britt talks adulting

As I sit in my in my basement closet-room writing this blog, I turn up my music in an attempt to drown out the commotion upstairs that is my four 21-year old male roommates experimenting with homemade beer-brewing. Ahhh, the wonders of young adulthood.

Wait… ADULTHOOD..?!!

…Am I in that? Is that phase of life I am in? Well the votes are in, and the answer is YES, I am, apparently. 

IS THIS REAL LIFE?!?!!

Someone wake me up from this nightmare!

Nah, being an “adult” is rad. You can eat ice cream whenever the eff you want and stuff like that.

I often feel that I am a really large child posing as an adult–a “faux-dult”, if you will– so I need to be mindful of keeping my adult-liness in check. For example, I need to take more of an interest in cooking (I can make a mean grilled cheese and can class my ramen up with prosciutto and lemon), have a better understanding of how I car works (I know that it moves when I put my foot on the pedal), and be more proactive in obtaining HEALTH INSURANCE.

Ahhh, health insurance, you tricky, tricky bastard.

The Unattainable Artist Dream that is “Health Insurance” has been on my mind a lot lately in light of recent (and painful) events that loved ones have found themselves in. Ladies and gentlemen, this is where it becomes very tricky to be an artist or creative free-lancer of any kind. WHY must it be this way?? (Okay okay, another discussion for another time, back to the more relevant-ramblings at hand.)

So how do I crack this adulting-code? When will I know when I’m “doing it” right? When I’m not living in my younger brother’s basement? When I have health insurance? When I move to a big city and support myself there? When I own a house? Have kids? Everyone’s formula is different, I know, but SHIT. Someone give me a clue, here.

Cue Britt-of-the-Past! She has some clues for us all! I found this list in a notebook of mine from last summer:

Britt’s Adulting Wisdom:

~AAA is invaluable. For a little over $100/year, this auto service will save your ass, every time. No need to weep on the side of the road while your car is up in smoke anymore. Yay!

~Take advantage of “free” office supplies at your desk job. Print those resumes and scripts and audition sides, girl! You like those highlighters? They’re YOURS! Only– be ninja about it. Do not cause suspicion amongst your co-workers, it’s only a matter of time before they realize that all of the 1-inch black binders gone.

~Know how to use the public transportation system and take advantage of it.

~It is okay to be a food scavenger, but be classy about it. This is a very fine line, so don’t be a sketchy bitch. Trust that food will find you. No mooching.

~Keep your living space, no matter how small, clean and organized. If not, you will die.

~Once you smart-phone, you can’t go back (I’m sure Dani can speak to this). Your iPhone is your new life-preserver. This sounds pathetic, but just go with it. It will save your ass when you’re lost, help you out when you don’t know how much to tip, and will happily guide your Facebook stalking while you’re wasting hours of precious life at the DMV.

~DO NOT LET YOUR REGISTRATION TABS EXPIRE.

~Fucking floss.

~Wear sunscreen. You’re white.

…The list ended there, but I clearly need to keep adding to it. For example, I just implemented this groundbreaking new system in my life to keep me from using my credit card:

photo

Feel free to use that little trick. Everyone knows that rules written on Post-It Notes are rules of the highest authority. And for double the adulting fun, steal those Post-It’s from your desk job!! Mwaaahaaaaa.

So! Let me catch you guys up on what I was up to this week! 😀

My Week

Monday and Tuesday kicked off Week Three of principal photography for Steven Richter‘s feature film, Birds of Neptune. There are only two shooting days left for me on this project, which will resume at the end of the month. And after a two and a half week marathon of 12-16 hour shooting days, I was happy to have a day off on Wednesday before returning to my desk job on Thursday.

After a month away from my day job, I came back to this:

over-flowing inboxes of DOOM!!!

But… there was also this, so it was okay.

CHOCOLATE EGGS! This is the remaining 4 of the 8 that were waiting at my desk for me.

