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You had me at Bojangles

21 May

So today I was going to write about some of the memorable people and scenes I’ve witnessed while in my car in L.A. because, well I spend A LOT of time in my car. . . .alone. . . .often times wanting so badly to have one other person at least SEE what I’ve just seen. I will get to those in one moment but I wanted to share this other gem first. So, I had another commercial audition today and as much as I was hoping it was going to be your run of the mill “slate, speak, leave” types, of course, it was not. I’m not sure if there is someone in my agent’s office who is intentionally trying to get me auditions that are awkward, hilarious, and humiliating specifically so I can blog about them or if I’m just . . . .lucky? But whatever the reason each audition is becoming increasingly more outrageous than the last (which is difficult, considering the last one I had to run in my dress clothes).

Today’s audition, for a popular southern fast food chain, seemed innocent enough. I’d be going for the young ethnic (whatever) mom type who is pregnant and riding a horse. Okay, come to think of it, this all sounds like red flags. Attire was causal, jeans, t-shirt, etc. So, that’s good. Easy stuff.

I get to the casting office and there’s a parking spot RIGHT IN FRONT. Swweeeet. I go in and have just caught the casting director about to give the group “this is what you’ll be doing” speech. Let’s just say after he explained it (with a lot of sighs, eye rolling, and shaking of his head) we were all a little stunned. Who the hell writes this stuff? And why are they SO BAD. To run it down quickly, this is how the commercial went.

A young husband and pregnant wife (me, who had to wear a pillow under my shirt) is brushing a horse in a barn. We’re happy, blissful, enjoying our activity. Then, the baby kicks and I turn, surprised and happy, to my husband and say . . .”Honey, I think it’s time!”. This is when it gets weird. His response? His stomach growls and he takes a moment before answering, “No honey, its BO TIME!!”. Then he whisks me onto the horse (in this case, a crate) and happily (directors words) we simulate (AWKWARDLY) riding off to Bojangles while I’m doing breathing exercises . . . .because I’m going into labor. . . .but riding off to a fast food restaurant instead.  . . . . on a horse. . . . .happily.

WHAT THE BUNZ PEOPLE!?!?!?!?!? What the bunz. Wow. Not only did I have to do it twice but then I was asked to do it another two times because they ran out of girls (because they ran away after hearing how horrible the audition is? I can only assume). Lucky bitches.

So yeah. That happened. I felt really bad for the two guys I read with. You should have seen their faces when the casting director told them what they had to say. Also, the casting director kept giving them the direction of being “more natural” when they said their lines because, ya know, “No honey, it’s BO TIME!!” is sweeping the nation. You know what’s funny? It occurred to me while recreating the scene for my work bestie, Lorena, that this stupid saying WILL probably be really catchy, given it’s target audience. Southern guys who drink sweet tea, wear cut off shirts, and love Larry the Cable Guy. Actually, this writer might be a genius. Can’t you imagine the following conversation between two guys who live in the south and eat a Bojangles?

Bob: Rick, buddy, what time is it?

Rick: Well, hell Bob, it’s BO TIME!!!

Yep. I’m calling it right now. You heard it here first folks. You’ve been warned. IT’S BO TIME.

You know what else is really humiliating about this story? If I get a call back, I’m still, totally going. And I will act like I’m happy . . . .about riding off to Bojangles. And I’ll do it with gusto. Like I really mean it. Now THAT’S sad. I’m totally going to do this ridiculous Bojangles commercial, y’all. Straight from the horses mouth. This is what acting has become for me. Awkward auditions and stupid commercials. I’m so glad I got my degree! Weeeeeeee!

They do have good biscuits though. Sort of. . . . .

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Things . . .are. . .happening!

12 May

 

This is a great big shout out and congrats to my beautiful and talented roommate Meghan, who was recently asked to write an ongoing commentary as an expert panelist (fancy!) for the hit show Glee for The Atlantic.   Great job bb! Check it:

‘Glee’: Two Great Songs and One Ridiculous Plot Twist – Culture – The Atlantic.

I freakin love Glee and I don’t care who knows it. Musical theater makes me happy. Pretty costumes, insane and unrealistic situations, and sappy love triangles, makes me happy. Handsome people with great voices singing popular songs MAKES ME HAPPY.  So sue me.

