britt talks SUNVENTURE.

WHAT IS GOING ON.

WHAT is that bright blaring orb-thing up in the sky? WHERE is that sudden tingle-y euphoric feeling coming from? WHY am I all of a sudden sweating in my three layered cardigans, wool leggings, and Doc Martins?! SOMEBODY HELP ME!

Ahhhh yes. That’s right, Portland people. Bust out your Toms and trade in your black-rimmed hipster specs for $12 plastic neon sunglasses at Buffalo Exchange, because shit is about to get REAL. It is that time again…

…It is TIME for the Annual Portland Summer Fake-out!! OMGGG!!

What IS the Annual Portland Summer Fake-out, you ask? It’s that beautiful little vortex in the spring when we Northwesterners get glorious mid-70’s degree heat for three days–and then another 2.5 months of rain–before the reeeaaal Portland summer starts. Everybody FREAK OUT!

Seriously, I did. I freaked out. I lost my shit. The sun came out on Friday and I didn’t know what to do. The office cleared out at like… 1:30pm. It was as though someone in power called in a reverse snow day and it was no longer practical for anyone to be productive in any way. We even got free ice cream, delivered straight to the cubicle. Fudge-cicles, ice cream sandwiches, AND drumsticks.

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See?! Fucking DRUMSTICKS!

Something in that ice cream made me lose my fucking mind. I mean, we’re talkin bat-shit-summer INSANE, here. I’m pretty sure I ran circles around my car in the parking lot for 5 minutes just trying to expel the extra Vitamin D crack energy that was suffocating my brain.

And after successfully achieving that special sugar high that could rival any 12-year-old, I left the office early with an insatiable desire to find SUNVENTURE.

And I found it, my friends….

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…I found it.

I spent the weekend sunbathing, park-hopping, binge eating and beer drinking. I wound up at a barbecue in my old college house that I hadn’t set foot in since college. I hung out with me & Dani’s best pals, Liz and Suzzane. I drank some more. I napped it off. I inhaled burgers. I drove around town with all of the windows rolled down and music blaring. I consumed Salt N Straw until I thought I was going to puke. I dominated those two pear with blue cheese cones like I had something to prove. I napped some more. I painted my nails neon colors. I drank more beer. I passed out again. Glory.

And because it is the PDX Annual Summer Fake-Out, I also impulse-bought this ukulele:

SUMMER UKE

SUMMER UKE

I am naming it Feste and I am currently completely obsessed with finding a way to play Lady GaGa’s “Speechless” with the only five chords I know. I cannot rest until I crack the code. I’ll keep you posted on that (lucky you).

And as I am writing this, I’m realizing that perhaps I may have brought sunburn upon myself… DAMNIT.

But this week wasn’t all sunshine and bumblebees, my friends. I actually spent a crap-ton of time inside…

This Week:

First things first. My blue hair is gone!! GAH! Bittersweet! Blue hair was soooo cool…. Yet so high maintenance. Let’s just say I could not be more relieved to not have to explain that whole saga again next time I go into a commercial audition…

In other news! Aloha Say The Pretty Girls with Theatre Vertigo is in full groove! After two days of forced hibernation and three days of Drugged-Out-On-Meds-Rehearsal-Time-For-Britt (where I was constantly sweating and feeling like I was going through menopause three decades early… wheeeee!), we are really starting to see this show come together. We had our first Designer Run on Sunday and we are finally starting to birth a plaaayy…!!

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You can’t tell from these photos, but we are birthing a PLAY, you guys.

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… a play with PEOPLE and THINGS!

I also had the pleasure of being a part of Steven Dempsey‘s 50 Female Faces Project with my dear friend Katy Beckemeyer this week:

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Britt
(c) Steven Dempsey

Katy (c) Steven Dempsey

Katy
(c) Steven Dempsey

Steven may be one of the most awesome people on the planet. Not only is he crazy talented and incredibly fun to work with, but he was also in a band called “Naked Grape”once… so, come on… what’s not to love. Katy and I pretty much jump at the chance to work on anything with Steven and Glenn Scott Lacey (my other favorite person ever, who aided us greatly that day by making us look goooood) of Americonic Films.

Check out this last Americonic project Katy and I worked on, the official music video to Tyler Stenson‘s “This Too Shall Pass” (featuring me and my girl at 2:00):

Such beautiful work. I am such a fan. Please take a moment to check out more of Steven and Glenn’s awesome stuff at Americonic Films and Steven Dempsey Photography. I love these bros.

So yeah. Perhaps a little sun got into my brain this weekend and made me a little more crazy than usual (is it possible? I donno). But can you blame me? After being bed-ridden at the week’s start, that weekend SUNVENTURE was a mini vacation to the sweetest part of insanity and back.

And look…! Just like that? The sun is gone. Aaaaand… Portland’s back.

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…Damn it.

Sending you warm gooey thoughts,

~britt

band of brothers, brothers and BANDS.

If there’s one thing Dani and I love most in the world, it’s music.

Truth!  One of the first things that Britt and I did together was to be in the musical “The Threepenny Opera.”  Needless to say, Britt played a beautiful angel in gold and I played a pimp.  Good times were had by all. 

PIMP HAT + boob make-up. Thank you, '08.

