A Glimpse At My Summer

tumblr_lxk1ixwYYo1r9iv4so1_500This has been one of my better summers. Let me first begin by saying I love rituals. I love me a good old ritual, so this Summer I started a new ritual….A Summer Intention List. Well it was a good idea at the start of summer but not much of it actually survived.   So that ritual probably won’t make it next year.  But on to what I really enjoyed this summer:

 The movies 22 Jump Street, Lucy, Dawn of The Planet of the Apes

The return of the TV show Suits

Auditioning for The New Girl — Yeah!

Meeting 3 new Casting directors

Working on the play Women of Manhattan

Going to Daily Love Live!

Re-reading A Return To Love

Reading the book E-Squared and doing the worksheets. So much fun!

Started working with a manager, lets see how this goes

Performing in a staged reading of Joyce Carole Oats’ I Stand Before You Naked

Getting back into my morning run regime

What made your summer this year. I’d love to know

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Othello!

PicMonkey Collage

I am on cloud nine. I must say this is definitely a summer highlight. This summer is turning out to be the best one yet! I was lucky enough to see the talented & sexy Blair Underwood in Shakespeare’s Othello at the Old Globe theater in Sand Diego. Was the 2 hour drive worth it. Hell yes!  No words. No words. I loved it!  I went with two of friends and because the production had been selling out we had separate seats yet we all had the same reaction. We all loved Iago played by Richard Thomas.  He was evil, he was a sociopath, yet he had charm and that’s what made this performance work for me. You knew he was bad to the bone, no remorse. Yet his charm took the edge of, so I didn’t hate him, what Iago did yes, but I was thrilled by it, intrigued even.

Also performance to note the Amelia played by Angela Reid. My god her last scene, the one between her and Othello. The woman was on fire. She killed it. Passion, passion, passion. But for her entire performance was noteworthy. She had a point of view at all times. I knew how she felt about Iago, I knew how she felt about his feelings for her. I knew how she felt about Desdemona. She was great. I loved her.

And then there was Othello. Yes Blair Underwood. Dreadlocks, white shirt (unbuttoned), accent, sword. Need I say more, and I haven’t even gotten to his acting. First of all his voice, the entire cast actually, such strong voices. He had so much swagger, his energy he commanded the stage yet he was never out of breath. His Othello was sexy, powerful, confident. Did I believe he loved Desdemona oh yes. Did I believe he felt betrayed, abused, made a fool of. Yes I believed him through and through. From the moment we first encounter Othello he enters the room. He commands the stage and you know he knows he is “the king”.  One of my favorite scenes was between he and Desdemona as he is asking her for the handkerchief. He went from tender, to seductive to angry, to menacing, it was such a great moment. And then of course for me his climax when he kills Desdemona and then the moment he realizes what has happened. I loved that moment as well.

But what a testament to Shakespeare’s writing.  This was my first experience of Othello in it’s entirety. I had seen scenes from it in class and had watched bits of the great Maggie Smith’s performance, but i had not actually seen the full play.  So I am grateful that this was my first experience with it because it was indeed a thrilling one.  You won’t be able to see this performance but if you have a chance to go to the Old Globe do so it is such a gorgeous venue.

 

Flaming your passion

Ruth-St.-Denis-in-The-Greek-Veil-Plastique

I’ve been in rehearsal for a new show. Wild Songs & Naked Souls. I’ve never done anything like this before and though I’m not terrified, I am somewhat nervous. Nervous isn’t the right word, but I feel …… well nervous. The show is a collection of poetry and love letters and the like being dramatized. I love the concept, I’m my apprehension, yes that’s what I feel apprehension, is about not having done this before. Well that’s not exactly it either. Perhaps it’s not being familiar with the world of poetry and prose and the writers we are working with.

You see I grew up in The Bahamas and my family was not exactly what you  would call artistic. They were/are blue collar hard working middle class people. But I’ve always gravitated towards the arts. From I’ve known myself I’ve been an artist.  However, since I did not have access to a lot of these love letters, poetry and such that we’re working with, I feel a bit out of my league, which I hate feeling. This is really funny because I’ve always wanted to be this kind of artist. You know the artsy fartsy type that goes religiously to theater, and sits reading 17th century love letters and other obscure literature. Please I know I’m so pretentious!