And as long as I’m on a WHATEVER I DONT CARE WHAT YOU THINK kick I’m also looking forward to the Sex and the City 2 film. YES, I GET IT. It looks awful, stupid, ridiculous but you know what? I don’t care. I’ve been a fan of that show since college when I would watch it with my mom.  Not seeing it would be like going to Disneyland and not going on the It’s a Small World ride b/c I would be embarrassed to admit I like it even though I’ve out grown it . Yes, they should have MAYBE retired that ride a while ago but it’s got nostalgic characters and pretty colors and I’m still entertained.  Even though I’m usually irritated and over it by the time the ride ends, I’m still glad I went. I’m just throwing it out there that I don’t care what people think b/c I recently felt belittled when I happened to mention I wanted to see this movie and got blasted by a guy I didn’t even know for having horrible taste in movies. WHICH I DONT. DAMNIT! I’m not sure what I was more pissed about, the snobby snap judgment that b/c I will go see Sex & the City 2 movies that I’m some stupid, fashion obsessed airhead with no taste in film OR the fact that I felt the need to scramble, defend myself and then try convince this guy that I did in fact, have good taste in movies. Listen, after 10 years of watching these characters, I’m invested! Ugh. Oh who cares. I have nothing to talk about with a movie elitist. One of my all time favorite movies is Urban Cowboy. Wait. . . .  that’s not a good example after I declare that I DO have good taste in movies. But come on people, that’s a cult classic! Can’t we admit our guilty pleasures in bad movies, etc. without forever tarnishing our movie/music/television reputation? Is there no room for Harold and Maude, Millionaire Matchmaker, or Michael Buble?! REALLY? That just makes me sad. My sum is more than my bad movie parts! And, I think, adds some much needed kitsch to my personality. How boring would it be if I only liked all good stuff?

While I have you here and I’m on a roll . . . .can someone tell me who’s in charge of naming the big music venues in this town? I gotta tell you it chaps my hide to hear on the radio “Honda Center, Home Depot Arena, Staples Center, Nokia Live”. You know what you huge, ugly, stupidly named, corporate companies? YOU SUCK. And buying or building a music venue and naming it after your stupid company is ridiculous. It makes me want to scream. And boycott you. And write a strongly worded letter! You people have BILLIONS of dollars and you couldn’t splurge to hire one or two people who could come up with a fun, inspiring, catchy name for music venue?! Names that conjure up images of greatness like the Coliseum, the Forum, the Palladium. Names that sound epic. I mean how much better does it sound saying, “I saw KISS rock my face off at the Forum” vs, “the Muse show was SO awesome . . . at the Staples Center“? Stop it. I know you’re just a bunch of suits thinking about the bottom line but you’re pissing me off and you’re killing the beautiful relationship of music, history, and imagination. 

  Speaking of imagination, a friend of mine turned me on to this great artist named David Choe. His stuff is amazing. He’s not shy, and definitely tells it like it is so if you are easily offended by seemingly immature titles don’t check out his stuff. But if you’re ok with it, you should. His show is going on right now at LAzarides until May 23rd.  I’m just learning about LA’s burgeoning art scene and I’m liking what I’m seeing. So far I’m really diggin Blaine Fontana’s stuff as well as Yellena, who btw I just bought 3 prints from b/c her stuff is so reasonably priced! Anyone else I should know about let me know!

To The Guy Picking His Nose In His Car: You Know We Can See You Right?

2 Apr

That’s all. Just wanted to make sure you knew. You’re not wearing an invisible cloak or anything and if you are, it’s not working. So . . . .stop it. Ok? Thank you.

The Worlds Water Situation: Bleak at Best

25 Mar

My mother called me on Sunday and told me about this video she had watched on MSN.com about the water crisis happening around the world, especially in countries like India.  It is a sobering thought; soon the world will run out of water if changes are not made right NOW.  Whatever you think about global warming or the effect of climate change the statistics of the shortage of clean water on earth is real. And unfortunately many countries are already seeing the devastating effects, as shown briefly in the video.  This brought the discussion between my mother and I to question our own water situation here in the US. What is our situation here? And is anyone else worried? Turns out, there most certainly is a situation and more people should be concerned.  It’s not only the problem of water shortage but also of water consumption and reduction.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but once I googled California Water Crisis I was bombarded with tons of sites, articles, and scary scenarios facing this state. And that’s just California. This crisis is hitting home to everyone in the US and has arrived with little acknowledgment from news sources. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone even knows how much serious trouble we are in, me included, until I saw this MSN video and did a little research. Luckily there are people out there who are trying to bring the issue to the masses in the best way Americans know how to consume information: in a movie. Well, a documentary to be exact called Tapped according to the Huffington Post.

I suppose this water crisis has been a long time coming but for whatever reason I haven’t been privy to it. My eyes are open now and I feel that the only logical next step is to make more of an effort to be environmentally conscious (and just basically being more aware of the global problems facing us as humans).  The first step I intend to make is to educate myself more on the problems we are facing. The more we learn the better we can understand and try to come together in real effort to change the current situation. The next step is to be proactive. Every little bit helps right? Conservation, reduction, etc. We can also look to help developing countries and continents like Africa in their water crisis by participating in World Water Day activities. By thinking about the consequences of what a world without clean water would be like is enough to spur change in me and the horrible thing is, is that there are people who are living in that world at this very moment. Take a moment to think what kind of life it would be if you had to wake up at 3am and stand in line for a bucket of cleanish water? Or had no water for your crops, the only way you and your family eat? I’m sure there are things everyone in this world could live without but water isn’t one of them. And yet having it has become more of a privilege then a right for a billion people in the world. I don’t know about you but that puts things in perspective fast.

