Full disclosure. I am drunk-blogging at my local watering-hole, as I am pushed to the brink with Eternal Summer, always on the quest of finding air-conditioned establishments to seek refuge in (this is SURVIVAL, here, people, REAL SURVIVAL). At this current … Continue reading
Hello friends back Stateside and elsewhere, As promised, here is an extended account of my amazing Land of Oz Roadtrip in photographic form!
Friends, as you may have noticed, I have gone a bit off the grid and am currently living in a strange and glorious land. A land where bars are often referred to as hotels, where coffee is taken white, and I am … 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. ❤
Holy moley. Did we have a year, or WHAT, Dani?!
Holy shitballs, Britt. It was crazy. What do you think was the craziest thing we did in 2013?
Start this blog, obviously.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, BLOG-MATE!!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, TWIN-WIN!!
Today is the One Year Anniversary of Two Evil Actors, and we thought this would be a good moment to take a look back at 2013 for a little highlights tour. To get a juicy, in-depth look at the crazy shit that happened to us this year, click on the sexy pink hyperlinks. Obviously, the first stop on this tour is…
NANTS INGONYAMA BAGITHI BABA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yo, Britt, did you know that those were the words to the Lion King song?
Yes. Because I know ALL of the words to The Lion King. All the lines, and all of the lyrics.
Damn, dude, I’m impressed. I always thought it was “Ahhhh svegenya swuhduhgee vuhdada!!” Turns out the lyrics are Zulu for “Here comes a lion, Father.”
Of course it is.
Well. Now that THAT’S cleared up. We’ve veered off course as usual.
BACK ON TRACK, EVIL MOFOS. And now for… (drumroll please) THE YEAR 2013 IN REVIEW:
… but in a healthy, Internet kind of way.
…in a losing-my-mind, grad school kind of way. WINNING.
I came out of the closet about my secret dream to move to LA… but moved into my little brother’s frat boy basement like a real adult first.
This was MOMENTOUS for me. Now I can check my email FROM MY CELL PHONE. What will they think of next?
10 life-points earned!
Girl, that’s like 1000 life points. Truth be told, my girl was involved in too many badass projects in 2013 to even include all of them here. My sista found some great collaborators and art-ed all over the place. HELL yeah.
Apparently I had to go to grad school in order to learn how to be an adult. Just trying to whip myself into shape here, people.
Watch out, Society. Total World Domination = Imminent.
I promise you– I am not making this shit up.
There is no way I can sum up that two months of my life. All I can say is that it was incredibly life-changing.
Everything will be okay.
Ewww not really. That would be incest. But we did have a blast playing “the googlesearch game,” AKA What-the-hell-are-people-looking-for-when-they-stumble-upon-our-blog. Turns out, people google some weeeeeiiirrd shit.
And it feels so good.
I had a hard time adjusting to being back in the United States. I smoothed the transition with alcohol and had an EPIC August in Los Angeles.
I got drunk on a spaceship. Truth.
It was a weird Fall. Incorporating my experiences in India into my life in Los Angeles, Writing a one-woman show, Rehearsing a million things for grad school…. WHO AM I??
I have the time of my life working on an incredible show at Artists Repertory Theatre.
That’s right. Everything. I find out that I’m essentially allergic to wheat, corn, dairy, sesame, sunshine, and air.
We’re everybody’s favorite shitshow.
Check out that sex-machine. I got to play a boy in The Time of Your Life and act my ass off in a bunch of other stuff at USC. Confession: I kinda miss having a dick.
I’m Queen of the Urban Jungle, baby. Or–at least–the Queen of being Dirt-Ass Broke.
Wow. Between the two of us there were some super high highs, some super low lows, and just about everything in between. I have to say though, I am so proud of the resilience and strength of my Britt, because she had one topsy-turvy year. That is a lot of artistic creation and a lot of major life change for one person in one year.
And I could not be more proud of my Dani girl. Her passion, bravery, and big open heart led her halfway across the world for a quarter of a year to immerse herself in a different culture and way of life, and those same Dani qualities inspired her to create bold and beautifully honest work in her intensive program at USC in 2013. That is a lot of artistic creation and a self-discovery for one person in one year.
