Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today is one of those days...

...even thought I have things to be excited about:

I have a second audition for the short musical I wrote about below, as well as a first-round group audition for a staged movement piece called The Dark Side of the Moon at a theatre in Hollywood (yes, set to Pink Floyd music). Both are tomorrow, which is also my birthday. Tonight I have a reading for the student film that was cancelled upon my arrival last week.

I’m all moved into my new place, but still need to help my roommate move (because I’m too nice) and have the daunting tasks of setting up internet, purchasing a bed, etc…

Another Wardrobe Malfunction!

I’m actually writing at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, but the dozen wireless networks in my new building are all security enabled, so I’m off line until I go back to the Gelato Bar or set up our connection.

So Monday, I realized it would be stupid to try to move more stuff into my new place in the small window of time I had before an audition.

About that audition… It was for a musical in a tiny theatre in the NoHo Arts District. I couldn’t fit my electronic keyboard in my car and just plain forgot to grab any of my music when I moved. Yes, I’m a singer but I’ve not focused much on that for the past two years and certainly did not expect to be auditioning for a musical in LA!

My sweet, sweet boyfriend had to look through my music books and find, scan and email me the song I needed! I had to go buy more paper and a new ink cartridge for my roommate’s printer as well as a binder and hole punch to hold the song.

The very last thing I did before leaving the apartment in West Hollywood that I’d stayed in for three weeks was put on my audition outfit. All of my other clothes were packed in the trunk of my car.

With zero time to spare, I noticed the black BCBG dress I had put on was ripped! Like the Calvin Klein dress with the broken zipper, this is one of my favorite garments from a trendy, quality label that I had purchased at an unbelievable discount.

Are you kidding me? WTF! I had no time to dig through my trunk for another outfit and likely have to iron it!

What happened to the dress? A stone-age washing machine happened! A week prior I had to call my mom to remind me how the fuck to use an old machine with the circle/crank dial, which was in the apartment where I was staying. I have been spoiled by a fancy new front loader for the past three years; I literally recoiled at having to subject my precious clothes to the agitator protruding from the middle of the machine. But I figured, my roommate has nice things, and she’s used it for the past few months…

Although I used the gentle cycle, the machine snagged some of the lace-like detail on my black BCBG dress. By snag I mean, there were several little threads I had to cut off, at least that’s all I saw when I hung it up to dry a week ago.

As for the rip, it is about two inches, vertical, between the breast pocket and belted waist. Thankfully it was just the top layer of fabric that tore; it has a tone-on-tone vertical stripe and being that it’s a black dress the rip is kind of hard to see. As long as I held good posture the rip didn’t gap open. Again, fixable but frustrating!

So, I went to an audition with a ripped dress. Not the end of the world, but seriously, what is going on?! I buy into the Law of Attraction and I think I’ve had an incredibly positive attitude about this new journey in my life. When it comes to interacting with most other people, they have been tremendously kind and helpful to me, but as for this type of dumb luck stuff, the cards have just not been in my favor!

Oh, and the audition did go well; I felt a little rusty but impressed myself when I had to sigh-read three part harmony with two other women.

Monday, April 28, 2008

On the docket today..

11 a.m. – Pick up headshots from the printer… and by that I mean the CVS pharmacy around the corner because I still don’t know which image to commit to making 300 of at the good printing place…

Then – Drive to The Valley and finish moving into my new place!

2:40 p.m. – Audition in North Hollywood for April in New York, a stage production that will be part of a Ten-Minute Musical Festival in NoHo’s Arts District.

6 p.m. – Acting Class in Hollywood, at which a casting director who’s worked on Lost and the Mission Impossible movies will watch and critique cold-reads.

Now, nearly 2 a.m. - Try to sleep!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Watch "Cold Case" on CBS Tonight

The blond actress playing the 14 year old victim in the first ten minutes of the show is Brea Grant, she's actually 21 or 22 I think. I've never met her but she studied in the acting class I'm starting tomorrow night and was also in three episodes of Friday Night Lights, thanks to one of the casting directors she met there [in class]!

My First Two LA Auditions!

The good news: I auditioned for a short film yesterday!

The bad news: It’s a student film.

The good news: It was a low pressure setting for my first audition and I felt it went very well.

The bad news: They’re students of the Los Angeles Film School, which sounds impressive but is not the student films I’ve been told to target.

I’m getting the feeling that the universe is conspiring against me when it comes to getting to my gigs, but I’m pressing on…

In this case, I was on pace to be nice and early, then the zipper on my favorite Calvin Klein sundress broke! It was halfway zipped, right at the narrowest part of my waist where I could no longer get the dress over my hips or modest chest. Of course it did not help that my skin was clammy in the hundred degree apartment! After fussing, tugging and contorting I looked at the clock and resigned myself to the fact I had to cut myself out of one of my most valuable and favorite garments. Those who know me well know that I’m super thrifty, but love nice things, and as a result I love my clothes, remember where most of them came from and take really good care of them. I felt the blades of the scissors in my heart! Fixable but frustrating.

I was now running like five minutes behind, but it was no big deal because the audition was from 3 – 7 p.m. and I said I’d be there “around 5.” I was aggravated nonetheless. My instinct was to reach for the phone and call my boyfriend, but I’ve made a new rule for myself that if I’m going to an audition or job, I will filter whatever I’m feeling into the character instead of calling anyone. It worked well because the role I read yesterday was every emotional, high strung and dramatic.

The LA Film School is a beautiful facility in Hollywood. Slate steps lead you over a water feature to the front doors. In the lobby I had to sign in with a security guard who then used a key to send me up the elevator.

In a small conference room on the fifth floor two super dweeby young guys, the producer and director, were waiting for the woman before me to review the lines (or “sides” as they call them out here).

I walked into the conference room, introduced myself and shook their hands. “Should I sign in somewhere?” I asked. There was a sign in sheet and extra sides on a chair in the hall; they didn’t act as though I had done anything wrong by walking in before signing in, but who knows, perhaps that was a huge indicator that I didn’t really know what I was doing. In my past auditions there has always been a “proctor,” someone running a sign-in table. I sat on a chair in the hall for ten to fifteen minutes while the other woman finished prepping and went in for her read.

When it was my turn they shook my hand again, which highlights their awkwardness! We exchanged pleasantries and I asked for clarification on what had just happened to the character before we read through the script.

