Year 2 is done, Year 3, here we go!

Driving to Simi Valley on September 10th, 2009.

Tomorrow marks my two year anniversary with California. And, boy, did it fly. The first year was filled with fun, friends, and my romance with the Terminator.The Terminator and I had two internships with a PR and management company. I also did two shows that year: the monologue show Sex, Relationships, and Sometimes Love by Joelle Arqueros and Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of Cinderella. During my first year, I was still getting the handle of the Los Angeles freeway system (mainly their illogically random on and off ramps) and trying to make new friends seemed more difficult since I wasn’t in school. A fellow coworker at the time even had said, “You won’t make it one year here.” He was drunk when he’d said that, so I didn’t take him seriously. In any case, those kinds of comments only make me fight harder to prove they are wrong.

By the end of the first year, I felt in limbo. I’m a very impatient person and, because of this, I felt I hadn’t accomplished anything. I had to keep reminding myself that these things take time, that I can’t become successful within just ONE year. My relationship with the Terminator ended in the summer as well. He had been the only close friend I had made, so the loss brought me back to square one when concerning friendships.

anne, shaneen, and meAnd so I got to work. At the start of my second year, I ended up becoming very close with Anne from work. Shaneen, Alisha, and a few others became close as well. It was nice finally having some girlfriends.

The beginning of my second year, I also discovered I was not invincible to the dangers of dating, learning the lesson quickly never to get drunk alone with a guy you barely knew.

Then a week later, still fuming over my bad date, a few of my girlfriends made me go out to a lounge bar, Bogie’s, to lighten my spirits. Although, a bar filled with men was the last place I wanted to be. But that’s when I met Mr. Georgia, a producer for television. And so began a multitude of whimming adventures! My first private jet experience, my first Las Vegas high-life experience, the Magic Castle, the Getty Museum, Dom Perignon champagne. There was always something new to look forward to. Needless to say, I got swept.

S7303320Then there were those tender moments that really swept me. The kind that made you feel like you never felt that way before. You know, the “oh my gosh, is this it?” feeling. I can honestly say I had never had that feeling before, so it definitely took me by surprise. This was also my first experience dating a man who already had had a previous married life and a child. My mother had always told, from experience, to not get involved with divorced men, that my life would be very hard and almost unbearable. But then again, my parents’ romance is the foundation to how I look at my own romance. Although they had a rough first 8 or 9 years, they have one of the happiest, most passionate and romantic marriages I’ve ever known. I want that.

Half way through my second year, I experienced the “in love” feeling. In the past, it used to be inconceivable to me. So, with much consult with my mother, I allowed myself to admit that I was in love with Mr. Georgia. I like to mark that moment in my personal history. It was so unreal, I couldn’t believe it was happening.

Then it was gone. Not the feeling, but the relationship. Timing, I suppose…Mr. Georgia did not feeling the same way…it could be a number of things. I don’t think I’ll ever get a straight answer, but it doesn’t really matter in the end. I’m just happy I got to experience that used-to-be enigma of a feeling. Also helps with my acting. Another experience I can add to my list.

From their, I suddenly became audition addicted. I was still healing from the loss of Mr. Georgia, but it lit a fire under me to find as many distractions I could grab. And what more of a perfect distraction is getting into a show. Not only would it keep me busy, but it’s a part of my career path!

That’s when I landed Funny Girl at the Downey Civic Light Opera.250371_10150195826572011_506872010_7113574_2689920_n I played a small role named Polly. It was a lot of fun, but was a hell of a drive. I experienced my first L. A. traffic too. Let me just say…agony.

At this time, I also reconnected with the Terminator. I had always wished we could be friends and hated that we never talked anymore. So I called him up, told him just that, and we are good friends to this day.

On a sadder note, my Papa passed away while I was in rehearsals for Funny Girl. The smartest man in the world had finally checked out. I still have a hard time realizing I will never see him again, as if he’s still waiting for me to come visit in Arizona.

Right after Funny Girl ended, I was cast in Cabrillo Music Theatre’s The Sound of Music. S7300236But before I went into rehearsals for that, I got signed up for singing in a concert, “Salute to Valor,” in Oahu, Hawaii. I had never been to Hawaii, so another whim could now be checked off my list.