As for myself, it’s hard to map the subtle changes that have taken place in me over the past year, but from where I’m standing, my internal terrain has shifted drastically. I feel more honest, more myself, than I have ever felt. For better or for worse.
And from a Britt perspective, a Brittspective, this year has transformed me more than any other. It inspired me and shook me to my core. I have felt broken, I have been afraid, I have had moments of extreme clarity and have been surrounded with more love than I have ever experienced. And although I am far from having it all figured out, 2013 has made me the luckiest woman I know and I am so, so thankful.
In my opinion, we did 2013 right, even if we didn’t know what we were doing half of the time.
Yeah, that seems about right.
Let’s ride that Furry Tractor of Badassedry right into 2014.
Bring it ON 2014!!
We love you guys.
~ dani & britt
Happy holidays everyone! Sorry, had to blow my GIF load before I could focus on typing a coherent sentence.
I am writing to you from my favorite high school hangout, Bertolino’s coffeeshop (open 24/7, bitches) in my hometown, Tacoma, WA. It is rainy as balls here. My plans include sleeping, eating, binge-watching Arrested Development on Netflix, sleeping, catching up on the five issues of Variety I haven’t read, and sleeping. Also, I’ve been alone a lot with my thoughts since being home.
I have so many different homes. Los Angeles, Portland, Tacoma… I know this comes with the territory of being a post-collegiate 20-something artist vagabond, but holy WOW. Some of the thoughts I have! I swear half the time I don’t know where I am, who I am, where I am going or where I want to go, what house I’m in when I wake up in the morning and what job I am going to that day. It’s a lot. But this life is what I choose and what I want. I want to take full ownership of that.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was really homesick for Portland, but now I am homesick for Los Angeles. It’s so funny how that shifts. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a quick weekend in Portland this month to shoot an episode of Random Acts and spend some quality time with my good friend Liz. The trip was very good for my soul. I can’t remember the last time I was able to completely relax for 24 hours. It was heaven. I slept in my old room in my best friend’s house that was beautifully decorated for Christmas, I had two cats and a dog to snuggle with, there was bottomless kombucha to consume, and I got to see my brother and some of my very dearest friends. Heaven! I needed that. And when Liz drove me to the airport at 4am on a Monday in the freezing 18-degree Portland winter weather, I was ready to go back to my new home.
Let me tell you more about my new home. When we first moved in, my “room” looked like this: And here is how it looks NOW: You like those classy make-shift walls and sheet-doors we discussed last time? Yeah, I like ’em too. We’ve been busy.
I’ve been busy.
My Few Couple Weeks:
The past few weeks have been a crazy blur of work, reconnecting with friends, parties, casting workshops, and glitter. I also wrapped up my audit of the Los Angeles District Court (because I am an all-around badass) and started a new job and quit said job on the same day (because I am an all-around badass).
As noted earlier, I flew back to Portland for a weekend to shoot an episode of the PNW webseries, Random Acts and spend quality time with my dear friend Liz. I flew back to LA after the trip at the crack of dawn to get to an audition on time, which made me feel kind of awesome. Awesome and sleep-deprived.
We had our first annual “A Very Ke$ha Christmas” themed party (and our first ever party in our new home). “A Very Ke$ha Christmas”, as in, this:
to achieve this:
…but in a Christmasy sort of way. Just think of the unicorns as reindeer and the glitter as snowflakes.
It is safe to say that our sparkly extravaganza was a hit. What are the ingredients for throwing a hit LA party, you ask? Let me tell you.
1.) Decorate the house with the appropriate mix of Christmas and glitter.
2.) Craft some vaguely Christmas and Ke$ha-themed signs.
3.) Have a Suz create some installation art.
4.) Sketchily make some sangria in a cooler with the “50% off” gallon of white wine you had at the house:
5.) Make the dress code bright colors, glitter, and anything with animals on it. If a guest shows up out of dress-code, proceed to glitter-bomb them. (Thank you Suz for the use of your craft-drawer glitter stash.)
6.) When you wake up in the morning to this, you know you have succeeded.
The past few weeks also brought SoCal Christmas parades in the 78 degree heat,
and the fabulous Christmas surprise of seeing the Broadway hit, Peter and the Starcatcher (THANKS, ScoLo!!). It was incredible.
These past few weeks have left me one happy Britt girl. Merry effing xmas.
I leave you now with my Scoreboard.
love, santa, & teddy bears,
I am in it for the long haul, baby.
Now that’s an LA attitude.
Oh man. So much to tell. It’s been a month and a half since I last wrote (seriously?!) and it’s been nearly two months since I’ve moved to The City of Angels. I’ve already lived here long enough to know that if I’m going to get any work done in this place, I have to think about the Not So Near Future. The Ten-Year Plan. The Thirty-Year Plan. The I’ll Retire When I Get My Own Theme Park Plan. The Long Haul. And I am down for it. I am so down.
…So here’s what’s UP.
Living in this city is fucking hard. I have no money, I hate the way I am making the little money I have, and my soul is craving the work I want to do but I have no idea how long it will take. That is the hard reality of this new life. In Portland, I could create all the time. Here, it’s not so easy. The community is not the same and the barriers to entry are so incredibly high. But I’m embracing this reality and the endless work and recurring self-doubt and daily falling asleep in my cubicle with the knowledge that a good work ethic, preparedness, and the ability to laugh at how utterly ridiculous my life is (and, I suppose, always has been) is my best aid for throwing myself into the deep end.
But for only two months, I gotta say–I’m doing pretty well! I got a job with a temp agency to do accounting work and am currently working on an internal audit for the LA District Court. Crazy, right? I definitely didn’t see that one coming.
I never thought I’d go back to my accounting roots so quickly, but I gave in after 2 weeks of living in LA with no idea of what to do for work. My next goal is to do this kind of work within the industry. I bet I would like accounting a lot more if I was doing it in Entertainment. And let’s be real, that paycheck would be nice.
BUT! Focus!! That is not why I am here.
This is not why I uprooted from the home I love to a scary new frontier. I had so many gut-pulls bringing me here and I am just beginning to find out what they all mean. I am finding my Self here and I fit. I am making new discoveries every day and feel a strong connection to this place and its people and all the crazy shit that comes with it. It is exhilarating.
Long haul, baby.
I know this year is going to be especially hard (how could it not be!), but this place is incredible. It has its own pulse, its own lifeforce, its own story to tell. It has a current surging through it. Everyone is questing for something. No one is idle. It is a dream for me. My favorite people on the planet live in this city and I have an incredible house in an incredible neighborhood and draw inspiration daily from everyone and everything around me. I want to become a part of this huge force that drives this whole city forward.
Alright. Enough Dear Diary-ing. You guys get it. You know what I’m about. On to the important stuff.
HOUSE!!! DANI AND I GOT A HOUSE!! And our house is awesome!!
I live with this girl:
And this guy:
And this dog:
and of course, my girl DANI!!
And we all live together in a spacious house that is ridiculously (unintentionally) hipster (that’s how you know it’s real hipster) in Echo Park. We own a bunch of street furniture, neon animal art, and lion lamps spray-painted a very”timeless teal”. We have also been known to spray-paint home décor bright pink and throw glitter on top of it. We also may be having a “Very Ke$ha Christmas” housewarming party in a couple weeks. We are an LA field trip episode of Portlandia waiting to happen.
And look at this yard! How cool is this yard?!
THERE IS A SWING AND A STAGE. I need not say more. There is nothing more to say. We win. We win everything.
We moved into our house on Halloween night, which none of us seemed to think was a bad idea. But I mean, come on, we got the keys early, so we had to…
Cut to: Britt, Dani, and Suzzane carrying a mattress up the hill to our new house, from their old house, while costumed children jumped out at us and screamed, “BOOOO!!!!”, to which we calmly respond: “We’re dressed up as boring old movers, kids, move along. There’s nothing to see here”.
Cut to: Britt Dani, and Suz moving the box spring up the same hill fifteen minutes later. Cue the same costumed children running up to us and screaming: “BOOOO!!! We said, BOOOOO!!!” Yup, you got us last time, actually, precious children. Just please, for the love of all things sugary and sweet, shut UP and stop running around the moving bed!
It is very, very hard to drag a box spring uphill in the dark when you are laughing so hard you think you might pee. God bless the little children demons.
I think that was one of the best Halloweens ever.
