Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Audition #1

So I'm a little early for 2010, but I thought I'd count this one anyway. Had an audition tonight for a student film, which was cool because the director seemed more nervous to direct me than I was to be there. See, I suffer from something I call CAMERA PANIC. As soon as I'm aware that a camera is pointed at me, either still photo or moving pictures, I start to feel... awkward and weird. You know that episode of 30 Rock where Jack is going to be in a sketch and he holds 1 coffee mug in each hand doing this "natural" robotic walk? That's how I feel. Particularly in the facial area.

However, the only way out is through, and that means practice, practice, practice. Because I think I'm actually pretty decent on camera (thank you, freakishly big buggy eyes!), I just have to not be self-conscious.

Come to think of it, a lot of aspects of my life would probably improve if I wasn't self-conscious. But of course if you concentrate on NOT being self-conscious, it only exacerbates the situation. Working on it!

I've been writing every day this week-- although I am rusty and it is painful, I get that horrible guilt feeling if I don't write every day. Although I'm thinking of re-titling this "Exposed: An Expose Wherein Dr. Exposition Explains Everything That Has Happened Up Until This Point". Seriously, this is the most boring play ever. Rewrites are in order. But I can't think about that now, because if I convince myself this is stupid, then I won't finish it. And we're already committed to producing it in May, so... you see how self-consciousness works against me?

I don't know if I got the film or not. They did ask for my availability, but that could mean nothing. Or something. Or nothing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year, New...?

I've never been a huge fan of New Year's for the partying aspect-- but as a solid lover of "to-do" lists, I really dig making plans and resolutions. I know, I know, every day is a chance for a new beginning, but there's something "official" about New Year's-- getting a new daytimer, for example-- that makes it a fresh start.
2009 was a good year for me--hey, I got married and did a school tour, what's to complain about? But I want 2010 to be even better. I want 2010 to be the year that I actually committed to doing stuff. And by stuff I mean:

  • finally lose that last 25 pounds
  • make at least one submission a week (acting or writing-- writing will be focused on out of town submissions)
  • sing, publicly
  • book a film/tv job
  • write more
  • make a short film. youtube style
  • blog more

See, I could go on and on making a list of things I want to do. But I have plans, big plans for 2010. Once we get back from Jamaica (I think it's a fool's errand to try and lose weight at an all-inclusive), I'm planning to try Kathy Freston's Quantum Wellness Cleanse, and blog about it. Basically, it's 21 days of eating gluten-free vegan, steering clear of refined sugars. I don't know if it's weight-loss friendly, but I think it would really get me back in the groove of eating healthy, and planning out things like protein. Though I do love my gluten. But there's a plan of meditations and such as well, it's all very Oprah. So look out for 21 blog posts from me in the new year.

As far as submissions go, I realized that while I live in a hideously small market for acting, writing basically means you can live anywhere. And a few comments from people recently have made me realize that I write good plays. I've just gotten down on them because I feel like I'm stagnating here. And even if you only submit once a week, at the end of the year, that's 52 submissions. Law of averages, baby! I have a feeling many of those will be play submissions, but I'll try to keep up on acting submissions as well.

Singing? Argh, the great struggle. My teacher is planning a recital for all his theatre-types, many of whom are actors scared of public singing. So at the very least, I'll be singing in front of like-minded people.

It all seems very career-oriented, doesn't it? I guess I could throw out the idea of paying down some debt this year...
I do love resolving, now I have to learn to love putting plans into action.
Happy happy and merry merry, guys!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Well, last week I was down three pounds-- gotta love the first week of weight watchers for getting rid of water weight. This week-- no change. Going to keep working the program, I guess, and try to be happy that I'm maintaining. Just cooked up a big batch of tofu scramble for my lunches this week. I tend to get into self-imposed food ruts, eating the same thing for days at a time, for breakfast and lunch. It gets a little boring, but I'm lazy. Also, working two jobs at the moment doesn't leave me with a lot of time or energy to plan fancy-pants lunches.

I took a trip to value village today-- right now I'm a 14, bordering on a 12 in some things. But all the good clothes are in an 8 or 10. Sizes over that are pretty slim pickings-- don't bigger ladies ever get rid of their clothes? Or do skinnier people just buy clothes every week because they're so easy to find? I'm going to have an awesome, cheap wardrobe a few pounds from now.

I've been reading "The War of Art" by Stephen Pressfield, which I would highly recommend to anyone in a creative field, especially anyone who's struggling (and who doesn't struggle from time to time?). It's an easy read, very concise and to the point. He talks a lot about resistance, and there are a couple of concepts that really stuck with me. He talks about the amateur and the professional, not so much in a training/money-making sense, but in the sense of commitment. The basic difference is that the professional is fully committed to the work, not the end product, not defining themselves by their art form, not taking things so personally. But the main difference he defines is that the amateur believes that "if I could just overcome my fear, everything will be fine". Whereas the professional knows that the fear is always there, can never be vanquished completely, but you just have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Which has definitely been a point of contention for me lately.

The other thing that struck me was when he tells a story of writing a screenplay that he really believed in, it being made into a movie he really believed in, only to have it panned and fail. He was feeling depressed, dejected, and negative, when someone told him to stop it, because criticism and potential failure "is the risk you take for being in the arena and not in the stands". Which really hit home for me.

