Friday, November 27, 2009

Faking It

I finally got cast in something that I really love.

It’s a world premiere play. (And I get to play the lead.)

I don’t know how I can say that without sounding ridiculously pretentious. (Maybe it would help to know that every time I say it I am completely overcome by giggles because I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT and I feel like I pulled the wool over the eyes of everyone involved in casting!!)

The playwright’s name is Tiffany Antone and she is brilliant. The director’s name is Mary Jo DuPrey and she is brilliant.

The whole thing is brilliant.

The show is called "In the Company of Jane Doe" and it's a comedy about the life of an over-worked woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown who decides to take serious (and strange) measures.

And I am so thrilled! I had a great audition and an even better callback. I was pumped when the cast list came out and totally confident that I was going to have a great first read!

But as soon as I walked in to that theater and realized everyone knows everyone but me and that I have to read in front of all of these people, I didn’t feel quite so great.

I just stood alone in the rehearsal space as everyone around me hugged and smiled and reminisced about old shows. I stood and quietly tried not to smile too eagerly every time someone looked my way. Tried not to sweat pools on the outfit I had picked out that I hoped was “hip, but not like I’m trying too hard.”

I stood in the middle of that room, making an occasional joke to cover how uncomfortable I was (Thanks, Dad for passing on that trait.)

And as the read through began, I started to notice something that crippled me with even more anxiety.

Everyone was REALLY talented.

And that confident little actor inside me slowly started to die away as I said joke after joke with no laughter. And the harder I tried, the worse it became.

I glanced at the director and just KNEW that by her taking a sip of her coffee what she was really saying was “I HAVE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE CASTING THIS RIDICULOUS EXCUSE FOR AN ACTOR!!!”

But then I remembered something someone very wise said to me this week –

We are all just little kids. Being an adult just means you are better at faking it.

And at that point the kid inside me wanted her blankie!! And her daddy! And the pink teddy bear that her mom threw away when she was three because it had “the bronchitis germs” all over it.

I took a deep breath and faked my ass off.

I faked the second rehearsal too.

Besides, what is acting if not faking something you’re not. I mean, I’m not really ”an over-worked woman on the edge of nervous break-down,” right? Right? RIGHT??


And I’m sure I will continue faking it. Continue acting like my being terrible and nervous is just “part of my process.” That I’m just, “discovering the character” and “letting her organically develop.” Actor speak for “I have no idea what I am doing and need more time!!”

Faking it till I make it has always worked for me.

It worked my freshman year of college when all I wanted were friends and someone to tell me that an “A minus” did not mean I was going to fail at life.

I faked it when I moved to Ireland and just wanted the rain to stop and for the Irish to stop pointing out that I knew NOTHING about the world.

I faked it when I moved to Los Angeles and just wanted the sun to stop beating and for people to stop pointing out that I knew NOTHING about the movie industry.

And I’ll fake it through rehearsals until (like all the other cases) I realize one day that I’m not faking it anymore. That I actually am comfortable and confident and – dare I say it – funny.

And when that day comes, you should all come see the show.

“In the Company of Jane Doe” opens at the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica on January 14 and runs until February 6.
It runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 6:00 pm.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Thanks to my father’s birthday gift of old home movies, I just spent the last hour reliving my birthdays from ages twelve to seventeen and I’ve come to one solid conclusion.

I’m older.

So. Much. Older.

The home movies took me back to a different time. A time of blunt-cut pageboy hair, jean hats, high wasted khaki pants, huge glasses (ohhhhhh the glasses) and high-pitched giggling about some secret crush.

In fairness, I still high pitch giggle about secret crushes.

I sat and watched myself get older and older. From the birthday that was for GIRLS ONLY to the birthday where I hosted a dance in my basement and we swayed to the tunes of Celine Dion and played Spin The Bottle with a Seltzer bottle.

As I watched myself wear too much blue glitter and make the classic white-girl hair mistake of cornrows, I thought about how far I’d come.

I’ve moved so many different places.

I’ve lived abroad.

I’ve climbed a mountain.

I’ve kissed a boy.

I don’t wear cornrows anymore.

And now glitter is just for special occasions.

But the younger version of me is still there…somewhere deep down. It’s present in my undying love for Spin The Bottle and it’s there in my pursuit of the dream that I promised myself I would chase when I turned 12.

That girl, that girl with the over-sized glasses and the farmer’s tan would be really proud of this girl. The one with the contact lenses and the pale skin (because she’s afraid of wrinkles and skin cancer.)

Because this girl is here, in Hollywood, pursuing what she promised she would. Despite setbacks and money issues, failed auditions and moment’s of complete self-doubt, I’m still here.

And so is the twelve-year-old who promised herself she would be.

That is the best birthday present ever.

Here’s to that girl…..

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Thank You Note To Halloween

Dear Halloween 2009,

It’s Monday and I’m still tired. I think this means I’m old. And that you, Halloween, deserve a ‘Thank You’ note! (My mom will be so proud that I’m using my manners.)

So here it goes….

Thank you Halloween, for closing Santa Monica Blvd for 10 blocks so that 400,000 people could show up in full costume to celebrate.

Thank you for considering a bright orange mesh thong and some face paint a costume (or rather, the guy next to me on the treadmill at the gym thanks you.)

Thank you for enabling my friend Katie to use (in total seriousness) the phrase,

And then Care Bear went home with a guy she met at the bar.
(In fairness Care Bear’s costume was pretty sexy…for a pink fuzzy bear.)

Thank you for making it the one night of the year where I can get away with white fish net stockings and fake eyelashes.

Thank you for also making it the one night of the year where it is okay to take unsolicited photos of random people you see on the street.

Thank you for this:

And this:

And this:

And mostly this:


(Roxie Hart)