Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kid Extras

I'll admit I have a wicked double standard about background work. I have my justification for doing it, but I'm pretty judgemental about people outside of my age range. That's hugely hypocritical because I cognitively understand the need for all types and ages of people to create the setting.

Nonetheless, I feel sorry for older people who do this and "professional extras." I can't imagine working background for more than a few years, let alone ten or twenty! I would not ALLOW my parents to do it based on the possibility of being treated poorly. And nothing is worse than seeing a 70 or 80 year old person standing in wardrobe and check out lines and spending the day on a folding chair, under a pop up tent in a parking lot.

Then there are the kids...

I began this post last week when there were child extras for the carnival scene of "Heroes." Today the situation is on steroids!

I'm in a lovely auditorium at Collge of the Canyons in Santa Clarita for a brand new FOX comedy, "Sons of Tucson." The episode is about a kiddie dance pagent and I am unhappily a background stage mom.

There are several background kids as well as some featured dancer kids who were booked from auditions. As I've alluded, background is a lot of sitting around in a holding area then when you are on set it's usually walking back and forth over and over and over... It's not fun. You have to be quiet on set and can't excuse yourself to the restroom when you need to. I can't imagine a child enjoying the experience.

The likelihood of being discovered on set is not as high as we'd all like it to be. Why then would a kid want to do it? Moreover, what kind of horrible parent decides that being a pathetic extra is more important than having their child in school?! There is a "school" on set and the children are required to spend at least three hours there.

Some of my fellow adult background and I wonder how they can possibly cater to the various academic levels of these students who they know for only a day.

A parent must be on set at all times; I overheard a mom mention her husband was elsewhere on set. Who the hell are these people that they can both be here with a child who's only making $134 for up to 8 hours of extra work? I just don't get it... I do this consistantly to pay my bills; a kid should be in real school. I do this to earn my way into the union to get an agent; cute kids can get an agent with ease.

Thankfully no one is glitzed up for a kiddie beauty pageant, as that would make me vomit. (Yea, I did pageants, but not until I was 17 and it wad completely my idea.) However there are little boys and girls in sparkly dance costumes. I am not a dancer, and while I know it's normal for that world, I find mascara and rouge and curly updos on seven year olds very unsettling!

When I started this post last week on "Heroes" I was bitching about kid extras. Today as I see both the featured talent and child background all dolled up, I just don't like or understand children in entertainment in any capacity! I feel like all they're learning is hair and makeup, competition and the idea that the world revolves around them.

And now a few of the real stage moms have sat down behind me... I could listen in to develope my character, but I think I'd rather go visit the craft service table. (Thats Hollywood speak for food!)

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Roommate Drama... again.

Right now my female roommate is jamming to tunes in the bathroom while her boyfriend is talking on the phone on our balcony. No one is out of bounds; it's annoying nonetheless. I would just really love some QUIET! I only have to deal with it for a few more days though; I'm returning to Ohio for the holidays and when I come back to LA, things will be very different in this apartment...

Let's rewind; roommate #1 is still a gay male who has become a dear friend to me. In August roommate #2, an asshole, was replaced by a vibrant, annoying but sweet, European female. I guess now instead of #1 and #2, I can just say dude and chica.

Both have always known that my guy is keeping his job in Ohio through a coworkers maternity leave. Then in January he'll visit Los Angeles to interview for jobs here. His industry is all based around sales per month, so it's likely he'd be hired to start at the beginning of a month; best case scenario, February!

My roommates have been well aware of my plans to be in Ohio from late November through early to mid January, then I'll hopefully move out of this apartment in February or March... and if it's not until April I'm going to kill myself! So, imagine my frustration when dude roommate announced that he was going to put in his 30 day notice in December to move to Europe to be an au pair. Meaning, we'd need a new roommate starting January 1st, while I'm still in Ohio! I think he should go to Europe but couldn't help but selfishly wish that he'd just wait another freaking month so we could move out at the same time! How could he create this situation over a time he already knew I'd be gone!?

I thought about putting in my 30 day notice at the beginning of November and moving my belongings to a storage unit. However, the cost of a hotel while my guy interviews and we then look for a new apartment together would almost certainly exceed my fantastic rent. On top of that, what if it takes him a while to find a job and I'm stuck in Ohio longer than planned...? I would have screwed my roommates in the month of December had I vacated, so instead dude roommate was screwing us in the month of January. This all caused a great deal of stress.

I love dude roommate, but part of me just didn't believe him. He's ridiculously talented, but very unfocused. Being from Europe, chick roommate had the knowledge that if he goes through all the correct legal channels, he couldn't possibly leave the US before February, so we both thought he should just stay in LA instead of moving back to Texas with his family until the paperwork came through. Not to mention, the family he's corresponding with said yes to him simply over email! We worry he's getting sold into sex slavery and wonder what kind of horrible parents choose a caretaker for their child, having never SPOKEN to them!

Dude roommate was still forging ahead, so I posted a craigslist ad for a roommate, in hopes of meeting someone before I left. It didn't get much response because people simply don't look for apartments six weeks in advance!

Then... dude roommate decided to move his date forward by a whole month. *sigh* The continuously changing plans were annoying and we're so sad to see him go, but it actually makes the roommate search a tad easier. I'm leaving the 19th of this month and he's peacing out three days after me. With the new time line, we were able to meet with five candidates. We're really torn between two of them; a third would be okay but she's a bit young; the fourth was super boring and the fifth was a waste of time.

Additionally, we'll be playing musical rooms! I am so excited to be moving to the master, which is only possible since dude roommate is moving out sooner! While I won't have a balcony, it's on the other side of the apartment meaning I won't have to hear my two roommates or smell the cigarettes and weed they smoke outside. Even if I'm only here a few weeks in January, the private, attached bathroom is absolutely worth the extra $50 a month. Plus, there's a lock on the door, so I won't have to worry about my belongings while I'm gone for the holidays! Chick roommate is switching to my room because it's larger and the new girl will be in the smaller room, that I originally moved into way back in May...

The stress of this situation over the past few weeks was overwhelming, to say the least. Oh, and chick roommate quit her job at the end of October and is anxiously waiting for the first of the year to possible be contacted by immigration about leaving the country. *stress*stress*stress* I am so sick of living with roommates! I can not stand that the roof over my head and security of my belongings rests with people I barely know and don't entirely trust.

I am lonely all the time; I am exhausted from working long, inconsistent hours; I am frustrated that I have not been auditioning or taking classes; it is difficult to maintain focus on my plan when it took me five months to get one stupid SAG voucher! I am so sick of this reality. I feel like I'm in a holding pattern instead of living my life. I need my guy to be here with me, living in a place that is just he and I! I need to be in the actor's union so I can get a good agent and focus on auditing and taking classes; if I'm not doing that, there's no point in being in the god forsaken place.

My age, education and relationship status are so far beyond what I have been living since April of 2008. That may sound pretentious and negative, but I'm just really exhausted. And I have a headache from hearing the bump*bump*bump of someone else's music...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Name that Show

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

Monday, November 9, 2009

Name that show!

I think this is an easy one; actually I think I posted a picture when I was on this set back in July or August.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

If this were a status update it would read:

" standing on the roof of the Curios George parking structure, looking out over the Universal's back lot, Warner Bros. and the twinkling San Fernando Valley, eating a turkey dog."

