Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

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

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Focus on Commercials!





The pics go in order from my oldest commercial shot to my most recent.

ok, it's weird - but I happen to be doing everything backwards. Backwards from what the norm is, at least. Most actors come out here and start working on commercials and work hard in trying to transition into tv and film. I, on the other hand, work mainly in tv and film, and I hardly get seen for commercials. So I was thinking about that. Hmmmm...What IF I started concentrating on my commercial side of my career? Maybe - just maybe - I might not have to take another subbing job! That would be GREAT! So, I had a meeting with the commercial side of ACME, which is very strong I hear. The meeting went very well - and it sounded like he wanted to rep me, he just needed the "ok" from his boss. Yeah, well, that meeting has been well over a month and I haven't heard back. :-( Oh well. So I put in a call to my manager so we can focus on getting me repped commercially, and maybe start booking some nationals! He told me that I needed new shots that look great as a thumbnail on LA Casting. (I remember Bonnie talking about that in her article!) When I had my meeting with ACME, they didn't have a problem with my current commercial shot. At least, they didn't tell me if they did. But if they decide not to rep me, and I have to start looking for someone new, then I guess it would be a good idea to start fresh with a good strong new headshot.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Inspiration


Me and Rosa Blasi on the set of Strong Medicine. This was my very first tv job! I was SOOOO excited. Ok, let me explain the make up. So get this, I get cast as "Myrel", which wasn't ethnic specific in the script. Just a patient. I get to the make up trailer, and the make up artist takes one look at me and says "I know what I want to do with you!" - and thus, I have my first tv appearance looking like a resident from East LA. (No offense) I don't get why they see a Latina actress and think gang banger or chola.
Just means I have to change that frame of thinking!

Well, I am the creator of an inspiring quote! Can you believe that? ok, so let me explain...
A woman from Actorsite emailed me wanting to chat about the business and pick my brain over dinner one night. I agreed and we met last night. I had met her before, but only in workshops. Anyway, we had a really nice long chat - over 3 hours long - about life philosophies and the business. I told her my story and basically gave her the steps in how I did everything in my career from the start.
I always said to myself that this business was so hard for me when I first moved out, when I didn't know a single person or thing, and I wanted to be the kind of person that didn't have a problem helping other newbies out. Giving them the information that I was searching for when I first got here. I wanted to make it a little bit easier for other people. It's tough enough out here!
Well, towards the end of the conversation, I summed up my advice to her in one sentence and she copied it down on paper. And when I saw it quoted with my name attached - I thought that was pretty cool. I've never been the author of an inspiring quote.....so now I will share it with you. (Now, if you've heard it somewhere before - please don't tell me - that would just crush me! haha)

"Always ask for what you want and never offer what you don't want to give" -Lydia Blanco

The idea stems from not being afraid to go after what you want and asking for it. Sometimes people just hope for the best. Hope that things will just fall into their lap - and that's not always the case. Actually, its hardly the case. You need to ask for what you want.
And the second part, don't offer what you don't want to give - sometimes people overextend themselves to be nice, but end up kicking themselves later for it. That's silly. Be true to yourself and only give what you want to give. That way it's a true gift. Not something out of obligation...am I making sense? It made sense last night! :-) So, there, that's my inspiring quote! And I just kinda fell into saying it! Pretty funny how that works!
She also asked me about my life philosophy, and I don't think I have ever been asked that - or thought about it specifically. But apparently it has a lot to do with balance. I think balance is very important in life. I was stressing to her the importance of being focused in this career - but also being balanced, and not making this career your whole life. There are many things happening around us that we miss because of our tunnel vision sometimes. And I definately believe in appreciating your surroundings and enjoying LIFE. What good is a thriving career when you don't have much of anything else? family, friends, spirituality...etc?
And I also believe in greater reasons for the paths we choose. There's a reason why I came out here, there's a reason why I've played these roles, and there's a reason why I don't have my own sitcom yet. This is the way things are supposed to unfold. This was the life I was supposed to lead. And the people I have met, the lessons I have learned along the way, are all for a reason. I trust in God and believe that whatever is supposed to happen - will happen. Whether its what I want, or what I THINK I want, or not.
It's all about staying positive! :-) Which I try to be...no matter how hard it gets.
And no matter how many jaded, mean spirited, negative, fake, selfish people I may run into out here in LA, that doesn't mean I have to turn into one of them. Because for every one of those I meet - I recognize the many I have in my life that are the complete opposite. And that's what makes life good. :-)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Nice Start...



