britt gets a life upgrade

You and I, Blogersphere, have not caught up for a few weeks. In fact, I think it has been nearly a month since we’ve caught up last. Man, I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty hard to keep on track when my Evil Actor Twin Dani has been gone for weeks in India. But friends… ooooohhh, friends. My life has been changing (would you expect anything less from me?). But this time, it is nothing but good stuff. No more house fires, cancer scares, and hit-and-runs. Only life-wins. Only complete badassedry. Only TOTAL LIFE UPGRADE.

totallifeupgradeLet me give you the epic highlights.

First: I have a new room! A real room! With a door! Look, look!!

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hello happy yellow room!

please note and appreciate my shark pillow.

please note and appreciate my shark pillow.

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please note and appreciate my OK Computer poster.

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it’s SO YELLOW UP IN HERE.

For my friends following along at home, you know that this is a huge step up from my frat house basement-dwelling and air-mattress in the living-room dwelling days. Rooming with Liz* and Shane* is pretty much the best. They even feed me sometimes, if I’m really good.

Second: I got a new phone (thank you, Shane)!! 

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of hanging around me from February to June 2013, you have not experienced my old phone in all its glory:

I lived with this beauty and its "spiderweb filter" for four months.

Yup. I lived with this beauty and its “spiderweb filter” for four whole months. Roughin’ it.

And now, oh NOW, this is how my iPhone looks. And this is how I look when I am spending quality time with it.

A shatter-less screen? What LUXURY! I feel like I got a new prescription on my contacts or something. I CAN SEE AGAIN! YES!!

Third: I bought myself health insurance! Because I am a grown-up!

(And also because one major health scare is quite enough for me, thankyouverymuch.)

Fourth: One of my very dearest, closest friends,* Liz Evans and my boy-twin, *Shane Winters (both of whom I now have the pleasure of living with) GOT ENGAGED this past week!! And I was there the night it happened! I almost peed myself! (Thank you, magic of UP Reunion Weekend. Go Pilots.)

aren't they ADORBS?!

aren’t they ADORBS?!

aren't WE adorbs?!

aren’t WE adorbs?!

Aaaaanddd… (Drumroll, please)… Fifth:

I gave my notice at my day job.

desk prison

OH MY GAW!

This is both exhilarating and terrifying for me. Shit’s getting real. Goodbye, Safety Net. I’m doing it. I’m really doing it… I’m moving to Los Angeles!

Oh, LIFE! You crazy fox!! Let’s just keep doing what we’re doing.

In other news, here are the rad activities have been keeping me busy enough to think that I don’t have time to write to you…

My (past 3) week(s):

These past few weeks have been jammed packed with a lot of awesome things. In the midst of rehearsals for various projects, callbacks, and a couple of readings of new work that I got to participate in (a new screenplay co-written by Portland staples Greg James and Mike Prosser called”Tidepool” and a new piece by NY playwright Deborah Copeland entitled, “Love Story for Eros”), I also had this shaaaat goin’ on:

I shot a commercial a couple weeks ago where, for the first time ever, I played a MOM.

…And I had not one, but three children. The oldest of which was probably about… eight. What’s up, people?! I’m 26. Do I not get to play teenagers anymore?! WHO AM I?!! HELP!!

But for real. The commercial shoot was really fun and the kids were great. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. When I wasn’t shooting, I hung out on the swing set and nomz-ed pretty hard on craft services. It was an awesome day of work.

As my time as a company member at Theatre Vertigo comes to a close, so does Vertigo’s tenure at the Theater!Theatre! building (located in SE Portland). After serving as a home to both Vertigo and Profile Theatre as resident companies for the past decade, Theater!Theatre! closes its doors. I didn’t expect to get too weepy during The Great Move weekend a couple of weeks back, but I definitely did. (In the privacy of my own car afterwards, but it still counts.) I was sad to say goodbye to that place. It made my departure with Vertigo and (my soon-to-be) with Portland seem much more real.

Taking apart the Arena Stage. :(

taking apart the Arena Stage. 😦

Some beautiful show debris I found under the theatre seats.

beautiful show debris I found under the theatre seats.

Some friends gather to say goodbye to the space.

some friends gather to say goodbye to the space.

and some more friends...

and some more friends…

...and even more friends.

…and even more friends.

But lucky me, I got to take home a part of the space!

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This beautiful souvenir is now hanging on my wall. Along with the box office sign and the lobby sign and the green room sign. It’s possible I overdid it a bit. Whatever. I get sentimental.

Anyway.

Rehearsals for Portland Shakespeare Project‘s The Tamer Tamed have started!

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This show runs as a staged reading in rep with PSP’s The Taming of the Shrew this summer and I am excited to for it to take off!

I got new headshots!  I can’t wait to see how they turned out. Liz and I did headshot sessions together with the ridiculously talented Gary Norman of Gary Norman Photography with the incredible, one-and-only Gavin Hoffman assisting. Pretty much, it was three of my favorite people in one place, which was stupid fun.

