Misty’s Acting Stuff Archive

0

That Time I Hung Out With Queen Elizabeth

When you have a best friend who was basically raised at the renaissance festival, you’re eventually going to learn all about it. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll even someday get […]

When you have a best friend who was basically raised at the renaissance festival, you’re eventually going to learn all about it. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll even someday get an in person glimpse into the world in a way you never got when you just attended the festival.

The performers on court do weeks of training. They need to learn about life in that time, about how someone with their rank fits into society, the dances, the songs, the protocol and much more. It’s more than just learning the language, it’s how to bow/curtsey and when. How to address the others on court. Who the others on court are. Because not only do you need to know your back story, you need to know everyone else’s as well.

And then there’s the clothing. oof. That’s a whole other beast in and of itself!

After getting special permission to bring me on court for a day, T-Rex had to bootcamp me in a few days. She let me borrow her binder that helped a lot with understanding the ranking system and the language. She taught me three of the four dances (one was far more complex and we basically covered dancing within a fifteen minute timespan. Thankfully I have a background that allows me to pick up on movement things very quickly!). She explained the proper way to depart from Her Majesty. She covered the basics of attending, not that I would actively be doing so but she covered it anyway. She went over what the day would be like. And most importantly, she was able to find a dress for me. I ordered a corset that arrived a few days prior (and of course was too large despite her having taken my measurements and if anyone is going to get them right it’s her, AND I ordered a size down from what it said I needed!) but we were able to make it work by putting it on me upside down since the hoop for the skirt would make it flare out anyway. Hopefully soon I can get it taken in to fit me better. If I ever wear the damn thing again! 🙂

I arrived on site hours before the festival gates opened. T-Rex laced me into my corset, then hoop, then blouse, then underskirt, then overskirt, then bodice, then everything else. Seriously, it’s not just putting on a dress. It took her about 20 minutes to do it and she’s experienced in dressing people. I can easily see it taking closer to an hour for the more elaborate gowns or for someone who isn’t as experienced as she is. Then she helped dress the Queen and got her some breakfast as her hair was being done. Unlike the cast who attends the Queen while on the grounds, there are people who have to attend her out-of-character. It’s an exhausting process and an exhausting job!

Once everyone was ready, we headed onto the grounds and met up with the rest of court, then onto the grounds to assemble for morning meeting. One of my good friends who is on cast (who once played my ‘space husband’ in a short film) looked over and saw me and was floored. He had no idea I was going to be there, let alone on court for the day! It was awesome to see the expression on his face when he saw me, especially done up in my garb.

After morning meeting, it was time to parade (pronounced pah-rad) to the front gates to open the festival for the day. And what a delight! William Shakespeare was there to announce he was casting for a role in his new play, Hamlet 2: The Dane of our Existence. He begged the Queen to put an end to it, as everyone came out to audition. And she did. By announcing that she was there to audition as well and that ‘We are Elizabeth. Do we have the part?’ And of course she did. Then the gates were opened and the royal guard passed through, followed by the Queen and then her attendants.

Now one thing you might never have noticed is that her courtiers are all lined up behind her in two rows. The first two are her active attendants, then it follows by rank with the highest ranking up front. I ranked further back as I chose a lower rank. I was Lady Moira Rosemary, married to Sir William Rosemary who is the eldest brother of T-Rex’s character, Lady Saffron. Moira’s father is one of the richest men in the region and pretty much William married her for her money. Neither of them wanted to get married, let alone to each other, but you gotta do what you gotta do. So she’s not the highest of rank but she’s rich AF and is from a small town originally where she spent all her time reading because she was educated and hating sewing because she sucks at it. But she does like music and poetry and dance so she’s not a tomboy like some of the women on court. I think perhaps next time I go, I will carry a book around with me and pretend to be absorbed in my reading. (I mean it’s not much different than me in real life, right?!)

Anyway, you’re in two rows and when someone steps out, the people behind them move up to fill in the gap. The only person who should be walking alone (aside from the Queen) is the last person if there is an odd number. I pretty easily slipped into this and enjoyed always being next to someone new. So we go inside and line up to greet everyone as they enter. I’d never been there early enough to see the opening ceremony so it was exciting for me to see it the first time from that side of things.

