Another Night Of Union Working (or Back To Back Union Events)

I’ve said several times that I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to get involved in the union and this week has been the perfect opportunity. I had the local board meeting/SAG-AFTRA Convention orientation one day and the next day was a meeting of the Union Working group!

I’m so glad that I’ve joined the Union Working group. It’s great having another opportunity to hang out with awesome people and to get to meet more like-minded people. But I’ve learned so much in my time in the group. There are things that the union has restrictions on doing because of our constitution or because of how certain things are handled in the entertainment industry. But as a non-partisan and not officially SAG-AFTRA group, Union Working doesn’t have those same restrictions. We can talk to people without having to worry about the official procedures or making sure that lawyers are there. So we are talking to people more freely and that allows us to know what the issues are and how we can fix them.

Each meeting has a focus and a guest, and this meeting was a bit different. The overall focus of the group right now is how to get commercials to be union more often (which is a big focus of SAG-AFTRA too). So this meeting had a lot of general overview of the issue of commercials being non-union, what is currently being done to work on this, and what we are going to be focusing on next. We learned about the process of what happens when a commercial tries to go from non-union to union and what we can do to help make that happen more often.

We had a couple of guests that spoke at this meeting including the Los Angeles local president of SAG-AFTRA, the chairperson of the commercial committee for the union, and a staff member from SAG-AFTRA who discussed members of the union who take non-union jobs. When you are a member of our union, you can’t work non-union work (or work off the card). And if you are found out, you have to face the disciplinary committee and can possibly be removed from the union. It’s a serious issue and it is not taken lightly by anyone.

It was great hearing the perspectives of different people on these issues. While most of us agree on things, each person has their own story of how things affected them or things they’ve experienced or witnessed. For me, I did a non-union commercial before I joined SAG-AFTRA. At the time, the payment I got for it seemed awesome. But I had no clue that the commercial would still be airing 10 years later. If this was a union project, I would have gotten residuals and payments as they continued to run it. But since it was non-union, I got the payment as a buyout and the commercial can run in perpetuity. While I don’t regret doing it, I learned a lot from it and want to share my experience with other actors so they can understand what can happen if they chose to do a non-union commercial with a buyout.

There were a few debates about things during the meeting, but even in the disagreements everyone was pretty much coming together. Compared to how us vs. them the election season was, having these types of debates was nice. Everyone won’t always agree on things, but disagreeing doesn’t always have to mean arguing. And I think that everyone learned things from others while at that meeting and we all have a lot to think about now.

The meeting was about 2 hours and then we had to leave because the space that we use had to close. But I know that we probably could have kept going for another hour or two because everyone is so passionate about making the union the best it can be and the strongest we can make it. Fortunately, many people at the meeting are also elected delegates so we can continue working hard at this when we are at the convention in 2 weeks. And because I’m a part of this group, I know that all the work I do at the convention will continue after because I will be bringing that knowledge to the meetings and continuing to educate myself.

I’m so lucky that I have friends who told me about the Union Working group because it is one of the greatest things I’ve done for my acting career lately. I’ve said I wanted to be more involved and I was presented a great way on how to do that. And I know that this group is going to continue to grow and make some amazing things happen for the union. I’m just so lucky that I will get to be a part of that.

Observing The Local Board Meeting (or The Beginning Of My Second Term As A Delegate)

After being elected as a SAG-AFTRA delegate, there’s only a short period of time before the National Convention. So it seems like every day I get more information and more emails and it can feel a bit overwhelming. Fortunately for me, this is my second time doing this so I feel much more prepared than I did 2 years ago. I’ve been trying to stay on top of emails and getting registered for things as they come up. But when all delegates were invited to observe the local board meeting which would include information on the convention after, I RSVPed right away.

I did this same thing 2 years ago but at that time I felt a bit uncertain about everything. I wasn’t sure if I was doing all that I needed to do and was nervous that I was already behind on things. This time, I went into the meeting knowing that I’m already registered for the convention, I know what dates it will be, where it will be, and ready to have the convention here because I know how much I loved it last time.

There was a dinner before the meeting, but I had a dentist appointment before and didn’t know if I’d feel up for having dinner (the dentist was fine and so normal that I’m not blogging about it). When I arrived at SAG-AFTRA, most people were still eating dinner so I headed to the boardroom to get a seat on the observer side. I was able to check in pretty quickly and got my name tag which made me feel pretty official.

The first part of the meeting was the official local board meeting. Since I am not a member of the local board, I was only there as an observer and wasn’t able to participate in much. But I still was able to learn a lot about things like the local committees, upcoming events, and what issues are of concern to the board. There were a few things being debated and many people had questions so it was interesting to be able to sit back and watch. It also made me hopeful that in the future I can observe more local board meetings because it is a great way to get informed on issues and be more involved.