One of the guys read the role of my female best friend, an issue you have to expect as an actor. The reader is often the wrong gender, really flat or just bad in a variety of ways. Although I didn’t quite get myself to the point of tears that the script called for, they reacted favorably.

We spoke a bit more about the character and read it again. And that was that… Maybe I’m what they’re looking for, maybe not. I’ll know in a couple weeks and they plan to shot in July.

With a half hour left on my meter I decided to take a walk around the block and see where exactly I was. As I rounded Sunset onto Vine, there before me were the stars, you know, the Walk of Fame, which I had only seen once before from a car window on a rainy day. Half the names I didn’t know and about every other one was blank.

“Will this blank one someday hold my name, or maybe this blank one?” I thought as I strolled down the street. “Ew, not this one, I don’t want to be near Michael Jackson…”

But someday, I’ll be on one of them…


Today I had another student film audition at the same location, however, my cell phone (which I use as an alarm) died overnight and turned itself off! Yes, I have a real alarm clock, but it’s packed somewhere; and yes, I usually keep an eye on my battery but this one slipped past me… One part irresponsibility, but another example of the universe conspiring against me!

I woke up around 10:30 a.m., which was fine, because I could audition anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

I knew parking would be more difficult today and indeed, a street was closed off for a fair of some sort and there were tourist-types everywhere. I decided to park in a McDonald’s around the block; I purchased a soda so I technically qualified for half hour customer parking!

Once in the LA Film School I discovered the producer had sent out the wrong date! I chatted with the director, who was apologetic and frustrated. I gave him a headshot and resume and he told me of the forty women they called in for the role, I was only the second or third to show up today (and it was like 1:30)!

I could think of a million circumstances under which I would have wanted to kill them! After all, they have our email and phone numbers; he’s damn lucky the other thirty-some women didn’t show up! He was a nice kid though and I was cool about it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

IHOPe I can make it to Monday...

Despite my attempts to save money, I’m sitting in an IHOP right now for two reasons:

#1. In the apartment I have no milk to accompany my cereal, no bread for the PB and J or meat to go with my lettuce or pasta…

#2. It was 94 degrees here today and the apartment I am still at does not have any air conditioning!

Which brings me to good news, I signed a lease today and have keys to a new place with central A/C and a pool! It was a pain in the ass to the very end though… I had explained to the landlady that my current living situation was precarious and she said I could move in this afternoon after signing the lease. (Mind you, my roommate signed last night before catching a plane home for the weekend.) But then this morning when I called to verify payment type she clarified that I could move stuff in, but I can’t sleep there until Monday! AAHHH! For being such an opinionated windbag, she never seems to get her facts straight the first time around!

And about that payment type… I remembered I only have starter checks; I’ve had the account for four years, but who uses checks anymore? She decided she wouldn’t take the personal check my roommate left me with her half and certainly not my starter, nor could I use my debit or credit card. What the hell!?

“I have to know the money’s good since you girls want to move in so quick,” she justified. So quick? Are you kidding? This is the same woman who said my roommate had to sign the lease before leaving town, because they wouldn’t hold the place until Tuesday when she’ll return!

So anyway, this morning I opened a new bank account (which I needed to do anyway) so the bank would use a credit card to give me a cash advance/ cashiers check for the deposit and April’s prorate. Though I was in “boys town,” I found two very hetero bankers who were more than willing to help me and actually did paper – rock – scissors to decide who would wait on me. Nothing turns a girl’s mood around like blatant flattery and a solution to financial woes!

Again, I have signed the lease, paid the money and possess keys and a garage opener, but can’t stay there until Monday because that’s when the lease starts. Luckily, my roommate’s now ex-boyfriend is very kind and has no problem with me spending two more nights in his spare room.

Today I moved my television, kitchen stuff and other miscellaneous items that have been in my trunk for three weeks into the new apartment. The place is very nice, but I realized the kitchen needs a good cleaning and new shelf paper before I let my dishes touch them. Perhaps I’ll do that tomorrow after another audition for a short film… an audition that has conveniently gotten me out of that problematic Sunday photo shoot at Venice Beach again!

Hopefully now that all the apartment headaches are over I can finally focus on writing about the exciting career things that are happening…


And I didn't even have to assault my new landlord!

Yesterday was awkward and turbulent to say the least, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing more than I already have because it involves others lives more so than my own.

The bottom line is that my roommate signed the lease before boarding her plane and in ten hours I will do the same and finally start to get settled, organized, have an address my mom can send a birthday card to and be able to find supplementary employment near where I live.

I can not believe we got the place! It was two weeks ago today that I first looked at it and a week ago Thursday that we turned in our applications! Although the landlady proved to be slow with our paperwork, I think we got it because we totally sucked-up to her and she likes us!

She asked what we did; though we’re both actors I still claim employment for a nation-wide company I worked for in Ohio. (I am still employed with them, but I have not gotten any gigs since transferring regions.) “I speak in high schools.” I stated. “Oh, I used to do that! What do you talk about?” she asked. “Getting into college and career success.”

“I spoke about abortion,” the sixty-some year old woman with gigantic red-rimmed glasses told us. Don’t forget the thick New York/Jewish accent. My roommate and I looked at each other and nodded, neither of us knowing which side of the abortion debate she’d be on or wanting to affirm our own opinions.

As it turns out the crazy landlady is very pro-choice! “Yes, I’ve heard it was very dangerous back in the 70s when it had to be done ‘underground.’” I said to her, still not actually asserting my own opinion. Truth be told, my roommate and I are both pro-life for the most part, unless the mother’s life is in danger.

Then the landlady moved on to the presidential election. My roommate and I had just talked about the issue – despite our pro-life opinions, we’re both apathetic liberals. Meaning, we don’t really care if it’s Obama or Clinton, as long as it’s not Bush anymore! Of course, while talking to the landlady, I’m pretty sure I signed myself up for the next pro-Hilary rally.

After fifteen minutes and lots of smiles and head nods from us, she finally shut up! I’ve told everyone that it’s going to like living above a prying grandma. I know when we see her she’ll be all like (remember accent) “Dear, where are you working now? You still have a job, right?” “Who are you seeing, is he treating you well?” “What are you wearing honey? Go up to your apartment and change… but walk softer, I’m right below you, you know!”

Friday, April 25, 2008

Buckeye on... the street?

