Theatre Mouse

(Source: Pinterest.)

As I was sitting backstage; I was in the middle of reviewing my notes for when I needed to place props and move furniture. I noticed something in my peripheral while I was writing. Lo and behold…it was a little baby mouse crawling on my shoe. 😮

No, our theatre is not dirty. It’s just that we rent the lower auditorium in a church that is basically a million years old. Because of that, we have the occasional critter roam through the building.

I don’t have a fear of rodents really (I had a hamster once, named Hooba), but I don’t want it crawling all over me like this little guy did. I kind of want to name it too. Since we are performing Tick, Tick…Boom!; I think I will name it Jonathan, like the lead character and writer of the show Jonathan Larson.

Updates

(Source: The Simpsons and Fox. This is my current mood)

Hello! I didn’t mean to be so sparse in my writing, but I was all over the place both physically and mentally that I haven’t really been able to pull it together. I have good news and not so good news.

The good news first: I won my court case to get my medical bills paid from my car accident. My medical team did everything in their power to put me back together and my insurance wouldn’t pay for my care. Yesterday, my parents and I signed off on the paperwork to officially close the case and my medical team has now been paid.

The not so good news: My dad is still having issues related to his illness and has to be re-admitted to the hospital for another surgery and treatment. It’s not life threatening (at least I hope) but it is getting ridiculous and very upsetting.

What I do have upcoming: As I said previously, I’m stage managing at Bootless for Tick, Tick…Boom! Our preview shows are this weekend and we run our regular shows the first two weekends in October.

I have an audition during the day this Saturday for a SAG backed project as I am on the hunt for my last SAG waiver to get into the union. No matter what happens, I will at least know that I took a chance to achieve a goal.

After TTB finishes it’s run, I will have a small box office gig at the Penns Landing Playhouse in Philadelphia. It will be a fair little bit of money for me to earn while I’m working on other projects.

I’m still trying to book other gigs and maybe a part-time day job. I need to stack cash right now (especially since I may have to pay a large membership fee to SAG), so I’m looking for what will give me the most money. I may go back to bartending or serving for that.

That’s all I have for now.

Customer Service Left Me Broken Inside

(Source:Pinterest)

I’m on the hunt for a seasonal job right now. Although I talked more about my HR gig than anything else, it is actually the shortest position I have held in my entire working life. My experience predominantly lies with Customer Service; i.e., retail, restaurants, and, cabarets. Truth be told, I’m dreading the entire process. Yes, I need a survival job because the gigs are too few and far in between, and I need money. Normally I’m friendly with people:

(Source: Pinterest)

However, with all that is going on in the world today, coupled with my very low tolerance for abuse (thanks assholes in the entertainment industry); I’m having a hell of a time applying for things without having flashbacks and eye twitching.

No, not all people are bad and full of drama. Given the approaching spending season however…it can bring out the worst in people.

(Source: afuntumblr and Pinterest. This applies to more than just retail.)

I don’t know if I want to listen to Christmas music on repeat. (Especially ten different versions of “Last Christmas”.) Or have people screaming in my face over an expired coupon:

(Source: Facebook)

I don’t know if I have it in me to have regular customers at any bar or restaurant again:

(Source: Server Life IG)

I have basically turned I into an impoverished curmudgeon. I need to bite the bullet soon if I want to make any financial progress.

September Is Shaping Up

(Me looking at the month ahead.)

Without getting too excited, I’m starting to make plans for this month.

If I didn’t mention this before, I will now; I’m stage managing at Bootless for their upcoming production of ‘Tick, Tick, BOOM’. Since my role is different from before, I don’t have to make as many appearances until closer to the run. (Though I am planning to see a couple of the un-required rehearsals to get a feeling of the show and ultimately find out what I need to do behind the scenes.)

In addition to that, I did end up booking the volunteer gig with NYFW! I will post the Eventbrite link if you are in the area and want to support a good cause.

Starting this upcoming weekend, with the additional day that I will be working NYFW, I’m planning on staying in New York for a week or so just exploring the area. I never really get to do that since I couldn’t really afford the luxury of staying in the city and really get my bearings. I’m also considering flexible work with some of the catering companies or the burlesque club up there; when I’m not here in Delaware for the show to make some extra money. (The catering gig would be better, but OMG to perform burlesque in NYC would be divine!)

Overall this should be a shift in perspective since I’m spending more time in New York without killing my wallet. Hopefully I come back with more money too!

I’m a Part-Time New Yorker

(Taken this past Monday on my way to my aunt’s place.)

