Archives for posts with tag: Brave

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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Skyline drive

 

golden velvet liquid ripples

become lavender smoke

grows silence pre dark’s crowning

blessing time `s near broke.

keen aim ablaze propels

Nature’s gentle admiration-

profound Magic smiles-

to steady thoughts of calm creation.

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Many local librarians know me on a first name basis. Katrina Perkins Admittedly, I currently have as many books checked out as I have years to this Life’s experience.  Times past I would visit the “discount chain” store and impulsively purchase items.  These days, an impulse strikes me to learn about a subject (finance, speak French, meditate) or a specific book comes on my radar (a book club, movie soon-to-be/in production based on a book, or referenced in yet another book) and immediately I logon, sign-in, search the on-line directory and submit a request for pick-up at my nearby repository.  The New York library system is unrivaled, and gratitude saturates my existence to reside in a world wealthy in easy accessing of books, movies, and music.

Last year was particularly strengthening, in parts because within six months I divorced from a relationship spanning half my life and my Dad died.  Listening to CDs of chanting monks, Ayurvedic Sutras, and spiritual teachings checked out from the library became my salvation.  Calmed, perked, and inspired- I was reminded Life gives no more than can be consumed and to surrender to this blessing.  There was a moment, I believed I may very well be on the brink of  insanity- feeling so much ripped from my gut- in a state of not knowing anything, including how to sleep alone in a strange space alone.  I felt completely crumbled, and yet, still, undeniably uplifted.  When, acquiescing to the truth that only sane people have the where-with-all to contemplate such an inquiry as lucidity, a hope and appreciation for what I was previously blind to created a bravery I had not known to be possessed.

Many beautiful, fulfilling, inspired relationships and opportunities have come into Life.  Allowing myself to become open to them, thankful for each “wrong turn” fore the scenic route takes me on a drive past the lake I never saw.  Before, I felt myself to be alone- my mother is not one to speak frankly with, and as an only child mostly growing-up friendships are few, but flourishing.  Now, I respect “No man is an island” though occasionally forgotten in ego-ick-feelings.

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A New Year!  Every moment is new, an opportunity to see the world fresh, full of favorable circumstances.  Last January 8th my phone rang, waking me, just after midnight.  In my depths I instantaneously knew all was not well.  It was my mother; my father had died. Emotion struck hard, even now, because Dad was ‘my guy’- I could count on for support, easy understanding, and open communication with honest comfort.  His death spurred me to push toward a life less shackled and more a waking joy to live.

The torment at not traveling home for the holidays; Dad :)his haunting response to a declaration I would be there in March- “I hope I’m still around”.  He is Peaceful now- not dealing with doctors and breathing machines while he sleeps, or my mother nagging as his nurse to use less salt, stop eating coffee cake muffins at Dunkin’ Doughnuts, and remember to take his pills.  In order to make it through the ten days I was in Florida to speak at his funeral and be at the military memorial, it was a must to find purpose from his passing.  Before returning to New York, I vowed to move confidently in directions to accomplish my dreams.  Confiding in a friend, fortunately an excellent business manager, a promise was fashioned to forge a detailed plan of action.  Every moment is for a purpose, every relationship serves an intention- acting drew me to Her- fore if I had never married, thence moving to Los Angeles, I would have never been immersed in the curiosity and subsequent motivation to live poetry.

Fortunately, the acting classes on my path in Hollywood were great- fostering truth and reality of life through doing.  While each day presents its own challenge in WORKing for myself with as much discipline as I work for an employer, I am closer the the life of my dreams this year.  January of 2012 I was happy to be acting in a play as the lead character.  January of 2013 I am even more thankful to be working on movies and optimistic about finding the best agent to add to the team of Katrina Perkins Inc.

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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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I am myself and no one else

I play the cards-fate’s deltas

Together, now we play this game

You and I “what is in a name?”

Unlike you; I win! You lose.

Not comprehending my recent rouse

You yell and scream..

Left in your dream.

Permitted your reality;

Allow me mine and let me be.

I know you’ll do what’s good for you.

Be sure I’ll do the best for me.

My reason lies within..

Relies on me and where I’ve been

As well as what my future holds

Which by no psychic can be told

You believe you could control me

How naive would I have to be?

