Tag Archives: podcast

A Goal Setting Experience (or Mindfulness Seems To Be A Theme)

I’ve been pretty good about setting goals for myself. I set goals each year that I want to be able to accomplish in a year. I also set weekly and monthly goals in my Volt Planner. While goal setting is relatively new to me, I feel like I’ve gone in head first and really have embraced it. I like to have things to try to achieve and while it is frustrating when I don’t make a goal I’m learning how to be ok with that.

So when the podcast I work for was going to do a goal setting workshop, I was so excited to be able to participate! I ended up hosting the event at my house because it is a pretty central location and my living room is a good space to hold events like this. It ended up being a pretty small group, but I think that allowed everyone to get more out of this workshop than they would have if we had more people.

The workshop was based around the idea of the 4 Tendencies that Gretchen Rubin created. There was a quiz to take to help us figure out what type of person we are. Of the 4 Tendencies, I was a pretty even mix of 3 of them (Upholder, Questioner, and Obliger). I don’t know what I was expecting, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be the other type (Rebel). But to be a mix of the other ones was interesting.

I know that some of the reasons I’m a mix is because of my OCD and panic/anxiety disorder along with me wanting to be a perfectionist. But I totally want to look more into these things so I can learn more about each type and see if there is a way I can maximize knowing this to help me do better with my habits and goals for the future. I haven’t really thought about how I could adjust my goal setting process to benefit me so this was really educational for me.

After learning about what type of person we were, the next step was to work on our goals. I’ve already got so many goals for the year and I really didn’t want to cover something that I already am working on. We were advised to try to only set goals for parts of our lives that we need to work on. If we have a goal but are making good progress, we shouldn’t be writing it down since that goal is working.

So for me, the first thing I wanted to do was to write what is working in my life so I can remove my focus from that. The main things that are working for me right now are my day jobs and my exercise. I do have goals for both of those things right now, but I’m doing really great with them so I didn’t need to brainstorm more about it. And once I had that written down I worked on focusing on what I wanted to do.

I got it narrowed down to 3 aspects of my life that I know I want to set goals in. I want to have new goals in my personal relationships, financial life, and my recovery effort. I wrote down several things within each aspect that I know I want to accomplish in the long-term. Most of them are pretty basic, but again it’s always good to write stuff down. I don’t have a lot of variety in what I want to set goals to do, but those few things that I’m focused on aren’t necessarily the easiest.

For personal relationships, that’s about dating and friendships. I want to be more active on both sides. I need to set more plans and not have my relationships just be virtual (FB with my friends and online dating with dating). I want to be ok with being bossy or forceful with trying to make plans. I’ve been ok with being wishy-washy and not trying to get something scheduled. But I don’t want to be ok with that anymore. That’s how I can go months without seeing a friend or spend weeks messaging back and forth with a guy online. I want to be more aware of the relationships that I’m focusing on and not getting as distracted.

For finances, I want to stay aware as well. I’m doing pretty great with that so far but I want to make sure that it continues for a long time. Mindless spending is easy to do (especially with online shopping) and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to use shopping as a distraction for something else. And hopefully by doing that I will reduce my spending, get my debt more in control, and be in a better place financially.

And for my recovery, it’s a very similar thing. I want to work on being more aware. I want to use what I’ve learned recently in therapy and really work hard and seriously on taking those steps. I don’t want to make excuses for myself and to take responsibility for whatever I chose to do. I don’t want to let my eating disorder rule me. I want to be making choices, even if those choices are bad ones.

After writing down these ideas and 90 day and 6 month goals for each one, I totally noticed a theme. Everything is about being mindful and aware. I don’t know why this has become such an important thing to me now, but clearly it’s something I need to focus on. I don’t feel like I’ve been on auto-pilot, but maybe I have and I just didn’t realize it. Maybe I needed to combination of my appointment with my therapist and this goal setting workshop in the same week to come to this realization.

Whatever brought this realization to me, I’m glad that it’s more obvious than ever on what I want to focus on and what I think I really need to do. Saying that I’ll be more mindful is easy to say but hard to do. But I think that having some action steps and ideas is going to help me get closer to accomplishing this mindfulness now and hopefully things will snowball from there in the right direction.

