When I left the the US on June 2nd, I originally had a return ticket booked (for soon-ish). But this week I thought, fuck it, I want to stay longer! Instead of the original plan, I am now going to embark on an … Continue reading
After living out of a suitcase since the beginning of 2015, Vagabond Britt (or “VagaBritt”, as I am now known) is on the move yet again.
and, about 24 hours after my return to LA, will hop on a plane to spend the NEXT 5 WEEKS IN SYDNEY AUSTRAILIA to do some pretty cool shit.
….and spirit quest. And eat Australian bacon. And work a lot. And probably be drunk constantly. And play Aussie Bingo (pet a koala, ride a kangaroo, steal a dingo, get high off of eucalyptus, etc.) (okay I just made that game up) (okay shut up) (okay I will try not to get arrested).* I cannot tell you how intensely I went back and forth on the decision to go DOWN UNDAH (well, at least for the first couple hours). But then, I quickly realized, there are basically NO cons to going on this adventure.
So… I stopped thinking so hard about it.
I’ll see you guys out there.
And, lastly, let me just leave you with this:
You’re welcome and g’day.
*P.S. You have no idea how many “Kangroo Jacking Off” ** GIFS I had to go through to find a more “family friendly” Kangroo GIF.
Because 2EA is FAMILY FRIENDLY.
**Also don’t google that.
…Well, I suppose that TECHNICALLY this is my 29th trip around the sun, but Earth Culture assures me that I am 28 years of age. My Saturn is returning. And all that stuff. Planetary. Thank you, Neil.
And now, today, on this, the 4th Day of the Month of May (it rhymes!), about 7 weeks after my actual, special Friday-the-13th birthday (whoops), and about 970 weeks since my last post (sorry), here are a few things to catch you up on in the incredibly not-boring goings-on of my life:
1.) I’ve got Homes in Different Zip Codes.
Read as: “Vagabond”.
I currently reside in Park La Brea, Altadena and Echo Park (I promise you I am not joking), with pit-stops in places like Culver City, Silverlake, and Hancock Park in between. What can I say? My sterling house-sitting reputation precedes me. As a wandering artist subletting her room, I am not complaining.
2.) Continuing on with the vagabond theme: I’ve been on more airplanes this year than ever. (And I hate flying.)
… I think I’m getting better at the whole flying thing, though. I’ve got a supplement-popping, face-covering, booze-in-flight drinking system that works for me, so don’t worry about it.
‘Cuase let’s be real. I’m not flirting with that bitch mono again.
I just got back from Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson, where Birds of Neptune won the award for Best Dramatic Feature!! Holy CRAP! And if that wasn’t an honor enough, the film was also selected to screen again on the final night of the festival for the “Best of Fest” celebration. …An encore screening? Yes, please!! Thank you, Tucson! 😀
Up next on the festival trail? Mammoth Lakes Film Fest at the end of the May. Hopefully you’ll be seeing me all over the globe promoting this film. This is just the beginning! 😀
WOOOOAAAA! I am on cloud 9 from this, truly. Tucson was such a special, surreal, magical place, and this recognition is such an incredible honor.
5.) I still self-employed and loving it.
6.) Dani and I went aboard The Queen Mary to witness the marriage of our dear college friend Hillary:
…Which made me think that perhaps I should live on a boat at some point in my life. Because, COME ON.
So, basically — Two Evil Actors, the Content Creators, are stampeding your way SOON, betch!! Mark my words! FEAR US!
8.) I am writing a lot of music these days. I hope to record my stuff later this year, so I will keep you posted on that. All of this material is all super personal to me so it is SCAAAAARY. Which obviously means that I have to do it. 9.) Speaking of recording music, I had the opportunity to record music with my very talented brother for the first time in March.I was lucky enough to be in Seattle for an audition when my brother Nate and my cousin Cameron were recording the first EP for Nate’s music duo, NW Passage. (Think of Nate Harris as the Ryan Lewis to NW Passage’s Macklemore. He is a genius.) They asked me to record vocals on some of the tracks. It was SO fun.
Look! Cute photos of me and bro in the studio!
10.) STILL speaking of recording music– I have finished recording basic vocals for the first No Vanquished album! It won’t be long now ’til we release and UNLEASH this music into the world!
