Guess Who’s Back… BACK AGAIN.

…the Twins are Back. Tell a friend.    

January 7th, 2013. We were born. We offered you consistent radness until January 7th, 2014, Our First Birthday. Then. We disappear without a trace… trace… trace…

Which do you like better? Our obnoxiously omniscient, loud (yet attractive) voices inside your head at all times as we litter the Interwebs by spewing our lives’ details all over the frickin place?

Or the beautiful, comforting silence of our absence? 

Too bad. We are the going back to the loud option. NO ONE IS SURPRISED.

‘Sup bitches. It’s me again. Britt.

And me, Dani.

And we are Two Evil Actors.

As you may recall, in October of 2013, Britt moved to Los Angeles, and I peed my pants with excitement at her glorious arrival.  tumblr_n5h6wbwxWo1r4q7zxo4_250 And you were all thinking, “MY GOD THEY’RE IN THE SAME CITY NOW!!  IT’S A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF TWO EVIL ACTORS POSSIBILITIES!!” thatssotrue_11735_1338616849 And then we were all like… static WE WERE TOO BUSY LOVING EACH OTHER TO WRITE. AND WE’RE SORRY. 

SORRY.

But! Here’s what we’ve been doing while living together and being awesome.  

———————–

2014 in Review

This is like our Christmas card to you. Except it’s late. DEAL WITH IT.

January:

Dani fixes the garbage disposal

photo That’s right, bitches. I single-handedly took apart the sink, fixed it, and put it back together again. LIKE  A BOSS. I will never do anything ever again that makes me respect myself more. Except for right now, when I fix it again, because it’s broken again. Exactly a year later. 

Britt is unemployed for like nine-million years and plummets down a death-spiral of depression and angry clown dreams.

  …Enough said. It was a rough month. 

February:

Dani stops thinking about the apocalypse and starts thinking about a bike tour

photo 2 So, you know how when your mind wanders it tends to wander to the same thing(s) over and over again?

Yup. Like since that one time when we went to Aldo over the summer I’ve been obsessing about buying silver sparkly jelly shoes just for nostalgia. I don’t even think they are in stock anymore. Some other place might have them but it wouldn’t be the same. I want THOSE ones. They remind me of being six.

Right.

I think the point is, I think about being a kid, like, ALL the time.  And wearing jelly shoes. 

Exactly. Like that. 

Well. For the years of 2012 and 2013, which is a solid two years of my life, and I mean ALL THE TIME AND ALMOST CONSTANTLY, I was thinking about the impending violent end of human civilization as we know it.  You want to talk about dystopian literature with someone? I’M YOUR GIRL. You want to theorize about the many ways in which climate change might dramatically kill off large portions of the human population in the next 100 years? I HAVE IMAGINED THOSE SCENARIOS. It was a terrible mental habit, and yes I have a series of mostly-joking-but-really-I’ve-thought-this-through plans for surviving various scenarios, but I finally managed to break this habit! …By planning a 1500-mile bicycyle tour with a budget of $0.00 and having never done a bike tour before!

D, let’s be real. You were pretty much just finding an excuse to prepare for the apocalypse some more. But with bikes.  bicycles-post-apocalyptic-vanished My plan was to take about a month to ride the approximately 1500 miles from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California with my post-apocalypse partner-in-crime Sister Suz. 

(Note the bicycle tattoo)

(Note the sexy bicycle tattoo)

So instead of constantly thinking about a food shortage or water war, I spent over half of 2014 wondering if I had enough gears on my bike and learning how to at least crudely repair every moving part on my bike. I rode hundreds and hundreds of miles. I spent hours at the Bike Kitchen. Starting in February, I thought about little else besides this trip. 

Britt gets what she wished for and works a horrible corporate accounting job of death

IMG_6737  Dear world. This is not a stock image. This was the actual view when I walked outside of my building. This is not beautiful. This is suffocation. This is a Corporate Cage of Suffering. 

March:

Dani does Shakespeare’s worst play

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 11.18.17 PM Have you ever heard of “Pericles: Prince of Tyre”?  Yeah that’s because it’s a bad play.  They think that a couple of Shakespeare’s lackeys wrote it while drunk in a bar and then turned it in to Shakespeare and he was like, “What the fuuuuuu? Oh shit I don’t have time to fix this I’ll just add some pirates. Who wants shots??” 

Britt turns 27. Her Saturn returns. Which, we hear, is good.

IMG_6375IMG_3249 I’m all grown up I’m all GROWWWWN UUUPPP

April:

Dani becomes a valet

MV5BMzYwMjcwNjgxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzU1ODk1MDE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_ That’s right, I too have a menial service job. Now I’m OFFICIALLY an actor in Los Angeles. Turns out I’m really good at parallel parking. Please hire us to work your event. I’m poor. 

Britt begins tutoring

You know what’s better than being an Internal Auditor? ANYTHING. Heh. Well. Specifically: Being a TUTOR! With kids! (Mostly big kids.) This job is so much fun, you guys. I work for the coolest company around (Quantum Tutors), I have the best boss in the History of Ever (Anna Clark), and sometimes I even get free food (Seder Dinner, yo!). Not only do I get to help students feel confident about themselves and their abilities, I get to up my Geek-Status a level or two (I teach math & SAT prep, people). It’s a win-win.  Throughout the rest of 2014 I will work to try to tutor enough kids that I can leave my various accounting jobs behind. This is my quest. This is my goal.

