New York or Bust

The second of three storms passed through Philadelphia on Sunday night, effectively snowing everyone in. I did try to get to work in the morning, but was told to stay home, where I had my therapy session over Skype. But there was no getting out of work the next day, and it was then that winter defeated me: the snow had turned to ice, and as I was chipping it off my car roof (since the new law requires roofs to be clean) when my ice scraper broke in half. So I just hacked at the ice with the handle. I shoveled the snow from around and behind my car and got in to go to work… and couldn’t get past the ice the other cars had mashed down. So I pulled back into the driveway, stomped through the house three times to have enough salt to melt the ice, and threw it all over he ground while my Chinese neighbor watched.

The second time I tried to get out of the driveway, my car seemed to have forgotten how to go in reverse; when in that gear, the car went forward when I hit the gas. I was on the edge of a panic attack, crying and shaking and feeling like my head was full of buzzing bees. But thankfully, the third time I tried to leave, I managed it, even though it happened very slowly.

All that got me through the long, mediocre workday was the thought that this morning, I would be on my way to NYC for my birthday gift to myself: seeing Machinal on Broadway. In addition to getting to see an awesome show, I was also missing a work seminar that I wasn’t prepared for. But while at work, I got a message that my bus to New York had been cancelled. I bought a train ticket. Then I heard trains were shutting down and I started panicking. I didn’t want my ticket money for the show or the train to go to waste. And also I DID NOT WANT TO GO TO THE SEMINAR.

With the inextinguishable drive of a Jehovah’s Witness, I got on the (operating) subway, hoping that was a good sign. But when I got to 30th Street Station, there were no trains to New York because those were coming from Harrisburg, and all trains from the capitol were cancelled. My anxiety level was climbing, especially when I heard announcement after announcement saying that, because of the weather, any ticket would be accepted on any train. I went to the info desk and said, “I know all trains from Harrisburg are cancelled, but is there any way at all to get to New York?” As the guy behind the desk started to look it up, another guy came over and said, “The 614? That’s running.”

THANK GOD. I still wasn’t convinced I’d make it to New York in time to lunch with Molly, but at least I was going to New York. To my surprise, I got there in plenty of time, with no problems or delays. So I walked to the restaurant near Bryant Park where Molly and I were meeting. We had lovely conversation and delicious food before she had to go to the library and I to the show.

Between the weather and the fact that Machinal is almost a hundred years old and a play, the theatre was pretty empty. I got the most awesome usher who, when I asked if I could move down if no one took the closer seats, whispered, “Just go down now, as close as you want.” I stayed up in the mezzanine, but sat at the front, about seven rows closer than I had paid for.

The play was INCREDIBLE. I read it very quickly for a hurriedly-composed essay my senior year of college, but didn’t remember that much. But whatever I expected, the show was better. The acting was great, the revolving set was so ingenious and cool, the costumes were beautiful, and the sound design gave me chills. The script itself is very sparse, and, in the wrong hands, could be very awkward and jerky. But the combined efforts created a show that was staccato when it called for it but never unnatural. My favorite thing is that it made me FEEL what the main character was feeling. I didn’t just think, “Oh, she’s feeling trapped and scared,” I actually FELT trapped and scared. And when I left the theatre, I didn’t want to. I just wanted to find a quiet corner and think for awhile. It was a theatre experience that left me wonderfully dazed.

I got an early bus home after grabbing some dinner. My post-NYC low hit me, but not nearly as hard as it used to. It’s worse now, but again, not as bad as it’s been. It was nice to get away for a day and see a good friend and good theatre.

Advertisements

We’re Not Playing Anymore

Image

This past week has been a week of realizing that everyone around me is growing up. Last Sunday, I drove back to my hometown to attend my friends Lauren and Brent’s wedding. I went to high school with both of them, and on Sunday, they married each other.

