Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It's been ... one week since you ... GOTCHA!

Okay, it's been FIVE MONTHS since you heard from me, but any chance for an earworm, and I'm all over it.

So what the hell have I been up to in the last five months, you say? Lemme peruse the calendar real quick, and I'll tell you:

  • In June, I marched in the Pride Parade, as you know. I also volunteered for stuff, I worked on set, and I PERFORMED the role of Molly McGee in the SAG-AFTRA Radio Play, Fibber McGee and Molly (no, that's not my voice in the link). It was a ton of fun, getting to perform for an audience again, and the Holiday SARP is coming up, so I'll be in attendance for that, since I was ineligible to audition (having booked the summer show).
  • In July, I enrolled in the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory and attended the Summer Intensive. AFI is the leading film school in the country (possibly the world) for directors and cinematographers. They partner with the Conservatory, allowing us to utilize their space for tens of thousands of dollars' worth of acting/business education, and they get union (Conservatory) actors for their student films. It's a definite win-win. It costs union members $45 for a year's enrollment. My enrollment fee was covered in that first weekend intensive. Awesome.
  • In August, I volunteered, I attended Conservatory workshops, I took a friend to what I thought was a screening, but turned out to just be a gathering of folks interested in the NatGeo show Genius: Picasso, where we painted on our own canvasses, noshed on tidbits, and sipped wine. I also started working in the BG of a new Toni Collette Netflix show called Unbelievable. I can't say anything at all about it, even though we're finished shooting, because it doesn't come out until next year! Wah! (It's going to be an excellent show, and you should definitely watch it, whether I ever managed any camera time or not).
  • September brought more Conservatory, more work on Unbelievable, more volunteering, Picketing a Business with my union (a commercial ad agency that has honored union signatory contracts for more than 20 years has suddenly decided that they just can't afford union actors anymore. So we arrived by the busload and marched in front of their offices for a couple of hours. Some people had signs, most of us were wearing our free-if-you-participate #AdsGoUnion/#BestInTheBiz t-shirts, and I believe the vast majority of us lost our voices for a day. It was good), and more screenings... we're heading into awards season! We also attended a night of streaming an entire web series, done by some old theatre friends of mine. Interesting.
  • October. More Conservatory, more screenings, more work, more volunteering. We enjoyed a dinner party on a boat with my friend who was celebrating her 50th birthday. I attended a few voiceover workshops, including one where I learned about an upcoming VO Expo. I attended an acting workshop where I was finally able to figure out how to FOCUS my acting career. We attended a one-woman show produced/performed by another theatre friend of mine who has survived breast cancer (her show is called Chemo Barbie, and she sometimes tours, so if she comes to YOU, go see her show. Tell her I sent ya.)
  • November has been busy, y'all. SCREENINGS work SCREENINGS volunteering SCREENINGS Conservatory SCREENINGS the VO Expo SCREENINGS Thanksgiving-a.k.a.-Gluttony-Day and SCREENINGS. This is honestly the reason I'm even back to my blog at all. Stephen and I paid to see Bohemian Rhapsody, because, duh, Queen. But everything else I've seen lately has been free through the Awards emails or the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. I've got a few titles you should definitely check out, if you can. If you'd like me to review anything, as I've done in the past, comment to that effect below, and I'll try to carve out some time to do that.
The year Lion came out, I didn't love any movie as much as that one, and I felt personally betrayed that it didn't garner more awards. I think the main reason it fell short was because it didn't get the audience it deserved. I don't want that to happen this year.

This Year, if there is Any Way Possible for you to see The 12th Man, then you have to do it. You have to see this film, and you have to see it again, and take friends with you, and then they have to see it again, and they have to take friends with them. Everyone you know needs to see #12thManMovie. Everyone you know needs to talk about it at the water cooler and on social media. It's a foreign film with English subtitles about true events that happened in Norway during World War II. But it doesn't "feel" like a foreign film. It doesn't feel like a low-budget (only $7 million) "out there" film. It FEELS like a big studio picture; it FEELS like it had a huge budget that was spent on cinematography and effects (the only member of the cast you may recognize is Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who worked for scale, so the budget wasn't spent on cast). Disclaimer: I don't have any personal stake in this film. The producers haven't paid me to advertise this film. I just feel really strongly that this film is Oscar-worthy, and worthy of your time, and that everyone I know and everyone you know should see this film, at the earliest possible convenience.

