The Second Draft

21 Mar

I am a really big fan of 5 year plans and lists, which you can tell because I am always posting them. A few days ago I made a 5 year plan that ends with me living and working as an actress in Los Angeles. I am fully aware that it might take longer for certain things to happen, to jump certain tiers, but it is incredibly exciting to think that it could be possible, and that as long as I keep hustling, some day I will end up there.

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Over the past few weeks, I have been working on writing a second draft of the book I wrote last November, and I finished it yesterday. It is nowhere near ready to be published, but it is one step closer, just in time for Camp NANOWRIMO in April. It is kind of like the NANOWRIMO in November, except instead of imposing a 50 000 word minimum on you, the camp NANOWRIMO lets you decide how big or small whatever you choose to write will be. Since I have discovered that I work better with deadlines and some kind of accountability, I think I might try to do the 2 camps and NANOWRIMO every year (April, July and November). We will see how that goes.

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Thursday night’s rehearsal was kind of different from all of our previous ones. It was more about discovering things about ourselves and our characters than getting ready for showtime, since we tried saying our lines with a different character (mine was a 5 year old who missed her nap :p ) and also swapping roles. Very interesting stuff, and while we can’t do the show with these newly imposed characters, we can learn something from different interpretations of the same role. You can see how it all plays out this May at one of our 6 showings ;)

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

-Buddha

Sets and Inspiration

16 Mar

After a very productive Saturday spent learning valuable lessons from Bonnie Gillespie and the SMFA group, as well as editing the book I wrote last November, I got to spend most of Sunday on set :)

Unlike Friday, this time we actually had a lot of filming to do. Mostly short scenes of me doing things without, but there was also a scene with dialogue. Less down time than a few days ago, but we still got to catch up. And no matter how the rest of my life is going, when I am on set I feel like I am accomplishing something. So that empowering feeling mixed with my new ninja knowledge mean that I am currently a very inspired girl. This is when the magic happens.

Amanda Lynn Petrin_

As if to complement my can-do attitude, I read two awesome articles, one from Shonda Rhimes, and the other from Mark Duplass, encouraging us to just go out and film something every weekend. This seems to be a recurring theme lately, so one of my goals for the next few months is to get a group of actors and creative types together so that we can film things. For fun, for our demo reels, for experience, to get out of the house. Maybe not every weekend, and actually probably during the week for some of us, but I would just love to be constantly filming stuff, even if we are the only ones who end up seeing it, because it will get the ball rolling, and we are never as productive as when we have a million things to do.

What about you? Are you inspired? What makes you feel like you can conquer the world?

“You are not alone.”

-Shonda Rhimes

Research, Rehearse, Film <3

14 Mar

I have been checking a lot of things off of my list in the past few days, but first, I wanted to thank everyone for all of the headshot love <3

On Thursday night at rehearsals we went through all of our scenes, ironing out the kinks and finalizing what we have already worked on. I am off book and can’t wait to see what it will look like with costumes and the set and everything :)

Yesterday I was supposed to have an audition for an amazing project by someone whose work I respect. The breakdown for the role was almost word for word the one I had written for myself when trying to figure out what my brand was. I don’t think I have wanted a role this much since the last time I auditioned for this guy. In the end, my audition was at the same time that I was supposed to be filming something else, so I sent in a self-tape yesterday afternoon. I am definitely more confident doing those after the Self Tape Challenge last month, but I still put way too much pressure on myself and stress out about things I can’t control. Now that it is out there, I have to just let it go and hope for the best.

As for the filming, it was definitely an experience, and ultimately a lot of fun. It was a student project, so there was a learning curve, but they cared about the project and making sure we were comfortable, and I really like the story they are trying to tell. Technical difficulties gave me ample time to get to know my costar, talking about our careers, favorite films, upcoming projects. Often, one of my favorite parts of being on set (other than simply being on set and acting, which are a given) is meeting new people who are hustling along with me ;)

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This morning I have been listening to Bonnie Gillespie’s SMFA Essentials and getting ready for my next tier jump. I am so glad you get to be on this journey with me :)

“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.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz ( The Four Agreements)

Check it out ;)

11 Mar

Over the past few days, I have had a blast hanging out with other actors, having coffee with Carolyne, and even attending an information session on antibiotics for the Science and Policy Exchange (the next one is June 2nd and on Mental Wellness, in case you would like to attend). However, this post will be short and sweet, I just wanted to share 2 of the amazing pictures I got from my seesion last month with Sabrina Reeves.

