Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sometimes it's good to write down your dream as soon as you wake up because someday you might want to adapt that

This morning when my first alarm went off, as is typical, I reluctantly rolled over, climbed down my loft bed ladder and pressed snooze (aka reset the alarm for 15 minutes later because snooze is only 5 minutes and that's too short...) However, as soon as my head hit the pillow again, I realized, I needed to get this shit down.  So here it is, re-checked for post-coffee (ok mid-coffee) coherency:

Last night I dreamt that Tim Ostrander taught me how to levitate hovercraft style with reddi-whip, except that I was running late to a performance at Looking Glass so naturally Jenny Tindall was going to kill me.  The reddi-whip levitation was supposed to get me to my call time faster than the elevator or stairs... but naturally took much longer, made a mess, and while ultimately I did levitate, that did not get me to the theater.  (Highly insignificant detail: one can of reddiwhip was fat free, one was regular... anyone want to try this with me sometime? ... )  I think it's possible the performance I was running late for was God's Ear.

Earlier that day (that dream?) I had been walking down 57th street to Looking Glass and down Broadway to my left I (somehow?) saw that they were putting the finishing touches on the new World Trade Center (with a big old hammer on top, very Mario/old school video-game style).  Naturally, I started to cry and run down the street (still towards the theater, not towards the World Trade Center, mind you) after the balloons that started to float down from the sky.  I also saw some fireworks off in the distance, in the daylight.  Suddenly, I realized my hat was gone, and I ran off left looking for it - to find it and snatch it back from atop someone's head.  They were not pleased, but I ran off again, back towards the theater, but I noticed the hat was now very heavy.  This was because there were five beautiful blue eggs, like robin's eggs, but very speckled, and the size of chicken eggs, nestled under some sort of covering on top.  The eggs were also still warm.  I ran into a little boy who gave me a basket which seemed to be made to hold them just so, and also contained a little pink satin tooth fairy pouch which clearly had something inside.  (Do you remember those pouches you would put your missing tooth in before putting it under your pillow?  Yeah?  One of those.)  I put the eggs in their special little spots in the basket and carefully continued my dash to the theater, where I arrived just in time to monitor (aka wait outside of?) the final audition.  I definitely talked to/saw one of the directors (maybe Katherine) and maybe some of the interns upon arrival but for some reason I never did get to look inside that tooth fairy pouch.

THE END.  or THE MIDDLE.  sort of.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A True New York City Morning

October 1st.  Fresh, crisp, fall.  I head to Union Square and am greeted by the sight of police, barricades and chanting girls clad a variety of creative and bizarre outfits ranging from "Hot Topic" to "Hair."  It was the SlutWalk aka, as so eloquently put by a friend of mine, "every NYU lesbian's ex-girlfriend parade." 

(...Actually, when I was in Ithaca last week, Cornell's slut walk also passed by me... the sluts are following me?  At the same time they happened upon a group of 80 year old alumni taking a campus tour... after which the fratty male tour guide found himself forced to attempt an explanation of the situation...)

Anyway, I head away from Union Square, as the "sluts" stream towards me, and head to my audition, one of the only logical reasons in my mind to be up and at 'em before noon on a Saturday.  I arrive at Theater for a New City, a cool (and large!) space, which appears to have been pulled right out of RENT, that I must have passed by a number of times in my life but never really noticed.  I walk in and am greeted by a younger Johnny Depp rocking this look (and I dare say, pulling it off) minus the facial hair, who of course turns out to be the director of the film I'm auditioning for.

oh hey.

But wait!  Minor major snafu!  The e-mail with the audition information, which was slightly unclear to begin with, only went out the girls... who were supposed to read with the guys... so this is going to be a "practice" audition... and we'll have the "real one" sometime next week.  Ok...?  Out of 21 girls invited to audition during the vague time frame of "noon-5" (apparently narrowed down, along with 18 guys, from a pool of 650+, as we were so informed in our e-mail...) only 5 of us are there by 1pm.  One of them is not a day under 35 (though she resembles a taller Kristin Chenoweth) and another, while also super cute, has an exotic foreign accent (and I do believe the type here was supposed to be all-American girl next door, age 20-28, but hey, I'm not one to judge!)

oh hey.

I have my "practice audition" and the adorably sheepish director who clearly has no idea what he is doing gives me a high five and compliments (at least, I think that was a compliment... was that a compliment?) my "obvious" theater background.  Then he makes note of some possible line edits and asks if I'd like to read again in a bit or if I feel ready to come back in next week to read with "the big dogs" or "hot shots" or some other cliched term.  I choose option 2 and exit with a friendly smile and a wave. 

