It’s been 3 months now since I’ve graduated from grad school. I’ve done almost no acting. But… ….Today, I have a rare day off, and it makes me reflective as F***. See how reflective I am?? SO REFLECTIVE! So I started … Continue reading
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.
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.
~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.
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:
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!
I am also thrilled to be working with Fantini Cinema on a web-series called “Acting Out”:
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?!
…pretty much. And for fun-zee’s, here is the hand-to-headshot, featuring Gavin’s hand:
Aaaand, thank you, Gavin! …Dick.
Peace, Love, and Shark Week,
Last time you heard from me, I was processing the traumatic event of watching the house I live in with my younger brother burn down. Now that the dust has settled (a way too relevant idiom to use, I know) and I have almost fully recovered from the event, I am experiencing a strange new giddiness about life that I cannot shake. (Not like I would want to.)
In some weird way, this whole sudden homelessness thing has been a blessing in disguise. This period of uprooting has offered me so many things that I wouldn’t have been able to discover and experience otherwise. And for that, I am so grateful.
First and foremost, I have the incredible opportunity of living with one of my very best friends, Elizabeth Evans.
Liz and I have some pretty epic living-together history, you guys. We roomed together in college (okay, so I wasn’t technically on the lease, but I essentially lived on the couch at Liz/Dani/Suzzane’s house throughout school) and for my first year after college.
We’ve also, of course, grown-up a lot since our last living-together adventure:
But for real. We are ADULTS now. Liz even owns her own house and stuff. And has FOUR animals. Well, only three of them are hers, but still. I mean, the woman brews her own kombucha. She’s kind of a big deal.
Anyway. Yesterday Liz says to me: “Britt. It’s like my whole house is your walk-in closet. You’ve done pretty well for yourself.”
Truth. I should be on Cribs right now.
(But let us allow these fotografias speak for themselves.)
Check out my awesome Living-On-Air-Mattress-In-Living-Room-Suite, complete with fireplace, flat-screen TV, and cats:
Pretty legit, right? I should get my house burned down more often. I’m kind of loving this.
The first morning I woke up in Liz’s Living Room Suite, I had a cat sleeping on my back (Pancho), another cat sleeping on my legs (Queso), and a dog laying on the ground next to my face (Moe). It was awesome. I was kind of hurt that the third cat (Jasper) didn’t join in on the snuggle puddle, but I got over it. Jasper is the only animal not owned by Liz or her boyfriend Shane, so I didn’t hold it against him.
Liz also cleared out a coat-closet for me to use as my own personal closet:
God, she’s the best!! I’m pretty sure I have more closet and storage space available to me now than I had in the basement-closet-room at my brother’s college house (RIP, house). This is the most backwards Life-Upgrade I have ever experienced. So I’m going with it.
So yeah. As far as residing on a living-room air mattress in a house with 6 adults and 4 animals goes, I have won the jackpot. I am truly happy and oddly feel more settled and centered than I have in a really long time. Liz and I play/write music together almost every evening. We have lazy Sunday mornings where we drink jugs of kombucha, read tarot cards, and examine our aura colors over breakfast(#CatholicSchoolFail). We watch crappy TV and listen to good music. I am inspired to eat better and exercise more. I am reminded what Family feels like. I could not dream of a better place to call home before moving to Los Angeles in 3 short months. Life is so crazy sometimes.
Speaking of life being crazy sometimes, check out what my past week was like:
In the midst of trying to maintain (what was left of) my sanity while systematically going through everything I own after the fire (as all of my shit is currently scattered about Liz’s dining room, waiting to be sorted), life refuses to slow down. And that’s okay. I like it that way.
This week brought about three callbacks (two of which I booked, one of which I’m waiting to hear back from… take THAT, fire!), a full-time work week at the ‘ol day job, and a major writing binge I had to get out of my system. I also somehow found time to watch a couple new episodes of Arrested Development (YES!) and The Bachelorette (for SHAME). This whole “starting over” thing has given me such a renewed sense of energy and purpose…or perhaps I am just too afraid to slow down and process the state of my life and the scary changes ahead? Whatever. Either way, I am thankful for this constant movement. It at least reminds me that I refuse to sink.
In the Theatre Vertigo world, we now have three weeks of the “Aloha Say the Pretty Girls” run under our belts. We only have two weekends to go until we say goodbye to this wacky-ass play…!
Another highlight of my week was the release of this video on MTV Hive and elsewhere:
A year or so ago I had the pleasure of working with one of my very favorite bands, Hey Marseilles, on this music video. These boys are mad talented and this video is incredibly beautiful. I simply cannot stop watching it. The song is called “Heartbeats” and it is my favorite track on their new album, “The Lines We Trace“. Please do yourself a favor and watch this powerful video. Watch it NOW.
…Okay. Did you watch it? Good. I can tell by the tears splattered all over your keyboard that you did. I TOLD you that shit is good!!
In other big news, I have officially set my Move-To-Los-Angeles date:
That’s right! It’s ON!! I could not be more excited. And coming from a girl who was born on Friday the 13th (it all makes sense now, doesn’t it?), I’m pretty sure this is the luckiest moving date I could have chosen.
3.5 months. Holy crap. 3.5 months until I am reunited with my Dani and living in a completely different place with a completely new life. As I was happy to read in Dani’s last post, we are both swimming in gratitude and love of life and are both excited to start very new chapters in our lives. (As in, the incredible Dani is leaving for an epic adventure to India this Friday… Is she awesome or what?!)