And for those of you who have been following along with my life, you know that I simply CANNOT live in a REAL bedroom like a normal person. I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that I live in a makeshift room with fake walls in our Hipster Mansion:
That’s right. Check out those sweet Ta-Da, These-Were-Once-Bait-And-Tackle-Diplays-But-Are-Now-Walls walls!! Dani found these suckers off Craigs List at a (you guessed it) Bait and Tackle shop in Sherman Oaks that was going out of business. Dani strapped these bad boys to the top of her car, Franca. It’s a miracle that we didn’t flip the car, die, or get pulled over. We are wizards.
Wow. I am so overwhelmed with updates for you all. I have to simply accept that this post is going to make no sense whatsoever. I will now skip to highlights for this month in LIST FASHION!
My Past Month:
I saw this show:
Starring this guy:
…THREE times. It was so good. I am in love with Pasadena Playhouse and think they should have run that show for five more weeks.
I also saw this show:
And then… there’s Dani.
Ohhhhh, Dani girl… I am so blown away with your talent and presence.
I had the exquisite pleasure of watching Dani onstage at USC twice this month. I saw her play WIllie and Ellie (yeah she played a man and then a young ingénue in the same show, no big deal) in William Saroyan’s “Time of Your Life” and watched her breathe beautiful life into a solo performance she wrote for her final project. Holy… shit. I cannot put into words what that performance did to me. Danielle Nicole Larson, you are going to bring incredible things into this world. Don’t ever stop telling stories (I know you won’t). You inspire me every day. As an artist and a human being. Thank you.
Yup, that’s right folks… the Evil Twins are back in action in the SAME CITY. Do you know what this MEANS?!
… it means we don’t have enough time to write blog posts anymore because we’re too busy hanging out with each other.
But we’ll be better about that. Stay tuned for the next Evil Twin dual post comin atcha, ANY TIME NOW. (Hint, hint, to Dani and SELF.)
I will sign-off now with a very LA Attitude thing to do: sharing my personal scoreboard. Enjoy.
Britt Keeps Score:
Number of Meetings with Agents/Managers:
Number of Bookings:
Number of Parking Tickets:
YAY NO PARKING TICKETS!! And just for that small victory, I am the master of the whole city.
I will choose to end on that note.
Love to you,
I’ve been in this fair City of Angels now for two whole weeks.
…How do I feel, you ask?
Okay, well actually I can get on a plane and fly away, Ms. Poehler, but THAT IS BESIDE THE POINT.
The point is … I am overwhelmed in many ways, but… I love it here. I am learning so much about myself and this city, and about myself IN this city, everyday. It’s magical.
SO! In light of my new-found Los Angelinan WISDOM, let me share with you some of the things I’ve learned about LA so far (you know, ’cause I’m totally a local now):
Here are the things I have learned about LA:
-One should have at least $20 worth of quarters in the glovebox or drink-holder at all times. Those good old-fashioned parking meters still exist. Y’know.. .the ones that only take quarters? The ones located by the beach you happened to go to and therefore are your only option? Yeah, those.
-Trader Joes is a way of life. If you don’t have a TJ’s in your neighborhood, there is pretty much no reason to live there.
-Everyone is beautiful here. Sometimes I just stare.
-The “Waze “app is a god-send.
-You must plan your life around street cleaning. If you happen to live in a structureless vortex like I do at this time, you’ll at least know what day of the week it is because of your street cleaning parking violation paranioa.
-People are reeeally into juice here. $12-kale-coconut-elixir-of-life juice. I’m not against it. It’s just… give me twelve dollars please. So I can consume it.
-LA Parking signs make the SAT feel like cake.
-People wear long-sleeves/pants/winter-wear when it is 75 degrees outside. I was really proud of myself when I wore my denim jacket over a tank-top in 73 degree weather the other day. (…See?! I’m a LOCAL.)
-There are more parking patrol cops here than there are purse dogs. I know this is hard to believe.
-Every coffeeshop in Los Angeles has a group of actors sitting next to you bitching about their auditions and agents and acting classes. Or bitching about their lack of these things. -I am pleasantly surprised at how walk-able certain neighborhoods are.
