Last Wednesday's shoot of "Coffee Shop Conversations" at OK Cafe was a success! I am so incredibly happy with how it went! Both cast and crew were on point, and the night was smooth and fun! Today I head into the editing room with Brandon Pro and Matthew Van Vorst to start putting this film together! :) Here are a few fun photos from the shoot to tide you over until its release:
My husband used to work in advertising, doing graphic design for a company.
"Advertising is designed to make you feel bad about yourself."
He gives Cosmopolitan magazine as an example, with phrases on the cover such as "Have the best sex of your life!" -- well, suddenly one questions..."AM I having the best sex of my life? I don't know now, maybe they know something I don't"...and then one buys a copy.
So, this might surprise some people in the industry, but I'm unsubscribing to ALL the "helpful" actor newsletters and emails that have been inundating my Gmail Promotions inbox.
I signed on to so many of these services over the years, for some good reasons -- to learn more about the business side, get tips and feedback, maybe even get some inspiration.
But now it's just too much:
"How to Make an Agent Need You"
"Are you driving your day or just along for the ride?"
"Make money on TV"
"She Booked a Series Regular with No Television Credits"
"Actors Should Be Blogging" (hahaha)
"[INSERT AGENCY], [INSERT CASTING DIRECTOR], and [INSERT TYPE OF MOVIE]!"
That's just from the last 24 hours.
They're making my head explode.
Look, I know these things. I'm working every day to achieve all these goals -- but man, the constant reminders, primarily just to get me to start using X service or go to Y class...maybe this is working for some actors -- I used to think so for me -- but now, I'm over it.
It's hard to focus when I'm getting essentially attacked in my inbox on all the things I "Should" be doing or taking. It makes me anxious that I'm not doing enough and down when I simply don't have the money to afford these "career-changing solutions."
"Advertising is designed to make you feel bad about yourself."
So I starting clicking "Unsubscribe."
Maybe I'll lose out on some random tip or class that will suddenly get me the goals I've always wanted.
Maybe by erasing this form of negativity on my mind, I just might feel a bit happier, stop worrying so much, and start trusting myself. Maybe I'm doing pretty well already, have learned enough, and can start taking over the ride from here.
So, the Oscars are this Sunday night, and my favorite part about them is watching the acceptance speeches. I find them so inspiring and moving!
Therefore, in anticipation, here are just a handful of some of the most memorable ones over the years. I seriously had to stop myself from posting dozens!
One thing that I have struggled with for years is the desire to be PERFECT. A perfect child, a perfect student, a perfect actress, a perfect lover, a perfect human being. To get everything RIGHT.
Well, I'm working on changing that! And I think shifting my paradigm to be striving for Excellence instead just might be the key. Already a weight feels lifted, and honestly, it just feels better inside. Because I do have high standards and I'm forever going to be raising the bar for myself and my goals...but Excellence is reachable -- versus Perfectionism which is this divine ideal that is, when you really think about it, absolutely unreachable (Can you even define it? Try! It's ridiculous, right?). I need to be more kind and honest with myself, and set my eyes on something that I can be satisfied with and realistically attain. Excellence is something that I can definitely specify for myself (and I'll share that with you another time)...
But for now, I'll leave you with some awesome quotes all about the concept of Perfectionism -- and why it's just plain silly:
“When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target.” - George Fisher
“Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence.” - Rosalynn Carter
“To escape criticism — do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” - Elbert Hubbard
“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.” – Kim Collins
“Why, when we know that there's no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone? Is it that we really admire perfection? No - the truth is that we are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect.” – Brene Brown
“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” - Harriet Braiker
“Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.” – Nia Peeples
“The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.” – Eugene Delacroix
I wanted to share with you all a couple of cool projects I’m working on: Two short film scripts that I’m focusing on producing over the next year or so, plus a very special thanks to a pair of coffee shops that help fuel the fire. :)
The first is something that I’ve been slowly developing over the past several months – since summer! – with a fantastic writer, Coco Solari. She’s just delightful, and we’ve spent hours at Think Coffee in Union Square talking about life, movies, people, and utopias/dystopias. That’s because we’re developing a pretty cool science-fiction/futuristic script about destiny vs. free will in society, Coco helming the script and myself in the backseat, enjoying the ride. Right now she’s furiously penning the words on the page, and I can’t wait to read it.
