Britt is back Stateside, but keeps her suitcase packed. And drunk-blogs about it.

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

Britt leaves for 2 months, Dani dies 1,000 deaths, Britt writes 5 blogs, Dani does nothing, Britt returns, and Dani comes back to life

I don’t even really need to write a blog now.  That title just did all the work for me. So, I know that y’all really come to twoevilactors.com to read about this beautiful goddess Britt and all her exploits, so … Continue reading

britt goes DOWN UNDAH

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

Gradjamacation

I am now on my third week of real post-grad-school life.  Just kidding.  It’s more like Here is the highlights reel of Dani’s life post-graduation.  I was going to do a graduation post but the sweetest best friend a girl … Continue reading

britt loves on her girl.

A huge thing happened this past weekend. IMG_3531 IMG_3533 …Can you guess what it is? IMG_3527 Also, #sparkleshoes.

Also, #parkinggarageglam.

YOU GUYS.

DANI

I IMG_3584

GRADUATED

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FROM

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THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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WITH HER MASTERS OF FINE ARTS DEGREE

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IN ACTING

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As if that wasn’t enough to impress you, Dani was also chosen to be the class speaker,

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Note the kiss mark.

in which she delivered a soul-igniting speech to a packed Bing Theatre,

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Blurry because of my tear – soaked eyes.

that of course moved me (and everyone else in the house) to tears. vma-crying-5

And even though the wizard hood took a couple of tries, IMG_3525 and required a of couple gentleman (of the finest quality), IMG_3521 Dani remained regal, majestic, and wizardly. IMG_3518And although the choice of celebratory alcohol thrust D into making a gut-wrenchinly difficult decision under a lot of pressure, IMG_3591 she made an informed life choice and STUCK WITH IT (like a ADULT). 

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She chose: ALL of the alcahol.

And even when some random street urchin crashed Dani’s nice graduation family brunch,

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I am very happy with my new mom and dad. I hope this is my new forever home.

She did not turn the urchin away, NAY, she took said street urchin out of the harsh, harsh LA cold and to a very fancy commencement celebration in which Street Urchin forgot to wear nice clothes. And Dani and her sweet Gentleman loved Vagabond Street Youth anyway.

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“I can still be seen with you?! THANKS GUYS!!!”

Ah, yes, The Big Three:

1.) Staying regal, majestic and wizardly in times of struggle.

2.) Making an informed adult decision and following through with that decision.

3.) Taking in street urchins out of the cold and not shaming them for their choice of beany and Grand Prix checkered outfit (The “You made it to the finish line!” grad theme did not quite work in hindsight…).

THIS is what a beautiful, talented, well – equipped, successful artist, human, and scholar looks like. IMG_3583 And I am so, so proud. IMG_3578 I remember the day Dani told me she was going to start applying to MFA programs and I remember the night in our Logus Apartment in Portland, OR when Dani made the decision to say yes to USC. This decision changed the course of both of our lives forever.

Dani, you are the reason I am physically in LA. You gave me the courage to to do this: to move here and to call this crazy place home. I learn from you everyday, am inspired by you everyday, and am constantly anchored by your strength and friendship. I am so, so proud of you. My dear North Star, you have helped me make incredible life discoveries by trusting your gut and believing in mine. I am so honored to call you my best friend. I cannot wait to (continue to) see what badass shit you create in this world. 

And now, I will leave with a final little nugget of crazy, a “slice of life”, if you will:

“An MFA Prepares (at 3am the night / morning of her party hardy grad party):

That’s muh girl.

Congratulations, my Dani. I love you sweet sister. IMG_3352 All my love,

Britt

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.

A post shared by britt harris (@thebrittharris) on

Hello @pdxcarpet , my old friend… #pdx #portland #pnwweekend

A post shared by britt harris (@thebrittharris) on

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. 

'Tis the season for titty boxing. #tittyboxing #xmas #everybodywins

A post shared by britt harris (@thebrittharris) on

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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

New York, I Love You

“You know, this is what I’ve always liked about New York. These little moments on the sidewalk, smoking, thinking about your life. You can watch the buildings, you can feel the air, look at the people, sometimes meet somebody you feel like you can talk to.”