Get Ready. . .Set. . . .

12 Mar

And embarrass yourself. That pretty much sums up most of my audition experiences. And today’s efforts were, I’m sad to report, no different. The audition process involves a wide range of emotions from the very high hope and possibility of booking something to the low of making a complete ass out of yourself time and time again. The most common emotions that accompany an audition for me is humiliation, frustration, dumbfoundedness, exhaustion, and a giant piece of humble pie. Now don’t get me wrong I knew full well what I was getting myself into when I decided to become an actress and I’ve been on enough auditions to know that they will always be nerve-wracking. However, I must say that some auditions, like todays, seem even more ridiculous and mortifying than necessary. The silver lining of course, is at least they make for good blogs (I hope?) and end of the day stories to Meghan. For shits and gigs why don’t I just run down very quickly how todays audition went.

It starts off how it always starts, the information email with details about where I’m going, what role I’m going for, time, and what I should wear. Now, this last part is always immediately upsetting because it involves either very scary, very specific items of clothing ie a bikini (oh, god, oh no, NOT a bikini) or something like “Client must wear jeans and a cherry red t-shirt that covers their clavicle (collarbone) but not their neck.” Or completely non specific and downright confusing requests like todays which was: upscale casual yet non-American. Oh great. Non American, because immediately I know what that means. So? No jeans then? Cause I guess that’s American? Obviously t-shirts are out and probably cotton too because that seems pretty American as well. But I’m still supposed to be casual yet upscale. Hmmm. And it’s about this time in the audition process that I start to lose it juuuuust a little bit.

The day of the audition is tedious. A lot of grooming. A LOT of grooming. Also a lot of time wasted on trying on a zillion outfits that don’t make you look crazy, slutty, or like you’re trying to hard–or not trying hard enough? Then there’s traffic, making sure you’re on time, and if you have lines, rehearsing them in the car while simultaneously applying lipstick is always a challenge. Ah, but then you arrive to the casting office. And you’re ready. You’ve got your headshot or your bar code and you are ready to NAIL it. This is the part of the journey where you start talking to yourself. Pumping yourself up if you will. And this isn’t an ego thing, this is a self-preservation thing. Because we as humans have memories. And the body recognizes when you are in a similar situation to a previously humiliating experience. So if you don’t start telling yourself that you will walk into that room and again, do whatever the person with the camera tells you too, then you run the risk of starting to think rationally. Which leads to you start reconsidering the process of auditioning. Which then leads to you wise up and think, “what the hell am I doing?”. And since most of us have invested WAY too much time, money, and our youth on this dream, I’m not going to just give up and let a silly audition where I have to pretend to enthusiastically eat a non-existent bowl of cereal scare me away!

SO, I do what every passionate, committed, and completely insane actress does and I walk into that room as confident and pleasing as I can be. Wearing my upscale casual look of black skinny pants,black boots, purple silk tank with my grey boyfriend blazer which to me, screams non-American? I slate, I smile, I am ready for whatever they have to throw at me. . . . or so I thought. I am not prepared for them to tell me to jog in place, in my high heels and blazer. . . . . .and to continue jogging but now with more intensity. . . . .and still jogging but now, they want me to really go for it. . . .no, like you really want to win the race. . . . more intensity! MORE! MORE! You’re almost there keep running. . . . . . . harder . . . . .faster. . . . .aaaaand please have a seat in that chair. Now, you’re watching the Olympics. . . . . .you’re excited. . . . your team just won!!! . . . .your watching a horror film. . . .you’re alone. . . .you hear a noise. . . . . you’re scared. . . . .your watching your favorite comedy. . . .aaaand you’re laughing, good, good. . . . . . OMG you’re surprised!. . . . something just startled you . . . . . . . .that’s it. Thank you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ummm, wow. Alright. Coooooool. SO that just happened. Another successful audition??? I’m not going to hold my breath on this one. I’m guessing that I didn’t look too natural running in place in my silk top and black pants. Not to mention the sweating. OH GOD the sweating. So yeah, I think I probably looked sexy. . .  nope. But as I walk back to my car I take my first a deep breath and relax for the first time in 24 hours. I’m relieved that I made it thru another audition. Even if it didn’t go the way I had imagined (seriously? running? they couldn’t have given me a heads up on that?) I’m going to consider it all good practice. And I have to. Because what’s the alternative? That I give up? That I let a couple hundred humiliating auditions get the best of me? When the next one could be the one that puts me on top?! Nope. Not an option. So, I get to my car. I roll down the windows and I put on some Ryan Adams. It is afterall, another beautiful day in southern California and that’s enough to make me happy for the moment.