I want to be in the arena. Because I feel like I've been hovering in the stands for a while now.

Anyway, off to tupperware some tofu for tomorrow...

Monday, November 16, 2009

You've got to aaaaaaaccentuate the postive...

Just a quick update for today:
Still working both jobs, though my schedule has gotten a little bit less hectic as of late... fewer 12 hours days, I can handle!

The audition-- I'm pretty sure it was a big NO THANK YOU. But not because I sucked. I thought I did pretty well in my monologue, and decently in the singing (hey, no one stopped me after we passed the "I'ma let you sing long enough to avoid damaging your self-esteem" politeness zone). But I got the distinct feeling that I was not in fact what he was looking for.

It looks like we're going to be taking our honeymoon in January in sunny Jamaica! So looking forward to just relaxing and having drinks for a week. It can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

On the career front... about the same. I applied to Banff, and now just have to wait to hear back from them. I've had interest from another agent, and I'm not sure if I should make the move or not. Like, am I not getting hired because it's me, because it's my agent, because there's kind of nothing happening here right now? Too many variables in the equation.

On that front (and with an impending beach holiday), I'm re-committing to weight watchers. I have about 25 pounds to go to my goal, and I think dropping a couple will make me a lot more marketable. Plus healthier, more confidence, all that good stuff. I'm pretty sure I can't lose 25 in two months, but I'm hoping to be about 10 down by the time we get to the beach. Doable, even during the holiday season?

So I'm trying to remain positive. That includes re-framing my seemingly endless, snide and slightly bitter inner monologue. Why is it so hard to remain positive?

There's a woman who works at the coffee shop I go to before work in the morning who prides herself in remembering her customers' names. Except, she can't remember mine to save her life. Every single day, she guesses a completely wrong name. And it irritates me to no end. I think that it really just triggers some insecurity about being ignored, never being recognized, etc. And, of course... it's just annoying! I've been thinking about giving her a different name every time she asks, since mine never seems to stick. Maybe go through the 90210 roster-- old school, of course. Brenda, Kelly, Donna, Awwwwndrea, Valerie, Emily... even Dylan. Is that mean?

Once I assume the coffee-identity of all the 90210 characters, I can start up Degrassi Jr. High names. All the way with Stephanie Kaye!

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Start of a 60 Hour Week

So I have two jobs-- my customer service job, and a temporary gig editing scripts for a video game. I'm excited to be editing again, although it came about so suddenly that I wasn't able to get out of my csr shifts this week. Hence I am working 12 hours a day pretty much every day this week... hooray? This is the time when a car would definitely come in handy. Fortunately the paycheck will come in handy to pay off wedding bills, regular bills, next term's singing lessons, and quite possibly go toward a beater car.

On the career front, I went to see a play reading yesterday-- cast of 7 men, 1 woman. Isn't that just the way of theatre these days? So many plays about men, directed by men, starring men. I liked the first half, not so much the second half. Which of course, gave me time to think-- I always find that ideas will come to me when I'm watching theatre-- specifically theatre that I don't care for.

I feel like I get fired up easily, but I need to channel that into action. Like get angry at feeling passed over and do something about it, make something happen, rather than getting mopey and bitter about it. The thing is, I'm pretty good at being mopey and bitter-- I need to improve on the action plan part.

So I'm going to apply to the Banff Colony. I'm planning to submit my application on Wednesday, which is my one night off before the deadline. I also made a list of other Canadian theatres which accept script submissions and who have the mandate/budget to do a production of my play. It's clearly time to start looking out of town, starting with Canada, and moving on to the US and other countries if every Canadian theatre company rejects me. Hopefully they won't, but at least I have a plan if they do.

Acting wise, I don't know. I've submitted for a couple of things, but I think I may have to use the out-of-town approach for that,too. I'm trying to think of little, cheap ideas that I can self-produce, to get myself out there. Because ultimately I care less about a select group of people thinking I'm cool than I do about getting my work out there to the public.

Sadly, it's the select group of people who can hire me to do their shows, but since when do I like other people being the boss of me?

Friday, October 23, 2009

brand recognition

Apparently this is something I need to focus on. My brand, that is. After last weekend of extended members of my family telling me about how I'm a stage manager (which I retired from years ago), and the registry lady this morning saying she'd seen my husband in numerous shows and had heard of me... I'm a designer, right? Stage manager? Something else? It becomes clear to me that I need to somehow let people know what I do. I mean, it's great that they've heard of me. But they never seem to know why.

I run into this a lot, actually. My name is familiar to theatregoers, but no one can quite place what I do. Doesn't help that J spent a couple of seasons being quite the darling of the scene here. Everyone's heard of J and his playwriting buddies, but I'm more of a... vague memory somehow.

I suppose I need to get out there. I thought I was trying to, maybe I need to try harder. Or maybe there's only so hard you can try here, maybe I need to try and make a splash in a bigger market.