-More often than not, traffic is traffic for no reason. Was there an accident? No. Was there a stalled-car on the highway? Nope. It’s just right-of-passage to spend an hour on the onramp to the 110. “That’s the only way it’s fair to everyone,” says the Universe.
-In the desk-job hunt, telling a potential employer that you’re an actor is not too far away from telling her that you’re a leper-werewolf-umemployable crazy person. Perhaps you should work at In-N-Out instead.
-I don’t get how everyone has so much money… and I have none. It simply makes no sense. -I found these fun things on the Interwebs that tell me all about the Best Restaurants in LA, LA Neighborhood Stereotypes, and Things People Say About LA (my favorite: “Los Angeles is like San Diego’s older, uglier sister that has herpes.”), so now I feel like I know everything.
-LA is Serendipity. I have had many serendipitous encounters and experiences so far and it fuels my belief in this place. LA is a current. You can fight against it or you can go with it. And in my limited experience so far, “going with it” is really the only sustainable choice. And going with this current makes for a very exciting ride.
Here are the things I have learned about myself, in LA:
-I am very very white and one day I will be a different, tanner shade of white.
– I fucking love my neighborhood. Silverlake is DA BOMB. I claim it in the name of REAL (Portland) hipsters. (I will show them the way.) -Going on Facebook makes me feel incredibly homesick.
-I would die without a smartphone and GPS on said smartphone.
-I have been sneezing and breaking-out like a mofo since I got here. I’ve been told this is normal. I guess this poor little Northwesterner is having trouble adjusting to the air quality!
-I need to watch more TV. Seriously. It’s my job now.
-I don’t know how I went through this much life without a Bluetooth.
-Oddly enough, I’ve been doing more hiking here in LA than I did in the Pacific Northwest. I guess I took it all for granted…?
– I love the street art here. There is so much to look at, everywhere. From the most beautiful, intricate mural, to harsh graffiti, to a simple doodle of a robot on the sidewalk– there are so many stories being told. I want to document more of my discoveries as I find them.
-I need a separate allowance for coffee. And for gas. And for parking.
-Some nights I will experience an overwhelming low or anxiety, then experience a day-long high upon waking the next morning.
-I can roll with it.
-I have my team. It is so essential to know that people have your back. I am so lucky to have my team here. You know who you are. I am so incredibly grateful for you.
But mostly, I have learned that this whole adventure is about me finding myself here. Finding myself in Los Angeles, getting to know myself in a scary new place. Being calm and clear in the midst of all this crazy. Yes, I’ve had freak-outs and breakdowns and “WHAT AM I DOING”s. Yes, I will continue to. But more so, I have moments of extreme clarity and purpose and know that I am where I need to be. I am fortunate enough to live a life full of big, beautiful love, even in a brand-new place. And that is pretty awesome.
You know what else is awesome?! WHAT I DID THIS WEEK! 🙂
Much of this week was spent job hunting (and I got one! Thanks, Accountemps, Los Angeles!), reconnecting with friends in the area, and spending quality time with my TEAM (once again, you know who you are and I love you!). I am also constantly basking in the utter joy of knowing that I am living in the same city as Dani (come November 1st, Dani, Suzzane and I will have our own place TOGETHER!). Holy. Crap. So rad!!
I also got to visit my family! My mom, dad, and brother spent this past week in Palm Springs for vacation, which is only two hours away from where I live. I drove out last Wednesday and stayed for a day and a half for some for some good, quality FAM TIME.
This week also brought me some incredible beach time:
with THIS lady:
We “studied” and “did work” all day long in our sandy ocean front, beach-towel office:
…But mostly we just talked about kombucha and men. (Typical.) I could get used to days like this.
I have been in LA for two weeks now. I’m surviving. I’m having fun. I’m getting work done. I think I’ve earned the overpriced juice that I’m going buy myself after I finish this post.
I keep finding places here feel like home; pockets of the city that feel like mine. Sometimes it’s a new-to-me bar, a friend’s living room, or a familiar coffeeshop that I had visited before the move here.
One of these places is a coffeeshop Suzzane and I frequent called Mornings Nights in Silverlake.
When I was getting work done there yesterday, I noticed that I was sitting between an advertisement that says “you belong here” and a sign hanging above the door says “welcome home”. I took a big breath and exhaled. I felt really happy in that moment.