Almost exactly three years ago I was in New York, staying in Astoria, Queens, taking the N train into Manhattan, and dreaming big dreams about my future.  My apartment back in Portland had been annihilated by flooding days before, so I had no home to speak of, my heart was at least half broken, and I was on my way to Colorado afterwards, another place that was not my home.  I was sort of desperate but I had a sense of perpetual motion propelling me forward, so I was happy in a way, and elated by New York. 

The first time I got on the N train this time around, I was watching the Manhattan skyline approach before the train plunged under the river to spit me out in the heart of Manhattan to perform my culminating USC Acting Showcase, the last project of the most transformative, important, and best three years of my life, and I couldn’t help but cry.  I couldn’t stop.  The deeper under the river the train carried me, the more my tears insisted on leaking out of eyes.  I did not have the same shaky fear and deep insecurity that accompanied me the last time I rode this train. I was not the same person and yet I was more myself than I had ever been. 

On my last day in New York,  I wandered the East Village and Greenwich Village and I found myself in a quaint gluten-free Italian restaurant, a cozy sanctuary from the bitter Spring breezes where I could write and drink espresso (spiked by contraband Irish whiskey because let’s be real).  New York is poetry in motion.  There is something about this city, about the struggle combined with the triumphant moments that make it a transcendent place to exist.  

And yet the last time I was here I yearned to stay here, to exist in the fast-paced struggle and glory. But this time, my weak-ass palm-tree-loving sunshine-basking LA blood was like “daaaaamn you’re not gonna move here right?”  New York, I love you, but I also love LA.  It’s the same madness but it’s more spread out.  Plus in LA there is this:

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Observe. Sunshine, Sand, and Britt Harris

I’m from the wild west and I love the wild west. 

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Yeah that’s right, mysterious cowboy. Life has a way of giving you exactly what you need at exactly the right moments, and I trust that I am exactly where I need to be. 

After the showcase on Tuesday, I budgeted three days to be in New York to take all of the fabulous meetings and auditions I would have from all of the people who were just dying to work with me and I got…

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Ah yes. That moment as an actor when your ego gets bitch-slapped and you have to just take it in stride and trust that you are still on the right path. That moment when your friends can’t hang out because of all their auditions and meetings.  That moment that your friend calls you and asks for help preparing to audition for your favorite musical of all time.  That moment when you try to drop your headshot off at a casting office and get rejected hard. 

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So what does one do in New York when one’s dreams of working here have been snatched away by the cold, quick hand of reality?

1. Hang out with these angels.

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These are my hosts with the mosts offering me tequila and gluten-free cookies on my first day in New York. That blue-eyed Oregonian boy on the left is the soon-to-be-world-famous Connor Bond, a badass actor with whom I have shared the stage many times. 

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…Okay we also may have shared a couple shots of tequila as well.  That’s a throwback to the good old college days. 

Anyway, the blue-eyed Oregon boy on the right is the soon-to-be-world-famous Devin Olson, another actor extraordinaire with whom I have shared the stage many times. 

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That’s a college throwback to “Rumors” by Neil Simon, when I unsuccessfully tried to seduce Devin but successfully used him to make my husband jealous. Check out that hair flip y’all!  Proof of my inner PIMP. 

Connor and Devin live in the very same apartment shared by Devin and Sammi the last time I was in NYC. 

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You may recognize Sammi from my hiking adventures.  

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THE POINT IS that this family runs DEEP and this entire trip to New York would have been worth it just to see my boys.  

2. Take yourself on baller ass solo dates. 

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My favorite theatre in NYC is The Public Theatre and I got to see “Buzzer,” a sexy new topical play by Tracey Scott Wilson.  The play was great, and the guy sitting next to me most definitely had Tourette’s, which was a new play-going experience for me.  And let me just say, it was great.  We had like all the same reactions to the play but he got to have, like, BIGGER reactions.  It was seriously awesome. Shout out to you, brother. 

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This is the view from Senza Gluten, the only gluten-free Italian restaurant I’ve ever encountered, and the place from which I wrote a lot of this post. Baller. Ass. Solo. Dates. 

