I’ve actually gone to see two movies in one week, which never happens. I didn’t get into that one show, but I certainly performed well. I have been using the Ainsley monologue from Back Story, a dramatic project with characters created by Joan Ackermann and several other playwrights creating scenes and monologues for the two characters. My monologue is from the scene written by Donald Margulies. (He wrote Dinner with Friends, which became an HBO special presentation.) Back Story was a project that premiered at the Humana Festival in 2001. The Humana Festival, by the way, is where such shows as Sunday in the Park with George premiered and is presented by Actors Theatre of Louisville, which has a competitive intern program for which I once considered applying. I have the other audition for the Lunch Time theatre this Sunday.
Back to the movies. I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness on Memorial Day and it was really action-packed and exciting. There were no dull moments in the film. I remember watching Star Trek 4 at the drive-in movie theatre in my pajamas when I was very little. I fell asleep during most films until I was 10. What I remember most vividly is the scary alien probe and I had no idea what was going on. I love Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Mr. Spock. It’s really fun to see what these two characters were like when they were young and I really like the theme about what a leader must do to protect those under their charge. The choice of Khan as the villain was fascinating. Because Star Trek 2 came out when I was born, I don’t remember seeing Ricardo Montalban play Khan. I wonder if people can really be genetically-engineered to be indestructible. If so, sign me up! I am glad to see older sci-fi series have fresh life onscreen. My personal favorite Star Trek film will always be Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country. I absolutely loved the final line of the film that the future is the undiscovered country. That really fills you with hope.
Yesterday, I saw the movie Epic. I realize that my grown-up self going to a children’s film is silly, but I like children’s movies in general. I appreciate seeing characters who are innocent and not having to put up with the usual great deal of violence and sexual content. I don’t mean to say that these things aren’t necessary at times to tell a story, but when most films and television contain graphic violence and sexual content, it does get old and unoriginal. Well, Epic is fantastic fun and I would love to see more of the characters in sequels and maybe television series. I especially loved the slug, voiced by Aziz Ansari, and his snail friend. (I saw Aziz Ansari in person at at concert that I was ushering, but it was clearly not the occasion to introduce myself.) It was really cool having Beyonce in the movie voicing the really smart, and gorgeously-dressed, Queen. I really want to cosplay the dress she wears. Another aspect of the movie I really liked was that the lead character was not a bratty teenager, but a confused young lady who wants to be a good person. I think it would be cool to voice animated characters. I always wanted to voice those Disney princesses who get to sing.
It’s time to get one last post in before May ends. This past weekend was really exciting because I went to Phoenix Comicon. I was hoping to have some new costumes, but I wasn’t able to get them put together. The costumes I did use were my Belladonna costume and my Husk costume. Most people don’t recognize either one because the Belladonna costume is a re-design and she’s a bit part in the comics, and because I guess no one remembers that Husk wore the costume I cosplay. I had two booth shifts for the Arizona Avengers booth and got to hang out with all the cool people. I love my fellow Avengers because they are so talented and nice. I was really lonely before I met them. They had celebrity guests including John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness!) and all those famous voice actors. I would love to voice act an anime, as I am sure I have already mentioned. I read the Yuri Lowenthal/Tara Platt book, Voice-Over Voice Actor, and it really does give you specific guidelines about how to be a voice actor. I unfortunately stopped at the chapter about voice demos costing between $500 and $2,000. Yes, they do cost that much and I don’t know where I’ll get that type of money.
I have two auditions this week for the Lunch Time theatre series at the Herberger Theatre. They both pay a small stipend, however, the shows are at one of the highest profile theatres in the state. I auditioned for Childsplay Theatre last week and it went great, but I didn’t get a callback. I was gone for the scheduled auditions, but they were able to find another time for me to audition. I really appreciated that. For some odd reason, I am getting to love auditioning. It’s just I begin to feel not so great afterwards. I really wish I could get callbacks from the major Equity theatres. I don’t want to be broke and non-union anymore and have people still think of me as an amateur.
