Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

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

Friday, June 30, 2006

An Almost Crisis

I went to 'Conversations with Burt Reynolds' at SAG last night. He is very entertaining to watch! His delivery is so funny - and he's a great storyteller! I can't believe he's been a working actor for 50 years! His good friend Dom DeLouise was there as well for moral support. they are both a riot!

Well, I had somewhat of a crisis today.

It's been slow in every area of my life it seems. NO auditions since almost everything is on hiatus, and not a lot of subbing work since many schools are on summer break. I just set out a bunch of flyers to year round schools so I can get some work this summer. Just as the calls started to roll in to 'book' me for next week, I ran into computer problems with LAUSD when they tried to enter in my employee number. As it turns out, I renewed my credential for the fall - but I missed the deadline to renew for the summer! Apparently there are two separate processes which makes no sense to me. So that means I'm not eligible to sub again until Septmeber 5th!

So what in the world do I do for money until then??? I have never run into this problem in the 5 years I've been doing this! I quickly went into panic mode. Would I have to get a 'real' job? If so, what job will hire me for a couple of weeks then let me off for my week and a half vacation to Texas and a week of working on the industrial when I get back? This is crazy! I figured my only hope was temp agencies - no matter how little they pay! The only problem with that is - I won't get an interview until maybe the end of next week since it's the 4th of July holiday - so that means I won't work until maybe the week after that! I need cash coming in ASAP.

But just as quickly as my panic overtook me, it quickly got settled. I met someone who works for this temp agency and told me to give them a call. They place people in property management, which is what I did - and LOVED - in Texas (it just doesn't pay great). I leased apartments for a few years and happened to be very good at it, so my confidence level is pretty high with my ability in that field. I guess the guy I talked to sensed I was pretty confident and skilled in this field and quickly faxed over the W-2 and other forms after a small conversation. I start working tomorrow! Isn't that amazing?? I officially meet him in person on Monday - but he hired me solely on my personality and confidence (and the faith that the experience I said I had was true).

That says a lot, doesn't it? I should have that kind of self assurance in EVERYTHING I do! :-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I got the call that I booked that industrial that I got through my Austin agent. I shoot the week that I get back from Texas. It's very cool how it all worked out that way! I'm very happy! This summer has been pretty slow - and I was hoping to book another film - but I'll take this with a smile! :-)

You know, sometimes I need to be reminded of how lucky I am. I don't think people outside of this industry fully understand just how competitive it is out here! I need to remember that when I'm so hard on myself for not booking everything that I go out for. I was just discussing this with a fellow actor the other day. I was saying to him how difficult it is when family members or friends back home ask me when the "next movie will be" or when will I "get my own show". As if it's that simple.
It's funny because I remember when I first moved to LA and I started doing background work, my parents were so excited just to see my elbow or head peeking out behind someone else's. And my big brother would say "That's great - but when will you have lines?". Then I started booking little one liners on tv shows, and my brother would say "That's great - but when will the story be about you?". Then I started booking those shows where the storyline revolved around my character and my brother would say "that's great, but I want to see you on the big screen." Then I'd book a big studio feature where my brother can see me on the big screen, and he would say "Hey, when are you going to get your own show?" ARGH!!!!!! haha
It's great because it does keep me striving - but it's not like I'm NOT trying for all of these things! LOL
I wonder if people truly know just what it takes to get an audition, much less actually book the job! I interned at a casting office the beginning of last year, and let me tell you - that was an eye opening experience. So much so, that it made me rethink whether or not I still wanted to be "in the game". I just answered phones and opened mail in this office, but I saw just how many pictures were sent in on a single role. It was pilot season, and when they were casting for a particular role, hundreds of pictures flooded in - from everywhere! People with big agencies, people with little agencies, people with NO agencies, people with managers, people in Iowa! Anyone and everyone sent in a picture and the casting director would sift through these pictures and decide who they were actually going to see. And they can't see them all - not even close. So that right there made me feel very special for every single audition that I got called in for. Mainly because I knew that they had to sift through a huge stack of pics and decided they wanted to see ME for that role. That in itself was a HUGE accomplishment!
Now, after an actor gets the call, they have to be incredibly good and right for the role (or an interesting choice) to get the callback because the casting director will only bring back a handful to meet the producers. So just getting the callback is a HUGE win because the casting director believes you can do this role. And now it's just a taste game - does the director/producer/writer like what you do with the character? Do they want to work with you?
So after winning by getting the audition, and winning by getting the callback - then why do I beat myself up when I don't WIN the role? All of us actors do. It's hard to get that close to a booking and not book. It's frustrating because we know we're good and can do the part - yet they don't give us the role, and paycheck!
It's very very very competitive out here. There are so many actors who are beautiful and talented out here who want the same exact thing that I do.
So, for those of you who want to know when my next movie will be - aside from The Holiday which opens this Christmas ;-) , or for those of you who want to know when will I get my own show, please just know that I am working on it. Very hard.
And so are THOUSANDS of others out here.
It's crazy that I chose this business - but I love what I do. And I take the good with the bad and hope for better days.
Hopefully I'll be able to post that I have my own show in no time. Hopefully. :-)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?

