The Pile Grows…

Lots going on.  I’m suddenly really feeling all that time I took off this month… I mean, I needed it, and yet I’m suddenly in full swing here.  It feels startling and good at the same time.  I’m glad to do the work.  It’s the antidote to depression every time.  The only thing is, you have to get yourself up to take the first step.  And the avoidance and fear of that first step is generally always my primary source of depression.  Catch-22, man.

So what’s new?  We shot the student film on Friday night.  Here we are:

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Aren’t we cute?  I don’t think I’m too believable as someone working in a police station, unless if I was some kind of intern (?), but, meh. It was a good experience to just pop in for about three hours, do some lines, and go through all the nervousness being on someone else’s set.  It was a safe place for me to be out of shape as an actress.  And for me to have such bad hair.  God damn, I need a haircut and highlights.

Otherwise?  Oh, where do I begin?  Editing, posting stills, listening to podcasts at my cleaning job, tutoring a verrrry ADD boy, finally finishing up my reel, getting footage out to actors for their reels, submitting to auditions, getting better at managing money, and more editing.

Here’s what it looks like when I do some of these things at once, all from the office of My Bed:

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All good stuff, but it’s a lot.  A lot of considerations to be made lately based on income and time.  For example – I need more money coming in.  I put up a tutoring ad and that generally gets a response.  I want jobs that are essentially on my time or that are one time gigs that I can move around (as in, I’ve done art modeling before – I’d love to do that again and get quick cash for sitting around but not necessarily be scheduled into that every week).  I also don’t want to be working too much because editing this movie is more than a part-time job – and I have so far to go.  I’m hoping to be very far along come April so I can take a breath and start really working on my latest screenplay and so that I can full-on pursue acting.  And, you know, make more money.

Aaaannd, when it comes to money – where does the very little spare money go?  I found three film festivals I want to submit to, so that’s a good chunk in submission fees.  At some point I gotta join IMDB Pro, but now doesn’t feel like the time as I slug away at the edits.  And I’m gonna need new headshots…that’s gotta wait too.  And putting my reel up on Actors Access is gonna cost some cash, but I can’t wait on that anymore as it says my old name, not my stage name

Ay-yi-yi.  It’s a beast.  So many tangled threads.  You need to find your moments of clarity and enjoyment.  And one I cannot wait for – I have been on a cleanse since January 9 (my idea of a cleanse is no sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol, caffeine) and I am going to have a gorgeous beer on Friday after my 21 days are up.  Holy good God almighty.  I’m just dreaming about that beer.  And a cup of coffee.  Just one.  But a cup will do.  Oh, yes.

Good News and Blahs

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The days have been a bit quiet.  I haven’t wanted to do a lot since I got back to LA several weeks ago – oh my god, almost a month.  I’ve been tired and uninterested.  It’s been a very very slow wake up process after the holidays and after my grandpa passed.

I’ve been disoriented.

And while I am feeling better (I’ve been on a cleanse – no sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine – mayyyybe that’s part of feeling down and now feeling better…), it’s still a roller coaster.  Facing facts about my life in the new year has hit me pretty hard – facts about money, about being 28 and living essentially at poverty level (though I need to not tell myself that), about only just now starting to try acting in LA, and so forth.

But in the midst of two great pieces of news and some venting to my mom and Chris (thank god for them), I feel myself starting to perk up.

Good news 1 – our short film Cam Companion was accepted into the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison.   A wonderful shot in the arm for us in the midst of the winter blahs.  We’ll be there in April, can’t wait to get back out to the Midwest.

Good news 2 – I’m in a student film tonight.  Honestly, I’m hardly doing anything, playing a receptionist for a couple seconds, but it feels good to get the call sheet, to plan outfits, to do the work of an actress.  But it’s also a little shaky feeling – I spent the summer playing the lead in my own movie.  So that means I only had to please myself – and I wrote it, so I understood all the layers in the character.   I’m realizing that I’ve gotten a little spoiled by that experience…and a wee bit lazy.  So I’m grateful to ease back in with low pressure.  Should be fun.

And it’s editing time.  Whether I like it or not.  June cannot wait any longer.  Currently in the process of carving out focused work time on the movie…it’s so much harder than I’ve led myself to believe.

Well, here we go.  An awkward, fumbling start to 2015, but I feel better every day.

A Poem for the Dark Winter Days I Miss

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“Walking in the Breakdown Lane”

by Louise Erdrich

from Jacklight

 

Wind has stripped

the young plum trees

to a thin howl.

They are planted in squares

to keep the loose dirt from wandering.

Everything around me is crying to be gone.

The fields, the crops humming to be cut and done with.

 

Walking in the breakdown lane, margin of gravel,

between the cut swaths and the road to Fargo,

I want to stop, to lie down

in standing wheat or standing water.

 

Behind me thunder mounts as trucks of cattle

roar over, faces pressed to slats for air.

They go on, they go on without me.

They pound, pound and bawl,

until the road closes over them farther on.

 

———————-

I miss the darkness of the Midwest this time of year.  California and are a bad fit in many ways.  This is the worst.  There’s nothing to reflect the darkness of winter around me.  Only palm trees and blue skies.  I can’t really complain, but I’m missing that grit that has become such a part of me.  I feel lost without it.

Overwhelmed

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Notes:

In the Middle Ages peasants and serfs broke for breakfast, lunch, afternoon nap, and dinner, as well as mid morning and afternoon breaks.  Holidays took up a lot of time, Sabbath days, saints’ days, public feasts, rest days, festivals, weeks off for births, marriages, deaths — estimated one third of the year off for England.  Nearly half the year off in Spain and France.  The introduction of clocks in the 13th century linked to the increase in work hours.

“Without time to reflect, to live fully present in the moment and face what is transcendent about our lives, Hunnicutt says, we are doomed to live in purposeless and banal busyness.  ‘Then we starve the capacity we have to love,’ he said.  ‘It creates this ‘unquiet heart,’ as Saint Augustine said, that is ever desperate for fulfillment.'”

And this :
“Somewhere toward the end of the twentieth century, Burnett and other researchers contend, busyness became not just a way of life, but glamorous.  Now, they say, it is a sign of high social status.”

The only conclusion: to survive this world, you must rebel.