May:

Britt flies to Portland to witness the collegiate graduation of her little Not-So-Little bro

brograd Go Pilots!! That’s TWO Harris Pilot Grads for the price of ONE! …Okay wooa wooaa that is definitely not true. UP, you made double-bank offa our tuition and infinite student loans. You’re welcome. Pilots till I die. 

Britt does an E-Cig commercial and studies with Larry Moss. Not like those should in any way be lumped together. But I’m an evil actor, biatch. I lump what I want.

Unexpected lesson #274 that I’ve learned from being an actor. It is more painful to chain smoke electronic cigarettes for a single day while shooting a commercial than it is to chain smoke real cigarettes on the set of a feature length film for multiple weeks.

Unexpected lesson #275 learned from being an actor.  If I look at a rock the wrong way I will start weeping uncontrollably.  

Drawing by Evil Genius Allie Brosh. Go to her blog right now and read all her shit. Actually finishing reading our blog and then go read her blog.

Drawing by Evil Genius Allie Brosh. Go to her blog right now and read all her shit. Actually finishing reading our blog and then go read her blog.

It turns out Antigone is a really brutal play and it will get at all of your inner Freudian tragedy. It also turns out that Larry Moss is a genius acting teacher. 

Dani and Britt witness Sister Suz graduate with an MSW in Wizardry.

IMG_6537IMG_6543   Congratulations Sister Suz! We are counting on you to change the world. Which you already are. 

June:

Dani writes her first feature-length screenplay

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 11.29.51 PM

Title page, biatch.

It’s a coming-of-age story set in rural Idaho that forces a girl and a community to confront their old, stale beliefs about race and identity.  I wrote it because I wanted to examine how racism is subtly ingrained in the majority mindset, and how microaggressions allow oppression to continue in more extreme ways. There are also jokes in it. 

Britt performs at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

p_1801_i_1783540  I worked on a parody of The Twilight Zone in which five episodes from the series were brought to life ON STAGE. There was a gremlin on the wing of an airplane, water was spat into Britt’s face, I heckled some audience members, more water was spat into Britt’s face, I wore a mask of my own face on my actual face (meta) and I just went from third person to first person twice to third person then back to first person and I’m not quite sure why. I also played a guy named Drunk Dino. He was my favorite. 

July:

Dani hikes 200 miles

DCIM100GOPRO See those two beautiful women?  That is Sammi and Jenny, and they made a pact to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail (that goes all the way from Canada to Mexico) over the course of the next 7 years. Because they are the best humans in the world, they invited me along. In less than two weeks we hiked over 200 miles, which is about half the state of Washington. On multiple occasions, I thought my feet were going to fall off, but I discovered more internal strength than I ever thought possible and formed deeper friendships with these women than I ever thought possible. It was totally life-changing. 

Britt and Dani get married (okay, Sister Liz does, but let’s avoid technicalities here).

1487895_866387051534_2029421003196335355_o In a fit of pure madness, Sister Liz included Dani and me in the group of women who would wear matching dresses and stand by her on her wedding day.  Needless to say, everyone at the wedding reception was forced to “bend over and make their knees touch their elbows” to the sultry sounds of Lil Jon in his wedding classic “Bend Ova.”

August:

Dani almost rides a bike

So by now I had rebuilt every moving part on my shitty used bike by hand with shitty used bike parts and jerry-rigged a trailer to go on the back of my bike. I had lost my travel-buddy Sister Suz to a job in Los Angeles, so I was going to do my first bike tour, 1500 miles, totally solo. (Anybody see any problems with this plan so far?) I created an instagram account called daniridesabike to document my journey. 

  And then, as you might expect, I had total equipment failure and was shut down before I could even really attempt it. My shitty beginners craftsmanship did not hold up to coastal winds and passing semi-trucks, and it became clear that the solo bike trip was a terrible, terrible idea. 

Britt and Dani take a road trip

IMG_7111 Luckily, I was driving back to Los Angeles in my sweet new ride (2003 Honda Accord, bitches!) and needed a driving buddy to talk about boys with and blast Beyonce.  Dani was stuck in Portland with all her bike gear, so she hopped in. I always wanted to go to San Francisco and drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, 

and I always wanted to go on a road trip with Britt,

And we were trying to figure out the perfect song to play as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge at night with all its pretty lights. 

Except Britt‘s phone wasn’t working and time was running out. 

At the perfect moment, XO from Beyonce’s new album randomly came on and melted our brains BECAUSE WE LISTENED TO THAT SONG OBSESSIVELY AT NEW YEARS 2014. It was one of those perfect moments that is hard to describe. That song is what it feels like to be in love. 

