Happy End to 2011! (Part 2)

December 16, 2011

PART 2:  THE WRAP

Welcome back!  I will now take just a moment to acknowledge some of the professional accomplishments, strides, etc. of 2011.

  • In January, I got to voice match Robin Wright for MONEYBALL (now in theatres!).
  • In March, I became the voice of an internet campaign for RAGU PASTA SAUCE.  Here are a few clips:

Mom’s the Word on Dinner Trailer

Mom’s the Word on Dinner Trailer #2

Dinner Time: TV On or Off?

  • In April, the latest MORTAL KOMBAT video game was released, in which I returned to voice Sonya Blade.  One of the top grossers of the year!
  • In May, I shot a national commercial for HARTFORD INSURANCE.  Watch it here:

The Hartford Insurance – “You Deserve Better”

  • Also in May, I became a cast member in ROGUE MACHINE‘S hit play, BLACKBIRD, starring Sam Anderson, Corryn Cummins, and directed by Robin Larsen.  We ran for 3 months!  And on December 13th, LA TIMES theatre critic, Charles McNulty included Blackbird in his “2011 Year in Review: Best in Theatre”!  Check out this frickin’ amazing list we’re a part of!

    Nosey Office Workers

    My Counterpart in the hallway

    Hard-ass Office Worker

  • In July, I voiced a trailer for a documentary, RENO AND THE ROMANCE OF DIVORCE:
  • Over the spring & summer, I voiced a couple commercials for BMO SOCCER in Canada:

BMO Team of the Week #1

BMO Team of the Week #2

  • In August, I signed with new managers at TORQUE ENTERTAINMENT.
  • In October, I started phase 2 of my book, THE PRINCESS OF FAKENHAM (after a 6 month “hiatus”).
  • And to close the year out, I played lead roles in two short films – FRONT YARD (dir:  Harold Hyde) and A GOOD COMPANION (dir:  Hui Eun Park).

HAPPY 2012 EVERYONE!!!

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Happy End to 2011! (Part 1)

December 15, 2011

PART 1:  THE RANT

I went to Staples last week to get a new accordian folder.  The kind of folder I use at the end of each year to collect & categorize all of my business-related receipts & other bits of paperwork, which I will hand over to my CPA come Springtime.  It’s but one of the many “clearing out” rituals that happen when another year is coming to a close.  But…

WAIT A MINUTE!  Didn’t I just do this?  Where did 2011 go?  And what exactly happened during this time?  I mean, my 2010 accordian folder is still sitting in my office, having never made it to the storage unit, where years 2002-2009 sit patiently awaiting it’s arrival.  (Not to worry!  A long overdue spring cleaning of our storage unit is coming up during “quiet time” this month!  Oh, joy!)

All of this is to say – Well, shoot.  Time really flies.  Again and again I’m reminded of this fact.  So back to 2011.  And what to make of it.

All in all I’d call it a good year.  A productive year.  Sure there were bouts of anxiety & frustrations along the way, but all in all, it was a very good year.  I finally yanked myself away from Los Angeles in August, and went on a long-overdue, well-deserved (stay)cation which involved an 8 day juice fast in the desert.  That might sound like torture to some, but I loved it.  It was exactly the rest & rejuvenation I needed.  And to prove it, I’ve already got my reservation for same time next year!

My book, The Princess of Fakenham, continues to evolve.  It’s definitely long enough now to qualify as a novel!  Yipee!  Soon it shall be time to share what I’ve come up with (to a select group of trusted eyes).  I’m looking forward to the feedback that will hopefully point me in the direction leading to the book’s completion.  My goal is the end of 2012.