Another Actor Night (Tweetup And Inside Acting)

In my attempt to be more involved in my acting career and not just sitting around waiting for auditions, I’m trying to go to as many actor events as possible. Fortunately, there are lots of different events always happening around town. My biggest problem is usually finding one that fits into my schedule, but I’m working on getting better with that and making more time for my acting career.

I am lucky that there seem to be a bunch of events that happen on Monday nights (which are usually my free nights) and this week that’s exactly what happened! The LA Actors Tweetup was this Monday at Busby’s East and I was able to make it! As I mentioned before, the Tweetup now has a more structured format with a Q&A with a guest so it’s not just hangout time. I think that makes it even better and makes the night an educational experience and not just catchup time. This time, the special guest was Kabir Akhtar who is an editor/director for the show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (which is one of my favorite shows).

I got to the Tweetup pretty close to when it started so I had a lot of time to see my friends and catch up with them. There were some people I hadn’t seen in months and some who I had just seen the week before. But it’s always fun hanging out with your friends at a bar and just talking. A bunch of my friends have seen the random online dating posts I’ve put online and they wanted to hear more about the stories. And before I knew it, the room was getting pretty full!

It was so fun to see all the people at the Tweetup. There were a lot of people who I hadn’t met yet, and I always enjoy meeting new people. And the Inside Acting Podcast team was almost all there! We tried to make an effort to be there for the Tweetup and we had every intention of taking a team photo. That didn’t happen, but we did get a “ladies of IAP” photo.

I love that there are amazing women working on the podcast with me now. For so long, it was just me and the hosts. They never made me feel left out or anything, but there’s something special about women being powerful and working together. And I think we make a pretty amazing team!

Since it was so crowded, I went with some friends to try to find a good spot to sit for the Q&A. I knew I might have to do some work on my phone, so I ended up sitting toward the back in a raised section. It actually was the perfect place to watch the Q&A from because I had a great view. And there was no need to be up close when I wanted to just sit back, listen, and learn.

And there was a lot to learn from. Even though I don’t want to be an editor or a director, there are some universal lessons that anyone (even if they aren’t in the entertainment industry) could take from Kabir’s story. He has worked so hard to get to where he is and so much of his journey was so relatable. Hard work isn’t glamorous, but it’s what you have to do to achieve great things. And when one person says no, that doesn’t mean that everyone will.

One story that he told was one that I was a bit familiar with. When the pilot for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” was made, it was rejected by the network that was going to pick it up. It got rejected from other networks and probably most people on the show thought it was never going to be anything because they were getting all of the rejections. But then the CW decided to pick it up and it’s now an award winning show! They could have felt depressed after all the rejections, but they didn’t and they kept on going. The show just needed one yes to go and it didn’t matter if they had 100 people saying no first.

That story is so relatable to me in both my acting and my personal life. I deal with a lot of rejection and sometimes it’s tough to not take it personally. But I have to just remember that someone at some point will say yes and that can change everything. I just have to be patient and wait for that yes to come and I know it will be worth it.

After the Q&A was done, I tried to start saying my goodbyes to my friends. But somehow that always takes an hour or two to get done. But it’s because we are all having so much fun hanging out and we know that we are all so busy so it can be tough to see each other. There are a few other actor events that I know will be coming up this summer and I’m trying to plan for them the best that I can. But knowing that I can make it to the Tweetups on a somewhat regular basis is making me happy and feel more connected to my acting friends and the community. I’m always reminded about this at each event and I tell myself that I’ll attend more. Hopefully this time I can make that happen.

Gospel According To First Squad (or Enjoying A Play Reading)

I am so fortunate that I get to go to a lot of shows in LA. Most of them are with my season tickets to Pantages, but there are a few random shows I buy tickets for. But it’s a rare treat when I get to see a show that a friend is in. Even though I have a ton of actor friends, most of us work in film and tv. I watch them on tv or see them when I go to the movies, but it’s not the same as seeing someone in a live show. But this past weekend, I had the treat of getting to see some friends in a show!

