Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

Follow an actress's journey beyond Hollywood. The life after a successful 10 year career...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Day 2

It was an honor to work with such veterans of the business. From left to right: Shelley Berman, Eli Wallach, Bill Macy, and Jack Black. 2nd picture: Eli and Bill attempt to tell Jack Black a joke.

Friday was nice. I showed up half an hour early to make up from being late the day before - but no one was there. So I hung out in my trailer for half an hour until I officially checked in. If you know anything about movie sets, you know it's a lot of waiting around. Well, I was there at 9am, got my wardrobe on, my hair and make up done, and I sat there in my trailer...reading, napping, talking on my phone...trying to pass the time. They came in to tell me I was free to go to lunch (dinner - it was 4:30pm) - then after that, I came back and my hair and make up touched up - and waited some more. Finally they came to get me around 6pm to go to the set. Then I waited some more there....They didn't put me in the scene until around 9pm! Then we worked it over and over until 11:45pm! I didn't mind at all because I knew I was already in overtime - which pretty much more than doubled my rate again for that day! :-)
I had the chance to check out the scene in video village (the area where the director and producers sit to see what it looks like on the monitors) - and they had this one shot that slowly revolved around the dinner table and got everyone's reaction and lines. It looked really good - and Kate Winslet is just beautiful! She tranfers over to the screen just flawlessly! I didn't do much this whole day. I was basically a glorified extra - just seen in the background while they ate dinner. But I was probably the highest paid extra in Hollywood that day!! hahah I knew I would have my chance for my "close up" later in March - so I wasn't too worried about it. :-)
During takes I sat and talked with Jack Black and asked him about his career and what it was like to be a character actor in leading man roles. He said the only thing he's not crazy about is the lack of privacy. Everyone stops him on the street and wants to talk to him all day long - and he's gracious and nice - but he says that his whole day is gone if he stops and indulges them. Paparazzi is a pain too but he enjoys making films, so he can't complain. He started with Tim Robbins theater in LA called The Actor's Gang and his big "break" came with the film High Fidelity. He has a pretty big theater background and has a "comedy band" that he performs with. He's a sweet guy - and he reminds me of Jim Carrey in the fact that both are comedic talents - but give them some drama and they can surprise you.
The film crew is flying to London to shoot Cameron's part of the film for the month of February. Then they will be back in March and that's when I start shooting again. I'll probably shoot some more with Kate and maybe a day or two with Cameron. Should be fun!
Did I mention how sweet and stylish Nancy Meyers is? She's so cute and nice! Very professional and powerful! I wish I took a picture of time!

Friday, January 27, 2006

First Day on Set

1st pic: Kate Winslet and me! 2nd pic: Shelley Berman, Eli Wallach, ME!, Bill Macy, and Jack Black on the set of Holiday.

Well, I start off by showing up late! great! That's LA traffic for you! I was half an hour late - but the good thing is they weren't too upset. I guess they know LA already and expected it! It took me an hour and 45 minutes to get there! Crazy!
So I was taken to the stage to rehearse our scene. I get introduced to Jack Black and Kate Winslet and the 3 older gentlemen who are in the scene. We work on it for a while and then head back to base camp to get into wardrobe, hair and make-up. It was a long day - with 3 hours of overtime - which almost doubles my pay for the day - YAY!!!! The day was long, but it was interesting. The old men were a riot! They were all in their 80's and 90's full of stories from their long careers and a few dirty jokes! I had cheek ache from laughing and smiling so much today! It was also frustrating to the director and Kate because a couple of these men would not stop talking and take direction. It was like they were in their own world and show! Nancy would say action - but the men insisted on finishing their story or joke and the rest of us would just have to wait until they were ready to work. Wow! But everyone knew that these men were in the business with stars like Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, and they had a long history - not to mention they were pretty old, so they got away with some of this behavior. I couldn't imagine trying to pull what they did today!
I took my camera to the set and tried to take some pictures of the working day - but a producer came up to me and said I wasn't allowed to have any photos of the set for legal reasons. So he stood there while I had to delete what i had of the set. Luckily I was able to keep a few shots of the other actors and a shot of me and Kate. I was happy to see that Shelly Berman, the man who plays Larry David's father on Curb Your Enthusiasm was working today. We had worked together on Curb and I didn't know he was going to be in this film - so it was a pleasant surprise. He's only in this one scene so he's shooting for only a couple of days.
All in all, it was a pretty amazing experience. Kate Winslet is such a sweet doll! She's nice and friendly. And she's very beautiful and real looking in person, which is what I love about her! We were talking in the make up trailer and she said that she plans on taking a year off after shooting this film. I don't blame her...she has 2 little ones at home and I'm sure it's hard for her to be away from them so much. She did mention something about this film opening in December - I think 3 days before Christmas. December 22nd. So I guess that's the tentative opening date. :-)
The day ended on an even better note besides the overtime. I was asked to come back tomorrow at 9:30am for another day! Apparently they wanted me in this next scene somewhere in the background, cleaning up and putting stuff away. So I'll be a very expensive and "glorified" extra tomorrow! hahah - No complaints! I was only scheduled for today and now I get to work one more before I come back for my week in March! That's good - more money for me! :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Last Minute Fitting

