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She’s back!

Well well! It’s been so long since I’ve written in this blog that I’m surprised I remember the password. I’ve always liked writing and blogging, but this blog fell by the wayside when I sort of lost the vision for it. I wanted it to be solely about the entertainment industry, but I guess I lost my way: I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested in what I had to say.

I started this blog when I was in a unique position for an actor, a job that gave me some rare insights into life on the other side of the table in the casting room. I thought I’d write about my experiences there, maybe bundled with a little advice for young actors. That was another thing I wanted to cover: there are fantastic advice books and guides available to young actors, but I thought that there may be room for a perspective from someone who’s new in the industry and still trying to create a career. But between those two things lies a conflict: I had fantastic insight into the entertainment industry, and yet, I was still so new (and really, a year later, I still am) and young that, while I’ve done some good work, I certainly haven’t yet made a name for myself. I wondered if anyone could take me seriously, advising about an industry that I haven’t yet conquered.

But the thing is, I’m not sure I care about who takes me seriously and who doesn’t. A blog isn’t compulsory reading, and I trust that anyone who reads this regularly will be doing so because they want to! I ultimately came back to this blog because, hey–if something else like this were out there, I’d read it! Until then–I’ll write it!

I’m not sure that this blog will be quite as clearly defined as what I had originally planned, though. It’ll be observations and insights, triumphs and trials, and a whole lot of who knows what else. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!

 

 

 

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Things I Love Thursday: Stories!

Fantastic stories of good ideas gone wrong.

A fantastic story about childhood and cultural identification.  Far funnier than you would think!

A fantastic story about careers and loyalty. A must-read for actors!

Othello. What a great play  Cinderella. What a great fable  Cloud Atlas. Have I mentioned this book before? Well, if I have, then I’m unashamed to mention it again, because this book goes beyond a good story–rather, it’s six of them. And yet it’s one story. But it’s six. Wow. The best 30 Rock storyline this season! Love.

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Things I Love Thursday, (mostly) Theatre Edition

I love Richard III and I love the bridge project, so this is quite exciting!

Finally got to visit Brooklyn Charm after having walked by it on the way to the train for months–very nice! Nice shop, nice concept. When I wasn’t at theatre camp during summers as a child, I was usually in a jewelry-making class. Strange but true! I’m sure I’ll pay many visits to Brooklyn Charm.

Self-taped auditions. This is a controversial one, I know. They are a lot of work, and it puts the impetus on the actor to have a camera, lights, etc. But, as they’ve become more and more common, I find I’m getting more and more opportunities. And I can’t turn my nose up at something that gets me seen! So today, I love self-taping.

Such excellent news! I haven’t seen War Horse, but it looks amazing, and I love me some puppetry. Don’t judge. And now I’ve got a little longer in which to try and see it!

New shoes! I love them a lot Gossipy brunches Sundress weather New sundresses cool auditions callbacks seeing family Chinese food best friends Spring y cocktails Theatre tix

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New York Hip

Fantasy Fashion

This is how I’d dress if I had an unlimited budget for clothes!

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On Nerves

The other night, I had the worst stage fright of my life. It was sort of a new feeling for me: I don’t usually have much anxiety before I go on stage. Occasionally I feel jittery, but I still feel more excited than anything else. Like most people who perform live, I really rather enjoy the adrenaline rush. Usually.

Not so with the other night. I was fucking terrified. And here’s why: I was singing in a cabaret show, which I rarely do, and the day before, I had lost my voice. I woke up the day of the show marginally better, and since friends had already purchased tickets, I was determined to give it my all.

I pretty much spent the day of the show with my head in the shower, huffing as much steam as possible. I also gargled, nose-douched, repeatedly sucked down a mildly unpleasant mix of honey and lemon juice and, of course, avoided caffeine and other edibles that can dry out your voice. I warmed my voice up slowly and consistently, for five minutes at a time with hour-long breaks for vocal rest until I was getting some vocal strength back. I did everything and anything I could think of to clear and moisturize my vocal chords and improve my sound.

And. . . it worked! I went. I sang. I wasn’t 100%–I didn’t have my normal full range of belt, and I didn’t flip between my head and chest registers as easily as usual–but I was a pretty solid 85%, and having been so sick directly prior to the show, I’m pretty pleased.  None of my friends could tell I was fighting phlegm and sinus pain, and even a few strangers complimented my performance. While I certainly feel that a few aspects of my performance would have been better had I been healthier, I think I worked well within the limits of my situation, and in the end, I put on a good show.

Whew.

And it got me thinking: if that degree of preparation and focus got me on stage when I was sick as a dog, what would that same prep work do for me when I’m healthy? I’ve always thought of myself as a well-prepared performer, but before this particular show sheer terr0r motivated me to go above and beyond my normal prep practices. It sure as hell paid off. Now, I don’t think I need nerves to lay the groundwork for a great show, but it was awfully good for me the once: it forced me to reexamine my typical habits and try something new and ultimately better. I won’t go into what my old preparations entailed here, but I will confess: vocal hygiene wasn’t a big part of it. Last night made me realize that while it’s great to make a habit of practices that serve you as a performer, it’s also necessary to examine your habits every so often to make sure that they’re still useful, and that good old habits don’t cause you to neglect a potentially better new one.

And that’s what I learned from stage fright.

And now that it’s a lesson learned, I seriously hope that I’m never so terrified again’!

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Links, & Things I Love Thursday

This. Amy Poehler makes the world a better place.

A fabulous recipe from vegan mastermind Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Oooh. Watch yo’ mouth, Alec Baldwin. I love 30 Rock, I hope it sticks around a while!

Laugh of the Day

And non-link things I love? How about:

Home made bread Spring shopping trips Book club Oh, and the book we read (so good!) My fantastic new striped sundress My fantastic agent Fantastic auditions This chai! I’m drinking it by the gallon This will be perfect for iced chai in the summer As long as I’m on The Kitchn, OH MY GOD PEANUTBUTTER. I love me some bread, but peanutbutter is the staff of life. I could veganize any and all of those recipes! Fantasticness. Celebrating a friend’s birthday

And that’s Thursday!

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Links I Like, Things I Love (Thursday!)

Wow, where to begin?

A rather nice blog post from Wayne Dyer

Some sage advice from actor’s guru Bonnie Gillespie

Great post from Alexandra Franzen and contributors. Not even going to try and describe it–I just recommend that you click through!

This is why recycled fashion is high fashion. And while we’re at it, go support your local Beacon’s Closet!

This could be great. Anyway, I hope I love it!

Now, let’s see. There must be some non-link things I love, too. How about:

Making dinner with a dear friend Eating that dinner Friday nights in sweatpants with a great novel Saturday nights in heels with great friends Fabulous voice lessons, made better by the privilege of studying with a master teacher Working with the same actors again and again, and enjoying the improved chemistry and ensemble work Working with new actors and enjoying the unpredictability of it Cuddling with my cat. Ideally, while in sweatpants, and while in the midst of a great novel

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