"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

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why DO I Do This?

Boston Blond said: "Let's talk about acting. Why do you love it? How did you know/decide you wanted to do it professionally? Tell us." Welllllllll......okay.

First off, I should mention that this Draft has been sitting in my edit box for about four weeks now. Because there is a lot to cover and a lot of it is sad.

I used to have a theory that all actors were wounded birds. There we are, wings aflapping, chirping our heads off because we're in so much pain and we can't get off the ground. If only someone could see us! If only they could help us!

This is a photo of my mom holding me. I owe a lot to her. Mom had three kids under the age of 5 at 39 and we believe she suffered post-partum depression after my little sister was born. I remember walking to the car to go say hi after my dad brought in my sister for the first time for us all to meet her. Mom was still exhausted and sitting in the car. I asked her why she wasn't inside with the rest of us. I don't remember what she said, but I do remember toddling off without her, thinking, as young as I was, hmmm, that's strange.

She suffered her first nervous breakdown three years later, when I was six. And she never recovered. I remember visiting her at the recuperation place they put her, where she was to stay for three months. My exhausted father took us one weekend to see her and I hadn't seen her in so long that I ran up to her and hugged her with all my might.

She did not hug me back.

So in my mind, one day my mother just stopped loving me.

And when you're six, all you can think is, "what did I do to make her not love me anymore?"

This would've been a good time for child therapy. None of us three kids went. Hospital bills were skyrocketing and my dad was shuffling from home, to our grandma's to drop us off, to work, back to grandma's to pick us up, to home to sleep, and all over again. My dad got gray hair that summer.

So of course, we three kids were very confused. Mommy is sick, but why? Why isn't Mommy like she was? Why isn't Mommy excited to see us?

My brother probably took it the hardest at first. His behavior problems went WAY up and he took out his anger on my sister and me. He developed OCD, but back then, we just thought he was strange. If we were all lying on the floor watching tv and we walked over him to go to the bathroom, we HAD to walk back over him when we went back to our spots, otherwise he would freak out. He was violent. I told teachers who asked that I got bruises from being clumsy. My family was messed up but it was the only family I had. I hated and loved my brother at the same time.

My sister was too young to remember our mother before she got sick. She was always very sensitive and clung to me, copying me, following me and doing everything I did because I mothered her. I protected her as best I could.

When I was 12, I had written a will and decided I'd probably use razors in a warm bath. I was so unhappy, so sad, so depressed, and we were so poor that I knew my family would be better off without me. But then one day I came downstairs and saw my sister watching tv. And I knew, I knew I had to keep protecting her. That without me, who knows how badly our brother would beat her.

My brother was doing poorly in school, my sister had a learning disability, but the attention I got from my teachers were all so positive, so rewarding, that I excelled more and more. Because I knew that if I was a good student, my dad would be proud, that if I was good, he would continue to hug me back. One year, my sister was in 2nd grad, I was in 5th and my brother in 6th. I was so excited about my dad going to Open House at school, because I had written an essay about how my dad was my hero, and I knew he'd see it. He came home after it was all over and I asked him excitedly if he had talked to my teacher. "Aw, honey, I didn't go to yours because I know I don't have to worry about you."

I was the good kid. I had to be. If I was good, then I wasn't a problem and my dad would still love me.

At 12, I saw an audition notice for the town's kids' community theatre and I begged for my dad to take me.

I got a role!


Finally! People were paying me attention! Oh my god, I can breathe! I AM somebody! Attention from other people validated my existence and gave value to my worthless life. I was 12. I needed this. I needed people to give me this because my mother wasn't and my dad knew he didn't have to because I was his good kid. Suddenly, people, people I didn't even know loved me. I am a wounded dove, my wing is broken. But people can see now I'm hurt. Maybe they'll help me.

I was also very good at writing. Seriously, my fiction isn't bad, and I almost majored in creative writing. I got a lot of attention from this too. One teacher accused me of plagiarism and I was so flattered, that "Thank you!" was probably not the response she was anticipating. Once I moved into advanced English (seriously, Hopkins, why wasn't I there from the START?!) I wrote. And I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote a play that I got to direct for my Drama 3 class in high school.

Because I was always smaller than my brother, I learned early on that words were going to be my weapons when we fought. And my written words gave me a voice which could be heard farther than I could ever shout them.

I was still writing creatively in college and when the theatre department decided to put on Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead ( a total of 4 female lead roles that semester, when over 30 were in the dept.) April, Tracy and I said, eff this, let's write our own stuff, produce it, direct it and give us ladies a chance to be heard and seen.

No one believed that we could do it. But we did. We 3 little ladies had an all female cast of 27 and SOLD OUT EVERY SHOW. We had to turn people away! We collected just shy of $1,000 which we donated to The Transitional Living Center for Abused Women and Children of Fullerton, CA, which helped abused women and their children get out of their homes, their relationships, and gave them a place to stay, live, train for work, etc. And that show was the reason I went to that school. I didn't know it as a freshman, but as a senior, after that show, I thought, no I knew, that THAT was why life led me there. I had written 3 major pieces that were audience favorites, one a scene where 8 year old me is checking for bruises on my 5 year old sister, where she asks me why God let's all this bad stuff happen to us and another where I confront the demons of being a neglected daughter and being scared as hell that I am going to also have a nervous breakdown and be abandoned. (see? ISSUES!)
Our audience cried. People who did not know me cried. People I never met were affected. People I never knew had the same thing happen to them. And it hit me that I'm not the only one to have hurt like this. That I'm not special in my pain; that EVERYONE can relate to my broken wing because we've all been too hurt to fly at some point, or multiple points in our lives.

