"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker
Ha Ha! Okay, sometimes you have no choice. Sometimes you have to drive from the valley to Santa Monica at 3:30 in the rain. You can pretty much guess that this commute in dry weather takes about an hour and 20 minutes now, due to the road work on Sepulveda (why do I keep taking Sepulveda?!), but if it is raining, seriously, estimate another hour into your drive time.
I know, I know, but there's something Angeleno's love to yell at one another while driving in the rain,
"It's Just WATER!!!"
To these distinguished gentlemen, with their fingers extended, I would like to say, "Yes it is just water. Over a layer of oil."
When it rains in LA, you can be pretty sure that it is after several weeks of sunshine, and possibly a wonderful heatwave of temperatures in the 80s in January.
The oils in the freeway are from cars slowly dripping them. And there are a lot of cars on the freeways at all times.
Fresh rainwater on top of oil on the freeways make it very dangerous. It's not just water, dear sir, it's automobile salad dressing!
So if you're driving on the 101 in the rain, and you're at that part near Hollywood where the speed limit drops down to 55, really actually drive that slow, okay?
And when you're on side streets, and it's raining, and there are pedestrians waiting to cross, give em a break and let them pass. Like, if you're at the Target parking lot, even, these poor people are getting wet wile you're in your car, dry, with the heat turned on. Do em a solid and let them get to the store and their cars quickly.
Also, use your horn less. Your horn is loud. Really loud. And pedestrians, who are already wet and cold and irritated, have to listen to the eardrum busting blast. It's maddening. So if you can give the guy in front of you a full THREE SECONDS to look up and notice that the light is green (as opposed to the point three seconds we seem to give our fellow drivers) everyone will be happier. It's just nice.
If your car is not compact, do not park in a compact spot.
And remember, they are called blind spots for a reason. If someone changed lanes and cut you off, do not go ballistic on them. They probably honestly, did not see you. They're not called "on-purposes" they're called accidents. Try not to drive in anyone's blind spot. And if someone does something completely stupid, try to let it go. I know it's hard, but retaliation is dangerous, no matter how awesome it may feel while you're doing it.
Don't tailgate. And if someone is tailgating you, and you can get into another lane, do it. Douchnozzles also carry driver's licenses, no matter how unfair. If you can't get into another lane, you can do what I do (and it's rather effective!) I take my foot off the brake very slowly, so I'm slowing down a pinch, and I put my hazard lights on. That makes Douchnozzle believe something is wrong with my car, so he'll get into another lane to avoid being behind me. Try it!
We have this entitlement in LA, where we believe if we are in a lane, that lane is now ours and no one else's! I talked to a friend who learned how to drive in LA as a 15 year old, and her instructor told her to not even put on her blinkers until she was halfway through the lane already, because otherwise, people will speed up to keep you from having a safe amount of distance to change lanes.
So, give people a break. Let them come into your lane. It's okay. Sharing is caring.
Be safe out there. Be friendly, be cautious, be awesome.
Just got an email from my modeling agent (I sound so fancy, don't I) I'm currently on avail for this gig, so if you get it, we'll work together! And we'll both get paid!
Michael Karg is an international hair celebrity. He even has his own line of shears! He's in one of the main stages at the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach later this month, and his show is super easy (I worked with him two years ago. He wanted to work with me again last year but I was growing my hair out for my wedding). There's no runway, no complicated choreographed walk you have to learn. You just get your hair cut on one stage, and then colored at another.
And I can tell you with confidence, Michael Karg is a sweetheart.
He needs a few more models. Want to join me? Just let my modeling agent know I referred you.
HAVE ANY FRIENDS WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED?
HAVE THEM CALL US @ 562.433.8097.
***PLEASE SUBMIT CURRENT COLOR HEADSHOTS & PROFILE
& BACK OF HEAD SHOT BY FRI. 1/13/12!***
LOCATION: LONG BEACH, CA
AUDITION: DIRECT FROM PICS & PHONE INTERVIEW
PREP. DAY: SAT. 1/28
SHOW DATES: SUN. 1/29 OR MON. 1/30
RATE: $300.00 - 20% AGENCY FEE
(INCLUDES PREP & SHOW)
***MUST BE OPEN TO CUT & COLOR WITHIN YOUR LIMITATIONS***
FEMALES: 5'6 & TALLER, 0-8 DRESS, AGES: 18-30
NO WEAVES, EXTENSIONS, OR RELAXERS, AND AT LEAST 4 INCHES OF HAIR
Pilot season is usually dead for Struggling Actresses, and I know this, so in December I said to myself, "What can I do to not feel like I'm out of the loop?"