After the board meeting was done, there was a quick break and then we got started on the discussion about the convention. It was almost like a mini-orientation on what to expect and what the schedule would be like. It was also a bit interactive with some fun quiz questions we could answer on our phones and the results would be up on the screen. Of course, we all had fun with those and answered with silly responses just to be entertaining.

It seems like the convention will be very similar to what it was like 2 years ago. We will be voting the same way we did before but we will have more amendments to our union constitution to vote on than last time. So as soon as those amendments are announced I’m going to take some time to take a good look at them all. I do take this seriously and I want to represent the LA actors to best of my ability.

This orientation is really the only time we have to officially get ready for the convention. Fortunately, I have many friends who are elected to higher positions in the union that I can go to if I have questions about things before the convention starts. And I do have the advantage this year of knowing what I’m in for and what I do need to prepare for. Last time, there were some things I over prepared for and some things I under prepared for. And because I will also be working my day job while at the convention (the benefits of working day jobs from my computer), I do need to be prepared.

It’s so crazy to think that in 2 weeks the convention will be starting, but I’m so excited. I’ve been looking forward to this since the convention ended 2 years ago and I can’t believe it’s already here again! I know that the next 2 weeks will fly by and soon I’ll be saying that I can’t wait for the next convention in 2 more years!

Working On My Crafty Side (or Starting Off Halloween Season!)

I love Halloween. I don’t know if it started because of working at Halloween Horror Nights or the amazing Halloween parties that my friends have thrown, but I love Halloween time. I remember when I was growing up that my parents would get the Halloween box out of the garage and we would spend an afternoon decorating the outside of the house. Now that I’m in my house, I really don’t decorate the outside but I’ve tried to be better about decorating the inside. I’m not the most crafty person, but I’m good at shopping and have found some cute decorations that work in my house.

But my friend Anne is probably one of the most crafty people I know and is amazing at decorating! She decorates her house based on the season and changes out things seasonally so that everything reflects what she is decorating for! I met Anne when I went to the blogger event a few years ago about the Hard Rock Cafe 5K and we’ve stayed in touch ever since then. We don’t get to see each other that often, so when she invited me to a crafting party at her house, I immediately RSVPed yes!

The plan was to decorate styrofoam pumpkins and she would have all the crafting supplies for us. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t know what to do with the pumpkin but I knew there would be so many creative people there that I could learn from and hopefully I would be inspired and could make something cute.

When I got to the party, Anne had all the crafting supplies out by the tables she set up. I was so impressed by everything that she had for us and even more impressed that this was all stuff that she already had in her house!

There were so many things on the table to use to decorate the pumpkins! I honestly didn’t know where to start. The only thing I knew I didn’t want to use was glitter because it gets everywhere and I try to not have glitter things in my house (I guess that proves I’m not into crafts since I don’t like glitter). But there were so many paint options, ribbons, gems, door knobs to use as stems, and other things to choose from so not using glitter wasn’t going to limit me.

Other people started to grab paint, glitter, and other things to decorate and I took a moment to observe and see what everyone else was doing. A lot of people were painting their pumpkins another color and then were going to work on decorating on top of that, but I knew that it wouldn’t be what I would do. So I took a look carefully at the supplies table and got inspired by some gem-type ribbon. Anne got a glue gun out for me so I could glue it down, I grabbed some gems to go with the ribbon, and I started working.

I covered the stem of the fake pumpkin with the ribbon and then wrapped it around and glued it down. Then I took some of the gems and put them randomly around the pumpkin. I was liking how it looked and decided that because I’m such a big Disney nerd that I needed to add a few hidden Mickeys to my pumpkin. And I was so happy with the end result!

It’s the perfect mix of Halloween and Disney and it will look so cute on my dining room table! And it’s simple enough that as I get more decorations that it should still work with everything. And because Anne had so many extra pumpkins, I took another one and took colored gems to create a pumpkin that was just Mickeys.

As expected, everyone else was so creative! The pumpkins looked like things you would buy in a store and we joked that we should create a shop to sell what we made. I wish I could be as creative and crafty as everyone else, but that’s just not a skill I have right now. I probably could be better if I worked on it, but I don’t have a lot of opportunity to do that.

And when everyone was all done, we had to get all the pumpkins together for a photo. That’s what happens when you are in a room of bloggers, social media specialists, and marketers.

I do feel like mine are the least fancy of the bunch, but I am still proud of what I made and that they did turn out cute. I was not competing with others to make the best pumpkin, I just wanted to do something that I could be proud of and that didn’t look ugly. I accomplished both of those goals.

I’m so glad that I went to the pumpkin party because I got to meet so many amazing people and I got to spend an afternoon being creative. Even though my creativity isn’t usually in crafting, any time I get to be creative is a good thing for me. And it helped me kick off Halloween season early so now I can take the rest of my Halloween decorations out and start getting my house into the Halloween spirit!