I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks here will bring.
All of my love to you, my friends, I so adore you.
Well, my friends, I made it. I am alive and well, living in Los Angeles!!
Exactly one week ago I drove from Portland, Oregon all the way to Los Angeles, California. I did it. I finally DID it. Holy shit. I used to live here: And now I live HERE: Well, actually, I live here:
This is Silverlake. It is pretty much the best neighborhood in this whole sunny smoggy place. It is a hip, mustached, tattooed, coffee-addicted, food-centric paradise. It is walkable, bike-able, and almost completely fueled by yoga, booze, and raw foods juices. Okay, so it’s pretty much like Portland in SoCal… so obviously it feels like home. I suppose you can take the girl outta Portland, but you can’t take the Portland…
…you get the idea.
Looking back on my life a week ago–and letting everything truly sink-in with where I am now, both geographically and mentally/emotionally– I realize what an incredible thing I just did. And also what a potentially stupid thing I just did. But mostly… what an incredibly AWESOME thing I just did. So yeah.
A week ago I packed everything I own into my Hundai Elantra. Anything that didn’t fit, didn’t come with me. I took my clothes, my books, my computer, my guitar, my ukulele, some miscellaneous bedroom décor and sentimental items, and my embarrassingly small “LA Move Nest-Egg” (I will disclose the actual amount to you after I have achieved some small amount of success and/or stability) and left town the day after The Big Meal closed at Artists Repertory Theatre. I wouldn’t allow myself much time to think about it–I had to go. It was time; this was the time I had planned to leave.
So I did it. I drove away the very next morning. It was the farthest I’d driven alone in my car and the whole drive was very meditative and powerful. I didn’t get too tired. A vast array of emotions and adrenaline would check-in with me every two minutes to be sure I was wide-awake. I was thrilled to make a new home in a big new place and give myself permission to be the person I’ve always wanted to be. I was proud of myself for making the bold change. I was melancholy to close a show I loved with people I now consider family. I was excited to see my best friends Suz and Dani, happy to be caravanning down with Scott, worried I’d be making a mistake of leaving Portland at the wrong time, uncertain as to how and where and with whom I’d be making my new life, and afraid of doing it all wrong. I was forgiving of myself and mistakes I have made. I allowed myself to feel many different uncomfortable and often contradictory feelings and acknowledge them, so they could pass by.
In this way, the 14 + hour drive was this odd cleansing process for me. I didn’t expect that. I thought I would listen to NPR and a crap-ton of podcasts during the long drive–as one is want to do–but ended up listening to music and having thought-conversations with myself the whole way. Music was my constant companion on the journey and helped me allow my thoughts to run. My heart was heavy yet happy, and my chest was light and buzzing.
When I drove into Los Angeles city limits on the second day of the journey, the song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities came on my ipod:
And when I drove off of the exit into Silverlake, my new home, the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros came on:
Yup. That is when I started tearing up. I was so overwhelmed in that moment–after the long drive, after a year of planning and dreaming and fearing that I’d back out at the last minute, after countless people questioning why I’d want to made a move like this and never really having a good enough answer for them, I made it. I am here. Through moving in with a bunch of college boys, surviving a house fire, living through a cancer-scare, experiencing epic broke-dom, and dealing with countless auto issues, I made it. I had dreamed of making this move since undergrad and I was never quite sure if I had the balls to do it. But I grew balls. Great big lady balls. And I made some moderately irresponsible/risky/okay-I-guess-I’m-moving-another-couple-rungs-down-the-adult-ladder decisions. But I stick by those decisions. And I am proud of them. I am so proud of me.
My Past Few Weeks
The past six weeks my life revolved around the run of The Big Meal, a show very dear to me. Writing about my experience working on this show feels very daunting because it is so significant to me in a way I can’t quite articulate. All I can say is that it was exactly what it needed to be, at exactly the right time. I am so thankful for such a joyful, love-filled, challenging, life-changing experience. I miss it already.
I was humbled by the amount of people that showed up and wish that I would have taken more pictures. I drank lots of hot-toddies and gave lots of hugs. By the end of the night I was a happy weepy mess and felt like the most-loved girl in the world. I am going to miss my Portland family more than anything.