Early this year I revisited voice & dance lessons.  Alas, as much as I loved going back to ballet, I soon discovered some rather unpleasant new aches & pains.  Halux rigidus?!  Latin for “stiff toe”.  Yes, it seems I was suddenly dealing with a bit of arthritis in the joint at the base of my right big toe.  The foot doc suggested that repeated releves at the ballet bar were probably not the best idea, and that I might want to keep my heels closer to the ground now.  “Tap or jazz probably won’t be as irritating as ballet,” he said to me.  “Well,” I thought.  “At least there’s that.”  DRAT!  Never before has it been more clear to me that I am no longer an invincible 18 year old.  I know it doesn’t mean I can’t do it anymore.  Rather, I need to do it differently than I did before.  With more consciousness & compassion for where I am today.  Physically & otherwise.  And if I may say so, in spite of my “advanced dancers age”, I can still dance circles around those “kids” in class.  I may do double instead of quadruple pirouettes these days.  And I may not kick my leg behind my head anymore, or do scissor leaps in the air.  But in my humble opinion, bringing life experience, style, and storytelling skills to choreography trumps those technical tricks any day. The dancers I want to watch are telling me a story.  Same goes for singers, musicians, and (obviously) actors.

Going back to these lessons brought up other stuff tho’ too. Namely – how in God’s name did I manage my time & finances to be able to DO IT ALL when I was starting out?  Seriously!  Acting classes, dance classes, singing lessons…  Once upon a time, it was a given that I was doing all of these things.  For many hours a week.  So?  What happened?  It can’t merely be choice.  Because I love to dance.  So… Why am I not in dance class?  And what’s keeping me from continuing my voice lessons?  I feel like if God (or Universe or Spirit or whatever you wanna call it-him-her-they) gave me these abilities, I ought to be using them, enjoying them, and even making a living doing them, right?  So, what gives?

If I look back at that time when I was “doing it all”, the truth is, I wasn’t yet in the business of my business.  Know what I’m saying?  I mean… Yeah, I went to Chorus & Principal calls at the AEA audition center in NYC.  But mainly, I was temping by day to pay my rent, and when I wasn’t temping, I was in my classes.  Sometimes four hours of dancing in a day.  Plus an hour each week with my voice teacher.  Plus various acting classes multiple times per week.  I was doing all of these things because I loved it.  And I wanted to be great at these things.  I didn’t have agents yet at this point in my career, so I wasn’t auditioning nearly as much as I am now.  And I wasn’t yet cultivating the business aspect of my career, like cultivating relationships, seeking mentors, goal-setting, developing my brand, putting forth action plans, etc.  Oh, and…

I wasn’t married yet either.  That changes things.  Some things.  I certainly don’t blame marriage for not “allowing” me to go out and do these things.  And besides, my hubby couldn’t be more supportive of my endeavors.  So, yes, while I may be less inclined to go off on a 6-month European tour of Cats or 42nd Street, I’m still more than happy do a 3 month film shoot in Romania!

And while we’re on the topic of lessons…  I bought a guitar this year.  I intend to have some lessons.  Soon, hopefully.  In the meantime, I’ve taught myself a bunch of chords which I have no idea how to actually use.  Yet.  Knowing how to play the piano definitely has helped, I think.  Though there are different challenges related to my small hands & short fingers that I am trying to sort out a bit on my own before turning to a professional for guidance.

I also still think a lot about learning other languages.  My Italian studies were “rudely” interrupted when I joined a theatre company and started doing a lot of plays.  Suddenly I didn’t have the time to do my homework and practice my conversation skills with “Paulo e Isella”.  See?  Time management is everything!  How can we do it all when there are only so many hours in the day?  We have to rehearse, go to auditions, write 30 minutes a day, meditate, go to the bank, go grocery shopping, study Italian verb conjugations, see the doctor, hit the gym.  And then we go to acting class, dance class, improv class, voice lessons, guitar lessons, language lessons, pole dancing class and flying trapeze school…

[Hats off to those of you who also have children!]

Doesn’t something have to go?

I want to do it all.  I really do.  But…

How?

Do I need to give up on sleep?  Is that how the people who “do it all” do it?

Desire.  Interest.  Passion.  Curiosity.  Yearning.  Having and feeling these things is all good news.  Maybe there’s a way to devise a rotating schedule? So as to continue nurturing and developing all of these interests & abilities, and not allow them to lie dormant?