I got a call yesterday from wardobe saying Nancy wanted to see me in what I was going to wear for shooting on Thursday. So I arrived to the set, which was on location in West Hollywood. I got there around 4:30pm. And I waited...waited... and waited some more. The crew finally broke for lunch and the costumer invited me to have dinner with everyone. So I hung out, ate great catered food, and waited some more. Around 6:45pm I finally got into my wardrobe and was taken to set so Nancy can have final approval. I waited while she directed a scene with kate Winslet and Jack Black. When she was done, she came over to me and had me try on different options. I was finally "wrapped" around 8pm! a 3 1/2 hour wardrobe fitting!!! Crazy! Good thing I get paid for it! :-)
I didn't get a chance to talk to either Kate or Jack...but I did see them work. I noticed they were doing a lot of improv, so maybe that's how Nancy works. Kate looked beautiful. Very down to earth (maybe because she was wearing a sweatshirt!)
I start working today and I plan to taking my camera! I'll be sure to post!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New teacher at Actorsite....

Pic: Me in New York City shooting the short film Grand Old Party (director Juliet Dervin). It was shot during the republican convention and every person I intereacted with was real while I was acting. Currently being submitted to film festivals...

I started teaching kids acting classes at the Actorsite last week. It was really inspiring to see such talented kids at such a young age! There were some that could blow away a lot of adults that I have seen! I am really glad I decided to do this. It's only a couple of days a week and it pays pretty well, but I'm excited about working with these talented young actors and making them better at their game.
I shot Paradise Drive on Friday, the pilot that my managment company, Central Artists, is producing. It was interesting how my character came together in just minutes before we began shooting. I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with her and at the final hour I turned her into a goth girl obsessed with death. It was fun playing something totally against type. I'm just worried I'll come across looking like a hood rat instead of "goth". I didn't really prepare costume or jewelry wise - but luckily I was wearing all black and we had a make up artist on set. It begins airing locally on Adelphia's channel 25 on January 25th at 11:30pm and my episode is airing the following week at the same time. My first pilot and "series regular" credit on my resume! :-)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Trying to keep up!

Pic: Me in character while shooting The Shield last season. (I don't normally let "the girls" out so much!) It was the coolest being interrogated by CCH Pounder! That girl really knows how to let a person have it! I had an awesome time meeting everyone on set - including Michael Chiklis!

Well, It's been a hectic week with auditions, subbing, and last minute wardrobe fittings for Holiday!
My Skittles callback went ok. They paired us all up with our "matching" partners. Hispanic girl with hispanic guy, black girl with black guy, etc... Well, I didn't see any other hispanic couples so at first I thought that was a good thing - until we walked into the room. My hispanic husband couldn't say one of the lines just right. They kept redirecting him and having him do it again, but it didn't work. That's when I thought that they would probably take us as a team instead of individually - and that's when it became a bad thing. Because no matter how great I may have done in my callback - if my husband wasn't good, we weren't getting cast - since they wanted a "matching" couple. Oh well.
My audition for The Shield that same day didn't go well either. I have already been on The Shield, last season, in a pretty good sized role. And I'm not sure why they would bring me back for this one liner different role. Made no sense to me. Then I get the wrong info on the audition. I was told the line was supposed to be said in Spanish. So I went ahead and had it translated and practiced it that way. I walked in and found out they wanted it said in English. I said it, not exact...a little off on the line, and that was it. Not a good audition, and I walked away feeling as if it was a waste of time. The highpoint was seeing the Grey's Anatomy cast by a car on the lot on my way out. I congratulated Sandra Oh on her Golden Globe win the night before and told them I loved the show. I'm such a big dork! :-)
I had a straight to producers audition for CSI NY yesterday. It was for a guest star role. I found out it was for producers when I got there. It was a nice surprise because I had never auditioned at the office before. Luckily the audition went great. Let's just hope I was what they were looking for.
After subbing that day I had to drive out to the SONY lot again for another wardrobe fitting for Holiday. Apparently the clothes they picked out the first time didn't signify "servant" enough. So I had to try on more depressing and sad outfits. Go figure! I did get to see some snapshots of Cameron Diaz in some of her wardrobe choices. She looked very tall and very beautiful. Can't wait to work with her! She had racks and racks of these great clothes, including $5,000 Gucci dresses. Nice! I get stained shirts from Goodwill and Ross! hahaha Someday....Someday!
The coolest thing about the fittings was walking in and seeing my headshot on their board. See, normally a casting office will have the headshots of the cast of the show up on their boards in case they need to match family members or something to the actors. I have seen numerous headshots of the regular cast on different shows...always dreamed of the day my headshot will be on someone's board. And I walk into the costume room for Holiday at the SONY lot and there it was! My headshot along with other actors who were cast - and the name of our characters (mine is MARTA) marked on them. That was the COOLEST! I am actually part of someone's cast that I warrant being on someone's board! YAY!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Learning how to Juggle