You're" Brigitte Bardot!
Take this quiz!">quiz!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Pics of my and my daddy. He's always been there holding my hand and by my side. I love you!

My father is an amazing man. He really is. Just ask anyone who has ever met him. He has such a HUGE heart and he cares about people. All people. He has a joyful spirit and is always laughing or smiling. I can't even express what this man means to me.

I remember a time when I was a teenager and I was in this very awkward stage where it bothered me to have my dad's arm around me. I remember when we had to pose for family pictures and he would put his arm around me, I would shrug it off in embarrassment or disgust. I never understood why I even felt that way as a teen but it hurts my heart to even remember it now. I never said I love you to him at that stage in my life. But now, I tell him every time I hear his voice, and I hug him whenever I see him.

I guess the thought of ever having to lose him or my mom scares me so much because they both have been there for me in ways I could'nt even imagine or begin to thank them for. Even at that ugly stage in my life where I was a complete fool. I really do thank God for both of them because I see it as a blessing that I got lucky enough to have these people as my parents and able to share my life with them. Everything I do, I do for them. Any success I have is directly due to them and their support.

Happy Father's Day daddy, and Yes, I will always be your little girl! :-)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Nailed the Callback

I went to my callback yesterday for the industrial. It went AWESOME!!!! I walked in and everyone seemed very friendly. I did the scene as one character and then was asked to try the other role. The client went on to tell me he wanted me to relax and move around in my chair - have fun with it. So I went for it and while I was performing I could see him lean over and whisper to the man next to him - while nodding his head up and down and smiling. So I knew he liked whatever I did. He seemed very pleased with my work and complimented my name. (I wonder if he questioned it being my real name....? It doesn't sound like a stage name, right?) Then he quickly said that he will be letting agents know by next week.
There are 2 spots that they are shooting, one of them being the week I'm flying to Texas (the end of July) and the other is shooting the week that I fly back (beginning of August) . So, if I get it, and I feel REALLY good about it, I would hopefully shoot the day after I arrive back. That would be nice! :-) But I let them know my conflicts ahead of time.
Can you believe I'm already planning another vacation??? I don't think I've EVER taken this much time off! Crazy! Thank you Sony and Nancy Myers for having me in The Holiday - and making it possible for me to work less this year! Nice! I'll be back to being broke in no time!
Unless, of course, I book another job! :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pics from Hawaii

Ok, so I don't know why I couldn't post these on the previous post. It just didn't let me. But, here are a few pics from my vacation to Oahu. I took the majority of these pics (excluding the ones with me in them!) and I'm not a great photographer by any means - it just looked this beautiful! It was paradise. Absolute paradise. I'm already thinking of a trip to Maui next summer! :-)
The sunsets were just breathtaking. I could post every single one of those that I took - but it would take up the whole page! The helicopter ride was amazing! We saw the entire island! It was definately my best vacation ever!
I am well rested - and very happy. and I needed that. bad!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


