Tag Archives: TV

Another Netflix Night (or A Comedy Panel)

Recently I wrote about going to the Gilmore Girls panel that Netflix had put on. That was an awesome night and I had so much fun there. I knew that Netflix was doing an entire series of events, but I figured that going to that one was the one chance I was going to have. But last week, I got an email from the SAG-AFTRA Film Society letting me know that I could RSVP for another one!

This time, I was invited to a panel of comedy shows on Netflix. This panel included Alan Yang from “Master of None”, Bill Burr from “F Is For Family”, Chelsea Handler from “Chelsea”, Judd Apatow from “Love”, Marta Kauffman from “Grace and Frankie”, and Victor Fresco from “Santa Clarita Diet”. Even though I don’t watch all these shows (although they have been on my list for a while), I was so excited to go and hear what they had to say!

I had the option to bring a guest with me, but unfortunately none of my friends could make it. I used to attend events like this alone all the time, but I’ve gotten used to having someone with me. But I was solo for the night and that was ok. I was able to get in line pretty early so I figured I’d be able to get a great seat. I wasn’t worried about seeing all the Netflix stuff in the space since I had seen it the time before, so once I got inside I immediately headed to the panel area.

So many of the seats were reserved so it was pretty limited seating. But I found what seemed to be a pretty great seat and was happy to just sit and wait for the panel to start.

Since I was alone, I spent the time waiting for the panel reading and working on my phone. They did have food and drinks like last time, but I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t get anything. But it seemed like the snacks were different and they had some sort of fried chicken thing instead of the hamburgers they had at the other panel.

When it was closer to the time that the panel was going to start, people started to come sit down. I’m lucky I got a seat because it felt like about half the room ended up standing in the back the entire time. But because I was sitting and the seats were on a flat surface, I ended up not really having a view of the stage. The guy in front of me was pretty tall and most of the time I was just staring at the back of his head.

But it’s ok that I couldn’t see anything since I just wanted to listen to the stories that the panel had to share. It’s always so inspiring to hear people talk about projects that they have worked on and what the challenges were that they had to overcome. It makes me feel that I’m doing the right stuff when I hear others who have had the same struggles that I have had too. And I love hearing about how working on a streaming network like Netflix is different from a broadcast or cable network. Streaming is still a newish thing but it’s nice to learn about the common things most shows on streaming networks face.

The entire panel was about an hour-long, but I wished it could have been longer. There were so many people up there and I wished they could have had more time to speak. But it was a nice sample of learning more about each of them and it got me feeling like I need to watch more of those shows on Netflix soon. I’m behind on Netflix shows, but since summer is usually quiet for most tv shows I follow I know that I will be catching up soon enough.

Once the panel was done, I decided to wander around the various setups for the Netflix shows to see if anything was different. Most of the stuff was the same, but some were moved around to different areas of the space so it felt new. And of course, I had to stop by my favorite thing from last time: the bubble wall!

It was a different color this time (last time was more blue) so of course I did a mini-photo shoot in there! I don’t know why I love that bubble wall so much, but it just makes me happy!

It was feeling a bit crowded in the space and it was a bit awkward hanging out in there so I decided to head back home. I know that I should be ok at events like that alone, but it’s not as fun when I don’t have someone enjoying all the cool stuff with me. Hopefully if I get invited to more Netflix events I’ll be able to bring another plus one with me.

But even with not really doing much else beyond sitting and listening to the panel, I have to say that this was another amazing night. I love getting to be a part of events like this and it motivates me more and more each time I get to see people who have had success like I dream of having one day.

Another “Gilmore Girls” Adventure (or Netflix FYSee)

I’ve talked about being a big “Gilmore Girls” fan on here before. It’s a show that I loved when it was on the air (my mom and I watched together) and I still love when I see repeats on tv. And when “Gilmore Girls” came back to have a new season on Netflix, there were a bunch of events related to the show that happened in LA. I didn’t make it to all of them, but I did attend the pop up event at UCLA a little while back.

