Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Inspiration is Afoot

Hi Everyone,

Where does inspiration come from? I am always surprised when a thought pops into my head that excites me and gets my blood flowing just a little bit faster.  It is always at the most inopportune time, of course.  I am driving in the car at 70 mph, taking an order at work, in the shower, in the waiting room just as my name is called, I can go on and on.  But, sometimes I am exactly where I need to be to sit down and work through the inspiration and that is such a gratifying place to be.  To be so excited and full of life that drives me to act, write, paint, draw, call, talk, email, see, and most importantly, do something.  It is always the little things that we do that manifest life changes that we could never imagine.

I never imagined in my wildest dreams, that I would give myself the chance to move to Los Angeles to try and make it on television.  I never imagined I would be writing, acting, and making things happen for myself.  I never thought of looking at myself as a business.  I never thought I could be so lonely, following my dream.  I never thought I could be so happy.  I never thought I was worth it.  Until I moved to Los Angeles to follow my dream and I began writing, acting and making things happen for myself.  I started looking at myself as a business.  I have been lonelier than I have ever been, but the happiness I feel when something falls into place makes the loneliness feel temporary.  And there lies the inspiration.  The kick in the butt that keeps me excited and moves me forward one small step at a time.

Most of my inspiration has nothing to do with acting, it has to do with living.  I get a thought to call a friend I haven't seen in a while, or a pang to join a pottery class, because I always wanted to, the need to meditate and calm down, or excitement over a blind date, and I try and incorporate living into my life.  This past week hasn't been the most easiest of weeks.  I have had to make some hard decisions out of financial desperation, that I could see as a negative, but I choose to see it as positive outcomes.  There is a cycle to everything and it is this cycle that keeps us guessing and gets us to do something.  I think I just found out where inspiration comes from...

Until next time.  Stay safe.

All my love,

Tara

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back to Square 2

Hi Everyone,

So my showcase didn't pan out the way I had hoped but it was a fantastic experience nonetheless.  Each agent really liked my glasses, which I had decided to make my "character".  Since I wear these two toned glasses that my friend Bonnie calls, Caramel and Chocolate almost everyday it doesn't seem right to present Tara as someone who doesn't wear glasses.  Also they each said either good job or nice work, but at this time I am not someone they would like to represent.  That's okay.  There are other agents in the Los Angeles pool and I will knock on each of those doors.

I was disappointed this afternoon reading over the evaluations, just because of the rejection of it.  Then I heard myself say, "They gave you feedback. Keep the glasses. You will find the agent that will appreciate you for you and help you."  So I know now, I have to get new headshots that play off my quirkyness and go from there.  Thank you God for the starting point!  At least I know what direction I am going in now and it makes me feel at peace with it all.

I also found out I got cast in Cyrano de Bergerac and they want me to be a sword fighter, which I laughed my ass off about after my stage combat audition :)  Oh the irony, of the life of an actor, seriously!  I am also playing a nun, which is awesome!  I have always wanted to play a nun since watching The Sound of Music when I was a little girl.  Maybe I was a nun in a past life?  Holy Molies!  Can you imagine?  Probably you can, so nevermind :)

Until tomorrow.  Take care.

All my love,

Tara

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I've Done All I Can

Hi Everyone,

So tonight was the culmination of all the stress I have been putting on myself for the past week to impress agents at some of the biggest agencies in the business.  It is amazing to me how much more confident in my ability and my work I am now, then when I graduated the acting conservatory.  This showcase was a spitting image of the showcase we had when I graduated, but this time around, I feel good about all I did.  I seriously worked my butt off rehearsing in the bathroom, my bedroom, in the car, the shower, on my Mac, while working out, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past two weeks.  Also, the group commercial we rehearsed for hours yesterday and had the ability to film it so that we knew how it came across to the agents tonight.  I did everything I could possibly do to be okay with any outcome that comes around from it.

When I graduated SFT, I was unsure about my monologue, I didn't have the balls to say anything and I lost interest in it by the first month of working on the piece before graduation.  By the time I had to perform the piece, there was nothing, I didn't feel anything, I had worked it to death and didn't want to do it anymore.  Plus, I also didn't think I was worthy of an agent or a manager at the point in my acting "career".  I was still very insecure in my craft and longed for more class experience.  In hindsight, I am glad I had NYC to do that.  I had the best acting teacher, who nurtured me and criticized me in a way that made me grow as an artist.  That is how I see my acting career as an artistic journey.  Most of the time I am not practical.  I am not realistic.  I am dramatic. I am poor.  I am a dreamer.

