Monday, September 22, 2008

I've Played High School

I told a commercial agent today that my age range as an actor starts at sixteen. As I said it, I hoped he wasn't noticing the wrinkle between my eyes. It's the only telling sign of my true age. My friend's sister had a wrinkle in the same spot. She got it botoxed. I plan on avoiding that procedure by doing eye-exercises that I found online. I do them at night before I go to bed. They involve stretching the eye-lid, raising the eyebrows, moving the eyes side-to-side within the sockets, and rapidly batting the eyelashes, which we all know, can alone make a girl feel pretty. So far the exercises only seem to diminish the appearance of the wrinkle when I'm actually doing them; when I'm not, it is still there, deep as a canyon.

"My age range is about sixteen to thirty-two," I said.

The agent wrote it down and then, studying my face, pondered, "Sixteen. Mayyybeeee . . . maybe sixteen."

"I've booked high school roles," I lied.

I've never played high school, not even when I was in high school. Aside from the time I was cast as Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark (I was cast not as 'Susy', but as Audrey, because I was skinny and my hairstyle resembled hers in the movie), I was always cast as the Little Old Lady. This, back when I didn't even have any wrinkles. Pearl Burras in Greater Tuna, Maude in Harold and Maude, Vee Talbot in Orpheus Descending. I graduated from college with a BFA in acting without any experience playing someone my own age, and entered an industry in which the 'type' that gets the most work is "18 to look younger."

"Interesting that they cast you as Vee," the agent said, reading over my resume. Then he looked at me for an explanation.

"Yeah, I know." I didn't want to tell him my history with old-age type-casting.

"But why not Carol?" he asked.

"The director wanted to take a creative risk," I quipped.

"Yeah, obviously. Vee is in her sixties and you are, well, not."

I laughed, batted my eyelashes, and tried to subtly stretch the arch of my nose without raising my eyebrows.

"Sixteen," he muttered. "Yeah, maybe. Maybe sixteen."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Foot in the Door

I worked at a production company yesterday. Owned by a director of many big, recognizable movies, and operated by the producer of most of those movies, I looked forward to “getting my foot in the door” of this well-reputed company. What I intended to do once my foot was in, I didn’t know exactly. Build contacts, maybe. They say contacts are good to have in this industry. Learn the ropes of the inside business, maybe. They say you have to have experience to get experience. Astonish the entertainment world with my good looks and quick wit, maybe. Yes, certainly.

I would be filling the seat of The Producer’s assistant while the staff was out at a ballgame. The office was supposed to be closed for the occasion but The Producer decided he needed to get some work done instead. Hence, they called a temp to cover for his assistant, Brian. Brian was in the office when I arrived. He just wanted to get me acquainted with basic procedures and protocol before he took off for the game. I’d be “rolling calls” and revising word documents. Sounded easy enough. He warned me about The Producer:

“He’s a large man, and short-tempered. He’ll get angry. He’ll shout. Don’t worry. He’s not mad, it’s just what he does. Usually he yells at me, but today he’ll be yelling at you.”

Okay, no problem, I thought. I’ve dealt with his type before. I don’t ruffle easily. I’ll be fine.

“You’ll be fine,” Brian said. Then he left.

I was the only person in the office, and the phones were not ringing. It was very quiet. I flipped through scripts and memos on Brian’s desk, trying to acquaint myself with the company’s work. I killed some time on the internet. I helped myself to a drink from the fridge. Then the phone rang. It was The Producer, wanting to “roll calls." I was to read from a list of received calls, and scheduled, outgoing calls. I was to get him on the phone with whomever he felt like talking to from that list. I put him on hold, I dialed the number for a woman named Corinne, I waited for her to get on the phone, and then I pushed the “conference” button. It didn’t work. The call kept getting disconnected. The Producer kept calling me back and asking me to do it again. Corinne laughed. I apologized, she assured me it was no problem, she'd wait, don’t worry about it. Meanwhile, on the other line, The Producer’s tone got louder and louder, angrier and angrier, yellier and yellier each time he called back. I was sweating. I was pushing buttons, I was rubbing my brow, I was apologizing profusely. Finally The Producer screamed, “I’ll call her myself!!” and hung up.