PIMP HAT + boob make-up. Thank you, ’08.

What else do we love most in the world, Britt?

… our rad BROTHERS. 

Hell yeah!!

That’s right, people. In one incredi-post, we are going to give you the perfect blend of brothers AND bands.

…Exactly.

This is my bro, Nate Harris.

He is not this blurry in real life. Well... most of the time.

He is not this blurry in real life. Well… most of the time.

And this is his band, Anachronda.

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Here they are playing at a kdup event.

They are pretty rad.

Here’s my bro, Eric Larson:

Eric isn’t really this blurry in real life either. He is however, this artsy and rad.

This is Red Hands Black Feet:

Red Hands Black Feet: post-rock pinball wizards.

Red Hands Black Feet brings you complex, subtle, and earth-defying soundscapes that will take you on a mothafuckin’ JOURNEY.  Through the universe.  And possibly your soul.  It’s a genre called “post rock”: think Sigur Ros meets Punk Rock meets Ravel meet Schoenberg.  Or just think about getting on a rocketship and launching into space.

Holy shit!!

In fact, they are currently developing an EP called “Hail Sagan” inspired by the history of space exploration.  (HOW RAD IS THAT??)  Rumor has it that the upcoming EP is full of surprises, including the possibility of introducing vocals to the already luscious RHBF sound. But don’t worry!  You don’t have to wait to enjoy RHBF in your life!  You can download their full album for free off  their website by giving any size of donation you feel like giving.  (Could it get any better? I don’t think so!)

I think I may be in new music heaven right now.

And for a final treat, here is an original song brought to you by me and Nate, out of the legendary basement closet-room itself:

Ahhhh!  A refreshing dose of new music!  Sure does a body good!

Damn right. Play us off, Jon.

ROCK.

enjoy your weekend,

dani and britt

dani talks earth day

earth-day-people

You guys!!  We live on this really really rad planet!

Holy crap, you guys.  I’m completely serious right now: this MAY BE my absolute favorite holiday.  Ever. In fact, this holiday is so great that a lot of people don’t just celebrate Earth Day they celebrate Earth Week.  It’s like 7 Christmases.  

There are so many incredible things about our planet!

If you haven’t seen Planet Earth, stop reading this blog immediately and go watch it.  Right now.  I’m not kidding.

There is something so refreshing to me to have a day when everybody just kind of looks around them and goes, “Damn, this planet is nice.”  Although the  “green movement” has moved into the mainstream in the past ten years, most days out of the year, environmentalists are still seen as kind of a fringe group.  A bunch of damn hippies.  Most stuff that claims to be “green” is just trying to capitalize on a marketing ploy, and since environmental change on a mass scale would likely mean mass change in lifestyle/culture, it is seen as being extremist to be an environmentalist.

But on Earth Day, everyone gets to be a hippie, no matter what their political affiliation or ideology or whatever.  

On actual Earth Day (Monday, April 22) I didn’t actually have the most exciting earth day.  But I did get so excited ABOUT Earth Day yesterday that I spent two hours this morning writing this post.  All I got to do yesterday was fill out the volunteer paperwork for an organization called Tree People, and participate in Southern California Public Radio’s Earth Day challenge, both activities I crammed into moments between class/rehearsal/homework.  But this weekend I am determined to see something beautiful and plant something in the earth!  I will report back and let you know how it goes!  YAY EARTH WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The thing is, since I moved to LA, I’ve been researching ways to get involved in activism or volunteer work for the environment, and I’ve had a difficult time getting it figured out down here.  In Portland, there are amazing volunteer organizations like SOLVE and Friends of Trees that are super easy to get involved with.  Just check out their websites, find an event that works for you, show up, grab a shovel, and get to work.  It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning, especially if you have a friend you can bring with you.  Even the Occupy movement in Portland is incredibly approachable and kind, and I had a great time volunteering with their Food and Garden team, an amazing group of people who believe in revolution through reconnection with our food and our planet.  

So what have I found down in LA?  There are a lot of people and a lot of environmental issues, and as an outsider trying to find my way in, there is an abundance of random groups, misinformation, and white noise.  According to the American Lung Association, Los Angeles has the worst air quality in the nation.  In fact, of the top 11 cities with the worst air, 9 of them are in California.  Air quality is directly related to water quality, so the water situation in LA is downright bleak as well. We treat the little water we have (Los Angeles is a coastal desert that is draining the Colorado River for water) with no respect.  

oh rodney. you don’t even need to say it.

In California, we have all this incredibly beautiful land and it has been completely taken over by industrial pollution and agriculture.  The most jarring thing about living in LA to me is the fact that it LOOKS so beautiful with the vast expanses of ocean and hills and forest and desert and farmland, but all this land is on a knife’s edge with how we are using it. 

I’m taken back to my belief that it’s a problem of compartmentalization.  The public dialogue about the environment automatically assumes that the environment is something SEPARATE FROM HUMANS.  But the truth is, we are all animals, baby. 

 It is a biological fact.  We are another manifestation of Carbon–part of the circle of life.  It is impossible to ask the question, “What can I do for the environment?” because you’re already doing something for the environment BY EXISTING.  The problem is that as a species we’re not doing a good job of existing right now.  We think that we live ON the planet when we really are part of it in an incredibly physical, tangible way.  I think that we get so lost up inside our heads, though, that we forget.  Our consciousness, the thing that separates us from the rest of the mammals, makes us forget that we are mammals, and we exist because we are part of an ecological system.  

