Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

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

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Nicest Guy in Hollywood

with Lev, AKA The Nicest Guy!
I never know just who stumbles upon my blog… I have had strangers contact me because they know someone I mentioned and want to get a hold of them, or just to say hi for them, I’ve had casting directors email me just to let me know they still remember me - and now, lately, I can add “TV Directors” to that list! I got an email last night from Lev L Spiro - the director from my Notes From the Underbelly episode AND the one that was in the Ugly Betty audition room when I made a huge dork of myself!
He “stumbled” upon my blog and read my account of that audition and how awkward I felt afterwards! He actually APOLOGIZED to me for not hearing me and making me feel awkward. Can you believe that? Even though I’m the one that created the awkward situation by saying anything at all! Nice guy! And it so happens that he did remember me from Notes, and was just lost in thought and didn’t hear me address him.
I was really touched by the fact that he even emailed me and went out of his way to make me feel better about that situation! Now, if only I booked Ugly Betty - then I would feel a WHOLE lot better about that audition! ;) haha Oh well - Next Time! :)
I worked on Medium this evening. I had a late call time (5:30pm) and I was wrapped by 10:30pm. And can you believe I forgot to take my camera??? :( I never forget to take my camera! But I had a great time tonight. Everyone was so nice and the director, Aaron Lipstadt, was awesome! Very cool guy! And props gave me my hotel housekeeping name tag and I’ll give you one guess what my name was…….yup - big surprise: MARIA! Hahah I could’ve been a “Cindy” or a “Lisa”, something less stereotypical. One day they will get there….right? I have to have hope!
Everyone was so nice, I want to go back next week and work again! Someday I will get a job that’s NOT just one day - or even one week - but a job where I get to show up every day and act…now that would be just perfect!
I forgot to mention I am doing a play. It’s called My Visits with MGM (My Grandmother Marta), and it’s the same play I did 8 years ago in Austin. I’m playing a different role this time, but I LOVE the play! It’s written by Edit Villarreal, who is the dean of the master’s writing program at UCLA. One of the MFA grad students is directing it for her grade so she got to hire professional actors for this one night performance (May 29th). We started rehearsals this week and things have been moving along nicely, with the exception of replacing the LEAD just yesterday! She had cast a student in the title role, who didn’t have any acting experience whatsoever. And the student was overloaded with school, her internship, planning a wedding, and caring for her 1 yr old. I can’t imagine having all of that on my plate, and trying to memorize lines for the first time! Yikes! So the director went ahead and hired another professional actor to fill that spot. I haven’t met her yet since I was shooting tonight - but I’ll meet her tomorrow.
I went on a hike this morning and ran into Michael Chiklis from The Shield. He was walking his beautiful dog. We stopped and chatted a bit and I reminded him that we worked together on an episode of The Shield. He acted like he remembered me, not sure if that was true though! Very nice guy....maybe the SECOND nicest in this town! ;)
Tomorrow I begin teaching the kids acting classes with my friend Lorena’s company. Should be fun - I’m looking forward to it! I have rehearsal in the afternoon and I’m seeing a friend’s play in the evening. Busy day! :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Catching Up with a BOOKING!

