what it means to be LA. (britt edition.)

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.)

XO,

Britt

**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.

28 things you need to know about britt in her 28th year

…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. giphy 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.

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My dear friendThe Suz gave me this beautiful plant, which I affectionately named Nan, to anchor me wherever I stay.

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.)

This is how I fly now. Remind me to tell you about my whirlwind Seattle trip later.

Who AM I even?! This is how I fly now. I am a monster.

… 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.

3.) Birds of Neptune is majorly making its presence known in the festival circuit this year after its smashing world premiere at Slamdance Film Fest in January.

I just got back from Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson, where Birds of Neptune won the award for Best Dramatic Feature!! Holy CRAP! BON AIFF 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. 11118363_10101271935952336_419600120065064236_o …An encore screening? Yes, please!! Thank you, Tucson! 😀 

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with BON director Steven Richter.

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! 😀

4.) In addition to the humbling love we received for the film in Tucson, I received a Special Jury Award for Best Performance for my work in the film.

Holy FUCK!!

Holy FUCK!!

This is how that made me feel. (Nothing feels better than skipping down the red carpet. Nothing.)

This is how that made me feel. (Nothing feels better than skipping down the red carpet. Nothing.)

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.

One of my many offices around the city. I promise I am working here. #WORKINGIT

One of my many offices around the city. I promise I am working here. #WORKINGIT

A detailed look at my cubicle.

A detailed look at my cubicle. Somebody pinch me.

6.) Dani and I went aboard The Queen Mary to witness the marriage of our dear college friend Hillary:

What a DREAM she is!

What a DREAM she is!

…Which made me think that perhaps I should live on a boat at some point in my life. Because, COME ON.

We make this look good.

We make this look good.

7.) DANI IS GRADUATING FROM HER MFA SOON. This means we are writing sketches and screenplays and music. And romping around outside. And actually using our Twitter account.

So, basically — Two Evil Actors, the Content Creators, are stampeding your way SOON, betch!! Mark my words! FEAR US!

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What’s not to love?

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But really though. You want this.

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. guitar9.) Speaking of recording music, I had the opportunity to record music with my very talented brother for the first time in March.10947417_604953582940001_8820304260459440803_oI 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.

In studio with my cuz Cameron, sound engineer extraordinaire, and musical genius, my bro, Nate.

In studio with my cuz Cameron, sound engineer extraordinaire, and musical genius, my bro, Nate.

Look! Cute photos of me and bro in the studio!

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Nate being annoyed of my Genius.

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Me being annoyed of Nate’s Genius.

10.) STILL speaking of recording music– I have finished recording basic vocals for the first No Vanquished album!  Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.30.07 PM It won’t be long now ’til we release and UNLEASH this music into the world!

11.) I am in love with Los Angeles, IMG_2832 but Portland has my heart.

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. 

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My sweet little mini me, Agatha.

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I love her!!

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. IMG_2493 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. 

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I also got this tatted across my back. Kidding. Not kidding. Wait what?

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!!” 

My little DaniBird. D in USC's production of

My little DaniBird. D in USC’s production of “The Seagull”.

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 tend to look more legit when at parties I ninja into. Also, my mom took one look at this photo and told me I had Drunk Eyes. Thanks Mom.

I tend to look more legit when at parties I ninja into. Also, my mom took one look at this photo and told me I had Drunk Eyes. Thanks Mom. Pictured: EP Sam Eather of Aussie film “Love Is Now” (look it up).

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..!!)

Yeah. You like what I did there??

Yeah. You like what I did there??

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). 

See?! I'm even in my car in this pic! I am never NOT DRIVING.

See?! I’m even in my car in this pic! I am never NOT DRIVING.

18.) SO I’ve made many new dog friends around town. (Also my ulterior motive for all of the house-sitting I do.)

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dog spoon > every boyfriend, ever. Sorry.

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WOAAA PUGGLE

19.) AND I’ve made many new cat friends around town. 11044993_10152921894767639_8296777836104554201_n20.) I’ve discovered that the older I get, the more I dress like a child.

Do I ever wear NOT animal prints?

Do I ever wear NOT animal prints?

Pretty sure I had this same outfit at 4 years old.

Pretty sure I had this same outfit at 4 years old.

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?

...surprise, surprise, in airports, too, people.

…surprise, surprise, in airports, too, people.