So people who work for the health of the environment are labeled as hippies, as outliers, and the mainstream of thought is focused on how to keep everything about our lives the same for as long as possible–all our disposable belongings, plastics, chemicals, Styrofoams, electronics, cars, hot showers, low-quality beef for 3 meals a day, golf courses in the desert…  How does “going green” fit MY lifestyle?  I do this just as often as the next guy–it’s incredibly difficult NOT to in LA.  I’m still trying to figure out how it’s possible to be environmentally ethical while living here.  (…Any input is happily accepted, blogosphere.)

On the bright side, here are some cool developments that people have been working on using their big, fancy, conscious human brains!  

You’ll notice that with all the LA-related stuff, no one wants to pay for these ideas, but I’m choosing at this moment to focus on the positive signs of progress!  

In conclusion, HAPPY EARTH WEEK EVERYBODY!  Get outside, breathe in some fresh air, look at something beautiful, and if you can, do something nice for the planet.  On behalf of myself and Britt,

xoxo

–Dani

britt talks 3-2-1-ultimate body SHUTDOWN!

As I lay here in bed watching a marathon of Twin Peaks after having slept in ’til 2pm, I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I think about the theme of me and Dani’s last post.

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You could probably guess after reading my last post entitled “feeling weak and finding family” and skipping my personal post last week all together, I was working some major shit out. The goal? Taking some time out of the regularly scheduled spazz programming for some Me Time.

Well… as much as I’d like to think I was making progress in this aspect of life, I’m not sure that I was succeeding in taking care of myself the way I was really supposed to. I was not listening to my body. I attributed my constant fatigue and emotional outbursts to “being in a period of transition” or “being in my 20s” or “general life instability” and didn’t give these signals the attention they deserve. I just kept pushing on, true to Britt-fashion, without mercy. So, my body took its own Me Time… against my own will. ‘Cause, as I’m sure we all know, sometimes the body acts as its own separate entity.

Well played Body, you asshole.

And no, this is not your typical stubborn portland cold but rather a stress-triggered outbreak of rashes and inflammation all over my body (I know, I know, gross) that has made it very difficult for me to function like a normal human being in public as I can barely get through a conversation without scratching my ballooned face off. I could get into more gory details (it is as morbidly fascinating as it is embarrassing), but I will spare you.  All you need to know if that I kind of look and feel like Elephant Man right now.

The main take-away from this for me is that if I do not take care of my physical and (especially) my emotional health, my physical and emotional self will not take care of me. It is time for me to truly respond to these triggers so my body doesn’t feel like it has to scream at me to get me to listen. I need to not be such an insensitive bitch to the rest of my person. I need to be aware that this could quickly become more of a downward spiral if I am not careful.

But hope, HOPE!! Hope abounds! This forced-down time has given me a great opportunity to be thankful for my greater health and to cherish the energy and drive that I have in my daily life. As much as I love resting and pushing the re-set button, I look forward to getting my head back in the game.

‘Cause after taking a day off of work, two nights off of rehearsal, and successfully completing a Sleep Marathon, you know I’m going to come out on the other side feeling good as new.

…With new and improved self-care habits, of course.

Wow, I’m already feeling better and more motivated and less-rashy just writing all of this! IT’S MAGIC!!

Anyway. Whatever. All of this is neither here or there, they are merely thoughts floating around my drugged-up brain that I wish to share with all of you, Internet world. For better or for worse.

So anyway. Back to business!

It’s been a little while since we’ve caught up, so let me bring you to speed on some of my latest activities:

My week (s):

Rehearsals for Aloha Say the Pretty Girls with Theatre Vertigo are in full swing:

Mario Calcagno, Joel Harmon, Liz Pierce, Tyler Ryan, and Britt Harris at first read

Mario Calcagno, Joel Harmon, Liz Young, Tyler Ryan, and Britt Harris at first read

Brooke Calcagno & Joel Harmon in blocking rehearsal

Brooke Calcagno & Joel Harmon in blocking rehearsal

Little Julian Pierce (son of sound designer Liz Pierce) helping out Brooke Calcagno with her scene!

Little Julian Pierce (son of sound designer Liz Young) helping out Brooke Calcagno with her scene!

Last week I had a madcap, there-and-back-in-8-hours trip to Seattle for a film auction:

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#206love, bitches!

And this week I had I had a madcap there-and-back-in-20-hours trip to Tacoma with my good friend Katie Farewell to celebrate Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) in their annual Artrageous auction in association with Tacoma Science and Math Institute (SAMI):

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It was an honor to be Katie’s date to such an awesome and important event and to reconnect with my hometown a bit, event if it was for the briefest of moments!

LONG LIVE THE ARTS!!

God… arts education in schools could not be more important. I am strongly resisting the urge to get up on my soapbox about this issue right now, but I WILL spare you from that for the time being, just as I did with the gory details of my hives/elephant man/ ifeellikeimtakingcrazypills disease. Becuase let’s be real. I just want to get this post done so I can get back to watching Twin Falls and sleeping and being drugged up.

