Removing the Polish

IMG_5084As actors, it can sometimes be hard to say goodbye to the characters we play. Especially when they land in a sweet spot in our psyches.  Such was the case with Janine. Janine, the fun, cool mom to the titular “Premenstrual Margot” played by the glorious 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.

XD

Margot's good news
Off the ground!

Insta – huh?

Ooooh, this is a late entry for September, but here goes. I had a little fender bender at the start of the month; thank goodness it was no big deal, but it’s been taking a while to sort out completely. It’s part of the cost of living in a driving culture like LA….quality problems, as they say.

My next acting project is a smart and bittersweet comedy about a late bloomer’s trials and tribulations. No, I’m not the late bloomer (though maybe I could be, haha). I play her wise and loving mom, Janine. There is so much delicious stuff about this project, which begins filming shortly. I’ll be sharing more fully prontissimo!

Lastly, I finally started Instagram. It’s been on my mind for a while, but I’ve been resistant for one reason or another. But yesterday I was chatting to my youngest brother Jon, and something in our conversation put me over the top. We’ve always been big supporters of each other, and there was something about his encouraging me to “embrace social media” that somehow registered. He’s never said that to me before, and even if he had, I don’t know how ready I would have been to take it in. I’ve had a thousand good reasons for keeping some distance from it, but I now realize that there might be 1001 to lean into it just a little more. At least for now.

So that’s what’s up. And I’m sharing my first post below, which has some more juicy details about the project I mentioned earlier. View at your own peril, and do follow if that’s something you’re into.

Have a great rest of September!

XD

 

Upon Awakening this Mothers Day

happy mothers day to all the mothers
the nurturers, the unmothered, partially mothered
the learning to mother
the confused mothers
the blossoming mothers
the tenders, the care-taking magicians
the tired ones. Ah….

the tenderers,
the eager to mothers
the dreaming of mothers
would be mothers
almost mothers
not to be mothers
determined to mother mothers.

they did the best they could mothers
the accidental mothers
the conflicted mothers
the mothers who are afraid
the struggling mothers
sword-carrying mothers
the mother dreamers
the seeking balance and liberation mothers
guilt-ridden mothers
workaholic mothers
desperate to love and be loved mothers.

and then there is the GREAT MOTHER inside
free from any story or particulars
pure, ordinary, unnamed mother.

may we know this infinite mother
relax into that wide expanse
of presence and mercy
the deep deep care
that can also have the lightest touch
or not
all of the pieces are fair game.

may we re-member this fierce whisper of kindness/inclusion
in our bones
in our breath

again and again


 

* Dalit Berkowitz

May 13, 2018

Early Spring

IMG_3277I love the spring. Especially early spring when the smell of winter is still dangling in the air.

Something is coming, pushing through, already pushed through from all that waiting and in some cases aching, and what will it be?

Maybe it’s the question that I love best.

It has begun. The faintest quickening. How will formation take shape? What new things or experiences have begun to germinate and sprout?

This soul craves renewal.

XD

 

 

 

One Small Step

China Beach stillGreetings, lovely people. (***Scroll down to forgo memory lane + just watch if you prefer.)

So, I found this restored footage of a scene from China Beach, the astonishing war drama series that I had the honor of working on many moons ago.

It was my first time in a speaking role on a professional TV set. I played a Red Cross worker with Brian Wimmer’s Corporal Boonie Lanier after his life-altering accident. The episode was in the final season – 408 – and titled “One Small Step.”

It was an unforgettable experience for so many reasons. For one, I had just gotten my drivers license (no small feat for this New Yorker) and didn’t have a car yet, so on my work day I took 2 buses and hitched the rest of the way (!!) to arrive on time at the abandoned airport/North Hollywood set. The kindness of strangers, indeed. This was before the internet, smartphones, apps and the all kinds of speedy access we have today.

I can still vividly remember the audition. My friend Pat ever so kindly (there’s that word again) drove me to Warner Brothers. I was the only actress who did not have an agent at the time – I noticed that while signing in. Bless the visionary casting and production team who were always ready to try new talent. I recall somehow getting myself to the studio a few days before, to excitedly pick up the audition sides. Again, this was before the digital age…people picked up material in person. You had to get your body there (or maybe if you were very fancy, you had the script delivered).

I remember the burnt orange relaxed-fit blouse that I wore, tied at the waist and purchased at JC Amber, the then iconic “clothing store to the stars” where I worked–we did Arsenio’s colorful suits!! (Ah…fashion choice memories do linger)….and I recall waiting alone in the hallway, resting on the floor, a leg outstretched, feeling the ground beneath me before being called in. I remember the little joke I made inside the room and the simple performance of that simple moment. It was not a filmed audition. It was all just live in the room, in the moment, just what it was.

