Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Congratulations!!!



My friend Allie with her "movie husband" on the set of Sympathy for Delicious

A very big congratulations to my friend Allie Smith, who just got bumped up to a speaking role on the set of Sympathy for Delicious! I've known Allie since she was a itty bitty teenager in Texas, and she had moved to Chicago to pursue her career in acting. She's been out here for just a few years, trying to find her way. She was doing a pretty nice featured extra role on this movie and I got to see her on set when I was shooting on Thursday. Well, she just told me today that Mark Ruffalo, the director, gave her a line! Her first big movie job out here in LA! She so deserves it! She was so excited - and so was I!
See folks, it can happen, just like that! She was showing up everyday as an extra, trying to soak up as much as she could while on set, and because she is just so darn likeable and professional, they found a way to upgrade her! And in an insant, they moved her from a chair outside with the others, to a trailer all her own. :) Nice.
Here's to many more to come Allie!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Saturday Night Benefit




Above: with The very sexy Esai Morales, and below with equally sexy, Wilmer Valderamma ;)


So Saturday night I performed with Casa 0101 at a benefit gala organized by my friend Yennifer Beherns to raise money for the charter school that her kids go to. One of the award recipients that night was Wilmer Valderamma. When he arrived, I approached him and we chatted about meeting during testing for his pilot. He said that The Emancipation of Ernesto is still being reworked, so I'm not sure when the show will air. Either way, I'm not on it! :( haha He was very gracious and he gave a meaningful and inspiring acceptance speech.
Then, I could hardly contain my excitment, because one of my Hollywood crushes entered the room: Esai Morales! I just LOVE him! That man table-hopped and said hello to everyone in the room, he took pictures with everyone, and even stayed later to dance the night away with the kids and ladies who circled him on the dance floor! He has such a positive and happy spirit about him! :) SO excited I got to meet him!
All in all, the night was very successful and I'm so very honored to be a part of a great cause, supporting the education of these kids that are in an immersion charter school - they are taught in both English and Spanish!
It was a great night!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I LOVE MARK RUFFALO!





Yesterday I was on set working on Sympathy For Delicious, the directorial debut of Mark Ruffalo! I was so excited to be on this set! The moment I met Mark and he approved my wardrobe, he was so sweet to me, thanking me for being there and telling me what a great job I had done. I guess he meant in my audition. Then I went to set and we worked on the chaotic scene where the lead character, played by Christopher Thornton (who is also the writer) healed my "son" in leg braces. I think we did maybe two takes and we were done. In fact, my audition consisted of improv, which I realized later that I didn't even do in my scene on set! So I doubt I will be heard - much less seen in this movie! But the plus side is...I did get to meet and talk to Mark and learn what a very nurturing and sweet director he is! :)
We chatted again later where he again said what a great job I did and even went as far as to call me an amazing and talented actress. Hmmm...Maybe he was still thinking of my audition, because I didn't feel like I gave much in my scene. Oh well. All that matters is that he liked me, right?? :)
I'm just bummed that my experience on this film was limited to just one day.
I've read the script and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the story. And from what I saw in the play backs yesterday on the monitors - it looked like it was shot really well.
It's going to be a pretty damn good movie.
Back to being unemployed.
Next!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last Minute Nickelodeon Audition


Victoria Justice, the star of the pilot I auditioned for, and whose mother I would play.

So, the weirdest thing happened....
I was out last night with a friend of mine visiting from the East Coast and I get a message from someone I know who works for a different talent agency than who I'm with, letting me know there is an audition for a series regular on a new Nickelodeon show and they were seeing people the very next day. He felt I was perfect for this mom role and wasn't sure if I had gone in for it yet. No I hadn't, actually. He sent me the information and sides and was "passing on the info" for me so I could check it out. Apparently the casting director gave him the green light to send all his hispanic actresses in that age range - so he thought of me - which was nice, considering he doesn't represent me.
There were about 6 of us being seen for the role today. One of the actresses, Rosa Blasi, recognized my face as soon as she walked in. She and I had worked together on her show, Strong Medicine, a few years ago. I was a recurring role and did about three episodes, but that was a while ago, so I was surprised that she would remember me. I was also surprised she was going in on a preread for this show. That woman has been a regular on a few programs, and is working non-stop. It was nice just to share an audition room with her. :)
I felt I did pretty well. Not sure if it was my best considering the little time I had to prepare for it, but it was definately fun. At the moment the pilot is "untitled" but it does star Victoria Justice from Zoey 101, whose mother I would play. We'll see how this plays out....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Howard Fine

