Predictably, I now only have one job. My post working for the Oxy Children’s Theatre is gone, and it was fun while it lasted, blah blah blah. I also finished working on The Real Love when we “closed” with our taped performance last Sunday. Such a wild experience! It was an original musical being funded by Supreme Master TV. (I strongly encourage even the not-so-curious-at-heart to look this up on Google. I’ll leave it at that.) I don’t know what the name of the religion is, only that they … “worship”, for lack of a better word, and follow the teachings of Supreme Master Ching Hai. They are vehemently vegan, and their goal is to achieve heaven on earth by being green and peaceful. Well, I’m certainly all for that. But it’s a bit of a strange situation. I won’t say more. Just Google it. Though I will say that at the one and only performance on Saturday, they had a red-carpet outside of the Pasadena Civic Center, the venue where we were performing, with a big, white Greek esque column with scantily clad but simultaneously class women (I believe it was trying to mimic ancient Greek altars) with this phrase emblazoned with gold on top: “Go Veg, Be Green, 2 Save the Planet”. I’m not kidding, it was the number “2″ instead of the word “to”.
Barring the extremely unusual circumstances, it was an incredible experience. I got to meet a plethora of really talented people. We were under such a tight time constraint that people would ask for a new costume or a new music bridge, and fifteen minutes later, there it was. I ended up getting put into the production at the last minute. Two VIP guests who made a cameo appearance in a wedding scene of the play were Mr Dick Van Patten and Ms Shirley Jones. (Google them if you don’t recognize them - like I didn’t.) Well, Mark Knowles, the choreographer, suggest I get costumed so I can assist them on and off stage so they know what to do and when. I had stood in for them during most rehearsals as they didn’t attend very many, so I was really familiar with their roles. So that was pretty cool! Now I can actually put The Real Love - Ensemble on my resume, and it’s not a lie! Not that I was going to lie about it, but now I don’t have to!
So I wrote this entire post, and when I tried to publish it, apparently because it took me too long to write it, half of it got deleted, so forgive me if the following is a bit hard to understand. It might just be me forgetting that I haven’t actually written an important piece of information.
The day after I finished with The Real Love, I started my new job as concierge at Gold Class Cinemas. If I haven’t already encouraged you to look it up, I’m going to now. Google it. It’s a pretty crazy place, and frequented mostly by very serious movie goers and plastic/botoxed bejeweled women and their forlorn husbands. But! Working at a movie theatre where the tickets cost $30 apiece has its advantages. Some of our guests are famous people. On my third day of training a man came in with his wife and said, “I have reservations under Glen Keane.”
To anyone else, this name probably doesn’t mean anything. But to someone who has actually tweeted, and I quote: “i wish i was an animated character from the 1960s. if only glen keane was an animator back then… oh no! i’m starting to yearn! xx”, this name means a lot. Not really expecting this man before me to be the head animator for Disney, the man who designed Aladdin, Ariel, the Beast, Rapunzel and countless other Disney characters since the time of Pete’s Dragon, as well as having done work for Star Trek: the Animated Series, I say, “Glen Keane like the animator?” I regret it immediately, sure that he gets that too much for it to no longer be annoying, but he says, “That’s the one.”
I tell you, all the air got whooshed out of me. I forgot how to do anything, and Glen Keane and I proceeded to have a conversation while my trainer rung him up. He asked if I wanted to be an animator - because who else would be familiar with Glen Keane - and I said no, just a big Disney fan. He told me I have Ariel hair and I said I was going to be her for Hallowe’en. He then offered to do a sketch for me… So as I write this (for the second time), I have hanging on my wall in a protective plastic film, a strip of receipt paper with an original drawing of Ariel by Glen Keane, signed “To Aylia with best swishes from Ariel & Glen Keane”. I was really proud of myself for not crying. He shook my hand and everything, and said bye to me on the way out.
Because of how long it’s been taking me to get back in the hang of real life, I haven’t had many red exclamation marks notifying me of auditions, but I did have one on Friday, and have a callback for Wednesday. So don’t worry, I’m still a good actor. On that note:
If Aaron Sorkin Had Written: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
If Aaron Sorkin Had Written: Avatar
Hopefully, I’ll update again sooner than it took me to post this. Now with The Real Love over, I think my brain is regrowing exponentially, so I’ll be able to tend to real life things again.]]>
I have been getting incredibly antsy, however. Since my time is so occupied with rehearsals - rehearsals in which I am not acting, mind you - I haven’t had a chance to go on any auditions or pursue all of my acting dreeeeaaaams! Last weekend, I managed to rally together a little team to film the second installment in a new webseries I’m writing with Jimmy T Ph.D. We had a blast filming and recording and editing it, so I’m itching to get back out and shoot another one. However, the next one we have lined up requires a bit more … makeup … so it may take a little while, unfortunately. Here is the video we shot last weekend:
If Aaron Sorkin Had Written: Star Wars Episode II
We have already attained four subscribers (though three of them I know personally… including the one that is me), so spread the word. Let’s get internet-famous!
