23 April 2009

the Actress Diaries, ch. 3

{At the suggestion of A.Mountain.Bride, who was actually helpful in response to my griping about wedding burn-out, I'm just going to ramble on about my strange days as an actress in L.A. Please note that, even when I seem like I'm whining, I'm still very happy that I don't work in a cubicle.}

Yesterday was quite the busy day. Three auditions, a photo shoot, and an S class to teach. (Yes, I slept well when it was over.) Part of my brain is always in Observation Mode, because I'm aware of just how absurd most of what constitutes an actor's day is. It helps me keep my sense of humor about it ... most of the time.

Audition #1: Low-budget feature film (that's a movie that barely pays, in non-jargon). It was in the valley, which is also known as the portal to the sun on warm days, so I was happy to be going there early. I had to wait longer than expected, and as I sat there going over my script, I noticed the conference room we were sitting in had rather strange decor:
It's hard to tell in the crappy cell phone pic I took on the sly, but all of the posters on the wall (required by law in an office where movies are produced) were covered with plain brown paper.

For the un-initiated, the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles is widely known as the epicenter of pornography production worldwide. Yes, we're so proud. I took a few seconds to process this, and texted Mr. UB:

Me: All the movie posters in this production office are covered by brown paper. I'm in the valley. I smell a porno!

Him: Ew.

Me: google _____ pls

Him: There's a company that made 1 movie in 1990. It starred Esai Morales.

Me: weird but not scary

Him: also an anime company, but that would be a voice-over audition. ____ is a popular name.

Him again: Oh, wait. Yep, there's a porn company called that. Run!

Of course by the time that message came through, it was already my turn to audition. They were polite & normal-seeming, and liked my read. All in all, I'm guessing their company is trying to "cross-over" into mainstream stuff. (Because crappy B-movies are where the real money is?!) The character I was reading for is a reporter investigating a serial killer who's targeting porn stars. Here comes my Oscar bid.

Audition #2: A play, which is being produced by people who's last show I did. (That last show, "All About Walken," was sheer brilliance & heaps of fun to do. It re-enacted the life & times of Christopher Walken, both on & off-screen, with 8 different actors playing Walken. Two were women, 2 were Asian, all were hilarious.) Their new show is going to be "All About Jack." As in Nicholson. I suspect hilarity will ensue. We weren't given a script for the audition, so I went in just expecting to riff with P., the writer/producer/head guy in charge.

P: Do you do a Jack impression?

Me: Um, no.

P: Try.

Me: (painfully unsuccessful attempt, accompanied by the realization that I should've predicted this, and perhaps PREPARED?!?!)

P: Okay, moving on. How about these women -- Faye Dunaway.

Me: Vaguely Transylvanian, with a beret & a cigarette holder. Sister! Daughter! Sister! Daughter!

P: Shelley Duvall.

Me: You're gonna have to be Kubrick & call me a worthless dumbass for several months. No, seriously, I always picture her in Faerie Tale Theatre, dressed in a huge princess gown, with that wide, odd smile of hers.

P: Jane Fonda

Me: (on the floor doing Jazzercize) Feel the burn & you can marry a billionaire!

P: Kim Basinger.

Me: Ooh! Vicky Vale - best comic book heroine name ever. (Mussing my hair, using breathy voice) "F**k you, Katie Holmes!"

I think it went well. We shall see.

On the way to my photo shoot, I stopped by the dry cleaners because I needed to ransom out a shirt for my last audition. They were using these new green canvas "eco-friendly" re-usable garment bags. As in non-transparent. As in, I got home & realized that I had someone else's clothes. And I didn't like them better than mine.
Me: "F**k you, Earth Day!" (I sometimes lose that sense of humor. Usually when it impacts my feeding schedule, like when I have to make a second freakin' trip to the damned dry cleaners. Grrrr.)

Photo shoot: Product shots for S Factor's new & improved website.

I enjoy these because I don't have to fix my make-up.

Audition #3: Short film. Really interesting script, where I got to play an actress for the first time. It's an interesting exercise to "change characters" mid-script like that. Although they made me do a French accent on the fly ... dammit, that is on my resume, isn't it? I was pleased with how I did, but the absolute best part: they validated parking. Hooray, saving $12!

Work: (Yes, none of the above really constituted "going to work" for me. And people wonder why I'm a little nuts sometimes.) I love teaching my classes. It's the only possible explanation for how I could work out for 2 hours (8-10pm) after a day like this one. The best part is that I think my last 2 girls are going to sign on for another session with me -- no small thing, in this economy. I wish sometimes that there was a way to give it away for free ... but that seems like a poor business plan. Yet another reason why I teach, instead of working upstairs in Corporate.

Dear OPEC: Please lower the price of gasoline. Thank you.


elizabeth said...

oooo! i love hearing how the hollywood glitterati live!

and - wow! i think i need some S!!! smokin'! i'm pretty sure you could start a cottage industry helping brides shape up.

secret word: bitimist. one who's a little optimist, a little pessimist: a bitimist.

un-bride said...

@elizabeth Isn't is glamorous? Welcome to the Dream Factory.

Julia said...

that's so interesting!!!! thanks for posting about all this!

Marie said...

Thanks for posting so interesting. And I am officially jealous of your fabulous figure and contemplating moving to LA just so I can come and do S factor classes with you and get a figure like that! Hope the dry cleaning got sorted out :)

Nicole said...

love the "day in the life". :)

Mr.Un-Bride said...

@elizabeth... I am *so* glad that someone else has noticed the odd secret words and is trying to deduce their hidden meaning!

Today I have: hysibio. This is the study of biological systems which are naturally driven to hysterics. Like fiancees. I'm just kidding, Jess. Put down the bat. Ow!