britt loves lists and summer work.

Welp, summer is really starting to sizzle here in Portland, Oregon.

Summer drinking, ACTIVATE.

Okay, well…not so much, actually. Okay, well maybe a little bit. But things are exploding here in Britt-World!  My days now consist of running around like a crazy person in the hot hot heat trying to juggle various life commitments while everyone in the Rose City loses their minds in our time-sensitive PNW sunshine.

But oddly enough, in the midst of this busy time I have put more emphasis on taking time out in my day. And you know how hard this can be for me. But–Le GASP!–I am allowing myself time to sleep in, exercise, reflect, write, and simply rest.  And I’ve been learning a lot about myself during these moments alone.

Specifically:

~I talk to myself a lot.

~I love lists.

~I have a very expensive addiction to kombucha and kale chips. This makes me sound like a huge hippie. So be it.

~When caffeinated, I am just… better.

~If I am not careful, I can send myself into Emotional Cray-Spirals (remember GCOES?! Yeah, that.)

~I have the best friends in the world. Period. Hands down, no contest.

~I am a compulsive documenter. (I bet you’re surprised.)

~I love to celebrate. I’m not sure that I am capable of bottling my enthusiasm for certain things. (Food, sharks, music, acting schuuuuf, laser-cats…)

~I’m pretty sure I can fall asleep anywhere. I tend to fall asleep any time that I stop moving, really.

~My spirit animal is a SharkMeow (that is a cat/shark hybrid, for those of you that couldn’t crack that code).

~I suck at listening to voicemail but I leave really long rambly-ass ones for others.

~I love hard. And then I future-trip hard. I need to learn to chill in that department.

~ I dislike the term “networking”.

~Chocolate is its own food-group in my food pyramid.

~I often catch myself not breathing or holding my breath for no reason. That is probably bad.

~Food and music are the way to my heart.

~It takes two seconds to make the bed. So I should just do it. And it makes everything better. Everything.

~I am incapable of sitting still at a desk all day and it is unreasonable for me to be expected to stay focused in that kind of environment.

~Running often and eating well make a huge difference.

~I am more of a risk-taker than I thought.

~I dance in my car. I don’t know how I make that work, but I certainly do it a lot.

~I really notice Dani’s absence since she’s been in India. I miss the crap outta that girl. And I think that next time she travels there, I will go with her.

~I have not traveled much in my life and I’d really love to. I think I am a wanderer by nature.

~I think everything counts a little more than we think.

My Week

This week, things really began to ramp up with no real sign of stopping until I relocate to the City of Angels in October. This an incredible feeling. It also makes me feel kind of manic and scattered at the same time. But mostly, I’m just trying to relish this situation I have found myself in. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. In fact, I think that’s why it’s working out. Because I didn’t plan it.

This week I got to shoot on three different projects that were incredibly exciting to me, all with people I adore working with.

The first shoot I worked on was for a short directed by Zen Freese called “King Disk”. Below are some rad BTS photos from the shoot:

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(c) ZF Creative

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(c) ZF Creative

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(c) ZF Creative

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(c) ZF Creative

I also began work on a project with Mr. Glenn Scott Lacey and Mr. Steven Dempsey of Americonic Films. These are two of my favorite people to work with in the whole entire universe. And the universe is BIIIG, people. THINK ABOUT IT. The project is entitled “Quietus”, and I am more than excited to tell you more about it soon. Stay tuned!

"Quietus", (c) Americonic Films

“Quietus”, (c) Americonic Films

I am also thrilled to be working with Fantini Cinema on a web-series called “Acting Out”:

(c) Fantini Cinema Photo credit: Galvin Collins

(c) Fantini Cinema
Photo credit: Galvin Collins

The series is about a bunch of actors. Need I say more?! It is episodic comedy at its best.

Written by Marc Steele and directed by Jana Lee Hamblin (and brought to life by, if I may say so myself, a TOP NOTCH group of comedic fucking actors!!), I didn’t need much convincing to hop on board a project as rad as this. I am having a blast with these people.

So, in short, 8 shoots in 7 days for various projects have been keeping me pretty busy. And happy. This coming week I will jump back on to the theatre bandwagon when I continue rehearsals for The Tamer Tamed with Portland Shakespeare Project.

Oh! And I got new headshots from my dear Gary Norman. You like?!

