"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Friday, June 26, 2009

You Can Learn A Lot By Watching Others

Tomas Boykin has won numerous awards and it's no wonder why. He plays Harrison Dent in the 3D movie and when we had scenes together and they went in for his close up, I would watch him and just be so amazed that I would forget I was in the scene with him, and wouldn't say my lines. That happened more than once, making me look quite the fool, but his character was just so realized, and Tomas himself is just so incredible - especially when he got tired! He let loose a little more and dived into other characters while the camera was reloading or moving, and was extremely fun to play with. (I'm also such a sucker for Afros, which I still to this day blame a guy named Nate for) Plus, the timbre of his voice is just so rich, so velvety. He is a younger Morgan Freeman. The SAG-E Morgan Freeman! You will be seeing more of this guy very soon. Junie Lowry-Johnson, are you reading this? He needs to be on True Blood! He needs to be related to Lafayette!

And then there's handsome Michael Holmes. Oh, Michael. The ladies of the crew all gathered together and made "top 5" lists of the guys on the crew. And there are no ugly men, let me say, so I'm sure everyone made it onto someone's list, but Michael hit more lists than anyone else. And I'll be quite frank when I say that I had never been so excited to have to kiss a co-star.
When I first saw him, I was walking into wardrobe, where he was changing his pants. There he was, in blue boxer briefs, and there I was, all thoroughly embarrassed for walking in on him. When I met him a second later, all I could muster was a feeble hi and a limp handshake.
As we got to know each other more (the very next day he had admitted to googling me, which I found oddly flattering) and we really started bonding. We have both been through a lot of heartbreak and madness in our lives, and when I had found that he had linked to this blog from his own, I learned about a few instances that made me want to put his head on my chest and comfort him.
So I kept asking the director things like, "Shouldn't my character kiss him now?" "Don't you think our characters should kiss here?" "You want us to make out here, right?" And finally (FINALLY) our characters got to kiss yesterday. And since it's a quick movie kiss, it's really nothing to write about, honest to blog (forgive me) but it's okay. There's such a strong connection between us, I'm very curious to see what it is I'm going to learn from him in our friendship. We already have tentative plans to get together to gameplan our careers, and I look forward to it.
I wish the show he was doing didn't finish up this weekend so I could point you guys to it. (He did a small monologue from it for me that would turn any struggling actress into a puddle) BUT he DOES do the Serial Killers sketch shows at Sacred Fools pretty regularly. See him before he cuts his Zach Effron haircut, and see him again when he does. You will have very pleasant dreams. Oh, wait! He's also gearing up for the next season of his fun buddy cop webseries.Have some fun watching the first season. Cause trust me, that cleft is mesmerizing.

The Best Crew Ever

I don't think the crew ever had more than 4 hours sleep on any given day. I really don't. And yet you could find a lot of them being very cheery and happy. JJ stands out to me on that one. He was always offering me warm water (I'm a diva and don't like cold water, and he remembered this!) but even more amazing was my Girl Crush Burchie. She probably never slept at all and yet was always calm and efficient, always hunting us down, giving us 5 minute warnings before our upcoming scene, always extremely pleasant to have around. The makeup artist and I tried to have a fun boy gossip session with her one day, but she was always getting pulled away to check into something else. (I envision her starting her own production company and being incredibly successful with it.)

And the crew doesn't just stop at the 12 hour mark. They had to set everything up to begin with and then take it all down. And last night (or rather, this morning, at 5:15am, when we wrapped) the crew had to spend the next hour and a half doing a "hard wrap," which is when EVERYTHING has to be taken away and cleared and laoded because we're changing locations.

Tempers were short yesterday. People were frustrated. Everyone was exhausted. And the 1st AD took the first step to say "This ain't cool." We finished quickly after that, becoming more of a team than we were already, and got the stuff done.

The film will be very interesting when it's all done, and I can't wait to see how it turns out. But I wanted to give a very heartfelt thanks to the crew who worked so hard and so well together. We're almost done guys. You're doing awesome. Two more days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Uncomfortable Underwear

Who invented Thongs!? Who thought that a strip of fabric that goes inbetween your glutes was a good idea? And is it only me who has it go into certain other places absolutely no fabric should ever venture into? I mean, yikes!!! YIKES!