Back to Union Square where I pick up a not-as-healthy-as-it-looks lunch from the Whole Foods salad bar and the fall air inspires a clearly very necessary pumpkin cookie to go with it.  I pop on the train to Herald Square to spend my in-between audition time hiding out at my mom's office, a convenient resting spot for those awkward chunks of time where the upper east side seems far to far away, but killing 3 1/2 hours at a Starbucks seems entirely unappealing.

As I exit the train, I feel loud music wash over me, and what's this?  More barricades, police, and a gigantic red and yellow clad Asian-marching band?  Oh good, it's the tail end of the "Korea Times Parade."  Well then.  After a bit of crowd-darting and an elevator ride in which a student who appears to be moving two floors blocks me in the elevator with her cart, I am safe and sound, finally quiet and at peace... where instead of hunkering down to learn lines and review sides I plop down in front of instant netflix and determinedly write this blog post despite the fact that firefox crashes three times before I can finish.  Thank goodness blogger saves drafts.

Barely 3pm, it's pouring now and I have two more auditions and my final monologue coaching session spread out oh so conveniently (note the sarcasm) in time and space before this day ends.

Happy October New York.

P.S. I was thinking of holding on publishing this post on the off-chance that someone (perhaps even Mr. Depp Jr. himself) were to come across it before the completion of the casting process for this film and it were to hurt my chances. However, I decided to take the risk. If you are reading this Johnny Jr. I hope you will disregard it or look on it favorably, as something charming that perhaps a witty and sarcastic character, such as Kaitlyn herself, would write, and know that none of it was meant in an insulting manner. I would love to work with you on your super cute film and think that if you want your Kaitlyn to be 22 years old, I'm your girl ;) Also, If you're still having trouble with the dog's name, I think simply "Murphy" is much better name than "Mr. Murphy Lee."  I think the kind of girl that names her dog "Mr. Murphy Lee" is probably really annoying. Thank you. That is all. I think.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The post I should have written.

So life got busy.  Or something.

I should have written a post about that time I was granted free VIP access to the Johnnie Walker Whiskey tasting tour (access I clearly did not deserve seeing that I originally wrote "Johnny" Walker) and discovered that Johnnie Walker Red and Orangina is a tasty combination (read: does not taste like whiskey).  After that my invitee and I (no, invitee is the wrong word, I was the invitee, what's the opposite of invitee?  inviter?  That doesn't sound as cool) kicked back a few beers with the event's security personnel before being swept off to a rooftop party at the Hotel Gansevoort (Really?  This happened?  Really?)  I turned out to be a pro at not paying for anything and finding all the bathrooms.  Typical.  If someone ever asks me again if "my life is like gossip girl" (a popular question circa freshman year of college) I guess now I have a story?

That night ended with drunk pizza, apparently I ripped my dress, and the next morning I had breakfast with a group of girls preparing for a spartan race that night.  What?  Seriously, look it up, it's ridiculous.

*see below

Since then, I started at internship with The Looking Glass Theatre where the people are baller and cleaning the costume room turns one's snot black (ew), made a short film in which I ran around the woods in a little red dress, wearing a gas mask and carrying an airsoft gun (*see above), had the first of four (count 'em, four) rehearsals for the show I'm in, did a lot of collating and wrote a really long run-on-sentence (just now.)  I also ran into more people.  Some of them I said hi to, some of them I awkwardly pretended not to notice.

If you've been to Cornell's collegetown semi-recently, 
you know what this is, if you haven't, just go with it.

I also spent approximately 45 hours in Ithaca during which I saw outdoor theater indoors, served a lot of people my two minute "here's what I'm doing with my life at the moment" elevator speech, ate approximately 4 meals and 17 desserts, attended a 10 person party which was delivered a noise violation by the cops around midnight even though "they couldn't even hear the music outside" (cranky neighbors), and brought home wine and concord grapes in the backseat.  Also I saw bag-pipers on Ho Plaza and Johnny O's has been closed by the Tompkins County Sheriff.

Court order.  Served.

You know, I never meant this to be a "let me list the things that are going on in my life" kind of blog... but then again I guess I don't know what I was really expecting to write about? ... And I guess I felt like I needed to check in with myself or the world wide web or something.  That way someday I can look back and say oh that's what I was doing then, man that was crazy or wow that was lame and oof why did I think sharing it on a public forum was a good idea?  Did I think it would make me seem weird or charming or quirky or cool or something like that?  I don't know.  I guess I'll leave that up to you, internet folks.  Meanwhile I'm going to go to bed or probably watch another episode of Dead Like Me or something like that.  I feel like I've earned a little bit (read: this afternoon/evening only...) of a rest.  P.S. has anyone else discovered how weirdly amazing this show was?  I don't know.  I love it.

