Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

PASS

So for the first time EVER in my career, I passed on an audition. Can you believe it?
Last week, my manager called with this small 2 line role for a sitcom. The part was described as a "Rosie Perez Puetro Rican type" and the lines were all in Spanish. I checked out the scene and thought that this would be the perfect time to pass. It was a co-star audition, and since I am focusing more on larger guest star roles and hopefully, eventually, series regular roles, I didn't think that I NEEDED to jump at this opportunity. Plus, I figured I wasn't a shoe in for the Rosie Perez type and I'm sure that there will be others auditioning that better fit that description, and who spoke better Spanish than I.
So I passed on the audition. I felt good about that, and nervous too. Especially since I had never been in for this office before...I didn't want to hurt my chances with them. But I'm trying to stay positive and think of it as steering their vision of me as a co-star actor to a guest star actor! :) Maybe they will keep me in mind for larger roles in the future. Hopefully.
I have lots going on in my career that doesn't necessarily have to do with big auditions. I am auditing two classes in the next week or so. I'm checking out Ivanna Chubbuck's Master Class and Howard Fine's Master Class. I need to get into a good class where I get to stretch my acting muscles more often. Those one and two line parts are just not cutting it! :) I know class can get pretty expensive, so I hope I'm able to do it!
Also this week I plan to send out all my packages to my top 26 agencies. I know I was pretty ambitious when getting this list together, but I'm hoping and praying for a miracle! You can't get the best unless you ask for it, right?
What was that great quote I came up with??
Oh yeah,

"ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT; AND DON'T OFFER WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO GIVE".

So I'm asking for a new and amazing agent!! :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Taking "Notes"





On the set of Notes From the Underbelly.
1st pic: Me, Lorena, and Joanna, 2nd pic: 'In action' as Maria the hostess! 3rd pic: my call sheet, 4th pic: a fake pregnant Lorena taking a smoking break, 5th pic: Me and the director Lev :)

I shot Notes From the Underbelly on Thursday and had a great time. Everyone was so nice. I recognized a few people on the crew! There was this lighting guy I worked with on The Terminal a couple of years back and a stand in named Sonni who I took Scott Sedita's comedy intensive class with. I worked a very long day - which means lots of overtime! YAY!!! I'm very happy about that! I talked a lot with the background...there were lots for this scene! And I walked away from the set ready to totally change my career! I'm ready to take it to the next level. I was wondering why I had been so frustrated lately and it's because I feel stuck in the co-star world. I remember when I first moved to town, I felt 'stuck' in the background world and I did something about it. I made a change. So I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize I just need to make a change again! I've accepted the fact that for this change to happen, that means I need a top agent. And for me to land a top agent I need to look like I'm not a ptofessional co-star actor. So I decided to give my resume a make over and try to focus on the roles that were not co-star and the films that were not little unknown films, and hope that it gets me somewhere. Me focusing on guest star and series regular roles may mean I work a whole lot less (or means I just can't put it on my resume anymore) - but that is part of change, right? I need to be able to take the good with the bad. You can't take it to the next level with one foot still on the first level, can you? Nope. You can't. I realized that the actors who are doing guest star and series regular stuff are in a whole different world than where I am. They are not taking workshops and dropping off headshots. They don't need to. They have these top agencts that get them through that door.
So step one - LAND A TOP AGENT.
Hmm...easier said than done.
I'll let you know how my progress unfolds... :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lesson Learned

I got a phone call this morning at 10am from my manager saying I have a last minute audition for a guest star, possible recurring, role on Corey in the House. And it was straight to producers at 1pm! I was in the middle of teaching a fifth grade class and I was so stressed out - because that's exactly the kind of role I want - GUEST STAR RECURRING!!!!!! (That's just under my top choice of "series regular"!) ;) So I had no choice. I HAD to make that audition....so I told the offfice I wasn't feeling well (I know, I know - I feel so bad about that!) and I rushed over to my manager's office to pick up my sides and rushed over to the audition. I was told they were going from 1pm until 1:30pm - and I got there at 1:30pm. I thought I missed it - but luckily they were still there, waiting for anyone who may arrive late (like me!).
The audition went well, that's GREAT considering I only had the script from the drive from my manager's office to the audition! The only thing I regret is not being dressed for the part. The role is the First Lady of the United States and I wore what I was wearing to teach - jeans and tennies. :( My sweater was nice enough, but it wasn't a suit - like what the other actresses were wearing! I'm hoping they can see past my wardrobe and know that I can totally do this part! This character was so funny! She thinks she can sing and she writes this song for her husband and sings it for him. And she sings horribly out of tune - which was something I had no difficulty doing! I thought I played her cute and likeable, so we'll see what happens.
Maria Costa was there again for this role. But I wasn't so intimidated by her this time. Maybe it's because I KNOW I could do this role.... :)
But the HUGE lesson I learned in all of this is: Be prepared - even for last minute auditions! I should've had a bag in my trunk with slacks or a skirt and heels. A bag full of clothes will come in handy when I have to rush off to something like this! Now I know...for next time!
But I hope to book this one! :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Table Read

