You CAN Go Home Again

Home. The City of Angels. SoCal. LA. We made it back.

I once heard someone say that once you live somewhere for ten years, you are really from there. Does Los Angeles count for me? I celebrated my ten year anniversary of moving here at the end of April.

Of course, I took some breaks. I spent a year in Atlanta, chunks of time away to make a movie in Minnesota, to travel Ecuador, to all over North America when I worked jobs for Porsche, a long time to shack up with the husband in Michigan….

Still, I felt like an Angeleno the moment I arrived.

I’ll never forget that flight. My boyfriend at the time and I had decided to move to LA, not New York as we had always planned. I honestly forget why. We were living in Sarasota, Florida, doing a long run of a show. Evita. A ten week run. Maybe we were burnt out on the idea of eight shows a week for a while. I think maybe his dad suggested to us we try LA. I know NYC had always been the end game…we had visited for long periods and loved it.

Maybe it was a fluke. Something about the movies drew us in. I really can’t say a decade later. Continue reading

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A Whole New Book

Sometimes in life you get to start a fresh new chapter.

Today, I feel like I’m starting a whole new book.

Yep. I got that first day of school, fresh, clean notebook, crisp pages, shiny ink-filled pens vibe.

I’ve been away from LA for almost a year and a half. Not totally, strictly “away.” I’ve been there for chunks of time. Months, sometimes. But I haven’t had a true home there in something like 18 months.

It’s been an exciting 18 months, for the most part. I did get to start at Groundlings. I spent two weeks in Thailand. A month traveling all over Ecuador. Performed onstage in NYC for the first time.

I worked random jobs- a hosting gig here, a commercial there.

I got to go home- as in my birth home- a lot, spend a lot of time with family, mine and my husband’s.

Today, we are packing up the Cadillac and starting the road trip home. To the west coast. To LA. To the place my dreams live. To the city that makes me feel like I can take a deep breath and be the most me.

Life is full of twists and turns you can never expect. Now it’s time to ride those twists and turns out west, to jump on Route 66 and start my new book with a road trip adventure.

Also, Los Angeles is now offering yoga classes with Lola the Sloth, so it seems my return is just in time. 🙂

 

My Husband & I Live in Separate States- All Your Questions Answered

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The heart isn’t in the right place…but our hearts are…. #cheesy

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, people really feel for you. You get a lot of “Oooo that’s so hard.” Loads of sympathy. It’s great!

When you’re in a long-distance marriage, the questions and comments change. They range from much more curious (“How on Earth does that work?”) all the way to completely judgmental (“Do you not like being around each other?”). (Although couples who have been married for a long time often remark that a long-distance marriage is brilliant, which I love!)

So, in the spirit of sharing, and possibly saving myself some future explanations, I thought I would make a little FAQ.

Spoiler alert: YES, we really like being around each other. A whole lot. Maybe too much.

The “My Husband and I Live in Two Different States Official FAQ”!

Q: Wait, you and your husband live in two different states?!

A: Yeah.

Q: Really?

A: Well, it depends on how you look at it. I often say we both live in both places. Technically, his residence is in Michigan, and mine is in California. He spends more time in Detroit, I spend a lot more time in Los Angeles.

Q: But…why?

A: The basic reason is that we have three awesome kids from Steve’s first marriage. They are in Michigan, so we need to be in Michigan as well. His job is also mostly in Detroit, though he does work out of the LA office at times.

My home and my career are in Los Angeles, so that’s where I need to be.

Q: Oh yeah- how does that work with your jobs? Continue reading

AFI Fest, Hostiles, and the “LA Party”

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Ah, LA parties. If you want to see a bunch of people packed into a small space with little to no food, all sort of talking to each other but mostly looking around the room to see if there’s anyone more exciting nearby, get yourself to any industry related party in Los Angeles.

And “industry related” really just means there are actors there, I think.

Tonight I went to one such party. AFI Fest is happening now, and I want to do a huge shoutout because, at least for now, it’s my second favorite film festival in LA. The American Film Institute appreciates and celebrates the art of film in an important way, and their festival reflects that. If you get a chance, get your tickets now. (They have a Robert Altman career retrospective this year. What else do you need?)

Tonight my girl Kristine and I went to a screening of Scott Cooper’s new film Hostiles. It’s an epic western starring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, and a generally incredible cast, and I definitely recommend seeing it. It isn’t a perfect film by any means, but I like to judge art based on how it moves you and what it makes you look at inside yourself or out in the world. I was definitely moved, and I think the types of conversations this movie sparks are important to have. Continue reading

Back in the City of Angels

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I’m home. I’m HOME! I’m so happy to be back, I can’t even begin to tell you. My heart is here in LA…. and now the rest of me is, too.