Well, last night I audited Howard Fine's master class. I have been feeling like I need to do something that keeps me flexing my acting muscles more. I did a quick one weekend play in January, but I need something to work on on a more regular basis.
I really liked Howard's style. I felt comfortable in that environment, felt "at home" even. So I am looking forward to begin on going classes. Maybe in April. We'll see. I have audited a few other coaches around town, but he really felt like a perfect match for me. :) Now, I just have to prepare myself to part with that money on a monthly basis. Yikes! It's not cheap!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Award Nomination Day

Well, today I was nominated for an award at my university for "Distinguished Alumni"! Isn't that nice? My parents attended on my behalf at the awards breakfast today at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. Apparently a few of us were nominated from the theater and film department. One of my fellow co-stars in many plays in college was also nominated: Josh Dubose. Also nominated were filmmaker E. Charlton-Trujillo and actor Todd Pate; both who I knew while in college.
I was disappointed that I couldn't be there, but it was nice to know my parents sat and chatted with my acting professor J. Don Luna, whom I just LOVE!!!!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

8 Years...And Counting!


(Once of my first headshots when I moved to LA! Good old Black and White!)

Well, Today marks my 8th year in Hollywood! Can you believe how time zooms by so fast? 8 years ago today I arrived here without any connections or family or close friends. My beginning was a great story that I would tell from time to time over these 8 years. It explains my tenaciousness and perserverance.
I knew one girl who I did a film with in Austin. It was prearranged that I would stay with her for a month while I found my own place and some source of income. I paid her weekly to sleep on a dirty futon on her living room floor which I shared with her dogs. Nice. After 2 weeks, she kicked me out, wanting "her space" back. I was homeless my first couple of weeks in town...not knowing a single soul. With all my stuff piled in my car, on a rainy day in February, I had no place to go. Somehow a miracle happened, and a girl who I had just met the week before in person (but I had an email friendship with before moving here) insisted I come stay with her and her husband that very day I was kicked out. They took me in and treated me like a family member they were hosting. I stayed there for about 3 weeks until I found an apartment in the valley. Till this day, she is one of my closest and dearest friends - I can never thank you enough Jen! :)
That was a tough month - but never did the thought of turning around and driving back to Texas enter my mind. Not once. Weird huh? It wasn't even an option.
As I sit here and think about my beginning, it makes me very proud of myself to see how far I've come.
So how did I celebrate my 8 year anniversary in Hollywood?? Well, by declining an audition for Grey's Anatomy of course! haha WHAT?????
Yeah, that's right, you read correctly. My manager called me with an audition for Grey's Anatomy. I was so excited because I love that show and I've been waiting for the opportunity to work on it! She didn't know if the role was a co-star or a guest star since there was no breakdown for it. I looked at the sides and saw it was only one page, yet my manager was sure there had to be more to the role. I put a call into my agent and he checked it out for me. He called me back and said it was a one scene co-star and he thanked the casting director, but declined. Yup. Just like that.
Ugh.
But I totally understand. That's why I have him as my agent. He's helping me say no to those small parts that I have done plenty of times before. He's helping me focus on those meatier, jucier roles that I've been wanting. He made a good point saying that Grey's Anatomy is a great show and will be on for a while, so its best we hold out for a better role. Because once you work on a show - that's it. Unless they bring your character back, you can't work it again as a different character. So, here I am...waiting for the role that's right for me on this show. I just hope they give me a shot when that role comes along! :)
Happy Anniversary to me! haha