We welcomed people and then started morning dance. It’s so when people walk in, it automatically engages them. There are a couple of dances for the couriers, which I did not have a partner for one of them and the other I was holding some things for someone so couldn’t join in, and then there’s one where we grab people to come join us. We’re in a large circle and go through the very easy steps slowly, then start the dance. As we dance, the music gets slightly faster and it’s quite hilarious and fun really engages people. Then we walked around. Every few steps someone would stop to talk to the Queen or to take pictures. It was awesome. There were a few scheduled events during the day, like archery and the joust and the children’s knighting ceremony and the feast, but we spent much of the day just walking around and interacting with people.

Maybe the highlight was being able to watch the joust in the box with the Queen. Only a few people are allowed in there at a time but I was one of them! It’s a very different perspective and every year I’d go I’d be stuck behind tall people and not be able to really see the action so I finally did and it was cool. At one point I also found myself temporarily filling in for one of the attendants which was also exciting even if it was only for maybe three minutes. But the most special thing all day was when the Queen held court and Lady Saffron and Lady Rosemary presented Her Majesty with a gift. It was a bottle of whiskey with a special label that I designed for her. The present was really from T-Rex and had special meaning to the Queen and when we presented her with it, her eyes welled up with tears for a moment and when she kissed me on each cheek, she whispered thank you to me and the sound of sincerity in her voice made me almost break down crying. Then I took a place on the benches behind her with the rest of court and watched as she had other gifts presented to her. The best part of her holding court was when the brother of one of the courtiers was there (her whole family came for the day) and when he presented himself to the Queen, he corrected himself and said his name was ‘Matt. Matthew.’ and all day long whenever we would see him, we would yell greetings to Matt Matthew! We saw him again at the Dancing With The Royals competition where I think he came in third place, then at the knighting ceremony where he became Sir Matt Matthew. And because he was young and good looking and now knighted, all the ladies of court would giggle and flirt with him hilariously and he played along and was just awesome.

I’m surprised I lasted all day in the full garb. Everyone seemed surprised it was my first day in a corset and full Elizabethan clothing, so that was cool. I guess I powered through pretty well. I did learn that you absolutely cannot bend at the waist when you are wearing a corset that is laced so tightly that you can’t breathe. Let’s just say it made visits to the privy rather interesting. I’m going to have corset marks for days, though. And I think I might have some bruising where the corset pressed into my hips and lower back. I had better posture than I’ve ever had in my life, though! Maybe I should wear a corset (a LOOSER corset) every day. I’d have amazing posture!

We ended the day with the pub sing where we would gather at the pub and each of the musical groups would come up for a song. The space is very limited so the Queen only takes a few of her ladies in waiting with her and I was picked to go! It was awesome. It’s definitely an experience I won’t forget and when I mentioned ‘Maybe I can come back and do it again one day next year,’ the Queen said she would love it and the court director (who was on court and I spent most of the day with and didn’t even realize that was her job!) actually clapped and bounced in her seat and said she’d love love love it if I did. So I apparently didn’t do a terrible job and embarrass everyone! It was a bit slow at first, I admit, where I was mostly watching everyone and taking cues from them, but by the end of the day I would stop and talk to people and gave out the rest of my Queen’s Rings (little rings we give to the children as gifts from Her Majesty) and they’d light up and be excited. I can’t wait to go back again next year! And it’s one more thing off my bucket list!

0

Took me to Hell and back… (and how to not use imdb.com)

Ahh, Hell. It should bring forth images of heat. Unbearable heat that melts you to the seat of your car and doesn’t let up. Alas, no. Hell was frozen.

Ahh, Hell. It should bring forth images of heat. Unbearable heat that melts you to the seat of your car and doesn’t let up.

Alas, no. Hell was frozen.

Read the rest of this entry »

0

A car full of baboons and the Avengers’ asses. Also, I’m old.

A couple of weeks ago, my sisters and I went to a party.

A couple of weeks ago, my sisters and I went to a party.