This is why L.A. is a great place for me to be.  L.A. has no time for dreamers or dramatics.  L.A. is the place for the artist to shine.  To become the artist I have ever imagined.  There is no room for procrastination or wishy washy decisions.  It is seriously a business here, there is no time to cultivate artistic integrity here.  You either have it or you don't.  Because of my immersion into this culture I have noticed a stronger sense of getting things done!  I am going to be on a television show.  That is my only reason for being in Los Angeles.  That is my ultimate goal as an actor.  To be a series regular on a successful sci-fi (preferably Joss Whedon or Chris Carter) show.  I have to become SAG.  I have to write my own scripts and film them.  I have to get an agent.  I have to believe that all this hard work and poorness is worth it in the long run and I firmly believe that it is!  Because I am prepared.  I am willing.  I am and will work my ass off.  I am going to do my job and make my dreams come true.

Until tomorrow.  Take care.

All my love,

Tara

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanks Madeline Kahn!

Hi Everyone,

Today is my day to learn patience.  People are driving too slow for me, others are hitting my aggrevation button and they don't even know it, and I just want to take a nap.  Since I can't take a nap, I have decided to go over Madeline Kahn quotes from all my favorite Madeline Kahn movies and I feel this feeling of nostalgia that makes me sad, but I have a smile on my face because no matter how many times I hear her say a line, I can't help but laugh or smile.

My all time favorite Madeline Kahn movie is Clue.  My aunt taped it off of HBO in 1986 because she was the "rich" aunt that could afford HBO then and my brother and I would watch it everyday along with the Ewok movies she taped too.  We played the VCR tape so much that we erased the movie.  In the end my brother and I would recite the lines while squiggly lines distorted the picture and the dialogue was said in s...l...o...w...m...o...t...i...o...n.  I am thankful for the memories and for Madeline Kahn!  I have a big meeting tomorrow that I don't want to go into and I my lack of patience is my little devil trying to make something more dramatic than it is.  It's a meeting.  It isn't the end of the world.  It is a time to shine!  And Madeline Kahn makes me feel that I can!

Until tomorrow.  Take care.

All my love,

Tara

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Little Things in the Grand Scheme

Hi Everyone,

Oh boy!!! I can't stop laughing at myself!  I just had my first stage combat audition for Cyrano de Bergerac and I did awful, but I can't stop laughing about it!  Last year at this time, I would have been beating myself up over the failed audition, but tonight, I can't stop laughing about it and being joyful to even have the opportunity.  I took fencing in college, which really means that I stood with an epee in the en garde position most of the time and moved back and forth one or two steps depending if I was winning or not.  Most of the time, I was not because I didn't take it seriously enough and would giggle when someone "got" me.

Tonight I just had the urge to enjoy myself, no matter what.  So in the two hour span I got to catch up with friends I haven't seen in a while and I got to meet new people.  Also, I got to fake sword fight without hurting anyone even though my partner and I looked like we were going to hurt ourselves unintentionally LOL!

I feel as if I have turned into someone else.  As I mentioned yesterday, happiness and gratitude are a new concept for me.  I don't always have to be smiling to be happy.   I don't always have to be doing something to be happy.  I don't always have to succeed to be happy.  I just think a wonderful thought about myself and it makes me feel full.  Makes me feel that this moment is all I need.  I don't feel that all the time, but when I consciously make the effort to do so, I feel like this is it and it's a good place to be.  There have been so many wonderful things happening to family members, friends and friends of friends that has renewed my faith in the little things.  None of us know what one little thing will turn into that can change your life forever and I have been hearing and witnessing stories of this kind in droves in the past 6 months and it is so inspiring and hopeful!!!!

I don't know if I will get a role in the play, but I had a wonderful time auditioning for it and I haven't been able to say that in a loooonnnng time.  In the grand scheme of things I don't know what this experience means, but it could be the start of something wonderful!!!!  Stay tuned!