You can check them out here, and if you are so inclined, you can also give them a like ;)

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6031789/

On Set Yoga

8 Mar

Once I had shared my 30 by 30 list with my father, he handed me a flyer for a blood drive at our local mall that started last Wednesday. Wasting no time, we headed over so I could sign up, get my pin, answer all of the nurse’s questions, and then fail when it got to the blood test. Apparently, my iron level is really low, so they won’t let me give blood. Instead, the nurse gave me a flyer with a list of foods I should be eating more of in order to increase my iron. So, still have 30 left to do, and Iron Man I am not.

Thursday was a fun day at McGill before spending Friday on set in Hamilton. It was for a non-union Docu-drama show, which was both a lot of fun, and very interesting. For one, since everyone was non-union and no one was really known, we all got pretty similar treatment. There was a truck where they were continuously making food, and a spread was available. Normally, it is just for cast and crew, but this time, background was allowed to go there too, and the woman who manned it was the nicest caterer I had ever met. The food was delicious also, in case you were wondering.

We had been told to wear yoga gear, and actually ended up doing a yoga sequence over and over for the scene, then were kept for a pizza parlour scene hours and hours later. We kind of stayed in our yoga clothes for that, since we hadn’t been told to bring anything else. We were very aware of the fact that since it was a flat rate, we were getting paid the same amount for being there all day (13 hours) as those who had come in the evening, but all things considered, we are still getting paid more than if we had just gotten the hourly rate on a union project, and I had an amazing time getting to know my fellow practitioners. We laughed, we did yoga together, and got giddy from exhaustion. Definitely people I would love to catch up with next time I am in Toronto!

This weekend I caught up on sleep and spent a lot of time with family, including the strong, talented, fierce ladies I get to call my family. I am so grateful on this International Women’s Day, that I was raised in a family where the women held their own, accomplished their dreams and didn’t let traditional gender roles define them.

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“Do you want to talk to the man in charge – or to the woman who knows what’s going on?”

-the sign that hung in our family business while I was growing up

30 By 30

4 Mar

You may be rolling your eyes and thinking it’s a little too early to be thinking about the next five years when I haven’t even finished my 25 by 25, but with only 7/8 items left and concrete plans to finish most of them within the next month, I took to planning my next challenges. Really, it’s more of a plan of all of the exciting things I plan to do within the next 5 years :)

1. Publish a Book

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I have wanted to be an actress, and there are some members of my family who think I should give up acting for writing. I don’t plan on doing that any time soon, but it would definitely be an amazing personal accomplishment to publish a book.

2. Be able to Communicate in Another Language

I am aiming for Italian at the moment, and the point isn’t to be fluent, but I would like to be able to get around in a city that speaks that language. So, I might have to visit Italy to put this one to the test :)

3. Knit a Baby’s Blanket

I learnt how to knit with the goal of being able to knit a baby blanket when people I care about have kids. I have a character in a story I will hopefully some day publish who does this, and I may be biased, but I think it is an awesome thing to do.

4. Be a Bridesmaid

I was honored to be my Aunt’s maid of honor a few years ago, something I will cherish forever, but I would love to be a bridesmaid and get to do all that it entails. I want to go dress shopping, have an assigned bridesmaid dress I can love or complain about, have the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party…the whole nine yards. Plus, it means I have a friend who values me and wants me to be a part of their special day :)

5. Be an Aunt

I don’t want this to put the pressure on my brother to procreate, I just would love to have a kid I am close to, who calls me Auntie Amanda. This baby is possibly already born and just hasn’t started talking yet.