Read the rest of this entry »

0

The Regular Life

Like most actors, I am not a series regular on a huge hit series on a major TV network.

Like most actors, I am not a series regular on a huge hit series on a major TV network.

Read the rest of this entry »

0

The 48 Hour Secret That Never Was One

Making a movie is a difficult task.

Making a movie is a difficult task.

Read the rest of this entry »

0

My feelings on the film incentive cap.

in·cen·tive
   /ɪnˈsɛntɪv/ [in-sen-tiv]
–noun
1.
something that incites or tends to incite to action or greater effort, as a reward offered for increased productivity.
–adjective
2.
inciting, as to action; stimulating; provocative.

Typically, emails from one of my two agents causes me to feel a giddy expectation, but when an email came through a couple of days ago, I dreaded what it would say. Sure enough, at the time, it was confirmed that two major motion pictures were pulling their production out of the state of Michigan. Since then, others have begun to follow suit and as the shock wears off, the ripple effects are going to truly be felt.

Let me explain a bit about my stance on the film incentive cap that is being put into place:

I was a filmmaker and actress before the film incentives came to Michigan. Struggling against the odds, yes, but doing all I could to make it work here in the shadow of corrupt unions and the failed auto industry. I’ll full admit one thing and that is that I have a personal and professional bias about the film industry. However, I’m attempting to approach this as I would ANY industry that is starting to draw non-negative attention to my state and home region and attempting to treat this as active industry, not specifically film industry.

Years ago, the thought of a major movie star being in town for any reason gave us the small-town shivers. Nobody ever visits Detroit, not for the heck of it. Sure, we have great cultural attractions in the DIA, Henry Ford and Greenfield Village, casinos, great waterfront views, the list can go on and on. What we didn’t have was a thriving industry. Just as we were hopeful and excited when the casinos opened in Detroit, we were hopeful that the film industry would be our saving grace. We were still reeling from the disappointment of the casinos not really living up to the hype and still buried in broken dreams caused by the auto industry failing. It once worked to have one strong industry in place, but over time, it has become a burden. In 2008, auto companies begged for money and it was decided that billions of dollars of tax money were to be given to the auto industry to keep them afloat. Let’s focus on that for a moment.

Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 1, 2009. Between Chrysler and GM, there was approximately $17.4 BILLION dollars in tax money involved. The film incentive cap is $25million. That’s what, 14% of the auto bailout to Chrysler and GM, a good chunk of which doesn’t have to be repaid because of the bankruptcy?

Meanwhile, Chrysler paid $9million on their SuperBowl ad, which had raw footage filmed in Detroit, but post production was done in California. Why is that? We have a solid film industry here in Michigan and have for years, even BEFORE the film incentives. We do industrials, indie films, commercials here. The film incentives were just the push we needed to do larger projects that require more staff/crew/talent. The film incentives were just the push we needed to get people to come to us instead of us going to them, which in turn stimulated local business.

Back in May of 2010, just after my birthday in fact, I found out that I had a part in a SAG film. Until that point, I’d had some auditions, but my real money from ‘acting’ was coming from extra work. On set, you’d see people slipping extra granola bars and bagels into their bags and purses, whispering about being glad they’d have something to eat for dinner. Until that point, I’d only seen this behavior on TV shows that would use the ‘starving actor’ as a stereotype. The difference in this case? It wasn’t usually an actor who was starving, it was someone who was laid off, downsized, sometimes outright fired and they were losing their cars and homes. Having a bagel secreted away for dinner meant not having to spend a precious $5 on a meal, especially when they had to pay the insanely expensive gas prices to get to set in the first place. People were THRILLED to have a job, even if it was just for one day making minimum wage and working in sometimes brutal conditions. In summer, the heat and sun were incredibly hot and in winter the cold air bit into you, yet there people stood for hours on end, hoping maybe filming might go an extra couple of hours so they could score the overtime wages. And yes, there I stood with them, glad that I had a day job and was doing it more for the experience than for the money. Thankfully, I wasn’t entirely alone. Several of my ‘extra’ friends were there for the experience, thrilled that they had taken time and money from their pockets AND from the government to be retrained so one day soon, they too could be WORKING on these sets.