After I returned from Hawaii, my schedule was full with work and rehearsals. I started losing my close relationships with Anne and my other girlfriends. Going from work to rehearsal in one day almost EVERY day made me ache for alone time. So I was on a hiatus from the parties and “girl time” hangs.

I was infected with the career virus.

It was all I could think about. When was the next audition? What songs do I need to have ready? New headshots, I needed new headshots! I had a system. Work, work out, rehearsal and/or audition, bed. I even switched to organic and natural foods. THAT was a huge switch for me!

As soon as The Sound of Music closed, I lined up two more auditions. Both I got callbacks for and both were seriously considering me to be apart of their shows. One was an Equity house, something I’ve been needing to get into. The other was Cabrillo again, but I was up for a lead role this time.

By the end of my second year, I finally got my first lead in a musical in California. Tomorrow marks the beginning of my third year, and I start rehearsals for the role of Grace Farrell in Annie. I feel incredibly blessed.

And as happy as I am with how busy I’m keeping myself on my career path, I am much more alone in it. My friendships with many people have faded in result of my busy schedule. What bewilders me more is that I actually LIKE being alone. This applies to romantic relationships as well. I’ve found them to be more stressful than they are worth, that they aren’t any fun, and they get in the way of my freedom. Being a girl who used to wish for a boyfriend every night until she finally got one at the young age of 21, after having three serious relationships, I definitely take my wishes back. By the end of my second year, I have discovered that I am NOT any good in relationships.

Currently…

Cause, well, who knows what the future has in store…

And with THAT said, considering all the incredible adventures I embarked on during my second year, I can’t WAIT to find out what my third year will be like! Romance, heartbreak, career success and career failure, earthquakes and tsunamis, the end of the world, who knows?…I expect it all! The adventures of being alive…

AUDITION UPDATE!!!

It’s been a wild two weeks. With fall coming around and a handful of auditions piling up, an actress can take her pick. I had been planning on auditioning for the musical Annie at Cabrillo Music Theatre for the part of Lily, Rooster’s girlfriend. A fun part, silly and slutty. And then I got sick. The coughing-up-a-lung type of sick.

Screw it, I said. A cold isn’t gonna stop me! So I went in full of cough drops and drowning in bottles of water. I also had decided to sing a new song, which meant I had just learned it in two days. Not the smartest of things to do, but that’s my style.

So I sang, remembered my words, and managed to keep the cough down. Left the room with positive feedback, and let loose a hacking cough down the hallway.

Got called back for Lily and a Boylan sister a few days later.

AND a few days later, still sick and feeling like my lungs were crushing themselves, I decided to throw in another audition: Stephen Sondheim’s Company at CLO of South Bay. I had nothing else to do that day, so I said, why not!

Walked in, sang a song I hadn’t done in a long time. They asked me to sing another piece, which is always a good sign. I frantically flipped through pages in my music folder and found a more upbeat song. After I finished, they asked me to come in the next day for callbacks. That was the quickest callback I had ever gotten in my life. Kinda threw me off for a second.

And left the room again hacking.

The callback for Company went really well and so did the Annie callback. Although, the Annie callback was much more interesting. I ended up singing, reading, and dancing for Lily, THEN stayed to sing for one of the Boylan sisters and dance again, THEN ended up staying till the end with one other girl to sing a random song we didn’t even know. We learned it quickly, sang it, and then I got asked to come back the next day to read for Grace Farrell, a character I thought I had no chance at. Grace, if you remember the 1980s film version of Annie, is the secretary of Warbucks who takes Annie from the orphanage. A large role and one they were looking to cast an Equity actress in. And I’m just a lowly non-union-er.

So, needless to say, I was shocked. Just the fact they had me read for her is surprising.

And that’s where I’m at. Three callbacks in and I’m now in waiting for both of these amazing shows. I’ll know by Friday what decisions have been made.

And *cough*

Auditions, Auditions, Aw come on already!

I have been auditioning…A LOT. Which is great! This is exactly what you’re supposed to do when you wanna be an actor or singer. How many times did our professors in music or theater school drill into us that doing 100 auditions will land us 1 gig? I happened to grow up this way too, following my dad around as a child in Chicago, hearing stories of all the rejection he went through every time he auditioned. But I saw him succeed and so I knew his hard work paid off.