In any case, self-promotion. Branding. How do I do that, exactly...?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

teh guiltz about posting

I have non-posting guilt! I'm sorry for anyone who checked back faithfully, hoping that one day I would return. But I'm back. Again! Does it seem like my blog is continually me making a fresh start and promising to do better? Not that that would be a pattern indicative of other parts of my life, noooo sir.
Well, maybe.
But I have an excuse-- I got married! Last Saturday, in fact, so I'm still high on the fact that I will never have to plan a wedding again! The day was great, and people seemed to appreciate all the little details. A few hiccups, but that's what happens when you throw yourself a ridiculous and expensive party.
But I am so happy to get back to my real life! And that I can walk through malls without having to go through my mental checklist of things-I-still-have-to-buy-for-the-4000-diy-projects-i-thought-would-be-fun-and-romantic-last-year.

Upcoming for me:
going back on weight watchers. Yes, I really let that go in the last couple of months. My dress fit perfectly, thankyouverymuch, but now I think I need to get back on track and lose that last 20 lbs or so. so close!

working on my script. Yes, that one. That script that's been floating around town for about a year or so, the one that no one here seems very interested in. But my plan... well, my plan is to get another draft out of that sucker, and to send it out. As in, out of town. To other people and companies, to whom I will no doubt be more interesting, since I will be from out of town. From their perspective.

working on a new script. That's right, we have a production of a play coming up in May, a play that currently exists as a series of images in my mind. best get to stepping on that one, methinks.

solo show? I don't know, it's been in my mind that I should do some sort of cabaret show. All sing-y and such. I know, I know, I'm terrified of singing in public and have only in the very recent past begun to discover my voice again. yet it keeps coming up in my mind. So we'll see where that goes.

Of course, Fringe applications are once again coming up... not sure how I feel about that. The lottery beats me every time, it seems. Plus, there's the question of money... can my credit card withstand another swipe? I feel like I'm just one swipe away from it bursting into flames!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

jobs and things

hey again!
doing my best to keep things updated. i've been submitting plays where i can. keeping an eye out for film stuff i could submit to, but things are a little slow here out on the prairies. hopefully it picks up soon, but i'm trying to keep busy and work on other stuff, so i'll at least be in a state of readiness when something starts happening.

i got a job! i'm working part time at the box office for the symphony. everyone is really nice, and for a change, understanding about needing time off to do gigs, since all the box office folk are musicians and dancers and actors. i also may have an opportunity to go back to writing video games, though it's a long shot. my previous editing work there seems to have opened a potential door for a full-time gig there. although getting the job will be another kettle of fish, because there's a huge submission that i have to put together.

i'm doing that film workshop this weekend, had the first session tonight-- kind of a weird vibe in the room, i have to say. a few negative people can really change the tone of any gathering. and, of course, there is the standard hate on for theatre actors. i have no problem discussing the difference between theatre and film acting (they are incredibly different), but when people who don't know the first thing about stage acting start dissing the entire profession... well, i had to say something about that. of course theatre acting looks terrible on film, but believe you me, film acting on stage is just grim death to watch.

i'm going to try to stay positive and forget about the negative folks in class. i mean, i can let the fear of being judged block me, but the truth is, if people are going to judge me, they'll judge me, no matter what i do. i have no control over what other people think. yet, anyway.

off to learn my scene...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Joe Job

So at the moment, I'm unemployed. At first it was a kind of planned unemployment, I was coming off a tour, had some money in my bank account. I intended to luxuriate in my free time, not staying in hotel rooms, not eating Tim Horton's food in the truck, and just relax for about a month. Because I have some mad office skillz, you see, so I figured it would be pretty easy to pick up some office work when I was good and ready.

Not so much, apparently.

You see, contrary to popular beliefs, most actor/writer/artist types aren't raking in the cash from government grants, we don't get paid tons of money even when we are working. We tend to live by picking up little freelance gigs piecemeal, by waiting tables, by typing memos for people and answering their phone. Hence, the Joe Job. The "Real Job" if you're feeling a little less kind.

I've had a lot of joe jobs, mostly in offices. I may be one of the only actors in the world who has never waited tables or worked in food service. Because I somehow got sucked into working in offices right after university, and I highly recommend temping to anyone who asks. No responsibility, a finite time limit that you'll be expected to be there, and people are always impressed when you know the alphabet. The way it works is pretty simple. You sign up with a temp agency. Then someone at the agency, your temp pimp as it were, sends you out on jobs. You show up, do some kind of menial work, and collect a paycheck. Easy peasy!

But not anymore. I went back to my temp agency, and my temp pimp was super excited about it, and I have worked for exactly 5 days in the past month. Things have gotten slow here in oil country. So slow that it's getting hard to get any kind of job. Jobs at malls, fast food jobs, everyone is taking anything they can, because suddenly it's looking pretty bleak.

So where does this leave me? I'd planned to get a second job to pay off some debt and some upcoming wedding debt, even though the prospect of working 7 days a week wasn't exactly thrilling. But right now I'd be happy with any income. Being a supermarket checkout girl, pouring coffee, flipping burgers. And yet, I have also been rejected by all these jobs. Because even though a ton of office jobs look impressive on the resume, people assume that I have no other skills, or they just don't believe I actually want to scoop ice cream for a living.

Actually, scooping ice cream or working at Value Village sound a lot better to me than going to office potlucks, but that could just be me.

