Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Open Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Over the years our relationship has had its ups and downs for sure. The Barbie Condo with elevator was awesome, but the boxing gloves -- Santa, what were you thinking? Anyhoo, I've been a mostly good girl this year. I cleaned up my room, removing that big pile of junk from the top of my dresser drawers. I cleaned out my closet and donated most of the old clothes to charity after Buffalo Exchange turned up their stylish noses at much of it. I've kept the cats' ears clean and walked the dog a couple of miles each day. Which brings me to my first request:

I really like this wall mounted fish bowl, and think I can find a place for it that will be safe from the cats and dog. I also want a blue beta fish that will happily swish around in his fancy digs.

Santa, you know I love to read, but have little time to do so lately. Please no books, DVDs or CDs this year as I am well stocked with these items.

I know it's a big request, but what I really, really would love is an automatic dishwasher. Any washer that's energy and water efficient in a white color will be perfect.
Honestly, with our 56-year-old cabinets and low counter tops, it will be hard to install a dishwasher, so if you could send an elf skilled in electrics and carpentry to install the new dishwasher, I'd be ever-grateful. Pretty-please!

I don't know if you have any pull with the talent agents in Austin, but I want Heather Collier Talent Agency to represent me in my pursuit of an acting career. I've heard she's the best! Put in a kind word for me, K?

Maybe it's a little odd to make requests for other people, but if you could bring my husband, Chad, a new bicycle for Christmas, I'd love to ride bikes more often with him. Ozone Bikes has several stylish and comfortable cruiser bikes that I think he'd like.

Please stuff my stocking with some M&Ms, Toblerone, Regal Cinemas gift cards and invitations to fun parties & delightfully dorky game nights.

What kind of cookies do you want me to leave out this year? Or is it a raw veggie plate kind of year?

Thanks from your friend & fan,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

That's a Wrap!

Monday marked my sixth appearance as an extra on Friday Night Lights. Monday was also one of the last days for filming of the show's third season. I've become chummy with some of the other regular extras. I'll kind of miss them, as the large majority of Friday Night Lights extras only work on FNL, and not on other television shows or films.

I finally got a title for my recurring extra role which was "upscale booster mom". Talk about pressure to impress the wardrobe people! Extras for FNL are told to bring their own clothes, and are further instructed about which season you're supposed to be representing in your wardrobe choices and sometimes specific colors. Not only did I need to bring appropriate choices that were not white, not black, not covered in busy patterns, not adorned with logos, but that were upscale looking. It was tough, but I never had to borrow any clothes from the wardrobe truck for FNL! If an extra has to borrow clothes from wardrobe, the person gives their pay voucher to a wardrobe team member to "hold hostage", meaning that if the extra doesn't return the clothes, they don't get their pay voucher back, and they don't get paid. Trust me, the last thing I want to do is stand in line at the wardrobe truck at the end of the shoot to return clothes, and then have to go stand in another line to get my pay voucher signed.

Back to Monday's scene, Connie Britton, who plays
the (very attractive) school principal and wife of the (very attractive) football coach, delivered hilarious jokes and spoiler information while ad libbing a speech at the "senior brunch". She is one funny lady! It was one of those you-had-to-be-there moments, for which I was happy to be there.

Maybe by the time season four of Friday Night Lights starts production, I'll have the talent agent I want, and I'll be able to book a speaking part with more than one line.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Favorite Things 2008

Oprah has her list of favorite things. Just in time for the giving-thanks and gift-giving season, here's my list of faves (in no particular order):


My furry family of Marigold, Kenji, Sonic & Janie

Scented candles of all kinds, but especially the Mexican Cocoa soy candle by Pacifica or Thai Lemongrass soy candle also by Pacifica

Books and time to read them, but don't buy me more books. I have plenty for now!

Movies at Regal Cinema's Arbor Theater

Sporty shoes and gym couture from Betty Sport

Soigne boutique's great selection of clothes and accessories

And finally, I pine for this ridiculously expensive wreath from Pottery Barn.

Unlike Oprah's super-lucky studio audience, you won't find these items under your chairs. Sorry.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Make It Work

Today's title refers to Tim Gunn's signature saying on the reality show Project Runway. Tim looks over aspiring fashion designers' creations in various states of readiness and says, "make it work." What a great catchall statement. One can convey a variety of sentiments ranging from heartfelt encouragement to implied catty disapproval with this one phrase.