I did a hair show a while back where I had to do runway, and they asked us all to wear thongs. Sigh. I had to go out and buy some. I bought three different pairs. But when you hold up these silky slingshots against you, the sizes really seem to make no sense. I found a lacy pretty thing, all scalloped edges and such, and thought, no way could I fit into this medium, or the large. Hey. XL. Hmmm.

I bought that one.

So I have a thong in XL. And let me tell you, it's the most comfortable uncomfortable underwear that I own. So much in fact, that I have been wearing it to set every day. I have to wear yoga pants in half the film, and I absolutely cannot have any VPL in 3D, so I come home at 5am, wash my makeup, take off my chonies, and then wash those in the sink and hang them on my bathroom doorknob to dry.

I never said being in movies was glamorous.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Exhausted, but Happy!

I am so terribly tired. And I am so incredibly happy to be this exhausted. We've been doing 12 hour night shoots, from 5:30pm -5:30am the last 3 of our 6 days and I've only been able to get about 5 1/2 hours of sleep each night. I normally need about 9 in order to be a genial human being. Luckily, for me, when I'm sleepy, I can cry super easy. It's like, hey Elle, would you like a bottle of water? ::sniff sniff:: Yes, thank you! ::tear::

Let me tell you something about Patty Roberts. She plays my daughter in the film, and she will be a household name in another few years. She is so incredibly beautiful, and at 13, an age most girls are super shy and awkward, she is buoyant and charming. She has been the sunshine on the set, knows everyone's name (no small feat, especially when many people rotate in and out on a daily basis) and has the laugh of a chipmunk on a sugar rush. And she is so incredibly natural. I watched one of her scenes on the monitor a few days ago and thought, wow. I can definitely learn a few things about being relaxed and natural from her. I adore this girl. In fact, I've taken my mother role probably a bit too far, as I have talked about boys with her, saying, please, please wait until college, because boys will say ANYTHING to you to get that one thing and Michael Holmes, the actor playing my husband and her father, agreed, saying, "We really will. Listen to your mother." And then we made her pinky swear. But it's because we seriously love this girl! We're always eating lunch together and when we're bored, we always seek one another out.

Also, on set, it's been extremely fun finding out just how small or a world it really is in LA. Yes, Los Angeles has a thirty mile radius, but if you're out here long enough, you will be amazed at how everyone knows each other.
For instance, I used to work at a restaurant with the sound operator. And the makeup artist is a friend of one of my best friend's friends. The 2nd AD used to work at Sundance with my first college sweetheart, and Michael Holmes, who plays my husband, is in a play that's directed by a woman I went to college with and who I also had been directed by in a "Serial Killers" sketch show last year at Sacred Fools. And the director's girlfriend recognized me from the audition tape - Both her and the director had called me back on a film from 2006. She told me that their funding had dropped out the day after they had decided to cast me in it. And when she had mentioned the title of the movie from 06, the name sounded familiar. I checked my journal, and yup, I wrote about it and remember it. But seriously, with all these degrees of people, IS THAT CRAZY OR WHAT?

At any rate, I am the protagonist in the film. Which means I am in almost every scene. It's a lot of work to be scared. Breathing tempos have to change, eyes have to be wide and crying, and because we're working with a 3D camera, pulling frames into focus is a tad time consuming. But the crew, oh, the crew. No one works harder on the set than the crew. Our wonderful 2nd AD, says she sleeps but I don't believe her. Our 1st AD has the best one liners in the early early morning. Jon, the 1st AC is also great. And we have a lot of other PAs running around and asking if we want water or coffee.

We also don't have a designated holding area; a place to go when our scenes aren't up so that production knows where we are, so we're free to roam the house. I like where wardrobe is set up and you can usually find me there. I brought travel scrabble, and all three of us have played.
Here's Patty, me, and Michael all playing together. Michael said, hey, this is a great family shot. We should have someone take our picture! Good idea.
We are truly one happy family.

I haven't worked a set with this much camaraderie in a long time.

And the house! It's so incredibly beautiful. I love the bright yellow parlor and the dining room is the most beautiful lavenderish bluish color. A lot of the furniture in there is antique as well, and I love looking at everything. It was built in 1882, and there are sinks in the bedrooms, which seem so incredibly random, but I heard from the location manager that a few of them are indeed the originals. It's the Woodbury-Story House in Alta Dena.

