Good News Comes in Threes, Right?

I have been told that bad news comes in 3s, so I am really hoping that the same could be said for good news, because I had 2 awesome things happen to me this week and have my fingers crossed for a third.

First, I was offered a part in the slasher film I had auditioned for a few weeks ago. It wasn’t the role I auditioned for, but I was still really excited until I realized I would have to be ACTRA in order to accept it. I was slightly crushed when I responded that I was available and would love the part, but was unfortunately non-union. This didn’t deter them, as they contacted ACTRA, and since I don’t exactly have any lines, I can still play the part 🙂

Next, I got a part in a student film that Carolyne will also be a part of! This marks the first time that I have auditioned for something in person and been cast in the role I auditioned for. There have been variations where I did a self tape, or auditioned and got a different part, but this is the first time that I succeeded in the standard casting process. Combined with the fact that Carolyne will also be in it…I am beyond excited 🙂 The only downside is that I have to miss out on my family’s American Thanksgiving/Black Friday getaway this year. At least I will be in good company and doing what I love!

The third thing that I am hoping for is acceptance into a program I applied for last night. It would be a huge undertaking for me, and absolutely amazing. I will hopefully be telling you all about it within the next 2-3 weeks 😉

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As for last night, I had class with Suzanna. My scene partner dropped out of this month’s classes, but I hadn’t done the scene yet with her, so it didn’t really change anything. Instead, I was with Lorraine, who got the part yesterday. It is from Thirtysomething, and for the first time in a while, I felt like I could actually be brought to tears when the stage directions told me to. We rehearsed a few times in another room, before doing it in front of everyone and the cameras. The tears came maybe a line after they were supposed to, and perhaps I only got teary eyed instead of actual waterworks, but I really connected with what my character was going through. It didn’t hurt that when I looked to Lorraine, she had tears in her eyes as well.

We did it a second time after talking about the scene and getting a little backstory, then did it a 3rd time, vocalizing our subtext beforehand. Although it’s still a bit weird to have to say it all out loud, I really think it helps to vocalize your goals before starting. When you have your goal with you from the beginning of the scene, you get a much more powerful performance 🙂

“Today or any day that phone may ring and bring good news.”

-Ethel Waters

Lost and Found: Opportunities

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There have been a lot of really interesting developments since I last posted, though by now most of them haven’t panned out, so I am being cautiously optimistic about the last one.

It all started while I was on my way to acting class with Suzanna. I got a call from a casting agency asking if I was still available for a role (as an extra) that I had applied for over a month ago. It was supposed to be an ACTRA part, so I was so excited that I got it, and couldn’t keep the smile off my face as she told me that wardrobe would be calling. The smile stayed until class, because my scene with Shiva was more heated and emotional than fun and bubbly. We played around with different emotions for me, such as standing up to my mother or just being guilty, and it was a whole lot of fun. I also got to talk a bit to Suzanna, who thinks a conservatory-like program is a good idea for me, before I went home and straight to bed, since I had an incredibly early call time in the morning.

During our lunch break, I decided to check my messages, and got a call from wardrobe asking if I could come in. I told her I was on set both days she offered, so she asked if I could come during lunch the following day. On sets, you don’t really know when your lunch break will be, or how long it will last, but I knew we had just started our hour long break, so I rushed to the wardrobe department for a fitting. I didn’t get much information on who I would be, but the head of the department kept dropping hints, that made me so unbelievably excited 🙂

On Friday, I got to spend another long day on set, with a chance walk letting me be in a lot more scenes than I was originally supposed to. These scenes involved a lot of running, which was a lot of fun, especially since I have spent most of the other days just standing there.

I was supposed to be back on set Saturday and Monday, but things change with these kind of productions, so instead I spent Saturday with my family and at a surprise birthday party.

On Sunday, I got to do something I have been begging people to do with me ever since our class trip in grade 8 or 9. For my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday, a bunch of us went to do Tree to Tree. Basically, there are ropes and stuff linking two trees together, and you have to go from one to the other. You are harnessed in so you won’t fall, but the heights get scary, and you sometimes forget that slipping won’t plunge you to your death. It was exhilarating, and I loved it, but I really need to build some upper body strength so I can go back and enjoy it a lot more. Apparently, my body weight is way too much for my arms to handle, and those pirate nets I used to climb as a kid are now my worst enemy. Maybe not this summer, but by next year, I will go back, and I will own that net and the handle bar!