So anyway. What else.

Oh yeah!

BIGGEST NEWS!

I finished shooting my one and only pick-up day for feature film Birds of Neptune last week. This is how it felt:

that's a BON picture-wrap on Britt!!

that’s a BON picture-wrap on Britt!!

By that Day 18 of shooting, everyone was exhausted:

MUA Sarah Prevo and set-cat/animal guest star Braveheart take a well-deserved nap in the green room

MUA Sarah Prevo and set-cat/animal guest-star Braveheart take a well-deserved nap in the green room

So yeah, okay Body, I get it. I need time out. I need to calm the fuck down.

I can take that advice this time. I really can.

One step at a time, one day at a time. Breathe.

Now– sidebar– if there’s one thing that I am truly looking forward to– the light at the end of the stress and over-work tunnel , if you will– it’s this shit:

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That’s right. 3 weeks and counting until my Dani girl and I are reunited in Los Angeles. And there will be epic, non-stressful, non-rashful times. Just what the doctor ordered.

You hear that, Body?!

Alright, I’m spent. I need to get back to finding out who killed Laura Palmer.

all my love to you, my friends,

~britt

me time

If you’ve read this blog before, you have probably read a few posts about a problem that Britt and I often encounter as actors/functional adults; a problem that may be the biggest challenge of choosing to make the arts your career path:

CRAZYBALLS / NOT-ENOUGH-TIME

Preach, sister.

Britt and I are both doggedly pursuing art as a career, which means we end up living double-lives in the meantime.  There are the “adult-y” things we have to do to make ends meet and there are the creative projects that we fill our lives with in order to stay artistically alive.  This equals a ton of man-hours of work, which is why I kind of giggle when I hear this attribute stereotypically assigned to artists:

LAZINESS

And THAT is bullshit!! Some of the most independent, hard-working, entrepreneurial folks I know are artists (including my Dani and Yours Truly). I often think of artists as ninjas… and you KNOW those ninjas trained their asses off to learn how to be badass and invisible. While also paying their ninja bills somehow.

south park ninja

Damn straight, Britt!  THIS is the truth people:

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So true. And doing all of the crap we do, while trying to stay sane and be functional and decent human beings at the same time, is quite trying at times.

So my lesson of this week has been that IT IS OKAY TO TAKE SOME “ME TIME.”  Okay, yeah, it is somewhat trite, but seriously, I have to remind myself of this or my busy-ness will start to chip away at my sanity. 

IT IS SO IMPORTANT!

Honestly, some days I just feel like:

When really, I want to be more like:

See? Cat Ninja. This cat ninja is kicking ass and working shit out. Probably because she allows for plenty of cat-Me-Time when not out kicking major dog and gopher ass.

Damn straight! According to my half-assed research on the internet (AKA googling it), cats spend 13-16 hours of their day sleeping.  Straight up SLEEPING. That doesn’t count the time they spend eating cat food and stretching and licking their balls.  I’m not about to publicly divulge how much time I spent this week eating cat food and licking my balls (too far? maybe), but let me give you an example of how I carved out some time for myself on Monday..

Dani’s super-special-me-time Monday:

  1. Get up in time to go to class (skip workout and get a full night of sleep)
  2. Go to movement class,
  3. Use the three hour break to LEAVE CAMPUS (gasp!), go to BIKRAM YOGA, and spend too much money on this absurdly delicious sandwich at Atwater Village Farm
Raw Falafel Burger by Nelson's Living Gourmet. Literally the tastiest thing I have EVER put in my mouth. (That's what she said.)

Raw Falafel Burger by Nelson’s Living Gourmet. Literally the tastiest thing I have EVER put in my mouth. (That’s what she said.)

4.   Come back to campus for 3:00 p.m. scene study class, feeling rejuvenated
5.   Stick around campus for rehearsal until the sun is long gone from the sky

Way to go, D. I’m proud of you. You are self-care MACHINE. And that falafel burger looks AMAZING.

Dude.  It seriously was. No joke.  Although, damn girl, I feel like part of the whole “me time” thing is not over-committing myself, and saying no when I need to.  When you take care of yourself, you are better able to do the work that you DO commit to.  I just read a great article by David Cain on Thought Catalog about being conscious of the things that you commit yourself to doing, and how they take up space in your head and heart.  

I also found this little gem especially useful, courtesy of Justine Musk:

25-Ways-To-Say-No-Web-SQ-300x300

You should really do yourself a favor and check out the entire post by Justine Musk. Some of my favorite Badass Reasons to Say No (which I am sure I will use in the near future) include: “I’d rather stick needles in my eyes” (#3) “or your eyes” (#4), “My schedule… is up in the air right now. See it wafting down the corridor” (#5), and “I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be fucking stupid” (#15).

I would also like to give a special shout-out to reason #23, as it explicitly states hotswetymonkysex as a Badass Reason to Say No to things. And you know how Dani and I LOUURVE talking about hotswetymonkysex.

Hell yeah!  We are trying to get as many horny teenagers to read our blog as possible.  Too far again?  Maybe. Yes. Definitely, yes. 

…It’s never too far.

Anyway, remember to take care of your hot selves this week by doing some hot and sweaty bikram yoga, eating tasty food, and saying NO to people when you need to. 