I filmed my speaking role in July and the production wrapped shortly after. A few weeks after the film’s wrap party, I was once again back on set, this time as an extra again. The PAs on set remembered me and were surprised to find that I was doing extra work still. I said ‘You have to pay the bills somehow’ and that’s exactly the case. In the weeks between filming these two movies, I lost my job. After 12 years at a company, my position was no longer required and they had recently hired someone else at a lower rate of pay that was little by little taking over my job. The frugal thing for them to do was to have that person take over my position. It was my first ‘real’ employer. Prior to then, I had a few jobs, but it was that time in your late teens and early 20s where you don’t really know what you want to do or where you want to do it. I was 23 when I started there and suddenly I was floundering. Suddenly I was among those who were more than happy to have a one-day job standing in the hot sun and cold wind and pouring rain for hours on end just so they could get minimum wage for a few hours so they don’t miss a car payment or house payment. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t glamorous, but it was WORK and it bought me food, electricity and helped me pay my car payment. I went from being glad I could get the experience to being glad I could get the paycheck.

One of the PAs on set one day mentioned being glad she had another gig so fast after the first one. In fact, Michigan films were scrambling to have enough trained and capable PAs. She had actually left a film to work on this one because of better working conditions. NEVER before in Michigan had that been an option! Never before had there been an industry that was growing so fast that it needed MORE people to be trained and hired. Studios were opening, films were signing on, movie stars were hanging out at karaoke bars that my friends and I went to. It became the norm to find out that new stars were spotted in town.

Weeks ago, I was flush with pride and joy. I now had SAGe after my name. I had auditions for movies and TV shows that were filming HERE. In my backyard! Sometimes literally as my role in Machine Gun Preacher was filmed by my old high school. In fact, our holding area was my nephew’s school. My brother plays gigs at the bar we filmed a scene at. My sister’s boyfriend used to live over the bar we were at another day. It was local in every sense of the word. One day while I was getting my hair and makeup touched up, a PA came around with a menu for a local sub shop. Sure, we had on-site catering, but this place was down the street and was FANTASTIC and they wanted to order from there that day. This meant that not only did the catering company get work that day, the sub shop had a HUGE order placed by about 14 people on set. Yet somehow, these things get overlooked when people talk about the film incentives. The driver of the van that would take us from basecamp to set mentioned having to get gas. But I guess the gas station’s income on that transaction isn’t important, either. The point is, there are areas that people aren’t looking at when it comes to the stimulus sparked by the incentive program. Sure, hotels and catering are briefly mentioned as they are the big ticket items, but what about the drug stores where PAs run for more sunscreen because they ran out? What about the gas station across the street that the wardrobe assistant runs to in order to buy some gum and a pop? It might be small transactions here and there, but should they be overlooked entirely?

So here I am, SAGe after my name on my resume, halfway hoping I don’t get a role that forces me to join the union and keeps me from doing non-union roles, and halfway hoping I have to join because there are films that want local Michigan actors. I hope that many of my friends who spent time and money being retrained for this industry aren’t forced to move. After all, it would be rather fiscally foolish of the State of Michigan to spend all the money retraining people for an industry that they’re shutting down, forcing them to move out of the state and never pay back into the taxes that paid for their education, right?

Perhaps we’re going about this all wrong. Maybe the film industry should file for Chapter 11 and ask for billions of dollars in order to get the government, state and federal, to rally behind them and shove money at them.

Until then, I’ll be collecting unemployment when I could be working. Granted, it might just be a one or two day job at a time, but isn’t ANY money I don’t have to collect from the state a good thing? Meanwhile, as the film industry crumbles, I continue plugging away at my primary industry where several months of pavement pounding and undercutting my previous salary still isn’t helping me get hired.

If Michigan is going to hinder any industry, film or otherwise, how are we going to stay afloat when all our money goes into government bailouts and unemployment?

I welcome any discussion or ideas on the topic.

0

Motown, Movietown & Me.

I didn't wanna push anyone overboard, anyway.

So lately there’s been so much talk about how Detroit is like HollyHood. The Motown version of Hollywood.