Revisiting My Past (or Enjoying An Amazing Concert)

I recently did a temp job for my old workplace doing some telesales. This workplace was the theater that I worked at when I started this blog. I hadn’t worked there in a long time, so when they asked me if I could help with a short telesales campaign, I felt flattered that they wanted me to help. It was a bit weird doing that job again since it had been years since I had done it, but things came back to me pretty quickly.

The show that I was campaigning for ended up selling almost all the seats, so that’s good news. I wasn’t able to do the sales that I know I could do, so that wasn’t so great. But I am glad that they sold out and that they were able to get the fundraising done that they needed to.

But even though my sales weren’t what we were hoping for, the theater offered me 2 tickets to go to the concert and I immediately said yes! I hadn’t been back to the theater since I worked there and the concert was a night of Josh Groban. I am a fan of his music and I did a music video for him (although they ended up not using any of the scenes they filmed with any actors in the final music video). And to get to see him perform live and in such a small venue is such a special treat.

Since I hadn’t been back to the theater in years, I wasn’t sure how it would feel to be back. And I’ll admit, it was a bit weird. I did see a few people who I worked with and some of them seemed happy to see me again. Other people didn’t recognize me and I didn’t want to bother them while they were busy working. I felt like I belonged there and I was out-of-place at the same time. Fortunately, I had a friend with me so we were having an awesome time at the pre-show reception and I didn’t stress too much about how odd it felt to be back there.

The pre-show reception was fun and they had some really great food. There was also some free wine, but we both stuck with water. We hung out outside eating and catching up on life. It’s always nice to catch up with a friend and even better when that is distracting me from feeling weird.

When I was told I was getting some free tickets, I assumed they’d be in the back of the balcony. None of the seats in the theater are bad ones, but I figured they’d put us in the back since they were free tickets. But to our surprise we were pretty close to the front and almost in the center!

I was not expecting to have as great of seats as I had so I was even more excited once we were sitting down! And the energy in the theater was so amazing because everyone couldn’t wait to see Josh Groban come out.

The songs were mainly Broadway songs (which I loved!) with a couple of songs from his various albums mixed in. And he was telling stories and jokes in-between each song. He was very entertaining and if anyone in the audience wasn’t a huge fan of him before I know that he won them over by the end of the night. And not only did he sing, but he also played piano and the drums! That seemed to be a surprise to everyone in the audience and he impressed us all!

The show was about an hour and a half without an intermission but I think we all wanted it to last longer. He is so talented and sang some amazing songs. But I know that the event also had a dinner after the show for guests with tickets at a certain level so they couldn’t keep the concert going all night. Even though I think everyone left wanting more, we all left with smiles on our faces.

Even though I felt weird being at an old workplace, I’m so glad that I got to go. I wasn’t deliberately avoiding going there, but I know that I didn’t make an effort to go to any shows there. And it is an amazing venue that isn’t that far from my house. I need to take a look at their schedule for this season (which is their 10th anniversary season) and see if there are any other shows that I can go to. It will be a while before I’m back at the Pantages, so I need to fill my love for theater at other venues. And I have a feeling that I’ll probably be back sometime soon.

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Mixing Up The Routine (or Almost PRs And Dri-Tri Prep)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one for me. I’m so set in my routine that when things change it can throw me off. And this past week, I couldn’t work out on Wednesday and I switched it to Tuesday. I don’t want to say that I’m set in my routine, but it is weird when I’m not doing my normal schedule. My Tuesday felt like a Wednesday, my Wednesday felt like a Tuesday, and I didn’t know what day it was on Thursday since I had 2 days off from working out. But I still managed to get my workouts in and it’s good for me to mix things up sometimes.

Monday was a 3 group class and we did a mix of a partner workout and a tornado workout. It was very unexpected but it was pretty awesome! It was a 3 partner workout for most of the class, but only the partners on the floor and treadmill switched. The treadmill partner did .1 all out runs 3 times with some recovery between and then tagged the floor person. I did the first and third .1 as a run and the middle one as a .05 power walk. When it was my turn on the floor, we had a mix of jumping jacks, push-ups, abs, pop jacks, and arm work. But I was never on the floor that long because my partner on the treadmill would tag me out.

My turn on the rower was in the middle of the workout and it was just a 10 minute distance row with some guidance of when to do push or all out on the rower with some recovery. Overall, the goal was to get to 2000 meters and I thought that was perfect because I have the dri-tri soon and 2000 meters is how we start the dri-tri. But in the 10 minutes I was on the rower, I only made it to 1700 meters and it made me realize that I need to work on distance rowing more to get ready for the dri-tri.

