bumped by two people who got there after me for this "Please attend!!!" audition.

I'm usually willing to grant lots of beingness to student directors. I know they're learning, and it's not always easy. But maybe get a f*cking sign up next time, maybe a sign in sheet for your individual project, or maybe have someone greet all of your f*cking actors with a "Hi, we're behind. Sorry. It'll be two hours before we get to you." (As a side note, I've waited a long time to audition for student projects. They've all had the courtesy to acknowledge the wait. In this instance, there wasn't really a wait. I was just f*cking bumped.)

So mammas, don't let your babies grow up to go to an expensive, unnamed film school in Burbank. (They're not always terrible there, but they were today.)

Making With Makeup

I've been on set for these major productions enough times to know I really need long-lasting makeup. I also know that if I want any shot at getting my face on camera, I need to look perfect. I can't get away with the mineral makeup I wear on a daily basis because I really have to cover up any little blemishes and the pink scar still healing from one of the moles I had removed. My brother knows some makeup artists, so he asked for their recommendations. That's how I found out about M.A.C. Cosmetics.

I went to the store at Hollywood & Highland (which I think we labeled the pre-teen mall). I started looking through their various foundations in search of the perfect shade when a Keira Knightley look-alike came over to help me. I told her I was looking for something long-lasting with great coverage for a long day on set. She sat me down and tried out some cream foundation that dries matte. Even though this stuff is normally applied with a sponge, she used a brush -- less wasteful of the product and it buffs better. The shade was perfect, and it wasn't the shade I originally tested on my wrist. She also put some concealer on me and gave me her recommendations since she works as a professional makeup artist. She said this stuff can wash one out so I should use some bronzer for a little more color. Then she powdered me and blushed me. All I needed were lips and eyes and I would've had a complete pro makeup job for free. What was really cool was that there was a gaggle of preteens who came in wanting to get a pro makeup application that Mommy was going to pay for, but they were all booked up for the rest of the day. I really lucked out.

I bought the fancy foundation and a concealer pencil. This stuff is sort of expensive, but comparable to my mineral makeup. I spent about $45 total on these two things. If I had more money to burn, I would've gotten a lot more makeup. The store was cool, the makeup artist was really helpful, and I really liked the product. Since my call time is 6:30 AM tomorrow, I figured I'd try applying it myself today, like a trial run. It went on just as quickly as my mineral makeup, and the coverage was way better. This is some good stuff. I highly recommend it for anyone who goes on camera, even dudes.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My First Trip to a Comedy Club

I've never been to a comedy club before. I used to watch "Evening at the Improv" when I was growing up, but I never had an overwhelming desire to go to a comedy club to hear standup. On TV there were too many "So I got my period" jokes, so I didn't want to pay to hear about how terrible someone's menstrual cycle was. Of course, if Andrew and I want people to come see our plays, we need to go see other people's shows. And this show featured our friend, Ron Yavnieli.

I love Ron. He's hilarious, and he's the nicest guy. He's an awesome animator and a great puppeteer. The show was at the HaHa Cafe in North Hollywood. There was a $10 cover charge for each of us and a $10 minimum purchase per person (which wound up costing us almost $20 a piece). There were some great comics (like Ron) and some terrible comics.

The thing I realized is that standup is really tough. You've really got to listen and respond to your audience. There was one guy who didn't listen to the audience at all. He totally bombed. I wouldn't want to do it, but I know some funny people who would be great at it. And if the jokes don't go over well, you have to pick up and move on. But comedy clubs are brutal.

Friday, July 14, 2006

New Moves

The move in the picture is from last week. It looks a lot like the teaser we do in pilates. The new move I learned last night was the kind of move that could give me rug burn on my toes at my house. I'm still healing from the jump-splits rug burn I got on my big toe two weeks back.

Let me just say I am SO glad I'm doing pilates. We did a move last night where you extend your leg then put it way in front of you and then you roll over, do a stripper push-up, then start crawling to the chair for the lap dance. This is the part of the new routine she's teaching beginners, and since we all started with a different routine we get to learn this one. There is no way my leg would've gotten as far if I didn't keep getting more and more flexible in pilates.