This marks the third friend’s wedding I’ve attended. For my friend Kendra, who is two years older than me, it was a day where I watched my slightly older friend do something that slightly older people did. But for my other friends, who are the same age as me, it just feels like it’s a really elaborate game of dress up. Instead of being in the playroom or the backyard by ourselves and wearing old dance costumes, we’re all dressed up in big-person clothes that fit us and we’re in a public place with a lot of other people and official, legally binding words are being said. And even though I knew the wedding was coming and what was going to happen, both times I’ve been standing there going, “WHAT IS HAPPENING?” It hasn’t seemed real, though it unquestionably is. At my table, I was the only one who was not married, about to be married, or had marriage on the mind.

This feeling only increased today. My aforementioned friend Kendra had her baby shower today. Her BABY SHOWER. Very soon, a little boy with half her DNA will enter the world and she and her husband will be responsible for keeping that little boy alive. Believe me, I totally believe in their ability to do this, but it’s still a bit jarring to realize that this is the same girl with whom I shared a tiny dorm room my sophomore year where we ate food that was bad for us and kept Law and Order: SVU on all day every Tuesday.

But while I’m not taking those kind of huge, very public steps, I’m still taking some of my own. I’m looking at changing jobs for the millionth time this year, auditions for my play are happening in two weeks, and today, I took my very first antidepressant pill in attempt to get my life back. I guess I’m a real adult, too, in my own way.

King(s) of New York: Newsies Auditions

In March, I found a casting notice for Newsies in the actors’ newspaper Backstage. I wrote it in my planner, but assumed I wouldn’t go, since, due to not being seen at open calls for the past two years, I don’t go to them anymore. But my acting career has been slow and one night at the end of April, I was talking to my friend Kaitlin who said, “I want to be an actress NOW. Someone cast me in a Broadway show…” Kaitlin happens to be a HUGE fan of Newsies, so I mentioned the audition. She was very excited and it was basically decided then that we were going to go together.

Fast-forward to Thursday, five days before the big audition. I had a callback for a musical and my throat was feeling rather scratchy. I was very annoyed; the NYC plans were already made, the tickets had been bought and the hotel paid for, and, if my allergies were acting up as usual, I wouldn’t have a voice by Monday, the audition day. On Friday, I woke up super achy, but still had to teach for six hours. I felt progressively worse as the day went on, and when I got home, I took a shower, fell into bed, and did not move except to eat dinner. Saturday morning, I was in so much pain that I cried. I had planned to so some serious scriptwork for Time Stands Still, and I attempted to do so, but that only led to me shivering in a cafe because a fever had started up. I took to my bed and there I stayed until Sunday afternoon when I could finally move my limbs. And while it sucked that I had some sort of flu-plague (which as of two hours ago was diagnosed as bronchitis), it does not affect my singing voice like allergies do.

By Monday, I was feeling much better. I rose at 6:45 to get ready and was at Kaitlin’s house by 8:20. Even though our bus to the city wasn’t until noon, there were no trains from her town after 9 am, so we did what we could. We ate breakfast while waiting for our bus and made good time into the city once we departed. I took Kaitlin to Pret a Manger, a sandwich shop that fed me most days when I was in London and has now, to my delight, migrated to NYC. After dropping off our bags at our hotel (the awesome European pseudo-hostel that I stayed in in January) and changing out of our rain boots, we hit the subway again to get to the Strand, an awesome three-story bookshop that Molly told me about. We both spent WAY too much money there; I got three books and one play, and Kaitlin got more than that. For dinner, we hit up Ellen’s Stardust Diner, famous for its singing waitstaff. They have great food too, but my bronchitis had stolen my appetite, so instead of having the cheeseburger and fries that I wanted, I had lentil soup. NOT THE SAME. By the time we got back to the hotel, it was about ten, so we took our showers and got ready to rise very early the next morning.