We had a Q&A session each night after our show, because, why not? And every single night someone different would thank us for putting a show like that together, and one night, a lady said, "If there was one thing you would want us to take home with us tonight about your show, what would it be?" April and Tracy both looked at me. "Take all the hurt you've ever had, all the pain, and turn it around and create something beautiful." I said.

We go to the movies, to the theatre, to escape our own troubles and watch someone else's so that we can relate to our fellow human beings. We want to FEEL. Things. And if I can make you FEEL something different than the feelings you came in with, I did my job. I affected you. I am relating to you. I too have a broken wing.

And with all the hours of therapy and self-help books, I like to think that I'm getting better.

And I just happen to know a great veterinarian, and I am going to scoop you gently into my cupped hands and take you there. And we'll both get fixed, together.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blueberry Pomegranate Sangria

I love sangria, and I've waitressed at two different places that had the most amazing ever. Until I ran into this recipe, which my darling Glow discovered at Bonaroo. Now, the best thing about this drink is how unbelievably cheap it is to make! In fact, a lot of you probably already have it in your house.

For sangria, I would say make a shit ton of it! That stuff is GOOD. But the best part of this recipe is you can easily just make a glass of it if you wish. It's THAT easy!


Glow's Blueberry Pomegranate Sangria
1 part red wine (use charles shaw, use pinot, use franzia - we don't care!)
1 part coca-cola

Okay, there's actually some name for this, but I can't remember and when Glow told me the ingredients, I was just as incredulous as you are now. In fact, that expression you're wearing? I had it too. But then I tasted it. It tastes like Blueberries! It tastes like Pomegranate ! It tastes like Sangria!

And if you make that, and tell your friends the name of the drink without telling them the ingredients, they seriously would compliment on all the hard work you must've put into it. Cause it is amazing. AMAZING.
Di-J, I hope you try this. I think you'll really like it. And Ashley, I bet you could triple step it out and make some great summer tapas to go with it! JenniPatti- it'll make DC less lonely, and Tracy, nix the wine and you got yourself a declicious virgin drink!

See? I'm a giver. I give.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


So of course I was not happy with my current agent; I had five auditions in 6 months - 2 of which were when I was booked out and unavailable. And one of which was for a webseries where I had to audition in the director's apartment near LAX, on a Saturday. Now, I'm sure that if my agent had known it was at an apartment, he probably wouldn't have sent me. But let's just say I was not happy with the direction my agent was able to take me.

When the new commercial agency said they wanted to sign me, I had to do something about my current agent, whom I'm with across the board, meaning he represents me both for commercial and theatrical (tv/film) So instead of saying, "Hey, the last and only commercial audition you sent me out on was almost 6 months ago," I wrote, "Hey, Coast to Coast wants to rep me for commercials. What are your thoughts?"

Now, if you're my agent, you're probably pissed. Why does Coast to Coast want to rep you when you're with ME? Did you do.....SUBMISSIONS? Agents aren't stupid. And he probably knew that if he had a problem with me going over there, I'd drop him like a hot potato.

So he sent me this:

I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I will be trimming down my roster.

Due to the low success rate in the last few months, I feel that perhaps we are a poor fit and you may be better served by a different agency.

Therefore consider this email notice that you are released from your contract and are free to seek new commercial and theatrical

I wish you success in your career. Please keep in touch.

This is a BUSINESS. There was nothing personal on either side for us. If he's submitting me and no casting director is picking me to audition so I can book it and make my agent money, wouldn't his business be better served by dropping me and picking up someone else who could be picked by casting directors? Yes. And do I believe that a different agency might be able to get me out when he wasn't able to? Only time will tell.

I'm excited to see what the rest of the year throws my way. I've got half my team assembled, and new chapters are beginning.

In the meantime I'm visualizing booking a serious commercial campaign. I'm thinking insurance or cell phones. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I had an audition this morning, SATURDAY, at the ungodly hour of 9:50 in Santa Monica. Why is this ungodly? Most struggling actresses wait tables in the evening to make ends meet and we work very late, midnight or later, and when we get home, we're up for a few more hours just to wind down. So bedtime on the weekend for us? 3am at the earliest.

And if you live in the valley like I do, getting to Santa Monica can take either 20 minutes or an hour. Yeah. 14 miles and an hour commute. Jealous?

I actually really liked the sides. It was for a feature film, where 6 people sit around a table playing Russian roulette. And apparently, the character I read for, Number 6, is a black widow psychopath who kills the men she sleeps with. And she discovers Number 5 is the old therapist who raped her when she was 9. Fun, right? She's all CRAZY!

When I arrive at the place, I am presented with a release form for their behind-the-scenes segment for the dvd, so that they can use my audition in the footage if they want.
Now, most times, no production is going to go all "American Idol," on you. If you suck, they're not going to show you. In fact, they're probably not going to show your audition if you're not cast anyways, but I ALWAYS, write that I will let them use my footage "ONLY IF CAST." So if you're feeling the production is a little sketchy or whathaveyou to make you siign something like that, but still want to audition, just write that. One actress who came into the waiting room after me, said she was feeling a little uncomfortable about signing the release, and when I said she can alter the contract, she was very happy about that. No struggling actress wants to look bad. Sometimes we have an off day. We don't want anyone to see that shizz. No thanks.

We were given two scenes, the first, an establishing character scene where we see her act a bit like a loose cannon. This was the more fun stuff, which is a great showpiece for your innate comedic timing and how you translate the speeches from words into character because the dialogue could be read in a variety of ways. The second scene is the monologue where the character reveals Number 5 raped her. The director came out when there were 2 girls in front of me saying that for the monologue, the character is very matter of fact until she directs her one piece of dialogue to her rapist, where she really speaks daggers to him. I thought, DUH. But maybe other actresses don't know this: When you download your audition sides, DOWNLOAD EVERYBODY'S. You get to read more of the script this way, finding out your relationship with the other characters better. It's homework, it's research. It's going to make you better.