1st pic: "The Boys" on set.

2nd pic: Here I am with Peter Gallagher on the set of The OC.

Sorry for all the old pics of me on set, but since I don'thave a website - I'm using this blog for that! :-)
See! It's possible! I can get cast as something OTHER than the maid! I was SO very happy when I got cast as Dr. Gonzales on The OC! But my happiness was short lived when I ended up on the cutting room floor. Oh well...It happens.... But I'm looking forward to the next doctor role - or even just the next non-maid role - ah hell - even at this slow point - I'm just looking forward to the next ROLE! period. :-)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Comedy is Intense

On the set with William Shatner and guest cast on the final episode of The Practice. This was when it was transitioning to Boston Legal. (So technically - I haven't worked BL yet - they can hire me again!) :-) Meeting Shatner (and James Spader) was pretty cool - and surreal!

I took Scott Sedita's Sitcom Comedy Intensive class this past Sunday. Scott is a pretty well known acting coach in LA. He was featured on Fight For Fame (along with my agents at ACME). It was a pretty cool six hour day! I LOVE LOVE LOVE working on a sitcom! And that's my dream - to one day have MY OWN. So I figured taking this class would be very helpful. And it was. The teachers were really cool. Scott talked a lot about the things he wrote in The 8 Characters of Comedy. We mainly had to identify with one or more of those characters so we know what would be a perfect fit whenever we go out on auditions. I had no idea I would identify with "The Neurotic One". Me??!!! Neurotic? Let me over analyze that one! heehee That's mainly like a Monica from Friends. Which is cool with me - I always liked her character. And neurotic is always fun to play - along with The Bitch. :-) I got to play the bitch in class a few times too. Mainly because they are usually the smart asses who are in the service industry (think MAIDS) - like Florence from The Jeffersons. Another cool role I wouldn't mind doing! :-) or Miranda from Sex and the City. All in all it was a pretty cool class and I got a lot out of it. The only thing is - there's this pressure to sign up for their on camera comdey classes within 6 weeks. After that, if you're interested again, you'd have to retake the intensive. Wha??? Since I'm doing a lot of traveling these next couple of months, I'm not sure I want to squeeze in a 6 week sitcom class - especially during the summer. The class will end and I'll be sitting around - getting rusty - by the time fall rolls around and I get to actually practice what I've learned. I don't know.... Plus, since I am traveling, I'm not sure I want to shell out the cash. The classes are not dirt cheap you know. :-) we'll see....
It's been really slow after that soap audition on Monday. Just kinda sitting around...subbing, hiking, trying to stay busy. I'm trying to get my manager to get feedback on that General Hospital audition for me. i couldn't tell how I did - or what he thought. I'm curious....
Tomorrow I teach a cold reading class at Actorsite for the kiddos. And I will be working their event on Saturday. Should be fun... :-)

Monday, May 15, 2006

First Soap Audition EVER!

Here I am on the set of CSI. It was a pretty cool shoot. I got to do this horrific scream over and over all day long! That was fun! The woman on the left is who I find dead in the hotel room. :-)
ok, so May has been REALLY slow and I get a call for a really nice role on General Hospital. I'm pretty excited about this, because I have lived here for FIVE years and I have never been on a soap audition. The role is for "Annie" the nanny. nice! She's a "cheerful, good natured nanny with a good sense of humor". Yay!! I can definately do that! And the coolest part is she has a secret. She is hired by another woman (the baby's mom possibly?) to steal the baby, so it would be a nice recurring part.
I went in to meet Mark Teschner for the fist time. He was SO very nice. I did my audition - and it went well. I think I hit the sweet nanny part without a problem. I wasn't sure if I changed her enough in the end to play the plotting evil one. Now, I know I have it in me (heehee) - I guess I was just was a little nervous. I have never been to an audition where the casting director who was reading with me was more off book than me. In fact, he didn't even have the script in front of him - he had his whole part memorized. Kind of threw me off - made me feel a little unprepared in comparison. But all in all, I think I made a nice impression. Hopefully he will keep me in mind. That is, if I don't land this one!
now it's time to forget about it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

LA Mentality





First 2 pics are my "before" pics - at my heaviest weight. (They are publicity shots of a film Winding Up Airplanes. No. I did not get a breast reduction! ) :-)
Last 2 pics are my "after" pics - at my smallest.

