dani goes to india

In two days I’m getting on a plane and leaving for India for 2 months.  

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Wheee!!!

 As Britt and I have mentioned about 10,000 times, and as is currently evident by the fact that Britt is living on an air mattress on our friend’s floor after losing her house, we are gypsies at heart.  Because that is the case, when I chose to go to grad school until 2015, I made a deal with myself.  I could only go to grad school if I used the two honest-to-God summers that grad school includes to travel.  I had to find ways to go places in this big crazy world before life sets in and bitches start coming after me for student loan payments.  

To be honest though, India wasn’t really on my radar.  Despite things like this…

And this…

Taj Mahal, India…

And this…

…It had just never crossed my mind to go there.  

But then, back in January, I got to talking to Tarah.  

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This is Tarah. (And Britt and Sedale and Amaka)

Tarah has just finished year 2 of her MFA in Acting at USC.  Put another way, she’s a year ahead of me in the program.  Here’s a picture of Tarah without sunglasses on, lookin’ all serious n’ actor-like n’ whatnot.  

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she’s amazing. just try to deny it. impossible.

Tarah was telling me about how for years now, her good friend Khen Rinpoche has been trying to get her to come up to Ladakh in Northern India and see the school that he runs there–The Siddhartha School.  She decided she was finally going to go this summer so she could attend the school’s anniversary celebration, but she was nervous about traveling abroad for the first time alone.  We talked for a long time that night, and somehow, in her infinite generosity and love and wisdom and amazingness, she invited me to go with her.  

OmigodOmigodOmigodOmigodOmigod. Seriously?  What?  I said to her what I usually say when people say things like, “We should get lunch sometime” or “We should be friends” or “You should come with me to this cool place” which is

“Be careful about inviting me.  Because I’ll go.”

5 months later, we’ve done all the preparation we can muster and now we are itching to get on the plane and just go.  

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Okay well we’re not actually going to paaaarty.  As they say.  We’re actually going to do some of this:

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yoga!!

As Tarah and I planned our trip, we realized it’s not actually cost-effective to go to India for a short amount of time, because the flight over there is expensive, but it’s super super super cheap once you’re there.  So the longer we stay, the further my tiny summer budget will stretch.  Cause let’s be real, I’m living off my leftover student loan money, y’alllllll.  Anyway, we both had an interest in studying yoga, and Rishikesh, India is not far South of Ladakh, and it’s the yoga capital of the world.

So.  We fly into Delhi on Sunday night, and after a brief visit to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, we’ll journey North to spend a month studying yoga in Rishikesh and a month visiting Ladakh.  We’re hoping that by the time we fly home, we’ve figured out how to levitate so we don’t have to take a plane.  

Flying - GIF

In all seriousness, though, I could not be more grateful and excited and humbled to be making this journey.  We’re as well-prepared as you can possibly be, and I feel so blessed to be Tarah’s companion on this trip.  I’m ready to go to India with a savvy mind, a free spirit, and an open heart.  Let’s doooo it. 

I will post as much as I can to TwoEvilActors while I’m gone, but I’m sure Britt will have plenty to tell you about until I come back, and once I am back in the U.S. it won’t be long until the Two Evil Actors are reunited in sunny Los Angeles.  Until then, namaste…

xoxo

Dani

britt starts over

Last time you heard from me, I was processing the traumatic event of watching the house I live in with my younger brother burn down. Now that the dust has settled (a way too relevant idiom to use, I know) and I have almost fully recovered from the event, I am experiencing a strange new giddiness about life that I cannot shake. (Not like I would want to.)

In some weird way, this whole sudden homelessness thing has been a blessing in disguise. This period of uprooting has offered me so many things that I wouldn’t have been able to discover and experience otherwise. And for that, I am so grateful.

First and foremost, I have the incredible opportunity of living with one of my very best friends, Elizabeth Evans.

we take our kombucha very seriously. we've been drinking a crap ton of it since I moved in.

we take our kombucha very seriously. we’ve been drinking a crap ton of it since I moved in.

Liz and I have some pretty epic living-together history, you guys. We roomed together in college (okay, so I wasn’t technically on the lease, but I essentially lived on the couch at Liz/Dani/Suzzane’s house throughout school) and for my first year after college.

We’ve also, of course, grown-up a lot since our last living-together adventure:

sorry for vandaulizing your room, Liz.

sorry for vandalizing your room, Liz.

i am SO much more growun-up and mature now, you guys.

i am SO much more grown-up and mature now, you guys.

But for real. We are ADULTS now. Liz even owns her own house and stuff. And has FOUR animals. Well, only three of them are hers, but still. I mean, the woman brews her own kombucha. She’s kind of a big deal.

Anyway. Yesterday Liz says to me: “Britt. It’s like my whole house is your walk-in closet. You’ve done pretty well for yourself.”

Truth. I should be on Cribs right now.

(But let us allow these fotografias speak for themselves.)

