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Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Secret to Happiness (on a deserted island)

    I've been feeling pretty unmotivated with my blog lately, anyone else feeling this?  There's just so much blogging going on around here lately and if you don't have a really great original idea or something just super fun then you fall amongst all the other unnoticed, unread blogs.  That's how I'm feeling.  I have a blah blog.

So, I reached out to my fans on my fb page, if you haven't visited it yet, please do: My Fabulous Fanpage I asked which topic they'd most like for me to blog about and this one won (thanks Al and Scott!):

The 3 things I would want on my deserted island:

First off, I must say, the idea of a deserted island seems pretty nice right now.  No pressure.  Well, I suppose the pressure to survive, but the first few days would seem pretty great, huh?  

Ok, the first thing I think of that would be fabulous to be stranded with is a journal.  I'd love to have an unending number of blank pages to wax philosophic on and spend my days doodling or perhaps accomplish a novel before I die of starvation.  I think writing your thoughts on a daily basis is essential for clearing space in your brain for new thoughts, ideas and creativity.  Yes, my journal is essential.

The second thing I would love to have on the island is an acoustic guitar.  Ok, so i may not be the most talented when it comes to playing it, but I do love my Baby Taylor and it's amazing sounds.  Plus, I figure if I had all the time in the world, I'd probably be able to figure out some new chords and create some new music.  Making my grand total of songs a whopping 4?  Plus, as long as I could sing along to something I think I'd be less likely to go insane.  I love the power of music.  It truly is a healing sound. (I use to sing myself to sleep when I was in middle/highschool and imagined that my walls were soundproof, until one day my sis told me she heard me every night and loved it, she's the best!)

The third and final thing I think would keep me happy on a deserted island would be a bow and arrows.  Ok, way before Katniss Everdeen made it cool, I was shooting a bow in the backyard with my father and I felt pretty cool.  I never attempted to kill any animals, but I figure if I had time on my hands and needed some protein, I might be a pretty good shot, or at least could learn to be.

Writing, singing and hunting.  My secret to happiness...huh, yeah even that last one kind of surprises me, but the more I think about it, I guess I spend every day of my life hunting for my next gig, right? 

What three things would you want?

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Best Mexican Wrestling and Male Strippers

That's how my night went.  How was yours?

I got to play 'Press' at Lucha Vavoom at the Mayan Theater last night.  It was an epic evening!  I was there to support my good friend Jim Turner (of 'Arliss' fame) in his Sashay Gigante performance.  If you've never seen the show...you haven't lived life!*(see footnote)

I got a press pass so that I could take fab pics of the evening, and fab pics were taken!  The whole evening was just splendid, the burlesque ladies that started the evening were very...um...talented.  The commentators were ridiculously funny and the wrestlers.  Oh my, how do I describe the wrestlers??

I'll let the evening speak for itself with pics:








The funny thing I found myself doing though before heading out for the evening was trying 'Dress like Press' or how I perceived them to dress.  Then I had the thought, well if I feel like I have to dress the part to be it, then why do I not think 'Dress like a successful actress' every time I leave the house?  This needs to start happening!  There's a new goal for myself...but then again, how do successful actress' dress?  However they want!   ;) 

*This is a phrase my father used to use often.  I would get so annoyed by it and be like, 'Well, i guess i haven't lived then...' ha, but now in my "wise old age" I quite like the phrase.  Thanks, Dad!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Reboot Aftermath

I lasted 6 solid days on the cleanse.  On the 7th day I awoke with feverish chills and barely made it to my kitchen without passing out and shoved an apple in my mouth as fast as I could.  Now, I don't want to say this to discourage anyone from trying the cleanse.  I really actually feel like I benefited from it.  So much so that now I'm nervous to completely go off of it because I feel like my body will just completely revert to its pre-cleanse self in a minute!

My main goals for the cleanse were to see if it helped my focus, mental clarity and my skin.  I believe it did all three.  Plus, my stomach is the flattest its been in years...crazy.  On day 7, I started adding food back into my diet, but still steered clear of alcohol, sugar and carbs as much as possible.  I ate veggies, fruits and protein and still made myself drink a juice.  So, for the remainder of my 10 days I continued doing that.  Juicing, and only eating raw foods and proteins, and just a little teensy bit of bread here and there.  I have to slowly re-introduce the more complex man-made foods back into my diet so as to not completely lose everything i worked for in the past week and 1/2.