Since the automotive industry tanked and the movie industry picked up thanks to the incentives, there HAS been a lot of stuff filmed here. Far more than before. There have always been a lot of indie projects filmed here in Detroit. I can tell you of an indie low/no budget being filmed at any given moment. Often I can name three going on at once. It’s just unusual that so many studio films have come here to cash in on the incentives.

I’m not complaining. In fact, I’ve gotten paid more in the past year than I got all put together before the incentives started. Granted, most of it is from doing background work, but it’s still being on set somewhere. I definitely have great memories of doing Machine Gun Preacher which has been talked about in other posts. In fact, MGP was my first ever Hollywood Wrap Party, where I was insane enough to get up and sing Paradise City with Marc Forster and Gerard Butler in attendance. I’m sorry Michael Shannon wasn’t at the party, though. I really enjoyed talking to him in my days on set and was hoping to introduce my sister to him. (Yes, my sister was my hot date. My husband had other plans that night so it worked out well! Plus after I left, my sister’s newfound friends on crew snuck my other sister and her friend into the party!)

Anyway, I’m starting to see these movies come out now that have roles in them for which I auditioned but did not get a part. It’s a strange feeling, seeing someone on screen and thinking ‘That was almost me…’ but I’ve always believed that if I don’t get a part, it’s for a reason. Not necessarily a bad one, just that for some reason, it didn’t work out that the universe vibed the right way and instead it will vibe again when I am ready for it.

Still, this is the first time that this has happened. I was watching the second episode of Detroit 187, an episode for which I auditioned, and I realized that… the part I auditioned for (of a suspect in a murder where someone was pushed overboard) was entirely cut out. I’d waited and waited to see who got the part and how they did with it, but it wasn’t even THERE. It makes me wonder if the universe kinda knew that the part would get cut so decided not to line up for me to get it. My second audition for the show was on a day I couldn’t make it, which also worked out because my friend Mary was auditioning for the same role and I hate going up against her. The only time we ever end up against each other is when the role is very generic and it doesn’t matter if the actress is super skinny (Mary) or super curvy (me). So luckily, we aren’t up against each other that often anyway.

So I sat there thinking ‘Huh. I’m kinda glad I didn’t get that part. Maybe now I can be in a roller derby scene since one of the main characters is a derby girl in her off hours!’ and then I realized that I wasn’t even sad I didn’t get the part. Even if it hadn’t been cut, I’d still be fine with it. I have progressed past the point of wrapping myself up into the whole thing and believing that if I don’t get the part, I am a failure as an actress and as a human being. I’ve been very happy with the roles I’ve accepted so far (yes, even though I’m often cast as the drug dealer or the hooker) and I think it’s all working out for the best.

Besides, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I didn’t wanna push anyone overboard, anyway. I might mess up my hair.

1

The skinny on the skinny jeans

It was like a dream world. Racks of clothes, lines of shoes and two attentive people discussing how nice my rear looked in a pair of super tight skinny jeans. But of course the jeans were too long, the boots didn’t fit and the super ‘omg please let me have that’ tank top was swapped out for a different one that shows ‘maximum cleavage.’

No, it wasn’t a scene from a makeover show, it was me this morning at a fitting for my latest film project. I play a Biker Chick. Seriously. That’s my character’s name! Pretty descriptive.

I admit, I was a little nervous going in. I had no idea what they were going to dress me in. I assumed jeans (since Lisa, the Awesome Asst. Costumer, had asked me about sizes and brands of jeans) and possibly something leather since I was, after all, a biker chick.

It’s strange seeing a rack of clothes picked out just for me by people who haven’t met me before. There’s some sort of art to determining a person’s body type from a picture, and Lisa and Frank pretty much NAILED it. Here’s a note: you can often tell a lot about a production by the people working behind the scenes. A lot of the time, the costumers are tired and borderline cranky when they get to the extras, and that’s been the only time I’ve had to deal with a real wardrobe department in the past. The indie stuff I tend to do is usually one person doing costumes rather than a whole department. E-Von, who did the costumes for The 6th Extinction is amazing, but mostly it was ‘Here, put this sweatshirt on and get some mom-jeans from Walmart’ as his talents were really put to use for the Horsemen costumes (which were so awesome that they put my awesomeness to shame!).

