Archives for posts with tag: acting

Last week, I attended an open meeting with a commercial agent at the actor’s union (SAG-AFTRA) office. As a Meisner trained actor, I am confident stating listening is a strength of mine. screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-2-06-11-pmCommercials, however, while they may involve listening or reacting to another actor or situation, are more likely to be a monologue. In every situation an actor must bring herself to the material, let it flow through without pushing, relax, have fun, and ultimately play!

The ‘Casting Access’ opportunity stipulated “bring 30 seconds of commercial copy”, your headshot and resume, oh, and it is not advised to wear flip-flops. They really have to say that; maybe it’s for the L.A. folks. This was to be my very first foray into commercials. Of all the classes in which I have invested, from improv to auditioning for the camera, I now shake my head that so potentially lucrative a field as commercials was overlooked. Commercial acting is … acting, but it is also specific in its technique, and thanks to the Q&A with the agent, there is now a serious value for years of thorough improv training.

Google [personally I utilize] knows everything, and with a quickness I found an ice cream commercial that felt right for me, “my type”, the young mom, shall we say. I worked on memorizing it, and the day came for my very first commercial audition, albeit for a commercial agent. As far as I could feel, it went exceedingly well. He was very positive with his feedback, remarking he could see me recalling the memory like we do in real life (the cogs turning so-to-speak), I was warm and brought my organic essence; I felt like I had nailed it. Then, I had to let it go. Doing fantastic makes one levitate with ecstatic satisfaction- you feel validated, like “yeah, I am very good”. In the end, though, in every aspect of life, we have to let it go, move on, because after we do whatever it is we do, there is the next moment in life, and holding on to the past stifles the future.

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I am one of the

check out the YouTube I recorded a week ago!

Katrina PerkinsAfter writing the entire blog, uploading a photo, and clicking ‘insert into post’ … POOF! away went the words and ugh, and now … about what am I to communicate?  Knowing, from previous akin events that for safety, I should have typed all this up in a document and finally pasted it in: I feel a fool. One easily frustrated at that, who then quickly closes the window [sigh] completely loosing any hope for ‘undo’. On the good side, you are all saved from reading a rant on iPhone vs. Android and the non-turn-on-able phone I have been with/out for the last week- Yeah, a whole week.  Considering this is my business lifeline, the freakout was considerable, at the start, especially because the contract is not up for renewal until I celebrate a birthday in 3.5 months, but then my marvelous mother [with the assist by my generous brother Austin] sent me a replacement battery.

Hallelujah to the Universe in all infinite energy!  Salvation has arrived [albeit three days later than scheduled thanks to the U.S. Post], but I am saved (from the shackle-less-ness-of-not-having-a-phone?)! Fingers crossed that this simple battery is the fix … and it was!  The Peace made and more easily maintained [surprise!] than expected throughout the past week’s stresses was immediately replaced with rapture for [WOOHOOOO!] once again being technologically linked instantaneously to every social connection . . . soon to be overwhelmed by the belabored, immediate influx of the finally received texts, emails, WordPress updates, oi Oi OI!  It was so funny going back to sending emails and remembering a time, not so long ago, when email was the quick way to connect, now replaced by the [sometimes] most rapid text message.

I am grateful to be back in business, and cannot believe the week has passed.  It was rather quiet 🙂 and that was nice for a change. However, back to the complete beck-and-call availability to all, casting, manager, and agent alike.  Thank you for the moment of/and return from technological solitude.

Please do weigh in, if you have an opinion, on the iPhone vs. Android query.  I would love to read and learn more than research has revealed.

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p.s. 01:42 the next day = 21:42 the night before

Katrina PerkinsAn “unlimited” monthly pass to the Yoga studio around the corner has inspired more and deeper breathing in me.  Normally (realistically) this is not in my budget, yet the festival I am performing in deserves to showcase me at my most relaxed and focused.  My usual practice includes Yoga DVDs, and honestly, lacks consistency, because although it should be as simple as roll out a yoga mat and start stretching, somehow the act of vacuuming impedes my dedication.  Perfectionism gets in my way.  Things needing to be just so holds me back from doing things that are just enough.