If you're in Los Angeles and want to attend a screening THIS THURSDAY, let me know ASAP. I'll get you the invite. Or send a request to sara at phase 2 pr dot com, asking for screenings. No, it's not hyperlinked, because I don't want to be the source of her inbox filling with spam (Blogger warned me about linking addresses, yo)

Ennyhoo. I've said what I needed to say. I'll be back with my previous frequency, I hope. Now I just need to get back to my holiday crocheting and looking for VO work and possibly joining an acting class I audited last night. I'm busy, y'all!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Pride 2018

I have a confession, kids.

I don't really know how to be an activist. Nor a feminist. Nor any "ist", if I'm truly honest.

I marched in the first Women's March. I participated in a GLOBAL event that brought many issues to light, not the least of which was the fact that a morally bankrupt anti-everything dolt had somehow "won" the role of President of the United States of America, and we were in for a world of trouble because of it.

It felt good to surround myself with people from all walks of life, marching for equality. I didn't stick around for any of the speeches. Maybe that makes me a "bad" activist. Or a non-activist. I was a participant for a few hours, and then I went home and taught myself how to crochet a
Pussy Hat. Activism done. I guess.

I retweet a lot, because I don't really know how to activism beyond my phone. I'm supportive of my friends in #TheBloggessTribe who suffer from all manner of mental illness but primarily Depression and Anxiety. I retweet articles about mental illness. I'm upset about #CadetBoneSpurs, so I retweet about the bullshit he's making happen. I retweet about #GOPCorruption, because #DOLT45 is absolutely being empowered in his bullshit by the extremely weak-willed right-wing Congress and Senate.

I'm also a cishet white woman, which puts me only one "degree" away from membership in the privileged group (cishet white men). I do know what #WhitePrivilege is. So I'm not exactly being "oppressed". But I see the oppression that my friends or acquaintances feel, and I want to support them. I want to be an ally.

I want to do more, but I don't know how. Or maybe I'm too lazy. <== That is probably the actual truth. I'm just too damn lazy to do more.

panoramic view of our gathering point, where we waited 1.5 hours
But marching with comrades-in-arms feels good. So yesterday, I walked with a group of 20-30 members of the actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, in the Los Angeles Pride Parade.

once actually IN the parade, our view (yes, that's a giant disco ball)

parade watchers, a sample

yes, there were plenty of men in drag. of course!

somewhere ahead of us was a confetti cannon
It was a PARADE, not a MARCH. It was a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. I'm not a member of that community, but walking the parade route with my union mates, I allied myself with the community, and I probably looked like I'm somewhere in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Fairly certain that at least one person there thought I was a lesbian or bisexual. I'm okay with that. Think what you want. #Ally
cloud of confetti, dead center

confetti in the air is HARD to catch!

glitter me this

I have another confession. I don't know the difference between "gay" and "queer", nor do I have a clue about "pan" or "ace" or any of the other pluses. Not that it matters. Not that I need to know. Unless you are one of the pluses and want me to know. In which case, I'm willing to learn, if you're willing to educate me.

Yesterday was exhausting. It was fun and fulfilling and draining and hot and sweaty and glittery. I'm #ProudToBeAnAlly.

my "crown"... literally, glitter on the crown of my head! (this is today, btw)
I'm also still spreading glitter throughout our apartment. It will probably never leave.

Do/did YOU participate in any #Pride2018 events?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Is it possible to "cure" Depression?

As you may know, I have somehow managed to survive this past "winter" without any major or even minor-but-noticeable bouts of Depression. Mommy's Sadiversary passed mostly unnoticed. I mean, at some point, I did remember, but it's not like I was particularly morose. Stephen's Dad's Sadiversary passed, and I honestly don't remember if either one of us commented on it at all. I skipped Thanksgiving; Christmas was whatever; Mommy's birthday passed much like her Sadiversary. New Year's Eve/Day were "meh". We ALWAYS ignore Valentine's Day, because #StupidHallmarkHolidaysAreStupidHallmarkHolidays HashtagWhateverThatBritishDudeOnWhatcultureSaysForWankersAndThenRepeatsForWankers

The Ides of March... Saint Patrick's Day... Easter... Arbor Day?... Mother's Day... #MayTheFourthBeWithYou (Star Wars Day)... #AndAlsoWithYou (Standard Presbyterian Response Day)... Cinco de Mayo... essentially SPRING! and no S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder, a.k.a. Winter Depression)

Granted, I did my best to stay busy. I was on set as much as possible, but when am I not on set "as much as possible"? I did a lot of volunteering at the union offices. I went to a lot more meetings and seminars and whatnot (including the health fair) being hosted by the union and/or the Foundation. I've gotten involved, yo.