I really love taking pictures of statures. This poor bunny lost its ear probably quite a long time ago. When I asked her how long it had been, she pretended she couldn't hear me and gave me a stony look. She's on the property. I thought she was cute, if not rude.

Cherubs are scary, right? Does anyone else feel this way?

This is hiding in ivy. It's super awesome. It's not a fountain because there's no reservoir beneath it, so it's just some angry faced urn waiting to scare you.

The house creaks and settles and also houses a raccoon, so while we're filming, we keep hearing scratching and otherworldly noise and it definitely adds to the ambiance.

Which book should we read...? Just kidding! It's the wallpaper! We're going to be doing that same gag in the film.

Me, Patty, and Jennifer Smart. She plays a ghost.
We've also already have been written up about.
I mean, hello! 3D! That's so cool!

I hope to have more pictures by next Saturday, but it's hard to grow the balls and ask a super busy crewmember to take my picture when they have so much to do.

And Boston Blond: that's an excellent question, but I won't be able to answer "Why are you an actress" until next month. It's a long story...

And I would just like to point out that I AM NOT waiting tables for half this month and am so excited and happy about that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Remembering to Keep Hydrated

On sets, helpful PAs and ADs will always ask if you'd like water. And I usually say, oh, no thanks, when I really should say, yes, because acting on set is a lot like flying coast to coast or internationally. You forget to drink liquids!
I was so dehydrated yesterday, that after eleven hours of crying, I couldn't do it anymore. Talked to DJ who had to cry in a play night after night after night, and she suggested I keep drinking chicken broth throughout the day which makes complete sense as I'm drinking water and replenishing the salt I lose through all the tears.

I have to be on set very soon again, and I still have to brush my teeth and moisturize. In the meantime, I give you the webseries my very talented co-star is in. He's the brunet. Handsome, no?

Pictures soon. Hopefully Saturday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Film Review from Netflix!

This one made me laugh out loud:

Two things: (1) can't believe I rented this. Even worst [sic] can't beleive [sic] I sufered [sic] 30 minutes before giving up; (2) What's up with all the fat chicks??

Hee hee!

Oy Vey

I got this off DListed and I know that when other people look at the video, they'll think, what a weird product, but all I can think is, Those Poor Struggling Actors! I mean, I know from experience. I was in a commercial for disposable underwear, so I get it. It's hard to look happy and excited about a product that is, forgive me, such crap. Look at them! Hilarious.

It's Was A Good Wednesday

Tonight should've been my night off, but I got called into work at the last minute. And I don't mind too much as I need the money so badly, it's not even funny. I feel like I've been rushing from one thing to the next, which is incredibly strange, as most of the time I've been waiting.

On Wednesday, I was working on another PowerPoint presentation, this time for character headshots; what they are and how to get them, when I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. "Hey Elle, this is the casting director from the 3-D ghost movie. We'd like to offer you the role."

We checked my availability, reworked some other commitments (SStroot - you're the best!) and I got off the phone.
Antne was staring at me. "I'm an actress, baby." I said.

Bear Hug!

I got the script on thursday, and we start shooting SUNDAY. As in tomorrow! Not a lot of time to memorize 100 pages, but hey, when it's indie and low-budge, ya gotta work fast.

I sortof had my costume fitting today. Because the film is being shot in 3-D (and available at Blockbuster on Halloween, ya'll!) certain colors and patterns mess with the lens. So almost the entire rack the wardrobe master had put together for me didn't work. I had one pair of pants and two tank tops to try on. One tank top almost worked, but the director didn't really like the color on me. So I'll be doing wardrobe fittings the first day of shooting tomorrow. Does this make me nervous? Yes! Normally, things do not go this fast! This is too fast!

When one of the producers teased me, "Make sure you know your lines!" I wanted to say, "Make sure you give your talent at least a week!" but I just smiled. And they STILL don't know where they're going to be shooting the exteriors! They might be shooting in the Bay Area, they might be shooting down here in LA- they just don't know yet! So they're asking me to be flexible, but I have some bridesmaid duties I must attend to, and it's cutting into them. Arrrrgh.

The 13 year old I read with was cast as my daughter, but the final Actor is another guy, so I will be meeting him tomorrow.