So I walked in and waited for a few minutes and Lisa and Frank came out and took me into the room where I would put on some clothes for them to see. The first item? A pair of jeans.

When I say a pair of jeans, I actually MEAN a pair of skin-tight painted-on skinny jeans in a drab grey color that there’s no way in hell my legs were ever going to fit in because I have this little thing called thighs and I have calf muscles that put Olympians to shame. There’s no way these things are gonna go on. But I had to give it a go anyway, so after being handed a cute tank top an a pair of boots to go with it, I was left alone to figure out how to pry myself into this denim trap.

Slooooowly I was able to slide the jeans up my legs, though they really were painted-on tight. Got them over the calves, up to the knees, past my thighs– wait, I got them all the way up! And I buttoned them without a problem. FRANK! LISA! How did you guys DO IT? Just please don’t wash them in hot water or dry them on high heat or I’ll never get into them!

I admit, I was a bit smug for a moment. I got on this super cute pair of skinny jeans! They were just right, too. They didn’t make my legs look like sausages waiting to bust out of their casing or anything. I fell a little bit in love with those jeans. Then I threw on the tank top and sat down to tug on the boots. Only the top of the boots were soooo narrow, I couldn’t even get my feet into them. Which sucks because they were super cute and I had to make my sad face about them not fitting. So I padded out in my cute skull socks to see what they thought.

Frank made the twirling motion with his hand so I turned around and he suddenly declared that I have a FANTASTIC ass. My ass is amazing, he said in glee. I felt my face turn twenty seven shades of purple and red that have possibly never been seen outside of Photoshop’s neon color palette. It was decided that the tank top made me look too sweet and cute, so we swapped it for this epic one that was black and laced up. If I had to be reincarnated as a tank top, it would totally be this one. It took about five minutes for Frank to lace me into it, but it was sooo worth it. Threw on a black leather vest over it and I was suddenly a biker chick. Everyone was happy, but Frank decided he wanted to see one more tank top just to try it. So I took off the cute black one (glanced at the price tag which was more than I spend on groceries in a week!) and tugged on a grey one.

Wow. It was… uhm… low cut. Suddenly I wished I had worn a super cute bra, since my industrial strength ‘Hi I have a pretty big rack and it takes a lot of fabric to make my chest defy gravity in this way’ bra is not the cutest thing in the world but was suddenly partially on display for the world to see. It was decided that the girls must be shown to full advantage, so I’m gonna wear the grey top and we’d need to get me a super cute gravity-defying bra to go with it. Plus boots that fit.

They grabbed a pair of men’s boots to put me in so they could fit the length of the pants. And the tank top had to be taken up a bit, too. There was even an on-site seamstress who was busy hemming clothes just outside my makeshift dressing room. Aside from prom and my bridesmaid’s dress, I’ve never had clothes tailored to me, let alone a tank top and pair of jeans! I felt all special.

And honestly, that’s the important part. The production people there weren’t just nice, they made me feel special. I didn’t feel like some pretender who someone made the mistake of allowing on set. I felt like they were there just for me and me alone. It was a good feeling. Unusual, but good! I can’t say enough about the wonderful people I’ve encountered so far at their production offices.

Anyway, that’s my adventures in clothing for the day. Enjoy!

2

Is that a lighter in your pocket?

"We don't really have any lines written for this role," the director mentioned, though I already knew that.

So yesterday was another callback for a movie. I’ll give more details later on it, but I wanted to tell everyone how it went. The movie is based on a true story about a drugged-out biker who turns his life around and becomes a real life action hero. It’s pretty awesome. It’s awesome and it stars someone awesome.

