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

dani talks hygiene

I started writing this post back in November about how I had totally let myself go.  homeless-guyOkay not physically.  I’m still fly as fuck, obviously.  dc382cad06c7ec531fd869acaf4ca8b6891d8ab67605c8015f00c64a2d7ae314 But damn did I let myself go mentally.  After I got back from my solo backpacking trip in August, I jumped directly into rehearsals for our thesis project, which is known at USC as the “Three Play Rep.”  Fall semester of our last year of grad school, we rehearse three plays.  January of our spring semester, we rehearse the shows in the theater, and February-March of our spring semester, we perform all three in tandem Sounds cool, right?

Except as soon as I got back to civilization and was faced with acting again I got SO HORRIBLY DEPRESSED.  I was like: this is all meaningless, art is a waste of time, my life is a pit of despair, WHY AM I DOING THIS?

GO TO ALLIE BROSH'S WEBSITE RIGHT NOW

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

And I could barely drag myself into putting in the effort of rehearsing these plays which were supposed to be the culmination of my Master’s degree. I just couldn’t figure out what the point of it was. Why bother?  Was it going to do something for humanity? For me? Was it any more real than just sitting under a fucking tree and staring at a lake?  tumblr_lz3gd4LugV1r6i3cdo1_500 So something started happening to me that often happens to people when they are bummed out. My hygiene started to slip. Only it wasn’t my physical hygiene, it was my talent hygiene.  Andrei Belgrader, one of my film professors last semester, AKA this cool cat… AndreiBelgrader--copy Said to us, “You have to maintain the hygiene and sanity of your talent.” (Go back and read that again in the voice of a 65-year-old Transylvanian chain smoker. Good. Now you’ve got it. )

Whatever “talent” is, for the sake of argument, let’s talk about talent as just a certain level of openness. Some people, like Marlon Brando for instance, were just seemingly born in this state of total openness.  You might call it “presence” or “being present” which is really just having all of your senses open and receptive, like a dog. Marlon Brando’s senses were wide open. (Go down an internet hole sometime and watch him. He’s like a fuckin’ animal with super complex thoughts, which is really what we all are except he just lets himself be. He lets the camera see him.) 

Some people, like me for instance, jut turn into an awkward monster when there is a camera pointed at them. 

1889071_10152126595503511_2057774686786487518_o DANI, WHY WOULD YOU BECOME AN ACTOR?? bd631754783a8a7a8a14ecb5cc7f6a704e0ebdcca5b042227199c15e5ac345f3 I’m not one of those people who seems to naturally thrive in the spotlight and enjoy being seen.  It takes work for me to do what I need to do to be open and available in the way that so many talented actors are. Being seen is scary, and it’s an act of courage for me every time.  If I don’t believe in what I’m doing, it’s almost impossible to muster up that courage, and my “talent” suffers. I close off. 

So Andrei was right, there is a ruthless adherence to “hygiene” that is necessary to keep moving forward. Like how you have to clip your toenails or they get long and gross and scary.  

long toenails

Ha! Made you look. That’s why they call us two EVIL actors.

For me, that hygiene involves having some sort of belief in what I’m doing. And right around November 1st, 2014 I woke up and realized I’d wasted two important months of my life not believing in anything. My voice teacher finally said to me, “You know, you can’t just sort of phone it in anymore,” and I was reminded that none of us are ever invisible, no matter what we are going through or how well we think we hide it. 

You might say it is necessary to have those times of closing off or shutting down in order to gather strength for tougher days ahead. You might say that way of thinking is purely self-destructive.  I don’t know which of those I buy more, especially now that I am looking at my final semester of grad school and wishing that the quality of my preparation had been better. 

But I’m playing Nina in “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov, and I have a line that has been stuck in my head since November 1st, 2014:

“And now I know, Kostya, I understand, finally, that in our business–acting, writing, it makes no difference–the main thing isn’t being famous, it’s not the sound of applause, it’s not what I dreamed it was. All it is is the strength to keep going, no matter what happens. You have to keep on believing. I believe and it helps. And now when I think about my vocation, I’m not afraid of life.”

And that, to me, is what it takes to maintain the hygiene of my talent. Don’t lose faith in the journey when it gets hard. 

S0 in the wise words of…. Someone-from-the-Interwebs: 

try2   XOXO,

Dani