Boston Blond had asked me whatever happened to the other film I auditioned for, the one with the tv star as the lead, and I replied back that they had gone another way, but that I had offered to do background work next Tuesday to support the project. I was also very curious as to who had gotten the role, as it would've been extremely exciting to see who matched their ideal the most. But I had to contact the person in charge of atmosphere and tell her, yay! I booked a film, but boo! I was no longer available to shoot like I had committed. I really hope she believed me, because it seems like such a lie. "I committed to you, but I don't feel like it anymore." I had asked the casting director if I could have that Tuesday off, but I'm in all 12 days of shooting, so they couldn't give it to me. Boo. Bummer.

My brother graduated today from Cal State LA and my dad's in town to celebrate, and they're going to come visit me at work, which is going to be nice. I haven't told them my good news yet. I'm holding off on telling quite a few people...

And after the shoot, I will be celebrating the last days of my Best Friend Forever and Ever's bachelorettehoodum by wine tasting and lazing about. It's a nice way to end the month.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Waitressing is a tough job. You forget orders, you get blamed for kitchen mistakes, and there are some people (like Europeans) who just don't know what proper tipping etiquette is. But you will meet the most interesting people. And I like meeting people better when they're my captive audience at a single table.

I have a sarcastic sense of humor, which, sometimes, some tables don't get. So I have to be extra careful with how much of my personality I let shine through at my job.

I used to work at a tapas restaurant called Cafe TuTu Tango, where no one left. If you worked there, you worked there for at least 4-7 years because the management knew we knew what we were doing, trusted us, and treated us all like competent human beings. These people were not my coworkers, they were my family.

It was this job that led me to so many incredible friendships.

But there was one gentleman who used to come in every once in a while. He was so nice, always requesting to sit in my section, and if he was going to be up there in the area, he'd email me in advance to see if I was working so he could stop in and have dinner.

I just got an email from him that I'd like to share with you:

Hi! It's Paul...the old grey-haired grandpa from your waitress days at the TuTu Tango Cafe on the CityWalk.
I just finished watching your film. When it ended, I walked outside on this June gloom Friday and watched the blossoms on my awesome Jacaranda tree fall to the ground from an early evening breeze. It was a somber moment, but a brilliant recollection of what your film had implanted within. Bravo! Bravo! Your film tugged at my heart strings...did everything to transplant my emotions into the same place you and the writers intended.
This film is not going to keep the pilgrim's away. Nor is it going to prevent me from housing a helpless goldfish. [Film reference] What it will do is garner visual memories of what you set out to do as an actress. In many ways, this film was pure genius...and, unfortunately, a film that only a handful will view. But that's okay. It's a small world and I will make this film larger for you by the many movie-goers who trust my film savvy.
Yes, that definitely was a "big cat", and you can frighten me to death with your threat of letting the pilgrim's back in, [more film references] but this film (and you) so memorably went far beyond your "hair" - LOL.
Elle, you are a promising actress. You have a built-in smile even when you are somber. And, when you smile, there is a slight touch of sorrow and sympathy that exudes your personality...on and off camera.
I remember you as a bubbly waitress in Universal City. I'd like to remember you that way. What a shining personality...you could have sold us anything off the menu. Now you've sold me on your film.
If there is anything I can do to further your career now that I'm only two weeks away from retirement, don't hesitate to call upon me.
Your film was provocative, insightful, down-home...and pure...from the heart. Please tell me this is only the beginning. Only the beginning. -PAUL

Wasn't that so incredibly sweet? He didn't have to do that.

Being a struggling actress, sometimes it seems as though that's all I'll be. But when someone goes out of their way to say such lovely things, and to remind me to keep at it....gosh. How can I not? My heart feels like it's going to burst, so touched am I.

But Paul had more to say. He cc'd me on another email to his friends:

A few year's ago, many of my buds used to frequent the Tutu Tango Cafe on the CityWalk at Unverisal City. Our waitress was a very young lady named Elle. The first time we met her Carmen was my guest and Elle accommodated us by moving furniture closer to a big screen TV so we could watch the NCAA basketball playoffs...UCLA game of course. What a bubbly personality. Dynamite. She was an aspiring actress who had performed in many stage productions throughout Southern California.
A few months later I brought my granddaughter (Autumn) to the restaurant one early evening to meet her. I told her she was going to meet a real "actress". As we walked into the restaurant, another waitress told us it was closed for a private party. I asked her if Elle was there...and she was. Autumn got to meet this lovely woman and it didn't surprise me that her eyes sparkled when she got the opportunity to meet a professional actress.
I am honored to announce that Elle has broken new ground. She has starrred in her first feature film which won the 2008 Dances with Films "Audience Award". You didn't have to ask me. From the get-go I knew Elle would be a star. I've cc'd her with this e-mail...and I hope some, if not all, of you will take 90 minutes of your life and rent the film.
You only go around once in life and I'm so blessed to have met Elle in such an informal setting. She pours Chardonnay like a pro, too. Here's her photo, she is the young lady with the lovely curly hair...with a smile and a countenance that exudes a happy life.
You won't be disappointed. Watch it! -Paul

