I have a lot to tell you guys so I'm gonna split this entry up into sections. Hopefully each of them will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Here we go!
Actor's Equity Association
My first professional job out of school was a wonderful 6 month tour around the U.S.A. of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka with The Kennedy Center. Through this job I got my Equity card which allows me to slip right into Equity auditions for plays and musicals. It's fantastic. For some unknown reason people in this industry seem to look down on non-Equity actors. Well, at least that's how I felt. At the actual AEA building in Times Square where tons of auditions are held they have this horribly crammed little waiting area for the non-Equity actors. There are little benches (and I mean little) where everyone sits and waits...and waits...and waits. If an Equity actor doesn't show up to fill his or her slot then a non-Equity actor can audition. Chances of getting seen are usually slim to none. I've spent whole days at auditions waiting to audition without getting seen. It's pretty terrible and leaves you feeling awful. I mean, imagine waking up really really early, attempting to warm up your voice in the shower without waking your roommates, heading out without any time for breakfast, signing up for a slot to audition, finding out that the only slot open is waaaaaaaaaay down the list because there are already about 50 non-Equity people who woke up just a bit earlier than you did, constantly reconsidering your song or monologue choice, waiting all damn day, possibly leaving to eat lunch since you don't wanna lose your spot, then not even getting seen. Yup. It can be a little shitty. Plus, non-Equity actors are not allowed to use the Equity bathroom. They have to go use the bathroom at the McDonald's downstairs. (Side note: Why do I keep spelling Equity with a capital E? Whatever.)
ANYWAY. I got my Equity card through Willy Wonka so I don't have to deal with that stuff anymore. Well, actually, it took me awhile to actually get the card because you have a six month period from when you turn in your Equity information to hand over $400 in cash or check in order to get your card. Then you have a limited amount of time to pay for the rest of the card which is about $700. Yowza. When I finally had $400 to hand over I was ECSTATIC. They gave me a temporary card which is basically a little piece of paper and told me my real card was in the mail and would be with me in a month. A month passed and I hadn't gotten anything. I called my parents to see if the card had been sent home but it hadn't. Besides, they definitely would have called me if something had come for me from Actor's Equity.
So, a few days ago I went to AEA to see what was going on. I went up to the 14th floor and thankfully didn't have to wait in line to be helped. The same very kind lady that helped me last time was there which was nice since I'm pretty sure she recognized me. I told her what was going on and she looked up my info on her computer and almost immediately looked concerned. She gave me a couple perturbed 'Oh' and 'Oh No''s before I asked her what was going on. She then told me that since I had missed the deadline to pay the $400 dollars I now had to pay the remaining $700 to get my card. Shit. She also said that I shouldn't even have gotten the temporary card in the first place. Ugh. I asked her if there was any way to get another temporary card, but the answer, of course, was no.
Feeling absolutely helpless, I left AEA and went to meet my friend Saum for lunch. As soon as I got to his apartment, though, I got a call from AEA. I picked it up and immediately recognized the voice. It was the same woman I had just been speaking to. She asked if I would come back up to her desk so we could talk. Expecting the worst, I headed back to AEA.
Once I reached her desk I was pissed, depressed, and wet since it had just started raining. Perfect. I went up to her and simply stared at her; she then handed me a temporary Equity card. I stared at it and then asked, "What?" She told me that I now had a temporary card. Right after I had left she had called her boss and told him that I had missed the deadline by one month and asked if there was anything they could do for me. He told her to go ahead and give me my card; I had already paid my $400 and I guess he understood how hard it is for an actor in NYC to just fork over $700. Then she told me that I was now an official member of Actor's Equity and that my real card was in the mail. I was speechless. I could have kissed her. I thanked her profusely and made my mind up right then and there to buy her a HUGE bouquet of flowers. I also asked for her boss' card so I could call him and personally thank him. Then she said, "Go get that job!" I almost cried.
I headed out to an audition right after that. It was for a play called Substitution but as soon as I got to the audition room they told me that the only slot available was #117. Ha. No way. I guess I'll still have to wake up early.
I only got 4 minutes to save the world!
About a week ago the official first single from Madonna's new album Hard Candy was played on French radio. The song is called 4 Minutes (To Save The World). As soon as I heard that the song was out there I got right online and downloaded it. Unfortunately, I had to listen to it on the crappy computer at work. This is not the best place to listen to a song, or anything for that matter, because there's always people around and I shouldn't be listening to music while working, and also because the computer sound system sucks ass. But I HAD to do it. It's my Main Diva Bitch. The song needed to be listened to.