At 5 a.m., the alarm rang. At 5 a.m., the only thing going through my head is WHY: “Why am I up this early? Why is any actor up this early? Actors work at night. This is morning. Why don’t we just go back to sleep and shop later (much later)? Why did we think this was a good idea?” But I had not paid to stay in a New York City hotel to go shopping. I had done so to audition for Newsies. So I rolled out of bed and heard Kaitlin grumbling all the things I had been thinking from the top bunk and turned on the light. She grumbled louder and I promised her that if she got out of bed, we’d stop at Starbucks before getting in line. By 5:45, we were out the door, headed for the subway. We stopped at the promised Starbucks and then made our way to casting company office.

Let me explain something before I go on: it is customary for actors to show up to open calls hours before the call actually starts. But that does NOT mean that the office is open then; it’s not. Which means that we are voluntarily lining up on the sidewalk with nowhere to sit, sometimes in terrible weather conditions. We got lucky on that day, though- not only was it not raining or anything like that, it was also pretty warm for 6:30 a.m., which is when Kaitlin and I joined the line. We were #3 and #4. My plan had paid off: unless a thousand Equity actors showed up, we were going to be seen (keep in mind, though, that a thousand Equity actors showing up is ENTIRELY possible in this economic climate and career field.)

While we were waiting outside, someone in line got smart and started the non-Equity list, which would ensure that those of us who got there first, would be seen first. According to the actor who started it, they HADN’T made up a list the day before and it was a madhouse. Kaitlin was worried that people would try to cut ahead anyway, but, as I explained to her, actors, in these situations, are generally pretty nice to each other. We all know what the others are going through and we appreciate that people rose earlier than us to get in line first. Though we all can be pretty cutthroat, we have our moments of caring, and they often come out at auditions (but still, watch your back…)

Though the audition didn’t start until ten, a nice office worker let us come up to the office around eight, where there were chairs and bathrooms. While Kaitlin and I had gotten pretty in our hotel room, most of the girls had the right idea of coming in their sweats and making themselves presentable in the bathroom mirror. Kaitlin and I took turns freaking out. It was her first Broadway audition, so she was very nervous. I generally don’t get nervous at open calls until it’s my turn to go in, because being nervous for six hours of waiting is kind of pointless. But that day, I had my bronchitis, and it was getting worse by the hour. It was at the point, by 9 am, that normal things like getting up and walking across the room or laughing would wind me, and that did not bode well for my super-belty song that I had chosen to sing pre-illness. I stressed over whether to change my song and then decided I had to- I was not going to go in there and wheeze at them. Like any good actor, I can sing any of the songs in my audition book if asked, so I handed Kaitlin my audition book and said, “Pick a song that matches Katherine’s [the character we were going for] personality, and I’ll sing that instead.” She pointed out three that would work, and I chose one that allowed me to show personality while singing in a way that didn’t involve too much deep breathing. I was still really nervous though. I know I can sing that song, but I was having issues breathing out, which is basically what singing is, and I had visions of completely choking (something literally), to the point where I nearly decided not to audition.

While we were waiting, an announcement came over the loudspeaker of our floor and told us that there was a fire drill and we all had to exit the building. Not a single person moved… because we are actors and would rather die in a fire than lose our spot in line to audition for a show.

The monitor (the person who takes actor’s names for the order of auditioning) arrived and though he was grumpy, he was competent, honoring the list we had made and shifting those of us who were Equity Membership Candidates (e.g, me) to the EMC list, which gets us in before the non-Equity people. Once the clock stuck ten, he started reading off the names of the first group of actors to audition- and I was in it! I lined up with the others and waited my turn, getting very nervous because as I tried to hum my song, I kept wheezing; I didn’t want to think what would happen when I tried to actually sing it. Also, I felt a nosebleed coming on.