Right now, tv shows are starting to prepare their award season campaigns. They are usually called FYC events (FYC means For Your Consideration). But Netflix is doing something extra called FYSee that is open to people who aren’t necessarily those in charge of nominating shows. They are a combination of a screening, panel with cast members, and an amazing space that has lots of stuff to check out. I got invited to attend the “Gilmore Girls” FYSee event through a couple of organizations I’m a part of and I RSVPed immediately! And my friend Elisa (who is a part of my Pantages group) is a huge fan too and she was super excited to get to go too!

This event was held in a huge space that had different areas dedicated to different Netflix shows.

I think my favorite section was the giant bubble wall (I believe that it was a part of the “Luke Cage” set up). They were the perfect place to take some awesome photos and I think I might have gotten a bit obsessed with how fun it was in there!

The space for the panel was on one end of the space and when we walked in we immediately saw a little set up similar to Luke’s Diner that had some of the things I saw at the UCLA event.

And on the other side was a giant candy bar! Everything was in individual servings and Elisa and I both took a few things to try. Both of us agreed that the pretzels were the best snack.

We went to claim seats in the panel area and while we headed over there we saw a waiter bringing around little sliders to eat. I wasn’t expecting food at this event (there was also a bar) so I was pleasantly surprised by the food options and this was a pretty filling dinner.

Because we went quickly to claim seats, we were in the front row on the side of the stage. I laughed because it reminded me about how we have our Pantages seats toward the front but off to the side.

We had gotten there a bit early so there was a bit of time to wait. But we used that time to enjoy our food, catch up, and just enjoy being at a fun event. And when things were getting started they played a pretty funny clip from one of the episodes of the newest season before the panel started.

The panel was Lauren Graham (who played Lorelei) and the moderator was Mae Whitman who starred with Lauren Graham in “Parenthood” and also had a small part in the new season of “Gilmore Girls”. The panel started with Mae Whitman asking Lauren Graham a bunch of really great questions about coming back to a show after many years away and how the production worked. And then the Q&A was open to the audience.

I’ve attended a lot of Q&A events where the audience can ask questions and sometimes they can get a bit ridiculous. But this audience was really great and had some nice and insightful questions to ask that I was interested in hearing the answers for (instead of asking questions like how they can get a job on that show).

After the panel was done, there was about an hour before the screening started. I was originally planning on trying to stay for the screening, but I’ve already seen all the new episodes at home since they are on Netflix. And it was getting a bit late for me so I was tired. Elisa was feeling the same way I was so we took time to go around all the various installations for the Netflix shows and have some more of the amazing pretzels!

I loved how much fun this event was. I know I’m so lucky that they opened it up to people who aren’t necessarily those who are nominating shows and I really appreciated how they made this a fun mix between a formal event to nominate shows and a fan event. It was a great opportunity to learn more about a show that I love and to make me want more episodes! I have no clue if Netflix will be doing another season, but if they do I hope that there are more “Gilmore Girls” events for me to go to!

Dancing With The Stars (or A Workout Friends Hangout)

I haven’t watched “Dancing With The Stars” since the beginning, but I have been interested in this current season. The son of my late acting coach is one of the stars this season and I was so excited to get to see him on the show. And as soon as the cast for the current season was announced, I went online to try to get tickets. I was put on a wait list for tickets and was hoping I’d get tickets in time to see Chris on the show. Sadly, he was eliminated after the first week and right after that I got the email that I could now get tickets.

Even though Chris was eliminated, I figured it could be really fun to go to a taping. I’ve been to many tv tapings before, but I never had been to a live show. I knew that it would be really cool to see how everything happens during the commercial breaks and decided to get the tickets and then just enjoy whatever stars were still in the competition at that point. I asked around to a couple of friends to see who could come with me, and 2 of my Orangetheory friends were able to go! So it was Orangetheory night at “Dancing With The Stars”!

