Saturday, June 22, 2013

Maple Bacon Pancakes. 'Nuff Said.


Holy American Breakfast Miracle.  THIS is what's getting me out of bed this morning. mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Recipe here (and photo) c/o A Thousand Threads.
(health nuts take note, this version uses wheat flour, apple sauce and cottage cheese)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Audition Reality Check

I love auditions, for me it's an exciting playtime.  I'm usually pretty relaxed about them.  But today I had an audition that was more than that to me.  I got the call last week and it presented me with the opportunity of a lifetime: to work internationally, singing and acting in first class productions and earning a good salary with great benefits.  I WANTED IT - big time.  So I put everything I had into preparing for the audition: I spent money on a new voice coach, sheet music, et al; and I sang my heart out for hours everyday (I'm sure my neighbors loved that) in order to ensure my voice was strong.  I learned new songs and studied composers...  I went all out.  I was told to prepare 16 bars of a Bacharach and a Gershwin song and to bring my book (in case they wanted to hear me sing something else).  I diligently pulled all that together and drilled it endlessly for a week.

My timeslot was 1:15pm today and walked in there all bubbly and ready to blow the casting director away!  That's when it all went...differently.  And that's an important reality of auditioning, too.

I won't get into details, I'll just say that this one wasn't the warmest fuzziest of experiences.

So, today, I had to relearn a few lessons:
1.  The reality is that sometimes casting directors are sitting in that audition room all day, seeing a conveyor belt of actors, so they sometimes multitask during your audition (reading emails, eating lunch, reading paperwork, whatever...).  Just because it's your big moment doesn't mean it's theirs.  So don't get caught up in their reactions - just do you best work.
2.  Don't get overly invested in any audition.  I think I may have obsessed about this one and I'm not sure that that was smart.  Focus and preparation are necessary, for sure, don't get desperate.
3.  Be prepared to be thrown curveballs (like changes to the material you're required to present, visual or audio obstructions, physicality restrictions... anything).
4.  Sometimes, the people at the casting table won't be who you're expecting (sometimes, it might not even be a casting director at all, but an intern filling in).

Anyway, I did my thang.  Getting the gig would be great!  Either way, the experience was priceless and made me a stronger performer.  

p.s.  I'll post my Audition Look tomorrow.  :-)

Embarrassing Moments? The Nip Incident


A funny thing happened in my film scene study class yesterday.....

It all started in the morning when, based the warm weather and the limited amount of clean clothes options available (I need to do laundry - like NOW), I threw on a tank top and skipped putting on a bra.  Yup...you know where this is going because you're smarter than I am, clearly.  So all morning, I'm feeling fine.  I do my big scene in film class - in front of 15 fellow students and 2 teachers crowded around the big-screen monitor watching me on screen.  It goes well - I get great feedback on my work.  Then as I walk out of class, one of the students pulls me aside and whispers..........."Um, next time you should be careful to cover your nipples."  OH. EMM. GEE.  Yeah.  My high beams were apparently on the ENTIRE TIME and no one bothered to mention that to me BEFORE or between the 5 takes of filming my scene.  Hair, makeup, position, eyeline, marks, sooooo many things are carefully checked for a shot, but no one makes sure that an actress' nipples aren't popping out?!?!  (And no, it wasn't "that kind" of scene!)

Mortifying and hilarious at the same time.

So here's what I learned:  Ladies, ALWAYS check yourself for boobage issues whenever you're going to be on camera.  Don't rely on anyone else to do that check for you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

All Up In The Background

Ah, background work (otherwise known as being an extra); a rite of passage for ALL actors.  Love it or hate it, proud or ashamed of it, it's part of the journey at some point in this career and, really, anytime you're on a professional set, you're very fortunate.  It's a great learning and networking opportunity. Anyway, I just looked through some background listings and had a little giggle:

Hmm... If you replaced "Russian" with "Jersey", would you get the same look?

Hipster casting calls are all the rage lately. Love that they specifically mention beards.

The obligatory background hooker role... 

And the next time you see a stripper doing her thing in the background of a scene, know that this is the kind of casting announcement she answered... (p.s. I love that the show is looking for both thick and thin ladies for this!  Realism!)

"Female Mom Type"?  ...as opposed to a "male mom type"?....

