The 100 Day Project: Process

I can’t believe The 100 Day Project is over. I did it! I put myself on camera and worked on my acting for 100 days straight. What a journey! Now I am looking back at what I learned and how I grew over the last 100 days. Not only did I see my skills improve, I can actually see a difference in my ease in front of the camera, from my first post to my last(you should take a look!). Through the journey, not only did I recognize the obstacles that lay in way to doing the work, but I also learned a lot about my artistic process. What do I need to do to get the best result? One of the best things about the 100 day project is that it forces you to do something tangible every single day. While that created a habit of practice for me and improved my on-tape acting skills, I began to wish I had more time with each piece. Some didn’t require that much time: commercials, improvised bits, co-star roles with a couple pages of script. But the Shakespeare monologues, guest star roles, leading roles ask more of you and I wish I’d had more time to dedicate to them. That being said, I learned a lot about what I need to do to best prepare for all sorts of auditions or roles.

  • Accountability. I work best with accountability. Social Media has been the best form of accountability for me. If I put it out there that I’m going to do something, then I am much more likely to follow through. If I have an audition, the accountability with my agent and the casting director is built in. I need some form of accountability for my daily practice(at least I did to get started).
  • Time to memorize. Or at least get familiar with the words. I have learned to audition with script in hand, without staring at the page, but sometimes(more often than not) the better you know the words the better you will do. While my focus was on doing the character prep work, I didn’t dedicate as much time to memorize and I could tell. I am learning some new memorization techniques and I think that will help me, moving forward.
  • Figure out the technical requirements. I know that I have to figure out what the scene/monologue will require physically and rhythmically. That takes some trial and error. That’s where self-taping is very handy. Something I think reads on screen, may be completely lost.
  • Emotionally connect with the relationship, truth and need in the conversation. In Annie’s class, we work on being able to connect to the conversation with only 40 minutes and then with 48 hours. Obviously, 48 hours gives more time to find a deeper connection to the relationship and words. For the most part, I was only giving myself about 40 minutes in the 100 day project. I started to miss sitting with it for longer and having the freedom to explore, image, and create.
  • Time to make it my own. After I’ve done all of the above, then I feel like I can finally discover some things that are a unique perspective that only I have. I might come up with some of that off the first read, but more likely it will come with a bit more familiarity and experimentation. Also, the more I practice, the more quickly I can find those things that make it uniquely mine.

Now that The 100 Day Project is over, I know that I have created some excellent habits and carry more knowledge and experience with me moving forward. I may not be posting a self-taping video every day anymore, but I will be working daily on my craft. Again, so many thanks to Elle Luna and The Great Discontent for organizing this group of artists across the globe. I had so much fun and connected with such a great community of people through this project. May the creating continue!

 

To view my journey through The 100 Day Project, go to my Instagram feed and search #100daysofselftaping.

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Finding the Right Teacher

A couple years ago, when I first arrived in LA I audited a whole bunch of classes and wrote a wish list of the ones that interested me the most. Then, last year I was able to take Annie Grindlay’s Advanced Intensive Audition Experience. It changed my life! Well, maybe not my life, but my acting, which in turn changed my life. With my previous training, I felt well prepared for auditioning and developing a character in theatre(in other words, when you have time to figure things out), but not super confident when approaching the limited time frame you have with film and TV auditions.

Photo of Annie Grindlay from anniegrindlay.com
Photo of Annie Grindlay from AnnieGrindlay.com

Soon after taking Annie’s class I booked The Reel Deal with this audition (even though the show was postponed, I’m still really proud of my work). Then I booked a feature film in Seattle over the summer and GRIMM last fall. Booking jobs aside, I feel more confident going into auditions and I know my acting has improved. Just yesterday, I had a coaching session with Annie in preparation for an agent showcase and I was reminded of all the reasons I love working with her. I left, having worked out the kinks, confident in my performance, and ready to have a great showcase!

If you’re an actor reading this, looking for a teacher, I highly recommend you check out her FREE Workshop/Audit!!! Hey, IT’S FREE–which not a lot of things in LA are. BUT, here’s the thing. I’m raving about Annie Grindlay, but she may not be the right teacher for you, just like I didn’t click with all the teachers who came highly recommended to me. She also may not be the right teacher for me in a couple years. I know at some point I will move on to someone else who can help me with a different area of acting. But for now, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

Here are a few questions I’ve come up with to help me find the right teacher:

  • Does the teacher’s philosophy connect with me?
  • Is this teacher helping me with the area(s) that I want to improve?
  • Is my acting better, whether or not this teacher is present? (In other words, is this teacher giving me tools to take home or just teaching me to rely on their coaching?)
  • Do I feel the money I am paying is worth every penny and then some?
  • Can I see/feel a difference in my acting?

