Archives for posts with tag: Art

Needless to say, the last attempt at consistent, regular posting… failed.  GothamSo, as a poet, I enjoy alliterations: Taco Tuesday, Filing Friday, Manicure Monday- to name only a few personal favorites.  Why not WordPress Wednesday!?  It should, hopefully, be straightforward enough for me to keep track, and please calmness help me, stay determined with focus to achieve.  Usually, it comes down to (haha) a lack of time management, time escapes me and I am at it’s mercy, researching usually- most currently the RAW diet [pardon the pun] ad nauseam, for the health of the four-legged-fur-baby.

Secondarily, decision making, committing to one choice- ugh- at times the bane of my existence.  Some say it’s the Libra in me; I know I perform better all around when balanced body and mind with regular Yoga practice (another aim I fail to complete).  Here I am, 6:15pm NYC, flying through to post this before 6:59pm when the date changes.  I literally just chuckled to myself.  This is so fun! Truly.  “I don’t have a photo; what should I write about; that’s not related to being an actress” = excuses, excuses, excuses.

You lovely wonderful folks read and connect with me, and I with you.  We feed each other across oceans, and I love and miss the camaraderie.  Always seeking balance and structure, attempting to enforce a system that work upon myself and disappointedly not succeeding, giving up for a spell, and coming back to give it a go again, this time: I must remember to have

THE FUN.

Such is Life.  Started a “Cliche” blog last week, probably finish it by next (smiles).  Aaahhh, so the acting world, last week I worked as a Stand-In (another blog on that to come surely) on the Batman prequel TV show ‘Gotham’.  Even though I most likely cannot be seen on screen, boy the hair man, Joseph Ferrara, had some fun- he really knew what he was doing, and the make-up woman, Heidi, had to amp up the eyes to balance it out.  An amazing soundstage to work on here in Brooklyn- oh yeah, did I mention I moved from way out in Long Island?

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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Life inspires us

To work harder

To do better

with each passing day’s

Sunrise and sunset.

Golden pink sun rays

Can repay this debt

I owe such grandeur

Beating muscles to endure

beyond time clocks

and pay checks

through a Universal energy

Sparkles you and me.

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I am in a Shakespeare state-of-mind.  Have you ever AllMyHairstudied a language and begun thinking or dreaming in that other tongue?  The month of August I will play Ophelia in Hamlet, and as the theater desires everyone off-book [to know all their lines] when rehearsals begin the first of July, all parts were bequeathed at the beginning of the year.  Also, it helps I teach acting at the venue producing the play- The Rose Theater (visit their site: TheStageAwaits.com).  Having so much topsy-turveyness in life, my personality is one where I sat down in January to precisely determine how many scenes this character will perform.  As it turns out, Ophelia has lines in six scenes, a convenient number considering the months until we begin working out the blocking [where/on which line you move to/enter/exit the stage].

From these two numbers- six scenes and six months- memorizing dialogue for one scene each month develops an easily digestible task.  My memorization skills are average, thus being not blessed with a photographic memory, or a quick conversion rate from short to long term recollection- I have multiple mechanisms utilized to retain verbose narrations.  A prior post (Play: Within the Lines) goes into detail, however, I … lied, admitting to write a half dozen times, alas- the truth is ten.  Yes, that is correct, I write all my character’s dialogue an even ten times to secure those utterances into my noggin.  Regardless if it seems me a dolt, this is what I have learned my dyslexic brain likes: it slows me down and repetition is the mother of…  I don’t know, something (SKILL; I looked it up!).

Creating a sense of security within the chaos that is Life, can provide necessary comfort.  That being said- the theater presenting Shakespeare’s most popular tragedy has set a goal to raise $1,500 for the building of proper sets and toward more realistic costumes (straight-jackets are difficult to come by at the thrift stores).  Please support in this artistic endeavor any manner you feel comfortable, whether sharing the link or a $10 contribution via IndieGoGO with worthwhile incentives.  All aide is supremely appreciated by this not-for-profit stage, and yours truly.

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Having heard, and believed to some extent, the harsh critique-Teacher Katrina E. Perkins “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” * – I shunned becoming a teacher.  The first acting classes I attended regularly for any length of time, at Playhouse West in Los Angeles, met twice weekly, with one teacher on Tuesdays, and a different one for Thursdays.  The Tuesday Teacher, Mark Pellegrino, was, and is, an actor in known movies and T.V., including ‘The Big Lebowski”, “The Number 23”, and “Dexter”.  Tony Savant, the Thursday counterpart, was the school’s artistic director.  Each teacher presented wonderful insight and guidance toward creating the strongest, most truthful, acting foundation.