The Sunday that followed was the closing of The Big Meal. We had a matinee and an evening show and had an incredible cast party at our usual spot, Cassidy’s. I laughed until I peed, multiple times, that night. Let’s just say, shit got REAL.
We partied and packed late into the night. Well, at least Scott and I did. The next day, on Monday morning, Mr. Scott Lowell and I fueled up our cars, pulled out our walkie-talkies, at hit the open road with a Puggle for our two-day, 14-hour drive from Portland to Los Angeles.
We had many fun adventures along the way. Most notably, time spent in beautiful autumnal Ashland, OR, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival:
…and still had time for me to climb shit like a spider monkey.
And what a vision-quest it all was.
But now.. NOW! I am in Los Angeles!! Since being in LA, I’ve been living in three places (2 in Silverlake, 1 in Echo Park), because, as we all know, I am a freaking vagabond. Aside from scattering my belongings and my person at Dani/Suz’s and Scott’s house, I have been fortunate enough to house-sit in Echo Park for my dear friends Stephen and Marina. I get to hang out with their cat Chance in this cool place:
And yes, in many ways I am still living out of my car (my shoes and all of my accessories, among other things, are still packed very tetris-like in my trunk, so the final phase of My-Getting-Ready-for-the-Day-Routine is to sit inside my trunk and complete my outfit), but I have only a couple weeks left of vagabonding around the ‘hood until I get to live with my two best friends in our new house in Silverlake!!
I started to get out of the neighborhood and into the city a little bit over the last couple days. Here is some photographic evidence of me hanging out with some of my new friends I made at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum:
…Like a boss.
Scott and I went to see a friend’s show site-specific to the museum and it made for a pretty fantastic evening. Seeing my first live thing in this city got me both pumped and depressed– it evoked both a call to action and a paralyzing fear of not knowing what to do next–or first.
But I forget. I’ve been in this city for a WEEK. I think I need to calm the fuck down a little bit. I have done so much and come so far. I will solidify the job/cash-flow thing. I will have my own space soon. I will seek representation. I WILL GO TO THE BEACH.
Everything will fall into place. My mom once made me repeat the mantra, “I am calm, I am confident, I am strong”. Yes, yes, yes. Let go of the stress you accumulated for yourself in the Pacific NW and let yourself be calm amidst the crazy of this city. This is my own check-in.
And that extra vitamin D sure does’t hurt.
So… remember when I first made the public proclaimation that I was moving? A lot has happened since then. And I could not be more proud.
Also, let us not forget one of the most important parts of this post… the very BEST thing about this move and the impetus for doing so in the first place is…
Because of THIS GIRL.
My Dani. The best friend and sister a girl could possibly have.
That’s right, folks. The Two Evil Actors are reunited once more. And it has, is, and will continue to be the most GLORIOUS thing ever.
And I have ALSO been reunited with our best friend Suzzane!!
This is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened, EVER. And come November 1st, the three of us will be living together in a beautiful house on Waterloo Street.
Watch out world.
Love to you, my friends, thank you for all of the support you have given me in making this big step. I cannot tell you how much you all have helped propel me forward.
Human beings are slippery little creatures. Do you have any idea how easy it is to hide from yourself?
I feel like as human beings we spend a lot of time skirting the issue, avoiding the confrontation, masking our feelings, and hiding from the things that are actually the most important to us–the things which are so important, in fact, that they are major motivators for us and dictate our behavior. But we are so clever at hiding from ourselves (and others), that we don’t even know that we are hiding! Humans are so smart!
Oh my God! In fact, the truth is that I’m actually avoiding the real point of this blog post by speaking in general terms and skirting the issue RIGHT NOW!
I have barely written a word since being back from India, either for my self or for this blog, and I’ve come up with excuse after excuse to avoid addressing it. To be honest, I’ve been deeply unhappy and confused for the past month or so. I’ve felt totally lost and fragmented. There were so many things that I unearthed in India–deep aspects of my personality and past that I discovered as things that are hidden motivators for my behavior. We all have them, and sometimes you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone in order to shed light on the things that usually lie in darkness as they dictate your behavior in your day-to-day life. My major discovery was that perhaps my biggest motivator–the dynamo that is the engine for every good thing I’ve accomplished in my adult life and for every bad thing that I’ve brought on myself as a form of self-sabotage–that motivator is a sense of self-hatred. I sense that I am not enough and so I have to do X, Y, and Z in order to prove my worth to myself and to the world.