I have to take some final, expensive tests for teacher certification and it’s just stupid because I have a Master’s equivalent, that if it were acknowledged as an actual Master’s, would automatically making me certified to teach. There would have been no certification program required. I’ll see what job I can get with that because I have to make enough money to afford housing and pay the bills. I need to do this before May of next year. The job is of course supposed to be acting, but it’s not happening right now. I still have subbing just in case full-time teaching positions are not available. I want to return to LA sometime in the future, but I don’t know when.
My cousin graduated from medical school in Omaha the week before last and I also was the godmother for my cousin and his wife’s little baby girl. I attended the proper Baptism class at my church so I was official. I was glad to see many of my cousins and aunts and uncles once again.
Happy May! How could the year have gone so fast? I had two auditions back to back this past Saturday and it was awesome. I auditioned for Arizona Broadway Theatre and they were wonderful. They have a huge performance complex and are highly professional. I then auditioned for a paying PSA directed by Gene Ganssle, from whom I took the Teleprompter/Voiceover/Commercial workshop. It was good to see him again and I also ran into some of my acting friends. I did well at both auditions. I had to sing two contrasting songs for Arizona Broadway Theatre and I didn’t falter and really went for it. Then I had an audition for a short film yesterday and I ran into my friend Stephen Kessen, who I believe wrote the script. I hadn’t seen him in so long. This coming weekend I audition for Southwest Shakespeare Company and I hope it goes well. My audition for Arizona Theatre Company went great and I really showed some confidence. I want this to be my lucky year.
I recently came up with a categorization of acting success. The first category is small market monopolizers, which are people who get cast in everything in their small town. These are places like Seaside, OR or some small town in Iowa. The next category is middle market monopolizers. These are the people who get cast in everything in a mid-range market. I would consider Phoenix to be a middle market, though potentially more significant than Portland. The third and top category is mega market monopolizers. These are the major celebrities all the way down to the D-List. Yes, they are the top people in New York and LA. You know what category I want to end up in.
I’ll be attending Phoenix Comiccon this coming Memorial Day weekend. If you’re in Phoenix then, check it out. The dates are May 23-26. I would love to be part of a panel again. This next weekend I also get to see my parents. We’re having Mother’s Day Brunch.
Here’s the news from the Anna-sphere: last Saturday I had my audition for Phoenix Theatre and I really made an effort to take my time and show my personality. I always get nervous and the nerves still get in the way a bit. I worked on my material a great deal, but I still blanked on one line in the middle of the monologue. I stayed in character and it came to me two seconds later. The artistic directors asked me afterwards about playing Governor Jan Brewer and I told them all about it, but in an awesome professional way. The next big season audition for me is for Arizona Theatre Company next week. I am hoping to perform a different monologue than I did for Phoenix Theatre and will be doing a different song.
My acting coach directed a production of Little Women at ASU and it was so good. I would have loved to have been in the show, but I’m not a student there. She invited me along and I managed to get a free ticket that was donated to the box office. I’ll be meeting with her sometime soon to prepare for the next audition. I feel that this year maybe things will be different and the Equity theatres will call me in for their shows.
I auditioned for a production of the Mousetrap and I got a callback, which will be tomorrow. The theatre is technically a community theatre, but they do pay. There are only a few roles in the show so it gives the actors a chance to shine.
I haven’t auditioned for any film recently. However, I attended the Phoenix Film Festival the weekend before last. I tweeted photos of myself with the camera-head mascot and on their red carpet. I met a film producer who thought I was a pretty cool, smart person. His cousin used to be one of the producers of Good Morning America and he has a nephew who made a documentary about his dad and Johnny Cash. I saw two amazing films: The Story of Luke and The Retrieval. The Story of Luke is a non-pitying, un-patronizing view of a young man with autism trying to gain his independence. The lead actor is so gorgeous and funny. The Retrieval is a harrowing view of a shameful part of American history. The story is about a young black man who is forced to be a bounty hunter during the Civil War. It was heartbreaking and so incredibly well-done. The director is Chris Eska. Everyone kept asking me if I was in one of the films. I really hope I will be one day.
I hope you had a nice Easter. I went to Easter Vigil mass, which lasted three hours because they baptized and confirmed an insane amount of people. I felt really holy afterwards. I went to Easter brunch at the St. Francis restaurant and had chile pork verde.
