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

 

Heat.

There’s a 12 Step slogan to HALT or be mindful and tread carefully when you’re feeling either Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.

I’m offering a second H….for Heat.

I’ve had a couple of experiences recently where the excessive heat nearly made my brain turn to mush. The opposite of freeze, but a similar feeling. Who knew??? Well, now I do. Heat. It’s a thing. *

There are so many “occupational hazards” that come with acting. There is a lot to endure. When I lived in NY, there were certainly actual freezing working conditions that arose from time to time, but since living in Los Angeles, I can add severely hot ones to those.  These steaming days can especially affect wardrobe (note to self: that bold red silk audition blouse I wore last week is a no no!! – natural fiber, but NOT good for heat), hair and makeup (’nuff said), mechanical things of all sizes, (smart phone, I’m talking to you), and of course, our precious human faculties. Not a small deal.

It makes me think the heat wave in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  That heat  had the power to bring out the madness in all.

And it still does.

So now, and especially with this recent Mercury Retrograde in effect, tread carefully my friends. Respect your triggers; heck, at least they are evident. Or if they’re not, they’ll likely be sooner or later – it’s just a matter of time.

It’s all information. It’s all experience. And it really is all a gift, though it might not feel it at the time.

So bless the sun, and savor the cool.

marigoldheat1marigoldheat

XD

* It has not escaped me that some of this heat sensitivity could also be hormonally related. Ah…….life! But that, my friends, is a subject for another blog post. ^_^ Or not, lol…

Sweet Home (#tiredandgrateful)

It’s catch up time after a month of intense work. The commercial shoot was incredibly fun, and the film had its out of town challenges with long days and outdoor scenes in sweltering temps. But we all got through it, thanks to everyone’s dedication and commitment. The crew was so helpful protecting the cast from the blazing elements and supporting us all beautifully. Pics on that to come!

For now, it’s all about laundry, cleaning, (still sandy somehow), and settling back into life.

It’s also about gathering energy for what’s coming. I discovered a new yoga studio in my hood a couple of weeks ago, so that will be a great way to recharge and let go some more.

It’s good to be back home, but I’m excited for the next adventure…

Stay hydrated, friends! 😉

XD

IMG_4368 (1)

double fun

Happy June, Y’all!

There have been two buds a budding. One is a feature film booking, in which I’ll be playing a major supporting role filming this July. It’s a pychological thriller with a wonderful group of artists…can’t wait to play with them all.

The second is a commercial booking shooting soon. Good times! More on that to come.

Wishing you a great month of sweet surprises.

XD

12

 

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

Healing New Year

IMG_2705
Nozawa Onsen

Dear Friends,

I’ve been meaning to write, but I’ve been on the mend this month. Over December, I had the very exciting idea to go skiing in Nagano, Japan, as my husband and I would be seeing family roundabout there for the new year. You guessed it, things went not as it expected (do they ever?) and I returned home with a dislocated elbow. (Yes, OUCH!)

Good thing is I received wonderful care in Japan as well as back here in the U.S., and things are progressing. I have a cool moveable and removable arm brace that I have actually gotten compliments on…who knew?!..and I’m in my second week of physical therapy–total newbie at all this. I’ve been doing lots of public transportation, which I actually enjoy, and, I even acted in my first project of the year last week.

Of course, it’s been surreal at times. I’m grateful for my husband’s help (it happened on my dominant arm) and the help of many others in my life. (Shout out to my ER doc bro who was there for me at 3am his NY time, when we were sorting out the matter of anesthesia during the “reduction” process–fancy term for putting the elbow back where it belongs). I’m also grateful for my other elbow and am in quite a bit of awe about this formerly unrecognized (yet very hard working!) part of my body. Don’t want to take any of this/it for granted. Elbows. They do a body GOOD.

So…happy new year! I hope this finds you able-bodied and most importantly in a space where you can see whatever challenges might be present through a very wide and benevolent lens. I know that’s what I’ve been practicing, Xo.

In other news, the film I did last fall, “Red Hat” will be screening at Warner Brothers tomorrow. Also, I’ve attached some photos from my trip and the recent cinematography project below.

Be safe and enjoy.

Till soon,

Dalit

 

 

My favorite sport

Go team, Red Hat!
In the zone and led by our fearless director, Chuning Wang.

Happy fall, dear readers!

There is something about the filmmaking process that breaks my heart open every time..something about the intimacy and yet the total impersonal aspect of it. When it’s going well, there is a pervading egolessness that allows everyone to shine. We are all together, seen and unseen, creating something from nothing. And that something could have resonance beyond our wildest imaginings, or just resonance of that good day, working together, moment to moment.

Also, with the recent World Series, I’m amazed by some of the parallels there are between baseball and filmmaking: the importance of staying in one’s body and in the present moment; related to that, the sheer physicality and focus required in both; also, the notion of going for singles rather than just home runs; and particularly, how in the post-season (which one could equate to actual filming days rather than auditions or any rehearsals we might be lucky enough to have), it’s the little things that count, in general and at bat—ie: making contact over strength. Same when filming. And of course, they’re both games, after all, yes? 😉

I’m curious if you have any other thoughts about this baseball = filmmaking analogy. Feel free to post below!

XD

 

stealth moves

Hello and yikes! I can’t believe we’re on the verge of June. So far this year feels like one of those picture flip books that you thumb through and the moving images pass by so quickly, it leaves you with a sweet ache. Ah……

In acting news, a film I worked on is making the festival rounds with great success. Congrats, Happy Hunting! And of course, it’s so great that Colony was renewed for a third season. Well-deserved and it’s going to be very interesting to see how the story unfolds.

Otherwise, earlier in the year I acted in a couple of short films with some wonderful actors and promising young AFI directors. I also made a representation change and now have a new commercial agent, which has been super cool. It’s been so fun going out on those auditions.

And finally, most recently, I’ve been singing again. It feels good, and I hope to post more about that in the near future.

I hope this finds you well. I truly appreciate your interest and support and I hope your May has been flowering the most dazzling blooms…

xo

Dalit

 

DSC04505
On my mark + having a blast as Merla Perkins in Shu Zhu’s “American Freak.”
IMG_0938
Blooms!