Monday, December 26, 2011

Fight On!

Guest Blog by Christopher Tillman

Shortly before Christmas, the University of Southern California’s starting quarterback Matt Barkley held a press conference to say he was not entering the NFL draft and would return to USC for his senior year. My friends all know - I love sports. I love the story lines and the analogies to life, plus I bleed cardinal and gold. But in case you don’t share my passion, let me tell you what this sports news means.

There are rules about when a collegiate athlete can go professional, and once they do, they cannot go back. It’s usually a big deal when one decides not to go back to school and rarely do the capable ones finish four years of school. And believe me, Barkley is capable. If he entered the draft now, he would go top ten and make millions of dollars. It’s a choice point similar to when an actor decides to join SAG, except if joining SAG meant you were automatically cast in the next Will Smith movie.

So why wouldn’t that be a no brainer decision?

While I was reveling in the fact that my Trojans are going to dominate college football next year, I heard something that made me think. A sportscaster said that Barkley’s decision showed that “he didn’t fear failure, but rather strived for success.”

You see, Barkley led USC to a 10-2 record this season when unnecessary sanctions led most people to think they’d be lucky to finish 6-6. And professional sports drafts are like the stock market - value is based on perception and you gotta sell when it’s high. Right now, Barkley’s perception is high because he was virtually perfect this year. In order to match or exceed that next year, he will have to be perfect. So why would he take on that challenge? Because he knows that while perception can bring you a pay day, only performance can bring you a career. He doesn’t fear failure, but rather strives for success.

As we enter the new year, ask yourself if you are prepared to do that same for your career. Are you willing to forgo fear in your decision-making process and reach for success instead. To put yourself on the line as opposed to playing it safe. Are you ready to switch gears? Put the day job on hold to pursue your dream? Add a hyphen to your title?

And if nothing else, are you ready for USC to win a National Title? I am.

You can follow Christopher Tillman on Twitter at @christophertill

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays from Teresapalooza!!

In 2011, I took the stage at The Moth for the first time, acted opposite Patton Oswalt, Michael Vartan, and McSteamy, left my day job when I sold my first TV pilot to CBS, and blogged (almost) every week. A wonderful year worth celebrating as I look forward to more breakthroughs and success in 2012!

Thank you for being in my life and sharing your wonderful gifts with the world. Wishing you a new year filled with love, health, wealth, and perfect self-expression!

Love, Teresa

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Guest Blog by Christopher Tillman

While I’m furiously writing my pilot for CBS, my friend and colleague Christopher has offered to write a few guest blog posts for me. In this installment, he tells one of my favorite stories about taking the reins of your own career. In the wise words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

After finishing Misusing Irony with Teresa, one of the directors we had considered asked me how the production went and was I able to show her the finished product. After watching my short film, she brought me in to audition for one of the supporting roles in an independent feature she was producing called The Kitchen. I auditioned and got the part.

One day while hanging out on set, Catherine Reitman walked in. (I’m normally not a name dropper, but I love Catherine so much.)

"Can I borrow someone's computer?" Catherine asked.

Someone handed over their laptop. "What do you need it for?"

"My web show is posting today and I gotta tweet about it.”

“Web show?”

“I do a movie review show called Breaking it Down." (Plug intended.)

Another actress, Jillian Clare, chimed in with her experience about doing a serialized web show called Miss Behave.

The film we were shooting took place at a party and they needed a crowd of background actors to play partygoers. While hanging out and talking with the background, I heard a lot of "I got an idea for something like this" and "we should do that."

And just like that, it became clear to me – the principal cast had projects they were actively putting out, while the background were just talking about doing it. It was just that simple.

I have a good friend who will always listen to any idea I have, but I realized over time he was giving me less and less of his attention. He would always end every idea pitch by saying, "Great. Go write it." And the more times I came back without doing that, the less excited he was to listen to my ideas. The lesson he was trying to teach me is simple. An idea without a script is nothing, a script without a production is nothing, a production without a portal is nothing.

The days of being just one anything are over. You need to dive head first into something else, even if it is just to support your primary focus. Don't want to be a producer, fine, but you are probably going to have to grit your teeth and bear it for at least one project if you want a showcase piece for you as an actor. Might as well be now.

You can follow Christopher Tillman on Twitter at @christophertill

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's Like Finals All Over Again

I was approved to go to script on my pilot! Huzzah!

Of course, that means it's crunch time now. For realsies. It's Monday and my first draft is due to my Executive Producer on Thursday. That's right - outline to full script in four days.

