Thursday, March 30, 2006

Total Overwhelm

Ug, I'm feeling completely overwhelmed this week.

I'm on a committee for one of the many summer theatre festivals in NYC, which means I have to read, like, a million scripts, and rate them all. Of course I'm behind schedule and have to read all of them in the next few days. There's nothing like staying up late and reading bad theatre to make you want to kill yourself--but the occasional gem I stumble upon makes it all worth while. Until all these scripts are evaluated, though, I'm at a total standstill. I can't do anything at all--my time is consumed by reading, reading, and more reading. And of course this is the week everyone wants me to do something--a friend had a reading of his new script yesterday (it was actually really really good!), had a theatre industry meeting on Tuesday, tonight Dolly and I are going to a new dating party (details tomorrow!), my Avon order is due, oh, and I have to find a new roommate.

Just keep breathing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My date with Blackout Boy

I arrived at the agreed-upon bar about 10 minutes late. Not what I had wanted to do (my plan was to arrive early and let him find me), but my rehearsal ran over. As I walked through the long, narrow bar, I feared the worst. I'd make a fool of myself, walk right by him, do something stupid and the date would never recover (I couldn't help but remember one disasterous date, when both of us showed up early and sat across the coffee shop for nearly an hour without realizing the other was there. Ug.).

I spotted a fellow sitting alone, and as I walked by he said "It looks like you're looking for someone." Clearly this was him. "I'm looking for you," I replied. "Blackout Boy?" We sat and talked for the next two hours.

He gets high points for manners. He rose to greet me, offered me the "cushioned" seat even though he was already sitting there (I declined), paid for our first round, and when I attempted to pay for the second round but was told by the bartender that they didn't take credit cards (I had no cash) he smoothly walked over to the bar and handed her a $20, no questions asked.

But I know what you're all wondering: is he cute?!

Honestly, it depends. I swear! It's the strangest thing. When he stands up, he is. He's very tall and looks nice and svelte. But somehow, when sitting, his flaws, nearly invisible when he stands, appear (like I'm one to judge). He somehow looks slightly dumpy--which is totally not the case at all! I don't get it.

The conversation was good, but he's such (as Dolly says) a normal. Typical suburban guy, moved to the city to work in finance and make $$. Has potential, and the manners thing scores him loads of extra points, and we did have a good chat. No love connection yet, but I'm not ruling out the possibility.

He walked me to the subway (of course--good manners!) and we parted with a hug. "We should do this again sometime," he offered. "I'd like that," I replied. We'll see if he calls!

Monday, March 27, 2006

He just called...

...we're meeting for drinks tonight. Short notice, I know, but I'm booked up every other night this week--and I want to meet this guy!

Crap. I'm in VERY casual gear. Oh well, it'll have to do!

No Blackout Boy update

So, Blackout Boy called Saturday afternoon to invite me to drinks that night--ug! I, of course, had made plans. He said nothing about Sunday, though, and said he'd call me early in the week to try to do something after work this week. I don't know if I'll hear from him--I'm getting the impression that he thinks I'm too difficult to make plans with, which is semi-true, if you don't book me in advance, I fill up my schedule pretty quick. So this may be a no go!

*sigh* I wanted to meet him so....

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Jacques Brel is not doing so well

Got to catch the new off-Broadway revival of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris this weekend. What a disappointment.

This show originally premiered off-Broadway in the late 60s and ran for years. It was a total hit. Critics and audiences loved this cute 4-person revue, with its dark themes of love and loss. My mom (who I went to the show with) saw the original production and loved it. But this revival has totally missed the mark. The director has rearranged and changed a bunch of songs, adding new translations. The cast is good, but in that phony Broadway-style of acting, not actual real moments (okay, two actors are okay,
Robert Cuccioli is great and Natascia Diaz has moments that are real and touching, but ruins them with her phony Broadway fakeness from time to time. And don't even get me started on Rodney Hicks.) And worst of all, the last moment of the play, the beautiful amazingly touching song, "If We Only Have Love" has been destroyed. Instead of letting it be the ballad that it is, perfect and simple, it's been rearranged into this triumphant marching Les Mis-"Do you hear the people sing" -type piece. Which does not work at all. Basically they've taken this gorgeous song and ruined it--and that's the last moment of the show!!!

I honestly think I could see a better production in some summer stock or community theatre. This production is one to skip.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Blogger Meetup!

OMG, last night was soooo much fun! It was great to finally meet so many anonybloggers at last. Dolly procured nametags, so we all wore our fake names. Cheesy, but so much fun! I literally squeeled with glee when Betty on the Beach showed up--we've been reading each other's blogs for so long, it was great to finally meet!