Now I’m on the same path. Instead of moving back to Chicago or New York City where theater is rich and alive, I moved to California…where theater is, well, surviving. Don’t get me wrong, there are great companies here, just not that many. And not many auditions to jump on either. Let me just show you all the things I went after these past few months…

UNIVERSAL STUDIO’S JAPAN WICKED Not me.

CATSDefinitely not me.

THE FANTASTICKSWas me at one point, but not this time.

THE PRODUCERSWish I could be.

HAIRSPRAYAlmost me.

That’s about it. I’m also doing this sans agent. If I had an agent, I’d be getting into a hell of a lot more auditions. And speaking of agent/more auditions, this would also assist me greatly in getting into film and television auditions, a whole nother beast I want to conquer. I once said as a young 13 year old, “I want to do film because Dad already did the theater scene.” I just remembered that right now as I’m writing this… But CAN’T do it without an agent because they’re the ones that can sweet talk the casting director into seeing you when you’re a NOBODY. Like me. Slightly frustrating, let me just tell ya.

Now, of course, I will admit that I have been able to get a few auditions with low-budget short films, but not enough to actually bump me up to 100 auditions. I want 100. GIVE ME 100!!!

—Side-track: just remembered I had a crazy dream last night about being an announcer for the Oscars and my dress was getting caught everywhere and then I couldn’t read the teleprompter so I was all stressed out, but somehow didn’t care too much cause I kept joking around, but then I forgot what I was announcing in the first place. Best Leading Actress? Leading Actor? Crap.

ANYHOW! Moving on.

Nearly every audition I did went really, REALLY well. This is why it gets frustrating because when you know you did your best, and even the panel of auditors genuinely compliment you, but you STILL don’t get cast, it might drive you crazy. But not me. I’m immune, like, vulcanized.

Here is a breakdown:

WICKED I got called back twice. Had the auditors smile and clap after I was done, but didn’t make it to the third round. NEXT!

CATS I sang well, but didn’t stick around for the dance call cause it was freezing outside and I had already been waiting for 5 hours in the cold to sing, so I wasn’t thrilled about waiting for another 2 just to dance when I know I’m already not a very strong dancer…Mr. Georgia already scolded me on that one. NEXT!

THE FANTASTICKS I sang really well, also got asked to sing a part of the show, got called back to read, I did well at that too and the director asked me to stick around, but then when the monitor called out the girls’ names who will stay for another read, my name DIDN’T get called. Rough. FORGET ABOUT IT!

THE PRODUCERS was with a company I already worked with. Again I belted my little heart out, looked hot, and even overheard the artistic director, who knew me, whisper to the director that I was “very talented.” Got asked to sing a little more to show off my range. NO callback. Ugh. But that’s probably because when the director asked if I knew how to tap dance, I hesitated and said, “kinda.” Bad, girl, bad! MOVING ON!

HAIRSPRAY was actually a callback resulting from the season audition I did for PCPA. Season, meaning, you audition for more than one show. I got called back for one of the leading roles, Amber, in HAIRSPRAY. My original audition was very successful. The producer said he really liked me, then asked if I could dance. This time I said yes with no hesitation. Then he asked, “do you consider yourself a dancer or a mover.” I hesitated something like 2 seconds, but then quickly answered “dancer!” He nodded, saying, “Good, that’s what I wanna hear.” So then I got called back, barely survived the dance audition (ha!), but then sang riDICulously which resulted in the director coming up to me and shaking my hand before I left. Probably because he thought I sucked at the dance audition, felt bad for me, and then was surprised I had any talent at all. I haven’t heard anything from this one yet, but rehearsals don’t start until the summer, so it’s hard to forget about it.

That is it for now.

So why did I move to California? Well, cause the weather is freakin awesome! AND because I really DO want to work on film, in film, a writer for film…direct my own film, create music for film, edit my own film, produce my own film, model for my…nah just kidding.