Any ideas, suggestions, and/or stories from your personal experiences with these issues are most welcome!

In any case, an acknowledgment of the 2011 highlights is in order.

Coming up next, in part 2 of Happy End to 2011!

Thoughts on Age Discrimination in Hollywood & a Long Overdue Lawsuit.

October 19, 2011

Hello friends, colleagues, and fans.

I recently wrote an extended comment at Huffington Post in response to the article about the Actress suing Amazon over age discrimination.

Check out that article here.

If you feel moved to do so, please share this article.  And also post some supportive comments, beliefs and what-not, if you have them, with regards to the professional discrimination issue that posting our birth dates can have on our careers.

To read my response to the article, click here.

Rock on!

Blackbird singing in the dead of night…

June 27, 2011

Good lord, I feel like a broken record when I say — once again — where, oh where, has the time gone?

See, I normally would have done this update a wee bit sooner.  Like, um…before opening night?  Onward!

I am part of Rogue Machine’s astounding production of David Harrower’s BLACKBIRD, which has been filling the house since opening on June 10th, and receiving enthusiastic responses.

Ovation Recommended!

LA Times Critics’ Choice

And no wonder.  Mr. Harrower has written a doozy of a story here.  And the two lead actors – Sam Anderson & Corryn Cummins – are fantastic in their demanding roles.  Under the guidance of director Robin Larsen…how could this not be a winner?

As for myself…I am playing an offstage role (literally) in the play.  It has provided a unique opportunity to work with these fabulous people.  And I am most glad to be a part of it.

Plays through July 25th.  5pm on Saturdays & Sundays; 8pm on Mondays

Get tickets here.

 

 

 

Seriously…I need an assistant.

May 12, 2011

Oh blog, how I’ve neglected thee!

It’s “funny”…

2011 has been a busy year.  Admittedly, it feels like much of it has been more process-oriented (aka “in progress”), and perhaps that’s why I’ve felt less inclined to check in here.  What?!  Like I only could post something when I had something to “brag” about?  When there was a solid “result” produced from my on-going professional & personal efforts and pursuits?

It’s the process that really counts, right?  The journey?  That’s what they say.  And that’s what I, intellectually, totally agree with, comprehend, etc, etc.

Yet I confess it’s a challenge at times — keeping the faith, keeping spirits up, doing what compels me on a day to day basis, and all that jazz.  I confess that sometimes, when I’m deep in the thick of the journey, and it seems like there’s a hell of a lot of time, energy, money, emotional investment going out, while it seems like nothing is coming back in…what can I say?  It starts to feel really hard, frustrating, and even (on a bad day?) hopeless.  All this “seeming”.  Even on the harder days, thankfully, deep down I’m able to maintain the belief that there are bigger forces at work.  And so, really…I really don’t have anything else to do except enjoy what I get to do each & every day.  As my friend Darrell says, “Fall into that…voluptuously”.  (Forgive my paraphrasing Darrell!)

Now the truth about this year so far is I have and continue to experience & accomplish a lot of cool stuff. For starters…

I now have the framework of my book, The Princess of Fakenham.  There’s still a long way to go, and I’ve been very distracted from that project for the last few months.  But it’s there…and I know it’s not going away.

I started dance class again — ballet specifically — after a very long absence from that world.  My body was so happy to be moving like that again!!  After a month back, my right big toe started feeling this intense pain, and I learned I have the beginning of some arthritis in the joint there.  Presumably from my 17 years of dancing, walking in high heels.  The pressure of all those eleves and releves in ballet are just a little too much for this bod of mine now.  So, rather too quickly, dance had to take a back seat again.  For a bit, anyway.  Maybe jazz, or even modern (hello barefoot!), will make my feet a little happier?  I won’t give up on it yet.  Thankfully, barefoot running makes my feet quite happy!