Which we are. *Sigh*

Dani hikes 100 miles

Once our badass road trip was over, I was pretty bummed. After all of that hopeful planning and preparation, for my bike trip, I had failed. Just straight up set a goal and failed miserably. I had nothing to do for a month and my mind was starting to return to its old habit of constantly daydreaming about the apocalypse. I needed to reset. So I did the logical thing. I bought a couple maps, tossed all my backpacking gear in the trunk, and drove to Mammoth Lakes, California. I set off on an 8-day, 100-mile, solo backpacking trip in the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite back country. Just me, my gear, and all this pretty: photo (1)

Dani turns a Quarter Century OLD.

10548710_10203292730493301_4989329901981872816_o BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. We moved the couch to the backyard, had a little campfire, and drank much wine.  All of my beautiful roommates handmade me beautiful gifts, and my beautiful Britt wrote me an amazing song and made everyone at the party sing it. I also ate 5 different kinds of gluten-free baked goods. 

September:

Dani starts rehearsing her Master’s thesis, The Three Play Rep

Britt joins a social-change punk-rock band

10608504_10203380068196085_7491220549764919846_o

 Britt moves into a REEAAAAL room! After a year of living in a fake one! 

1

Before (glorified sheet room):

Apt 2

After (real room with real people walls and doors):

Apt 4

Look! I have stuff! Look at my stuff!

Okay okay so maybe these look exactly the same, but I PROMISE YOU I am a little bit more like an adult now because I have walls for walls and not sheets for walls. Also I have my own bathroom and shower and closet and kitchenette so THERE.

October:

Britt celebrates her One Year LA-Versary

oneyearLAversary This was probably the most challenging year of my life and definitely the year of the most growth.  I could not be more full of love for the people I have in my life and I’m so incredibly lucky to live under the same roof as my best friends. I win everything. 

DAMN STRAIGHT. Britt freakin’ killed it this year and fought like a badass to work towards living the life she wants to live. I could not be more proud of my girl. 

November:

Britt is self-employed. AKA Professional Life Scavenger. 

IMG_6302 Step One:  Drive to Culver City for therapy.  12 MILES

Step Two: Drive to Hollywood for a work meeting. 8 MILES

Step Three: Drive to Calabasas to tutor a student.  24 MILES

Step Four: Drive to San Pedro for rehearsal.  50 MILES 

Step Five: Drive home to Echo Park to pass out.  26 MILES

Total-Distance-Driven-in-Britt’s-Average-Day: 120 MILES

Total-Waking-Hours-Of-Britt:  17 HOURS

Total-Taylor-Swift-Jam-Sessions-in-Car: CANNOT COUNT THE NUMBER. TOO HIGH. 

Britt does a light classic Greek comedy.

Oedipus You may have heard of this hilarious romp. It’s called Oedipus the King and it involves a lot of incest and self-mutilation.  Apparently 2014 was not done making me do super brutal and Freudian Greek plays. Also, there is nothing quite like standing around outside in the rainy cold by the coast half naked and covered in body paint to teach you about commitment.  THEATRE IS HARD PEOPLE. 

December:

Dani goes to Russia

seagull Ok not actually. But I did start rehearsing a play called “The Seagull” by which is set in Russia. So in my mind I’ve been spending a lot of time in Russia. Part of the Master’s thesis. More to come on this subject… 

Britt and Dani have a very, VERY Ke$ha Chri$tma$ (again).

IMG_0628   Say what you want about us, but we can sure throw a party. Especially if it is Ke$ha and Miley themed. 

Britt is going to Slamdance

BON Slamdance A film I did in 2013, Birds of Neptune, is having its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, UT!! Holy BALLS!!! This is such a huge honor. I am so proud of my BON fam. The festival runs alongside Sundance, so we will be able to take advantage of all of the fun and badassedry that is attached to that, as well. But basically… I am freaking out. Like a little girl. SO. Excited. ————

….anything you wanna know more about? Write it in the comments and we’ll retro-actively post. Just live that shit all over again, like it’s No Big Deal.

———–

Stay tuned for a sneak peak into our 2015 Evil Plans to Take Over the World. BECAUSE WE’RE BACK Y’ALL!  BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!

HELL YEAH!  BETTER WATCH OUT WORLD, WE ARE COMING FOR YOU! WHY ARE WE YELLING?! WE SIMPLY CANNOT STOP. OR MAYBE OUR CAPS LOCK IS BROKEN AGAIN… FUCK.

FUCK. I THINK THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING, ACTUALLY. BRITT, WHY ARE WE SO POOR?

 I DON’T KNOOOOOOWW 

MUCH LOVE,  

DB

dani sings hallelujah

There is SO MUCH to celebrate!!!  

I kind of can’t contain myself.  Let’s just try to count the things.

1.  I have returned to blog-land! 

I kinda look like Steve Buscemi right now. It’s been a long semester.

Oh man, I’ve missed you guys.  This week marks the completion of my 3rd semester of grad school, and I’m pretty sure that they were actively trying to kill us this time.  It has been an incredible 16 weeks, but I am so thankful I get to come up for air for a month before diving back into the deep end again.  So now I just get to enjoy…

2.  Christmas time!  

Even though it is a “frigid” 50 degrees and sunny here in Los Angeles, it still feels like Christmas for some reason.  I don’t know if it’s my newfound Christmas Break freedom or what, but I literally want to kiss everyone I see and sing love into their hearts.  Wait a second, I know where this “joie de vivre” is coming from…

3.  Britt!

Image

A beautiful Britt in a beautiful backyard.