Speaking of the internet, my blog has become very popular as well. Though unfortunately, popular among… *drum roll, please…* SPAMMERS! Oh, how I love spammers. I love how they use all-cap common names like JOHN or ADAM, because all the JOHNs and ADAMs that I know do write their names in all-caps just like that. I love how they write comments on every single blog post up to 30 times at random intervals continuously, and I love how when they are trying to sell me their product, instead of using well crafted full sentences advertising their wonderful, and I’m sure flawless merchandise, they give me short and typo-ridden phrases like “Buygerenic meds…..” I love how they never leave out the ellipsis. I love that.
Anyhow, I’m also struggling with the family of cats that lives between our yard and the yard next door. Nothing serious, really, but struggling with my own desire and simultaneous inability to have a pet. Life isn’t quite settled into routine yet, but I see myself about to enter a phase of life that will be perpetually transitional. Perhaps this is just me realising what life as an actor is going to be. While acting may be easy, being an actor is hard.
So, world, you’re welcome! I will act for you!]]>
In terms of life, a lot has happened since my last post. While I was jobless before, I now have two. A friend of mine recommended me to work as a director’s assistant for an original musical called The Real Love which is being produced by a non-profit TV … thing … run by Buddhists? A lot of people are involved in it, and I’m getting paid a small but reasonable amount, and networking while I’m at it. (Adam Pascal is the lead. Google him.) I had my first day of that today and it looks like it’s going to take an absolutely inhumane amount of time.
The time commitment was so huge that it actually took me a long time to deliberate on whether or not it would be worth it to even take the job. But I decided to, and two minutes after I hung up the phone with the director saying I would do it, I got a call from Gold Class Cinemas in downtown Pasadena, a very swanky movie theatre with ungodly expensive tickets (albeit, for a great movie going experience) to which I had applied, inviting me in for an interview. I went in on Thursday, and they offered me the job on the spot. I was so taken aback I didn’t ask any questions about the job. So on my one day off this week from working as a director’s assistant, I’ll be going to orientation for this other job, for which I don’t know where to park, how to dress, what my benefits are, or how much I’m getting paid. So more on that, as the situation develops.
Last week, my Uncle KC was working Desperate Housewives as the first AD (a very important position) with my cousin working as a PA (a not quite so important position…), so he got me a day working as an extra (an even less important position). Normally, I detest doing background work, but because KC was on set, as well as my cousin, I decided it would be worth making however much money I would make on it (a lot, considering how much work I’d be doing), not to mention the free food. Turns out, I had a great time, and it was totally worth it. KC did his magic, and got me to be a featured extra. According to him, I was in a 2 shot with Felicity Huffman (that means it was just her and me in the shot). So we’ll see if that shot makes the actual episode, but regardless, Felicity Huffman and I are basically best friends now.
The most exciting thing, however, that has happened among all this featured background work and new jobs and getting hired and making money nonsense has been POTTERMORE. As some of you may know, J.K. Rowling announced recently that she would be launching a new Harry Potter website called Pottermore. (I won’t go into all the details, because chances are, many of you don’t care. If you do, there’s a little thing called the internet containing all the information available to us regarding Pottermore.) I have been [literally] dreaming about this website since that announcement went live - to the minute - about a month ago. And on July 30th, Neville Longbottom’s birthday, it was announced how a lucky one million Potter fans would be able to gain access to the site before it opens to the general public in October. Starting on July 31st, Harry and Rowling’s birthdays, a clue would be revealed at an undetermined time on Pottermore once for the next seven days, and you would have to follow a series of instructions in order to register early. (That’s the abridged version…) Well, I happened to unknowingly fall asleep fifteen minutes before the first clue went live on July 31st, so I consoled myself by dressing up like a witch and going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for a second time with my roommates.
That night, despite my having to wake up to go to my first day at my new job in the morning, I decided to stay up until I had successfully reserved my spot at Pottermore. Well, bam. At two in the morning, I found the clue, answered it successfully, and managed to work my way through the quasi-scavenger hunt that allowed me to register early. Now the only problem will be waiting to actually get into the site, which won’t happen for another few weeks. But it will still be before October!
