Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another week of highs and lows.

Yesterday was quite the day. I'm housesitting two sets of dogs, one for ten days, and one set on both weekends around spring break. Banana has upped my hours some. And last night I attended a workshop at 5th Avenue Theatre on "How to Audition for Musical Theatre."

It was a great workshop. There was a lot of good information given. Some things I've been doing recently to prepare for the next round of generals I found were exactly what I should be doing. And then there were great suggestions for ways to improve the parts I'm weak.

Some things I'm doing right:
1. Wearing one dress to every audition - my new pink Banana Republic one.
2. Practicing Cold Reading skills - reading to the girls counts in a major way!
3. Critique each audition as a performance, not based on whether you "got
the job" or not.
4. Go to as many auditions as you possibly can to improve your audition skills.

Some things I need to improve:
1. Acting is more important than beautiful singing (I tend to focus more on
musicality than acting, though I'm really good at both in performance.)
2. Constantly take dance classes regardless of skill level.
3. Assume everything they say to each other or write down is POSITIVE.

So that part was great, and I'm so glad I went.

After that I met a friend from work for drinks (well, one drink for me, and that was still enough to make me stumble a bit), then back to his place for a rowdy musical theatre sing along - just for fun, since we can't very well bust into song at work.

Afterwards, he walked me to my car, only to find that someone had broken a window out of my car. Nothin was stolen, just someone having highjinks. So my $5 musical theatre workshop suddenly costs more than a class at Freehold.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yesterday I was called into the office by my favorite LOD. I, thinking I was in trouble, followed him in with a hangdog expression, wondering what else I don't know how to do.

Instead I was told I'm the number 5 salesperson in the store, and up for a bonus if I can make X amount by a certain date. Handy!

So, suddenly, work is a much more interesting venture.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2008 Tax Talley

I've just finished doing my taxes. No small feat considering how many jobs and gigs and side things I worked. So, final talley:

Number of Companies worked for: 11
Number of side gigs: 7
Total earnings: somewhere around $16,000

And with the second round of stimulus packages, since I got the smaller amount last year, I didn't owe anything on my taxes either this year. HUGE sigh of relief.

Frankly, I'm shocked, though. I thought if I'd come out above 12,000 it would be as well as I was able to do. Not bad for a first year seriously pursuing acting. Here's to a good start, and hope for better for next year's taxes. (At least less forms, anyway!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Poundin' 42nd Street...

I'm back from a long weekend of Leavenworth Auditions. It was much less grueling than last year - only three callbacks, and well spread out. I was called back for all the things I wanted to be seen for, and nothing I wasn't interested in.

Yesterday I auditioned for Maria in The Sound of Music, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Lina Lamont in Singing in the Rain. I have some feelings about which way casting may have gone, but no certainty. One director in particular I have NOOOO clue what will happen.

I'm scheduling two more auditions for the next couple of weeks. This is the most freedom I've had to audition and audition and audition - not necessarily for parts, although it's weird to not be in a project right now - but to practice auditioning. It's my weakest area, but one I'm improving in each time. I wasn't cast for a short film last week, but the director emailed and said she was impressed with my audition. I had an audition on Thursday for a live script reading, and I read for her for 45 minutes. Didn't get that one either, but she said I'm a "great reader." (I should be after all the books I've done the voices for. Actually, funnily enough, reading for the girls has probably been my best audition practice all year. I've had to sit and make character and voice decisions one sentence ahead of where I'm reading. Great training for making quick choices in auditions settings).

I'm working double the hours of retail that I was at Christmas. Just in time, too, since I don't have any acting or costuming income for the moment. I should hear back from LST in a week, and know whether or not I'll be going out of town for the summer. Then I can decide whether a third job would be in order, or actually, I could be a summer nanny and not need to go schlepp anymore.

Today I had a great day at work. I went through a bad time in January where they were frustrated with me, and I was frustrated by not knowing enough to do my job, and I actually had to meet with a manager and beg to be kept on. But I was trained in all my weak areas, and I started making friends once a manager got on my headset and told me to stop whistling Sondheim, and now all is roses and puppies. And I signed two people up for our credit card today, which always makes everyone happy.

We're going to start reading Hatchet by Gary Paulson soon - as soon as my girl checks it out from the library. I offered, once again, to start a different book since we can't start that one until after library day next week, but she'd rather read her Owl Series in the meantime. We had the same discussion for A Wrinkle in Time, too.

Off to bed now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting ready to audition for Leavenworth. I'm all set to go, we'll see if it's enough. I know I can sing all the roles I'm wanting to perform this season, but of course, there will be other casting decisions that will affect mine.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We're getting callbacks today for Guys and Dolls. Phil's heard already that he's called. I haven't. All's not lost yet, but I'd hoped to at least garner a callback - since I was complemented on my audition. But it wouldn't be the first time, nor the last for that matter.

Fingers still crossed. Must go hem a dress now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Working so hard...

I sewed for about eight hours yesterday. I'm nearly done with my second dress, but as with the first one, I keep running into problem after problem. I bought a pattern for the second one - a modern one that looked vintage in the picture. In reality, not so much. Secondly, I had to cut down a dress to make the bodice, and so chose the smallest pattern size. I've forgotten (since it's been so long since I've made something from one complete pattern instead of reworking an existing garment) that sizes on patterns have no corrolation to anybody's real size, and I usually end up cutting out a 10-12 for myself. I cut out a 4. So this morning I took the finished dress to the girls I nanny to see what size a 4 is. (Did I also mention that the overlay for the ruched chiffon didn't fit the actual pattern piece, so I had to take it in a bit more) It fits neither the 11-year-old nor the 8-year-old. If I remember the measurements of the girls I bought dresses for my last film, it's going to fit about a 5-year-old. So now I have to shorten the bodice, and shorten the hem by about a foot. I can't take it out and rework it - because the chiffon shows holes like NONE other. I'm having trouble even pulling out the gathering stitches.

So I had a brainwave this morning about how to make it work. I think it will be really cute when finished. It's a bit of a mental shock to start out with a vintage prom dress, and wind up with a flower girl ensemble. That's today's project.

I made three tags yesterday for the three items I'm going to finish for the shop. I'm so behind now in my deadline it's laughable. The owner is fine with it - but I hate feeling behind. I have 7 more things to go after this, too, by the end of the month. Time to do some more ebaying to get funds for supplies.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

My "line."

I've finished the first dress of my new line, and started the second. This one took FAAAAAR longer than I thought it would, but the end result is stunning. I'm so happy with it. It gets bluer on the back left side, but I couldn't turn all the way around because the dress is about a size 8-10, and it's clamped on my body for the pictures.

Final count of silk neckties used? About 50.

Dress #1 of my new "line."