Sunday, January 31, 2010
Quote of the day: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
Zoiks! My cyber-friends... I almost forgot to write tonight!!! That's why this is SO important -- my blog is focusing me, forcing me to keep my word. Hard work and consistency -- two HUGE parts of being successful. And thus... I shall write happily tonight's blog.
Friday, January 29, 2010
-- Booker T. Washington.
Well, my friends, today was a dream come true for me.
And as I'm down in Del Mar with one of my best friends, Bitsie Tulloch, at her lovely Nana's house and the family awaits me downstairs as they eat ice cream and contemplate Scrabble -- plus intermittently yelling up to me that I am being missed-- all in jest of course :) But I get the point -- I'm wanted downstairs... And thus, I am going to keep this one short & spicy.
1. Persistence is the key. I wrote Morgan Freeman a letter last fall, expressing to him how grateful I was that he saw my monologue and left me an inspired, "I feel like I've been baptized" voicemail. And I didn't hear anything back. Perhaps because I put a headshot in the envelope. Mainly to show him that I too am an actor. But when I hadn't heard back a few months later, I was talking to my friend Alex, a wonderful assistant at CAA, he told me not to include a picture. Just write a letter, he said.
And so, I sat down again a few weeks ago and called Morgans' agent's office and spoke with Leif, his agent's very cool assistant, and let him know to be expecting my letter. And no picture. No need -- because when I thought about it -- all I wanted to do was to say thank you. And that I feel he acts, as Maya Angelou wrote, "with God in his throat." And so I thanked him. And told him I find him to be so special and that I would love to work with him. And today, he asked me to be his friend on facebook. And so, dear Morgan Freeman, if you happen to be reading this -- please know that YOU MADE MY DAY. It was Christmas for me today, on January 29th in Los Angeles, 2010. My own private Christmas. And you my lovely new "friend," you were Santa.
2. Ashton -- my wonderfully supportive and hyper-intelligent friend -- is following me on twitter!!! And I'm already being deluged with twitter followers which is SO HOT. To quote Paris. Hehe. But, seriously -- I am SO digging Twitter. And I truly admire him for his kindness -- he and Demi started an organization called DNA to end child sex slavery-- for his inventiveness -- witness Punk'd or how he has revolutionized Twitter -- and for his work ethic -- he said he was like this in high school, always belonging to over a dozen clubs and feeling like there is always more and more to be done in this world. He has inspired me to create my own success. Write my own script, and bring others along for the ride. So, thank you AK.
3. And finally, I am going to leave you all with one thing. I am calling the director tomorrow and putting myself out there. Let him know I am that kid in high school senior year who is dying to be in the school play and he is the beloved drama teacher. And that this would indeed make my senior year... Ahhhhhh. Nothing to lose. Hopefully he'll answer. Either way, whatever happens -- I am STOKED to take a risk. And to let someone whom I find extraordinary know that and feel my excitement about the oppportunity to work with him. It would make my year.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Quote of the day: Seen on the license plate frame of a car on the 10 freeway: "My other car is your mama." Nice.
It's nearly midnight and I'm watching "This Is It" in my apartment. I saw it three times in the theater -- I wrote a play about MJ called "Billie Jean at the Graveyard" for our Little Bird Theater Company. And I took both of my actors out to see the movie. I treated myself once too.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Quote of the Day:“It was so hot, it was a swedding.”
A man describing a recent event to a friend in Hollywood.
Hello lovely readers,
With Julie & Julia happily playing on my TV in the background, I write with 3 things to share tonight. (p.s. The editor Judy Clain from Little, Brown who emailed me the other day about wanting to see my memoir, they mention her name in the movie!!! The voicemail says, "This is Judy Clain. I'm an editor from Little, Brown..." Holy Shiite!!!!
First off, to the upper left is my beloved and stupidly talented screenwriter, Bekah Brunstetter. The first 25 pages are a DREAM COME TRUE. Honestly, I remember ambling down the streets of Manhattan as an undergrad at Barnard and stopping to glance in the shiny, reflective windows of the advertising buildings and thinking, "Your time will come... Someone will see you and get it." And voila! This writer is creating my "star vehicle" in Natalie's words. And in my words -- stay on the path, keep staring in the shiny windows, and skipping to your own beat -- just knowing that you've got a little somethin' somethin' different. Something to call your own that no one else can ever claim. 25 pages and I feel goooooood... So, the first thing is gratitude.