Finally, I leave you with this brilliant and all too true posting from one of my favorite tumblr's:

Click to make them bigger because if you can read them like this you have really great vision, congrats.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I love the old people at equity.

Seriously.  I do.  Like the monitor with the red dyed hair (à la Angela Chase), bad bangs and bad glasses.  The other week she was the monitor at an audition I was at and spent the whole time prattling about how she had gotten a call for this commercial audition that afternoon but she's monitoring (at equity auditions there is pretty much always an equity member working as a monitor to sign people in and make sure the call is run under union rules) and oh of course this kind of thing only happens when you're monitoring and it's only a few blocks away and well why couldn't it have been during the lunch break instead of an hour later?  Now she has to call 50 other monitors to see if someone can cover for her and oh she finally found someone but now she has to go all the way home to get a swimsuit...!  Because that's apparently required for the audition and why couldn't she have just known about this sooner!?  And really, I don't mean this to sound pointed and/or rude, the right sarcastic, amused intonation is hard to capture in writing... but I honestly can't think of any product whose sales would benefit from having a commercial featuring you in a swimsuit... whoops?

Then today, the only call at AEA was for Steel Magnolias (aka, an all female cast) and there were all these old men ambling about.  Now I get that they might have other business to attend to there (and the convenience of the equity lounge as a resting place in times square is not lost on me) but there was this one guy who kept answering his cell phone loudly (you 're really not supposed to gab on your cellphone in the lounge...) and who then sat next to another old guy with the gravelly bellows of a longtime smoker, reading the paper and shouting repeatedly at each other about how it was Roy's or somebody's birthday.  There's definitely a punchline in there somewhere.  (The following to be read in an exaggerated old person's "Jewish accent"):
"Normy?  Normy!  There were only three people at the pool today!"
"What's that? There was free pizza at the pool today?  I wish I was there!!!"*
But like, really, what are you guys doing with your lives?

Anyway, red-haired lady was monitoring again today with the same level of verve and vigor and it got me to thinking... these people, all these equity monitors are actors, or at least, were actors... like, at some point, someone decided they were worth paying money to see perform on a stage.

I mean, there are the 50-something monitor guys for whom everything is stand-up comedy hour, and even the lady today who thought my name was Nathalie Frederico... these people, ok, I feel like I can get these people.  But some of these other characters?  Well, I guess that's what they are/what they played... characters.

And all this got me to thinking.  Am I completely crazy?  Do I expect people to pay money to see me perform on a stage?  What's so special or interesting about me?  Maybe these old, lovable crazies are more worth seeing!  Now I know this is like, a major actor trap to fall into... like how we get all depressed about wanting to be liked (which is not the point of acting, or at least, not supposed to be the point) and that's what drives our careers to an earlier end...  And honestly, today was a good audition day for me.  I felt really solid about some of the work I was putting forth, ran into like a gazillion people again, and made some new friends, which is always fun.  But really, what am I doing here?  I mean, I sang today for crying out-loud.  The last time I really sang was my senior year of high school when I played Mabel in The Pajama Game and I was SO nervous I mixed up the words to "I'll Never be Jealous Again" every damn time!  And then I did a Southern accent?  I mean, I'm just goofing around over here.  Is someone really expected to hire me for this shit?  I mean, I know there's this thing called talent and all, and sometimes I even think I have some of it, but I'm not sure talent is really what's going on right here... and I'm not sure talent is even what people often get hired for!

And this isn't any sort of a self-loathing reflection... I promise, I can do self-loathing... this is just really, a musing on the whole thing.  And it's probably two blogs posts that got wrapped around together in my brain right when it was time for bed so I'm tired and not fully coherent but I still wanted to write it down.

I think it probably all boils down to what Angela Chase/Claire Danes/actually probably a writer somewhere said about being introspective (can you tell I'm marathoning My So-called Life right now?)
"What I was thinking, as like a New Year's resolution, is to stop getting so caught up in my own thoughts, 'cause I'm like way too introspective. I think... But what if not thinking turns me into this shallow person? I better rethink this becoming less introspective thing. Okay, so I'll stay introspective, but I do resolve to stop doing Jordan Catalano’s homework."
Or maybe it boils down to the fact that last night my mother had a dream in which I auditioned for a Broadway musical while comatose... and got cast.  I thought this was hilarious and laughed until I cried for a good five minutes but my father seemed rather offended for me.  My mom: "no really, you were good... we like, propped you up or something... I don't know." (beat) "You're a better singer when you're unconscious?!"  (Further laughter ensues from both of us, and also I think maybe I gave her the finger for a second there... and like, guys, also, I don't even really audition for musical theater!)

