All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible. T. E. Lawrence
The only catch is that sometimes it’s a long time before I do it. Which is a problem I have and am trying to remedy! I’m going through a period of high motivation at the moment and am doing everything I can think of to push myself to do what I need to do. One thing I want to do is share a few of my shorter-term goals publicly, so that any of you can ask at any time, “Hey, so how is _____ going? Have you done _____ yet? Why not?” and nag me until I complete the task. So here it goes. Here is a little list of first the short term goal, and it’s related longer-term goal. All of these I want to accomplish in 2016.
And my next blog post will be about my recent adventures, so hang in there. 🙂
Short term goal: Learn to speak RP/ British English with the help of a dialect coach.
Long term goal: Audition for (and work on!) the show Versailles (I know Louis XIV will need a new queen in 1669…)
Short term goal: Complete first draft of my feature length script.
Long term goal: Produce and act in that script.
Short term goal: Improve my French (with private lessons and other practice)
Long term goal: Become French.
Short term goal: Complete the weird children’s YouTube film I’m working on.
Long term goal: Maybe make more.
Short term goal: Complete ukulele and guitar courses (online) and write some songs.
Long term goal: Perform in front of audiences.
Short term goal: Get new headshots and portfolio photos taken.
Long term goal: Get a new agent ASAP.
There are so many things I want to do, some have no obvious long-term goal attached (archery club, aikido, meditation, Bollywood dancing…) and are just more for personal pleasure and general well-roundedness, but we’ll throw those in there too! France is a bit odd in that a lot fun things seems to only happen between September and June, so aikido and some dance classes have to wait. I don’t want to make my “to do” list too long here, so I’ll just start with these. Now please feel free to check in on me and make sure I’m doing something!!! At the end of the year I’ll post about what actually got done. 🙂 Bisous.
Once in a while, someone will tell me that I should do more video blogs, talk more about my day-to-day life, take you on my adventures… the way I used to on my trips to Paris. The truth is, most of my days aren’t very exciting. I’ll either spend a lot of time on the computer trying to earn some money, or I’ll be doing background work on a show that only requires me to walk back and forth, or sit in one place, and it’s not all that exciting.
But yesterday turned out to be such a Hollywood day. I would love more days like this. And because it was so entertaining, I figured it would be a great thing to share! I apologize for not taking video, it’s not always the first thing on my mind, plus my iPhone has dust in the lens and I’m trying to get that fixed.
I arrived to set early today, as I usually do, and ordered a vegetarian breakfast burrito from the catering truck. Base camp was in a church parking lot, and no chairs or tables had been set up, so I ate it standing around with the other background actors (extras).
Once we checked in, we were bussed over to location, which was supposed to resemble a university in Paris. We were French students in a clown school. One of the actors ended up being placed right behind me, so I twisted myself around to chat. In English, though, because I’m still embarrassed about my French. No matter what I want to say, there are so many words I still grasp for.
After “class”, we all changed into our movement class outfits.
And guess where that class was?
Our holding was in a lovely courtyard, and we filmed in a small grassy area on the other side of the building. I was so curious as to what was inside, but the only part I saw was the lobby on my way to use the bathroom, which smelled strongly like some sort of hand-sanitizer.
So we jumped around like turtles for a while, and then our day was done! And the fun continued….
Earlier in the day, a new friend of mine a friend of a friend) emailed me an invite to a movie premiere and after-party. So I changed as quickly as I could and headed straight down Hollywood Blvd to the Egyptian theatre. I arrived an hour after the movie had begun, and the outer courtyard was looking quite empty, except for 3 security guards and a few star-stalkers. As I was talking to the guards, asking for the person I was supposed to check in with, Amanda Peet exited and encountered the autograph-seekers (a handful of middle aged men who probably sell the photos). Out of the corner of my eye I saw her (reluctantly) take a picture with one of them, as another insisted he had seen her at some certain bar or restaurant or something, while she said she had never been there. As she climbed into her chauffeured car, he protested that yes, that was where he met her for the first time. She still denied it, and left.