My big homecoming back to work was pretty anti-climactic, and thank goodness for that! Part of me was worried that I would not have a job to come back to after so much time away. When someone else is trained to do your job in your absence, you can’t help but be awakened to the fact that you are.. replaceable. Buuuut… it’s all good! I have the BEST, most awesome, flexible day job in all of Portland! THANK YOU DAY JOB FOR EXISTING! 😀

My week was also filled with auditions. The highlight of these being:

1.) I am currently “on avail” for a guest-star role on a new TNT TV show pilot starring Geena Davis. In the auditioning process for television, being put “on avail” is as far as you can go in the game before you book the job. So, I’m pleased to know that I am at least doing my job well! I will find out in the next couple days if I book or get released from the job, so keep your fingers crossed! (This girl could sure use some money for the move to LA!!)

2.) I had a callback this week for a promo directed by Timothy Hutton. So yeah, no big deal…I got to do some scene work in the audition room with Christian Kane and received direction from Mr. T. Hutton himself. This experience was definitely a surprise and they were both super rad! I had a ton of fun.

This week has treated me pretty well. 🙂

And you know what? Auditioning is fucking fun. I need to remember that. The prep-work and logistics of auditions can be so damn stressful (especially this Tuesday when I had to rush from set in West Lin to SE Portland for the TV pilot callback and got stuck in horrible traffic…!), but auditioning is my job. And I love my job.

I’m tired as usual, but am still loving the Crazy. But I suppose this is characteristic of the life of a pseudo-adult.

…Whatever, I do what I want.

Cheers, y’all.

~britt

dani talks new beginnings

SPOILER ALERT:  I’m going to India.  I have over a billion new faces to see, sights to soak in,  and discoveries to make.  My mind has been filled with anticipatory daydreams like this:

Ladakh, India

Delhi, India

Rishikesh, India

GAHHHHH INDIAAAAA!!!!!!  Just to keep you in suspense, let me start at the beginning by saying that this has been a pretty freakin’ rad week full of new beginnings.  Maybe I’m riding the wave of Britt’s new-birthday-year.  

My Week

Last week I pulled two all-nighters shooting and editing a project for my FreePlay class–which means me and Sedale and Amaka losing our minds together by trying to figure out how to make a ten-minute short film about a woman who gets pregnant by her foster sister’s husband.  And then the three have to figure out how to build their lives around this baby. 

My ensemble also finished writing our first draft of our staged version of Don Quixote.  Which means after weeks of playing around we have officially started the laborious process of birthing our first artistic baby as an ensemble. Which makes me think of the very first time I heard the story of Don Quixote…

Aw Wishbone!  Nothing is imPAWssible!  However, I WISH I could post a video for you guys of Clown class on Friday, because we started playing around with the trampoline for the first time, and DAMN!  Talk about new beginnings.  It never ceases to amaze me how many self-imposed limitations I have been operating under for my entire life.  But every time I come out of clown class I realize that I’ve done 10 new things with my body that I never even thought possible.  It’s wild.  

But not as wild as these ferocious kittens!!

Image

Doris the Kitten. March 2013

Linus the Kitten. March 2013

Linus the Kitten. March 2013

That’s right!  My house became the home of TWO KITTENS this weekend!  In a stroke of pure genius, my housemates decided to adopt two kittens full of nothing but spunk and snuggles.  Meet Doris and Linus, my new animal friends.  I played with them allllll weekend long and there was cuddling and purring and it was all pretty magnificent.  

When they first came home and we opened the cat carrier, two curious and cautious little noses protruded out into the wide world, followed by four little paws.  After some tentative sniffing, the little guys ventured out of their carrier and explored their new space.  Within half an hour they were romping and exploring with utter fearlessness.  I thought, “Hmm… this will be inspiration for this summer, when I am in India!  Streetwise and cautious up front, followed by fearless exploration and wise vigilance.”

