Closing Night and Class Goals

My first experience with the Becket Players is now officially over. I had a blast performing with a talented group of singers, actors, dancers and musicians, and even got the excitement of an evacuation before our closing night. Everything turned out okay, and we gave one final heartfelt performance. I now have a lot more free time, but kind of miss getting up there on stage and being a part of the Becket Players 😉

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In addition to the shows, I have also been working on my demo reel, and had 2 classes with Suzanna. This month, my first scene was from Eat Pray Love. It is definitely a challenge to find the balance between being hurt and angry while getting a divorce when neither party necessarily did anything wrong, you just don’t want to be married anymore. We put it on tape yesterday, and it took us a take or two to get into the groove, but I am really happy with one of them. It was while watching two of my classmates do their scene that I came up with my class goals. I was blown away by their performance, and I wasn’t the only one. They held nothing back, bringing the anger, the pain, the tears. It was the first time that I asked to switch cameras while filming, so that I could see the performance from the other side. Ever since I joined the Advanced class, I feel like I am really learning from my classmates, almost as much as from doing my own scenes. One of my goals is now to be able to move my classmates like their scene moved me. I want to tackle those hard emotions and relationships and be convincing and honest. I feel like a scene like the one from last night would be something that could definitely get me to cry, since you have enough of a build up to get there. Even just filming them, I felt the tears coming. The third goal is to do a scene with a proper british accent, which I will do once I have taken classes, probably in the early fall.

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Other than a lot of work at McGill and a lovely Mother’s Day with the amazing mothers in my life, that was pretty much my week 🙂

“I had to stop going to auditions thinking ‘Oh, I hope they like me.’ I had to go in thinking I was the answer to their problem.”

-George Clooney

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P.S. Thanks to Bonnie Gillespie article on Launching at 85%, you can now see my new demo reel under the tab on the upper right corner 🙂

Opening Night at Becket :)

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I haven’t really done much these past few days, except of course for Opening Night of “Don’t Stop The Music” and 2 additional shows on Saturday. We had been rehearsing for months for this, and it was definitely something to see it come to life. Plus, being in a play was one of my fears that I now get to cross off, meaning I only have 4 left for my 30 before 30.

I don’t want to tell you all about the show, because there are still 3 more showings next weekend, but as far as my experience of it…During rehearsals, I would often feel like the rehearsal space was so far away and wondering why I had signed up for this when it made me have to turn down other things, but the week leading up to opening night and doing the shows, I understood that this is why we do it. It also helps that I now have most of the names down and have actual conversations with the cast members. I love being a part of a team, having shots before the show, rushing to get ready between scenes, hanging out in the dressing room…just being a part of something.

All in all, I think it is an awesome show that you should all come and see, and I met some amazing people and lived some experiences I won’t soon be forgetting 😉

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

-Joan Walsh Anglund (made popular by Maya Angelou)

Sweet, Sweet Barbados

Happy Easter weekend everyone! Or Passover, or long weekend, or whatever you want to celebrate this weekend. I just got back from a lovely vacation with my grandmother, aunt and uncle in Barbados. The sun was beautiful and I did get to relax and read by the pool, but I also crossed something off of my 25 by 25 list. Or two things, if you count Barbados being somewhere I had never been before. I went scuba diving. This is something that has scared me ever since my mom tried it in the pool when I was 9 and had ear troubles. I put it on my list to challenge myself, and actually really enjoyed it. So much so that after my first scuba diving trip in the ocean, I decided to do the course and am now a certified PADI Scuba Diver 🙂

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I never got the chance to blog before I left, so there are just 3 quick things I thought I would share with you. First, we finished filming Between the Screens, a Concordia student film that can be found on my facebook page at the link below. It was definitely an experience, and I met some people I hope to work with in the near future 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/AmandaLynnPetrin

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Second and third, the Sunday before I left, we had the first run-through of our show that you can see in May. It went pretty well for a first time, and I think it can only get better from here on out. It was also a pretty busy day for me, because that morning, I went to a Thriller workshop with my cousin Chelsea, where we learnt the moves to the Thriller dance. Not exactly what I had been thinking when I wrote learn to dance in my list of things to do before my 25th birthday, but I still think it qualifies 😉

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And now I will get to work on finishing up that list before next Sunday!

