Game Plan

31 Aug

Now that I haven’t had something to do every single day, I have been able to sit back and analyze where I am at and what I have achieved this summer. There are a lot of things I am so happy and proud of, but I also think I missed out on a lot. Not that I would have gotten all of the parts, but there were a lot of roles I didn’t even submit myself for because I thought I would be ACTRA by the middle of July. As it turns out, it probably won’t be until the end of September, maybe later, and that’s okay, I just need to stop planning based on things I don’t actually have a timetable for. There’s an expression about not counting your chickens before the eggs hatch, and I definitely learnt it this summer. From now on, I will take Carolyne’s advice and submit for all of the non-union stuff until I have my ACTRA number in hand. I will also not sit around and wait to be called for extra work, or for things to happen. There are a lot of things I am planning to do ‘as soon as I am ACTRA’ which I know make sense, but there’s no reason I can’t prepare everything before then. I am going to be proactive, not reactive about my career, as suggested in an article on making it in Hollywood. There doesn’t seem to be a secret answer to becoming a working actor, but I think as long as you keep at it and are always doing something, you’ll eventually make it.

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So, I have spent a lot of the past week working on my short and long term goals, where I want to be in 6 months or a year, and more importantly, how do I make these goals and dreams come true. I have already signed up for ballet classes, and will be starting back up with Suzanna in a few weeks, which kind of takes a load off my shoulders. It may be counterintuitive that more work would make me feel less stressed, but there is something about being out of class for a while that makes you stir-crazy. If you’re constantly on set filming things or watching talented actors work, it isn’t so bad, but when you’re spending a lot of time at your day job, you need to get back to being creative and acting. I have 10 days to go :)

For those of you who are my facebook friends, you will notice that I did the ALS ice bucket challenge last weekend. There has been a lot of criticism on the idea of wasting drinking water and posting a video of yourself to supposedly find a cure for ALS, but the point is to do something big, that people will see, in order to raise awareness, so more people will donate, like everyone who took the challenge is supposed to have done. I think it’s an amazing idea and it’s clearly working. After doing the challenge myself, I drove to Ottawa with Steve, so that he and Rikki could also do the challenge. It was a nice excuse for a road trip and a night out with the cousins. We checked out Mosaika, a light show on parliament, which you should definitely check out if ever you find yourself in Ottawa :)

http://instagram.com/p/sHnBOVtfMM/

On Wednesday, Carolyne and I caught up at Starbucks, where I got to have my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. A bit early, and I’m not ready to see summer go, but the PSL and watching If I Stay afterwards definitely got me in the mood for Fall. If you’ve read the book or seen the trailer for If I Stay, you know watching it will make you cry, but it is also an excellent primer for reading the second book, Where She Went, so that you cry upon random passages where there is nothing actually sad. You’ve been warned.

I am now off to have lunch with my dad, then will organize all of my goals to form a cohesive Game Plan for the next few months, especially September. Starting tomorrow, I plan on truly following Hugh Jackman’s pre-X-Men plan, of working on it 7 days a week, giving it your all for 5 years. I also think I might get back to posting monthly or weekly goals on here, since I seem to work better when I have someone to hold myself accountable to ;)

 

“Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
-Miguel Angel Ruiz

22 Aug IMG_1425

I hope you all enjoyed your summer. I don’t know about you, but I have no idea where the time has gone. Do you realize it is almost September?

I am going to start this post off with my awesome good news, that I have been waiting so long to share with you. If you have recently perused my imdb page, you will see that I now have a new credit. A credit for a movie with people you have probably actually heard of. I am pleased and super excited to say that next month I will have a small part in a movie! Not only is this awesome because I get to act, which is how I would like to spend the rest of my life, but this role is on an ACTRA production, meaning that once the contract is signed, I should be able to apply for my first ever ACTRA credit!!! Good things are on the horizon and I can’t wait to reach them. While we wait for some behind the scenes set pics, you can check out and like the imdb page :)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3643390/