Check out my awesome Living-On-Air-Mattress-In-Living-Room-Suite, complete with fireplace, flat-screen TV, and cats:

living large.

living large.

Hotel Liz comes with free cats.

Hotel Liz comes with free cats.

Pretty legit, right? I should get my house burned down more often. I’m kind of loving this.

The first morning I woke up in Liz’s Living Room Suite, I had a cat sleeping on my back (Pancho), another cat sleeping on my legs (Queso), and a dog laying on the ground next to my face (Moe). It was awesome. I was kind of hurt that the third cat (Jasper) didn’t join in on the snuggle puddle, but I got over it. Jasper is the only animal not owned by Liz or her boyfriend Shane, so I didn’t hold it against him.

Liz also cleared out a coat-closet for me to use as my own personal closet:

not too shabby, huh?

not too shabby, huh?

God, she’s the best!! I’m pretty sure I have more closet and storage space available to me now than I had in the basement-closet-room at my brother’s college house (RIP, house). This is the most backwards Life-Upgrade I have ever experienced. So I’m going with it.

So yeah. As far as residing on a living-room air mattress in a house with 6 adults and 4 animals goes, I have won the jackpot. I am truly happy and oddly feel more settled and centered than I have in a really long time. Liz and I play/write music together almost every evening. We have lazy Sunday mornings where we drink jugs of kombucha, read tarot cards, and examine our aura colors over breakfast(#CatholicSchoolFail).  We watch crappy TV and listen to good music. I am inspired to eat better and exercise more. I am reminded what Family feels like. I could not dream of a better place to call home before moving to Los Angeles in 3 short months. Life is so crazy sometimes.

Speaking of life being crazy sometimes, check out what my past week was like:

My Week:

In the midst of trying to maintain (what was left of) my sanity while systematically going through everything I own after the fire (as all of my shit is currently scattered about Liz’s dining room, waiting to be sorted), life refuses to slow down. And that’s okay. I like it that way.

This week brought about three callbacks (two of which I booked, one of which I’m waiting to hear back from… take THAT, fire!), a full-time work week at the ‘ol day job, and a major writing binge I had to get out of my system. I also somehow found time to watch a couple new episodes of Arrested Development (YES!) and The Bachelorette (for SHAME). This whole “starting over” thing has given me such a renewed sense of energy and purpose…or perhaps I am just too afraid to slow down and process the state of my life and the scary changes ahead? Whatever. Either way, I am thankful for this constant movement. It at least reminds me that I refuse to sink.

In the Theatre Vertigo world, we now have three weeks of the “Aloha Say the Pretty Girls” run under our belts. We only have two weekends to go until we say goodbye to this wacky-ass play…!

Photo by Gary Norman

Photo by Gary Norman

Another highlight of my week was the release of this video on MTV Hive and elsewhere:

A year or so ago I had the pleasure of working with one of my very favorite bands, Hey Marseilles, on this music videoThese boys are mad talented and this video is incredibly beautiful. I simply cannot stop watching it. The song is called “Heartbeats” and it is my favorite track on their new album, “The Lines We Trace“. Please do yourself a favor and watch this powerful video. Watch it NOW.

…Okay. Did you watch it? Good. I can tell by the tears splattered all over your keyboard that you did. I TOLD you that shit is good!!

In other big news, I have officially set my Move-To-Los-Angeles date:

LA MOVEThat’s right! It’s ON!! I could not be more excited. And coming from a girl who was born on Friday the 13th (it all makes sense now, doesn’t it?), I’m pretty sure this is the luckiest moving date I could have chosen.

3.5 months. Holy crap. 3.5 months until I am reunited with my Dani and living in a  completely different place with a completely new life. As I was happy to read in Dani’s last post, we are both swimming in gratitude and love of life and are both excited to start very new chapters in our lives. (As in, the incredible Dani is leaving for an epic adventure to India this Friday… Is she awesome or what?!)

And to keep this gratitude train chugging along, for those of you wondering how my brother Nate is doing after the Epic House Fire of 2013, here is the update! He has moved into (free!) on-campus housing with his roommates until he finds a new house to live in and is starting a new job at my office next Monday (two Harris kids in the same office? Uh oh…)! Nate is currently focusing on making money to get back on his feet and to save up for new instruments. He’s got this. When it comes to music, the boy is determined.

And so, one day at a time, we journey on..!

…As long as I have enough kombucha for the road.

** #jesuiteducationforthewin #paganways

** #jesuiteducationforthewin #paganways

Thanks for reading, friends.

infinite rainbow love,

~britt

dani gives thanks for life

Britt and I had finished the 1st draft of our dual blog post for last week when our writing process was interrupted by BRITT’S FUCKING HOUSE BURNING DOWN.

Pardon the f-bomb in the first sentence of this post, but SERIOUSLY you guys. WTF.

Jesus Lord. How would you expect me NOT to drop the f-bomb right about now?