And of course I remember that Hollywood single apartment on Sycamore where I lived, and that next morning when CD John Levey rang, telling me the role was mine. At the time, I had this mischievous ragtime-esque outgoing music on my analog message machine, but in fact, I was home to breathlessly take the call, and I could feel that pleasure that a casting director must feel upon delivering this kind of happy news to a new actor. It was sheer heaven.

So much has changed about auditioning since then – not to mention all of the other crazy fast changes that keep pulling us forward, whether we like it or not. But in some ways, the heart of the ritual remains the same: People coming together, through whatever channels, to tell a story. To make something beautiful. To try their best to create something that feels real, human and alive.

And that, my friends, makes it all worthwhile.

So thanks to technology, this is my simple moment to share with you.

XO

Dalit

Here is the love

A-market

Here are some stills from “A Song of Consolation,” a tender USC short I recently had the pleasure of working on.

The story is about an unlikely connection between two loners who share a love of music. You can view the entire film here. Enjoy!

adagio
Arioso

xDalit

Bizarre & Beautiful

I’m thrilled it’s 2016. I remember as a child wondering what it would be like to live in the two thousands….it was hard to even conceptualize at the time, and sometimes it still is.

Well, we made it. We’re here. And in this bizarre beautiful world, there are countless chances to wake up. To begin again. To affirm that this life is good, no matter the perceived obstacles. No matter the madness. It’s all a massive gift.

So let’s do this!

Yasss

P.S.

“Waiting for You” will be screening again this Saturday at the Whitefire Theater in Los Angeles as part of the California Women’s Film Festival. If you’re in town and free, come by!

cwff

A special relationship

Doorway
Agnes & Pops (with Ralph Michiel)

The next few days mark the entry of “Waiting for You” into the North American film festival circuit (it was part of the Cannes shorts corner just recently). It’s an unusual film for a number of reasons. One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is its central relationship: father and daughter. Especially with Father’s Day coming in June, it occured to me that we don’t commonly observe this relationship in the cinema, at least in the United States. Actually, that’s one of things that initially attracted me to this project. If this subject matter feels meaningful to you for any reason, do consider following the journey of this tender and poetic short film. And if you are in Los Angeles and can make it this Monday at 5pm, do come on by to the acclaimed and “defiantly independent” Dances with Films festival for the showing of “Waiting for You” and five other noteworthy films.

Peace, Dalit

WFY DWF

the fabric of nothing and everything

trusting . . .

Spring is approaching. Really, it is!

Reflecting on the year biz-wise so far, I have three projects in various states of completion: one is in post-production, one will be screened next month, and one is in pre-production.

As excited as I am to be a part of them all, these in betweeny moments can feel unsettling. I realize that this restlessness is something I share about a lot–and I know I’ve posted this sketch before. I drew it a few years back, and it almost feels prophetic (I imagine it will continue to be relevant….those in-between-spaces are much of the fabric of life, yes?).

Looking at the image now, though, the cool thing is that can see progress: there have been undeniable strides, but since I am still, em, alive, there now are all these new unknown spaces to befriend and many more courageous steps to be taken. One at time, I tell myself. Hush and flow. All is a blessing.

I wish you all a glorious spring, with steps that make your spirits soar.

May you enjoy the freshness of each new moment!

Peace,

Dalit

springy

sneaky peaky

So excited to give you a little sneak peak of some of the images from the photo shoot I shared about late last summer, care of  the visionary folks at Medicine Tree Series.

Enjoy!

rainbowleaveseyesglobe

 

yearlings to horses this year of the horse

yb quote

A few days ago, I attended a milestone high school reunion in NYC. I took two planes, a bus and the subway to get there, and despite a mechanical difficulty on the first plane compromising my connection, I (breathlessly) made it.

Although the attendance from my year was modest, it was magnificent to see these beautiful people, many of whom truly looked the same and even “felt” the same. The same, but better.

So much has happened to all of us over the years and indeed so much is happening now: all manners of beginnings, endings and the intervening adult growing pains we all get to experience. Yet somehow we managed to show up to this event, to shake hands, hug, laugh, deeply converse or simply just see eachother: we who knew each other when we were still so innocent–barely teens and throughout the tumult of adolescence. We knew each other then and can bear witness to that now.

And to see each other again, as fully grown individuals (this can no longer be denied), was startlingly comforting.

So thank you, my sweet compadres, for seeing me then and now and allowing me to see you, too. And to those who could not make it, know that your presence was missed and that every good wish is sent your way.

High school was not an easy time for some of us, but I am certain that with all the grit and confusion, we sparked light (sometimes dimly, sometimes brightly) that helped each other get through it and ultmately become who we are. And who we are still becoming.

Shabbat Shalom!

Love,

Dalit

yearbook