Category Archives: acting

An Audition, Appliances, Santa, & Christmas Prep

Song Lyric of the Day:

I’ll be your answer, I’ll be your wish / I’ll be your fantasy, your favorite dish / From the back to the middle and around again / I’m gonna be there til the end / 100% pure love

Crystal Waters / “100% Pure Love

Pattie On the Spot
My audition Thursday evening went well. We’ll see how well if I get the part or not. But at least I had fun; this was definitely the most creative I’ve had to be at an audition so far. In addition to the usual stating your name, stats, etc. for the camera, I had to take part in an “emotional symphony,” wherein the casting director was the conductor. Each time he pointed at those of us in the lineup (mine was with two other women), we had to make a face conveying an emotion. You had to convey a different emotion each time, and the “conducting” got faster as we went along. The really creative part was after that, when we did the “Praise Desk” scenario. The opposite of a complaint desk, I had to rave about a real or imagined product to “sell” the casting director on it. Me being me, I remembered the Meowlingual and came up with the Cat Chat Meow Translator for Women©. I went on and on about how it revolutionized my life and completely transformed my relationships with my cats, taking our understanding to a deeper level. I detailed what each of my cats said, and ended by saying how I looked forward to buying my husband the Bark Blaster for Men©. Lucky me that I can pull stuff like that out of my ass in less than five minutes, eh?

The Good, the Bad, the Dishwasher
Our new dishwasher was installed on Friday afternoon, during my glorious PTO time off work. My joy at my fancy new appliance was short-lived, however, when the installation technician tested it (as he was supposed to) and discovered a pin-size hole in the drain hose that leaked water everywhere. Turned out his earlier observation that the hose seemed to have been packed in an unusual manner was right. So we now have a shiny new dishwasher that we can’t use until the new drain hose arrives and is installed. Our new fridge was delivered late Saturday afternoon. That appliance fared much better in that it’s usable. Well, most of it, anyway. We just need the water connection fixed and hooked up so we can use the in-door water and ice functions. But we have a fridge inside the house again, so that’s something.

The Accidental Parade
Over the years, Rich and I have discovered our uncanny talent for wandering into parades. We’ll just be plugging along with whatever plans we had in place, and — BAM! — there’s a parade going on in the same place we end up. Such was the case Friday night when we headed downtown, as planned, to take enjoy First Friday. Not only did we enjoy hopping from art gallery to art gallery, we also ended up watching the Christmas parade proceed down Gay Street. It just about killed me that I didn’t have my camera with me, particularly when people dressed as presents (people! dressed as PRESENTS!!!) walked right in front of me. Another highlight was the Young-Williams Animal Shelter’s Spay Shuttle (did I mention I did not have my camera?). Que sera, sera, though. We ended our date night with a nice meal at Mirage, the Moroccan restaurant on Gay Street which is the place to go in Knoxville to enjoy belly dancers and hookah. Probably the only one, come to think of it.

It’s Finally Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
After locating our AWOL Christmas lights in the garage, Rich and I were finally able to finish decorating the tree and the house for the holidays. This meant the usual disinterest on Snoops’ part, curiosity on all of the cats’ parts, and sheer excitement on Caleb’s part. As those of you who know Caleb are aware, Little Man is quite fond of the holidays because Christmas means presents. Specifically, Christmas means presents for him. Presents he gets to open himself. Which is why now I’ve got a 65-pound dog who jumps excitedly when he sees me holding a roll of wrapping paper, tissue paper, or gift bags (he’s figured it all out). He’s also doing his best to sneak into the guest room whenever he can. Why? Because that’s where Mommy hides the presents, of course.

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Where’s My Elephant?

Song Lyric of the Day:

Life goes by so fast / You only want to do what you think is right / Close your eyes and then it’s past / (It’s the) story of my life

Social Distortion / “Story of My Life

Life’s not kicking my ass as much these days as it did the last few weeks. Which is a very good thing. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, and it was doubly fun for me since it was hosted at Vanessa and Ken’s house this year. They do a good Thanksgiving. Also, the turkey? Divine.

If you follow my Twitter stream at all, you’ll know that Ken wins brother-in-law of the year for rounding up a chainsaw posse to take care of that pesky tree that fell and blocked our driveway. I think I’ll finally have time this weekend to bake four cakes to thank his four coworkers for coming out to help. We can now have the mother of all bonfires with all the wood we’ve got.