I sat down. My face caved in and a fire ignited in its place. Through the heat, I remembered Brian telling me to call him if I needed any help. I put my hands to my head, pawed through the flames for my face, and pulled it back into position. I reached for the phone and dialed Brian. I explained my crisis to him, and he told me what I needed to do: stay on the phone during the conference. Don’t hang up. The call disconnects if you hang up. Industry assistants always stay on calls, to take notes. The phones are rigged that way.

“Don’t worry, you didn’t know. I should have told you,” he said.

Some minutes later, The Producer called back. As if the past catastrophe had not transpired, as if he were calling me for the first time, he calmly directed, "Connect me with Corinne."

"I thought you were going to call her yourself."

That's the response I wanted to give. But instead, I said, "Absolutely." I connected them, and I stayed on the line, like a good assistant. Following that call, I placed him on another and another and another. I listened, I took notes, I felt certain that in my new mastery of industry phone protocol, I was impressing the socks off these power players.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Believing Eden

Some years ago, while visiting Los Angeles, I drove past a swatch of grass dotted with people lounging on blankets, on lawn chairs, on the bare ground. I imagined they must all be important – writers, producers, directors, actors. Only in LA would I have perceived park patrons as potential power players.

A few years later, my husband and I signed the lease for an apartment at the foot of Griffith Park. After settling in, we set off to explore the famed urban wilderness. At the entrance, I instantly recognized the Lawn of Somebodies I glimpsed a few years ago. We parked along the crowded road shoulder and walked to the top. As the grassy plateau of the Observatory grounds unfolded before us, the entire city stretche below like an open hand, and I felt as if I was looking upon an exalted land, where every inhabitant lives a life of grandeur.

Standing at a fence near the edge of a cliff, I analyzed the skyline. Hollywood sat just below the notorious mountainside letters. Miracle Mile stretched east to west on the right. Culver City and Santa Monica rose near each other at the far right. Downtown ascended in a cluster to the left. From this bird’s eye view, I could pick out the collections of highrises that belong to each neighborhood, but through the haze, I could discern no other distinguishable landmarks. The streets, houses, lawns, cars, and highways all blended together in one mosaic of grey. Within its crevices, my imagination placed the details of my pre-conceived notion of the City of Angels: brightly painted bodegas, fabric outlets, taquerias, people of all backgrounds and classes forming a tapestry of tight communities, a pulse of life, ceaseless activity and opportunity. This is a place where things happen: creativity, entertainment, partnerships, careers, happiness.

The breeze at the top of Hollywood calmed, caressed, like any breeze I’d felt anywhere: always concerned, always caring, always promising to lead its patrons right where they want to go. I followed it along a path up the mountain. Bits of trash hid in the pine needles that crunched under my feet. A hawk circled overhead, unimpressed by the beating wings of two roving helicopters, one in each valley, certainly searching for or following something or someone significant.

The sight of the hawk soaring above the dusty, sepia tone hills on the same wind that shook the sage brought to mind the Wild West of Old Hollywood. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglas, Gene Autry, posses in pursuit darting past the same rock over and over again, giving the impression of great distance gained.