Britt being a total superhero, we managed to get our post up, but I can only imagine how surreal and gut-churning and awful it is to watch your house burn. Because of Britt’s beautiful writing I can at least get a clear picture, but I can say with confidence that it is strange and uncomfortable to NOT be there when loved ones are going through a difficult time. To hear about the hardships over the phone and to be able to do absolutely nothing to assist. One of my classmates, Kim, a native to NYC, struggled with this in a huge way last fall when Hurricane Sandy hit her beloved hometown, leaving friends and loved ones homeless and isolated from one another. Another one of my classmates, Elmira, moved to the United States from Iran only three years ago, so has to deal with a constant onslaught of dubious news from across the globe.

Kim Flores and Elmira Rahim.  Strong and brave and talented women!!

Kim Flores and Elmira Rahim. Strong and brave and talented women!!

What do you do when you can do nothing to help because you are hundreds of miles away? The only thing that makes sense to me is to do your best to offer at least emotional support, and continue to live your life to the fullest. Everyone benefits when we are being our best as individuals, and life needs joy to balance out pain.

To be quite honest, my life in LA has been extraordinarily wonderful for the past week. No sudden tragedies, no gathering belongings from the wreckage of my home while simultaneously working a full-time job and acting in a play every night and still getting great reviews. And I know that Britt, in her wonderful sister-ness, would feel nothing but happy for me that I’ve had an enjoyable week after the end of my first year of grad school.

In light of this dichotomy between mine and Britt’s experiences over the past week, I can draw two conclusions.

1. The thesis statement of Two Evil Actors is still correct. Not all blondes are the same.

The Grady Twins: The original Two Evil Actors

Unlike the Grady Twins, Britt and I are not agents of Satan and we don’t do everything in tandem. Hence the irony of this blog. Most of the time, we are living total different, yet parallel lives.

2. Life has immeasurable value and beauty.

Thanks to facebook, I stumbled upon this kid’s incredible story as I was writing this blog. Zach Sobiech is a teenager from the Midwest who found out he had terminal cancer and less than a year to live, and instead of giving up, he lived the SHIT out of his last days. He wrote a ton of music, he fell in love for the first time, and brought a ton of warmth and beauty and happiness into the lives of his loved ones. He passed away this week, May 20th 2013.

If you have the time, I suggest watching some more of his videos on youtube. He’s incredible and inspiring and he will make you want to live your life to the fullest. I also like him a lot at the moment because he reminds me of Britt’s little bro Nate, who I am very glad is currently alive.

On the bright side, I have been blessed with a full and happy life for the past week, so while attempting to NOT sound like a braggy douchebag about it, I’d like to share some of my joy with you.

My Week

1. Sunset bonfire at Dockweiler Beach in El Segundo:

photo (5)

This beach is AMAZING. If you live in Los Angeles and you are reading this, then hit me up when I am back from India this August and we are going here EVERY DAY. It’s the most wonderful glorious beautiful place. I will fight the competition for claim of a fire pit. I will sleep there for days and claim my turf on this beach. I went with my amazingly beautiful friends Andrea and Daren. We made friends with some Christian teenagers from Northridge who shared their ‘smore stuff with us, we accidentally played extras in an Indie film that’s going to Sundance next year, and then we starred as the only non-Asians at Karaoke that night. Fun central.

2. Viva Las Vegas!

Kim often goes to Vegas to teach salsa workshops.    Here are the ladies at the Salsa Social!

Kim often goes to Vegas to teach salsa workshops. Here are the ladies at the Salsa Social!

The stunning Kimberli Alexis Flores invited all the ladies in our class (that is, all four of us) to spend the weekend at her bro’s apartment in Las Vegas. We talked each others’ ears off about life, acting, grad school, USC, then got all gussied up and went out on the town. We ended up feeling super fancy at One Oak and I danced with a Puerto Rican military doctor from Miami. Unfortunately, I lost him in the crowd. If you are reading this, sir, thank you for the dance. You were a perfect gentleman.

The second night in Vegas, Elmira and I snuck away to see Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and my brain exploded approximately 10,000 times. I’ve heard that people have almost religious experiences at Cirque du Soleil but seriously. It is incredible. There are no words.

Actually, there are these words.  These words were in the lobby outside O.

Actually, there are these words. These words were in the lobby outside O.

On the way back from Vegas, Elmira, Amaka, and I stopped at Peggy Sue’s Nifty 50’s Diner.

Amaka is a movie star!!

Amaka is a movie star!!

I met a dinosaur!!

I met a dinosaur!!

3. Amaka and I joined up with a bunch of other USC people to go see our teacher David Warshofsky in a reading of Jessica Goldberg‘s new play, put up by Echo Theater Company. It was absolutely incredible. She is a brilliant playwright and the acting was BOMB, especially for a reading. If you are in LA you MUST go check out Echo Theater’s production of “Bob” this summer. It is by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, who also wrote “Hunter Gatherers,” which Theatre Vertigo produced in Portland last year.

Go see this!