...Of course, the night before last my mother dreamt that she had a tiny kitten in her pocket that kept flying away... so I don't know how credible a source this is.

But yeah... something like that.


*Let it be noted that this is a real conversation that once transpire between two of my grandparent's friends, one of them no longer with us, may she rest in peace.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Obligatory Irene blog post.

Things New Yorkers do to prepare for a storm:
1. Stock up on alcohol
2. Make extra coffee in case power goes out (or invest in french press)
3. Tweet complaints about how bored they are
4. Troll okcupid and send messages to strangers because bars are closed
5. Turn Times Square into a slip 'n slide
6. Host hurricane parties

Things New Yorkers do after a storm (in pictures):
1. Obey "park closure" signs:

2. Take their kids and dogs out to play:

3. Hang out along the east river, ignore the cops:

4.  Go to Gristedes... and the liquor store (not pictured):

5. Keep it classy:

6. Gawk:

7. Return home and continue to tweet about how bored they are.
8. Plan the hurricane after-party.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

These things happen.

So, has anyone every rejected someone's request for their phone number with the line "thanks for the offer but..." ?  Because, apparently, I just did that.  Really?  I mean, really?  I apologize random stranger, you deserved a smoother move than that.  At least a false "I'm here with someone" (I mean you asked, you practically handed that one to me!) or the gentle and oft used lie, "I'm taken."  I suppose honesty is not always the best policy.  However, I do think your inquiry about my age within the first three minutes of our conversation, which you initiated, probably means you deserved my less than suave denial.  You also asked me to guess your age, another great play on your part, and when I offered a generous 26, you assured me I was way off base.  Well sorry for trying to be kind.  Yet still, you want my number?  Well, "thanks for the offer but..." now I will proceed to awkwardly turn my back to you as if the past four minutes did not occur and thank goodness my friends were ready to leave anyway (I was telling the truth) so uhh goodbye.  Although I suppose you did manage to make an impression if I am still thinking about this awkward moment upon my return home.  Perhaps you would appreciate that if you knew?  I give you kudos for your gumption. A for effort.  It takes balls to approach a stranger in a bar.  But now, moving on.

And then I arrive home, where I am informed via email of a new okcupid message (yes, I concede, I am a member of said site, it was bound to come up sooner or later) from an 18 year old straight girl with a myspace style boob-shot as her profile picture.  She, apparently, has a level of eloquence comparable to my own: "Hey :-* how are you?"

Apparently, these things happen.  Good night.

Note: I will let the record show that I did write this last night, at the end of my evening, and despite my almost sober state, I do not condone tipsy blogging, nor want to project that image of myself (clearly I am doing a very good job here...) and so waited for an AM proof-read before posting.  All clear.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's a small city after all

Every time I go to an audition, I am reminded of how small this city, and especially the theater world, really is.

Anyone up for a game of 6 degrees of separation?

Today, I went to an EPA (Equity Principal Audition) at AEA (the Actors Equity Audition center) and ran into my friend Lys (who has her own blog about her adventures in NYC) who I studied abroad in London at BADA with.  I had also run into her at an EPA earlier this summer just after she moved here.  She was talking with a guy (Preston) who I recognized from running into an old elementary school friend (Julia) at another call earlier this summer -- I ran into her and he ran into her while we were talking, so we met briefly.  Preston, Julia, and Lys all know each other from Springboard NYC where Lys figured out that she and Julia had actually studied abroad at the same program (BADA) at different times (Julia went in the fall of 2009, Lys and I both went in the Spring of 2010).

The audition went fairly quickly -- as an EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) you are only seen if there aren't Equity members waiting to be seen at that time so sometimes it's hard to say if and when you'll make it in the room -- and Lys was going to another audition downtown at Chelsea studios, which she informed me was pretty empty so I decided to hit that one up as well.  Lys was gone by the time I arrived, but when I got there I ran into Ugo, who is a member of The Bats at The Flea Theater with my good friend (from high school and college) Amanda.  I also ran into Jacqui, a girl I went to summer camp with as a kid, who also happens to be the former roommate of my friend Jodi who I met at a party last summer.  Another friend of mine, Helen, actually met Jodi at Northwestern, before I met her, and thought we would already know each other because we also went to the same summer camp and did circus together.  We did not, but figured all this out when we did meet (she vaguely recognized me and asked me if I had gone to French Woods - I did) and figured out our other mutual friend connections, like Jacqui, with the help of facebook.  Small world.