For the past two months, I have had 70-hour weeks at USC.  And for the past two months, all I’ve wanted to have is 70-hour weeks in Britt‘s arms.
MY BESTIE IS IN LA, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can’t even handle it.  

This dog who is so freakin' happy, he just physically CANNOT.

This is the only photo that captures how much I CANNOT EVEN HANDLE my Britt-related-joy right now.

We were too busy hugging each other in our rare spare time to write any blogs together, but we’ve got something in the works, never fear.   But one thing that is so exciting to me now that I have a moment to catch my breath is how fuckin’ PROUD I am of my girl.  Britt is KILLIN’ it, y’all.  She would be the last person to say that probably, as she is keenly aware of her own struggles and challenges, as are we all, but seriously, she is DOIN’ it.  Moving to LA is hard.  I don’t think I felt at home in LA until… right now.  Or at least not until the last couple of months.  It wasn’t until I had struggled to adjust for 9 months, spent 2 months in India, and then all my best friends moved here.  So really, I just got lucky because I got to go to India and then move in with my best friends.  LA is a whole can o’ worms… Oh!  But this leads me to…

4.  The house!

Image

Suz cannot even handle her excitement about the new soaking tub.

Oh. My. God.  We have a home.  I believe Britt has introduced you all to our roommates: Suzzane, Dean, and last but not least, Napoleon.  You know.
This hottie: 

Just kidding.  Napoleon is a dog.  He IS ACTUALLY a stud though.  If anyone wants their dog to be mounted by a purebred Pomeranian, go ahead and contact us through our blog.  Seriously, Dean could use the money.  We’re ready to start whoring out the dog.  

5.  Art!

As exhausted as I am, it has been a hell of a semester.  My ensemble, the Class of 2015, The Ten Commandments, The Ten Fingers, The Bad News Bears, whatever the hell you want to call us, put up it’s very first full production.  The ten of us tackled William Saroyan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1939 script The Time of Your Life.  Our ensemble of 10 took on a cast of 25 characters who float in and out of Nick’s Pacific Street Restaurant, Saloon, and Entertainment palace.  We cut a few characters, but long story short, I got to play a boy…

photo 1

Willie Faroughli: Marble-game-maniac and ultimate CHAMPION

AND a girl….

photo 2

Elsie Mandelspiegel: “A dark, dreaming girl…” Although I look pretty happy backstage.

…within one two-hour play.  My Mom touched my hair wistfully after the show and said, “It was interesting to see what you would’ve looked like if you were a boy…”  Aw comeon, Mom, didn’t you like having a daughter?  Just kidding, I know that you don’t secretly wish I was a boy. …Right?  But I also had one gay dude and two straight girls say that I was hot as a boy.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  And I tricked my Grandmom completely–my Mom had to tell her who I was.  

But in all seriousness it was actually a really incredible experience.  Willie Faroughli spends almost the entire play onstage playing a pinball game, and Elsie Mandelspiegel has one love scene right in the middle of the play.  So I got to go from this young, driven, focused, ambitious, determined guy with nothing better to do in Depression America than conquer a marble game, to this extremely sensitive, feminine, nurturing, compassionate young woman who sees the tragedy of the Depression.  The experience of going from this incredibly masculine, prideful outlook on life to an incredibly feminine, gentle outlook on life and then back again was actually kind of life-changing.  It was an incredible reminder of why I love acting so much.  The opportunity to explore all these parts of yourself and all these viewpoints on the world.  The opportunity to be explore the masculine and the feminine.  The opportunity to breath life into a character and allow their story to live.  The opportunity to enter a state of communion with the audience and with the other actors.  The opportunity to channel your own ego through the ego of another.  It’s so fucking fun.  By the time we were done with the show I felt like I was ready to do a six month run of it.  But, as my Britt has said, these things are transient, which is part of what makes them beautiful.  

My station backstage.  Starring The Big Dick which my friend lent me as inspiration.  (Don't look at me like that, 3 of these Dicks were juggled onstage in an MFA show last year.)

My station backstage. Starring The Big Dick which my friend lent me as inspiration. (Don’t look at me like that, 3 of these Dicks were juggled onstage in an MFA show last year.)

There are other worlds that I am bidding farewell to now that the semester is winding down.  I’m saying Goodbye to the life of a desperate housewife in Depression America in our black-box studio work on Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty.  I’m saying farewell to Hedda Gabler, Pussy Riot, a Bakersfield Bimbo, and other characters from our work in movement class.  I’m saying See You Later to Chekhov, until tackling that son-of-a-bitch again next semester.  I’m going to miss our film class with the inimitable John Rubinstein,

photo (18)

Kim Flores, Sedale Threatt, and Michael Bernardi on set for “Revolutionary Road”

I live in Los Angeles, I’m a Master’s Acting student, and I know next to nothing about film.  But I’m working on it! Stage and Screen are two different mediums for the same kind of transformative acting that I’m interested in doing, and the differences between the two are just technical things.  The art form is different, and I’m developing a real itch for it.  My body understands live storytelling, and I want to understanding storytelling through film in the same way.  We are taking two more film classes next semester, so the exploration will continue!

