Working Hard

Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you haven’t. I haven’t written that many blogs this year. Last spring I was writing one every week. Then I went through a period last Fall where I felt like I didn’t have much to say. In the last few months I have had much to say, but too much going on to actually sit down and say it. I am so thankful for this busy period of work. What’s been going on?

  • Performing in Diana of Dobson’s at Taproot Theatre. Closing this Saturday, June 14th!
  • Auditioning and getting cast in The Reel Deal: A new reality TV show about Filmmaking!
  • Executive Producing, acting and directing for Light a Match Productions.
  • And a few more things that I will announce in due time…

It is quite a change from how I felt last summer. Even though I had things going on (Julius Caesar), I was very unhappy with where I was in my career and didn’t know what to do about it. Things have shifted in my life and career for sure. It would be easy to say that I am happier because I am doing more, but I feel that it’s the other way around; I’m doing more because I’m happier. (Although, to be clear, I don’t think that the former is always a direct result of the latter.) It took a change in perspective!

What changed?

  1. Being Grateful. Not Jealous.
    One of the biggest contributors to my unhappiness was jealousy. I used to be jealous ALL THE TIME. I got frustrated when I saw people getting cast more often, looking like they were more successful. It’s a pretty depressing place to be, because no matter how successful you are, you can always find someone who is more successful that you. The problem was that I didn’t know how to stop being jealous. Then I realized that the root of my jealousy was an insecurity over whether or not I was good enough to be pursuing this career of acting. I would compare myself to others to see if I measure up. If anyone else got more recognition, then I felt they were more worthy; if I got more recognition, I was more worthy. Let me tell you, that is a useless, tiring, joy-stealing game. Don’t play it! I finally had to come to the conclusion that I didn’t care whether or not other people thought I should be acting. I want to act, so I am going to act, no matter what. Then I stopped worrying about other people and just became so thankful every time I got the opportunity to do what I love. Which leads to my second point…
  2. Adjusting My Expectations
    I had this certain picture in my head of what success looked like. At the time it looked like this: working at x, y, and z theatres and getting paid to do everything I do as an actor. If I wasn’t doing either or both of those, it wasn’t good enough, therefore I wasn’t good enough, therefore I wasn’t successful. I just had to let that go! Maybe I was expecting the pay too soon in my career. Maybe I just needed to remember why I started doing this in the first place. Now I am so busy doing what I love and I’m not working at any of those theatres and I’m only sometimes getting paid. And I’m so happy! Just because I hadn’t met those goals, didn’t mean it was time to give up. It meant it was time to adjust my expectations and focus on creating my own work. Which leads me to my third point…
  3. Working Hard
    Have you heard the phrase, “Work begets work”? I feel like I hear that all the time in LA. This last year has proved that phrase to be true. As an actor, there is only so much you can do to get cast. Audition. Build Relationships. Audition. It’s more complicated than that, but there isn’t a lot of control in your own hands. I decided I was tired of waiting around and wanted to create my own work. That sparked an idea for a short film spoof that I pursued that didn’t quite make it off the ground. (Maybe I’ll come back to it. Probably not.) Then I started reading through Shakespeare, to make my own project. (Still in the works, but on hold for the moment.) Then I had the idea of making movies with my friends, which turned into Light a Match Productions! (Now THAT’S some exciting stuff! LAMP-Logo2Check out our website and new short film.) I’ve learned that what’s important isn’t necessarily completing each project, but pursuing it as far as it will go. My first spoof idea may not be the right thing for right now, but it got ideas flowing and helped me reach out and start building a network of co-creators. The Shakespeare project helped keep my mind off of whether or not I was cast after every audition because I had another place to focus my creative energy. Now, working with LAMP has turned into something beyond what I could have imagined. Work begets work. This is what’s important: Keep creating. Keep doing. Keep working… Hard.

Whether or not this streak of work continues, I know I have the tools and the mindset to keep pursuing my dreams and be happy whatever the result. Thanks for going on this journey with me! What an adventure!

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CAST on THE REEL DEAL: Season 1!!!

Hello family, friends, and fans,

If you follow me on any other social media platform(Twitter Facebook or Instagram) then you have already heard the news: I have been cast on the first season of the new reality TV show, The Reel Deal!!! If you’ve been following me at all over the last few months this is not the first time you have heard me mention this opportunity. It has been a long audition process starting back in February. If you look back at my previous posts you can follow all the steps I went through to get to this point. In some ways I still can’t believe that I have actually been cast. You work so hard for something and when it actually comes true, it feels a bit surreal. From the beginning, I remember thinking that THIS time, I actually had a shot at this. It seemed like everything in my life had perfectly alined and that all my recent experiences had prepared me for this show. I have never had that feeling quite this strongly before. For sure I have really, really wanted to be cast in something, very badly. But I have never felt the calm confidence that I was perfect for this and this was perfect for me. On May 29th, starting at 8 AM, The Reel Deal starting announcing a cast member every 10 minutes. I woke up a little after 8 and thought, “Oh, I guess I should check to see what’s happening.” Two cast members had already been announced. I went to Facebook and told my friends to start following the casting by searching #TheReelDeal. I switched back to Twitter and seconds later they tweeted THIS:

Let me tell you, it is one of the weirdest ways I have ever been told I was cast in something. No phone call. No personal email. No, the WORLD knew at the same moment I did. Two minutes later my Aunt(who is not on Twitter and is barely on Facebook) called me to Congratulate me! I couldn’t figure out how she knew(I’d barely had time to tell me husband who was right next to me). She said her best friend had been on Facebook… where I had told people to watch Twitter and friends had already started congratulate me before I even had the chance to announce it… and she sent my Aunt a text. CRAZY world of social media updates!!!