An educated audience would be aware of the reality of the city just below the uninhabited territory conquested on screen. But a truly intelligent viewer would choose to believe the fantasy that Hollywood, filled with heros, angels, and legends, is a land that can be transformed into an Eden suiting any story one wishes to tell.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Monday

First thing I did this morning, after responsibly calling the temp agencies, waiting for a return call while searching for jobs online, and finally realizing the window for receiving said calls had passed, was to cover half of my inspiration board with images I find inspiring. Mostly, color. And a dull little farm house that reminds me of my summers in Montana. I also wrote a short list of to-do 's and posted it up on the other half of the board. I then proceeded to do nothing on the list. Isn't that what a to-do list is for, to remind you of all the things you'd rather be doing? Actually, my to-do list is made up of purely performance art related tasks, like proposals, applications and artists statements, and those are things I enjoy doing. Why then do I avoid them? Because they require mental effort. I'd rather crochet. That's an activity that fills my brain with a nice, soothing hum, kind of like the drone of television but without all the noise. See the fruits of my leisure:
Now, don't start thinking that this is how I spend all my time, whittling away the hours with whimsical crafts while questioning my decision to do so. No, actually, I do other things, too. Like pay my bills, submit for acting work, and eat lunches. Yes, lunches, plural. See, now that's time well spent.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Of Late

Finding inspiration in simple things.

Inspiration Board. Here it is, blank. It'll take form and color over the next several days. I'll post the process.

Doilies. This will be my first attempt at them. Here's the pattern I'm following. I bought the floss and the steel crochet hook, which is the tiniest hook I've ever seen. It's almost microscopic.

The Downtown Art Walk. We played a show there last night. I love the hubbub of the Art Walk. Thousands of people descend on the older part of downtown, wandering the same few streets, bumping elbows, dancing to the music of street musicians, gawking at the eccentric s, and taking in the art. I'm always tempted to say it reminds me of New York, but truthfully, it's more of a party. Good vibes everywhere, distinctly LA. Even the cockroaches are welcome, and they do attend, in droves, crawling up through the manholes and sewage drains. Early in the evening you'll hear a few yelps from unsuspecting persons, but by the end of the evening everyone, roach and human alike, gets along just fine. We played at The Regent Theater, once an opulent cinema house, then a seedy adult film house, and now a raw, dilapidated open space. This seems to be the shared history of much of Downtown LA, and I'm fascinated by it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Day in Reality

Part I.

I drove to the front of the building and sat in my idling car, amused and somewhat perplexed. Before me, on an otherwise perfectly suburban block in Van Nuys, California stood an old-western town square with a saloon. The rotting, weathered wooden structure with a weak, ornately-carved, second-story balcony sat upon a gravel lot occupied with movie trailers and tents.

Not seeing any other cars on the lot, and feeling sort of silly about walking into the saloon, I remembered the email had said something about crew parking. I drove around the block lined with well-manicured homes and clean sidewalks, and followed the yellow film location signs to the back lot. A young man wearing the standard crew uniform of cargo shorts, sneakers and an earpiece met me at the back door. He asked me to wait at the foot of a concrete staircase near a sign that said "Careful".

"We’ve got another model," he mumbled into the cord hanging around his neck.

Within a few seconds another young man who introduced himself as "Jesse James" emerged from the staircase and prompted me to follow him.

We walked down a short flight of stairs and into a narrow hallway of many doors whose decor was strikingly different than the exterior of the building. The robin blue and gold brocade wall paper, plush, quilted silk panels and garish wall sconces seemed to be making fun of themselves. They boasted a distinctly nineteen seventies take on Victorian Elegance, dated and dirty in both aspects. I laughed and Jesse James looked back at me with a knowing grin. He opened one of the doors and ushered me into a plain room in which several young, fair-skinned white women sat on folding chairs lining the walls.

"Hi!" they chirped.

I returned the greeting and sat in one of the chairs. Jesse James told us we were only waiting on about four more girls, and when we had all arrived he’d let us know the drill for the day. He pointed out the crafts table and encouraged me to eat of its granola bars, fruit candies, and spearmint gum. How generous. I obliged, as I hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning, assuming that in attending a morning call on a television shoot, I would be fed by production. I snatched three granola bars.

"I’m SO hungry," I said, combating my embarrassment with a tone of extremism.