I bought VO equipment and have been using it (a little; probably not "enough"). I'm reading books about VO that I've checked out from the Lab's library. I seem to be the only one who even knows they exist for lending. I've talked about my "career" with whomever has any insight, and I've discovered that I'm probably at a crossroads of sorts. Like, I KNOW that I need to "pick" some direction and then FOCUS. But it's hard! There are so many cool things I could be good at, in this industry! There are a couple of seminars that I Must Take to help me with that, but I haven't seen any openings listed in awhile. And, with the way my career has ebbed and flowed, chances are really good that when they do come around again, I'll be too busy! Which is, of course, not a bad thing.

But. Last night, while volunteering for the VO Lab's Orientation session, I discovered a feeling I haven't felt in a really long time.


I felt genuinely happy, y'all. My birthday is coming up, and I'd had my standard (getting old) "hitch in my giddy-up" pretty much All Day. When one decides to start utilizing the VO Lab, one must attend ONE Orientation. Because of my volunteering, last night was my FOURTH. So what? Big deal. I was smiling, grinning, laughing, dancing, playing as I greeted all of those newbies, and I felt 100% like my old (young) self. HAPPY.

And it rolled over into today, too! I worked a commercial at the beginning of the month, and my paycheck still hadn't reached my mailbox by this morning. So I had to call, y'all. The payroll company is in CHICAGO. The CSR I reached is in Kentucky. I hate making these "where my money at, ASSHOLE?" kinds of calls. Everyone hates making them. We shouldn't have to make them!
But I did it. And I was courteous, but direct. Charles was able to track my check, which had been cut ON TIME but mailed to our old address in Burbank, because for Some Stupid Reason, Payroll Companies Don't Look At Your Brand New Timecard Or W-4 Or I-9, they just figure nobody ever moves. It's been SIX years since I worked for this payroll company. Or, to be Even More Accurate, six years ago, I worked for a payroll company that has since been bought out by the current one. Meaning, this particular payroll company should not have had ANY of my previous data "on file".

Now, did I cuss Charles out? No, I Did Not. Did I remember that none of this was his fault, and say so? Yes, I Did. Did I make it so clear that I was grateful for his help that he actually LAUGHED on our phone call? Yes, as a matter of fact, I DID THAT, TOO.

*** who the fuck is this person? ***

I vaguely remember happiness, y'all. I remember joy. I remember playing and laughing and singing and dancing just because. This is where I am today. I like it. I doubt my Depression is gone for good, but boy, do I like me TODAY. I like Happiness.

I wish for you all the happiness or joy or freedom from pain you can muster. Please join me in this feeling of good. And let me know below what's up with you! I miss our give-and-take! Our repartee! Our interaction! Comment, y'all! And thank you in advance. :D

Sunday, May 20, 2018

So much going on with me these days, I Can't Even

First of all, when did "I Can't Even" get added to our normal, everyday verbiage? Was it when the Dumpster Fire was elected? Maybe. I think that's when I started using it.

Whatever. Lemme explain my title.
I've been a background actor for many years now. You know this. I've paid a monthly fee for a service that manages my calendar and helps me book work via their connections with casting. In December, the service I was using dropped the ball Big Time and caused me to be suspended for a month from the one casting company that has 80% of the jobs, so I fired them and re-upped with a service I'd used many years ago.

Since our return from North Carolina in July of 2014, the service that dropped the ball found work for me a total of 4 days in 2014, 28 days in 2015 (counting multiple "recalls" on shows like the muppets), 30 days in 2016 (again, many of these were "recalls", which means the service just managed my schedule once I was booked on the first day), and 36 days in 2017. That's fewer than one booking a week, for three-and-a-half years. And I was paying them to get me booked. Only once in that 3.5 years did I get a commercial, which pays a higher rate than television/film.

In 2014, I got to be the Script Supervisor for "Fragile Storm". That was an amazing film, and quite possibly the highlight of that year for me. In 2015, I reception'ed at Arthur Murray and guided tours at Warner Bros. - Warner Bros. was the highlight of 2015 (but also the muppets, because #DuhItsTheMuppets). 2016 was more Warner Bros. until that temp assignment ended #SadFace, and then a little more Scripty work, like on the "Magic FunHouse" set. At the time, I guess Magic FunHouse qualified as my highlight, but when I didn't book the second season, my ego took a hit. I just Did Not work enough in 2017, so I volunteered as an AD on a two-week shoot, and got my part-time retail gig at the pet supply store. I booked a recall gig as a hipster tech employee on a fun show, which would have been the highlight of 2017 if it hadn't been the show that my service fucked my life over with.