The show was “Gospel According To First Squad” and the hosts of the podcast I work for, Trevor and AJ, were in it. This was a reading of the play, but I had seen this play performed previously. When I saw it before, it was actually the first time that I had met Trevor and AJ in person. I had been listening to the podcast (before I worked for it) and they mentioned doing the show. I got tickets, loved the show, finally met the guys, and soon after that they brought me on as the production coordinator! So it was pretty fun to get to see the show again.

The reading was held at the Kirk Douglas Theater which is pretty close to my house. Since it was a reading with general seating, I got there early because I wasn’t sure what the seating situation would be like. But it ended up being held in the rehearsal space in the theater so it was a nice intimate venue. I found some of the other people who work for the podcast and we all decided to sit together. And since it was a small venue, Trevor and AJ were able to see us all there supporting them right before the show started.

“Gospel According To First Squad” is about the war in Iraq and it’s a pretty serious play. But even though it’s a serious show, there are some fun comedic moments. Some of the cast from when I saw the show years ago were in this reading and some of the cast were new. But it was still such a powerful performance even with all the actors just standing and reading instead of acting it out fully like I had seen before.

Of the group that I was sitting with, I think I was the only one who had seen the show before. Since it had been years since I had seen the show, it felt new to me too. But I do enjoy getting to revisit shows (or books or movies) that I’ve seen before. I always seem to pick up on new things or view it a new way when I’m experiencing it again. There were some moments that shocked me the first time I saw it that didn’t shock me this time, but it was still powerful and I’m so glad that I was able to see the show again. And since it was a reading, it was recorded so others will be able to enjoy it in the future!

After the show was done, there was time to hang out with everyone. I’ve had the chance to see AJ a bit recently because he has been at a few SAG-AFTRA events with me. But it had been a while since I had seen Trevor so it was great to get to catch up in person. If you listen to Inside Acting, you hear them call me out from time to time. It’s usually when they aren’t sure about something and they figure I will know. I’m known for texting them when I’m listening to the podcast (I’m not there when they record the bookends to our interviews) with corrections and stuff. I think they get a bit of a kick out of me doing that and it’s almost a joke between us all now.

I joke online that these guys cause me so much trouble and frustration, but the truth is I love them both so much. Because of them and the podcast, I’ve gotten to do great things and be a part of something that I truly feel passionate about. I’m so grateful that I’ve been the production coordinator for as long as I have been and I can’t wait to see what the future of the podcast brings for us. We’ve got some really great things in the works (including our 300th episode this fall!) and being able to support Trevor and AJ in any way I can makes me so happy. It’s nice that I got the watch them perform because I know it’s something they both love and I hope that I get more opportunities to do so in the future.

Podcast Nerd (or Celebrating At NPR)

After I found out I wasn’t going to have surgery, so many of my friends asked me how I was going to celebrate the news. So many people asked if I was going to go out to dinner or something, but I already had plans that night. I was going to NPR West! And for a total podcast nerd like me, this was the perfect way to celebrate!

I can’t talk too many specifics about what I got to see at NPR West, but I can explain a little bit. I listen to dozens of podcasts and I follow many of them on social media. One of those podcasts, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, posted on their Facebook page that there was a new podcast being workshopped and they needed an audience to be there. This workshop was actually supposed to be at the beginning of the month but got postponed until the 11th (which is when I got the good news). And I signed up as soon as I heard about it because I have never had the chance to see an NPR podcast done live before!

My friend AJ (who is one of the hosts of the podcast I work for) came with me and he is probably almost as much of a podcast/NPR nerd as I am. And when we were outside the studio building, we were both in awe. It’s something I’ve gone by dozens of times because it’s near my house, but I’ve never been lucky enough to go inside.

We waited outside to get checked in for the workshop and once we were allowed inside I was totally geeking out. This was so incredibly cool and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be there. We got some pretty great seats for the workshop, but the studio space was so intimate that every seat was amazing and up close to the action.