The guest list (in order of arrival):
Downtown Chic
Avenue Elle
Bama Girl
Damn It Anyway
Drunken Mouse

Everyone was so much fun. I think my favorite quote of the evening, personally, after mentioning the AVON thing was from Jen, who said, "Wow, that's so uncool, it's almost cool." Ha.

Everyone seemed to think this should be a monthly occurence--Dolly and I are setting it up!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

So excited!!!

Wow, I'm so excited! Our NYC blogger happy hour is tonight, in just a few hours. For those of you that will be attending, I can't wait to meet you!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blackout Boy Phonetag...

I think I'm addicted to my new blog. 3 posts today??

Just got off the phone with Blackout Boy. We've been playing phone tag since he called on Sunday. At last, tonight, we got a hold of each other.

We just had the NICEST conversation! He totally was asking all the right questions, about my acting career, we shared our dream jobs, etc. He seems like he's totally on the same page as me. And he must be tall and cute, otherwise I wouldn't have given him my number, right? Let's hope so.

Tentative plans for Sunday brunch. We'll see what happens--if I can even recognize the guy!

How did this happen?

So, it seems everyone is baffled that I'm an AVON lady. How does a cute, single, Manhattan girl become an AVON lady, you ask?

Well, as y'all know, I'm an actress. Which means perpetual empty pockets. A couple of years ago I saw all those mark. ads on TV, and checked out their website. And I just fell in love with the products. Adorable! So I started clicking around, and ordered a whole bunch of stuff. It came to about $100 in my little shopping cart. Well, everywhere on the site are little ads saying "become a mark. rep! Get 40% off!" so I figured, worst case scenario, I get 40% off my order, and why not?

When I showed the catalogs to my friends, they thought the stuff was adorable too. It was so easy to sell, I made a bunch of easy $$ right up front, doing absolutely nothing. I was hooked. The rest is history, it's 2 years later, and I'm still selling. It's interesting doing it in Manhattan--I get a LOT of resistance from people who are "too cool" for the AVON stuff (and I know where that's coming from). But the skin care products are amazing, so a lot of people get hooked that way. I do okay, not as well as I'd like, but not bad either. For someone that has an erratic schedule, and is always short on cash, it's not a bad thing.

President's Club

So the third thing that occupies my time is my Avon business. As with any selling organization, there are all sorts of little awards and such, and the first level of selling excellence is called "President's Club." When you win, you get a cheezy statue, called a Mrs. Albee. Isn't she pretty? You also get to go to a silly dinner in June. I could care less about that, but I want the statue. Oh, and most importantly, you get a guaranteed discount on all your orders, which is really key.

Of course, I haven't been focusing on Avon this year, what with school and all, so I'm a thousand dollars short of making it. My impassioned plea: Does anyone out there need bug spray, makeup, skin care, shaving cream (the men's shaving cream is supposed to be the best EVER, I hear), DVDs, easter tchotchkes, or Mother's Day presents? is offering free shipping, and if you use this link before April 1, I'll get credit.

Whadya say? What can I do for y'all in return? Any ideas? I'll be happy to do what I can.....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Meisner Primer

Wow, this is great! Even if I have no dating news, I can share other things in my life now. Like my acting class:

I'm currently in a 2-year Meisner training program. There are a few of these in the city, and I'm in a small, but amazingly good one (at least in my opinion). It's funny, because I've been taking acting classes my entire life at some top notch places (my undergrad is a top program, and I've done a summer intensive at one of the top MFA programs). This is the first time that I actually feel I'm getting real, applicable, training.

The first year of Meisner training really focuses on two exercises. The famous repetition exercise, which goes a little something like this, or at least it did in rehearsal today:
My scene partner: "You look like a gumdrop."
Me: "I look like a gumdrop?"
"Yes, you look like a gumdrop."
"That's not a very nice thing to say."
"That's not a very nice thing to say?"
"You don't understand that?"
"Um, well I guess I understand that.." etc, etc.
The point of this exercise is to force the actor to really listen to what the other is saying. It's amazing how many actors you see on stage that are doing their own thing, so that it doesn't really matter what their scene partner is doing. Not very life-like, huh?

The other exercise, which we've been working on for almost the whole year so far, is the Independent Activity. Now this is harder to explain, but I'll do my best.

There are two people, I'll call them A and B. Every other class you switch, so one class you're A, the next you're B, then back to A, and on and on. Person A has the Independent Activity, while B waits outside, then knocks on the door to come in (there are a few variations of this, but generally B knocks on the door).

