Archives for category: Travel

NM4L9196 (2)Numerous times have others complimented how clearly I enunciate, and even the hard of hearing appreciate my vocal quality.  One more reason for auditioning to become an audiobook narrator. The four hour (each way) drive from University to my hometown each weekend began a journey as an avid audiobook listener.  “The Three Musketeers”, “Phantom of the Opera”, and “Fahrenheit 451” were a few of the first listens.  Ever since, ‘talking books’ have been a staple, devouring self-helps/spiritual in times needing guidance, Shakespeare whilst doing dishes, and financial investing books as I dye my hair.

In Los Angeles, I was honored to be a part of Tsunami Radio Theater, a group that recorded independently written stories, and was recognized with the “Rising Star: Hardest Working Actress” award.  Time in the studio with such an amazing crew of gifted voice actors will always remain a fond memory.  This month I focus toward the future, and hope to become a narrator for Audible.  On Tuesday 18 March, I audition in New Jersey and am immensely excited.  You as my WordPress family are consistently supportive and I truly hope to have marvelous news to report soon.

Last year I took a course with Audie (the audiobook equivalent of the Oscars) Award winning narrator Johnny Heller, which is where i learned of this amazing opportunity to audition to be a part of the Amazon team.  The path Life takes is rarely the one envisioned, but when we appreciate the journey and the divine route being guided through all the ‘wants’ and desires, sometimes it is good to realize the right here-right now is enough.  My wants list includes a dishwasher, washer/dryer, and a puppy- those are the items this little self feels would make her happy.  In truth, I am already happy, and thankful to have created this Freedom for myself to take a chance to say “Yes!” to a Life that allows me to work on a schedule that suits me.  Sometimes I wish to be a smidge more focused, but that is just another “want”.  Thank you all for your good vibrations from around the world.  Please accept my gratitude.

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Ooops “little more red” = Much Darker

W.ARNING A.BSTRACT T.ANGENT:  I love seeing.  I Love laughing.  I love hearing, most especially when it precedes laughter.  I love smiling in appreciation of all this and so very much more. Today, last night, this morning, with my car, I worked shooting as an extra on a pilot (a T.V. program produced as a prototype of a series being considered for adoption, to be ‘picked-up’, by a network) “Blanco”.

The call-time, the time production schedules an actor or crew member to arrive at the location, was 11 P.M. last night.  Somehow, I had never before crossed the Williamsburg Bridge.  Wow.  Simply Wow; I wish anyone else was driving so I might have snapped multiple blurry photos that would never compare to a professional stationary photographers perfect angle.  Wow.  I would love to live there on the Williamsburg Bridge for that view, or at the least be happily stuck in traffic and be blessed with a clear picture.

I tried to find a photo to include here (admittedly putting the perfect words into Blackle.com – an energy saving version of Google by Google– is not my forte), alas they just were not the truly amazingly breathtaking beauty witnessed nigh midnight driving over that Bridge.  Many photographers have the bridge in the photo… this one time I was not in awe of the incredible structure supporting the tires, instead gawking in awe at the depth and curvature of the shoreline with L!ghts abounding… my life’s ambition is to have a place to see that at night.  Wow.  If only I could see the sunrise from the same space… might require the purchase of multiple apartments, but if you dream it —> then you can smile doing it. Sometimes being a ‘background performer’ can be delightful, even in 20˚ exterior shots walking around in the snow; making three new friends; seeing familiar ones like P.A. Lincoln Major from “Boardwalk Empire”.  The car sat on the side of the street alleviating the random owner from moving an actual car parked there in the middle of a scene or a take, which would ruin continuity and the shot, thus upsetting productivity and wasting time, and thus money.

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-One person’s sole job is wetting the sidewalk, over and over Birdmanand over again- all night for five plus hours to keep it wet and give that slick, reflecting light look the camera loves (technical term is a “wet down”).

-Another person’s duty is putting smoke in the air: more smoke, less smoke, walk it through the set or location, fan it because there’s too much, the haziness is overwhelming the scene.

-One man (sadly it is a male dominated business, but what isn’t) is on a crane with a big spot-light to simulate a helicopter flyover in the shot.

I have not even mentioned the director, the stunts co-ordinator, or the caterer.  The point is- that long list of “credits” at the end of every [big budget $300 million dollar budget] movie prove just how many creative collaborators are necessary to manifest the entertainment we all spend our money to escape into for a couple hours of unbelievable safe excitement.

These people are Living what they dream.  They simply do not last otherwise because the stress is so immense one must Love it to stay in this business of SHOW.  With so many cooks in the kitchen, havoc and head-butting are sure to abound.  And yet we choose to show-up and take more work opportunities because the thrill to be a part is so rewarding.

This week I learned a new title- staff assistant- a position responsible to the A.D.s (Assistant Director- no explanation necessary right, the title is pretty self-explanatory), of which there are three: the first A.D., the Second A.D. and the Second 2nd.  Usually, there are a handful of staff assistants to act as extra hands, eyes, mouths for the Assistant Directors.  One such ‘staff assistant’ informed me on a recent day of filming 180 staff assistants were on-hand for a huge location shoot requiring the shut-down of a large well-know New York street!  I live by the motto/sutra “Do unto others…” and there for am genuinely friendly and interested in most everyone on-set; one because I am so thankful and happy to be there and two we are all there to accomplish the same goal so LET US HAVE FUN!