I can hear the girl before me do her read. Well, not as much do it, as yell it. Badly. I mean, wow, you yelled the aside? You yelled what was clearly meant to be said under your breath? Yeesh. I guess these walls are super thin and that the audition is taking place behind the receptionist.

When it's my turn, I am not led to the room behind the receptionist, but to another room, quite far away. (and I heard that girl yelling?)

I walk into the room, and the three guys sit at their table, and there's one camera set up to record my audition, and there's a cameraman in the other corner, who is focusing solely on the panel of dudes. I sit down in front of the audition camera, and the director looks at my headshot and says, "What color is your hair?" "Reddish brown," I reply. Weird question. I slate my name for camera, state my phone number even though it's printed right there on my resume, and off I go to do the second scene, the calm monologue. "Are you ready to give us crazy?" the director asked. Not if I'm doing this subdued scene, I'm not. "I hope so," I say.

This is the second audition in the last month I've been on where the reader can barely read. I'm waiting and waiting for the girl to finish tripping over words and pause too long between character speeches to get to my part. I mean, seriously, directors, the day will go faster if you hire a reader who passed English with flying colors. Don't hire your girlfriends.

My read: I punched up the relationships, added some character movement/tics, vary vocal inflections and drive the last bit home. I improv a kiss as a final FU to the character I'm talking to.

"Great read. Thank you."

Um. you're welcome. But they're not looking at me. What are they looking at? The table top?

"Thank you."

I grab my bag, as I think this is my cue to leave, but um, what about the other scene? So you can see me be crazy?


Oh! Okay! I see! I'm done! Oh! I get up and leave.

I'm slightly annoyed that I didn't get a chance to do the other scene, as the other one really had some great moments in there. I'm guessing I wasn't "crazy" enough for them and altogether not what they were looking for because they didn't give me any direction and had plenty of time to see me take an adjustment if they had given me one.

Or my brilliant wonderful read sucked balls.

Hard to tell.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Well, That Happened

So I had a commercial representation audition yesterday with an agency I've been wanting to get into for YEARS. Prestigious? Yes. Good auditions? From what I've heard, yeah. Famous clients? Check. In fact, one of them (who is now starring in the new Miley Cyrus movie) is a kid I directed for my senior directing class in college, when he was just a weeeeee freshman.

At any rate, when I did my huge agency submissions in early July, I only heard back from 1 out of the 22 agencies I submitted to. And when we met with each other, we were mutually unimpressed. So when I got a call a month and a half later asking if I was still interested in meeting with them for commercial rep all I could say was, UM, YES!

I contacted two of my most successful booking friends, JenIsIris and Phoenix to ask them their advice. 1) What technical info do I need to know for booking commercials, and 2) WTF does "hip and trendy" mean, and how do I look that way? Cause I know I need to look good for this audition, and I know commercial breakdowns ask this of their actresses all the time. And if you knew me, you'd know that I am a jeans and tank top girl. And utterly clueless.
They gave me awesome acting advice (including that even commercials have a beginning, middle and end.) and their clothing advice made me realize that necklaces, earrings and bracelets from Forever 21 will do me miracles.

So I get to the agency and am very happy that it's only 3 miles from where I live. That meant I only had to leave 20 minutes ahead of my appointment to get there in time!

I am given the rundown by a very thorough and kind receptionist and am given a "Women's Sides" folder to go through. There are about 6 different commercial copy sides to choose from and I am to pick one to perform for the agent and his assistant/subagent.

It takes me a long time to decide which of the sides are the least difficult. It takes me a LONG time to figure this out. I have never taken a commercial class. I've been meaning to. But THANK GOD I had contacted two of my best booking actress friends, JenIsIris and Phoenix. They gave me some awesome advice and tips for how to look "hip and trendy," which is what a struggling actress like myself must present herself as being. As Phoenix said, cool enough to be the girl next door you want to buy products from, but not too hot that middle america can't relate. I think it all comes down to wearing lots of jewelry from Forever 21. At any rate, I pick my sides (playing Mother Nature and explaining, ha ha, I make you women bleed! for Tampax) do all the tricks I was told and add a little improv bit which is just absolutely perfect and cycles the character from bitchy to friendly, and then back to bitchy, and am actually quite pleased with the work that I put all together for it.

It is finally my turn. I walk up the stairs, see the glass conference room I'm supposed to enter and see them immediately point at me to go around the other way. Great! I feel like an idiot already! Yay!
I walk in the room and they ask me to have a seat. I see the agent has my cover letter from July 9 and my OLD headshot. From 2004. I wonder why on earth I sent him that one and then realized that in that shot, I have my hair curly and am smiling a beautifully toothy grin. And if it's one thing commercial agencies like, it's a headshot that shows your teeth. I was asked to bring in another headshot and the subagent took that one, and the agent and subagent actually took their time to joke with me. And the agent went through my cover letter asking me about the projects I had written about and asked about certain resume items. I was laid back, funny, pithy, I was ME. Even though I was wearing a dress from Ross, boots from Goodwill, and Spanx opaque tights (totally recommend by the way.) they gave me their complete attention and bantered with me and made me feel GOOD about being me. Like I was a real person they wanted to get to know, as opposed to a struggling actress they were judging. It was about four minutes or so of that. I basked in it. "Alright," agent said, "let's see your audition."

Oh yeah. That.

I did it and liked that I had my beginning, middle and end AND a conspiratorial aside. (take that, Shakespeare!) I'm pretty sure they nodded and smiled. It was hard to tell, as they had me pretend the logo on the wall was the camera. Immediately after my 'moment after,' they said, "Great, thank you!" And as we all know, that's your cue to exit. So exit I did.