Because this was a workshop of a new podcast that may or may not happen, we were told we aren’t allowed to say much about it online. But I can tell you that I was laughing so hard that I was crying and that it was one of the coolest things I’ve been able to see in a while. I have a feeling this will become a podcast and when it does I know I’ll want to get tickets to be in the audience again. It really was the best way to celebrate a day that had such great news!

After the workshop was done, AJ and I were still geeking out about everything at NPR. We wanted to see what type of recording equipment they have because one day we will hopefully be able to upgrade our podcast to have similar equipment. And while we were checking out everything, one of the AV guys from NPR asked us if we were interested in learning more about NPR. Without any hesitation we said yes, and we ended up getting a private tour of the NPR studios!

I’m sure I sound like a total nerd, but this was seriously so amazing! We got to go into different recording studios to see where different NPR podcasts are recorded, see the main newsroom area, and learn about how NPR West works along with the other NPR offices to make sure that everything is up and running smoothly. I knew that being at NPR would be incredible, but I had no idea how awesome it was going to be and how much I was going to get to experience. I know that AJ and I were so lucky that we were able to go on the tour of the studios and that this really was just one of those opportunities where we were in the right place at the right time talking to the right person.

Once our tour was done, AJ and I headed back out to go to our cars. But I think we both were still on cloud nine geeking out over everything that happened that night. Getting to be in the audience for the podcast workshop would have been enough of a celebration for me, but getting that tour was above and beyond what I expected I would get to do that night. I’m sure that going to NPR as a celebration isn’t right for everyone, but it really was the perfect night for me to top off a day that was already incredible!

Podcast Hangout (or A Quick Coffee Meeting)

I’ve been busy working with Inside Acting Podcast for a while now. We’ve got a lot of really great things coming up, including my planning for our 300th episode this year! It’s going to be tough to top our 200th episode celebration, but I’m trying to do it and there are some really big ideas that we are debating about doing right now.

But while I’m working a lot with the podcast with getting guests, scheduling things, and helping to manage everything; I haven’t gotten to do a lot of events with our listeners. We had our vocal class and headshot sessions last year, but this year we are hoping to have more gatherings so that we don’t always feel like we are putting out the podcast into a void.

Our community manager and I have been working really hard at ideas for events and we have some things that should be able to happen. But because we don’t want to keep putting things off while we schedule fun stuff, we scheduled a casual coffee hangout this past Sunday. We found a coffee shop that is pretty centrally located (since we know everyone is coming from all over LA) and put it out to the listeners that we were organizing a meetup.

We didn’t know how many people would be showing up since we didn’t do any RSVP system. But we hoped it would have a good turnout and figured that if it was a low turnout that at least we would get to know a couple of our listeners a lot better.

When I showed up, a few listeners got there before me which was great since they were able to get a table for the group. And pretty quickly after I got there we had more and more members arriving. And before I knew it, we had more people than our big table could fill and we started to take over the coffee shop with all of us hanging out and meeting each other!

There were so many amazing conversations happening there! A lot of us are members of the podcast (if you aren’t and want to become one, you can sign up for it!), and we are in week 5 of “The Artist’s Way”. Even though we are pretty active in the membership discussing our thoughts about what we are doing and if we are having any victories or setbacks, it’s really nice to discuss it in person. And I think a few people who weren’t doing “The Artist’s Way” with us will be starting it now so we will have more people to discuss this with soon!

We also were talking about some of the events that we are hoping to be doing for the membership and listeners soon. We want to do another headshot day, there are a few classes we are bringing in for everyone, and we have a few fitness classes that will be happening. It’s fun getting everyone else excited about the events because it makes us more excited too!

And some people wanted to know about some of the upcoming guests that we have planned. I wish I could tell people about guests we are working on, but because it takes a long time sometimes to get everything set up and scheduled (there are some guests I’ve been working on for over a year), we don’t usually share too much. But I did mention a few people that we are hoping to get on the show soon and that again gets everyone super excited about what is happening!