Let's do this!

So alas, dear readers, this blog will be going dark until after the holidays. Follow me on Twitter to keep up with my writing, acting, and life adventures. In the meantime, you can catch up on my Fiction Friday pieces or Tools of the Trade series for actors. Or read my blog from the beginning.

See you in 2012!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Moody Sunday Listening

Kind of obsessed with this piece of music I discovered on dig.ccmixter -
"Black Rainbow" by Pitx (featuring ERH, acclivity)
Creative Commons License Sampling Plus 1.0
It stirs my imagination to create a short film story that uses this music as its soundtrack. Something sad and moody that ends without satisfaction, filled with quiet longing - like this picture -

For now, I need to concentrate on my pilot. Watch for the next step in this project in 2012...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Marie Lu Writes Things Her Way

Photo / LA Weekly / Dianne Garcia
Marie Lu is kind of awesome. She just published a dystopian future novel for young adults which was influenced by Les Miserables and Orson Scott Card’s Ender's Game,plus she’s a fan of Firefly. Triple win in my book.

Marie and I also share two important features. We’re both Asian-American and we don’t want to write about being Asian-American. Go us!

I discovered Marie Lu from this Entertainment Weekly interview about publishing her first novel. “An Asian-American writer?” I thought. “Let’s see what she has to say.”

Turns out I loved everything out of her mouth, including the description of her book. Legendis about a future where the United States is torn by a civil war between the eastern and western states and a pair of teenagers who get caught in a cat and mouse game across the border. It’s the first in a trilogy of books. The rights have already been bought by CBS Films, so don’t be surprised if the film adaptation of Legend hits the theaters before the third Hunger Games film is even done.

I love dystopian fiction (Thank you, Mrs. Ridley) and I love that this book isn’t about race. Not that I object to that – kudos to Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston – but I’m excited to find an Asian-American author role model that did what I want to do – write a novel that’s not about being Asian-American.

Among the work I’ve done in Relax & Write, I’ve written a handful of essays about growing up with my strict Asian parents and my colleagues have often encouraged me to expand them into a memoir or use them as inspiration for fiction. But I’m so over thinking of myself as Asian-American that the subject doesn’t interest me at all. I’d much rather write about troll detectives or abused girls from the South or sisters at a crossroad.

So I draw inspiration from Marie Lu. She wrote four manuscripts before writing Legend. I’m still working on my first manuscript – a mother/daughter story set in Marblehead, Massachusetts. I’ve only written about 100 pages, so I have a long way to go. But if Marie can do it, so can I.

Check out another interview with Marie Lu on Mediabistro

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fiction Friday: Hearts Afire, Part 2

Click here to read Hearts Afire, Part 1

“Wait,” Steve called. Penelope turned, feeling embarrassed.

“It’s okay. You can tell them that I –”

“That you forgot to tell me your name.”

She took a breath. “Penelope.”

“Nice to meet you, Penelope.”

He held out his hand. She shook it, laughing at herself for once.

“So…be my date to the carnival tonight.”

What? “Date? Uh…”

“What’s wrong? Never gone out with a fireman before?”

Penelope was dumbfounded. “I’ve never had someone catch me in a lie and then ask me out.”

“And I bet you’ve never had deep fried hot chocolate. It will be a night of firsts. What do you say?”

He was ridiculously charming. Penelope had no idea what to say. Unexpected opportunities didn’t run down the sidewalk after her. She created all her opportunities herself, on her terms in her own way. How was she supposed to deal with this?

A loud, persistent wail filled the air as red siren lights outside the firehouse started flashing.

“Steve! We gotta roll!” the old man hollered from the firehouse doors.

Penelope could still see the twinkle in Steve’s eyes as he trotted backwards down the sidewalk. “Gotta run. See you at six o’clock tonight. At the bake sale!”

The fire was bad. A chemical spill had ignited and was threatening to overtake the neighboring row of buildings. It was after 8 pm and none of the fireman had returned yet. Tidbits of information floated through the carnival as Penelope wandered around, listening to fireman’s wives consoling each other and calling the firehouse for updates. No one knew anything.

Penelope walked over to the bake sale table. The community had rallied to show their support, so everything was almost gone. She spotted the last of her store bought cookies sitting on a paper plate and handed over a twenty.

“Keep the change,” she said, picking it up with a napkin. She stared at the cookie, hoping she’d get one more chance to see the twinkle in Steve’s eye. To say yes to their date. To take a chance for maybe the first time ever.