Having never taken an acting class, aside from an ‘Introduction to Acting’ and ‘Accents & Dialects’ courses at L.A.C.C., this school became my Home for two years.  Spending so much time there, in more than the two classes a week I was a member, additionally a wonderful perk of this school/repertory theater was the option to also attend any other class at your current level or below.  That is, if one were in the beginner course, one had the ability to sit-in and watch any other beginner class; if you’re in the intermediate level the option was for any beginner and intermediate, you get it. Learning through watching other students and hearing another teacher’s vocabulary, provided great insight and excelled my progress.  Sometimes, as long as I arrived prepared, the teacher might even let me participate.  Granted, my main teachers were always the best, it was beneficial to hear different phrasings to repeat an idea.

Aside from the numerous classes attended, the course required a minimum of two rehearsals outside of class each week.  The appointed class secretary compiled a class roster including each student’s name, phone number, and email address, and distributed it; some even volunteered to open their home at a specified day/time each week for rehearsals.  Did that mean people actually rehearsed?  No, however, it was easy to discern who took the Art seriously.  Having one teacher working in the field, and another assiduously focusing us week after week, forged a determination toward living truthfully – and the truth is teachers are Gold.

*George Bernard Shaw Man and Superman

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Religiously, a pot of white tea starts my every morning, even when the wake-up is 3 A.M.  My habit is to fill the cup below the brim, though, laughably, rarely low enough to include the essential cooling of soy milk, permitting immediate consumption.  Some see life, a situation, a moment, as half full, some sad souls perceive the same circumstance as half empty.  This 5’3″ force of nature, a rose named Katrina, contained here, for now, in a petite 110 pound meat sack, laughs in loud, luxuriant torrents, cascading melodious aplomb all over those in her cheery splash zone.  To me it is certain: Laughter IS the best medicine.

Last week it was my pleasure to work two days on the set of  a wondrous fairytale movie set primarily in 1916 Brooklyn-20121207-00083New York- based on a 25-year-old novel “Winter’s Tale”.  All it took was reading the words ‘flying horse’, and I was hooked.  Pegasus enamor me, always have, most memorably since discovering an amazingly detailed sketch by an anonymous, mysterious artist left in a book (on how to draw horses) checked out from the library when I was in elementary school.  I still have that drawing, and vividly remember its energy- the horse appearing to stomp the earth one moment prior to forcibly taking flight.  Art is magic.  Being able to escape into a make-believe imperfect-perfection for a few short sweet hours is a relaxing immersion in which most all of us partake.  I exude gratitude and beatitude to be even a sliver of one synergetic share in the production of creating visualized moving imagination.

Experiencing multiple fellow background actors recently, however, proved poisonous and off-putting.  Many complained about standing on the sidewalk in uncomfortable shoes with cold feet, passing pedestrians pushing/probing for information, and gossiped over a young celebrity they felt “had no right” playing an elderly star in her biography.  I was happy to be placed solo on my mark’s starting point, chatting and smiling with each glancing member of the crew.  To recall motoring by a film as it shot, curious and yearning to be a part, I exemplified appreciation at being on the recorded side of the camera lens.

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The hardest part in acting is learning the lines.  At least, so goes the opinion of consensus.  Some actors go “off-book” before truly being so, regularly calling out “line”- slowing rehearsal- or continually toting and repeatedly pulls out from her (literal) back pocket a stack of notecards with all her lines- also causing delay. Others have photographic memories, and hence remember rapidly. However, he takes time picturing the page in his mind’s eye to recall and then read the line, therefore, are lines memorized? Occasionally actors have played the part before, recollecting lines previously secured in long term memory from that long-last performance.

For those committing lines to memory for the first time, Playhouse West School in Hollywood, California, teaches students to write all the character’s lines- sans any punctuation- and know it as you would the spelling of your name- forwards/backwards without a stress on any one letter/word in particular.  Taking this one step further, I write all the lines half a dozen times, akin to grade school rote learning of spelling words. When recording lines for auditory memorization, the school instructs only record your lines and be conscious to do it in a monotone voice to prevent an ingrained line-read.  The reason to ignore the other character when memorizing is to promote a LISTEN and respond reactiveness.  Should the other actor not have his line, you must not be waiting for a ‘cue’.  Our duty is to respond to what we hear, as if for the very first time, if a scene partner uses a word ‘desire’ when the script actually says ‘demand’ but your line is throwing the same phrase back at him – Listening and repeating the word actually used creates consistency.

If the other actor jumps ahead in the scene, or the play, you may become flustered, if you only know your cues.  Conversely, Listening (and knowing your lines by heart) gifts one with the ability to remain in character and continue flawlessly.  Remember your character’s life.  It is called ‘Play’ for good reason and we all get there, in front of an audience, via our own path.  We collaborate in love of art.