4. With the help of some of my USC friends, I discovered The Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village, an awesome bar adorned with so much Pacific Northwest paraphernalia that I don’t know how they fit it all in one bar. I felt so at home! Plus they have karaoke on Mondays!

I don't think this is a real place, but it should be.

I don’t think this is a real place, but it should be.

5. Once again under the guidance of my USC friends, I discovered the glories of Wi Spa. We paid $15 to spend 6 hours on Tuesday in this Korean spa, pampering ourselves. What a deal!

The Salt Sauna. Amazing.

6. I discovered yoga and samba at Brazilian Yoga and Pilates in Atwater Village, thanks to Groupon. Such a wonderful little yoga studio with extra-awesome classes. Right now they just have yoga and samba, but they also occasionally have capoeira, pilates, and drum circles. So badass!

Class

This is what yoga looks like. In case you were wondering.

7. Tarah and I went on a shopping spree to buy all the essentials we need for our big trip to India!! Thankfully, Tarah’s friend hooked us up with 50% off at Patagonia, and REI’s anniversary sale just happens to be going on right now, so we were able to stock up on everything we need for the trip! Two months in India and one backpack means one has to choose wisely what one brings. In that picture are ALL of the things I’m bringing.

I conquered that mountain. Boo yah.

I conquered that mountain. Boo yah.

Phew! What an amazing week! I don’t know what to say about it besides the fact that I am so deeply grateful to the universe for providing me with such incredible rest, relaxation, fun, and friendship to fill my days. I haven’t really gotten to do a whole lot of recreation or relaxation since moving to Los Angeles, and it turns out this city has a whole hell of a lot to offer. It’s been a long 9 months of work since being down here in Grad School, and I’m so thankful for this little interlude of incredible fun-ness and friend-time before setting off on my summer adventure.

Gotta run, friends! There’s still tomorrow! To new adventures! Follow your bliss! Love your life!

xoxo. Dani

britt watches her house burn down

When I was 8 or 9 years old I woke up in the middle of the night from a bad dream. I don’t know what intuitive force led me out of my bunk-bed and out onto the deck in the dead of night, but the feeling was strong so I went with it.

I grew up in Tacoma, Washington on a beautiful piece of land called Day Island. The deck behind the house overlooked the Puget Sound, Narrows Bridge and the Narrows Marina. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

When I walked outside that night, I saw the marina up in flames. I ran into my parents’ room screaming bloody murder and they called 9-1-1. Emergency vehicles were on the scene in what felt like seconds–but even as the firefighters tended to every charred dock and boathouse, I couldn’t sleep for fear the fire would start up again. My dad had to walk me down to the marina after the fire was put out to show me that no one was hurt and that the fire had stopped. When we approached the marina’s entrance, a sunken yacht had just been pulled up to shore. The boat was black and melted and pieces of wood jutted out at odd angles. In the eerie glow of the docklights that night, I believed it to be the spookiest, most unsettling thing I had ever laid eyes on. It was something from nightmares.

Although I gained some calm from knowing that the fire was stopped, the image of that dead ship has been seared into my brain. It haunted me night after night and I still think of it sometimes now.

That was the most frightening moment of my childhood. That, and the time when I let my brother out of my sight for a second at the park when I was supposed be watching him and my mom freaked out. (As she should have.)

But the most frightening moment of my adult life happened this past Friday, when the house my brother and I live in in North Portland burned down.

That night I had performed in a show at Theatre Vertigo and was exhausted from a fun and sleepless week in Los Angeles. I could not wait to get home and get to sleep. But before that sleep I made a pit-stop at a neighborhood bar with my dear friend Suzzane, as we had important life things to discuss (per usual). On the drive back to my house at around midnight, I saw that the street I lived on was blocked off by police cars and there were four firetrucks in front of my house. And my home was in flames.

Everything in my vision seemed to change color and any movement I witnessed seemed to happen in slow motion. The most frightening moment of my life to date was the two minutes in which I could not locate my brother, Nate. I didn’t know if he was in that house.

In those two minutes, I was somehow able to park my car at a curb and not in the middle of street (I don’t even remember doing that) and ran through the mob of college kids, firemen, police officers, university public safety personnel, and onlookers trying to find my brother. I remember shouting his name and running around and having this horrible panic in my chest for what seemed like an eternity. One of brother’s friends saw me and rushed me over to Nate who was, understandably, very upset. But that was the best feeling– locating him, hugging him. I could give a shit less about that house and the possessions inside it at that point.

Now, here are the facts that are important to this story: No one was hurt (THANK GOD). No one was home (of my four boy roommates, two were out of town and two were out at a party a couple blocks down). The fire started in the backyard and at the time of investigation that night, the investigator suspected an electrical issue to be the cause, but did not rule out arson. At the time of me writing this post, the event is still being investigated and we still don’t know who or what caused the fire. Our neighbors called 911 when they saw what they first believed to be a bonfire gone awry. Firefighters put out the fire within 3 minutes. The upstairs was completely wrecked. My brother’s room was almost completely destroyed. He lost nearly everything he owns, including his guitars and musical equipment, which are very important to him. I was lucky enough to lose nothing as the fire did not make it to the basement. The bottom level of the house had only minimal smoke damage. But I wish I had been the one to lose my crap. We had no renters insurance. Witnessing my brother’s loss absolutely kills me.