I watched La La Land (finally!) on the plane ride here. My husband and I watched it together, and we were equally teary by the end. I’m not a particularly critical person- I like to like things for what they are, not tear them apart for what I want them to be, generally- but I above and beyond loved that film. Obsessed. Amazed.

 

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That lighting is the reason we all moved here. Magic.

 

 

A love letter to the city I love? An offering of hope and joy to the “ones who dream”? A story of artistic soul mates without a cheesy romanticized ending, where they learn some crap like “love matters more than everything you ever wanted”?  Continue reading

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

Love Letter to You, Inspired by Earthquakes and Migraines

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Los Angeles has been on an earthquake alert for a few days, which is supposed to end today. Earthquakes are part of life here, and we haven’t seemed able to predict them too accurately, so it didn’t alarm me much. Especially when I read that the highest likelihood was still something like 1 in 100. Nothing to flee the city over.

My husband and I discussed it a little though, and he was a little worried. He actually asked (possibly half jokingly) if I should move my upcoming trip to Michigan up and come yesterday instead. We sort of laughed, though, of course you wonder….better safe than sorry?

But, if I wanted to truly be out of the earthquake zone, I would have to just move. So, I stay. I love Los Angeles that much. It’s my home. A little shakeup can’t scare me away!

Tonight, out of nowhere, a terrible migraine hit me. It’s 8:30p, and I have to just sleep it off. I know these migraines- the only answer is to close my eyes and sleep as long as possible. To that end- and because I’ve had a little anxiety over a few personal things- I took an entire Xanax to help me sleep uninterrupted and wake up fresh and new tomorrow.

After I took the Xanax, after I became extremely drowsy, Tigre started acting up. Continue reading

Survival Jobs Series: What Makes a “Survival Job” Great?

Most artists living in LA- ok, anywhere- know the value of a great “survival job.” A survival job is really just a “job,”but we artists have to call it something else to differentiate it from what we believe our “real” job is and protect our fragile egos. Otherwise we get all kinds of deflated.

Survival jobs must have the following characteristics:

  1. They pay you enough money to not be homeless or starve.
  2. They don’t completely drain your soul or require total sacrifice of your integrity.
  3. They are somewhat flexible, in case auditions or career-related gigs pop up.

The BEST survival jobs…

  1. are EXTREMELY flexible, and have cool, understanding bosses, or..
  2. have YOU as the boss. You are in charge or work for yourself.
  3. pay a high rate for a short amount of time.
  4. allow you to hobnob with cool people who could help you in your actual career.
  5. require NO sacrifice of integrity, and even possibly feed your soul in a cool way.
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As long as I can pay my bills, I know I’ll stay alive…

Obviously, many people start side businesses or work freelance in their field on the side, but I don’t really count those as “survival jobs” for the purpose of this series, since they are career and passion related. To qualify as a survival job, it must be something done to simply…survive. Something I would basically never do had I been given a trust fund when I turned 18.

God, my parents really dropped the ball on that one….

In my 13 (yikes) years of existence as an adult actor- (wait. Not “adult actor” like porn. Not “adult films”! Like, grown up person living on my own who has to pay her bills but also have a career…) (that’s clear right? I have never done porn.) (Not even as a “survival job”) (Ok…just making sure…) (NO porn.) – in those 13 years, I have had MANY survival jobs as you might imagine. In this blog series, I will explore the cool, crazy, and particularly awful of these jobs, one by one. This way, you can feel my pain, cheer my successes, and any fellow artists trying to navigate the world of survival jobs can take in my experienced advice.

I warn you….it won’t always be pretty. I’ve been dressed as Snow White on a city bus. I’ve gone through clown training. I’ve tried desperately to make a square bubble in front of 30 impatient kids and 30 irritated adults to no avail (and no tip). I’ve been fired (many times), quit in dramatic protests, and sometimes just…ghosted. I’ve spilled whole trays of drinks on some very nice people. I’ve been stiffed, promoted, rejected, lost, and triumphant.

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Me getting fired has never been less dramatic than this.

Most importantly, I’ve (almost) never been homeless.

I’ll be sure to categorize all of these posts under “Survival Jobs,” so keep an eye out! Have any crazy survival job experiences you would love to share in a guest post? Feel free to contact me and tell me about it! Inquiring readers need to know! Or comment below with successes and horror stories!

Ah, to be an artist. It’s so glamorous I could just spit.