acting tips

How to embody your character: Part 1

How to embody your character: Part 1

Pop Quiz! 

Guess what beloved TV character is described in this breakdown: 

Droll. Dry. A wry observer of everyone’s life. And his own. Works in front of a computer doing something tedious in a claustrophobic cubicle in a nondescript office building. Gets by on his sense of humor. And snacks.

Any guesses?

Maybe you’re thinking Homer Simpson, Dilbert, or someone from The Office.

Nope.

How to shift your thinking about rejection

How to shift your thinking about rejection

I recently got back from 3 weeks on Oahu, which is where I grew up. My childhood home is about 100 yards from Kailua Beach, and one of my favorite activities is to get up early and amble down the lane to watch the sunrise over the ocean.

On my first morning, I got down to the beach extra early and dutifully watched for the sun behind a cluster of clouds on the horizon.  It was the weirdest thing, though. The sky kept getting brighter and brighter, but still no sun.

Hmm.  

Turns out, I was looking in the wrong place.

You're probably not going to book your next audition.

You're probably not going to book your next audition.

I grew up in Hawaii, and since I lived near the beach, it was fairly common to go surfing after school.

Well...everyone else would surf.  I mostly just got bounced around in the shore break.

But one day as I was riding towards shore, a cross-current wave sideswiped my board and tossed me into the air. I did some sort of flip and – inexplicably – landed, feet first, unscathed, back on my board like nothing had happened.   

I almost wouldn’t believe it was true myself, except that my friend, Matt, witnessed it.  

It was crazy.  

And quite frankly, it’s statistically impossible to ever happen again (especially since I don’t surf anymore).

You know what else is statistically improbable?

kismet

kismet

I got new headshots recently and I was terrified.

Headshots are one of those things that, as an actor, you KNOW you have to do but it’s so freaking stressful because “what will I wear” and “how many looks do I need?” and “what if my hair doesn’t cooperate?”

All the things that make you say no.

I’d actually needed new headshots for a while. But I kept putting it off.

Then...I started a trial run with a new manager and the first thing she asked me was whether or not I would consider new headshots.

Ugh. I believe in kismet, so I knew it was time.

So I booked it.  

Busy doing nothing?

Busy doing nothing?

I walked by a house the other day that still had its Christmas lights up.  I get it, those perpetually tangled strings are a complete pain in the butt to put up and take down every year.

But this house also had a giant snowman on the front porch, surrounded by fake presents and oversized ornaments. I didn’t see a garage, which means the owners walk by these decorations every day.

And every day, they choose NOT to take them down.  

It’s all about choices.

And just like the owners of that house, you’re making choices every second of every single day.  

It’s a bit heady to think of your acting career unfolding in a series of snap decisions, isn’t it?  

You're Focusing on the Wrong Things

You're Focusing on the Wrong Things

One of my friends was just diagnosed with cancer.  

Actually, she got the diagnosis a month ago, but she's still waiting to find out what kind of cancer it is so they can start treatment.

One month!

Can you imagine sitting with the knowledge that you have cancer, even just for one day, and not being able to attack it?

My friend and her family’s whole world came crashing down when they got that news, and I expect, all the pent-up “shoulda coulda woulda worry clutter,” too.  

Because there’s only one thing that matters now:  there is a friend, mother, daughter, aunt, and wife who is about to start the fight of, and for, her life.    

So, what a waste of time and embarrassment that I’m stressed that I didn’t get far enough through my to-do list, didn’t exercise, or didn’t book that commercial.   

I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.  

Got An Audition? Put A Jake On It

Got An Audition? Put A Jake On It

Do you watch Scandal?

If not, you should.  And you’re lucky. Lucky because you can binge on all 6 seasons of one of the juiciest, sexiest, and most gorgeous shows out there, ALL.AT.ONCE.  Sigh.

I’m not just talking about Jake Ballard.  

Okay fine, I am.

Because he’s like that decadent Morning Brownie at your fave bakery that you resist every day (honestly, if a Morning Bun is an acceptable breakfast thing, why no Morning Brownie?).  

You shouldn’t. You can’t! Especially since you skipped yoga.  

Want to Know the Biggest Commercial Audition No-No? I'll Tell You What It Snot.

Want to Know the Biggest Commercial Audition No-No? I'll Tell You What It Snot.

I recently had a commercial audition where I was asked to tell a story about the importance of family.  

That was it. The whole audition was just a little, lighthearted, fun story.  

Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, it was, except I committed one major commercial auditioning faux pas.

How to Stand Out (Like "This Is Us" In A Sea Of Great TV)

How to Stand Out (Like "This Is Us" In A Sea Of Great TV)

Have you ever been in situations where you can’t “see” something even though you’re told it’s staring you in the face?  Or maybe you’ve heard the term “it’s like wallpaper”.  

If you haven’t heard that term before... it’s not a good thing. Imagine this: When the wallpaper was new, it was exciting and you loved it, but now that you’ve seen it a gagillion times, you don’t even notice it.  And voila,  “It’s like wallpaper”.  Boring.

No one wants to be like wallpaper – especially in our industry!