I don’t even really need to write a blog now. That title just did all the work for me. So, I know that y’all really come to twoevilactors.com to read about this beautiful goddess Britt and all her exploits, so … Continue reading
People are all,
“Heeeey Britt, it’s so cool that you’re a Big Time LA actor these days. Your life must be soooo exciting and glamorous. Show us a little bit of that Red Carpet Slice O’ Life!” **
To which I say:
(I’ve seen the edge of my Soul and it is Dark.)
**actually, I’m pretty sure no one has ever said this, ever.
**But, I am wrong, and you have in fact said this, or want to say this, please approach me. You are good for my ego and I love you.
So remember how after my showcase in New York I got Well that was cool. I was all like, “That’s cool Dani, you are just supposed to be in LA! Things are going to go great for you there!” Well … Continue reading
…Well, I suppose that TECHNICALLY this is my 29th trip around the sun, but Earth Culture assures me that I am 28 years of age. My Saturn is returning. And all that stuff. Planetary. Thank you, Neil.
And now, today, on this, the 4th Day of the Month of May (it rhymes!), about 7 weeks after my actual, special Friday-the-13th birthday (whoops), and about 970 weeks since my last post (sorry), here are a few things to catch you up on in the incredibly not-boring goings-on of my life:
1.) I’ve got Homes in Different Zip Codes.
Read as: “Vagabond”.
I currently reside in Park La Brea, Altadena and Echo Park (I promise you I am not joking), with pit-stops in places like Culver City, Silverlake, and Hancock Park in between. What can I say? My sterling house-sitting reputation precedes me. As a wandering artist subletting her room, I am not complaining.
2.) Continuing on with the vagabond theme: I’ve been on more airplanes this year than ever. (And I hate flying.)
… I think I’m getting better at the whole flying thing, though. I’ve got a supplement-popping, face-covering, booze-in-flight drinking system that works for me, so don’t worry about it.
‘Cuase let’s be real. I’m not flirting with that bitch mono again.
I just got back from Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson, where Birds of Neptune won the award for Best Dramatic Feature!! Holy CRAP! And if that wasn’t an honor enough, the film was also selected to screen again on the final night of the festival for the “Best of Fest” celebration. …An encore screening? Yes, please!! Thank you, Tucson! 😀
Up next on the festival trail? Mammoth Lakes Film Fest at the end of the May. Hopefully you’ll be seeing me all over the globe promoting this film. This is just the beginning! 😀
WOOOOAAAA! I am on cloud 9 from this, truly. Tucson was such a special, surreal, magical place, and this recognition is such an incredible honor.
5.) I still self-employed and loving it.
6.) Dani and I went aboard The Queen Mary to witness the marriage of our dear college friend Hillary:
…Which made me think that perhaps I should live on a boat at some point in my life. Because, COME ON.
So, basically — Two Evil Actors, the Content Creators, are stampeding your way SOON, betch!! Mark my words! FEAR US!
8.) I am writing a lot of music these days. I hope to record my stuff later this year, so I will keep you posted on that. All of this material is all super personal to me so it is SCAAAAARY. Which obviously means that I have to do it. 9.) Speaking of recording music, I had the opportunity to record music with my very talented brother for the first time in March.I was lucky enough to be in Seattle for an audition when my brother Nate and my cousin Cameron were recording the first EP for Nate’s music duo, NW Passage. (Think of Nate Harris as the Ryan Lewis to NW Passage’s Macklemore. He is a genius.) They asked me to record vocals on some of the tracks. It was SO fun.
Look! Cute photos of me and bro in the studio!
10.) STILL speaking of recording music– I have finished recording basic vocals for the first No Vanquished album! It won’t be long now ’til we release and UNLEASH this music into the world!
And I am in a constant state of reconciling this emotional and geographical dissonance.
12.) I took a few covert Portland visits this year to feed my heart.
Short and sweet and sad, it hurts me a bit to come back to Portland now. It confuses me and makes me wonder where I am supposed to be. I don’t think it will always be that way, but…. what is it they say in that one song?