In other news, I have been accomplishing some things. Writing some online content articles that are actually going to give me a paycheck this month. Taking the second half of that film class in a couple of weeks. Submitting plays to places. Doing some freelance-y little things. So I can't say that I don't enjoy being my own boss and having free time. I just can't help feeling more and more anxious about my dwindling finances.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dazed and confused

I've been feeling lost, as of late. Actually, I think I've been feeling lost for a while.

I was thinking the other night, how a few short years ago, I took this workshop, and during the workshop I created this neat little solo piece that was a little weird, a little creepy, but very me. (On another note, I realize that I seem to write a lot about people's interaction with inanimate objects, and them imbuing them with human personality traits-- is that called anthropomorphizing?) Anyway, I later took that piece and performed it at a solo festival in another city. Like, a city in which I didn't live, just traveled down there by myself and had a bunch of strangers show up to see my work. Then later that same year, I wrote a show that was produced at the Fringe. Another kind of weird, kind of creepy, kind of very me show. And the sad thing is that I have no idea now how I had the courage to do either of those things. I mean, it gives me heart palpitations just to imagine it.

Somewhere along the way, I seem to have gotten very caught up in worrying what other people will think, that I'm somehow going to fail. Or getting very jealous of what other people are doing, and how they're so much more successful than me, and feeling inferior. And again, feeling that I have failed, am failing, will fail. And I want to quit.

I don't know if wanting to quit is really wanting to quit in a real sense, I can't really imagine any kind of plan B. And at the same time, I feel like I haven't tried hard enough to quit yet. Like quitting would be failing, but trying is not, whether it gets me any further or not.

So I'm feeling a little trapped at the moment. Not sure how to get out from under the thumb of insecurity, not really sure how "fake it till you make it" is actually going to help in this instance. I'm trying to have a burst of productivity-- submitting plays, networking about acting opportunities, looking into producing my own little webisodes. Trying to find indie film auditions. Stuff like that.

I'm trying to make a list of "you can't quit until..." things. Things that I absolutely feel I have to try before I can quit in good conscience. Because I have a feeling I don't really want to quit. I have a feeling that I might just be feeling defeated right now, and quitting altogether would be doing myself a disservice. So please don't comment with the "if you're having any doubts, you should just quit the biz, because it's only going to get harder" bullshit. Everyone has doubts. The biz by its very nature attracts people who are vulnerable, insecure, sometimes a little hyperdramatic about their lives. The nature of the beast, as it were.

Here's what I have so far. Don't laugh. Actually, laugh if you want, because I'm going to do it anyway.
1) Write and produce a solo show.
2) Put together and perform a cabaret.
3) Make a short film.
4) Write a screenplay.
5) Get some webisodes out there.

Any suggestions? I'll try to add to the list as I come up with more.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

another of those posts where i say i'm going to try harder

I know, I know. I leave the blog dangling for weeks/months/years at a time and then I return all full of resolve to do stuff and try at life and be a success and overcome my fears, and then... nothing.
But this time... I really mean it?
Let me repunctuate that: I really mean it.

The precipitating event: well, not so much one event as a series of events, a general wave of malaise and anxiety that has overtaken my life the last couple of weeks. Going for job interviews and being roundly rejected. Watching my bank account hemmorhage money with nothing coming in. Freaking out because I'm rapidly going broke. Agreeing to take a 3-day temp job that is an hour and a half on the bus each way because I need the cash.

And then: the audition. Now, there was an audition for an indie film yesterday, an audition that a couple of friends of mine had asked if I was going to. Now, I already have something in my calendar for the shoot dates, and I don't know about going to auditions just "for the experience". I mean, if they offer you the job, they expect you to take it. Because why else would you be there? So I was hemming and hawwing over the whole thing, and my friends had both decided not to do it, and then on the spur of the moment one of them went because she would have regretted it otherwise.

The question in my mind being: did I really skip it because I have something else to do (something I could cancel for the opportunity at resume credit), or because I was afraid to do it? The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards the second option. And I always do that. Don't do things (the stupidest things, btw) because I'm too afraid to do them.

I was reading another blog the other day that put forth the theory that fear of failure isn't really fear of failure at all, just fear of criticism. And boy howdy, do I have a whopping big fear of criticism. And probably a fear of success, since it will lead to people saying "what's next?" and me saying "ummmm" and people saying "FAIL" and then blamm-o! CRITICISM.

I mean, WTF? I'm an adult woman. I should really have a better handle on my life by this point.

Said blog post also suggested that reframing how one looks at fear is helpful-- as in, all people feel fear. People who are courageous aren't people who don't have fears, they just faced them down. Feel the fear and do it anyway, and all that good stuff from inspirational posters.

Anyway, the point is I'm tired of talking myself out of doing things, of not experiencing things because I'm afraid of being criticized or failing or sucking at things. I need to try harder. I don't have any choice but to actually try harder. Because this is getting old pretty fast.


On another note, I actually dragged myself out of bed to go for a run today, even though it's hot and I look stupid while running. And I have been dragging myself outside to run thrice weekly for the past four weeks. So that's something!

Do you put yourself out there? Take risks? Are you afraid like me? How do you deal?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Setting Goals vs. Achieving Goals

Yes, I'm starting to realize there is a difference. I am one of those people who *loves* to set goals and make lists, yet has a problem following through. So what's a girl to do? Besides set more goals, that is. :)

Still plugging away at WW, trying to keep on program, do some running, all that good stuff. Determined to lose some pounds this summer. I'm going to move on to the next week of the couch to 5k program this week, which is a little terrifying-- all that running! Who knows, either I'll eventually get to 5k and love it and do it forever, or I'll be "This is so over!" and never do it again. But I should probably focus on achieving week 3 first.

