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.

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Goals, Clarity: Here’s to not feeling shitty/Here’s to feeling amazing

[caption id="attachment_966" align="aligncenter" width="461"]Selfie with an angel sprouting from my head. Selfie with an angel sprouting from my head.[/caption]

So I’m thinking about goals for 2015.

First:  my god, can it really be 2015 so soon?  Doesn’t that sound like the future?  Didn’t 1998, like, just happen?  I think I heard something on the radio the other day, maybe a science fiction author, saying, “You notice that no one talks about the 22nd century with excitement about the future.”  We’re already there.

That’s another discussion.  Technology is hard on people.  I have a hard time with it.  It gives me headaches.  But it also gives me access to inspiration.  But sometimes I really wish we just lived in the 50s/60s of Bob Dylan or earlier like Salinger where we really we didn’t consume so much (the consumerism was all just beginning!) and there was only one telephone and people had those solid square classic suitcases and typewriters – you know, the fifties! Except for all that female oppression and racism that we’ve evolved out of.

Oh, wait.

Anyway.  Goals.

So I’ve been in a beautiful Desire Map group now for several weeks now (Desire Map – check it out, it’s wonderful, I’ll write about it sometime) and we’re now at the very end where we talk about our goals.  We’re supposed to narrow them down so we only have several big ones to work with during the year….which, for me, is kind of crazy.

Because I am the person who makes PAGES of goals.  I make goals all the time, every day, every week, after beginning of the month, every middle of the month…

I love planning things out.  Seeing it all inked out on paper, neatly in lists, gives me a buzz.

I wish I was kidding.

And, honestly, I’ve created some of the best things in my life using goals, but I’ve also really really warped myself and my confidence by over-planning, by gripping onto goals, and by feeling like a failure on a regular basis.

And that’s just a horrible way to go about life.

It’s inspiration-mania then panic and then burnout and deep disappointment, over and over again on repeat.

So this year, I’m getting much clearer on what I want.  I’ve narrowed it down and refined the essence of what would make this year fucking amazing.

[caption id="attachment_967" align="aligncenter" width="461"]photo (69) One of the best days of 2014 – shooting the wedding reception scene from June.[/caption]

 

And it’s taken a while.  A couple weeks.  Because I stopped and started a lot.  I have a lot of residue stuck to my brain about what I’m supposed to do and supposed to want.

Especially when it comes to my body.  And books I’ve read.  And plays or pieces I’ve written.

And the failing numbers in those areas have really screwed me up and hurt me for days on end.  But I still automatically want to set up a reading program for myself – classic literature, one book a month, go.  Or exercise rules – 4 workouts a week that make me sweat – but what about this week where I feel really run down and can only do light yoga and walk a little before my head starts to throb?  Or guitar – play every day, one hour.  Well, yeah, if I wasn’t editing a movie/auditioning/writing/trying to read/cook healthy meals/survive on 3 day jobs/work out every day too, then I could make that promise.

No.  There’s so much I want to do.  But I can’t do it all.

So then comes the subject of pain.  As in:

What caused me the most pain in these last several years?  What was I most envious of?  What did I resent?  What did I long for?

And with those thoughts, I got very very clear.

So, here are my Goals for 2015, as I see it now:

1) Self-Support – So that means clarity and organization in two areas – money and home.  Because I have felt like a complete mess in both those areas for…a while now.  And nothing has caused more overall pain (read: constantly broke/terrified/unable to do anything) or more general every day gnawing pain (read: I cannot think straight in this damn apartment).

2) Finish June and send it out into the world – Ha!  It will be just that easy.  No – I know that  this is going to be my passion project of 2015.  We made it in 2014 (hell, I finished writing it, pre-production, and production in 2014) and in this next year I have to edit it, find music, raise more money, get sound and picture post work done, market it (as in, find a better title, make a better poster, fix up the website), and send it out.  It’s gonna be HUGE.

3) Go Pro in Acting and Writing – I mean, just look in my last post for the acting business.  I have so much to learn and do, where I do even begin?  And then writing – I’m actually simplifying.  Write a blog a week and write a solid screenplay to send out to competitions this year.  That’s all that’s required.  If further inspiration occurs (and I know it will), then I’ll follow it.  But I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.

And then I have two I guess what I’d call “intentions”:

Adventure – As in, I need to explore LA.  I need to have fun here, go to new cafes, live music, more theatre and film events, galleries.  And I also desperately need time away from here – day trips, big hikes, weekends away.  Maybe even finally try rock climbing or surfing.  This past year I spent a hell of a lot of time with my nose to the grindstone and this year I want to have fun.  Granted, this winter and spring will be computer heavy with the movie, but I will be ready to break out come May – and before that in little pockets.  It’s gotta be a priority or I might go insane.

Music and Expression – As in, I gotta play guitar and sing or I’m going to regret it forever.  Every year that goes by that I don’t work on this is increasingly more painful.  I desperately want to make music and understand it and I have an amazing bluegrass/rock musician boyfriend, so get on it already.  That said, I’m not making a schedule, I’m just checking in every week and seeing if I feel good about it or not.

Whew.  Okay there.  Goals, boys and girls.

With that, I’m pretty tired.