After the partner workout was done, we had a 2 minute tornado workout around the room. So we were only at each station for 2 minutes. On the treadmill it was a 1 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out. I was pretty tired by that point so I ended up walking it. On the floor we had 2 minutes of plank work. And on the rower we had a 2 minute row for distance and I was just under the goal of 400 meters.

While I’m getting pretty used to working out 2 days in a row, it was still very weird to me to work out on Tuesday. It’s pretty rare that I’ll work out then but it was the only time I could fit in the workout in my schedule unless I wanted this past week to be a 3 workout week (which I didn’t want). The workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we did switch between the blocks. And I was very happy to start on the treadmill after all the times I haven’t been able to start on it lately.

There were 2 mini blocks on the treadmill for the 2 times we were on it. And all of them were pretty much the same format. We had a 1 minute push pace which I was able to run, a 2 minute hill which I walked, and a 30 second all out pace which I ran. I was happy that I was able to do a little bit of running and since I rarely run on hills I didn’t mind walking my hill work.

On the floor, we also had 2 blocks and each block started with rowing. The first block had an 800 meter row and the second block had a 400 meter row. Both rows were under the time we were supposed to be under, but neither were spectacular times for me. And besides the rowing we had squats, abs, planks, and lunges on the floor. Even though it felt weird to be working out on a Tuesday, it was the first workout in a while that felt totally normal to me. I felt like myself and that I was working out as hard as I could.

Friday’s workout was a challenging one. I knew going into the workout that we were going to have a 23 minute run for distance challenge. Usually I would check my records to see what I usually can do for those challenges, but I forgot to this time (I’ll come back to that). I’ve been pushing myself more with my running and have found that sometimes I can run for a lot longer than I thought I could. I was pretty certain that I couldn’t run for 23 minutes without stopping, but I figured that I could do my best and see what happened.

I didn’t follow any of the coaches instructions of when we were doing base or push pace because I just wanted to run at a steady pace that I know I can handle. And it did start off pretty rough and I debated if I just wanted to do some intervals instead. But I decided that I was just going to go for it and when it got to be too much that I’d take a walking break. I focused a lot on the clock on the treadmill and was telling myself when I was 10%, 25%, 30% done because it did help me think that I was doing ok. And I eventually decided that I would take the middle minute of the challenge as my first walking break. So when the clock on the treadmill said 11 minutes, I went down to a recovery walk.

Originally, my plan was to run the last 11 minutes after taking my walking break, but my body wasn’t going to do that. For the last 11 minutes, I took 2 or 3 more walking breaks (I honestly can’t remember how many I took) but they were each only about a minute. And when we got to the last minute of the challenge, I bumped my speed up a bit. My long-term goal for the 23 minute distance challenge is to be able to do 1.75 miles, so I was pretty happy with my distance when I was done this time.

But the problem was that after the workout was done I looked at my treadmill records and saw that my PR was 1.640. I was only 0.001 miles off of my PR and that would have been only like 1 second less of walking or bumping up the speed a tiny bit for a second or two at the end. That was so frustrating to see and I was a bit mad at myself. I know if I had looked at my record before the workout that I would have made the effort to beat it this time.

After the treadmill work, I was pretty exhausted and fortunately the floor work wasn’t too bad. We started with a 4 minute distance row, but for me I was more focused on just getting through the row and not seeing what my distance was. I did manage to get over 800 meters, so I was happy with that. Then we moved on to the first floor block which was all Bosu work. I had to make some modifications with my workout so I did squats with one foot on the Bosu instead of lateral hop overs, plank leg lifts (but I skipped using the Bosu), and running man. And the second block was  strap work, push ups, and crunches on the Bosu.  And we ended the workout with a 2 minute row for distance.

Even though I was pretty disappointed after my workout with being so close to getting a PR on my run, I was still pretty happy overall because I did manage to run for more time than I ever have before in class!

Saturday’s workout had to be a bit of a recovery workout for me. I was still feeling my long run and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do what I can usually do in class. We had a mix of endurance, strength, and power and it was a 3 group workout. Each section of the room had 2 blocks and we did both blocks for that section before we moved on.

I started on the rower and the first block was a series of 30 second all out rows followed by lunges and squats. I didn’t stress too much about how far I was going each 30 second challenge so I didn’t reset my rower each time. I know I did at least 100 meters each time, but I really didn’t think too much about it. And the second block on the rower was decreasing rows starting at 500 meters with weighted swings between each row. I only was able to complete the 500 and 400 meter row before time was called (I was working on the 300 meter row then).

Next I moved to the floor where again we had 2 blocks. The first block was arm work, squats with weights, and seated knee tucks. The knee tucks are tough on my hip, but I was able to get through half of the set before I had to take a break each time. And the second block was pull ups on the straps, skaters, and plank jacks. And all of those ended up being much easier for me than I thought they’d be.