I wanted so badly to connect with my excellent voice-over agent Marcia Hurwitz at Innovative Artists, but I didn't know what I was going to say to her when I called. I just felt like -- I want her to know how hungry I am and how excited I am to boooooook. And then, I stopped at a red light on the way to Trader Joe's and thought, "How about you call and thank her?" For the meeting we had before Christmas. For sitting down with me. For believing in me for all these years -- she's actually my longest relationship! Zoiks. And so, when I called and her assistant asked what I was calling about and I said to thank her, she immediately took my call. And the thing is, I did want to thank her. We had an inspired conversation and I'm pretty sure we both hung up the phone feeling good. When in doubt, gratitude.
2. My improv teacher the great Stephen Tobolowsky, who starred in Thelma and Louise, said something I think we all need to hear from time to time, be reminded of. He said, "You know what I have that 90% of this town doesn't? "A work ethic. I always come as prepared as I can ever be." He's actually gone to auditions with sides he's cobbled together to give his character more depth and to make for a more flowing audition. Then, he'll give a photocopied versiont o the reader. And they let hi do it. Because they're SO impressed with his f'in preparation!
When auditioning for Michael Mann, he kindly declined to read the sides. He said he had no idea who his character was, or where he was, or what the movie was even about. He said he needed to see a script. When Mann refused him, he said, "Put yourself in my shoes. How would you feel if a producer asked if you were interested in a part, but wouldn't give you a script, or told you when the movie took place or where it was or who was in it, but wanted you to do it. What would you do?" Mann handed him a script. He signed a confidentiality agreement. A few days later, he booked the role. BALLS OUT. He told me, "I was either going to go down sucking because I had no idea what I was doing. Or I would go down with my integrity. Better than that, he ended up working with one of our best. I shall think of him when I read for THE DIRECTOR. (she says with nothing by hope in her heart).
3. Which leads me to my 3rd update... I called back the director!!! Left a voicemail. And now I know what I'm going to say to him when we finally speak on the phone. I feel like a kid in high school -- I'm sooooo excited to talk to him. The idea of working with him? Like winning the lead in the school play spring term senior year. Working with this director IS Spring Term Senior Year.
So... Here's to being thankful, to being balls out & to a rockin' spring term senior year.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
What a day!!! I am gloooowing... And so, I have three updates to share with you all. Three juicy ones.
Hey guys, I just spent like an hour on this juicy, juicy blog for today and it disappeared. I may have pressed a tab or something -- but all the photos and the italics and everything literally disappeared and didn't save... Sniff, sniff. And not the happy Sniff of my children's book. The massively sadly frustrated almost collegiate kid whose paper erased from her computer the night -- late night -- before it's due sniff.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Quote du jour: "If my dog were a man, he'd be hot." Girl in the Miracle Mile on her cellphone.
Second bit of news, I did in fact meet with the successful independent film producer, Braxton Pope. (He's the handsome bearded man below). Cornell Graduate, super-smart -- anyone who describes an interview for a college scholarship as having 3 older people "eviscerating" him is play in my book! We met for drinks at The Wilshire in Santa Monica at 7:30pm. I met him through my friend, the super funny screenwriter, Thomas Moffet who wrote Shrink. We met for an hour and a half and he gave me golden advice. He said, "You only get the first look once. So before you send your screenplay to the two main people you want attached to the project, have it completed and as perfect as can be." He also said he is going to send me some useful information about getting a film funded. We sat for an hour and a half and I asked him a ton of questions about his path and mine and what advice he had for me. He said, "You have great access. Just make sure you have the project perfected before sending it out." And he recommended I reach out to my prep school and to Barnard/Columbia to meet with "money people." And I can tell them that I have certain people "reading" the movie -- which I will shortly!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
"If I were a movie star, I would be Aaron Hammond." In My Improv Class today with the great character actor, Stephen Tobolowsky (and you know your guys are going, 'ohhhh, THAT'S who her teacher is!) He's fabulous! After all, he DID star in Thelma and Louise, which makes him okay in my book!
