Archive for Career

25 Feb 2011

I’m Not Making Dough, So I Made Cookies Instead

6 Comments Career, Cooking/Baking, Toddler

This is one of those times where I wish I could talk about my career completely openly and honestly and tell you exactly what happened these last couple days.  It’s been very frustrating. Essentially, I was offered a couple weeks of work and then the offer was taken back. The work was un-offered. De-offered? It was ripped away from me.

Now, keep in mind I was just at home minding my own business when I got the call about work. And it’s not like I was jumping up and down and screaming, “YAY!”, but I was looking very forward to it. When it was taken away the following day, I was nothing if not frustrated and confused.

Of course, there’s nothing I can do about work being taken from me, especially when I wasn’t expecting it in the first place, and especially when there’s been no contract signed or formal agreement made.  I think what was angering me most was that I was very happy NOT working until I heard I WOULD be working and then that I WOULDN’T be working… And all of a sudden I was in a terrible mood. I don’t like being unhappy, but it was very difficult to get out of my pissy mood.

So what did I do, you ask? I love how curious you are. I made cookies! That’s right. I made Crispy Oatmeal Cookies. And I loved doing it. And I was making them for people who deserved them who DIDN’T live in this house. BUT, my curious friends, do you know what happened?

Well, as soon as I was done making the batter and I had the first batch in the oven, I gave a beater to Russ and the other to Garrett so they could eat the cookie dough. (I use pasteurized egg whites, so it’s totally safe to eat the batter. I know, I’m no fun.) I watched Garrett loving every last lick of that dough, and it made everything bad go away.

When I was pregnant I dreamed of moments like this. I used to tell Russ how much I hoped our kid would like the way I cooked and would want to eat the cookies and breads I made.  I told him I couldn’t wait to share moments in the kitchen, as well as in other rooms of the house, of course. When all the cookies were made (and I had entered the recipe into my LoseIt program, finding out that each one was 108 calories), I bagged up the ones that were going to other houses and kept 10 for us.

Today when Garrett got home from school he asked for a cookie. Tonight he asked for one for dessert, and then he wanted one more. I’m not big on sweets in the middle of the day, or giving more than one cookie for dessert… But somehow G-Man had three Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies today. It just seemed right.

My goodness, that kid makes me happy.

And here’s the link to the recipe:

So, I just read this over to make sure I didn’t make any huge spelling or grammatical errors, and I realized that you might not know that I also enjoyed watching Russ eat that dough. And that whenever I go through crappy stuff he’s there for me, making it all better and supporting me. And that is why crappy stuff never seems so crappy, and why I always feel incredibly, stupidly lucky. I have an amazing son, and an equally amazing husband. Mushy part over.

22 Feb 2011

Tuesday, February 22nd Update

No Comments Career

Okay, just got home from my audition.

Picture me in skin-tight, black jeans, knee-high, high-heeled boots, a funky t-shirt, crazy jewelry and hair in pigtails. And my glasses. They wanted “quirky” so I gave it to them.

Lovely girls in the waiting room. We all looked alike but we each had a different take on the character. Then a gorgeous, blonde actress I know walked in. She looked perfect. Glasses, blue tights, cute dress, hair up. She’s also very talented. She’s beat me out on parts before. But she’s one of those women I’m happy for if she books the job. She’s good people. So it’s okay to root for her.

The session was getting way behind. My appointment was at 11:30 but I wasn’t seen until 12:15. A girl who had just come in from NY and was going in right before me, offered to put money in my meter on her way out. That was lovely. Good Karma points for her!

I went in feeling confident and I did a good job. I got the sense, however, that I’m not going to be called back for this one. I can usually tell by the energy in the room if I’m going to get a call back or not. The worse times are when I don’t do my best and it’s my fault I’m not getting called back. This was one of the times where I felt very good about the work I did, but I think it’s just not meant to be.

I got home just in time to give G a kiss before he went down for his nap. He’s home from school today with a low-grade fever. This is a good day. Good audition, lots of support, tons of love from my boys. I’m a lucky girl. A quirky, lucky girl.