I apologize for the mildly anti-climactic post, but a lot has been going on, so I don’t have the time or brain capacity to fill in all the mundane details, but I’m sure you can imagine them. They basically involve thinking about Harry Potter, eating, sleeping and knitting. In that order. Ironic how when nothing is happening, it’s more interesting to read about…]]>
I’ve had a few more auditions, but Sienna and I both found that we’re in a bit of a dry spell. Hopefully one that is natural and will pass. But I had one at the New York Film Academy at 6:15, and I was not about to go in the midst of traffic and take an hour to get there. So I went insanely early and brought a book. A student director guy who was sitting next to me in the waiting room was so impressed by my earliness that he took a headshot and resume from me, and when I was leaving, bid me farewell by saying, “I look forward to working with you!” So it was not wasted time. And to think, I almost blew that audition off because it was for the role of a 12 year old! I trussed myself up as young as I could look, which is about 16, and went and did my thing, anyway. They started auditions at 5, and let me go first, which was nice. But while I was waiting, I was sitting next to a girl who had come to the audition with her mom. She turns to me and asks, “How old are you?”
“Over 18. How old are you?”
Yeah… that sounds about right.
But the audition went great. They loved me, and kept me longer to chat after they gave me my adjustment, and asked how old I was and seemed shocked at the answer. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get the part, despite how impressed they were with my audition. I had the same experience with the New York Film Academy before. I nailed the audition - speculation based on the responses I received from the director, etc. - and didn’t even get a callback. But good exposure. As Dad says, I’m auditioning for my career, not the role.
Otherwise, still jobless. My room is at last unpacked. I have a mattress and a dresser - which I built all by myself. It took an insanely long time to build, because I didn’t have the right tools. For a long time, I was using a penny, which became destroyed, to screw things in, and then I upgraded to an L-shaped bracket thing, and with about six screws left, I finally got the right kind of screw driver. I also bought a desk from a nice girl on CraigsList which I had to completely disassemble and reassemble, because she had built it wrong (and for some reason couldn’t figure out why some parts didn’t fit…) but that time I had the right tools, so it was a breeze. I felt very accomplished.
I found some difficulty in decoration, but I managed to power through. Etiquette of decor changes when you’re an adult, and now I’m out of college, I have no title other than “adult”. I was a “student” before… If I was in grad school, I could still at least be a “student”. But now I’m just… living. And I find that I’m not allowed to put pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Reynolds on my wall anymore. What if I bring home Ryan Reynolds, only to find that he’s staring at himself on the walls of my room? That would just be embarrassing. When I shared this with Sienna, she said, “And yet, you have no qualms with having a pile of stuffed animals on your bed.”
Yeah… that sounds about right.]]>
For instance, I had one audition this week scheduled for 9:30 AM for a movie I knew nothing about. I had received the sides, and memorized them - they were pretty short - but other than that, knew nothing about the project. I left very early, fearing weekday morning LA traffic, but arrived early, the only girl there. The director and producer ended up keeping me for an hour, reading with every guy who came in and read for the part, and I had a great rapport with them by the end of the morning. By the end of it, I was really hoping that they had seen me read so much that they wouldn’t be able to cast anyone else in the role without thinking about how much better I was. Obviously. I don’t think I’m actually right for the role, and I probably won’t get it, but those people will remember me, and maybe one day, my name will come up for a role I am right for.
Shooting for the student film I’m in is going well. We only shoot on the weekends, so it’s slow going, but we’re halfway there. It’s not really acting, this process. It’s more of “get it in one take, not longer than five feet of film per shot, silent, just eat a blueberry and act hungry”, so I’m curious to see how I’ll look in the final edited version. I have to really rely on the craft instead of actually acting.