6. Visit New Orleans

Ever since I decided to take a road trip to New Orleans, this town has not left my mind. It pops up in shows, I write about it in books…I would really love to experience the culture, the food, the beauty of New Orleans with my own two eyes!

7. Be a Working Actress

This means that I will be living comfortable off of my acting income, not just burning through my savings. It means no survival jobs, no worrying about unexpected dinners or outings. And best of all, it means that I will be spending lots of time on set :)

8. Move into a Place of My Own

I specifically didn’t say move out, because it isn’t about leaving my home, it is about spreading my wings and finding my way in a place that I can truly call my own. And, I have a bunch of frames and things that I don’t know where to hang up in my bedroom.

9. Become a Full ACTRA member

For those of you who aren’t actors, in order to become a full ACTRA member, you need 3 credits, which are basically speaking parts in union productions. There are other ways of getting credits, such as education and background work, but 3 is still the magic number. I have already booked the role that will give me my first credit, so this means getting two more.

10. Do an Aid/Relief Trip

Image result for beyond borders

I used to watch those World Vision commercials when I was a kid, and I would beg my mom to adopt one of the kids. This never worked out, but the urge to help never went away. I loved the idea of sponsoring a child, until I saw Beyond Borders, the Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen movie. This was when I thought I would become a doctor and do Doctors Without Borders (like Clive’s character), but since I have long given up on the medical degree, I would still love to go to the places that need help and bring supplies and volunteer my time instead of justing giving money (like Angelina’s character). They have amazing organizations where you can volunteer to help kids, or animals or entire villages, so I just have to pick which one I want to do and go!

11. Give Blood

I wanted to donate blood as soon as I turned 18, but I had always been out of the country within that frame of time where they don’t want your blood. Since Hawaii doesn’t count as a foreign country, my blood in currently donatable, and I would like to do so. Even if it slightly terrifies me after organizing a blood drive where people passed out.

12. Master a British Accent

I often use my British Accent when I am driving alone in my car, and I find it helps a lot when I am trying to write proper English in my stories, but I would like to acquire an official dialect that I can use in public, put on my CV and film with. By that point, I will also know if it is a Central London or East End of London accent. Or, you know, be more accurate than simply British, which encompasses a whole lot of accents.

13. Go to TIFF with something I have a part in

Pretty self-explanatory. Toronto International Film Festival, and with a movie or a short that I actually had a speaking part in.

14. Have a speaking part on a network TV show

I would like to be able to say I was in something that the person I am talking to either watches, or has at least heard of, and can easily find. One day, I hope the network is ABC, because you apparently get Disney passes when you work for them. That just became your life’s ambition, right?

15. Have a speaking part in a theatrical release movie

These past two are milestones, because I will still jump at the chance of being in an independent film, a straight to TV movie and so on, but one day, I would like to have a movie that comes out in theatres, with a release date, and worry about the box office and all those things.

16. Buy myself the Chanel 2.55 bag

I once walked into a Chanel store in Vegas and found the beautiful, quilted bag I wanted (and understood that an Investment Bag had nothing to do with what it looks like, but how much it costs). The woman there acted like I was actually going to buy something, which was incredibly exciting for the 21 year old me. I still have her card and one day, when I make a lot on a movie or something, I will go back to her and buy that bag.

17. Read 250 books

This either overly ambitious, or not at all impressive, I can’t tell, but I am looking forward to lots of cuddling up with a good book and hot tea.

18. Sleep under the stars

Ideally, this means that there is nothing but a blanket between me and the cosmos, but depending on where it happens, I might need a mosquitoe net or something. But wouldn’t it be lovely to fall asleep to a beautiful view of the stars?

19. Spend a week with no phone, no television, no internet

This seemed really hard to do when Anthony Meindl suggested it in his book, and I was going to cut it down to 48 hours, but then I decided I could use an escape from the world. Imagine all the things we could do if we cut out the time we spend on our devices?

20. Learn how to drive manual

A friend once gave an oral presentation on how to do this, and it seemed plausible, but I still have no idea what a clutch is and don’t understand gears. So, I would like to learn how to do this, so next time I am asked to drive a manual car, I will be able to.