21 Feb 2011

Monday, February 21st Update

8 Comments Career, Family

Good morning!
So, about that Disney audition… Didn’t get it. Got an email that night saying it was between me and another actress. I can’t tell you how often I get that email. Then I found out I didn’t get it the following morning.
Now, before you go feeling all sorry for me… Don’t. This is my job. I audition for work and I book a small percentage of those auditions. That’s how it goes.

Tomorrow I have a pilot audition that I’m really looking forward to. It’s for an hour-long drama and the character is very cool. Now, had I booked that Disney show? I wouldn’t have been able to go to this audition tomorrow because I’d be working. SO… I’m also a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. (Even though sometimes I bitch and moan about it.) Whether or not I book the job I’m auditioning for tomorrow, it’s an important one. I’m meeting casting directors and producers that I’ve never met, and that can be invaluable.

So, that’s my update for today. I’ve got to go do a few errands and get home so I can hang with the little man who’s not in school today! Okay, I’m not gonna lie. Two of my errands are all about looking better for tomorrow. I need my bangs cut, and I’m getting a spray tan. SO weird.

17 Feb 2011

Here’s what goes on…

20 Comments Career

I’m wondering if I should start posting short blogs about my schedule for those of you interested in what goes on with “the business” (from the perspective of someone who’s “in” it, but not “big-time”).
For instance, today I have an audition for a guest star role on a Disney show. I’m reading for casting directors who have cast me before, (In Hannah Montana and Cory in the House), and it’s for a very fun, physical-comedy-type role.
This morning I’ve been going back and forth with agents and my manager about a deal we’re trying to negotiate.
All while waking up at 6:15, feeding myself and my son, showering, putting on makeup, playing games at PBSkids.org with G-man, getting him ready for school, taking him to school, and working on my audition.
I’ll leave here in 20 minutes, drive down town, audition, come back home, do laundry, clean the kitchen, and pick G up with his play-date from school.
And that, (if all goes as planned) will be my day.

*UPDATE*

So, my audition went very well BUT there were a lot of very funny, talented women (most of whom I recognized) going up for the same role.

I came home to find out I have a session at Vh1 tomorrow to do one of their “list” shows, ie: “40 Greatest Hair Bands”. Yes, I did that one. I also have an audition for a pilot tomorrow. A drama. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out on one of those.

I have two hours to go over my lines for the audition and some of the research for the Vh1 show before I pick up Garrett and his friend from school. I’ll do the rest of my work after he goes to bed. OH! And I did a load of laundry!! (Patting myself on the back.)

Keep in mind, except for one week in August it’s been DEAD for me for over six months. It’s been a glorious time of me at home with my men. And now, all of a sudden, I’m thrown back in the thick of it. I think telling you all about it will help me see if I’m doing an okay job of balancing everything, or not.

13 Feb 2011

Working. Mom.

10 Comments Career, Family

It’s Pilot Season, which means a bunch of new shows have been bought by the networks, and they’re now auditioning for all of the roles. Every pilot season, actors audition their BUTTS off and hope for that one break that could totally change their life, or at least give them enough money to live on for six months.

Unfortunately, most of the roles are immediately offered to big celebs, which leave actors like me on the sidelines. But I look at pilot season as a chance to hone my skills, get new casting directors to see me, and possibly book something on a show.

I also recently started going back to auditioning for commercials. I stopped doing it when G was born because it’s a tad annoying, a lot of driving, and a lot of time spent for very little return. But if you book a few TV ads, it could mean some monetary breathing room for a little while. And, if you book a campaign, it could mean GREAT exposure.

There is other business news on the horizon, but nothing I want to mention just yet.

For about six months, I’ve been home with my little man and I’ve been loving every freaking second. On Thursday I kept him out of school and we went to the aquarium in Long Beach with my brother and G’s cousin. It was a great day. I felt “free”. I feel like it’s about to get quite busy for a while, and Thursday I had nothing scheduled. As usual, I was very aware of how short of a time I have with Garrett as a toddler. In a couple short years, he’ll be in real school and I won’t be able to keep him out whenever I feel like it. I’m so in love with being G’s mom, I wish these years could go on and on. But I do look forward to being his mom at every phase… From toddler to teen to his thirties and beyond.