Now, though, I'm finding it challenging because my head is so worried that everything I put in my body will do extreme damage, that I'm scared to eat.  Don't get me wrong, I am eating.  I love food.  But, I'm being very picky and very slow to put harmful things in my body.  I guess this is a good thing...?  I just hope maybe it'll eventually become second nature and that way I won't have to think about it, but instead it'll just be instinct to choose the better options.

Sometimes I feel like a robot now, I look at a piece of food and in my brain calculate it's beneficial aspects vs. it's completely useless aspects and depending on how useless I avoid it.  Nuts.  I thought I was healthy before, but I suppose there are always ways to be even healthier.

Huh...would you ever try a juice cleanse?  I highly recommend it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

All or Nothing...or is it all nothing?

I've gone and done it.  Jumped on the healthy train.  I restarted training with a personal trainer and now I'm going all out with a juice cleanse.  I love it!  I feel focused and ready to sore!

While making my first juice for Day #2 of juicing I had a revelation about myself.  I made a juice last night that tasted so horrible, I had to try with all my might not to gag with every sip.  But, I forced it down knowing it was full of good for me things.  Today, though, I was determined not to make juice that is hard to swallow, because if i follow that pattern, I'm sure to fail.  So, I simplified.  My problem last night was that I tried to put every ingredient and it's mother into the same juice.  Well...lo and behold, not every fruit and vegetable tastes all that lovely when mixed with each other.  Here's what I put in this morning's juice:  Kale, Carrots, Cucumber and Pineapple.  Perfection.  Still lots of veggies with the sweetness of the fruit.  Not bad.

What I realized after thinking about my 'gung-ho' juicing attitude was that, simplifying is a glorious thing!  I applied this to my life.  I do so many things in a day/week/month that are good for me, but end up feeling spent and unfocused and altogether unaccomplished, my days become hard to swallow.  Well, I need to simplify and try not to cram all the good for me stuff into one months time, but rather spread it out a bit.  That way I can enjoy the flavor of each activity on it's own and give it one hundred percent of my attention as opposed to whatever I have left.

My challenge for myself over the next few weeks is to really concentrate on the things that make me feel good.  I'm not going to say yes to every favor or every activity that comes my way because I think it's a 'good cause', but because I truly feel that I can give it my full attention and brain power and therefore better myself and the world around me. 

Check out Jeff Phillips website: http://www.jeffphillipscft.com/  and click on the link to 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead'.  It's what totally motivated me to want to 'reboot'.

What healthy changes have you made lately?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Breaking News

A year ago, yesterday, I sat at a restaurant sipping a beer with a fellow actor friend.  We were both feeling high spirited about the recent career successes we'd had at that point.  I told him, 'Ok, we have to come back here next year on this day and celebrate how famous we are!'  Well, we didn't make it back to the restaurant because he's out of town and I was working, and you may not see our faces plastered on any upcoming movie billboards, but the distance I've come from a year ago, the growing success I see in every day, you might as well say, well, I feel pretty damn famous anyway!

I've had a a really great couple of weeks and want to share all my good news with you! Check out the trailers for 'Plastic' and 'Bled White', two indie features I filmed in Chicago in the last 4yrs:




Here's the trailer to 'Plastic', (I'm no techy, i couldn't get it to link here): http://vimeo.com/35210970

Now the really exciting part...they're both available on DVD!  You can pre-order them on Amazon.com or wait and buy them at Walmart and BestBuy.

As an actress this is a very exciting thing!  Who knows, maybe only a handful of people will buy them, but the fact that when people ask, 'Oh, you act, what have you been in?'  I now get to respond with, 'I have two features available on amazon.  You should check 'em out!' That feels really great.

Movin' on up!  Next step...I'll be on the big screen.  Soon people.  Believe it!

If you want more info on where/how to find them on amazon check out my fb page!  www.facebook.com/colleenireneboag

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Secret to Success

In a recent discussion of my career as an actress my man said to me, 'Well, you've got nowhere to go but up, right?'  Now, many would've been insulted by this comment.  And I fully know it was not meant to be an insult, nor did I take it as such.  Instead I heard it as, 'Well, the sky's the limit, right?'

And he's totally right!  As an actor, most of us don't realize how true it is that when we're just starting out or struggling to get that first big break, there really is nowhere to go but up.  We can't possibly lose the jobs we've already done, get cut out of films we've already seen ourselves in, lose the connections we've already got.  Sure, we can piss people off, but that doesn't make us go lower than we already are, if anything it makes us memorable.

