Ok dammit, I guess I can’t stay away. I NEED to journal this.
So, today was my first class and well…it was somewhat frustrating, but I guess the first day of school is always frustrating. There’s still a lot of issues, confusion, and concern in regards to my major, but that’s beside point of this blog post.
Today we did a review of the Meisner repeat technique. Something I’m familiar with since I began training in Meisner back in 2015. The point of this technique is to break down any tension and barriers between the actors to find truthful moments. In essence it helps the actors deliver the text they’re given more realistically without over acting, or forcing oneself to dredge up past traumas for realistic emotions. We start by making simple observations first: noticing eye color or what shirt a person is wearing and we make a statement.
“You’re eyes are blue.”
Then the actor sitting opposite responds by repeating the statement
“My eyes are blue.”
From there we dig deeper and try to identify discomfort, or further details about the physical things that we see. What we can’t do is make a judgment. I can’t say “you’re wearing an ugly shirt” as opposed to saying “your shirt has lots of colors in it.”
Once we reach the the advanced stage, we begin by sitting in silence, make an observation, repeat the observation, and sit in silence once again. There’s also a balance of power that comes into play, meaning one person can’t make all the observations while the other repeats. The partner I had seemed to struggle with making observations, which is how we ended up in a staring contest much like the GIF I used above. After we finished the exercise, our professor asked why we reached a stalemate? My partner responded by saying he had so much to say but not sure how to phrase it. Um, ok. I’m going to pass it off as him being young and unfamiliar with the brutal honesty that comes with this practice, and his politeness was kicking in.
Now I’m left wondering what was on his mind
Ok, ok. One more post before going off the grid for a bit.
Currently I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in City Centre Dublin. My flight landed in Dublin Airport at the buttcrack-of-dawn this morning. The airplane seating was a little tight. I know good and well that paying economy prices usually means less than favorable seating with domestic flights; however, I was quite surprised that my international flight was the same way. Previously I have flown to England and Japan with a little wiggle room, so I expecting the same with this flight. There were still in-flight films provided and it gave me a chance to rewatch ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ It took up most of my flight time which was great.
Once I arrived, I called my mom to let her know that I arrived safely. After that, I had to get approved for student status at the immigration booth. Super easy process.
The real panic came when one of my bags did not arrive in baggage claim. Of course it’s the one bag with all of my underwear and my coat in it (SMH). I started to get nervous. I went to baggage claim only to find a long line with other passengers from my same flight. The employees knew something was up and asked the people doing the unloading of the bags if they possibly placed bags from our flight in the wrong receiving bin. That was exactly what happened and we managed to recover our bags. (Thank goodness!)
Once I exited the terminal, it was chilly. A huge difference from the 100 degree hellscape I just left from. Not really a complaint, but more of a shock to the system. From Summer to Winter in a blink of the eye.
I took the shuttle bus from the airport to the area where I’m staying and got a little confused as to which direction I’m supposed to be heading. An older gentleman saw that I looked lost and asked me where I’m going. Once I told him it was easy for him to figure out. He also asked me where I was coming from, I said the United States and the first thing that came out of his mouth was “You didn’t vote for HIM did you?” I chuckled at the fact that no one, myself included, will refer to my country’s awful leader by name. I replied “Absolutely Not!” to which he replied “Good for you!” A great first few hours in Dublin so far. 😂
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m taking less time on social media, but I will definitely be back to report on the upcoming ‘Hamlet’ production with Ruth Negga.
For now, I’m just killing time until I can check in to my accommodation and take a much needed nap.
Fox News posted a disgusting tabloid tweet about actor Geoffrey Owens (known for working on the Cosby Show) who is currently working at a well known supermarket. They were basically shaming him because he is no longer in the spotlight and works at a service job. The woman who took the picture and posted it for tabloid consumption, deserves THESE HANDS….however, that will be for another day.
Why does this make me so angry? For starters, Fox News, the station who always calls the acting community elitists for speaking out against our current leadership; is acting like elites over a person working in the service industry. Second, working in the service industry is nothing to be ashamed of. Is it a pain in the ass? Yes. Do you have to interact with all types of people, including the less than savory ones? Yes. Is it a job that pays your bills and keeps you alive? Yes. Can it be satisfying? Yes. Where is the shame in that?!
People also need to understand that working in the entertainment industry is roughly the equivalent of working a temp job. It’s fleeting. Projects can range from a few seasons, months, weeks, days, or hours. You only work as long as needed and oftentimes there are long bouts of unemployment. If you’re lucky, you can work on a hit tv show like Grey’s Anatomy and hit a huge pay day like Ellen Pompeo, but that is very rare. There has to be income producing activities in the meantime to stay in the black.
No matter where life takes me in this career, even if I were to be suddenly famous, I’m always going to have some sort of gig. Whether it’s my own enterprise or working for a company. I’ve been in poverty. I’ve been homeless. I’ve had to turn down social events because I couldn’t afford it. I’ve had to put off my education due to money. So I’ll be damned if I let myself get back there again.
Fox News needs to disappear forever.
Just a couple of more weeks before I jet off to another land. I’m a roller coaster of emotions, but I will be alright. The big stuff is still yet to come:
•Having all of the necessary documents
A couple of things about this move are making me a little nervous. For starters, even though I have proof of acceptance to the school, medical insurance, money for cost of living, a valid passport, and accommodation, the immigration officer is well within their rights to block me from entering the country. I’m a U.S. Citizen, and unfortunately my country is not in good standing with the world right now. This is a valid reason to not permit me to study in Ireland.
