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New Year. New Insights.

"They key to happiness and success is just, being actually yourself, in the most vivid possible way you can." - Meryl Streep

This is going to be an Acting World post! There's a lot of Hollywood going on right now, and I haven't done a post related to acting in a while. PLUS, guess what?! I've had a few insights this month, so I've decided to share. Enjoy!

Acting Chat Section 1

It's that time of year - every actors favorite/least favorite time of year: Awards Season.

See, here's the thing - I have a love/hate relationship with Awards Season.

Love: seeing actors, writers, directors being awarded for their exceptional work.

Love: the inspiration to continue down this crazy path fraught with obstacles and closed doors.

Hate: the politics of all of it.

Hate: the feeling that this goal is so far away.

And a true Love/Hate: It's also known as 'Pilot Season'. This is the time of year where major networks are casting their new Pilots for the fall. It's the busiest time of year for actors (love).....if you're being sent out for auditions....(that's where the hate can come in...)

We've had a few awards shows thus far: Golden Globes, Critics Choice, and SAG Awards. In Acting World, we still have The Oscars (officially called The Academy Awards) to come.

Now, you may ask (as I have many times): what's the deal with all these awards shows? And who makes the decisions on winners anyway?

Here's a quick rundown:

Golden Globes: voters consist of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Basically - journalist from all across the world. The votes are often mysterious or puzzling - the hardest to predict. They like to award newbies and dark horses. Fun fact: it's the only awards show where alcohol is that's fun! The Golden Globes celebrate film and television.

Critics Choice: voters are Members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association - Both are made up of mostly American critics.

Again, it celebrates film and television.

SAG Awards: voters are MEEEE!!! Members of the Screen Actors Guild, aka actors, and AFTRA, which includes journalists, anchors, DJs, program hosts, and yes, even weather anchors. The SAG Awards honor acting achievements in television and film. The SAG Awards are often a good predictor of who will take home the Acting awards come Oscar time.

Academy Awards: Known as "Hollywood's Biggest Night". Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) are your voters. AMPAS is comprised of film professionals, including actors, writers, producers, directors, cinematographers, costume designers, editors and more. The Oscars are achievements in film only.

WHEW! That's the rundown of THIS MONTHS Awards (Oscar is coming in the beginning of March). I told you it's busy..... So, let's talk SAG Awards (cuz I get to vote in those).

At the end of December, I begin to receive my 'screeners' (copies of movies or tv shows that are nominated for Best _____: actor, actress, ensemble, supporting actor/actress, etc). These continue to arrive up until a week or so before voting closes.


Who here actually watched the SAG Awards?

If you missed them, let me fill you in: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.

That's what you need to know. :)

Oh, and two wins for This Is Us.

Now, being from the Midwest, the This Is Us wins seem obvious. This show is all I hear about and see on Facebook, correct?


HOWEVER, go back and take a look at the nomination lists for television: Network TV is not reining supreme, and it hasn't for a few years now. Most nominees are Cable, and more and more are Netflix and Prime. The television stage has drastically changed.

As for Three Billboards - I saw this movie in the theatre when it was first released. At the end, I turned to Eddie and said, "This movie is getting nominated. It has too."

RARELY DO I SAY THAT. I've come to realize that my favorite movies are not Best Picture worthy, generally speaking. Please see Hate reason #1 above.

Here's the thing: I don't like when movies preach at me. I don't mind a political set up. I don't mind thoroughly presenting sides, but at least present both sides equally and let me decide. I don't see a whole lot of this in Hollywood anymore, so when a movie does present a strong story and fully dimensional and yes, flawed characters, I enjoy it so much more! Three Billboards accomplished it so well. Plus, it's a very dark, heavy, but hysterical film Let's face it: that is a HARD line to walk!! I highly recommend seeing this film. I've watched it three times now. :)

Acting Chat Section 2.