Don't worry, I have pepper spray and there are rent-a-cops on scooters, who haven't bugged me yet. That's surprising because someone committed suicide off one of these garages in the past five years!

I'd post a picture of the Valley or the houses lit up on the Hollywood Hills behind me, but neither turn out. However, in the parking lot right below me you can see 13 star wagons, other production vehicles and lighting cells. There are also three huge cranes and a light grid six spaces wide. They must be getting ready for a mammoth shoot.

So why am I up here? As I already wrote, to eat my hot dog! Duh!

Actually I was working background on "Heroes." After five months of extra work, this is my first work at Universal! Unfortunately, my employee id was of no use. We filmed in pretty much the only area that's not part of the studio tour. Just beyond the back lot and beside the farthest parking garage, there's a vacant area called Freeway Park. There's an over grown baseball diamond and a dilapidated house facade used for something years ago. On that site, "Heroes" built a carnival, complete with rides. Luckily I spent most of the brisk night spinning around on the Scrambler. It's amazing how enjoyable a fake carnival can be since you're being paid instead of paying!

Now that I'm wrapped, I kind of don't know what to do with myself. Lately I haven't wanted to go back to my apartment. I'm not having an issue with my roommate; nothing beyond the normal annoyances anyway. It just feels so stagnant there. Although I'm working like crazy, seven days straight last week and five this week, I'm so bored! Last night I told my guy I hated feeling so restless. Then today I randomly checked my horoscope and got this:

High creativity, lots of work, stable love but low wellness and no money? That sounds about right...

Hmm... I'm far away from the few cars up here and the scooter cop has rolled by me three times in the past hour. Someone sucks at their job!

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I feel like such a dork today because I'm starstruck by sets! I'm at the CBS Radford studios in Studio City working background on a new NBC show "100 Questions." I've been here before for "Accidentally on Purpose" and love that it's minutes from my apartment, but am particularly excited today to see sets from two of my favorite shows!

Know them?

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Picture Car

A line from my Studio Tour script: "Absolutely any vehicle the camera sees is called a 'picture car.' Between you and me, some of these cars are bigger stars than the actors who drove them! Coming up on the left, we have a famous cruise in..."

It's not just Kit, Herby and the DeLorean; background vehicles are required to fill the street and help create the setting. Stock taxis and cop cars and other specifics are owned by studio transportation department, but street cars come from background actors. "Bookable cars" are usually no more than five to ten years old, NOT white, red or black and not SUVs. So, my black '98 hadn't worked before today.

Thanks to the awesome background coordinator on "24," she's making her TV debute on 20th Century FOX's New York Street!

I'd had my hesitations about booking my car. I've seen background let other people drive their car. Not cool. When you are away from it, like for lunch, you have to leave it unlocked, with a key in it in case production needs to move it! I would not do that if I was on location, but here on the lot, it seemed safe. Some background complain that the measly fifteen extra dollars you get doesn't pay for the gas you idle away.

Despite all that, I never want to do regular background again! I'm such a loner, I loved being in my comfy car by myself with all my stuff and radio, driving in circles! It was fantastic! Now I'm a pedestrian again but might be back in my car when the sun goes down.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I feel like Charlie finding a golden ticket!

I should probably explain... SAG is an actor's union; the Screen Actors Guild. Strikes in recent years have created a lot of non-union work, but at the end of the day, real actors, most movies, many TV shows and even commercials are SAG. Although the union dues are crazy expensive and the industry is rough right now, people my age and above really need to be SAG to get an agent and manager.

How do you join SAG? If you're cast in a speaking role on a SAG project you must join as a result of the Taft-Hartley Act. The trouble is, it's a catch twenty-two; to get auditions for things on which you'd be Taft-Hartley-ed, you need an agent. But to get a good agent, you need to be union. You can also join through sister unions including AFTRA and Equity. Both these ways have lots of rules and regulations that I don't completely know.

I opted to turn to a third option, in which I feel I'm taking matters into my own hands a bit more. Background work. While it's a necessary evil that many people refuse to do, it does offer three benefits. 1. I'm paying my bills by being on set. 2. I'm learning from being on set. 3. I have the opportunity to join SAG by getting vouchers.

Ah, the voucher system... It's very broken, but the least of SAGs worries right now. Most positions on set are free-lance. Everyone from the sound guy to the Teamsters to the production assistants work different shows everyday and are hoping to land a regular position. That means we're paid per day on a voucher. One of the "you might be doing background..." jokes is "if your bank suspects you of small check fraud" because every single day of work is a separate pay check. (Yes, it's annoying.) Anyway, non-union vouchers are usually the color blue and union vouchers are usually yellow; most background are on a Willy Wonka quest for the golden vouchers!

After you acquire three union vouchers, you are then eligible to join SAG. How do you get a union voucher? Well, that is the million dollar question with no good answer! Sometimes it's luck. Maybe you replaced a union no-show, maybe the production had to pay a certain quota of actors on SAG rates and you were at the right place at the right time. Sometime it happens because you do something special. Like everything in this town, it seems to have a lot to do with who you know!

It's frustrating because I've met people who have their vouchers, but no interest in acting. Or, on a movie shoot people get SAG vouchers, then they're called back for continuity purposes for multiple days and they end up with well over the needed three vouchers. It makes people like me who have been working for five months and gotten none want to pull our hair out!

I've heard you need to be assertive; let the A.D. (assistant director) know you're trying to join and ask your P.A. (production assistant) if any vouchers are available. That's much easier said than done. Crew and background are usually kept separate and PAs usually don't have them to give or the authority to do so and are annoyed with being asked all the time. All too many P.A.s are on a power trip and being asked only feeds their ego. It's awkward and you're left feeling really desperate and sounding pathetic.

So how did I come by mine? By luck I was able to let my situation be known in a way that felt natural, not forced. Monday I was replacing someone on the FOX show "24" as a worker in the CTU. I immediately got a good vibe from the background point person and as he searched for that person's voucher I asked, "are they yellow?" The answer was no, so I joked, "aw, stupid so-and-so, what good are they?!" I know it sounds contrived, but in the moment it wasn't quite as bad as the usual background groveling. He laughed.

Later on set I learned it's a good show for getting vouchers, it has a lot of regular background and supposedly he'd even asked who needed them. I mentioned in my last post that the P.A. had been with the show from the begining, even had an office and that in many ways it was one of the nicest sets I'd ever been on. As it turns out, he's not a P.A., at least not anymore. I guess the show requires a lot of continuity among its extras so he has the rare title of "background coordinator," with responsibilities that would normally fall on the 2nd 2nd. (That's not a typo and means the third assistant director; why isn't it 3rd A.D.? No one knows...)

Later Monday he asked if I could come back today and of course I said yes. Only two or three of us were recalled. It didn't make sense to me that a "matching shot" wouldn't include the people I was right next to on set, but I certainly didn't question it. I knew in my heart there would be a yellow voucher waiting for me today. Somehow, I just knew! And there was!

He said it was because I'd filled in at the last minute, but that wasn't really the case. It wasn't a "rush call" and it wasn't in my control. Rather, he liked me and he actually had the ability to give me a SAG voucher, unlike most powerless P.A.s. And no, amazingly, he's not a creep trying to abuse his power like many of them seem to be. He treats everyone with respect and has created a what feels like a legitimate work environment. The crew and regular background are friendly with one another; the background knows what to do and where to go, which is vastly different than most sets I've been on. We chatted quite a bit today about my guy and our big move and I learned about his position, how he got his office and his recent attendance at the U2 concert! Now we're facebook friends.

As I suspected, it wasn't even a matching shot; they didn't need me for continuity! Sometimes the director changes the shot and doesn't need us; in some cases I've heard extras are called in just in case... In my five months that's never happened. I've always worked. Sometime you sit around for hours to work only fifteen minutes, but you work. Today there were only seven or eight extras total and a few of us didn't work at all. How funny, my first day on a SAG voucher and my first day not doing a damn thing!

I was there for eight and a half hours, just thirty minutes shy of awesome union overtime. Usually that's annoying, but I was making double the non-union rate. Tomorrow I'm working the show again for a different scene at a different location, using my car. He needed non-union cars, so I know I won't be getting voucher number two, but I'll take the work!

I was already getting burnt out on background and a little downtrodden, but this feels amazing and refocuses my plan of action! Two more golden tickets and I can join Willy Wonka and the other umpa-lumpas in the acting factory!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Well, I narrowly survived the big move in Ohio last month. Now most of our belongings, including a car, are smooshed in a storage unit and my man and pets are living with a friend, in a very tiny room!

[Believe it or not, there's a king sleigh bed, huge dresser, huge armoire, large TV, kitchen table and chairs, chaise, Bowflex and other workout equipment under all those boxes. Plus, two ducks and a goose! It helped that the couches went elsewhere and we sold our washer and dryer.]

Here in LA, I've been working my ass off, doing both background work and Halloween Horror Nights tours at Universal.

[This is essentially a picture of a picture. I looked into the camera and photographed the monitor that the guests see.]

I FINALLY got a blogger iPhone ap to work, I think... Hopefully it will work and I can update much more often. I don't want to be someone who twitters or updates their Facebook status a thousand times a day, but there are often little blurbs I'd share on here.

For example, today I'm on "24" and loving it! The background PA (production assistant) has been with the show for its entirety, so he has an office in the sound stage and is very cool. Most of the background are regulars and our holding area is really nice. 'Nice' means indoors and with seating!

Background actors do a lot of 'crossing,' or walking back and forth; so I had to laugh at (and then take a picture of) our door to set:

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Greetings from Minneapolis/St. Paul

I am en route to what will surely be a bittersweet visit home. Every trip for the past year has included some packing, but this time it's for real! The house is sold and the new owners take possession Wednesday! My guy is moving in with a friend until his co-manager returns from maternity leave in the New Year.

Today is our 5 year, 10 month anniversary, so I've asked that we pretend all is normal. Or at least try. I'd like to enjoy our anniversary and our home one last day without talk of storage units and craigslist sales and endless headaches. Just typing that, as I sit at an airport McDonslds, made my eyes well up with tears. This is going to be tough...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blogging from Set: 90210

For a second day in a row I am at the Santa Anita Race Park in Arcadia as background on "90210." It is an absolutly gorgeous place with mountain views outside and original fancy 50s decor inside (for the most part), with busy wallpaper as far as the eye can see! Yesterday started well, the PAs and ADs are all nice but someone at the top is a jackass. Around the fourth hour we were given a 30 minute "break." I'm using quotations because it's hard to rationalize a "break" for a group of people who had been sitting around for the past hour; a group of people who didn't have a different place to sit around or access to new food. We were on location and 30 minutes was not enought time to go anywhere... So why a "break?" Because if we're not given a break within a six hour period the production is assessed what's called a meal penalty violation and must pay each employee an additional hour of regular wage. That's a measly $8 for nonunion. It's called a meal penalty because it always refers to lunch breaks. Always. Several people who have been doing this for years said they had never seen a production give a break that wasn't a meal. Sometimes the actual meal breaks are an hour and sometime only a half hour; this time? A full fucking hour, meaning we were stranded at Santa Anita Race Park for 90 unpaid minutes. It ended up being nearly a 15 hour day and thus, some sweet overtime, but it should have been sweeter...

As I sit here today looking out over the track and mountains before me, I am conflicted. I do love seeing new places and being able to pay my rent from being on set. However, sometimes the dichotomy eats you alive! More later, my battery's running low.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If you were in a relationship with this blog...

... you should totally break up with it! Maybe many of you already have.

Lately my use, and frankly my interest, in the internet has been extremely low. For starters, my guy was in town last week. Prior to that I'd been spending twelve hour days on set. I have an iPhone, but still haven't found a reliable ap for blogging. Facebook and Twitter are easy thanks to convenient aps, but while surfing the web is certainly doable, it can be tedious and drains your battery.

Blogging used to be how I'd unwind, but I feel like lately I don't even have time for that. Instead I barely have time to watch some Hulu, get to sleep and wake up at 6 or 7 a.m. to rush off to my next background job.

The problem is that I'm too long winded... It takes too much time and energy to tell a story in the way I like, so instead I don't tell it at all. I'll start trying to do shorter posts more often and continue my quest for a blog ap that actually works.

Highlights from the past few weeks:

My guy closed on the house and I'll be visiting Ohio in about a week to move him to temporary housing!

The back of my head can be seen in the cafe scene of the first episode of "Accidentally on Purpose." (I'm wearing the brown fedora-ish hat.)

Bill Paxton agreed I could be Jeanne Tripplehorn's sister!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Breakdown of the Background

Since I started doing background people keep leaving me Facebook messages saying "I can't wait to see you!" Well, by definition, you probably won't! Frankly, I hope you don't! But who knows...

Usually background actors are blurry busybodies required to make a setting seem realistic. In restaurant scenes we're often instructed to walk right in front of the camera to make a black silhouette for a moment, as if the characters are on a hidden camera show. For indoor scenes in which the camera sees out the window background actors are used to walk along the sidewalk and drive their cars on the street! Those aren't real pedestrians or motorists! Other times, background actors get their whole face on the screen, in focus, for a brief "reaction shots." No, they don't tell us when they use us in that capacity, but if it's for more than three seconds they're supposed to pay us more or credit us, or something!

In my two months of doing background, there have only been a couple times when I think I might be recognizable. With the new network season starting next week, here's a rundown of what I've done:

Big Love
In a brown suit, I was one of many business types walking in an office/courtyard/lunch environment in a scene with Bill Paxton, Matt Ross and a guest star. I have no idea how HBOs schedule runs or what episode it was.
On location in Pasadena.

The Sarah Silverman Program - Comedy Central
I follow Sarah on Twitter, but have never seen her show; I want to start! Hilarious! I don't want to give the scene away, but it involved a wedding on the steps of (the real) LA City Hall. First I was just someone going into the building; you might see my bright teal shirt, especially since I was walking with a girl in red. Then I was seated right in front of the four lead characters during a political inauguration, in a dark suit.
On location, Downtown, Los Angeles.

The Forgotten - new on ABC
I was a sports bar waitress in an episode called "Football Joe." It's technically the third episode, but will be the fourth time the show airs if you count the pilot. You might see me in one or two scenes waiting tables at "Original Nates."
New York Street, Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank.

Flashforward - new on ABC
I was an attendant in an art gallery where Christine Woods and Navi Rawat had a scene; you might see me in a lovely teal dress. I was also in a restaurant scene they had, but likely just a blur.
On location in Hollywood.

Heroes - NBC
All I know is that we were outside a diner in Texas and at one point I think I saw Masi Oka in a hospital gown. Later he was talking to a red headed girl. In three different scenes I walked up and down the street, pretty far from the camera, in a light paisley shirt and jeans.
On location in San Fernando.

Valentines Day
This is a Gary Marshall film with an insane cast! I was "deep background" in a restaurant scene with Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway. I even sat with my back to the camera, being paid to eat my delicious dessert, so there's no way you'll see me!
On location at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills.

CSI: New York - CBS
I am wearing a black dress in a crowd of people watching a card hustler on the street when Malina Kanakaredes and (the super cute) Eddie Cahill come to arrest him.
On location in Hollywood.

Mad Men - AMC
Although I was dressed to the nines, I don't think the camera saw me, but who knows. It's a scene at a fancy banquet for the anniversary of the company and I think one of the leads becomes a partner or board member or something to that effect... My black and green evening gown was covered with a tan mink and my hair's in a fabulous 60s updo!
On location at the Biltmore Hotel, Downtown, Los Angeles.

Accidentally on Purpose - new on CBS
I was in two scenes of the first episode in this hilarious new Jenna Elfman comedy. (It may be the second show to air this fall if they replay the pilot.) In a cute brown jacket and hat I sat near the three lead ladies in a cafe. I don't recall what I wore in the club scene, but you'll probably see me standing, talking to a cute guy, while the ladies sit at the bar.
CBS Radford Studios, Studio City.

Bones - FOX
In episode three Tamara Taylor has two scenes with her on screen niece (I think). When they're sitting at the counter, in a diner, you might see me at a table behind them. I think I was in the same trendy brown jacket mentioned above.
New York Street, 20th Century FOX Studios, Century City.

Criminal Minds - CBS
In an episode in which the team travels to Louisville, Kentucky I was a "clerk" at the Louisville police station, delivering files to the officers at their desks. I was so uncomfortable during this three day shoot in a hideous tan sweater (issued by the wardrobe lady) that did not at all match my gray trousers. Its not about what the nameless character on TV looks like, but I wanted to tell everyone I met in real life, on set, that I didn't pick it!
Quixote Studios, Los Angeles.

Raising the Bar - TNT
In one of the later episodes of their current season I'll be a patron at the pub they always go to after work. You might see me at the bar in a cream blouse, a person away from Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Jonathan Scarfe.
Riverfront Stages, Sylmar.

Numb3rs - CBS
First I was a patron of a farmers market for a 10 second scene with Peter MacNicol. There were no lines, he just smells some berries; I was in a light blue strapless dress. Then I changed to a rioter in a colorful tee and gray hat and scarf in a scene with the guest star standing on a police car shouting into a megaphone.
Los Angeles Center Studios, Downtown, Los Angeles.

CSI: Miami - CBS
I was in two different scenes in an episode that flashes back to the 90s. First, in a gray suit, I walked into the Dade County Police Department as David Caruso and another actor did a "walk and talk" away from it. Then I was in the lab in a black FBI jacket doing paperwork with other lab techs while Caruso, Eva La Rue and Sophina Brown had dialogue at the front of the lab.
Raleigh Studios, Manhattan Beach.

Dollhouse - FOX
I worked the very first episode of the new season; although my party dress was bright red, I doubt you'll see me. I was in the back of a garden party of rich people in a 15 second scene in which Eliza Dushku and Amy Acker kiss (I think).
20th Century FOX Studios, Century City.

Brothers and Sisters - ABC
I don't know the episode but Calista Flockhart and Rob Lowe will be at the Griffith Observatory for some sort of event. As they're interviewed by the press, you may see me walking in a lovely teal dress with a gentleman in tan.
ABC/Disney Studios, Burbank, to the Griffith Observatory.

Californication - Showtime
I worked this show twice, as a patron in the restaurant the main characters frequent. In dark purple, you might see me over Evan Handler's shoulder as he waits with Pamela Adlon to hear from their realtor. Then in the very last episode of the season Evan Handler and David Duchovny had a really funny scene at the bar and I think I was in a dark gray shirt.
Stages somewhere in Venice...?

Iron Man 2
I was one of literally 300 people attending "Stark Expo" and then running in horror from the attacking drones. I can almost guarantee you won't see me... but I was wearing the trendy brown jacket that I've discovered wardrobe people love, my cute brown hat and jeans.
On location at Sepulveda Dam, Van Nuys and Los Angeles Performing and Visual Arts High School, Downtown.

While I've worked on all the major networks and a few popular cable channels, I've only been to two big studios. I can not wait to work on my lot, Universal, as well as Sony and Paramount!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bad Samaritan

I would rather ask someone for a kidney than ask them to help me move or take me to or from the airport! Would you agree? So last Tuesday when I returned to LA I opted to take public transportation back to my apartment.

LA is a car city, so public transit is a little bit of a scary thing here; I'd dipped my toe in previously with the Flyaway buses. They're nice charter buses, with the crazy upholstery that looks like movie theatre carpet, that go from the airport to three bus stations across the city. I'd taken a cab from and been picked up at the station here in the Valley, but discovered that if I took the Flyaway bus to Union Station, downtown, I could then get on the Red Line subway which ends up a few blocks from my apartment. My beau was none to happy about this plan, but I survived and even derived a pathetic sense of accomplishment from the experience.

Sorry to disappoint, but the subway is not where my story takes place, it's just part of the exposition and dramatically added to my travel weary state. I must note though, that 80% of the people with whom I rode the subway were lazy bastards! I could not believe that when we poured off the train at our final destination most people stood in line to ride the escalator up to the street. They stood in line and then just stood on their step once on it. Of course some folks had baby strollers or bikes, but for the most part, it was a sad snap shot of our society. I opted to wait with my 48.5 pound suitcase for the line to disappear.

I digress, while in Ohio I held a yard sale and had a nice bundle of cash on me; on my way from the train station to my apartment, I was walking past my bank. Even though I'd been up since 3 a.m. LA time, reeked of airplane and red line and was tugging my big ole suitcase behind me, I decided to deposit my cash. I thought perhaps my luggage would cause concern, but it did not. It was around 4 p.m. so the bank was pretty busy; after bumbling through my things I stepped up to the next available window and slid my cash under the glass.

I immediately noticed a wallet on the counter to my left. A sense of urgency propelled through me as I picked it up, saying "Oh-no! Someone's wallet!" My teller said it belonged to the gentleman who had just been there; we both looked toward the door as he exited. *GASP* "Will you watch my stuff?" I asked, speaking of my suitcase and carry-on that sat in front of her window. I literally dashed across the bank and out the door, where the man was getting in the backseat of a white car, with two other men in the front. "Here, you forgot your wallet!" I immediately noted that he wasn't too terribly grateful as they drove away.

I walked back into the bank to find a puzzled look on the tellers face, "where did you go, the man is right there." WHAT?! The man she pointed to, who was by the door when I ran past, continued to linger there aimlessly. Instead of springing to action my teller preceded to tell the other two tellers what had happened, as if we were in a bloody beauty salon instead of a quazi-theft situation. Time seemed to freeze and I just stood there mortified.

Was I in trouble? ... is my transaction complete? Why the hell did that guy let me run past him with his wallet in my hand? Why didn't my stupid teller bang on the glass or yell or something when I took off?! Logically I wouldn't have run to someone still in the bank! "I gave you a funny look," she said. A funny look? Are you freaking kidding me? I can not describe or explain, even to myself, why I seemed to think it was of critical importance that the wallet was returned immediately. It was just an instinct that I now regret. But I do know there was enough time that the teller could have and should have had me give the wallet to her.

Eventually the rightful owner meandered over to the window, where I was profusely apologizing to the teller and then to him. His response? "Don't worry about it." What? I felt like I was the only one actually processing what had just happened, as the tellers continued to pass the story like the latest gossip in a junior high. I was the only one with sense enough to say, "Hold on, we all saw that man leave this bank. Who was he? Which window was he using?"

Unfortunately he wasn't an actual customer and they didn't have his name. By this time a manager appeared and my teller proceeded to tell him what happened while the wallet owner went back to a desk by the door and sat with his head in his hand. Very strange. I stood there still uncertain of my fate, then realized there was a deposit slip on the right side of my window. "Is this mine?" I picked it up and my teller said, "No, it's his."

I tried to understand: his wallet was to my left, his deposit slip was to my right and he was by the door...? The man came back to the window, where I suggested we call the cops. "I can describe the guy and the car... and aren't there security cameras to see his face?" But the man didn't want the cops involved. It was clear he was either on some sort of illegal substance or had been kicked in the head by a horse as a child.

The manager took him off to discuss things and my teller completed my transaction and told me not to feel guilty. Guilt was most certainly among my emotions, along with complete and utter befuddlement. As I slinked out of the bank with my huge suitcase and embarrassed face, I again apologized and again the man said not to worry about it.

I looked over my shoulder as I walked to my apartment; I would not have been at all surprised if he'd come after me in anger, but he was devoid of emotion. What on earth had just happened? I tried to make sense of my urgency to get the wallet to its owner and my tellers lack of action or authority. I wondered what the hell was wrong with the wallet owner, how much money he had just lost, thanks to me, and if the bank would replace it.

Maybe if I wasn't so afraid to ask for a ride from the airport this wouldn't have happened. Maybe if I hadn't waited for all those lazy people without fifty pound suitcases to get on the escalator before me, I wouldn't have been there in that moment. Perhaps this was the mans wake-up call to get his act together. Or, maybe the asshole in the white car really needed the money. I guess we'll never know...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm working background on Heroes tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m., so I need to get some sleep now, but coming soon... A crazy story of accidentally facilitating a theft at a bank upon arriving back in LA Tuesday!

Almost three weeks... really!?

In my last post I was whining about my inability to book a trip home due to roommate drama. I thought it had been a month, but as it turned out, my beau and I went two months without seeing each other; the longest in our relationship. So my time home from the 19th of August until the first of September was much needed!

It was well timed too, as we FINALLY GOT AN OFFER ON OUR HOUSE IN OHIO!!! It was the first offer in a year of being for sale. We negotiated a great deal (for this real estate market) and I got home just in time to prepare for the inspection. Then there was the appraisal, a step all those HGTV shows never feature! As long as it comes back at or above the negotiated price we'll close this month, my guy will have to be out by mid October and he'll make his move to LA in the new year.

I spent my time in Ohio cleaning, sorting, boxing and selling. It's a never ending process that most people could probably do faster than me, but I am an extremely organized packer. I can't just throw shit in a box; I assess it's need and pack each box full of like items in the best possible arrangement. I surprised myself by my lack of emotion in the process; having been gone for over a year, it's easier for me to disassociate with things that I can obviously live without! And I plan to go back to move our remaining belongings into storage and move my guy and pets into their temporary housing. He tells me I don't have to, but I would never expect him to do that by himself and the last days in the house that we've turned into a beautiful home probably will be difficult.

Bittersweet is the best way to describe it. As great as it is to finally have the place sold, the new reality that it presents to my guy and our dog and cat is a whole new shit storm of logistics and expenses. It's sad to leave our first home together, but not so much so that I've even for a second regretted this life choice. I just can't wait to have them here with me...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Close eyes * Breath Deeply * Repeat

Close eyes * Breath Deeply * Repeat

Close eyes * Breath Deeply * Repeat

It's not working...

Although I've been getting booked consistently on some pretty good projects, I find myself extremely stressed! I absolutely can not allow myself to be out of sorts, as over the past year in LA my body has decided to manifest my emotional stress in undesirable physical conditions. I'm trying to keep everything in check, but in this moment, I can't ignore my want to just scream and punch my fucking roommate in his face!

Okay, let's back up. The acting classes and workshops Universal offers its tour guides happen in the summer, which is about the worst possible time! TV shows are coming back from hiatus, movies are filming, we're actually picking up tram shifts, people are going on vacation, bla, bla, bla. Due to doing background work I was only able to make it to three of six of the acting classes. There are a few casting workshops that I've taken the day off work in order to attend. Between balancing background gigs, tram shifts, classes and workshops and dentist appointments, it's been very difficult to plan a trip home. It's my turn to come back to Ohio and it's been a month now since I've seen my guy. Of course I want to come home, but it's a tricky time to get out of LA.

Finally, things cleared up. There are no workshops, classes or dental appointments slated from the 19th to the 31st of this month. I "booked-out" with my calling service for background work; aka, told them I was unavailable. However, we still can't buy a plane ticked because of my fucking roommate situation!

There are about a thousand whiney details, but in short the roommate moving out and I have not been on the same page at all. Although 95% of his belongings are out of his room, including his bed and clothes, I can't get a plane ticket until he gives me a date that I can move my things to his room. *sigh*

Friday, August 7, 2009

New carpet may have become a fantasy...

So... After my year lease I really wanted month to month, so I'm not trapped in a situation when the house in Ohio sells and my guy eventually joins me in LA. This place is great, since it's not only month to month, but the bills were already divided, so for the past three months my names hasn't been on anything!

Every month we each pay twenty-five bucks to have our beloved internet, a mere seven for water/sewage and every two or three months there's a varying electric/water bill. A couple times a scary pink "final notice" gas bill came for Kat, a girl who lived here two people before me. I asked my roommates if we should be concerned with that; roommate #1, true to form, was not phased, stating that we were now paying a completely different company than the one sending the statements. "That's odd," I remember thinking, "there's more than one gas company for this building...?" I'd also noted several times how bad it sucked that we paid water/sewage since most apartments cover that. I didn't take it upon myself to understand any of it farther; the utility amounts I was paying seemed fair and I was content that nothing was in my name.

Well... [Insert chuckle and eye roll here.] As it turns out, since roommate #1 pays "the LA department of water and electricity" he assumed the monthly seven dollars to roommate #2 was going toward the gas bill. He didn't realize that his bill was only charging us for the electric and #2s bill is water and sewage. Although I knew what the seven bucks went to, I guess I thought the gas bill was every couple months, like electric, or maybe I just didn't think about it at all, I don't know... So as it turns out, no one has paid a gas bill for this apartment for at least six months, I think; I'm not sure when exactly this Kat person moved out.

Oh, and did I mention that stove that I've waited two and a half weeks to have fixed is GAS!? [Insert frustrated laughter, because there's nothing else to do but laugh. Frustratedly!]