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

…pretty much. And for fun-zee’s, here is the hand-to-headshot, featuring Gavin’s hand:

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

Aaaand, thank you, Gavin! …Dick.

Peace, Love, and Shark Week,

~britt

britt is not a pathological liar

My house burned down. I’m going through a bit of a cancer scare. There was a hit and run on my car outside of my house a few days ago and I am now carless.

On paper–and in outloud-speech– I sound like a pathological liar. Or, the unluckiest person alive. But I assure you, I am neither.

Let me back up. Some major developments have occurred since we last caught up. For one thing, Dani is having the time of her life on a 2 month adventure in India, and if you haven’t caught up on her incredible experiences so far, you really should. I already miss her like crazy.

Dani sent me an email from Rishikesh the other day asking if I felt compelled to write a post about the scary things that are happening in my life. “Or,” she said, “You could just write a post about how much you love sharks or something.” (I love my D, she always knows how to talk to me.)

Mostly, I’ve been avoiding writing all together (which is always a good indicator that I am running away from something) and have been spending a lot of time sleeping and staring blankly at walls to avoid my fear and all the stress that comes with it. The most hopeful and empowered I have felt in the past couple weeks have been when I am writing music or when I’m on stage. Music and theatre have truly saved my sanity this past while. Which brings me to this–

The point of blog is to hold myself accountable to an unconventional career path as a creative professional, to keep me on track with what I want out of life, to get to know myself better, and to simply be… real. I have no interest in writing about fake shit. When Dani and I teamed up on this blog, we joined forces with the intention of creating a fun yet no-bullshit narrative that intimately follows each of our journeys as young actors and human beings.

And all of this scary stuff I am currently experiencing? This IS my journey. I can’t run away from it. It is mine. I can choose to embrace it and be empowered by it. And writing about what scares me gives me power. So in this post today, I am going to write to you all about what scares me.

Okay. So cancer talk. Here we go.

That shit is scary. How do I begin to describe this nonsense? It’s been overwhelming for me to even think about, so let me give you the bullet points. Because bullet points are manageable.

I found a lump. It is huge and came out of nowhere. I went to a couple of doctors. They were concerned. Got an ulatrasound. Ultrasound was labeled as a Class 4a cystic mass and was flagged it as suspicious. Meaning it needed immediate attention. Radiologist said there would be one of three possible outcomes. One, it’s a benign cyst that they are unfamiliar with and are not used to seeing, and that my body will eventually take care of it and that I am fine. Two, it’s some other kind of benign cyst that will continue to grow and be invasive to my body and I may want to get it surgically removed. Three, it is cancerous and I would need treatment immediately.

My heart stopped after hearing that last one. I have never been so scared. The third outcome is unlikely for someone of my age and health, but I need to be checked out to be sure. The next step is a biopsy. I had no health insurance. Biopsy would cost thousands of dollars and any treatment or follow-up that may come after that would cost much more. I applied for grants, independent health insurance, and various financial aid programs for days. I got accepted into a program called the BCCP (Breast and Cervical Cancer Plan) a couple of days ago, which will fund all of my costs and reimburse me for what I’ve already spent. This was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. However. The fact that I got accepted into a program called the “Breast and Cervical Cancer Plan”, when they seldom accept people under 40, frightens me more than I can really articulate.

BUT! The money thing was a huge roadblock to me getting the medical attention I need. So now I am one step closer to finding out that I am A-OK and healthy, or, less healthy than I thought and on the road to treatment and speedy recovery. I scheduled the biopsy for this Tuesday. I was told to expect results anywhere from 3 to 7 days post the procedure. Wow. Alright. I can do this. Let’s do this. Onward.

Okay, now… car. Car, car, CAR. One needs a car to move to and live in Los Angeles. A few nights ago, I had just driven home after performing in my show at Theatre Vertigo. I was talking on my phone in my parked car for 20 minutes outside the house before going in, as I have crappy reception inside the house. I finished my conversation and headed inside to open my mail and chat with my roommate Shane in the dining room. I hadn’t been inside for more than 5 minutes when Shane and I heard what sounded like someone slamming into trash cans with a car. We looked out the window just in time to see a white SUV speed away. And you know what? The drunk fucker smashed the front driver’s-side panel of my car in, thereby screwing up the alignment, knocking out an axel and making the thing unsafe to drive. I filed a police report, but there’s no way that douche is getting tracked down, we didn’t get outside fast enough to catch the license plate.