Speaking of transformative, I think the most transformative acting experience of this semester was actually the doing my Solo Performance piece.  Despite the number of roles I’ve explored in the last few months, the experience of going deeper into myself, finding my own story, determining the story that I needed to tell… That experience was life-changing.  And despite it being a “solo performance” experience, it bound together my ensemble irrevocably. We shared pieces of our souls and helped each other shape them into pieces of art, and we culminated in a 90-minute performance during which each of us shared a piece of our solo work.  

But enough about art!  I am on VACATION.  (Which apparently means drinking a lot of booze and thinking about the art that I want to be making.)  In the meantime I am going to figure out how to make gluten-free baked goods, enjoy sweating like a construction worker in December, and kick it with these crazies. 

photo (19)

Dean, Suzzane, Britt, Dani, and Napoleon.  A Very Ke$ha Christmas 2013

So in honor of being HALFWAY DONE with my MFA in Acting, here is this guy, who was my Muse this semester.  This is what commitment looks like.

OHHHHH WE’RE HALFWAY THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

XOXO

Dani

dani’s poppin’ bottles (of kombucha)

BRITT‘S IN LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GABLAGFROMYGAHWHAHOWSWEETBABYJESUSGLABBOLDAFLAIMSOHAPPYYYYYYYYYY

I don’t know how I’m going to write this blog post.  I think I’m going to have to communicate only in gifs.  Because after MONTHS and MONTHS of excitement and buildup and anticipation my very favoritest Britt and bestie and soul sister in the entire universe of everything that exists is OFFICIALLY LIVING IN LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

There are truly no words.  I would like to say that since Britt arrived we have been doing nothing but lying on the beach, running around like two Tasmanian devils, and partying like it’s 1999.  After all, if you have ever been to a dive bar with me and Britt you know that we will play Miley Cyrus on the jukebox, laugh like hyenas, and piss off the regulars until the sun comes up or we get kicked out of the bar.  Especially if we are also in the company of Suz, whom you met in Britt‘s last post.  There is some sort of chemical thing that happens when we are all together that makes my blood turn into liquid neon and makes us all a little crazed in the best possible way.  

Summer 2013: Britt helps Suz make the roadtrip to LA, prior to her own big move in October.

Summer 2013: Britt helps Suz make the roadtrip to LA, prior to her own big move in October.

But with Suz at USC for her Master’s in Social Work and me at USC for my Master’s in Acting, smack dab in the middle of Fall Semester, grad school has completely eaten our lives.  EATEN THEM.  So instead of being like this:

We are more like this:

image

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed about it.  The first day that Britt and I spent together in LA we wanted to be poppin’ bottles and livin’ it up, but we were in coffeeshops and juice bars with our noses in laptops and books, trying to get our lives together.  Truth be told, we probably spent more time pouring our souls out to one another than doing actual work, but it was amazing just to be together and share the truth of our lives with each other.  And right now the truth is WORK.  This girl truly is family to me, and that means sharing the stressful times and the fun times.  With Britt making a huge move and with me in the throes of grad school, maybe it was a little overly hopeful to think that our days would be nothing but sunshine and rainbows.  My girl brings some major light into my life, but unfortunately I still have a cubic shit-ton of work to do.  

And what is the truth of my life right now?  What the hell am I doing all day?

My Life:  Year 2 in Grad School

Bein' a bimbo.  Complete with duck-face.

Bein’ a bimbo. Complete with duck-face.

Physical transformation.  Movement class with David Bridel is 4 hours a week of pure FUN.  Since the beginning of the semester I have worn (literally) a dozen masks, and transformed into a cranky old man, a sweet old lady from Rhode Island, a Bakersfield Bimbo (see above), and a member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.  For the rest of the semester, I am working on Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, in which I will get to hate my husband and ruin a few people’s lives.  You know, like you do.

Steph Schroyer improvising a Victorian gown on her model, Amaka.

Steph Schroyer improvising a Victorian gown on her model, Amaka.

Choking on Chekhov.  In our “Space and Movement” class, we are delving into the late 19th century Russian plays of Mr. Anton Chekhov, and it is completely fascinating and difficult to me.  Chekhov is known for telling stories that require you to completely read between the lines in order to know what the hell is going on, which makes it perfect for a class focused on how you use space and movement to tell a story.  If you can’t say what you’re thinking, how does that thought communicate through your body?  Between that challenge and the challenge of immersing myself in a world that existed 120 years ago, this is one of my hardest classes.  

photo (17)

Playing with stuffed animals.  Those things in the middle of my class are “phonetic pillows” and they are in the shape of the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet.  We have been doing all kinds of fun activities with these fuzzy little guys, and they are helping us learn accents in Voice class.  I am pretty much a big, giant child.  It’s great.  It’s also been helping us to get down New York accents for a black box/studio version of this play:

Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets (Original production @ the Group Theater)

And helping me to work on a Swedish accent for an iconic transformation into…

The inimitable Greta Garbo

Thankfully, we do not have to worry so much about learning accents for our FIRST FULL PRODUCTION AT USC…

photo 1 (1)

Directed by our fearless leader Andrew Borba, looking directorial in the middle there.