Yeah, back the fuck OFF, world!! Britt and Dani told me to take some Me Time!! (You’re welcome)

live-long-and-prosper-tee-shirt-cbs114bLove and kisses,

dani and britt xoxo

reunion tour

SOON. Dani and I will be REUNITED!!

what WHAT!!!!!!!

That’s right fools. In exactly one month’s time I’ll be getting on an airplane and zooming down to the City of Angels to visit my dear D before she leaves for India!! GLORY!!!!!!!!!

ERMAHGERD!!!!!! Words cannot contain my intense excitement.  Neither can my pants.  Because I just pooped them.  Not only do I get to see Britt before I go on my India adventure, BUT ALSO:

This will be the last time I see Dani before I move to LA myself. How’s that for a reality-check? Holy shit!! It’s GO-TIME!

Life = Change, and the best part about it are the people with whom who you share all the craziness.  And as some very wise (and possibly stoned) people once said, “Friends are the family you choose.”  Alright.  That’s as deep as this post is gonna get.  IT’S SATURDAY!!

Amen, sister. By the time we are reunited, Dani will be done with school for the year and I will full-on have my Vacation Face on, ready for action. I mean… WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?! What will the week hold?! We may do some embarrassing shit. We may even get arrested.

just another day.

B and D circa 2009, being embarrassing and getting arrested. Nothing has changed.

Or maybe we’ll just do yoga and beach time and go to that meditation center D was talking about. Whatever.

But mostly we’ll just be awesome.

Any peeps want to meet up with us during our SuperFunTime? Hit us up! May 12th-16th, y’all!!

Our interests include talking about art, long walks on the beach, drinking in sketchy bars, and terrible karaoke.  Professional and non-creepy requests will be considered.  No, we will not accompany you to your isolated cabin outside of cell range.  Yes, hanging out with us is EXACTLY like reading our blog only with the added risk of pissing yourself and waking up on a park bench.  

If you CAN’T meet up with us, or if you don’t have the balls (or ovaries), you can still look forward to reading some dual-blogging mayhem when are both IN THE SAME CITY!  Who KNOWS what wonders that might hold?  We sure as hell don’t! But there’s gonna be a whole heapload more where that comes from once I am the proud co-resident of Los Angeles with the one and only Britt Harris!!

…Actually that’s not true.  There is one other Britt Harris.

Thomas Britton "Britt" Harris IV is the current chief investment officer of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the public pension for the state of Texas.

Britt Harris is the chief investment officer of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the public pension for the state of Texas.

But we don’t need to talk about him.  

Yeah, WHY does this guy show up before me when you type “Britt Harris” into google image search?! DAMN YOU, Mr. Britt Harris!! You are my true nemesis!!

We also don’t need to talk about how many other “Danielle Larson”s there are in the world.

Okay, true.

What were we talking about again?

I have no idea.

Oh yeah!  My new boyfriend/love of my life!  He’s a real gentleman. 

And remember kids… gentleman do not give you crabs. Not even if those crabs are, in fact, gentleman.

crab gentlman

mwaaahaaaa…

See you in the loony bin (aka LA LA Land),

~britt & dani

dani channels her inner gypsy power

Dude. So before, when Britt and I talked about being gypsies, I was being somewhat facetious. I mean, yes, I do tend to move around a lot and I do really feel like myself when I’m traveling, but am I really a gypsy?

I mean, technically I’m not.  Technically I’m German and Swedish and Irish.  But let’s think about this for a second! Humanity started in Africa, right?  So my ancestors migrated from Africa so far North into the cold frigid Northern European lands that they lost all the pigment in their skin and became weird crazy Albino humans.  You know, like me and Britt.

vintage_cute_blond_curl_baby_smiles_with_toy_horse_postcard-r5c02ee1c523945e88a091ebcaa7e6fa1_vgbaq_8byvr_512

“I’m gonna eat this horse!”

Then they got pissed off from being so damn cold all the time and so got on some boats, put on some silly hats, and pillaged a bunch of other people.  Even then they weren’t satisfied, so they moved all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to America. And THEN my predecessors STILL were too antsy to stay put and migrated all the way across the continent to the wild wild West.  So maybe my ancestors weren’t gypsies but they were some nomadic mofos!

Johnny Depp as a gypsy in Chocolat

Don’t look at me like that gypsy-Johnny!  I’m not trying to insult you!  This is SCIENCE, yo! ………Okay let me try another angle on this……

I would be lying if I tried to say that the movie Chocolat is not, to this day, one of my favorite movies.  Maybe it doesn’t have the reputation of The Godfather, but it does star Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Alfred Molina, and Johnny Depp, which is an incredible lineup. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s about a French/Mayan woman with a nomadic soul who moves to a conservative French town and tries to open a Chocolaterie. Of course, she meets a gypsy and falls in love, blah blah blah.

But watching this movie as a kid, the thing that called to me most achingly from the movie was the concept of this North Wind. Whenever the North Wind blew, something in (the main character) Vianne’s bones told her it was time to move on to the next place, and she packed her bags and moved on, forever. It was a sort of blessing and a curse: She had to abandon any relationships she’d built, but she also got to fulfill this deep primal urge to move on to whatever’s next.

