~*~ Full ACTRA Member ~*~

Most of this week has been spent wearing my writer and producer hats. We had 3 production meetings for Little Bird (which goes to camera next week!), and I am pushing through a new draft for Prophecy (which comes out next month!). I also made time for a tiny but momentous acting task…

 

Getting my FULL ACTRA MEMBERSHIP!!! For the non-actors out there, ACTRA is the Canadian actors’ union (on the English side). There are multiple ways to join (background work, theater school, a role) as an apprentice, but then you need 3 credits to be a Full Member (unless you get in through a reciprocal agreement with SAG or Equity). I applied for my final permit yesterday, then filled out the application and officially became a Full Member with a new number and everything. I’m a bit of an eager beaver so I’ve already done the online training stuffs, but I have a very busy week ahead of me once we go to camera.

I rounded off my week with some Jiu Jitsu classes and visits to the dentist, then I’m ending it tonight by going home for Thanksgiving. With a shipment of Gata from my boyfriend’s mom because she is the best. Hopefully there’ll be some left by the time we get there 😉

 

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I PUBLISHED A BOOK!!!

I Published a Book!

At long last, after first having the idea back in 2003, Shards of Glass is available in paperback as well as ebook. I am so excited to share it with you!

I would love it if you could get a copy, read it and let me know what you think. If you liked it, leave a review on amazon, goodreads or both 😉 If you didn’t, feel free to leave the review as well, but also reach out to me. This is my first novel and I would love to know what I can work on to be better.

 

Thank you so much for all of your support. It constantly warms my heart and reminds me just how lucky I am. I hope you enjoy the book 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Reading!

Amanda

xoxo

Family, Sets and Cold Reads

This week was pretty awesome on all fronts. On Monday I worked from home and got to see the rough cuts for a few scenes from Get-Together, which looks amazing from a completely unbiased perspective. Then I spent the afternoon/evening on set doing background.

On Tuesday I spent the whole day on set and got so much side work done. I am playing a student so I get to walk around with pens and notebooks and spend scenes (or in between takes) writing, which is the absolute best for me. I plan my months, I come up with story ideas, I plot my Nano camps…let’s just say it leads to doubly productive days.

On Wednesday I caught up on some admin stuff, TAWC emails and submitted to Toronto Cold Reads before going to work at the gym. For the 7 o’clock class, we were an odd number, so one of the kids from the earlier class who was waiting for his dad came down and joined us. He didn’t know any of the adults or teens in the class, so he chose to be paired up with me rather than someone closer to his size. He was not only an excellent partner for me, he also learnt all kinds of new moves and did them for himself as well. We definitely don’t give the tiny humans enough credit.

On Thursday I worked at the gym again and had a nice relaxing supper before figuring out this whole blog mess. I am probably going to be changing out the theme every week or so until I find one I love, but at least the blog is up and running again. I also found out that I got accepted into Toronto Cold Reads for this Sunday!

On Friday I was on set again. 3 days in one week is pretty exciting if I do say so myself 🙂 Normally I love staying later and volunteer when some people are wrapped and others get to stay, but that night I was really happy when they sent me home. The shoot was possibly going to end around 4:30 am and I was leaving for Montreal around 5. Not a very good combination.

Saturday morning we drove to Montreal so we could have lunch with my grandfather for his birthday, then I spent the afternoon doing my taxes with my mom. That night, we went to Rikki’s for her birthday party, which included nachos, tacos and a bunch of karaoke. I also accidentally drugged my boyfriend with night time NeoCitran, so we left a little earlier than planned.

The girls mid 90s sing-along

On Sunday we had the Easter Hunt at my grandparents’ house. It’s kind of bittersweet that it was the last time we would have a group of 10 people in their twenties and thirties hopping for chocolate, but I’m really excited to start doing it with actual kids again.

After some chicken and waffles and birthday celebrations, we left so I could get back to Toronto in time for Love You Better to be read at Toronto Cold Reads.

The Actors on stage reading “Love You Better” at Toronto Cold Reads

It was really exciting to hear my words read out loud by strangers, and I took pages of notes on audience reactions and questions the actors had and what lines were harder to say/didn’t come out naturally. The music had been great and the other script I heard from the writing competition was hilarious, but I had to head out early before having a supper consisting solely of chocolate bars.

All in all it was an awesome week of sets, family, having my work be read out loud in public, and a bunch of small victories.

“Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them.”

-Mia Hamm

I’m a Writer!!!

Perhaps the title is misleading, because I have spent so much time telling you about all of the writing I have been doing, with the Nano challenges, and I have actually been writing stories ever since I learnt how to write. But this time I actually got credited as a writer. Co-writer to be specific, on a short where I came up with my own interview questions. The entire experience has been amazing so far, from the day we filmed, this credit, the short being accepted at a festival, and me getting to work on another project with the creator…I was really lucky to end up on their team 🙂

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In other news, Tuesday night’s acting class was referred to by some as The Amanda Show, because I had 3 of the 4 scenes that were being done, and ended up being the reader for one of the two audition scenes. I was definitely a busy bee 🙂

My first scene was as Rose for In Her Shoes. Suzanna usually has me playing the younger sibling who needs to be sheltered and taken care of, so it was nice to play the big sister, since that is what I am in real life. It was a really interesting scene, since we are telling a story to another person, finishing each other’s sentences, and recounting a traumatic event from our childhood. My note was to see the horrible fight and not just talk about it, which I really think I got. I really enjoyed doing the scene, and love the way it turned out!

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Next was Barb, Erica’s mother in Being Erica. I think I could have gone further and raised my stakes, but it was also a whole lot better from when we did it as a cold read on the first class of the month. I didn’t have to remember the weird science fiction circumstances of Erica being sent back in time to see her mother as a teenager, I just had to imagine what it would be like as a pregnant teen in the 60s, when it was definitely not socially acceptable. I got a lot of the things I was trying for, but still think I could have gone a lot deeper.

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Finally, I played Thelma in a scene from Thelma and Louise that I had done before, which is why Suzanna asked me to do it, but I had actually been Louise last time, so it was still an interesting challenge. The first few takes I was mostly focusing on how scared and lost I would be, but for the last take, Suzanna suggested that I snap back at her, and sort of stand up for myself and get angry, which made it my favorite of our 3 takes 🙂

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On an unrelated note, after discussing my lack of auditioning for the parts I get, I decided to check out my booking rate for 2015. It is really odd, because I have way less auditions than last year, but I have booked more. As I mentioned in my last post, it turns out that most of the things I am filming don’t come from auditions, they come from previously working with someone. This year, I have been on 2 auditions and sent in 5 self tapes. I will also count an audition from last year, because we are filming it this fall. That makes 8 auditions. Compare that to 9 things I have booked this year (plus one I got before being recast). This would give me an awesome booking rate, except there are only 2 of those auditions that led to roles. I feel like there will be a drastic shift once I join ACTRA and am no longer working with the same people, but for now, I really enjoy getting to work with people who have worked with me before and decided it was something they wanted to do again 😉

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

-Maya Angelou