*** switched gears by re-hiring the older service. So far, in 2018, my new service has placed me on set 20 days. Three of those days, I've been a stand-in (which is a higher base than background). Two of those days have been on commercials. I'm on hold for some work on Tuesday. I'm averaging better than one day per week, and often those days are longer than 8 hours, and there are "bumps" involved, like wardrobe allowances, working in smoke, mileage reimbursements or meal penalties. Through my own connections, I booked a week as a Craft Services person and two days as an AD. I'm no longer working off-set, except for the monthly bookkeeping gig I do. I haven't hit my normal SAD or any other Depression. Stephen has noticed that my outlook is better since returning to the better service. #Grateful #WorkIsGoodForMyMentalHealth

I feel good. I'm volunteering a lot at the SAG-AFTRA offices, for screenings and such. I'm attending screenings off-site (last night, Netflix hosted a screening/q&a/reception for Stranger Things 2. It was awesome). I'm attending membership meetings and health fairs. I'm making use of the services my union and the Foundation have to offer. I'm trying to hit 5000 steps a day, most days, and on some days, I hit 10k without even trying. The furbabies are being super-affectionate of late, and my breathing is mostly in check. And I feel good!

Now I just need to get PAID. ... and return to a more-regular blogging schedule, of course. #IDoThisForYou #ButAlsoForMe

What have you been up to? What would you like to see here? Do I need to return to reviewing stuff? I've SEEN soooooo many shows & films since my last review.

Friday, May 11, 2018

I skipped April Fools' MONTH, y'all.

You may have noticed (I only just did) that I haven't blogged in over a month. I mean, I was aware that I haven't been blogging; it's not like I thought I was sleepblogging (that IS a thing, isn't it?). What I mean is, I'd seen in my Google email, in the past week, that one of my more-recent-ish posts had gained a couple of new comments, so I visited the stats page I usually post screenshots of to see where traffic's been focused this week.

Y'all. Traffic this week has been focused on April of 2014. When we were still in North Carolina. Most of the traffic's been semi-sequential, so I went ahead and hit the post with the new comments and tried to reply under this account. For whatever reason, Blogger isn't recognizing my Google account... On The Published Page of My Google/Blogger Blog. So I can't yet reply to the two new comments. Dammit, Google!

So instead of commenting, I just re-read most of my April 2014 posts. We were in the midst of selling selling selling our shit, and I was new at the whole blogging thing, and Aunt Gloria had just died. Damn.

So after feeling those feels, I went to the "Posts" page, to consider posting again. And THAT'S when I noticed my month-plus absence.

I apologize to any of my readers who read with any regularity. I've been grateful to be pretty damn busy, in industry. To the two newest commenters, I apologize for not reading your comments sooner, and for not replying on the post (as is my wont). I'll rectify that as soon as Google/Blogger allows me to.

And I apologize to the bloggers I've linked here ====>
since I've also not kept up in my reading. You may very well be both a reader of mine and a blogger I read, so our communication's been #PrettyDamnWonky of late. Yes, that's a legit hashtag! I just used it, and so can you! And then it'll trend, or something!

Ennyhoo. This isn't a real post, unless it is. I haven't forgotten about you, dear readers. I hope to post something a bit more "substantial" soon. I hope to get back into my good habits, and soon.

Is there anything you'd like me to talk about, "and soon"? Burning, pressing issues that have naught to do with the politisphere? Good, clean (maybe not-so-clean) fun topics to discuss? You know where to post that! (hint: comment below) :)

Sunday, March 25, 2018


So, let's see...