Every once in a while, someone will tell me that I'm going to make it, that I'm going to be great, and if it wasn't for people like Paul, I probably would've given up on myself already.

Paul - Thank you. Thank you so much. You have been the cherry on a fantastic week. And I hope you can feel the big hug and love I'm sending back to you too.

The Cutest Thing Ever

Thanks E-Town, for showing me this.

My Milk Toof is is a blog about a young woman who put her baby teeth, or milk teeth, under her pillow in exchange for coins from the Tooth Fairy as a little girl. She always wondered what happened to them.

And one day, one knocked on her door, returning. Soon after, another joined. One of the sweetest, and funniest blogs out there. Surround yourself in adorableness and June will seem less gloomy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's a Popular Product, I Guess

[A small personal massage device? It DOES sound like fun!]

FUN (Testimonial)
1 hour talent testimonial shoot

Special Notes: Looking for 10 WOMEN talent testimonial for a small personal massage device. $100 each for 1 hour of there time. We will be choosing talent based on their photo submission. Once chosen we will need talent to try product first, which we will mail to you. Then we will have talent come in and give testimonial on the product on camera.

Blonde or brunette, ages 21-35.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It Was A Good Weekend

Hello my lovelies!

First off, I want to congratulate my dear friend Phoenix on her new columnist position as the LA Actor's Life Examiner for the Los Angeles Examiner blog site. I will be posting links when she does cause not only do I heart her, but I've known and loved her amazing writing since 2000. Also, dear one, happy 14-25th birthday!

Thursday was Film Fest night, as one of my idols, JenIsIris, who is an endless well of positivity and happiness and speaks just as super fast as I do when she's excited, had her film, "Corpse Run," screen. She was the romantic lead. I met JenIsIris in an acting class, and all I could think was, "Wow. I want to be as good as she is." And as frustrated as I sometimes get with my own career, I am super frustrated and annoyed at hers, because this incredibly great pilot she's the lead in should already be filming the entire first season, with her updating me her fabulous New York finds from her trailer on location in NYC. She's also been on avail [ A courtesy situation extended by performer or agent to a producer indicating availability to work a certain job. Avails have no legal or contractual status.] seven times this year for big important work. So basically, she auditions, gets called back, and then the producers call her agent to say, "We really like her, is she available for the days we're filming?" and so she'll block those days off, and then, annoyingly, be released from it. Sometimes, producers will have three people on avail for the same role in case one gets sick and the other is struck by lightning. It's the most frustrating thing for this struggling actress in particular to imagine that anyone as talented as she is has not been needed the last seven times.
But JenIsIris is never down or glum about anything. She is happy and super fun to be around.
She invited me to help her shop for an outfit for the screening, and I got super excited - She wanted to be my real life Barbie! We had a ton of fun at the Glendale Galleria and she scored two really cute dresses and matching accessories.
But yeah, the film screening. Now, maybe it's because she's my friend, but I thought she was the most interesting person to watch onscreen. (She's also incredibly beautiful. And unbelievably talented, and all that probably doesn't hurt.) So that was fun!
She told me that she was very surprised at how many people came out to support her. And I said, you know what, JenIsIris? You being in a film at the movies is fun and exciting, because it means you're winning. And take that however you will, my dears, but being able to claim a winning tally in Hollywood is quite the difficult feat. And I applaud her tremendously. Keep on winning, JenIsIris! Keep on winning!!

Friday - I had an audition! It was for "Untitled Ghost 3-D Movie"," Snazzy, right? It was one page of sides. I read it and thought, okay. Be Scared. That was my preparation. Well, okay, I also added, And everyone thinks you're crazy. Worked like a charm. I was in front of the camera and looked all bug eyed and teary, and the casting director said, "That was amazing. You are definitely called back." Such lovely words.
Because, you see, I almost didn't even submit for it, because I thought, no way would it be believable that I have a 13 year old daughter. But I guess it is, and that I have to reassess what I perceive my age range to be.

