Monthly Archives: September 2012

Carmageddon 2 (or I’ll Be The Idiot Driving All Over Town This Weekend)

For those of you not in LA, this weekend is the second, and hopefully last, Carmageddon. Carmaggedon is when the 405 freeway is shut down from the 10 to the 101. If you want to know more, you can read about it here.

Last Carmageddon, I was good and stayed in my neighborhood all weekend. I only drove a bit locally because I had some errands to run. This Carmageddon, I’m going to be all over town.

I have work on Saturday. I have to take the 10 freeway to get there, but I go right over the 405 on ramps, so that might be a total mess. I’m staying at my work to see a show that afternoon, just so put off driving home a little bit.

Then on Saturday night, it’s my friend Marie’s bachelorette party. Her party is in the valley, which will be a tough drive from where I live on the westside. I’m making sure my iPhone is loaded up with podcasts to listen to just in case the drive takes a really really long time. But I’d never miss Marie’s bachelorette party. Marie and I met in an acting class in 2002 and she was the one who introduced me to my acting coach, Kip King, who I studied with until he passed away. She was one of my first friends I met in LA outside of LMU, and I couldn’t be happier that she’s getting married!


And then on Sunday, I’ve got two events. First is a blogger meet up organized by Lynn from The Actor’s Diet. That’s going to be near the Farmer’s Market, so at least I won’t be needing a freeway to get there. Then it’s the LMU Alumni BBQ. I volunteered to help out before I realized that it would be a driving disaster weekend. My hope is that this Carmageddon will be done early like the one last year so maybe the freeways will be open by the time I’m leaving the BBQ.

If not, it’s a good thing that I love my car. I’ll be spending a lot of time in it for the next few days.

Sick (or How I’ve Been Spending My Week)

I’m still getting over whatever bug got into my system. I feel almost 100% myself today, but my throat is still scratchy, so I sound horrible. Not exactly how I need to sound when I work on the phone all day. So my boss gave me a few more days off this week. Not exactly helping me get back into normal life, but sometimes you have to just focus on getting healthy.

I’m taking lots of decongestants, and have learned the hard way that taking a non-drowsy pill when you want to sleep is a horrible idea. I’m also working hard at staying hydrated, because I know that that is the key to getting better. A lot of my meals look like this:

An Alka-Seltzer Cold followed by an Emergen-C chaser (because the Alka-Seltzer tastes horrible).

I’m so glad that I feel better, since I have my first night of my acting class tonight. And being home has given me a lot of time to prepare for class, as well as work on my research for all the new fall tv shows. I’m all caught up on all new shows that have premiered so far.

I’m hopefully going to be back at work tomorrow. I need to make up for the lost hours, and there is a minimum amount you have to get in sales in order to receive your commissions. I need to make sure I get all the money I can for the pay period.

Sorry that this isn’t a very interesting post, my life the past few days haven’t been very interesting at all.

Back to the Grind (or It’s Time to Be a Little Selfish)

I’ve had a lot of fun stuff lately. My dad left to go back yesterday and now I’m back to the normal grind of stuff until I go to my friend’s wedding in October.

I’m getting over a cold/sinus infection/allergy thing right now, so my energy is a little low. But I’m trying to stay upbeat and beat this bug in my system ASAP!

After so much excitement, it can be hard to get back to the groove of things. I just had 2 days off of work, but now it’s back to 6 days a week. I’ve had company, but now I need to focus on myself a bit.

I’ve mentioned before about fall tv season starting. This is not only a time for research on new shows, it also means that tv is in high production right now and I want to help my agents get me as many auditions as possible. I need to be selfish for a bit and make me the best me I can be.

I’ve got Marci Liroff’s class starting this week which will help me out with the auditions I get. But I’m also looking at getting new headshots as those are the main tool that help me get those auditions.

I’m running into a problem though. I have headshots that look like me right now:

These are great, and when I walk into the audition room, I know that the casting director is going to recognize me as the girl in the picture. And that’s really important.

But after not really eating food for a while, I’ve lost 10 pounds. I don’t feel like I look any different, but that’s got me thinking. How much weight do I need to lose before I do new headshots?

Headshots aren’t cheap. I usually end up spending around $400 for the shots and a makeup artist (which I have found to be a necessity for headshots, not a luxury). If I’m hoping to lose 100 pounds, do I do new pictures every 25 pounds or when I just feel like I don’t look the same any more? I don’t have tons of money right now to spend on them, so I’m thinking of talking to some photographers that I’ve worked with in the past and that I want to work with now and see if someone will maybe let me do a bunch of small sessions where I only get 1 or 2 looks each time.  But I’m not sure anyone will be willing to work on a deal like that.