3. Kiss a monk on the subway. 

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That’s Khen Rinpoche, my host when I was in Ladakh, India two years ago.  I hadn’t seen him since I was in India. And it was so nice to be reunited with him.  He is just pure presence and pure love.  And he loves holding hands and giving kisses.  Even if you are getting on the subway and people look at you like you’re crazy. He also loves selfies. 

4. Go to Happy Hour. 

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‘Nuff said. Who says I wasn’t taking care of business in New York?

5. Check out an awesome independent bookstore. 

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Look at that nerd nerding out super hard in the nerd section. #winning

6.  Get drunk and ride the subway. 

Subway-Almost-Crushes-Drunk-Lady-Thank-Goodness-For-Sober-People

You guys. I have an uncanny homing device when drunk and alone in cities.  It has never once failed me.  Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Shanghai, New York, Los Angeles. BRING IT ON. Also I’m sure I’m not the first lady in a pretty dress to pee in an inappropriate place in New York.  Am I oversharing? I promise I’m not an alcoholic. 

7. See “Hand to God” on Broadway. 

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Okay so if you’re in New York maybe you’re all like, “Ooooo I want to see The Lion King” or “Maybe a nice Rogers and Hammerstein would be nice.” Let me just say, and pardon my French, FUCK THAT NOISE AND GO SEE “HAND TO GOD”.  Sweet holy crap-monsters this was like, top-5 playgoing experiences of my life.  The sheer technical mastery of the actors alone is worth it, not to mention the writing, and the subject matter, and the soulfulness of the show, and the TOTALLY UNAPOLOGETIC COMPLETELY BADASS experience.  It is not for the faint of heart but like, grow a pair of ovaries and/or testicles and fly your ass to New York and go see it.  It can and should change your life. 

8.  Write love letters to someone far away. 

love letters

…Wouldn’t you like to know?

xoxox

Dani

britt’s amazing Grandma Helen

I would like to a moment to tell you about this incredible woman:

My Grandma Helen at age 97 (2 years ago), with a really rad cat sweater.

My beautiful Grandma Helen at age 96 (3 years ago), with a really rad cat sweater. What. A. BABE.

This is my Grandma Helen Estelle Stone Smith Baespflug. She passed away on October 27th, 2014 at the incredible age of 98. My Grandma was my hero and I love her very much.

In an effort to get the whole family together (Grandma Helen had 7 children, if that gives you any idea of the amount of people we’re talking about here), the memorial was scheduled months after her passing on what would have been her 99th birthday. 

I am now on Day 18 of mono (and think I can safely say I am almost in the clear! Finally!) and luckily made my goal of getting on an airplane last Friday to attend the memorial over the weekend in Tacoma, WA, with the added bonus of having my dear parents nurse me back to health. As much as I wouldn’t let the worry enter my head (I can really only take things one moment at a time since this virus has been plaguing me for what seems like years), I knew that I ran the risk of the stress of air-travel pushing me back a few spaces.

I guess it did.

To my utter heartbreak, I was unable to attend Grandma’s funeral the day after I arrived in Tacoma. I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain in my throat and ears. I couldn’t swallow without gagging and experiencing searing pain in my tonsils. It was clear that I needed to seek medical attention ASAP and spent the rest of the day doing so with my dad. It turns out that I had a bacterial infection on top of my mono (gotta collect ’em all!), which obviously sucks, but the good news is that antibiotics WORK. So I’m on the mend. But I didn’t get to celebrate Grandma’s life with my family members that traveled from near and far to be together. I wasn’t able to be there for my mom in the way I wanted and needed to be. This was really hard for me and I am very sad about that.

So. I’ve been spending the day journaling, remembering, talking with my mom, going through pictures… trying to make the most of this time. It feels nice.

Here are some beautiful photos I (re)discovered at my parents’ house:

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One of my favorite photos of my Grandma and my Grandpa Martin. (Cameo by Mono Britt.)

No, actually -- THIS ONE.

I also love this one. 🙂

I wanted to take this time, during my own time of reflection, to share with you, my friends, my thoughts and memories of Helen. Cause she was so, SO awesome. And you would all love her.

Here are things you need to know about my Grandma:

1.) She LOVED to dance.

My mom told me that she and my Grandpa would go out dancing every week until Grandpa passed. They were incredible.

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My Grandma also made these outfits. More on that later!