“Hope you’re saving that for me.”

Penelope whipped around to see Steve approaching, limping slightly from fatigue but with a smile in his eyes. “Sorry I’m late.”

She smacked his arm, hard. As he winced, she yelled, “You can’t ask a girl out then go off and almost get killed! Who does that?”

He just smiled back. “Didn’t I say this would be a night of firsts?”

She stared at him in disbelief. “You’re crazy.”

“Can I have my cookie now?”

She laughed helplessly, feeling the last remnants of her shell crack and fall away. She handed over the cookie.

“Here. I made it myself.”

“Really?” he said, taking a bite. “Tell me more.”

Steve held out his hand and Penelope took it. Not because he’d kept her secret, not because he’d lived, but because she wanted to.

~ The End ~

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Interpreting Sundance

The Sundance Film Festival is the Holy Grail for independent filmmakers. The prestige, the swag, the skiing – every person with a camera and dream wants to say their film got into Sundance.

The 2012 Sundance feature and documentary lineup was just announced. While reading descriptions of the US dramatic films to see if I recognized any names, I noticed something.

Out of the 16 American films in competition, 14 are from writer/directors. 14 out of 16! Some films credit multiple writers, but in almost every case, one of the writers also directed the film.

So many conclusions can be drawn from data like that. If you’re a writer, you should learn how to direct. If you’re a director, you should learn how to write. If you want to do either, you might as well learn how to do both.

(These conclusions don’t seem to apply to the big studio pictures. Out of the last ten Best Picture Oscar winners, only two were directed by the writer – No Country for Old Men by the Coen brothers and Crash by Paul Haggis. Arguably it’s harder to crossover at that level, but if you’ve been doing it all along – like the Coen brothers – I suppose it’s a more natural transition.)

Questions also arise – has show business become so saturated with talent that simply being a hyphenate isn’t enough anymore? Everyone has to be an auteur?

My focus is mostly on TV writing, but this does make me wonder if I should try directing some smaller projects in between. Experience is experience, right? I directed my first short film to enter YOMYOMF’s Interpretations film competition last year. It’s an amateur effort, but I learned a ton while making it.

Perhaps from these humble beginnings will rise the next Sundance feature competitor! Hmmm…we’ll see.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From Demo Reel to Off-Broadway? Sweet.

Jesse Eisenberg, Oscar-nominated actor from The Social Network, recently stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to discuss Asuncion, the off-broadway play he wrote and stars in.

When the subject moved to his co-star Camille Mana, Jimmy Fallon commented, “Who is this girl? I’ve never heard of her before this.” To which Jesse Eisenberg replied, “Her name is Camille Mana. She’s phenomenal.”

Jimmy Fallon knows who she is now.

How does an Asian-American actress go from UC Berkeley to starring alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, & Remy Auberjonois just steps from the Great White Way? To hear Jesse tell it, he found Camille from her online reel and didn’t even make her audition.

Hear it from the horse’s mouth:

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Immediately I had to look up Camille’s reel to see what impressed Jesse so thoroughly. Found it on Camille’s Web site:

It’s a fantastic reel. Great variety – sexy, quirky comedy to indie drama. Color me envious.

This just proves my theory that a solid demo reel is vital for actors in this industry. If you don’t have any on-camera scenes to edit, create some! Find scenes from How I Met Your Mother or True Blood or Criminal Minds – whatever fits your type and talents – get some friends together and shoot them yourself. Focus on quality – bad tape isn’t better than no tape – and be sure that there’s variety.

Look what it did for Camille.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hair Be Gone Again

So this is what I did last weekend –

That's 9 inches of my hair that I'm donating to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to become a real-hair wig for the American Cancer Society's wig banks across the country. I would have given more inches, but I wanted to keep my hair as long as possible while still meeting their minimum donation length. Why?

Because showbiz likes me with longer hair. If you’ve been reading my blog regularly, you know that even though I prefer my hair short, history shows that I book more acting jobs when my hair is longer.

And the data:

Jobs booked with short hair: 3      Jobs booked with long hair: 15

Yeah. This is a really silly business sometimes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

If it Wasn't Hard, Everyone Would Do It

It’s simple math.

To write a 60 page pilot in 5 days, I just need to write 12 pages a day. How hard could that be?