You might have noticed that it has been over a month since my last post. My apologies, I have been busy, as I hope most of you were. Either enjoying the weather, working hard or pursuing your dreams. I have been doing a bit of all 3. When I last left you, I was super nervous about the commercial I was about to shoot, mostly because I had to do my own hair and makeup. And bring my own wardrobe. And because I had a ginormous bruise running down my arm. The nerves kept up until I got there, and intensified as they went over the clothes I had brought, peaking when I had to put on the first one, and do my hair and makeup. But then, it became fun. Yes, I need to work on my makeup applying skills. Yes, an industrious quantity of the stuff they use to cover tattoos didn’t quite get rid of my bruise. But, I had an amazing time on that 3 day shoot. It was actually for production/promotional videos for Techcraft wall beds. You can find me on their videos at costco.ca, which definitely brings me up a notch as far as my grandmother and mother are concerned. I also got to meet and work with some awesome people whose paths I hope I get to cross some time soon.  Not to mention a tour guide for when I next visit London ;)

http://www.costco.ca/Techcraft-%E2%80%93-Athena-Twin-Landscape-Wall-Bed.product.100122663.html

A lot of my work was for the campground, not for my acting, but I still made it to Toronto twice more and had the most amazing time on set, meeting people and watching the actors at work. I also worked one day as an extra here in Montreal. There was only one actor in this particular scene, but that means there’s more time for the camera to focus on me and my emerald dress, right? It was one of those days where it is raining, but not enough for it to show on camera, so we shoot anyways. It would have been horrible, only my boyfriend for the day had an umbrella and we had some interesting conversations that made the time fly :)

I only got to see Carolyne once, when we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy, which I think everyone should go see. We didn’t really have much time to go in depth on everything going on, but we did get pretty excited when talking about all of the cool new productions happening in Montreal these upcoming months. Fingers crossed for both of us :)

I do have to admit that it isn’t only work that has been keeping me busy. We got a new manager at work, so I should be able to cut down on a lot of my hours, but my aunt, my cousin and my cousin’s baby boy came to visit us from Saskatchewan for a little over a week. It was really nice seeing them, both for conversations in my living room and the whale watching in Quebec City. 

Other than my completing the Color Run with my brother and cousins, that is pretty much all that has been going on lately. I am trying to find a place to stay while volunteering at TIFF in the beginning of September, and will try to get back to posting weekly.

“I am not a has-been. I am a will be.”

-Lauren Bacall

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

-Robin Williams

I didn’t die! :)

19 Jul

So, I just wanted to start off this post by letting everyone know that I not only survived Tough Mudder on July 12th, but I actually completed all but one of the obstacles. And I have the battle wounds to prove it. I am black and blue and really surprised myself with what I accomplished. It is so incredible to see so many people come together like that. Everyone helps everyone out, and two people offered me the shoes on their feet when we were walking back on rocks and I had none (I turned them both down, and only slightly cursed with each step). My dad said he would do it with us next year, but for now, I have the Color Run to look forward to ;)

 Before and after shots…mudder beforemudder after

Since it has been an eternity since my last post, I won’t go through my day to day, but I will share the major points.

First, a guy I took the Dale Carnegie course with contacted me through my cousin Rikki, to offer me a modelling/acting job for his company. I start on Monday, for 3-4 days of kind of showing furniture. I have to admit that I am terrified. Not because of the acting, because I think I can master getting in and out of bed and stuff, but I am bringing my own wardrobe, as well as doing my own hair and makeup. I have done my makeup on sets before, but it has mostly been for background work, not for stuff where I am the only person on camera. Although I guess the furniture is considered the star of the show…I’ll let you know how it all works out.

On the 11th, I had two auditions for some non-union, student films. I thought they went pretty well, though probably not my best work. I didn’t get contacted by either of them, but I think they were filming this weekend, so I’m pretty sure we can rule them out. 

On the 14th, I was in Toronto, having driven there, worked and driven home in all a little more than 24 hours. Am I crazy? Maybe a little. But you see, when you get the chance to wear gorgeous gowns from the 1500s (style-wise, not age-wise) and be on Reign, even as background, you say yes. If you remember, I had being on Being Human as one of my 25 things to do before I turn 25, but Being Human was cancelled. Since the point of it was to be on an American Television Series that films here, I am just going to substitute Reign for Being Human. It would be a dream come true to get an actual role, or continuity background on it, but even being there for a day was truly a treat. I met a bunch of really nice and interesting people, got to learn some of the ropes of Toronto’s acting community, and even got some acting lessons. The lessons were from watching, not an actual coach of any kind. A lot of the extra work I have done has been in big scenes where you can’t really hear the dialogue and just do your own thing in the background, but this scene had most of the main cast in the room with us, and we filmed each of their private conversations, as well as a master with all of them. Seeing how they recovered from saying the wrong thing, or stayed absolutely in character while calling line…it was truly something to see, and take in. I hope I get to go back, and often. 