And yet though I’m doing the artsy fartsy thing that I dreamed of, I’m so insecure about my performance because I haven’t had the experience with it. I haven’t been sitting in a coffee shop reading poetry and love letters. But I could have been, because I’m here. I’m in America in Los Angeles.  O.k L.A doesn’t really count I suppose because let’s face it, this city is not known for people lounging in coffee houses reading poetry!

My point is, and I’m getting to it, I think my feelings are coming from that fact that somewhere along the line I lost the vision of the kind of artist I wished to be. When I lived in The Bahamas and didn’t have direct access to AlbeeFranz Kafka and Pablo Neruda. I would spend my last dime trying to find those books, spend crazy amount of money to get them shipped to me on the island, etc. And now that I’m here in America and have those things at my fingertips, I haven’t been as voracious about it. I have an acting teacher that lives this stuff and is constantly imploring us to dig in. I could go directly to any Library and get a Neruda or go to the theater, yet I’m not. I remember saving up all my money to go to New York for a few days to see a play on Broadway. And now that I’m here I’m not seeing the plays as much. Not as hungry for the poetry.

I’ve thought about why this is and the first thing that came to mind is I allowed the daily grind to get to me. You see creating a career as an actor, an artist, takes a lot of work. And I’ve been bogged down in the “work” of it and I allowed my passion to be suppressed.  The day job, the life stuff, I allowed it all little by little to smother my flames. I’m not as revved up as I was before. Albeit I’ve noticed this from sometime, but I just didn’t know how to fix it. We all need to get the bills paid so I can’t exactly dispose of the day job.  And to be perfectly honest I can’t exactly blame all of this on the job because not only are they superbly flexible with me they are aware of my passion and don’t get in the way. So I can’t really blame anything, anyone but myself.

So how do you keep a fire going. Blow on it, poke the wood around a bit, stir things up. This show is my re-awakening, the rebirth of the flames of my artsy fartsy self!

{Photo Credit: Denishawn Collection/The New York Public Library}

Twilight zone?

Here’s the gun.

Here’s my foot.

Ready.

Aim.

Fire!

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the twilight zone. Tell me if this has ever happened to you. I’m sure it hasn’t right .  Weight loss. I’ve struggled with it since I’ve known myself. So this spring I made a commitment to make a change and I did. I was doing really well. I lost all the weight I had gain, so I’d gotten myself back to my normal weight. I was very excited by this. I had been losing steadily and was on my way to loosing new weight, ooooh.  Then my weigh in day came and I had gained 2 pounds.  What did I do wrong. I ate pretty much the same thing and did my work out. I was more consistent than ever.

O.k no problem. Weight loss is funny it goes up down then stabilizes. So I kept going and I stuck with it and it took me two weeks to lose that weight. So here I was again at the threshold. From here on in I would be moving forward making progress toward my goal. And then it happened again. I gained 3 pounds. WHATS WRONG WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!  After looking through my food journal I realized I had been adding additional food items,much of which contained sugar! But in sneaky ways.

My acting teach refers to this as not being able to have it. That’s right you can’t have it. I couldn’t have the compliments I started to get. I couldn’t have the fact that I was moving fast toward my goal. I couldn’t have it. There is a saying that goes, how you do one thing is how you do everything. So I’ve been looking at my weight loss conundrum and comparing it to my acting career. I can see definitely there are times where I did the work I killed myself to get that agent or get that audition and what. I’m late, I’m sick, procrastinate, don’t prepare. I find anyway to shoot myself in the foot. CAN’T HAVE IT.

If the medical industry really wanted to make money they’d invent a pill that cures can’thaveitness.  So here I am ready to give up again and throw in the towel.  But I had a revelation. The world wasn’t keeping me back. I was keeping me back. So all the times in the past that I had given up, it was because I had shot my own self in the foot. I was making progress, I was moving ahead, the only reason I wanted to give up was because I tired myself out by camping out in the twilight zone. It’s that space of time right after you’ve made a commitment to change and just before you reach a goal or another milestone towards your goal. I want to get out of it. Fast!  But the only way out is through.