I started voice lessons again, too!  Opportunities started coming up recently that required singing, and I realized I really need to stop ignoring this other skill of mine.  I realized I not only wanted to brush up the technique but also reassemble an audition book that included not only the musical theatre stuff, but also rock/pop.  It’s been fun – albeit slow going – gathering songs to rock out to!  Eddie Sayegh and Steven Memel have helped & continue to help me get back on track.

Voice overs continue to keep me busy.  With my rockstar agents at VOX, I started off the year voice matching Robin Wright for the upcoming feature film MONEYBALL (also starring Brad Pitt).  That was a cool experience I’d never had before —  callback-to-work.  There were three of us.  We went in one at a time to meet & read for director Bennet Miller (Oscar nominated for CAPOTE).  And then I was chosen!  Went back in & recorded the scene.  A phone call with Brad driving in his car, and me/Robin on the phone with him.

I’ve recorded two spots (so far) for a Ragu campaign called “Mom’s the word on Dinner“.  You can watch/hear them here:

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=915783181065
https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=915783620185

I did more ADR on yet another soap — DAYS OF OUR LIVES.  This just aired on May 6th.  I played a young mom in a safe-house where one of the characters used to live.  They hear me trying to soothe my crying baby in the hallway.  Maybe I’ll get a daytime Emmy nom?  Hm.  Probably not.  The post folks there were really fun to work with.  And I love the soaps, cuz whether you’re on or off camera they put you in a very cozy dressing room.

In April, the new MORTAL KOMBAT video game was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  I play Sonya Blade again.  It’s been getting fantastic reviews.  G4‘s X-Play gave the game 5 out of 5!

And this week I shot a commercial for Hartford Insurance which was so  much fun!  I had been craving being back on a set again.  And I couldn’t have been surrounded by a better group of people behind and in front of the cameras.  It’s a very amusing spot, and I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful actor — my hubby for the day – Andrew Burlinson, as well as Sarah Rush, who played our hard-selling, “kooky” and ultimately misleading real estate agent.  Patrick Sherman (of Caviar Content) directed.  Alyson Horn cast (she also cast me in my very 1st commercial for Guinness Beer in 2004).  I don’t know (yet) when they plan to air this.  It’ll start national cable, and then they have plans to go network.  Fingers crossed!

Did I mention the 1st audition for this was on my birthday?  April 28th.  Pretty awesome gift, I have to say.

This winter has also been about a lot of auditions (2 pilots, three features, and a couple already-on-the-air shows) that did not lead to bookings.  Several of these were first auditions with film & tv casting offices that had never met me before.  So…even though it was quite disappointing not to book the gigs, I know it’s all a good thing.  I want to be on these people’s radar.  And…now I am.  Seeds are being planted.

I was also seen for the first time at The Black Dahlia Theatre, which has been on my target list for some time.  They do tremendous work there, and I was thrilled to have been asked to return for the 2nd audition (aka “the callback” for the non-industry folks reading this).  Didn’t get this one either (big sigh).  But again, I’m so glad to have met Artistic Director Matt Shakman, Producer Gaalan Michaelson, Director Mark St. Amant and Writer Marco Ramirez during this audition process.  And I look forward to meeting them all again in the not-too-distant future.

Wasn’t I talking about process?  Oh yes.  I returned to The Antaeus Company in April to work with Armin Shimmerman in the Shakespeare Workout.  Awesome stuff!  Learned so much from him. Hello rhetoric!

And this month, I’ve returned to my theatre company The New American Theatre (formerly Circus Theatricals) after an extended hiatus.

Have I mentioned writing makes my brain tired?  Well.  It does.  And on that note…I’m going to send my assistant out to get the dry cleaning so I can take a nap.

A girl can dream…

Lovely to reconnect with old friends…

October 28, 2010

I’m working once again with the fabulous Carol Rathe of GO Voices in Denver, CO!