When I was a kid in Boise, my absolute favorite time of year was the Fall. Literally, the North Wind started blowing: the air turned crisp and fresh, the leaves turned, and their was a sense of campfires, hot cider, and impending winter on the way. The winds of change started blowing, a new school year began, and the frigid winds promised that snow and holidays would eventually come.

Extrapolating this out to my adult life, for the past two years, I can’t seem to stay in one place for more than three months, on average. At first I blamed it on circumstances of living situations, on being in my 20’s, whatever. But this Spring I came to realize that, damn. It might just be Me. I think it’s in my blood.

“That’s deep, Dani.”

Awwww Thanks, empathetic Oprah!  You’re the best.  But as soon at March 20, 2013 rolled around, Spring officially became the Season in season, the Santa Ana winds started up in LA, and I started feeling antsy as fuck.

It makes no sense. I LOVE everything I am doing. Lately, the ole Grad Program has been piling on material, and every time I get another scene or sonnet or project or whatever to work on, I get a sick pleasure out of adding it to the pile of stuff to memorize. But another part of me is waking up in the morning and making the same damn drive to the same damn parking structure and trying to force myself to eat the same damn healthy foods and be such a good girl with such good habits and LOSING MY MIND.  Routine is killing me.

I’ve come to realize that I literally have NO habits. Good or Bad. I have tics, maybe, mannerisms, but habits?  Not really.  I think I am incapable of doing something consistently. I can do anything with a Puritanical discipline for two or three weeks. Then I get bored and distracted and feel restricted. So I guess I have a bad habit of not having good habits. Or I habitually break habits.  

mother-angelica1

Curses!!

But here’s the thing that this realization has helped me realize… (Shut up, y’all, I didn’t major in English.)  I can actually turn this quirk to my advantage!  You know why?  Because there are only 3 1/2 weeks left in the semester!!  WOOOOOOOO!!!!!

tumblr_mh9h4kstQA1qhg3z2o1_400If you had talked to me a week ago, or even two days ago, you would have encountered an antsy, dissatisfied, grumpy chick whose mind already had flown across the globe to India.  But no more!  Today I am re-framing my life:  3 1/2 more weeks of hard work, then 3 weeks of preparation, then 8 weeks of India!!  I can do anything with Puritanical discipline for 3 weeks, remember?  So maybe that’s the secret for me.  I’ve just gotta bite off life in 3 week chunks, so I can really be present in devoting myself to whatever I am doing.  It is incredibly empowering to me to acknowledge the fact that, maybe my inner nomad starts to call to me with the change of seasons, but that also gives me all this great energy to pour into my work.  

So with that said, I have no choice but to leave you with this song.  I’m not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, but baby, I was born to run. 

britt talks feeling weak & finding family

When we wrapped the final day of principal photography for Birds of Neptune (Day 17 for the project, Day 15 for Yours Truly), I cried all the way home. Well, I guess I should say I cried all the way to rehearsal, but whatever. Technicalities. (You know I can’t take a break to save my life.)

For those of you following along at home, you know I’ve been going through some GCOES times, brain frenzy and heart hurt as of late. I’m not going to lie, bringing myself to even write a post this week has been difficult. I’d rather just roll into a ball on the floor and cry, but no, fuck that, it’s BLOG TIME. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic but I don’t know what else to write about.

I feel weak.

Emotionally and physically, I feel very weak.

Every day I second-guess my plans to move to LA. Every day I feel scared of leaving the people I love behind. Every day I feel scared of being left by those I love. I often carry around an overwhelming sadness of knowing that I will ultimately go through this journey alone. I mean, any true expert in their field walks a lonely road to quest for truth…right?

I don’t know.

But it’s okay to feel weak. I need to remember that.

As Dani so beautifully stated in her last post, ” (It is about mastering the art of) being in the moment without being attached to the moment. Just because you allow yourself to truly go through an experience doesn’t mean you have to get attached to that experience and spiral down into an abyss of panic, fear, depression, or murderous rage. Just breathe. A new moment is waiting to rush into you. Literally.”

Wow. And that shit is hard to remember! When I feel hurt and scared and alone it is so easy to take the people I love down with me. And that is selfish love.

But you know what? Fuck that. I am not alone. I am not stuck in a bubble. I have found family in dear friends whom I know will never leave me, no matter what my geography. And I have found family in the random people who come together by chance to create something bigger than themselves in a world of art and creation.

Take Birds of Neptune, for example. This team is my FAM. These people, some of them acquaintances, most of them strangers, have seen me at my most vulnerable and have loved and supported me through all of my experiences. They celebrated my 26th birthday with me, witnessed me puking in the bushes from nerves, held me as I cried-off a scene that really shook me, and have taken shots with me after a long 16-hour day of work. They are no longer acquaintances or strangers or “just people are work with”. They are my fucking Fam.

My BON family was my family this week. And thank god for them.

Speaking of….

My Week

Without all this work keeping me busy, I don’t know how I would find my center. It’s always there, pushing me forward, reminding me of who I am, gently reassuring me that everything I experience in life is meaningful and relevant. I am so lucky.

Let’s talk about this movie.