And I am in a constant state of reconciling this emotional and geographical dissonance.
12.) I took a few covert Portland visits this year to feed my heart.
Short and sweet and sad, it hurts me a bit to come back to Portland now. It confuses me and makes me wonder where I am supposed to be. I don’t think it will always be that way, but…. what is it they say in that one song?
Yeah, something like that.
Anyway. My heart is in Portland. Y’all knew that.
13.) Surprise, Mom! I got a new tattoo. I was born ass-first on Friday the 13th (it ALL makes sense now, right?!) and my birthday happened to fall on Friday the 13th this year. So, naturally, I needed to get a Friday the 13th tattoo.
I must note that Dani and our good friend and housemate Raisa got Friday the 13th tatts that day as well. Because we are part of a gang.
14.) I am officially the USC MFA program’s biggest stage-mom. I could not be more proud of my Dani, who recently completed her THREE SHOW REP (AND NY & LA Showcase!), each of which, I saw two times. Trust me, I would have seen these shows every night they were running if I could clone myself. This girl inspires me everyday. True to her nature and talent, Dani killed it in each show with every character she lived in, but her portrayal of Nina in The Seagull especially took my breath away.
Nina is SUCH a difficult role to nail, you guys, and it takes a REALLY gifted, insightful, brave, and effective actor to be able to play the arc of this role. It was one of the most incredible performances onstage I have ever seen and I wish I could show each and every one of you her incredible work. I feel stupid even talking about it because I can’t quite find the words to quite articulate how much I look up to my best friend and how proud of her I am.
So, I’ll just dumb-it down by saying: “YOU ARE AMAZING, DANI!!”
15.) As if the film fests I am already going to haven’t been enough, I decided to party-crash a good chunk of the Newport Beach Film Festival with my new Aussie friends that I met at the Arizona International Film Fest.
I drank a lot and ate a lot and consumed 7 s’mores at one event and had a very nice time, thank you.
Also, I felt fancy.
16.) I am really itching to travel. I hope that the stars align to grant me an international trip (or five) this year. I think the odds may be in my favor.
(Come on, come oonnnnn Birds of Neptune International Premiere..!!)
17.) I’ve decided that I really want a pet but am truly TOO VAGABONDY and poor to be a good dog or cat mom (see #1 & #2 above).
18.) SO I’ve made many new dog friends around town. (Also my ulterior motive for all of the house-sitting I do.)
21.) Okay… uhh.. god… thinking of 28 things is actually pretty hard… let’s see, um.. ….I’ve been eating a LOT of pizza lately? Like, a lot?
25.) Okay, let’s get real here for a second. Because 2EA believes in that shit.
After all, we are real humans with real feelings.
So… sigh. Okay.
Though the external evidence of this post may suggest otherwise, I have a pretty sad heart right now. For the first time in, well, ever, I am unclear of what is next. My internal compass, which is usually pretty strong, is not so strong right now. I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean or what I am supposed to do. I feel sad and scared and slightly stupid. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain and weird to talk about. Depression has been a thing. Top Tier / Grade A / Boss-Level Heartbreak has been a thing. Crippling anxiety spiral has been a thing.
And yet, here I am. Still bravely loving, still going hard at my dream, still refusing the conventional day job…
I am doing my best. I know that one day I’ll crack the happy code. One day I won’t feel so misplaced and scattered and alone-on-an-island-y.
Luckily, I have learned more about myself and what I truly want out of life during these weird heart times. I’ve had to make some really hard decisions, decisions that more often than not have left me with the exact opposite outcome of what I thought I wanted, and through this, I am learning to trust. I am learning to trust my instincts and the order of the Universe. I am learning to breathe into my decisions and into my follow-through. To tell those I love that I love them. To not expect anything back. To be vulnerable. To be a voice of reason. To be a hard-ass. To be a softy. To be what I need for myself in this moment. To acknowledge that no one and nothing is forever, yet allow myself to take comfort in the feeling that some people and some things never truly leave.