The way that all tv tapings work is that they give out more free tickets than there are seats. They assume there will be no shows (or in my case I ordered 4 tickets and only needed 3) so they ask you to get there early to try to get in. We got there about an hour before we were supposed to be there by, and that ended up being perfect for us. Even though we heard the speech multiple times that not everyone would be let inside the studio, the 3 of us ended up being the last 3 who got in! It’s so crazy that we were the cut off point, but I’m so glad we made it!

There were no phones allowed inside the studio so I don’t really have that many photos from the taping. We were in the first balcony toward the side behind the judges. We had some moments where the view was blocked, but we could see most of the stage. And when we couldn’t see things there was a tv monitor that we could look at so we could see what it looked like on live tv. I know so people want to be seen on tv when they go to tapings like this, but I didn’t care to be on tv. The only time you could almost see us is when they showed the entire audience. But unless you knew where to look, you’d never see us.

Yeah, you can barely see the 3 of us between those red arrows.

When I got my tickets, I didn’t know what the theme for the show would be. But it ended up being Disney night and that seemed so perfect to me! Each of us had Glow with the Show Mickey ears to wear during various parts of the taping. I was so excited about that because I never had those ears before. But when the taping was done we were told that we didn’t get to take them with us. Oh well. I only wish that I didn’t have to turn my phone in to security before going into the taping so I could have taken photos with the ear. They were super cute!

The advantage of going to a live taping is that you know exactly how long it would be (unlike going to a sitcom taping where it can be 5 hours for a 22 minute show). Neither of my friends watch “Dancing With The Stars” and I think they were a bit worried that being there for 2 hours would feel like a long time. But it really flew by! All the dances were so amazing and there were a couple of live singing performances at the show as well. And of course, I loved the music because they were all Disney songs. I knew pretty much all the songs and was excited to see how the dances matched with the songs.

And while the dances were awesome, I did love watching the crew during the commercial breaks to see how quickly they changed over the set. There was a big clock on the screens during the commercial breaks so they knew exactly how much longer they had to do everything. They were super efficient and you can tell that they practice a lot to do the set changes in the time they had. And while the show was live, it was neat to see the choreography that the cameras had to do. There was a lot of work with a steady cam, but it was also interesting to see how the stable cameras worked with the steady cam and to see the camera work on the floor and then look up at the tv screen to see how it looked for tv. I know that I’m a bit of a nerd with the behind the scenes stuff like that, but it really is amazing how much work the crew does to make everything look as perfect as it does on tv.

Once the live taping was done, we were excused from the studio pretty quickly. It took a bit of time to get our phones back (the security team was super organized but there were so many of us in line to get phones) but we were quickly on our way out of the studio. Even though we were only in the taping for 2 hours the entire time including being in line was about 5.5 hours. It was still a shorter day than most tv tapings, but it was still a good chunk of time.

Even though Chris isn’t a part of the “Dancing With The Stars” season anymore, I have been watching the show this season and will continue to watch this season to see who wins. There are a lot of amazing dancers and stars on the show still and I’m excited to see what dances come up next! And if I get another opportunity to go to another live taping, I’d probably do it. It was a fun thing to do and I know I have other friends who couldn’t go this time but would love to go with me!

Gilmore Girls Time! (or A Fun Afternoon At UCLA)

I think pretty much everyone has heard by now that “Gilmore Girls” is coming back with new episodes on Netflix. I’m really excited about this! “Gilmore Girls” was one of the first shows that I can think of that my mom and I watched together but in different locations (she was in the Bay Area and I was living in LA) where we would talk after the show to discuss the episode. My mom and I have always been really close, but having this show to connect us when I moved away from home helped to keep our bond strong.

I may get to watch one of the new episodes with my mom since they premiere the day after Thanksgiving and I’ll still be in San Diego then. But we probably will still be watching most of it separately and then discussing the show after we finish it. But either way, knowing that one of my favorite shows is coming back (even if it is only 4 episodes that are 90 minutes each) is making me so happy!