Welp, I did a few things.
I got really tired of only going out for non-union commercials. The pay isn't all that great, there's no residuals, and to drive from the Valley to Santa Monica at 3pm (I swear all my audition times were then!) took me on average, an hour to get there, an hour and a 15 of waiting time, and then an hour and 45 minutes to get home. I said, you know, I really don't want to be doing this anymore.
So I joined Sag. Now if I have to wait over an hour to audition, I get paid! Now if I have to drive all the way to Santa Monica and spend that much time in my car, the potential job will pay me a lot more money.
And even though I didn't have the money to pay for dues, the Aftra/Sag Credit Union is offering loans for Sag dues with easy monthly payment plans. You don't even have to be a member of the bank. I got approved, turned in my paperwork, and in a few weeks got my new shiny card.
Since I had been going out before (and quite often) for non-union commercials, my agent warned me that my audition ratio would drop, but I found this quite palatable after all the money I was spending on gas, and all the time I was spending in my car on auditions and callbacks for things that don't pay very well.
And being Sag now means that my agent can ONLY send me out for Sag gigs. HOORAY!
I also said, you know what? I should have a voice over reel. So I took a class and am putting on the finishing touches for my demo. I think it's pretty good. It should be all finished and done by Friday, and my manager will then go shop it around to agencies. One more hat in the ring.
I went to New Jersey and Pennsylvania to visit my husband's family over the holidays. It was unseasonably warm and we enjoyed ourselves very much. We babysat our 10 month old niece for a few days and it's remarkable how fast babies learn: because her parents always take her bib off when she's done eating, she's learned that if she rips it off herself, it signals to us that she's finished. If you try to get her to eat one more bite, she'll put it in her mouth, look at you, then spit it out. "Duh! I took my BIB off, ya'll! I'm DONE."
We came back and I went about the process of changing my maiden name.
A day later, a friend of ours asked us if we were doing anything on the night of the 30th. He wanted to drive up to Cambria, and elope with his fiancee on the beach after midnight so that they'd be married on New Year's Eve. Would I marry them?
Of course! So off we went up the coast to one of the most romantic spots, and I married two wonderful people to each other.
Then we celebrated the New Year. I'm always hopeful in January. This is going to be a good year.
I found an old photo of myself wearing a straight haired red wig and contemplated a huge change.
Then a friend passed along some info about narrating audio books. So I took my microphone and created a demo for that and sent it in.
I had two commercial auditions last week and one callback, where the director said my first take was "too sexy," something I never ever thought I would hear, and tickled me to no end.
My photographer friend Tanya (check the sidebar for a referral discount! --->)
just moved to a new studio space and asked if I would be her lighting test model. Of course!
I'm hopeful, and I'm adding more eggs to my little acting nest. I might have to sit on them for a while to hatch, but that's okay.
2012 is going to be better than 2011. I can feel it.
This time of year is dead for Struggling Actresses; first we have the extended long holiday break, and then we have pilot season. It's like an abandoned airport for us. No pilots, no flights, no nothing.
I always feel hopeful in January. Maybe it's because of all the time with friends and family, and seeing Christmas through the eyes of a 10 month old baby this year. Maybe it's because I married two friends to one another on the beach on New Year's Eve. Maybe it's because for the next twelve months,
Anything Can Happen.
And some of us get bitter, and some of us get sick of it all. But there are a few of us who wonder, "what's in store, next?" "What else can I learn?" "Who else can I spend time with?"
And it's those few who can maintain the crazy, the unfair, the almost had its, with grace, humility and open arms.
Cause we artists have to be a little crazy to ask for this life, and even crazier to keep pursuing it.
I wish you all a new year filled with happiness and health, because that's what is the most important. And I also wish you a little craziness, so you too can get through it, laugh with it, and find the love that always surrounds you.