Intelligent manipulation

One fallacy of our great nation

Oxy-MORON

Died in the wool

Wake-up beautiful

My brain does function, while

You con-nect dis/junctions

Do not maintain your refrain

Please, challenge your own brain

Freedom relished- understood,

Able to do all I wished I could.

Happiness- adulthood-

Anticipation of what I should

Do for Me and not for you.

Not bound by your sad missed venue,

I impart upon My journey

Of Life and World and all Beauty.

Discover, Learn and be myself

create and fill my own bookshelf

With what is mine, my mind inside

Though not haystly rushed before I

Careful, Cautious- True-

For Me, -not for you?

Individual- I stand

Holding humanities soft touch hand.

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This week I traveled in to New York City.  This was only the second solo excursion ventured on by yours truly to the Big Apple.  There I am, on the train, for the hour and twenty-minute jaunt in, when a family of four sits in the three seats facing me.  The boys are approximately six and eight- the youngest having a hard time letting go why there are not seat belts.  His concern voiced was “how fast does the train go” and “shouldn’t there be seat belts”– his anxiety is not assuaged and he uncomfortably remains standing, reaching awkwardly to grip tightly the small hand rail in the headrest.  Eventually, he did relax into the space between his mother and older brother.

I smiled at his innocence and fear, reminded how an hour earlier my own inner voice, threatened by uncertainty, urged a rapid retreat back to “safety”.  When I am afraid of a task: I procrastinate.  This day I was hesitant to hear an undesirable answer from a casting company.  A favorable response also proved a daunting consideration, because this would mean coming face to face with a stranger who had the power to give me work.  That day, at that moment, the glass was half-full-empty.  Why can trepidation prove so powerful?  Trust wavers in the security of life providing specific experiences as needed for the Universe to conspire in our best interest.

If every venture proved fruitful, what reward would make valuable results distinguishable- all results would be valuable.  Wait….all results are valuable- when we learn, realize untapped strength, and create growth.  This day a missed train, pre-selected the night before to arrive optimally early, became a teaching catalyst. Watching the transport pull away moments before I would have stepped onto the scaffold, I believed, at that time, the valuable lesson was: allot ten ‘extra’ minutes for parking/walking to the departure platform.  Typing here now, the real lesson was from a six-year-old on his way to the Museum of Natural History. Recognizing a reflection of shared emotions from an objective perspective provided a serene, sweet acceptance and appreciation toward trusting all moments- especially the in between.

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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.

During eight years living in Los Angeles, I had the great pleasure to perform voices for a prolific writer of radio plays.  Once every month or two he would schedule a read through and studio time to record.  A gathering of about eight artists with rich vocal instruments and the vivid imaginations required of good actors would unite.  There is a freedom bestowed upon one performing in a room full of wonderfully gifted voice actors, each with their own mic and music stand before them, which electrifies.  One arrives wearing comfortable clothing and clean non-camera ready faces, preparations focusing more on the voice(s) and active energy infused into a character whose sole life resides in your ability to create through a spoken voice.

Occasionally there were more than one character to distinctly articulate. !AN OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY WITH AN ACCENT!  I absolutely LOVE to speak with a different sound in my mouth- imagining I have traveled and lived in all the worldly destinations I aspire!  Often, my standard voice evokes praise for clarity of elocution from multiple professionals, teachers, and even near deaf people with hearing aides who appreciate the intelligibility, pitch, and tone of my speech.  This is a grand starting point for incorporating a dialect- which I am equally applauded for an ability to voice numerous accents realistically.  Some are more challenging than others, notably Italian and Scottish, and these be the tests I revel!

As with everything, “practice makes perfect”.  Utilizing worksheets, accent/dialect instruction CDs, and recordings of native speakers, I practice in my home and car, repeating or talking to myself and any family who thankfully endure hearing.  Graduating to speak with confidence in public to strangers, I regularly pass as a foreigner and delight in the same attention lavished upon others when I detect a little something different in their utterance.  It takes more bravery to speak around people you know in an altered cadence, because they are the ones that will giggle and mock.  However, when you live with a voice in your everyday speaking, rather than merely exercising through the dialogue written, it becomes a part of you – therefore strengthening.