Haha, ok that sounds cynical or something, but it's not meant to be.  It's actually meant to be encouraging.  As an artist, in this ever changing weird career field where there is no right and wrong, no black and white, we must hold on to the thought that every step we take is a step forward, not back or 'down', but forward, something new, something different, something exciting and something filled with potential.

That's really all I have to say about that.  Short and sweet.  


Monday, June 4, 2012

Planes, Trains & Automobiles...

What a week of traveling I had! The week started in Virginia; wedding for one of my man's best friends from high school. It was so much fun! It was nice and casual and cozy. No stuffy decorations, uptight bridesmaids and uncomfortable seating arrangements. It was buffet, let's get drunk and dance in this crazy humidity like no ones business kind of fun! And I made some new friends! My absolute favorite thing about the wedding was chatting with people who are not in the entertainment business at all! For the first time in months I had conversations about things that are genuinely important in life, other than, "how many twitter followers do u have?" (um...are you following me on twitter yet? @ColleenBoag) ;). It was refreshing and reinvigorating! Just what the doctor ordered.

 Next stop was home, sweet, home. I got to hang with my new nephew! Relaxing, right? Ha! Absolutely not! What a little doll. He is one of the smiliest babies I've ever known, that is when he's being held. If you put him down he will attempt to climb you, cuz, nobody puts baby on the carpet! Oh man! Every day around 2pm I needed a nap! Did I get one? Usually not. How do my sis and bro-in-law do it?? I give them major props! I was exhausted and I was only there for a week! I cannot imagine that full-time. Oy.

 Then next and last stop for me on this crazy crazy week was VEGAS! I was meeting up with friends for a surprise dirty thirty. It was great! I can't really divulge more than that since what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! Wish I had gotten to spend more time there but I had to return to LA a day early because *sigh, unfortunately (please read sarcasm here) I got a callback for a feature I auditioned for a few weeks back! And then luck of the draw I was scheduled for a second audition for yet another feature later that evening. I was out of town for 8 days, in three different cities and it feels very surreal to be back in LA and back to the grind. I needed the getaway and feel ready to get back to it! Big things are coming...big things!

What's your fave getaway?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jillian Micheals, you're such a bully!

Or is she?  As I sit here, eating a bag of totilla chips, I wonder, 'Why is my workout plan failing?' 

I started P90x with a group of my girlfriends approx 5 1/2 weeks ago.  We were all really pumped!  Really motivated!  Really ready to be fit!  Yeah!  Let's do this!  We committed to doing 6 days a week at 8:30am alternating who's house we'd be at, depending on what equipment we needed, driving btw Hollywood, Studio City and Los Feliz. 

Week 1, fabulous!  We all felt really excited and dedicated and motivated.  Week 2, our schedules started having to be shifted around a little, but we made it work with 'accountability' buddies so that if one person couldn't do am, maybe someone would be willing to do pm with them instead.  Awesome.

Week 3, thank goodness!  Last week with this routine, then we switch it up and start doing different exercises.  Week 4, we discussed and decided that following the 'Classic' schedule wasn't working for us.  Hmm..let's not lose hope, let's try out the 'Lean' version.  Cool.  Here we are at the end of week 5, starting week 6 and to be honest, we're all extremely, well, FREAKING FRUSTRATED!

We've been so hardcore about this, so dedicated, we've been doing our very best to eat healthy, low fat, low cal meals, high protein, blah blah blah blah.  Why the heck are we not more excited for beach season??

For me personally, my goal isn't to lose weight.  I just want to be in kick a** fighting shape so that when Quentin Tarantino calls me up to star in 'Kill Bill 3', I'll be able to present my amazingly toned body and proudly say, 'I totally fit into this movie'.  Well...you'd think that after 5 weeks of 1hr workouts for 6days straight, you'd look like a Greek god. 

Um...not the case.  Alright, I admit my eating habits could be better (i just put the tortilla bag away), but really, there's not too much I could adjust.  I do recall a year ago, I gave up alcohol for an entire 30 days.  Doesn't seem like it would be such a hard thing for someone to do, but when you're social life consists of bars and parties, it's a bit of a challenge.  Anyway, I did it! Successfully!  I didn't have beer, wine or cocktails for 30 days and I remember feeling great!  I shed some pounds, while I was toning up and felt unstoppable. 

Maybe that's the key.  No alcohol for me.  I could probably do without.  But, I gotta admit, it's just a bunch easier to mingle with a ton of strangers when you have a quick sip of some Pinot Noir...