Finally, I ended up on the treadmill. I knew that it was going to be a walking workout no matter what. We did a lot of 2 minutes of work either on an incline or at a push pace (which means at an incline when you are walking) followed by base pace for the time we were on the treadmill. Since I wasn’t running and this was at the end of the workout, I didn’t really focus on what I was doing and felt like I was a bit on autopilot.

This week is the dri-tri and I’m hoping that all the work I’ve done lately will help me get a new best time. I know that it might not be possible, but I can still hope for it. But I know that this crazy workout week that I had last week was good prep work since I had a long row and a long run to use as training. I guess I’ll have to see how it goes when I attempt the dri-tri for the third time this week!

What Will Be Sobriety (or A Friend Making Me Think About What I Want)

I was in the car recently with a friend of mine. This friend and I can have some pretty serious and deep conversations and we are pretty honest with each other. While in the car, we started talking about books which led into me talking about how I read 10 pages of a recovery based book every day. And that discussion led into talking about my eating disorder.

We talked about how I feel pretty certain that this is something that I was born with because I remember episodes from when I was a toddler. I doubt it is learned behavior when it starts that young. And we talked about the progress that I’ve been making and trying to make to get myself into recovery. And then we got into a pretty interesting discussion about recovery means.

I’ve said in the past that having an eating disorder/food addiction is so different from any other addiction. This is something that you will have to confront multiple times a day for the rest of your life. When you are an alcoholic, you can go the rest of your life without alcohol. But you cannot survive without food. And I know I’ve had some feelings of almost jealously over friends who have recovered from other addictions because they can just avoid whatever they were addicted to. It seems so much easier than what I’m going through (although I know that it’s not the case).

When I attended the OA meeting with my friend, they talked about the idea of sobriety. Sobriety is a personal thing for anyone, but in OA it becomes even more personal since everyone has their own idea of sobriety. Obviously, you can’t be sober from food. So you have to pick the things around food that you want to avoid and doing that creates your sobriety. For some of my friends, that has meant no eating after a certain time, not eating a certain food, or only eating when it is on a plate and not out of a container.

When I was telling my friend about that idea, he asked me what sobriety/recovery would mean for me. And honestly, I don’t know. I know what I’d like to have my relationship with food be like but many of the things I want are not realistic. For example, I’d love to never have a binge or overeating episode again and to always be in the right calorie range. But everyone has a time every so often when they overeat. When you go out to a restaurant you can easily overeat.

But maybe I can change how I view those episodes. If I don’t let them bring me down and just view them as a normal part of life and can move on, that could be good. I don’t want them to affect me the way that they do now and if that happens maybe it could become a rare occasion instead of something that sets me off.

Beyond the idea of never having a binge episode again, I’ve never really thought too much about what sobriety would mean for me. That’s all I’ve wanted. But because of my conversation with my friend I did start thinking about habits I have or had and what I can change. And one of the biggest ones that I thought of was how I have not ordered delivery food in over a year and a half. Well, technically occasionally I order Chipotle from Postmates, but I don’t consider that delivery food as I can order exactly what I would have gotten if I went to get it myself (unlike when you order Chinese food or pizza and have to order more than what you know you can eat).

For a long time, I thought I’d never be able to be delivery food free and I have managed to do it much longer than I ever have as an adult. And I don’t really even think of getting delivery food when I’m hungry and don’t know what I want to eat. It’s nice having that out of my head and not an issue any more. So in some way, I think that since I’m able to get over delivery food (which felt like it could never happen) that I could also get over binge episodes. But at the same time I don’t want to put that pressure on myself.

I still really don’t know what my version of sobriety means to me. But realizing that I don’t know this has made me understand that I can’t get into recovery until I really figure this out. I need to sit down, set some goals, and make some more concrete plans. Even though I have been working on this, having this idea in mind is an entirely different game and I think it can only benefit me by working on it.

Audition Prep (or Taking My Career Seriously)

I’ve felt a bit out of the acting game lately. Doing all the work with SAGAFTRA does help, but it’s not the same as auditioning and working. Unfortunately, I don’t control when I get auditions or work so I have to just be grateful for when I get those opportunities.

Last week, I got an email from a casting director that I know socially but have never had the chance to audition for. They had a script with a character that they thought I’d be right for and they wanted to know if I was interested in auditioning. This was the first time this happened to me and it was really exciting! I wanted to say yes right away, but I also wanted to make sure I read the script. I did, I loved it, and I told them that I would love to audition! So it was set up through my agents and I got my scene to prepare for the audition.

I’m lucky with the auditions I normally get. They rarely are 1 or 2 line parts that are actually tougher to audition for because you can’t do too much. I get bigger auditions that have pages of dialogue to work with. When I have those bigger auditions, I have started to use an audition coach. As much as I know I can work on the audition on my own, it’s so much better to have some feedback.