Full circle, y’all!  Prior to meeting my two new feline housemates, I met up with my friend Tarah Pollock to purchase two roundtrip tickets to New Delhi, India.  Meet Tarah:

Tarah Pollock March 2013

Ooo!  So sassy!  Work it girl!  A couple of months ago, Tarah was telling me about a friend of hers who is a monk in Northern India, and how he had invited her to travel to Ladakh, India this summer for a festival.  He had told her to bring a friend and see The Siddartha School, which he helped to found.  Tarah is a second-year actor in my MFA program, an independent lady extraordinare, and a complete badass. She also happened to be in the market for a travel-buddy, and my hand shot into the air faster than you can say “HOLY-SHIT-TAKE-ME-WITH-YOU-YES-PLEASE”

Turns out, India is super cheap once you’re there, so we decided to spend two months there–studying yoga, hiking, and hanging out with kids in Ladakh.  

Check, ch-check, ch-check, check it OUT!

New Delhi Confirmation

Before I came to grad school, I promised myself that I would spend at least a portion of my summers traveling.  Once I’m done with school, it will be more important to focus on career stuff and money stuff and all that jazz, so I figured that now is the time to travel, to harvest experiences, and to be a 20-something-year-old girl.  

I’ll be updating this here blog as much as possible while I’m there, and on the weeks that I can’t, Britt and I have some tricks up our sleeves to keep you entertained.  So this week, I feel deeply grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the many blank pages that I have left to write on.  Thanks for sharing the journey, loves.  

Oh WAIT!!  I almost forgot!  HAPPY PERSIAN NEW YEAR!!  Today is the first day of Spring, as well as the new year in Iran.  THAT’S why it feels like a time of new beginnings.  Happy Spring Everybody!  Wow. My goodness.  Look what happens when I start to pay attention. Things make sense.  Love and light, y’all!

britt talks another year older, another year RADDER

You guys. I’ve changed.

I‘m older.

…I turned 26 this past Wednesday.

26!! What does this MEAN?!

Will I not get called in for teenage roles anymore? Can I no longer say I’m in my early-20’s?! Oh my GAWWWWW!!

…But for real. This 26-year-old monster could not be more pumped to tear shit up this year. 2013 has already been an amazing year of personal growth and adventure–and now I get to start my own Personal New-Year! Birthdays are the best.

(PLUS my girl Dani gave me the best bday present ever. You know your life is fail-proof after experiencing love like that. GAHH, Dani! Come back to PDX and get into my arms immediately!!)

I spent my bday this year doing what I love to do the most. 12 hours of it! On-set birthdays are the best, you guys. At lunch break that day, my Birds of Neptune family surprised me with a big ‘ol chocolate cake (they must have picked up on the whole chocoholic thing, as I stuff my pockets full of candy each time I visit the crafty table) and birthday merriment.

on set bday FTW!

In case you were wondering, I did eat most of that cake myself. It was delicious. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting with chocolate gooey goodness inside and chocolate sprinkles…Mmmm. And you know what, I needed all the sugar and caffeine I could get to push me through this week of intensity…

Let me recap!

My Week

We wrapped Week 2 of principal photography for Steven Richter’s feature film, Birds of Neptune this Friday. To quickly sum up this week and its effects: Five days straight of 12-16 hours of work on set + dark material = weekend hibernation land. And some crying. …But it feels good. Only six full days left…I kind of wish I could live in this routine forever.

I also had auditioning-with-blue-hair fun this week:

this is what this betch looks like these days.

this is what this betch looks like these days.

…It’s not easy being blue.

IT’S TRUE!! *sob*

Anyway. What was I talking about?

Oh yeah. Auditions!

I had an audition for the new TNT pilot starring Geena Davis and another audition for NBC’s Grimm this week. With blue hair! It’s been interesting.

With the intense shooting schedule for BON this week, I must admit it was a bit stressful to rush off set during my lunch break and change into audition-appropriate clothes, pull my hair back to mask as much of the blue as possible, shake the world and character I had been living in, and all the while expect myself to be a charming, functional human being in the audition room. BUT. All of that mess was awesome too. I felt like a total badass to stay so busy and on track with my goals. I owe the crew & production team of BON my life for being so flexible with me and my shenanigans. I love those guys.