This week, otherwise, has been a tumultuous roller coaster of ups and downs. I had a night of panic and bad sleep, worrying about houses and jobs and money (like you do), and I think a great deal of my anxiety had to do with the end of Harry Potter. Thursday was, as Sienna and I dubbed it, Harry Potter day. Right after I was done with work Thursday morning, the two of us trekked down to an audition Sienna had (that ended up being more trouble than it was worth) and going straight from there to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where we had tickets to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (what a mouthful) at midnight in 3-D. We arrived at around 2, and there was only the beginning of a line (identified only by the Hogwarts uniforms) just outside the theatre. Sienna and I set up camp and did some people watching. Hollywood is quite the place to people watch…
I had been very upset because all of my Harry Potter attire was in storage, and I was blanking on what to do in terms of dressing up. As an actor who loves dressing up so much that she plans her Hallowe’ens years in advance, I had absolutely no intention of attending the ultimate Harry Potter event in Muggle clothes. So I had to think outside of the box a little, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I had spent all of Wednesday making myself a giant cardboard blow-up of the American book cover of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book 4) and cut out Harry’s face in order to fit my own. I got pretty lucky with proportions, and it fit perfectly (and on the first try, too!). It was a huge hit. People left and right were taking my picture, including - I apologize for my boasting, here, but I simply must - a photographer from the Discovery Channel, who took my picture in 3-D, and a photographer from the LA Times who used a picture of me and Sienna for the front page the next morning. I tell you, this really made my day.
We made friends with all the people in line, and it reminded me heartily what makes Harry Potter as wonderful and powerful as it is. And that’s the community that it creates. Also, the Chinese Theatre is amazing.
I cried from about 11:30 PM to around 3 AM non stop, and used the tissues that a radio station gave me in exchange for an interview and a picture (sorry, more bragging), and came home that night to cuddle with my free Harry Potter t shirt and baseball hat (courtesy of … some people who also liked my costume. OK! That’s the last).
Friday, the day marking the final Harry Potter event, was also the day that Sienna, Kenzie and I signed a lease for our new house. We officially have an address and keys that go to that address. As literally as possible, Friday was the end of my childhood, and the first day of my life as a grown up.
Beyond that, there has just been a great deal of job hunting. I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of jinxing anything, but keep your fingers crossed for me.
I haven’t proofread this. I’m shooting in the morning, and need to get to sleep - I haven’t caught up on my lost hours, sacrificed to the glory of Harry Potter. So I apologize for any blatnat tpyos.]]>
Determined to make a grand introduction for myself into the world of acting-post-graduation, I wrote down all the given information (a one line description of the plot, which was repeated for the descriptions of the only two characters) and rehearsed my monologue in the necessary fashion to liken myself most to this character, Sammi, a shy but intelligent photographer harbouring a secret infatuation for a guy. This role has me written all over it.
Meanwhile, I had my first two days of work, adding up to a total three hours of labour, and Kenzie, one of my future roommates and I started looking at apartments, and sending some e mails to set up appointments. We didn’t do it exactly right, in that we forgot to make a note who was attached to which location, etc., but it’s only a week and a half into July. (Holy crap, it’s already a week and a half into July!!) Sienna also arrived from the Bay Area, so now there’s three of us working on it, and there will be much rejoicing. They were both able to visit a few apartments, and one of them was very promising.
My audition was wonderfully scheduled at 6:10 PM on a week day. Now, I’m no stranger to LA traffic. I did some google-mapping and saw that the time to leave in order to avoid traffic was 2 in the afternoon. “Well,” I think to myself cheerfully, “I have nothing else to do today, so I’ll drive down early, find a coffee shop, and hang out until my audition.”
Then, I realised a slew of unfortunate circumstances, and all in very rapid succession: I had no place to park at my audition, all my headshots and resumes were in storage, and I’m probably not going to get this role.
The audition was at USC. I’ve auditioned there before, and it’s metered and timed parking, so I couldn’t come that early and just hang out. Aha! I think to myself. If I find a coffee shop with free parking, I’ll park there and walk to the audition. No such luck. The shop I found is attached to USC, so the parking is limited to 45 minutes with validation, and $3 for 20 minutes after that. I of course had to pay $3, because I ended up staying accidentally for around 47 minutes instead of my free, allotted 45, and then just drove to the audition where I sat in my car in a metered parking spot so I wouldn’t have to pay until the last minute. The auditions for this project started at 4:30, so that’s when I decided to go up, paying an additional $2 for the meter. What was wonderful, was that they let me go first, since I was the only person there.
Aside from the preparation I had done, the only headshot I had with me was one I had printed at the Oxy library - as I had none. Feeling thoroughly unprofessional, I stuck two pieces of stock paper between my printed out headshot and my resume in order to give it a little more substance, and stapled it in an attempt to make the stock paper as unnoticeable as possible. Every twenty seconds while I was waiting to go into the audition, I reminded myself not to apologize for my crappy headshot, and practiced in the mirror handing it in and acting as though there was nothing shameful about it. I managed to keep my wits about me as I handed it in, and just as I’d hoped, no extra attention was brought to it.