ok, so today I had an audition for Crystal Light. It was fun...I just had to "be myself". They asked me to tell them something special about myself and I revealed how I can touch my nose with my tongue. It's funny how that's always a showstopper! :-)
Found out today that I have a callback for that Skittles commercial tomorrow at 1:50pm. Stressing me out because I have to sub tomorrow. I already called the school and they are prepared to have to find someone to cover my class for the last hour. great. I hate when this has to happen! But I am in no position to take any more days off from subbing - I need the money! Also, just got a last minute audition for The Shield - also tomorrow - at 3:20pm. It's a very small line in Spanish...but it's pretty awesome that they even thought about calling me back since I was just on the show last season. (Or was it the season before last?)
I did some drop offs yesterday and it resulted in an audition for Thursday. At least, I'm assuming it did. I have an audition for a guest star role on CSI NY at 11am. That's the great news...the downfall is: IT'S TO PLAY A MAID!! great. At least it specifies "no accent".
I'm supposed to sub that day too - so it will take some creative juggling to see how I'm going to make it there and back in time! Wish me luck!
And on top of all of this - I have rehearsal for the pilot I am shooting with my manager Wednesday and Thursday evening - and we shoot my episode on Friday. busy busy busy!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Dial M for Maria

It's safe to say that I have played more than my share of maids in this industry - but this is where it all started. My very first maid role. Shot in Austin Texas a good 7 years ago. I look WAY different (at least I hope I do!). Check out the film on

Sunday, January 15, 2006

This weekend...

Friday night I saw a screening of the movie Cinderella Man. It was really good. I'm not sure why it didn't do as well as expected at the box office. Russell Crowe was excellent and Renee was good. I try and see as many free screenings as I can since I normally don't have the cash to pay the high prices of movie tickets out here! Plus, why pay when your guild offers then for free, right? :-)
On Saturday, I went to the Conversations with Shirley Maclaine. It was a couple of hours of being in a room with her and an interviewer. It was really interesting. She talked about being around The Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, her issues on certain movie sets, who was a dream to work with, and who wasn't, and odd experiences with directors like Alfred Hitchcock. It was pretty awesome to hear this icon speak about her 50 year career. Did you know she doesn't have a star on Hollywood Blvd? That's just crazy!!!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Texas Times

It was nice visiting with family and friends while in Texas this Christmas/New Years. I also became a Godmomma!!! Here I am with my new godson Aaron Steven and then with my friend Letty at her cousin's wedding! :-)

Cutting Room Floor

Looks like I ended up there after watching tonight's episode of The Office. I was hoping to catch my voice - but looks like they decided not to use that scene - or they probably didn't have enough time for it. Oh well...It's not my first time - and I'm sure won't be my last!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

First Auditions of the New Year

Well, yesterday I had my first auditions for the new year. And I had two in one day! YAY!!! I like days like that! My first audition was for Skittles candy at Francine Selkirk's office (sp?) at Zydeco Studios. I was called in to play a "homeowner". It was basically someone's wife and it was a pretty funny scene. I didn't say anything - I just had to look at a leak in the ceiling. I thought it went well. They called me back today to redo my audition because the sound was bad on the tape. Today's audition went well also. I ended up having the same husband from yesterday and someone had commented that we look like a real like couple - so maybe this combination might work to get us hired! :-)
I also had an audition for a feature film called If I Had Known I Was a Genius. My dear dear good friend JC Cantu is working at Mary Vernieu's casting office and he called me in for this very funny cameo role. It's a small part but it's a funny one. I auditioned to play a woman who is shoplifting a ham under her skirt. I thought it went well. He said I was so cute - but he's my friend - so I guess he has to say that! hahah We'll see what happens...It stars Whoppi Goldberg, Pink, Tara Reid, Sharon Stone, and Della Reese. Interesting cast. I'll keep my fingers crossed...

Monday, January 09, 2006

After a Long Vacation....

I am finally home! Yay! I did miss an opportunity to audition for Scrubs. My agent called me last week to set up the appointment for Friday - but I was still in Texas. It was for a Sperm Bank Nurse. funny! Bummed because I like the show - Small role so I'm not too torn up about it. :-) Hopefully next time...
I did come home to my script for the new movie I'm doing - HOLIDAY. I haven't started reading it yet. I'm a little scared to - just in case I find out my part is near non-existent. It's ok - a part in a movie is still a part in a movie, right?
I also found out that my voice appearance on The Office is airing this Thursday - so listen carefully for me! I'm excited to check that out.
I'm still waiting my my paycheck from that shoot - plus a pretty big residual check...I hate knowing money is coming to me - but it's not here yet. makes me anxious!
By the way - Happy New Year! I hope good things are coming my way...Lord knows I'm due for some thing HUGE! hahaha