This week also brought the excitement of starting a project with these two:

ladies and gents: AJ Brooks and Mia Allen

The incredible team that is model/actress Mia Allen and writer/filmmaker AJ Brooks is in pre-production for a new episodic project. Stay tuned. The soon-to-be-on-screen-duo of Britt & Mia will be super rad.

And the mailman brought me my new super-legit business cards this week! Ka-blam!

dear world: hire me.

So yeah… I must say… 26 is treating me pretty damn good so far. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing, supportive, talented and passionate people every day…

…And that’s all the mush you’ll get out of me. Back to the normal Britt-programming:

cats & poop

Cats and poop, CATS AND POOP!!

Damn, it feels good to be 26.

XO,

~britt

dani talks HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRITT!!!

You guys.  I don’t know if you know this, but I am the luckiest girl IN THE WORLD.  Actually, the whole WORLD is the luckiest world in the world.

…Yeah. You know why??

BECAUSE BRITT HARRIS WAS BORN INTO THIS WORLD.

29candles.blogspot.com

29candles.blogspot.com

That’s right folks.  26 years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Harris welcomed into this crazy crazy world the most crazy beautiful lovely creature known to mankind.  I wish SO MUCH I could be in Portland right now, Britt, giving you some of these:

But since I cannot do that, I am going to send this virtual package full of all kinds of e-goodies for you.  We can share it with our readers, too, you know.  

1.

I got the president to send you some intense Birthday greetings. 

obama birthday

2. 

I wish that I could get you a gift that would make you THIS happy!

3. 

Or even better, I wish I could get you something to make you THIS happy.

4.

Little known fact:  Britt LOVES sharks.  Like, if you were to give her a shark, she would pull a Kristen Bell like nobody’s business.  But since I wasn’t able to get you a shark tank this year, Britt.  Please enjoy this video of a shark swimming.  For those who do not feel warm and fuzzy about sharks, know that this particular shark is the one that comes up when you youtube “adorable shark.” SO IT’S ADORABLE.

5.

Here’s a picture of a sweet Cat Birthday Party

6.

But you know who would spice up that party?  Britt Harris in cat form!!

7. 

However, this is all really a buildup to your big gift, which is this:

Britt, I love you like crazy, and I feel so lucky that you are my soul-sister.  I hope your birthday is absolutely magnificent.

britt talks scrappy living

My call time got pushed back after I had arrived on set for Birds of Neptune the other day, so I decided to enjoy some quality me-time at a neighborhood coffeeshop on Hawthorne. I was so happy to have time to breathe. I felt sleep-deprived and displaced as I had been couch-surfing and working 12+ hour days the past week (you know I love it). I went up to the bar to order a latte’ and ran my fingers through my new blue hair. I was feeling especially gritty that morning since I had not been through hair & make-up on set yet and was wearing the same outfit for the third day in a row. I tried my best to shake out my bed-head to look somewhat presentable in public. I removed what I thought was a small rock from my nest of hair and jumped back when I realized the small rock was actually a not-so-small-beetle.
Yup, I had a beetle in my hair.  No big deal. Nothing to see here, people, just a transient chick with an ant farm for a hair-do. Please proceed with your NOT-watching-Britt-be-weird/gross/awkward-activites, thanks.
I played it cool though, hoping no one would notice as I nonchalantly removed the insect from my hair and placed it on the ground. I saw a lady staring at me from across the room with a concerned look on her face. Goddamnit. She approached me and said, “Excuse me, but do you know that you have a post-it note stuck on your back?”
Ah. Right you are, you observant Cafe Angel, saving me from myself.
Now watch Britt as she once-again nonchalantly addresses her disheveled-ness in public by responding: 
“Oh, yeaahhh. Thanks! Yeah. I stayed at my friend Molly’s house last night and she left me this really sweet note in the morning and it must have fallen from the door and onto the pile of clothes on the floor …. I have been wearing the same outfit for the past three days, so that’s why… nevermind, long story… thanks though! I was looking for that note.”
Good save, Britt. You successfully made yourself appear like a high-functioning citizen of society.
Ahhh my dear Mol. 😀 Molly is my amazing friend who plays my sister in the film I am working on. I think she is my long-lost sister in real life. Either my mom got rid of her (rude) or her mom got rid of me (understandable).
This is my Molly:
And if you cannot tell us apart, I am the weird one eating her hair. NOMZ.

