Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Sunburn Season!

Summer is officially here, as is the season that brought about the namesake of this blog. I have several small sunburns across my back from sunscreen failing to do that UV blocking thing it claims to do. Cheers.

I'm reading one of the greatest books I've ever laid my hands on. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. It's terrifyingly daunting, but I have never been gripped by a story like this before. Dagny Taggart speaks to my soul. Have a taste - no, not even a taste, two quotes cannot begin to describe what this book is - have a thought or two from this marvel.

"Well, I've always been unpopular in school and it didn't bother me, but now I've discovered the reason. It's an impossible kind of reason. They dislike me, not because I do things badly, but because I do them well. They dislike me because I've always had the best grades in class. I don't even have to study. I always get A's. Do you suppose I should try to get D's and become the most popular girl in school?"
Francisco stopped, looked at her and slapped her face.

She could not descend to an existance where her brain would explode under the pressure of forcing herself not to outdistance incompetence. She could not function to the rule of: keep down - slow down - don't do your best, it is not wanted!

My laptop received a new battery via eBay, and it works wonderfully. However, the problem now is that the charger cable remains dead and useless, so this newly functioning laptop cannot be used for fear of draining the battery to dead again. So here I am, making my bi-weekly check of the internet on the upstairs desktop. It's a strange and interesting world without the web. I kind of like it. I also kind of don't.

Work started last week - 8 hours of easy kitchen work in 90 degree weather four days a week is superfun (read: fml), but it pays well for what it is and I'm getting a paycheck on Friday. Money is necessary to this NYU adventure I'm attempting to go on.

And I wanted to share something that was shared with me via email, from the wonderful, incredibly enchanting woman who is my grandmother (and also a reader of this blog). She sends me incredibly inspirational photos and poems and sayings every so often, and I love all of them, but this one seems to play directly into the nature of this blog, so here it is. Life While You Wait.

Life While-You-Wait.
Performance without rehearsal.
Body without alterations.
Head without premeditation.
I know nothing of the role I play.
I only know it's mine. I can't exchange it.
I have to guess on the spot
just what this play's all about.
Ill-prepared for the privilege of living,
I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands.
I improvise, although I loathe improvisation.
I trip at every step over my own ignorance.
I can't conceal my hayseed manners.
My instincts are for happy histrionics.
Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more.
Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel.
Words and impulses you can't take back,
stars you'll never get counted,
your character like a raincoat you button on the run,
the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness.
If only I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance,
or repeat a single Thursday that has passed!
But here comes Friday with a script I haven't seen.
Is it fair, I ask
(my voice a little hoarse,
since I couldn't even clear my throat offstage).
You'd be wrong to think that it's just a slapdash quiz
taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.
I'm standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there's no question, this must be the premiere.
And whatever I do
will become forever what I've done.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

Monday, June 21, 2010


My laptop is having battery and charger cable troubles, so I have to use the desktop computer to check the interwebs. It's inconvenient, so it probably won't happen much. Once I fix my laptop, things will be back on schedule.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rage On!

An article from the June 17-23 issue of Backstage Magazine, written by Secret Agent Man.

Never forget why you became an actor.

"Do not go gentle into that goodnight/Old age should burn and rave at close of day/Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

That's from one of my favorite poems. Dylan Thomas wrote it in 1952, and that immortal last line tells us that death should be fought, not accepted. Thomas doesn't want us to quietly fade away. No, he wants us to rock and roll till the music stops.

Now, all great poetry is open to interpretation, and I've always felt that if you lose the reference to old age, the wisdom behind this poem can be easily applied to the life of an actor. Think about it. You're all creative people with a fire inside. That's the spark that keeps you going. IT's the desire to perform, to create characters, to inspire an emotional response. Without it, you'd never have the courage to pursue such a difficult career. That light inside you is your creative soul, and if you want to be happy in this cruel world, you have to find ways to keep it burning bright.

Unfortunately, the harshness of this business can sometimes douse that fire with a bucket of ice-cold reality. You send out a hundred submissions and no one responds. You nail an audition but the part goes to someone else. You meet with an agent who says you're great and then he refuses to take your call. It never seems to end, does it?

And on top of all that, there are the doomsayers who attack you on a regular basis. They're the ones who empower themselves by making you feel weak. They love to tell you all about the impossible odds facing an actor, as if you didn't already know. They can quote union statistics about the few members who are actually making a living, and they always have a waiter joke ready to go. These doomsayers can't stand to see your fire burning so bright, and they do everything they can to put it out. Pity them; don't hate them. They once had a fire too.