Time of Your Life, by William Saroyan. Set in 1939 San Francisco, this Pulitzer-Prize winning play is born of the Great Depression and seething with social unrest seen bubbling under the surface of the people seeking solace at Nick’s Pacific Street Saloon, Restaurant, and Entertainment Palace.  The whole play takes place in a bar by the waterfront, and people come and go, bringing their troubles and joys with them.  This is the only show we are doing this semester that is fully produced (set, costumes, etc.), and it runs November 21-24 at the Scene Dock Theater.  

After that show closes, we will get to focus on our other big project of the semester, Solo Performance.  All semester we are working with Luis Alfaro to write our own one-person plays.  Let me tell you, if getting through year 1 of grad school together wasn’t enough to bond my class, or if the requirement of spending 13 hours a day together this year wasn’t enough, we have been brought together by Luis Alfaro’s class.  This man fearlessly plunges into the deepest darkest places and he accepts no less from his students.  All semester he has been encouraging us to write the story that we need to write, not the story that we want to write, and I have learned so much about the incredible people I spend my days with by hearing their stories.  We are going to have a stunning night of Solo pieces by the end of this semester.  

Last but not least, there is film class over at the School of Cinematic Arts: “The Art of Collaboration” with John Rubinstein and Eugene Lazarev.  We’ve been working with directors in the MFA Film Directing program to explore the relationship between actors and directors in film, and we’ve created some pretty rad projects.  We are screening all of them tonight, and hopefully I can post a little something for you guys soon.

THAT’S IT!

whew.

So although what I want to be doing is partying down with my Britt and/or writing sweet blogs about all the stuff going on, I just get to do the things.  All of the things.  I am exhausted, exhilarated, consumed, focused, determined.  Some days I feel completely overwhelmed and under-rested and unable to bring myself fully to the work.  But by the same token, I get to imaginatively explore all these different worlds and all these different facets of humanity every day, which makes me one lucky actor.  And when I am lying on top of my bed on a Sunday evening, trying to find the motivation to get up and prepare for another week of grueling 13-16 hour days, I find myself in the snuggly embrace of my best friends, the muses that inspire me every single day to take the road less traveled and do the work necessary to get there.  And it is totally worth it. 

Reunited, and it feels so good.

Reunited, and it feels so good.

❤ ❤ ❤

Dani

britt is a working actor

Oh my god ohmygod ohmygodohmygod, you guys… everyone…. Dani’s back!!! And I left my day job!! And I’m moving to Los Angeles!! Like, SOON!!

…And pretty much all things in life are magical. I mean, the world was gifted Shark Week AND a new episode of Breaking Bad and I am constantly hopped-up on Kombucha and free coffee I get at rehearsal. Need I say more?! My heart is happy and my head is full of to-do’s that I actually WANT to DO, and I wish that I didn’t require sleep so I can max out my days with Limitless Rad.

My weekly schedule right now is this: noon-6pm rehearsal, 6 days a week. Time before and after this is used for personal projects, misc. film work that comes up, WORKING OUT AND TAKING CARE OF MYSELF (gasp!! I’m even doing acupuncture?!!!), LA move prep and spending time with friends. You guys, I am living the dream. I am a working actor.

Okay– back up– record scratch moment– I hate that term. I dislike the term “working actor” as much as I dislike the terms “networking” and “moist”. I can’t really explain why, it just sounds pretentious and/or that I have something to prove. I don’t. I just don’t know how else to explain it. So! I will grit my teeth and proclaim to you, I am a working actor. And you know what? That’s pretty fucking hard to do in Portland, Oregon so I’m going to allow myself this cheesy moment. All though 2013, I’d say my income breakdown was 50/50 (acting income/accounting income) or 60/40, so to drop off the accounting part right before I make The Big Move feels pretty good. Cause god knows I’ll be working a million shitty jobs to survive once I get to Los Angeles.

So let me catch you up. This is what I have been up to the past week or so, my friends:

My Week:

This week brought the close of The Tamer Tamed with Portland Shakespeare Project. It was a fun, energetic last couple shows where, on my end at least, there was plenty of this:

PSP-TamerTamed-0384-130723-M

and some of this:

PSP-TamerTamed-0052-130723-Mand lots of this:

PSP-TamerTamed-0338-130723-M

and maaaaybe a little of this:

PSP-TamerTamed-0193-130723-M…that’s right, I’m an insane person.

Which brings me to my next topic. The 48 Hour Film Project. It was during this past weekend where I broke through to a whole new level of insanity when I was up working for 35 hours straight.

It went like this.

On Friday, I worked my last day at my day job:

Exhibit A: Feelin good so far.

Exhibit A: Feelin good so far. Adios, cubicle.

then went straight from the office to the kick-off event for the 48 Hour Film Race, where, clearly, I worked VERY hard:

Exhibit B: We picked sci-fi for our genre. And I drank cheap beer.

Exhibit B: We picked sci-fi for our genre. And I drank cheap beer.