I've been experimenting writing for Suite 101, because a friend of mine is actually making money from it, and I'm pleased to say that one of my articles is actually on the first page of Google when you search "tea length wedding dress". And there is ad revenue coming in, even with only a few articles up. I'm hoping to get enough for a payout for the end of this month, and then keep adding content. I'd like to eventually be able to make my student loan payments from web writing revenue, but that's a distant dream for the moment.

I took a film workshop a couple of weeks ago, which was eye opening and challenging and interesting-- very different from stage acting. It did make me think differently about how other people perceive me and how I should and could be marketing myself. And since I now have an agent, I'm hoping to get some auditions, at least.

I was reading a blog post about setting goals for your career, over a 12 month period, and to break them down into smaller and smaller sub-goals, until you finally have sub-goals that you can achieve in a day. So even if you only do one of them per day, you're still advancing your career, step by step. Here's a few I've been thinking of:

1. Lose that last 25 pounds. Maybe even 30.
2. Book a film job.
3. Get a production for Laws of Thermodynamics.
4. Write and produce that solo show.
5. ?

Guess I'd better get back to work on that 5th thing. Instinct says it should be something to do with music, because I have a feeling that letting go and being self-accepting in that department could really help everything else out. And conveniently, I have a singing lesson tomorrow, first one since I left for the tour. Wish me luck!

I also need luck in finding a job, because they are getting pretty scarce in these parts. Even temp jobs. Eek!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

WW Slacker

Yes, that is exactly what I am. A weight watchers slacker. When I eat, I fleetingly think of the points values of everything, and it's like they just sail through my head. In one ear and out the other, as it were. So I am up a couple of pounds. Three to be exact. Of course, that's also following a mini-vacation/wedding business trip, in which I not only tasted several kinds of cake (and took seconds and thirds, just to be "sure"), but I also had to eat out all the time.

I think doing the tour and not having to worry so much about what I was eating (hello, two load ins and load outs a day, not to mention the very physical clown show. AND lots of time in small towns with few veggie options), I got very lazy. I rediscovered my love of french fries. I stopped counting. I'm going to have to count again, because I am determined to be in the 150's by my birthday. Leaving me a nice long while to get into the 140 district for the wedding. Not that I'm losing weight for the wedding. In fact, I'm not. I think I will look perfectly lovely even if I don't lose another pound. I'm just tired of thinking about losing weight, or having to lose weight, or dreaming about losing weight. It's become something of a lifelong occupation, one that I'll be glad to be rid of.

In other news, I started Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program today, and it completely kicked my ass. I don't even want to think about next week's even longer run. And in several weeks, when I run for 30 minutes non-stop? Forget about it!

I also signed up for Suite 101, and have thus far written 3 articles for them. I have it on good authority that you can actually make some kind of money doing it, and even if I only make a few bucks a month, I figure I can pay off my credit card/student loan, and learn something about web writing. Which is totally different from print writing. Like this blog? Doing it all wrong.

Next week is picking up, I have some medical improv gigs, as well as a film workshop all next weekend. Then more medical improv the week after. The sucky part is it doesn't pay until about a month after the fact. And I am dragging my ass on getting a job. I seriously cannot face working in someone's office again. Or having to explain to someone in an interview why being in theatre does in fact give me useful skills.

But I think I will save that for next week. Or the week after...

Friday, May 08, 2009

born to run?

Of course, it might be a little early to say that, seeing as how i made it through day 2 of the 5 week program today. And it could be my imagination, but I seem to remember feeling that my lungs were going to explode a little later than last time out. A good sign? Possibly. The only crappy part of the day was getting road tar on my leg. This is one of the few things that nail polish remover will not get rid of. It's been suggested that gasoline or kerosene will remove that gunk from my leg in two shakes, but I'm going to have to do a little research before I head out to the Shell station.

Other news? I have an agent! Which is a complete surprise to me, especially as I was getting the old "fuck you" from the entire canon of agents in this tiny town. Plus, I have a lady agent. Which is kind of cool. And she seems non-crazy, another plus in my book. I'm really hoping this works and I get a little work out of this.

At the moment I am procrastinating writing a proposal for an independent production. I have to turn this proposal in by Sunday. It isn't long, and I already have all the point-form information written out in a little notebook. So why the delay? Sigh.

Last night marked the 4th night in a row that my ability to sleep goes on a temporary hiatus. Yes, between about 2:30 and 5:00 am, it seems like I am incapable of sleeping. Kind of annoying. Plus, I look like I'm exhausted all day. Which I kind of am.