Despite its intensity and absorption of my life for weeks, Birds of Neptune has been so good to me. As I mentioned earlier, this week marked the wrap of principal photography for the film. This is not a picture-wrap on me quite yet, though– I will most likely have another shooting day for pick-ups and there is an additional scene we still need to shoot. But in reality, BON production is wrapped. That is seven months of my time: prep, rehearsal, and production WRAPPED, folks. I can’t believe I am finally on the other side. WOA.

And on that note:

Here are some highlights from my adventures on the BON set this week:

First– having my own stunt double. Seriously, that is just rad (I would have died in this car otherwise, trust me):

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Jesus watching over Craft Services at one of our locations (legit):

BON4

Discovering creative and epic ways to fit a camera the size of a boat into spaces the size of a closet:

BON1

Three words. THRIFT STORE DAY:

BON2 thrift shop

THRIFT SHOP DAAAAAY!!

You GUYS. Thrift Store Day was the BEST Day. Conveniently located next door to one of our shooting locations, I think it goes without saying that we spent our lunch break that day treasure hunting. Among the items purchased by the cast and crew that day were an exercise bike (fifty dolla make you holla!!), a VHS entitled “Multiplication Rap ($0.75), and a book published in 1921 entitled, “Beautiful Girlhood” ($1.50).

I want you all to know that I purchased that lovely gem of a book. There were chapters entitled “A Girl’s Ornaments”, “Opening Flowers”, “The strength of Obedience”, “Making Herself Beautiful”, “That Member, The Tongue”, “The Oils of Life”, “The Girl Who Can Be Trusted” and “Getting Ready for The Great Responsibility”. I mean… holy fuck. How could you NOT purchase that?! It was so fascinating to me because it is equal parts blood-boiling and hilarious. I would love to get this book into the hands of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Because turning back the clock for women is oh-so-funny. At least there was plenty of unintentional sexual innuendo in that book to satisfy my snarky factor so I didn’t stay pissed off about the book’s existence for too long.

But I digress.

Anyway. This week was a sprint to the finish line for BON. A glorious ending. And this week also brought new beginnings as I start rehearsals for Theatre Vertigo‘s “Aloha Say the Pretty Girls”:

Aloha

(c) Gary Norman

And you know, even with all the amazing going on around me, I really don’t feel so good right now. I can acknowledge that, and that is okay.

But also, FUCK that.

Because this is what I have learned, and am always learning:

Being vulnerable is hard. Being a human is hard. Loving others is hard. Loving yourself is hard. No matter how much adulting or discipline I condition in my daily life, there will still be things I don’t plan for. You cannot plan on the heart, that is for sure.

But I truly believe that is what makes everything worth it. To love and to risk being hurt. To love and risk hurting others. To love and be loved in return. To find family wherever you go. To know that you are not alone.

Now enough GCOES. I have shit to do.

got shit to do!

Love to you, my dear Family, thank you for being there.

~britt

hotswetymonkysex

You know you’re making a difference in this world when people stumble upon your existence by googling “hotswetymonkysex” and finding your blog.

That’s right, y’all.  Here at Two Evil Actors, we have all the hotswetymonkysex you’ll ever need, located in one convenient site.  You see, WordPress (that’s our blog host thingy-ma-website-bob) has this cool feature that tracks how people navigate to your page.  

So naturally, one of me and Dani’s favorite weekly pastimes is checking our “stats” page and discovering what search words have led internet users to our humble, evil blog.

This last week’s keyword-search winner? “hotswetymonkysex”. NO joke.

So here’s hoping that the 14-year-old boy in Michigan and his three pubescent friends who found us after googling hotswetymonkysex get punchy one of these nights and decide to google “hotswetymonkysex” again and once again find themselves in the clutches of Two Evil Actors.  We are really trying to increase our readership among the whole 10-14 year old boy demographic; that is our end-game.  After all, deep down, Britt and I are 12-year-old boys.  

Farting in class is funny!!

I happen to know that Britt has a stuffed shark on her bed:

sharktime

 …and I happen to know that Dani’s soul IS that of a 12-year-old boy:

D evidence

…and this is the art that Britt and I compulsively bought together at a bar one night (artwork by Portland artist Beth Myrick! It’s graffiti AND zoo animals. So rad.):

IMG_0041 IMG_0042

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Anyway, if you are a 10-14 year-old boy, we relate, and we’ve got you covered.  And there’s even more damning evidence at the bottom of this post. 

…But sorry if we weren’t exactly what you expected.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-26791-1354299164-7

..surprise.

But there is more voyeuristic fun where that hotswetymonkysex came from! Here are some more of our personal faves:

“i am happy because you are in this world”

“does bikram make you fart”

“gypsy transvestite”

“move into basement to save money”

“sweaty body actors” 

“image of god the father”

“evil pisces person”

“evil part of a virgo”

“american actors all look the same”

“bitches be like size doesn’t matter”

“tickle torture”

“sexxxxual” (yes, four x’s)

“i am excited and terrified in equal parts at all times” (stop reading my diary already) (and my mind)

“kittens saying poop” (totally my favorite one.)

…It’s like someone climbed into my brain and figured it all out. These crazies totally cracked the code, y’all.