And if you cannot tell us apart, I am the weird one eating her hair. NOMZ.

And this is her sweet note:
I have the best Screen Sister ever.

I have the best Screen Sister ever.

..Which ended up on my back.
I spent nearly every night this week staying at Mol’s place. It was the best.
And on that note, I gotta call it out: I may seem these days like a bit of a wanderer, or even a scavenger, perhaps. But I prefer to label my current self and lifestyle as… “resourceful”. That’s right people. Let’s talk about Britt’s Anthem of Scrappy Living 2013.
In the whirlwind of exciting events that have occurred over the past few months, here is a glimpse into my crazy brain and poor-person problem solving:
~”I smashed my iPhone screen to the point where I can barely type or interpret texts? Whatever, this new “spiderweb filter “is totally rad! Why would you want to spend $150 to fix THAT?!”
~”I’m out of TP? No worries! I’ll use these coffee filters instead! I have a shit*-ton of those!” (*pun intended)
~”I’ve lived in my brother’s basement for a month and he still hasn’t reattached the door to my room because he is using it as a beer-pong table?! It’s cool, I’ll use this gold curtain as a door instead!!”
~” Oh darn, I’m outta shampoo?! Ah well, I’ll choose from this assortment of Old Spice* shampoo and smell like middle school boy all day! (*Remember, I am living with four college boys now)
~” AGHH my college boy housemates are partying until 4am on a Tuesday* and I have an audition early tomorrow morning?!  And for some reason they are throwing chairs across the room upstairs and making blueberry pancakes..?! Not even a problem,  I will just crank my music up to the max on my iPod and cry into my shark pillow!!” (*Remember, I have a “sound proof curtain” for a door)
~”Ah man! I am so exhausted in between jobs and rehearsals and need a nap before the next thing on the agenda but don’t want to waste gas to drive back home to North Portland… I know! I’ll take a nap on the couch in the rehearsal room at my theatre company because the building is so centrally located!! That’s why I have keys to everything, right?!”
~”I need new clothes but have no cash. Not a problem! I get half of my wardrobe from the free-pile at Suzzane’s (my old) apartment complex!! Thank goodness skinny PDX hipsters go through their neon V-necks and skinny jeans so fast! I am a genius!!”
Problem solving on the cheap, people.. it’s my thing. Scrappy living, baby… scrappy living.
And speaking of scrappy living, do you know what the exact opposite of scrappy living is?! Starring in a MOVIE! Let’s catch up about what has gone down in my life this week! 😀
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My Week
At 4:30am this past Saturday, we wrapped Week One of principal photography for Birds of Neptune.
Rachel & Mona(c) Reverie Films, 2013

Sisters Rachel & Mona
(c) Reverie Films, 2013

It was an exhausting and rewarding four days (I had Tuesday off…mwaaHA!). The last working day of the week is what the crew was calling a “Fraterday”– where the Friday work day (which started at 2pm that day) ends in the wee hours of the Saturday morning (4:30am). Let’s just say I hibernated this weekend to keep the ‘ol immune system happy. (Oh and thanks a lot for the time change this weekend, Benjamin Franklin… ya fucking asshole. I know we all could have used that extra hour.)
Working on BON is incredible and I feel so lucky to be a part of this project and to be working with so many talented people. I am still processing a lot of what this first week had to offer and prepping for what the next two and a half weeks will need. I could talk about this experience for hours and also be at a loss for words at how to describe it at the same time. I cannot wait to get started on Week Two.
This past week also brought my first commercial audition with blue hair. I called my agent to tell her it probably wouldn’t be “very commercial” for me to go in with blue hair, and perhaps I should sit this one out. “Just GO IN and PULL YOUR HAIR BACK!!” says agent. Noted. You genius, genius agent, you.
…I think it went well.
Onward!
Oh! And hey Dani this scrappy chick can’t wait to move into your basement in sunny LA LA Land.
Watch out.
Thank you for reading, my friends!
~britt

