Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Love Facebook

acting workshop teacher wrote a scene last week called "I Hate Facebook". After the scene was performed to a warm response with lots of laughter, our teacher informed us that he actually deleted his Facebook account last week, because he hated it so much. He went on to say that he loved MySpace, but that hardly anyone but seven-year-olds use that site anymore. He & I will have to agree to disagree. I love Facebook, and hated MySpace. I was a slow adopter to online social networking, only joining Facebook about a year ago. I had my doubts early in the game, and scoffed at people who had hundreds of "friends" on Facebook. However, I love reading my friends' status updates, viewing their photos and following links they post. It's a fun way to stay in touch with people. Then when I see one of my friends in person, I can ask about the audition they aced, or the ailment they suffered, or the vacation they took, etc...

I just read this great article in the New York Times Magazine from Sept 7 about how people can totally digitally know each other via Facebook and twitter. Read it for yourself and we can chat about it in person or online.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When We're Crazy-Rich

Chad and I have several shared verbal tics, one of which is to muse about things we'll do or have "when we're crazy-rich" as in, "when we're crazy-rich, I don't want a giant house, but it should have a big area for parties and two bedrooms with big closets and two bathrooms and solar panels on the roof and sun tunnel lighting in every room except the master bedroom, because when we're crazy-rich we'll sleep late everyday."
* happy sigh as I envision this house *

When we're crazy-rich we'll also have:
a long vacation touring England, Scotland & Ireland
a tiny apartment in Rome for extended stays -- Io amo Roma!
two kayaks and somewhere to store them
a Toyota FJ Cruiser to carry the kayaks to the lake -- Maybe there will be a more eco-conscious version of this vehicle by the time we're, you know, crazy-rich.

When we're crazy-rich, we'll continue to donate money to the following, but on a crazy-rich scale:
Capital Area Food Bank of Texas
Caritas of Austin

Thursday, September 18, 2008

That's Me Right Behind the Stars

Last Tuesday when I was on the set of
the movie that's probably going to be a Lifetime movie, but not definitely, the extras casting lady pulled me aside and said the director wanted to be sure I'd be back for a scene shooting later that night. The very nice casting lady could have been pulling my leg, or maybe the director said something like, "ask that girl in the yellow top to be sure and come back tonight." I'll never know.

Later that night I did go back for another scene. I was delighted when the first assistant director (AD for short), a sweetly efficient teddy-bear of a man, pulled me and another actress out of the bunch and positioned us directly in front of the camera. He and the director had us scoot up a few inches, back a few inches, look this way, look that way, and then they dropped little sandbag Xs at our feet to mark the spots where we stood. Then we were dismissed so that the principal actresses could step into their shot. I simply served as a stand-in for lighting purposes. Ouch.

Fortunately, I returned for two more scenes later where I was very likely recognizable in the shots. Yay.

Last night, I went back for yet another scene, set in a small-town Texas roadhouse. The first few shots, I doubt that my own mom could pick me out of the crowd. The third shot (third time's a charm!) I was getting a crash course in the Texas-Two-Step dance when the teddy-bear of a first AD, asked if he could borrow me for a moment. I gladly agreed to get away from my overzealous dance partner, even if it meant I was a stand-in again. Imagine my delight when I was seated directly behind the main actors for the pivotal dramatic scene in the movie! Why yes, that's me reacting to the big news that actor C. Thomas Howell reveals! *Remember no spoilers here. You have to watch the movie when it comes out.* Yay! Oh, and that's also the back of my head in the final scene where all the principal characters are lined up at the bar.

In my humble opinion, C. Thomas Howell is a super-nice, super-funny guy. He was juggling billiard balls and cracking jokes between takes for our amusement. During a scripted scuffle with another actor, CTH was very respectful of the other actor, making sure that he was comfortable with the staged shoving.