Anyway. Happy Friday, friends. Have fun and be safe with those search-words. ‘Cause remember… we are watching you…

Here’s to a million more sex-hits on our blog,

~dani & britt

***Further Evidence***

Britt can’t wait to grow a mustache

…neither can Dani.  (Photo with fellow blogger Roya and her bf!)

britt playing a pubescent boy (Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night)

Britt playing a pubescent boy (Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night)

sam and dan

Dani playing with her armpit vent (featuring sammi)

POOP IS FUNNY!

HOTSWETYMONKYSEX!

dani talks discipline

I had to laugh at myself when I wrote the title for this post.  As someone who has totally gone off the rails of our TwoEvilActors blog posting schedule in the past couple of weeks, where do I get off talking about discipline?

But I had kind of a revelation yesterday!  It goes sorta like this…

1.  I can be kind of a brat.

2. Living in the moment doesn’t mean being attached to the moment.

3.  Discipline isn’t about pushing yourself when you feel driven, it’s about pushing yourself when you don’t want to do something, or when you feel like you can’t.

Let me unpack this a little bit.

1:  Being a brat:…

This one time, my friend Phil and I were at Shari’s preparing to enjoy a feast.  Sitting in the booth behind ours was a family with a 2 year old child, and this kid had somethin to SAY about it.

The kid’s Mom, with the patience of a Saint, was trying to get the kid to simply sit in the booth.  As the Mom tried to gently slide this little punk down the vinyl seat towards the window end of the booth, the kid fought with all four limbs like a spider monkey and articulately said,

“I DON’T WANNA SIT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Phil and I, in our very actor-y way, were absolutely fascinated, not annoyed by this little banshee-monster-devil-child, but fascinated.  Such free self-expression!  Such lack of inhibition!  That kid had the stupidest objective in the world but by God she was pursuing it heart and soul.  One of us, I don’t remember who, leaned forward and said,

“What if adults all acted like this whenever they had feelings?”

And then we both lost our minds.  The world would go to shit, and nothing would ever get done.  But a lot of the work that actors do is being in touch with those impulses and allowing them to live.  After all, most stories that we tell through film/theater/television are not about the day that you repress or redirect your true feelings about your wife/best friend/bosss, they’re about the day that you let loose and then have to deal with the consequences.

Living In The Moment

The point is to find a balance between allowing your impulses to live but making choices about how you want to act on them.  Both as an actor and as a human.  

…What I’m trying to say here is that I KILLED A MAN.  BLOG CONFESSIONAL TIME!!

image

Just kidding!  No I didn’t.  …..Or did I?  This blog IS called Two EVIL Actors…..

…But seriously I didn’t.  I really shouldn’t joke about these things.  On to the next thing!

2.  Being in the moment without being attached to the moment…

Those that know me can attest that I’m really not THAT MUCH of a brat, and that I have never killed a man.  But for me, and I think for all of us, “living in the moment” can be kind of an intense experience…

Think about it: if you really allowed into your conscious experience everything going on in your body, mind, soul, emotional life, etc. for even ONE moment, it would be a lot to process.

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Noooo!!!  Don’t freak out little owl!  Here’s the beautiful thing about the whole concept of “living in the moment”:  There’s always another moment!  You’re never going to run out of moments.  Just because you allow yourself to truly go through an experience doesn’t mean you have to get attached to that experience and spiral down into an abyss of panic, fear, depression, or murderous rage.  Just breathe.  A new moment is waiting to rush into you.  Literally.

3. Discipline is for the times when you DON’T feel motivated…

Since last we met, dear readers, I had an overwhelming whirlwind 3-day trip to Boise, Idaho (my place of origin), came back to LA sick as a dog, and slammed into the first week of the last half of the semester like a hurricane.  Last week was a difficult one, but oh my GOD did I learn a lot.

First of all, despite the physical and mental stress I was under, my work actually reached a new level in my classes.  In the process of training, whether you are training to be an actor or a distance runner or whatever, the progress can feel painstaking and gradual on a day-to-day basis.  Rob Clare, our Shakespeare instructor this semester, told us, “Shakespeare isn’t hard–it’s just gradual.”  And this lesson applies to all kinds of rigorous training.  It is gradual.

And one day you might wake up and be totally sick and deeply exhausted and it forces you to just surrender to the experience and you realize, “Oh my God.  I can just trust myself and let go and all of my hard work will still be there.”

And then a week later you wake up still totally sick and exhausted but you discipline yourself to show the fuck up mentally and physically and you realize, “Oh THIS is what discipline is.  It’s putting in the work every single day whether you feel like starting or not.  It’s trusting that on the other side of the pain or exhaustion is a new experience, and it’s worth it to get to the other side.”

Before, I viewed “discipline” as being motivated to do hard things.  But for me as an actor, I think that discipline is the thing that grounds you in the practical WORK part of being a creative professional when you really feel like being a brat.  

Again, it’s a balance.  Creatively, it’s a balance between setting up a structure in which you can do the work and just allowing yourself to exist in the moment and follow your impulses.  Personally, it’s a balance between disciplining yourself and indulging yourself…

That’s right y’all, I’m ending my LATE POST ABOUT DISCIPLINE with a message of self-indulgence.  I’m a work in progress, people, and maybe I feel like being a brat today.  

Have a great Wednesday night, friends.  Treat yo self.  

D