The audition was fine, but I was pretty sure I would not get the role. That night, while watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as a part of our Harry Potter Movie Marathon leading up to the release of the final film, I got a call saying I had indeed not gotten the role I’d auditioned for. BUT! Would I be interested in taking the lead in another film that the caller was writer/director of? Of course!
This girl had been helping her friend with auditions, and while I wasn’t right for the role of Sammi, I was perfect for her film. We started shooting on Saturday, SMS (which means we’re not recording sound), and on actual film. We’ll be shooting again next weekend, and the weekend after that.
Things are happening!]]>
But one hurdle has been leapt! I have borrowed sheets and will spend the night tonight sleeping on top of them.
My time, thus far, has not been honorably spent, however. Aside from the aforementioned Netflix addiction (justifiable due to my career choice of movies… I’m just doing research!), I have been listening to Tina Fey’s Bossypants on audiobook (read by her), and trying to find a job.
I’m not quite desperate, yet, when it comes to the job hunt, but I’m afraid that the desperation will set in quickly and mercilessly when the time comes. I won’t even see it coming. So in an effort to do my future-self as little damage as possible, I’ve been submitting a few online applications to some movie theatres (”theater” or “theatre”? It suddenly becomes much more difficult to decide when it’s for a job application…) as well as jotting down the addresses of those that don’t have the option to do so online. When I’ll actually get myself into gear to go to the actual venue… Again. The desperation will be merciless when it comes. I also spent this evening pressing the “submit” button on an acting casting website for a variety of roles, in the hopes that I’ll see that little red exclamation mark in the morning that means at least one person liked my headshot enough to reject me in person after a twenty minute drive to the audition location and three more ulcers from trying to find a legal parking spot.
But it’s not as bad as it seems. When the night falls, and there’s a nice breeze coming in through the window, carrying with it the smell of rotting food, I can allow myself to simply go to bed as I have no engagements to uphold. And because of a mild case of jetlag, I’ll wake up early enough tomorrow morning that I’ll still have the lingering hope of being productive. The only problem I’ve found with productive mornings so far is that every time I sit down to get something done, I have to go pee. This is an unfortunate side effect from the copious amounts of tepid water I’ve been drinking to make up for all the lost fluids from the sweat.
The advantage of the heat and self-induced boredom, however, are that I stop trying to be so formal in my job applications. For example, I updated my NowCasting profile this evening with the following:
‘Highlights in Film - The best nine months of my life were those in high school when a group of friends and I laboured over the film “I Miss You, Dignity”. It was a complete success (among our closest relatives), and the greatest learning experience I’ve ever had.
Highlights on Stage - My first time on stage was as the baby bear in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Since then, I decided that the role demanded too much of me, and have moved on to Shakespeare, musicals, and primarily less dense pieces such as Horton Foote and Edward Albee.
Biography - I have a French mother and an American father, grew up in Colorado and am a vegetarian. I have been acting since conception, and hope to continue to do so long after cremation.’
Hey, if they don’t have a sense of humour, do I really want to work with them?
Yes. Yes, I do.]]>
Anyway! The point! There has always been much scoffing amongst the English when Americans call french fries “fries” and giggling with the English call chips “crisps”. But it’s silly that the word “chip” goes both ways, and there’s no way to really distinguish what we’re talking about without a whole lot of “OK, so chips. My chips, not your chips. Like the chips that you eat with dip.” Nonsense. So here’s the solution.
Crisps should be (in both UK and US) fried (and occasionally popped(?) or baked) potato slices.
Chips should be slices of tortilla or corn, etc.
And finally, fries (I don’t know why they’re “French”, so might as well scrap that) should be those fried potato wedges/strips. (See how they’re “fried”? Makes so much more sense than “chips”. Piffle.)
It did not take long for me to find out that this is impossible. So I quickly gave up on that and just pit them. That in and of itself took quite a while. Anyway, despite the cherry skins, this one turned out better than I anticipated.
Ingredients for Filling:
Ingredients for Crust:
Directions are pretty similar to the rest, so I won’t bother with writing them down. I didn’t use any almond extract, and instead of vinegar in the crust, I used fresh lemon juice. I didn’t have enough cherries, also, so the pie was a bit short. Literally. And I ran out of white sugar, so for the coating, I used brown sugar, which is why it’s so dark.
Anyway, I was reasonably pleased with this one. A proper brush for the glaze would have made it cleaner looking, but the orange peel worked nicely, I think, to counteract the super sweetness of the cherries, by giving it a little zest.]]>