When we did our "all skate" at the end of class where we all freestyle, we had to be broken into two groups since there were so many girls. My group had eight people, but there were only six poles and only half of them spun. I wound up doing lots of floor work so I didn't hog a spinning pole. Let me tell you, it helps to have abs for that.

Pilates + pole dancing = w00+!

(By the way, I'm wearing a Doodlebug shirt!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Skinny Update

It's been nearly two weeks since I finished the diet. I wish I had time to shoot a photo this morning to show you my skinniness. Here's an update on all the things people ask me about.

Energy - I have lots of it. I don't get enough sleep most nights, but that's because of the Doodlebug waking me up with barks and bites an hour before the alarm is set to go off.

Food - I'm eating quite enough. I have one carb meal a day. It's usually pasta, sometimes with meat and sometimes with cheese and always with sauce. I had a BBQ kosher dog from The Stand last week. After my carb meal, I eat dessert within an hour. Here are the desserts I've eaten so far since I finished the diet: brownie sundae, tiramisu (5x), chocolate ganache from Trader Joe's (3x), snickerdoodle cookie, apple punk tart from Fred 62, some weird baklava custard thing with walnuts in it (allergic to walnuts, didn't know ahead of time), and a couple other desserts I just can't remember. For breakfast I have eggs with cheese and ham or yogurt, lunch is usually a salad and some cheese or meat and cheese (because it's easy to prepare), then the carb meal is usually dinner. I have more time to prepare my dinner than I have for the other meals. I also have an ice-blended chai latte every day.

Weight - I'm pretty stably at 103 lbs. I've gotten as low as 101 and as high as 104, but 103 is the reading most days.

Exercise - I haven't been working out nearly as much. I still do pilates once a week and I do pole classes once a week. I try to make it to belly dancing class, but I had to work one weekend, got out of the music video at 6:30 AM last Saturday, and I was the only student who showed up so class was cancelled another weekend. So that's two workouts a week with some pole dancing at home from time to time.

Clothes - The pants I bought from the Gap are a little loose. They were 1s. I bought some small pants from Forever 21 and I now have to wear a belt on the second hole to hold them up. Bras still fit fine. :)

Anyway, that's the skinny update.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Two Paid Jobs in One Week . . . Almost!

I've been submitting myself for extra work on L.A. Casting. Sometimes it pays more than a day of work at my office, sometimes less, but I moved out here to act so extra work will at least get me on set. Hell, Friday night was extra work. You may even see my face (or hand) in the video. Anyway, my boss is such a cool guy that I can miss a day at the office for one of these gigs, even if it is last minute.

I submitted for a rush call for some television show for Monday morning. (Don't want to give the name because I don't want to jinx future work.) I got a call from the casting director later in the morning yesterday asking about my availability. He said he was going to take my picture in to the director because he may be able to get me a featured role, and he said it was SAG. (SAG = better pay, guaranteed breaks or compensation when the breaks are late, better food.) I was to call him at 5 PM to see what was up. I think he gave me his cell phone number.

I called at 5 PM and got his voice mail. He called me back at 6:15 PM and apologized that they went with someone else. I wasn't upset. I know how it works. But he liked me enough to pull my picture and walk it in for this role. That's pretty cool. Even though it doesn't pay the bills on an immediate basis, it says somebody out there likes me. Then he said to keep an eye on L.A. Casting and submit the next time something comes along on this show that I may fit. I just have to plug a little note in the "notes" box, and he'll try to get me on the show.

So I lost out on the job yesterday, but it may mean a better job in the near future. That's not too shabby.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

"Let Me Tell You About White Chicks . . ."

This is a phrase I heard from some drunk dude when I was on my way to someone's house to babysit when I was fifteen. (They weren't his kids. He was a friend of the parents and for some reason in the same car with me, the parents, and I think the kids and maybe some other random guy.) I heard a similar phrase come from Tommy Davidson's mouth on set early this morning when I was "partying" and "dancing" in Omarion's "Entourage" video. He gave an interview about his James Brown-like cameo in the video, capping it with "Now, where's the white women?"