Last night's schedule didn't see me hit the hay until 4:00 AM, but it was worth the missed sleep.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

That Movie I'm Working On

It turns out that the movie for which I'm doing a few scenes may not be for Lifetime after all. I got this update from the casting director today:

"Please Note: This project is not being made by Lifetime. It is an independent feature that will be presented to Lifetime by a Director who has had other films picked up by Lifetime."

Drats! This movie better get picked up by Lifetime. It's part of my five-year career path to be in a Lifetime movie. Whatever will I do if I have to deviate from my (totally random) five-year plan due to circumstances that are beyond my control? (She typed sarcastically.) But, seriously, it would be cool to be in a Lifetime movie.

I won't be posting any spoilers here, but the movie is looking great from what I've seen on set. Totally Lifetime worthy. Maybe even a little too good for Lifetime.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes, That's Me in the Lifetime Movie!

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of hearing Bonnie Orr, an Austin screenwriter and producer, speak at a Network Austin Film Mixer. Among many interesting stories, she shared her latest project with us, a movie she wrote for Lifetime network. Though I hate to admit it to most people, I love me some Lifetime movies once in a while. My favorite Lifetime movie ever has to be Tori Spelling's "Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?" about a deranged stalker boyfriend and a brave mother who helps her daughter (played by Tori) break free from her oppressor.

While Tori Spelling is not in Bonnie's new movie, the movie is filming about an hour down the road from Austin, and is making good use of local talent. I got to work as an extra yesterday. First I sat in a library doing research at a computer. Which meant that I had one web page open checking emails and chatting with friends between takes, and then switched to another web page about British Royalty history when the camera was rolling to make my "research" look legit. The Lockhart, Texas library that we filmed in yesterday was beautiful with hardwood floors, stained-glass windows and tin-tile ceilings. Everyone on the set was super-nice, with the notable exception of one ego-driven rude person who earned themselves an equally rude nickname. I swear I am not responsible for the nickname, as I try to remain professional and polite on set. I recognized several people from that indie movie I worked on this summer, and I knew two other actors from my acting workshop. I'll be going back a few times over the next two weeks for other scenes. I even get to cry on camera in some upcoming scenes. Yay! My superpower is crying on cue. When it comes to acting, for me crying is easy, but laughing believably when there's nothing funny is difficult. Try it now, wherever you are, laugh really loud. See? It's difficult. And if you're at work or out in public, you're probably getting funny looks now. Ha ha.

I'll post a link when the movie comes out. Maybe I'll even have a little viewing party. We can play "spot Jenn's elbow" and "where's the back of Jenn's head" as we watch.

Chain Letter Brings Books!

A few weeks ago I received a chain letter from my pal Kristen in Tennessee. I groaned and thought, "I don't have time for this nonsense." When I read the letter and handwritten post-it note, I realized that this was not the typical bad-luck-befalls-any-who-break-the-chain kind of chain letter, but an informal book club chain letter. I sent one book to the person listed on the back of my letter. Then I sent the letter on to six people with Kristen's name and address on the back of their letters, and so on.
I have already received two books! Neither of which I've read, and both of which look very good! Thanks, fellow bibliophiles!

Janie's Fall Wardrobe

Janie models her new daisies on an orange background collar for fall. Who's a sweet, pretty girl? Janie is!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Smells Like Fall

This morning Janie and Sonic wanted to hover in the doorway rather than committing to going outside or staying inside, so I turned off the AC and left the back door open. I'm a permissive pet-mom in that way (and in many other ways).

As I sat on the deck with my morning Diet Coke under the shade umbrella, there was a light breeze. It was pleasantly sunny, as opposed to the burn-your-retina sunniness of most summer days. The air felt cool, even by 10:30 AM. That's when it hit me, the smell of fall. It was in the air for just a few minutes. Oh reverie! Fall air!

Then some big truck went bumping along that busy, numbered street we live next to, and I smelled truck exhaust.

I highly anticipate the real start of fall, when that clean, leafy smell invades the air more constantly.