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Audition Look #1, #2 and #3

  
Recently, someone asked me about wardrobe choices for auditions and I thought it'd be fun to address that here on the blog as a twist on the OOTD (outfit of the day) / What-I-Wore trend that has taken over social media.  I'm no fashionista (such a played out word, anyway), but I know how to clean up nice enough when I need to so, once a week, I'll post what I wore to various auditions/meetings/industry events.  Let's call this series "The Audition Look".  Sometimes, I'll be wearing "regular" clothes and sometimes you'll see that I'm definitely dressing as a character.  So last week, I had three auditions and here's a quick stop-mo video of what I looked like:


 
play me :-)

The orange sheath dress look was for a web-tv hosting audition.
The strapless sundress with black blazer look was for a meeting with a filmmaker about a "femme fatal" role.
The black dress with red sneakers look was for a print ad go-see for a "NY hipster" type.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Driving... Oy.



Everybody can do it.  Kids can, even dogs can.  Everybody can, apparently, except me.  I've been taking driving lessons for the last few weeks in preparation for my road test next week and yesterday my instructor told me I wasn't ready. Talk about feeling like a loser....

It was the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last year when I was stranded without power for 47 days, stuck and dependent on others for help, that left me determined to finally learn to drive .  I swore I'd never be in that position again.  Driving is freedom.  Driving is power.  So as soon as I could (a few months later) I started the process.  Studied and passed the written test easily, then set my sights on taking the road test within 3 months.  Not meeting that goal is really getting under my skin.

I can parallel park like a pro, but I'm nervous as hell in traffic and it doesn't help that my new instructor screams at me, smacks me, berates me and snatches the steering wheel mid-traffic.  When he's shouting at me that I'm not relaxed enough (which of course has the exact opposite effect), it reminds me of a management joke my old boss said once, "The beheadings will continue until morale improves!".   I had a GREAT instructor at first - he was encouraging, patient, calming - but he went on vacation, so now his boss is teaching me and this man style is just tyrannical.  Yesterday, I lost my cool and had a melt-down in the car while driving.  Yes, a melt-down, an old fashioned crying fit, hyperventilation heaving included.  I kept driving, he kept screaming.  I left the lesson shaking.  Now, I'm worried if I'll ever learn to be comfortable on the road...  Anyone else have trouble learning to drive???  Any tips?!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Natural Hair Don't



If you've read this blog over the years you'll remember the hair disaster that left me bald and careening into the world of black hair blogs. I went natural and rocked a styled 'fro for a while.  It was fun and freeing and ... work.  That's why this Drake parody video from GlamFun instantly had me cracking up.  "Wash And Go Don't Work On Nappy Hair" is truth!  I loved wearing my hair naturally, but the days of wash-n-go were definitely over during that period.  (That's why I ended up going back to braids which, for me, are the true set-it-and-forget-it hairstyle.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

(Old) Gig Alert: Cuffin' The Web Series



So a couple years ago, I performed in a very indie (read: no-budget - so ignore the sound/lighting/camera issues and just pay attention to the story, ok?) cute web series called "Cuffin'" (which refers to that longish-temporary kind of relationship that many of us seek out when we're between relationships and looking for love, but want more than a random hook up).  I played the role of "Lisa". The series has just been renewed by the producer with a new real budget!!!!  So for old times' sake, here is an old clip of one of our last episodes.  :-)  Laugh, love, cringe, question...whatever!  I loved working on this series and the great news is that it will improve - a lot!  Later this year, the bigger, better new season will be released.  For now, please enjoy this vintage footage.  ;-)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ten Thousand Views??? Wha???!!!

play me  :-)

I logged on the other day and saw that number: 10,000. My lil blog has been viewed over 10,000 times? I almost can't believe it.  How?! What....?  How?!....  I don't have 10,000 posts, nor do I have 10,000 followers, so I really never expect this.  Plus:

1.  This is an ad-free blog.  Nobody's paying me to push any products or mention any services.
2.  I don't have an SEO expert pushing my blog to the top of every internet search result.
3.  My posts are so random that you never know what I'm going to write about. One day it's about acting, another day it's about dating and another time it's about identity crises....   I don't even post on a regular schedule so sometimes months go by between posts.
4.  I'm no celebrity so my thoughts don't move the world...

So that's why that number kinda blows my mind. I haven't been able to wipe the goofy smile off my face since then.  Y'all NEVER comment so it's easy to think I'm just writing into a void, but that number means I'm wrong.  And I'm very happy about that!

Thank you so much for checking in with me whenever and why-ever you do!  It warms my heart to know you REALLY are there.  :-)   I'd love to make this a more interactive space and I'm working on ideas for that, but in the meantime, please let me know if you have blogs that I can support because I'd love to get to know YOU better and support your projects.  If you still don't feel comfortable commenting in public, feel free to email me at tzenanicole@gmail.com.  I love hearing from you and your feedback means a lot!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!
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