I wanted to stay at the hangout as long as possible so I could see as many people as I could, but I was having friends over that evening and needed to get home to clean and get things ready. But I was able to be there for about an hour and a half so I think that wasn’t too short. But it was tough to leave when there were so many people there that I wanted to talk to and so many conversations that I wanted to keep being a part of. Hopefully we can pick up the conversations at the next hangout that we schedule and that this in person momentum keeps going!

The Artist’s Way (or Working On My Creativity)

Even though I didn’t set a specific acting related goal for this year, that doesn’t mean that I’m not working on it for the year. It’s tough for me to plan acting related things for this year since there is a lot of uncertainty with how long I’ll need to recover from liver surgery (so I don’t want to plan for any classes until that’s done) and a lot of the things I want to accomplish in acting aren’t up to me (I can’t control when I book a job or not). So finding a good way to work on my acting and creativity is a bit challenging with those restrictions in mind.

So when in the member’s only forum for the podcast I work for someone suggested working through “The Artist’s Way” together as a group, I knew this would be the perfect way to work on acting for the beginning of this year.

“The Artist’s Way” is a 12 week guided program to help artists regain their creativity and to remove roadblocks that may be in the way. This book is something that so many people have done and it’s always highly recommended. I’ve actually tried to complete the 12 weeks a few times in the past, but I’ve never been able to get through the entire thing. This is a common issue with people trying to complete the 12 weeks, so they usually suggest having a way to stay accountable. And one of the suggested ways is to work through the weeks with a group.

The group through the podcast is currently online only, but it’s doing great for keeping me accountable and making sure I do the work. There isn’t a ton of work that you have to do to complete the 12 weeks, but there is stuff to do every day and that commitment isn’t always easy to do. But knowing that people are doing this with me and we are all counting on each other is helping me not want to slack on doing the work. I also think that since I’ve been working on building habits for the past year or so, I’m better now at following through with things than I was in the past. So now seemed like the perfect time to do this.

One of the main parts of the program is doing the morning pages. Morning pages are 3 pages of writing every single morning when you wake up. They are just basically a brain dump of anything that you want to write so they don’t have to make sense. You can write in full sentences or partial sentences, grammar and spelling doesn’t matter, and my penmanship isn’t important. It’s not always easy to remember first thing in the morning to write my 3 pages, but I’ve set a reminder alarm to do it so that is helping. There are a few mornings that I’ve forgotten for maybe 10-15 minutes, but I usually remember before I’m really starting my day.

I struggled with the morning pages before, but this time they have been really great for me. I’ve been using them to vent in the mornings. I’m so grateful that I’m safe and I have a new car, but the situation still makes me mad a bit. Getting those feelings out first thing in the morning helps me to not have to carry them with me all day. I can write in them things that are scaring me or things that I’m concerned about for that day. By putting those feelings out in writing, I don’t feel the need to keep them with me as much as I would before. The feeling I get is similar to what I feel like when I post on here, but I don’t have to worry about making sense or saying things that I might regret later.

There are also weekly questions that I answer each week of the book and they do allow me to reflect quite a bit on what I’ve done so far, what I am planning on doing, and what I should be doing. I’ve been learning a lot about myself in the 2 weeks I’ve been doing this and I’ve never had that experience before in my previous attempts. Maybe I’m in a better mindset to work on this in my life. Maybe my work on my eating disorder recovery is allowing me to work on other aspects of my life in ways I haven’t been able to do before. No matter what the reason is, I’m just happy that I haven’t felt like giving up on this process yet.

Since it feels so different compared to all the other times I tried to do the 12 weeks, I have high hopes that I will be able to get through all the weeks this time. Even if I don’t get anything out of doing this other than saying that I’ve completed it, that will be a victory. I don’t want to bail on things in my life, and being able to complete this will help to prove to myself that if I stick with something that I can make it through.

Express Headshot Day (or Another Fun Podcast Event)

The podcast I work for has been trying to do lots of fun stuff for our listeners. We’ve done some pretty great parties in the past, but now we are looking to do monthly events to benefit actors and anyone else in the entertainment industry. I’ll try to remember to share these events on here in case any of you want to join in (sorry I didn’t do that before!).

