Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How much can I juggle when I put my mind to it?

It's been a busy few months. Really busy. Really good busy. Crazy busy. After all my uncertainty and wondering how I'll make shit happen. I made shit happen. I managed to successfully create work for myself and along the way impress some awesome people who threw me an employment bone. So, no I'm not really all that unemployed anymore. I might be too employed. Not to jinx myself.

You're reading the blog of a working actor, acting coach, audition taper, agent helper, freelance casting assistant, registrar for an improv school and one of two Texas reps for the most highly respected casting website in the U.S.! It's nuts and I'm FREAKING lucky. I work my butt off and still manage to do most of it from home. How amazing is that?

It's been crazy and I'm only now just able to catch my breath for a moment (only because I felt compelled to write, not because I actually have the time. I'm making the time) and take it all in.

I got a chance to go to L.A. and train for my casting website contractor job over my birthday week. I really do love sunrises on the west coast. Makes it worth getting up early for the view and for the near empty beaches. I met some awesome people involved in the industry and got behind the scenes knowledge. I learned way more than I was expecting to. Priceless.

I'm using some of my more organizational talents to help maintain the day-to-day and session-to-session workings of a really great improv school I'm about to graduate from. Check me out in The Amazing Improvised Race at Salvage Vanguard Theater! To boot, I'll be in another play - my first Spanish language play - just before my improv graduation show. Literally. I have La Pastorela at 8 pm and then every Saturday that the play runs, I'll be rushing out to make the 10 pm opening of my improv show. It's exactly what I've wanted, to be busy with acting work. But I'll hardly get a break from performances before I begin rehearsals for my first children's theater play. And it's another Spanish-language role. Seriously, if you're a Latino actor and you don't speak Spanish, you're doing yourself a great disservice and seriously shutting doors for yourself. But hey, you'll get no complaints from me. I'm happy to take the work.

All this and that's still not including my weeklies at Fort Hood, which has been a tremendous experience. Being able to do what I love with some great actors, provide a much needed service to our soldiers, get paid and still be supported by my employers when I book other work is a dream. Just a dream.

I put my Fort Hood understudy to work (We have understudies! If only this were more common in local theater) last week when I booked a commercial job. That audition experience was definitely in a category all it's own.

I had been at home working up until 4:30 or so and then I decided it was a good time to shut down, get a work-out in and then get ready to hunker in for the night with some dinner and maybe a movie or whatever I had DVR'd. So, I worked out, got cleaned up, then went back into our office to get my phone. By this time it was a little after 6:30. Of course I would get phone calls and texts the minute I left my phone. I had a couple of texts from a casting assistant friend and voice mails from the casting director she works with, who's cast me the most this year and has also hired me out to assist.

The messages were literally "can you come by (right now) and audition for this project?" When I called back and explained that I was in my pajamas, he told me to get dressed and come by as soon as I could. They'd be there for awhile yet. I got ready in 30 minutes and was out the door. My husband had the biggest grin on his face as I walked out, saying, "I bet you book this one." I didn't even know what I was auditioning for. I called my agent and let her know what was going on.

I get to the casting office, sit down, get the script, which was one line is Spanish and then told to improv the rest in Spanish. So I did. One take, no redirection and the casting director says, "Great. You're on hold. We'll call your agent." I was told I would find out by 2 pm the next day whether I booked or not. I found out at 4:30 pm the next day. I was the only actor to book the same role in English and Spanish. I wish all my auditions turned out like this.

It was a great shoot. Short, sweet and I made the clients laugh. Their laughter actually messed up one of my takes - from the other room. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it airs.

It's nuts, but I'm enjoying the juggling. I just have to really focus and not let my usual distractions be my usual distractions. I also have to make time to film a Bigfoot movie I've been cast in. How I'll make it happen? Who knows. It just will.