The most frightening part of this story, however, is thinking about how horrifyingly different this whole situation could have been if occurred just one hour later. Or if I had come home that night after the show and gone straight to bed instead of going out for a drink with Suzzane. If Nate had passed out in his bed when that fire hit, or if I was in my closet-room (which I know fully realize to be a fire trap… my poor parents!) when it happened, we could have been hurt or killed. Neither of us would have had an easy way out of that situation.

But I don’t want to dwell on the what-if’s anymore, I’ve already nearly driven myself insane by doing that. I would like to share some documentation of the event, though. Seeing these images scare me, but they also offer power and closure in knowing that the event is over.

So– welcome to our world this past weekend:

my brother's room

my brother’s room

more damage.

more damage.

what was left of the upstairs bathroom.

what was left of the upstairs bathroom.

shower melting into the wall.

shower melting into the wall.

scary stuff. :(

scary stuff. 😦

this gives me shivers.

this gives me shivers.

my poor brother's favorite guitar. :(

my poor brother’s favorite guitar. 😦

Okay, so that’s over and done with! We survived. All is well. Nate and I are alive and happy and temporarily homeless.

My Past Couple Weeks:

Before the real-life nightmare and subsequent uprooting, three big things happened in my professional life since my last post that I would like to report (because that is what I do on this blog):

1.) I spent four days in Los Angeles with my Dani girl in preparation for my big move:

LAX

twins

2.) I opened a show at Theatre Vertigo called “Aloha Say The Pretty Girls”:

These are our opening night faces at front of house.

These are our opening night faces at front of house.

This is my opening night face on stage, apparently. (Photo by Gary Norman)

This is my opening night face on stage, apparently. (Photo by Gary Norman)

This is my opening night face in the dressing room.

This is my opening night face in the dressing room.

3.) I had a rad callback. Remember that film audition in Seattle I had a few weeks back? I got the callback! So I made that beloved PDX to Seattle/Seattle back to PDX trek once again.

YAY 6 hours of DRIVING!

YAY 6 hours of DRIVING!

I was super jazzed about this opportunity because the film stars Kiera Knightley and Sam Rockwell! These are the big leagues, guys. It was definitely worth the drive and I learned a lot from the audition. Like the fact that I can memorize completely new (8-or-so-page) sides in ten minutes when the appropriate pressure is applied. Gotta love that shit.

So yeah– those things happened!

So, while in the midst of one of the scariest events of my life, I have learned a lot of beautiful lessons and have achieved a renewed sense of gratitude. I am lucky to be an alive and functional human being. I am lucky to do what I love for a living (for the most part). I am lucky to have my parents and my brother. I learned the true meaning of “the show must go on” after I reeealllyy didn’t feel like I had it in me to run a show the day after my house burned down with 2 hours of sleep, tapped-out adrenaline, and heightened nerves. I re-realized how lucky I am to have the best friends in the entire universe.

Which reminds me. Miss Elizabeth Evans (and her other half, Mr. Shane Winters) is the most amazing human in existence.

Shane and Liz. My heroes.

Shane and Liz. My heroes.

Liz has been one of the most important people in my life since 10th grade and she was a guardian angel for me and Nate during this whole ordeal. Not only did she and Shane show up on the scene after I called her at 1:30am as a sloppy weepy mess, but she helped me and my brother move items out of the house LATE that night, EARLY the next morning, and gave me and Nate and Nate’s friend from out-of-town couches to sleep on that night. She also set up free on-campus housing at The University of Portland for my brother and his roommates until they get back on their feet. Now THAT is family. She gave it no thought, she just acted. And now Liz has offered me her home to stay in until I move to Los Angeles.

Jesus, Liz!! MOST AMAZING PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD. Truly, she is family.

Family.

Family is the best. The morning after the fire, our parents drove down to help. I’m sure we gave the both of them near heart-attacks with that phone-call. The four of us went through the house to salvage what we could. At this point Nate and I were a little giddy to be (almost) on the other side of such a stressful ordeal. To commemorate this accomplishment of survival and pure luck, I took these photos of my brother with this grotesque backdrop:

my very alive brother

my very alive brother

...in his very dead room.

…in his very dead room.

In all seriousness, I know I could have been in a lot of trouble in my basement closet room if I was there that night, and I could not be more thankful for the safety of my brother and all those boys who lived at the house.

So this is me signing off and reminding all of you to check your smoke alarms and fire escape routes. Seriously!! Please! I will give you a big hug as a reward. Come and claim it, ’cause I am all about the hugs right now.

Love to you my friends,

~britt

reunited (and it feels so good)

This was me and Britt this past week:

Who was Peaches and who was Herb? You decide!