I spent about seven hours on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank for this video, and they even paid me to be there! I had no idea who this kid (Omarion) was when I booked the video only hours earlier. Come to find out, he's not a bad little singer/dancer. In fact, he was in "You Got Served" with my friend Robert Hoffman. Small world. He was a really nice guy. The song's not too bad.

The most surreal part of the evening wasn't the fact that I was hanging out in a sequined skirt reading comic books on the Warner Bros. backlot, but that I wound up chatting with Tommy Davidson at the craft services table. You see, I was waiting to be called back to set so I hit craft services for some herbal tea and fresh veggies. (Most of the stuff on the craft services table is usually pep -- candy, energy bars, cookies, pretzels, chips, do-it-yourself peanut butter and jelly.) I was standing there scarfing down most of the carrots and cherry tomatoes when this guy who looked and sounded a lot like Sleep N' Eat from Bamboozled starts picking on the craft table lady and asking me about coffee. Celebrities tend to look a little different in person than they do on the big (or small) screen, so I didn't want to say "Oh my God, you're Tommy Davidson" and wind up wrong and embarrassed. So I just chatted lightly and went about my business. (Of course I didn't have my camera phone with me.) When he popped up onstage later, I was confirmed correct. Oh my God, I stood around the craft service table politely chatting with Tommy Davidson, a man who entertained the hell out of me on "In Living Color." Cool.

The studio was very cool. I drove to the gate mentioned in my email from the casting director, and this incredibly friendly security guard printed out a pass with my name on it for parking and access for the day. She assumed I had been there before (!), then proceeded to give me very easy-to-follow directions to the set. I didn't see any celebrities wandering the studio, but I don't know who would be at 11 PM on a Friday night. We shot maybe fifty yards from the water tower. I could get really comfortable on that lot.

I don't know if you'll be able to see much of me in the video. I'm on Omarion's right between "paparazzi" on the red carpet - burgundy tank and copper sequined skirt. I think I was the only one brazen enough to touch him as he walked by, doing my best "Oh my God it's John Lennon and I'm a teenage girl in the sixties" impersonation. Then I'm on house left in the second row when he's singing and dancing on the stage. He runs past me when he leaves the stage to find the hot girl in the red dress. When he scopes out the outdoor dance club, I'm the speck in a black jacket in the very back. You may be able to see my hair in the video, or it may just be a hand.

I wouldn't mind doing more music video work. I got to here his cute little song before the single is released. It wasn't tough work (other than dancing in the desert cold of 4 AM). And you never know who you're going to run into on set, like Sleep N' Eat with his guest appearance.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Checks and Balances

I learned a new pole trick last night. It's called the check mark. I'm so glad I'm taking pilates so I have the strength in my arms and legs to do the trick.

I was offered a job on a music video this evening. I don't know the band (eek), but it's paid. You probably won't be able to see me in the video because I'll be one of the partying people. No matter. I'll have fun from 11 PM to dawn, meeting new people, eating catered food and getting paid. I turned down three paid jobs while I was on the diet, and I decided I'd take the next paid gig that came my way. Voila!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Never Learned to Read!

Wow. That's a dramatic title.

We did a reading of Sonny yesterday. Andrew wanted to hear it so he could figure out what needed to be done before we booked the theatre space and held auditions. Smart move on his part. I'd read the second draft three times by myself, but there's nothing like hearing it aloud. I think he's going to lenthen the show based on the feedback he got. This is good for me because it means more stage time.

I realized that I need to relax more into my readings. Sometimes I put on that "actor voice" when I don't need to project. I should also work on creating relationships faster in the process. It shouldn't matter who I read with, I should be able to quickly establish the chemistry for myself so the reading goes well. Duh. (This was never covered in the casting director workshop I did. So much for paying for "cold reading" skills.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fan Girl

About three weeks ago (right after I felt grown up enough to open a checking account), I joined the John Mayer fan club. Yeah, go ahead with your taunts. I can take 'em. I've been a John Mayer fan for a few years now. He's an amazing songwriter, guitarist and performer (in that order). I was almost kicked out of an acting showcase a couple years ago because there was a rehearsal scheduled the night of his concert. I got my tickets three months before, and Andrew and I were totally willing to be kicked out of the showcase (goodbye $700 at that point) to go watch John tear it up on the guitar. Drew and I are both musicians (he's more advanced than me), so we had to go see live music.