"The show contestants don’t know you girls are here today, and we’re trying to keep that a secret. We don’t want any of them seeing you, so unfortunately I’m going to have to close this door, and if you need to go on a bathroom run or anywhere else, I’ll have to find someone to escort you," Jesse James explained.

I privately regretted leaving my coffee in the car, again having assumed they’d provide some. The door closed and we girls were left alone.

"So, does anyone know what this is? Like, what we’re gonna do?" one of the girls offered. She was sitting in the only non-folding, padded chair. She wore jeans tucked into knee-high, high-heeled brown boots and a white t-shirt, and had her legs stretched on a folding chair in front of her. She was very cute, with brown hair, long-eyelashes, and a strong resemblance to Meg Ryan.

"It’s a makeup show, and we’re all going to be made up," answered a girl with short, spunky black hair. She wore a perpetual smirk and spoke with tomboyish sarcasm.

"Yeah, but, how? Like, all the same way? Or different?" wondered the apparent ballerina with long blonde hair and a long neck.

I joined in, "The notice I submitted for specified women who resemble Twiggy. I wonder if each artist has been assigned a different icon, or if we’ll all be made up to look like Twiggy."

"Yeah, because we all look so much alike," smirked the sarcastic one.

The other girls laughed, and the door opened to a filing in of four other girls, all of whom looked like the rest of us.

Jesse James reappeared and informed us, "Okay, you’re all here, but the contestants aren’t, so I’m going to have to close this door again. Is everybody doing okay? Okay, good." And he was gone.

A round of "Hi!"s welcomed the newcomers and when they were all settled with granola bars in hand, I made the observation,

"We do. All look like Twiggy. I mean, we’re very similar - different heights and hair color, but same skin tone and facial shape."

I got the feeling the other girls didn’t like hearing about our similarities. Instantly commenced a game of How Am I Different Than You, with everyone offering hints of their uniqueness.

Sarcastic girl: "I’m part Mexican."

Meg Ryan: "I’m only 5'2, but I still work as a professional model."

Ballerina: "I got in a car accident and now have a crooked spine."

The Pixie Red-Head: "I have fiber myalgia."

The Smart Blonde: "I only eat raw foods."

All this time, the tallest one of us, and the only one besides Sarcastic Girl who appeared to be a real fashion model, decidedly kept to herself and silently read a book. She clearly wanted to do no socializing.

I debated in my mind the benefits to closing off versus being social. I had brought a book, as well as a notebook and a magazine. I could certainly keep myself occupied, and avoid the self-important trumpings of model/actor talk. Or I could attempt to engage in conversation with these girls with whom I would be spending every minute for the next eight hours. I settled on the latter, and took the route of asking questions and feigning interest.

"Oh, my goodness! When was your car accident?"

"You’re only 5'2! You seem much taller."

"Just raw foods. Wow, that’s dedication. You must be very healthy."

Jesse James would check-in on us every so often, offering bits of information and bathroom breaks. On these breaks, we would line up at the door while Jesse rattled into his neck cord, "Models need a bathroom break. Exiting holding."

We loved the trips to the bathroom, when we got to touch the hallway walls and comment on the bizarre decor.

"Jesse James says this place used to be a porn studio," said Pixie Red Head.

"Oh, totally!" exclaimed Meg Ryan.

"I believe it," I answered, truthfully.

We lined up on the balcony for our turn in the two-stall bathroom. On one such break, I asked if I could retrieve the coffee from my car. Jesse James pointed me to a tent in front of the saloon.

"There’s a crafts table where you can grab a cup."

"Really! Thanks!"

"Yeah. Go now, and I’ll keep an eye on you from up here."

I skipped down the stairs and approached the tent. From afar, I could see the substantial spread of food: bagels, yogurt, fruit, nuts, tea and coffee, all reserved for the crew. I considered my position, and the ease with which I could partake of their goods, but never being one to ruffle feathers, I simply filled a cup with coffee and obeyingly returned to my escort.