Meanwhile in my own world, security told me everyone had wrapped up and gone inside, since the movie had started an hour earlier. I texted my friend and stood on the sidewalk, while security wandered into the theater. I was left alone. I inched my way up to the theater doors, while still waiting for a reply. I could see the security farther inside, and decided to try the doors. They were locked. Another woman soon joined me outside, also late. We stood by the doors until someone else approached and opened them. We explained that we were late, and he let us in. Tadaaaaa! We both found seats to the front of the theater.
After the movie, I tried to find my friend. He had rushed off to the after-party after I told him I had made it in, to see if he could get me a wristband. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make it into the party (and I’d be a little irked that I’d chosen to pay $10 for parking simply to see half a movie). I decided to walk the 9 minutes to Hemingway’s and hope for the best.
On the way, I heard two men saying something about “do you know where we’re going?” and I figured they had come from the premiere as well. I approached them to ask.
“Hey, did you just come from the screening?”
“I’m going to walk with you, you can be my protection.”
Because walking down Hollywood Blvd in the middle of the night is not exactly something I’m comfortable with.
We walked and talked, and when we got closer to the bar, I explained that I’d have to wait outside for my friend. But my new friends Boyd and Patrick (can I say that? Are you a friend if you may never see a person again?) decided it was worth a shot to try to get me in with them. And it worked. Once inside, we all got free drinks (red wine for me!) and I had to beg off to go locate my friend. Later in the night, I danced a song or two with them, but we didn’t get a chance to speak further.
It was fairly uneventful, just a lot of people dancing, eating little hors d’oeuvres, talking, etc. My friend really wanted to compliment Felicity Huffman, so at one point we went over to her as she was on the dance floor with her friends, and introduced ourselves.
“Hi, I’m Felicity!”
She leaned in.
“That’s my middle name!”
It was hard to hear people talking over the music, as we were standing pretty close to the DJ booth. But after short conversation with my friend, she said something about dancing and being old. She had a really warm and friendly personality, and was thoroughly enjoying herself on the dance floor. It’s funny, I only really know her as Lynette on Desperate Housewives, and now this movie (Trust Me). Apparently she and many other people involved in the film were really supportive of their friend Clark Gregg in the making of this film. I think it’s beautiful when people who have the ability to help and support their friends to reach their dreams and goals, do it. I hope to be in a position where I can do that as well. Though first, maybe I’ll be the one accepting some help (anyone? Do I know anyone? Hellooooooo?).
Well, I suppose the key to having a supportive network is to just keep making friends, and being a good friend! Which is fine with me. As a kid, one of my goals to was to make friends with everybody in the world! That may not be possible, but looking back on my day and all the new people I connected with, I realized that that really is my favourite part of life. Just connecting with other people. It’s like creating a giant web of love and friendship around the world.
My little group left around midnight, and I never did get to say good-bye to the guys who got me into the party. I saw them in the light of their cell phones, with a girl, on my way to the restroom, but when I made my return walk through the room, they were nowhere to be seen. That was the only down part (besides missing half of the movie) of the day, because I was very grateful to them and didn’t want to leave without saying good-bye. Ah well. Perhaps someday we shall meet again, and recall this Hollywood night!
It’s asked. It’s thought. And sometimes my answer is “I can’t.” At the moment I’m in a space where I just have to have faith that if I keep working hard and smart that I will get out of this hole and back to a bit of stability. But the answer to the question of “how can you afford to travel?” right now is…. “How can I afford not to?”
I’m realizing that I can’t afford to stay in Paris, at least not comfortably. But I have to stick around for a few more months for some classes, meetings, and to get to India in November with a shorter and cheaper flight (and vaccinations). My solution to the “I can’t afford to live here anymore” situation? Travel. Yeah. That thing you think you do only when you have money.
But I can explain. I took the leap and bought a round trip ticket to Barcelona, and another roundtrip from there to Ghana. In total, this cost me less than 900€ and will take me from July 31 to September 19. To couchsurf or rent a room in Spain will end up costing me maybe 200-300€. And I can easily couchsurf the rest of September in Paris. So right there is about 1200€, or 600€ a month, which is equal to or less than what I would pay for a room or studio in Paris. BUT I get a grand new adventure out of it, in places where everything else is cheaper. So I’ll be lowering my living costs. Yes, for the moment, I had to put the tickets on a credit card because I don’t get paid that far in advance and am squeezing every last dime (er…. centime?) but I think it was worth it.
