Volunteer Trip to Ecuador!

action Ecuador

I have amazing news- an upcoming project I’m incredibly excited about!!

I’ve been cast with a group of actors and artists going to Ecuador this summer. We will be living there for 30 days, participating in a series of workshops, lectures, and incredible experiences.

The BEST part is that we get a chance to give back and make a real difference. Our group will work within disenfranchised communities and with indigenous people, empowering the local youth with theatrical education. We will help them find their voices through the magic of acting and playwriting, giving them the tools to tell their stories.

This will all culminate with the creation and performance of our own original pieces inspired by our experiences in Ecuador. Our casts will preview these works in Quito before performing them in a festival in NYC the following week. Continue reading

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Open Letter To My Husband, Who Lives With Both Me and My Depression

 

Dear S,

I should start by making two things clear. One- you are a wonderful, kind, supportive, loving man, and I hope to be married to you forever. I pinch myself when I think about how lucky I am to have found a husband like you. You set the bar very high in our relationship.

Two- I know you can’t possibly understand what it is to live with depression. I know that. You can learn about it, listen to me talk about it, read about it, study all you can. But you’ll never really know. You just can’t. You’ve come a long way when it comes to being sensitive and knowledgeable on the topic. (Remember when you used to say things like, “I understand, I felt depressed when I went through this or that”?) You simply can’t know because unless you experience it, you just won’t.

I could not be more thrilled about this, actually, because I wouldn’t wish these feelings on anyone, let alone the man I love most on this planet. My heart nearly bounces with joy knowing that you’ll never go through an episode like this. Yes, you will have times of pain, of grief, of heartache, of deep sadness. I can’t stop that. I wish I could, but that’s life.

However, I’m happy to know you won’t have to wake up some days and just want to die, even though you were perfectly happy the day before. You won’t sit down on the couch under the weight of a soul crushing sadness that leaks out through your tear ducts and literally not be able to rise up under the weight of it. You won’t lash out for no reason, after spending days feeling terrified of nothing at all, snapping because you can’t take that pain a minute longer.

You won’t lose days of your life without realizing the time has passed. You won’t know what it is to fall to the bottom of an emotional well and not even want to climb out because the light at the top doesn’t seem remotely worth it somehow. You won’t spend hours and days and weeks feeling worthless for no reason and wondering what the point of all of this is, anyway.

You won’t do that. You are as you should be, as I love seeing you. Full of life. Full of joy. You wake up each day ready to take it on. You’re a nonstop ball of energy, a source of light, an Accomplisher of All Things Necessary.  You’re an extrovert, a dad who plays on the floor with the kids, a husband who works sixty hours a week and still finds time to travel and do half the housework.

I’m in awe of you. Continue reading

A Good Cause & A Sad Fact

https://www.gofundme.com/bretts-treatment-fund

So, I don’t know the above people. I clicked on the link because a good Facebook friend shared it, and I usually find myself caring about causes dear to my friends’ hearts.

Normally I simply donate what I can, click to share on Twitter, and move on with my day.

Today, a line from this page hit me so hard, and I had to write about it for a minute.

This campaign is to help a woman struggling with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, who recently had a situation requiring serious hospitalization and needs help. Of course, she has to fight and beg and plead with her insurance to help cover the cost of this treatment, because health insurance has a long way to go in the treatment of mental illnesses. Which is a whole separate blog post in itself. (Sigh.)

But this is the line that stabbed me in the heart:

“Brett’s very nervous for a lot of reasons–not the least of all because depression can make you believe you don’t deserve help.” Continue reading

Modeling Post-Eating Disorder

Ever since I shed the oppressive weight of my eating disorder, I’ve assumed my modeling career to be over. Not just because it’s impossible to stay at or under 110 lbs on my frame in any healthy way, but also because, naturally, I’ve been getting older at the same time.

Modeling was never the end game- I always wanted to be an actress forever, a model for now. It was a way to make money without waiting tables. I liked getting photos in beautiful clothes and being spotted by friends in magazines, and I liked having my hair and makeup done and getting into character in front of a camera, but, if I’m honest, really the whole experience was hell.

I was always, always, always hungry. No matter what, I starved before every shoot. Sometimes, when I was busy, I was eating 300-500 calories a day for weeks. I will never forget that first bite of food in the car or on the train coming home from a job- usually a pop tart or something equally bad for me. It was the only food I ever felt I deserved. I worked, I starved, I posed, I was sweaty and shaky- this food was earned. Continue reading

“Get Out” – Why I Still Can’t Breathe

Film Title: Get Out

 

Holy SHIT guys.

I just (finally) watched Get Out– Jordan Peele’s incredible, insane, amazing, terrifying, thought-provoking directorial debut. That’s right…debut. Like, “oh, I’ve never done this before, but lemme just give it a shot, and DO IT PERFECTLY.”

Oh, he wrote it, too, because he is a film robot. He’s the Tom Brady of creating content. Comedy? Sure. Horror? Why not.

I had to blog because I have to talk about this! It’s consuming my brain! It’s like it moved into my mind, rented an apartment, and is just sitting there, like, “remember THIS scene?! THAT scene?! How about the BINGO SCENE!?!?”

This blog is probably a safer read if you’ve seen the film already. I don’t know if there will be spoilers yet, but probably. I’m just free writing what the film alien that has taken up residence in my mind tells me to write.

I have to get it out of my head.  Continue reading

Should I Join SAG-AFTRA?

sag-aftra-logo-featured

Easily the most frequent question I get from other actors is this-

“Should I join the union?”

It comes in many forms. “Am I ready?” “Is it worth it?” “Will I still be able to work?”

This blog post is dedicated to helping you answer that question. After all, you’re really the only one who can make this decision for yourself. Let’s explore all the elements you should consider before plunking down a hard earned 3,000 bucks! Continue reading

Day Designer Review: Favorite Planner Yet

New Year = New Planner.

Basically, that’s the most exciting thing about the new year to me. As December slowly melts away, I’m closer and closer to a fresh, clean planner full of dreams and promise. It’s like getting brand new school supplies, but for grownups.

Judging by the countless hours it took me to choose my new planner online, I am not the only person who feels this way. There were so many options! So many blogs dedicated to reviews! So many videos! Bright ones, serious ones, artsy ones, structured ones, planners for every taste and every need.

So how is it possible that it took me, a (self-labeled) planner expert, so long to choose the right one? I’ll tell you why- I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for. Last year I used the Spark Planner (now known as the Volt Planner) and I really thought it was perfect for me. Weekly and monthly goal pages, writing prompts, 30 day challenges- all this stuff I think I want to do, but, it turns out, I don’t. The planner is definitely right for some people, as evidenced by many great reviews, but for my scattered, ever shifting life, it became one more thing to do, instead of something to contain the doing. Continue reading

On Being (and Not Being) Carol in Mamet’s “Oleanna”

From time to time as an actor you find yourself truly falling in love with a role. There are certain ones that just speak to your soul in a way you can’t undo. You become woven into the fabric of each other, and you come to care for them in a strange way- strange only because, by nature of being a “character”, they are fictional.

These characters don’t truly exist, and they are subject to the opinions of those artists playing and directing them. Of course. We know this….

Still, I can always tell when I’m head over heels for a character I want to play because the same thing happens to me every time: I become desperately protective of them. I’m suddenly worried that no other artist in the world could possibly understand them the way I do, and that, out of my control, they will become terribly misunderstood by the entire world.

More often than not, it is the nature of our business that we do lose those roles. There are vast numbers of actors feeling this way, and just the one role.

Such it has gone for me. In a few weeks time I met, studied, deeply understood, became wildly obsessed with and overly protective of, auditioned for, went to callbacks for, and subsequently lost the role of Carol in a production of David Mamet’s OleannaContinue reading

Goodbye Eating Disorder, Hello, Loving My Body!

Want to know something crazy?
I had this eating disorder, right? And I woke up every day hating my body. Barely over 100 pounds? Hated it. Hovering around 112 where I still had boobs and my butt? Hated it. Didn’t matter.
I would wake up every day with one of two thoughts. 1. “I can’t believe I ate so much yesterday! Today, I’m going to finally start being disciplined.” Or, 2. “I lost weight! This is the ONE part of my day where my stomach will feel like this, so flat! I HAVE to keep this up, don’t mess it up, Sabrina! Don’t get fatter again!”
Every day, hating this body that was pretty crazy amazing, in hindsight.
Now, I’m far into recovery, so I’ve gained weight to a healthy point (thank goodness), and then some. I’m still finding my healthy, best feeling place for my body as I practice new ways of living, but it’s safe to say I’ve gained the kind of weight I used to have nightmares about. I don’t weigh myself to know exactly, but it’s quite a bit.
And I’ve turned the corner. All this extra ME here, and I FINALLY, just recently, started waking up every day LOVING my body. I run my hands over my curves. I touch my little belly. I see my face in the mirror and I think I look beautiful, no makeup at all. It’s absolutely amazing!
Loving your body has nothing to do with its size or shape. I wish SO much I hadn’t suffered through my entire life up to now not knowing this. Because WHO CARES what you weigh? It’s your BODY! It takes you from point A to point B, it allows you to do everything! It’s your heart and your brain in there! It’s YOU! We spend so much energy trying to make as little of us exist as possible- body and spirit.
I’m HERE. I have substance. And I’m finally loving ALL of it!
Working out to be healthy? Yes! Of course! Eating clean foods to nourish the body you love? Perfect! Sure!
But, today, put your hands on your body, and really thank it. Love it. Oh, my god. What an absolutely exhilarating rush. Way bigger than all those rushes I got from standing on the scale and seeing the number go down .02 lbs. for the 8th day in a row.
Those highs were always followed by crippling anxiety about “going back.”
This feels like it’s here to stay, somehow…. ❤
Love, love, love, love, LOVE yourself. Please.

Acting Basics- 3 Things to Bring to an Audition

Getting started in the world of acting can be intimidating. There are a lot of skills, terms, practices, and tools you need to know to put your best foot forward. In this “Acting Basics” series, I’ll introduce you to some easy tips, explanations, and checklists to help navigate the overload of information out there.

If you choose to study acting in a college or conservatory setting, you will of course learn a lot of the basic things you need to know right away. That’s a major benefit of choosing to pay for school, as well as starting out with a network of fellow artists before you get moving on your professional path. However, you don’t need a degree to be an actor, and this can be an expensive way to obtain these things.

So here, free to you, is my blog. I plan to load this baby up with great resources for actors. I’ve been a professional actor for many years now, and have worked across theatre, film, television, etc, at all different levels, in many different locations. Through this blog, I’d like to pay forward some of what I’ve learned, as so many have for me over the past decade and a half!

Let’s start with the very, very basics. A few things you will need to go to an audition without looking like you have no idea what you’re doing.  Continue reading