21. Devote my time to a cause

I don’t need to be an ambassador or devote all of my time to it, but I would like to choose a charity/cause and get involved, either through fundraisers and events or some other means, but it won’t just be a question of money. It will be a real commitment.

22. Go to a Red Carpet Premiere for a movie I am in

The screening last weekend was really excited, but I am dreaming of the red carpet premiere (it can be black or blue, but there needs to be a carpet). I don’t need to be the star of it, but I want to walk the carpet, pose for pictures with the cast, and maybe answer a few questions along the way.

23. Host a Dinner Party

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Every year, my grandparents host dinner parties. Two big ones around Christmas, and a few every single week the rest of the year. My meals won’t be as elaborate, I will probably do the serving, and the liquor won’t be top notch, but I want to send invitations for a group of my friends to come over to my place for evening, where I have place settings and a theme and…it will be awesome.

24. Do Press/ Interviews

I will hopefully do so many press junkets and tours and interviews that I will hate myself for wishing for this, but even as chaotic and boring as it has been described to me, I would still love to do some press and promote something that I was proud to be a part of.

25. Go to a Foreign Film Festival with something I was in

A few friends of mine have been to Cannes to show their awesome shorts, and after reading about their experiences, and backstage articles with Film Fest networking advice, I would really love to get to live that. By foreign, I don’t necessarily means Cannes, Berlin or Venice, although those would be amazing. It could be Tribecca, Sundance, Austin, SXSW…All of them are on my wish list :)

26. Film on location in a different country

I have mentionned before that I would love for this location to be Hawai’i, because who wouldn’t? But I find the whole experience to be exciting. I read an article about the cast of How To Get Away With Murder, and how they bonded through exploring the new city they would be filming it. It kind of seems like summer camp, only you work really long hours during the week. I won’t count Los Angeles, because I will hopefully be living there in the future, but I will be moving without my friends and family back home, so it will be nice to interact with the other cast members when they won’t have their pre-established friends and family either.

27. Get nominated/ invited to Awards show for Acting

I have added invited, because I would like to build a strong body of work that I am proud of, and truly deserve the nomination. Which isn’t to say that won’t happen in the next 5 years, but the recognition isn’t a priority. Being able to be at an awards ceremony with incredible actors that I admire, not because I managed to buy a ticket, but because someone thought I belonged there, that is the goal here.

28. Visit 5 new Places

See how I put this in here, to make sure my future includes travelling? I didn’t put the same restriction about a country I have never been to, but I don’t mean a new restaurant or local attraction. However, I will count a new state/province/island.

29. Conquer 5 Fears

I was once told to make a list of all my fears and cross them off one by one. I tried to put this as a new year resolution, but I ended up just counting things that brought me out of my comfort zone. This time, I have a list of legitimate fears, such as being in a play…

30. Acquire 5 Skills

I don’t want to cheat, so these will be in addition to the 3 I have to do this year (2 left). I also won’t count driving stick or the british accent, since that would be 2 birds with one stone, and the point of these is to experience new things and grow. I have a whole list of skills I would like to work on, including martial arts, dancing, dialects, languages and maybe one day even being able to sing!

“I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.”

-Hayley Atwell, as Agent Carter

A new Webseries :)

2 Mar

Yesterday I got to spend the afternoon on set for a webseries I was cast in a few months back. I only come in the third episode, and yesterday was their last day on Episode 1, but I got to be a part of a party scene, to establish that I was there, even before anyone gets introduced to me.

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I only knew one person, the guy who had auditioned me and was also in Suzanna’s class with me a while back. He was super nice, as usual, and we got to catch up a bit, but everyone else who was there was also incredibly welcoming. They had makeup artists who got me all pretty, and I even got to practice my Spanish a bit.

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon and I am so excited for when my character will be introduced. It is so incredible to see something that was written, produced and directed by someone you know actually become something, and I am thrilled to be able to be a part of it :)

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

-Thomas A. Edison

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