Confusing much?  And all before noon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The problem with mid-August: a fashion post

The problem with mid-August, I find, is a little something called "back to school."  Throughout my childhood, I had varying thoughts on the subject, ranging from "I don't want to go back" temper tantrums to sleepless nights of eager excitement and anticipation.  However, mid-August and I have now reached an impasse, because while this is the first mid-August where I will not be going back to school, many of this country's youth still are.  What?  You mean the world does not revolve around me?  Nonsense I say!

Invitations to free campus concerts, events and friends' shows aside, mid-August begins the inundation of back to school shopping.  Ads hit your e-mail inbox and your TV set, and fall clothes hit the stores, sometimes accompanied by cheeky signs that remind you far too prematurely that "summer is over" (it is not I say.  It is NOT!)

Not that one doesn't sometimes need new clothes for work or whatnot when fall rolls around, but there are some purchases (at the moment, read: all) that simply cannot be justified when you are not only not going back to school, but are not working (and therefore, do not have an income) either.  You are also entirely out of excuses for your parents/grandparents to buy you that new backpackskirtshoesjeansdresssweater.  "But I need it" (aka "but I want it") just doesn't hold the same clout as "but I need it for school."

Exhibit A: Backpacks
When you were in high school, you always wanted to be that cool girl who carried a shoulder bag and therefore probably inflicted lifelong damage on her back... so why do backpacks now seem so darn cute? I know a person could theoretically still use a backpack... I still need to carry a lot of stuff around for auditions, but every time I see someone walk into an audition with a backpack I tend to think "ew, un-classy."  My awkward combination of a large purse and a tote bag?  Clearly so much classier.  Does anyone else think this?  Probably not.  Am I a judgmental freak?  Probably yes.  More practically speaking a full backpack is a pain on the subway (and you know, the large purse that I tend to bang into every second person isn't).




Exhibit B: SHOES.  Everyone loves shoes.  And I mean, these would all be totally appropriate for dashing to and from class in (especially across the snowy Ithacan hillsides) amirite?  (Can I even walk in half these shoes? Probs not.  But given the opportunity, I will try.)


 {Marais / Madwell}


Exhibit 3: Sweaters.  Because if it's not summer, that means it's fall, right?  So it's cold?  So we need sweaters? 



{j.crew... really, just all the horribly overpriced j.crew sweaters plz.... especially cashmere. k thnx.}


K I could go on but I'm done.  Really.  Maybe I'll do another fashion post at some point.  But seriously that was way too much work, and after reading it through was a lot shorter than I expected it to be after all that effort.  At least there are a lot of pictures?

Oh clothes.  Le sigh.  I guess I need to get a job...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Top 10 reasons I should still be a college student

(and by top 10 I mean the first 10 I thought of)
  1. I still consider a microwave burrito (Amy's of course) mutilated and consumed with improper utensils (a knife and spoon and bowl?  Sure, why not?) a balanced meal.
  2. No matter how hard I try, bedtime is still around 1:30/2am and wake-up time 10/10:30am unless I am forced to wake up earlier for something "important." (see: "class?")
  3. I watch 95% of my TV on my computer, often with a second window open for multitasking.
  4. Drunk pizza.
  5. My proclivity for setting off fire alarms.
  6. I still look like my freshman year ID picture... I mean, last year I got carded buying a lighter.
  7. I am adept at living in considerable mess (see: suitcases, boxes, laundry bags, etc all over my room.. and rooms that are not supposed to be my rooms)
  8. I spend far too much time on facebook, and twitter, which I didn't start using regularly until I graduated.  (That's a bad word.)
  9. I somehow manage to procrastinate even when there is nothing to be procrastinated.
  10. I still have to go downstairs to do laundry.  And while I don't need quarters (we have a card, though sadly no laundryview) I never have enough quarters when I do need them (see: reasons why I probably got a toll violation this weekend...) 
There are probably better reasons than this.  And I'm sure there are more.  I really only started this list after scrutinizing myself eating lunch today (see #1) but decided it should probably be a list of 10.  10 felt like a good number.

The recent passive aggressive inner thoughts and semi-unreasonable pleas of an NYC commuter

  1. STAND on the left of the escalator, WALK on the right.  Please.
  2. If at first you don't succeed, swipe at a different speed.
  3. Dear subway conductor, I appreciate your trying to keep us informed of weekend train changes--so few conductors do--but must you really make the same two-minute long announcement at EVERY. SINGLE. STOP?  With the doors open?  Letting out the AC? And not getting me where I'm going?  For no apparent reason?  And then make it again in between stations?  We heard you.  I promise. Really, we did.  Even those people who just got on at the last stop... they've already heard you twice. 
  4. Tourists: I hate you I hate you I hate you I hate you I hate you I hate you we need you I hate you I hate you I hate you we need you.  If you really must stand and ogle at buildings, would you kindly step to one side of the sidewalk?  Same goes for large groups waiting for tour buses.  Pretty please?  Or, I mean, can THIS just be real?