When I took acting classes with D.W. Brown at the Baron/Brown Studio in Santa Monica, California, I came to realize by carving out time to practice an hour of Yoga prior, the scenes I was in were more consistently in the moment and relaxed.  Coincidence (noun) = a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.  “Apparently” is the optimum word. One moment affects the next, and so on throughout existence.  I certainly feel more clear and focused, and certainly breathing more since last Monday when I began ‘knocking myself out’ with unlimited Yoga – up to number five today!

Friday, I did a headstand.  Technically, I did two headstands, because I fell out of the first, very brief, one and while others in the class were still in their pose (one person in Headstand 2!! – a variation on the already challenging) I had enough time to attempt a second.  I had more difficulty getting back into the headstand the second go, because, as the instructor said, I was too excited. “Take a breath, calm down, focus” and up I went.  One might think a strong head is required for this pose, however, as I learned a strong core is necessary, and today (I did another headstand AND this time held it for even longer!) I realized strength in the shoulders helps, too, because that is truly where the weight is placed.  NOW, off to Tech Rehearsal for opening night Wednesday!

May you feel beautiful, listen lovingly, and be determined!

“The Light in me bows to the Light in you.”

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Katrina PerkinsToday, I am focusing on consciously improving a lite New York accent. Listening to a CD from Sam French respected dialect coach, David Allan Stern, I can feel the genuine brawl beginning to shape itself in my mouth, specifically in front of the lower lip, once more. In rehearsals a few weeks ago, I kinda threw the accent out there playfully, to try it on for one of the segments in a play we have already successfully performed twice.  This was one of those happenstance moments with the other actresses went with the moment and threw it right back at me and the director loved it!  The PLAY of rehearsals, the discovery of a new moment, action, or accent thrills!

In this play it is especially important to make distinct choices, because four actresses are representing 25 Veteran soldiers.  (We each voice at least six women with only our physical instrument to make them clearly unique.)  To make it easier on the audience to differentiate and remember every time I open my mouth I may not be the same voice/person I spoke from previously, I found it helpful from the beginning to give one character a Southern accent. The dialogue almost required it, though the author did not state it: she calls her granddaddy Popop.  It is always important to make choices specific, and even more so without costume changes to make a character change clear.  I am also working ways to create individual posture, and have named several segments: Maria, Jordan, Priscilla, Tori, Abra, etc.

As we continue to rehearse I become more excited for the Planet Connections Festival.  After attending a gala last night which commenced the opening, I understand the backbone of this event is one of preventing censorship- in all it’s forms.  “In Our Own Voice”, certainly says truths I never fathomed the depths of until experiencing these brave women’s words.  War is a mean variant of life I avoid wrapping my head around- I feel so cowardly and helpless.  I once believed I was doing a kindness by thanking Veterans for their service to protect my freedom.  This scratch-the-surface-understanding has since deepened.

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While it is nice to work on eyeballs, as an opthalmic technician, Katrina PerkinsI am regularly reminded by octogenarians how the “golden years” are not worth it.  The ‘convenience’ of working at the MD office affords me the ability to pay for my car, while the remainder of my bills- I manage to pay for all through the beauty and blessing of acting.  I am proud my professional network and social sites continue to grow, and most importantly my circle of work continues to pull in women writers creating strong female characters.  It is curious to me how I wished and yearned to work with empowered women, both in play and in a working relationship, and the Universal energy that is always spinning in our best interest brought them to me, or me to them.

‘In Our Own Voice’ is a play about women veterans and their personal experience throughout enlistment, deployment, and eventually coming home.  The relationships between leaders, teammates, family and civilians- we may have an idea, but this play was drawn out of actual group therapy sessions and individual interviews with women veterans.  I have learned a great deal, the tough facade I place upon military personnel is only a part of them- everyone still has feelings, even when they have been taught and practiced not to for the sake of safety.  The single biggest honor of my acting career thus far was performing this piece last year at the Veterans Association in front of a crowd of brave humans.