Roommate #1 had this grand realization last night. Thankfully I was not here this afternoon when they came to "fix" the stove. I assumed he would tell him we'd likely solved the problem, but still have them look at my poorly draining bathroom sink and tub and we'd literally made a list of questions for the manager regarding the lease agreement, the deposit, the carpet, etc. Instead I got this text message from him:

I'm suddenly a fan of [manager]. Apparently her style is, why fix a broke one when you can just put in a new one? It's sparkly.

I replied, "LOL! That's crazy! So does it work, or has our gas indeed been shut off?"

Well... That's the awkward part of the story where they haul one all the way down. Another all the way up, and then plug in and turn it on to discover that yes... This little bitch gringo just don't got no damn gas. (I don't think I made new friends...) but... NEW STOVE! And a letter for Kat from the gas company. So we have some info to work with.

I can not believe they would order and bring a new stove before anyone even came to assess the old one! Hilarious! I actually liked the old stove better. :( A kitchen towel doesn't fit over the oven handle of the new one! WTF? Roommate #1 is still at work, so I have no idea if he got any our questions answered. My bathroom drains still suck, or rather, they don't; they obviously didn't look at them despite the note I left on the stove. Worst of all, I can't imagine after this fiasco that they're going to be any more willing to deal with our desperate need for new carpet...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No, really, he's in Cambodia...

This week I worked background Monday and Tuesday on "Criminal Minds" and had an amazing costume fitting yesterday for an upcoming episode of "Mad Men." This afternoon I'll be an extra on "Bones," back at the super charming 20th Century FOX lot. So it sounds like things are going swell, but I'm actually trying to ignore/balance some stress...

The roommate drama

Let's refresh: roommate #1 has the master suite, he's amazing, we see each other often.
Roommate #2 is also a lovely person, but he's never here, which is good because I share a bathroom with him.

In mid July #2 left for a two week family trip to Cambodia. At that time he told us he was "70% sure he was moving out" and we should start looking for someone. Neither #1 nor I thought he'd officially filed his 30 day notice with the office; I expressed quite a bit of concern and even suggested #1 and I just find a two bedroom instead of another roommate. #1 was completely unconcerned with the situation.

A day or two after #2 left, my stove stopped working. I imagine the pilot light's out, but I don't want to try to light it, for fear of blowing myself up. As I walked back in my building the day I had my tooth pulled, I noticed the manager was actually in her office and stopped to try to talk to her. She has a thick Russian accent and I was numb and bleeding. I'm sure it was hilarious to onlookers. Her response to my stove issue was to say, "did your roommate get the notice in the door? He owes $500." He had and he'd assured me it was taken care of. I relayed that to the manager who disagreed.

Isn't it funny how sometimes the truth sounds more like a lie than an actual lie? That's how I felt as I uttered the phrase, "He just left for Cambodia for two weeks!" Cambodia?! I'm sure she didn't believe me. I wouldn't have believed me. But she did say she'd tell the company that, "so maybe they won't evict the other two of you." What the fuck!?

So needless to say, I didn't press the stove issue again! #1 was also not the least bit concerned with the eviction threat and we've lived the past two weeks without a stove. Luckily, I've been doing background work and thus being fed on set; I've also learned the amazing joys of a toaster oven!

The first of this month #2 returned and he claims to have bank statements proving he doesn't owe money so I once again put in a maintenance request for the stove. That issue pales in comparison to the new information that #2 did indeed put in his 30 written notice to the office before the trip, despite telling us he was "70% sure." This means he wants to find a replacement by the 15th of this month! The problem with that is that #1 left town for a week, the day before #2 returned.

So #2 put up a craigslist ad and I've been fielding emails. With #2 anxious to get things lined up I agreed to meet with people Monday afternoon since "Criminal Minds" wrapped early. I wasted literally six hours of my day for three people, only one of whom showed up! I was beyond pissed that I have lived her the shortest amount of time, yet I felt like I was dealing with everything!

Okay, on top of that, there's the room issue. #2 pays a mere $2 more than me even though his room is much larger and he has a parking spot. Naturally, I am excited to upgrade when he moves out! I didn't question it when I moved in here because I was so desperate, but upon seeing the price breakdown, I felt it was total bullshit, especially since he wasn't here much to use the parking space! When I said I was planning to change rooms, #2 didn't have a problem with it, but was afraid it would be a tougher sell to get the new person to put their name on the lease. What? I was confused.

Apparently #1 isn't on the lease and I came to realize, neither am I. I filled out an application, but I don't think I ever gave them a copy of my drivers license. #2 is the only name on the lease, thus the reason he's held responsible for any money issues. But it's month to month, and I had thought I was on the lease, so I didn't think is should be too hard to get someone else to sign. My concern is with finding someone as desperate and stupid as I was, with regard to the price breakdown.

#2 isn't moving out with any speed, so I have to keep my current room picked up to show people. As I think I mentioned before, I think it's incredibly awkward to show them my room, thus they'll know that I upgraded. I know I have every right to upgrade; it's like a company promoting from within; I had dibs! Nonetheless, I feel like that could lead to questions that I don't want to answer because I feel guilty about the total bullshit of the price/room size/parking spot.

My guy suggested I stay in my room, but take the parking spot, so it's somewhat even. That's the option I'll take if the new person is more vocal than I was about the street parking and small room. As guilty as I feel, I guess I'm more greedy because I already have my new room layout planned in my mind!

Roommate #1 literally just came home. He is so fantastic! Although I liked #2, I can't talk to him; we go in circles and he doesn't do anything about things brought up to him. IE: knowing the terms of the new persons lease or acknowledging it's his fault we haven't had a stove for a week! #1 and I understand each other and one of the first things out of his mouth was an apology for not being part of the situation. I'm confident he'll deal with it and ask the manager the right questions later today when they come to finally fix the stove. One thing that my guy pointed out, as did #1's friend just a moment ago, is that the new person might not have the option of a month to month; those usually happen after you've lived somewhere a year. The guys both think the whole building is month to month, but no one knows for sure.

The silver lining is that with a new name going on the lease, maybe that can be our grounds for having the horrible carpet replaced! If you know anything about tenant rules regarding new flooring, please leave a comment!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Random and Funny...

Friday I worked background on the TV show "Crimina Minds." I am back again today, literally leaning against a set as I type this, listening to a scene being filmed, with crew members bussling around me.

Like any job, background work has its highs and lows. It's amazing to be on set and watch and learn; not to mention you're fed and paid to sit around most of the time. However, you're constantly reminded that you're the most insignificant thing on set, a nessrsary evil, so to speak. You're not told what's going on, you have to wait like begging dogs watching everyone else eat lunch until you get permission to join the line and you don't always have a place to sit. Friday we had to grab chairs from a trailer and carry them to our holding area; when we wrapped we were asked to put them away. It's no big deal. The point of the story is that Friday I grabbed my chaired at the end of the day and headed to the restroom attached to the sound stage to change out of the hideous out fit they'd put me in. After checking out with wardrobe and the production assistant I realized I'd left the chair leaning against the wall, outside the restroom. I decided to take the bad karma and did not go back for it. I had forgotten about it when I arrived back on set today until I went back to use that ladies room and it was still there. Only then did I notice there was a crown doodled on the back of it.