I feel like I’m about to learn a lot about being a “working mom”. I just pray that I get to do it all: Work at the career I’ve chosen, and still be completely present and available as Garrett’s Mom. I hope I’m not being delusional. Because the last time I had a full-time job as a mom, it was very painful. And the hours were out of control. I am making a vow to not let that happen again. I will be the BEST I can be at both things. But I won’t let my career get in the way of my LIFE.

06 Jan 2011

Behind The Scenes Questions, Answered

4 Comments Career

Obviously most of the standups and the questions you ask the homeowner are written, but how much of a show like “Clean House,” for instance, is ad-libbed by the host and clutter crew? There’s a lot of theme-y punning going on, that’s for sure.

Actually, pretty much all of it is ad-lib. There’s a general idea of the information we need to get from the family, or some bit of info that has to come out at some time, but we all just “talk” and get it done. Even the stand-ups are either off the cuff, or written by us, the people saying them. I’d say 90% of what you see is ad-lib. Even the puns! After a while, you just start thinking that way.

How long is a work day? How do you deal with a person who gets mad or rude? Also, please tell me you will be hosting occasionally again! We miss you on tv!

Our work days vary. For Clean House, the host definitely has the shortest work days. There’s usually one 10 to 12 hour day, and two 6 to 8 hour days. The rest of the crew works a lot more. On the other Style show I did, I worked four days that were usually 12 to 16 hours.

When someone gets mad or rude, it’s easy to understand where they’re coming from. This is a stressful situation for them and they’re bound to get a little freaked out. Any time it’s happened, they’ve come back and sincerely apologized. But there’s  really never a need to. We get it.

I don’t know whether or not I’ll be hosting again. I appreciate being missed! I promise I’ll have other stuff coming up. But don’t rush me! I love being with G-Man!! 😉

Forgive me as I am clueless on “Clean House”. Please do explain? Are you not a real mom married to a dude from Eugene? Who would make up Eugene,Oregon of all places?

I am indeed a real mom, married to a real dude from Eugene. I am sometimes on TV playing characters, and other times on TV playing myself. Either way, someone is dressing me and putting on my makeup and doing my hair. But it doesn’t make me any less REAL, damn it! It just makes me cuter.

Do the guys not wear their own clothes either on Clean House?

Without revealing too much, I’ll say this: They are not wearing their own clothes. One of them has a LOT of say in what he does wear, and is very specific right down to the buttons. And he always has on magnificent shoes. The other one pretty much just puts on what’s handed to him, as long as he can button the shirt over his Fabio-esque chest. Guess who’s who.

Keep the questions coming! I love it!


05 Jan 2011

What Goes On Behind The Scenes

12 Comments Career

A couple of my twitter friends shocked me the other day by saying they had no idea that I didn’t wear my own clothes on TV. At first I thought they were kidding, but they really hadn’t known! I just assumed everyone knew all the “magic” that went on behind the scenes before anyone steps in front of a camera. But they don’t. And that is why I decided to explain some of the tricks. Here is a day in the life of a television personality when said personality is working on a television show. (I’ll use myself as an example since, you know, I’m writing the blog).  I shall use Clean House as an example, but it occurs on every show.

A week or so before the show I have a wardrobe fitting. The fitting takes place at either my home, a store, the mall, or an office where producers are available to give opinions. If no producers are present, the stylist takes digital photos which are then emailed to said producers for approval.

Here are the things that have to happen at a fitting: After the stylist has tirelessly shopped for cute things, I have to like the way I look and feel in them. She also has to like them. The producer has to like them. The other wardrobe stylist has to have clothes for the other hosts that somewhat coordinate with the clothes we picked. Sometimes alterations are made. Sometimes different sizes are purchased. Then the stylist finds great jewelry, belts and other accessories to go with what we’ve picked.