Yeah, something like that.
Anyway. My heart is in Portland. Y’all knew that.
13.) Surprise, Mom! I got a new tattoo. I was born ass-first on Friday the 13th (it ALL makes sense now, right?!) and my birthday happened to fall on Friday the 13th this year. So, naturally, I needed to get a Friday the 13th tattoo.
I must note that Dani and our good friend and housemate Raisa got Friday the 13th tatts that day as well. Because we are part of a gang.
14.) I am officially the USC MFA program’s biggest stage-mom. I could not be more proud of my Dani, who recently completed her THREE SHOW REP (AND NY & LA Showcase!), each of which, I saw two times. Trust me, I would have seen these shows every night they were running if I could clone myself. This girl inspires me everyday. True to her nature and talent, Dani killed it in each show with every character she lived in, but her portrayal of Nina in The Seagull especially took my breath away.
Nina is SUCH a difficult role to nail, you guys, and it takes a REALLY gifted, insightful, brave, and effective actor to be able to play the arc of this role. It was one of the most incredible performances onstage I have ever seen and I wish I could show each and every one of you her incredible work. I feel stupid even talking about it because I can’t quite find the words to quite articulate how much I look up to my best friend and how proud of her I am.
So, I’ll just dumb-it down by saying: “YOU ARE AMAZING, DANI!!”
15.) As if the film fests I am already going to haven’t been enough, I decided to party-crash a good chunk of the Newport Beach Film Festival with my new Aussie friends that I met at the Arizona International Film Fest.
I drank a lot and ate a lot and consumed 7 s’mores at one event and had a very nice time, thank you.
Also, I felt fancy.
16.) I am really itching to travel. I hope that the stars align to grant me an international trip (or five) this year. I think the odds may be in my favor.
(Come on, come oonnnnn Birds of Neptune International Premiere..!!)
17.) I’ve decided that I really want a pet but am truly TOO VAGABONDY and poor to be a good dog or cat mom (see #1 & #2 above).
18.) SO I’ve made many new dog friends around town. (Also my ulterior motive for all of the house-sitting I do.)
21.) Okay… uhh.. god… thinking of 28 things is actually pretty hard… let’s see, um.. ….I’ve been eating a LOT of pizza lately? Like, a lot?
25.) Okay, let’s get real here for a second. Because 2EA believes in that shit.
After all, we are real humans with real feelings.
So… sigh. Okay.
Though the external evidence of this post may suggest otherwise, I have a pretty sad heart right now. For the first time in, well, ever, I am unclear of what is next. My internal compass, which is usually pretty strong, is not so strong right now. I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean or what I am supposed to do. I feel sad and scared and slightly stupid. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain and weird to talk about. Depression has been a thing. Top Tier / Grade A / Boss-Level Heartbreak has been a thing. Crippling anxiety spiral has been a thing.
And yet, here I am. Still bravely loving, still going hard at my dream, still refusing the conventional day job…
I am doing my best. I know that one day I’ll crack the happy code. One day I won’t feel so misplaced and scattered and alone-on-an-island-y.
Luckily, I have learned more about myself and what I truly want out of life during these weird heart times. I’ve had to make some really hard decisions, decisions that more often than not have left me with the exact opposite outcome of what I thought I wanted, and through this, I am learning to trust. I am learning to trust my instincts and the order of the Universe. I am learning to breathe into my decisions and into my follow-through. To tell those I love that I love them. To not expect anything back. To be vulnerable. To be a voice of reason. To be a hard-ass. To be a softy. To be what I need for myself in this moment. To acknowledge that no one and nothing is forever, yet allow myself to take comfort in the feeling that some people and some things never truly leave.
Perhaps knowing what I want has somehow made the path I travel seem more indirect or treacherous. Maybe I’ve finally realized the true challenge of committing myself 100% to living the life I want. This is not a life of allowing cop-outs and stifling my feelings and feeling obligated and beating myself up. I realize now that there is nothing more challenging (and more important) than taking care of myself and taking care of my sweet dear heart in the same way that I wish to take care of those I love. It’s no easy thing.