  5. I know we're getting spoiled by these new fangled digitized signs that tell us when our train will arrive... but when we've come to expect them at certain stations, "current train arrival information is not available" (or whatnot) it is really quite unacceptable.  On that note, why isn't bus time a thing yet?  Everywhere please?  And more weekend evening trains... have you noticed there really aren't less of us?

And one from the not so New York City commuter:
  • You, yes you, with your blue headlights and fancy rimmed wheels.  You traffic weaver you.  What do you think you accomplished by passing me from the right and then squeezing into the two car length space in front of me, only to then be trapped by the car in front of you and the car to your right? Did you gain a whole 3.5 seconds there?  Maybe you did.

Was all that mean?  Maybe it was.  Maybe it was.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My hungover audition

For some reason this post title reminds me a little bit of my drunk kitchen.  It sort of rhymes. You should probably check that out.  Also, she has a video called Frederick.  That's pretty neat.  Even if she may or may not ask "Frederick" to take her in the butt...

Anyway. For the past two weekends I have been partaking in an incredibly responsible and professional behavior (sarcasm)... attending weekend morning auditions after an evening of drinking and revelry with my friends.  I may tell myself I will not drink much, that I will go home early, but I quickly begin to care exponentially more about the present moment than about the next morning and inevitably do not listen to my better, soberer self.  I stay out far too late and ingest far too many alcoholic beverages for my new status as a post-grad lightweight.  However, no matter how irresponsibly I may behave, I eventually get me to my bed, consume large quantities of water, and go to sleep for far fewer hours than I would like.  When my phone obnoxiously blares Tilly and the Wall's "Rainbows in the Dark" at me, I groan, but get up, get dressed, force myself to consume more water, coffee, and something resembling food, make myself look somehow presentable despite the dark circles under my eyes, and I go.  Honestly, my hangover isn't really that bad, I'm just exhausted.

I walk to the train.  My hungover audition sees your walk of shame and is judging you, however hypocritical this judgment may be.  My hangover audition also sees Minnie Mouse and someone dressed in full bridal-wear singing R&B in Times Square and doesn't know how to deal with this.  My hungover audition wonders why people hold auditions on weekend mornings anyway.  Don't people know that actors like to drink?  Is studio space just cheaper on weekend mornings?  (Probably).  Is whatever my hungover audition is for a worthwhile project anyway?  (Probably not.)

I arrive at my hungover audition, just barely on time, freshen up, and go into the room.  I have to confess, I feel like I nail my hungover audition.  Perhaps my current state of exhaustion means I didn't over-think my performance and I really hit the mark?  Or perhaps my hungover audition and I are so tired and hungover that we are deluded into thinking it went well, when in fact, it did not.

My hungover audition is over, and for the most-part, so is my hangover, but we're going to run with this concept for the rest of the post anyway.  Why?  Because I like it.  It's time to go and my hungover audition really, really does not want to deal with your subway drumming, your weekend train delays and cancellations and the number of slow moving tourists in Times Square.  All my hungover audition cares about now is what terrible, probably fried, nourishment it is going to find for lunch.  It debates for a while over french fries, chicken tenders and pizza, but eventually my hungover audition and my unlimited metrocard decide that it is a good idea to stop in the Grand Central dining concourse for samosas.  My hungover audition thinks it gets two samosas with it's order, and when it gets three, decides it will be virtuous and find a homeless person to receive the spare.  However, after a moment of contemplation, my hungover audition eats the third samosa.  My hungover audition is fed and satisfied and decides that now we can go home.  Though first my hungover audition will walk me around for a while to contemplate finding further, unnecessary sustenance and may or may not buy some fro-yo on special at c-town.

Then, finally, my hungover audition decides it's time to take a nap.

Something wakes me up.  Oh, what's that?  I just got a callback from my hungover audition?  Well there you go.


The tone of this post also somewhat inspired by: "my period takes me shopping."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Observations on a frat-bar

So the other night my friend Tim decided to celebrate his birthday at a bar in  Midtown East.  A recent thought catalog article (I've really been liking thought catalog lately.  I suppose I have a lot of thoughts.) entitled "Manhattan Neighborhoods in Six Words or Less" described Midtown East with the words "drink here until you're 21."  That does a pretty good job of it.  My neighborhood, conversely, is described as "old people love it" which I think also sums things up relatively well.