Listen to your instincts. If you’re on the fence about a teacher, they’re probably not the right one. Look around. Find the one who speaks to you where you are right now. In LA, there’s bound to be at least one!

FINALIST for THE REEL DEAL!

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Friends, Family, and Fans!!! Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 2.01.23 PM

You may have seen a few of my posts about a new multi-platform reality show, The Reel Deal. I have been in the audition process for a few months now.

  1. First, every contestant made a personality video. From those videos, I was picked to be a Semi-Finalist.
  2. The Semi-Finalists had to do at least one callback audition. From those, they chose the Finalists, and now …
  3. I AM A FINALIST!!!!! So, now it’s up to YOU…. Click Here to get me on THE REEL DEAL!!!

You have until MAY 15th to VOTE me on the show! The Reel Deal participants will be announced MAY 22nd!!! So, stay tuned!

For more information:

  • Here to read a new press release all about it!
  • Here is a blog I wrote about my journey.

 

Making It Happen!

Looking back over this year, it has been quite a roller coaster.

Personally, it has been one of the hardest years in a lot of ways. Almost a year ago exactly, my husband and I made the decision for me to come down to LA and give my acting career here a try. I quite my job of two and a half years on December 31, 2012 and haven’t had a steady income since. January 30, 2013, we moved out of our apartment in Seattle and have lived with parents and various roommates for the past 11 months. We’ve spent over four months apart from each other and have struggled with how to make this long-distance, dual-city thing work.  Many answers to the questions of our future are still unknown.

Professionally speaking, I didn’t book any major commercials, feature films or any roles on television; I didn’t get cast at any of my goal theatres; many goals are still waiting to be accomplished.

A year ago I had no idea what would come of 2013, but I did make a promise to myself that I would act with courage. Even without reaching any of those major bench marks, I have to say that acting with courage is one thing I DID accomplish this year.

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My reflections today have less to do with what goals I achieved and more to do with how I’ve grown. The way I listed the sequence of events above and talked about my lack of accomplishments probably sounds like I feel like a failure. On the contrary, I’m oddly okay with what this year has been. There have been some incredible moments and all the change and uncertainty has brought about an unexpected peace about who, and where, I am at this point in my life. By swapping environments and shaking things up a bit, I’ve been able to see the constants, all the factors that remain the same. Perceptions have been dispelled. Desires heightened. Methods refined. Goals clarified. It isn’t exactly the scientific method, but I’m starting to see the evidence that points to the truth.

What is the truth? When it comes to my career, the truth is that I will always be acting and making art. And to do that, I’ve learned that, no matter what…

I’VE GOT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!

By that I don’t mean strong-arm something or believe a lie. What I mean is that if it isn’t happening, don’t wait around… make it happen. Duh! I think until this year I believed the only thing I could to as an actor to get work was to audition. WRONG. There is so much more.

Acting2013CollageJust look at the projects I DID do this year: one play, a play festival, and four short films. Two out of five I auditioned for(cold-turkey); two I had to go out of my way to get connected or make happen, and two were because people I already knew asked me to do it.

33.3% from auditions

33.3% from my own initiative

33.3% from knowing someone

Although those percentages will fluctuate, the ratio is pretty telling. We have to get out there, get to know people, and make things happen.

Over the years I’ve had ideas for projects, but executing them hasn’t always been a priority. Now I’m seeing where I thought auditioning(and marketing) was the focus, that’s only part of the picture.  In the last few months I’ve taken some significant steps in executing a plan for my own projects and you know what? I’M LOVING IT! Of course it comes with it’s own set of challenges, but not only is it exciting to see these ideas take shape, it takes some of the pressure off of auditioning. I don’t HAVE to book something when I have other creative things going on. It is so rewarding to take the initiative, start building a team of people with whom I love to work, and make some art. It’s the best!

Just take a hint from these 8 Actresses Who Wrote Complex, Female Roles For Themselves. They are my heroes. Their stories are so inspiring. Wherever I am, whatever this new year brings, I know I will be going out there and making things happen!

What about you? Want to join me!?!