I realize I beat myself up a lot regarding image. And I know it has a lot to do with living in LA and being in this entertainment industry. While I was complaining to a friend this week about how I can't seem to get back down to my smallest weight, and how I've been running, eating low carb, taking a multi vitamin, fat burners, you name it....I am still holding onto those extra pounds I gained for that play last year, Real Women Have Curves. It's hard for me to understand why that is. Since I did lose 100 pounds, I figured I knew what I needed to do to lose it. And I tried everything that has worked in the past - and it's not working! And I'm really upset - and obsessed about it, if truth be told. Whenever I "cheat" on my strict diet, I beat myself up about it and feel guilty for the rest of the week. Sometimes my thoughts are so preoccupied with what I'm doing right and wrong for my diet on a daily basis - that I don't feel I actually LIVE life. UGH! I also have the added stress of going to Hawaii June 9th. My friend told me to have a little PERSPECTIVE. I wasn't always the size I am now. I was a lot bigger before, and yet, I'm complaining that I'm not the smallest I've ever weighed. That's true. I keep a pair of my old pants in case I start complaining that my 4's don't fit anymore - I can pull those out and still see how far I've come. But I have to say, even looking at my old photos....It doesn't have the same effect as it used to. It's funny, because even though I remember every detail of how I felt when I was that size, I don't know that girl anymore. I can't even comprehend being that size again.
I initially lost the weight because I didn't want to come out to LA and only be limited to THOSE roles that they would give a person of a larger size. The butt of jokes, usually...or someone older than I really am. (I've even played a grandma in a play before! Yikes!) I wanted an opportunity for more variety in my jobs - and I feel I have gotten it. Somewhat. But I do feel healthier, and younger. And for the first time in my life, I do exercise as a leisure activity (hikes, runs, etc). I'm still considered "overweight" by Hollywood standards (because you have to be underweight to look normal on camera!).
This career does stress me out, because there is an image pressure you have. You get called in due to your image. You get seen for certain roles due to your image. You DON'T get seen for certain roles due to your image. Your image is what you're selling out here - and I guess that's the clincher. I went from ACTOR to SALESPERSON.
I just wish I could do what I love - without the stress of image, or type, or stereotype for that matter. The reason I got into this career in the first place was the love of performing. That rush I got when I was on stage. That feeling of filming a great little movie and pulling out a performance I never thought I had in me.
I came out here because of the dream to make this my profession. To get paid for it and not have to do anything else for money. Well, I am making a living at it, - but at what cost?
Sometimes I feel I have transformed myself so much to fit in this field that I've lost the real reason why I chose this path to begin with.
I have to figure out the path back to ME - without the stress of image and the pressure to "stay thin" in an industry that's obsessed with looks. Just because the industry is obsessed, doesn't mean I have to be! Right??

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Summertime SLow


Just chilling with my buddy Steve on the set of The Terminal. heehee - Actually, I finally scanned this picture, so it's making it's web debut! Steven Spielberg is such an AWESOME man! I can't say enough GREAT things about him! Very sweet! Both him and Tom were!

Since it's summer, and shows are winding down and going on hiatus, I don't have much to do nowadays. No auditions at all this week. So I decided to start teaching that kids acting class I was doing at Actorsite. Wednesdays are improv. the younger kids at 4:30 and the teens at 5:30pm. Thursdays are cold reading classes, same schedule. We started the program up again at the new location this week, and it's been pretty cool. I'm always blown away by the talent that some of these kids come in with! It's pretty humbling...keeps me on my toes!
I'm just getting ready for the Sitcom Intensive class I have on Sunday with Scott Sedita. It's 6 hours long - so I'd call that intensive! I'm really looking forward to it! :-)
And that's about it...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Just Plain Mean