Anyway, apparently this bar, "Irish Exit," is offering Tim some sort of birthday special, with free drinks for him and half-off drinks for his friends who must request a wrist-band at the door.  At 11, he also gets a $50 bar tab for said friends to use.  Thursday, which it happens to be, is also $1 "mug" night... a mug being an approximately 8 ounce plastic cup of Miller Lite.  So there's that.  Somehow, he won this whole situation, but doesn't think he's ever been to Irish Exit, so he doesn't know how he entered for it.  He says he must have been blackout.  So there's that too.  Upon further observation of the bar I would say that one would have to be blackout to want to go here.

I walk into Irish Exit and immediately want to turn around and run.  This place is a frat.  There is a reason I stopped going to frat parties after my freshman year of college.  However, I'm doing this for Tim, I tell myself.  And many of my other friends are here too.  I manage to battle my way to the back while only getting a little beer spilled on me.  I am stopped by someone who attempts to pimp his friend, "the Asian model" to me, and I bluntly duck underneath their arms muttering a brief "I have to meet some people."  Sometimes it's good to be short.  I find my friends, then go to the bar (luckily there is a secondary bar in the back) for a $1 "mug" but hear an announcement from the front room:

"If I can get a 56 person conga line, everyone in this bar gets a free shot!"

The conga line begins.  We are trapped.  I finally push through, and almost immediately after my arduous efforts, the conga line dissipates.  I do not know if anyone got their free shot.  For the rest of the evening, we manage to stay mostly removed from the frat goings on up front, and I am happy with how easy it will be for me to get home (five stops on the 6) and that one "vodka soda with a splash of cran," my latest, girly signature drink, blatenly stolen from a friend, and probably appropriate for a frat-bar, and another, better beer, set me back only about $8.  Such prices are pretty much unheard of in New York City and my status as a recent,, unemployed post-grad is quite pleased.  But is this set-up worth it?  Maybe not.

We do continue to hear announcements from the front room over the course of the night:
"I need 10 ladies up on my bar, right now!"  "You will all get free drinks!"
"If you are on my bar, and you are not getting naked, or making out, get off my bar right now!"
"If you are texting on my bar, we will throw you out!"

At the end of the night, rather than wait on the frat-bar bathroom line, I walk the ten blocks to where my friend is staying with her aunt and uncle, a beautiful, gigantic apartment with an enormous terrace on 58th past 1st.  I then make my way back to the train, cursing the fact that I had deemed it necessary to wear heels to this frat bar.

Well, that was... fun.  I think, let's not do it again.

Writing to no one: a post-grad story

So, recently, some of my undergrad friends decided to start a little newsletter to "publish" and leave lying about our theater building's greenroom.  Said newsletter would serve a useful function: ie: to announce shows and to help people find collaborators in and out of the department, but would also serve as a place for us to, as one friend put it, "collaborate to put out something fun, pithy, only mildly mean, and generally hysterical."   I was one of two recent alumni included in various facebook messages and groups regarding this publication, and my status as a grad was making me a little sad, in terms of this publication, and you know, in terms of the unknown status of the rest of my life.  They suggested I write an article about my first summer post-Schwartz (our department building is called the Schwarz Center) and I gladly obliged.  And then I realized something.  That was kind of fun.  I like to write.  Maybe I should start a blog.

I have had blogs before.  A craft blog, and a fashion blog, which I actually kept up with for quite a while, but in a way, I feel like those blogs were never really for me.  I was trying to show off to an audience that, for the most part, didn't exist, and after a while keeping up with blogging started to feel like a chore.  That is why I want this blog to be different.  I want a place where I can, write to no one, as it were; a place for me to be creative, and get my thoughts and feelings down, if I want to; where I can try to be funny and pithy and what not (though generally I find I tend to ramble and be quite the opposite of pithy) but where it doesn't matter if I fail.  I want a place which is all about the words.  Or maybe pictures if I get inspired.  But for now, just words.  So many people stress how important it is to stay creative at this point in my life and I have all these friends who do that by writing plays or music, or utilizing some other creative outlet that requires skills that I don't have.  However, this, this I think I can do.  

But, in case anyone out there does decide to read this, I suppose I shall say a little something about who I am.  After all, I am putting this on the web and not in a notebook by my bedside (I wrote website there at first...), because I think the public nature of a blog will help encourage me to create content.  And hey, maybe one or five of my friends will decide they want to read what I have to write.  Who knows?