Last month, we did a vocal class with Darci Monet (who is a friend of mine). It was a class for all levels and was an introduction to how she teaches. I was an observer for that class, but I had a great time and we were inspired to do more events like that. While the vocal class could have been for all levels, we know that some people might have been intimidated if they have never taken a class before. So we wanted the next event to be something that doesn’t seem to have levels of expertise so everyone felt like wherever they were in their career that it would be a great opportunity for them.

So this past weekend, we did an express headshot day. The idea of an express headshot day is to do really amazing photos for less money and taking less time than a normal headshot session. It’s great if you have one look you want to do that isn’t something you already have. Or if you are a writer and need a professional photo to use. I even joked with my friends that they could do it to have an awesome photo for an online dating profile!

We were hosted again by Acting Up Network (we will totally be partnering with them again and again in the future) and our photographer was Adam, who did my last round of headshots. I didn’t need any extra looks right now, so I didn’t sign up to do a session (and that was for the best since I got sick). But since Adam was the photographer, I knew that everyone who signed up would be getting incredible shots and nobody would be disappointed.

Not only did we feel so lucky that we got Adam as our photographer for the day, the day we had our express day was his birthday! He said that he was happy spending his birthday doing what he loves to do (he really does love taking photos), but we wanted to make sure that we didn’t forget about his birthday! So toward the beginning of the day, one of our hosts (who was getting his photos done during the express day) got some cupcakes so we could celebrate!

happy-birthday-adam

I’ve seen express headshot days in the past and they don’t always work. But Adam really had things set up to make this work the best it could. I watched almost each of the sessions, and every person left with a huge smile on their face and very impressed with some of the shots that they were able to see at the end of the shoot.

express-shoot

Doing headshots can be a fun time, but not everyone loves doing them. But it made me so happy to watch people walk in a bit nervous or unsure if they will get a good photo and walk out looking like they hit the jackpot because they got a photo that they never knew they could get.

I wasn’t able to stay for the entire event (I was there for almost 6 hours and then I needed to get home to rest), but the time I was there was really fun and inspiring to watch. I know that we are going to make these express headshot days something we do at least once a year. It was a hit and I know that good headshots are a necessity that not everyone can afford (most shoots are $300-500 and we did our express day for $100).

I feel great that we can do something that benefits others in the industry and it is something that others have done for me so I just want to keep paying it forward. If any of you want to know all the events the podcast will do (in case I forget to share it on here), I recommend signing up for the podcast email list. You’ll get an email for each episode we release, but we put podcast and community announcements in them too.

I’m not sure what our next event will be, but I have a feeling it’s going to be something else incredible!

Anna Faris Is Unqualified (or Listening To A Live Event)

I’ve written in the past that I’m a bit of a podcast junkie (currently, I listen to 39 different podcasts). I love podcasts and I also work for one. One of my favorites is Anna Faris Is Unqualified. If you aren’t listening to this yet, download it and I know you’ll love it! It’s so much fun and everyone on the show are always entertaining to listen to. Unqualified is one of the few podcasts that I listen to on the day that it is released and I’m sad it doesn’t have episodes more often.

A few weeks ago, they announced that they would be doing a live show for the podcast and the tickets were going to be a lottery system. Everyone applies to buy tickets by a certain date and then after that passes they select the winners and they are the ones who get to have the tickets. It’s actually a pretty great system because the scalpers can’t try to get all the tickets the second they go on sale. So I entered the ticket lottery, but since I rarely win anything I figured I wouldn’t get to go.

But then about a week ago I got the email that I won and got tickets! I was so shocked and excited! So this week my friend Erin and I went to Meltdown Comics (where the show was held) to check out Unqualified Live!

meltdown

We got there right before the doors were supposed to open and I’m glad we got there then because we were toward the beginning of the line and so many people showed up a few minutes after us. After we got checked in at the front, we all lined up in front of the Nerd Melt Showroom to wait to be let in. While we were waiting, I got to look around Meltdown a bit. I’m not a comic book person, but the store looked pretty cool and I think a ton of my friends would love going there.

comics

Once we got inside the room where the show was happening, Erin and I found some seats in the first row on the side. We were so excited to be sitting so close to stage and our great luck in getting amazing seats!

front-row

The show started with the theme song for the show being sung live by Josh Ostrander and that was really fun to experience (sorry, I didn’t get any photos of that). Then, Anna and her producer came out to start the show! And as soon as they sat down, I learned that maybe our super amazing seats weren’t as amazing as I had thought. Because this ended up being my view for a good chunk of the show.

sim-sarna

Fortunately for Erin, she was able to see just fine and I’m happy she was able to enjoy things. And it totally was my choice to sit there so I only have myself to blame.