Last of my news is that on Friday, I did a self-tape. I had submitted myself through a casting agency and was asked to send in a self-tape. I tried to do it with my dad on Thursday, but although I knew it by heart, I had to pause and think of what came next, which didn’t look so great on camera, so we decided to do it Friday morning instead. I woke up super early and worked on it again for about an hour before waking my dad so he could tape it for me. It took multiple takes, but finally I went through the whole thing without making a mistake or having to look for my line. We watched it to make sure it was good, and I saw every pause, every moment of uncertainty, and thought it was horrible. My dad thought it was great though. I couldn’t tell if it was my overly-self-critical self that was being too hard on myself, or if my dad was just anxious to get it over with. So, I settled, uploaded the video and sent it off.

The whole time I was driving to work, I kept thinking how horrible it was, how I should never leave things to the last minute like that, how I should have just kept going the night before until I nailed it. A million things I should have done differently, with the blame dancing around in my head. Then I realized the only one to blame was me. Obviously. My dad probably said it was great because he loves me and like my mom told my brother she loved his drawings in kindergarten, my dad will love everything I do. And he has been so amazing with me every single time I have a self-tape request. I often ask him the day of, and he spends varying amounts of time setting up the perfect angle, the best lighting, and then running scenes with me as my reader and camera man. I am incredibly grateful and so lucky to have him. 

Which brings us back to me. I need to stop being so afraid to speak up. I don’t only need to be able to ask for what I want, to succeed in this business I need to fight for it and not take no for an answer. I mean, if I’m not fighting for me, who will? Also, I should never judge a self-tape about whether it is good or not, and whether I got all of the words right. The idea of taping yourself at home is that you have as many takes as you need in order to make it perfect. I should never be sending something in unless it will win me the job, or at least the room (in this case anyone who watches it). This lesson is especially important since I later got an email saying that I did a great job, but the quality of the video was horrible, making it so grainy that you couldn’t even see my face. Coming off as mediocre and like I don’t care about their time or value the opportunity is definitely not what I was going for. On the bright side, I have two hours of driving in a car, completely stressed out which will ensure that in the future, I will watch all videos before sending them, and if they are not amazing work that will make people want to hire me on the spot, I shouldn’t send them out. Lesson learned.

That’s mostly what has been going on with me on the acting front. I should be pretty busy over the next few weeks, which might not leave that much time for posts, but next time, I will hopefully be able to share some exciting news I have been holding onto. Or at least not sharing here. If you happen to run into me I’ll probably tell you all about it. But officially, I’ll be telling you all soon ;)

 

“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing up there half the time. These performers that go on about their technique and craft – oh, puleeze! How boring! I don’t know what technique means. But I do know what experience is. I know in my gut when I’ve done a scene right.”

-Elaine Stritch

We’ve got a trailer!!!

17 Jul

Trailer for The Dark Shack :)

Things have been crazy, and I have so much to say in my next blog post, as soon as I have a chance to write it. In the meantime, check out the trailer for the Dark Shack :)

Summer

3 Jul

It is shaping up to be a busy summer, and although I wish more of it was acting and less of it was my other job, I have to look on the bright side, that I am making money to support my dreams. Luckily, I also got to make some money on set:)

As I mentioned in my last post, I was an extra on the 19th. I am used to really early call times that finish in the evening, but this time I had an afternoon call time with the possibility of an overnight shoot. We finished at midnight, which was great, because I had to work at 8 the next morning. I am sad to say I spent most of my time there in holding, which is where the extras stay when they aren’t being used, then walked around outside the bistro where the scene was being filmed…inside. So, I will definitely not be seen on camera in the movie, but I did get to meet a lot of interesting people, and hopefully showed some members of the crew that I am someone they would like to work with again :)

Last Monday, I got to see Carolyne for some Menchie’s and How To Train Your Dragon 2. I have never felt so much like a child, and so much not like one as well. To top it off, I got home that night and we booked a trip to Hawaii in November, which I cannot wait for.

I finally convinced someone to see The Fault in Our Stars with me the next day. Most people I usually go to the movies with weren’t interested in seeing a sad movie, but I think a good cry is important to have every once in a while. And not that I want to be in movies where I make people cry their eyes out, but there is something about seeing those heartwrenching, emotional scenes done seamlessly (or so it appeared to my tear-filled eyes).