Friday, January 22, 2010
Dialogue of the day: Marta, my best friend from Barnard College, describing her two new goldfish:
Where Gatsby wishes he were today... On this rainy Friday in Los Angeles... He wants to close his eyes and mysteriously reappear in Lancaster where he can run around freely and jump in the water and play endlessly... preferably with bones hanging from the sky!
Cruel, cruel summer…
I was in the sixth grade then – well, on my way to seventh. It was a sticky, hot Jersey summer. A Cruel, cruel summer as the song goes. And I had this friend Rachel whose mother happened to work for my uncle who was a therapist. So, I remember my parents calling him on the phone to get some advice. And I could just picture the graven look on his face. His mustache seemed to make things more serious, as if it were hiding his true mouth – a frown or a tremble or maybe even a smile – like things will work out.
I held onto this idea just as I held onto my stuffed animal dog-bear – one of those terminally cute, but what was he exactly? Kind of stuffed animals. He was a Gund. I took him with me to Rachel’s townhouse where she and her Mom lived and I held him and somehow felt safer. Rachel and her Mom took me in like the good Jewish broken family they were. And we talked about things.
“How is your Mom doing?” Cheryl managed to get out, her smallish eyes, red on the edges. “She’s with my Dad,” I replied, my fingers digging into Dogbear’s neck. Rachel stared into the mirror and swung her one leg out in front of the other, which created a sort of displeased, chic look which we were all searching for when we were twelve. We wore Benetton and Esprit – but we wanted to look a little upset about everything, pissed off really at the state of things. And Rachel had mastered this look – her head slanting, about to fall off her neck, her feathered hair in place. And her sleeves always pulled up, as if ready for some hard work. Hard work never to be done.
And here I was. In the middle of them – “What would you like for dinner, Kieren?” Cheryl managed over her dust busting in an attempt to clean up the globs of hair her Persian cat had most recently shed. My eyes were puffing up from the fur. “Oh – whatever you have, is fine,” I said, my mouth barely smiling. I secretly loved being taken care of – by another Mother. Something about it felt so special – Cheryl’s Coke and Cheryl’s salad. The other once again. The middle once again. Ahhhh… I was home – just not mine.
And the thing is, Rachel was also super popular then and that’s what I wanted more than anything – to be one of those girls – the popular crowd in junior high is akin to royalty and Rachel was the queen. I was merely a kid who went from roller skating while singing Muppet Movie songs with my decidedly unpopular neighbor, Christine -- to being recruited into the popular crowd – made up of girls from mostly divorced parents, out of Brooklyn, Jewish, and ready to gang up on you at any given moment. Part of me was thrilled; internally swooning, that I was an easy recruit – the thrill of the potential gang-up, the envy over the Esprit outfits they flung around haphazardly, the feeling of being wanted by the best was intoxicating and still… the other part of me longed to be roller-skating. But I had to grow up – I was now twelve and elementary school was a pebble in the dust, a forgotten road. I had arrived. I was going to be cool – I was learning the ways to dress and I was noticing boys noticing me. I was a constant phone talker. I wore Reeboks and quoted from, “We are The World.” I led the girls around school as if they were my pups and I even became President of my class. Also, my Mom was dying.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Honestly guys -- and I hope you are all out there, reading this... :)
Monday, January 18, 2010
This is the monologue that my amaaaazingly generous friend John Beck, who works at NASA, and happened to be working on a project on Outerspace with MF insisted upon showing him. And Morgan ASKED if he could leave me a voicemail!!! And he said to me, "I found it amazing.... You've got what it takes."
And whenever I have a doubt creep i -- like, "Who do I think I am with these big, big dreams, I listen to Morgan's voice and my faith settles back inside of me and I find myself smiling... :):):)
Sitting at the cozy, colorful, and bustling Novel Cafe in Santa Monica, editing my children's book, Sniff! It's the first book being published in my series of children's books based on the five senses. It comes out this August.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
So... today in Burbank, I had my second Improv class with Stephen Tobolowsky. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0864997/