And my view wasn’t totally ruined the entire time. When Anna brought up Allison Janney up on stage (Anna and Allison did a demonstration on how to slap another actor for a scene), they moved up toward the front of the stage so my view wasn’t as obstructed.

allison-janney

And then about after an hour I finally got the courage to tap the producer on the back to ask if he could possible move his chair back a bit so I could see. He looked so apologetic and moved his seat back so I could see the rest of the live show. I wasn’t expecting him to move his seat at all (he was busy working and making everything go smoothly), so I was so grateful that he went out of his way to make sure everyone in the audience was having a good time.

And even though I couldn’t see most of the show, that really didn’t ruin my experience. I’m used to listening to podcasts so not having a visual made it seem just like any other podcast I listen to. And just being in the room with all that creative energy made me so happy and I had the best time that night!

Toward the end of the show, Anna wanted everyone to stand up to hold hands (she ended up borrowing my hand sanitizer so she didn’t have gross hands while doing it). Because I was so close to the stage and everyone up there, I ended up holding hands with the producer and Erin and we had to stand on stage to reach. We both found it pretty funny that somehow we ended up on stage with the team for the podcast by the end of the night. It just was amazing.

After the show was done, I got to talk to some of the podcast team a bit (love talking with people who understand what it’s like to produce a podcast!) and then Erin and I got a chance to talk to Anna as well! I have to say, while all the celebrities I’ve met have been kind and generous people, Anna is on a totally different level with how wonderful she is! She was so patient taking photos and talking to everyone who wanted to meet her. She honestly was grateful for every person who got a ticket for her show. And she was just a delight to get to talk to. And of course, Erin and I had to get a picture with her.

anna-faris

While I’ve run live events for Inside Acting in the past, this has inspired me to do so much more with our next live event. Unqualified really did an amazing show and I only hope that our podcast is this much fun for our listeners as this was for me. It’s been a full day since seeing the live taping and I’m still on a high from the wonderful energy that was in the room and how much fun I had there!

I’m just hoping that they will have another live episode, I’ll be able to get tickets for it, and maybe then I’ll pick a different seat so I can experience the entire live event!

A Podcast Hangout (or Observing A Vocal Class)

This past weekend the podcast I work for hosted an event for our members and listeners. I love that through the podcast not only have a made so many amazing friends, but I’ve found a community of actors who are really supportive and are not just waiting for the phone to ring with their next audition. They are out and creating work and that’s partly what inspired me to try to work on creating my own work as well.

Our events in the past have been hikes, parties, and lots of fun social gatherings. This time the event was a vocal class with my friend Darci Monet. I love that we were able to do an event that is education! Darci is an amazing singer and teacher, and I met her through Marie and Chris (and that group of friends). I know several friends who have taken vocal lessons from Darci and they have all said the most wonderful things about her as a teacher. So we asked if she wouldn’t mind doing a free class for the podcast and she agreed!

We hosted our event at Acting Up Network, which was a very lucky find for us. I learned about Acting Up when I was dropping off some donations for my friend Dea after her house burned down. Jodie, who owns Acting Up, was collecting donations for Dea at her studio and I got to check it out. It’s such an amazing location and space and Jodie was super generous to donate the space to us to use! If any of you are looking for some great acting classes (or need a space to rent for classes you are running), I highly recommend talking to Jodie about Acting Up!