Ugh. So anyway. Rage-spiral aside–Had I talked on the phone a bit longer in my car before heading inside, I could have been in the vehicle when the collision happened and would have been hurt. With these three incidents in a row (house fire, health, car), you can understand why I am beginning to feel as though I am a character written into Final Destination 6 or something. I mean, COME ON.

So, no, folks… I am not a pathological liar. These events and their alarming proximity to each other are 100% real. And as for being the unluckiest kid in the neighborhood….? That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Read up on the house fire incident. If one little thing had gone differently, my brother and I could have been very hurt or killed. (LUCKY.) If I had been talking on my phone in my car the other night for just five minutes longer, I could have been very hurt. (LUCKY.) When I get the results back from this biopsy and I see how healthy I am, I will be the most grateful girl in the world. (LUCKY.) Or, if the results turn out to be scary, I will have caught it early and will be one step closer to a full recovery. (LUCKY.)

And boy, am I lucky to get to do the thing I love every day. The stuff I get to do for work? Pssh. The BEST. And this past week, despite all of the scary nonsense, was no exception. Check this stuff out.

My Week:

Last weekend I went to the Portland Premiere of Fantini Cinema‘s “Future Perfect“. This is the first feature film I have worked on to be released, and, as evidenced by these sick photos, I was pretty pumped about it:

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Fantini Cinema also discovered this past week that Future Perfect was selected to be shown in-flight on Hawaiian Airlines for 6 months. How cool is that?!

This week also brought about the closing of Theatre Vertigo‘s “Aloha Say the Pretty Girls“. This was my last show as a Vertigo company member before moving LA and was also the last performance by the company in the historic Theater!Theatre! space. So I got a little emotional. But! This week’s shows were a LOT of fun for me (especially on Monday’s industry night)…. once again, as evidenced by these photos:

My last day as Myrna. With one of my favorite props.

My last day as Myrna. With one of my favorite props.

Actor Brooke Calcagno and her striking resemblance to my mummy. Beautiful.

Actor Brooke Calcagno and her striking resemblance to my mummy. Beautiful.

Actors Zoe Rudman and Beth Thompson.

Actors Zoe Rudman and Beth Thompson.

Take 2.

Take 2.

Actor Tom Mousey looking sexy. With laser cats.

Actor Tom Mousey looking sexy. With laser cats.

Actor Tyler Ryan looking fabulous. Okay, so maybe I have a laser cat problem...

Actor Tyler Ryan looking fabulous. Okay, so maybe I have a laser cat problem…

I think that “Aloha” was one of the most challenging plays I have ever worked on. The script was confusing and frustrating as hell, the character I played was a walking enigma, and I struggled through the rehearsal process. When we went into production, however, I began to drop in and felt much more in my element. But, I cannot tell you how difficult it was to truly live the whole “the show must go on” thing in light of recent events. I had to bring myself to the theatre in full-action the day after my house burnt down. I had to find a way to be there when I was scrambling to find a car to use last-minute. I had to show up when I was scared about my health and afraid to talk to anyone about it. I’ve had crying fits and laughing fits in the green room. I danced it out to 80s pop and gangsta rap in the dressing room. I loved hard on my cast and grabbed their asses at any and every moment it seemed appropriate. Or inappropriate. I found myself on stage. I found my little enigmatic character, “Myrna”, on stage. Or rather, she found me.

On stage, things made more sense. Screw what’s happening in the rest of the world outside of those stage doors. All that I could control was on that stage, right where I left it. And what an incredible feeling that is. How lucky I am.

Although many of the reviews did not look favorably on our little play, I was honored to receive good reviews on my own personal performance despite my recent life hardships and my own insecurities about effectively translating my mysterious character onstage. Wow, what an indicator that I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing. Check out the reviews here (Portland Mercury) and here (Portland Monthly).

—–

I was joking with my mom that for a girl born on Friday the 13th, at age 26 (13+13) in the year 2013, I’m allowed to look a little unlucky. But let’s be real. We know that’s not true.

I’m a fucking force to be reckoned with.

And I just may be the luckiest girl on this planet.

infinite love to you my friends,

~britt