Perhaps knowing what I want has somehow made the path I travel seem more indirect or treacherous. Maybe I’ve finally realized the true challenge of committing myself 100% to living the life I want. This is not a life of allowing cop-outs and stifling my feelings and feeling obligated and beating myself up. I realize now that there is nothing more challenging (and more important) than taking care of myself and taking care of my sweet dear heart in the same way that I wish to take care of those I love. It’s no easy thing.
And let’s be real, being a human is just fucking hard.
26.) I’ve also had the feeling that this year may be the kick-off to some very important self-discovery:
I’ve discovered that I feel the most myself when I am on the move. In transit. Exploring. Adventuring. Wandering (I’m sure you’ve picked up that vibe in this post so far). This is also when I feel the most lonely.
There is still so much to discover within myself and sometimes (most of the time) that internal terrain is so rocky. I cry every time I am in an airport. Every. TIME. It’s an odd feeling: always leaving the ones I love, always coming back, this weird ping-pong sensation — but there is truly no feeling that compares to the huge hug feeling from a loved one upon arrival or departure — that pure happycryjoy or happycrylonging –that is the shit that makes me feel alive.
Sweet sweet incredible Dani threw me a surprise party the night of my birthday in March and I seriously had no idea. I felt so loved.
28.) Let me say it again: I have the very best friends in the world. We build slip-n-slides in our backyard out of trash bags, tarp, and baby oil.
In closing, so far, 28 is looking like this: A little bit scary. A lotta bit fun. I may accidentally sprain an ankle trying to get a running start down that Big Slippery Blue Tarp of Life, or belly flop in a way that fucking HURTS and knocks the wind out of me, and I may cry about it for a while, or curl up in the fetal position for a sec, but I will always get up.
And, let’s just call it like we see it, folks: Really. I don’t even take that shit off for slip-n-slides.
Thank you for reading, friends. And for your love and support in my life. You keep me going. ❤
Happy holidays everyone! Sorry, had to blow my GIF load before I could focus on typing a coherent sentence.
I am writing to you from my favorite high school hangout, Bertolino’s coffeeshop (open 24/7, bitches) in my hometown, Tacoma, WA. It is rainy as balls here. My plans include sleeping, eating, binge-watching Arrested Development on Netflix, sleeping, catching up on the five issues of Variety I haven’t read, and sleeping. Also, I’ve been alone a lot with my thoughts since being home.
I have so many different homes. Los Angeles, Portland, Tacoma… I know this comes with the territory of being a post-collegiate 20-something artist vagabond, but holy WOW. Some of the thoughts I have! I swear half the time I don’t know where I am, who I am, where I am going or where I want to go, what house I’m in when I wake up in the morning and what job I am going to that day. It’s a lot. But this life is what I choose and what I want. I want to take full ownership of that.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was really homesick for Portland, but now I am homesick for Los Angeles. It’s so funny how that shifts. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a quick weekend in Portland this month to shoot an episode of Random Acts and spend some quality time with my good friend Liz. The trip was very good for my soul. I can’t remember the last time I was able to completely relax for 24 hours. It was heaven. I slept in my old room in my best friend’s house that was beautifully decorated for Christmas, I had two cats and a dog to snuggle with, there was bottomless kombucha to consume, and I got to see my brother and some of my very dearest friends. Heaven! I needed that. And when Liz drove me to the airport at 4am on a Monday in the freezing 18-degree Portland winter weather, I was ready to go back to my new home.
Let me tell you more about my new home. When we first moved in, my “room” looked like this: And here is how it looks NOW: You like those classy make-shift walls and sheet-doors we discussed last time? Yeah, I like ’em too. We’ve been busy.
I’ve been busy.
My Few Couple Weeks:
The past few weeks have been a crazy blur of work, reconnecting with friends, parties, casting workshops, and glitter. I also wrapped up my audit of the Los Angeles District Court (because I am an all-around badass) and started a new job and quit said job on the same day (because I am an all-around badass).
As noted earlier, I flew back to Portland for a weekend to shoot an episode of the PNW webseries, Random Acts and spend quality time with my dear friend Liz. I flew back to LA after the trip at the crack of dawn to get to an audition on time, which made me feel kind of awesome. Awesome and sleep-deprived.
We had our first annual “A Very Ke$ha Christmas” themed party (and our first ever party in our new home). “A Very Ke$ha Christmas”, as in, this:
to achieve this:
…but in a Christmasy sort of way. Just think of the unicorns as reindeer and the glitter as snowflakes.