Holy crap – the world around me is imploding right now! My roommate basically broke up with her boyfriend (whose apartment we are living in), she is not returning his calls and has a plane ticket home for the weekend (just to visit).

I am trying to maintain pleasant conversations with a little old lady, who I want to strangle, about signing a lease for an apartment. She does have the right phone number, but I am not getting the messages she says she leaves. This afternoon we discovered she isn’t hearing my outgoing voicemail message, which means the old bag is not dialing the right digits! I had to fax her my signature and she still wants to verify my roommates information.

“Does her drivers license have BX?” she asked me. First, I don’t even know my own unless I read it off my damn license and second, I answered, “No, I’m pretty sure they all start with RV.” “RV? No, that’s not right.” Okay lady… Whatever.

My roommate's exboyfriend is very hurt and confused right now, I just hope when the anger sets in, that doesn’t result in me sleeping in my car! Just kidding, I know a few other people out here, but this is still one of the most awkward situations I have ever been in.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why paraphrase when I can just copy and paste my current instant messenger conversation with my boyfriend…

Me: I'm going to kill [potential landlord]!
My boyfriend: why?
Me: She STILL hasn't run our credit, because I forgot to sign the fucking application... She claims she left me a message, which I did NOT get!
BF: I’m sorry sweetie
Me: It's my fault that I didn't see the signature line, but she really should have looked them over before we left - a week ago!
Me: I guess I'm one of your dumb customers/sales people who bring you incomplete forms all day!
BF: lol
BF: I think not...they do it for a living
Me: yeah, well, what really sucks is that [my roommate] left me a voicemail that she and [her boyfriend] are pretty much broke up! Not sure if he knows that or not, but I think we're going to need to move asap
BF: wow...drama drama drama
Me: and not the kind I moved out here for!
BF: no doubt

Quick Update

Wednesday night I wasted my time at another bullshit “job interview” in sales. I’m so frustrated that my desperate attempts not to be a freaking waitress are leading me down all the wrong paths.

In better news, Tuesday I attended my roommate's acting class where I participated in a cold read in front of a casting director! He shared great industry insight that I'll highlight here soon.

I have an audition Saturday for a student film at the LA Film school… Yep, if you’re smart enough to go to college in New York or LA you get to use real actors instead of just your peers!

The photo shoot I blew last Sunday has been rescheduled for this Sunday, which only solidifies my belief that my agent sucks. A better agent probably should have/ would have dropped my ass!

More about all that soon…

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hanging It Up!

No, I’m not quitting and moving back home already! Shame on you for thinking that!

Yesterday my roommate and I moved a large desk out of the room I’m staying in and she cleared out rod space for me in the closet.

Who would ever think that hanging up your clothes could feel SO good? It was the most satisfied and happy I’ve felt in a week! 85% of my things are hung up now, I have more space and am much more organized.

I have to give a ringing endorsement to Huggable Hangers, as seen on TV. When I moved, I packed all my clothes in Space Bags (another product I highly recommend) and I did not waste any space in my car with hangers. Knowing I had to buy hangers, I decided to invest in really good ones, which initially resulted in buyer’s remorse! I’m out here trying to watch every penny I have, yet I ordered expensive hangers off eBay?

Well I’m glad I did, they’re worth it! My boyfriend always hates dealing with my clothes because my delicate tops slide off hangers, my spaghetti strap tanks have to be put on the little hooks inside the hangers… It’s just a pain in the ass.

Huggable Hangers actually do as they say – their velvety covering holds on to all fabrics and straps so nothing falls off, supposedly they don’t leave shoulder dents, they’re a bit flexible and won’t snap in two like a plastic hanger, they use less space by being much thinner than plastic or wooden hangers, the literal hanger part is a stylish chrome and they’re strong (I know this because I didn’t order enough and I have multiple garments on one hanger).

I’ve always been curious about them, but my catalyst for finally purchasing them is pretty funny… I noticed them in one of the closets of The Real Housewife’s of New York City! I figured if those rich bitches have them, they must be good, right?!

So my roommate and I figure now that I’ve gotten a little more settled, we’ll probably get an apartment! You know, like when you’re at a restaurant waiting and waiting for food and finally go to the restroom, then your food comes!

Our hopeful landlords are this hysterical little old Jewish couple. We turned in our applications last Thursday and thought we’d hear back yesterday. When I called the lady she reminded me in her thick New York/Jewish accent “This weekend was the Jewish holiday you know…”

And with that you’re probably thinking, “What the hell is she doing out there all day that all she has to write about are hangers?” Actually a lot has been going on, but this was the quickest, easiest thing to chronicle for now…

Monday, April 21, 2008

Priorities in The Valley

My car is ten years old and burns oil quickly; my check engine light tends to come on when it needs more.

Today I’m in The Valley again and came back to the cute shops and cafes on Tujunga Avenue that my roommate had recommended to me (because when you find good gelato, coffee and free wi-fi, you become a regular!). I parked a half a block away and popped my hood to check the oil.

As I dug around my trunk for some extra Valvoline an older man and middle aged woman on a cell phone stopped to address me.

“How sweet!” I thought, they’re going to make sure I’m okay.

No. Not the case.

“Who plays Star Trek – Captain Kirk?” Those disjointed words were the first out of her mouth to me. “Jean Luc Picard,” I replied, with the appropriate French accents, rather proud of myself for knowing.

“No - Captain Kirk.” Come on lady, clearly that was before my time! “Oh… The Priceline guy,” I pondered… “William Shatner.”

She relayed the information to the person on her cell phone then turned back to me to report he was down at Aroma Café. “Hurry!” she said and walked away.

Okay… Will William Shatner care that I appear to be a damsel in distress with my hood open?

No, I did not go to the Aroma Café for my first brush with fame; it’s a bustling lunch place, but I am sitting in the window of the Gelato Bar in case he walks by!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My First Big Screw-up

This afternoon I totally fucked up. I was supposed to have a photo shoot with my agent and it didn’t happen.

I expressed the other day that I wasn’t exactly looking forward to styling myself; in my experience, the photographer never likes what you bring. Obviously that wasn’t the best attitude to go into it with and it snowballed from there...