Now, I'm not planning on 'giving up' on this P90x thing, but I feel like the only way I'll see results is by adding to it.  Ugh.  After an hr long workout in the am it really isn't enticing to plan a second workout later that day.  But, for the good of my career and my mood, it may be the answer.

Have you had any success with P90x or Jillian Michaels?  I'd love to hear what/how you succeeded!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Find the Right Fit: Free Acting Class Review

So, I recently took the lunge and dove into a brand new acting class.  This makes it my fifth acting class (not counting UCB) since I've been out here in good old Los Angeles.  Now, I don't move around so much because I find my classes dull or boring or unhelpful.  Not the case.  I find that if I'm in a class for too long, I get comfortable.  And being a 'comfortable' actress means being a lazy actress and lazy actress' doesn't book jobs.

I need a challenge.  I need something that's really gonna motivate me to go out there and kick some a**.  I need to be inspired.  A little over a month ago I began my search.

I started with a well known and respected studio (i'll leave names out, if you really need to know because you're shopping around for a class, email me privately and i'll share with you).  I went to an orientation day.  'What is going on?' was my main thought throughout the process.  Everyone's different, so I'm not here to say, 'Do or Don't go to this studio'.  Each artist has their own creative style and process and there's no one right path, that's what makes us ARTISTS!  For me, this studio didn't fit quite right.  The teachers were all...um...how do you say, a bit spazmatic?  However, I thought getting out of my 'comfort' zone might be a good thing and at the end of the orientation I put a hold on a spot in the next months class.  But even after I put down my card as a deposit, I knew it wasn't the place for me.  It seemed as if the woman in the office didn't give one hoot about you, just wanted your credit card asap, goodday.  And it just made my skin feel not so tingly with excitement.

And my search continued.  The following week, I headed to another studio which was listed on ActorGenie, (all you fellow actors out there, download this app if you have an iphone, it's pretty sweet!) I hadn't personally heard of this studio but it sounded like what I was searching for.  I took a chance, headed to audit and well...fell in love.

When I walked in the door the 'class producer' who's in charge of collecting money from the auditors and giving out all the info on the studio was the brightest, happiest, sweetest woman I'd ever met.  But genuinely so, not in a way that puts a bad taste in your mouth and furrow on your brow.  She was oh so helpful and patient with all of our questions and concerns, then led us into the studio where class was about to begin.

Here's one of my pet peeves.  Studios that don't let potential students audit an actual class!  How do we know what we're paying for unless we get to actually experience it?  I think it's somewhat shady (even though one of my fave teachers doesn't allow auditors and I don't regret signing up for class w/o a sneak peek, it was worth it), but for the most part, it just makes giving that studio money a harder decision, because you're thinking, 'Well, I liked the info in the orientation but how does it feel to be in that class for real?'

Anywho, I got to audit the actual class.  It was awesome.  From the moment class began I knew I had found my next "home".  The students were uber talented and nice (imagine that!).  The teacher was just calm and cool and told it like it was without making anyone cry or being too soft.  Then we took a 15min break halfway through class and he met with all us auditors that were there that day and focused one at a time on us and asked us our stories.  I loved that.  He cares.  He cares where we came from, why we're here and whether or not it'll be a good fit.  It was just what I needed.

As of tuesday, I had my first class!  It was...to be honest, not as glorious as I'd hoped.  The class that I audited is an 'upper level' class so they start all their new students in the one below for a short time to make sure everyone's on the same page.  I don't think the class I'm in is bad by any means, I'm just not sure it's the challenge that I'm looking for.  I didn't feel the spark on tuesday that I had felt that time I audited.

But, that was just class number one.  I'm not dismayed yet.  Plus, I was just assigned my first scene and...(drumroll please) it's Kill Bill.  What?  My absolute dream role!  So, maybe once I get up there to work on a scene I'll feel a bit more challenged by the class.  I sure hope so! 

Do you have any absolutely amazing studios you'd like to share with me?   I'd love to hear some feedback!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Auditions: The Good, The Bad...The FUGLY

I don't know what happened...I was beaming with confidence, my hair was just right, I had brushed my teeth and was wearing my blue power blouse that shows the world I'm a star.  Then...I walked into the audition room.

And bombed.

It was as if I just stepped off a farm in Omaha (no offense...are there even farms in omaha?) and decided today, two minutes before my audition that I wanted to be an actress.

What happened in there??  That's all my brain could ask as I walked out the door and got in my car.  It was an out of body experience.  Now, I know many other actors have experienced the ultimate, 'I nailed that audition!  Bam!  I was so freaking prepared, there's no way I didnt get that part!'  and I'm sure many have experienced the, 'Eh, I could've done better.'  But please, please, please, tell me I'm not the only one that just experienced:

Camera Op: 'Please slate your name.'
Me: 'Hi, I'm Colleen Irene Boag, I'm about to be your worst auditioning nightmare.'
Camera Op: 'Have you ever used our product before.'
Me: 'Hell no!  Thank God!  I hope I never have to!'
Camera Op: 'Ok...great.  Go ahead when you're ready.'

(Inner monologue) Ok...say the lines, get them right, no, that's not the line, oh shoot, i'm just reading right of the paper, crap, I'm supposed to be holding a cat?!?!?!  Should I mime it?  Sure, why the hell not!  Let's bend out of frame and pick up an imaginary cat and pretend to be petting it with my eyes completely down and not even a quick look up so the camera can see how they sparkle!  Great!  F-ed up that line, who cares, two more lines, just keep going, my eyes are darting everywhere, why are my eyes darting everywhere, do not apologize for sucking even though this is the most suck I've ever felt in an audition room, oh dear Lord, I should've just stayed in bed this morning and not...I'm done.

'Thanks.'

'Uh...thank you!  Have a good day!'

I walked out of that building as fast as I possibly could and wanted to just run and hide under the biggest rock I could find.   Ok.  Time to dive back into commercial class.  That was an ultimate train wreck.

(disclaimer: i didn't actually cry after the audition...
i'm just actually a good actress, believe it or not)

Here's hoping that auditions are like life...when you've hit rock bottom, there's no way to go but up.  On to the next!  Oy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flights are How Much?!?!??!

Is anyone else getting overwhelmed by the gas prices these days??  Yikes!  I'm always happy when I'm able to walk somewhere and save .011 gallon of gas, so I don't have to visit that horrifying gas station, spend $25 and only see the needle go up to a quarter tank.  Ugh.

I believe this is directly affecting the price of flights as well.  This year has already been a challenging one navigating the discount, cheap flight websites almost every day to plan for a hefty number of trips I'm taking this year.

I'm very excited to be taking these trips, don't get me wrong.  I'm visiting Vegas, I'm flying home to visit my new nephew, baby John, I'm flying internationally to Italy to be in my best friends wedding!  It's all fabulously exciting and very much worth my time, but my bank account keeps frowning at me...

As a 'starving artist', I find these prices to be even more daunting.  All things I want to do and I will end up doing, even if it means months of raman noodles and no cable ;).  Whatever happened to the days of discount travel sites actually offering discounts??  I've been searching for cheap flights on hotwire, orbitz, priceline, etc, and it seems to me that the prices they spit out are what you would pay if you were going to the airline site itself.  I miss the 'good old days'...am I actually old enough to say that?

It's so funny when I reminisce about 'back in the day' when I would stop at the gas pump on my way back from senior year classes and I'd sift around the floor and seats of my mazda 323 hatchback and find about $2 worth of change.  I'd walk inside to the clerk, "$2 on number 4 please", and I'd have a decent amount of gas to get me through the week.  Heaven.

Well, prices are rising...so I hope minimum wage gets on board soon enough, or I book that next big Tim Burton film and get a chance to pay my entire family's gas for a few years!

Got any secret good advice on how to save money on flights or at the pump??  Let me know!

Ooh, for those of you with smartphones, there's an app called 'Gas Buddy' and it tells you the price of the gas in the area you are so you can find the cheapest.  At least you may only spend $4.60 as opposed to $4.89  ;)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hollywood Half Marathon Here I come!

So, back in January...a friend of mine approached me about training for the Hollywood half marathon.  I laughed in his face.  The most I ever run is 1mi, maybe 2 if I'm on a treadmill.  13.5mi??  That would take me like 10hrs!

However, I thought...and thought...and thought about it, and decided.  Ok, I'm gonna be tough on myself and sign up for it and pay money to torture myself and therefore, I have to train!

Three months later, here I sit, writing this blog post with legs that feel like jelly and the lung capacity of a whale (do they have good lung capacity?  I would think so, cuz they're huge!).  Anyway, point is, the race is two weeks and three days away, April 7th, 2012 @6am.  And to be honest, I feel pretty prepared.  I've run over 51mi in just the last month alone.  What?  I think that's more than I've run in the past 3 years combined.