But I’ve never used a coach for the smaller auditions. But for this audition, I really wanted to be as prepared as possible and to take things seriously. I need to make sure I maximize each audition chance I get, and this time I felt a little extra pressure because I know this casting director as a friend but he doesn’t really know me as an actor. Plus, since I was asked if I wanted an audition versus just getting an audition made it feel extra special and like I needed to be the best I could be.

I’ve got a few audition coaches that I know and that I’ve worked with before. So I sent out some emails to see who was available and could help me out. And I’m so lucky that Marci Liroff was able to help me! I’ve auditioned for Marci a couple of times in the past and I also took her audition bootcamp class a few years ago. So she knows my abilities as an actor and I know that I work well with her when she’s coaching me and guiding me into working a script.

I went to meet with her this Monday and it was exactly what I needed to do to get ready for my audition. I was apologizing for asking for coaching on such a small part (the audition scene is only about 6 lines), but she reassured me that it is totally fine and actually it is good to get coaching on auditions of any size. That made me feel so much better. I didn’t want to feel like I needed the help, but that I was using the help to improve what I can already do. And that was the sense that I was getting from Marci when I was meeting with her.

We started out with doing the scene simply and built it up from there. I had made a strong character choice but as we worked on it we realized that it wasn’t the right choice. Those are the sort of things you can only find out if you are working with a coach or someone else. You don’t get the same reactions if you are working on your own because you need someone to bounce things off of. We also practiced in what is closer to an audition setting with me walking in so I could get the flow of things down.

I had walked into the coaching session feeling like I had made a strong character choice but wasn’t feeling too certain about things. After working on the script with Marci for less than an hour, I felt super confident about how I was interpreting things and that I could feel that way in the audition room too. It’s amazing how powerful audition coaching can be and how it really does change how I felt before going into the audition.

I really think that I need to do coaching for my auditions from now on no matter how big or small the part is. Getting to work on the script is good, but just spending some time working is even better. The time I was working with Marci felt like being in class (it pretty much is like a private acting class) and it did make me happy getting to do that. It’s not free to get coaching, but it’s not outrageously expensive either. And if this is what I do as an acting class type thing, it’s cheaper for audition coaching than an ongoing class. I would like to be in class again one day, but right now the timing isn’t right.

But besides how getting audition coaching makes me feel, it’s also a sign of looking at my auditions more seriously. I take my career seriously, but if I’m being honest with myself I probably could have been taking it more seriously before. I don’t think that getting coaching before auditions I’ve had in the past would have necessarily changed anything, but I’ll never know. But from now on, I’m going to take each audition as seriously as I would for a series regular during pilot season and hopefully I can do coaching before as many of them as possible.

Let’s Go Dodgers (or A Night Out At The Game)

I didn’t really grow up in a sports family. I did play sports as a kid (I did soccer, softball, gymnastics, and swim team at various times in my childhood), but we really didn’t watch sports. Part of that was because my dad hates watching tv, but we rarely went to live sports. I think for a couple of years we maybe did one baseball game a year. I went to maybe one or two hockey games. The first professional basketball game I went to was not that long ago. And I’ve never been to a professional football game.

Since moving to LA I’ve gone to a couple of baseball games. I went to a Dodgers game once for my birthday and once for a friend’s birthday. And maybe 10 years ago my roommate at the time won VIP tickets for an Angels game and I took my brother. But I rarely go to a game just because I don’t usually think about going. So when a friend of mine asked me if I want to go with her to a Dodgers game this past weekend, I jumped at the chance to go!

It was actually her company picnic, so they had a reserved section before the game where there was food. We got there pretty close to the start time for the picnic and we got some Dodger dogs, chips, and water. It was pretty awesome to not have to spend money on food at the game even if the food isn’t too horribly expensive. Free food is always the best and it was fun getting to meet some of my friend’s co-workers before going over to our seats.

I was worried that we were going to be sitting in the sun, but when we got to our seats we were under an overhang and not facing the sun so we had lots of shade.

Being at a game is really so exciting and it’s fun to be in a crowd like that. It’s a bit overwhelming too, but fortunately our seats were the last row in that section so I didn’t feel like I was in the middle of everyone. It felt a bit more secluded and I was able to relax.

The game was fun. Unfortunately, the Dodgers weren’t playing that great but we did get to see some great plays. And to me, being at the game is more than just watching the game. It’s being around friends and just enjoying being outside. And it was much cooler that night than it had been lately so I was having fun enjoying some outside time. Plus, we had some pretty sunset clouds a little after the game started.

The game was moving pretty quickly, but my friend and I had decided to leave before the game was over. It’s so much easier to leave before everyone else tries to leave and we didn’t want to be stuck in the parking lot for a long time just trying to get out onto the road. Plus, neither of us were super invested in the game. I think if we had paid for our tickets, we would have stayed longer. But when you have free tickets, you don’t feel like you have to get the most for your money. But we did stay until the sun went down because it does look pretty cool being in the dark with the stadium all lit up.