A has to craft an Independent Activity with the following requirements:
--It must be difficult to do. In the early stages of class, this might be something nearly impossible like forging a signature perfectly, exactly copying a painting, etc. Later on, the activity can be less difficult, but still has to be hard.
--You must have a simple, specific reason for doing what you're doing. Like learning how to play a song on the guitar to play for your mother in the hospital. If the reason were true, would you do everything you could to get the activity done? At this point we're using "life-altering" circumstances, like a family member's illness/death, or getting a part in a Broadway show.
--You need a personal consequence if you fail, i.e. "I'll break my mother's heart," "I won't be able to go on this trip."
--You need a specific time frame, i.e. 2 hours, 3 hours, etc. If you don't get it done in the time frame, you will fail.

In the meantime, B has to come to the door with an emotional preparation based on their own circumstance, for example, B just got accepted into a 1-month Yoga training program she's been dreaming about going to for years. The circumstance must be very personal to work effectively.

So A is working on their activity and B knocks on the door. And a scene is born. You have two people with different emotional lives--when done well, the result is fascinating.

What's the point of all this, though? Well, the key concept behind the Meisner work is that your attention is always on the "other." A's attention is on their activity, B's attention is on A. This work forces you to really put your attention on something outside yourself--which is great because it forces you to act naturally. You can't "fake" this stuff. It's so easy to "pretend" to do your activity, but we're forced to really do it. Yes, there is a difference.

Anyway, this is my "primer" on the work I'm doing in class. Thought I'd explain it to y'all so when I refer to this stuff in the future, you'll have some clue what I'm talking about....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Blackout Boy

So, last week, when out with Snob, Elle, and Dolly, I had a great time. Came home, woke up the next day, thought to myself "I had a great time! No boys, but every night can't be a night for boys."

Well, apparently it was a night for boys. Or one boy.

On my vacation my cell phone rang. In Jamaica, Verizon phones work, but caller ID doesn't. So you can't screen your calls. I pick up.
"Hi.... Pauly?"
"Um, Polly, yeah?"
"This is Blackout Boy. We met at <> last week?"
"Uh.... what night was that? Thursday?"
"Yeah, you don't remember?"
"Uh.... sure!"
"Don't worry, that night was kinda a blur for me too."

I have absolutely no recollection of meeting this guy. We talked briefly, I asked him to call me when I got back from my trip. So, of course, I pick up the phone and call Dolly.

"Did I meet someone on Thursday when we were out with Snob and Elle?"
"Um.... where?"
"At <>? I don't remember. He just called."
"Yeah, when we were all leaving. You were talking to some guy, and we wanted to leave so I told him, 'just ask for her # already,' and he did."
"Was he cute?"
"I don't really remember, but he must have been, or you wouldn't have given him your #..."
"True, true...."

Of course this gentleman did call again, last night. I wonder how I'm going to meet up with someone that I can't remember?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bad Students

Ug. My entire acting class just got reamed, just as we leave for spring break.

We've been working on scenes, and we are all exhausted. This work is so emotional--breaking down 2-3 times a week takes its toll, and it's hard as well--our teacher expects so much of us and won't accept anything less than our personal best, every day. Since we're all so tired, we've let the "independent activity" go by the wayside. Today was our first day back doing the independent activity. Ug. It sucked.

I was the person at the door today. So my scene partner was doing her activity, and I'm knocking on her door, because I need something from her (Today I needed to borrow her French Berlitz tapes). Usually the person doing the activity is doing something pretty strange, and we have to respond to each moment, what they're doing. And I was dropping moments left and right. One of the first things she says to me was "You look creamy." I responded with "Are you doing aerobics?" (she was dressed in an aerobic outfit). NO! I should have responded to her "creamy" statement. Who says that? What a strange thing to say. I needed to respond to her strange statement, before moving on to the aerobics. Ug.

I wasn't the only person who sucked. Most people did better than I did, but there wasn't a lot of good work--and we certainly heard about it at the end of class. Aii!

Our teacher wants us to think about wheather we're prepared to work. "Being an artist takes everything," she said. If we can't do the work, she doesn't want us in the class!

When she dismissed us, everyone just sat around, in silence, in their chairs for a good 10 minutes. We didn't know how to react. What a crappy feeling.

But, good news, we switched scene partners--I'm with one of the best guys in the class--he's completely open, available, great to work with. Should be exciting....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tabula Rasa

It's time for a fresh start. A clean start. A blank slate. Tabula rasa.

My old blog had too much baggage. A group blog without a group. Too many "discoveries" that I couldn't deal with. And, perhaps, too much personal information. I need to start again.

A clean start. So here goes:

I am currently single. When you start a relationship with someone, you start (hopefully!) with a blank slate.

I am an actress. As an actor, I need to be a blank slate for the writer and director's vision.

To make ends meet, among other things, I am an AVON lady. I do makeovers--and a clean face, to me, is a blank slate.

Tabula rasa. Welcome.