My boys Gavin and Gary, and their hot hot asses.

my boys Gavin and Gary, and their hot hot asses.

Everything is stupid fun right now.

Especially this Intergalactic Leopard dress I just bought.

dress

Total Life Upgrade. In epic dress form.

There is no more to say.

until next time,

~britt

britt talks adulting

As I sit in my in my basement closet-room writing this blog, I turn up my music in an attempt to drown out the commotion upstairs that is my four 21-year old male roommates experimenting with homemade beer-brewing. Ahhh, the wonders of young adulthood.

Wait… ADULTHOOD..?!!

…Am I in that? Is that phase of life I am in? Well the votes are in, and the answer is YES, I am, apparently. 

IS THIS REAL LIFE?!?!!

Someone wake me up from this nightmare!

Nah, being an “adult” is rad. You can eat ice cream whenever the eff you want and stuff like that.

I often feel that I am a really large child posing as an adult–a “faux-dult”, if you will– so I need to be mindful of keeping my adult-liness in check. For example, I need to take more of an interest in cooking (I can make a mean grilled cheese and can class my ramen up with prosciutto and lemon), have a better understanding of how I car works (I know that it moves when I put my foot on the pedal), and be more proactive in obtaining HEALTH INSURANCE.

Ahhh, health insurance, you tricky, tricky bastard.

The Unattainable Artist Dream that is “Health Insurance” has been on my mind a lot lately in light of recent (and painful) events that loved ones have found themselves in. Ladies and gentlemen, this is where it becomes very tricky to be an artist or creative free-lancer of any kind. WHY must it be this way?? (Okay okay, another discussion for another time, back to the more relevant-ramblings at hand.)

So how do I crack this adulting-code? When will I know when I’m “doing it” right? When I’m not living in my younger brother’s basement? When I have health insurance? When I move to a big city and support myself there? When I own a house? Have kids? Everyone’s formula is different, I know, but SHIT. Someone give me a clue, here.

Cue Britt-of-the-Past! She has some clues for us all! I found this list in a notebook of mine from last summer:

Britt’s Adulting Wisdom:

~AAA is invaluable. For a little over $100/year, this auto service will save your ass, every time. No need to weep on the side of the road while your car is up in smoke anymore. Yay!

~Take advantage of “free” office supplies at your desk job. Print those resumes and scripts and audition sides, girl! You like those highlighters? They’re YOURS! Only– be ninja about it. Do not cause suspicion amongst your co-workers, it’s only a matter of time before they realize that all of the 1-inch black binders gone.

~Know how to use the public transportation system and take advantage of it.

~It is okay to be a food scavenger, but be classy about it. This is a very fine line, so don’t be a sketchy bitch. Trust that food will find you. No mooching.

~Keep your living space, no matter how small, clean and organized. If not, you will die.

~Once you smart-phone, you can’t go back (I’m sure Dani can speak to this). Your iPhone is your new life-preserver. This sounds pathetic, but just go with it. It will save your ass when you’re lost, help you out when you don’t know how much to tip, and will happily guide your Facebook stalking while you’re wasting hours of precious life at the DMV.

~DO NOT LET YOUR REGISTRATION TABS EXPIRE.

~Fucking floss.

~Wear sunscreen. You’re white.

…The list ended there, but I clearly need to keep adding to it. For example, I just implemented this groundbreaking new system in my life to keep me from using my credit card:

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Feel free to use that little trick. Everyone knows that rules written on Post-It Notes are rules of the highest authority. And for double the adulting fun, steal those Post-It’s from your desk job!! Mwaaahaaaaa.

So! Let me catch you guys up on what I was up to this week! 😀

My Week

Monday and Tuesday kicked off Week Three of principal photography for Steven Richter‘s feature film, Birds of Neptune. There are only two shooting days left for me on this project, which will resume at the end of the month. And after a two and a half week marathon of 12-16 hour shooting days, I was happy to have a day off on Wednesday before returning to my desk job on Thursday.

After a month away from my day job, I came back to this:

over-flowing inboxes of DOOM!!!

But… there was also this, so it was okay.

CHOCOLATE EGGS! This is the remaining 4 of the 8 that were waiting at my desk for me.

My big homecoming back to work was pretty anti-climactic, and thank goodness for that! Part of me was worried that I would not have a job to come back to after so much time away. When someone else is trained to do your job in your absence, you can’t help but be awakened to the fact that you are.. replaceable. Buuuut… it’s all good! I have the BEST, most awesome, flexible day job in all of Portland! THANK YOU DAY JOB FOR EXISTING! 😀

My week was also filled with auditions. The highlight of these being:

1.) I am currently “on avail” for a guest-star role on a new TNT TV show pilot starring Geena Davis. In the auditioning process for television, being put “on avail” is as far as you can go in the game before you book the job. So, I’m pleased to know that I am at least doing my job well! I will find out in the next couple days if I book or get released from the job, so keep your fingers crossed! (This girl could sure use some money for the move to LA!!)