22.) Ummm… it rained in LA a lot this past month? And that was weird? IMG_2838 23.) I don’t know why I am ending things in question marks all of a sudden?  giphy-2 24.) Maybe because I’m avoiding big parts of my life?

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(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

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(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

25.) Okay, let’s get real here for a second. Because 2EA believes in that shit. 

Also, we are a meme. So automatically anything we say is awesome.

Also, we are a meme. So automatically anything we say is awesome.

After all, we are real humans with real feelings.

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(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

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.

Good Portland omen.

Thank you, Good Portland Omen.

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. 

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(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

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.

11071470_10203850372608232_7585567630056711546_n 27.) I have the very best friends in the world.

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.

My sisters. Dani and The Suz.

My sisters. Dani and The Suz.

Joy.

Joy.

Class Photo: The Current and Former Residents of the PRL. Missing: Aussie Michael and Electric Grandma Lucia Babe. And Napoleon the Pomeranian.

Class Photo: The Current and Former Residents of the PRL. Missing: Aussie Michael and Electric Grandma Lucia Babe. And Napoleon the Pomeranian.

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.

Dani and I engaging in a little bit of competitive Slip-n-Slide drag racing. NBD.

Dani and I engaging in a little bit of competitive Slip-n-Slide drag racing. NBD.

TRIMUMPH. You put up a good fight, D.

TRIMUMPH. You put up a good fight, D.

In closing, so far, 28 is looking like this: Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 4.07.56 PM 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. ❤

Harris, upon the Returning of her Saturn, OUT. IMG_2048

guess who’s back. DANI’S BACK.

WHOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

Exactly a week ago, my plane touched down in Los Angeles after a two month trip to India.

Landing at LAX at sunset

Landing at LAX at sunset

It’s been a whirlwind week back in the United States, and I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time poring over Britt‘s posts from this summer, getting misty-eyed about how amazing and inspiring my best friend is, and pondering what I could possibly say at this time to sum up the last two months of my life AND riff off all the inspiring things Britt had to say in my absence.  It’s nuts to me how much my girl has been through in the last few months: shooting a million projects, juggling a million jobs, being in a million plays, taking care of her health, enduring major life upsets, leaving her day job, closing down a theater, and just continuing to be hilarious and charming every step of the way.  I don’t know about you guys, but it makes me dizzy just thinking about it!

And that is saying something, because India can be pretty dizzying at times.  Honestly though, the reason it has taken me a week to write a freakin’ post is that being back in America has been more overwhelming to me than touching down in India.  Look you guys, they even have a bunch of charts on google to demonstrate reverse-culture-shock:

Graphs mean SCIENCE

Aight, so a lot of that is hooey…  Or at least I can say that a lot of that wasn’t the case for me personally, but still THERE ARE CHARTS PEOPLE.  And I was only gone for two months!  That’s nothing!

But now….

And I’m slowly readjusting to bleach blonde hair and fake tits.  YAY LOS ANGELES!!  Britt, there are so many fake bitches down here! (No offense to all the fake bitches.  I am sure you are all wonderful beautiful people at your core.)

In all seriousness, folks, this city is waiting to embrace Britt Harris and lift her up to the heights of glory, because Los Angeles has never SEEN such an original, authentic, intelligent, beautiful, insightful, creative, REAL woman in all of its days.  I can now safely say that I’ve been all over the world and never met someone with such unbridled passion, creativity, and drive, and it is really, really special.  I’m jealous that you all have had internet for two months and have been able to keep up with all of her exploits.

Meanwhile, I keep going back and forth between this…

and this…

For the past week I’ve been alternating between sleeping/taking care of my self and partying-like-it’s-1999.  My body can’t decide if it wants to sleep for 10 years or take Los Angeles by the horns and ride it like a drunk middle-aged lady on a mechanical bull at a square-dancing bar trying to forget her past.

I don’t know y’all.

The second month of my trip was spent in Stok village, which is near Leh, Ladakh, in Northern India. What????

ladakh map

Ohhhh! Thank you, cartoon-y map!  That’s where it is!  As you can see, Ladakh is actually part of the political province of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which is part of India.  J&K is frequently subject to political violence and activism, since there have been border disputes between India and Pakistan for years and years and years–pretty much since India became a country when the British left. Ladakh is the part of Northern India that is largely isolated, both culturally and practically, from that political unrest, and is home to about 200,000 Ladakhi people who are mostly Buddhist and much more similar to Tibetans in language, religion, and culture.  Ladakh is often called “Little Tibet,” but in my opinion that’s kind of like calling Canada “Little United States”… a somewhat true/offensive generalization. 