Dan Finnerty performing at the Avalon with his group The Dan Band

I feel bad that I haven't written in this blog for a while. Sorry everyone! I've just been really busy lately with people coming in from out of town every week this month!
Let me catch you up...
Last week I had an audition for NCIS. It was another maid role. Needless to say, I didn't book it.
I had a commercial audition for Blanca Valdez Casting. She's known for casting commercials for the Spanish market. I had a callback for that yesterday. It went well...except they had this weird thing that they wanted to see everyone's hands and feet - and the product and/or commercial had nothing to do with our hands and feet. Weird...
I had an audition on Monday Desperate Housewives. They called me that same day to tell me I was "pinned". YAY!!! Just found out yesterday they wrote that character out. :( So maybe if they decide to write it back in, I'll be working tomorrow on it... I won't hold my breath though!
Good news finally! I booked the role on Medium that I was "on hold" for! I work on Friday. The role is a HUGE stretch for me....can't believe they even thought of me for this! ;) It's a hotel housekeeper that finds a dead body...and I have an accent! I won't be surprised if my name tag says "Maria" on it! heehee j/k
- I'm actually excited about this because my character finds a body with someone else's decapitated head on it! Nice! I'll be sure to take pics of that!
My sister was in town this weekend and I took her to see my friend Dan in his show, The Dan Band. It was really cool for my sister who had never been to LA before, because we hit the celebrity sighting jackpot! Dan's wife is Kathy Najimy, who happens to be friends with EVERYONE! But on Saturday night, she was rolling with: Ricki Lake, Helen Hunt, Matthew Perry, Nia Vardalos and her husband Ian Gomez, and Anthony LaPaglia. Imagine sitting at the very next table with all of them! And what's funny is, Dan gave us backstage passes for after the show, and me and my sister were waiting backstage with all of these people. It was awkward because they all knew each other and we were just standing there! My sister wanted to take pictures, but we decided not to since I know Dan and that would probably be weird for his friends....
But it was fun being there with all of them! And a great story for my sister to take back to Texas!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Commercial Audition Today

I had an audition today for an AT&T commercial. It went well. My "husband" decided to paint the room by paintball and I just had to walk by and give a weird look to him and the room. Pretty simple and subtle.

The coolest part was running into my old friend Bruno Amato who I haven't seen in a while! We caught up as much as we could before I was called in. I also got to meet one of my "readers" from this blog...

I feel like I'm coming down with something. Perfect timing though, since I had a friend in town this week and they just left yesterday. So hopefully it will give me this weekend to knock it out of my system.

I'm sitting in on my friend's acting class for kids. She approached me about maybe teaching classes every other weekend or so. So this is the weekend I check it out and see if I want to be on board.

I have an audition tomorrow for NCIS. And it's another maid role - but to the lead female character played by Lauren Holly. I'll look on the bright side and take this to mean I must have an endearing face that seems like I love to help and serve people!
I really should buy The Secret. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Still in Cali...

Well, I'm not in Hawaii today. :( Oh well... It would've been nice to book the season finale of LOST, especially since my mom is so addicted to that show!
At least I'm on hold for Medium... I should know for sure by next week if I'm shooting it or not.
My sister will be visiting me for the first time in the 6 years I have lived here. She'll get here next Wednesday. Time to do all the fun touristy stuff! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Days Like These....

I had two auditions today. My first one was for Medium. I was going in for a hotel housekeeper who finds a dead body. I think I have played this exact role a few times already :) so I should have this in the bag! I went downtown and met the casting director, Mark Saks, for the first time. The audition went well and he invited me back to producers later today.
The second audition was for LOST - the season finale! And of course, this show shoots in Hawaii, so if I book this, I fly out on Thursday and shoot on Friday! An all expense paid trip to Hawaii! Nice! I really hope I book this one! It's a pharmacist role and I think it went pretty well. As soon as I walked in the room, the associate was commenting on my Curb episode and how much she liked it! So we have to wait and see. Hopefully I will know by tomorrow afternoon. :) After my LOST audition, which was running SUPER behind (1 hr), I rushed to my Medium callback in Manhattan Beach! I had 30 minutes to get to my callback, and it was 45 min. away! I got there late, but luckily they hadn't finished and another actress had just got there late as well. So I went in last, did my thing, and it went well.
About 30 minutes later, my manager called to tell me I was "on hold" for Medium so I guess that means that's good news. It's not an official booking - but it'll work for now. Hopefully "on hold" just means they want to make sure the part is still in the script. :) Good news ending my day.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll hear more good news about Lost - but let's not get greedy! ;)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