Before I get into the song let me just state that I like hip hop music. I like it a lot. But sometimes I feel it gets a bit repetitive. I feel like some of it has hardly any artistic merit and is thrown out into the world simply to make money. I know many people feel the same way about Madonna but I completely disagree with that. Of course she 's out to make money...I mean, that's how she makes a living...but to me she's a true artist. To some her music is repetitive and empty but for some reason it speaks to me. It's not just dance music to me. She got my attention when I was really young (way too young to be listening to her stuff) and I haven't stopped listening. Anyway, back to my point. Hip hop, if done right, can be really really powerful. Not just lyrically. Sometimes the beats are what are really impressive, and I am a BIG fan of a good beat. Madonna, like I said in an older blog, is working with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake among others. I love some of Timbaland's old stuff, like his music with Missy Elliott. It's very different, sexy, danceable, heavy, and fun. He also has the balls to work with people outside of the hip hop world, like Duran Duran, or lesser known artists, like M.I.A. He also did Justin Timberlake's last album which I thought was pretty good. Well, some of it, not all of it. Basically, I think the three of them together, if they really allowed themselves to be as innovative as possible, would be able to come out with something totally amazing and unheard of. Well.......
The song is pretty crazy. Not gonna lie, when I first heard it I wasn't too impressed. To be fair, the version I downloaded is basically a rough recording of the song and the French d.j. who illegally played it talks at the beginning and adds little hoots and hollers here and there because he's premiering the new Madonna single and he seems really excited...completely understandable. It's kinda sounds like a marching band with a beat. There's a lot of horns, lots of drums, lots of bass, it's pretty hot. But it's very today, which is something I don't expect from Madonna. She's ahead of the game. Even if she looks back to make disco music like she did on her last album, Confessions On a Dance Floor, it sounds different. It sounds very Madonna. This song, though, as cool and fun as it is, is definitely very now. That's not a bad thing, but I just hope she goes somewhere a little crazier on the new album. I've listened to the song tons of times now and am definitely a fan, but I'm gonna need more Madonna and just a little less Timbaland and especially a little less Justin. Sorry Justin! You're crazy hot but I like my Madonna just as she is.
Here's a taste of an upcoming magazine cover of hers. And, yes, I'm pretty sure those are Chanel boxing gloves. Apparently she's a boxer now. She such a bitch. I love her.
First of all, the title of this section? Rude. Just plain rude. Being part of the LGBT community means I love and respect all members of the LGBT community.
But I'm still gonna tell this little story! HA!
The other night, Paul and I were heading back up to his place after a night out with Saum, my buddy from school, and some of Paul's friends. We had gone to a bar called The Dove where we had some absinthe and then gone to a diner for a quick bite before calling it a night. Absinthe, by the way, tastes like shit. Actually, it tastes like black licorice. UGH. Gross. And there's no damn Green Fairy or whatever...she doesn't exist.
Aaaaaaaaanyway, we were on the train talking and laughing and then in came......a"lady". I'm gonna call her she because even though she was most definitely a man, she obviously wants to be a lady, so to me she's a she. She was wearing the littlest black skirt, a tight black jacket, serious heels, and loooooooong shiny acrylic nails. She sat down right across from us and immediately went into diva mode. Since Paul and I were the only obvious gay couple on the train, I think she decided she wanted to show off for us a bit. She was absolutely preening.
Then, this very straight guy got on the train. He walked past her and, of course, ate her up completely with his eyes. He sat close to her and kept glancing at her. Like I said, her skirt was short as hell, and his eyes were glued to her thighs. She knew he was watching so she untied her hair and shook it out for him. Then she stretched her arm out toward him on the seat and clicked her nails....so strange. It was like a mating call or something. I couldn't help but laugh. She had him completely fooled. At the next stop, another guy got on. This one was a little less classy. He sat right next to her and couldn't take his eyes off her. She LOVED it. When she finally strutted off the train, the horny fool followed right after her. Insane. You never know, people, you never know.
Well, I mean, I know, but you never know.
Just kidding ;)
Last but definitely not least...
I saw Rosie O'Donnell at work yesterday. Crazy, huh?
I've kinda been tired of work at Chelsea recently because I always get night shifts. These shifts last from 3:30pm-11:30pm! Also, the night shift has so much more work than the morning shift. We have to set up all sorts of rooms for auditions and classes the next day. This includes setting up rows of chairs for auditions, occasionally pushing pianos all over the place, and clearing out rooms full of people who seem to have no idea that I am tired and wanna go home. Seriously, those damn salsa dancers who are there every night dancing away must wanna live at Chelsea or at least have a sleepover with me or something. It's ridiculous.
Anyway, seeing Rosie was pretty cool. It reminded why work there can be so great sometimes. U2 rehearsed there awhile ago; Ashanti apparently rehearses there (even thought I've never seen her); I saw Blake Lively from Gossip Girl and one of her gorgeous costars who sat down with me to read a newspaper for awhile (he was totally flirting); I've also seen Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lillias White...lots of people!
They almost make up for all the blood, sweat, and tears I give to Chelsea Studios. Ha. Random.
That's enough for today, folks. My hands are tired! I just wrote a whole damn lot!
Love you all. See you next time!