dani talks electronic gadgets

When I was a kid, and DVDs first came out, I was convinced that this new-fangled DVD thing was just a fad and eventually we’d all come to our senses and go back to using VHS tapes like normal, sane human beings.  When my parents actually bought a DVD player, I insisted that we retain the VCR so that we would be prepared to continue watching video tapes forever.  Like normal, sane human beings.

Years later, I may be the last middle-class-white-23-year-old-girl in America to jump on the SmartPhone wagon.  For a long time, I really disliked them.  I’m gonna go ahead and let Louis C.K. explain why:

The stuff that Louis C.K. points out is still relevant.  There is a danger in having something that constantly tempts you out of living in the present moment.  It can rob you of real experiences.  BUT!  I have finally come to terms with the fact that smartphones are also…really fuckin cool.  My parents, both being smart people and engineers, once again saw the technological light before I did and got them some FancyPhones.  On my roadtrip to LA last August with my Mom, she kept trying to activate my brick-like cell phone by poking at the hard plastic screen with her finger.  This did not work.  

Meet my Mom:

Susie and Dani, Boise to LA Roadtrip 2012

Susie and Dani, Boise to LA Roadtrip 2012

You will notice that this picture was taken out in the woods and that we are working with a broken digital camera whose shudder doesn’t open all the way.  Maybe the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree, come to think of it.  

I first began to see the Flashlight App a little less than a year ago, when my Mom actually started to BECOME my smartphone.  Dear, sweet Susie, started to receive phone calls like this:

D: “Hey, Mom, I’m at a gig in Spokane and my agent emailed me a map this morning but I don’t have my laptop or internet access and I’m wandering around Gonzaga and I don’t know where to go and it’s making me late and can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check my email for me?”

Mom: “Ummmm… Yeah! Okay… Let me just….”

D: *Panicked rambling and pointless babble*

Mom: “Uh huh… And this is your Gmail account?”

D: “YES BLARGH GMAIL AGGGGGHHHHH”

Mom: “Okay let me get to the gmail page…”

D: **More incoherent explanation and impatient babble**

Mom: “Alright, then, what’s your password?  Do you mind if I have your password?”

D: **Long explanation of an overly complicated password with like 8 numbers and punctuation and capitalized letters**

Mom: “…”

D: **More explanations.  Panic starts to really set in.**

Mom:  “Why is your password so complicated?”

D:  “Because you and Dad are engineers and you trained me to make super secure passwords!!”

At this point, Susie patiently and kindly navigates me through my email and gets me where I need to go.  After all, who else could I call to do such a thing for me?  Not only is your Mom like the only person on the planet who will never be annoyed when you call, even if it is for a totally stupid reason, but since my Mom happens to be an engineer, she is at a computer all day, ready to help out her hapless daughter.  

As much as I have loved having a Mom-smartphone, I’m finally recognizing that it might be useful for me to join the 21st century.  Especially as an actor.  If you are gonna be a freelancer, you have to be your own manager, and the technology to do that is pretty instrumental.  Soooo…. FINE.  I’ll do it, already.  What kind of a cave-woman would I have been??

“What the fuck is that scary round thing?  

99 wheel-thumb-240x229-94707

Fuck that!  I will drag things across the ground with brute force! FOREVER!!!!!”  

So now that my Verizon contract is renewing and I get mad discounts on a phone upgrade, I’m going to swallow my Luddite pride and get me a fancyphone of my very own.  Sorry fellow luddites, I will fear technology no more!