"Thank you so much," I said.

We were then ushered back to our holding cell. Several hours continued this way. Long bouts of conversation for the sake of something to do, broken up by trips to the bathroom. Finally, Jesse James told us we could go to wardrobe. The girls exclaimed in excitement.

"Ooh! I wonder what it’ll be? Little mod dresses? Go Go boots?"

"I LOVE sixties clothes!"

"Me too!"

We followed Jesse James down the hallway to a staircase and another hallway decorated in nearly the same way, but with the added absurdity of gold-specked mirrors. One-by-one we were taken into a small dressing room where the wardrobe director fussed through several racks of vintage mini-dresses.

"Ugh. I just want color! No more blacks and whites! Color! Red, Blue, Purple! We need some excitement here! Some GROOVINESS!" she shouted at the dresses themselves.

A dress came flying at me, and I dutifully put it on without asking if in fact that’s what I was supposed to do. Wardrobe emerged from the forest of polyester and clasped her hands in satisfaction.

"That is it! You look incredible. How do you feel? Put on these boots!" She tossed a pair of mid-calf, patent, white gogo boots at me.

"Oh, you look amazing. Your legs! They’re so long in that little skirt! It’s perfect! Is it too tight?"

"It’s a little tight. I can’t stand up straight."

"Then don’t. Slouch! Like a waif! That’s it, you have to wear it, it’s perfect."

She helped me get the dress off, pinned my name to it, and called for the next girl. Jesse James switched us out, and sent me off to set.

Part II.

I followed the man who had greeted me in the parking lot earlier that morning through the maze of ornamented hallways, and into a wood-paneled elevator. I tried to make some chit-chat, but he was stone cold.

“So do you spend every day here?”


“I’ve heard this place is haunted.”


“Have you ever seen any pornstar ghosts?”


The elevator opened up into a tiny entryway designed to look like a cave. The walls were covered in lumpy, red clay and were adorned with electric candles nestled in crevices near the ceiling. There was a closed door to the left, but it had no knob.

I exited the elevator behind my silent shepherd, and had to stand very close to him to make room for the elevator door to close. He mumbled something into his cord that I could not understand. We waited in a silence that I found to be very awkward, due to the cramped quarters and proximity of our bodies. I suppressed the urge to make a joke about the situation or surroundings, knowing he wouldn’t respond.

After too long the door swung open to reveal a sprawling sound stage brimming with lumber, electrical equipment, wires, computers, tools, and ladders. Members of the crew scurried about, speaking to each other only in whispers or low grumblings into their neck cords. This was the wonderous, magical, bustling workshop where reality is made for television.

Streams of bright light, chatter, and commotion poured from the confines of a quartet of false walls forming a room at the back of the sound stage. My silent shepherd led me to a row of chairs in front of the fabricated room and gestured for me to sit down. I did, and there I stayed for nearly forty-five minutes. Every five minutes or so, the silent shepherd would appear with another model close behind him. She would join me on the row of seats, looking as bewildered as I must have when I’d first arrived.

Finally, when we were all present, our silent shepherd gestured for us to stand and line up near the entrance to the false room. Excited about the opportunity to move about a bit, we started speaking amongst ourselves.

“Are we going on set?”

“They didn’t tell us we’d be going on camera without makeup!”

“SO glad I wore a cute outfit.”

The silent shepherd waved his arms wildly, urgently, communicating for us to shut up, and we hushed our exchanges to rapid whispers.

As we formed a line at the entrance, I had a new vantage point into the set. The interior walls were painted Tiffany blue, and the floor was black-and-white checkered linoleum. Victorian chandeliers dripped from the ceiling. Toward the back of this fabricated salon was an area decorated as a sitting lounge, with a careful jumble of Victorian and Modern antique furniture and Baroque and brocade accessories from Ikea and Target.

