Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Using What You've Got...

I have a thing for kitchen gadgets. Tools, toys, appliances. I love them. In fact, I kind of have a thing for stuff--hence my love of vintage shopping, garage sales, and the like.

But it occurred to me that I have a lot of stuff that I hardly ever use. And some of it, like cookbooks, is just because I haven't really been feeling the spirit move me. That, and being so broke-- no cash for fancy ingredients means no fancy new recipes.

But isn't being broke a great time to use the stuff I already have? Which is why I've resolved to use the following two kitchen toys next week: my pasta maker and my cookie press. The pasta maker I've used before, the press I'm ashamed to say I never have. It's been sitting in its box since Christmas of LAST YEAR, people! That just ain't right.

I'm going to start challenging myself to use the things I've already got, rather than wishing I had other things, or, dare I say, was other things.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The most rewarding part was when they gave me the money...

Yes friends, it's true: I have finally, finally received my cheque for those commercials I shot all those many moons ago (actually, in March, so only a couple of moons ago, but that's a long time when you're waiting for a chunk of change)! Not only did I beat the postal strike, I am now a real, live, professional actress. Who will be on tv, no less (that's what well-meaning friends and relatives always seem to hold as a measure of true success--"When are we going to see you on the teevee?")

You know, the other day at that audition, as I was coming out, I ran into a certain local wunderkind who's often a bit of a d-bag, because I think he believes that he should behave eccentrically, and that artists should be indulged because, of course, how would anyone create art sans indulgence? But anyway, he was signing in as I was leaving the audition room, and he was quite surprised to see me there. He immediately asked "Oh, are you here with J?" referring of course to my husband who is himself a pretty successful professional actor here in town. And making the assumption that I just follow J around, holding his coat and keeping my fingers crossed for him outside his auditions, or volunteer my time to turn the pages for the accompanist in support of J's career, or I don't know, some other crazed idea.

I did solemnly inform him that no, J wasn't here, and that it was just me doing an audition. And in the back of my mind I got a little mad that "he doesn't think of me as an actor! Why doesn't anyone think of me as an actor?" But then I realized that the person who has a hard time accepting calling me an actor is... well, me.

That sounds cheesy. Like, if my life were an episode of 90210 (old-school, thank you), it's the kind of realization I'd come to in the last 5 minutes of the episode. With help from Andrea or Kelly or Dylan, who would have given me a strong talking to, or thrown me a surprise party, or come to bail me out at the police station. But I digress. It's true, I have a hard time feeling like I "deserve" that title of actor. But why shouldn't I? I trained for it. I'm good at it. Occasionally I get asked by others to do it. And occasionally, like today, I get paid for it.

So why is it so hard to claim that "special" title? Maybe I need to worry less about what others think of me, and work a little harder on how I think about myself.

That's clearly something Dylan would have said. Right?

At a bit of a loss...

Remember when I was so freaked out about finishing the rewrite of the play I wasn't sure if I liked, but is having a reading next month? Well, I finished the rewrite, extra early (like, at least a week and a half ago) because I felt pressured to give the director a script (because the rewrite was rather drastically changed from the previous draft), and I haven't looked at it since.

I haven't heard from the director, either, despite some email prodding, but that's another story. The reading is in two weeks, and it's more of a workshop-y thing for an invited audience, rather than any kind of performance. I'll probably go through it again to do a bit of a clean-up edit, but I feel like there's not much further I can go with this until I hear it out loud.

But then I got all caught up in preparing for/fretting over THE AUDITION, which is now mercifully over.

And so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself. It makes me want to start a new project. I always get these big ideas to start self-improvement projects, or writing projects, or musical projects, or whatever else springs into my head at the time.

Free time is never something I live easily with. I do have a stack of books I've been reading waiting to be finished, and some sewing and knitting projects waiting to be started. But I think I just love the thrill, the excitement of the new. I'm a little bit addicted to potential. This could be why I have trouble finishing things. Or sometimes, even starting things. It's when potential is in danger of becoming result that I get a little skittish.

It's not that I don't accomplish things, or finish projects. I do. Just sometimes I need to remind myself to follow through.

In other news, that cheque for the commercial is finally on its way, apparently. To balance this out, the postal workers may be going on strike in the next few days. And that's not the only thing I'm expecting in the mail-- the other day I happened to be checking out my credit card statement online, and noticed some weird charges-- cabs in Vancouver, sandwiches in Kamloops-- both cities that are quite a ways a way from this prairie town. So I called, and while the first guy I spoke with clearly suspected me of trying to defraud Mastercard to score some free BC sandwiches, the girl in the fraud department told me that yes, there were some other charges, but all would be taken off. And they're sending me a brand new card. In the mail.

At the moment, I'm kind of loving this website. I foresee myself visiting it on my internet breaks at work.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Audition!

Is done! The last 40 minutes before I went up to the room, I was sitting in an adjacent office building musing about the nature of time, and how it was just steadily creeping forward to 10:20, the HOUR OF DOOM, and although I wished I had more time, I also wished it was already over, because I couldn't stand being nervous about it any more.

Once I got up to the waiting area, the nervousness started to dissipate. I tried to listen in a little on what was happening in the room with the person going before me... and got a couple of little clues about what I might be asked to do. Sneaky, I know. And I asked the girl signing us in how many people were in the room, which gave me a good guess as to who might be there.