Since that date, we have brought the show to a library, where it was equally well received.  The end of this month, into the beginning of July, including a performance ON my Dad’s birthday, will bring us to a festival in Manhattan.  MY FIRST MANHATTAN PERFORMANCE! Rehearsing this play again with my adoptive ‘sisters’ is a wonderful joy, full of energy.  My Dad was a Marine Drill Instructor and I am privileged to have him always in my heart, most especially during this exciting time.  The gift that keeps on giving, and a new monologue has even grown out it for this newest rendition.  Lucky me!!

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It is Monday already! (Again!) And I barely remembered, because the weather is lovely out and I have stayed busy (after five walks to wear out the 90 pound pup who will turn One-year-old tomorrow!) creating a template for new professional paperstock. How exciting. It is rather fun to make progress in something that started out foreign and unnavigable, and is now uniquely my own to mail as a coverletter to select casting directors introducing myself with freshly printed headshots and resumes. So much business, it is understandable why one would be grateful for a professional assistant. A ‘ONE DAY’ GOAL!

Through the advice of a savvy business consultant at * BBRProductions * I have created [after many revisions and suggestions and additional improvments] a professional letter, or rather an easier to digest note-size preface with enough research on the receipient and spunky, naturalistic personality of the sender to attain an Agent’s attention. Appreciatively so, Praise, let it be! Additionally, I have incorporated a watermark Katrina Perkinsof my logo in the personalized greeting; I feel so fancy-pants. Then! it occured to me “IT IS MONDAY! I HAVE A WORDPRESS TO POST BEFORE 7 P.M.!” [Eastern Standard Time to still count as today]

Here I sit, needing hydration- ah, that’s better [Cheers Ralph!]- still finalizing me note, and trying to decide which photo to include here- sometimes that is what really hangs me. Oh the truth is, it all hangs me up- this indecisive little Libra strives for more balance and Thankfully there is a Yoga studio a mere two minute walk, a guaranteed cure to better breathing! OH! And next week!!! The farm season begins again! Being out in nature on an organic * farm * with amazingly good people growing food always brings me Peace and Harmony AND BLISS! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, local food: who does not derive immense pleasure from eating FRESH food?! I taste the love, and the veggies truly are more full of flavor. #Spoiled thanks to * Biophilia *. Now, back to work! Close to a finished product . . . then, assembling the paperclipped note/headshot/resume, printing address labels, a walk to the post office, and stamps. Let the mailing begin!

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P.S.  I posted this accidentally yesterday (Monday) as a page 😀

Katrina PerkinsOvernight (noun) work”day” begins near sunset, filming through the darkness of night, usually exteriors, ending the next morning with the changing of the morning sky a half hour before sunrise.

Fraturday (noun)  an overnight on a Friday, ending Saturday morning.

Last week I worked a three “day” overnight booking filming a movie with Dave Franco.  I was a masked character in a group of hundreds, but the location was amazing and should look really great for the onscreen finale. Let it be known: One overnight throws your sleep schedule off for at least a day, or even two.  By the time you get home, the sun is up and most everyone else is rising and shining.  Trying to sleep for more than a few hours is an effort, waking only a couple hours later, then trying to function on half the sleep normally necessary- the day drags as much as you do.  I cannot wait to take a shower and call it an early night and go to bed at a [once dreaded] child’s bedtime of 8 pm.

Back-to-backs can be a challenge, even when they are not overnights, especially when the project booked is different from one day to the next.  Inevitably, the first show will work 14-15 hours, wrapping really late.  By the time you get home, pack the requested wardrobe for the next day’s movie with the Murphy’s Law call-time of 5:30 am, three hours of sleep is usual.  Thus, back-to-back bookings eventually wear you down, requiring time to recoup, in the hopes of preventing a fall to illness, which can take you away from work opportunities even longer.