I walked back to my car wondering how I did, replaying everything, cursing myself for not punching the word "resume." Destructive behavior like that. And then, once I got in my car, I let it go. I'm pretty sure I did okay. That's what I'm going to say about THAT audition. I did okay.

So today, I was at Glow's apartment, helping fill tamales for our upcoming camping trip when my phone rings. My hands are wet, and my guy who came over to work on his online comic
(sometimes we all just hang out or work all together. and it's completely normal, I swear) picked my phone out of my purse to let me know who was calling. (You know, if it was worth it to hurry up and dry my damn hands or letting the phone go to voicemail.) "It's a 323!" he said. Oooh. That's HOLLYWOOD calling.

"This is Lira," (if you own a cellphone and are a struggling actress, don't you dare answer with "Hello?" it's unprofessional! Just say your name so they can go ahead and give you your audition info without having to ask for you as if you were still living with your parents!)
It's the agent I auditioned for. He asked me how my day was. "It's been good," I said, my heart beginning to pound, "but I'm hoping it's about to get much better." And he laughed.

They want to rep me.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Don't Know!!

What is the most annoying and frustrating thing about being a struggling actress? The fact that I just NEVER know. I never know! I exited my car today after my agency commercial dept audition and wondered what I'd write about. And all I can think to write about is that actors have to constantly deal with the unknown in their lives. Will I ever be able to afford a house? Will I ever have insurance through the union? Will I ever be able to start saving for my retirement, when I can sometimes barely make rent?

In other jobs, you start at the bottom and work your way up. That's the way the world works. But for actors, there is no mail room. There is no ladder to climb. One day you're waiting tables, the next, your agent is negotiating six figures. It is a crazy, crazy life. You can make a year's salary, a Good salary with just a few booked commercials! But WILL you book them this year? Will you book them next year? Will you ever book them?

One has to be crazy to want to live this way. For instance, last year, based on my own submissions, I was booking once a month. 4-8 audtitions/month and I book one of them? Not too shabby! And then this year rolls around, with all the crap it had stuck in its treads getting all over me, and I'm lucky, LUCKY to get one audition a week. That I myself got. Agent? Hello? Where are you?

It's so frustrating! It's hard! But at the end of the day, I am what I am - a storyteller. Either by writing (which, yes I need to do more of) or by acting out others' words, I am an artist who MUST tell stories. It's in my blood, my marrow, my DNA.

And crazy runs in my matriarchal line, so continuing to pursue this type of lifestyle on the off chance that I will be one of the few successful, kinda makes sense. I truly am insane.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Survey Says

Totally sounds like I have a girl crush on Phoenix, huh? Well, I do! She's a hot little piece! And so when she wrote this and said to go ahead and do it if it sounded like fun, I thought heck yeah! Procrastination Station! And I'd like to thank this one for the idea. So please, go ahead and do this yourself, too!

I've come to realize that my chest-size...shrinks when I work out. All my pretty bras are starting to look like I can't quite fill them out because, well, I can't anymore. Pear shaped women lose weight in their breasts first. So unfair! That's the absolute LAST place we should lose it so we can balance ourselves out!

I've come to realize that when I'm driving…I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. They do stupid things because they really just didn't see me. We don't call them "automobile on-purposes." Plus, good driving karma is something I really need.

I've come to realize that I need... to be writing creatively more. I really need to set aside some time and focus enough to just have at it. I miss it.

I've come to realize that I have lost... my anger at the Universe for a lot of things. Life is what it is, and I'd be completely different if I didn't experience all that happened. I had to let it all go and I feel like I've accomplished it. No more tallying.

I've come to realize that I hate it when...people ask me what I'm going to do if the acting thing doesn't work out. The rational side of me knows that they're looking out for my best interests because they love and worry about me. The irrational side hears them say that they don't believe in me working hard enough to achieve my goals. And it's hard to band-aid an ego.

I've come to realize that if I'm drunk.... I announce it. To everybody. And I'm not really drunk, but just buzzed. I don't like being drunk in major social situations like weddings and birthdays. Because when I am drunk, I can. not. shut. up. and say the most inappropriate things. Or I fall asleep. At the bar.

I've come to realize that I'll always ... take a jacket with me where ever I go, be it the beach, a movie, a restaurant, the park, a trip to the sun, and I'd like to thank my Jewish mother for giving me the fear of being cold unexpectedly.

I've come to realize that my sibling(s)... look more and more like my Dad as they grow older. And taking after mom, I feel like I'm missing out on the "Oh hey! You two are obviously related and share some special bond!" exclamations I imagine people think when they see other siblings who look alike. I'm the odd one out. And they don't have hair like this.

I've come to realize that my mom... will never get better, that I will not end up like her, and that I think I'd like to visit her more.

I've come to realize that my cell phone... is dying a slow death. I charge it all the time and it loves to show me I have only one battery level left. It's also three years old.

I've come to realize that when I woke up this morning... that I should say yes more often that no.

I've come to realize that before I go to sleep.... I like being spooned. It feels real knife.

I've come to realize that right now I am thinking... that I wish we had a better organization plan for our apartment. And that Anthony put away all the things he took out and played with. It would make cleaning up an easier chore.

I've come to realize that my dad... will never know how much of a positive influence he's been, and how much I miss living near him. He is one of my biggest cheerleaders, and brags about me to whoever will listen. I miss our email conversations that we had my senior year in college. I hope he really starts taking care of himself better so he can be around for my children.

I've come to realize that when I get on Facebook... It's more fun to read other peoples' statuses than to write my own.

I've come to realize that life... is hard. But if you surround yourself with good people, you will always love and feel loved.

