Saturday, December 20, 2008

If having nothing to blog about means I’m relaxing, then my guy should be happy, as that was his wish for me while I was back in Ohio. I can’t help but feel my early January departure starting to loom; I absolutely can not believe that I’ve been home for a month now. The time has gone so quickly, yet I haven’t done much, especially in regard to that to*do list I posted.

My focus at the moment is preparing to host my partner’s family for their holiday celebration tomorrow. They’ve always bugged us about hosting a get-together and we’ve somehow managed not to for the past four years. Since the house is on the market, I figured it’s time to do our part before we’re both on the other side of the country. We’ve had lots of parties in for friends and colleagues, but with cooking, cleaning, gifts and holiday d├ęcor, this is definitely my biggest undertaking.

As for other things… I have still not heard back from QVC and the “I didn’t know I was pregnant” episode Sunday night did not feature the character/situation I auditioned for. Remember “Gameshow in my Head” that I was a paid audience member for months ago? It was supposed to air in late summer; when it didn’t, I hoped it was dropped, but a friend called to let me know he saw promos. It’s airing in January.

Although I always knew I was coming home for the holidays, it came with a great deal of anxiety. I feared missing out on opportunities and was mortified that I would lose my job at Universal. For the first time, the park decided to be open on both Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Seasonal employees, such as myself, are expected to work the busy week around the holidays, while many veterans take vacation days. I was very scared that I would accrue lots of absentee points, causing suspension or even termination. Word around the break room seemed bleak and some of the dispatchers were certain we’d be “scheduled to the bottom of the list” around the holidays. I toiled over resigning on good terms in hopes of being hired back for the spring break rush, but thankfully the laid back director of the Studio Tour told me not to be concerned. I changed to minimal availability and requested the remaining days off, neither of which truly safeguard me from being scheduled.

So, how many points have I gotten? ZERO! I haven’t been scheduled for a single shift that I had to try to get covered. I realize I should be happy and relieved but I’m actually annoyed. Due to the scheduling scare tactics many of my coworkers didn’t go home for the holidays, yet even with open availability the low seniority employees are not getting shifts! Had I stayed in town and not been scheduled, I would have been livid!

Needless to say, I'm so glad I came home for six weeks. My roommate asked if I was missing LA and the answer was no. Life is infinitely easier and more comfortable here. I am loving the cold weather and the snow has been beautiful. Last night I fell asleep to sleet tapping at the windows and awoke to lovely ice coated trees. I know, I know, many of you probably have more colorful words for this weather, but I missed it.

Something wonderful that won't be disputed is the anniversary my beau and I celebrated last week. It marked five years that we've been together and I couldn't imagine being apart for it. He woke me up with my coffee and a beautiful bracelet, then we had lunch at the restaurant where we met. He went all out, cooking me a gourmet supper and I gave him a photo book chronicling our relationship with pictures, which took me hours to create online.

Being back here with my beau and my animals feels so good! Even with the security of someone to cuddle up with at night and our superior mattress and sheets, I am still not sleeping like a normal person. It's 4 a.m. and with a big day of cleaning, shopping and prepping food, I should try to get some sleep...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"I didn't know I was preganant"

Dear god no! I'M NOT pregnant, but you may recall that was the name of a Discovery Health TV movie I auditioned for just prior to coming home for the holidays. As I was scrolling through tonight's viewing options, I noticed a program of the same title is on TLC at 8 p.m. The show airing tonight is an hour documentary, as opposed to a two hour movie and this would mean post production was done very quickly, but I bet it is what I auditioned for since TLC and Discovery are sister channels.

I'm glad I noticed the listing; this will be a great opportunity to see what the casting director was looking for, as opposed to who I am and what I did in the audition.

As for the QVC issue I discussed below, I did reply, explaining my dual LA/Ohio residency, understanding that relocation is required and interest in meeting with them. I've not heard back; perhaps they are trying to find people already in Pennsylvania or someone in NYC who could conveniently get to their casting office. Who knows...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A query from QVC

Over a month ago I submitted for a QVC host position on one of the booking sites to which I subscribe. Yesterday I received an email from them simply reading, "Hi. Where are you located?"

Their breakdown made it very clear that it's a full time position, so candidates must be willing to relocate to their West Chester Pennsylvania headquarters. I'll shamefully admit that I already knew they were in Pennsylvania from watching the QVC challenges on The Apprentice!