Say that to any writer and they’re liable to punch you in the face. Because it is hard. It’s hard to will words into the perfect arrangement that will communicate what’s in our mind. The gap between what we want to say and what actually comes out can be mighty disappointing. And imagination by definition is nebulous – the faculty of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.

Sure there are easy moments – the Relax & Write method has helped me tap into my creative inner core and write without self-doubt, but mostly for my fiction. For me, writing dialogue and scenes is still – as one showrunner put it – like "shitting razor blades."

As I sit here, 6 pages into my self-given assignment for the week, I think about last week’s episode of The Simpsons – “The Book Job” – in which Lisa decides to become a book author and finds herself struggling to get that first paragraph out. She gets distracted by YouTube, plays online games, and gets lattes at the coffee shop – all while facing a blank page. Eventually, she comes to a conclusion – “Writing is the hardest thing ever!”

But this isn’t news to me. Writing was hard when I started, it’s hard now, and it will likely continue to be hard in the future. I’ll get better at it, of course – I’m already much better than a few years ago – but the hard never goes away. The hard is par for the course.

So I will forge on, into the land of hard, for at least 6 more pages today. Then I can watch that Jimmy Kimmel Halloween candy video again...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

From Page to Screen to My Heart

I’m an avid reader and a lover of film. When the two intersect, I kind of love it. I know that makes me a rarity – hating the movie based on a book is a popular position to take in social circles. Some argue that in all cases, the book is better than the film based on it.

I couldn’t disagree more – I’ve seen fantastic cinematic interpretations of popular books. The Color Purple, The Horse Whisperer, Cold Mountain – all great books made into even greater films.

I love seeing the movie after reading the book. (I even tried to start a Page to Screen book club once, but couldn’t get anyone else on board.) For me, watching film adaptations is exciting because I get to see images and characters co-created in my imagination come to life. Because you can imagine Mr. Darcy rejecting Elizabeth’s invitation to dance all you want – seeing Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen actually do it is that much more delicious. It’s not about getting things right – sometimes the differences between my vision and a film director’s vision are the most compelling.

I’ve experienced a few glaring exceptions. Ben Mezrich’s Bringing Down the Housebeing adapted into the ridiculous, Hollywood-y 21? Awful. (A true MIT genius wouldn't have to work retail to pay for tuition. Puh-lease.) Changing everything about my beloved The Dark Is Risingby Susan Cooper to make the disastrous The Seeker? Don’t even get me started. (Merriman is defined by his white hair – why is he played by Ian McShane? Why is Ephram from Everwoodtagging along? And why the hell is everyone American?)

But for the most part, if it’s a film based on a book, I’m in. After I read the book. That’s the only way to do it, in my opinion.

I just read the first book in The Hunger Games series,so I’m particularly excited to see this:

Though I'm nervous about the Ender's Game movie adaptation. They better do that book justice or I'm going to be one pissed off fangirl.

What are your favorite books turned favorite movies? Tell me below and I’ll add them to my library holds list!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Blackless Friday

It’s the day after Thanksgiving! Here’s what I won’t be doing:

I’m weeks away from the end of my New Year’s Resolution / No Buy Experiment and I still don’t miss shopping. In fact, I’m thrilled to NOT be participating in the craziness that is Black Friday.

I’ve done it before – freezing while waiting in line at 4 am for the opportunity to spend money. Feeling like I was beating the system when really the system had me just where they wanted me.

This year, the shopping is commencing earlier than ever. Target and Walmart opened at midnight, so by the time you read this blog post, thousands of dollars will have already spent on tons of stuff made in China.

But a deal is a deal, so I get it. A few hours of lost sleep is worth that $200 saved on a flatscreen television.

Here’s another deal that I think sounds great. American Express is promoting Small Business Saturday – another made-up consumer holiday – by offering a $25 credit to anyone who registers their AMEX card and spends $25 at a small business on Saturday, November 26. That’s free money!

I signed up even though I won’t be buying stuff on Saturday, because local restaurants are included on their list of qualified small businesses. Check out the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and register your AMEX card now!

Happy shopping to you all! I'll see you at the stores in the new year...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Celebrating Thanksgiving with Television

Happy Thanksgiving!

It may be a ridiculous holiday of excess, but it's the subject of some memorable television. Here are my favorites:

Mad About You - "Giblets for Murray"

I remember my parents trying to tell me about this episode and laughing so hard they could barely get through the description. My favorite part is when she throws the turkey out the window.