All my love,

Tara

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gratitude Prayer

Hi Everyone,

I have a little grin on my face as I sit here, trying to put the thoughts I have in my head onto the screen in front of me.  I am grateful.  Plain and simple.  I was talking to my friend Aida, today and we were so thrilled to be where we are right at this moment.  We both were in NYC working together at a perfectly fine restaurant trying to make it as an actor, but it didn't feel right.  Then we both move to L.A. and we are getting things done, we are getting feedback, we are making things happen for us.  It is like night and day the differences between our lives 2 years ago compared to today.

Happiness is a foreign concept to me.  It has always been something that is God-like or it must be what heaven is.  As a child, teenager and young adult I always prayed for things I wanted, things I set out to do assuming it was something that if I was a good enough person I would be deserving of, it wasn't until after my Peace Corps experience and my struggle with failure that I began to change my prayers.  Maybe if I say thank you for all the things I have and maybe if I thank God for the life I long to lead, or thank Him for my future I see in my head, maybe just maybe I will feel as if it will come true.  By reciting those prayers of thanks, my dark cloud became grey and then even white and for the first time in my life, I felt a spark of happiness.  Happiness isn't something others give me, it is a gift I give myself.  This week I lost my way a bit, but I have been quick enough to understand that and I am feeling more grateful by the day.  Thank you!!!!

All my love,

Tara

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Hope the Words Come to Me

Hi Everyone,

Oh, blog how I have missed you!  In the past year since I stopped posting everyday I have become complacent in my writing.  I don't see that as a bad thing, sometimes I burn myself out, but then it is times like these that I feel the need to get back into writing everyday because it has always been a part of who I am.  If you look in my closet there are notebooks, diaries, folders filled with paper covered in words.  Some of those words tell a story, some of those words make no sense to a stranger, and some of those words are my soul making itself heard.  My life from my first diary entry, when I was seven,  dated May 20, 1984, said it all, "Today I made my first holy communion.  I looked like a bride.  It was a good day.  I will write tomorrow.  Tara"  For the first few years of those diary entries, I wrote them as letters.  The next entry is still one of my favorites.  It is a story in which I write a letter home because I am at summer camp and my brother gets kidnapped and I figure out how he was kidnapped.  It isn't a very exciting entry, but my brother was "brave and horoic" and I "kept my cool and knew exactly how to save him".  I have no idea how I saved him, or how to spell heroic, but I filled a full page with words that excited me for a moment and made me feel as if I had a purpose.

Words, stories, history, life experiences have always excited me.  I always want to know how someone got to be who they are, by their experiences.  I like to hear the words they choose to describe themselves and the stories that they feel define the person they are.  I know that is my favorite part about being an actor, figuring out how this character became this person.  What is it that makes them who they are?  How does a character describe themselves?  Over the decades I have changed my description of myself, but one word has never changed and that is hopeful!  It may be naivete or delusion this hope I hold onto, but I firmly believe that life can't always be as disappointing as it is.  There has to be something better, if not for me, for someone else.  I have to believe that dreams come true, or I wouldn't be where I am.  I have to believe that I have a shot at being the "Tara" I write about.  Maybe if I keep writing about this "Tara" I envision she will become real.  A lot of people call me romantic or in my own little world.  I write because I have to, it calms me, it puts everything into perspective, it heals me, it lifts me up.  I write for the pure joy of it, even when I am pulling out my hair trying to figure out the word that would best describe something.

Is this my true purpose?  To write?  I don't want to commit to that possibility.  It scares me.  I don't feel as if I could be as creative as some of the greats out there.  Maybe books aren't my forte.  Maybe I can do human interest pieces on strangers, but how does one go about such a thing?  How does an idea take flight and become something totally unexpected and fruitful? This is where my feelings of hope pop up.    I am not one to force things to happen, I feel as if I lose something of myself when I do that.  I have learned to do things that feel right for me, that just because I want something badly doesn't mean that I will do anything to get it.  I like my dignity.  When I write I don't expect anything to come of it.  When I do put the pressure on myself to write a script or a play I dry up quickly.  I have to psych myself out and tell myself that nothing will come of it and then all of a sudden I have ideas flowing and my fingers hurt from typing.  It is a very strange game I play with myself, but it works.

So with a little trepidation I have decided to write everyday again on this blog.  I don't know what will come out of it, but I hope that you will follow me on my journey and enjoy the crazy that sometimes comes out of me.  It should be an interesting ride that I HOPE is everything I've imagined.

All my love,

Tara