I've come to realize that this weekend... is fast approaching and I'm still not scheduled for any work. Here's hoping that I book that audition I have for 9:50 in the freakin am 20 miles from where I live on Saturday morning.

I've come to realize that the best music to listen to when I am upset... is some Tori. Tori Amos gets me, man. I may not understand half of what she sings, but I can find some way to relate.

I've come to realize that my friends... will stay up super late on a work night and are willing to risk looking like fools just to show that they appreciate my friendship.

I've come to realize that I love... jogging. ME! Jogging! I love it! I run a mile quite comfortably in 11 minutes and love it. Also, I need more exercising music. I can only listen to what I have for so long. Recommendations?

I've come to realize that I'm totally terrified... of maxing out my credit cards, but I think this just makes me more American in the zeitgeist.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'll Take It!

Another review for Junction!

"Kellerman [is] mysterious and mesmerizing..."

Heck yeah! Even if I have to chop a quote up in half, I'll do it! Thanks Manny!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Automated Dialogue Replacement

Had to do some ADR for The Haunting of Winchester House yesterday. I was told it'd take about 2 hours, but we did it in about an hour and a half. Oh, what is ADR, you ask? Well, sometimes onset the microphones have issues, or there's construction next door, or a fan blowing on you in your scene, or what have you. Lots of issues can happen where your voice does not get picked up, and after the edit, you're brought into a booth with a huge screen and rerecord your lines. You watch your mouth move a few times, then say your line into the mic as closely as possible. I did a lot of heavy breathing and screaming. Some of my favorite lines to rerecord included "ASSHOLES!" and "They bite your nuts."

This was also the first time I got to see any parts of the film edited together. (Shout-out to Megan Nicoll for having my makeup always look so super awesome.) And I have to say, if you'll let me, and you'll have to, since I can't see any physical cues from you not to as I'm writing this, I look young. I look way young. I look way too young to have a daughter who is only about an inch shorter than me. I look 22. So, there. I'm miscast.

I am miscast.

If it were about a sorority in a scary house, perfect. I'd be a sorority girl. And physically, it'd make sense (just give me a great push up bra!) And don't get me wrong, I'm certainly NOT complaining, but one's suspension of disbelief might have trouble suspending, and that's what I'm worried about.

There's also a part in the end that I watched and I'm just kicking myself because all I could think while watching it was, "Why didn't they KISS THERE?!" And that usually happens when the actors are uncomfortable with each other, and this was during our greenscreen pickup. My costar and I hadn't seen eachother in about a month, and normally, it is tacitly understood, that on any set, it is the lady in the scene who directs how far to go romantically/physically. And that ball on the floor was dropped by me. Bummer.

I also rechecked the Haunting's website on the production companies website. They added a few more stills, but since none are of me and I'm a narcissist, I won't link the page. Oh, I kid, I kid.

So I left the ADR session feeling pretty good about the film. It is decent! YAY! And then I got a call from Coast to Coast that they'd like me to come in and audition for their commercial department. WooHoo! I've been trying to get my foot in their door for YEARS. Happens next Thursday. Am excited.

Yesterday was a nice day to be a struggling actress.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Live In LA? Want to Make Some Money?

My modeling agent is looking for women with at least shoulder length dark hair to get their hair cut to this shape. I'll need your info as soon as possible to forward to her if you're interested. Email me at lirakellerman@yahoo.com

RATE: $1,667.00 - 20% AGENCY FEE

FEMALES: CAUCASIAN, 5'6 PLUS,(5'3 and up is fine.) AGES: 23-26,(as long as you LOOK around that age) DRESS SIZE: 0-6,(they'll look at you if you're an 8 too.)

Being Unprofessional

Thank you MollyMade for bringing this to my attention. I have had my share of personal experiences with people being bewilderingly unprofessional, but Twittering your opinions of actors as they audition before you tops the cake.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Being Thankful

I have a huge headache and have been rather sad the last few days for reasons I won't get into here. Suffice it to say I do have wonderful supportive friends in my corner and I'm powering through it. Just slowly.

I was driving the other night and feeling so down that I said, okay, start making a list of things you're thankful for. Even though I was driving my car that's paid off and mine, even though I was driving to my apartment that has central air, even though I am in good health, all I could think about was one person. And I didn't just stop at this person's name, I was thankful for so many of the things that make up who he is. For his sense of humor, his cooking skills, his willingness to be with me and by my side, cheerleading me on and growing with me.

I met Anthony using an online dating service. On our first date, he told me he worked as a caricature artist at Universal City Walk. I worked at Cafe TuTu Tango just 700 feet away from him. I walked past him every Friday and Saturday night for three years before we met. When he asked if I was interested in seeing his artwork, my hopes were not high for him. He worked out too much, his skin was so clear, he spoke fluent Italian. He probably sucked.

I was blown away. Page after page of the most amazing illustrations. "What are you doing caricatures for?" I asked.

Last February, he booked a gig with his childhood idol Stan Lee. He was on a panel at Comic-Con as the Lead (and only) Artist for Disney and POW's Time Jumper. He even gave a great interview. I am so happy and proud of him; this is what he has dreamed about doing, and he's doing it.

And I am so incredibly thankful that he still laughs at my jokes, calms my nerves and thinks I'm one of the sexiest women he's ever met. I am thankful. And I am so incredibly lucky.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I was driving to the Tony&Guy Salon in Santa Monica this morning for a hair modeling gig, and heard the dj on the radio comment how when couples break up, they usually do a major change, like go blond, or go to the gym in order to make their ex jealous. I've not experienced this. When I've been dumped (and it's happened, believe it or not) I didn't go out and try to make anyone jealous. I tried to make myself happy. When such a major shift happens in my personal life, I tend to reflect it outwards with a major change as well.