The more I thought about it the more insanely stressed I became. I spent nearly four hours last night going through my (still packed) clothes trying to find outfits to fit the roles of girl next door, tough street chick and nerd. Because we were meeting at Venice beach, a public place with limited restrooms to change, I put each outfit on last night and used the timer function on my camera to take a picture, so they could scroll through the photos and I could leave what they didn’t like in my car. I came up with seven street looks, eight girl next door outfits and only three nerdy things.

As I mentioned before, unlike the super casual California look I’m noticing around me – I am more put together. I thought about shoes, undergarment, and hair for all of this. I suppose some people would just grab three outfits and be excited about a day at the beach, but I managed to wind myself up like a fucking top!

This morning I had no desire to get out of bed, but once I did I had to shower, shave (in case they picked a skirt look!), iron several of the garments, pack them up and do my hair and makeup. Not surprisingly, I had to send my agent and his assistant a text saying I wasn’t going to make it to lunch. They had told me food was the first priority, around noon or one and then we’d shoot around two or three.

I didn’t get a text back, but called when I was on my way. The background noise on their end was awful; they told me to call back when I got there. I did around a quarter til three and they told me to call back once I parked… After driving in circles I found a meter spot, popped two quarters in and headed for the pier. I have been to Venice beach twice before and neither time had it been so crowded; I was surprised because it really isn’t warm out today, especially with the strong ocean breeze. I call them back again only to learn I was at the wrong place. They were a mile away at the boardwalk, not the pier. I felt like an idiot .

By now it’s twenty after three and in the brief time I was out of my car the breeze had destroyed my hair. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is background noise when you’re trying to talk to someone on the phone. My boyfriend knows this all too well; often the first thing out of my mouth if he calls me from the car is “turn off the damn radio!” My agent was in a busy restaurant and I could barely understand the directions he was trying to give me.

My boyfriend got online and from Ohio, navigated my ass a mile down the road in California. Once in the right area, I drove around for more than thirty minutes trying to find parking. I was not willing to use the $12 to $15 lots; I know that paying to park is something I will have to get used to, but today it wasn’t an options, likely because my gut was telling me I didn’t want to do this anymore.

I just couldn’t fathom how it was going to work – there were people EVERYWHERE! I called it a breeze above, but it was windy and I have long hair, not to mention that the wind and bright sun tend to make my eyes water. Yes I’m a performer, but no matter who you are, if your confidence is shot, its shot. I was really worried about how they would react to the outfits I brought, and I don’t feel pretty in the minimal makeup you have to wear for these types of things. Most of all, I’m not really a model! I’m still learning how to move in front of a camera and I knew I’d feel really awkward trying to do it with people walking by!

As for all those people – I didn’t “get” them either, what were they all doing? It was too cold to get in the water. They were gleefully riding bikes down ally ways, on skateboards being pulled by their dogs, they were everywhere and seemingly going nowhere! Then I realized, this would be a lot of fun if you had someone to share it with, a fact I have to keep reminding myself. Suddenly the pain of missing my friend and family was too awful for words. Everything reminded me of things I left in Ohio – all the dogs, all the MINI Coopers, all the happy fucking couples that I wanted to run over!

I was trying so hard to hold it together, but I knew it was just a matter of time before the tears came. I didn’t want to call my boyfriend because for one thing, I knew he had gone to a movie, but I also knew verbalizing my frustrations would start the waterworks.

By this time it was nearly four o’clock! I pulled into a no parking zone and called my agent to say I still hadn’t found a spot. “Well did you try….” He asked. “YES! I’ve been driving in fucking circles!” I thought, but what I said was, “Should we just try this another day?” “I’d like to get it done today,” he replied. “Go to the end of Rose street, there’s tons of parking right on the beach for $7.”

I said okay and closed the phone but I had already decided that I just couldn’t pull this off today. I thought about calling my roommate, who has been pursuing the entertainment field out here for a year… but of course I called my man instead. I tried leaning my head straight down, so the tears fell directly out of my eyes and onto my lap, but it was only a matter of time before it was a lost cause, especially considering my nose gets really red when I cry.

I just didn’t know what to do. I felt so stupid and unprofessional. “If I can’t even make it to his stupid, free photo shoot, he won’t trust sending me to auditions,” I sobbed over the phone. I don’t want to be that girl – the client they have to handle carefully and who they think cries about everything. Every judgmental thing you are thinking right now, or can think of went through my head, time ten!

The more I made myself feel like a failure, the harder I cried which only solidified that fact that a photo shoot wasn’t going to happen. My beau missed part of his movie to calm me down and at a quarter after four I called the agent to say “I am so sorry for wasting your time, but this just isn’t going to work today.” “Because you can’t find a parking spot?” His tone acknowledged the distress in my voice. That did remain a logistical obstacle, but I replied “This is the first really stressful thing that has happened to me since getting here and I’ve let it get the best of me. I am so sorry.” He told me not to be upset and that we’d reschedule.

Whether we will or not is yet to be determined. I am so frustrated with myself that I’ve tarnished my image, although this is the same guy whose office and appearance are totally unimpressive to me. Perhaps that’s why I allowed myself to fuck this up – I’m still not sold on them either. Despite what he now thinks, I know I am not that girl, I'm not usually a crier and I am confident had I been paying or being paid, I would have handled everything different.

I also feel that having just uprooted my life, this was an inevitable breakdown; hopefully now that it’s happened, it won’t happen again, or at least not for a while or as bad. The past two weeks have gone incredibly fast and my mom reminded me that I’ve been taking it all in stride and today it just all came out.

So there it is – my first big mistake.

You have to know that I am incredibly embarrassed and I can’t believe I just admitted that to all of you. But I want this blog to be real - with the good and the bad!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Busy, busy, busy…

Yesterday I slept till noon, but Thursday was crazy and I spent most of yesterday setting several appointments for the next few days.

You won’t believe this- this evening I’m going to watch a clown perform at a family party. I found a job listing for characters, clowns, princesses and singing telegrams; it very tediously explained all the drawbacks of the job. You might have to wear hot, heavy costumes (like Elmo), kids can be pains in the ass (no kidding) and it can require a lot of driving (what doesn't). But, if you enjoy performing and making people laugh, it’s a fun job and terrific money! The first step in the process is watching a gig, then if you still think you’re up for it you must try on all the costumes and finally there’s a four hour unpaid training session. You must be available every Saturday and Sunday, but again it pays very well and I’m told if you’re right for it you’ll really love it.

