Britt says, “Happy 2015 betch, you get MONO!!”

KA-BLAM! 2015! Things are going great. Your career is taking off. You’re sort of, almost, over your death-fear of airplanes. You’re in love a little bit. The RAC album is on loop in your head. You walk with swagger. You look fly as hell. Things are GOOD. 

2015 is gonna be GOOD.

Then.

FUCK YOU, BETCH!! YOU GET MONO!! BWAAHHAAAA!!!

WHAT.

Fuck.

OFF.

Mono. Mono?!?! I somehow have mono. Who even GETS mono anymore?! Is this not a middle school thing?! I’m a grown-ass woman! And, yes, thank you to Every-Person-Whom-I’ve-Ever-Told-That-I-Have-Mono, no, I’m not kissin a bunch of rando-s up in here. I know exactly where my mouth has been, thankyouforyourconcern. It’s just– AGHHHHH– how did this happen?! And could this have come at more terrible time?!

I remember saying to Dani sometime last year when I was going a million miles an hour and my life was hanging in a delicate balance of Crazy / Awesome (any given day): “Ha! You know who could never, EVER afford to get something like mono?!”

Me.

Fun fact. It took me 36 (or so) attempts to write this fucking post. Because I keep getting too tired. TOO TIRED TO LOOK AT A COMPUTER SCREEN and TYPE FOR A MINUTE. I will get through part of a sentence or a half a thought and then completely lose my will to live.

But that’s okay. I keep at it. I will finish this post purely because I’m a stubborn asshole. Persistence. I’ve got that in spades. 

….What is the point of this post exactly? How will I know when it is over? Will I ever get through the tunnel of this sick-vortex? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but all I know is that if I don’t finish this post today, THE MONO HAS WON.

But really. I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own body. I could get into the nasty, woeful details, but I feel snarky today so I’m going to take that as a good turning-point-in-my-health sign and go with it. All you need to know that this is Day 11 and this is hands-down the sickest I’ve been in my adult life. One night (Night 4, I believe), I was home alone and sincerely thought I was going to die. True story. (I didn’t.) (True story.) You also probably need to know that I’ve watched all of the episodes of Parenthood and cried into my pillow (and it SUPER hurts to cry but not as much as it hurts to eat and drink. And be idle. GodDAMN it hurts to be idle…) and called my mom practically every hour on the hour. Maybe you didn’t need to know that last bit, but there you have it anyway. Slice of patheticBrittsicklife.

I’ve been super lucky though. I have the best friends in the world. I’m fairly certain I would be dead right now if nursemaid Dani wasn’t here making me eat and taking me to the doctor and the pharmacy and writing with me and loving on me and saying encouraging things like, “you’re gonna make it, kid!”. 

I just need to get stable before I take off on another jetplane on Friday. That is my goal.

But you know what guys, you know what?! I am still making genius art whilst on my death-bed! Dani and I shot this beautiful piece starring my hand and her dino set. It confronts the complexities of universal longing and interspecies love, as well as bravely tackles the issues of diversity, ignorance, and the thread that binds us all together (love). I hope you enjoy.

There.

I hope that constitutes a “button” on the end of a barely-passable stream-of-consciousness sick post. You get what you paid for, betches. I woke up like dis. Pucker up, lemme kiss yaaa.

keep-calm-and-stay-away-sick-person

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Super Mono Girl, OUT.

dani talks hygiene

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

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

GO TO ALLIE BROSH'S WEBSITE RIGHT NOW

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

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

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

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

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

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

long toenails

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

try2   XOXO,

Dani

britt goes from The Big Meal to The Big Move

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: Portland%20skyline%207%20from%20Eastbank%20Esplanade And now I live HERE: hw Well, actually, I live here: new hood

Welcome.

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.

Anyway.

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 also had an epic going away party at The Blue Monk (a bar central to my social life, linked mostly to my Theatre Vertigo days) the Thursday evening before my departure:

Liz, Shane, and Me being a pirate. Thank you Liz for capturing this moment of pure insanity.

Liz, Shane, and Me being a pirate. Thank you Liz for capturing this moment of pure insanity.

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.

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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.

Legit.

Legit.

We had many fun adventures along the way. Most notably, time spent in beautiful autumnal Ashland, OR, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival:

photo4Sadly, we didn’t have time to stay and see shows, but we did make time for enjoying good sushi, letting Gertie the Puggle tour-guide us through beautiful Lithia Park,

gertie lithia park

…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:

photo3And 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:

OMG, Dinos!

OMG, Dinos!

OMG, elephants!!

OMG, elephants!!

…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.

See?! Look at how happy I am!!

See?! Look at how happy I am!!

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 D

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. photo (2)

And I have ALSO been reunited with our best friend Suzzane!!

suz

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.

~britt

dani hides like a sneaky little weasel

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.

My month:

ImageHiking 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Much love,

Dani

britt loves lists and summer work.

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

Summer drinking, ACTIVATE.

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

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

Specifically:

~I talk to myself a lot.

~I love lists.

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

~When caffeinated, I am just… better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ I dislike the term “networking”.