Actually, this was us this past week in sunny, sunny Los Angeles:

photo (2)

dani, britt, & the fucking OCEAN.

As was this:

DaniBritt

move along, people, there’s nothing to see here.

We had way too much fun you guys. I can’t even wrap my head around it. I was trying to remember everything we did and I couldn’t.

Me neither. My four days with Dani were pure magic. A magical, glittery blur.

We may have even had some experiences that too closely resembled The Hangover Part 4, but I’m not permitted to talk about that.

I was so caught up in talking incessantly with my Britt and laughing my ass off and wrapping up my first year of M-F-Acting Grad School that I pretty much failed to capture any of this on camera to share with y’all. But here are some highlights!

And don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of relevant pop-culture GIFs to take the place of otherwise documenting our zany adventures. We got ya covered.

1. Mother’s day brunch at Venice Beach with my Momma! My parents were in LA to catch my performances of Don Quixote, so we had the joy of eating Mother’s Day brunch at Figtree’s Cafe and I am 99% positive that everyone who saw us assumed we were twins. NBD.

WHO IS WHO?! I HAVE NO IDEA.

2. Britt invades USC!! I took Britt to campus to see the last of the culmination performances of this semester, and once again tricked everyone into thinking we were related. In all seriousness, we want a nickel each for every time someone says, “Oh my God, you two look SO MUCH alike!” We would be MILLIONAIRES. It’s awesome. I like to think of it as external proof that we are soul-sistas.

USC takeova.

USC takeova.

And I would cash in my tens of millions of nickels to buy laser cats.

Holy CRAP though. It was an honor to watch the first and second year MFA students’ final performance work this week. There are some talented fucking actors in this program. I want to shower them all in love and praise!

first years

MFA first years

MFA second years

MFA second years

Whether Dani (and USC, for that matter) likes it or not, I will ninja into being the eleventh member of their MFA class. Or, at the very least, I’ll be everyone’s favorite stage-mom.

3. Britt reunites with old friends! Not only did Britt reunite with yours truly, she got to see some old friends from years past! Highlights include…

Mikey Thomsen. ERS Manager at Deloitte and soon to be MBA badass at NYU.

Mikey Thomsen. ERS Manager at Deloitte and soon to be MBA badass at NYU.

Avital Shira~Portland-based, work-in-every-major-city theatre goddess

Avital Shira. Portland-based, Work-In-Every-Major-City Theatre Goddess and all around Badass.

Hillary Burrelle, third-year law student at Loyola Law and future Queen of the World

Hillary Burrelle, third-year law student at Loyola Law and future Queen of the World

4. We discovered these amazing smoothies at Urth Caffe, thanks to the lovely Hillary Burrelle, and had them three times in the four days that Britt was here.

photo (3)

Seriously, you guys. These smoothies are crack and I am already having withdrawals from the sub-par smoothies in Portland.

5. We went to the ocean! Here is Britt conquering Mother Nature at Playa del Rey.

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And here is Dani conquering a sand-cliff. Don’t mess.

Kingofthemountain

6. Dani and Britt jam!!

Dani captured in a moment of music serenity.

Dani captured in a moment of music serenity.

When we live together down in LA LA Land, we are going to have the most musical house on the block. I wish I had room on my carry-on to travel with my new ukulele, cause you know that shit would have gotten CRAZY. We’re about to have some dueling Lady Gaga guitar/uke times, just you wait.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to have my bestie with me in Los Angeles. She seemed so at home here, and it was definitely living proof that in about four months, Britt will be conquering the whole damn city of Los Angeles. I’ll let Britt speak for herself, but post-reunion, I am feeling ready to take on India and come back to the City of Angels to continue the world takeover by Two Evil Actors.

Any fear or second-guessing I had about making making the move to Los Angeles dissipated when Dani and her parents picked me up at the LAX airport. The whole trip filled my soul and gave me energy. Thinking of my imminent move makes my chest vibrate with excitement… and I came back to Portland feeling rejuvenated and ready to work hard to prepare for this relocation.

I know that this new adventure will in many ways be stressful and sloppy and LOUD, but I truly do not know if I have ever looked forward to something so much in my life.

So watch out world, cause this Two Evil Actors reunion is about to become a permanent thing.

…It’s fucking ON.

we love you hard,

dani & britt

dani gets her mind read

Obviously, Britt is the one reading my mind, as always.  For example, last week, Britt talked about her Sunventure during the Portland summer fake-out, and the fact that she bought a ukulele and started learning Speechless by Lady Gaga.  I would include this incredible song in this post, but I did that before, and I don’t want to be redundant.  But the mind-read-y part is that I have been learning Speechless on the guitar and singing it nonstop for about two months now.

GET OUT OF MY HEAD, BRITT HARRIS!!  You better bet that once Britt and I are reunited in LA you will be able to catch us butchering covering so many rad songs at so many open mic nights.  