“My mother away from my mother” as she likes to call herself; my aunt insists that I stay with her any time while I’m New York for work or training. This is a BIG deal as just staying in New York can be insanely expensive. My mom and I are so grateful to her that now I bring wine and flowers with every trip that I take.

As I sit here, still sad about what happened with Dublin, I look at the silver lining of this situation:

•Taking the background job on the show ‘Bull’ was super beneficial to me. I earned two SAG vouchers with one more to go and received solid career advice from the featured cast and crew. Because of that I now have clear goals on what to do next. If going to Dublin worked out, there’s a chance that I wouldn’t have taken this gig because it was too close to my departure date.

•One of the background cast members I worked with is also working NYFW. I offered my services as a stagehand and now I may have that as a gig. (More details to come.)

•I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to stay in NY when I wanted. Much of the reason why I wasn’t picking up speaking roles or booking agents in Philadelphia is because the city is so limited in this aspect. There’s just no space for me here even though it’s my closest market for work. If I want to take my career seriously (as my cast mate Jada would say) I have to be in New York.

•With that said, there is still plenty to do in Wilmington and Philadelphia. Both locations are strong contenders in live theatre and I still have work to do down here. Plus my business address will remain in Delaware, so this is not a permanent move.

Overall, this is a giant breakthrough for me. I feel more confident and ready to work. Since I will be in New York, I will continue my training up here. No it won’t count towards a degree but it will count on a resume and that is just as important.

The Background Actress’s Guide to Costuming


(Circa: Late July 2017 on the set of “Isn’t It Romantic?”, dress $16 from Clothes Mentor West Chester.)

Originally I had pitched this idea to Racked.com as a contributing writer. However they declined because they had articles of a similar nature. I was going to pass on writing this for my own blog. However, the store that I purchased the above cocktail dress from is hiring, so now this essay has become relevant.

Where to start? The beauty about working a background scene is that they give you a list of examples of how you need to dress for the scene. Like:

Gucci
Zara
Tory Burch
Prada
Etc.

They will also give you visual examples of cuts and fabric, plus what tones they need you to wear. Much of this depends on the scene you are shooting too. If you are playing a lawyer, obviously you would be expected to wear a suit of some kind. Playing a hipster would require a different wardrobe and so on and so forth. If they give you specific brand names as the type of look they are going for, it would behoove you to do some research. The best place for this is Instagram, with the next being Pinterest. Look at how your favorite celebrities dress and that will help you.

The roles I typically get picked for require me to be a wealthy, socialite type. Think Hillary from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air:


(Source: IMDB.com)

When you’re in my position of very little money and expected to look rich; what do you do?

This is where my friend the consignment store comes to play! The gold dress I’m wearing above is from a higher end retail chain. It’s original price is closer to, if not above, $100. Yet I only paid $16 for the dress and an additional $20 for all of the jewelry. (The purse I received as a gift and the shoes were on loan from the wardrobe department, since my original pair were considered to be too shiny.)

The next thing you need to do is to bring options. Yes, I bought and used this dress specifically for this shoot. However, if the director’s vision for this scene has changed in any way, it is as simple as changing into a different outfit.

A warning though: if you only brought one option this will force the wardrobe department to loan out an outfit and take your pay voucher (and maybe your driver’s license too) for safe keeping until it’s returned. This also means that you have to be extremely careful with the clothes (which you should anyway whether it’s yours or theirs) and make sure you don’t cause damage of any kind. (Or that could affect your pay or chances of being hired for other shoots in the future. One of the shoots I did, an actor walked out with a suit that was loaned to them. Needless to say that person didn’t get paid and is more than likely not working for that agency ever again.)

A few other things I keep on me for the shoot as well:

A jacket or hoodie (for when it gets cold.)

A luggage lock (so no one tries to break into your bag.)

Lotion that absorbs well. (So it doesn’t damage the clothes.)

A stain removal pen.

Deodorant that dries clear.

A robe or some kind of covering you can wear while eating or applying makeup.

A couple of other things I would add would be:

1) never bring real jewelry to a set. There was an unfortunate instance of an actress that brought real gold bracelets to the set and lost them, only to never find them again. Even if you get camera time, no one is going to know the difference; so keep it fake at all costs.

2) don’t wear anything with a very distinct pattern or logo. Production crews do a magic trick what’s called “cheating the shot.” Meaning to make a scene look like it has more people than there really are hired on set. They do this in many different ways, by adding an accessory, or changing your hair or putting you in deep background. This means more camera time for you, so help them out!