I've learned through this process that the human body is amazing!  And we can honestly do pretty much whatever we put our minds to.  It's been intense, but I've gained a whole new respect for runners.  I don't view running as 'torture' so much anymore and before, when I thought of running 6mi I'd rather have eaten a live worm.  But now I see 6mi and think, oh thank God! That's an easy run!

On top of training for a half marathon I've been putting together a night of Screenings and Sketches with some friends and if you ask me which has been harder?  I'd say the screening night has felt like running a full marathon...I really don't prefer to produce events/films.  I'll do it now, while I'm still working my way up the ladder, but in the future?  I hope to retire my producer hat while I'm still young.  But another half marathon?  I think I could probably handle that.  We shall see how I feel once i actually run it though...i might have a different story.

Let me know if you're running the half as well!  I'll look out for you at the starting line!

video
And if you're not up to anything important on March 27th starting at 8pm, you should come by and check out the most amazing and free 'Late Night LA' show I've been busting my butt to put together!  Event Page with more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/396298793714239/?__adt=9

Monday, March 5, 2012

Get out of Town!

No, really, get out of town.

As an actor and 5yr resident of Los Angeles, CA, I think it's fun, healthy and absolutely necessary to take breaks from the crazy nonstop hustle of Hollywood. It can drive you insane, as I'm sure my fellow actors know. So allow yourself some breathing room and remind yourself that there's a huge world outside of the film industry! And if you step away for 24 hrs it'll all still be there when you get back...

I just took a quick one night trip up to San Francisco with my sweet man to visit his little sis. We drove! What a blast! I love road trips it really is a great way to see the country and appreciate what the world has to offer, (ps. I would never want to own a car if I lived in San Fran, I'd prolly end up driving over 2 ppl a day and I don't think I'd look that good in an orange jumpsuit).

Any who, this was a needed little escape. I've been increasingly busy these days and in a very good and exciting way. I booked two auditions the other week, and believe it or not they were both paying! woohoo! So last weekend I spent two days filming and being a 'working actress' and another day filming a feature for a friend. It was very fulfilling.

And now here I am on my way back from one night off and I'm planning two more days of filming and have 4 auditions to record when I get home. The hustle never dies! I love it and will never complain, but I gotta say, having a hard working agent and a name where you don't necessarily have to audition to get a part must be nice!

So seriously, next time you feel yourself swamped and stressed and unable to breathe, get out of town! You deserve it! We all do! Where would you go if you had a few days off and could drive 6 hrs??...what's stopping you? Don't forget, you only live once, don't waste it!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Party Crasher!


Yeah so I crashed a party!  Well, a commercial audition party.  I hear of people crashing auditions all the time, but I've never had the guts or know how to do it myself.  However, yesterday, I had asked the universe (via twitter @cboag484) to make my Wednesday exciting.

Well, during my voice lesson I got a text from a good friend telling me that he was at his audition and there were lots of  'Colleen Wannabee's' in there and I should get my butt in that room!  I was excited, but hesitant.  I asked every question I could possibly ask in hopes of finding some reason not to go:

'Do they have you in their system?'
"No, you just sign in when you walk in the door."
'Do you think it'll be less of a wait if I go later, towards the end of the day?'
"I think it'll be about the same wait no matter when you go."
'Do I need sides?  What is everyone wearing? Why would I be good enough?  Would I get arrested if they found me out?  Will I get blacklisted?  Punched?  Murdered???!?!?!?!'

Shhh....I had to tell myself to stop the doubt.  Stop telling yourself you're not good enough.  You're friend, your supporter, wouldn't put you in a position of making a fool of yourself.  He's helping you!  Let him!

So, after about an hour of working up the nerve, I saddled on some balls (excuse my french) and marched into that audition waiting room, headshot in hand, confidence rising and feeling hella good about my decision to be bold, brave and ambitious.  Fearless.  Daring.  Go out and grab your dreams!

I stepped into the room and eek...there was a lady checking everyone in with a list in hand with everyone's headshot and info on it.  Now, there was someone in front of me, so I waited patiently, thinking, 'Should I give up now? Accept defeat?  Or stand here and show everyone that I do in fact belong in this room?'

I held my ground.

I overheard the guy in front of me, who happened to also not be on the list, (a fellow crasher?) and I listened to his confident reply of, 'Well, I received the audition this morning, so it was a late confirmation and I'm not even supposed to be here until 5pm, but I thought I'd try to come early.'