Gotta say though, when you do as many auditions as you’re supposed to, you got to FORGET about them and move on to the next. Cause you will be rejected 99 times. But the 100th time will be a good one. I’m not even close to 99. I’m, like, at 20, so I gotta a long way to go. Thank goodness my boyfriend, or manfriend (cause he’s way up there in manhood, but perhaps boyfriend fits better cuz he’s so…boyish), is good at lighting fires under my…butt……………

Sorry, that sounds SO wrong. Let me rephrase: Mr. Georgia is really good at pep talks! Ha!

First two auditions of the year!

So I have successfully scored two auditions at the beginning of this year. One for Cabrillo Music Theater’s production of Little Shop of Horrors and one for an Industrial commercial for Canon. The music theater audition I got through myself through a simple phone call. The second, I got from my “sort of” manager (even though I’m not technically signed with her; used to be her intern).

The Terminator and I on the Red Carpet

My music theater audition was at night, and as I leave early feeling all the while very prepared and proud of myself, my car decides at that very moment to stop dead right off the freeway. Thankfully only a couple of blocks away from my destination, I call my friend Corey Donovan, who is the fastest driver I know, to come rescue me and bring me the rest of the way. At this time, I have twenty minutes before my in-time. It takes him ten. Five to push my car to a safe place and another five to whisk me to my audition. I get there right in time and sign in. I sing for the panel of directors, producers, and assistants. The pianist was slow on the rhythm of Gimme Gimme, but half way through he finally picked it up to the pace I originally wanted it.

I left happy with my audition; I did the best I thought I could do. Then I returned to my dead car, called AAA and waited an hour for help before I could go back home. My car will be the death of me, I just know it!

Audition #1: nearly late, did well, no callback.

My second audition was for the camera company, Canon. This was a much easier and stress-free audition. All I had to do was improv three different emotions/scenes focusing purely on expressions. Getting to the audition, however, was NOT stress-free. Let me just start out with Los Angeles sucks when it comes to directions and locations. I don’t have a GPS, so I rely on my Viking instincts and Google maps. In the past, I’ve had no trouble whatsoever finding places. But let me tell you! Los Angeles is definitely giving me a tough time!

Apparently as I exited the freeway, my destination was right around the corner. Google Maps tells me I need to turn right onto a street named La Cienega Pl. I am, however, on La Cienega Blvd., which is where I need to be, but I couldn’t seem to find the next street. After driving fifteen minutes further from the I-10, I finally call the Terminator (not the governor, but my manfriend), and ask him to plug in the directions into his GPS. Lo and behold, I need to turn back around. Mind you, I had left an hour early for my audition. At this point in turning around, I have twenty minutes to get to my audition.

As I make a Uee, I get stuck in some random road blockage called bumper-to-bumper traffic. OF COURSE!!! This takes me twenty minutes to get through and another five to find the warehouse/studio which is tucked down an unnamed alley behind a bunch of other unnamed warehouses. The only way I found it was making a calculated guess, the old-fashioned way of watching street numbers.

I walk in, dressed subtly as my role, a 1940’s farmer’s housewife, and sign in, apologizing for my nearly thirty minutes late to my viewing.

“You’re not the first,” the young man says. And at this point I didn’t really care. I just wanted to get it over with. Five minutes later, he ushers me in to an office room where two ladies were waiting. Both were extremely nice and encouraging, explaining to me the three scenes they wanted me to act out. The three scenes were: sitting in chair, upset about not having anything to cook for my husband and son and trying very hard not to show it; second, working hard and then noticing a beautiful sunset outside; third, just giving birth to my son and I am very happy about it.

All in all, this audition was a lot of fun because it was different from what I was used to. Albeit, a nice change of pace.

Audition #2: late, did well, got callback.

That’s it for auditions. In other news, I helped out with the premiere of Scott L. Schwartz’s Changing Hands (review coming soon), and I am also helping out with the gifting suites for the Oscar weekend. The most exciting part of that is being able to get a loan-dress. Saaahweet!

TIP: For headshots, make sure you have personality in your eyes and smile (or even your frown). You want different looks so that you can be submitted by your agent or manager having convincing different appearances. You do NOT want your expressions to be bland, plain, or boring. This is very important and many people make this mistake. It does NOT represent you well. These rules are mainly for commercial and theatrical. For print and modeling, it is okay to have the more glamorous shots (i.e. less expressive facial expressions).