There have been a lot of “Gilmore Girls” related events happening leading up to the new season. There were the Luke’s Diners that popped up all over the country for the day, but I wasn’t able to make it to that due to work conflicts. And more recently there was the premiere of the first episode of the new season, but I couldn’t go to that either. But when I heard that there was going to be an event at UCLA where they made it look like Stars Hollow (the town in the show), I knew I had to go!

I got my tickets and then shared online that I was going. A few of my friends got tickets, but it quickly sold out so it was going to be a small group of just the 3 of us. One of my friends was going to get in line early for us, and then my other friend and I were going to meet her there so we could go in together. But then my friend who was supposed to line up came down with a horrible migraine/cold and was stuck feeling horrible in bed. And my other friend got stuck at work and then needed to take her car in to be fixed. So I ended up going alone, but that was fine.

I was shocked at how many people were in line when I arrived! I got there almost an hour before the event started, and I was questioning if I was even going to make it inside. The event was limiting people to 45 minutes inside and we figured they would let a few hundred people in at once (I heard a rumor it was 350 people each time), so I was hoping I wouldn’t be in line for too long. Fortunately, I ended up being at the end of the third group that got to go inside. So I did have to wait a few hours, but my book kept me pretty entertained.

And once I got inside, it was totally worth it!

festival-of-four-seasons

I used to work at the WB studio as a tour guide, so I got to see the Stars Hollow set every day at work. And they did a great job making this area look similar to what the studio lot looked like.

stars-hollowtown-sign

There were a couple of fun photo opportunities including a gazebo that was in the center of the space they were using. I didn’t do that photo since there was a huge line since the photos were with cast members from the show. But I did take advantage of the photo setup they made with umbrellas (if you watched the show, this was a reminder of when Rory jumped with Logan off of the tower). Some of the umbrellas were hanging from the trees so it made it look like you were falling back to the ground, but they were a bit too high for me to reach. So I took advantage of one of the umbrellas that was not attached to the trees.

photo-setup

They also had a Luke’s Diner set up. They were serving coffee in Luke’s Diner cups, but since I don’t drink coffee I just took some photos and admired the attention to detail they put into the area.

lukes luke

There were also some swag type things you could get. Besides the coffee (people loved having those cups and I bet they were planning on saving them), there were bags of candy to get and buttons with funny sayings from the show (I personally got the vicious trollop one).

kirk-buttons

They also had a Stars Hollow Post Office set up with postcards that you could send to anyone you wanted and they would pay for the postage.

gilmore-girls-postcard

I really wanted my mom to have one, so I grabbed it and didn’t mail it since I would see her before the postcard got to her.

greetings-from-stars-hollow

There were also props from the show in a tent that you could go through. And the last thing that I did was going to the photo booth where you could get some cute free photos.

photo-booth

It’s tough to see it in my photo, but 3 of them are me holding signs with the various boyfriends’ names (Team Dean, Team Jess, and Team Logan) and me doing a frown. The last photo is me holding a sign saying Team Rory and doing a thumbs up. They had a lot of other cute fun signs to choose from, but since I was doing the photos solo I wanted to think of something cute I could do with one sign at a time. And this came to me and I went for it! The photo that printed out is a bit faded (maybe they were running low on ink), but since the entire event was free I can’t complain about any of it.

Before I knew it, the 45 minutes for my group was up and it was time for us to leave. While I’m sure I would have had an amazing time with my friends there, I had fun on my own and I’m so glad I went.

It’s almost time for “Gilmore Girls” again and this just got me even more excited for the new season to premiere!

Getting Out Of A Funk (or Focusing On Happiness)

I think you could all tell from yesterday’s post that I’m in a low point right now. I hate when I have bad days like that, and I think the way that I get into a funk is why I was diagnosed with severe depression in the past (recently it was decided that it was a misdiagnosis because it’s not very severe or often). I’m still working on getting myself back to where I was before, but at least I’m working on it now.