Friends - "The One Where Ross Got High"

Friends had terrific Thanksgiving episodes. My favorite was the one where Rachel made the english trifle out of beef, leading to one of my favorite moments:

And my favorite blooper:

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

And of course, the best piece of Thanksgiving television ever! Peanuts hijinks set to sweet, sweet jazz. Favorite scene - when Peppermint Patty lets Charlie Brown have it for screwing up Thanksgiving dinner. That's love.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving-themed television episodes?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Pre-Thanksgiving Hump Day Update

Where have I been for the last four days?

Writing, writing, writing and eating, eating, eating. And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

Writing –

After last Thursday’s notes call with the studios, I revised my outline about 6 times before sending the second draft over, which led to yesterday’s notes call. And as we head into the holiday weekend, I have more revising ahead of me. I’m starting to go cross-eyed looking at the same 18 pages, but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.

Eating –

KogiBBQ twice in a week! That’s extravagance. I love trying food trucks around LA, but KogiBBQ is still my favorite. No one else packs that much flavor into one little taco. Nom nom.

Writing –

I wrote and submitted my final round fiction entry into the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction competition. I’m one of only 25 writers in the final round – down from almost 500 who started the competition! Hopefully my story is good enough to earn one of the top four spots. Fingers crossed!

Eating –

Saturday dinner with a former co-worker at Mediterraneo in Hermosa Beach. The name led me to assume Mediterranean food, but then Yelp said it was an Italian restaurant and the menu was all Spanish tapas. Our waitress cleared up the confusion Рtheir cuisine is influenced by all the nations in and around the Mediterranean, including Italy and Spain. Favorites Рroasted dates filled with cambozola blue cheese & wrapped in prosciutto and saut̩ed scallops & shrimp in a basil cream sauce. Yummm...

Writing –

I’m back to blogging daily. Help me out by sending me your burning acting or writing questions to answer. Or contact me to write a guest blog!

Eating –

Nothing was better on a rainy, rainy Sunday than a sausage & lentil soup from Bay Cities Deli. That place is magic.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fiction Friday: Hearts Afire, Part 1

The following third-round entry into the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition earned me 2nd place in my round and a spot in the final writing challenge! (Read my first and second-round entries.)

Writing a romantic comedy was harder than I'd thought it would be. My location prompt was a bake sale and my object was a fire alarm. Here's my sort of romantic 1,000 word story!

Penelope Myers only did what she wanted. She was not swayed by popular opinion or emotions. She believed in making her own choices and committed herself to living a smart, decisive life.

Which was why on this particular day she was carefully inspecting baked goods at the supermarket. The fireman’s carnival was happening that night and she was late with her annual donation to their bake sale. She didn’t have time to deal with pans and preheating, so store bought cookies would have to do this year.

Penelope considered which cookies looked more homemade – the chocolate chunk or the peanut butter. When she finally decided on the former, she circled around the display just in time to see the last package of chocolate chunk being placed into a basket.

“Wait!” she yelped instinctively. “Those are mine!”

The man holding the basket pulled the package back out. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see your name on them.”

He was teasing her, a twinkle in his eye. Penelope stammered, “No, I know. It’s just…I really need them.”

“I see. Never stand between a woman and her chocolate. I learned that the hard way.” He extended the package. Penelope took them gratefully.

“Thanks.” She turned and headed for the checkout.

“I’m Steve, by the way,” he called out.

“Oh, um…hi…” she tossed over her shoulder. But her mind was already focused on what platter she would use to make the cookies look homemade.

As she walked toward the firehouse carrying a neatly wrapped platter of cookies, her mind wandered to the man from the supermarket. He’d been handsome, she thought briefly, with nice eyes. What was his name again? She wasn’t sure.

But she shook the thought out of her head. No time for a relationship. She was on a career track and didn’t want to be derailed. That’s not what she wanted right now. And Penelope only did what she wanted.

When she strolled up to the firehouse, the doors were open. “Hello?” she called out. A burly man in his fifties lumbered out a side door.

“Hey, darlin’. Whatcha got there?”

“They’re for the bake sale.”

“Ooo wee!” he cheered, looking at the platter. “Those look like they took you all day. We sure do thank you.”

“Anything to help,” Penelope replied, playing her part. “Where do I…?”

“Steve!” the man called over his shoulder. “Another donation!”

And before Penelope could run or hide (or both), the man from the supermarket strolled through the side door. He caught her eye and smiled.

“Hello. What do we have here?”

“Homemade cookies for the bake sale,” the older man gushed. “Look at these babies. They could win at the State Fair, don’t you think?”