“We have a very exciting challenge today,” declared a loud, authoritative Australian voice from within the room. “I will be looking for Precision, Clean Lines, and High-Def Quality. Okay. Do you hear me? Those are the three crirea for today’s challenge, and I want you to write them down. Precision, Clean Lines, and High-Definition.”

Another voice shouted, “Cut! Napoleon, I need you to repeat that. Couldn’t hear the word ‘criteria.’ I need you to really pronounce it: CRITERIA. Okay, action.”

The robust Australian voice repeated its script. A crew member whispered to us, “When I say go, you will all enter the space. Two rows. 5 girls to each row. There are 5 beauty stations on either side of an aisle. Walk to your respective beauty station and turn around to face the camera. Okay, girls. Get Ready. And . . . Go!”

With purpose in our step, we entered. Indeed, on either side of an aisle stood two rows of beauty stations, each marked with an ornate gold-framed mirror, and occupied by its own makeup artist. I made eye contact with the artist at the station I was approaching and smiled. She smiled in return, and nervously shook my hand. I turned toward the camera like I was told to do.

In the entrance to the room, against the backdrop of butterflies and initials stood a large man sporting orange-brown skin, spiky brown hair, a shiny goatee, and eyes darkened with smoky liner and shadow. He had successfully concealed the round shape of his mid-section by wearing a boxy French Soldier’s jacket. Hugging his legs were a pair of tight tuxedo pants with white skulls running down the stripe, tucked into pointy black cowboy boots. His legs shot out from under his boxy jacket like darts. I wondered if he deliberately dressed himself to emphasize his name, Napoleon.

He filled his lungs with air, causing his jacket to swell, and pronounced, “These are your models, ladies.” He said “ladies”, but I noticed that not all of the makeup artists were women.

“And here is your task.” He pulled on a drape to his left and revealed a photograph of the model Twiggy. “60’s Mod!” The artists squealed and yelped. “You have exactly one hour to transform your model into 60’s Mod. After your hour is up, they will go to wardrobe to receive the finishing touches and return here for judgment. Like I said, I will be judging on Precision, Clean Lines, and High-Def. 60’s Mod makeup requires attention to every last detail, and those details must read in High-Def! This is very difficult. One of you will be eliminated today.”

“Cut!” yelled the director. “Napoleon, that was great. But Artists, I’m going to have him say that last line, and I want you to RESPOND! Show us how you feel about the possibility of elimination! And . . . action!”

Napoleon repeated himself: “This is very difficult. One of you WILL be eliminated . . . today.”

The artists gasped, sighed, and wailed.

“Your hour begins . . . NOW!”

He spun on his heels and sacheted away through the entrance adorned with his logo. Conversation erupted between the artists and models, and I joined in.

“Hi, I’m Channing.” I said, extending my hand.

“Hi, I’m Lauren.” She had a loose handshake, and I immediately labeled her as unconfident. She pulled a stool out from under her station, and I sat down. She studied my face for several minutes, not saying a word. I expected her to attempt some light conversation and was continuously surprised that she didn’t. She seemed very focused on whatever she was learning about my face by staring intently at it, and I didn’t want to interrupt her. I sat silent, doing my best to keep my expression blank, for fear of breaking her concentration. Finally she lunged for a cottonball and began wiping my face.

“Let me know if I’m being too rough,” she said. I could barely feel her strokes.

“It’s fine,” I offered. “So, how long have you been doing makeup?”

“Never. Not, really. I mean, I do my own, but that’s it. I’m not a Makeup Artist like everybody else here.”

“Oh! So you’re just doing this for fun?”

“I guess. And, it’d be cool to work for a real makeup artist. That’s what we win, if we win. We get to work with Napoleon.”

“Oh, cool. Is he famous in the makeup world?”

“Kind of.”

“Well I hope you win.”

“We’ll see.”

Her lack of enthusiasm made me uncomfortable, and I compensated by trying to be enthusiastic for her.