Food is still a huge issue. I’m hoping it gets better soon and I’m working on some new ideas to make things easier on me and not requiring as much thought. When I have to think about food, it makes things worse. Meal planning should be best, but then I end up not wanting to eat what I plan. I’ve got some ideas from friends that I’m testing out and it’s really just trial and error right now. I’m trying to focus on the idea that at least I’m working on this instead of giving up like I have in the past.

I’m also working on focusing on my happiness checklist. I do fill that out every single day still and it’s a good reminder that even on days where I isolate myself from everyone there are things I can do that make me happy. My happiness checklist is an app now (it’s easier to do that than to always carry around paper to fill it out) and I do try to look at it midday to see what I’ve done and what I will be doing to make sure that at least a few things will be checked off every day.

Fortunately with the checklist, some of the things are pretty much a guarantee for me. Writing these posts (or other blogs I freelance on) are a part of that checklist. And reading is one that I get done every single day without fail. I’ve been reading a lot lately because it is an escape for me and it takes my mind off of things that are stressing me out or making me upset. Thank goodness for my library card to get e-books because I’m going through more books a week than ever and I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars a year on books!

I read a pretty big variety of books. Right now, I am reading 10 pages of an eating disorder recovery book every day, but that’s not my main reading. I read a lot of fiction and I try to get some non-fiction in there from time to time. If you want to see what I’m reading, I’m trying to stay up to date with my Goodreads account and tracking what I’ve been enjoying. Books have always made me happy and I’m glad that they continue to do so.

And I’m letting myself be lazy and watch tv and movies after work. It’s not the best thing to do all the time, but sometimes you have to just do it and not worry about the lack of movement and activity after work. I finally caught up on all the Olympics and ceremonies so I’m moving on to other things. Most recently, I watched “Stranger Things” on Netflix. Everyone has been talking about it since it came out last month, and I’m finally catching up.

Stranger Things

I’m happy to say that it is just as good as everyone has said it was and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I had to break up my viewing since it was 8 hours of a show and I didn’t have 8 hours without needing to work or sleep. But I think the way I broke it up (2 episodes one day and the last 6 the next) worked out well. It is a bit scary at times, so I don’t recommend watching it right before going to bed unless you have something happy to watch right after this and before needing to sleep (which is exactly what I did).

I am feeling my mood getting better, I’m not feeling as sick as I was earlier in the week, and the food is still not ideal but it is better. Overall, I think I’m on an upswing to things and I’m just hoping that it will be back to normal soon. I’ve got some fun things coming up next week so I think if I’m not back to normal by then, those fun things will improve my mood right away!

Netflix Luncheon (or Rebels and Rule Breakers)

Through both SAG-AFTRA and WIF I got email invites for an event that Netflix was hosting this past weekend that featured the women of Netflix shows. The event was a luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire hotel and since the luncheon technically didn’t start until noon, I figured I should accept the invite because my work shift would be ending at 11am that day (I don’t miss work to attend events so I do miss out on a bunch).

There was free valet for attendees at the hotel, but it was so packed that it almost took me 30 minutes to get into the valet area and get out of my car! Fortunately, the pre-reception was still going on when I arrived so I checked in at the front, got my table number, and headed inside the room where the event was.

Netflix Event Beverly Wilshire

I had never been inside the Beverly Wilshire before, so I was so impressed by the space and the set up in the room. There was a bar for drinks, but I ended up spending my time before the luncheon started looking for friends of mine. Fortunately, since there were invites from a couple of different organizations I ended up knowing quite a few people there. Most of them were people I knew from the SAG-AFTRA convention because they were there representing the union at the luncheon.

At noon we were instructed to go to our tables and sit down so the presentation and lunch could start. At each of our seats, we had a card that on one side had the people who would be speaking and on the other side the menu of the lunch.