The only problem is that now I have to make a decision.  Not just any decision, but a decision about technology, and how I want to upgrade myself.  I am in wayyyyy over my head you guys.  I googled “iPhone vs. Droid and found links to articles that said shit like:

“There is CDMA, HSPA, and international LTE. And you can get it in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions. There’s still no NFC or wireless charging, however.” 

WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN??  What makes them think I will understand any of that??  If I were the kind of person who understood any of that, I would probably already have a smart phone and I wouldn’t need to be googling this.  And please do not take this as an invitation to try to explain any of those things to me.  We will both end up frustrated and confused, I promise.  

However, I do want to pose the following questions to y’all:  Do you have smartphones?  What’s the deal with those?  How do I make this decision?

And now I leave you with this video, because for some reason, I really relate to this lady.  

britt talks 6 months

No, I’m not having a baby.

Okay, well maybe my career baby. I’M HAVING MY CAREER BABY.

Let me explain.

I was realizing while talking to Dani on the phone two days ago that in exactly 6 months time, I will be a resident of Los Angeles. It hit me then how rapidly time is moving and that… yes… holy SHIT, I’m doing this!! I’m moving to LA!!

Here are some things I want to accomplish in the next 6 months:

~Have at least four months of Silverlake rent in the bank (I am almost half way to that goal already, wutuuup?!).

~Schedule meetings with potential theatrical agents (perhaps fly down a month before I move for meetings?).

~Have a job lined up in Silverlake/Echo Park area (or a job that I can do remotely).

~Record an album with my brother.

~Have the ultimate Portland summer filled with food carts, Forest Park hikes, SE Portland esplanade runs, The Big Float, binge on Voodoo Doughnuts and Lonesome’s Pizza, and just like… have the city of Portland barf all over my face. Perhaps I’ll even throw the Naked Bike Ride in there. I want to OD on Portland before I leave.

Also–true to Britt and Dani fashion these days–I am posting my weekly post a day late again. DEAL WITH IT.

…Exactly.

(Also, can I say on a side note how much I LOVE the show Girls?! Lena Dunham is a genius and I want to hang out with her. Lena, please contact me so we can be friends and make sweet sweet art love together. Thank you.)

Anywhoo. This is what has been keeping me busy the past seven days:

My Week:

As you may recall from my last post, last Monday was my last official day at my day job until after the film wraps (so… five weeks from now). This is the first time I have taken a hiatus like this and I sure hope I will have a job to return to afterwards…!! LEAP OF FAITH LEAP OF FAITH. !!

But umm.. helloooo dear Britt… you are now transitioning into a new way of life. How awesome is that? At this point in my life, about 50% of my income is from acting or other creative work. Holy crap I have come a looonnng way! And I am going to continue in this direction, damn it. I hope this good fortune continues (and if my dear friend Susan Miller is right, it WILL). I am equal parts excited and scared at all times these days.

In my time away from the office this week, I prepped for Birds of Neptune, stayed up late, slept in, ate well, rehearsed extensively for Crumbs, shattered my iPhone screen, couch-surfed, had a couple emotional meltdowns (I’m a Pisces, don’tworryaboutit), had my parents visit from out-of-town (we had a lovely time), saw a Hey Marseilles show (LOVE those boys), and tried to get my head on straight. It was awesome.

Speaking of Crumbs and my amazingly talented friends Amir Shirazi and Avial Shira, the workshop of the musical sold out for both performances this weekend! Thanks to my wonderful friend Max Maller, we have some photo documentation of this event!

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That last shot is of Amir, isn’t he sexy?! Seriously. Stop it, Amir (but don’t).

And finally… as everyone scrambled to get the last pieces of the puzzle fitted in time for shooting day one of Birds of Neptune, I got my Rachel hair:

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…And I am officially in Birds of Neptune land.

OMG BLUE HAIR!!

OMG 6 MONTHS TIL LA!!

OMG I LOVE YOU GUYS!!