I also remember Grandma dipping my cousin Michael on the dance floor on his own wedding day (she must have been 93 or 94 at the time) because she wanted to see the young whipper-snappers “dance correctly”. So she strutted up to the dance floor, literally took the lead, forcefully spun Michael around and dipped him. She bowed, turned around on a dime and strutted back to the seated area as the next lady came up to dance with Michael. Classic Helen. You minx!

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Grandma with Michael at yet another wedding (my cousin Michelle’s, Michael’s sister), surely reminding him to step-up his dance-step game.

2.) She LOVED my Grandpa Martin.

My Grandpa was one of the sweetest, gentlest men in existence. I love hearing my mom talk about him. He raised 6 girls (and 1 boy), so I’m pretty sure that automatically makes you a saint. He fought in World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart. He passed away my freshman year of high school. 

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What a stud, right? His eyes always seemed to smile.

An beautiful etching Grandma drew of Grandpa.

An beautiful etching Grandma drew of Grandpa. (c) Helen Baespflug

3.) And of course, Helen LOVED her kids. All 7 of them.

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So, this isn’t ALLL of the kids, but you get the idea. I HAVE A CUTE FAMILY.

4.) She was sarcastic and witty as hell. 

This is one of my favorite Helen stories.

After I broke off an engagement post-college (that’s another long story we’ll get into at a later date, okay kids?), my Grandma had some pretty snarky (read as: “spot-on”) things to say to me:

Helen: “Brittney. What is your favorite thing to drink these days?”

Britt: “I don’t know… Coffee. Purple Gatorade? Tea, I guess.”

Helen: “Are you sure it’s not booze?”

Britt: *Sigh*

Helen: *Hysterical laughter*

Britt: “…okay, yeah.”

Not much longer after that, mid-conversation on (hopefully) a different matter, Grandma stops mid-sentence with a gasp to admire the many rings I was wearing. She quickly scanned my left ring-finger, noted that it was bare and unadorned, then slyly looked up at me. 

Helen: “…So. That’s the scary one, huh?” (She says, totally dead-pan. This kind of delivery was her specialty.)

Britt: “….yeup.”

Helen: “You wanna stay away from that one, don’t you.”

Britt: (awkardly) “Oohhh yeah.”

Then, I’m pretty sure, we got up to get wine after that.

Helen: 2, Britt: 0

Well played, Grandma, well played.

Grandma straight-up stole my glasses from me for this whole day (pictured here). She liked them, so she stole them off my head. Truth be told, she wore them better.

Grandma straight-up stole my glasses from me for this whole day (pictured here). She liked them, so she stole them right off my head. Truth be told, she wore them better.

5.) She loved putting you in your place. In the most hilarious, loving way possible.

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Grandma at work, putting my cousins in their place during this Fam Photo. Get ’em, Gramma.

I remember I came over to Grandma’s house with a friend in middle-school, early high-school, maybe, and she had strong opinions about us not entering the house until she was done tidying up. I insisted that “it’s FINE, Gramma, we really don’t care”, and barged my way through the front door. The 90-pound, 80-something-year-old woman forcefully, physically, pushed us back out the front door until she was ready for us to come back in. Which was literally like… 60 seconds later (during which time she opened the door as if for the first time seeing us that day, greeting us with a sweet Granny smile). 

See?! Goofball Granny smile. What is not to love?

See?! Goofball Granny smile. What is not to love?

6.) Grandma Helen was an exceptional artist.

I think these images speak for themselves. Here are some of my faves:

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(c) Helen Baespflug

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(c) Helen Baespflug

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(c) Helen Baespflug

7.) Grandma Helen should have been a famous costume designer in the Hollywood. (Refer back to #6 — you see what I’m talking about?!)

My mom, aunts, and uncle were all in different incarnations of bands in their youth. Grandma made ALL of their costumes, and there were always new costumes for different sets within a given show. According to my mother, Grandma Helen would make up to 20 costumes per show. I mean, WOW.

So check THIS out:

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This is the band “Baespflug”. My Grandma made these outfits in all of their Epic Badassedry. Pictured here: my aunt Valerie (left), my mom (top), my aunt Shelby (right), and my aunt Christie (bottom). Wicked.