Why thank you sir for your brilliant B.S.  When my turn came up I casually said, 'I just overheard what you two were saying and I think I probably have the same issue since I got the notification this morning from my agent and confirmed just a few hours ago.'

The woman smiled and said, "Ok, whats your name?  Let me see if I can find you!"

Knowing she wouldn't find me, I confidently stated my name and watched as she searched.  She kindly told all of us 'missing' people to hang out until she talked to the director to find out if he could squeeze us in.  At least I wasn't the only one!  *Phew!

After about a five min. wait, she announced that we could stay if we were male and bilingual.  Guess all the balls in the world couldn't have gotten me in that door.  But you know what?  At least I tried!

And for that I'm proud of myself and have no regrets.  I also got to leave my headshot, because she so graciously offered to collect them, saying, 'We're casting things all the time so if you want to leave your headshots I'll gladly take them.'  Why not?

Have you ever crashed an event you weren't supposed to go to?  It's a pretty good adrenaline rush!  Thanks Universe for giving me some excitement.  Now, can I please get a kick-a** lead in an action movie and a paycheck that makes me faint??

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fakin' it??

I've come to the conclusion that this career is toughest for those of us in the 'middle'. Middle height (5'2"), middle weight (neither over weight or anorexic but rather 'healthy'), and middle looks (not stunningly exotic like Angelina and not so hideous we brake mirrors, just normal symmetrical every day girl next door looks).

Why? You ask? Because Hollywood has no idea where to put us! If I was 5'9", stick thin and exotic looking I'd be characterized as 'hot chick', 'upscale model good looks', 'headturner' or if I was 4'11" with a big nose and crooked grin, I'd be making bank doing commercials. What about the rest of us? Where do we go? ...'shrug'.

Exactly. I went to a job orientation yesterday for promo modeling. This is why I bring this up. I feel our view of beauty is so skewed it's created this void for ppl like me, who are average height, curvaceous and have a natural hair color (gasp).

I sat in a room full of 22yr old fake blondes with ribs poking out of their shirts. Me? I'm thin, I work out. But I'm a size 8. Why? Because I have hips. No matter how much weight I lose, how much I diet or work out, I will always be a size 8.

'ladies, Jillian fit in 30 is a god send! We need you toned and tan.'. The first part of this I felt was indirectly aimed at me, the second was for a fact aimed at me. 'get a tan'. Were the words of advice I was given as I was sent out the door. Ugh.

Now my whole life I've had people greet me with, 'you're so tan!' and I've scowled and said, 'ugh, really??'. Because I slather on the sunscreen and bring an umbrella to the beach so that one day when I'm 50 I can still look like I'm 35. So how is it that despite all that protection I still look tan to everyone and yet, I'm not tan enough. I'm also not blonde enough...what? I was the only real blonde in the heard.

So my quandary is: do I tan and dye and plaster on the eyelashes and makeup so that Hollywood knows where to put me? Or do I stay au naturel and let myself flop about until that golden role appears: "seeking real blondes, no fakes, with hips, defined biceps, real boobs, preferably less than a C cup and book smarts.".

I think I'll flop.

Boy do I sound cynical!  Dallas Travers would say that I need to turn my negative statement of 'it's toughest in hollywood for those of us with middle looks' into a positive powerful statement, so here goes nothing: "there's an over abundance of jobs for average height blondes with athletic bodies so much that my phone rings with endless opportunities."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happiness. (Part I)

The comment on my previous post stirred up my thoughts for this post.  It's important as actors that we achieve balance in all aspects of our lives.  If we focus solely on our careers then our lives are going to seem bleak and frustrating...at least during the years when our careers are 'in development'.

I recently had a career coaching session with Shawn Tolleson, who I think is a very wise woman, and she asked me to journal about what makes me happy.  Not, 'why acting makes me happy', but rather when do I achieve that utmost sense of happiness?  What am I doing when I can't control the smile creeping across my face?

I've somewhat been avoiding this because lately I've been feeling...well, empty.  Emotionless.  As an actress this is terrifying.  If I have no emotions then how can i connect with my characters and give real, believable, gut wrenching performances?

It's not that I'm feeling depressed.  I've been depressed in the past and it's quite horrible, those of you who have gone through it know.  It's not depression I'm feeling, it's a lack of...sparkle.  Pizzazz.  Tingliness.  Giddiness.  Uncontrollable Joy.  Instead I feel like a robot.  I smile when I hear a joke, although I'm not sure why it was funny.  I have to tell myself I'm having a good time, instead of just knowing it.  Sometimes I just don't 'feel' like I think i should.  I don't 'feel' anything.