Following so far?

Now let’s say we’re a few days from shooting. This is when I get all insecure about my eyebrows, my arms, my pale skin, and my zits. So I usually get a spray tan, an eyebrow wax, any hair treatments or trims or color or facials, or whatever else I need. And I try to stay away from a lot of wine and salt. I usually fail.

The day of shooting often starts out very early. I usually wake up around 5:00 AM just to get rid of any puffiness, relax with some coffe, and gear myself up for the day. When I get to set I have more coffee and usually some kind of breakfast sandwich or fruit, or both. Depending on the show, I’m either in a dressing room or a trailer with a couch, a vanity, a bathroom, and an area to get dressed. Sometimes it’s enormous and glamorous. Sometimes it’s nasty.

Then the makeup starts. Whoever has the “pleasure” of doing my makeup is usually in for it.

Think of a makeup artist as a very talented bartender, whose job it is to not only talk to you and make you enjoy your morning, but also to take your dark circles, acne scars, pale skin, and zits and turn them into something pleasant to look at… You know, instead of pouring drinks. He or she must transform you into the prettiest you you can be, all while hearing, “How much longer?” from the assistant director or production assistant, (AD or PA).

Getting my hair and makeup done usually takes anywhere from an hour to two hours. Then I put on my wardrobe and walk my fine ass onto set.

I’m trying to think of what else you would want to know. SO, here’s how we’re going to do this. If you have any questions about what goes on in the exciting (cough) world of movies and TV, ask me. I’ll do my best to answer. And if I don’t know, I’ll ask someone who does.

Kisses! (Just trying to be “Hollywood”).

12 Oct 2010

My Career?

14 Comments Career

I want to share with you a story about what it’s like to be me in this glamorous town of Hollywood.

About 12 years ago, I started working professionally, and I’ve been fortunate enough to make my living at it ever since. However, I’ve probably been turned down for 100 jobs, for every one job I’ve gotten. It’s a rough road, this road I’ve chosen. And to be frank… I’m tired of it.

Let’s back up a step, shall we? I’m a dork. I’m not one of those adorable dorks who’s really pretty and tall and perfect and just says she’s a dork because she likes to read non-fiction and knows about Star Wars. I’m one of those dorky dorks who was never popular in high school and always felt a step behind everyone in everything I did.  I still do.  I was lucky enough to know at a very young age what I wanted to be, but I never felt I was as good as it as other people. Then I discovered comedy and I felt as good as I needed to be, so I stayed there. And 15 years later I started working.

My first major role was on Seinfeld and it was amazing and terrifying and magical. My friends threw a huge party when it aired, and I thought, “This is the beginning”. It wasn’t. I waited tables a bit longer and then I booked MadTV as a series regular. This was another exercise in me feeling “Less Than” everyone else. I was clearly good enough to be there, but I didn’t ever really fit in. I was on the outside, watching everyone else get laughs and fame. I took what little scraps I was given and was let go after a season. It sounds like I’m whining, and I am a little bit, but I want to make it clear that part of it is my own fault. I’m really bad at playing the games you have to play to get somewhere in this business. I always have been.

Time went by and I booked a lot of guest star parts, then I began getting hosting work. But intermixed with all those jobs were about 100 or 1000 auditions that went “really well”, but I just wasn’t “right for the part”. No one ever gets a straight answer on why they aren’t right for a part. So you start thinking things like, “I must be really ugly”, or fat or bad or not funny or too short or too tall or badly dressed or… JUST AWFUL AT EVERY FUCKING THING I DO. It’s nearly impossible to not get a complex unless you just believe in your abilities and looks so much that nothing can ever get you down.  I’ve never met one of these people. So years of rejection can really mess a person up.  And even though it seemed like I was working a ton, it was hard to not focus on all the work I WASN’T getting. Plus, to be frank, I wasn’t getting really high-paying work.  I got close. But I never booked that stuff. I’d “test” for sit-com leads, but never get them. Something wasn’t clicking. Read more

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