I decided to join the fan club because we could get tickets for his September concert in Irvine ten days before they were released to the general public via Ticketmaster. I was excited. I have the money to get really good seats, and with the advanced purchase option we should be able to see the guitar strings break without the aid of a projection screen. I got out of bed this morning and hopped online to wait until the 8 AM release time. I logged onto the website to find that they changed the pre-sales date to TBA. WTF? TBA? This was upsetting. I'm a fan and all, but I joined the damn fan club so I could get my tickets early. As a musician, I wanted to beat all those panty-flingers to the good seats. How can I do that if the pre-sales date is TBA?

So I was down about it. Not "my-life-is-no-longer-worth-living" down, just bummed. Then I get a casting notice from one of my casting services in my email:

Casting Notice

Project Name: John Mayer Music VIDEO
Project Type: Music Video
Format:
Rate/Compensation: Paid. various dependant on role. + agency

Message:
Role Role Type Gender/Age/Ethnicities Description/Note
Coffee Commercial Lady Featured Female / 25 to 45 / Caucasian Think 1950's coffee commercial. clean cut - pretty, wholesome
Hot Girl Featured Female / 18 to 30 / All Ethnicities Good style, quirky & hot. Pixie-ish type. Think Rachel Bilson, Rachel McAdams, Zoe Deschanel or a cute mixed race girl.
Newscaster Featured Male or Female / 18 to 33 / All Ethnicities Overly sincere Newscasterly type.
Friends Featured Male / 18 to 33 / All Ethnicities people who could hang out with John. tall. Skinny. Slacker-y... quirky.
Extras Background Male or Female / 18 to 65 / All Ethnicities people who would be hanging around in Hollywood. Not crazy Hollywood, but artist and normal folks Hollywood.

OMG! I could do any of three of those roles! It's a John Mayer video, it's paid, and the casting notice arrived on what was going to be known as John Mayer Tickets Day. So I submitted for two of the roles. When Andrew came to my office, he told me to go ahead and submit for the third. (Now I really look like a fan girl to the casting people, I'm sure.)

Who knows if I'll even get a call for this project or not. It's always a crap shoot with these submissions. If they somehow manage to find my blog, they may think I'm psychotic. (Who in their right mind would declare today John Mayer Tickets Day?) The important thing is that I'm in such a position that I CAN submit myself for really cool projects like this. I'll have to start trolling craigslist again for free concerts so I can show up as part of the crowd. (I missed out on a free Weezer concert in downtown L.A. last fall because I checked craigslist the day AFTER they needed concert attendees.)

Maybe tomorrow can be John Mayer Tickets Day. Or the day after.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

L.A. Malaise

There's an interesting phenomenon I've observed out here. Hell, I've even demonstrated it myself. It's the L.A. malaise. There are so many artists out here trying to pursue their dreams and make money at it, and at times it seems like there's not enough work available. (The scarcity is just an apparency, not an actuality.) I run into people who are incredibly talented who hit a dry spell. It's a real bummer. And it doesn't just happen to Los Angelenos; it's just more obvious out here with so many people in the arts.

When it happens to me, I feel like I've totally failed in accomplishing my purpose. I feel tired, bored, disinterested. I don't get as much done, and sometimes I get envious about the grass on the other side of the fence. As fun as it can be to mope and feel sorry for myself, it doesn't get me any closer to fulfilling my purpose. So what the hell can I do? When I'm done moping, I do something to rehabilitate my purpose. (This is a little bit of Scientology. Sshh.) I think about what I want to achieve and really create a clear mental picture of how I want things to be. Then I do something about it. Doing anything is better than doing nothing. For me, I send emails to friends. I work on submissions. I send postcards to agents. I watch a movie that inspires me.

To handle my own malaise today as a result of seeing a number of people in the past few days with the malaise, I did something inspiring. I packed up the dogs and took them to McDonald's for breakfast. If a couple of dogs can wait the ten minutes it takes to drive home really slow from McDonald's for their breakfast burritos, then I know I can thrive as an artist and take my friends with me.

Monday, July 03, 2006

We're Not Alone!