In more ways than one! I am back from my much too short vacation to Oahu. I've already decided on a trip next summer to Maui. The Hawaiian islands are just so amazingly beautiful. I was watching a postcard with every sunset. The air was clear, the weather was perfect, the water was tourquiose and clear. It was all so beautiful. It did make me appreciate living in LA more too. It's crazy that I live so close to the beach and I don't go out there nearly as much as I can - or should.
I'm also BACK in the way of my career as well. I had two auditions and they both felt great! Maybe that vacation did wonders for me! I went on my first audition at 11:20am for a feature film called Reservations. It was the role of Marlene, a cuban hotel housekeeper who mainly speaks Spanish with some broken English as well. I did it the first time and thought I did well - extremely well - considering most of my lines were in Spanish and I don't speak it fluently! I'm just happy they couldn't tell that from my audition! He gave me an adjustment and I thought I took that well also. he said callbacks would be next Tuesday and I would hear something maybe this week if I'm called back. So we'll see. I left there feeling really good about the work I did in there. And that's all that matters! :-)
My second audition was for an industrial that was set up by my Austin agent, BLVD Talent. The casting director is Donise Hardy, an Austin CD who was holding sessions in LA this week. She requested to see me specifically for this industrial - so that was very cool. An industrial (for you non-industry folk) is usually those videos a company shows their employees regarding different matters like company policies or concerns. This industrial was for a bank and the scene was with 2 bank collegues who disagreed on what customer service is. I did it the first time and the producer asked me to be more nurturing in my delivery. I had approached my bank employee as somewhat of a hard ass. So in my second take, I made her a lot softer. I didn't get through my first line when the producer stopped me and said he'll see me back on Friday for the callbacks. Nice! I guess I gave him what he wanted in that first sentence.
Feels good to feel like I nailed those auditions - whether I end up booking them or not. Maybe a vacation on the coast of somewhere beautiful is all I needed to get my spirit lifted and my old self back! :-)

Friday, June 09, 2006

On Vacation....AGAIN!

ok, tomorrow I am off to Hawaii (!!!) for a much needed rest and relaxation session....and oh yeah, to see my friend Tonya get married. ;-) I had never been to the big island so I'm excited! I'll be in Waikiki for just 5 days - but I'll enjoy every second of it! You have no idea just how much I need this. No, really.
Hopefully I'll come back energized and ready to go! I have an audition scheduled for Tuesday for a feature film called Reservations. I think my agent and manager are trying to get me seen on Wednesday instead since I don't come back until Tuesday night.
But I'll make sure I'm ready!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Should've Been a Great Day

ok, I had TWO auditions today. It's been so dead that when I get TWO auditions in one day - that's freakin' amazing! But what I'm pissed about is, today should've been a great day. And it wasn't.
ok, let me explain....I headed over to my first audition for the day. It was for the Eddie Murphy feature Norbit. The role was a very fun beautician with lots of attitute. I felt good going in. I chatted outside with some other actors waiting to go in, and it got me in the comedic mood. I felt great. I went in and did an ok job. Just an ok job.
Then I had my second audition for a new 1/2 hour comedy called The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman. The role calls for an actor with great comedic skills. I read for an immigrant's wife named Leticia. Most of the dialogue was in spanish - or with a thick accent. It's a very funny scene where I start off sweet - then my husband's fingertip gets cut off and I'm in this frantic mode - and quite pissed at the lady who caused it. That audition went ok as well. Again...just ok.
And I guess that's what pisses me off.
There was a time when I used to go in to these auditions and just KILL. I don't want to sound conceited, but I remember when I had a great audition, and I would walk out KNOWING the part was mine. I had such confidence in my skill - but lately, it seems like I haven't KILLED in a long time. And it just makes me mad at myself. I don't get it.
I'm trying not to sound negative, especially since I get emails from people thanking me for staying so positive. So, somehow I will try and turn this into a positive post.
But first, I have to vent.
It makes me want to throw in the towel. I know that sounds harsh and extreme - and I'm probably talking out of anger right now anyway - but I left that last audition with the attitute of "I give up". Mainly because the only thing I ever wanted in this career was to be good. No, to be great actually. I wanted people to remember me for my talent. And respect me for it. It wasn't the fame that drew me to this career - it was the hope of someday becoming one of the greats - to the point where people really respected my work. (That's why I love actors like Don Cheadle and Philip Seymor Hoffman - they are "actor's actors") But it feels like somehow I turned into a mediocre actor - and I don't want to be that. Why on earth would I continue doing this if I don't think I'm great? There are too many actors in this town who aren't great and do get work. I don't want to be one of them.
I miss when I had the confidence in my talent where I could walk in and own a part. And walk out knowing it was mine. And for some reason, lately, I've just been ok. And ok doesn't get the part. Or shouldn't - in my opinion. I don't want to be JUST ok. I refuse to be. Granted I have A LOT going on in my life right now that can stand to be an excuse for not being on the top of my game. But, I'm not one to make excuses. (haha - at least I hope I'm not!)
ok, so where do I go from here? Let's try the positive spin now. There are two directions I can go with this. I can be negative and give up on myself and this career. Move away from LA and do Lord knows what. OR, I could try and figure out what's going on with me at this moment and how can I change it back to where I'm ME again - in all my glory. :-)
Possible solutions to this "mediocre" feeling I have is maybe be more prepared before my audition. I didn't get that 2nd audition until last night, and I looked it over - but I probably could've worked on it some more. Maybe not get into friendly discussions right before I go into the audition room. Maybe that's just it - I know what I'm supposed to do - I'm just slacking. Maybe the reason I've been off my game is I've been out of practice. It's been slow lately and I haven't had a lot of auditions, so maybe I'm "rusty". Maybe I need to do a play to keep me stretching my acting muscles. Maybe I need to get into class - or take advantage of the member's classes at Actorsite.
So when I look at the two directions I could go: negative or positive....well, it now just sounds silly to just throw in the towel and say I give up, doesn't it? Especially since there are so many things I could do to improve my situation.
I feel better now. Thank you. I still feel crappy about not killing in those two auditions today - but maybe I'm being too hard on myself. And one bad audition (or two) - or one bad performance does not mean I'm talentless, right?
The name of the game is perserverence. Bottom line. And you can't get better, or become one of the best, if you give up. I guess that's the lesson learned. :-)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Letting Life Happen