I think almost everyone will understand why that made me simotaniously laugh, roll my eyes and smile.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last week: in photo review

With the exception of Thursday, my picture taking had to be very discrete. As an extra, it's something you're just not supposed to do, even though fans were at Griffith Park taking pictures of Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart and at the exterior shoot for CSI: Miami with David Caruso, I simply couldn't get the same shots. Even on Saturday when I was on "my own lot" walking around with a coworker, a security gaurd told us we weren't allowed to take pictures on the lot. That's rediculous, since tourist on the tram and walking around on the VIP tour do it all the time! Anyway...

: Background on Brothers & Sisters, on location at the Griffith Observatory.

Tuesday: A Nike commercial, filmed on green screen, at Downy Studios.

Wednesday: Background for Dollhouse at 20th Century FOX. Their lot is so charming, with murals on several sound stages; we filmed inside Darth Vader, the buildings behind which are Beverly Hills/Century City.

Thursday: A commercial for Fosters Beer, at this bar/restaurant/70s hotel set, that was literally in the middle of nowhere!

This gas station is just a facade and has probably been used in hundreds of TV shows, movies and commercials, for the quintessential lost-in-the-desert scene.Below: The sunset over the mountains on the drive back to LA. Friday: Background on CSI: Miami

Above: An actual building used as the Miami Dade Police Department; below: sets inside the sound stages at Raleigh Studios.Below: The sunset over Dockweiler beach, since it was on the way home...

Saturday: Wandering around the Universal lot after a screening of Bruno

Above: A hidden treasure by Mark Platt's offices (producer of Wicked); below: Court House Square.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Starstruck!... by a set

As a tour guide I was trained to keep my composure in the presence of celebrity, not that I have had to use it on the tour. Nor am I the personality type that would turn into a gushing idiot (I hope)! However, I just walked throgh Stage 24 which houses the interior lab sets for CSI: Miami! I am so excited for this day; I watch this show consistantly and can't wait to see which primary actors are in the scenes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"For fuck sake, that bug was the most interesting thing in this scene"

Thankfully, registering with a calling service is starting to pay off! Today will mark a third day in a row that I'm working thanks to Extras Management. I'm crazy tired right now, but feel the need to write and update before so much information piles up that I become overwhelmed and don't write about any of it!

Monday I worked background the TV show Brothers & Sisters; it was amazing but I only got like two hours of sleep because the call time was so early. Here are the highlights:

I was briefly in the hair room with Calista Flockhart, who was running a tad late because like every one else, she had to wait in a twenty-minute line of traffic to get through security at the ABC/Disney studio in Burbank. Yes, she's as teeny tiny as she looks on TV. However, she has the same hair woes as every other woman in the world; she told the stylist she didn't want a much product in her hair, as that damages it and causes it to break. The stylist said, "but without, it'll be flat." *sigh* If Calista and the ABC hair stylist can't solve this problem, there is simply no hope for any of us!

From Burbank we were shuttled to the Griffith Observatory to shoot a fundraiser/party scene. I found myself a mere ten feet from Rob Lowe and Calista; as they delivered their lines I meandered toward the Observatory for the implied event. I made eye contact with Rob, who was very funny between takes, a few times and he totally smiled at me. :) Calista, on the other hand, was either very focused, or stayed in character pretty much the whole time. Rob made her laugh only once.

Their first scene was in the grass and it was hilarious to see her in a gorgeous pink party dress, with white sneakers, as her feet weren't showing in the shot. It was like seeing a news anchor in his suit, tie and boxer shorts. The best part of the whole thing was at one point during her lines she shooed a bug away from her and the director yelled cut. She quickly replied, "For fuck sake, that bug was the most interesting thing in this scene... It gave it some life."

HILARIOUS!!! I'm assuming the writers weren't onset, or maybe they were...?!

It was a really boring scene; it was supposed to be a "red carpet" type event, even though there was no read carpet and we were wearing business attire or Sunday dresses. Other extras were dressed as photographers and there were a few videographers and faux reporters. What I could hear before having to walk across the lawn was a reporter asking Rob's character about running for Governor and then asking Kitty (Calista) about writing her political commentary verses her former radio and TV shows...

Then Monday night I went to a Universal workshop on Improv with Patrick Bristow. He played Peter on the sitcom Ellen, among other TV appearances and the films The Longest Yard, Austin Powers, So I Married and Axe Murderer and Showgirls. He runs an improv troupe here in LA and was wonderful and funny. I loved all three hours and I feel like his key tenants of improv are amazing rules to live ever day by: be focused, joyous and relaxed. Those three things tend to contradict one another, but the ability to balance them would lead to an amazing existance!

Yesterday I spent twelve hours at a Nike commercial down in Downy; after I got the booking, I had to figure out where the hell that was! I guess it would be considered east LA; it was 30 miles from the Valley and I got extremely lucky that I didn't run into bad traffic. Especially considering I slept through my first alarm and don't remember talking to my guy who also called me this morning. Instead, I woke up to my "get your ass out to your car" alarm that I always set! Luckily, I had built in two hours to get there, so I arrived with plenty of time to do my makeup in a Starbucks parking lot, then grab a coffee and still get to set.

It was an extremely long day and I met some interesting characters, to say the least! I think I broke a heart of two, but that's what you get when you follow me around for twelve hours, even after acknowledging the ring on my finger! The details of the shoot are on my public "actor blog."

For now, I need to get some damn sleep! I have to be "perfectly quaffed" and beautiful at the 20th Century FOX studios today at noon for background on the TV show Dollhouse.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The stars are shining over LA tonight

Thirty minutes ago I sat alone in my room listening to a party going on over my head. Drunk musings from their balcony flowed down onto mine and through my screen door. It was getting annoying.

Then, out of no where a deep soulful voice and a strumming guitar joined the mix. At moments the drunk people sang along or yelled out "play us another song." I eventually stepped out onto my balcony to see a tall, old, black gentleman in a plaid shirt and cowboy hat taking up a parking spot across the street. His voice was beautiful and the content of his life was beside him in a cardboard box, strapped to a dolly. He was singing songs about happiness and love.

I felt like I was watching an oxymoron. How could someone with seemingly nothing sound so fulfilled? The branches of the tree in front of me stretched out around his silhouette under the street lights; he was perfectly framed by leaves as he sang "Stand By Me."

It is an absolutely perfect, beautiful, still night in Los Angeles. I looked up and was surprised to even see a few stars twinkling above.

Directly above me, the party goers decided to head to a local bar and I stood ready to yell at them, depending how they interacted with the man on the street. As surprised as I was to see the stars, that paled in comparison to what happened next; three of them gave him money. Shame on me for my lack of faith in humanity.

Not long after they all left, the man with the guitar leaned his dolly back upon its wheels and literally moseyed down the street. Now there's silence.

I have found that this city consistently lacks substance; but if tonight is any indication, the moments that do speak to you, speak... or rather sing volumes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So long to #24

Tonight I worked on Californication again; this time it was a scene between Evan Handler and David Duchovney. I am also scheduled to work a Nike commercial next Tuesday! More about that later...

In other news, I am dissatisfied with the skin care trial I am in for a number of reasons. The products dried out my face far worse than I could have imagined, even with their warnings. My two emails about it have not been returned and I have no idea when we're shooting the "after" testimonials, rendering me incapable of scheduling a visit home in August!