Okay, got to get writing this proposal.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

oh sweet zombie jeebus!

how could i forget? following the tour, i made good on my vow to *quit smoking*. today is day 4 heading into day 5. presumably the worst is behind me now. naturally, i have quit numerous times before, last time was for just about a year. i'm hoping to beat that this time around.

this is the time, though, when the nicotine cravings are starting to diminish and my brain does something tricky like saying "you could have just one and be completely fine". i have to resist that until the point where smoking becomes gross to me. right now it just seems like everyone around me smokes and life is completely unfair because i can't have one.

fortunately, there is no way i could imagine running while still smoking.

still alive

bet you thought i was never coming back, right? well i am back. i finished my tour, all ten weeks, and i managed to survive without killing a single person. though there was a day or two when i came close. but now i've been home for just over a week, and i'm trying to make some things happen for myself.

firstly, getting an agent. i finally sent out my new pictures to every single legit agent in town, and have gotten a couple of nibbles, but nothing definite yet. i have a meeting tomorrow with one place, but i am still waiting to hear on the guy who represents *everyone* in town. hopefully the smaller agency will be a good fit for me. plus i have a film workshop that i am somehow going to take and pay for in a couple of weeks, meaning the "film" portion of my resume will no longer be blank.

secondly, trying to get some writing done. currently looking into freelancing online for small sums of cash. better than nothing, and it builds the portfolio. plus i get to write about things i'm actually interested in!

doing a show at the fringe which i have nothing to do with the production/budgeting of. this is kind of a relief, compared to past fringes. all i have to do is show up and act, which sounds fabulous to me!

putting in a proposal to do an independent show (as yet unwritten) next year. realizing after this tour and a couple of auditions i had when i got back that people do in fact know who i am, and might even hire me, were there enough work to support it. so the next best thing i can do is make my own work.

started running. well, today i started running. so i guess i've run once, if we're going to get specific about it. trying the couch to 5k program from cool runnings, and i can't even begin to express what a difference music makes to working out. i don't know why i never made the connection before, but something about running and music goes together like... well, like some food i love and can't eat and a second food i love and can't eat.

trying not to go broke. this is made difficult by my laziness about getting a job, and by a wedding-related excursion up to Canmore to get some cake tasting and venue-photographing done.

trying not to get a job for a while. it looks like my schedule will really only allow temping anyway, but i just can't get all excited about getting dressed in work pants and heading to someone's office 5 days a week. i've been spoiled for the past year, what with not having to get a regular job. and now i have to get a regular job. yes, waah waah, poor me. i've got some medical improv gigs lined up over the next month, hopefully those will take some of the edge off of my credit card.

and i think that's all the news that is the news...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

remembering and looking ahead...

Sitting here after a few days off from the show, wondering if I should have spent a little more time with my script. I know it pretty well just sitting here running it, but I have a feeling that once I get up on my feet, it'll totally screw me up. Fortunately we still have two more weeks of rehearsals to sort things out. God forbid the day comes when I have to improvise in French.
That's the actual remembering I've been doing... not just musing over the past in a maudlin manner.

I've realized that I need to recommit to writing more. I always seem to have all these plans and ideas that I somehow put off. I'm hoping that when I'm on the road, I'll have more time to do stuff. But I have to start sooner, instead of procrastinating. Because time goes by no matter what, right? I don't know what I'm afraid of exactly. Success? Failure? Just sucking? Putting in the effort and then... nothing? All of the above?

I've been thinking of trying to get some freelance gigs, I've already got some movie reviews lined up for the month of March. I need to bring in some extra cash, plus I need to get the regular writing thing happening.

Back to my script...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

getting geared up...

for rehearsal tomorrow. i'm slightly weirded out by the prospect of going to the first day and not knowing anyone-- i mean, i know the AD and one of the actors, but that's not why i got hired. i'm not "attached" to the project in any way other than that i auditioned for it and got the job.
the SM sent me an email telling me to be there at 9, then sent out the rehearsal schedule saying we were going from 9:30 to 4. so what do i do? show up at 9 and wait around if she meant 9:30? that's my plan. maybe they want me to sign contracts or something before the day begins. or maybe i'll just end up waiting around for half an hour, making polite French conversation with the SM.
it's also scary to think about doing the first read in front of designers, etc. in a second language. somehow that puts more pressure on the whole thing. pressure to pronounce everything correctly, for one.
apart from that, today was a pretty lazy day. watched the inauguration, got my hair done, did some groceries, took a nap. worried about my french pronunciation briefly.
at least worrying about my pronunciation will take away from worrying about singing!

Friday, January 16, 2009

before i head out to rehearsal...

Just a quick update. I heard back from the AD yesterday, and we are in fact starting rehearsals next week! And I know someone in the cast! Just hearing that was a huge relief, now I have someone to ask how to pronounce things without fear of mockery!

Today I'm rehearsing for some play readings that go up tomorrow night. I might actually start feeling like acting is my job or something...

On the wedding front, we are oh so close to booking a photographer. And a block of hotel rooms for people (a cheap, simple hotel with decent continental breakfast included). And I tried on dresses yesterday and am now thoroughly confused. All of the major things that are left are: cake, justice of the peace, and... well, things like planning the actual ceremony, the menu, etc. All the details. But once I've assembled all the puzzle pieces, I can make them work together to create something. That's the general plan, anyway.

AND today, of course, is weigh-in day. And I'm down 1.5 pounds! Go me! Now I have to figure out how to break the dreaded plateau of this particular weight.