As stated above, I'm a member of SAG. Not only do I get screeners and vote for the SAG Awards, but I also get to participate in cool workshops. I recently went to one on Typecasting. Sigh. It's a dirty little word in this industry. Love it or hate it, it's very real. Basically, it means 'what box will you be put in after 5 seconds'. So, when I walk into an audition, the casting director can look at me from head to toe and before I even open my mouth will 'assign' me a role or a type. What are some basic types? Hero. Villain. Wise Old Man. Mom/Dad. Leading Lady. Ingenue. The point of this workshop was to get an idea of your type, and then to use that type to your advantage when it comes to auditioning and marketing yourself.

Now, I've done enough of these types of workshops and exercises before to have a pretty good idea of my 'type'. However, Hollywood is very different than Chicago. Or College. Or Community Theatre. This is my second typing exercise in HWood, but I was pretty certain I knew what was coming: Girl Next Door, Best Friend, Teacher, Nurse......and then the curveball came - Psychotic. Hmmm. Well that's fun!! I can honestly say I have not encountered that one before. And I'm not talking a couple of votes - it was like 70%. Teehee. And you know what, I'm totally ok with it.

Later that evening I was talking with Eddie about it and he said, "Oh yeah, baby, you're totally Wedding Crashers - I'd find yooooou."

My man has a point.

Acting Chat Section 3

In this same workshop, we were also asked to think about our 'Why' - Why am I an actor?

If that's not a loaded question I don't know what is!

Here's what I do know: I did my first play when I was 7 years old and fell in love.

I've been paid for my acting for about....4 years now. I did it for funsies and for the love of it for much, much longer. Suffice to say I'm not in it for 'the money'. :)

I had this conversation with a housemate I had a couple of years ago. I'll call her 'Crazy' (coincidentally that is actually how I refer to her now so guess how that living situation went). When I first moved in she asked me why I wanted to be an actor. I told her, "I specifically want to do Sitcoms and Comedies. I don't have anything against Episodics or Dramas, but I prefer comedies. I like making people laugh. I like distracting them from the chaos of everyday life. There is so much noise and pressure and stress these days, I like easing the burden even if it's only for an hour and a half." She responded, "No, I don't think so. Don't you think it's more for the money and fame? That's what I think. That's why people go into acting." .......this was a week into living there. I should have taken it as a sign.....

Here's the thing: My response to her REALLY IS why I love acting. It's also why I love comedy over drama, and why I don't like politics in my movies. To me, I'm in it for ENTERTAINMENT. As I said, I'm in it for the Distraction. I want to be in The Carol Burnette Show. Or I Love Lucy. You get the idea. Comedy for comedy. Physical comedy. Genuine laughs without being mean. I want to be in a show or movie that lets me escape.

What I realized in that split MOMENT in the workshop was this: I Want To Be A Light.

......This became an AHA Moment for me......

I also realize in that moment that this is my Purpose. WELL THAT'S DEEP!

In all my jobs, hobbies, careers, businesses - this is my Purpose. This is what I LOVE about them - being a light! Zumba Instructor: workout in disguise. Personal Trainer: helping you achieve what you didn't think you could do. Wellness Coach: helping you get where you want to go, overcome obstacles, make it easier. LuLaRoe: building confidence.

I love facilitating the hope, the optimism, the excitement, the possibilities, the confidence, the strength. By doing so, I hope I'm easing the burden just a little.

My Purpose in life is to Be A Light.

The thing is, this doesn't mean 'only pats on the back', and 'good jobs', and 'you're amazing', but sometimes it means saying, "Hey, dig deep", and "There's a disconnect between words and actions". In the long run, these reflections are going to make the biggest impact. It's not meant to hurt or tear down, but to challenge and move forward.

If you're only surrounded by yes men, do you really have the full picture? If you keep telling yourself the same story, you'll keep getting the same outcome. I want to help you get the outcome you truly want. I want to help get you to the truly happy place. TRULY HAPPY. Not content - contentment can be found with things and distractions. Truly happy is a place inside despite the external chaos.

By chasing my crazy acting dream I was able to find my purpose: To Be A Light.

And the thing is, it takes a lot of pressure off when I think of my life's purpose this way. It's not a 'thing' - an external goal I'm chasing. It's something I bring to the table. It's my offering, and I can offer it no matter what I'm doing. I can be successful no matter what I'm' doing. I can fulfill my life purpose no matter my location, or job, or interaction.


THAT is QUITE an insight for a new year.

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