Tomorrow my new agent is going to try to capture me in the following looks: girl next door, rough street chick and nerdy librarian type. I always hate packing up my things for a photo shoot; you just never know how the photographer will react to your garments and you inevitably think “I wish I would have brought...” I’m also concerned about creating the rough street chick; I really don’t think I own the wardrobe for it. FYI- the new trend is doing the casting directors job for them- suppose you’re auditioning for the role of a cop, many actors will submit a photo of themselves in a cop uniform.

Then Monday morning I’m applying for a telemarketing job followed by an interview for a bartending company. While I have no experience bartending, none is needed; if selected they will train you and then serve as an agent of sorts to get you work. (Also on Monday we should find out if we got our new apartment!)

I know, I know, telemarketers are the devil and my parents would hate it if I were a bartender. I actually have the biggest problem with perpetuating the princess image to little girls.
I feel like I’m already selling out!

In my own defense, the telemarketing job is business to business and if I work a kids party as a princess, clown or whatever, I’d do my best to encourage confidence and learning in the children I come in contact with.

As for my busy Thursday, it began with an interview that was a freaking waste of time! I found a very promising job listing with a sports and entertainment marketing firm that represents almost all of California’s major sports teams as well as restaurants and hotels. The job was made to sound more flexible and upscale than it is.

Entry level sales people go out into the field selling discounted packages. It sounded like a school fundraiser to me! You know how kids sell discount cards or coupon booklets… The hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ouch! Part time is offered, but it’s also a manager training program, as the company promotes from within, and part time employees obviously take longer to reach the desired management level. If they call me, the next step would be spending a day in the field with a sales rep and at the end of that day there would be a final interview.

I was a bit frustrated with the initial interview; it was obvious they were seeing people every fifteen minutes and made very clear it was just meant to be a brief rundown of the company, for them to see you and for you to put your resume in their hands. I’m sorry, but if you rep the big sports teams in Cali, can’t you afford the paper to print the damn resume I emailed you!? And had I known the hours upfront, I wouldn’t have wasted my time and gas.

I expressed my need for flexibility to take possible daytime auditions, so I doubt they’ll call me. But if my overall charm and wit won out, I’ll likely take the next step, just to keep my options open.

So then I hung out in an area recommended by my roommate. It’s the cutest little side street with shops and cafes. All the businesses had big dog water dishes on their sidewalks; it made me miss our dog so much, she would absolutely love it here! My boyfriend initially wanted me to bring her since he works long hours, but it would have made my apartment search even harder and it’s entirely possible that my schedule will be just as bad as his.

Before meeting my roommate to check out what will hopefully be our apartment and turn in our credit applications, I had lunch with a manager I met at IMTA. IMTA is a modeling and talent competition/convention that I attended in January. I have often wondered if IMTA was worth the money and hassle, but this single contact has made the answer “yes.”

He’s actually the second manager from IMTA that I’ve met with since getting here and while neither are taking new clients right now, both have been incredibly kind and helpful. Everyone out here has their opinions and philosophies; it’s good to have a couple industry professionals to help you separate the bullshit. Both agree that you have to “pay your dues” so to speak and that it really takes a year or two to establish yourself.

I really got the feeling that the gentleman I had lunch with Thursday will want to manage me in the future if I maintain the relationship. In the mean time he’s willing to give me advice – he even used the word “mentor!”

All in all, my day turned out very well. This all took place in “the valley,” which is nothing like I had imagined. It’s actually not full of ditsy blonds going “Like, oh my gawd!” As geography suggests, it is east of the Hollywood hills and is hotter since it doesn’t get the ocean breeze. When I got home I immediately had to take a shower because I felt so grimy and gross; I hope I don’t feel like that everyday when I live there!

So then… I went out for supper with my roommate for her boyfriend’s birthday. This is already too long but soon I will write about it in a post to be titled “I’m a stupid American” because that’s what I felt like! Until then…

Friday, April 18, 2008

Walking the Walk!

Luckily there is a CVS just around the block from the apartment I’m currently staying at. We were down to one roll of TP and I hadn’t done laundry since leaving home two weeks ago, so I just walked over to grab all the necessary items.

This is a very pedestrian-friendly area, but there’s still something unsettling about crossing six lanes of traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard! Every time I just focus on getting to the other side as quickly and confidently as possible!

As I rounded the corner to the side street the apartment is on a car met me and pulled to the side. “Excuse me,” the driver said as he got out of his vehicle. I wasn’t scared because this neighborhood is safe, but it certainly seemed strange.

“I saw you walking and I love your outfit; I’m a doctor and wanted to give you my card.” Both my hands were full, so he dropped his card into one of my bags, atop the Charmin. “Thank you,” I said a bit bewildered, thinking this asshole wanted to give me bigger boobs! “What kind of doctor?”

“No, not a doctor, I'm a photographer.” “OHHhhhh!!! That’s wonderful,” I smiled, “I just got in town and need new pictures.”

I just checked out his website, and he’s legitimate, although the address is Houston, Texas.

He mentioned a couple times that because he takes artsy pictures he liked my outfit. I’m wearing one of my favorite outfits from Bebe, peacock feathers are painted on the jeans and the dark green camisole is fitted by flowy. Many of you may recognize it from the opening number of a certain competition!

My roommate and I were just talking last night about LA style. It’s really laidback out here; there’s a very punk vibe and a sort of chic but thrown together look. None of that is really me. I’m usually more put together, prissy and matchy-matchy.

“That’s good, you’ll stand out,” my roommate said.
I guess she was right!

I realize he could just want money, or other things... and I will communicate with him carefully. But still… you can’t blame me for the dumb grin on my face!

I move to LA, then Ohio feels an earthquake?!?!

A 5.somthing earthquake this morning at 5:40 a.m. EST somewhere in Illinois shook the Midwest from Wisconsin to Kentucky.

Both my mom and boyfriend found it ironically amusing that I move to LA, the earthquake capitol of the U.S., and then one happens back home! Bizarre!

My boyfriend said something woke him up, but he didn’t actually feel it. My parents, on the other hand, just called to give me their very detailed account!

My dad was downstairs getting ready for work and thought the racket sounded like a rodent in the attic room or something… Back upstairs my mom and dad both watched a corner china cabinet in the hall of our 100+ year old farm house shake. The dishes and an empty birdcage in the next room jiggled and rattled about. Accounting for the time it took my dad to get back upstairs, my mom to get out of bed, both of them to make their way to the cabinet and look in a spare room, my mom thinks it must have been nearly minute of shaking.