The other concern is when I get there, will I be approved to work part-time? When meeting with the second round of immigration officers, I have to prove my finances by way of bank statements and additional income. I really NEED to work while I’m there. My family is not rich and we still have a slew of money issues.
I’m trying to hope for the best though.
As of right now, my notices were put in for work and next week is my final week at two of my three jobs. The last one I’m working all the way until it’s time for me to jet off. I have no idea how I’m going to pull it all off, but I’m going to make it happen.
Cruel fate, why do you do this to me?! There is a new movie being shot in Philadelphia that is backed by the Russo Brothers and stars Chadwick Boseman called ’17 Bridges.’ It starts filming late September after I leave for Dublin.
This would have been to closest I’ve ever been to work with people from Marvel (besides Creed 2 and the Wizard World Convention a couple of years ago.) I am sad and will have to live vicariously through my friends who will undoubtedly be working on this project.
Well…two of my three jobs went from certain to uncertain.
Tomorrow, I have a staff meeting at my theatre gig because of a massive management overhaul. While I can’t disclose everything that happened, just know the events leading up to this meeting have not been good. The meeting itself doesn’t feel promising either.
My restaurant job has welcomed back the woman who trained me. I’m happy for her because I didn’t want her to go, but it does mean I may be losing out on that extra income now. Right when I have a month left before leaving for Ireland. IF that even happens.
I have a theory and it’s been a theory since my financial aid was rescinded last year….I don’t think I’m meant for this school. My family doesn’t want to hear that and they keep pressing to make it a thing; though I am still woefully unprepared to live there financially. Not to mention the fact that some things career wise are now falling into place for me right as I’m supposed to be leaving. I mean, if I was in Ireland last year, I wouldn’t have been able to earn eligibility into SAG, because I would have been over the Atlantic and in school.
Education is important however. Not having a degree has hindered me from taking financially secure jobs over the years that are not retail, restaurant, or even human resources; which I was lucky to land the position I did without the degree. Mainly because I worked my way up that company and my friend was in a position to hire me.
This is one of those times when I have to exercise faith in the Universe over where it wants me to go. My biggest prayers are to let go of the things, situations, and people who no longer serve my highest good. For my family to truly support my career and to stop letting fear get in the way which, I feel was causing a lot of blockages in my career (among other things.) Finally, to be put in a position where I can excel at my career (may be simple as a workshop that helps me be a better actor compared to 4 years in school.)
I shall see what happens in the next few days.
(Source: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, NBC.)
The Universe works in very mysterious ways. Not only was I offered an opportunity to audition for a film, now a videographer friend of mine wants to work on a project with me.
This time, it’s a horror scene that I would film with another person. No pay, BUT he’s giving me the footage for my reel!
I mentioned in a previous post about productions that can’t pay their actors, but have the audacity to not hire them without a reel, and the only compensation they offer is more reel footage. It made no sense. My friend, who offered me this project, is doing this the CORRECT way by making beneficial for both of us.
I will give credit where credit is due. He watched my Instagram stories where I talk and film all of the time and that was a form of a reel for him. Don’t be mistaken though, I would never be able to pull those stories together into a professional reel to send to casting directors. However, the industry is changing and more casting decisions are being made based upon how strong your social media following is.
I’m excited about this opportunity, and a little suspicious about why everything I’ve wanted to do since January, is only now forming a month before I’m supposed to leave.
(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice, Mitsurou Kubo.)
This morning I received an invite to audition for a role on an indie film that would be shooting next month. The timing comes right after I complain about my career going stagnant, which now renders that post null and void.
There’s no guarantee that I will get the part, however, the fact that the director reached out to me is important.
So what is the film?
It’s about a young woman who has major relationship failures with except for a meaningful relationship with another woman in her early twenties. I was offered to play one of the supporting roles in this film. The best part is, it’s a paying role too.
YES. This is the dream. To play a speaking part in a film or television show and actually getting compensated for it.
The only issue is that the schedule may roll into when I’m supposed to leave the country. Who knows what will happen, but it’s an opportunity I feel I couldn’t turn down. Prayers and fingers crossed for the best possible outcome.
(Taken late last month.)
There’s not much I can do about it. What I can do is take stock of where I’m at now:
•A decent theatre resume
•A film credit
•Nominated for a regional award
That’s what I have for the time being, though I managed to get this done at a rapid pace of 3 years (SAG alone takes some people a decade.)
Right now, the only thing I have going on is my YouTube channel until I work another film in 2019. I’ll try to keep this page updated on any industry related things that may come up in the meantime.
(Source: Mean Girls, Paramount Pictures.)
Everyone is up in arms about Scarlett Johansson playing a trans man in her newest film. This, coming after the backlash of whitewashing the role of Motoko Kusanagi from ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ I don’t dislike her, though there are some things about her association with Woody Allen to be problematic. I don’t think this role is right for her.
Before I go any further, let me admit that I have played roles that did not fit my cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, or age group. If an actor does their job well, then you should know them by the role they embody more than the person themselves. However, Scarlett Johansson has reached the point in several of her roles where she is “Scarlett” in a film, and not the character she is playing. Therefore, the character of Dante Gill will not be portrayed correctly.
Now if it were up to me to find an actual trans man, who looks like Gill, and can act, that would be my preference. It’s a challenge, however, since I would have an extremely small pool to work from. The closest I would be able cast is Lea DeLaria from ‘Orange is the New Black.’
The biggest issue I have with casting films in Hollywood is the cronyism associated with it. In this case Ms. Johansson is working with the same director from ‘GITS’, which is pissing people off further (myself included.) I get it: if you want to work consistently, it’s best to build a strong network and work with many of the same people. Roles like Gill need a little more thought and use of common sense before calling up your homie to take the part….
But I digress.