But investing around $1,000 for headshots, reproductions and uploading tends to make struggling actresses keep their same look for a long time. I've had my same-ish hairstyle for the last 3 years and I was ready for a change. Not because I was dumped, not because I was making anyone jealous, but because I wanted to show the growing and change I've done in the last few years on my outside.

So I was craving blond. and I even loved dark brown with bangs a la Betty Page .
All I knew was one thing: I wanted, heck, needed, to look different than I did. I asked people about bangs and only heard a resounding "NO!"

But there I was, flipping through Tony&Guy's new trends hair book, and the pages stopped on the cutest hairstyle. I didn't know if my curl pattern was loose enough to replicate it, but the model sure was purty! The hair was long on the bottom with bangs piled on top. It was super adorable! And I was so excited that they wanted to do that to me because bangs would be just the change I'd want to make me feel new and stylish.

It's ridiculous, isn't it, how much weight we women give to our hair, however our hair defines our femininty. So I wanted my new definintion to be "hip! trendy! fun!"

I think I got it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go save the orphans from mean ole Miss Hannigan.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Everything I Learned About Modeling

I learned from Tyra Banks. Thanks Ty-Ty!

Got the six prints from Jason D, the photographer I shot with on Thursday. A very important lesson was learned: When I believe my face looks sexy, I really just look mean. So that means I have to now PRACTICE making sexy faces in the mirror so I know what it looks like. Isn't being a struggling actress crazy? At any rate, this is my favorite shot.

The photographer was very interested in the juxtaposition of the black chaise with the white drop cloth and back drop. They came out very stylized, very cool.

But yeah, I'm definitely going to have to work more on my "sexy face."

portrait copyrighted by Jason Dunlap

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Building That Good Ole Self-Esteem

I came up for this formula in college, when all of a sudden, the opposite sex seemed to be coming out of the woodwork like horny cockroaches.

Right now, AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE have crushes on you.

Not bad, right? Look, you sexy thing you, see those two guys over there? They like you! Yes! That one has a thing for redheads, and that one....also has a thing for redheads! And Betty Page! And with the right wig, you are her doppelganger!

Oh now lookeeyou. You got a little bounce in your step, don't you? A sparkle in your eye, don't you? A grin on your lips, don't you? Well! Bask in those naughty thoughts, because it's what those guys are doing. They're thinking about kissing you, about holding you. About - well, we gotta keep this blog G rated...

Don't you feel better?

Friday, August 7, 2009

I'm a Hot Piece!

Here I am at my 8th grade graduation. I am 13. My lips are covering my incredibly buck teeth which I will not get braces for for another 2 years.

And yesterday, I was at a photoshoot where the photographer shot me implied-nude style, covered in a white dropcloth with a come hither look, my lips slightly parted, wet.

Clearly, I never anticipated being the type of girl men would want to see in such a position.

And I don't really know how the hot girls do it, because I am at such a loss, navigating the tricky male friendships I try to maintain. And I think the problem lies within me not having grown up hot. For instance, I developed a wickedly funny sense of humor with a penchant for puns and sarcasm. Growing up and flirting with boys was easy, as they weren't intimidated by my beauty because I didn't have any. It's like I tricked them because all of a sudden, these boys who were laughing along with me, appreciating me because I wasn't like all the other girls (read: pretty girls they were attracted to) liked me back. In fact, at 16, while listening to "Les Miserables: The Original Cast" musical tape, cause I was a huge NERD, I loved the lyric "the pretty girls who went to our heads/the witty girls who went to our beds" because I was a witty girl! I wasn't having sex then, but I knew that I would be! Because I was funny.

But now I'm funny and kinda hot.

So I'm flirting with these boys, sometimes a little too aggressively, because I still have my 8th grade graduation self image. Even though I'm kinda hot now, I forget it, and still work too hard for it. It being, um, validation? Love? oy. who knows.

In fact, the other night, while hanging out with a friend I haven't seen in about a year, we had some fun times covering what happened in the last 12 months, but once it got late and I finally had to go home, I said "what's wrong?" And he told me he was nervous. "Cause you're hotter than you've ever been." he said.

No I'm not! I'm still the girl above in the floral patterned dress.

And I feel like I ruined another really great friendship because of the same thing. That there was an initial attraction and I worked hard to trick this guy into liking me, forgetting that he probably already was attracted to me and I didn't have to DO anything to make him like me except be myself.

And I realize that I'm basically saying, "Wah! Wah! I'm kinda hot now, POOR ME!" but I don't know how to behave as this girl. And I'm ruining friendships because of that. And that's why I'm bummed. I make friends, like friends, try to trick them into liking me back and fail. Almost epically. I make these quick intense friendships and then feel abandoned when they get all "whoa, what is WITH this chick?" and back off.

And I have abandonment issues, so....

I need to be myself, but just toggle me down a switch or two. Stop trying so hard. Yeah. I need to stop trying so hard.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

For My Favorite Sister

I love you. Happy 26th. May you continually be surrounded by those who love you, and may you always feel loved, warm and happy.

Photographer Jason D

Oooh, fun time!

I came over to his Downtown apartment, which was built in the late 30s, I believe he said, and the architecture was just beautiful. I love me some old timey stuff. (For instance, one time, LACMA had a Rococo furniture exhibit, and I was enamored with the armoires.) Jason showed me a few of his inspirations to jump off of and I had my makeup clean and simple. Normally, I'm an eyeliner every day kind of girl, but I just had on a little powder, tons of mascara and a light lip gloss. I felt so naked.... Jason suggested lining the inside of my eyes to help them pop, so I did, and they did.
I had put my hair up with my bangs hanging down to the side, and I brought some sparkly jewelry (thanks Mama Nina!) to match my pink ball gown (thanks Chapman Theatre Awards ceremony!) He was shooting on a camera that I wish I could remember. It was a boxy one that shoots 5x5 film (I think) and had a cape he had to duck under in order to adjust all the levels and things. He gave me some more camera history and it all sounded very neat.