“What a great opportunity. You’d definitely be a Makeup Artist, then!”

She studied the row of foundations lined up on the station. I sat quietly while she chose one and began painting my face with it. We remained silent for some time, until I got antsy. It seemed like the other Artist/Model pairs were having a great time, chatting, laughing, hugging, crying. They were forging new friendships while my Artist and I grew further and further apart. My eyes sagged not only with the weight of liberally-applied purple eyeshadow and black liquid liner, but with boredom.

“So what’s your favorite style of makeup to apply to someone?” I ventured.

“I guess I like 60’s makeup.”

“Yeah, it’s fun.”

“I don’t think I’m very good at being precise, though, so I probably won’t do well with today’s challenge.”

At that moment, a cameraman thrust his lens into our station.

“Lauren, can you repeat that?” He asked.

“What?” She looked annoyed.

“The part about precision. What challenge does today’s criteria of precision present for you?”

“Ummm, it’s hard for me, because my hands are kind of shaky sometimes.”

“Okay, good answer, but Lauren, say it again but this time put my question into your answer. Like, ‘Precision is difficult because . . .’ See what I mean?”

Lauren sighed.

“Precision is difficult for me because my hands are shaky sometimes.” Lauren repeated, as if she were reading a script.

“Good. Now just continue your conversation,” said the cameraman.

There passed between us a clumsy silence, which I shooed away by saying, “My hands shake sometimes, too.”

The cameraman moved to the next station, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

“I actually really hate doing this,” Lauren said. “I’ve decided I hate being on tv.”

“Yeah, it’s a lot of pressure,” I replied.

We returned to our silence, which by now had become more comfortable than the alternative. We didn’t speak again during the rest of the hour. From time to time the cameraman would reappear and film us sitting quietly. Finally another Australian voice, but this time female, announced that the hour was up.

“Artists, put down your brushes.”

Lauren dropped her powder brush, and I swiveled toward the entrance. There, against the backdrop of butterflies stood a squat, blonde woman wearing a black t-shirt and faded jeans. She wore silver glitter converse and silver glitter eyeshadow to match.

“Your models are now to get into costume, and get their hair done: the final touches to complete the 60’s Mod look. When they are finished, we will return here for final judgement.”

“Cut!” shouted the director. “Good. Models, Jesse James is waiting for you at the door. Follow him. We’ll see you back here in three hours.”

I stood and looked at myself in the mirror. False eyelashes pointed to a wall of purple eyeshadow climbing my eyelids. Black liquid liner rippled into a cat-eye effect. Indeed, it was apparent that Lauren’s hands were shaky: eyeliner should not ripple, and cat-eye liner strokes should point in the same direction. Unfortunately, my left eye pointed up, and my right eye pointed down.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Almost There

With the help of my father, I am now in possession of two sacrament trays. The bread tray would make a really cool ashtray. If I smoked. The water tray would make a great mini-shots flight. Alas, I have to return them to their rightful owner when I'm done with them, so no creative re-use is in their near future.

The show opens tonight. There is no longer anything I can do about it. I just have to give in to it. It's its own thing, now.

I've spent this day pining for the weekend, when I can do some long-neglected menial tasks, like laundry, vaccuuming, tidying, knitting. Maybe even socializing!

But first, tonight.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I am mentally preparing myself for a difficult phone call that I will make on my lunch break. I'll be phoning a local Mormon church to inquire about borrowing some Sacrament trays for my upcoming theater piece.

I am so scared to make this phone call that my heart is pounding and my hands are shaking.

When my dad suggested this as the easiest way to procure some sacrament trays, I didn't balk or hesitate at the notion. Now that the time has come to take the action, I feel like backing down, like that time I chickened out on the Waimea Wave roller coaster at Raging Waters and walked back down all those stairs, flinching at the bickering eyes of children more brave (or less honest) than I.

Right now, I desperately want to turn back. But I need those trays.