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.25.12 AMLast Thursday was quite a whirlwind. So many tweets. So many congratulations on Facebook. And then I had to go nanny… because yes, I still have a normal person job. Then I went to perform in my play that night. By the way… I’M IN A PLAY RIGHT NOW! Come see “Diana of Dobson’s” at Taproot Theatre. And my wonderful cast greeted me with cheers and THIS written on the mirror in our dressing room. After the show a few friends went out with me to celebrate! Even as we were sitting around the table in the bar and someone turned to me saying, “Aren’t you just SO EXCITED?!” I didn’t know what to say. It still hadn’t really sunk in yet. You work towards something and think about it in this hypothetical realm for so long; it takes a little time to let that sink in to the realm of reality(no pun intended).

It’s been almost a week now, so I think it’s actually sinking in now! July 10th-17th I will be in LA filming a reality show about film-making. I will be one of 25 actors, 5 directors, 6 writers, and 6 composers, who will be divided into 7 teams to be led by 6 celebrities to each make a movie in 4 days! WOW! I can’t wait! Stay tuned for all the updates to come!

P.S. I can’t end this post without saying how thankful I am for each and every one of you. So many of you have gone out of your way to tell me how much you believed in me, saying “Of course you were cast!” That is so kind… but I am also aware there are so many reasons I might not have been cast, having nothing to do with who I am, talented or not(as evidence by the many talented people who did not make it on Season 1). Regardless, thank you for believing in me even when I couldn’t manage to believe in myself. Even when I was so tired of auditioning and NOT getting cast. Even when I doubted the trajectory of my life and if it all was worth while. Even when I was ready to quite. THANK YOU ALL for standing by me and cheering me on. I really have no idea what this opportunity means for my career. It could go no where, but I am now in a place where I realize that the end is not the goal, the goal is to live each day with purpose and enjoy the journey. I AM ENJOYING THE JOURNEY! Thanks for riding along!

Interviewed by the Ballard News-Tribune!

As a part of being a Finalist for The Reel Deal, press releases went out to all of the local newspapers about this exciting opportunity. Seattle’s local paper, the Ballard News-Tribune, contacted me letting me know that they would love to do an interview. Last week, I was able to talk to Christy Wolyniak for about 40 minutes and answer her various questions. We not only talked about The Reel Deal, but my experience as an actor and my new production company, Light a Match Productions! Enjoy.

Read the article Here!!!

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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.

 

Semi-Finals of The Reel Deal!

I am excited to announce that I have been accepted into the semi-final round of auditions for the new reality TV show, The Reel Deal!!! The first round was making a 90 second personality video. Now that I am in this round, I will be recording an acting audition video that I have 2 hours to read, prepare, tape and submit. Crazy, right? THIS will be fun!!! Wish me luck… or rather “broken legs!” Thanks!

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Now you can visit My profile on The Reel Deal website!

Have a look! Thanks!

Vulnerable?

So this great opportunity just recently came up to audition for this new reality TV show called The Reel Deal. It will be filming its first season this summer… and I’m kinda excited about it! It will be the first Reality TV show for ACTORS, DIRECTORS, WRITERS, and COMPOSERS who will be mentored by CELEBRITIES… to make a movie in a week!!! Pretty exciting.

The first part of the audition process is to make a 90 second personality video. I heard a producer say that everyone in the spot light should choose to be vulnerable about something. If you aren’t, the public will find something and make you vulnerable about it. The biggest thing is finding something with which people can connect. With that it mind, I chose to be vulnerable (on the scale of completely surface(1) to guts on the floor(10) I was a 5 or 6?)… pretty vulnerable. Once I posted it and entered it into the registration process(no going back now), I almost immediately regretted it and started doubting myself. I was especially disappointed when I remembered that there was more that I wanted to do with the video that I just couldn’t accomplish after hours of thought and taping. I remembered other takes where I liked how I said things better than the one now on the internet for the world to see. I watched other audition videos and was jealous over their interests, hobbies, props and editing skills. Basically, I just beat myself up over all of it… for a couple of hours.

BUT then I stopped myself. Why? Because I can see what happened. I opened up. I didn’t talk about how my favorite color is orange (sometimes) and I can weld and have lived in Prague and Madrid. I talked about how I almost quit my dream. That is scary to admit to celebrities and casting directors and producers(whom you want to impress). That is a different, kinda gutsy(or stupid!) thing to do. Now I can see that. I can name it. Truth is, I have had a few pretty vulnerable moments on this blog. If anyone cares to read them, they are here for the world to see. I am proud of those moments because those were the moments when people connected with what I was saying and said, “Me too!” What I want to say with my audition video is that I am the type of person that will go there with you … and come out the other side with renewed purpose! My hope is that people will connect with my video. If not, it was a personal exercise in putting it out there and releasing control. Thing is, that’s what we do as actors. We put ourselves out there and become vulnerable to people’s opinions and judgement. But we also become vulnerable so that people can connect with our character or story. That’s why I chose to say what I said, not just to entertain but to relate and to inspire. THAT is what I am all about!

So, here we go. This is a window into my story. Take a look!