And let’s be real, being a human is just fucking hard.
26.) I’ve also had the feeling that this year may be the kick-off to some very important self-discovery:
I’ve discovered that I feel the most myself when I am on the move. In transit. Exploring. Adventuring. Wandering (I’m sure you’ve picked up that vibe in this post so far). This is also when I feel the most lonely.
There is still so much to discover within myself and sometimes (most of the time) that internal terrain is so rocky. I cry every time I am in an airport. Every. TIME. It’s an odd feeling: always leaving the ones I love, always coming back, this weird ping-pong sensation — but there is truly no feeling that compares to the huge hug feeling from a loved one upon arrival or departure — that pure happycryjoy or happycrylonging –that is the shit that makes me feel alive.
Sweet sweet incredible Dani threw me a surprise party the night of my birthday in March and I seriously had no idea. I felt so loved.
28.) Let me say it again: I have the very best friends in the world. We build slip-n-slides in our backyard out of trash bags, tarp, and baby oil.
In closing, so far, 28 is looking like this: A little bit scary. A lotta bit fun. I may accidentally sprain an ankle trying to get a running start down that Big Slippery Blue Tarp of Life, or belly flop in a way that fucking HURTS and knocks the wind out of me, and I may cry about it for a while, or curl up in the fetal position for a sec, but I will always get up.
And, let’s just call it like we see it, folks: Really. I don’t even take that shit off for slip-n-slides.
Thank you for reading, friends. And for your love and support in my life. You keep me going. ❤
“You know, this is what I’ve always liked about New York. These little moments on the sidewalk, smoking, thinking about your life. You can watch the buildings, you can feel the air, look at the people, sometimes meet somebody you feel like you can talk to.”
Almost exactly three years ago I was in New York, staying in Astoria, Queens, taking the N train into Manhattan, and dreaming big dreams about my future. My apartment back in Portland had been annihilated by flooding days before, so I had no home to speak of, my heart was at least half broken, and I was on my way to Colorado afterwards, another place that was not my home. I was sort of desperate but I had a sense of perpetual motion propelling me forward, so I was happy in a way, and elated by New York.
The first time I got on the N train this time around, I was watching the Manhattan skyline approach before the train plunged under the river to spit me out in the heart of Manhattan to perform my culminating USC Acting Showcase, the last project of the most transformative, important, and best three years of my life, and I couldn’t help but cry. I couldn’t stop. The deeper under the river the train carried me, the more my tears insisted on leaking out of eyes. I did not have the same shaky fear and deep insecurity that accompanied me the last time I rode this train. I was not the same person and yet I was more myself than I had ever been.
On my last day in New York, I wandered the East Village and Greenwich Village and I found myself in a quaint gluten-free Italian restaurant, a cozy sanctuary from the bitter Spring breezes where I could write and drink espresso (spiked by contraband Irish whiskey because let’s be real). New York is poetry in motion. There is something about this city, about the struggle combined with the triumphant moments that make it a transcendent place to exist.
And yet the last time I was here I yearned to stay here, to exist in the fast-paced struggle and glory. But this time, my weak-ass palm-tree-loving sunshine-basking LA blood was like “daaaaamn you’re not gonna move here right?” New York, I love you, but I also love LA. It’s the same madness but it’s more spread out. Plus in LA there is this:
I’m from the wild west and I love the wild west.
Yeah that’s right, mysterious cowboy. Life has a way of giving you exactly what you need at exactly the right moments, and I trust that I am exactly where I need to be.
After the showcase on Tuesday, I budgeted three days to be in New York to take all of the fabulous meetings and auditions I would have from all of the people who were just dying to work with me and I got…
Ah yes. That moment as an actor when your ego gets bitch-slapped and you have to just take it in stride and trust that you are still on the right path. That moment when your friends can’t hang out because of all their auditions and meetings. That moment that your friend calls you and asks for help preparing to audition for your favorite musical of all time. That moment when you try to drop your headshot off at a casting office and get rejected hard.