I was MIA from this Blog-Land last week, since it is finals time in Grad-School-Land.  And in my particular Grad School, that means culmination performances, lots and lots of rehearsals, and 0% down-time. In the chaos of it all, I started to get a little stressed, a little scattered, and mental static started to build up and cloud my mind.  

Not only had I not been writing in Blog-Land, but I wasn’t writing at all.  Just at the right moment, I got an awesome article in my inbox from Britt called “Why you should write daily.”

Stop reading my mind, Britt!!  

…Actually don’t stop.  Ever.  Please. (***By the way, what happened to you Lindsay?  You used to be so great!  Come back to us! )

*Sigh* But seriously it is kind of amazing to me just how quickly I start to lose my mind when I get lazy or fearful and consequently refuse to engage myself in true self-expression.  And I don’t think it’s just me, I think it’s true for all of us.  Creativity leads to self-knowledge, which leads to universal knowledge and a better understanding of humanity.  Without that progression, it is easy to get lost in a vortex of misapprehension and/or self-deception.  It’s easy to lose sight of what is real and true, especially in a society filled with so many distractions and demands on our attention.  We owe it to ourselves to be creatively engaged, and I owe it to myself to write.  

So, with that, I missed you, Blog-o-Sphere!  However, I’m not ABOUT to share my journal on the internet.  A lady needs to keep one or two secrets!  Instead, let me explain my absence by telling you what I’ve been up to this week:

1.

Making a film!  My degree is definitely focused almost entirely on theatre, but we have a class called Freeplay which involves, well, FREE PLAY but it’s all film.  Everything we do has to be entirely written, acted, shot, and edited completely by us.  For this project, the challenge was for all 11 of us to write, act, shoot, edit 1 project.  We were inspired by this rad NY Times article that our instructor Ntare showed to us, then we came up with a premise that could get all 11 of us into 1 film.  We each developed a character, improvised a bunch of material, came up with a structure, and then shot and edited it.  The full thing is like 15 minutes long, but here is a chunk of it.  

I ended up doing a lot of shooting and editing, so you won’t see me in it a whole lot, but it was a total blast and I’m actually really proud of it, considering that I had almost NO experience with film at ALL at the beginning of this semester, and I had certainly never edited a damn thing in my life.  The idea behind Freeplay is to learn by experience and to empower us to create our own work in another medium besides theatre.  

2.

Clownin’ around!  Clown class with Matt Walker has been aaaaaawwwweeeeessssssoooooommmmmmeeeeeee.

photo 1

3.

Rehearsing “Don Quixote.” We have spent the last few months creating this play together completely from scratch, using Cervantes 940 page novel as our source material.  It has been distilled into a 99-minute imaginative adventure created with just our bodies in a black box theatre.  This is us doing a company line-through outside a couple of days ago. 

photo 2

4.

Getting 5 shots!  

indiashots

I don’t know why I’m making the same face in this picture as when I was a clown, but I’m assuming it’s because I had just gotten 5 shots.  Not “taken” five shots, but “gotten” five shots.  Although I totally got a fever from the flu shot that night and felt/acted completely drunk.  It was kind of awesome.  

Why might I get 5 shots, do you ask?  Because in 21 days I’m going to India!!! 

I. am. so. excited.  

Holy mackerel. It has been a challenge to stay focused on all of the tasks at hand during these last couple of weeks with my trip looming like a beautiful shiny lotus flower at the end of the month.  Thankfully, I haven’t really had time to sleep, and therefore I haven’t really had time to think about things beyond the day-to-day.  

As of today, I have 3 culminations down and five to go.  Time to keep acting, keep writing, and keep sane. Let’s get it!!!! 

britt talks cubicles, ke$ha, and getting enough SUN

Last you heard from me I was cracking out on sunshine and recovering from a stress-induced lizard-woman disease. (I know, I know, I am so attractive sometimes.) But you know. Just trying to keep you up to speed here. Trying to keep it real.

Anyway.

The SUN! Oh god, the SUN!! It was so beautiful and so fleeting! And then the rain came back! And then the rain left again and then the sun came back! And now we are BACK with a second round of Portland Summer Fake-Out!! BOOM!!

portland summer meme

As if my last post wasn’t enough of an indicator for you, I kind of lose my shit when the sun comes out. And all of the baaaack and forrrrrth with this hot love affair between PDX and the sun has really been toying with my HEART. It has been getting more and more difficult for me to stay focused at my day job when the sun is blaring through the windows and skylights (and thank goodness for those, let me tell you, I’ll take vitamin D where I can get it). My restlessness has become overwhelming and my ability to sit still for more than ten minutes is now a thing of the past. I find that I have been taking far too many walks during my work day for it to be considered acceptable.

Oh look, where am I walking to? The Broadway Bridge? Whoops! I am accidentally NO WHERE NEAR my work anymore...

Oh look, where am I walking to? The Broadway Bridge? Whoops! I am accidentally NO WHERE NEAR my work anymore…

Ohhhhh the many distracting qualities of clear blue skies…

Staying cooped-up during the daylight hours (and being expected to sit down and stay still for so long) is difficult for me. And it’s not just during the sunny days. It’s pretty much all the time. I’m discovering that being an office-monkey is becoming more and more unrealistic for me…

OMG OFFICE-MONKEYING!