I think traveling can frequently be cheaper than staying in one place, especially if you use couchsurfing.org or helpx.net for your accommodations. Yes, airfare can be a big cost, but if you plan carefully, you still could be saving more money than you’d spend at home on rent and food (and gas, etc….). If you have a mileage card, that can help you out. I don’t have one, but maybe I’ll get one in the next year if they’ll approve me!
So that said… yes, surprise! My summer plans are to go to Barcelona and Ghana. While in Barcelona I want to make a music video for an original song (still being composed, and still seeking a musician to help me record it!) and while in Ghana I will be filming at my friend’s computer school.
In other news… I’ve made a little video about the past 2 weeks, since I’ve been doing some kind of interesting things! Filming a short starring my dog, pretending to be military, going to the White Dinner, dancing along the Seine….. It’s summertime. My favourite time in Paris. Well… if it would stop freaking raining.
First I want to alert all my subscribers that I’m toying with the subscription button and trying a new plugin here. I don’t know how this might affect you, so if you see a new button over to the side, you might want to click on it and make sure you stay subscribed!
Now for the content of this post.
It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.
W. Edwards Deming
I never think I’ve done my best.
Even when I probably have, I always look at it and think of ways I could have done better. This is probably not good for my sanity, but it’s what I do.
If I paint the bathroom and there’s one spot that could have used a little more putty and sanding, that’s what I look at when I’m sitting in there.
If I could have delivered a line in a better way, that’s the line that itches at me when I’m watching my film.
This morning the final cut (or… final cut for the festival) got uploaded to the 168 servers and all that was left for me to do was convince the printer to scan 26 pages of release forms for me. After a software uninstall and reinstall, we came to an understanding.
But yeah, I have another short film under my belt! In a couple of months a longer “director’s cut” will be finished and put on DVD, most likely after the festival (so we can mention what awards we won or were nominated for on the sleeve, ya know?).
Our work is not finished, though, and it’s time to answer some questions.
Will we submit it to other festivals after 168?
Will our Making Of film get finished in time for next week’s deadline?
As you know, I’m participating in the 168 Hour Film Project again this year, and it’s production week! My friend Jack, from Canada, is here and we’ve been working hard. First writing the script, then finding locations, finding our cast and crew, and finally – filming!
It took us several days to come up with our story, and several more to iron out the dialogue. Once the dialogue was pretty much set, we translated it into French. Yep, the film is in French. We held a rehearsal with the actors on Wednesday night, and made some more adjustments to the dialogue and “mise en scene” as it’s called.
I’m sure that’s a phrase that everyone in the film industry has said at least once when sitting at the movie theatre. I’ve been told friends see me (well at least once, way back in Spider-man) and shout it out. It was my turn recently!
I was waiting for Iron Man 3 to start, chatting with my friend, when out of the corner of my eye I see a HUGE familiar face on the screen.
It’s Raph from Le Visiteur du Futur! And then I saw my friend François (his brother, producer of the series)!
This weekend I decided it would be a good idea to go check out the LAWebFest, to see what’s going on and to meet some film peeps. On Saturday I attended the 11AM screening of some scifi web shows, including my friend François Descraques’ series, Le Visiteur du Futur. Honestly, The Visitor blew the other ones away. I would have loved to see more shows before the awards ceremony on Sunday, but life got busy and I didn’t look them up online. Because I mean, they’re all online. I don’t need to pay $10 an hour to watch them. I need to set aside some time to watch some of them and know what’s going on out there though.
It took a while, and you may not know what I’m talking about, but I finally got the DVDs for the short film I produced and starred in last year. It was for the 168 Hour Film Festival and we got 8 nominations. I ordered enough DVDs for the cast and crew with some extra (because there wasn’t a huge difference in price for ordering 60 or ordering 100) to sell and hopefully make up some of the cost of getting them made in the first place! Some people have been asking about them as well, so I’m really happy to be able to offer them. You can find the Buy It button on this page: