Tag Archives: research

Another Attempt At Mindfulness (or I Think I Need To Work On This Until I Figure It Out)

I’ve tried to work on mindfulness multiple times and it has never seemed to stick with me. But it keeps coming up in my life and I feel like that is a sign of something. So I’ve been inspired to try mindfulness again and the timing is perfect since it’s time for another monthly challenge! But first, time to recap last month’s challenge.

Last month, I challenged myself to work on doing daily speed cleaning. Ideally, I would spend 5-10 minutes a month focused on a small space in my house to clean and organize it. I wanted to do this because I had felt like my cleaning was getting overwhelming and I didn’t know where to start. So I wanted to take away the pressure from doing a big cleaning in my house because that seemed to be what was stopping me. I set an alarm to work on this each day and I tried my best to do what I could.

I wasn’t totally successful with this, but it went better than I thought it would. There were several days that I couldn’t do cleaning because either I was gone all day (like during the Convention) or I had no energy because I was sick. But when things like that weren’t stopping me, I really did accomplish a lot. And by telling myself I only had to do one small cleaning thing allowed me to just do it and not worry about not having time to finish it. There were some times that I did a really small cleaning job like using a new multi-hook hanger to put all my tank tops in one spot (it also saves room in my closet). And then there were other times where my small cleaning job ended up getting me motivated to do a bigger cleaning job. But it has gotten me into the habit of spending a bit of time every day working on this so that I don’t feel overwhelmed again.

Last month went well and I’m really hoping this month will too. Mindfulness has been a struggle for me each time I’ve tried to work on it. I’ve found little things that have worked, but they aren’t enough. I want to be more aware of so much in my life. This isn’t just a food thing because there are days where it seems like the entire day slipped away without me knowing what happened. I want to avoid days in a fog like that if possible.

The book that I’m reading as my 10 pages of a recovery based book right now is all about eating mindfully. I actually wish I had read this book when I first started trying to be more mindful because it’s pretty great. Each section has a lesson along with some action steps to take. And so many of these action steps are things that I haven’t done before or thought of doing before. I actually think I need to go back and start reading from the beginning to take notes on things because I haven’t been doing that. And that is part of my challenge for this month.

I want to go through the book again and other resources I can find and start finding action steps to take to work toward mindfulness. Maybe the reason why it has failed to stick with me before is because mindfulness is more of an idea and less of something I can do. If I had steps to take and work with, that would probably be better for me. I need something tangible or to check off on a list to work with and I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing this before.

This month’s challenge won’t necessarily be about putting mindfulness into practice right away. I’ve tried that a bunch and it hasn’t worked. But instead, this challenge is going to be about researching action steps and ideas to put into use over time. I want to devote time every day to re-reading the book I’ve been reading as well as looking online or in other reference books to make a list that I can use moving forward. I want to make mindfulness work for me and it’s not something that I can just turn on right away. I need to work toward it and I have failed at doing that before. Because other challenges have come to me so easily, I assumed that this one would too. But I am learning and have realized what I hope will be the missing step to be able to implement this into my life in the long-term.

I know that this seems like a much more passive monthly challenge than others have been, but this is what I think I need to focus on this month. And there are only so many things I can add to my life with these monthly challenges, so having one that is more of a reflective thing is probably going to help me not get burned out on them. And I totally don’t want to experience burn out because I just got my 2018 Volt Planner so there will be another year of monthly challenges next year!

Lots Of TV (or What Season Is It?)

You may have noticed that I haven’t written a post about the fall TV season yet. I usually post something about how I do my research or how I feel about the new TV shows (or their trailers).

I’m actually pretty behind on my fall TV viewing this year. I haven’t had as much time as I have had in the past. It’s a combination of having my workouts in the evenings, different events around town, and the SAG-AFTRA Convention. I’ve got about 10 new TV shows on my DVR that I haven’t had a chance to check out. But I’m not as stressed as I’ve been in the past because I upgraded my DVR with my cable company so I can record 6 shows at once instead of just 2 (I rarely record more than 2, but it’s nice to have it when I need it).

I’m hoping that I’ll be catching up on my research in the next few weeks or so. But while my focus was on the fall TV season, it’s now on pilot season.

Pilot season is typically after the new year and into April or so. That’s when the networks decide what shows they want to consider for the new TV season. I’ve heard for years that pilot season is disappearing because of cable and new shows coming on TV all throughout the year. But in the past, my pilot auditions have always fit into the classic pilot season timeline.

Until this week.

While I was at Disneyland, I got a text from my agents that I had an audition for a series regular on a new pilot this week. I was a bit shocked to get a pilot audition in October, but I’m down for whatever!

As I mentioned in my Disneyland post, we left pretty early. So as soon as I got home I printed out my audition sides and got to highlighting.

Pilot Script

Since this is a very big deal audition, I wanted to take it as seriously as I could. And since I had a couple of days before the audition, I had time to get coached for it. I checked with Marci Liroff first since I have worked with her in class in the past, but she’s busy casting a new project. She gave me a referral, but I also heard back from Peggy Lane O’Rourke, who I met through the SAG-AFTRA election (she was on the other side and technically my “enemy”).

Peggy and I really connected while we were campaigning for the election and again at the convention, so I decided to drive out to her for coaching. And of course, we did 1 hour of coaching and 3 hours of goofing off and chatting. But that’s totally fine with me because she got to know me better as an actor and I think she understood my abilities better.

Audition Coaching

I think the coaching session went really well. I had some points in the script where I knew the choice I was making wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do either. She helped me discover and develop what I wanted to do.

And when I was in the room, I think I did a great job! One of my biggest issues in the audition room is talking too fast, but I actually got a note after my first read that I had too much air in the reading and she wanted me to speed up! That’s a first for me!

This pilot isn’t supposed to shoot until January, so even if I do get a callback I might not hear anything for a while. But no matter what, I know that I did the best that I could in the room and I have no regrets of any of my acting choices (and because I could hear through the door, I know my choices were very different from the other girls auditioning before me).

Now that my preview of pilot season is done, I can get back to focusing on the fall TV season and seeing what shows I want to target and what shows I can see myself fitting into.

Hopefully in the not-so-distant future, I will be on one of those shows. And it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a series regular or a 1 line part. I’m making strides to making my dreams come true and that’s all that counts to me.

Positive Thinking And Putting It Out There Worked (or Working For Another Old Boss)

I guess my slacking on job hunting wasn’t really me slacking but me waiting for the right job to come my way! Because now I have added another day job to my life and it’s exactly what I wanted to find.

I’ve been sharing on here and on various social media sites how I’ve been looking for a job and I’ve been asking for help finding something. While several friends sent me leads, none of them panned out or they were jobs that didn’t work with what I have already. I had started to get frustrated and worried that I wouldn’t find something, but I had to just keep looking and putting it out there how I’m looking for additional work.

Last week an old boss of mine got in touch with me. I had met this old boss years ago when she and I both worked out with Richard Simmons. She had a job opening back then for a company that she worked for, I interviewed and got the job. That was a credit card dispute job that I worked for over a year before going to my telesales job.

I had stayed in touch with this boss over Facebook, mainly discussing our mutual love for select reality shows. But last week she sent me a message saying that she might have a perfect job for me. And once she shared the details of the job with me, I knew it was perfect. I had interviewed over a year ago for this company for a different position but hadn’t gotten that job. But since I had done that and had worked for my boss before, I pretty much was just offered the job that day.

Basically, I’m now working as a research assistant for a social/health resource non-profit for LA County. I try to find events and services that are in the cities I’ve been assigned to and will be helping to create a calendar for the community.

It’s a little tough to explain and I’ve only been working at it for a few days. But basically it is doing research that can almost be done at any time (I do have phone calls at times that I need to make during business hours). I’m only allowed to work a certain number of hours (it averages to 12 hours a week), but the pay is much better than my other job. So even with limited hours this new job is allowing me to make almost the same amount I make at my box office job!

So far, it’s going pretty great. I’m able to get a lot of work done between customers. I need to work on balancing my time better with taking breaks, but I think that once I’m more set up in knowing what I need to do it will be better.

I can’t express how grateful I am to my old/new boss for considering me for this job. And it proves to me that it is so important to never burn any bridges. While there are some people who I’m not on good terms with at past jobs, it’s usually due to an extreme circumstance (like with one of my old bosses who called me fat and said that nobody would ever want to date me). I try to always leave any day job as positively as possible. You never know when someone who you’ve worked with in the past will be in a position to hire you again. This is the second time this year where that’s happened to me.

This new job is a contract job that technically ends in September, but there is a contact for another year after that as well. And after that second contract ends, who knows. I might not need a day job anymore at that point or there might be another day job that I can take.

But for now, I’m just so grateful that somehow things have worked out for me again. They always do and I just need to trust that it will happen at the right time.

More Computer Frustration (or Trying To Let It Go)

After yesterday’s craziness on my computer, I went to bed and hoped I could figure it out tomorrow. That did not work.

I finally got the trash emptied on my computer, but then my external hard drive disappeared. So after spending a couple of hours fixing that, I thought everything was good. Until I saw that everything I deleted in the trash was back in the trash again! So I tried to empty the trash again, but weird things kept happening. Like as the trash emptied, the count went into negative numbers. How can you have a negative number of the items that need to be deleted?

I googled and YouTubed solutions but really haven’t seemed to be able to find one.

Then I took a step back. Maybe I can’t fix this right now. I did successfully delete some files that allowed me to have more room on my computer to update the programs I needed to update. And there are a few more programs like Garage Band that I don’t use that I could get rid of.

I’m making this problem more than it really is. I have a tendency to do that.

Then I tried to relate what’s going on to my weight loss (as I tend to do as well). I’ve done more research on weight loss than most people. I’ve read hundreds of diet books. I know the science behind weight loss and the numbers to track. I’ve had medical testing done to see if there is anything wrong with me so I know what symptoms to look for that could mean that my weight issues are something else.

But with all the research in the world, it hasn’t helped me. Because I need to find my solution to the problem. Just because I have a weight problem doesn’t mean it’s anything like anyone else’s weight problem. Just like the crazy problems with my computer aren’t necessarily the same as the problems I’m researching (maybe it is since the computer isn’t as individualized as a person, but just go with me on this).

What I’m saying with all this craziness is that I need to step back from the big problem and start focusing on the little things. Because fixing each of those little things can add up to one big thing.

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!