My television and film career thus far has consisted of only a few spoken lines and many extra/background roles. Adding a few more "extra" credits to my acting résumé last week, I pretended to be a college student for a Westwood College commercial and played a concerned constituent at a Dillon city council meeting for Friday Night Lights. I made some money while making it work.

This week, I was back on the Friday Night Lights set as an "upscale booster club mom". I donned my multi-strand fake pearls and tweed blazer with straightened coif to give the impression of an upscale mom. The wardrobe lady didn't like my tweed blazer, and while rifling through the other clothes I brought, plucked out a royal blue velvet blazer, aqua v-neck sweater and said, "I'm loving the blues. Make it work." She then sent me to change clothes. The pants I brought were too big and hung low on my hip bones. I wiggled out of them without even unzipping or unbuttoning them. So I tried a skirt I bought this summer. The skirt fit better, but was a little loose. I guess I made it work, meaning that my outfit looked okay, but this situation has driven home the point that it's time for another closet clean-out and another list of need-to-buy wardrobe staples as my body shape changes to a healthier size. Make it work.

Yesterday was a long, sweaty day on the FNL set. We shot a pep-rally scene in a school gym and then a hotel lobby scene as if we had traveled to an away football game. I spotted lots of FNL principal cast members, but am no longer giggly with starry-eyed fan feelings. They're just like the popular kids at school to me now. I like some of them, and don't particularly like others, but I respect their position in the pecking order. I was so glad when my scenes finally wrapped yesterday to come home and have a shower after wearing my sweater and velvet blazer outside in the 80-degree Texas weather. I heard a rumor that filming of FNL will move to Canada next year, which contradicts an earlier rumor I heard that this will be the last season of the show. I have no idea what the truth is, but think it would be odd to film a show revolving around landlocked, dusty, small-town Texas football in the chilly, scenic coastal city of Vancouver. Make it work.

I'm tired of being an extra. In stage shows, I am accustomed to playing larger parts with spoken lines and, well, some real acting. Walking back and forth through scenes without looking at the camera isn't really acting. And while I've never been an enthusiastic sports fan, pretending to be all cheery and peppy at the fake football pep rally yesterday wasn't really acting either. I'm having trouble right now making this work, this acting career that doesn't include much real acting.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

BYOP 2008

Gather round as I tell the tale of the first BYOP party many moons ago. I lived alone in a tiny studio apartment, only about 350 square feet total with a giant closet and a tiny hot water heater. I had to walk uphill both ways to the bus stop to go to my stupid soul-sucking job trading mutual funds. The only thing that kept me going some days was the grand plan I had to host a pumpkin carving party as Halloween grew near. I invited my seven friends at that time to "Bring Your Own Pumpkin" to my apartment for some fall festiveness. I spread a plastic paint drop cloth on the floor and all seven friends and I crowded around and wielded sharp instruments in close proximity of each other. We crafted some lovely creations, but that was back before those new-fangled digital cameras, so it's hard to share the photos with you youngsters in the blogosphere. Each jack-o-lantern was lovelier than the next. And lest you think the pumpkin carnage was senseless, we roasted the seeds and ate them, providing sustenance for our merry-making.

The BYOP party grows larger each year now. While each pumpkin carving party is great fun on its own merits, I'll always remember that first one fondly.

Here are a few photos from BYOP 2008:

I have to admit, this last pumpkin was my fave. Nick M. made a trick-treat-toe game with removable Xs and Os. Clever!

Sadly, Chad was so busy helping me prepare for the BYOP party this year, that he did not carve a pumpkin. Eek! I've requested that he pay penance by carving a turkey portrait into a pumpkin for our Thanksgiving centerpiece. Look for photos of that later this month!

Not Gonna NaBloPoMo

For those of you who are unaware of what NaBloPoMo is, as I was until last year, this shortened phrase stands for National Blog Posting Month. The idea is to have bloggers post each day for the month of November. I did this last year, and while it was good practice for writing and a good exercise in discipline, many of my posts were boring and full of psychobabble. I'm sparing myself and my loyal readers (Hi Grandma!) that exercise this year.

However, I wish Jensational the best as she embarks on NaBloPoMo. She is a far wittier writer than I can hope to be with fabulously irreverent accounts of her adventures as a new mom, working woman and city dweller. Go Jensational!