So what does one do in New York when one’s dreams of working here have been snatched away by the cold, quick hand of reality?
1. Hang out with these angels.
These are my hosts with the mosts offering me tequila and gluten-free cookies on my first day in New York. That blue-eyed Oregonian boy on the left is the soon-to-be-world-famous Connor Bond, a badass actor with whom I have shared the stage many times.
…Okay we also may have shared a couple shots of tequila as well. That’s a throwback to the good old college days.
Anyway, the blue-eyed Oregon boy on the right is the soon-to-be-world-famous Devin Olson, another actor extraordinaire with whom I have shared the stage many times.
That’s a college throwback to “Rumors” by Neil Simon, when I unsuccessfully tried to seduce Devin but successfully used him to make my husband jealous. Check out that hair flip y’all! Proof of my inner PIMP.
Connor and Devin live in the very same apartment shared by Devin and Sammi the last time I was in NYC.
You may recognize Sammi from my hiking adventures.
THE POINT IS that this family runs DEEP and this entire trip to New York would have been worth it just to see my boys.
2. Take yourself on baller ass solo dates.
My favorite theatre in NYC is The Public Theatre and I got to see “Buzzer,” a sexy new topical play by Tracey Scott Wilson. The play was great, and the guy sitting next to me most definitely had Tourette’s, which was a new play-going experience for me. And let me just say, it was great. We had like all the same reactions to the play but he got to have, like, BIGGER reactions. It was seriously awesome. Shout out to you, brother.
This is the view from Senza Gluten, the only gluten-free Italian restaurant I’ve ever encountered, and the place from which I wrote a lot of this post. Baller. Ass. Solo. Dates.
3. Kiss a monk on the subway.
That’s Khen Rinpoche, my host when I was in Ladakh, India two years ago. I hadn’t seen him since I was in India. And it was so nice to be reunited with him. He is just pure presence and pure love. And he loves holding hands and giving kisses. Even if you are getting on the subway and people look at you like you’re crazy. He also loves selfies.
4. Go to Happy Hour.
‘Nuff said. Who says I wasn’t taking care of business in New York?
5. Check out an awesome independent bookstore.
Look at that nerd nerding out super hard in the nerd section. #winning
6. Get drunk and ride the subway.
You guys. I have an uncanny homing device when drunk and alone in cities. It has never once failed me. Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Shanghai, New York, Los Angeles. BRING IT ON. Also I’m sure I’m not the first lady in a pretty dress to pee in an inappropriate place in New York. Am I oversharing? I promise I’m not an alcoholic.
7. See “Hand to God” on Broadway.
Okay so if you’re in New York maybe you’re all like, “Ooooo I want to see The Lion King” or “Maybe a nice Rogers and Hammerstein would be nice.” Let me just say, and pardon my French, FUCK THAT NOISE AND GO SEE “HAND TO GOD”. Sweet holy crap-monsters this was like, top-5 playgoing experiences of my life. The sheer technical mastery of the actors alone is worth it, not to mention the writing, and the subject matter, and the soulfulness of the show, and the TOTALLY UNAPOLOGETIC COMPLETELY BADASS experience. It is not for the faint of heart but like, grow a pair of ovaries and/or testicles and fly your ass to New York and go see it. It can and should change your life.
8. Write love letters to someone far away.
…Wouldn’t you like to know?
You guys. First of all I’ve gotta be up front in that I just went through a breakup and I’m in a mild pit of despair. I’m hoping it will only increase the hilarity of this blog. Second of all, … Continue reading
As most of you probably know, I am getting my MFA in Acting at USC and I’M FINALLY GRADUATING THIS SPRING!! I could not be more excited to be free again and have agency over my time, but the past … Continue reading
When I was a kid, and DVDs first came out, I was convinced that this new-fangled DVD thing was just a fad and eventually we’d all come to our senses and go back to using VHS tapes like normal, sane human beings. When my parents actually bought a DVD player, I insisted that we retain the VCR so that we would be prepared to continue watching video tapes forever. Like normal, sane human beings.