Netflix Speakers Neflix Menu

I knew who would be there speaking ahead of time because it was on the invite for the event, but I was still so excited to hear everyone speak. The panel was done in 2 segments and each woman there shared a bit of her story and a bit about how she feels about being a rebel. Being a rebel in the entertainment industry can mean so many things, and each of them had such a wonderful viewpoint. I loved hearing about how women are afraid not to be polite so they don’t try for things or ask things that might be a bit bold. While women shouldn’t worry about always being polite, there’s no need to not be gracious. Being polite and gracious are different things, and I never thought about that.

I’ve always been scared to not be polite, so this was really hitting home for me. I know I’ve been paid less than my co-workers because I didn’t want to see rude or pushy to ask for a raise. I’ve been treated badly at day jobs because I didn’t want to make a fuss and tell HR that I’m being harassed. I’ve tolerated guys saying pretty bad things to be because I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t being nice because I’ve heard far too many stories of women being shot or attacked by men after they reject them (because to some men, rejection is rude and women shouldn’t do it).

I had already been making strides to being more bold in the past. More recently, I’ve been very outspoken about friends that I’ve wanted to work on projects with. The short film I’ll be starring in soon is because on a phone call with my friend Christopher I said that I was mad that he and I hadn’t worked on a project yet. He said he didn’t have anything that fit me, but next thing I knew our short film was written and now we are in pre-production. I’m going to be in another short film this year because when a friend mentioned that they were working on getting it to pre-production I asked what part there is for me. That isn’t the nicest way to ask, but it was effective and I’ll be playing a small part in that film now.

This entire luncheon was so empowering and really got me thinking about how I need to work on finding the balance between being polite (which is what I’ve been told I have to be) and being pushy (which is what I need to be to help further my career). I don’t have the answer on what that balance should be, but honestly I hadn’t been working hard enough in the past on this to make it work for me. I’m so inspired by what all these women said at this luncheon. I know that if I make a couple of small changes in how I interact with others (and how I network) that it can be a huge impact in the auditions I’m getting and the parts that are being offered to me.

The panel part of the luncheon was only about an hour or so long and after it was done we all were told to head back up to where the pre-reception was for desserts and drinks. I was able to find more of my friends at that point and I think all of us were equally inspired by what we heard (both men and women were at the event and I only heard very positive things from everyone).

We know that diversity is more than just women, but getting more women filmmakers and having women’s stories told in film and tv is important. Just this week, a pilot for a new tv show was rejected because it skewed too female. That’s is horrible. I’ve never heard of a pilot being rejected because it was too male. There’s also all the hatred that I don’t understand toward the all-female “Ghostbusters” movie. Some people don’t think that women need to look up to other women or are complaining that men have nobody to relate to in that movie (there are male characters and if they have to watch an all-male cast they can watch the original movie). And some people think that while women will watch shows about men, men won’t watch them about women. This has been proven wrong by movies like “Bridesmaids” that have been big successes.

These are all attitudes that need to change in order for more women to be writing projects, directing projects, and playing characters that are no just the girlfriend or the pretty one to look at. I feel like this change has started, but there are so many voices speaking negatively regarding gender diversity in film and tv (who want to keep it male centric) and I hope that those people will see that putting more women in front or behind the camera will not diminish men but will in fact create more projects that everyone can be in.

 

Grease Live (or A Fun Night In With Friends)

Since almost all of us use a DVR or watch tv online now, it’s so rare for me to watch something live. Unless it’s an awards show, I’m usually watching a recording of it. I know that most people also watch sports live, but I rarely watch sports (I do watch the Super Bowl for the commercials).

But when NBC started to do live musicals (even though they are taped delayed for the west coast), I got really excited to watch them. While I didn’t love The Sound Of Music or Peter Pan, it was still really excited to live-tweet along with others about what was happening and feel like I was a part of something special. And when The Wiz ended up being so great, I got really enthusiastic about live musicals on TV.