Carol@GoVoices.com 303-623-2723

 

My latest vo gig…A Message of Peace

September 26, 2010

I’m the narrator for this video featuring Prem Rawat’s A Message of Peace, which was just included in the United Nations’ International Day of Peace Global Broadcast. The Prem Rawat Foundation participated alongside organizations such as UNICEF, Action Against Hunger, World Economic Forum, CARE, UN World Food Programme, The Peace Alliance, Amnesty International, and many others who produced special videos in support of the UN’s International Day of Peace on September 21, 2010.

Click here to check it out!

 

 

Circus Theatricals is on fire!

September 4, 2010

In theatre news…

Circus Theatricals (my company!) & John Farmanesh-Bocca’s Not Man Apart‘s co-production of TITUS REDUX is a hit at the Kirk Douglas Theatre! This limited engagement – starring Circus’ Jack Stehlin (Weeds) & Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives) – closes on Sept. 12th, so hurry on down to Culver City and catch it before it moves on to NYC…and points beyond.

Today this link appeared on CBS Los Angeles — http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/top-lists/top-99-seat-theaters-in-l-a/

…naming Circus Theatricals as one of the top 5 99-seat theatres in Los Angeles!

Also, check out this great LA Times article from last Sunday’s ARTS section –

http://www.latimes.com/la-ca-0829-titus-redux-20100829,0,1342558.story

(Getting Out – the play I starred in during June & July – is even mentioned in there!)

OK. OK. Enough about that.  What is DLB up to?

Voice over is keeping me busy.  So hurrah for that!

And not to be too vague or anything, but I’m finally moving forward on a long-gestating personal project that – God willing – will end up on the big screen in the not too terribly distant future. (I’ve waited 11 years as it is to get this baby on its feet.  I think I can be patient awhile longer.)

I’m also so excited to start Shakespeare Workout at The Antaeus Co. next week.  The 1st month will be spent working with director Bart DeLorenzo!  Hello Hamlet, King Lear & Twelfth Night!

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!  I’m outta here.

Post Comi-Con Hangover?

July 27, 2010

Hi Folks!

I don’t really have any news to share or anything exceptionally profound to say.

I — like so many of you — have returned home after plunging into the madness that is Comi-Con.  All in all it was a successful week. And now I am “merely” in the midst of the follow-up emails, phone calls, meetings, etc…

In the past, it’s been my habit to stay away from the convention center after Thursday.  Between the geeks farting in the back row of panels, and the feeling that I’m a sardine in an overpacked sardine can…I usually just can’t deal with it after the 1st 24-36 hours.

But check this out…I went through Saturday.  There were highly entertaining panels to attend (ie:  Batman The Brave & the Bold! Children’s Hospital!) & people to meet (fellow Vox client John DiMaggio! Nick Frost! Julie Benz! Orlando Jones! Thomas Jane – who Adam is working with on a Western feature!), reconnect with (Kevin Michael Richardson!), throw myself at the feet of (Guillermo del Toro! Edgar Wright! Andrea Romano!), etc, etc, etc…

You get the picture, right?

I hope San Diego (my hometown!) gets its act together and expands the convention center so the Con can stay down there.  I don’t really want that clusterfuck up here in LA.  And who wants to go down to Anaheim?  (no offense Anaheim.  I love me some Disneyland).

Adam and I think they should expand the east side of the convention center and connect the Hilton via a covered bridge.  They should also make underground tunnels so the pedestrians have a choice of remaining above ground to cross the train tracks, or high-tailing it under ground to get to the Hard Rock Hotel in time for Happy Hour (is there a happy hour in that hotel?  I never checked)

Oh gee.  I’ve said far more than I planned to, and now – sadly – I must leave you.  I’m off  to go chop my hair after spending 7 months leaving it utterly alone for my play!

‘Til the next time my friends.  nanu nanu.

a wee update to my previous post…

July 17, 2010

Get 1/2 price tickets for closing night of my play — Getting Out — this Sunday at 7pm!

Just go to:  www.circustheatricals.com/tickets

Navigate through to the plays411 site…

Promo code is 008

See you there!