I missed my stunt class due to work, and so will probably be joining the September class instead. There are a lot of things on my to-do list that I am worried I won’t be getting to, but if I have legitimate reasons and am doing something else, I think I will have to let it go.

I spent a lovely weekend in Albany with my family, then watched the season finale of Sex & Ethnicity when I got back. All of the episodes are currently online, so watch them, have fun spotting all of the awesome Montreal talent, and help get them a Season 2 :)

Also, since this is the place where I share all my secrets, I am semi-certain I will die either literally or figuratively during Tough Mudder on July 12th. If anybody wants to hire me for some kind of acting related job on that day, it would be great, otherwise, I will keep training and try my best not to die.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
— Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

Sex & Ethnicity Launch Party

25 Jun

You’ve all heard me mention Sex & Ethnicity, an amazing webseries made by and featuring the best of Montreal’s acting pool. I was priviliged to get to go to the Launch Party, so am sharing some pictures, as well as the link, so you guys can all watch the show :)

It is by supporting each other that we reach incredible heights, which in this case means publicity, a second season, and an awesome opportunity for a bunch of actors who truly deserve it <3

http://michaeladicesare.com/sex-ethnicity/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1He9RcwYrM&list=PLuf_Hg8uA6LnTtaR6valiog0b5uLPPFND

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Extras, Parties and suits

18 Jun

When I last wrote, I was preaching about possibilities, which is exactly what was given to me. I had a music video shoot all booked on Friday, but it was an outdoor shoot, and anyone who was in Montreal last Friday knows that it was pouring, so the shoot got cancelled. Obviously, that sucked. But I was still believing in my possibilities, so I decided to work on them. I wrote back to someone who had tentatively mentionned something about background work. I had already told him I was pretty much always available, but decided to follow up with my availabilities this coming week. I figured that if I did this every week, eventually he would use me, right? Turns out he needed people that very Sunday!

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I will get to how amazing that day was, but the slight catch was that I was supposed to go the AMI Invisible Full Moon Party that started at 9 on Saturday, and my calltime was 5:30 on Sunday. All things considered, I would have to wake up around 3 am, which didn’t leave me much time for sleep. I also couldn’t bail, because I had convinced my cousin to come with me. So, we went in when it opened, with pretty much no one else there, had a great time once people showed up, and I stayed until 11 ish before basically abandonning my cousin with a girl I knew. I felt horrible at the time, but looking back, it was the right decision, because I had been on set for hours by the time he actually got home.

The first reason why Sunday was so awesome is because it was the first time Carolyne and I ever got to work together. Knowing I would be on set, especially with Carolyne, was enough to make me excited to be driving to work at 4 am. The second awesome thing, for me at least, was that we were dressed for business/corporate. This doesn’t sound like much, but I have been watching a lot of Suits lately, and the girls are always wearing pretty dresses and blazers and I sometimes wish I had a job that required me to dress like that every day. And this is the beauty of acting, even as an extra. For that day on set, I was a paralegal, doing some shopping with my best friend on our lunch break. Because the day spent on set as an extra is a lot more interesting when you have a backstory ;)

Another thing I love about being on set in any capacity, or just working in the acting business, is meeting people, whether they are actors as well, or just doing this for fun. The advice and conversations you have on set are priceless :) Even when the conversation is interspersed with running for your life, with the camera nowhere in sight. All in a day’s work I guess, and can’t wait to go back!

Since Sunday was also Father’s Day, I rushed to my grandparent’s house for s’mores, having missed supper. I also planned on watching or doing whatever my dad wanted that night, but instead I fell asleep almost as soon as we got home. Still, my dad took it in stride and let me know what was happening in the golf game, even while I slept. You guys should be so lucky as to have a dad as good as mine :)

On Monday, I got some more extra work for this week, before my brother and I took my dad and grandfather out for a proper father’s day supper, to make up for the fact that I missed it the night before.

My fitting was on Tuesday, and I have been lucky to get shoes I can walk in every time I am an extra, and although the outfit isn’t exactly what I would wear today, it was definitely nice back in the day when this particular movie is set. Once the fitting was done, I met my cousin for some menchies and to find out what happened after I left him on Saturday. We ended up walking and talking for over an hour, mostly leaving because it started pouring.

Now before I go, falling asleep on Sunday meant I couldn’t watch Sex & Ethnicity live, but the first 4 episodes are currently on youtube, and you will find some laughs, some heart, amazing talent and even a little bit of me ;)

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“God, make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear.”

-Ruby Dee

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