I have been in LA for a week now, and I have gotten so much, yet also so little done.
My first class with Zak Barnett at Margie Haber studios took place Tuesday evening, mere hours after I landed. I took a nap and was so tired and jet-lagged that I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I am so glad that I did. The class is full of interesting people, Zak seems incredible, and it felt so good to get back into acting! I tried really hard to incorporate everything I had learnt last time, and I think I managed a lot of it, but this is more of a marathon than a race. We shall see how I actually did tonight, when we go over the slices from last week (Zak was sick so there was no class on Thursday).
While I was really bummed that class was cancelled, this meant I had nothing planned for the week. I really wanted to be on top of all of the Best Picture nominees this year, so I took this time to go see The Hobbit (wasn’t nominated, but I kind of had to see it), The Life of Pi, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty. I have been bombarded with amazing talent, and am so inspired. To top it all of, I had the chance to attend two SAG/Backstage Screenings!
On Friday, Atlee and I went to see Les Miserables, which was mesmerizing, and just all around amazing. As if a free showing of that movie wasn’t enough, Hugh Jackman, Tom Hooper and Eddie Redmayne came on stage to talk to us afterwards. Other than wanting to pinch myself, I was so interested in everything they had to say about the process of creating this film, as well as their careers in general. At every one of these things, the actors are asked how they first got their SAG cards, and it was so comforting to hear that Hugh Jackman got his SAG card for X-men. It really makes me feel like I shouldn’t give up hope, that life changes in an instant. He says he made a 5 year contract with himself, where he would work 7 days a week on his career, then decide if he should give up, and at the end of the 5 years, he was Wolverine. Now I’m sure it’s not a fixed formula that works for everyone, but I know what I will be doing every day for the next 5 years 🙂
On Sunday we had the Golden Globes, but hours before, I got to see Argo, preceded by a Q & A with Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston. Just being in the same room as them was enough to go crazy, but having them talk to us for 45 minutes about the movie, which was nerve-wrackingly amazing, their lives, auditions and careers…it was priceless!
The Golden Globes, which I managed to piece together through youtube videos, were equally inspiring, a night to reward the hard work all these people have put into letting us escape into a different world and be moved…
Finally, yesterday I was able to get back to acting, with my first Introduction class with Anthony Meindl, on his birthday nonetheless. I was so nervous and slightly terrified, trying not to let it show. I went up with my scene partner, Jesse, and we went through about two pages before Tony gave us some adjustments. (He did say I got the listening part, so my ISP paid off!) My adjustments were first to say my lines in french, and second, and this one was secret, to try and do it sexy, like Angelina Jolie. I spoke french, no problem, which I think was to force Jesse to listen not just to my words, but to my actions and facial expressions, but I was not good at the sexy part, with the exception of one seductive move. Tony told me something I already know, and really need to work on…I need to trust myself, and not be afraid to be sexy, or desired, or simply heard. It was an enlightening and so rewarding first class, and I can’t wait for next week!
Last night, I observed another one of Tony’s classes. I always find it so incredible to see actors that I recognize and see on TV taking these classes, sometimes working on the same things we are told to work on…I’ve spent so much time sort of thinking of them as larger than life, that it’s really something to see them in person, to talk to them, to have them act as if they weren’t on my favorite tv shows. I think I probably learnt just as much watching this class as I did earlier in my own, but the most important part was to remind me of something one of Margie’s students had said before, that we GET to go up there on stage and do what we love. That morning in class I had been wanting to get it over with, when I should have enjoyed living the life. I will not make that mistake again.
Now I have some homework to do for my class tonight, but I will try not to wait so long before the next post!