And to keep this gratitude train chugging along, for those of you wondering how my brother Nate is doing after the Epic House Fire of 2013, here is the update! He has moved into (free!) on-campus housing with his roommates until he finds a new house to live in and is starting a new job at my office next Monday (two Harris kids in the same office? Uh oh…)! Nate is currently focusing on making money to get back on his feet and to save up for new instruments. He’s got this. When it comes to music, the boy is determined.
And so, one day at a time, we journey on..!
…As long as I have enough kombucha for the road.
Thanks for reading, friends.
infinite rainbow love,
As I sit in my in my basement closet-room writing this blog, I turn up my music in an attempt to drown out the commotion upstairs that is my four 21-year old male roommates experimenting with homemade beer-brewing. Ahhh, the wonders of young adulthood.
…Am I in that? Is that phase of life I am in? Well the votes are in, and the answer is YES, I am, apparently.
Someone wake me up from this nightmare!
Nah, being an “adult” is rad. You can eat ice cream whenever the eff you want and stuff like that.
I often feel that I am a really large child posing as an adult–a “faux-dult”, if you will– so I need to be mindful of keeping my adult-liness in check. For example, I need to take more of an interest in cooking (I can make a mean grilled cheese and can class my ramen up with prosciutto and lemon), have a better understanding of how I car works (I know that it moves when I put my foot on the pedal), and be more proactive in obtaining HEALTH INSURANCE.
Ahhh, health insurance, you tricky, tricky bastard.
The Unattainable Artist Dream that is “Health Insurance” has been on my mind a lot lately in light of recent (and painful) events that loved ones have found themselves in. Ladies and gentlemen, this is where it becomes very tricky to be an artist or creative free-lancer of any kind. WHY must it be this way?? (Okay okay, another discussion for another time, back to the more relevant-ramblings at hand.)
So how do I crack this adulting-code? When will I know when I’m “doing it” right? When I’m not living in my younger brother’s basement? When I have health insurance? When I move to a big city and support myself there? When I own a house? Have kids? Everyone’s formula is different, I know, but SHIT. Someone give me a clue, here.
Cue Britt-of-the-Past! She has some clues for us all! I found this list in a notebook of mine from last summer:
Britt’s Adulting Wisdom:
~AAA is invaluable. For a little over $100/year, this auto service will save your ass, every time. No need to weep on the side of the road while your car is up in smoke anymore. Yay!
~Take advantage of “free” office supplies at your desk job. Print those resumes and scripts and audition sides, girl! You like those highlighters? They’re YOURS! Only– be ninja about it. Do not cause suspicion amongst your co-workers, it’s only a matter of time before they realize that all of the 1-inch black binders gone.
~Know how to use the public transportation system and take advantage of it.
~It is okay to be a food scavenger, but be classy about it. This is a very fine line, so don’t be a sketchy bitch. Trust that food will find you. No mooching.
~Keep your living space, no matter how small, clean and organized. If not, you will die.
~Once you smart-phone, you can’t go back (I’m sure Dani can speak to this). Your iPhone is your new life-preserver. This sounds pathetic, but just go with it. It will save your ass when you’re lost, help you out when you don’t know how much to tip, and will happily guide your Facebook stalking while you’re wasting hours of precious life at the DMV.
~DO NOT LET YOUR REGISTRATION TABS EXPIRE.
~Wear sunscreen. You’re white.
…The list ended there, but I clearly need to keep adding to it. For example, I just implemented this groundbreaking new system in my life to keep me from using my credit card:
Feel free to use that little trick. Everyone knows that rules written on Post-It Notes are rules of the highest authority. And for double the adulting fun, steal those Post-It’s from your desk job!! Mwaaahaaaaa.
So! Let me catch you guys up on what I was up to this week! 😀
Monday and Tuesday kicked off Week Three of principal photography for Steven Richter‘s feature film, Birds of Neptune. There are only two shooting days left for me on this project, which will resume at the end of the month. And after a two and a half week marathon of 12-16 hour shooting days, I was happy to have a day off on Wednesday before returning to my desk job on Thursday.
After a month away from my day job, I came back to this:
But… there was also this, so it was okay.
My big homecoming back to work was pretty anti-climactic, and thank goodness for that! Part of me was worried that I would not have a job to come back to after so much time away. When someone else is trained to do your job in your absence, you can’t help but be awakened to the fact that you are.. replaceable. Buuuut… it’s all good! I have the BEST, most awesome, flexible day job in all of Portland! THANK YOU DAY JOB FOR EXISTING! 😀
My week was also filled with auditions. The highlight of these being:
1.) I am currently “on avail” for a guest-star role on a new TNT TV show pilot starring Geena Davis. In the auditioning process for television, being put “on avail” is as far as you can go in the game before you book the job. So, I’m pleased to know that I am at least doing my job well! I will find out in the next couple days if I book or get released from the job, so keep your fingers crossed! (This girl could sure use some money for the move to LA!!)
2.) I had a callback this week for a promo directed by Timothy Hutton. So yeah, no big deal…I got to do some scene work in the audition room with Christian Kane and received direction from Mr. T. Hutton himself. This experience was definitely a surprise and they were both super rad! I had a ton of fun.
This week has treated me pretty well. 🙂
And you know what? Auditioning is fucking fun. I need to remember that. The prep-work and logistics of auditions can be so damn stressful (especially this Tuesday when I had to rush from set in West Lin to SE Portland for the TV pilot callback and got stuck in horrible traffic…!), but auditioning is my job. And I love my job.
I’m tired as usual, but am still loving the Crazy. But I suppose this is characteristic of the life of a pseudo-adult.
…Whatever, I do what I want.