When I entered the audition room, I couldn’t find the pianist. The piano was the tallest one I have ever seen, and I couldn’t even see his head over the top. Eventually I located him on the other side and gave him my music. The casting directors were super friendly, as has been my experience with this company. I introduced myself and my song and stopped myself from adding, “And I’m sorry.” The pianist played the intro of my song and I opened my mouth- and sang as well as I ever have. You would never have known that I was sick. Upon shifting into the big belty end note, I did come across as I little weak, but that could have happened in any audition (and definitely has.) The CDs were smiling and nodding and I thanked my lucky stars to have had such great vocal and theatrical training that allowed me to project in a way that not only hid the fact that I was sick, but also kept me from further injuring myself. After finishing, the CDs smiled and said, “Thank you so much, that was great. Thanks for coming in!” and then I skipped out of the room, thrilled with how it had gone. Even if I hadn’t been sick, I still would have been pleased.

After I went into the bathroom and suffered the nosebleed I had felt coming on pre-audition, Kaitlin and I waited for maybe twenty minutes before the monitor read her name off of the non-Eq list. I gave her a hug and wished her broken limbs, and when she was next in line, I went over and did it again. I watched her go in and then what seemed like three seconds later, emerge. It was so fast that I worried she had left mid-song. But as it happens, she started over once and said the CDs were super nice to her- and why not? She’s the perfect type for the part. On the elevator on the way out, I saw she was kind of tearing up. “Don’t worry,” I said. “You can cry. I cried the first time I auditioned for a Broadway show, too.”

So our plan paid off- we were seen within the first hour of auditions, the first time I’ve been seen at all at a NYC open call in two years. Sadly, I don’t have the money or the time to take two days off of work and pay for a hotel room every time there’s an open call I want to go to. But this HAS restored my faith in them a little bit. Free from our stress, Kaitlin and I went to a theatre bookshop, then got lunch, and after some celebratory froyo, we decided it was time to come home. We hopped on an early bus and were back at her house in time for dinner to talk about our adventures. NEW YORK SUCCESS!

Aside

Ice Cream Trucks Mean It’s a Neighborhood

Over the past few days, I’ve been slowly moving into my new place, which is about 20-45 minutes (depending on traffic) from my old apartment. It was probably the smoothest move-out I’ve had yet. As I talked about last summer, I’m pretty awful at moving, so this time, I was really trying to be thorough. For the most part, I was good, though as today has been going on, I’ve been remembering the things I left in the fridge. Oops :/

My new place is actually IN Philadelphia; for the past five years, I’ve been living in the suburbs of the city. The area where I now live is still residential, but is in an area much, much busier than I’ve ever lived in before. Yesterday as my dad was helping me move and we drove down the street, I kept saying things like, “Look! A laundromat! A restaurant! A store! Sidewalks!” and my dad said, “This is a neighborhood.” As if to prove it, an ice cream truck drives by about four times a day. Ice cream trucks are the final word on whether a place is a neighborhood.

I’m living with two friends (a guy and a girl, who are a couple) from college and a guy I just met yesterday. It’s a small house as opposed to an apartment, with a garage and everything. My room is much smaller than my last room, but it’s nice and it’s ALL MINE. This is the first time in five years, save for the summer months, that I have not had a roommate. While I loved all of my roommates, I am so happy to finally have my own space, and for the lowest price I’ve paid yet.

Part of the reason for choosing this place out of the three I had on the table was that it is near to a subway station. At all my other places, I took at least two modes of transportation, usually with an added long walk, to work. Here, I can take one train to a stop very close to my jobs. Today was the first day I was trying out the new station. I left an hour, just in case, because the place is HUGE, with a multi-level parking garage. But it wasn’t hard to figure out, and the ride to work is only 25 minutes- hooray!

But my journey came to a screeching- or rather, a shattering- halt before I even pulled out of the driveway. Our garage/small driveway is behind the house, and there is a gate on each side that, if you wish, can join together and lock people away from your property. Just before I went to bed last night, I noted that someone had parked really stupidly right behind our driveway, and I made a note to myself to be careful when pulling out of the driveway. I remembered this as I was on my way to work today, but unfortunately, being super concentrated on not crashing into the stupid person’s car took my attention away from the Problem Child Gate, which, even after living here for less than 48 hours, I have figured out likes to swing around willy-nilly. So this morning, the PCG had decided to try to hug my car, and as I backed out, the edge of the gate came into contact with my left side-view mirror and smashed it to pieces.
This was bad. It was bad because my dad was going to be mad at me, but also because, if you remember, I’ve just moved to a busy area, where having all your mirrors in good working order is kind of required. I made it to the transportation center in one piece, but knew I’d have to do something about it after work.