The second I’m actually co-writing (a slightly terrifying task), but it’s with the partnership of John Olson, an actor and playwright I’ve known for years. You might have seen him recently on the Swedish reality show, Allt för Sverige. ;) Anywho, I was inspired by recent sad family events in my life combined with simultaneously amazing reconnections to tell a story of grief and reconciliation. It's sort of a love letter to my family, and hopefully an inspiration to others to not let those important ones in your life slip away. John and I have been meeting regularly over the past couple months at my favorite coffee shop in Astoria, OK Café, discussing character development, conflict, and storyline, sharing personal stories and reflections to spark ideas. It’s been so thrilling and I’ve started to shake off my nerves of script-writing. We’re getting closer and closer to diving in and writing it, and I think it’s going to be really really good.
So that’s where I’m at right now, and I hope you’re as excited as I am to see where these developments lead. And check out your local coffee shop to support small business! :)
This post is simple, yet it's the perfect mindset to start the New Year. One quote. Take it in, and if you're like me, let it fuel you. :)
It’s easy when you’re at the end of a year to forget all the great stuff that has happened in it. Sure, Facebook’s app helps, but as we all know, it hasn’t quite been the best measure this year.
Looking back, the things I am most proud of are:
Find Love, NYC – Sure, we filmed in it 2013 but most of the post-production, and especially its release, happened in 2014. One of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on, with some of the best people I’ve ever collaborated with. Truly special, and I’m so proud of what we made. Plus, Samantha Medici ranks on my list of Top Characters I’ve Played.
Festivals – From representing films to just exploring, I checked out so many film festivals over the year. Jersey Shore Shorts Festival, SoHo International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Chain NYC Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival, and another 48 Hour Film Festival. More than I’ve ever gone to in a season before! From averaging just one a year to jumping up to 6, I look forward to increasing that number exponentially each year.
No Exit – Getting to understudy again for The Pearl Theatre Company was a dream. Thrown in the middle of it all, covering two major roles, it was a hell of a challenge (pun intended), and I’m really proud of my work. I only got to tread the boards during understudy runs, but I still feel very accomplished. It felt great to delve again theatrically into something.
Gunzenhauser No. 7 – A film for the 48 Hour Film Project, I got to play a complex character in a genre called Film de Femme– “specifically designed by the 48HFP to encourage strong roles for females in 48HFP films." I felt like I was part of something bigger than just the festival: Progress.
Myself – Sounds narcissistic I know, but I feel like I became even more aware of myself and my desires this year. Although it was a messy journey, I’m a better, stronger person. I learned new tools to advance me toward my goals, and I solidified my commitment. And through tragedy of loved ones, I’ve been jolted with the extreme awareness of the fragility of life – and the resulting vital importance of pursuing one’s dreams and purpose while one can. Do what makes you happy. Throw out the useless stuff. Keep your eye on the prize, and never stop.
Thanks, 2014, it's been a year. 2015, let's rock it out!
I LOVE award season. It's this huge source of inspiration to me, watching the best celebrated work of the year and seeing actors and actresses get recognition for their spellbinding artistic craft. It is this time of year that I dream my career aspirations the loudest and most vividly.
It's the BEST!!! :-)
And one of my absolute favorite treats -- almost a ritual -- is watching all of The Hollywood Reporter's Roundtables -- actors, actresses, composers, directors, cinematographers, etc. They are all so cool to watch and learn from. I completely geek out. :)
You can catch them all on YouTube of course, but I'll post my two faves here for easy viewing.
Thoughts and ideas about the things that move me most. Passions, desires, favorites.