We left after the 5th inning and when we were in the car we had the game on the radio so we could pay attention to what was happening. Nothing ended up happening in the game until I was home and put the game on my tv. There were a few more runs, but I think the most exciting moments were during the beginning of the game when we were there. And the Dodgers continued their losing streak and ended up losing this game as well.

Even though I didn’t stay for the entire game, I really did have a great time at the game. This is something that I was telling myself I needed to do again since it had been years since I was at a game. And this was the perfect chance to get to go and not have to worry about if I should be spending money on it. And it made me realize that I do want to try to get to more baseball games. I don’t know if I’ll go every summer, but maybe every other or every few summers would be fun. It’s a nice treat to do and it’s a great way to hang out with friends.

Hopefully the Dodgers will start winning again and if I get a chance to go to another game soon it will be one where they do win! I have a lot of friends who are big baseball fans and diehard Dodgers followers and I know they really want the team to do better than they are doing now.

Celebrating Some Anniversaries (or Remembering Awesome Family Moments)

This past week had a couple of family anniversaries. I try to remember to celebrate each one when it happens, but things have been a bit crazy lately for me so my mind did slip a bit. But I figure it’s never too late to celebrate.

The first anniversary that happened recently was my grandparent’s anniversary. We don’t necessarily celebrate this anymore since my grandpa died because we don’t want my grandma to be upset. But I still like to remember it because it is a good reminder of how a marriage can last a very long time. I was lucky that I got to celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary with them several times. For their 50th, they took the entire family on an African safari. That still is one of the coolest trips I’ve ever taken. And for their 60th we had a family party up in Portland.

I also got to be there for what would end up being their last anniversary together. It was their 67th anniversary and it was a pretty simple dinner as a family. But even though that anniversary wasn’t a huge celebration, it’s still a good memory because it was such a fun dinner. Obviously at the time we had no way to know that was going to be the last anniversary my grandpa would be alive for, but I’m so grateful that I was there and got to celebrate with them. Also at that anniversary, my grandpa was telling the story of how he met my grandma. We ended up taking a video of that and it’s something that we all are so glad we have forever now.

I think we all wish that my grandparents would have been able to celebrate more anniversaries together. If my grandpa was still alive, this year would have been their 70th anniversary. I’m sure that they would have done something special to celebrate that. It probably wouldn’t have been a trip, but I bet we would have done a family dinner like we did for their 60th. It’s sad that they weren’t able to make it to that milestone, but to know that they made it to 67 years is pretty special. Not everyone has a marriage that lasts that long and it’s proof that you can stay married that long as long as you work at it. And it’s an inspiration for me even though the chances of me getting to 67 years with someone is a long shot (if I got married this year, I’d be 101 during a 67th anniversary).

Also this past weekend was my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary. This one is awesome because I’m reminded of going to their wedding in Hawaii. I don’t get to take trips that often and going to Hawaii for a week was such a treat. And of course, I love that Krystle is my sister-in-law because she and I have gotten so close. Celebrating their anniversary is cool, but celebrating the day that Krystle officially became my sister is almost more special to me (sorry Ross!).

And they shared a pretty cute photo from their anniversary this past weekend. They both ended up buying each other the same anniversary card. It was not planned at all, but I think it shows how they are meant for each other.

I think that some of my single friends don’t love celebrating other’s anniversaries like I do. Maybe they see it as something that they haven’t achieved yet and they might be jealous. And I can understand that feeling even if I don’t feel it myself. But even with all the craziness I’ve encountered with my online dating, I’m still hopeful that I will find someone one day. So being able to celebrate isn’t something I’m jealous of, it’s something I’m looking forward to having myself in the future.

There are a couple of times a year when family celebrations are bunched up together. My mom’s birthday and my aunt and uncles anniversary are on the same day. My parents’ anniversary, my cousin’s birthday, and my birthday are within a few days of each other. And then there are these two anniversaries only a few days apart. I don’t know if all families have bunches of celebrations like we do, but it’s fun for me. It also makes it a bit easier to remember to celebrate everyone since I’m doing it in batches (except of course this year where I didn’t do things in advance). The next big family celebration will be my grandma’s birthday/Thanksgiving. And it’s crazy to think that November will be here before we know it!

An Off Workout Week (or Just Trying To Do My Best)

This past week of workouts weren’t that great for me. I seemed to have issues almost every workout day for some reason or another and it was tough to feel happy with what I was able to do. I do just try to keep reminding myself that working out is better than not working out, but that doesn’t work all the time for me.