The vocal class we had wasn’t that big, but I think that might have been best. Everyone who wanted to sing had the chance to get up to sing and have Darci give some pointers or work with them on one or two things that she noticed. It was really great to watch Darci work with people because you could really see people gaining confidence in their singing or improve something that they had been working on. Watching the results happen right in front of us was fun and I’m glad that everybody there got to leave with something new to work on.

I didn’t sing (I’m tone-deaf and have been told by other vocal coaches that because of that I’m not that teachable), but I may take a lesson with Darci to see what she says. She believes that pretty much anybody can learn to sing, so maybe there is some hope for me. I don’t feel like I need to sing (I don’t really like music that much), but it would be nice to be able to carry a tune a bit and not to sound like a cat being strangled when I try.

Our class lasted about 2 hours, and while that is longer than the typically class I think it worked out really well for everyone there. We didn’t feel rushed at all and everyone could take their time to calm their nerves before singing. Even though I would have loved to have more podcast listeners there, I love that we had a small and really supportive group for everyone who was there.

We are hoping to do more and more events like this for the podcast. It’s really important as actors that we work on new special skills or make sure that we are keeping up with the ones that we already have on our resumes. I think we are planning on a few other classes coming up that will be about special skills like singing soon and I can’t wait to see what they are! And if you are interested in doing those I highly recommend signing up for our mailing list and also becoming a member!

Going Out While Exhausted (or The Opposite Of Fear Of Missing Out)

After all of the ENMNCon excitement, I was hoping to have a bit of a lazy week the next week. Sadly, that wasn’t going to be the case for me. Of course I knew I’d have work to catch up on and errands to do (those few days of ENMNCon seemed to take up my entire time so I didn’t do a lot of housework), but I was hoping to keep my evenings as free as possible.

I knew that there was an event that the podcast I work for was co-sponsoring on Monday evening and I had it on my calendar for a while. And I figured that somehow I wouldn’t be exhausted that evening to attend so I told everyone I would be there.

Of course, Monday comes around and the day is just beyond full for me. I was exhausted from the weekend, I had a workout in the morning, and then a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. I had every intention of going to the party, but I didn’t think I was going to make it.

After a team phone call with everyone from the podcast (we have those every other week) I realized that everyone else was going to be there and I should try too.

I got out of my junky clothes (I don’t care to dress up to go to the doctor so I wore workout clothes) and put on some jeans and a cute top. I also tried my best to do some makeup and make my hair look better and then headed out the door.

The event was in Chinatown, so it wasn’t too far of a drive for me. I was a bit lost because the venue was on a pedestrian only street and wasn’t sure at first where to park, but I managed to find a meter (it was free at night!) and headed inside.

As soon as I got in, I knew that this was going to be a quick appearance for me. The noise and lights were bothering me and I was so tired that I wasn’t feeling very social.

I saw a bunch of my friends and managed to say hi to them all, but after about 30 minutes I was getting ready to go. Of course, I stayed long enough to be in an awesome photo with the entire podcast team!

IAP Team

As soon as we took the photo, I said my goodbyes to everyone and headed back home. Before I knew it, I was in my pjs on my couch catching up on my DVR (there were a lot of shows I hadn’t had a chance to watch).

I’ve written before about fear of missing out and I was scared that if I hadn’t gone to this party that I would feel that way. But I almost had the opposite reaction. I am glad that I went and said hi to my friends, but I almost regretted spending that time driving there when I knew I wasn’t going to be all in for the event.

It’s hard to say no to social obligations. And because I had told people for a while that I’d be going, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. But I know that if I hadn’t been there and had explained that I was exhausted from a 3 day conference that people would have totally understood. But I also don’t want to let people down. It’s a struggle of balancing obligations and needs that I need to work out.

And I know that I’m going to have to focus on that struggle a lot over the next few weeks. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now and there are weeks that I’m getting very close to overbooked. I’m going to take some time between things this weekend and take a good look at my schedule. I’m going to have to decline some things that I’ve wanted to go to in order to keep myself sane. I have to focus on what’s most important in my life right now (I’m thinking day jobs, workouts, and doctors appointments) and then add in what else I can when it fits.

Hopefully that focus will allow me to stay rested and at my best self over these next few crazy weeks!