I hoped you liked this essay as much as I liked writing it. I also hope I get the job at this particular consignment store since I do get a lot of my clothes from there. Fingers Crossed 🤞

An Update to the Update


(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice. Viktor Nikiforov 💗)

So what I thought was "No" was actually a very delayed "Yes" the film project wrote me back and sent me a script. I still have no idea what part I'm playing (there are only 2 female speaking parts and the rest are background.) I sincerely hope I have one of the parts as I really need the experience to list on my resume. The only reason why I agreed is because of the concept of the script.

I can't go into too much detail but what I will say is that I could be a witch in this shoot. (Since I'm a crystal hoarding, tarot reading, incense burning, somewhat clairvoyant woman with a very loose Christian affiliation; playing a witch is probably closer to who I really am.) This also fulfills my dream role of playing Hecate in The Scottish Play. (Which was already cast when I came to audition last year 😢 However, I'm not playing Hecate in this shoot.)

Another good thing about this film is that they want us to wear as much black as possible. (Easy enough for me, that is the staple color in my wardrobe.) They also want us to bring a prop.(My tarot cards of course!)

One more thing to add about this film is that it is structured very similarly like my story writing prompts. This is a film competition with the contest runners making up strict rules that the production crew has to follow.

•A specific set of lines need to be included.

•A specific character and their background has to be included

•The production company has a time limit as to how long this film will run (roughly about 5 to 6 minutes.)

Both the lines and the character were selected in a random drawing last night and the writers had to structure the story around that. All of this shoots tonight and be a completely finished product by tomorrow night. (Talk about pressure!)

Hopefully, with their permission, I can share the final product with you on a later post.

Anticipated Rejection

I recently put in a pitch for a unique writing segment based upon my background experience. So far they like the concept and when I submitted my writing samples…crickets.

I'm not trying to take this as a "No" quite yet, however, it would not surprise me.

If you've been following my blog so far, the overall theme has been rejection and lots of very sad pitfalls. It's been very frustrating, but many of the "No's" have been to my advantage (keeping me away from things that didn't serve me well.) So I'm trying to keep this in mind.


(Source: A Random Share on Facebook)

Which leads me to this: there may be a reason why I am not going to school in Ireland. There also may be a reason why I'm not signed by an agent. Why I haven't been able to book any further film projects; and why I haven't been able to pick up any additional side income since the beginning of the year.

Although how it got to be this way was really shitty if I say so myself.

So what to do now? Well, I still have that audition for As You Like It coming up. The movie I shot background in asked me if I was available for additional days (still contemplating it since it was such a struggle to get to on Friday and it's not an official booking, just an availability check.) I also may have a possibility of a regular job soon.

Still, no guarantees. No rejections either.

Just more financial limbo.

Crew pt. 2

(Source: Backstage Badger Tumblr page and Pinterest)

The musical production of You’ve Got Red On You is coming together quite nicely and I was sent a newly revised script that will be covered in notes by the end of this evening. Being a stage manager in this production is a little simpler due to that fact that I will also be acting in it. I’m working with the special effects crew and managing props as well. Lights and sound are on their own, but we are such a small theatre they wouldn’t need me to call cues anyway. 


(Source: Backstage Badger Tumblr and Pinterest)

In addition to working on this show; God must have heard my tearful plea about moving on with my life since I failed to pay for school. Three job notices for Crew work in Atlanta popped up on my social media newsfeed last night and I applied for all of them as a Makeup Artist (since that is my strongest skill and most recently used). It’s high time I updated my makeup kit (most of the stuff in the kit expired and I had to trash it). I hope one of the gigs reach me back for an interview soon. 

The Dream is Dead

The more I keep getting denied for a loan, the more I keep getting fed up with my life. My dream of attending school overseas is swiftly dwindling and now I must figure out alternatives to continue to make my career work. Student aid is denying me on all fronts, so going to college in the United States won’t make a bit of difference. Instead I will have to pay for training out of pocket and continue to work low paying gigs in order to support myself. I guess it makes no difference, I would have had to take a low paying job in Ireland anyway to stay afloat. However, I really wanted to move away from my family and Delaware; to move to a city that supports the arts. 

But all is not lost, I could go back to training where I started up in NYC at Studio 4 or stay in the Philly area and go back to Playhouse West Philadelphia. I’m still going to make a goal to move out of my family’s home. Staying in Delaware while working on an acting career has become cumbersome in traveling, opportunities, and expenses. Plus like I said the environment has become toxic (even though I love them) which is also dragging me down. 

So I put myself out there to see if there are any opportunities that could make me union eligible and provide more paying opportunities along with more opportunities to have speaking parts. I’m probably going to have to make a customized reel and seek an agent as well. I have to keep going or I will be trapped in a void forever.