So here I go again. I am betting on myself that I will make my target in my career and my weight. They seem to mirror each other. The last time I had lost an abundance of weight, about 30 pounds. I made the commitment to become and actor and  moved to New York to study acting. Great opportunities flooded to me and I took them and they’ve all brought me to where I am today. When I stopped focusing on my weight and I guess stopped taking care of myself in a way, my career was effected too. Hmmm. I’m sure there are books on this syndrome. If you have recommendations let me know.

Things that made me go umm, umm, good….

Happy Friday All,

There was soooo much to love this week. I had a hard time narrowing it down.  But I did keep my goal of staying in gratitude for the most part 😉

  1. This had definitely, definitely been the highlight of my week. I am binging on this tonight soooo looking forward to it.
  2. I’ve been loving these, such a great idea. Any actor would kill to peek behind the scenes.
  3. Just in case you haven’t seen this. Dreams still come true!
  4. The epitome of hard work. I love this woman. I want to work as much and as hard her and play just as hard! Gotta love a good work ethic!
  5. I love Indie films because of the high risk nature. It cost nothing to make so you got nothing to lose.  This bunch looks real exciting

 

I’ll be spending my weekend with # 1 on replay what will you be doing!!!

 

 

 

My Personal Al Pacino Fest

 al

I am having an affair with Al Pacino. There I’ve said it, I’ve never been one to be wanton and cheap but I’ve been spending my Friday nights with Al. sometime two three movies a night. I know its wrong, I know I shouldn’t but i just can’t help myself…..

Actually we have a movie list in my acting class and I’ve completed the first movie list it took my about 2 years and now I’m on the second movie list. One of the items on said is list is all the Al Pacino movies. That’s right ALL. So I figure I’d tackle all the Al’s first as this is a list in itself. I was supposed to only watch one Al movie a week, but then it become four, I don’t know how that happened???

I find myself not wanting to go out, and trying to end my rehearsals early so that I can make a quick stop to the library and pick up an Al film. I even lied to one of my scene partners and told them I had an audition the next day so I have to cancel rehearsal. But I didn’t, I just wanted to watch Carlito’s Way!

I know  this is bad. I have to cut back.  But here’s what I’ve seen so far.

Looking For Richard

Any Given Sunday

Dick Tracy

Serpico

The Devil’s Advocate

88 Minutes

Carlito’s Way — Love the scene where he kicks the door in!

Author Author

Are there any other Al Pacino fans out there? What’s your favorite Pacino Movie? Hint hint for mine…I’m saving The Godfather, Godfather II and Godfather III for the end!  I can’t wait

Power of Thank you

Happy Monday!

I wanted to start the week with some gratitude.

One of the main things we’re taught in my acting class is the power of thank you notes.   It’s seems like a no brainier but you’d be surprised how many people don’t send thank you notes.  

Well I had met this one particular casting director when I first moved to Los Angeles. She told me to keep in touch and I did. Through out the years I would send her holiday cards, update her on what I was doing, and congratulate her on any of her work I saw.  It finally paid off.

I saw her post this on Actors Access and I submitted myself. Over the years she had never called me in but this time she did.  I was so excited because it was for a studio film, with a director I really liked (female director) and staring some one I really liked. This may seem like nothing, but I don’t have a theatrical agent which means I got in on a studio film audition on my own.  Which is nuts.

However, another example of thank you working for me. Last year I had an audition for my first feature film.  I went in; had three callbacks the last being with the director (female again); and I felt it went o.k.  I didn’t get the part (actually the role was cut). But I  made a great connection with that casting director. I sent my thank you note as usual and I’ve kept in contact with her since. It’s been about a year and I just got an email from her thanking me for all my notes.

So now because of thank you, because I listened to my acting teacher’s advice. I now have two strong casting directors knowing who I am.  One of my vision board goals this year was to become known by 5 major casting directors so I’ve got three to go!

 

 

 

 

Image credit: coldwellbankerprime.com