Getting home after work was an episode, though. I take the subway a lot, but I only ever take it between 2nd and 34th Streets. The stop near my house is across the river from 2nd Street, all the way at the end of the line, but I’d always seen 2nd Street (and the river) as the final stop. So even though I got on the right train home, heading across the river, I panicked, second-guessed myself, and changed trains, riding for twelve incorrect subway stops (about twenty extra minutes) before realizing that I had been right the first time and taking another 50-minute ride back to my actual stop. *sigh*

When I got home, I had to add an auto shop stop to my already-planned grocery shopping, but as it turned out, I had to go to THREE auto shops… none of which had what I needed (a temporary mirror.) I went home, put away my groceries, and talked to my dad, who said that for my own safety, I HAD to get a replacement mirror of some kind before I drove around tomorrow. I knew he was right, so I tied back PCG and drove off again, to Target for tape and some sort of cheap mirror. Pathetic, yes, but all I can do at the moment.

Do you know how hard it is to find a mirror? I’ll tell you- REALLY HARD. I figured I’d just buy a cheap makeup case or locker mirror and fasten it to my car, but they apparently don’t sell those at the moment. The only mirrors I found were magnifying mirrors, which wouldn’t make my driving any safer, or super fancy (expensive) decorative mirrors. But FINALLY, after about forty-five minutes, I came across a large hand-held mirror. I thought it might be too big, but it’s actually the perfect size, and when I got home, I stepped on the handle and snapped it off, removed blue plastic from around the edges and back, and package-taped the mirror over the shattered remains of my side-view mirror… and it actually doesn’t look as stupid as I thought. It still kind of looks like someone who was really desperate fixed it up, but I don’t think it could have looked any better.

So now that THAT drama is over, I have to concentrate on memorizing this new script for work (a ghost tour, run by the same company I already work for.) I can’t wait until my first test is over- then I can return to normal life, which involves decorating my new room, reading, and not crashing into gates.

The Accidental Date

Even though I have a boyfriend now, I’m still not quite used to it. I’ve never been the type of girl that boys line up to date, but I’ve always had a good number of guy friends. So if a guy is nice to me, I may get an instant crush, but I assume that he’s just being my friend. And, as far as I know, that’s the case 99% of the time.

During the training for my new tourguiding job, I met my fellow tourguides, one of whom is a guy named Sam. He was very friendly and talkative to everyone the first day we all met, but by the second time we went on a group training tour, he was paying much more attention to me- walking with me, chatting almost exclusively with me, and being more physical than most people are in general. I didn’t chalk it up to anything, really. Again, it had been over four years since I was even asked out. He found out I was an actor and told me that he worked in the offices at the biggest theatre in the city.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve met up to work on the tour and rehearsed over the phone a million times. We never did anything outside of the tour; as soon as we were done doing the tour in person, we parted ways, and it was only very recently that Sam followed up socially after we rehearsed over the phone. I did notice that this was more interest than a guy usually showed me, but at that point, I was single and probably desperate, so I figured I was just being hypersensitive. It was during these conversations that Sam told me that he could get me comps to the current show at the theatre. I said that I’d love to see it. We at first decided to see it in April, but since I’m assistant stage managing a show that has the same run time, when he invited me to see it on Friday, I said yes.

Perhaps it should have occurred to me that this was more than a friend thing, and it did, a little. I made sure that the dress I wore wasn’t too date-y, but that was hard because I ALWAYS dress up to go to the theatre, especially evening shows. I did also mention to my boyfriend what was going on, and he was suspicious of Sam’s motives, much more than I.