1st pose was me laying on a chaise lounge he had reupholstered, with a white backdrop. 2nd was me sitting up with the tulle of my dress around my knees. 3rd was a plain portrait. 4th was me on the chaise again, but this time, under a draped sheet, implied nude! Oooh la la! 5th and last, was me wrapped up in a sheet on the floor.

I was very comfortable and the entire shoot made me want to shoot some more classy implied nude stuff. I felt very sexy wrapped up in drop cloth. I pointed my toes, made sure to have angles (thanks Tyra!) and kinda wish I could explore more in that realm. Why not. I'm not getting any younger.

In fact, Jason is older than me, but looks like he could be on Hannah Montana and I asked him how hard it must be to never be taken seriously. We young lookin folks get that a lot. In fact, that's one of the things I actually like about getting older; now my opinions really matter. On the shoot, he said that the DP kept explaining certain things to him, which, if he was a student, he would've loved, but since he's a film maker who's been working on a documentary for the last 7 years, already knows. He said when people learn his real age, it's almost fun to watch them immediately switch on the respect they didn't have for him when they thought he was 15 years younger.

When he walked me to the door, he asked me a question which only highlighted how incredibly not hip I am but he was very sweet about it. He had mentioned that he'd love to do some pin-up style stuff (Varga!!!) and some special effects makeup stuff and I'm all about it.

He's also a writer. Something I kinda almost have in common with him.

Smiling emoticon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Photoshoot Tomorrow!

One of our crew members from Blindsided asked if I would be interested in posing for him and his new camera setup. Would I ever! I AM in the need of new headshots, so yay that. He's going for a classic portrait pose, something a la Marilyn Monroe naked under a sheet (bring shorts and a tube top to wear under the sheet, he said, which, to be honest, I found just a tad disappointing...) and something with a bench. It's all gonna be black and white. Should be fun times.

And I'm going to put it out there: I am underemployed in the bread and butter job arena. I've got two good leads, but please cross your fingers for me that I find something toute suite. Like a national commercial campaign!

Love to all my readers! (And heck, why not click on the "Follow" button? You can add your picture! FUN!)

The Pre-Lim Meeting

It was a lot of talking on the jr agent's part. She explained how they worked, how they expected their clients to work, the production climate right now and what to expect.

When she asked me what questions I had, I said, "Tell me about a few of the most recent bookings."

It's a co-star agency it seems. That's what their people get out and book. 5 lines or less. And what's unsettling is that that is actually better than where I'm at now.

Oy vey. The outlook is not good, but as one person said, it's not like it can get any worse. Fair enough. It really can't. There's only going to be more productions starting and casting. And let's just hope that's freaking soon.

She typed me as being able to play 16 on certain shows. "Hannah Montana, not so much, but 16 on 90210, definitely." And I thought, really? Strange, and then I looked up one of the series regulars, and although most of them are early 20s, one is 29. Playing high school. So, you know, you NEVER know. You just never do.

She said that they'd contact me by the end of the week, and if they didn't, to call them. Which seems weird. If you aren't excited enough to call me to say, hey, let's work together! Then why would I want to be with your agency?

The whackadoodliness that's Hollywood never ends, my friends, it never ends.

A Pre-Lim Meeting = Why?

I have a preliminary meeting with Baron Entertainment today in about an hour. Why a pre-lim? I've no idea. Are they to meet me to make sure I look like my picture? To discover that I can indeed be on time for appointments ? To see if I lied about my height and weight on my resume (Ha! They can't! I never put it on there!)

I talked to an old college classmate who is with them and got his take on the agency....He said he wouldn't be there if he wasn't friends with one of the agents. Well, I completely understand that! If I had a friend who was an agent, you can rest assured that I would milk that - uh - nurture that relationship as much as I could. I'd be submitted on everything! Maybe even pitched.

At any rate,
The manager I had a 2nd meeting with yesterday had me come allll the way down to his Bev Hills address to quickly meet with me only to tell me that when I had told him that I still had other people to meet with, it was a thing that made him go hmmmm, cause he offered to rep me on the spot, and then at the meeting yesterday told me that he wasn't exactly rescinding his offer, as he was 99.99% sure that he wanted to work with me, but that he had set up a meeting with someone else as he thought I was just nicely passing him off. He said he'd call me today to let me know. See me? This is me not holding my breath. I mean, I'm happy that he's really set on only bringing on one person, and that he was still interviewing cadidates - it shows he's a business man - but why does .01% hold him back? Ah well, I was never too good at math anyways.

Time to blow dry this hair and smear on some makeup! Let's get PRETTY!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tag! You're It!

My darling friend Tracy tagged me to tell ya'll seven facts about myself. I'm scared and nervous.


1) My father named all three of his kids. And since he was a smart guy, having graduated from MIT and then going on to Cal Berkeley to get his masters in Physics in the 70s, he really badly wanted to be a hippie but couldn't due to all his learnin'. Instead of dancing while on acid in San Francisco Park, he studied Astronomy. So my brother's middle name is Rigel, the brightest star in Orion's belt, and my sister was seriouslythisclose to being named Cassiopeia. She got a name instead that's Greek for butterfly. She lucked out. I am named after the constellation Lira. Never heard of it? Oh, that's cause it DOESN'T EXIST. It's LYRA. with a Y. But my dad, smartypants that he was, figured he didn't have to LOOK UP THE NAME JUST IN CASE. And so my name is misspelled. Lyra comes out in the summer sky, and you can find Vega, our brightest star, smack in the middle of it. Lyra is the Greek word for the lyre, the four stringed harp that was plucked while the Greeks recited poetry. It's where we get the word lyric from. If I had been born male, I would've been Orion.