This might seem like a heavy thing to share in a public forum, but I feel motivated at this moment to do so because I know for a fact that I am not the first person to feel that way. In many ways, it is a fundamental aspect of American consciousness, which is maybe why I needed to go to India and experience another way of being in the world in order to identify it as my personal truth. Being back in LA has been extremely difficult, and I think the major reason it has been difficult is carrying around this new self-knowledge in an old environment, and seeing my own insecurities so clearly reflected in the world around. For example, show me a twenty-something in LA who ISN’T insecure about her body and I’ll show you a thousand women crammed with false images from the media who hate their own skin. It’s not a comfortable fact, but it’s a true one.
I also feel that as a writer, as an actor, and as an artist I can’t move forward in my work until I acknowledge my personal truth. I felt artistically crippled. I couldn’t write in my journal, I couldn’t write this blog, I couldn’t be more than 90% present in my acting work because I quite simply did NOT want to know the truth about what was going on with me. I was hiding from myself.
So yeah, I guess that’s what I wanted to share with you all today. There is no point in hiding from yourself, in denying what it is that is really going on with you, because the things that you hide from the most are also the things that motivate you the most. Whatever inferiority complex I have, it has made me move to Portland by myself at the age of 17, it made me take a million credits per semester in college and get a super pimped out resume, it made me a major player in the foundation of a nonprofit opera company, it made me go to grad school and move to a city I never thought I would be ready for. It’s that inner dynamic that helps move me both towards and away from my dreams.
Even though this underlying dissatisfaction has been an omnipresent force for the last several weeks, here are some of the fun activities I’ve been doing to distract myself and lighten my spirits in the meantime! It’s been kind of a love affair with LA in a weird way, because despite the angst which has sprung out of transitioning back into my life here, I’ve been exploring all that this amazing city has to offer. And LA is actually really fucking rad, you guys.
Hiking adventures! We got a huge group together to go hiking/swimming/cliff jumping at Hermit Falls. This is Sean and Suzanna, who invited us to a huge warehouse party in downtown LA, successfully giving us the most “LA” day in the history of time.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery movie screenings! Cinespia hosts huge events over the summer in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Thousands of people turn out with blankets and picnics to watch their favorite movies projected on to the side of a mausoleum, and it is AWESOME. My favorite night was all-night movie night, which was a vampire-themed triple feature of The Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Interview with a Vampire. At least, that’s only how long I was able to stay awake. Movie enthusiasts in LA will watch obscure French lesbian vampire porn until dawn. I am not that enthusiastic.
Beach trips! Most of the time my Silver Lake home is just too far from the ocean to see my Mama Pacific too often, but in the summer it is all palm trees and hot white sand. Bliss.
Visiting family! I am lucky enough to have a bunch of family about 4 hours north of LA in the scenic town of Guadalupe, California. Ahhhhh the smell of broccoli.
Reuniting with friends! That beautiful woman is one of the very very VERY best friends of Britt and I. She is now living in my house in LA, where Britt will soon join us, and she is a social activist and social worker and Master’s student at USC. We are in love. We are also both in love with Phil and Connor, two of my very best friends and two of the very best sexy man-actors in the history of the world. All of these people are part of the Portland takeover of LA. Watch out, world!
Bachelorette Party?! That beautiful woman in white is now a Mrs., and she came down to LA to celebrate her last weekend of bachelorette-dom in the sunshine with her ladies. In a stroke of madness, she left the bachelorette party planning to me and another LA-based ex-Portland artist-friend, and we had a magical weekend of beach-time and debauchery in Santa Monica. Needless to say, Batman was our designated driver that night.
School resumes! I just finished week 3 of year 2 of my MFA in acting, and I am pretty damn excited about all of the work we are getting to create for the next two years. How many actors in LA actually get to ACT for 13 hours a day for nine months? I am a lucky mofo. Lucky, lucky, lucky. This pic is of my ensemble playing with letter pillows in voice class. Life is good.