It is safe to say that our sparkly extravaganza was a hit. What are the ingredients for throwing a hit LA party, you ask? Let me tell you.
1.) Decorate the house with the appropriate mix of Christmas and glitter.
2.) Craft some vaguely Christmas and Ke$ha-themed signs.
3.) Have a Suz create some installation art.
4.) Sketchily make some sangria in a cooler with the “50% off” gallon of white wine you had at the house:
5.) Make the dress code bright colors, glitter, and anything with animals on it. If a guest shows up out of dress-code, proceed to glitter-bomb them. (Thank you Suz for the use of your craft-drawer glitter stash.)
6.) When you wake up in the morning to this, you know you have succeeded.
The past few weeks also brought SoCal Christmas parades in the 78 degree heat,
and the fabulous Christmas surprise of seeing the Broadway hit, Peter and the Starcatcher (THANKS, ScoLo!!). It was incredible.
These past few weeks have left me one happy Britt girl. Merry effing xmas.
I leave you now with my Scoreboard.
love, santa, & teddy bears,
Well, my friends, I made it. I am alive and well, living in Los Angeles!!
Exactly one week ago I drove from Portland, Oregon all the way to Los Angeles, California. I did it. I finally DID it. Holy shit. I used to live here: And now I live HERE: Well, actually, I live here:
This is Silverlake. It is pretty much the best neighborhood in this whole sunny smoggy place. It is a hip, mustached, tattooed, coffee-addicted, food-centric paradise. It is walkable, bike-able, and almost completely fueled by yoga, booze, and raw foods juices. Okay, so it’s pretty much like Portland in SoCal… so obviously it feels like home. I suppose you can take the girl outta Portland, but you can’t take the Portland…
…you get the idea.
Looking back on my life a week ago–and letting everything truly sink-in with where I am now, both geographically and mentally/emotionally– I realize what an incredible thing I just did. And also what a potentially stupid thing I just did. But mostly… what an incredibly AWESOME thing I just did. So yeah.
A week ago I packed everything I own into my Hundai Elantra. Anything that didn’t fit, didn’t come with me. I took my clothes, my books, my computer, my guitar, my ukulele, some miscellaneous bedroom décor and sentimental items, and my embarrassingly small “LA Move Nest-Egg” (I will disclose the actual amount to you after I have achieved some small amount of success and/or stability) and left town the day after The Big Meal closed at Artists Repertory Theatre. I wouldn’t allow myself much time to think about it–I had to go. It was time; this was the time I had planned to leave.
So I did it. I drove away the very next morning. It was the farthest I’d driven alone in my car and the whole drive was very meditative and powerful. I didn’t get too tired. A vast array of emotions and adrenaline would check-in with me every two minutes to be sure I was wide-awake. I was thrilled to make a new home in a big new place and give myself permission to be the person I’ve always wanted to be. I was proud of myself for making the bold change. I was melancholy to close a show I loved with people I now consider family. I was excited to see my best friends Suz and Dani, happy to be caravanning down with Scott, worried I’d be making a mistake of leaving Portland at the wrong time, uncertain as to how and where and with whom I’d be making my new life, and afraid of doing it all wrong. I was forgiving of myself and mistakes I have made. I allowed myself to feel many different uncomfortable and often contradictory feelings and acknowledge them, so they could pass by.
In this way, the 14 + hour drive was this odd cleansing process for me. I didn’t expect that. I thought I would listen to NPR and a crap-ton of podcasts during the long drive–as one is want to do–but ended up listening to music and having thought-conversations with myself the whole way. Music was my constant companion on the journey and helped me allow my thoughts to run. My heart was heavy yet happy, and my chest was light and buzzing.