FOX did Grease Live this past weekend and for the first time I decided to have a viewing party at my house. I figured it could be really fun whether the musical was amazing or was a bit of a disappointment. So I invited a bunch of my friends and said that I would provide the drinks if they wanted to bring snacks.

My friends Rayshell, June, and Amanda (who I know from Orangetheory) came over to watch on Sunday. And even though none of my friends had met each before, it ended up being the perfect group (and all of them ended up bringing dessert treats to share!).

As soon as Grease Live started, I made a joke about how the green screen wasn’t that realistic looking. But as soon as the camera pulled away and I saw that they were acknowledging that this was a live event happening all over the Warner Bros. backlot, I knew that this was going to be something special. For all the other live musicals, they never really seemed to treat it any differently than having a play being taped. But Grease Live really did seem to want to show off all the hard work that they did.

After that initial joke about the green screen, there wasn’t much joking among the group. We did joke about funny moments and character choices, but it was all in a very positive way and more enjoyment than snark. I didn’t even end up live-tweeting because I was so enthralled by the show.

I loved seeing them all over the backlot (I know it well from working there as an actor and back in 2005 as a tour guide and being there for the SAG-AFTRA Gala) and shared fun facts about the backlot with my friends. And I loved seeing them use the tour guide golf carts to get from one stage to another (they even drove my favorite cart, #9)! I did have a moment where my heart felt like it would stop when the golf cart started to tip in the end of the show (I know how unstable those golf carts are), but fortunately the cart didn’t tip over.

It didn’t feel like a live production because of all the hard work the cast and crew had done over the past few weeks. They had everything perfectly choreographed and timed out so that the audience only saw what they wanted us to see and nothing was delayed. I mean, look at how perfectly the associate director did the camera moves for just part of a song! I know that every cast and crew of a live production work hard, but this one just took things to another level. And since the sets were full rooms (not just the set facing a wall of cameras) it felt so different from all the other live musicals (although I did say that in a way that made it feel less like a live production at times)

My friends all agreed with me that this was the best live musical that we’ve seen on TV. There was very little that we would have changed about the show and we all had a great time watching it. And I think that getting together to watch the live musicals will be a new tradition (another adventure with friends to add to my goals list!) and we are already planning on trying to be together for the one happening in March.

I really went into watching Grease Live thinking I wouldn’t love it, but I’m so happy that I was wrong and it ended up being such a fun thing to watch and experience with everyone.

My Christmas Eve and Christmas (or A Late Night Target Run)

My Christmas plans were pretty low-key this year. I was going to have some friends over to watch movies and we were going to order Chinese food. Nothing too special, but I was looking forward to a fun and relaxing day at home with some fun company.

On Christmas Eve, I enjoyed a workout in the morning and then really didn’t have much as far as plans go for the rest of the day. I went to the grocery store (where it was insanely crowded!) and then spent the afternoon reading and watching some stuff on Hulu and Netflix.

Then just after dinnertime when I was watching a show on tv, my tv died. I’m not sure what happened. All I know is one second it worked and the next the screen was black. I could turn the tv on and off, but the screen stayed black. I couldn’t get the menu to come up or the input to change (so it wasn’t a reception issue). I looked up what I could online and nothing looked good to me. It seems like one of the graphics cards inside of my tv might have broken but I wasn’t going to spend money trying to find out.

So at 10pm on Christmas Eve, I headed to Target prepared to deal with all the last minute Christmas shoppers. I picked Target because they were pretty much the only ones open that late and they had a tv that would work for me in stock (and I needed a working tv for the movie day the next day).

To my surprise, Target was emptier than I’ve ever seen it. I’d guess that maybe there were under 10 shoppers in the entire store. So it was pretty easy for me to get to the electronics section and get a new tv.