I don't get people sometimes.
After I convinced myself to get out of my bed this morning, (it was very comfortable and I was quite content there!) I went for a run. I was running 4 miles this morning - and I was on my last mile. I tripped on some bump in the track and I went tumbling down. I scraped up both my palms of my hands and my knees. My right knee just a scrape, but my left knee looks pretty bad. great. But THAT'S not even the worst of it. There was a man running not too far behind me. When I fell, I just assumed, while I was on the ground, that this stranger would help me up. I looked up from the ground and saw the man continue running past me. Not only did he NOT help me off the ground, he didn't even ask if I was ok! I think that hurt me more than the fall!
I was dumbfounded, disgusted, and disappointed. I didn't understand how a person can see another human being in need, and not care enough to lend a helping hand. Just boggles my mind.
I'm sorry, but I can't help think that if this fall happened in Texas, where most are pretty friendly, I not only would've been helped up, I probably would've had my breakfast taken care of also! Oh well....
I Do plan on running again tomorrow morning (if my pain goes down), and I'll keep my eye out for that guy! I, at least, know what the back of his head looks like!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Still Not Used to It.....


Here I am - VERY HAPPY - my first day of shooting on The Terminal...This was captured off of Showtime today.

I doubt it will ever get old. Turning on the tv and catching myself on there. It happened not too long ago with Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO. And today I happened to be home, a little bored and flipping through channels. And about 5 minutes into watching The Terminal - my scene comes out. Crazy. I have to admit - I can't keep from smiling when that happens. It's so surreal. I never would've imagined MY FACE would be a regular occurance on my television - but it's been nice lately.
So I'm a cheeseball - I had to take a pic of my tv when I saw myself. I know, I know - bordering on really sad huh? haha!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Downtime


I love me some Vince Vaughn. No reason to have his picture - other than it's REALLY nice to look at! :-)

Well, I haven't posted in a while - mainly because there hasn't been much to post. But since my blog is about my ENTIRE journey in this business - I should post about the DOWNTIME too. And there's plenty of it! We are now entering the SLOW part of the entertainment season. Boo!
The only auditions that are happening are for feature films (nice!) and some cable tv shows. Not very many. And of course, some commercials, but I rarely go out for those anyway! The past few auditions I've been on have been feature films, so hopefully that will lead to a job this summer. If not, this is usually when I try to squeeze in a play.
Last year I did TWO - and I usually try and do one. So who knows if I will do one this year afterall. Last year's plays were awesome! I did Real Women Have Curves in Santa Barbara and Conversations 'Bout the Girls in LA. I would love to get involved in another play - but I'd like it to be an awesome script, with an even beter cast and company. Tough to come by.
I wouldn't even mind doing a production out of town, like AUSTIN, or something - but since I plan to do a lot of traveling this summer - that may be impossible. This month, I have a friend coming in from Texas so I'll be taking road trips to Vegas, Santa Barbara, and San Diego, hopefully. Perfect timing for my birthday (May 27th) ;-) I'm heading to Hawaii in June for a wedding, Texas in July for a family reunion, and then off to Italy (hopefully) in September! I'm sure I'll be broke before you know it - but I'll definately have lots of pictures to show for it!
I'm passing the days by subbing, since it's pretty slow on the audition front. I subbed a special ed class today and had a blast! I fell in love with a 10 year old boy named Maxwell. He was the sweetest kid - full of so much love. And he was so afraid of balloons popping! He was adorable. It was the perfect way to end a long hard week! :-)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Well, It's Been an Interesting Couple of Days...


I was not looking for a new agent - at all. I'm pretty happy where I am. I'm going out on auditions - even though it's pretty slow. We would all love MORE - but I can't complain too much right now. I got an "offer" from another agency to come on board. I thought that was nice. I figured it was nice to have options, in case I am ever "not happy" where I am - I know where I can go. But then, that's where it got interesting...
After I got the call that they were interested, I then received a "deadline" of 48 hours to make a decision. hmm..interesting. I figured, if you were interested - you were INTERESTED. I didn't think there would be a "deadline" on the "interest". Especially since I wasn't formally in the market to find a new agent. Then I received a call, retracting the offer since I was "hesitant and indecisive" about coming over. ummm....ok. Again, I was never LOOKING for a new agent - and YOU came to me, so I was a little confused.
But needless to say, you never stop learning in this business. Not exactly sure what just happened - but I do know it's all over with, and I'm not going anywhere. Which is good, since I wasn't looking anyway!! :-)