When I drove into Los Angeles city limits on the second day of the journey, the song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities came on my ipod:
And when I drove off of the exit into Silverlake, my new home, the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros came on:
Yup. That is when I started tearing up. I was so overwhelmed in that moment–after the long drive, after a year of planning and dreaming and fearing that I’d back out at the last minute, after countless people questioning why I’d want to made a move like this and never really having a good enough answer for them, I made it. I am here. Through moving in with a bunch of college boys, surviving a house fire, living through a cancer-scare, experiencing epic broke-dom, and dealing with countless auto issues, I made it. I had dreamed of making this move since undergrad and I was never quite sure if I had the balls to do it. But I grew balls. Great big lady balls. And I made some moderately irresponsible/risky/okay-I-guess-I’m-moving-another-couple-rungs-down-the-adult-ladder decisions. But I stick by those decisions. And I am proud of them. I am so proud of me.
My Past Few Weeks
The past six weeks my life revolved around the run of The Big Meal, a show very dear to me. Writing about my experience working on this show feels very daunting because it is so significant to me in a way I can’t quite articulate. All I can say is that it was exactly what it needed to be, at exactly the right time. I am so thankful for such a joyful, love-filled, challenging, life-changing experience. I miss it already.
I was humbled by the amount of people that showed up and wish that I would have taken more pictures. I drank lots of hot-toddies and gave lots of hugs. By the end of the night I was a happy weepy mess and felt like the most-loved girl in the world. I am going to miss my Portland family more than anything.
The Sunday that followed was the closing of The Big Meal. We had a matinee and an evening show and had an incredible cast party at our usual spot, Cassidy’s. I laughed until I peed, multiple times, that night. Let’s just say, shit got REAL.
We partied and packed late into the night. Well, at least Scott and I did. The next day, on Monday morning, Mr. Scott Lowell and I fueled up our cars, pulled out our walkie-talkies, at hit the open road with a Puggle for our two-day, 14-hour drive from Portland to Los Angeles.
We had many fun adventures along the way. Most notably, time spent in beautiful autumnal Ashland, OR, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival:
…and still had time for me to climb shit like a spider monkey.
And what a vision-quest it all was.
But now.. NOW! I am in Los Angeles!! Since being in LA, I’ve been living in three places (2 in Silverlake, 1 in Echo Park), because, as we all know, I am a freaking vagabond. Aside from scattering my belongings and my person at Dani/Suz’s and Scott’s house, I have been fortunate enough to house-sit in Echo Park for my dear friends Stephen and Marina. I get to hang out with their cat Chance in this cool place:
And yes, in many ways I am still living out of my car (my shoes and all of my accessories, among other things, are still packed very tetris-like in my trunk, so the final phase of My-Getting-Ready-for-the-Day-Routine is to sit inside my trunk and complete my outfit), but I have only a couple weeks left of vagabonding around the ‘hood until I get to live with my two best friends in our new house in Silverlake!!
I started to get out of the neighborhood and into the city a little bit over the last couple days. Here is some photographic evidence of me hanging out with some of my new friends I made at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum:
…Like a boss.
Scott and I went to see a friend’s show site-specific to the museum and it made for a pretty fantastic evening. Seeing my first live thing in this city got me both pumped and depressed– it evoked both a call to action and a paralyzing fear of not knowing what to do next–or first.
But I forget. I’ve been in this city for a WEEK. I think I need to calm the fuck down a little bit. I have done so much and come so far. I will solidify the job/cash-flow thing. I will have my own space soon. I will seek representation. I WILL GO TO THE BEACH.
Everything will fall into place. My mom once made me repeat the mantra, “I am calm, I am confident, I am strong”. Yes, yes, yes. Let go of the stress you accumulated for yourself in the Pacific NW and let yourself be calm amidst the crazy of this city. This is my own check-in.
And that extra vitamin D sure does’t hurt.
So… remember when I first made the public proclaimation that I was moving? A lot has happened since then. And I could not be more proud.
Also, let us not forget one of the most important parts of this post… the very BEST thing about this move and the impetus for doing so in the first place is…
Because of THIS GIRL.
My Dani. The best friend and sister a girl could possibly have.
That’s right, folks. The Two Evil Actors are reunited once more. And it has, is, and will continue to be the most GLORIOUS thing ever.
And I have ALSO been reunited with our best friend Suzzane!!
This is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened, EVER. And come November 1st, the three of us will be living together in a beautiful house on Waterloo Street.
Watch out world.
Love to you, my friends, thank you for all of the support you have given me in making this big step. I cannot tell you how much you all have helped propel me forward.