One of my first questions about LA was what to do in the case of an earthquake. Contrary to my first assumption, you’re not supposed to leave whatever building you’re in, because it could be more dangerous outside with falling debris and power lines. Rather, you’re supposed to brace yourself in a doorjam. Great. That sounds so safe!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!

I'm sitting at a cafe in Studio City waiting for my lunch meeting (my interview this morning went well, of course, but the position isn't promising for my schedule), and you will not believe what just came across on one of the online booking websites:

Thursday, Apr. 17, 2008, 9:35 AM Pacific
OHIO LOTTERY (Submit only local Ohio Actors Please)
Cable Use and Non-Broadcast Use. Spot will most likely run through max use cycle.

Casting Director: Bill Marinella
Interviews: Last week of April
Shoots: May 5th or 6th
Rate: Scale Plus 10

Real life feel for this Ohio Lottery Spot. Do not submit if not willing to work as a local hire.

YOU MUST STATE THAT YOU ARE FROM OHIO_ ITS THE OHIO LOTTERY MUST BE WILLING TO DO SPOT FROM OHIO AS A LOCAL>>>LOCAL HIRE ONLY _ DO NOT SUBMIT OTHERWISE!!! very serious, as my producers and my new client do not want any un-needed expenses, great for an actor from Ohio , who lives and works in New York Los Angeles etc,, but is willing to 'come home'

How would winning the lottery impact your life as a teacher? how would you help others? your students? how would you help those in need...

Real life teachers, SAG or Non-SAG. These are people who believe in what they do. They care about making an impact in a child's life. They're dignified, but aren't overly serious or foreboding. The key, again, is believability. So that means the reads shouldn't be too slick or polished. Also avoid over-the top-syrupy reads. And if they look too much like models, we know they're not teachers. Again, have each actor read all four lines, as the genders are wide open. All ethnicities are welcomed.

IF YOU ARE SUBMITTING FROM CA, am not interested in seeing your submission if you are not originally FROM OHIO I have plenty of actors, there is a reason we are asking for this specific breakdown.. You must indicate that you are from Ohio in the notes section and whether you are submitting for the role of Art Teacher, Music Teacher, Guidance Counselor or General Teacher and also that you have arrangements to work and stay there.

Unbelievalbe! I'm an acting instructor, I don't know if that would count, but it's just funny that I move out here then find work back home!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cross your fingers for me!

Do you ever have those days when just getting out of the house is the big issue, but once you’re out and about or at work everything is fine? That’s how today was for me. I just didn’t feel like facing the world beyond my doorstep, but once I pulled myself together, all was well. Actually, some good developments came.

My new agent is going to review the photos I already have and on Sunday we’re going to shoot more of whatever he thinks I need. Conveniently he and one of his junior agents are also photographers; by law an agent can not charge you for photos or force you to use a certain photographer, but it is your responsibility to pay for prints of your headshots. Hopefully whatever we take Sunday will be fabulous.

When I got back I followed-up with a sports and entertainment marketing company and scheduled an interview for tomorrow morning! Their posting on included the line “if you’re looking for a 9 – 5 desk job, this is not for you.” My fear is that instead of 9 – 5 it’ll be 24 – 7! But even if it turns out to not be a fit for me, at least it’ll be good professional interview practice.
Wish me luck!

And then… I was browsing and was very surprised to see the best apartment that I had looked at on Saturday was re-listed yesterday with a $50 price reduction. I was sure it would be snatched up by now and that my day of apartment hunting was a huge waste of time. My roommate, who has been legitimately busy lately, but also staying out of our current place as much as possible to avoid her boyfriend said “let’s do it!” She trusts my judgment and already knows and likes the neighborhood. We filled out the tedious applications and luckily she’s free to look at the place and turn them in tomorrow.

The place is wonderful! In our price range there is a lot of variation of what you get for your money and this place pretty much has it all. For $1,500 a month (total + utilities) we get two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two covered and gated parking spots, gated entry, central A/C, a balcony and swimming pool.

I'm sure many of you from Ohio reading this are paying far less each month to own your house, but in LA, anything less than that is either in a bad area or too far away. Neither of us really care about having a pool, balcony or two bathrooms, but if that's the going rate, we may as well get all we can for the money! We both really want this apartment; cross your fingers for us!

A moment to breathe!

The gentleman I was supposed to have lunch with today had to reschedule for tomorrow and I’m ashamed to say I’m relieved! An annoying voice in my head is saying “you’ll never make it in this industry with that kind of attitude!” Whatever. It’s not like I’m the one who cancelled. I’m just really exhausted. It’s been a week since my boyfriend, who drove out here with me, flew home; it’s a weird feeling – this week has been hectic and flown by, but when it comes to him, I’m longing to be with him again, as if we’ve been apart for far longer.

My roommate says time does seem to go by quicker out here and that a month feels like a week. “This town just takes so much effort.” I said to her this morning. “You have no idea.” She replied. “Just wait till you really have to start driving all over… It’s like a commute from Toledo to Cleveland or Columbus and back every single day.”

I came out here to work hard. What I’m trying to describe is how the daily things in life that are usually second nature or no big deal are a pain in the ass out here! I’m the kind of person who will never go out in public unless I look a certain way, but out here I feel an even greater pressure to look impressive. Then there’s the fact that you have to leave a minimum of an hour early to get just about anywhere. I’m sure once I can actually unpack my clothes and I get to know the area better it will become easier, but right now every little thing is really draining.

I’m in a really wonderful relationship; back in Ohio we were pathetically codependent! I think a big part of what’s zapping my energy is not having the literal, physical support that I’m used to. It absolutely sucks not to have his arms to fall into at the end of a long day or have someone to call to pick something up at the store on their way home. It’s a serious adjustment getting used to doing every little thing for myself again.

Alrighty… now that I’ve made myself cry I need to go fix my makeup again then go buy some CD-Rs, burn all my professional images on to one and take it to my ageant's crummy office which is only 5 miles, but like 40 minutes away…

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Got an Agent Today! Maybe...

I turned down more $64/8 extra work on a cheerleading movie called Fired Up today to keep a meeting with a friend of a friend’s agency.

