Archives for the month of: October, 2012

I have been exposed to a new term- “Background Whore”.  On-set consorting with fellow extras one man told me how he worked four, sometimes five, days a week using this term, though now his focus is honing his basketball skills so he can take advantage of the next commercial opportunity to be one of the tall players chosen.  A commercial pays more than double what one day as a television or movie background actor garners, plus possible residuals.  This young man revealed he had been working this way, ‘whoring’, for a year and a half.

Another actress posed the question of whether this (working as an extra) was my ultimate aim.  She did not mean to offend, however I was aghast, later realizing- it was a good question I needed to hear. Knowing the answer and taking action toward a truer goal- while I am full of gratitude to be making money to cover bills through this endeavor rather than relying solely on savings- I WANT A PRINCIPAL ROLE! and desire to focus efforts on achievement!!  This same day, still on the set of ‘Smash’, I was called to play a stewardess on Martin Scorsese’s current film project ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.  Though far from the mark, still a step closer, an opportunity to share space and be seen- perhaps even bumped up to having a line by a well respected director.

From what I heard, redheads are favorably singled out by Mr. Scorsese. We shall see, indeed my hopes are this hearsay carries validity.  In any case, I will be on-set with one of the great film makers of our time and there most certainly will be something valuable to be learned.  Since becoming more re-familiarized working as an extra, I feel I have lost some of the curiosity and irreverence from my first day on ‘Made In Jersey’.  Then I barely stayed in ‘Holding’, rather enjoying the outside and watching the movement of the crew and directors- staying out of the way- but also staying in eyesight: ever smiling.  Be interested, and you shall be interesting- I heard that cleverness somewhere smart.

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For the first time, since quitting a full-time job two months ago, I have made enough money to cover the week’s expenses.  Though it is only one week, what a reassuring way to begin a full month of Autumn!  Through work on CBS T.V. shows ‘Blue Bloods’ on Monday and ‘Elementary’ (the new take on the classic Sherlock Holmes tale with Watson played by the lovely Lucy Liu) on Friday, combined with the regular Wednesday retained at the Retina Surgeon’s office- savings remain safe- or at least extended.  I am on the way toward supporting the monetary expenses of life through being an artist.

The second week of October, to balance, proved less exciting.  Casting rang and asked me to hold Tuesday directly following Labor Day for a show in its first season: ‘Next Caller’ with Dane Cook.  I was thankful, and declined a subsequent request from ‘Law & Order: SVU’ for the same date.  However, the holiday was cause for a rearrange of scheduling and a cancelation for my booking.  Naturally, the spot had been filled for the other show.  Although, I ended up being asked to work an extra day in the doctor’s office due to staff absences for vacations and illnesses.  No show biz work or paychecks for week two, though the additional day in the office coupled with an evening modeling for a two hour art class- again the week’s bills were made.  

All’s well.  Truthfully, I strive to consistently put the sunny-side of things out there, but for some reason, though I rationally know I am making progress and am scheduled for work on shows Monday (‘Smash’) and Tuesday- ahead of the weekly budget- emotion has me downtrodden.  Perhaps it is the impending birthday, once excited for, at the end of the week.  Or the focus on where I want to be over what I am doing to get there in a successive manner of small accomplishments.  Realizing it IS only a funk for the moment, grown into this day, I pledge to funnel the feelings into creative motivation andconquer the real issue- my need for an agent.

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Last week I had a ‘Go-See’ with L’Oreal.  A ‘Go-See’ is like an audition, except for models- so the clients can see how you look in person, and usually, how you walk (the runway, as a model).  In this case it was to evaluate hair to determine if I was an apt specimen to demonstrate a new hair gloss product to the people of L’Oreal flying into New York from around the globe for a week long convention to educate the company hairstylists about all the innovating products newly available.  Being an actress, this was my first ‘Go-See’, and while auditions tend to make me uptight and nervous, I figured this was no pressure on me, as it had nothing to do with my performance, and was only about the hair.

Still, wanting to do my best, I researched modeling and tips for the ‘Go-See’.  I read the importance of wearing light make-up, having a nice neutral manicure, and clean hair.  My hair is something I have been complimented on almost daily since I was a child.  I use to hate my frizzy hair and thought strangers were simply being sweet to me.  Only a couple years ago did I finally accept my hair IS beautiful and unknown people are generous with their kindness because they are genuine in their expression.  Living my whole life with long hair, I know my hair looks best with one day of grime built up: freshly shampooed = more frizz and less curls.  I wish I had listened to my better judgement, knowing my curls were specifics in which they were interested.

Back to the ‘Go-See’, I have never in my life seen so many very tall, very thin women gathered in one place at one time. To my calculations, they saw approximately 300 girls in that three hour time frame.  Fast forward, the event has passed and no call back did I receive.  All is well, because every event is part of a bigger picture, and when realizing this we can learn.  Regardless the reason for not being included in the showcase, I am reminded to listen to my own personal truth via experience.

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