I can think of so many cultural experiences I am grateful for seeing: Marian Seldes perform Beckett’s Not I, Radiohead at the Hollywood Bowl, Brian Dennehy’s Willy Loman, Elliott Smith at the Double Door, and surely seeing Joan Didion next week will be monumental. But with every list of greats, comes a list of great regrets- all these things I’ve missed and never forgotten. How could I have missed Bon Iver’s sunrise performance in a cemetery two miles from my house? Why did I miss Marina Abramovic’s now legendary exhibit at MOMA? And that LCD Soundsytem show I skipped when I had tickets?? And now I’m woefully adding to the list Petah Coyne’s show at MASS MoCA- Everything That Rises Must Converge.
A show by my favorite sculptor inspired by Flannery O’Connor, one of my favorite writers and I’m only hearing about it now months after it closed? At least we have the pictures. I first saw Petah Coyne’s work back in the 90s at Atlanta’s High Museum. I walked around her massive sculptures exploding with wax and taxidermy and hair and flowers and was sufficiently blown away. My family was too. It’s funny, we never reminisce about the Monets we waited hours to see standing in line at the Met. But a brief mention of Great Expectations and we will start gushing about Petah Coyne and her Miss Havisham inspired pieces. (That makes it sound like Charles Dickens is a frequent topic of discussion with my family. He’s not really, but I like the idea of that being true.) (Actually, it is kinda true, we like to talk about Charles Dickens. We just do.) Enjoy these photos from this amazing artist.
At my audition yesterday I had to prepare a fake sandwich for my fake son using fake food. I truly left it all in the room, folks. Then I looked behind me and noticed the wall of the casting office was painted a very bright blue, actually the exact same shade of blue as my shirt- my despised blue button-down shirt that I wear to most of my “mom” calls.
On camera, the effect of the blue wall against my blue shirt made it appear that a disembodied head and a pair of hands were making a fake sandwich for a fake kid. The session runner asked if I wanted to wear a different shirt and try again. (Not an unreasonable request due to the amount of audition clothes actors keep in their cars.) But I said no, let ‘em have a little magic in their lives.
Then I visited the Southern California Institute of Architecture for some real magic:
This gorgeous piece called Netscape was designed by Oyler Wu Collaborative to shade the graduation ceremonies for SCI-Arc students last month. If I could have something like this in my yard, albeit on a much smaller scale, I would never ask for anything again. Except for maybe this…
Yesterday, the only work related thing I did was to try to say the word “Abarth” in a sexy way. I was recording a voiceover audition for a demo Fiat Abarth spot that would air in the southeastern quadrant of Transylvania, which I hear is lovely this time of year.
Is it Aaaaaa-barth? Aybar? Aaa-BARTH? A quick check with a favorite Italian helped with pronunciation but not the sexy part. Sexy has never been my strong suit. I learned about my lack of sexability in 8th grade. I was playing the part of Maria in The Sound of Music. As I sang the love song into the Captain’s eyes (the Captain, who was also my real crush) I felt like I was showing him a deep part of my soul.
Afterwards the music teacher pulled me aside and asked if I could be a little more, well, romantic when I sang the song. Apparently my version of “soul baring” was a rather jocular duet with knowing elbow jabs and daring shoulder pats.
I must have looked upset when I returned to the fold of girls waiting for their entrance in the wings. ”What happened?” they asked, so I told them about my problem.
"I know what he means," declared Danica from my Girl Scout Troop, "I can sing it like that." And so she did. Right there, in front of everyone, me, my music teacher, my beloved Captain. And because she was sexy we all sat there entranced.
That moment I realized I had a major handicap as a woman that has undoubtedly held me back as an actress, but who the hell cares, I give great elbow.
Watching Gertrude Stein’s famous Parisian salon brought to life in the charming Midnight in Paris left me thinking, “man, I’ve really got to get invited to a salon.” Enter Zoe Bios Creative. Like hundreds of others, I noticed their unique Craigslist ad seeking artists, photographers, designers, stylists- basically any type of creative thinker was invited to apply. And we did, in droves.
Rather than whittle down countless emails and resumes, Minh and Caitlin, the founders of ZBC, held an open house. Their stylish, art-filled Silver Lake loft was a revolving door of artists that afternoon. A hip textile designer captivated everyone with images of his work, a young sculptor came by to drop off a piece fresh from the kiln. Fashion designers brought samples to show and stylists came with cards. A modern day salon, if you will.
The design house had a successful launch recently at the New York Gift and Home Furnishings Show, securing a sale to Anthropologie. With plans to collaborate with an LA gallery next year Zoe Bios Creative is certainly one to watch, apply to, or just get on their invite list.
Some days no amount of rational thinking can save me from the hopelessness that follows weeks of not booking the job. I’ve had a smattering of auditions, some hope-inducing callbacks and even an “avail” check (the final step) but to no avail.
And this morning it all sort of hit me. And it all fell apart.
Luckily I had to get to an audition so I forced myself up and put on the requisite “no makeup,” ten-minutes-of-applying-makeup look. And I wore my “please show your individual style,” no-style look of skinny jeans and ballet flats.
As the elevator doors parted I expected a sea of girls just like me in jeans and sensible flats. Imagine my shock when I walked smack into a wall of girls in cut-offs, cowboy boots and midriff-baring plaid button downs tied right under the bust. There had to be thirty of them. And they were all line dancing.
Obviously I was there for a different audition. But I watched them practicing as I sat waiting to go in. The Naomi Wolf lover in me wanted to find fault in this system. Why on earth are these young girls dressed like Texan Hooter’s girls? Can’t they just be judged on their line dancing prowess alone? But honestly, they were all having so much fun I couldn’t help but smile.
We’re all just trying to do what we do. That’s what they do. This is what I do. And you know what? I do dumb things. Commercial acting is pretty ridiculous. Who am I to take it so seriously?
For more on The Lord of the Gourd check out Punkin’ Chunkin’ which is sure to be an excellent time.
Interior design has always been a hobby of mine. Luckily I’ve been able to start a small business on the side of staging condos for sale. Above is a recent job where the client had already moved out of the apartment and was looking for a few warm touches to better show the space.
A couple years back I was freaking out over French linen laundry sacks. I was not alone. I couldn’t find a piece of burlap at any flea market for under $75. At one point I was standing in line at Home Depot about to buy an expensive roll of burlap weed-blocker that I was hoping to sew into a duvet cover. At least I would no longer have to weed my bed, I thought.
This would have been easier. This cute stool is from Target’s new Vintage Charm line. I would love Sabrina Soto’s job of spotting new trends for Target.