It didn’t take long for me to get just as suspicious, though. Sam and I met up an hour before the show, and when he saw me, instead of giving me his usual hug, I got a kiss on the cheek. Since we had time to kill, we went to a bar so he could see the basketball game. There, he paid for my drink (and by drink, I mean I got a soda and so did he.) While he is, as I mentioned, a very touchy-feely person, he was touching me more than usual- the hand, the waist, etc. When we went into the theatre to take our seats, he practically guided me into my seat by my waist, calling me “sweetie”, and though I pulled away, I felt like the damage was already done. During the first act, I was terrified  he was going to try and hold my hand, so I kept my program in the hand closest to him and kept my hands on the other side of my body, leaning away from him. He didn’t try, as it happened, but better safe than sorry.

But even though he didn’t try to hold my hand, he was still very… date-y towards me, and I decided during the first act that when intermission came, I would subtley let him know that I was taken. When the lights came up, I escaped to the bathroom, figuring the mile-long line would allow me enough time away from him. But I went too fast and there was no line and before I knew it, we were standing around in the hallway and he was way too close. So I’m standing there thinking, ‘How can I hint to him that this can’t be a date?’ Finally, we ended up talking about Philadelphia theatre and I saw my chance. “I saw Seminar last week with my boyfriend,” I said,  then mentioned how much said boyfriend enjoyed the show, as did I.

He got the hint. In fact, he reacted to it so abruptly, moving away from me to look at a display case, that I thought perhaps I had been rude about it. But he recovered within seconds and was friendly, but not so touchy, with me. He did still touch my hand as we sat down for the second act, but in general, it felt less like a date… though I still sat the same way I had during the first act, even though it got uncomfortable after awhile.

We ended up taking the same train home, though my stop was a good half hour before his. Thankfully, he kept his hands to himself and didn’t use any terms of endearment, and we arrived at my stop without incident. And while I’d like to think that he understands my relationship status, I’m not positive. So while I’d certainly like some more comps, I’ll have to make sure he knows what the deal is before I accept anymore.

Ch-Changes

I have not written in a very long time, but for very good reasons. There have been some huge changes in my life in the past few weeks.

CHANGE #1: I officially quit my singing server job. Even though they really annoyed me my last week, and my final two days on the job were awful, I made sure it happened amicably. I was really going back and forth as to whether to quit or not. I hate waitressing, but I loved the people I worked with, from managers to coworkers. In then end, though, they made it easy- on the 13th, they sent an e-mail saying that starting April 1st, there would be no more singing on the ship, and they also wanted to operate with a smaller staff. I’ll miss the people there, but I think walking away from that job was the right move.

CHANGE #2: I started my job at Big Famous University, and so far, I really like it. It’s a weird mix of crazy running around and down time, but it’s cool and I like my coworkers. I also get a radio, a headset, lots of keys, and an office. Plus, I get to watch the shows if I want. The shows aren’t usually theatre, though my first training day was a children’s theatre show. Normally the presentations are lectures, debates, or concerts, but they seem to be interesting nonetheless.

CHANGE #3: I got a boyfriend. Of course, that sounds like I went shopping and picked one out, which is not at all the case. I’ve liked him for years, but besides being too shy to tell him until this past summer, he wasn’t available until recently. We were also very nervous about risking our friendship, but in the end, we decided that we liked each other too much to not give it a try.

CHANGE #4: …hasn’t technically happened yet. I’m looking for apartments, which is hard. I have a prospect with my cousin Amanda, but I’m also looking at some studios. The problem with the studios is that they’re much more expensive than my cousin’s place AND I really don’t think I should live alone, for both safety and mental health reasons.

CHANGE #5: I will be starting my tourguiding job officially, very soon. I was ridiculously nervous for my first test tour, but it went better than I ever could have expected. Tomorrow, I have my second, for which I must now go brush up.