And I can’t just use pictures that are from when I was thinner, because I don’t look like that person at all. My hair is different (cut and color) and I’m not that young anymore. Here’s one of my headshots from thinner days:


I’m looking forward to figuring out what the solution is going to be for getting updated headshots as I lose weight. I also can’t wait to see what my new pictures will look like in the future.

But I also can’t focus too much on what might happen. It’s another of the “what if” situations. So I’m just putting my head down, working hard, and conquering any problem that comes up when it comes up.

I Saw Jesus and Pat Metheny (or How I Spent My Weekend With My Dad)

I’ve been living in LA for just over 11 years now. And for the first few years, my parents didn’t visit too often, mainly because I was in school. After I graduated, my parents visited more often, but many times it was just my mom because my dad was busy working.

Now that my dad is retired, he has more time to do anything. He was looking at the schedule for the performing arts center where I work back in July, and he noticed that Pat Metheny was coming in September. He’s a big Pat Metheny fan, so I got us some tickets and my dad came out to visit me for this weekend (it was his first time coming to visit me by himself).

When he got in on Sunday, we started off with brunch at Truxtons (home of the free birthday meal) and then we were off to the Getty Center. My dad had never been before, only to the Getty Villa in Malibu. It was a pretty warm day, so we spent a lot of time inside at the exhibits and didn’t really make it down to the gardens.

After the Getty, we weren’t sure what we were going to do, and then I suggested taking the Expo line from Culver City to Exposition Park to look at the Rose Gardens. I’ve never taken the Expo line before, so I was excited to check it out. We hung out in the shade at the Rose Gardens for a while, and then we saw Hollywood Jesus. It was pretty funny. I think my dad found it entertaining too (especially when Hollywood Jesus took out his glasses so he could read something on his iPhone). Hollywood Jesus ended up heading to the Expo line at the same time as us, so I got this picture of him from the other side of the tracks:


On Monday, my friend Kate joined up with us for the day. We started out by going to Huntington Library in San Marino. We got up there around 11am, only to discover that it didn’t open until noon on weekdays. I’ve never heard of any place in LA not opening until noon.

We killed some time at Starbucks, and then checked out the gardens and book collections after Huntington Library opened up. This place was amazing! I had never been, but I will definitely be returning a lot. I didn’t get a ton of pictures there, but I did get this one at the lily pad area:


And then finally last night, it was time for the Pat Metheny show. I wasn’t able to get free seats for the show, but I did get us some amazing seat pretty much right on top of the stage.


We were on the side of the stage that Pat Metheny performed on. It was a great show with an amazing band, and I think that my dad had an amazing time at the show as well as a great weekend.


(Here he is showing off the t-shirt he bought to remember the show)

It’s a Small World (or No, This Isn’t Another Post About Disneyland)

This past Friday was a pretty awesome day. If you are a nerd like me, then you probably know what I’m talking about. And if you aren’t a nerd, I’m talking about the space shuttle Endeavour being flown the on the back of a 747 all over California.

What I found so amazing about this was that all the members of my immediate family got to see the shuttle in different spots.

First, my brother saw it in San Francisco. I’m not exactly sure where he took this picture, but it’s pretty nice:

My dad saw it next in Fremont Older. He rode his mountain bike up there and got this picture from the lookout point:


My mom also saw it around the same time as my dad in San Jose, but she couldn’t get her iPhone out of her purse to get a picture of it.

And I got to see it from the roof of the building I work at in Santa Monica. What was amazing was that it was coming in from the ocean towards us, so we got to see it for a long time. I know it’s not a great photo since it was a little hazy, but this is what I saw:


And I know that thousands of people were seeing it at the same time too. When we were waiting on the roof to see it we saw so many people on all the rooftops around us. I also was watching the live feed a bit inside of work as well as following the twitter hashtag #SpotTheShuttle (that’s how we knew it was close to Santa Monica).

Moments like this remind us how small this world can be. And how even if we think we are alone, there are lots of people going through the same moment possibly at the same time as you are.

Before starting this blog, I honestly felt so alone with my eating disorder and having credit card debit. Even if I met someone who had an eating disorder and was open about it, I never could find anyone with the same problem as me. And I can only think of one person who admitted that they credit card debit to me before I wrote this post.