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Dragon's+Loyalty+AwardApparently two awards, the “Very Inspiring Blogger” and the “Versatile Blogger”, have combined their powers to become….. (wait for it!) : The Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Though I wish that truly was the name of the award, credit goes to KindredSpirit23 (the photo IS amazing)- who generously nominated me for said awards!  I humbly accept the compliments of “Very Inspiring” and “Versatile”.  

The rules, follow:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your website

  2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award

  3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers

  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post

  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.vib-trophy-blog-m

 

versatile-blogger

 

 

15 Deserving Blogs Worth Your Time:

1)  BBRoseProductions.wordpress.com

2)  DrgnflyGrrl.wordpress.com

3)  DrinksWellWithOthers.wordpress.com

4)  BluefishWay.com

5)  MARLHTV.wordpress.com

6)  kattermonran.com

7)  CindyKnoke.com

8)  IAmForChange.wordpress.com

9)  JohnWHowell.com

10)  KirlianPictures.wordpress.com

11)  BickleyHouse.wordpress.com

12)  LornasVoice.com

13)  EmilyGuido.com

14)  RusselRayPhotos2.com

15)  ValentinaDesigns.wordpress.com  

Now 7 delightfully interesting things about lil’ ole me:

1)  Living in Los Angeles for eight years in the early 21st century, I was honored with the “Rising Star Award” as     the “Hardest Working Actress” by Tsunami Radio Theater.

2)  In high school I was on the Debate Team and even went to Harvard for a national tournament.

3)  My hair is naturally curly, from my father, but my mom claims it’s because she got a perm whilst pregnant with me.

4)  Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins are two of my all-time favorites, and Clint Eastwood, Anjelica Huston, …..

5)  I like to shower before going to bed, because climbing into clean sheets as a clean human truly is Being. (And it allows that curly mop O’mine to air dry over night rather than irritatingly sopping my shoulders and back).

6)  An only child until age 12, when my Mom & Dad told me I was finally going to have the little brother or sister I had been asking for, I replied I didn’t want one anymore – they’ll be no fun to play with.

7)  Ninth grade economics class proved fertile ground for writing a plethora of poems, many based on the most recent “X-Files” episode, later compiled for an English class project in which I scored an “A+”.

 

Thank you all so very much for writing, reading, commenting, and inspiring through sharing your own insights and helping us each to acknowledge the Light we have in common.  Thank you KindredSpirit23 !

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A personal business manager wisely advised: “treat my life like a business”, “be professional”, and incorporate.  Having created Katrina Perkins, Inc., I now possess an EIN, business bank accounts, and a credit card.  Although I am good at keeping receipts and doing my own taxes when that most favorite time of year besets itself upon us, when I get to filling in milage- truth be told- it has always been something of a “guesstimate”.  This year is always an opportunity to do better, be more professional.  Starting off sorta-well-ish, I drafted a simple log sheet to make it easy on myself, which consisted of : DATE, WHERE, MILES – each with a column running the page length.

I started the month doing great, keeping track by writing down each lovely day and where it took me.  Then on Monday 04 February – I got busy- too busy to keep up the milage journal.  Luckily, I am a neurotic for calendar notations, and those wonderful receipts, both of which helped me to recreate the last week on the sheet.  Oops, I forgot one trip to the gym.  There was room in the margin for a addendum next to the date, thankfully.

The point here is: I made this recording space- a no-brainer to fill out, and realized- guess what, I drive someplace for the Incorporation (at least one place) just about everyday, unless of course…. there is a FORCE OF NATURE, like say, a blizzard.  Even then, I go to the grocery and gas early to stock up, and after, there are errands needing to be caught up.  Just now, I clipped the register to the fridge so as to see it daily and continue the good work.  

TANGENT: on the Stick Skillstopic of driving, I was recently paid to drive a Porsche.  Yes that’s right, I had a day at work where the forces that be found it fair to reward me for learning to drive on, and having as a daily driver, a stick-shift.  The episode is one where the girl has just gotten her driver’s license and because I am petite (photo-double) and experienced enough to make a manual lurch: I was booked.

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To proclaim I live in New York City is a bit of a stretch.  An exaggeration (a loatheful, peevish admission) though it could be quantified as an ambition and goal.  I do live in New York, on an Island, which is Long, and near, relatively, to New York, the city. Recalling how recently it was, I looked up at the board in Penn Station struggling to comprehend and rocked to grasp some bearings, it all felt… overwhelming daunting… perhaps, certainly confusing, and blessedly remains ever amazingly new.

Today I worked shooting on-location at Grand Central Station.  Having never been before, but reading the description in the book “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Halprin, I was wonderfully excited to see. Living up to the name: it is indeed GRAND.  Standing there, looking up upon first entrance, mouth agape, to the seeming 20-story (realistically 11.5 stories at best, with the true height at 125 feet) azure sky, recently restored, celestial ceiling, I felt very small and in deep reverence of the extreme vaulting height.