I went from to the kick-off event to set, where I remained from 8pm Friday to noon Saturday. During this time, I “helped” with pre-production:

Exhibit C: This is me "helping" our screenwriter draft the best sci fi story the world has ever seen.

Exhibit C: This is me “helping” our screenwriter draft the best sci fi story the world has ever seen.

we shot all through the night:

Tired actor faces at 2am. When we wrapped our FIRST shot of the night. Oh boy.

Exhibit D: Tired actor faces at 2am. When we wrapped our FIRST shot of the night. Oh boy.

And after getting dirty from rolling around in an haunted warehouse, sprinting for my life at 6am for the benefit of an octocopter shot, and falling asleep on the toilet at 8am (not my finest hour), we started to capture the story we wrote:

Exhibit E: CINEMA.

Exhibit E: CINEMA.

And then, at noon last Saturday, on my 32nd hour, we wrapped the day and I headed straight to my 1pm call for the Portland Shakespeare Project show, where I felt a lot like this:

Exhibit F: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON.

Exhibit F: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON.

And yet… I somehow survived. And, dare I say, I MORE than survived. It’s like I had an extra energy/emergency-focus tank somewhere in my brain that I finally had access to tap into. I didn’t know I had that in me. I felt kind of invincible after all of that. And on that 35th hour, after curtain-call of the show, I headed promptly back to the green room backstage and fell the F asleep on the couch. After my nap I drove home and slept for like, a million hours. It was awesome. One of the top 10 sleeps of my life.

Now… things have been crazy but fanTASTIC. And after last weekend, my life has been on a more structured track as I started my new job at Artists Repertory Theatre!! This week marks the completion of Week 1 of the rehearsal process for The Big Meal, and I am having a blast. This play is SO FUCKING GOOD, you guys. I can’t even… I can’t even handle it. And just LOOK at how hot and awesome and amazing my new family is!!

The cast of The Big Meal.

The cast of The Big Meal.

…Told you. I am pretty jealous of myself right now. They are all beautiful people and I love them.

Oh!! And–in closing– I finally got my silly reel done after a million years of putting it off, so here it is! It is a bit (okay, maybe a LOT) CrazyPants, but what else would you expect from me? Enjoy!

https://vimeo.com/71462770

…And I don’t know why this vimeo is just showing up as a link right now, but I’ll fix it later. I gotta run. Anyway. Until next time!

I love you all!!

sharkweek,

~britt

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:

_MG_4661_zps2d9b04d1

(c) ZF Creative

_MG_4541_zps58b358ff

(c) ZF Creative

_MG_4740_zps4db7f709

(c) ZF Creative

_MG_4749_zpsac6c63f3

(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

dani talks crazyballs

Obviously, that is what this week has been, both for myself and Britt.  This is the first week that our long-distance-dual-blogging schedule broke down a little bit, due to the fact that Britt and I are both CRAZYBALLS right now. 

crazyballs: adjective, adverb \ˈkrā-zē-ˈbȯlz\

The state or quality of being out-of-control, busy, or otherwise in a state of madness.

“Did you see Brent is Scene Study class today?  Boyfriend got CRAZYBALLS.”

“I’d love to get together but my schedule is super crazyballs right now.  Hit me up in a couple of weeks.”

If you desire further explanation, please enjoy the image of this dress, which was emailed to me by my friend Liz, and which appeared in a Nordstrom ad on the Merriam-Webster website when I went to find the official pronunciation of the word “Balls.”

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by Topshop. From Nordstrom

Aside from the fact that my acting program relentlessly pushes us deeper and deeper into our own psyches, Aside from the fact that it stretches our physical capabilities and challenges our notions of what we think we are capable of, Aside from the exhaustion that comes with total honesty…  Aside from all of that work that happens in our actual classes, there is part-time-job work, there is backstage-work on plays, and most recently, there is work on my class’s production of Don Quixote. 

Miguel de Cervantes’ 900+ page masterpiece novel Don Quixote begins like this:

“Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and greyhound for racing.”

And it tells the story of a 50-year-old gentleman of reduced circumstances whose primary joy in life is to read books of chivalry, which tell tall tales of knights and damsels in words like

…the heavens on high divinely heighten thy divinity with the stars and make thee deserving of the deserts thy greatness deserves.”

Cervantes explains, “With these words and phrases the poor gentlemen lost his mind…” and changed his name to Don Quixote, changed the name of his horse to Rocinante, fancied a young village girl named Aldonza was actually his great Lady Dulcinea, and sallied forth into the land as a knight errant to right wrongs, seek adventure, and gain eternal renown.  

1-DonQuixote-001_zps77a1eeee

Don Quixote by Svetlin Vassilev

In other words, he went crazyballs and went off on a grand imaginative adventure to expand his greatness and increase the good and nobility in the world.  ….Hmmmmm….. Yesssss…..

Wait, hold up!  Turn into a play?  Reading a novel?  Rehearsals?  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE??

This semester my class is being placed in the fire of “devised theatre” to be refined and molded into an ensemble.  Devised theatre is also known as collaborative creation, and in this case the creative process is centered around the source material of Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote.  This program being incredible physical, we are using the common ground laid by the head of our program Andy Robinson, as well as our physical work with David Bridel, as well as working with Edgar on Mary Overlie’s viewpoints, as well as the work in all our other classes, to create the story of Don Quixote from scratch with our bodies (and our voices).