Sometimes your fellow actors are the ones conspiring to kill your inner light. You know these people. They spend all their time bitching and moaning about the business when they could be doing something positive to jump-start their careers. They hate all the agents and managers who won't take their calls and the casting directors who won't bring them in for auditions. Everything is a downer. Woe is me. Is it any wonder they're getting nowhere?

It's hard to keep your passion alive when you're surrounded by such negative energy. That's why you have to rage against the dying of the light. How do you do that? Start by surrounding yourself with positive people, not doomsayers. Then stretch your creative muscles constantly by staying in class, performing in theatre, creating content for the Web, whatever it takes. You must never lose your passion for acting, because if you do, you're finished. Game over, man.

Remember, it's okay to hate the industry. But you have to love the art. And if you're lucky, it might just love you back.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Blogger.com updated itself, and with that update came an incredible new variety of makeover possibilities, so The Spotlight and Diary both got a bit of an updo. Diary's new header is my own creation with the help of Photoshop CS Free Trial. Thanks, Adobe.

Hello, Registration

Oh, hello NYU Schedule! How lovely to see you, all complete and thrilling and ready for me to kick ass and take names. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And don't call me Shirley.

Results of the rag rolling experiment.

They're much tighter than I expected them to be, so next time we'll attempt fewer rags and looser knots. The good part about these rollers is that there is zero product involved, so it can't possibly damage my hair.

They are very much Little Orphan Annie/Shirley Temple curls - intense to the max, and my hair is at my chin. I didn't expect my hair to curl up that short! Whether or not it's anything stylish, it's quite fun. My hair is never this bouncy.

Later, when there's no chance of me needing to
leave the house I'll be brushing it out and combing it to see if it doesn't just turn into a giant frizzy mess.

My friends were a little like "WTF" and I was like "It's fun, why not," but I wish stylistic deviations were appreciated more. It was a pain to tie them all up, but at least I know that this method will put a curl into my hair and keep it, somehow. So now it's just for some tweaking and we'll see if I can't get the light curls I'm looking for.

My hair has evolved into a level 2 disaster, also known as THE WHITE GIRL FRO. Incredibly rare in the wild, this creature runs the risk of being mistaken for a wig or a rat's nest, or both.

This happens when you comb out the level one ringlets. I feel like I belong in the cast of HAIR. And I'm cool with that. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rag Rolling

Diary of a Fancer is slow going, but so is this exercise regimen thing. It's hard to come up with a standard, daily routine, because every day is so different. No guarantee I can run in the afternoon, or the morning, so sometimes I'll miss a day but make up for it the next. See Fancer for details.

I'm still working on getting housing for New York - had a bit of a scare today and had to call NYU to make sure I could still apply for housing. I'm still nervous and want to know if an apartment is an option, because I'd love that so much, and it might be cheaper. But it would be worse if I was homeless in New York or a commuter. Cross my fingers.

Been cleaning out my room - it's still a disaster zone of post-semester nonsense. Boxes still loaded with college things, clothes that now have no place to go, and my room was transformed into the dumping ground for all things that needed a temporary home, so I removed them today to make sure they find a new place to live, namely not my room. The more I clean, the more I think about having my own place, and I never thought I'd want it, but I do really kind of want to live on my own. My rules, my decor, my kitchen, my room, my place.

I feel a sudden compulsion to reinvent myself. No particular reason, but it's time, I think. Maybe reinvent isn't what I'm trying to get at - maybe just have the exterior of me reflect what the interior has become. Yeah. That sounds about right. Something freeing, artistic, and fun. Just for kicks, I'm trying something new on my hair. I won't be recoloring it until after pool season - no use wasting the money for chestnut locks just to have it stripped by chlorine. We're going to attempt rag rollers overnight to see if that will give my hair some kind of curl and make it stay. If it works, I'm going to practice doing it to my own hair so I can transform myself whenever I want.

I should go running. I just have to motivate myself to get up and do it. Shower and rag rollers after I run. All right.

To help motivate me, I've taped a piece of paper above my bed that reads:

"Make up for lost time. One step ahead. SOMEONE IS DANCING RIGHT NOW. SOMEONE IS SINGING RIGHT NOW. SOMEONE IS BETTER THAN YOU RIGHT NOW. What are YOU doing? If you want it, fight for it."

And that is exactly what I have to do.

I leave you with the incredible discovery of Florence and the Machine, my new idol. The song is Dog Days Are Over. I also want her hair.