My girl Dani once kept a blog devoted entirely to the topic of Office Monkey-ing and office humor from the perspective of an artist trapped in a corporate environment.

Okay… perhaps “trapped” is a strong word… Or, maybe not, actually. But you know what I’m talking about, right? For a creative or an especially social person, or for someone who needs to work with their hands or on their feet to be productive, cubicle life can be damaging. I know at least for me, it zaps my energy in a very odd way. The whole right brain/left brain switch often leaves me feeling off-center and scattered if sustained for too long. And don’t get me wrong… I am SO thankful for my job and its flexibility with my schedule and the comfort of a regular paycheck, but… I have to at least be honest with myself and acknowledge what truly drains me. Is this schizo-lifestyle sustainable? Who knows.

But get this. Cubicle life can zap my energy, sure… but it also makes me act out in odd ways as if to creatively compensate for all that I am repressing for 9 hours a day…

Exhibit A:

Once upon a time, when I was fresh out of college, I worked at a prestigious public accounting firm called Deloitte & Touche. Yes folks, I am also an accountant. It is still, in fact, what I do for my day job now. It’s hard to believe… I know. But just go with me on this one. Anyway. While I worked at Deloitte and had no time for creative outlets in any capacity, I may have gotten a little too cray in the workplace.

One of the clients I had as a first year auditor made this fucking rad commercial:

And this one:

Let’s just say I was obsessed with the absurdity and amazing-ness of their advertising. Once I discovered these commercials on the ‘ol youtube-s, I simply could not let it go to save my life. I could barely focus on the work that I was there to do. What was to come of this? Let’s just say that it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, because….

This is me, circa 2009, as an employee of Deloitte:

soy sauce betch

Now. How I got a hold of this costume is not important. What is important is that I did this on a dare and put my whole auditing team to shame with my epic awesomeness. And let’s just say that the Managing Partner of Deloitte may have seen this photo… and for a hot minute I thought I was going to get fired over the thing (as I suppose this wasn’t the most professional attire to audit in while at the client’s corporate headquarters), but… instead it went down in Uncle D history. This moment captured on film was the very peak of my auditing career and I am proud.

I also asked the CFO of Yamasa if I could be in their next commercial. “I want to be a Yamasa girl,” I told him. He said he’d think about it.

Four years later, I am still waiting for that phone call… sigh. One day, folks. One day.

Ah, cubicles. You make loco.

I don’t even remember what I am talking about anymore. Mostly because I have been sitting at this very desk for too long already. Perhaps I have nothing else to say about cubicles and their side-effects.

Okay, so… what the hell have I been up to outside of the cubicle this week? Well, there’s been some stuff…

My Week:

This week brought about the last week of “regular” rehearsals for Aloha Say The Pretty Girls with Theatre Vertigo.

aloha

Britt Harris and Beth Thompson
(c) Gary Norman

And now…. dun dun DUNNN… we are in full-on tech/dress mode to be in gear to open this Friday. It is ON, people!! This means we finally got to move into our theatre (after rehearsing in our small ghetto rehearsal room for a couple of weeks and then a week of rehearsal time in the lovely Oregon Children’s Theatre space):

our theatre! finally! GLORY.

our theatre! finally! GLORY.

And then TECHPOCALYPSE finally began. During which time our director went to the ER for 6 hours. Don’t worry, she’s fine. Just passing a kidney stone, no big deal. But we got this. We’re working our shit out. Just another Vertigo tech.

Techomplishment.

Techomplishment.

And as if komodo dragons, mummys, babies, hot ladies, men turning into lizards, portals and Santa Claus weren’t keeping me busy enough (when you see the show, you’ll get it), I made another whirl-wind trip to Seattle on Friday for a film audition at 1pm,

drivenerd

i’m so cool right now, I even caught myself off guard.

…only to zip back to PDX by 5pm for a commercial audition (which I booked!! Yay! Good thing I didn’t end up canceling that one…). But it was so beautiful and sunshine-y the whole drive and I was heavily caffeinated, so it was awesome. I blasted  Ke$ha* (go ahead, judge me, I don’t give a shit) and ran lines with myself the whole time. It was a million times better than being stuck in my cubicle all day, where I run lines/sing Kes$ha in my head. Like a crazy person.

*I’m sorry, but how could you now love her?!

So anyway. Speaking of Ke$ha. Next time you hear from me I will be in Los Angeles with my most amazing Dani. Okay so maybe that has nothing to do with Ke$ha but the thought of knowing where I’ll be in a week makes me just as excited as:

See, that glittery ho gets me. I love you Ke$ha.

I think Ke$ha might be my spirit animal. I’d like to see someone try to put her in a cubicle. Mehtinks it wouldn’t end well.

stay crazy with me betches,

~britt