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

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

~Food and music are the way to my heart.

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

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

~Running often and eating well make a huge difference.

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

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

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

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

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

My Week

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

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

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

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(c) ZF Creative

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(c) ZF Creative

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(c) ZF Creative

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(c) ZF Creative

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

"Quietus", (c) Americonic Films

“Quietus”, (c) Americonic Films

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

(c) Fantini Cinema Photo credit: Galvin Collins

(c) Fantini Cinema
Photo credit: Galvin Collins

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

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

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

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

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

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

(c) Gary Norman Photography

(c) Gary Norman Photography

Aaaand, thank you, Gavin! …Dick.

Peace, Love, and Shark Week,

~britt

britt talks 3-2-1-ultimate body SHUTDOWN!

As I lay here in bed watching a marathon of Twin Peaks after having slept in ’til 2pm, I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I think about the theme of me and Dani’s last post.

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You could probably guess after reading my last post entitled “feeling weak and finding family” and skipping my personal post last week all together, I was working some major shit out. The goal? Taking some time out of the regularly scheduled spazz programming for some Me Time.

Well… as much as I’d like to think I was making progress in this aspect of life, I’m not sure that I was succeeding in taking care of myself the way I was really supposed to. I was not listening to my body. I attributed my constant fatigue and emotional outbursts to “being in a period of transition” or “being in my 20s” or “general life instability” and didn’t give these signals the attention they deserve. I just kept pushing on, true to Britt-fashion, without mercy. So, my body took its own Me Time… against my own will. ‘Cause, as I’m sure we all know, sometimes the body acts as its own separate entity.

Well played Body, you asshole.

And no, this is not your typical stubborn portland cold but rather a stress-triggered outbreak of rashes and inflammation all over my body (I know, I know, gross) that has made it very difficult for me to function like a normal human being in public as I can barely get through a conversation without scratching my ballooned face off. I could get into more gory details (it is as morbidly fascinating as it is embarrassing), but I will spare you.  All you need to know if that I kind of look and feel like Elephant Man right now.

The main take-away from this for me is that if I do not take care of my physical and (especially) my emotional health, my physical and emotional self will not take care of me. It is time for me to truly respond to these triggers so my body doesn’t feel like it has to scream at me to get me to listen. I need to not be such an insensitive bitch to the rest of my person. I need to be aware that this could quickly become more of a downward spiral if I am not careful.

But hope, HOPE!! Hope abounds! This forced-down time has given me a great opportunity to be thankful for my greater health and to cherish the energy and drive that I have in my daily life. As much as I love resting and pushing the re-set button, I look forward to getting my head back in the game.

‘Cause after taking a day off of work, two nights off of rehearsal, and successfully completing a Sleep Marathon, you know I’m going to come out on the other side feeling good as new.

…With new and improved self-care habits, of course.

Wow, I’m already feeling better and more motivated and less-rashy just writing all of this! IT’S MAGIC!!

Anyway. Whatever. All of this is neither here or there, they are merely thoughts floating around my drugged-up brain that I wish to share with all of you, Internet world. For better or for worse.

So anyway. Back to business!

It’s been a little while since we’ve caught up, so let me bring you to speed on some of my latest activities:

My week (s):

Rehearsals for Aloha Say the Pretty Girls with Theatre Vertigo are in full swing:

Mario Calcagno, Joel Harmon, Liz Pierce, Tyler Ryan, and Britt Harris at first read

Mario Calcagno, Joel Harmon, Liz Young, Tyler Ryan, and Britt Harris at first read

Brooke Calcagno & Joel Harmon in blocking rehearsal

Brooke Calcagno & Joel Harmon in blocking rehearsal

Little Julian Pierce (son of sound designer Liz Pierce) helping out Brooke Calcagno with her scene!

Little Julian Pierce (son of sound designer Liz Young) helping out Brooke Calcagno with her scene!

Last week I had a madcap, there-and-back-in-8-hours trip to Seattle for a film auction:

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#206love, bitches!

And this week I had I had a madcap there-and-back-in-20-hours trip to Tacoma with my good friend Katie Farewell to celebrate Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) in their annual Artrageous auction in association with Tacoma Science and Math Institute (SAMI):

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It was an honor to be Katie’s date to such an awesome and important event and to reconnect with my hometown a bit, event if it was for the briefest of moments!

LONG LIVE THE ARTS!!

God… arts education in schools could not be more important. I am strongly resisting the urge to get up on my soapbox about this issue right now, but I WILL spare you from that for the time being, just as I did with the gory details of my hives/elephant man/ ifeellikeimtakingcrazypills disease. Becuase let’s be real. I just want to get this post done so I can get back to watching Twin Falls and sleeping and being drugged up.

So anyway. What else.

Oh yeah!

BIGGEST NEWS!

I finished shooting my one and only pick-up day for feature film Birds of Neptune last week. This is how it felt:

that's a BON picture-wrap on Britt!!

that’s a BON picture-wrap on Britt!!