Although I have oodles of public speaking experience and was a commercial and live TV host for over a year, my gut reaction is that I don't want to get stuck hosting instead of acting. That's the boat my roommate's in - she has a great job hosting a popular podcast, but she has no time for acting classes and doesn't even submit for auditions now.

I know what you're all screaming at your computers right now - Think about the exposure!!!" The reality is that it's highly unlikely that a director or producer will see a host and say "get that girl for my next project!" Even worse, I've been flat out told by a top agent that they don't want to see you as a host or a model or anything else; if you're an actor they just want to see the best damn actor you can be. I learned that at a workshop at Universal after asking what would be thought of my demo reel which features local commercials... However, that guest speaker was from a very exclusive agency. Surely a position like QVC host garners a lot of great connections and good representation.

Obviously I'm just 'thinking out loud' right now. I haven't even been offered an audition, let alone a job! Again, I immediately felt like this is the wrong direction for me. I've come to discover that LA moves so quickly, you just have to be there! On the other hand, my mind painted a whole new wonderful picture when I reread the breakdown and saw the annual salary. *Jaw dropped.* It seems to me to be enough money to fly to LA or NYC a couple times a month for really promising auditions, if time would permit. It would also be the first job in my life that would actually allow me to save money. What a novel idea! Best of all, it would be closer to Ohio.

But, if LA is where I need to be for the career I really want, would pursuing this be putting a price tag on my dreams?

I need to really think about it more and talk to my guy, but for the time being there's no harm in replying that I'm just a state away. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mixing history and holidays: a recipe for disaster!

It's amazing how quickly time passes; I can't believe I've been home for two weeks already! I thought I would have blogged about some LA experiences that I never got to, but I haven't even written about things that have happened here in Ohio... A reader even emailed this morning missing me. Aww! That rocks. Although I'm not so sure that particular reader will agree with me on this issue...

The Sunday after Thanksgiving I had a great celebration with my immediate family at my parent's home. My mother puts out an amazing holiday spread and my new four day old nephew was even there! However, as the day drew to a close I became troubled when I sat down to help my niece with homework.

She had been sick and missed a few days prior to the holiday break. While the rest of my family couldn't believe that a first grader got two to three pages of homework every night, I was appalled by the content. The Thanksgiving themed pages were sexist and derogatory!

The first sheet was reading comprehension; I read the following short paragraph and then she had to write short answers to simple questions: "In Colonial days children did daily chores. Boys hunted and fished. Girls learned to sew. Children helped their parents."

As soon as the words left my mouth, I went charging into the living room to read it to the rest of my family, with my niece on my heels. "It says in Colonial Days," my mom, who works at a preschool, defended. We retreated back to the kitchen table but as we colored the picture on the page my niece and I talked about all the times she's gone camping and fishing with her dad and I told her that boys can sew too!

I'm sure many of you agree with my mom and would not have thought twice about the paragraph. My concern is that no one is pointing out to the children that now days things are different. When I asked about her teacher, my brother rolled his eyes, saying she is very old and traditional in a bad way! I fear many sexual stereotypes are perpetuated in my nieces classroom.

The second page really set me off, as it talked about "Indians." Yes, I honestly feel the correct term, Native American, should have trickled down to our small town elementary schools by now. I explained to my niece that Indians are the people who live in the Asian country of India, which is where the explorers thought they had landed. I realize that terminology for America's indigenous people is widely debated; many people do not find "Indian" offensive, but I can not help but be troubled by our schools inability to teach our children the facts! My brother feels similarly about Columbus Day. Unlike the schools, he's taught his daughter the truth: that Mr. Columbus was a horrible tyrant who does not deserve a holiday and was not even the first to discover the Americas.

It was certainly not my intent to upset anyone, but by deeming everything offensive I ended up offending my mom, who wonders why everything she was taught and grew up with is now so awful. We tried to explain that history has been written by the winners, which largely means from the point of view of affluent white men and in some cases is therefore incomplete. My mom went through the rest of my niece's folder to find me other pages that did use the words Native American. Unfortunately she found something else that I found to be the worst of all.

There was a Thanksgiving handout from a local church. I didn't even look at it, I didn't want to know... My oldest brother backed me as I mentioned the separation of church and state, but we then let it all go and changed the subject, as to not cause a great debate during an otherwise happy holiday.