Off to rehearsal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

snow day

it's not really a snow day. but it is snowing. today i elected to hang around inside, finish a sewing project, and do some actual wedding work.

i almost forgot how much i like making stuff-- it was really satisfying to finish sewing my little purse. so much so, that i wanted to start something else right away! it just sucks that i have to wait till spring to use my purse. but it's not exactly winter weight fabric.

still haven't heard anything about contracts... should I be nervous? should i be making excuses for them? should i be realizing that not everyone sees my employment as the earth-shatteringly-important matter that i do?

i made an appointment to try on some dresses on thursday, right after my semi-annual arthritis checkup. hmmm maybe i should tell them that at the salon so i can seem like even MORE of an old lady.

i still have like 25 weekly points left on WW, my weigh-in being friday. i suppose i could have eaten more this week, but it seems like it'd be hard to use up more points than i already get, and still be healthy. maybe it's the vegetarian thing? lower point values or something? of course, maybe all those people who get more points are just wayyyy more active than me and are actually burning calories.

speaking of burning calories, i tried my yoga dvd today. it was pretty dumbed down-- no specific poses mentioned or anything, so i think it might be a little too introductory. plus, it wasn't much of a workout for a "yoga for weight loss" routine. but the good news is-- no ruptured discs as of yet! and my spine didn't punch through my scar when i bent over!

who said i have an overactive imagination?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

state of the sunday

nothing much new to report... spent the afternoon getting my sew on, making a bag that a friend sent me the pattern for. i think it's going to be super cute, despite my having put the internal pockets on sideways. oops! but my bag will have a tall pocket that's perfect for storing pens and pencils in.
J is heading back to rehearsals tomorrow, meaning that i'll have the whole house to myself during the day. i think i'm going to try my yoga dvd. my friend Sarah has inspired me to be more vigilant about weight watchers, and i've been tracking points since last week. today... not such a stellar day, but not a disaster. sadly, even veggie dogs add up after a while!
realizing i'm going to be on tour for a couple of months also makes me realize that i need to get my shit together re: wedding stuff. so i vow to go and try on some damn dresses already! then i'm going to check out the seamstress who has a bridal shop near my singing teacher's house. hopefully we can agree on price, and i can get something custom done to my specifications. i was thinking about trying etsy, but i'm nervous about buying something i can't see... especially when it comes to a wedding dress. not that i want a big bedazzled cupcake dress, but still. or maybe i'll even find something in my price range around here that i can just order.
once i hear for sure about the wedding website domain, i'll be able to order save-the-dates. and make a wedding website. and decide on what kind of flowers to make to bring some craft stuff on the road with me.
did i say i didn't have much to do with the wedding for a while?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

booked it!

That's right, you read it correctly, I BOOKED IT! And what, you may be asking, is it? Why, a school tour en francais, January 26 to April 24. Making the big bucks, with per diem and everything. And, ironically, I get to open the show SINGING. Apparently the universe has a sense of humor about forcing me to confront my pathos.
The audition was a little surreal-- the theatre is under construction, and the AD and I were yelling at each other over the construction noise, me trying to make polite conversation in my somewhat rudimentary french, then switching to my franglais about a minute in. Since the theatre wasn't exactly conducive to creating theatrical magic due to decibel levels, we ended up doing the audition in a dressing room, which was... intimate, to say the least. Fortunately the weirdness of the situation led to a decent audition, and when songtime arrived, I just belted it out and didn't embarrass myself too much. At which point the AD offered me the job. So I suppose I must have done the opposite of embarrassing myself, if you think about it.
I haven't given my final yes yet, because J is also doing a school tour this year, and we have to figure out who will observe our fat cat Smudge if we end up being out of town at the same time.
I am scared and happy at the same time. Happy because it's a new experience for me to actually get an audition AND be offered a job. Scared because I have to do the dreaded talkback en francais. Apparently french immersion schools love it when an anglophone from a french immersion program ends up in a show, because it shows the students that french immersion isn't pointless. Or something. And the AD assured me that I have great french, and that all their tours have had a mixed cast. Still, it's a little intimidating to think about being the only one there who's an anglophone.
What if I'm the only person who brings a dictionary to rehearsal?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I am sitting here, well, lying here, really, wondering what the hell I was thinking accepting this audition-- I mean, seriously. Conversing in French? Acting in English? Singing in any form? It's not helping that I seem to have come down with a bit of the flu. Not the real flu, just that sicky two day thing that we call the flu. Should I have gotten a flu shot this year? Probably. But too late to complain about it now.
I really like to think of things in the number of hours until they are done. For example, 15 hours from now, the audition will be over, whether it went badly or fantastically. Somehow that makes me feel slightly better. 15 hours and counting. Then I can come home and be sick all I want. 15 hours.
Procrastinating writing once more-- I seem to have overstepped my depth in making changes without real thought. But the danger comes from wanting to "think about it" longer. The only way to start is to start, right?
Going to take a shower, print out an updated resume to go with my shiny new photos, take some Gravol, and go to bed.
Please wish me french poop and/or broken legs tomorrow!

Monday, January 05, 2009

song anxiety

who would have thought I was capable of writing two posts in one day?