For real,

~britt

dani talks crazyballs

Obviously, that is what this week has been, both for myself and Britt.  This is the first week that our long-distance-dual-blogging schedule broke down a little bit, due to the fact that Britt and I are both CRAZYBALLS right now. 

crazyballs: adjective, adverb \ˈkrā-zē-ˈbȯlz\

The state or quality of being out-of-control, busy, or otherwise in a state of madness.

“Did you see Brent is Scene Study class today?  Boyfriend got CRAZYBALLS.”

“I’d love to get together but my schedule is super crazyballs right now.  Hit me up in a couple of weeks.”

If you desire further explanation, please enjoy the image of this dress, which was emailed to me by my friend Liz, and which appeared in a Nordstrom ad on the Merriam-Webster website when I went to find the official pronunciation of the word “Balls.”

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by Topshop. From Nordstrom

Aside from the fact that my acting program relentlessly pushes us deeper and deeper into our own psyches, Aside from the fact that it stretches our physical capabilities and challenges our notions of what we think we are capable of, Aside from the exhaustion that comes with total honesty…  Aside from all of that work that happens in our actual classes, there is part-time-job work, there is backstage-work on plays, and most recently, there is work on my class’s production of Don Quixote. 

Miguel de Cervantes’ 900+ page masterpiece novel Don Quixote begins like this:

“Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and greyhound for racing.”

And it tells the story of a 50-year-old gentleman of reduced circumstances whose primary joy in life is to read books of chivalry, which tell tall tales of knights and damsels in words like

…the heavens on high divinely heighten thy divinity with the stars and make thee deserving of the deserts thy greatness deserves.”

Cervantes explains, “With these words and phrases the poor gentlemen lost his mind…” and changed his name to Don Quixote, changed the name of his horse to Rocinante, fancied a young village girl named Aldonza was actually his great Lady Dulcinea, and sallied forth into the land as a knight errant to right wrongs, seek adventure, and gain eternal renown.  

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Don Quixote by Svetlin Vassilev

In other words, he went crazyballs and went off on a grand imaginative adventure to expand his greatness and increase the good and nobility in the world.  ….Hmmmmm….. Yesssss…..

Wait, hold up!  Turn into a play?  Reading a novel?  Rehearsals?  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE??

This semester my class is being placed in the fire of “devised theatre” to be refined and molded into an ensemble.  Devised theatre is also known as collaborative creation, and in this case the creative process is centered around the source material of Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote.  This program being incredible physical, we are using the common ground laid by the head of our program Andy Robinson, as well as our physical work with David Bridel, as well as working with Edgar on Mary Overlie’s viewpoints, as well as the work in all our other classes, to create the story of Don Quixote from scratch with our bodies (and our voices).

So that is that in a nutshell. Don Quixote saddles up with his trusty squire, AKA his hapless peasant neighbor Sancho, and the two go off to claim glory and adventure.  

Don Quixote and Sancho, by  Svetlin Vassilev

Don Quixote and Sancho, by Svetlin Vassilev

There are many things I love about this story.  One is the fact that, despite the fact that everyone is somewhat shocked and horrified at Don Quixote’s madness, he brings true magic into a lot of people’s lives.  At first, he is a source of mayhem and ends up getting his ass righteously kicked a lot, but he ends up inadvertently uniting young lovers embroiled in the most romantic, imaginative and unlikely romance of all times.   He ends up bringing joy, wisdom, and entertainment into the lives of a bored Duke and Duchess who decide to play along with his madness.  He counsels wisely as much as he rambles madly, and as much as people dismiss him, he ends up changing a lot of lives.  I begin to wonder whether or not the people he encounters see that they really are romantic heroes themselves.  He blurs the lines between the possible and the impossible, the real and the unreal, and he reminds us to be our most noble, our most selfless, and our most true selves.  

So this weekend as we kick off March, trekking onward and upward through the madness of 2013, here’s to Don Quixote and his crazyballs.

Don Quixote goes crazyballs in the mountains as Sancho looks on. by Gustave Dore.

Don Quixote goes crazyballs in the mountains as Sancho looks on. by Gustave Dore.