Filming Day 3: That’s a Wrap

Sunday was my third and final day on set, and the final day of the film as a whole. It was a very, VERY long day, but it was only so because the people on this film were being really picky about getting just the right take. I was called at 11:30, and was used almost right away. There were some more random pick-up shots to be done, but the big scene for me that day was my first conversation with Mike’s character. It’s weird, we kept saying what a long scene it was a how much time it would take to shoot. In reality, it was maybe two pages, but two pages in film time is at least an hour of shooting. So we just really wanted to get that out of the way.

My big goal in working on this film was to not be so showy. I’m not a “big” actor- theatre is my thing, but I’m often told that my acting doesn’t carry to the back row. But I’m still definitely a theatre actor in my style, which is much too over-exaggerated for film. The first day of the film, just by chance, I got an article about film acting in my inbox. The article pointed out that since the camera picks up the minutae of a reaction, you don’t actually need to SHOW anything- you can just think it, and the camera will pick it up. If you’re being derisive, you don’t need to smirk or snort or roll your eyes for a film, you just need to to think those derisive thoughts. This seemed a little… minimalistic for me, but considering that I’ve been doing my normal acting for the other films I’ve done and felt crappy about it, I decided to give it a try. And you know what? I actually felt good about my performance about 95% of the time. I didn’t feel like I was straining which, now that I think about it, is often how I feel when film acting. Normally, I’m bombarded by all the film acting tips I’ve ever gotten, but the only tip I thought of was just thinking the emotions. And I think it worked. They seemed to like it, anyway.

As Mike and I assumed, filming that conversation took forever, and we knew dinner was on the other side of shooting it. I was starving, and we would have been done SO much earlier, but the people whose apartment we were using were tired of us being there and so weren’t bothering to keep their volume down. Boom mics pick up EVERYTHING. Sometimes the sound guy will tell us that we can’t start filming at that moment because a car is going by, and those of us not listening through the boom can’t even hear it. But if we filmed with that sound, it would mess up the entire recording. So anything we could hear with our own, un-mic’d ears was bad. (I should note here that, besides one of the residents being a film major, these students were paid to let us use their dorm.) And they wouldn’t stop making noise, usually in the middle of takes, screwing up everything. It was as we were nearing the final take before dinner that I started feeling really out of it- not just hungry, but really exhausted. My brain was almost numb from saying the same thirty words every ten minutes, and there was this one moment where my brain just shut down while Mike was speaking and I swayed where I stood. I ended up finishing the take (though I think that one was messed up by the talking residents.) I was just SO DONE with that scene.

This is why I don’t think I could ever LOVE film acting. Theatre rehearsal can get repetitive, yes, but when you have to do something over in theatre, it’s often so you can try something new. You can often experiment in film, too, but not as much; besides being confined to a certain screen size, your performance can’t be so radically different that moments of it can’t be spliced in with other takes. It’s this replicated performance that I don’t like; one of the worst things that ever happened to me as an actor was figuring out my little habits, because suddenly, they were distracting me from my performance: I did that thing was my hands again, I always extend my neck when speaking a line, etc. etc. Doing close to the same performance just brings to light what you do that might not be so great.

Finally we finished that scene and broke for dinner. I didn’t film for hours after that- I only had one more thing to do, reshooting the scene that almost caught my hair on fire, and that was at the very end. But I stayed on set and watched the other scenes. When those were done, everyone of the actor persuasion was sent home except for me. Thankfully, the lights they used for the reshoot weren’t as hot as the previous ones, so there was no fire hazard that time. It still took a long time, but again, it was because they were really committed to getting the absolute best shot. There were so many of them that would have been fine, but the director of photography kept saying to the director, “Just let me try this. I promise you, you will lose your shit.”

I was wrapped by ten. I was actually kind of sad to leave the set. For the first time on a film, I felt like I deserved it when the crew told me I had done a good job. I really enjoyed my time on set, and the script was fun to work with, as well as the cast and crew. I may get to work with some of the same people this coming weekend, but we’ll see. I may actually go to the screening of this film; that should tell you how good I felt about it.

Previous Older Entries