On Monday, I purchased a whole lot of plays, because Tom (Todoroff) says you should read a play a day for a year. I have been working on Shakespeare, and decided that I would rather make my goal be to read every day, because I think understanding and appreciating the play is more important than finishing it if you don’t have a lot of time. One of the plays I ordered was The Children’s Hour, because I will be doing a scene from it at the September workshop with Tom in Montreal, but in the meantime, I watched the movie with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley Maclaine.

I was kind of extremely crushed when the scene I had been booked and fitted for was cancelled. At first, it brought back all my insecurities, until I reminded myself that it wasn’t me that they didn’t want, the whole scene got cut. I started focusing on the fact that I was chosen for something that countless others applied for. It’s really sad that I didn’t get to actually do it, but the fact that I booked it is pretty awesome, no? And because when one door closes another one opens, I got an audition for a short film that will be filming for a weekend in September.

This last Wednesday, to make up for the fact that I couldn’t be on set, Carolyne and I met up to go see The Mortal Instruments and eat some frozen yogurt. There’s a twist at the end that leaves me unsure about how I feel about the movie, but I know that I definitely enjoyed catching up with Carolyne 🙂

She walked me to class with Suzanna before heading home, so I could rehearse my scene with Bobby. It’s from Erin Brockovich, which I found really nerve-wracking, as Julia Roberts won her Oscar for the role. In rehearsal I was having some trouble with my cues, since I was supposed to cut him off a few times and wasn’t, but by the time we were putting it up on its feet, it was pretty awesome. It was a lot of fun to get angry and yell for a role, since I don’t really do it much in the real world 😉

The next day, I had a call with the woman in charge of Tom Todoroff’s two year conservatory. I hadn’t realized that I had to do the whole online application, but I guess he can’t really take what we say at the leaving party at face value, so I filled out my application and sent it in <3

Then I got an email that prevented me to go to the audition for the short film. It’s sad because I was looking forward to working on my auditioning skills and possibly being cast, but I can’t think of a better excuse to have to bail on an audition than because you have been cast on another project and the filming overlaps! It is another non-paying, indie movie, but it will be filmed in Quebec City, so they will cover my food and give me a place to stay. It is a horror movie, and without revealing too much, I am kind of the damsel in distress. I can’t wait to start filming next week, especially since a guy from the New York Intensive will also be on set with me 🙂

I spent the weekend in Quebec City with my family, and have been rewatching all of the DVDs from Suzanna’s classes. I wrote down everything that I feel I need to work on, with a lot of them showing up very frequently. Almost every scene has the note to stop playing with my hair. Often I need to stop moving my hands, my shoulders and my head. At first, I was thinking I couldn’t see the improvement from one scene to the next, I was always doing the same bad habits, but there was a shift probably at the beginning of the summer. I don’t know if it is because I have been doing less bubbly scenes and more emotional ones, but I feel I have a lot less notes for myself in the last few scenes. And I finally understand why Suzanna often has to tell me to stop smiling. It’s okay when I’m talking, but I look kind of funny just standing there, smiling when I listen, especially when we are in the middle of a fight. But at least I know that I don’t look miserable while walking around in every day life, since my face seems to revert to a smile when I leave it to its own devices. 

I have been making a lot of lists and plans and budgets recently, and they do reassure me, but now more than ever, I understand that I have chosen a career when you cannot carve your plans in stone, and I am okay with that.  I like to think that everything happens for a reason. I can’t always see the reason, like when a scene I was going to be in gets cancelled, but some day it will all make sense. And as Tom told us in New York, its the wondering and the fighting and the journey that are the most exhilarating part, not the career. I am still really looking forward to the career, and pretty sure it will be awesome, beyond my wildest dreams, but I am still going to appreciate the journey while I am on it!

 

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

-Zig Ziglar

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