The bad news first – The agency just wasn’t impressive. There was a serious lack of polish and professionalism that you might expect. They weren’t in any way inappropriate, but the office space was undesirable. It reminded me of Joey on Friends’ agent, I think her name was Estelle, in her few cameos she’d always be smoking in a cluttered space.

The good news – They are legitimate, having been in business for 14 years. They like me. A lot. They can get me higher paying, more sought-after jobs than I can get myself on the booking websites. They listed themselves as my representation on one booking site, but we didn’t sign any sort of contract.

Although the experience wasn’t quite what I expected, I don’t think anything negative can come of it. I can still submit myself for jobs I find, and when they find things they’ll call me. When I say they’re legit I mean that they only get paid a percentage of what I make on jobs they book and they can’t force me to pay for any type of photography or classes. Since I didn’t sign anything, if something better comes along, I can take it.

I say “maybe” because I’m still feeling out all my options and trying to figure out who to believe, listen to and trust. You hear so many different theories from so many different people, it’s difficult. Although their office space was seriously unimpressive, I did find them knowledgeable and believable and I liked their attitude toward the business.

I’m having lunch tomorrow with a manager that I met a few months ago at IMTA, a talent/modeling competition. He says he’s not accepting new clients until the fall, but he was willing to meet with me. I’m anxious to get his take on everything…

Monday, April 14, 2008

My First LA Gig!

I’ve been in LA for just over a week and today I worked as an extra on a TV show!

The less impressive part - it was a game show.

The cool part – It’s a brand new game show being produced by Ashton Kutcher’s company, Katalyst Films; it will air on CBS this summer.

The less impressive part – I was paid a measly, but standard, rate of $64 for 8 hours of work.

The coolest part – It was hosted by Joe Rogan (NewsRadio, Fear Factor, NFC Fight Night, The Man Show), for whom I have always had a huge crush!

So here’s the scoop…

Yes, with the exception of The Price is Right, I have discovered most game show audiences are hired. Why? Because filming is long, tedious, cold and exhausting… I heard Deal of No Deal is the worst!

How did I get this gig? No, I don’t have an agent yet, but I am on two online booking sites. Basically I submitted my headshot and resume (which I doubt they even glanced at) electronically and then I was sent a hotline to call with instructions.

I was told to arrive at Hollywood Center Studio’s 30 to 45 minutes prior to the 8 a.m. call time, and to dress to impress in a pant or skirt suit. Oh, and not to drink a lot of coffee, as there would be few breaks. My roommates warned me the street parking in the area was minimal, and indeed, all I could find was a spot that was restricted on Mondays from noon to 3 for freaking street cleaning. Not wanting to be late for my first gig, I took the spot in hopes that our lunch break would truly be a noon.

At the studio’s entrance I found lines of people from three different casting agencies. One of the “wranglers” asked an attractive, but unrefined woman, “Oh, did you see yourself? You were all over Don’t Forget the Lyrics...” They went on to describe the contestant for the particular episode, but the women didn’t seem to remember or care. When another woman walked up a wrangler said, “Hi! Are you with me today?” “No,” she said. “I signed up for this one with…”

At a quarter till 8 they came around to inform us that no cameras or cell phones would be allowed inside, both of which I had in my purse. Since the people around me had obviously done this before I watched for their reactions and everyone was surprised, but no one fought the issue or headed back to their cars. “Are you fucking kidding me?” I thought. This is LA- people live on their damn phones, and I was standing with 250 other actor-types, all of whom were likely waiting for THE call!

It reminded me of my days competing for a state pageant title, in which the powers that be treated adult women like children, also restricting us from carrying our phones. We all did anyway. I knew that was the case with all the other extras standing around me – they’d just turn them off and put them at the bottom of their bags. Was security really going to search us and our things that well? Not a chance in hell!

On the other hand, I had gotten my ass up at 6 a.m. for my first LA gig and all I’d be doing for the next 15 minutes was stand around… So I decided to put my cell and camera back in my car. Upon returning to line the woman behind me was bitching about the neighborhood we were in, how her car had been broken into and she refuses to leave any valuables in it… Great! Now I’m worried about a ticket and having my things stolen!

We entered the studio and went through a really pathetic security check point; they looked in our bags, but did not actually go through them. “Studios” are usually a collection of buildings inside concrete walls; once inside we sat on dirty wooden benches between two of the buildings. We were held there for another 20 to 30 minutes and instructed to go to the bathroom, as there would be minimal breaks.

Finally, they led us into the actual set, which was pretty impressive. I was seated in the second row behind the contestants’ friend and family, so yes, you’ll probably see me. Comedian, Frank Nicotero, the former host of Street Smarts was the audience warm-up person who gave us instructions and tried to keep us energized. Then there was also Alec, the tall British stage director who everyone liked but no one could understand.

Before Joe came out we did some fake reaction shots – clapping, gasping, laughing… It’s called Gameshow in my Head and it’s basically a hidden camera show. The contestant is given an earpiece and sent out to a public place. Via the earpiece they are given instructions for outlandish tasks they must complete in five minutes. They told us the show was originally not going to have a studio audience, as it really doesn’t need one, but CBS decided they wanted one to react to the video footage, sort of like on America’s Funniest Home Video’s.

So then Joe Rogan finally came out and he is every bit as hunky in person! He’s also a standup comedian and with every curse word I liked him more… “7:30 a.m… They’re fuckin’ paying you guys, right?” He asked.

In the shows concept Joe is giving the instructions, though I’m sure in actuality is was some production assistant… So we went though the show, pretty much straight through with him delivering his lines and us reacting to the footage. It really was some funny shit! The contestant, Seth somebody, who was originally from Columbus Ohio, had to stay within a foot of a stranger following Joe’s instructions to be in front, behind or beside them for a full minute. Then he had to sell “long stems” for $2. Once he took the buyers money he had to cut the rose blossom off the top and get them to buy it for an additional $4! In his final challenge they put him on a street corner wearing only a hat and boxers and he had to convince people to give the clothes off their backs!

Never mind my crush, Joe really is a great host. Most retakes were the fault of the production and not him. After going straight through the show we had to do each of his lines again as well as additional reaction shots, etc… They’re still not sure how many of the contestants tasks will be aired so various wording had to be used. Luckily the first show wrapped and we were released at 12:05.