I have gotten tweets, emails, and comments that have made me feel like there is a community of people who understand me out there. And even if someone doesn’t quite understand me, they support me. I didn’t know that I needed this community and support before I put myself out there, but now, I’m not sure what I’d do without it.

Being Underestimated (or Does My Opinion Not Matter?)

Sometimes I love being underestimated. At my current job, I’m the only person without previous sales experience. So when I became one of the top sales people, my boss was very impressed. Those moments are pretty fun.

I joke that being underestimated is my superpower. And it does feel that way at times.

But then there are other times that I’m underestimated and no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, some people just will not listen to me.

I’ve encountered that a bunch in the entertainment industry. People think that just because I look the way I do, I must not know anything. I must not know about headshots, or joining SAG-AFTRA, or even which companies are scams and which are not.

I’ve met several people who couldn’t believe that I’m an actor. When I go to networking events, people who don’t know me will come up to me almost right away to chat with me, thinking I’m a casting director, writer, or producer. And when I say that I’m also an actor, you can see their eyes instantly glaze over.

I can’t let other people’s opinions of me get me down. If anything, I have to find it funny. There’s one story that I always try to remember when my confidence is low.

There is a store in LA called Reproductions where you can get your headshots printed up. It’s a very popular store so there is always a line. I was in line one day to review my proofs and this girl gets in line behind me. While the rest of us in line were dressed pretty casually, this girl was all dolled up. Full makeup, totally done hair, high heels, miniskirt, and a corset top. Also, most actors bring in their headshots on a CD that just has something like “JL Headshots” written on it with a sharpie. This girl had a custom done label with glitter ink and little thumbnails of her headshot all over the CD. She looked like she must have been new to town.

After she got in line behind me, she tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was in line. I almost laughed at the question, but I responded that I was in line. She asked me why, and I said that I needed to check my headshot proofs. Her response was, “Headshots? You can’t be an actress. You are too fat.”. After she said that, my mouth dropped open and I could see that several other people in line were shocked too. I didn’t really have a response for her (I really wish I had a snappy comeback), so I just let it go.

This situation was so ridiculous in my mind that it never really bothered me. And I just have to keep remembering when people are underestimating me and not listening to what I have to say that it is just their opinion of me. And I don’t have to base my opinion of myself on what others may think.

Although I have to say it is a lot easier to type that last sentence out than to put it into practice, but I’m working really hard at making that happen.

Trying to Budget for Disneyland (or Does Someone Want to Give Me an Annual Pass?)

I love Disneyland. Totally love it.

As a kid, I think I went to Disneyland once a year when my family drove down from the Bay Area to San Diego to visit family. I don’t remember loving Disneyland as much as a kid as I do now.

Since I’ve moved to LA 11 years ago, I’ve had several years of having an annual pass. When my work schedule was different, I would sometimes go 2 to 3 times per month. A bunch of times I would just go and ride a few rides, grab a Dole Whip, and head back to LA.

So much of the iPhoto on my laptop is filled with Disneyland adventure pictures like these:

(you can totally see me at all my different weights in those pictures)

My last annual pass expired last year in April. And I really want to make it to Disneyland now. I haven’t been on many of the new rides, and I just miss it there.

But as almost everyone knows, Disneyland is not cheap. A 1 day park hopper ticket is over $100. And if you are going to go at least twice in a year, the annual pass is the way to go. But the cheap annual passes have so many blackout dates that it’s tough to make sure you go on valid days. And when I get an annual pass, I almost always pay for the parking add-on. The best annual pass is $650 (but that includes parking). So if I can make it to Disneyland 7 times in a year, that pass will totally be worth it. And I’m not taking into account all the food and merchandise discounts you get with the passes.

But $650 is $650 and right now, I don’t have that. Well, I do, but I’d rather put it towards my credit card debit than Disneyland (I never thought I’d ever say that). I’m looking at the 2nd and 3rd cheapest annual passes, but those are both over $300.

I’m not going to get a pass until I know that I’ll be going to the park, and I think I’ll be going sometime next month. So I’m trying to see if I can budget for one of the cheaper passes. It is always an option to upgrade a pass or add-on parking later, so maybe I’ll have an amazing sale at work that will cover the cost of an upgrade or add-on.

