Friday, January 22, 2010

taking small steps...

funny thing about being an actor and a radio host... I am really shy about putting my work out for people to see. So in an effort to lose that self sabotaging shyness I am posting an audition here that I did for a really neat film called A Christmas Snow that required we audition through YouTube and FaceBook... I wish I could get the thumbnail to change... its wicked goofy...

let me know what you think...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Beauty and the Beast...

2009 was an amazing year of discovery for me. I read back over this blog and see that in the year that I have been posting I booked two short films (one lead, one supporting), a day player role on a hit TV show and lead roles in two plays. This feels good to me. Very good.

Along side the work, I also have been doing a lot classes and workshops which have been an important part of my reconnecting to myself as an actor. The fact that I have a second chance is the continued work of angels seen and unseen.

In the workshops I’ve been given a huge range of characters to portray. In one (actually a paid gig to workshop a great new film script) the feedback I received was that I had a very feminine vibe, fragile and interesting, similar to Juliet Binoche... in another casting workshop I was given a part for seriously broad comedy a la Sandy Martin. On one hand fragile beauty, on the other, comedic character lady. My ego loves the first one of course and feels betrayed by the second. But my actor self is thrilled by the prospect that, with a little more work, I could pull off both, raising my booking potential exponentially.

It reminds me of an experience I had in India. I was at a teaching with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. As you may know... India is hard on a body. Really hard. It was a cold morning and I was deep in thought about the teaching. During a tea break, I got up to stretch my legs and as I navigated the thousands of people (Westerners, Asians, Tibetans, Indians and more) I ran into a friend. She looked concerned and said, “Viv, are you okay? You look really worn down! Be careful... get some rest.” I took it to heart and kept working my way to the back of the tent. About ten steps later I ran into another friend who grasped my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes saying, “Viv! You look radiant! This experience is clearly good for you!”

I call this the Emptiness of Viv’s Face. Maybe this could become my greatest asset as an actor. To create a character and then let the audience alone to choose their own experience. To disappear into the neutral zone between dualities and let the viewer decide.

To be both ... this is my quest...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Will you still love me when I'm 64

I am taking a workshop this weekend that is really great. Chris Cuilla and Chadwick Struck are leading a really practical approach to building and maintaining a career as an actor in the regional markets here in Albuquerque as well as in Los Angeles. Its a lot of information and its really great to go over the nuts and bolts of the biz. Chris talks about reasonable goal setting and Chadwick will be auditioning us tomorrow and giving feedback. Its a great workshop and I highly recommend it.

For Christmas I received a book from my step - father that I swear, if it had been written before 2000 I would never have left New York on my wild tangent that took me to New Mexico.
(But then again, if I hadn't have done that I wouldn't have met my beloved husband, nor would I have my own syndicated public radio show on over 225 stations nationwide... so some tangents are fruitful. But I digress...again)

This book is called Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life through the Eyes of Actors

If this had been available I would not have left the business for 7 years. The book interviews artists like Liam Neeson, Kristin Chenoweth, Phylicia Rashad and more about the way they balance their lives as working actors.

You see, the craft of acting is a creative path and a spiritual path for me. It has all the same components of ritual, silence, listening, transcendence (one hopes) and communion with something mysterious and complete. The book is giving me reason to hope that I'll be celebrating my 65 birthday with a really solid imdb page of credits and a deep sense of satisfaction of a career well balanced with life.