This week -

This week was nice. I only "worked" Monday and Friday. I took Tues-Thurs off because I had a friend in town. But I also had 2 commercial auditions on Tuesday. One for Cold Stone Creamery where I played a bikini waxer. At first, I had no idea what that role had to do with ice cream - then they told me the spot would be focusing around "Bigfoot" and he runs into his arch-enemies: A hunter, bikini waxer, and scientist who are all having ice cream. They use it to lure him into the ice cream shop.
Next audition was for Johnsonville Bratwurst (hotdogs). The audition had me and a "husband" BBQ-ing hot dogs on our grill outside and the neighbors were drawn over because of the amazing and delicious smell! It was a fun audition - they just had us wait forever before we could even get seen.
Still waiting to get paid on the ADR looping for the pilot. Do you know I worked that looping session 5 WEEKS ago???? I hate having to chase my money around - trying to track it down. It sucks.
I have another friend visiting next week so I'll only be subbing next Friday. Then the following week my sister visits for the first time. Lots of guests this month, and not many days of work, which should make May an interesting (and tight) month! But all this entertaining is pretty fun! :)
Wish I had a booking to announce, especially with all these auditions I've had lately! Hopefully that's coming soon...

Monday, April 02, 2007

I'm Not THAT Actor, Am I????

So I went in for my audition for Ugly Betty today. I felt pretty good getting there. I thought I looked the part, with my little mexican top and my hair pulled back, to play the mexican nurse. I saw a couple of other Latina actresses that I normally go up against when they are specifically looking for our type. :) One of them is a good friend of mine, Lorena Mena, who I just worked with on the new show Notes From the Underbelly.
Well, Lorena goes in first and when she comes out, she tells me that Lev is in the room. Lev Spiro is the director from our Notes From the Underbelly job. So since she came out with a huge smile on her face and told me that, I just figured he recognized her and they had a nice reunion in there.
Now, let me preface this by saying - I NORMALLY go into my audition rooms, do the work, and leave. No serious chit chat or trying to be funny or charming. Just professional. But this time, for some odd reason, I walk in the room, see Lev, and say "Hey! I know yooooouuuu!" at which he didn't even acknowledge I was even referring to him. Didn't even look up from what he was doing. The woman next to him (who was probably one of the producers) thought I was talking to her and said "Yeah, I think I know you too. Where do I know you from?" And she proceeded to check out my resume. At that moment, before I could respond (thank God, since I wouldn't know what to say) - the casting assistant said "I will be reading with you" and began the audition. I was a little thrown off, but I just had to read 2 lines and it went well. They said "Very nice job Lydia" and out the door I went. I was kicking myself for creating that awkward moment - because really - that's NOT me - the actor that goes in there and says too much.
So there. I have beat myself up about this, and I'm sure I'm totally overreacting. Maybe it wasn't as bad and awkward as it felt to me. And needless to say, I did NOT go in there and ask to read for the larger role.
It's best for me not to be THAT actor. I want to be remembered as someone who did good work - not as that actress who asked to read for a larger part - or the one who said she knew the director. UGH! Ok, ok, it's over with. :)
Tomorrow I have an audition for a commercial. Cold Stone Creamery. :) I'm going in for a tough bikini waxer......?????

Screening Time!

1st pic: Jordan and Randy introduce the pilot to the eager audience, 2nd pic: Casting Director Barbara Fiorentino and Jessie Disla from FMW Casting, 3rd pic: Laurie Metcalf and Jordan Budde, 4th pic: Jill Latiano and her real life sister, 5th pic: Me and Mauricio Mendoza (who played my husband on the pilot)

Wow! Last night I got to see The Virgin of Akron Ohio pilot that we shot in Vancouver! It was so exciting! Mostly the entire cast was there, including Laurie Metcalf who played the mother and Chelah Hordahl, the actress from Vancouver who played the sister. It was awesome to get a chance and hang out with Randy Zisk, the director, who hosted the screening in his beautiful house in Brentwood. I got a chance to spend some time talking with Jordan Budde, the writer of the pilot. He's such a nice guy. Actually EVERYONE on this project was amazing! And it all started with how amazingly supportive the casting office at FMW were! LOVE THEM!!!! :)
I'm really excited about this project and I'm sure it will get picked up. The show is actually a good show and I can see it developing a following pretty quickly!
I would love to work with these people again anyway day of the week!