I owe myself eight hours of sleep; between the three consecutive overnights and one Fraturday just past- this is when being a napping pro would come in useful.  If it is a rainy day, I can nap, or a hot day when nothing is really scheduled… otherwise, the mind will not shut-up long enough to fall asleep in the middle of the day. Today, I napped!  Tomorrow, I go to a softball game to cheer on the SAG-AFTRA team in Central Park!  Hard work deserves some fun in the sun!!

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Bad Seed PosterFriday is opening night for a naughty 1950’s play by renowned writer Maxwell Anderson.  ‘Bad Seed’, the last Broadway success before his death, is a devilish mother/daughter tale of secrecy and murders. Anderson wrote numerous plays, and movies including ‘Death Takes a Holiday’, ‘Joan of Arc’, and Hitchcock’s ‘The Wrong Man’.  A masterpiece play, adapted from William March’s long-awaited novel “The Bad Seed”, it ran on  Broadway five months and was later made into two movies.  Studios changed the ending in the first version, because the 1956 audience could not accept such an appalling conclusion where the villain … (no spoilers), and it was nominated for four Academy Awards- including ‘Best Director’ for British Mervyn LeRoy.

Having been asked to audition by the director of this 2014 incarnation, I watched the second, color version of the movie, with David Carradine among the cast, dressed and practiced my best Southern accent, then dutifully showed up to try out for a part. Producer/director, Henry Brewer, immediately offered me the role of the mother and sent me home with a copy of the play.  Mrs. Christine Bravo Penmark is a woman, a character, I strongly did not like.  I was repulsed by her, and because of this intense response, I knew this was going to be a challenge, a good opportunity to stretch me beyond bounds of comfort.  One of her first lines is “I’m not very self-sufficient.”; Completely not me, and this ‘weakness’ is probably what turned me off to start.

Neither of the movies does justice to the play, something is lost even though Anderson is responsible for the screenplay.  Much of the Broadway cast was in the original black and white movie, but I turned it off half-way through supposedly due to a distaste for the acting style of the time, with one exception- the actress who plays Mrs. Daigle- Eileen Heckart, who won a Golden Globe for her performance.  My undertaking thrills and terrifies me, because the part is grande- the tale truly is twisted and violent- and the emotions are quite extreme.  Breathing life into fully experiencing these six days of Christine’s life is well worth all the work.

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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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wolfLast night, research led me to this magnificiently informative and entertaining behind-the-scenes interview hosted by The Hollywood Reporter December 2013 with five of the top casting directors of T.V. and films.

On the quest for self-improvement, listening to an audio track of Brain Tracy’s “No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline”, I came across the “Ten Goal Exercise”, which the writer proudly cites practicing himself nearly every day.  DIRECTIONS: On a clean sheet of paper, with the date and “GOALS” at the top, take 3-5 minutes to write a list of ten goals you would like to achieve in the next 12 months (financial/family/fitness/furniture), and imagine all are achievable if you want it long, and hard, enough.  Then imagine you have a magic wand making any one goal attainable within 24 hours: choose which one would have the greatest positive impact on life right now, and result in all the other goals being more easily achieved.  This focus became the direction guiding me to the above link.  

Ellen Lewis has been the Casting Director to Martin Scorsese for every one of his films since Goodfellas, including most recently “The Wolf of Wall Street”- a fairly good indictor she will cast Mr. Scorsese’s next movie.  Although that next movie may take place in Japan, who knows what the one after that will be, and I could always play a tourist.  One of the stand-out moments in the above interview related to Branding.  Pairing certain actors together and comparing their dollar value with the film’s budget.  The lead actress in Wolf, Margot Robbie, donning an impressive Long Island accent, puts butts in the movie theater seats here in the U.S. and her native Australia, upping her bankability.

Credits, being seen, getting a name/brand out to be known- I am dyslexic, and the adage is backward:  It is who knows you.  If Ellen Lewis knows I exist, am consistently complimented by camera operators as having great reactions to the lead actors in a scene, then… it comes down to Networking.  Ms. Lewis is savvy and sharp in this interview.  I look forward to telling her in person within the next 12 months.

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