The interview was first, then my monologues, then my song. The song wasn't brilliant, but it went much better than I thought-- that old instinct to just suck it up and perform must have kicked in. And they seemed pretty happy with my monologues. I may have even gotten a kind of drumming on the table "applause" from one member of the panel. And I got told that my work was "excellent", which I'm just going to assume is something they don't just say.

I think I kind of sucked at the interview, though. But to me, expecting anyone to do the interview portion before they do their pieces is expecting some kind of superhuman composure. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe I'm just woefully undercomposed.

Now the waiting game begins again. Of course, since they're seeing a couple hundred people in 3 different cities, my chances of being accepted are somewhat slim.

Tonight I'm going to a show, and perhaps even a couple of drinks. And this weekend, I'm rewarding myself by reading the new Sweet Valley book, which arrived at the library just in time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Day Before...

Just a quick post. I had another voice coaching this morning, which went great-- hopefully I can remember all the things I should do tomorrow morning. And at one point, he said something that really hit me, in regards to my song, but also in regards to, well, everything I'm doing.

"How much right do you have to speak here?"

Well, obviously, my character has every right to speak here, it's her song, it's her moment. And he said "Just remember, a lot of people go into the room worrying they're wasting the auditioners' time, but you have every right to speak, to have your moment. In fact, I give you permission."

Which was somehow quite moving.

I'm nervous.

Wish me luck tomorrow, 10:20am MST.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm Sick Of The Waiting Game... Let's Play Hungry Hungry Hippos.

So it wasn't enough to be refreshing my email over and over on deadline day, waiting to see if I'd been called in. Now I'm refreshing my email over and over in the hopes that my scheduled audition time will arrive.

The auditions are on Thursday. I am working Thursday. Which isn't a problem, as I have a very flexible arts-adjacent job where they recognize that while I'm very good at what they employ me to do, I certainly don't want to be doing it for the rest of my life.

But I really don't want to come to work on Thursday and have to watch the clock count down to my audition time and fret about how it's going to go all day. I'd much rather go in the morning, so it can be done and I can head straight to work and then out for several drinks at the end of the day. Of course, this means singing first thing in the morning. And being one of the first people they see, which I'm never sure how that goes-- will I set the standard for the day, or be entirely forgotten by day's end. They're also auditioning in two more cities, increasing my chances of being forgotten. I can only hope that they will be seeing me when they're still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and don't have the mid-afternoon naps, or gut rot from drinking coffee all day.

In the meantime, I've been dutifully preparing like a good little actor. I've been to visit an accompanist/voice coach, and I'm seeing him again tomorrow for a final tune-up. Monlogues are memorized and objective-d (objectified? object-lessoned?)I'm doing a sweet contemporary monologue, an intense Shakespeare, and a funny song. I feel like it shows a good range of what I can do. I am a little eek about perhaps I should be doing a funny Shakespeare, since the show is a Shakespeare comedy, but frankly, there isn't that much choice for the ladies in Shakespeare monos. I thought about busting out Viola's ring speech again, but decided against it. The AD has seen me do that one (not that he'd remember it), and I feel like I should be doing something different than the 20 year olds. I think my current choice (from Titus) will show I can handle my text.

Then there's the interview. Of course there will be an interview. I'm not sure if I'm more nervous about performing or about doing the interview.

I'm going to be so happy when Thursday afternoon rolls around, and all I have to worry about is a play reading. (Which the director, a local AD, has not spoken a word to me about, though I'm sure he's read the script. Does he hate it? Does he regret saying yes? Should I just ignore these feelings of insecurity?)

Send good vibes to me on Thursday, please!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I got called in for an audition.

For ye old Professional Development Program at the Big-Time Theat-ah.

It's sometime next Thursday.

I have to sing.

I may barf.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Our Oven Is Broken.

Sigh. Bye bye, baked potatoes and lasagna! Auf wiedersehn, cookies! Arrivederci, strawberry rhubarb pies!

This morning we were making breakfast, and turned on the oven to brown up some potatoes, and there was this weird ZZZZZZT! sound, and now the oven doesn't work.

Could it be a fuse? Do ovens still have fuses?

We are going to have to do SO much cleaning if someone is coming over to fix the oven.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

Well, tonight's the night we finally watch the last Friday 13 that Netflix (Canadian Netflix, at least) has to offer--Part VIII-- Jason Takes Manhattan.

(Every time I see this title I think: "First he takes Manhattan-- THEN HE TAKES BERLIN!")

Mysteriously, Canadian Netflix has Friday 13th 1 through 8, with the exception of part 5. Why, Netflix? Fortunately, I was able to catch up between parts 4 and 6.

I'm beginning to wonder if my singing teacher and I aren't a good fit for each other, communications-style-wise. I had another frustrating lesson on Tuesday. I don't know what to do. I think what I really want is concrete suggestions on things I can do, not a lecture about how my past life is affecting my singing in this life, or stuff about cellular memory or my aura. I don't think it has to be quite so magical or mystical. Of course, maybe I'm wrong. All I know is that it isn't working for me, and I can't tell if he's just dealing with something in his personal life that's coming through into the studio, or if I'm being unreasonable, or what.

I'm just not into pathologizing everything any more, you know?

ETA: Friday the 13th Part 8 is pretty much terrible. It's like 4 separate horrible, horrible movies crammed into one movie that never seems to end. Like, it's not even BAD good, it's just boring.