Remember when I said I was invited to speak as an authority on how and what makes a good headshot? That happened Saturday. I had my powerpoint presentation all set up, my and other actors' pictures ready to go as examples, and I was entertaining and funny and loving it all as the students faces were all turned towards me, scribbling away on their notebooks when I explained very important points. I had one-on-one's with each student, where my four years in casting came in handy, as I got to type and age range each student out. Fun!

Sunday was even awesomer, as Glo and PWinkle shot a short film in our apartment. And they had me star in it. My co-star, Ethan, never forgot his lines or messed up a take, and showed only extrmeme professionalism. It's kinda rare that happens, but Ethan is a stuffed bear. We filmed an adorable short about a woman who orders a hi-tech gadget bear and learns how to finally embrace her own life and creativity. It was a four person production, with Glo working as producer/scripty/continuity/production designer/costume mistress/makeup adviser/hair/sound/boom op, and PWinkle as writer/producer/director/director of photography/grip/electrician. Antne was the illustrator/assistant to Miss Elle/PA.
It was so fun. And it's going to be so darn cute. And once it's done, I'll probably post it here. Working with Ethan reminded me of a toy mouse I had when I was 3 years old. Looking back, it was probably some dog or cat toy, but it was soft, and it squeaked, and one time, when I was sent up to my room for misbehaving, I played with that mouse for probably a half hour, creating a very long and intricate story in my head that there was an extremely old man who had this mouse as his best friend, and one day the mouse died, and the old man had to deal with loss and mourning. This was so sad, and I was so involved that I made myself cry as the story continued to flow out of my imagination. When I was finally done and went back downstairs, my dad asked me where I had been, as he had only sent me up there for five minutes. It's weird the things you remember at such a young age, but one of the things people drill into you in acting school, is that there is no "acting." Only "reacting." And you can indeed react the hell out of any inanimate object.
Also, Glo put some really fun outfits together for me, so I felt all fancy-dancy.

Monday- today was my callback for the 3D Ghost Movie. I got 12 pages of sides last night at 9:30pm for a 12noon audition slot. Grrr. Not a lot of time to prepare much besides what I already knew - that bug eyes and near tears and being scared are what they're looking for.
Took a shower, rinsed the dandruff out of my hair, applied some makeup, and away I went. Immediately after getting to the lobby, I am handed 3 more pages, and a 13 year old scene partner. Okay!
The girl who played my daughter was refreshing. Curl her hair, and badda boom! Done!
And then I met the actor we were paired up with to complete our family of three. He was a good looking guy. Not Hollywood's idea of hot, like the Jonas Brothers, but my kind of hot, as in, yeah, I'd be with this type of guy. And it was great because he was so fun and natural. I loved his reads.

We audition the same scene three times, we step out and say goodbye to our daughter, and then Actor and me read another scene where we're barbecuing. I thought we were great. Refreshing, teasing, loving. I think we made our relationship very believable.

We are asked to stay and read the "the old lady pulled our daughter into the closet" scene together, even though we hadn't been given time to practice it. That means that we had to act on the fly, which is a lot harder than it sounds, because practice makes perfect, damnit.

We did that four times as well.

He's let go and I'm asked to stay to read the climax/screaming scene. Okay. Screaming scenes are always hard for me, because I NEVER want to scream. Not on roller coasters, not when I'm scared, no. I practically hyperventilate when I'm scared. But well, it's called "reacting," so away I went to react to fake ghosts and a fake wind, and a fake husband being thrown against the wall and fake crawling to me, and fake grabbing my hands, and fake reaching for him, and fake hugging him, and yelling at the fake ghost and watching the fake wind die down and sobbing over my fake husband and praying over his fake bleeding body.

That's a lot of pretending and reacting when I'm the only real thing the camera is seeing.