Years later, I may be the last middle-class-white-23-year-old-girl in America to jump on the SmartPhone wagon. For a long time, I really disliked them. I’m gonna go ahead and let Louis C.K. explain why:
The stuff that Louis C.K. points out is still relevant. There is a danger in having something that constantly tempts you out of living in the present moment. It can rob you of real experiences. BUT! I have finally come to terms with the fact that smartphones are also…really fuckin cool. My parents, both being smart people and engineers, once again saw the technological light before I did and got them some FancyPhones. On my roadtrip to LA last August with my Mom, she kept trying to activate my brick-like cell phone by poking at the hard plastic screen with her finger. This did not work.
Meet my Mom:
You will notice that this picture was taken out in the woods and that we are working with a broken digital camera whose shudder doesn’t open all the way. Maybe the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree, come to think of it.
I first began to see the Flashlight App a little less than a year ago, when my Mom actually started to BECOME my smartphone. Dear, sweet Susie, started to receive phone calls like this:
D: “Hey, Mom, I’m at a gig in Spokane and my agent emailed me a map this morning but I don’t have my laptop or internet access and I’m wandering around Gonzaga and I don’t know where to go and it’s making me late and can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check my email for me?”
Mom: “Ummmm… Yeah! Okay… Let me just….”
D: *Panicked rambling and pointless babble*
Mom: “Uh huh… And this is your Gmail account?”
D: “YES BLARGH GMAIL AGGGGGHHHHH”
Mom: “Okay let me get to the gmail page…”
D: **More incoherent explanation and impatient babble**
Mom: “Alright, then, what’s your password? Do you mind if I have your password?”
D: **Long explanation of an overly complicated password with like 8 numbers and punctuation and capitalized letters**
D: **More explanations. Panic starts to really set in.**
Mom: “Why is your password so complicated?”
D: “Because you and Dad are engineers and you trained me to make super secure passwords!!”
At this point, Susie patiently and kindly navigates me through my email and gets me where I need to go. After all, who else could I call to do such a thing for me? Not only is your Mom like the only person on the planet who will never be annoyed when you call, even if it is for a totally stupid reason, but since my Mom happens to be an engineer, she is at a computer all day, ready to help out her hapless daughter.
As much as I have loved having a Mom-smartphone, I’m finally recognizing that it might be useful for me to join the 21st century. Especially as an actor. If you are gonna be a freelancer, you have to be your own manager, and the technology to do that is pretty instrumental. Soooo…. FINE. I’ll do it, already. What kind of a cave-woman would I have been??
“What the fuck is that scary round thing?
Fuck that! I will drag things across the ground with brute force! FOREVER!!!!!”
So now that my Verizon contract is renewing and I get mad discounts on a phone upgrade, I’m going to swallow my Luddite pride and get me a fancyphone of my very own. Sorry fellow luddites, I will fear technology no more!
The only problem is that now I have to make a decision. Not just any decision, but a decision about technology, and how I want to upgrade myself. I am in wayyyyy over my head you guys. I googled “iPhone vs. Droid and found links to articles that said shit like:
WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?? What makes them think I will understand any of that?? If I were the kind of person who understood any of that, I would probably already have a smart phone and I wouldn’t need to be googling this. And please do not take this as an invitation to try to explain any of those things to me. We will both end up frustrated and confused, I promise.
However, I do want to pose the following questions to y’all: Do you have smartphones? What’s the deal with those? How do I make this decision?
And now I leave you with this video, because for some reason, I really relate to this lady.
As soon as I arrived at the airport a few weeks ago and watched my housemate drive away, I felt more like myself than I’d felt in months. My bag was packed, I had the bare essentials, and I was plunging into the adventure that is traveling. Britt and I have talked a lot about being gypsies, and it’s certainly true that as long as I’ve known her she lives out of her car half the time, and I have moved every three months for almost two years now.
It’s true. I do use my car as a locker.