This budgeting stuff is hard! 😉

The TV Season (or I Watch TV Like My Job Depends on It)

Being an actor can be weird sometimes. You never know when you’ll work. You might audition for something and hear back a year and a half later that you booked it (that happened to me last year). When you do book a job, you spend more time waiting to work than you do working. And a 14 hour day sounds totally normal.

One of the weird aspects of being an actor is being prepared to audition for any show at any time. I learned something very important about being prepared for all shows at The Actors’ Network. Which if you are an actor and not a member yet, I highly recommend checking out a free orientation (you can say that I referred you if you’d like). In order to be prepared for tv auditions, I watch at least 1, normally 2 episodes of every show that is on tv. The crunch time is when new shows premiere, which normally happens in the fall and mid-season in January.

I’m currently in the depths of fall tv season. I schedule out every new show on tv. I figure out if I can watch them on my DVR or if I have to watch them on Hulu later. This is an example of my calendar for shows I can DVR (also highlighted are some shows that I love and just wanted to remember the premiere dates):


I don’t think my parents understood the craziness I do to prepare for possible auditions before, but now I know at least my mom is starting to get it (my dad doesn’t really watch tv, so I don’t expect him to understand).

I don’t feel like I’m overdoing it. I think that this is a smart way for actors to prepare for the unknown. I’ve had same day auditions before where I’ve had an hour to get to the casting office. Sometimes, that isn’t enough time to google a show and figure out the plot, characters, and tone.

So for the next few weeks, I’m watching a lot of tv. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And I’ll take some notes on each one. I used to just create a word doc for it, but I’m thinking of trying Evernote this year. I just downloaded it to my iPhone, iPad, and laptop so that will help make it easy for me to review my notes wherever I may be.

And if any of you readers want my recommendations or opinions on any of the new shows, let me know. I’m happy to talk “shop” whenever!

The Best Brownies Ever (or How to Impress with an Easy Recipe)

As I promised yesterday, I’m sharing my mom’s recipe for the most delicious brownies.

I’m not exactly sure where the recipe comes from originally, so I’m sorry I can’t properly credit whoever created them. All I know them as are Extra Rich (and Gluten-Free) Brownies.

Here’s what you’ll need:


1/2 cup butter (I use unsalted)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips (or change it up to peanut butter chips like I did)

And here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350

Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan (or be lazy like me, line the baking pan with foil and then grease the foil. It’s easy cleanup that way).

Melt the butter in the microwave and then add cocoa powder. Whisk.

Mix in the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

Add the cornstarch and salt. Mix well.

Stir in the chocolate chips (or whatever type of chips you are using).

Pour mixture into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes. You want a toothpick to come out clean.

Let the brownies cool completely (I waited overnight) before cutting.

These brownies are awesome and seem to always impress the people I serve them too. And if you want extra easy cleanup, do what I did. Melt the butter in a Ziploc container and mix everything in there. One bowl to clean, and then I ended up using the same bowl to bring them to the picnic.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe. I know that these aren’t healthy, but they are a treat. They are pretty inexpensive to make though.

And let me know in the comments if you’d like me to blog some more of my recipes!

It’s a Blognic! (or My First Blogger Event)

Yesterday, I was invited to a Blognic (or blogger picnic). The invite came from the fabulous Lynn of The Actor’s Diet, who I finally got to meet in real life.

The girls who organized the event  (Kelly, Amanda, and Sarah) were super crafty and the picnic area was super cute.



It was a potluck so I brought my mom’s super rich gluten-free brownies (I’ll share the recipe in tomorrow’s post). I made both double chocolate and peanut butter chocolate brownies. But, since I’m still waiting to have my permanent crown put on, I didn’t get to eat anything. But all the girls loved the brownies, so I’m happy.

We enjoyed the shade at Griffith Park and chatting about life and blogging.


And there was a girl there who was also named Jennie (which if you didn’t know, that’s my full legal first name), so she and I talked about how frustrating it is for people to think our names are Jennifer or Jenny. And how much trouble we have with government things that want our full legal names and don’t believe that it’s Jennie (even when it’s on our drivers license).

All in all, it was an awesome event and I feel so grateful to have been invited. I was definitely the newbie blogger there, and it was great to hear the advice that the other ladies had for me.

I was only able to stay for about 2 hours since it was my day off of work and I had lots of laundry and cleaning to do. I’m getting my house ready for this weekend when my dad flies down to stay with me so we can go to a concert at my work together.

I’ve got a busy busy week coming up, but I’m so excited about everything! Even going back to the dentist tomorrow to finally finish up my dental work!