After the first take, I was given an adjustment. After take 2, I was given another one. After the third take, all I could think was, Lord Jesus, I'm exhuasted, because when you have to act scared and terrified, and angry, and scream, it's a lot of emotional headfuckery with yourself, and it's draining. Especially when I'm doing it all myself. When there's a real person acting with me, and a wind machine, it's a lot easier to pretend all this stuff. But because I was practically rolling around on the floor, doing some awesome work, the casting director wanted to do one last take with him going handheld instead of keeping the camera on the tripod. This is a very good thing. Even though the door is a ways away from the lobby, I don't remember hearing any other girl scream more than the required two times it says she needs to in the script. I mean, I am panting and pantomiming; I am rocking this scene.

I finish, lying down next to my fake dying husband, whispering for someone to please help me, when finally, the casting director cuts me. "I think you're great." he said. "I think you're really great. But it's not up to me." And that's true. The producer and sometimes director has to want me as well. And the way the casting director said it, it sounded to me like I was awesome and amazing but that there's a small issue about me (perhaps the believability that a person who looks like me, mid twenties, can have a 13 year old daughter.) that has already been discussed and been concluded to not work in casting me for this role already. But who knows.

This was my third call back in a row. I am focusing on that and happy about that.

And that's why my week was awesome - I was an ACTRESS for all of it!

Friday, June 5, 2009

IMDB Review!

The Internet Movie Database lets you write comments about movies and people. I'm pretty sure this comment isn't from anyone's family on the production, (as I'm sure you'll infer as well) but hey, neat that the film I co-wrote has people watching it.

I liked this movie. Not a little, not a lot, but I liked it. It starts out a bit slow, the Arizona scenery is as dry and depressing as one could wish, and every single character is unsympathetic. The young wanna-be photojournalist is one of the least attractive leads you will see in a while. She grows on you though, and eventually you reach the point that every movie wants you to reach, you care. All of the other unsympathetic characters do their jobs and there are some interesting role reversals along the way. Give it a viewing and in the end, I don't think you will be disappointed that you watched it.

Also, my sister watched the film for the first time as well. Here's her text to me from 12:45 am last night:

"Your movie suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked! But I still love u."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Bird Who Commits Suicide By Fire Refuses to Submit for This

Whatever Phoenix, less competition for me!

20-30s, female evil adventurer, who can slay you with a balloon animal.

I have "balloon animals" as one of my special skills. Jealous?

awesome illustration credit goes to SavageLucy42. Check out some of her other work at her Deviant Art page.

Who Am I?

I'm your waitress! And I have a dream!

An awfully nice young man I worked with on a short last year emailed me a bunch of questions for one of his classes he was taking. Not too many people ask us struggling actresses these questions; they assume we're all ditzy and trying to capitalize on our looks like we have all throughout life, but truth be told, I was quite the ugly duckling with a terribly awkward adolescent phase. At any rate, here's a few questions I thought were fun enough to put up here.

Name: Elle

Age: oh, let's say 22-32. To keep in with the Hollywood "younger is better" mentality.

How long you've been acting: Since I was 12 years old in "Annie."

What was your inspiration or gravitating force to become an actor? Truth be told, I was a middle child starving for attention. Getting good grades and praise from teachers was nice and all, but oh, man! When on stage! Everyone is watching! Everyone is watching ME! But I very quickly realized, at 13, that I could could affect people. I could make people laugh, and I could also make people cry. This was IT. I wanted to affect people.

What’s your favorite aspect of acting? Affecting people! But actors are seldom one trick ponies; we are all very creative individuals, and I am also a fairly decent writer. In college, I and two other friends [One of them keeps a blog too!] created a theatre piece where we wrote, produced and directed a cast of 27 women. Two of my pieces made the audience cry every single night. And that was incredibly powerful to see. And I remember at the end, during one of our Q&A sessions, a lady in the audience asked us "What else would you like us to take away from your show tonight?" And I immediately knew the answer: "Take all the pain, all the hurt, and turn it into something beautiful." [I should also mention that we took all the money we made from the show and donated it to a women and children's shelter] Writing and acting is therapy for the audience. I love that. If you suspend your disbelief, I will make you remember what it is to feel.

How long have you been pursing acting in L.A? Since 2002! But I've done a lot of things "the wrong way." It's a learning process.

What, if any, strategies have you taken towards professional development? Aw heck, well, the last was creating an all-female production company, and having the feature film I co-wrote and starred as the antagonist in, get distribution both here and internationally.[I should mention my partner deserves all the kudos for that] You can netflix me! I think it's very important for actors to keep creating, and pursuing other aspects of being a creative individual. If you don't, you die. I'm also the writer of thestrugglingactress.blogspot.com where I can air my frustrations and accomplishments out into the ether.

