I just edited a new acting reel. The last few years, there’s been a trend towards 30 second clips and 1 minute “speedreels.” The common refrains have been “shorter is better” “industry doesn’t have time” “casting decides in the first five seconds.” That may be true to a certain extent, but I thought it could be nice to edit something a little longer (only 3 minutes but still) that showcases some of the breadth of my work and that has a little breathing room.
It’s funny (not really funny though) how easy it can be to follow the crowd – do the “popular thing.”
But it can hurt after a while too. Especially when you realize that you’re somewhat blindly doing what X says is*right* and then you realize that they don’t have the answer anymore than Y or Z does. And that perhaps that no answer at all.
Making our own marks can feel clumsy and painful at times. But at at least then we can learn from actual experience – instead of being disappointed in others (or ourselves) that we are buying into someone else’s version of the truth.
So make some marks. You don’t have to share them if you don’t want to or you’re not ready yet, but make them. No one can make your marks but you.
I’m ending this bizarre year with acting work: a commercial and a short film. Both were so much fun – albeit quite surreal, given all of the COVID precautions. I took four tests last week to ensure my health for both projects. I’m extremely happy to be working with safe and kind humans. And I’m so grateful to be healthy and creatively engaged with others. Here’s to more of it – ideally without the need for masks, eventually.
Stay safe, my friends. And do what is necessary to be close to what you love, whatever that may be.
Did I mention they love me in Japan? LOL. The above is a clip from an article in a Japanese lifestyle blog about Amazake Co., my husband’s start up business which launched last summer. I am the chief advisor (we made that up, but of course I am) and it’s been quite an adventure to say the least. The taste-testing has been beyond fun (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it), and it’s pretty cool to see others learn about and enjoy this traditional fermented Japanese sweet drink. Unlike other Amazakes you might find, this one is hand-crafted and non-pasteurized, so it has all those probiotic benefits, too!
In acting news, “Premenstrual Margot” is having its premiere this March at the Women’s Film Festival in Brattleboro, Vermont. This festival is in its 29th year and features films “by and about women for everyone.” I spent some time in Putney and Brattleboro years ago, so I’m stoked the film will debut there. It’s a uniquely beautiful part of the United States, and the festival itself has a fantastic lineup this year, as you can see here. If you’re in the area, do check it out!
That’s it for the moment. Wishing you a great, nourishing year.
Well, yesterday I submitted my nominations for the upcoming SAG Awards. So many remarkable shows and films to watch and reflect on….what a treat it’s been to be on the nominating committee this year!
It’s been an intense few months, between screenings, acting, teaching and helping my husband with a nourishing new venture. More on that to come! I gave my final exam this morning, so I’m ever so gently starting to recalibrate. Hallelujah, for reals.
Here are some images from some of that, in no particular order.
As we come to the end of this year and decade (!), I feel extra aware of this precious life. Everything is so tender, so fleeting. We must be kind: to ourselves and each other…it feels so imperative now.
So here’s to life – to learning and celebrating all of it.
It’s a been a busy one so far, between acting, teaching, and helping my DH with his knee recovery. It’s also been uncharacteristically chilly here in Los Angeles. It hasn’t felt like spring, or at least the spring of my memory…But it’s this year’s spring, so spring it is.
In acting news, the feature I worked on last summer is in its final stages of post-production. Exciting! And the Chapman thesis from last fall had it premiere and hopefully will have an impactful festival run. I also filmed another USC short (second of the year) which should be completed soon. It’s always interesting to do one’s part and let go. There’s not much to be done about these things now. That’s one of the unique things about any collaborative creative process: we do our part, pass the baton, and hope for the best. And no matter what, there are lessons and unexpected surprises that emerge.
The really exciting news is getting a new mattress! Ha ha. But seriously, when it was raining a lot last month the current one (a years-old futon one) was getting so painful to sleep on. Something about the moisture. After years of no issues, my back was starting to revolt. So finally, we took the plunge and ordered an eco-friendly, sustainable, hard “legit mattress” that just arrived. Setting up that bad boy today!
Here’s to a great June. May you up-level what is needed, celebrate your successes (there’s always something, right? ;-), and sleep well when you do.
Last month was the premiere of “Premenstrual Margot” at Chapman’s Folio Theater. It was a great night, reconnecting with cast and crew, watching the other splendid films of the evening, and making new friends. Enjoy some behind the scenes shots in this post!