By that Day 18 of shooting, everyone was exhausted:

MUA Sarah Prevo and set-cat/animal guest star Braveheart take a well-deserved nap in the green room

MUA Sarah Prevo and set-cat/animal guest-star Braveheart take a well-deserved nap in the green room

So yeah, okay Body, I get it. I need time out. I need to calm the fuck down.

I can take that advice this time. I really can.

One step at a time, one day at a time. Breathe.

Now– sidebar– if there’s one thing that I am truly looking forward to– the light at the end of the stress and over-work tunnel , if you will– it’s this shit:

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That’s right. 3 weeks and counting until my Dani girl and I are reunited in Los Angeles. And there will be epic, non-stressful, non-rashful times. Just what the doctor ordered.

You hear that, Body?!

Alright, I’m spent. I need to get back to finding out who killed Laura Palmer.

all my love to you, my friends,

~britt

me time

If you’ve read this blog before, you have probably read a few posts about a problem that Britt and I often encounter as actors/functional adults; a problem that may be the biggest challenge of choosing to make the arts your career path:

CRAZYBALLS / NOT-ENOUGH-TIME

Preach, sister.

Britt and I are both doggedly pursuing art as a career, which means we end up living double-lives in the meantime.  There are the “adult-y” things we have to do to make ends meet and there are the creative projects that we fill our lives with in order to stay artistically alive.  This equals a ton of man-hours of work, which is why I kind of giggle when I hear this attribute stereotypically assigned to artists:

LAZINESS

And THAT is bullshit!! Some of the most independent, hard-working, entrepreneurial folks I know are artists (including my Dani and Yours Truly). I often think of artists as ninjas… and you KNOW those ninjas trained their asses off to learn how to be badass and invisible. While also paying their ninja bills somehow.

south park ninja

Damn straight, Britt!  THIS is the truth people:

good-things

So true. And doing all of the crap we do, while trying to stay sane and be functional and decent human beings at the same time, is quite trying at times.

So my lesson of this week has been that IT IS OKAY TO TAKE SOME “ME TIME.”  Okay, yeah, it is somewhat trite, but seriously, I have to remind myself of this or my busy-ness will start to chip away at my sanity. 

IT IS SO IMPORTANT!

Honestly, some days I just feel like:

When really, I want to be more like:

See? Cat Ninja. This cat ninja is kicking ass and working shit out. Probably because she allows for plenty of cat-Me-Time when not out kicking major dog and gopher ass.

Damn straight! According to my half-assed research on the internet (AKA googling it), cats spend 13-16 hours of their day sleeping.  Straight up SLEEPING. That doesn’t count the time they spend eating cat food and stretching and licking their balls.  I’m not about to publicly divulge how much time I spent this week eating cat food and licking my balls (too far? maybe), but let me give you an example of how I carved out some time for myself on Monday..

Dani’s super-special-me-time Monday:

  1. Get up in time to go to class (skip workout and get a full night of sleep)
  2. Go to movement class,
  3. Use the three hour break to LEAVE CAMPUS (gasp!), go to BIKRAM YOGA, and spend too much money on this absurdly delicious sandwich at Atwater Village Farm
Raw Falafel Burger by Nelson's Living Gourmet. Literally the tastiest thing I have EVER put in my mouth. (That's what she said.)

Raw Falafel Burger by Nelson’s Living Gourmet. Literally the tastiest thing I have EVER put in my mouth. (That’s what she said.)

4.   Come back to campus for 3:00 p.m. scene study class, feeling rejuvenated
5.   Stick around campus for rehearsal until the sun is long gone from the sky

Way to go, D. I’m proud of you. You are self-care MACHINE. And that falafel burger looks AMAZING.

Dude.  It seriously was. No joke.  Although, damn girl, I feel like part of the whole “me time” thing is not over-committing myself, and saying no when I need to.  When you take care of yourself, you are better able to do the work that you DO commit to.  I just read a great article by David Cain on Thought Catalog about being conscious of the things that you commit yourself to doing, and how they take up space in your head and heart.  

I also found this little gem especially useful, courtesy of Justine Musk:

25-Ways-To-Say-No-Web-SQ-300x300

You should really do yourself a favor and check out the entire post by Justine Musk. Some of my favorite Badass Reasons to Say No (which I am sure I will use in the near future) include: “I’d rather stick needles in my eyes” (#3) “or your eyes” (#4), “My schedule… is up in the air right now. See it wafting down the corridor” (#5), and “I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be fucking stupid” (#15).

I would also like to give a special shout-out to reason #23, as it explicitly states hotswetymonkysex as a Badass Reason to Say No to things. And you know how Dani and I LOUURVE talking about hotswetymonkysex.

Hell yeah!  We are trying to get as many horny teenagers to read our blog as possible.  Too far again?  Maybe. Yes. Definitely, yes. 

…It’s never too far.

Anyway, remember to take care of your hot selves this week by doing some hot and sweaty bikram yoga, eating tasty food, and saying NO to people when you need to. 

Yeah, back the fuck OFF, world!! Britt and Dani told me to take some Me Time!! (You’re welcome)

live-long-and-prosper-tee-shirt-cbs114bLove and kisses,

dani and britt xoxo