My mom brought some gorgeous pieces back for me from the memorial that my Grandma made. I wanted you to see what they looked like on a person — not on a hanger — so you could see these pieces in their full glory. But unfortunately for you, this means that you get Super Mono Girl as your model. Ohhhh BABY. Enjoy.

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This one stole my heart. My Grandma is a genius.

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Can you believe she DESIGNED and MADE these?!?!

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They are all so different, all so brilliant.

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LOOK at this cute little flapper dress!! This one is my favorite, I think.

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And I want you to take note of the beautiful detail on this dress — I love the neckpiece. Sheer brilliance, Grandma, sheer brilliance. 🙂

Not to mention, Grandma made all of the girls’ prom dresses in high school! She also made my mom’s wedding dress (and I believe all, or at least most, of my aunts’ wedding dresses). Dayum.

8.) Grandma Helen was the best Grandma ever.

I have so many fond memories of playing the day away at her house and in the large backyard with my cousins. My memories come in little snippets here in there; something strange or simple will jog my memory randomly. For example, I remember I was really obsessed with this bird book that Grandma had. I was just thinking about this the other day for some reason. I was super fixated on the large Snowy Owl that graced two pages of the book in full color. I would sit on the floor of her house or on the swing outside and look that thing for what seemed like hours.

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Part of my big crazy family in Grandma’s back yard. You can spot little Britt on the bottom right-hand corner of the photo. 🙂

There are far too many memories to write about here. But I just wanted to say that her presence, her home, her humor, all of it, painted my childhood with so many beautiful and vibrant colors. 

—————

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and love one of my biggest heroes with me. This is the best way I can think of to honor her influence on my life and celebrate hers since I was not able to do so as planned this past weekend. Thank you for supporting me in sharing the things I needed to share.

Below are the last photos I had taken with my Grandma. I love them the most, I think. There is something so fun and free about them. They make me smile.

My last visit with Grandma, August 2014.

My last visit with Grandma, August 2014.

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Grandma Helen is 98 in this photo and was still cracking me up constantly.

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Rediscovering Grandma’s drawings together in a book beautifully assembled by my cousin Charisse. This was my favorite thing.

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Grandma, my bro Nate, and me. August 2014. Love you forever Grandma.

I love you Grandma and I miss you so much already. Teach me to be like you. Happy 99th birthday. You won Life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DANI!! (or, britt writes a sappy love letter)

Dear World,

I need to publically proclaim my unconditional, undying love for the incredible Dani Larson. Dani is my best friend, my sister, the co-author of this blog, and the woman of my heart! We may get married someday, who knows. She is my soul mate. Just saying. So step off, biatches!!

And I am just gushing with love for her on this fine day, her BIRTHDAY!! Please join me in wishing this very special human the most amazing birthday ever!!

Dani, you mean the world to me. I would not be the person I am today without your influence in my life. I am humbled and made giddy by your presence in my life daily. Thank you for being fucking AWESOME.

So! Today! You MUST:

and

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY DANI GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All of my love, forever & ever,

~your britt (and the WHOLE Internet world who is voyeuristically tuning into this post right now)

britt talks feeling weak & finding family

When we wrapped the final day of principal photography for Birds of Neptune (Day 17 for the project, Day 15 for Yours Truly), I cried all the way home. Well, I guess I should say I cried all the way to rehearsal, but whatever. Technicalities. (You know I can’t take a break to save my life.)

For those of you following along at home, you know I’ve been going through some GCOES times, brain frenzy and heart hurt as of late. I’m not going to lie, bringing myself to even write a post this week has been difficult. I’d rather just roll into a ball on the floor and cry, but no, fuck that, it’s BLOG TIME. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic but I don’t know what else to write about.

I feel weak.

Emotionally and physically, I feel very weak.

Every day I second-guess my plans to move to LA. Every day I feel scared of leaving the people I love behind. Every day I feel scared of being left by those I love. I often carry around an overwhelming sadness of knowing that I will ultimately go through this journey alone. I mean, any true expert in their field walks a lonely road to quest for truth…right?

I don’t know.

But it’s okay to feel weak. I need to remember that.