Target

Not only was the store empty, but the tv was about 30% off! I wasn’t expecting that at all based on the prices online so that was a nice surprise. I used the money that I had leftover from paying my 2014 taxes to buy the tv (it wasn’t an expense I planned for or really had in my budget). That money was originally going to go toward another acting class, but maybe after I pay my 2015 taxes I’ll have leftover money to do that.

I spend the rest of my Christmas Eve night getting the new tv set up and the old tv out of the living room. It’s a much bigger tv than I’m used to, but I think it looks nice.

New TV

On Christmas, I started my day by baking some cookies to bring to all of my neighbors. They are super easy meringue cookies and they are very fast to get together (they just take a long time to bake).

Christmas Cookies

Then it was time for the traditional movie and Chinese food day. It was perfect and lazy and exactly what I wanted to do.

The last thing I had to do after Christmas that related to my last minute tv purchase was to get rid of the old tv. Obviously since it was broken I couldn’t sell it or donate it. So I had to go to the e-waste disposal site in LAX to get rid of it. It isn’t super close to me, but the drive has a pretty awesome view so I can’t complain.

Ocean View

While I would have rather not had to get a new tv suddenly, it really did work out well for me. I’m sure that any other day I would have been at Target anytime soon it would have been very crowded. And I doubt that the discount I got on the tv would have lasted much longer (I think it might have been a deal leading up to Christmas). So if my tv had to break randomly, it was a pretty ideal circumstance for me and now I have a nice big tv for all my future movie days/nights at my house.

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.

Unreal Reality TV (or I Need To Stop Comparing Myself)

I’ve talked about my love/hate relationship with weight loss reality shows in the past. They are still a guilty pleasure of mine. I really don’t know why I still enjoy them when they make me feel so bad sometimes.

The only weight loss show on during the summer that I watch is “Extreme Weight Loss” (I think “The Biggest Loser” isn’t coming back until the fall or winter). I was watching it last night when I started to think more about why I watch these shows.

On “The Biggest Loser”, time is condensed, obviously. You are watching one week of footage in a single episode. But each week there is only one episode on. So it’s almost like it’s in real-time.

On “Extreme Weight Loss”, each episode represents an entire year (each episode follows a single person for one year). Every week, it’s a different person’s year.

I think I’m holding myself to the standards that these reality shows are creating. It’s not normal to lose weight like that. And I think that “Extreme Weight Loss” is making me judge my weight journey really badly.

Within a 2 hour episode, you go from seeing someone who is even more overweight than I am to seeing someone who is pretty much at a goal weight. That all happens in 2 hours. But in real life, that took a year. It makes things seem so quick and easy when they aren’t. Even though the contestants on these shows have pretty much no distractions while losing weight so they are able to focus on it 24/7, you still don’t really see the struggles someone has when the scale jumps up suddenly. You only see the weigh-in where the weight is down (this is not technically always true, but the majority of the time it is).

Why should I think that my journey should only take 2 hours as well? And the weight loss goals that they reach are completely unreasonable for me. On last night’s episode, the guy features was challenged to lose 118 pounds in 3 months (he was over 200 pounds overweight). If I lost 118 pounds in 3 months, I’d pretty much be done. That’s not possible (or if it is, it is definitely not healthy).

I should not look to these shows to be examples or even inspirations. They are for entertainment purposes only.

It’s hard to find inspiring people in the real world who have gone from obese to a goal weight. Most of those people either gain the weight back (like I have several times), or they aren’t out and about sharing their story. And some of the ones I have seen are people who had weight loss surgery or have used some other method that I don’t want to do.

So I need to turn myself into my own inspiration. I need to start thinking that losing 2 pounds in a week is awesome instead of horrible (since all the people on reality shows seem to lose double digits every week). I need to start think that it’s ok if my journey takes a year, or two years, or even a decade. As long as I keep going. And I need to start thinking of all those reality shows as mindless entertainment instead of examples.

It’s not easy to change how you think, but I’m really going to try.