Workshops

(Source: Facebook)

I use this meme because it’s a process of appointments to get approval to work here. Especially with so many educational offerings from other theatre schools that my school does not offer in the slightest. Like:

•Casting and Auditions

•Stage Combat (primarily Rapier and Dagger work)

•Showreel Preparation

The Casting and Audition course is particularly interesting to me because that last audition I had back in December, I bombed completely. While my professors talk about auditions, they are not really touching on how difficult the process actually is. In fact many working actors in the thick of the industry say that auditioning is a skill of its own. Once you get a booking, doing the job is super easy.

The next beast to tame is the showreel. As I mentioned on a previous post, the hardest part of booking work has been a lack of a reel to present to potential casting agencies. Mainly due to not being cast in low budget or student films who are not paying me, but will compensate me with reel footage, but in order to be considered for a part, I must have a reel first…..

(Source: Twitter. Same, cute little dog, same.)

The workshop that is offering this is also teaching advanced techniques in working in film along with production of reel footage for me to use.

Of course, to cap it all off, there is another Stage Combat workshop that I want to take. Clearly I can’t get enough of this art, especially since I would be training in a brand new weapons category.

Two of the three courses are being paid for from my previous modeling jobs. The third I will need to find a job to pay for that course. Wish me luck!

10/10 Update

(Source: Facebook)

Let me start with the positives before venting:

•I managed to find a room for rent and my roommate is a really nice lady.

•Out of the 10 classes I’m taking, the 3 main acting ones are quite informative. I’m getting some education out of them.

•The director of a film that reached out to me over the summer, messaged me this morning and wants me to audition for the main supporting role. I will perform a video audition in a couple of weeks.

•I do have a friend here at school and get along better with my classmates.

Now for the not-so-good parts:

•I also found out this morning that working on acting gigs while in school is frowned upon and may actually get me dismissed from school. While I understand that the school wants you to focus on your training and not on work yet, it really doesn’t hurt to have some real world experience. My perspective is probably a little different since I’m in my mid thirties, I came to school as an already working (paid) actress, I’ve never been to drama school before (my previous degree was in Interactive Media Design and my school did not prevent me from taking a job in my related field), the acting classes I have taken previously had working actors in regular attendance. As long as it doesn’t disrupt my attendance, hinder my learning, or prevent me from turning in my coursework on time then it really should not be a problem. Plus my career is important to me. If an opportunity falls in my lap while I’m in school that I couldn’t possibly turn down, sorry not sorry, I’m taking it.

•Apparently I was registered for the class that I thought I had missed out on and could fail since the beginning of the semester. Of course no one in the school’s office bothered to tell me, even though we had a meeting to make sure we were on the same page about my schedule. Missing those weeks have put me into a serious bind as this is one of those classes that builds upon itself each week and I should have been there on day one to understand what the hell is going on. My semi-saving grace is that it is based on reading sheet music and I used to play the Alto and Baritone Saxophone. The downside is, that was over twenty years ago so my memory is incredibly fuzzy. Some things I remember, some things I don’t. Plus the course is taught in the European style of reading sheet music which is miles away from how I learned as an American. The descriptions of all of the symbols (aside from the ones written in Italian, which are universal) are completely different. So I still might fail the course which will be seriously upsetting since I did absolutely nothing wrong. But I’m just going to study really hard and hope for the best.

•Speaking of music: this particular school places higher priority on its music theatre program than they do their basic theatre program; which is what I’m in. A large portion of my classes are more devoted to music theatre which is not what I signed up for. The original course outline offered more business classes than music classes since being an actress is me running my own business. I have to market myself, manage my money, be able manage events relating to my industry, all in addition to acting. This doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t learn some music (it would make me more well rounded) but it’s not my passion. Yes, I do perform in musicals, yes I will perform in them in the future, but singing isn’t my strong suit. My voice is built to fill a theatre with spoken word (hence why I was a cheerleader).

I feel deep down in my gut, I was blocked from this last year for a reason. Now I feel like I’m in a bigger rut than I was at home. It’s becoming questionable whether this is all worth it in the end or am I just wasting my time and energy. I’m really struggling to make sense of it all right now.

Elitism at its Finest

(Source: Facebook.)

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.

The Big Move

(Source: DIYLOL.COM)

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:

•Wardrobe

•Packing

•Having all of the necessary documents

•Energy

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.

Falling Behind a Bit

(Source: Facebook.)

Welp, it’s not Sunday. Not only did I fail to post ‘Work Update pt. 2’, but I also didn’t post a new episode of ‘Save the Drama for Your Shamma’. My apologies it’s been a long week.

Here are the updates:

•I lost one of my shifts at the restaurant, which sucks because I was starting to build up some more cash. It also came at a time where I did get a windfall of money from my Grandfather to complete my move to Dublin; however, having extra padding is super helpful. I’m going to put in my resignation notice soon anyway, so there’s no use in complaining about it now.

•Other particulars for school have been in place for a while now with the exception of student accommodation. Mainly because I’m not using student financial aid and paying on my own instead. This means I have to find my own accommodation and it’s been difficult. Dublin is one of the hardest cities to find housing. There are plenty of apartments I could live in…if I was wealthy. Unfortunately I don’t have that kind of money to live in one of those spaces so it looks like my first semester may be spent living in a hostel.

•I WILL have a new episode of ‘Save the Drama for Your Shamma’ tomorrow and again on Sunday. I just had to get my life together in the meantime.

That’s all for now. I hope to have better news next time.

Work Update pt. 1

(Source: Imgur.)

I kept my mind open at the staff meeting for the theatre to see what’s happening next. There were a lot of questions for why things are the way they are. Although there is a game plan moving forward, I still think the entire staff should tread carefully in regard to those changes and their own job security.

Thankfully, I still have my hours…for now.

I’ll update about job #2 on Sunday.

Work Falling Away

(Source: Facebook.)

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.

Another Thing That Annoys Me…

(Source: I saw this on Facebook, but I don’t know the original creator of this photo.)

This is a public service announcement for all who have been following so far:

Just because I’m the only person you know who is capable of doing the job you need done, doesn’t mean I’m willing or available to do that job.

Here’s the backstory to that PSA:

One of my bosses from one of the three jobs I’m working at is putting on a live stage show that needs a Stage Manager. So far, I’m the only person they know that’s capable of doing the job, but one problem…I’m not available AT ALL. Besides the fact that I’m already not too keen on how things have been going with the production so far. It seems like more trouble than it should be, and my boss just won’t let up even though I said no.

Worse yet, they are bringing other people into the fold by saying I’m going to do the job.

Why does this annoy me?

1) I despise being volunteered for things I did not agree to. It’s rude and crosses a boundary because that person is pressuring me. They’re hoping I break down and say yes.

2) It’s not other people’s business what I’m doing work wise. If I want other people to know what I’m doing, I will tell them myself.

This may be a gig that I have to quit sooner than expected if the nonsense persists. I have zero patience right now.

Another Opportunity

(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: Facebook.)

How It Always Works Out

(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.