As Dani so beautifully stated in her last post, ” (It is about mastering the art of) being in the moment without being attached to the moment. Just because you allow yourself to truly go through an experience doesn’t mean you have to get attached to that experience and spiral down into an abyss of panic, fear, depression, or murderous rage. Just breathe. A new moment is waiting to rush into you. Literally.”

Wow. And that shit is hard to remember! When I feel hurt and scared and alone it is so easy to take the people I love down with me. And that is selfish love.

But you know what? Fuck that. I am not alone. I am not stuck in a bubble. I have found family in dear friends whom I know will never leave me, no matter what my geography. And I have found family in the random people who come together by chance to create something bigger than themselves in a world of art and creation.

Take Birds of Neptune, for example. This team is my FAM. These people, some of them acquaintances, most of them strangers, have seen me at my most vulnerable and have loved and supported me through all of my experiences. They celebrated my 26th birthday with me, witnessed me puking in the bushes from nerves, held me as I cried-off a scene that really shook me, and have taken shots with me after a long 16-hour day of work. They are no longer acquaintances or strangers or “just people are work with”. They are my fucking Fam.

My BON family was my family this week. And thank god for them.

Speaking of….

My Week

Without all this work keeping me busy, I don’t know how I would find my center. It’s always there, pushing me forward, reminding me of who I am, gently reassuring me that everything I experience in life is meaningful and relevant. I am so lucky.

Let’s talk about this movie.

Despite its intensity and absorption of my life for weeks, Birds of Neptune has been so good to me. As I mentioned earlier, this week marked the wrap of principal photography for the film. This is not a picture-wrap on me quite yet, though– I will most likely have another shooting day for pick-ups and there is an additional scene we still need to shoot. But in reality, BON production is wrapped. That is seven months of my time: prep, rehearsal, and production WRAPPED, folks. I can’t believe I am finally on the other side. WOA.

And on that note:

Here are some highlights from my adventures on the BON set this week:

First– having my own stunt double. Seriously, that is just rad (I would have died in this car otherwise, trust me):

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Jesus watching over Craft Services at one of our locations (legit):

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Discovering creative and epic ways to fit a camera the size of a boat into spaces the size of a closet:

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Three words. THRIFT STORE DAY:

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THRIFT SHOP DAAAAAY!!

You GUYS. Thrift Store Day was the BEST Day. Conveniently located next door to one of our shooting locations, I think it goes without saying that we spent our lunch break that day treasure hunting. Among the items purchased by the cast and crew that day were an exercise bike (fifty dolla make you holla!!), a VHS entitled “Multiplication Rap ($0.75), and a book published in 1921 entitled, “Beautiful Girlhood” ($1.50).

I want you all to know that I purchased that lovely gem of a book. There were chapters entitled “A Girl’s Ornaments”, “Opening Flowers”, “The strength of Obedience”, “Making Herself Beautiful”, “That Member, The Tongue”, “The Oils of Life”, “The Girl Who Can Be Trusted” and “Getting Ready for The Great Responsibility”. I mean… holy fuck. How could you NOT purchase that?! It was so fascinating to me because it is equal parts blood-boiling and hilarious. I would love to get this book into the hands of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Because turning back the clock for women is oh-so-funny. At least there was plenty of unintentional sexual innuendo in that book to satisfy my snarky factor so I didn’t stay pissed off about the book’s existence for too long.

But I digress.

Anyway. This week was a sprint to the finish line for BON. A glorious ending. And this week also brought new beginnings as I start rehearsals for Theatre Vertigo‘s “Aloha Say the Pretty Girls”:

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(c) Gary Norman

And you know, even with all the amazing going on around me, I really don’t feel so good right now. I can acknowledge that, and that is okay.

But also, FUCK that.

Because this is what I have learned, and am always learning:

Being vulnerable is hard. Being a human is hard. Loving others is hard. Loving yourself is hard. No matter how much adulting or discipline I condition in my daily life, there will still be things I don’t plan for. You cannot plan on the heart, that is for sure.

But I truly believe that is what makes everything worth it. To love and to risk being hurt. To love and risk hurting others. To love and be loved in return. To find family wherever you go. To know that you are not alone.

Now enough GCOES. I have shit to do.

got shit to do!

Love to you, my dear Family, thank you for being there.

~britt