2.) I had a callback this week for a promo directed by Timothy Hutton. So yeah, no big deal…I got to do some scene work in the audition room with Christian Kane and received direction from Mr. T. Hutton himself. This experience was definitely a surprise and they were both super rad! I had a ton of fun.

This week has treated me pretty well. 🙂

And you know what? Auditioning is fucking fun. I need to remember that. The prep-work and logistics of auditions can be so damn stressful (especially this Tuesday when I had to rush from set in West Lin to SE Portland for the TV pilot callback and got stuck in horrible traffic…!), but auditioning is my job. And I love my job.

I’m tired as usual, but am still loving the Crazy. But I suppose this is characteristic of the life of a pseudo-adult.

…Whatever, I do what I want.

Cheers, y’all.

~britt

britt talks where to look for freedom

In the past couple weeks I have been desperately searching to find a place to land, some space in my life to settle, and a less chaotic rhythm to fall into as I adjust to an ever-changing routine. In the midst of big life changes and plans and crazy life surprises one after another, it’s been hard to find some peace.

When I start to get life-tired and overly emotional from wearing myself too thin and neglecting sleep (which has been quite often over the past few months), I try to assess what I can cut out of my life–how I can give my heart more space to live in a place of happiness. So, true to Britt-fashion, I made a list of my current obligations before bed the other night.

What I found was an overwhelming list of ingredients to a budding dream life… a life that I have been trying to position myself into for years (minus the desk job, of course). In scanning my list, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude washed over me. I thought to myself, “Holy crap, I am fucking exhausted, broke, and overworked, but…my hard work is getting results.”

I can’t deny these results, and not just tangibly– but in my quality of life. I am SO much happier than I was a year ago… I am constantly surrounded by the most beautiful and supportive people on the planet. I am spending time on projects that fill my soul and challenge me as an artist and inspire me to be a better human. My life fucking ROCKS.

Making this list like, woke me UP. It energized me. It’s like feeling the burn after a good workout and celebrating that hurt. That good, sweet hurt that tells you that you’re going in the right direction, that you are making progress. That is what this exhaustion is for me right now. And I want to celebrate it. This uprooting and constant movement I am experiencing is somehow giving me more freedom and exhilaration than I have ever experienced. I love it.

So Exhaustion, my dear friend, I thank you. With you, I am finding my freedom.

My Week:

Dear Exhaustion, let’s tell these folks what wonderful projects have made you a constant in my life lately!

This week has brought me much excitement with rehearsals starting up for the premiere of “Crumbs,”  a workshop of the original musical from composer/playwright Amir Shirazi, directed by Avital Shira.

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CRUMBS is a prequel to the Hansel and Gretel fairytale that explores the question, “What could compel a father to cast his children out of their home and abandon them in the woods?” Written in the wake of the loss of Amir’s father, CRUMBS takes those experiences and more on a journey into new territory with a family broken by loss, yearning to rebuild their family from crumbs. It is a beautiful journey of love, grief, and what it means to rebuild family — or tear it to pieces. I cannot talk-up this project enough. Amir’s music is incredible– it fills my heart up to the brim to work on such beautiful words and notes. I am honored to work alongside such a talented cast and production team!!

This week also brought the excitement of a successful and sold-out opening night at Theatre Vertigo!

(c) Gary Normanactors: Andy Lee-Hillstrom & Nathan Berl

(c) Gary Norman
actors: Andy Lee-Hillstrom & Nathan Berl

I have been working on The Velvet Sky (producing duties) with the company for months now and it is always such an amazing feeling to see all of that hard work pay off. I’m truly proud of my dear company and the high-quality work it continues to produce, no matter how overworked we all are. And speaking of hard work, MANY hours go in to producing a show in a company with eleven resident members and no artistic director. That’s right, this little commie company worked hard into the dead of the night this week to prep for the show…

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…but we had plenty of pizza and beer to keep us happy, so it was totally worth it. Go Team.

Rehearsals for Steven Richter‘s feature film Birds of Neptune is ramping up, as we locked in the shooting dates for March 4th-22nd. Eeeeeee! I have been lucky to get to play with many musical toys to prep for this role (my artistic wet dream fully realized):

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But I think what I am most excited for right now is the opportunity to take a month off of my day job to concentrate fully on these creative endeavors. For this four-week period of time, I will be entirely–financially–self-sufficient as an actor. Uhhh… what?! This stint of artistic oasis rarely happens, so I plan to enjoy the hell out of my four weeks of Dream Life.

As I reflect on this stint of awesomeness, I realize that all of this insanity and uncertainty is what brings me the most joy… and it offers me great freedom inside of it. I am the master of my own universe. (Watch me, I’m getting all WOO WOO again.)

Every day I’m discovering how and where to look for freedom. See you on the other side, Cubicle.

~britt