I think I’ve always had a strange desire for impermanence. Also– why does the word impermanence have such a negative connotation?! I want things to grow and move and shift and change. I think it’s awesome. And thrilling.
I agree! Probably the first questions that people ask you when they find out you are pursuing a career in acting are, “How are you going to make money?” and “What about job stability?” These are good questions! But honestly, the idea of knowing what my career will look like over the next 20 years is just as terrifying to me as the prospect of instability may be for you.
I’ve tried the whole “GetYourActTogetherYou’reAGrownUpNow” thing and it doesn’t really work for me. The parallel between “stability” and tying yourself to a single place has never made much sense to me. I’ve always found my truth in mobility.
I think I’m the same way. I feel centered when I am in transit, my thoughts become crystallized, and I know exactly who I am and what I want.
I don’t know if it’s something in my DNA, if my ancestors kept pushing further and further away from the cradle of human existence until they ended up in the Wild West of the United States, and now I can’t help but feel that inherited urge towards locomotion. Or maybe it was backpacking through seemingly endless mountain ranges with my family as a kid and feeling that our freedom was only limited by how self-sufficient we could be. And when you’re out there in isolation staring at a trillion stars you can’t help but also feel yourself in your truest, most naked form.
Romantic notions aside, this urge toward nomad-dom is one thing that has drawn me to pursue acting as a career. The professional theater actors I know spend a lot of time on the road going from regional theater to regional theater around the country and sometimes around the world. Film actors get to shoot all over the place. …That’s what she said.
That is what she said.
One of my most peaceful and self-aware moments has been in transit. In 2009 I took the train from San Diego to Irvine, CA. I spent the whole ride with my face glued to the window, drinking in every whirling landscape. I wanted to explore everything. As the sun went down outside, I wrote in my journal: “There is something so liberating in not having a plan”. I don’t know what it was about that moment, but from then on I was constantly dreaming of motion. I took this snapshot in a moment of euphoria and have not been able to get the image out of my head since:
The more I am in motion, the more I am alive. The more I move, the more I write. The more I sing. The more I laugh. The louder I get. The more things make sense.
I would like to leave you all with a visual of me and D’s victorious wandering moments.
Dani, victorious, conquering a mountain.
Me, fighting like hell to get the eff out of the Oregon Coast and to someplace warm. Yes, that is a stuffed animal in my hand, (dont’ worry about it).
I can’t help but think that this desire for transience is what draws us to a creative life. And with all of these unknowns, I have to say…I’m pretty damn excited about it.
Hello bloggernetsphere, I am Britt.
And I am Dani. We are lady-gypsy-actors. And we have things to say.
…Mostly to each other, but we hope that you will take something from our thoughts too. We are pursuing careers in a field with no roadmap. This is frightening, exhilarating, confusing, and liberating, and we are so thankful to have each other as partners in crime. We are adventurers.
Since the creative lives we have chosen have no roadmap, we hope that this blog will serve as both a survival guide and an invitation to come on this adventure with us.
Meet my friend Britt. She is a blond powerhouse of a woman who is simultaneously hilarious and deep, witty and crude, awkward and beautiful; a wayward wanderer and the most loyal of friends. She’s pretty much the most charming person I’ve ever met and she is the sun that lights up my world. Britt is currently living in Portland, Oregon and conquering the world of indie film, fearless theatre, and artistic badass-ery in the Pacific Northwest. Check out her website at www.brittharris.com for deets on her professional life. Check out this blog for all the juicy stuff.
Meet my Dani. She is my beautiful chosen-sister, hero, and finisher-of-sentences. Her fearless spirit, immense talent, and infinite love for this world inspires me daily. My favorite thing about her? How she can make me laugh until I pee. My least favorite thing about her? That she lives so far away from me. Dani is currently located in Los Angeles as grad student and Resident Super Hero at USC, pursuing her MFA in Acting. She works approximately 935 hours a week and could tame a unicorn with relative ease.
Thanks for tuning in! We look forward to sharing our adventures with you.
With love from your new partners in crime who are both the Evil twin,
two evil actors