Now that things are leveling out again (no more working from home at night!), I’m trying to re-learn how to — what’s the word? — oh, yeah, relax. To that end, I’ve been playing a lot of Robotron 2084 on the Xbox 360, which offends Rich to no end, since it’s a fairly primitive, 25-year-old game. But it makes me happy. I also hooked our PS2 up again, which had been disconnected since we got the Wii last year, so I could get back to Silent Hill: The Room. After quickly remembering why I stopped playing SH (it scares the shit out of me), I switched to Namco Museum to play Pac-Man and Galaga instead. More fun, and far less traumatic to play.

I’ve also been trying to catch up on some TiVod shows; I’m totally loving Dirty Sexy Money. Although Rich has me conditioned to call it “Dirty Sexy Monkey” in a demented accent so it sounds like “zee dirtee sexxee mun-KEE.” He just thinks it’s more fun to call it that. Which it kind of is.
I had acting class tonight (rescheduled from the other day), as well as another audition at my agency. So we’ll see if this is the one where I get a callback. Extra money’s always nice, and TV work is fun. Fingers crossed! Speaking of acting class, this Saturday is my last class. Each of us will be performing a scene from Waiting for Godot with our acting partner. Fortunately, I’ve got a great partner, so our final interpretation of our scene should be a lot of fun.

I’m also — gasp! — really enjoying a book. After struggling with Eat, Pray, Love, I set it aside for a bit and am now totally immersed in Lisa Gardner‘s The Third Victim. Oh, how I love Rainie Conner and Pierce Quincy (how kick-ass of a name is that?). And great thrillers.

Before I jump off tonight, let me say hi back to Josh Ballard for stopping by. Be sure to visit his band, Until June’s, official site and MySpace page. See — it pays to have a different Song Lyric of the Day every day. (Hmmm…maybe I should add their CD to my Christmas wish list. Hint, hint.)

*Today’s blog post title comes from the “Bart Gets An Elephant” episode of The Simpsons. Just because I watched it last night.

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My Great Acting Adventure

Song Lyric of the Day:

Then I met an Englishman / Oh he said / Won’t you walk up and down my spine, / It makes me feel strangely alive. / I said in these shoes? / I doubt you’d survive.

Kirsty MacColl / “In These Shoes?”

9:29 AM Wednesday. Counting down until my office’s Thanksgiving feast at 11:00. The smell of turkey and bar-b-que wafting over from the other cubes is driving me nuts. I went ahead and had my usual breakfast, yogurt, to tie me over until I can pig out. I’m helping with the setup starting at 10:45. Not only would I rather help with setup than cleanup after, but this way I can plan which dishes/stations to hit first with my plate in hand. I gotta say, food makes me happy. Especially turkey. Mmm…turkey.

Back to my happy mood…soon…turkey.

10:23 AM Friday. The office’s holiday feast on Wednesday was faboo. I ate so much I got lazy and then I couldn’t get around to updating the blog until today. I didn’t even have dinner Wednesday night—I was still full from lunch. That hardly ever happens. Me skipping meals, I mean.

Yesterday turned out to be a good day. Not only did I get a good work eval and a raise, but when I got home my check from a TV show I recently filmed was in the mail. It pays to be an extra–$105 for approximately an hour and 45 minutes of work.

That’s right—I’m a part-part-time actress. I say that because I’ve only had 2 roles in 10 months. Still, it’s a lot of fun. I originally sent in a photo and filled out the required form for New Dominion Pictures about a year and a half ago. I’d all but forgotten about it until I got a call in mid-December asking if I was still interested in being an extra. Of course, I said yes. My first role for them was as Female Clerk in Medical Examiner’s Office for the “Taste of Poison” episode of “Diagnosis: Unknown,” which aired in April of this year. The editing process always takes a while.