In other news, it’s been a time of recovery for my DH who had knee surgery nearly two months ago. Neither of us anticipated what this process would take, but finally things seem to be stabilizing. And of course, it’s like the universe knows I’ve been in caretaker mode these last number of weeks, so things have been rather gentle acting-wise. 😉
All of this, and I mean all of this has been fueling a fresh consciousness awakening, a cellular homecoming that feels like everything.
So here’s to divine timing. The waiting in the wings that you are savoring because somewhere inside, you know it means everything. This moment. That moment. The shadows that give way to the light. The bubbling that gives way to stillness. And it’s all a dance. All one big surrender.
ok, now i’m fine
these aren’t my glasses, but now they are and they’re amazing! with Giselle Torres
For me, early March is one of those liminal times — not quite winter anymore, yet not quite spring yet either. I’ve been loving dressing for these in between times — thoughtfully choosing the items that, together, signal this threshold time.
Speaking of cusps, In February I filmed a short that had the craziest coincidences of cusps that I’ve ever been a part of (to my knowledge anyhow). I was born on the Libra – Scorpio cusp, my screen son on the Scorpio – Saggitarius cusp, and my screen husband on the Sagittarius – Capricorn cusp! And not only that, our director was born on the Aires – Taurus cusp!! I love these synchronicities. And, of course, we all got along splendidly.
Enjoys the scenery as it changes!
Make the Call
my cuspy family ~ led by Eris Zhao w/ Stephen R. Peluso & Matthew Odette!
During these last few weeks in Los Angeles, it’s been alternatingly raining hard and shining brightly. Literally, and quite possibly figuratively. But there’s a lot of beauty in those natural displays most of the time.
On the acting front, I had my first commercial avail of the year – that’s like a big juicy almost. Par for the course, for sure. On the sunnier side, I also got my first film booking, which I shoot later this week. Ups, downs, all arounds. This is the world we’re in. As I learned in my religious studies 3000 years ago, the sour allows us to really taste the sweet. Full disclosure, I’ve always been more of a devotee of the pungent (turmeric, cardamom, thyme…), but that’s another story for another month.
Wishing you a great February, filled with love, nourishing waters and all kinds of flavors.
I had some sweet holiday times with close family and powerful theater back east. And now it’s back to LA and all that that entails.
Some performance highlights were seeing the off-broadway play “Daniel’s Husband” (sadly in its final days) and the musical “The Band’s Visit” (I loved it so much), not to mention some great jazz at Smoke and finally getting to see the film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
It was great to see its accolades at the Golden Globes last night, as well as Glenn Close’s recognition for her beautiful work in “The Wife.” Funny thing, I watched that on the plane to Michigan in November, and I remember thinking, I really hope other people get to see this…It’s a very particular story with great nuance. I just might need to see it again on a larger screen. Happily, more people will get to see it now too!
(True story: I got to see Ms. Close in the original “The Real Thing” with Jeremy Irons eons ago. I went with a dear friend who quite adored her and brought a single red rose to give her after the performance – I was obsessed with Mr. Irons, but that is another tale. Anyway, she was incredibly gracious and even introduced us to her partner at the time. What a class act.)
But here were are now! It’s been raining in LA, and January here has a kind of silence that feels both cleansing and piercing. Things are happening already, projects are underway, and there is a need to lean into the activity (at least I feel it) to keep going, keep growing, and be ready for what’s around the corner.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank you for reading and supporting my journey over this past year. It was a very productive one, and of course none of that can happen alone. I have enjoyed connecting with you on a monthly basis, and I aim to continue this practice over 2019.
May you have a healthy and happy new year. May all your dreams come true.
As actors, it can sometimes be hard to say goodbye to the characters we play. Especially when they land in a sweet spot of our psyches. Such was the case with Janine. Janine, the fun, cool mom to the titular “Premenstrual Margot” played by the marvelous Giselle Torres.
One of the visual details of the role was red accents: in wardrobe, accessories and fingernails. I never wear red nails. But Janine did. Always.
So when I was done with my filming, and a day later I had an audition for a decidedly non-red-polish-working-class-single-mom in the Middle East, the red needed to go.
Initially, it felt brutal – like prying off Janine in such a heartless, dismissive manner. Wiping her away, just like that.
How can I make this kinder, I thought? Or is it the same as removing the discreet clear tape that holds that tiny microphone to one’s bare skin while filming? Often it’s better to pull it off fast….like a band-aid. Heavy sigh.
What to do?
After some hand-wringing and stomach churning journaling, finally I came up with this:
I love you Janine. Thank you, Janine.
But now I must remove the polish.
Wishing us all grace and ease as we let go into this new season.