2) I wear only 1 contact lens, in my right eye. I wear -3.5, while my left eye is perfect.

3) I have abandonment issues. In my own religion that I have created by studying a bunch of the other ones and keeping what I liked and throwing away what I didn't, loving people is being closer to god. I am a good person; a loving person.

4) ESP runs in the matriarchal line of my family, and when my grandma Claire died, she came to me several times in dreams. The first one: I was walking home and heard organ music, and knew immediately it was my dead Grandma! I ran inside and there she was, playing her dead husband's organ that we had inherited, and she turned around to face me, so excited, and said, "I finally learned to play!" And Grandma looked fantastic! 150 pounds slimmer, in 40s clothing and makeup, and looked about in her early 30s. She led me over to the couch, sat me down, and started patting my knee, something she always did when she was alive. "I am so much happier," she said, smiling, looking fabulous, "All my friends are with me." My last dream: Grandma and I are looking at a bunch of old photos I have of her, including one where she's with a few of her friends at a costume party. "I didn't know you had this one!" She said "I have a lot of your old photos," I replied. I turned to her and said, "I miss you so much." She hugs me and I feel her gently place me down into the exact position I woke up in. I thought to myself, wow, that's weird. I haven't thought of Grandma in a long time. I checked the date. February 17. Her birthday, and my half birthday. Because we were born exactly 6 months apart, it was always "Happy Birthday!" "Happy Half Birthday!"
You absolutely cannot tell me that these are just dreams, that they're not real, because they ARE real. They ARE.

5) Showering everyday is not good for my hair or skin, so I go a few days without bathing. Unless I work out, but otherwise, yeah. I probably didn't bathe the last time you saw me.

6) I know absolutely nothing about computers. My dad was a programmer and so is my brother, so growing up, if there was a problem, I'd just have one of them fix it. This is incredibly embarassing on my end.

7) I wrote my first news article at 12 for Youth Today, Fremont's citywide teen newspaper. I was the youngest on staff, and wrote about how teens today grow up too fast. Man, was I deep in the 90s.

So, Tag, Resa, m.r.holmes , Di and Boston Blond. You're it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blindsided Shoot

Yay for having directors want to meet me even when I can't make their auditions, for directors not being creepy, and shoots going smoothly. And yay for awesome co-stars!

How did Blindsided go? Pretty well! Crew was great, and the location, the Peach Cafe in Monrovia was just absolutely the cutest. Their bakery case looked so tempting, let me tell you what.

Our director, Chris, transformed the place into a 50s vibed diner, complete with a waitress in a 50s vintage dress and blonde Betty Page wig. (uhm, jealous!) Kitchy and cute.

I played Melinda, a young woman whose boyfriend was killed not too long ago but is going on a date she is soooo not ready for. Interesting script, with lots of staccato patterns, and complex emotions. We had 11 pages of script and two days to film it, and it was soooooo nice to take all the time we needed.

And I want to give special props to Gary Kresca, (playing Jim) for being such a gigantic sweetheart. He took me out to a coffee shop the hour before our call on the first day to go over lines and character stuff. And he bought me a drink! Thanks! But he had also brought Tejava tea and gave me a whole liter bottle all to myself! We were plenty hydrated, let me tell you. The next day, he surprises me not only with another bottle of Tejava (!) but also a cast gift; a tradition usually reserved for theatre. We had talked a bit about how much I loved beef jerky, so he got me a whole POUND of it! Oh man, and it's GOOD. So, for those of you not good at verbal equations, Gary Kresca=Awesome.

Peach Cafe! I'm being lit for my over the shoulder shots. I am in black, as Melinda is in mourning. You can't tell, but there is a flask nestled against my breasts!

"I like sandwiches," Melinda says, "I just feel weird, ordering one for dinner, you know? The social impropriety of it all, you know?"

And then Jim shoots her down, where he's all "That's dumb. And are you boozing it up? Your breath stinks!" And yes, I'm paraphrasing.

Melinda has Jim recognize her by wearing big ole heart shaped glasses, which Gary bought for the production and let me keep! See? I told you Gary=Awesome!

Like my nails? Part of the character. It's OPI's Russian Navy. They look blue in yellow light and purple in fleurescent. And it's chip resistant, so far!

Wanna know all the interesting details of the shoot I wasn't privy to? All the behind the scenes stuff? Chris the writer/director is keeping a blog.

A Nice Review!

I was not ripped apart in a Junction review!! My acting blurb:

"Kellerman’s aloof detachment given to her character Victoria also provides a subtle creepiness which is an unsettling treasure to watch."

Oh, yay! What a nice thing to wake up to! My acting skillz were a TREASURE! That is a whole hell of a lot better than "Ms. Ugly Face is WOODEN!"

You can read the full article if you want. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Solving The Problem

That's it. I just need to BUY EMILY'S WIGS. Hey Vanity, thanks for letting me borrow your wigs and try on different personalities. I had a blast!

Although people think otherwise, I really feel like having my curly hair is somewhat limiting. I mean, 1) I'm so incredibly freaking BORED with it (imagine having the same hair YOU grew up with [and for boys suffering from Male Pattern Baldness, my apologies]) and 2) it seems every single onset hair person just loves my hair AS IS and never does anything with it. So my hair is always down and it's always curly. But I guess that's my "brand" or what have you, but still, you know. I want a change. I'm craving one. One that I can probably take off at the end of the day because as any woman will tell you, permanent hair commitment is scary.