My most recent role came last month. I was Wendy Bedford (I had a name this time!), the bad guy’s girlfriend, for an episode of “Interpol Investigates,” a show that airs on the National Geographic Channel. I got the call on a Wednesday morning, received an emailed script on Thursday, and went to film the scene that Friday morning, with a call time of 10AM. I got to the studio at about 9:50AM, parked in the parking lot past the fake graveyard, walked past fake store fronts back to the studio, signed in at the front desk, got my name tag that said ACTOR 10/22/04 on it, and headed to the cafeteria to sign in with the production assistant. This time around I came prepared—I had reading material to kill the time because you basically sit around a lot and wait to be called for your scene(s). I ended up talking to another actor (aka Swiss bank manager) at the table at which I sat down, and then we were both called into makeup and wardrobe after about 15 minutes. We were led through the filming studio onto a back lot and into the makeup/wardrobe trailer.

I had been directed to bring tight clothing for my character (think upscale hoochie), and after the wardrobe lead picked out what she wanted me to wear, I was led to a dressing room much like a store’s dressing room to change. After changing, I was given my accessories—big gold earrings, a gold necklace, a gold watch, and a black quilted purse with—you guessed it—a gold chain strap. I was also given big Jackie O-style sunglasses that she wanted styled into my hair. So my next stop was hair and makeup. The makeup artist gave me a nice, natural look and gave me biggish, Jersey-girl type hair, into which she carefully set the sunglasses. After I was finished, I went back into the main area of the trailer to wait for further instruction. The Swiss bank manager and a Swiss bank teller were being prepared at the same time, as well as a tall, well-dressed Hispanic man. When someone called out “Gil” to get his attention, I realized that he was the actor playing my fake boyfriend. So I introduced myself as his fake girlfriend, Wendy, to which he replied that he got lucky—good looking wife and good looking girlfriends. That was when I realized he was indeed playing a bad man.

We chatted a little and then John, one of the production assistants, came to get us for our scene. Since it was a little chilly that morning we were told to wait inside the fake bank. I asked Gil about how much he’s acted, and it turns out he’s a professional based in New Jersey with an agent and everything. He had just finished filming an independent movie in Las Vegas, had been on several episodes of “Law & Order,” and was in the movie “Stepmom” with Ed Harris and Susan Sarandon. After a little while, we were called outside to go over our scene. The director instructed Gil to get in the car they had (fake CA plates and all), and I was given a fake cashier’s check for $9900. Then I was back in the bank with John, waiting for my cue, which was “Action 2;” Gil’s scene in the car started on “Action 1.” On the first take, I walked out of the bank, cashier’s check in hand, crossed the parking lot, and got in the car with Gil. I handed him the check and then he questioned me about what took so long, did anyone give me trouble, how did the manager act, etc. I told him everything went well and the manager was very accommodating. Reassured, he opened the envelope, looked at the check, thanked me for a good job, and then leaned in to kiss me. At this point, all I heard in my head was “Oh, f#ck.”–I haven’t kissed anyone else in the seven years I’ve been with Rich. But, trying to be a good actress, I went along with it since it fit the scene, and we kissed. Thank goodness, it was a closed-mouth kiss. We ended up shooting the scene about 8 more times due to gaffes (French ATM in shot) and from different camera angles. During takes starting with me in the bank, I had fun joking around with John—we recognized each other from the last time I worked there. He was teasing me and calling me “one-scener.” Some more takes were filmed through the driver’s side window of the car as well as from the backseat. After the director was satisfied, my scene was over.

As Gil and I sat in the car waiting for his next cue, I asked him how I did, since he’s a pro and I’m a newbie. He said I did great and then squeezed my hand and thanked me for going along with the kiss. Then I was off to go change back into my street clothes and he was off to change for his next scene. His character was a former DEA agent who stole drug money and went on the run. I think he had 2 or 3 days total of shooting time. I said my goodbyes to the makeup and wardrobe people, checked out in the cafeteria, had my photo/mugshot taken while I held a board stating the show and episdoe I filmed, and headed off to work at my day job.

When I got to work, my cubemates asked how it went and commented on me being made up. I’ve gotta say, when a pro does your hair and makeup, you keep that look going as long as you can. And I did look pretty good. I ended up getting a whole lot of attention from my coworkers—everyone wanted to know how I got the part, did I have an agent, what else have I been in, how can I act, too? It was fun being fawned over for the day. When I got home that night, Rich had to tease me about the kissing but he complimented me by saying that I looked sultry with the makeup and hair.

So that was my great acting adventure for the year. Next stop—“Arrested Development” and “Alias.” Don’t I wish. Now I just need an agent…

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