Anyway, I was put on tape about a week and a half/two weeks ago for a small role. They called me back! In fact, they also called back my fellow Fangirl Mary for it (Fangirl Films FTW). Yes. The same role. So we drove together and gleeked out in the car on the way over to the callbacks last week. Sure, this led to joking that if one of us was given a part on the spot we’d shove the other out of the moving car on the expressway, but it was just said in jest. Right? 🙂

So we arrived and waited a short bit and then we were up! First her, then me. I crossed my fingers, toes and everything else while she was in there, sending her all the good vibes I could spare. See, I don’t see it as competition when we’re up for the same role. Technically I suppose we are in competition, but it’s strange how our relationship works. I don’t think I could really be jealous of her if I tried. I might have twinges now and again but honest jealousy is just too harsh an emotion to ever feel toward someone I am that close to. We’re on the same vibe. We know how the other feels before we even say or do anything. So I’m not joking when I say that I really really really wanted her to blow them out of the water, even if it meant I just had to try that much harder!

I went in and did my thang twice, then the director (who directed a James Bond movie mind you!) told them to give me another page for a cold read. Literally cold. Frozen, in fact. I didn’t even have time to scan it before going. In my first read I was standing and they asked me to sit for the second one, so I sat down. The chair creeeeeaaaaked as I sat down and then again as I shifted, prompting some laughter. My first reading was kind of prim and proper, as I didn’t know what to expect. I was sitting with perfect posture, gut sucked in, voice nice and clear and friendly. Then I realized as we went on that the role was actually a bit different. I was asked to read it again. ‘Is she really bored right now?’ I asked, as the character seemed distracted. I was told that yes, she’s very bored. She’s been at this all day every day for a long time and hates her job. I nodded, thought about it for a moment, then slumped down in my seat like a bored office worker and delivered the lines in a much more bored and distracted manner. I read it a total of four or five times and then was all done! I thanked the room collectively and nodded to each with a smile. The director said that it was great meeting me, I replied the same, then left.

Didn’t really expect to hear much. They had a lot of SAG people there already and apparently there were about 234782394872934 people reading for each role. Still! I had a callback in front of a big Hollywood director! And more importantly, I had a chance to (even if it was just for a few minutes) ACT. I love auditions. Sure they can be nerve-wracking but they’re fun. It’s a chance to get little snippets of acting into your day. It’s a few minutes to be this character, try it on for size as much for you as for the people on the other side of the table. It’s FUN.

A few days went by, then over the weekend I checked my email and had an email with an attachment from my agent. I started to expect bad news while I waited for it to open, then realized that an attachment didn’t mean bad news, probably. And it wasn’t bad news at all, it was ANOTHER CALLBACK. This time for a completely different role than the ones I had already read for. This role was for a biker chick.

Now THIS role is a cool one. No written lines, just some ad-libbing to be done. Mostly the scene is focused on the action part. See, the first role I read for, I was in the same room as the star and talking across a bit of a distance to him. The second one, I was across the desk from where he’d be. THIS time? This time I’d be in a bathroom stall with him.

No, it’s not THAT kind of movie! We’d be in the bathroom stall doing drugs. Okay so it’s THAT kind of movie, but not the OTHER THAT kind of movie. 🙂

Anyway, I read the callback info. Same production office as before, so that’s good. And they want me done up as a biker chick, so… I can uhm… I can do that. I’m an actress. I can uh… I can be a badass biker chick. Sure. So I spent a bit of time on Sunday looking for something to wear and some fake tattoos. Found a few things, pulled it together with some of the stuff I already had and on Monday after giving a presentation at work, I was found in the bathroom putting on fake tattoos and too much eye makeup.

I finished getting ready and decided I looked about as biker as I was gonna get and walked out of the bathroom.

Coworkers stared. People in the hall just gaped a little. Friends had OMG expressions. I was feeling a bit stoked after that. Maybe my transformation was good! So I was on a bit of a high note when I left to get to the offices for my callback.

Got there and went inside and stopped short. The room had about fifteen people in it already waiting and every. single. one. was wearing dress clothes. For a moment, I wondered if I read the callback information correctly. Did I get the right sides? It all SEEMED to match up! The email referenced things in the sides. What was going on?!

Turns out everyone was there to read for a different role. Most people were SAG, but a small handful were not. Most people were the only ones there for that particular role. Some had two people, but most just had the one. So what was the deal? Were they doing auditions later on as well for these roles? Did they do some earlier in the day for the same roles? It’s a mystery that may never be solved!