Dry skin is about to be the least of my appearance problems; in the morning I am having a tooth pulled! Number twenty-four, which is front and center on the bottom, will be gone! In its place I'll have a gap for the next few months until the Invisiline braces start pushing the other teeth to their proper placement. I think I already explained that I could have kept the tooth, but the results would have been less predictable, taken a bit longer and we would have had to file between all my other bottom teeth to make room for #24, which currently protrudes forward. The filing sounded worse than the pulling to me!

I fear the gap will really limit my abilities; will I look like a freak when I speak to my tourist at Universal through the fish-eye camera on the new HD tram monitors? Will I still be able to get "pretty girl" background work? Should I even bother submitting for film and theatre projects?

*Deep breath*

I just keep reminding myself that a gap in my bottom teeth will be no worse than the hideous crookedness of the tooth that will no longer be there. As I've written before, my teeth are absolutely unacceptable, I'm just used to them; the gap will be equal to what I've lived with for twenty-some years! Then, the gap will be gone in a few months and by the winter of 2010, I'll FINALLY have straight teeth!

Last, one of my roommates is moving out. I'm bummed because I really liked him, we all really got along and he was never here, which is the very best trait a roommate can have! I am excited that for only $2 more per month I can move into his room, which is much larger and have his spot in the parking garage! However, this means the remaining roommate and I have to find someone new, which will be a time consuming, difficult, obnoxious processes. I literally want to advertise "a room for rent for storage or day time office space!" Or even "rent this cheap room so your parents don't know you really live with..." AKA we want someone who won't really be here much!

My concern is that the new person won't be a push-over like me and they'll actually question the inadequacies of the price vs. room size and parking space. This is compounded by the fact that the roommate gave us his 30 notice yesterday as he left for a two week family vacation over seas! This means that if we interview people and show the room now, the fact that I'm upgrading to the larger room will be obviously. I suppose that may have been the case no matter what, depending when in the 30 days he moved out... Rather than all that hassle, I think I'd rather find a new two bedroom place with the existing roommate! Finding a whole new place probably sounds like more of a headache, but if you saw the nasty carpet in this place, or tried to split space in a refrigerator among three people, you'd understand!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am officially a dot com!

In the unlikely event you haven't already seen this on my other blog, Facebook or Twitter, I have purchased my domain name and have "launched" a new website. It's If you are a random reader, to whom I am actually anonymous, wow, really? And sorry, you shall remain out of the loop.

As I mentioned before, the new site and Twitter will feature a positive version of reality, but the rest of the story can still be found here. :) Nonetheless, please sign up to follow me on Twitter and the new actor blog, otherwise I just look like a loser!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wow, where did this week go? When I haven't been busy I haven't felt like being online a whole lot either...

Tuesday I worked on Californiaction, which was pretty cool. I guess it was the first time I was in the presence Hollywood names! (Paris Hilton doesn't count! I did background on her New BFF reality show last fall.) We got out early and I was able to go to an open call at Central Casting for background for an upcoming vampire movie called Priest. I wore a black corset and made my hair look all gross and all they did was snap a quick photo. The casting director working on the project wasn't even there, so I could have just emailed a photo. Oh well. That night I went to the first of the summer's free acting classes offered to Universal Tour Guides. Last year I was only able to go to two of the six classes, being taught by a guy who specialized in the Stella Adler technique of acting. This year, instead of being so style-specific, the class is more on an audition technique course, which is probably more useful to a broad range of people. Sherry Shaw is the instructor.

Needless to say, that day felt amazing. I was paid to be on a set, I went to an open call for future work and I participated in a class. That is what I moved here to do!

Wednesday I picked up a shift at Universal. That was my first day working on the new HD trams, meaning the screens the guests see the video clips on look a whole lot nicer, but also that I had all new numbers to punch in to que those videos up! Oh, and my second tram got stuck coming out of "Park Lake" where we "part the waters" ala Charlton Heston and the Red Sea, and drive by the scale model sets used for the recent King Kong. That was fun; it's such a boring place to be stopped, I just played them the bloopers clip to pass the time!

I am so mad at myself about Wednesday night... First, you have to understand how disgusting you feel after doing that job. You're sitting in scary poli-blend, pleated, "mom" shorts on a faux leather padded seat in 85 degree weather. Every time you get off a tour, you're sure it must look like you've wet yourself. Somehow, it doesn't show, but your back and ass feel gross! So Wednesday night we had the first free Universal workshop of the summer, featuring a manager and the casting director from House. HOUSE!

I absolutely had to pick up copies of my headshot after work to take to that workshop and taking a shower was a close number two on my priority list. I live very close to Universal and literally did nothing but grab the headshots, take an uber quick shower, scarf down some food, blow dry and apply make up. There was no dilly-dallying, no curling the hair, no updating my Facebook status or Twitter... Nothing! Still, I did not make it to the workshop in time to read for them. I wasn't late, but they only agreed to give sides to the first twenty-two people to sign up. I still stayed and listened to them speak and watched my peers read. There were ten or twelve of us who didn't make the cut. I was so mad at myself! How did I miss the opportunity to read for the woman who casts House! Stupid, stupid, stupid! I should have just gone in my stinky work uniform. The woman who schedules the guests says they'll come back to read the rest of us again, but we'll see...

Thursday morning I had a dentist appointment downtown. I've written before about my crooked teeth that I've ignored instead of fix. Back in April I agreed to help a coworker at a bridal expo where I met a dentist who does Invisiline, the clear retainer type braces. I'd previously been told my teeth were too bad for Invisiline, but this guy seemed to think it was possible. With the bridal show special I got a free consultation, slight discount and free whitening (after it's done), even though I'm not a bridezilla. People have suggested shopping around and various ways of trying to get it done for free, all of which I appreciate very much, but at the end of the day, I went with this guy because I actually like him! In my experience, most dentists are assholes who are completely unsympathetic to your pain and anxiety. This guy runs a practice called Zen Dental. Granted, that mainly means Asian decor in the lobby and a TV above your head to watch during procedures, but at least they're making an effort!

Anyway, after taking all sorts of molds and photos and sending it to the Invisiline company and talking to other dentists, I went in Thursday to watch my videos. With a didgital model on his computer he was able to show me the journey my teeth will take. I was, unfortunately, given the choice, to pull or not to pull! Both are possible, but by leaving the tooth that protrudes forward, we'd have to file between all the other teeth to create room and the results are much less predictable. Pulling means I'd have one less front bottom tooth than most people, but he'd be more sure of the results and get them a couple months sooner. I had originally thought that if I had to have things pulled that I should be knocked out and rid myself of my wisdom teeth all at the same time! However, only my top wisdom teeth are showing on ex rays and only one of them has really come in. I complained about it's pain back in March, but since then it's only bothered me once. So the big decision is to.... go back next Thursday and have tooth #24 yanked out of my face! OMG, I can't even think about it! Moving on...

Also on Thursday I registered with Extras Management. Instead of constantly calling the Central Casting hotline to get extra work, I now have a calling service to do it for me! They also book for at least fourteen additional casting agencies for background and standin work. With them, I will hopefully get more consistent work. Their monthly fee is $75, which is about one days pay. If you're not booked in a given month, you only pay $10 or if you're only booked once it's $40. I've been told by several sources that given my type, I should work a lot, but now that I don't have to call in myself to get work, I feel apathetic! I am anxiously awaiting my first text or call from them; after it starts happening, I'm sure I'll feel better.

Today I'm working at Universal, so I suppose I should get some sleep!