I hear from all these people out here about how they get together with their college friends. I felt totally left out. Sure, I went to college. But that was in Arkansas! (And it's not like I tell people where I went to college. It's not on my MySpace account and not in my Classmates profile. I was a bit dissatisfied with my experience.) I didn't think I'd run into anyone from college out here, and it's not like I make myself easy-to-find for those college chums.

But we got connected up with a college chum yesterday and spent three hours at Panera visiting with him. He's out here beating the acting drum, just like us. Of course, I have to get used to calling him Brian instead of B.J. It was so nice to see a friendly face from the good ol' days. Now if I can get some other chums to move out here (Garrick, Andy - you guys are on my list).

Sunday, July 02, 2006

My First "Sex in the City" Party

I've been going on about so many other things that it's taken me a week to get around to telling you about this. I went to my first "Sex in the City" party last Saturday night. It was hosted by one of the two Amys from my Flirty Girls class. (There's Amy the writer in pink in the photos, and Amy who worked at Hustler in the hot bronze dress with the Farrah Fawcett hair. Also in the pic we have Erin in the white and brown and Laura in the purple in the middle.) These "Sex in the City" parties were all the rage when the show was still on HBO, but the show is so well-loved that people still throw them but watch faves on DVD instead of HBO.

Amy had this amazing spread of food, but I couldn't eat any since I was on the diet still. I met some of her other friends (whose names I can't remember right now) and we all plopped down to visit and watch our favorite episodes of the show. Since "Sex in the City" deals with sex and relationships, we wound up having lengthy discussions (debates?) about both between episodes. Is it wrong to play the field until you find the right person? Should you test out the merchandise (sexually) before you get married to someone? If you've done everything (and I do mean everything) but actual intercourse with everything joining up in the baby-making way with someone, are you really a virgin and should you wait until marriage to finally seal the deal the way nature intended? Can you only have one true love? The discussion was right out of the show (sans edits) with people giving their own considerations on the topics and sharing their experiences to support or refute. Pretty interesting stuff. It's funny to reference episodes of the show to support your argument -- "Remember Charlotte and Trey? If she had only had sex with him before she got married she would've known his pee pee didn't work right."

The night wouldn't have been complete without pole dancing lessons from the Flirty Girls to the other guests. I spent a while with this cute sixteen year-old teaching her a couple spins. We all took a spin on the pole. It's hard not to when your friend has a pole erected in her living room. (I'd run into the same thing if I had more people over.)

I had fun. I'd recommend for any gal to go to one of these parties if she can, or throw one herself. They're a lot of fun and a great way to socialize with girls without having to be in competition for the attention of men. I got to know the four girls I was in class with in a couple hours WAY better than I had in nearly four months. I'd love to throw a party like this with my favorite TV show as the centerpiece. I'm just not sure how a "Felicity" party would go. Everyone wears sweaters, we play Boggle and eat like college students?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

It's Over!

I finished the diet yesterday. My weight now fluxuates between 101 and 103 lbs. Huzzah!

It's strange being done. I can have a carb meal today and I have to chase it with dessert. With all of the potential carb meal/dessert combinations out there, I went into a tailspin last night. How would I celebrate the new body and the freedoms I'm permitted in order to keep it?

I had scrambled eggs with ham and cheese this morning. They came with wheat toast and hash browns. I nibbled on the toast (one piece was burnt, the other was the end piece of the loaf) and ate a couple of the crunchy parts of the hash browns. I devoured the eggs. I still used Splenda in my hot tea, and I didn't go for any of the super tasty orange juice they have at this place -- why have the sugar and calories now when I can have cheesecake later after I eat pasta? I was happy to be in a restaurant again, but I was in and out within twenty minutes. I've gotten no-nonsense about my eating as a result of this diet.

Here's the sad part: food just tastes better when you make it at home. I was pulling pieces of fat from the chopped ham when I'd bite into them. Yuck. Those eggs wouldn't have been as oily, and I would've had the choice to have broccoli or tomatoes instead of hash browns as my side. Even though the diet had limits, the quality of the food was predictable.

I think I'm going to have to keep cooking my meals so I can eat what I really want and it'll taste the way I imagine.