One month in LA. Done.
Where I Am
My feet are dirty, I am thirty, and I don’t know
what I am supposed to do before
Pen to paper, ink to brain
tell me what you want
My finger is cut, my face is bleeding
I’m laying in bed drinking
coffee in the morning.
If time is an illusion, so is death
since we never stop and it never ends
I’m inside the same second I was
when I started.
October 19, 1987, 3:39pm,
In the feeling of OPEN-AIR MARKETS I'm just going to list out moments from this week, in the order that they come to me, in the emotion ocean of spontaneity, sizzling in the bonfire of impulse and hope that something connects to something.
Saturday I auditioned to be a conservatory member for this theater. It was called Elysium Conservatory Theatre in San Pedro, and they asked me to prepare 1) a Shakespeare monologue (I did Isabella's beg from Measure for Measure, "To whom should I complain?"), 2) a contemporary monologue (Did my good ole faithful "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid, spoken in speaking form), 3) 16 bars of a song ("I Wish It Would Rain" - The Temptations), and, last but not least, 4) a "fearless artistic performance piece." For that last one, I did this impulse movement thing I made up where I tried to encompass all the feelings I felt during the audition, did it to that Hozier work song, it felt pretty good. After I performed the monologues and my song, we worked on the Shakespeare monologue together, he gave me direction and there was a lot of crying and screaming, and then I did the performance piece. I learned that auditions can go anywhere and that I can just use them as a chance to perform for someone. I'll find out this week if I get it, hope so, I liked this guy and this theater and their focus on fearlessness.
UPDATE FROM 5:28PM PST TODAY: Just got a call from the Artistic Director, he wants me to join the theatre as a conservatory member. Yay.
"no grave can hold my body down, I'll crawl home to earth" - Hozier
I ate Pizza Hut pizza for the first time in maybe 10 years this week. It was one of those moments, biting into a gooey cheesy slice while sitting on a couch around 8PM on a weekend with a movie, where I truly felt like a 12 year old. Like that dirty blonde, fairly chubby, movie crazed pre-teen, sitting up in the bonus room in Aiken, SC next to her younger brother who begged and gratefully received half-pepperoni, post-Blockbuster run, pre-Breadsticks marinara dip, watching Surf Ninjas or or or something with Jim or Adam or 90s theme music. Maybe we went crazy and watched Sword in the Stone. Only VHS permitted, no remotes required, push play on the box. And then the magic of movie happened and the sound of crust accented. I sat there on Sunday with my pizza and my movie and my memory of kidhood and I smiled to myself, a real smile, an alone smile. It felt good. I also used a coupon on the pizza, which felt almost as good.
"money can't buy knives" - Rob Schneider, Surf Ninjas
Happily booked a commercial for the new personal assistant app, Fin. Most of the shoot day was spent talking into my phone, asking Fin questions about goats, and shooting the breeze with my fellow Fin fans (living-in-LA-to-be-an-Actor actors). I got PAID - whaaaaaa, I know – which felt amazing, getting paid to act. Dream. It made me think of Peter Dinklage's story about being 29 and working in data processing and being like "the next time I get paid to act, I'm going to just be a working actor and that's it." And then he got paid to do a show and quit his job and only let himself get paid to act. He also said, in that video, that we shouldn't wait for anyone to tell us we are ready, we shouldn't ask permission, we should just do it. And then fail and do it again and fail better. Fearlessness seems to be a theme here.
"I can't go on, I'll go on." - Dinklage as Beckett
Things I watched this week??? Actors on Actors with Sam Rockwell+Alison Janney and Gal Gadot+Kumail Nanjiani and Margot Robbie+Jake Gyllenhaal and Dustin Hoffman+James Franco and Gary Oldman+Kate Winslet. Oh and I watched Logan and Doctor Strange and GOT episode where Khal gets the stab wound that kills him. Oh and Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady special which was pretty awesome and another comedy special about 6 comedians I can't remember the name of.
Saw Leslie Odum Jr. perform at the Walt Disney Concert hall thanks to my buddy who manages all of the lights for his show. His whole vibe was very Nat King Cole, band was outrageously good and the venue blew me away. Yes, he sang some Hamilton songs - WAIT FOR IT - and he even brought his lovely wife out on stage for a duet. Great show. Fav moment? When he decided to sit on the edge of the stage and had to kind of fall down so he wouldn't rip his suit. He's great, real pro.
"someday someday, ya you'll blow us all away" - Aaron Burr, Sir
Starting taking acting classes at James Franco's Studio4 spot. We're studying Meisner techniques, tons of repetition tons of repetition tons of repetition tons of repetition...I've been to maybe 3-4 classes and worked out a few of the door-call exercises and activity work, not sure I will continue going in the new year, there's a little too much talking and not enough DOING. I'm not about that talking about acting life. LET'S DO IT. But I needed a classroom this month and this fills the void. Plus, our teacher tells us BTS Franco stuff, which is fun.
"don't free-hand cut ginger" - My Finger.
Did you know The Grauman's Chinese Theatre screens short films in its MASSIVE GIGANTIC WHO COMES HERE theaters sometimes? There's a monthly film series called Holly Shorts that I got to go to with my freshman year of college buddy Caitlin (who I hadn't seen SINCE FRESHMAN YEAR which means, what, 11 years? Wowsa). We saw five short, indie films in a row and took pictures in front of a step-and-repeat sign which felt weird, but so does LA. Plus, another fun fact, there is a real bar in the TCL Chinese Theaters. Yes, yes there is.
"wait, you brought two fantas?" - late night conversations
Performed in a comedy sketch show called "Live Existential Comedy" at Open Space LA with writer and producer, Julianna Schley. The sketch was about being in a numb pain in the woods. AND I had friends come and watch me do this thing, which felt really good (THANK YOU ALEXIA, JADE, AND KATIE). Making friends and finding more stages to eventually create something on top of, yay things!
Auditioned for a livestream broadcasting app which I ended up booking BUT they require you to livestream for 2 hours a day. I REPEAT, 2 HOURS A DAY. Who wants to watch me do anything for 2 hours straight besides my mom? So I had to decline the contract. But luckily, I will be home soon, mom, and you can watch me do nothing for many hours in a row.
APPENDIX OF MEMORIES:
donut addiction is still happening, new place is Trejo Donuts, LA people, HH is 3-4PM // applying to roles that have the word "tough" in them // judy garland singing have yourself a very merry christmas and focusing on the phrase next year all your troubles will be miles away // wedding ring prop // acting out a South Carolina equestrian debutant // waking up to the memory of pizza hut engrained inside puffy eye brain // forgetting what it's like to wear a coat // not using GPS to get from acting class to home base // sending james an I miss you video because i do // holiday party at bud Marisa's house with holiday hats and skulls // filming a self-tape for a sweatshirt sold to police officers // french neighbors.
LA, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey. 🌹