Monday’s workout was a tornado class. That means that we had very short blocks and switched between each block. This time, every block was only 2 minutes long and we had 5 rounds around the room (15 blocks in total). I started on the rower because everyone seemed to get to class super early with it being a holiday and no traffic. I thought I was there early, but I was wrong.

For the rower and the treadmill, we had the same thing for all 5 blocks. On the rower, we had 45 seconds of a push row, 30 seconds of a base row, and 45 seconds of an all out row. I tried to get 400 meters each block because that would be about what I normally do, but I only ended up averaging about 350 meters each block which surprised me. That’s pretty low for me and I didn’t feel like I wasn’t rowing that different from normal.

On the treadmill, we had 75 second push paces followed by 45 second all out paces. On a normal day, I can totally run for 2 minutes. And knowing that I would be getting off the treadmill after 2 minutes would make running even easier. But I was dealing with some horrible nausea during class and running was making it much worse. So I ended up power walking for those 2 minutes each time. I did 6% and 8% which is pretty standard for me.

And on the floor, while each block was different they all had the same format. It was 2 moves on each block. Move 1 was for 45 seconds, move 2 was for 30 seconds, and then we did move 1 again for 45 seconds. It was interesting having everything as timed segments and not rep numbers and it helped me to keep going because I knew how much longer I’d be doing each move. The floor moves included deadlifts, upright rows, bicep work, plank work, strap work, squats, and lunge. It was a good mix of things and I think the floor was probably my favorite thing for the workout.

Wednesday’s workout was a very difficult one for me. First, again I had to start on the rowers. In some way I’m glad that I had my rowing challenge the week before, but I really don’t like starting on the rower/floor. It will never be my first choice in the workout. But that wasn’t the only difficult part about the workout. That morning I had an appointment with my dermatologist and she had to freeze something on the bottom of my foot. I didn’t think it would hurt too much during the workout, but I was wrong. My foot was pretty tender and I wasn’t able to put my weight on it like normal.

The floor work was 2 blocks. The first block was weighted swings, burpees, plank work, and rowing. For rowing, we started at 400 meters and went down 100 meters each time we got back to the rower. Rowing was a bit tough because you usually put pressure on your heels, so I had to just be gentle with myself. The second block was squat work, skaters, plank work, and more rowing. This time the rowing started at 100 meters and went up 100 meters each round.

When I got to the treadmill, I thought maybe I could just walk really slow and things would be ok. But after less than a minute I knew that the treadmill wasn’t going to be for me that day. I went over to the bike for cardio and it was an interesting change for me. It has been a while since I was on the bike but I’m glad that it’s an option in class because there was no way I could have done the treadmill. There were 3 cardio blocks each with a similar format of a long push pace to an all out pace followed by stand alone all out paces. It’s tough to judge how well I did since it had been so long since I was on the bike, but at least I was able to do it without my foot hurting too much.

Friday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we didn’t switch between blocks. My foot was feeling better but it was still a bit tender. So I ended up walking again even though I really wanted to run. We started with strength which was all incline work. I had to stick to my normal inclines of 6-8% because of my foot, but I did the hill patterns the way we were supposed to. For the endurance block I did all my push paces at 6% and for the power block I did all my all out paces at 8%. I was happy to be back on the treadmill, but not so happy that I couldn’t run again.

For the floor, we had 3 blocks and each block had rowing that was 100 meters to start and then adding 50 meters each round. Each time I only managed to get to 100 and 150 meters and none of them were exceptional times for me. But I was rowing much better since my foot was feeling better. We also had lunges, plank work, side lunges, biceps, squats and abs. But for me, the highlight on the floor was not having my foot hurt as much as it had on Wednesday.

Saturday’s workout was a strength workout so I knew that I’d be walking again on the treadmill. It was a 3 group class and we did switch between the blocks. I started on the treadmill and the first block I kept things pretty similar to how I normally do hills on the treadmill with being between 6-8% inclines. But in the second block I decided to push myself and did most of my incline work at 10% which is higher than I usually do. It was tough, but I’m glad I tried because I’ve realized that I do need to work on making my power walk workouts more of a challenge.

On the floor, the first block had chest presses, pull overs, and a single arm row and I was able to use 20lb weights for all of the moves. That’s pretty normal for me for the chest presses and pull overs, but for single arm moves I usually can’t do 20lb weights. So I was glad I tried and found out that I could do it. For the second block we had triceps, single arm fly, and ab work and for all of those I used 15lb weights. That wasn’t too unusual for me, but for ab work I usually don’t use weights and this time I did. And on the rower the first block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and with squats in-between each set of rows. And the second block was 200 meter rows each time with lateral raises in-between each set.

It’s upsetting that I’m upset about not having a great workout week, but in a way that is more motivation for me to try to see what more I can do when I’m having off days to make them better. Hopefully this week of workouts will be better and if it isn’t maybe I can just have a better attitude about it.