Well, somehow it all worked out. I was able to leave school early and they had someone cover my class. I felt pretty guilty about it though. (Maybe it's the Catholic in me!) I just felt bad - selfish actually - about leaving the kids who I was supposed to be teaching that day so I can be at a table read - which I don't get paid for. By the way, I never knew that: we get "invited" to the table reads...it's not mandatory. Even though if we don't make it to the read, we could get fired and replaced. But if they make it "mandatory" - then they'd have to pay us. Hmmm...showing up or losing your job sounds pretty mandatory to me!
I walk into the room with a long table set out with name cards of everyone in the cast and the role they are playing. The director, producers and writers are also at our table with name cards - and the executives are sitting around the table like an audience. Talk about pressure! The ABC executives, the casting people who hired me, and the series regulars who get to do this job every week are all around and we sit down and get ready to read this week's episode out loud. I just kept thinking to myself - YES! I could totally do this every week. I NEED to do this! I want a show SO BAD! (But I know all things come in time.) :) SO we begin to read and the script is pretty funny in parts. I was kinda surprised that the actors were delivering the material as if they were in a 3 camera sitcom with an audience, not a single camera comedy (like Curb or Arrested Develoment). I know that might not make sense to some people, but there really is a difference in the acting.
By the time we got to the restaurant scene, I noticed they damn near cut my entire part out except for one generic line. I say generic because in my audition my character got to have some attitude about making the people wait for a table and this time around I say something generic like "There are several people ahead of you". And that's it. I had about 3 full lines before and now it's just this one.
But that's ok. Work is work is work, right?
I was talking to my manager about taking this role yesterday and WITH the three lines it seemed like a step back since I'm trying to concentrate on more guest star and series regular roles. But I decided to go ahead and take it because...One....its WORK and I'd rather be doing this than anything else, and Two, the more comedy on my resume the better.
I just have to be amazing when we shoot so that they decide to somehow incorporate the hostess from the restaurant into the storylines in the future! heehee

The cast of the new show Notes From the Underbelly. I'll let you know when my episode airs! :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

BOOKED AGAIN!!!!!!!

Ok, so let's start off with the news of the day...I booked Notes From the Underbelly!! YAY!!!!! I'm playing this bitch of a hostess on a power trip. Fun! :) I believe it's a single camera 1/2 hour comedy (Like Curb) for ABC. I went into my producer's ession today and was excited to see some familiar faces. I saw Tina D'Marco who played my mother in Real Women Have Curves last year in Santa Barbara. She was up for my same role. I also saw Lorena Mena, who was up for the role of a very pregnant waitress (which I just found out she booked!! YAY Lorena!!! I finally get to work with her again!!!) I went in and did my thing, and felt pretty good about it. Doesn't hurt to feel good when the producers are laughing after your scene - especially if it's a comedy! ;)
I left and headed home to change for my last minute audition at 5pm. It was for a Cingular Wireless national commercial. The only information I got was that they were looking for average people shopping in a grocery store. Ok, I can do that....So I waited an hour by the time I got seen. I walked in, I smiled and slated my name, then the guy told me what he wanted me to do. He said, "It's just average boring shopping...nothing special. Then the music will change and you will break out dancing like crazy. Just let loose." Ummmm.........ok.....I had NO idea that's what I was doing - BUT since I happen to feel comfortable with improv and I can be somewhat of a comical actress ;) - I just let loose. Man, did I go to town on that song! It happened to be Gwen Stefani's Holla Back Girl, and I got a pretty good work out dancing all over the place. I left there, with this huge smile on my face. I have to admit, it felt good to just randomly dance like crazy. I wasn't expecting to do that today! :)
Then, on the ride back, I got a call from my manager saying I booked the show Notes From the Underbelly! They are not paying me my usual rate, but that's ok, since they will give me a "no quote" (which means they will not reveal my amount for future casting offices wanting to check.) I decided to go ahead and take the job, even though it was less money, mainly because I wanted more comedy on my resume - and even better that it's single camera comedy! The table read is tomorrow at 2pm.
And there is my dilemna for the day! I am subbing a fifth grade class tomorrow until 2:30pm and I couldn't get a hold of the main office to cancel and let them know I have to be somewhere at 2pm. Soooooo, that means I have to show up to the school pretty early and tell them I have to leave an hour early. They can either call in another sub for the whole day and I'll stay there until that person gets there....OR they can find someone to cover my class the last hour of the day.
Man, I thought subbing would be pretty flexible for my acting career - but I feel so bad when these things happen! If only I can JUST ACT and not have to worry about juggling another job.... Hmm.....Just act....what an concept! And there are people who get to do that? AWESOME!!!!! :)
The show shoots sometime next week - and of course I'm scheduled to sub all of next week - so as soon as I get a shoot day - then I will have to call and cancel my subbing job for that day. Ugh....
But these are all good problems to have! That means I'm getting pretty busy! :)
Maybe I can JUST ACT after all....SOON.....