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

-Henry Ford

Our First Rehearsal

So far 2015 has been pretty eventful. Not so much for me, but just kind of in general. The first few days of the new year were spent working on a plan to achieve everything I want to do this year. Using Bonnie Gillespie’s Ninja advice, I updated and edited my resume, prepared my receipts to make it easier come income tax time, made a list of everything I need to fix with my website, and also discovered what my brand is. I was one of those people who thought I could play anything, because I do love being a horrible person in acting class. However, in the world of acting, being typecast is a good thing when you are starting out. I would love to play the strong, super capable, secretly kickass characters I love to write about, but when you meet me, that is not at all how I come across. I did a lot of looking around at actresses whose roles I would easily be cast in, as well as whose roles I would love. A lot of actresses, like Lyndsy Fonseca or Shailene Woodley, played the roles they would typically be seen as before branching out to playing Alex in Nikita and Tris is Divergent, but only once they were established. Basically, what I am saying is that I will work to be on brand and go for the roles casting directors could easily see me playing, but I will also get certified for stunt class and weapons handling, so that one day, when I have fans in the casting room who know my work and have faith that I can deliver, I will be able to show them just how kickass I can be 🙂

One thing I like to do when I am stressed about what I haven’t accomplished yet is to make plans for all of the wonderful things I will do in the future. So, I made a list of different people in the industry that I want to work with here in Montreal, as well as in Toronto, across the US and in LA. It has dream directors and actors to work with, but also casting directors I would love to audition for. I follow enough of them on twitter, and spend enough time dreaming of auditioning for them that I will not forget to thank whoever cast me once I am holding something shiny 😉

I also made a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30, which has me so incredibly excited. It is made with the assumption that I will accomplish everything on my list for turning 25, so I will be working on that before I can share 🙂

As far as resolutions and my 25 by 25 are concerned, I have sent an email to register for a scuba diving course, chose the skills I plan to acquire over the next 12 months and chose the script that I want to turn into a short film this summer. I have to finish writing it and edit it and find a crew and cast and so on, but this story has me excited as opposed to terrified, like I used to be about turning one of my stories into a short. I am also going back to stunt class tomorrow. I think I need to stop being so afraid of it, and give myself permission to fail, and then fail better every time until I eventually get it. I need to not care what the others think!

I have also been researching photographers for my headshots. I have mostly narrowed it down to 2, only they both cost roughly the same amount and one is here in Montreal while the other is Cathryn Farnsworth, who took my last headshots in LA. I felt comfortable with her and loved the way the pictures turned out, but it would involve flying to California and staying in a hotel and so on. I realize it would be kind of crazy, but I still haven’t made up my mind yet. Do any Montreal actors have any advice? Or if anyone at all has an opinion, I am open to suggestions 🙂

On Tuesday, I finally got back to class with Suzanna 🙂 We have some fresh blood this month, which is always exciting. I am doing another scene from As Good As It Gets, which I understand so much more now that I have seen the movie. I get to be happy, pissed off, touched and hurt, so I am very looking forward to next class 🙂

Wednesday I did background in Toronto, for an exterior shot. I had never done one of these in the winter before and was kind of terrified. My feet were freezing, even with the toe warmers, but the crew was super nice and understanding, wardrobe did their best to give us warm layers with hand warmers and truly it wasn’t bad. I would maybe wear a different pair of boots (we were allowed to bring our own, I just chose poorly) but I would definitely do an outdoor scene in the winter with them again 🙂

Thursday I had my first rehearsal for the show in May with Becket Players. Having not been in a production since CEGEP, I was kind of nervous and didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew one of the other actors, everyone had been doing this for years so they were joking and laughing and I had an awesome time. I was surprised when it was over so soon. So far I haven’t had any lines in the scenes, but I am definitely enjoying the rehearsals, and the people I am rehearsing with 🙂

The biggest event of the year so far happened last week. My mom was on a trip for her birthday with a group of our family members, when she went on a boat trip and broke a vertebra in her back. For all the family who is reading, she is back at home with a back brace and although it is tough now, she should be back to normal in 3 months. For everyone else, this just means that I have been spending the last couple of days at the hospital and not mentioning it would have felt like a lie of omission. My family does not have the best luck with vacations, as we do enjoy pulling muscles, riding our bikes into gates, getting casts and heat strokes and the like, but we still love to travel 🙂

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She got home today, and we all watched a very nearly final copy of The Dark Shack. Last time I think I mostly watched myself with my overly self-critical frame of mind, but this time I just sat back and watched and enjoyed it. I can’t wait for it to come out, and there are a lot of scenes I would like to put in my soon to be updated demo reel 🙂 I also got footage from No One Loves Me Like I Do, the short we did in one shot and that I did ADR for. Although I think it could have been really great, you can see the emotions and the continuous shot is pretty cool, the sound doesn’t really line up. So, not going to be a part of my demo reel 🙁 but it was a great experience, and I will hopefully get better at the ADR 😉

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That is it for now, but there are some new pictures up on my acting facebook page if you want to check them out, and I have great plans to make this year legendary 🙂 I hope you all do too!

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

-Samuel Goldwyn