So that is that in a nutshell. Don Quixote saddles up with his trusty squire, AKA his hapless peasant neighbor Sancho, and the two go off to claim glory and adventure.  

Don Quixote and Sancho, by  Svetlin Vassilev

Don Quixote and Sancho, by Svetlin Vassilev

There are many things I love about this story.  One is the fact that, despite the fact that everyone is somewhat shocked and horrified at Don Quixote’s madness, he brings true magic into a lot of people’s lives.  At first, he is a source of mayhem and ends up getting his ass righteously kicked a lot, but he ends up inadvertently uniting young lovers embroiled in the most romantic, imaginative and unlikely romance of all times.   He ends up bringing joy, wisdom, and entertainment into the lives of a bored Duke and Duchess who decide to play along with his madness.  He counsels wisely as much as he rambles madly, and as much as people dismiss him, he ends up changing a lot of lives.  I begin to wonder whether or not the people he encounters see that they really are romantic heroes themselves.  He blurs the lines between the possible and the impossible, the real and the unreal, and he reminds us to be our most noble, our most selfless, and our most true selves.  

So this weekend as we kick off March, trekking onward and upward through the madness of 2013, here’s to Don Quixote and his crazyballs.

Don Quixote goes crazyballs in the mountains as Sancho looks on. by Gustave Dore.

Don Quixote goes crazyballs in the mountains as Sancho looks on. by Gustave Dore.

britt talks 2013

My girl Dani left Portland this past Monday to return to her sunny home in Silverlake. Though I am sad to see her leave, we took full advantage of our time together by packing more fun and awesomeness into one week than I thought possible. I could not imagine a better way to kick off the new year. 2013 is going to be huge, we can both feel it. My dear friend Stephen told me over coffee the other day, “2012 was a year of preparation. 2013 is a year of action”. I could not agree more. This also scares the ever-living crap out of me because it means I can’t punk out on the plans I have created for myself… and I have so many plans. So many huge, lofty, pie-in-the-sky plans.

…Which brings me to this:

Hey Britt!! Let’s have a check-in!

Okay!!

Part of my desire to write this blog, aside from being able to spend quality time with my Dani from afar and help other creative types know that they are not alone in their insanity, is to keep myself in check. To keep myself accountable. To keep moving and to never settle. To do what makes me happy, what pushes me out of my comfort zone, and what moves me closer to my dream life.

So, in brief, my personal blog entries are mainly to remind myself of this:

2 step plan

photo courtesy of http://www.yesandyes.org

SO, here’s my check in.

My Week in Art

Monday. Kicked off a new show I am producing with my theatre company entitled “Velvet Sky”. It’s going to be awesome. I am so lucky to have the creative home that I have at Theatre Vertigo. Here are some photos I snapped from the first read:

071  073

That handsome devil in the mask is Vertigo member Andy Lee-Hillstrom, who will be playing the role of Sandman. I am already having beautiful, beautiful nightmares. More info on the show here: The Velvet Sky. That’s right, it’s going to be fucking awesome.

Tuesday. Had a shoot at the Oregon Coast for a music video. It was a million degrees below zero with a wind speed of infinity, but it was still really fun:

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My favorite thing about this shoot was exploring Fort Stevens. Everything reminded of being on a Walking Dead set (OMG zombies are awesome):

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Wednesday. I had the pleasure of catching up over drinks with the lovely people who created this animation:

…Needless to say, I laughed ’til I peed. For four hours straight.

Thursday. Pre-production meeting for my amazing friend Amir Shirazi’s musical, Crumbs, in production next month. This is us “working”:

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…when what we’re actually doing is a ukulele cover of the TLC song, “No Scrubs” for the entire bar. Cafe Side Door (aka my living room) will forever have my undying love for tolerating my antics on practically a daily basis. We’re a traveling troupe of minstrels, people!!

Friday. Had an afternoon of rehearsal for the feature film, “Birds of Neptune”, being shot in Portland next month:

Birds of Neptune promo shot

Promo shot for Birds of Neptune, (c) Reverie Films

Whew. SO yeah. I had a ton of fun this week. Thank you friends and internet world, for holding me accountable to the self acknowledgement of my progress in creating the life that I want. 😀

But let’s be real. Things aren’t all work and no play (well, a lot of what I do for work is play, but never you mind). Here are some fun things that propelled me through my week:

My Week in Inspiration

This lovely surprise that Dani left me in my apartment before she left town on Monday:

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My “spirit animal” as wall art, per Dani.

This council crest trek with my friend Stephen when the *GASP!!* sun (!!) came out:

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Portland + Sun = GLORY

Books that are currently blowing my mind:

The Creative Habit                         the chronology of water

“Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable.”  –Twyla Tharp

“I know that will well now. It’s the will of certain mothers and daughters. It comes from living in bodies that can carry life or kill it. ” –Lidia Yuknavitch, The Chronology of Water

———

Aaaaaand I’m spent!

I wish you magic and fun in your week, my friends!

Much love,

Britt

//