What goals do you have for your acting career? Gosh, I'd love to be on a series. Not the lead guy, but strong supporting. Like Alyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother. And I'd love to make enough money to buy a house in LA.

Any advice for people pursuing acting in this town? Yes! Don't be one of those people who say they're only gonna give it two years. They say that because they don't really want to act in the first place. They'd rather do choice 2 anyways, so if there's no fire to pursue acting for the rest of your life, no matter how unsuccessful you are get out now. And take classes! They're great networking tools and it helps to make friends who also have to go through the same steps you do. It's hard to find comraderie with people who have 9-5s. There is no "mail room" for actors to start in. There's no manual on how to "make it." And making it is defined differently by everyone anyway.
If one has just moved to LA, I would suggest taking a class at http://www.dot2dotworkshops.com where all the very basics are defined, saving you three years and thousands of dollars in life lessons.
Also, the Maple Counseling Center http://www.tmcc.org/ offers therapy on a sliding scale based on your income. I highly reccomend it for anyone who is going into an industry they know nothing about, who moved miles away from their families, and are scared and lonely.
And one last thing for those who are pursuing acting: Find another creative outlet in addition to acting. Develop your writing. Develop your art. Develop your music. Make sure you have something else to create while acting jobs are slow and far between. It'll keep you from going crazy.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Even Though It's Slow

I'm still not going to submit for this. You understand, right?



Testimonials for fun vibrating product


Also you will get 2 free 'Finger Fun' toys with your testimonial, one
for you and a friend. This device is very similar to the
Trojan Vibrating Touch fingertip
massager, (https://vibratingtouch.com/

A RESUME is not required but is appreciated.

We need female testimonials for Finger Fun, an adult battery operated finger toy. This is a great easy gig for models/actresses that want experience behind the camera. Since this is a testimonial there is no pay, but the company will provide $50 for travel expenses
(gas etc.).

I'm Not Complaining, But WTF?

If you're not familiar with the lovely Internet Movie Data Base, or imdb.com, it's a little site one can go to when stumped on a particular 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon question. And they attach a "starmeter" to every actor in their catalog. It's fun to track how famous you are. Especially since it doesn't really mean anything.

Or does it?

Why the F did my own star meter, which was at something like 250,000 last week, jump up 2,419% in popularity this week?

(To put this in perspective, I am "more famous" based on starmeter than Ty Pennington, Wayne Newton, and Pia Zadora!)

Well, I know it has to do with a movie I helped make, cause that jumped up 29,000%. And we can't figure out why. I mean, hey, that's super awesome and all, but why? I did a search for its title online and it revealed nothing new, but somewhere, somehow, someone must have written something about it. or something. But what?


But awesome.

Want to be a Model?

Here's your chance! And yes, it's from Craig's List, but it would behoove any young struggling actress to make friends with a hair stylist and makeup artist - for obvious reasons! Plus, other women who are creative are usually super hip and cool; good people to know in life anyway.

Cosmetology Model Needed 4 State Board Exam (Hollywood, Glendale)

Reply to:gigs-za37v-1196156642@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-05-29, 10:09PM PDT

Need a model to take my state board exam for the state of california. You will be paid $50.00 for the day, and allowed up to $100.00 of services after i get my license. That includes manis and pedis, hair services, waxing, skincare, and the like. The date is TBD when I get information. This is the requirements needed:

Hair must be layered or willing to have hair cut to be layered so I can wave it, and have fine or thin hair.
Have clean hair, skin, nails on hands and feet, and no fungus of any kind.
No permanent makeup, not false eyelashes.
Hair on eyebrows to wax them for the exam.
No allergic to wax, or hair color, which I am not doing an actual, but pretend for the state board, just don't be allergic anyway.
Hair has to be shoulder length and be willing to cut 1/2 inch off for the state board exam.
Can't be enrolled in any beauty, cosmetology, or nail school to be a model for a graduated student.
Must have a valid id or driver's license to be a model.
Can't talk at all through the whole exam or you will disqualify us both and exam is failed.

If you meet all of the qualifications please email me asap so I can begin practicing with you... Thanks for your time.

  • Location: Hollywood, Glendale
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: $50.00 + $100.00 of services after exam and passing