Season general auditions for Phoenix Theatre are coming up April 12-15 and I already have my appointment. I have been practicing as much as I can with the student teaching. I hope to meet with my acting coach soon to make sure my materials are perfect.
The Phoenix film festival is this weekend and I have a flex pass, which lets you see four films of your choice. There is an industry mixer tomorrow night and I am going with the business cards. It begins at 5pm and goes until 1am. All the events are at the Harkins 101 theatres in Scottsdale.
I also need to get back to looking into funding for my little film. So there’s work to be done and scripts to write and auditions to procure.
Today is my birthday, March 10. It’s also my grandpa’s birthday. I was his birthday present. Today, I went out to afternoon tea with my awesome friend. We had such a good time. Last night, I had dinner with my cousin and his wife at Modern Steak in Scottsdale. The food was so good and they gave me a birthday candle with my donuts. I am really broke right now, but the funds come from somewhere. This week is Spring Break and I am glad to have a break. I only have three more weeks and two days, one of which is a testing day. All I’ll say about it is that it’s been really stressful.
I will be auditioning for a web series about a radio show. I need to work on my audition pieces for the season auditions in May and June for the Equity theatres. I didn’t get into the improv troupe even though I felt great about my audition. I’m not sure that improv is my thing. I am not one of those people who always dreamed about being on Saturday Night Live. I dreamed of being in a Broadway musical.
A filmmaking colleage of mine, Charles Cartwright, is putting together a series of interviews and testimonials to convince Arizona lawmakers to pass the film incentives. He will be with his film company at the Harkins Cinemas in Tempe Marketplace from 2-5pm this Wednesday. I will be coming by to give a testimonial. Hollywood needs to come back to Arizona. Everyone here needs the jobs and it’s been a long time coming for me to get union work. Don’t even think about telling me why I shouldn’t be union.
Right now I’m going to try to relax.
How was your Valentine’s? I went out to dinner at the Havana Cafe in Phoenix with my parents and grandpa. I went there last year when my grandma died because I was feeling devestated and lost. I don’t have a significant other and never have. This makes me really bitter and Christian Mingle hasn’t worked for finding a guy. How in the world can I play a romantic role if I’ve never been in love? Imagination doesn’t take care of everything, you know.
I am in the midst of student teaching and it’s sapping all my energy. I got to attend the Renaissance Festival with the students and I had such a great time being able to explore the festival by myself. It reminded me of the fairs I attended when I was little. They used to have the International Children’s Festival in Vancouver, WA. My mother was part of the organization board and even dressed up as a clown one day to work the festival. They brought in acts and artisans from around the world. There were always Chinese acrobats, storytellers, children’t comedians, and plenty of arts activities. I think the city discontinued the festival back in 1995 or thereabouts.
My agent contacted me about auditioning for an improv troupe. They don’t offer any pay for rehearsal or performances, but they do offer free training and many of their members receive offers from commercials, film, and television. The commitment is not too large either. They also do paying corporate gigs.
I attended an audition workshop at Phoenix Theatre yesterday and I learned about what they look for specifically and what actors should do in general for musical theatre auditions. Basically, it’s about presenting who you are, having a specific point of view, showing that you work well with others, picking appropriate material, and being confident and not desperate. They had a dance call and I got to hang out with the dancer group. I lost my confidence in dancing a long time ago and I really want to get it back. I really do still have some great skills; it’s just a matter of believing I can do it. One thing I really want to do soon is start taking voice lessons and dance lessons again. Phoenix Theatre will have a musical theatre intensive this summer and I would like to be part of it if I can afford it and if I am not otherwise employed on a film set or stage production.
I did send off my audition to Shakespeare Santa Cruz two weeks ago. I finally got in touch with the filmmaker who was supposed to film it. We filmed the audition, but she hadn’t gotten the footage to me by Tuesday of that week. I didn’t find out that the audio had malfunctioned until that Thursday. When I hadn’t heard on that Tuesday, I just filmed the audition again on the photo booth app on my computer. I Fed-Exed it off to Shakespeare Santa Cruz that afternoon.
I need a lucky star out there to make my dreams come true.