Monday, October 09, 2006

Another "Actor" Day!!

Had another print audition today. I had to dress as if going to the beach, in shorts and a t-shirt, even though the weather in LA was cloudy and kinda cool... Right after my audition I headed over to SONY studios for my ADR appointment for The Holiday. I had to loop my voice to a scene I'm in. They played it back for me and I look like a big blur...They assured me I'm more visible in other scenes. I hope they're right! :)
I stopped by Debra Zane's office afterwards to drop off one of my new headshots, but they weren't there. I'll have to try back again soon. Then I headed home to change for my last minute audition for Notes From the Underbelly at Tracy Lilienfield's office. I haven't seen Tracy in quite a while. She cast me in Good Morning Miami a while back (4 years to be exact - wow) It was nice to be in front of her again. She called me in for a pre read for the role of Maria, a "comically dry" hostess. I thought it went pretty well. I guess she thought so too; she asked me back for tomorrow to meet the producers at 2:30pm. Yea!!!
Let's all hope for another booking - it's been a slow year for me - I need some catching up! :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Print Print and More Print!

So, It's no secret that I go out theatrically WAY more than I do commercially - which is part of the reason why I got my new headshots done! :) But I haven't even put them on LA Casting yet and I had two print "auditions" this week and one for Monday.
Print is an interesting thing since there is no union jurisdiction over it and the pay can range from $600 for your pic to $3500! And sometimes for stock print - you never know where your image will end up! I'm slowly sending out postcards announcing my booking for What About Brian - trying to make it stretch as far as I can, because you never know when that next job is coming!
I LOVE that I am still "working" on The Holiday, almost a year after I booked it! :) I go in on Monday for looping - so that should be fun! :) Maybe then I can ask the director about my chances for an invite to the premiere!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What About Brian



1st pic: On set with Amander Detmer, Allison Anders, and Rosanna Arquette. 2nd pic: My "cast chair". I can't wait until the day where I have my name actually printed on one of these as a series regular! :)
I had a great time shooting What About Brian, and hopefully will be back for future episodes as Maria, the nanny!

What a GREAT Day!

I love days where I get to work as an actor. Those are probably the best days EVER! My call time wasn't until 3pm - so I had time to hit the gym. Thank God! After all the food I ate on set - I'm happy I at least hit the gym!
Starting a new acting job is a lot like being the new kid in school. Everyone there already knows each other. I'm always a bit shy when coming to the set. I try and get a feel for the people, the vibe of the show, to see just how much of my outgoing personality to bring out. :) I stayed pretty quiet for most of the day - but I figured if I stayed this quiet until I wrapped, I wouldn't make much of an impression, nor would I be able to nab a great photo for my blog! Soooooo.....
I was sitting next to Allison Anders, as I overheard her talking on her cell phone about wanting to write and direct another movie. When she hung up, I half-heartedly joked around about making "Mi Vida Loca - The sequel", which grew into a conversation about the making of that film. Allison really is something else! She is an amazingly sweet and open person! We sat and talked for quite a while about the possibility of the sequel actually happening! Then she thanked me for being an inspiration and asked for my "information". I ended up giving her my business card when I wrapped and she gave me a great big hug and kiss on the cheek. It was probably the most awesome connection I have ever made with a director on set! And I would love being part of the "where are they now?" sequel to that movie made 13 years ago! Wouldn't that be crazy? MI Vida Loca.....
I also had the opportunity to talk to Amanda Detmer, the actress whose nanny I play. She was telling me about her experience with the making of the film Saving Silverman. Amanda is a very petite actress. She's about 5'2" or 5'3" and she was saying that she used to weigh 115 when she started that film, but the studio said she looked overweight and out of shape and she needed to lose weight. She hired a personal trainer and dropped 15 pounds. I can't imagine 115 pounds looking or being "overweight"! That is just SO absurd to me!
All in all it was a pretty amazing night! And I heard the BEST words a 1st AD can tell to an actor: "See you next time!"
Hopefully that means I'm in an upcoming epsiode. A nanny is basically part of the family, right? And if I'm part of the family - then I would probably be there A LOT, right? And if I'm there a lot, they should just make me a series regular, RIGHT? And if I do a great job as a series regular, then I could get a SPIN-OFF!.....RIGHT???........ :)
DREAM BIG!