This was an overnight shoot starting at 7 P.M., partially because

Snowing the Street on 'Winter's Tale'

Snowing the Street on ‘Winter’s Tale’

Grand Central Terminal (officially called since 1913) closes at 2 A.M. to the public, permitting a chase scene to be “put in the can”, as they say. There were abundant conversations and fun, freezing cold hands and feet for exterior scenes filmed, and countless exuberant/curious passersby and onlookers (natrally a few irritated ones too: one short police officer, with her finger in a man’s face, firmly repeated “Sir, you cannot pass.  You cannot pass, Sir.” whilst he was in a rush to catch a train down a tunnel he was not allowed to enter because it was our set for a few short hours)- all exciting bits of a big budget movie- and a peek of Colin Farrell, walking the white horse down the ‘snow’ covered road.  In reality, the ‘snow’ was copiously sprayed soapy suds; the horses were real this day. Walking alone at 4:45 A.M. to Penn Station (another first) the Peace and calm and alluring stillness of the always busy, bustling city filled me with joyous splendor- fore I was coming home from acting in it’s Great Grand Central Station.

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Merrily standing, while the crew (lights, props, camera) sets the airplane, determining camera positioning and movement- the supervising costumer queries where are the stewardesses’ jackets. Researching prior to fitting, every 1990s airline uniform I found had a long boxy (ugly) coat.  “They weren’t fit with one” says one costumer, shortly after which the main man buttons one up my fellow background stewardesses.  Tugging to adjust, it’s off her with an “If the shoe fits” and onto me: Like a glove!  Leading to my subsequent placement, by the 1st AD- Adam- outside the entrance of the plane, however, the added costume piece was vetoed because the two ‘featured’ stewardesses were in jackets.  The scene set, Martin Scorsese walked in, a foot away from me, big toothy smile and a nod looking right into my eyes.

The main characters’ action was behind my back, challenging the timing of my cue.  Stumbling, a commotion stirs inside the plane door, JUST after which I cross, clipboard in hand.  Intention: to hear [when will I get eyeballs in the back-of-my-head like mom] specifically when a pass through space is cleared enough, while not leaving a lag, yet allotting perfect pacing bereft of bunching the entryway with other boarders.  Following take one, Adam instructs “five beats sooner”; ensued by take two’s  “ten beats later”.  The concern became star/producer Leonardo DiCaprio was, and is earnestly respected for, relaxing into the scene, taking more time and space– succumbing to the depth of the character’s drugged state- creating a background awkwardness.  Imagine Marty during filming, watching his screen, wanting, understandably as an artist, the frame to look just so with a good pacing of background actors.

‘Respect’ is a pale word for a director of Mr. Scorsese’s caliber.  Once, he stepped in to speak to DiCaprio, I heard him quietly say “It will work better with the cut if you do it this way”.  He can see the edit in his mind’s eye as the camera is rolling.  In real life, this scene was probably a cumbersome event.  We moved on after maybe nine takes, and I’m still “the redhead” called back for a second exciting day on-set.

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Wednesday was the most invigorating 16-hour-work-day I have ever had. The call time was 6:45 A.M. in Brooklyn, obliging me to a 3:33 alarm to accommodate the hour and 24 minute westward-bound drive. Having been to this particular studio for another movie (“Gods Behaving Badly”) I knew the neighborhood was a safe Hassidic one, tight on parking.  I gave myself extra time to drive around on the hunt for the early bird on his way to work freeing a space for me, but I neglected the weather raining good luck on my adventure that morning.  Compound this with a non-functioning driver’s windshield wiper and oncoming headlights, and I ended up ten minutes late.

Finally, an available (after-the-fact apparently illegal) parking space was found (scratching my head, I had an idea ‘NO STANDING 11-4 Except School Busses’ meant ‘No Parking’, but other cars were and why 11-4?? regardless no ticket was held in by the broken wiper, so I trust I remain safe).  After walking two blocks in the sprinkling, scrumptious sunrise, and down two flights of stairs to the sub-basement holding area, the check-in man Drew said I would probably be getting a call from casting in two seconds, and to tell them he said I’m awesome! Promptly being escorted to hair, Aaron began to French braid, interrupted because approval for the stewardesses’ look had not yet been sent down.  So he put a pin in it and I moved on to make-up.

Donyell Donyale (how he pronounced it = how I’m spelling) was the make-up magician creating resplendent-at-arms-length skin.  Next, back to hair- where Barbara finished me up using 26 hair pins, gel, and hairspray to hold it all in place. Then into costume . . . . . . . . . . . and wait, for, well I don’t really know how long, maybe an hour, maybe longer, but then…. onto set . . . . where there was . . . . more waiting, standing in 2″ heels, and a big fake business and first class passenger area of a plane.  Only here: it was FREEZING!  I came to overhear Jonah Hill talking to/about Martin loving the Winter- later appreciating the cold to the alternative of sweating -> more make-up touch-ups and stinky, cranky people.

To Be Continued . . .

{ In the mean time, to see photos of the even more lovely back of this up-do, please go to

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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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