Anyway!  Where was I going with this?  Are you all bored with my pseudo history lesson yet?

Oh yeah! So Ladakh is this stunningly beautiful and sublimely peaceful little slice of heaven nestled in the Himalayas between two incredibly contentious political regions:  China-occupied Tibet and the Pakistan/India territory fight in Jammu and Kashmir.  I lived there for a month with this guy:

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Khen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobzang Tsetan with me and Tarah, my friend from the USA

Khen Rinpoche is an incredible human being, and meeting him was a karmic and life-changing stroke of luck.  I am sure I will talk more about this later, but he taught me about Buddhism (and life) and taught by example how to live with deep compassion for all sentient beings, and use the life you were given to bring compassion and love to the planet.  I’m weeping now just thinking about it.  

So try to imagine with me, for a moment, going from life in a peaceful and remote village with a bunch of Buddhists where this is what you see every day, 

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To LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.  LA is essentially the breeding ground of America’s largest export:  AMERICAN CULTURE (which could not be any different from Ladakhi culture if it tried).

Thank you, Ke$ha, for personifying everything that I am trying to say. 

So yes.  Dear, sweet, beautiful blog readers.  For the next few weeks before I start the second year of my MFA in Acting at USC, I will be presenting you with a series of blogs which will attempt to share with you some of my experiences from my summer in India, to make up for the fact that I did practically NO blogging while I was gone.  I have nothing but love and appreciation in my heart for anyone who is willing to plunge down this rabbit hole with me and help me to digest these experiences and apply them to my life as an actor in the city of angels.

PEACE OUT!!

dani

britt talks GCOES

I just finished writing down a list of worries and fears into a notebook and then chugging a 16oz coffee. I think both of these things were good decisions.

I’m not going to lie, you guys… this week has been a bit of a struggle for me. It has been one of those weeks where I felt the need to change my iPhone, personal laptop, and work computer backgrounds to inspirational shit like this:

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..that’s how you KNOW its bad.

In a nutshell, this week has been a whole lot of Brain Mess and a whole lot of GCOES.

What is GCOES, you ask? Oh, friends…

GCOES is this:

mutha feckin GCOES.

mutha feckin GCOES.

… “Glass Case Of Emotion Shark”. I’m pretty sure it’s my spirit animal.*

But really. I can joke about anything to make myself feel better (and it almost always works), but I also believe it is important to let yourself feel and fully process the not-so-happy stuff. It is valuable for me to feel that heart-break, that stress, that fear… so I can own it. Because I cannot change what I do not own.

Dani said to me a couple of days ago: “Remember to surrender. Control is just an illusion anyway.”

Wow. D. You save my life and my sanity everyday.

I need to “remember to surrender. Isn’t that beautiful? I mean, it’s so true that even it rhymes, people! So one would think it would be way easier to remember. But it’s totally not. Giving up control, especially for me, is difficult.

The Surrender post was a pretty big deal for me to write back in January. It allowed me to give myself permission to publicly “come out” about my plans to move to Los Angeles and to stop defending my personal and professional decisions to others. Even if I end up in a gutter somewhere, I’d much rather be chillin’ in that gutter as a result of acting on my instincts than sleepwalking through life, unfulfilled.

See how the GCOES is coming out?! It’s awesome. Let that crazy GCOES flag fly. Who cares! I’m GCOES and proud! 

GCOES must be here to teach me something. I have made the choice to not settle for Comfortable. I have made the choice to tell those I love how I feel about them. I have made the choice to be vulnerable, knowing that my heart will get hurt. I have made the choice to be a good human. I have made the choice to spend quality time in limbo, waiting for the pieces to fall into place.

And you know the best part of being in limbo? This song.

At least for me, Radiohead makes everything okay.

And also, dancing.

Mad, mad, dancing. In your underwear. To something embarrassing like Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” or Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA”. I may or may not have done this already today…maybe.

And on that note…

I know you all will now use the term GCOES in your everyday speech. It is okay. You have my blessing. Go forth and spread my genius. #GCOESandproud.

all my love,

~britt

*(Full credit given to my dear friend Suzzane for finding this GCOES gem on the interwebs and integrating it into my everyday vocabulary.)