Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gratitude, Tobo's Work Ethic & The Voicemail on The 10...

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.

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