Penelope could feel her cheeks burning. “Actually, they’re –“

“They look beautiful,” Steve interrupted, taking the platter from her. “Thanks for your support.”

“You’re welcome,” she said blankly. Then, not knowing what else to do, she turned and walked away.

“Hope to see you at the carnival tonight!” the older man called after her.

Penelope just walked faster. Seconds later, she heard footsteps behind her.
To be continued...

Click to read Hearts Afire, Part 2

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Award Season is Upon Us

Screeners have started to arrive!

Thank you award season! The studios send out thousands and thousands of these DVD screening copies of their award-worthy films each year to voting members in all the unions and voting organizations that give out awards. I get most of them because I’m a member of the Writer’s Guild. Two or three screeners will come because I’m also a SAG member, but the WGA is my major hookup.

Every screener comes with a ton of legal warnings:

Because piracy is a huge issue for studios. They want to ensure voters consider their films when award season rolls around, but they don’t want these screeners ending up on eBay or in China. That’s why each DVD is hand delivered by Fedex and specifically coded with my personal ID – so if they do find one of my screeners on the black market, they can trace it back to me and prosecute me to the fullest extent of the law. Yipes!

I love getting screeners because they allow me to enjoy the movies in the comfort of my own home and on my own time. My schedule doesn’t usually allow for all the free screenings around town, and since I don’t go to the movies regularly anyway, I usually haven’t seen any of them. (The last movie I saw in a movie theater was Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Before that, Part 1.)

Awards season is also fun because you can see what films the studios are really putting their money behind. Universal, for example, has sent me so many screening invitations and promotional flyers about Bridesmaids that I wouldn’t be surprised if they followed it up with an offer to pay for my future wedding if I vote for them.

I’ve gathered four screeners so far – I’m excited to see what else comes down the pipeline.

What award-worthy films are you rooting for so far?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All the News That's Fit to Tweet

A question posed by Ronnie Butler in last night’s social media workshop – "How do you get your news?"

A thought-provoking question, sir!

As a child, I’d watch NBC Nightly News with my parents or read the local newspaper. In college, The Tech was my source for everything going on in the world.

Now I get my news from two main sources. For general news headlines and happenings, I listen to news radio in the car – succinct, to the point, and traffic every 10 minutes. I love it – I live in LA, so I’m always in my car. The radio switches to NPR after I’ve gotten the gist of the day. Morning Edition, anybody?

Everything else I get from Twitter, either by looking at Trending Topics or from the news feeds I follow. Here are my faves:


Yes, they’re all TV entertainment news feeds. That’s the beauty of Twitter – I can find just what I want to read instead of sorting through a mountain of news. If your passion is basket weaving at high altitudes, there’s probably a news feed just for you.

What news feeds do you follow on Twitter?

Monday, November 14, 2011

All Aboard the Social Media Bandwagon

I’m a social media idiot. And I don’t mean idiot in the hipster sense.

I mean I’m an idiot because I know that social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, et al) is the way people communicate about everything nowadays, I know it’s shattering old paradigms of access and distribution of content, and I know it’s important for branding myself as an artist.

And yet I’m still not using it as thoroughly and consistently as I could to engage the world and make a name for myself.

The excuses abound. Time, for one – I am writing a pilot on a deadline, after all. Lack of vision about my brand potential is another excuse. I fight definition in many areas of my life, even though I embrace it in others.

What I need is a good kick in the pants to get off my butt and just start doing it.

Pants, meet Ronnie Butler.

I’ve blogged about Ronnie before – we met shooting Ugly Betty and have been friends ever since. I appeared in the chorus of his Modern US President video and just spent two days shooting his newest video, coming soon to a screen near you.

Tonight I attended a seminar he gave on using social media to maximize your visibility and propel your career forward. And boy did he make a good case.

He showed us this:

Then presented about a million examples of individuals who used YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to make six figure salaries, get signed by CAA, or get starring roles in TV and film. Six figures? Damn. Let’s do this.

Follow Teresapalooza!! on Twitter!

Ronnie and casting director Caroline Liem are giving an all-day workshop this Saturday called Social Media for Creatives - “Define your uniqueness, Take action, Create content, and Maximize exposure doing what you love.”

It’s only $99. If you’re an artist, you MUST go!

As for me, I’m vowing to engage the Twittersphere more often and start devising a YouTube channel strategy. What kind of videos would you like to see me create? (Keep it clean, people...)