Production still from the feature film The Holiday due out in theaters this Christmas! :-)

It's funny how if you just let life happen, things will fall in your path which you never expected.

That seems to be the theme of my new film The Holiday - and of my life. The people I have met and come across on my journey in this town and industry have been an interesting lot - but they have all brought something special and significant to my learning experience. It never fails. And it always seems to happen when you least expect it. Everyone has a different story. A different history. And different past. But sometimes we are all in the same boat when it comes to passion or dreams.

I finally have another audition. It's been SO dead for me lately! But then again, it's been dead for everyone I suppose! I am auditioning for an Eddie Murphy feature film on Tuesday called Norbit. It looks like a fun scene so I'm looking forward to it. The role is a beautician and the scene will be ad-libbed. Wish me luck!

In other cool news....I saw the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston flick The Break Up this evening. Nice movie - BUT in the previews...I saw The Holiday! That's the film I just wrapped which will be out this Christmas! I was so excited to see the trailer! It looks AWESOME!!! YAY!!!! That definately lifted my spirits! :-) (click the link to view the trailer)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

On Vacation...

My week in pictures! 1st pic: Me in Santa Barbara, 2nd: Dan performing in his show, 3rd: Me and Haneefah after her show, 4th: dancing with Pluto! :-)

I feel like I've been on vacation for a week! Oh wait - I have! I had a friend in town from Texas and we had a lot to do and see! My birthday was this past Saturday and I spent it in Las Vegas, watching my friend Haneefah in Avenue Q. She is nothing short of AMAZING! I love her! She's a great talented performer! :-) Before heading to Vegas though, we spent a day in Santa Barbara (always nice!), and saw my friend Dan of The Dan Band perform at the Avalon in Hollywood. He was very awesome in hooking me up with free tickets and a nice VIP table/box booth. The show was incredible as always! We spent memorial day at the beach...both Venice and Santa Monica. I got a bit of a sunburn but the weather was perfect! (ok, maybe a tad too hot around noon). Then, we ended the vacation with a 10 hour trip to Disneyland and California Adventure (thanks to MORE free tickets from my buddy Jen! Thanks!!!) That was a GREAT time!
So, now I'm back just for a few days before I head out to Hawaii next weekend for my friend's wedding. I'm sure I'll have to work some days this summer - just doesn't feel like it's anytime soon!
I also have to plan a trip back to Texas in July since I haven't seen my family since Christmas! Feels like I'm on vacation more than I'm working. That's not good! Well, I guess it depends on who you ask!