I rushed back to my car wondering, will I have a ticket? What if they don’t give tickets and they towed it!?! Will my car have been broken into? If they took my cell phone, how do I call for help? I don’t know my roommates number. Thankfully all concerns were moot – LA has yet to initiate me with a love note from the parking authorities.

I did experience another wrath of this town though – it took me every second of my hour break to drive .7 miles to McDonalds and back, find another parking spot and walk several blocks to the studio. During the course of driving and walking I was only able to take two bites of my sandwich. Luckily I finished it while waiting again on the sidewalk outside of the studio doors for like 20 minutes. This time I smuggled my phone in by hiding it in the bottom of my McDonalds bag!

For the second episode I was on the opposite side, third row. It went a bit smoother, as the first episode was literally the first episode ever. However, the second contestant was not as good; she was not as successful and the task she was given were almost degrading. Ironically, she too was an Ohioan – Debbie something from Cleveland!

We wrapped a half hour early, around 4:30 and once again we stood on that damn sidewalk outside to fill out a form and receive our cash.

So, $64 and several painful blisters on my feet later, I’m chalking this one up to experience! I’m very glad I did it and I’m excited I can say I worked my first week in LA, but this type of extra work doesn’t make much sense.

Think about it- none of us could go on auditions or interviews today and evening jobs I’m finding start at 5 or 6 p.m., thus you’d be late. $64 doesn’t come close to tips you could make in a restaurant, and though it’s a TV show, it’s not doing shit for your career.

I felt like Butters on the “Freaks” episode of South Park! Ya know, the one in which the guys convince him to glue fake balls on his chin so he can go on the talk show circuit. He then meets other legitimate “freaks” who compare notes about the being on all the shows, the prizes they win and quality of the green rooms…

That’s how I felt being around these people who are regular extras on stupid game shows! There’s no way they’re doing all they can with their careers. I suppose if you honestly don’t have anything going on that day you may as well make some money, but the money almost isn’t worth the hassle, especially when you could be at home online trying to book something better. Another thing is that a lot of these people weren’t even put together well – I mean, if that’s how they choose to present themselves on national TV, it’s no wonder they haven’t impressed a good agent or manager!

There were moments today I thought “I’m better than this!’’ I have talent, training and experience! On the other hand, I’m pretty damn proud of myself that I got on the casting websites my first week and had a paying gig!

A paying gig!

In LA!

And you’ll probably even see me on TV.

Gameshow in my Head – check your local listings this summer. ;)

And I thought gun violence was the danger in Compton!

I just don't know how the gangs can compete with this:

Five hurt as small plane crashes in Compton

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Living Situation

How to move to LA

Step One: Pack up essential clothes, toiletries and a few pictures of people you love.

Step Two: Drive West.

Seriously, that’s about it. In a lot of ways it’s a very liberating experience to live only on necessities. Our lives are filled with far too much materialistic and emotional clutter. Prior to leaving my home in Ohio I literally cleaned out my closets… I did organizational things that had been on my to-do list for a couple years! Though I was very sad to be leaving, that part felt great.

Step Three: Find place to live.

Okay, it doesn’t hurt to know some people out here so you have a place to stay.

I am in a very interesting situation…

A lovely young woman I went to college with has been out here for a year. For the past couple months she’s lived with her boyfriend, who has the deal of the century on his apartment. While their wallets were totally up for living together, the same can not be said for the status of their relationship.

I grew up with “wholesome” values, however I think everyone should live with their mate before they commit their lives to them. Case in point, my friend and her boyfriend are just not compatible under one roof! He’s only lived in this country for a year and while she is strongly of the same heritage, the cultural differences are a big part of the problem.

She was looking for a place for her and me to move into before I got here, but then the boyfriend talked her into slowing down the search. He said I was welcome to stay in the second bedroom while she and I find the best possible apartment, as opposed to signing a lease hastily. Bottom line, he doesn’t want her to move out.

My predicament is that at first I wanted my friend to stay here too, so I could stay! It’s a wonderful apartment in a happening, safe neighborhood (boys town in West Hollywood), and the rent split between three of us would be peanuts! I’m talking better than a clearance sale at a freaking outlet mall! I felt bad though, because I obviously want to support my friend and not encourage her to stay in an unhappy situation.

I’ve only been here a week and like my friend, quality of living is already winning out over cost of living for me. Because we don’t know what we’re doing my things are still pretty much packed up. I have my own bathroom, which is great, but figuring out what to wear is a huge pain! I packed my clothes categorically in Space Bags. I definitely recommend Space Bags – you know, “as seen on TV!” The trouble is, I have to decide what to wear without seeing and thumbing through my options, then I have to find it in the correct bag, and then iron it. It’s even worse than “living out of a suitcase;” at least then there are usually predetermined outfits. My mood effects what I wear and how I look affects my mood… So as you can image not having my things in order is driving me crazy. I just want to be settled!!!

Despite the issues I mentioned about, my friend’s boyfriend is a great guy. He is fun, kind and welcoming; nonetheless, I am mindful that I’m in his apartment. They don’t use their dishwasher (stupid!), so I hate feeling like I have to be sure to have my dishes washed up before he gets home, etc…

So yesterday I went apartment hunting, and I was begrudgingly reminded what a great deal my friend currently has. Apartment hunting is such a time consuming pain in the ass! I hated it! Every apartment requires a $25 application fee so they can run a credit check and even after that there’s no guarantee you’ll get the place.

And just like that I’m back to thinking… “I can find a way to live out of Space Bags and endure the pain of sleeping on an air mattress!”

Buckeye on a Palm Tree

People keep telling me I’m brave and courageous for leaving a good life and moving across the country to pursue the difficult entertainment industry. I don’t think I’m either of those things.
I think I’m stupid for waiting so long to do it.

But I see why so many other people never take this step. It sucks. It’s emotionally and financially draining.

Whatever the struggles I’m about to undergo, I figure, I’ll want to remember them… Perhaps for my memoirs someday! Ha! Here’s the thing though, I’ve never been a diary keeper. Unless there’s an audience to read it, I won’t write it.

Additionally, I like to share information. I’m learning a lot that could be helpful to other Midwesterners like me who want to see their name in lights, but have seemingly no local resources or understanding of the business.

To those who already know me, be warned, this is going to be candid and perhaps crass. My other blog has been very censored, but that will not be the case here.

Also, in contrast to my other blog, this will be highly anonymous…
I haven’t decided if I’ll even use my real name yet.