I'm gonna make this post a two part-er cuz I'm going to pay extra special attention the next couple of days to my 'feelings' and mark down when I believe I'm 'acting happy' and when there's no acting involved at all.  And when I find those moments where it's natural and not robotic, I'm gonna write it down, think about it and capture how happiness feels.

I think back to moments I know I'm truly utterly happy:  One in particular was last Sept.  I had a movie screening in Chicago and managed to track down my besties from high school and get them all to agree to meet me in Chicago, not only for the screening but for a weekend of fun.  Oh My Goodness what an amazing weekend it was.  Even without the screening I would've had the time of my life.  And you know what I think it was?  I was with people who've known me since I was 16 (wow...it's been quite some time), who've taught me to drive my first car, wept with me when my father passed, waved as I drove off to college, talked me through my first (and second) heartbreak, supported every moment of my career without question and love me unconditionally to this day.  I didn't have to prove anything about myself.  I had nothing to be self-conscious about (they've seen me at my worst).  And I didn't have to worry about not being entertaining enough.  I could just be.  Breathe.  Relax.  Smile.  Enjoy.  It was by far the highlight of my 2011 year.

So there in-lies one key to my happiness: Just being me the human being, not me 'the actress'.


*Sigh.  If I could capture that in all that I do, perhaps I can be a bit more, I was gonna say successful, but I change my mind.  It's not about success.  It's about happiness.  That's what I ultimately want to achieve in my lifetime.  Did I live a happy life?  Why yes.  I did.

Stay tuned for part II!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

95%-er

Along with the fear of flying comes the fear of succeeding. I just read a fabulous article that was tweeted by Dallas Travers (if you don't already know her, as an actor you need to!). It was all about tending to give only 95% instead of 100% and therefore being mediocre at everything instead of amazing at something.

This is totally how I live my life. Lately I've been half a**ing my workouts and then wondering why I'm not seeing the results I want or imagine I should be seeing. Well, duh!

Same goes for my acting career. I get auditions and after complaining about never getting auditions I don't prepare until the night before! What is wrong with me? Then, of course I don't get callbacks.

This is a terrible terrible cycle leading to non-success.

I fear that if I become successful I won't know what to do or how to handle it. If I succeed, then what?

Well, fear be gone! I no longer will hold back. I'm going to conquer everything put my mind too and if it doesn't feel like 100% I'm gonna stop being a child and try my hardest.

There. It's out there. There's no going back.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fear of Flying

All of us actors have this internal 'fear of flying'.  No, I'm not talking about the actual process of soaring thousands of feet above ground in a big metal machine that might as well be a bomb.  I'm talking about the fear that as soon as we book a flight out of town, that agent we've been hassling for months will finally call us in for a meeting, or that casting director we've been going to workshops with finally wants us for the perfect role, or there are so many audition notifications piling up in our inbox that we know absolutely that we have just missed our one shot at fame and will now forever be a failure.  Or at least for the next ten years, until our 'big break'.
Ugh.  What a ridiculous fear we actors live with.  It's so ridiculous but it stops many of us from living our lives.  Which is a huge mistake because living our lives is what makes us actors.  Experience, emotions, memories, and moments, that's what we draw from as actors and if we forever remain in the city of Angels, sitting in front of our computers pressing the refresh button in hopes that a new email will pop up that says, "Thanks for your great audition!  We've cast you as the lead!"  Then we will continue to suck.  I mean SUCK as actors.  As artists.
It's a long lived fact that as soon as you book that flight you've been dying to book for your best friends wedding in Italy, you'll get a huge opportunity that seems to fall out of nowhere other than the cloud of irony and into your lap.  What ever should you do?  Well...flights are often refundable if not changeable and yes, maybe you lose a $100 here or there.  But have you not already spent thousands if not millions on your career; headshots, classes, workshops, producing your own shorts, reels, biz cards, coaching sessions, blah blah blah, so what's another $100 to ya for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Now I'm absolutely not suggesting you skip your best friends wedding.  I'm simply suggesting you don't go a week early like planned, but still make it in time to see her walk down the aisle and kiss her prince charming.  Just like in the movies...
Live your life.  It's your only job as an actor.  An artist.
Welcome to the first post in my new blog.  I'm not sure what I'll be writing about but I guarantee it'll be good...thanks for joining me!