A few of my friends were there, so we talked a bit (in that quiet way you talk when someone is in the next room being taped) and some of us went outside to run lines. I had no lines, as my role was all improv, so I helped a friend run her lines with her. This was her first big audition and she was terribly nervous, even though it was already a callback. Some people are MORE nervous at a callback, though I’m the opposite. I pretty much see it as they already liked me for some reason, so I’ll just bring MORE with me this time. But she got her nerves calmed down and under control and I was very proud of her the last few times we did her lines together. She’s shaping up to be quite an actress!

Then I was on deck so hung out near the door. I heard the guy in front of me doing his lines. I believe it was an (on purpose) over the top preacher type of character. He was in there for at least a good seven minutes. They seemed really engaged, to judge by the sounds of how they were reacting to him. How was I supposed to live up to that when I don’t even have any lines?! Then it was my turn, so I took a deep breath and then sauntered on into the room with my best badass biker chick walk.

“NICE!” the director called out when I walked in. “Good look!” I thanked him and he mentioned that it was a huge transformation. What? Really? He REMEMBERED me from a week before? This guy directed a JAMES BOND MOVIE and he remembered ME? Wow! I laughed a little, still not breaking character overall since I had the stance and timbre of voice down, and mentioned that I spent all morning putting on fake tattoos JUST FOR HIM. He laughed and said he noticed, then we talked about it a little and it was GO TIME.

“We don’t really have any lines written for this role,” the director mentioned, though I already knew that. It was more of an in-the-moment sort of thing, which I totally understood and knew. I was prepared for it! He asked how I am at improv, to which I responded that I’m great at it. (See? I’m not sure I’m great at anything! THIS IS ACTING PEOPLE! I was ACTING like I’m amazing at it by lying through my teeth!) So he gives me a quick down and dirty rundown of the scene in the sides I was sent, and I nodded and listened intently in case I could pick up on anything different in his eyes or anything to give me direction in it.

I ended up starting out standing, then sat down, then proceeded to carry on a one-sided high-on conversation. The kind where the person talking doesn’t really know wtf they’re saying and they don’t even care if the other person is listening or not. It wasn’t much rambling, just a couple of quickie lines, most of the scene was me tugging off a necklace to tie around someone’s arm, cooking stuff up in a spoon by messing with my lighter that I had in my pocket and holding it like I have a spoon (which I did not) and then finally tugging a pen out and taking the cap off with my teeth and acting like I’m loading it full of drugs. I spit the cap out, which seemed to go over well.

Hey, I googled drug use a LOT this past weekend in order to know what the heck I was doing in that scene! My google searches probably raised many red flags somewhere.

So I finished the scene, thanked them for seeing me again, nodded and smiled to each person in the room and the director said that it was great seeing me again, I said it was mutual, wished them all a good day and headed out and headed home where I was less of a badass biker babe and more of a domestic goddess who got to make dinner.

Sometimes, I think my life is kind of cool.

UPDATE: I got the part.

0

Arts and the artists.

Yesterday was a lovely photoshoot with the amazing Tafari, one of my favorite photographers in the Detroit area. We did the shoot at the DIA, which I had never been to. Yes, I grew up minutes away from the Detroit Institute of Arts and I had never gone. I’ve also never been to Greenfield Village. Someday I’ll make a point to go to all the places in the area I’ve never been, be them tourist attractions or just hole-in-the-wall places like D’Mongo’s.

Anyway, I’m very happy with how my new headshots turned out! I figured being a redhead now, I needed to get some new ones, and I can’t have picked a better location than the DIA.

One thing I hate about having my picture taken, especially for headshots, is that I tend to worry about the composition. I have a particular style I like best in my headshots and I always fret if the photographer is going to capture what I want. With Tafari, I never have to worry. He’s a great photographer, but moreso, he’s a great artist. He has an eye for composition that you can’t learn, you’re either born with it or not. And he doesn’t let you down!

So the banner has some samples of what he did. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs any sort of photography done. See his website for rates and info!