I did manage to get some work done on the play, ploughed through the first couple of scenes. Unfortunately, changing something major in the play means... well, making major changes throughout. Which I hadn't given a lot of practical thought to. I mean, I'd decided on the changes, but actually going over what I've written, changing it, thinking about how the changes affect the whole structure, all the little references I have to change-- well, rewriting is a skill I have yet to master. On the up side, it's almost like writing a whole new play. It's strange to get excited about the first act again, I was so bored with it, I was veering towards extreme hatred for it. Like, wanting to punch it in the face, as well as anyone who brought up the play.

I want to write something new. Something quick and dirty. I'm tired of lingering over my precious ideas for so long, like I'm standing vigil in some idea hospital or something, waiting to see if the play will survive. I want to write something new. I'm thinking about a solo show. I have a feeling that's where I may live, in the land of the solo show. In that "fuck everyone else" way. Not the way that makes you bitter, the one that makes you a strong person.

and as far as the preparation for ye olde audition goes, well, that's the title of the post. song anxiety. more specifically, singing anxiety. Always had it. Loved to sing, always hated singing. And it seems like the more training I had, the more disastrous my singing became for me. Not that I had bad training, just that the act of singing somehow seemed to grow my neurosis about it. I can't explain it. But the monologue is easy, the singing is hard. But why? And why do I keep coming back to it? A friend of mine told me that her daughter's piano teacher refused to take adult students, that adults returning to music was always because they were trying to resolve some sort of deep-seated childhood issue. I don't know if I agree with that. I do love music. But at the same time, I can't deny that I have some sort of issue with it. And it's not that I'm tone deaf, or I have a terrible voice, or any other reason that would make perfect sense about freaking out over singing. I feel like I have a real voice, a good voice, which is somehow buried under a bunch of crap, and I don't know how to let it out. And I hate touchy-feely "set your inner self free" statements like nobody's business. But that's what it seems to be.

Anyway, I have a couple more days to steel my confidence. Although it feels like someone has stolen my confidence.

now I'm all set

I finally got a new day timer today, now I feel slightly more in control of my world. Rather than just scribbling things down on random pieces of paper, I can actually schedule and plan things!
I must confess, this is just my warmup for today's writing. Because, obviously, this counts as writing. Or, at the very least, typing. Going to try and write something every day, because the most painful part is sitting down to actually write something. Or is the most painful part the writing? The feeling of "oh god, why am I doing this, why does anyone do this, can't I just go in the next room and watch Dr. Phil or Celebrity Rehab or something?". The good news is that goes away after the first half hour or so. The bad news is that it always returns the next time I sit down to write. It's a bit like going to the gym, something I haven't done in quite a while, either.
I want to try my new yoga dvd, but I'm paranoid about my back. I mean, if I can walk around and shovel snow and carry groceries and stuff, I'm not in much danger of blowing another disc. Besides, thanks to surgical intervention, there's really not much disc left to blow, to my understanding. But I'm still paranoid about destroying my back before this audition. As if I didn't have real considersations to worry about, I have to find imaginary possibilities to worry about, too! But perhaps I will reward myself for an audition well done by doing a little yoga-for-weight-loss action.
In other news, I had a tooth filled and an old filling filed down this morning, and despite my inexplicable fear of dentistry, not a single tear was shed. Which is quite an accomplishment, getting my first filling a couple of years ago was traumatic for both me and my dentist. Not because I'm the type who punches and kicks at dentists randomly, but because I get so anxious I just start crying. I think going for super-regular cleanings have helped quite a bit in this regard. Hopefully they'll help me not have to get more fillings!
Well, now that I've shared the boring random parts of my life with an audience, I'm off to write the good stuff in private.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

in the new year

Greetings all from the year 2009! Things are pretty much the same so far as they were in 2008, except it's pretty effing cold here, -35C last night. I'm trying to prepare for an audition on Thursday, an audition in which I not only have to converse with the AD in FRENCH, but do a cold read in FRENCH, and also sing. Fortunately, my monologue gets to be in English, which can only be considered a good thing. Hopefully our pitiful franglais emails back and forth have adequately prepared the AD for my out-of-practice conversational skills.
Also, I booked an acting gig this month, just a couple days' work for a reading, but it's nice that someone else recognizes my mad acting skillz.
Spent some time visiting the family this giftmas, which was useful in its giving me staggering insights into how my parents shaped my current personal neuroses. Fortunately, the end product of these insights was the realization that not only am I not solely responsible for my relationship with my parents, but also that how my parents choose to treat me has nothing to do with whether or not I am a good/adequate person. Match that with a side of realizing how living with intensely critical people could indeed cause me to constantly doubt myself, and I feel like I've done several year's worth of therapy over the holiday season!

Coming up this year for me:
1) Making myself heard. This vague-sounding resolution has a lot of personal resonance for me, whether it means actually pursuing singing further, writing my solo show, getting my work out there, and generally standing up more for my thoughts and beliefs.
2) Losing another 25 pounds. Which, I might add, I am NOT doing solely for the wedding.
3) Being more positive. Growing up with people who are instantly critical of the world at large has really normalized the rejection of new and exciting things for me. Which, in my line of work, is not optimal. This year, I will try to see the positive before looking for the negative.
4) Writing more. Writing every day, if need be. Doing nothing but bitch isn't really career-advancing.

Annnnd I think that's all the news that is the news so far this year. I'm just going to go work on my french, my monologue, my song, and then curl up with some tea to watch bad television.