Anyway, my name is Nathalie Frederick, and I graduated from Cornell in May 2011 with a degree in theatre arts, with all the fancy honors and distinctions that make you feel special for a day but two months later are generally useless... unless having your Phi Beta Kappa key serve as an impetus (here, my brain kept trying to get my to write "impotence"...) for an Eli's delivery boy to spark a conversation with you and attempt to pick you up on the subway is useful (sorry young man, you're barking up the wrong tree.)  I am now living in New York City, with my parents, in the neighborhood where I was born and in the apartment where I was raised, and I am trying to make it as an actress.  And this is my life story.  Or something to that effect.  For now, I plan to keep this blog fairly no frills, just about the words (which really means no one will read this... a blog with no layout and no pictures? pshaw) but who knows, maybe at some point I will feel like getting fancier.  We'll see where this takes me.  If you want pretty colors and pictures and things I suggest you check out my professional site: http://www.nathaliefrederick.com.  I did think about integrating this blog with that site, but decided that that's professional and this is personal.  So here we are.

Anyway, to begin, as if I haven't already said enough, I wanted to post the article I wrote for the aforementioned publication:  The First Post-Grad Summer.


The First Post-Grad Summer

The first post-grad summer.  For me, it lies somewhere in a place between freedom and confinement, an inexorable land of limbo.  I mean, I haven’t really graduated until everyone else goes back to school, right?  Freed from the prospect of classes, papers, and assignments, instead, I am back at home with my parents, their eyes perpetually judging my state of unemployment, how late I come home at night, that I haven’t unpacked yet, and whether or not I’ve gone back to the freezer for a second helping of ice cream.  Granted, I am a member of the lucky few, living in Manhattan rent free because I was born and raised here.  But this return to a pre-college state makes me feel less like I have progressed onto adulthood, and I cling to childhood, a world of few responsibilities, by the whitening tips of my fingers.   As an actor, there are plenty of auditions to be had, but many are for things you might have turned your nose up at in college.  When you book that low budget (unpaid) independent film with a questionable script (college juggling club battles monsters from another world?) you waffle, but accept, because really, what else are you doing right now?  Auditions gradually begin to bring less suspense.  Instead of just one or two rounds a semester that you put all your faith in, they fall gradually into a steady stream--if you’re lucky--for you to attend, forget, and generally, never hear from again.  Looking for auditions and planning your schedule become a full time job, sometimes so full time you forgot you will also soon need a job which pays you.  You spend hours a day trolling the net, and any kind of planning, be it work or fun, becomes increasingly difficult when you never know what might come up last minute (hi, I received your headshot and resume, will you be in my student film short tomorrow?)  The uncertainty is refreshing, but stressful, and google calendar becomes your new right hand.

Not to say there’s no fun to be had here in post-grad land.  New York City is full of bars, people, and things to see and do, and there are plenty of other post-grads for you to hang out with.  Alex Viola (post-grad ‘10) just played Nina in The Seagull in Riverside Park and Amanda Idoko (also ‘10) has been performing in serialized sketch comedy at The Flea Theater, where you get a free beer with your $10 ticket, a clear win.  The free and discounted are highly sought after by our kind in this city.  There are also people to collaborate with here, but a lack of resources means your next reading is probably going to happen in Prospect Park, or in someone’s living room (Ryan Olivera ’08).  While the city is full of what to do, the hour and a half subway ride from a bar in Brooklyn in the middle of the night often makes an evening on your couch with hulu and your cat immoderately appealing, and the once grueling walk from collegetown to north seems like a brief stroll.  At least it won’t take long for you to become a lightweight, a blessing on your wallet when you do go out, at $6-$10 or more per drink.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining about this land of ambiguity I now live in.  Every day feels a little like holding your breath, exhilarating but exhausting, whether it consists of four auditions back to back spread out all over Manhattan, or four episodes of The Voice back to back stretched out on your couch.  While it’s nice to languish in lazy days once in a while, I think one of the most important things to do in post-grad land is to stay busy and be proactive, lest you slowly start to lose your mind.  In the next month I earnestly plan to begin agency submissions, train for my prospective New York City tour guiding job and maybe, just maybe even unpack.  For now, however, I am doing my best to enjoy these last few days of summer, the days that lie between now and when you will sit in the greenroom reading this, and I will finally be forced to admit, that I am indeed a post-grad and there is no going back.  Right now, I think it’s best to take things one day at a time, so I’m going out for a run and then I need to action my scene for a Chekov acting workshop I’m taking… perhaps the post-grad life isn’t so different from college after all.


By the way I wrote that article two days ago.  I did go for a run, but I still haven't actually actioned my Chekov scene.  Whoops.  That is rather collegiate of me, isn't it?