  • I left the pet supply store, which was only ever supposed to be a part-time gig. My boss is my friend, and while my presence was helpful initially, it became difficult to "hide" our friendship, and I never wanted to harm her career, so I left before any official "accusations" of favoritism arose (there were hints of leanings of complaints, even though she never treated me any differently on the floor than anyone else on the staff). Better to leave on good terms than to damage her career or our friendship.
  • I booked a good bit of set work following that, so as far as my unemployment claim is concerned, I "quit" the part-time gig because of scheduling conflicts with MY career. However, the transition hasn't been completely uneventful. I've already had one phone interview with the unemployment offices, and I've got another one scheduled, to continue my eligibility to collect. Not that we're worried about it - in the past two-week claim period, I'm only eligible to collect a whopping nine bucks! Yep, I'm #Blessed
  • Stephen got promoted to "Bench Assistant Store Manager", which was supposed to be "2nd Banana" to the "official" ASM at his particular store. It hasn't worked out that way, though. The "official" ASM has been dealing with some weird health issues ever since he got promoted, and those health issues have rolled into Stephen's promotion. Which means Stephen's "learning curve" in the new position has been more of a "learning cliff" (nothing like being thrown into the deep end of the pool to learn to swim, or possibly exactly like that). He's doing great. Yep, he's also #Blessed
  • I was planning to participate in the #March4OurLives yesterday (Saturday the 24th of March), but wouldn't ya know it? I got #BOOKED for work on set! W00t W00t!
  • Went to bed pretty early yesterday; got up pretty early today, after a great night's sleep. Today, I went to a reading and signing event at a bookstore in Pasadena, because Anne Wheaton wrote a children's book! I had to buy the book, of course. I had to get her to sign it, of course. It's a sweet/bittersweet little tale, and I had to offer to record the audiobook, of course. She had to hire her famous husband to record it though. Of course. Oh, well. I look forward to hearing it.
  • Gonna hit the sack pretty early again tonight, because I have to greet #DawnsTrampStamp again tomorrow... because I am, of course, #BOOKED. It's a recall situation for a feature; I'm carpooling with a co-worker; we know what to expect already. #LoveMyLife #SetLifeRocks
How's thangs in YOUR life? Are YOU #Blessed? Wassup?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Work Work Work (YAY!!!!!!!!!)

All righty, kiddos. I've been bizzy. Even when I haven't been bizzy, I've still felt pretty productive. So let's see. What's been up with me?

At the top of the month (just, ya know, by date, not necessarily ranked "the top"), I walked over to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for a screening, Q&A, and reception for a Netflix show you should definitely binge-watch, "American Vandal". It's a high school drama mockumentary, and it's pretty damn funny. It takes itself pretty seriously, which may very well contribute to the funny. Also, the Q&A was moderated by Marcia Clark. Yes, THAT Marcia Clark. And the reception was pretty spectacular. Open bar, amazing salads and hot entrees, and plenty of phallic desserts. If you watch the show, you'll "get" why the desserts were specifically selected. I mingled/networked there, and met a producer/actor chick from New York who was here for meetings but also had screenings and other things in place. Kewl.

Then I worked my last weekend at the pet supply store. My presence there was making my boss' professional life difficult, in that there were rumors of favoritism being shown to me (never happened, but my "real" career is sufficient excuse to leave retail, so it was bittersweet but necessary for me to go).

Then I worked in the VO Lab and ran into producer/actor chick from New York in a VO workout group. Crazy, huh? Then I didn't see her again but know she was present the next night at a screening downtown for a film you should definitely see, called "The Death of Stalin". There was no Q&A that night, but there was supposedly a reception, so I took the subway downtown, rather than driving and having to look for parking or whatever. I saw Jason Isaacs (yes, that Jason Isaacs) in the lobby of that gorgeous theater both before and after the screening. The premiere had a live orchestra playing the score throughout, so there were definitely bits that I missed. I never did find any actual reception (beyond the numerous cash bars), and since my +1 was at work, I felt too out of my element to attempt to mingle/network, so I made my way back to the subway to go home. A little adventuring, downtown on a weeknight! The movie was good, though. Very funny, considering the title.

Then I was on set with my friend Jim Beaver (yes, that Jim Beaver), and that was both a nice little catch-up with a friend I hadn't seen in person in ages (he thought I was still in NC) AND a lovely day of WORK! Then I had a phone call with the unemployment office that was scarifying in its timing (I just QUIT working the retail gig, remember?). And then I did some tax-time bookkeeping for the lady I do that for.

On Monday of this week, I worked on the Warner Bros. lot again. So of course, I gave a walking lot tour to another bg artist, because I could. Then today, I did an improvisation workshop at the SAG-AFTRA offices (because I could). And tomorrow, I'm back on the set of a popular, long-running medical drama (recall, baby! BooYah!)!

Stephen's gotten himself another promotion, and we've seen his first paycheck at his new pay grade. We are not hurting, kids. I'm getting our debts paid down or off, and it feels like we live in Fat City. #Blessed. Oh, and when I was working that Craft Services week, my producer had to move my car one day, and in so doing, he scratched/scraped/dented the right rear quarter panel and bumper... so my TARDIS is currently in the shop, getting smaller-on-the-outside fixed up, and I'm driving a brand-spanking-new white Honda Civic. I don't hate it, but I certainly don't love it. It's too big. But I should get my TARDIS back by Monday at the latest, if it's not ready by Saturday, which is what the dude is shooting for.

I've been bizzy! Whatchoo been up to?