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Thanksgiving and Actor Impostor Syndrome

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Happy Thanksgiving!  Yesterday!  We celebrated quietly at home in South Pasadena with baking and chopping and cooking and eating starchy foods with excessive butter.  It was heavenly, in other words.  And I’m happy not to cook like that again until next year.

Here’s one thing I know for sure: I am never going to get used to the lack of seasons out here.  Every September/October I hit a depression as I slowly realize (again) that fall really is not going to come.  At all.  There will be no need to wear black tights and boots and wear a scarf.  No brisk air and cozy cafe mornings, curling your fingers around a coffee mug.  Nope.  It will be 80-90 degrees and it’ll be all Pumpkin Spice all the time and it will sound completely disgusting because it’s so hot.  Lemonade, please.  I mean, come on, it was in the 80s yesterday on Thanksgiving.

So the trick is – during the day it’s California, fine, and at night when it gets colder, you pretend it’s “really” fall and you make meals with thyme and root vegetables and drink red wine and burn candles.  That’s how I make this work.

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So we went out for dinner on Wednesday night with my aunt and uncle and cousins.  It was wonderful to see family, and they’re really just such great people.  I traveled with Sally about (wow) 5 and a half years ago in England for a week on my way to BADA (Oxford acting summer program, Shakespeare, nerdy, nerdy, nerdy), and I appreciate having her and Graham in my life, even we don’t see each other all that much. They’re very cultured, very supportive of the arts, well traveled.  And she’s my dad’s sister (my dad passed away almost 6 years ago now), so having Sally in my life is really a special thing.  It’s just genuinely a good, relaxed time hanging out with her and Graham.  And they’re always up for wine and cheese or a good beer, so that helps.

Anyway, Sally asked me at one point the other night if I was now more interested in working behind the scenes rather than in front of the camera (which makes sense as I just finished writing/directing a film – but also playing the lead role).  And I said, no, I want to pursue acting as well as writing and directing.  And she meant it as a completely innocent question (and in truth, I have much more creative control over my career as a writer/director – which I love).  But in the moment and later on, I got the old creeping impostor feeling in my stomach.  Ugh.  No.

I mean, I’m very, very glad that I said I want to be an actress rather than lying and saying I prefer being behind the scenes, but “who knows, maybe I’ll do a little acting” (because that not true – I want to do it so badly – and I want to write so badly).  But it makes me incredibly self conscious.   Just speaking this desire out loud seems to take me outside of my body and makes me harshly critical.  I imagine judgments from other people like, “she must think she’s really beautiful, little does she know she’s not that great” or “this shy, awkward girl thinks she can be an actress?” or “she’s a little old to start out now” – all of which is bullshit.  Yes, I’m imperfect physically, yes, I’m an introverted person, yes, I’m about to turn 28 in less than a month (only someone going into acting would think that’s old).

Fine.  Do it anyway.

I have been out of college for four years now this coming month.  And I have felt deeply uncomfortable all this time with saying I want to be an actress. Writer is safe, even director has been okay (although I feel like a complete impostor when around real directors who have directed real crews and real films, but that’s for another post).  But for some reason, it really feels like now or never with the Actress thing.

I’m in a transition.  I just wrapped my “directorial debut” (oh god I hope I’m not cursing myself by saying that – it’s what it is) – and now I’m ready to pursue acting head on.  Which means calling myself an actress.  Without apology.  And it means behaving like a professional actress.

It’s tricky.  Because I genuinely don’t know how to go about this.  I’m learning constantly.  Googling.  Reading blogs.  I’m pulling myself together into a presentable actress online.  I’m aiming to have my new reel done by next week sometime (editing it myself).  I’ve got a new headshot.  I’m joining more breakdown sites.  I’m getting my ass on IMDB.  And I’m ready to audition.

Ready.  Scared.  Ready.  Scared.

Ready.

Here’s my headshot.  (!!!!!!!)  Imperfect, but me.

RebeccaWeaver

 

Holy hell.  There it is.  Not fancy, but presentable I hope.  Natural, not too glammy.

[It’s so so weird, figuring out your image, how to present yourself publicly.  Honestly, I’m so glad to be getting (just a little) older.  Because I frankly have seen enough actress breakdowns where the girl is supposed to be “stunningly beautiful,” “breathtaking,” “perfect 10,” or even just “super hot.”

Actress breakdowns are horrible anyway and they’re a whole feminist discussion I won’t go into now (but I will at some point, I will discuss women in Hollywood until I die).  But, if you haven’t seen the Lady Parts Tumblr, check that out and feel just a little better that even though casting is full of misogyny, at least there are women out there who call bullshit when they see it.

I mean, I got into this to be like Joan Allen, not Megan Fox.  Fuckers.]

Anyway.  Despite these awkward feelings, despite not feeling good enough or pretty enough – I know I can act.  I’ve done more writing and it’s easier for me to sit behind a laptop than it is for me to get onstage or in front of a camera – but I know I can do it.  I’m not a great auditioner – but I’m ready to work on it.

I’m all in. And that means telling other people that I’m all in too.  Terrifying.  But I’d rather feel awkward or insecure going after what I really want than having than hiding what I want and feeling like I’m not showing up all the way as myself.

So, here we go!  I wanna be…an actress.