Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Video Distractions: Happiness Edition

Spilling words rapid fire into a vomit draft because deadlines are looming means I've been in a constant state of panic, self-judgement, and dissatisfaction. Here are some videos I've been watching on repeat to wash away the ick. Get ready for some joy!

First, I can't take my eyes off this delightful piece of choreography. "You'll never feel happy - until you try!"

Next, a slightly less finessed dance performance from Paul Rudd, though ten times more hilarious. The last song is my favorite --

In the middle of a 90s music nostalgia binge of old Moxy Fruvous CDs, which led me to discovering bassist Murray Foster's latest creative endeavor - writing and directing his first feature The Cocksure Lads.

Murray and fellow former Fruvous bandmate Mike Ford wrote and performed all the cheery Brit Pop-esque music. Here's one of their new tunes, animated beautifully --

Here's a tidbit from my sports-loving brother The Junk Food Guy that I can't stop watching. Apparently Shaq does not know what a pierogi is. Thank goodness Charles Barkley is there to set him straight --

And finally, some Olicity squishiness is always good for the soul --

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tools of the Trade: Car Survival Kit for Actors

Your car is your mobile office as an actor. Make sure it's stocked with everything you need for your career!

Here are four things I always have in my car --

No, not mints. (Though those are a good idea too...)

#1 - Quarters!

For feeding meters heartily to avoid dreaded parking tickets.

#2 - Makeup!

I guess this is for the ladies. Especially handy for those same day audition notices you get when you're on your way to Trader Joe's.

Safety Alert: Do not do your makeup while driving! Also, be sure to check your makeup in the bathroom of the casting office before going into the room. What looks fine in natural light and might look garish under fluorescent lights.

#3 - Headshots!

I keep mine in this old padfolio. It looks professional and it keeps them nice and flat --

#4 - Thomas Guide

Color me old school. There's nothing quite like locating yourself on a map. And even though I mostly use my maps app to get directions, my trusty Thomas Guide is always there to back me up when my phone just won't connect.

That's my car survival kit! I polled a few actor friends for their car must haves - here's what they said --
"Navigation ability (map or GPS or phone navigation), 3 changes of clothing (casual, business, and fancy), and a hair brush. The fancy change is also good in case you drive by an event/premiere and want to crash!" - J

"Spray deodorant to freshen up." - M

"Hair product, voice recorder to memorize lines." - T

"I keep a mini stapler in the glove compartment so I can tack on headshots on the go." - H

"Extra clothes, especially for commercial auditions. I have a set of scrubs, polo shirts, etc. so I'm ready if they ask for a particular look." - R

"Hand lotion! You have no idea how many times I was surprised at a commercial audition when they wanted to see my hands!" - E

And one fabulously sentimental answer --
"A great support group or people around you who are very motivated so that it motivates you to do things for your own career. That's probably #1 for me. All the other stuff will be affected positively by the group of people you trust and respect in the business." - V
A great answer to any question!

Actors! What do you keep in your car? Post your answer in the comments below...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Hump Day Update: Birthday Month Edition

Where has the time gone? Spring is springing by way too fast for me. I finished my pilot script mid-April and then quickly dove into other adventures. First up, WonderCon!

Another weekend spent in nerd heaven. Devoted post about that coming later, because there's just too much to say...

Then, two delicious acting jobs. First, Nurse Ruth stopped by the season finale of Grey's Anatomy opposite the oh so phenomenal Sandra Oh--

So thrilled to work with Sandra before she leaves the show after 10 incredible seasons as Dr. Cristina Yang. I wept like a baby watching her shoot her last scene with Ellen Pompeo. Powerful stuff - tune in tomorrow night for the season finale!

Then shot a small role on the upcoming new FX comedy Married starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer. Gushed to Nat about how much I adored The Way, Way Back, after which I sat awkwardly staring at the wall because I didn't know what else to say.

I played the wife of a recognizable TV/film star who I can't show you just yet. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to get the full picture when the show airs!

And then, the event I've been busting my ass planning and promoting for months - Lights, Camera, WriteGirl! - a benefit evening to support the innovative creative writing, mentoring, and college guidance programs of WriteGirl. This was me all night - a blur of activity --

The event was a resounding success - brilliant writing by teen girls brought to life by celebrity actors, epic silent auction, food by my friends at Castle's Catering, and a photo booth by my friends at Lucky Laughter Photo Booth.

And then, the very next week, I was promptly laid off by WriteGirl. Sigh. Teresa has left the building...

Onward and upward! Next up, the annual East West Players Visionary Awards Dinner! I've volunteered for this event eleven times. I don't get starstruck at all anymore - now it's just a chance to catch up with friends. I didn't even snap any pics - this one's from my fellow volunteer Ruffy --

(Yeah, I wore the same dress to both events...)

The start of May brought the start of staffing season for my TV writing career. I signed with new literary managers, had a few general meetings, and had one showrunner meeting that has my fingers permanently crossed. I also started (late) writing a spec for the fellowship programs --

In between writing, I spent three days shooting a USC grad student film with a talented director I've worked with before. Proof that if you're a kind, joyful, creative, and acknowledging leader, you'll inspire dozens of actors and crew to work overnight in Long Beach and leave with smiles on their faces --

Just enough energy after the first day to stop by Free Comic Book Day at my local shop Dreamworld Comics --

And then...the birthday activities began! My brother, the Junk Food Guy, arrived for a long weekend of eating, dining, and noshing.

In three days, we visited Roy Choi's new restaurant POT in Koreatown, Take a Bao in Studio City, Bay Cities in Santa Monica, and Furaibo on Sawtelle. And of course, every east coaster's dream, In-n-Out Burger. Seoul Sausage would have also been on the list had they not closed early. I also introduced him to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - how can they not have this on the east coast?

In true Teresa fashion, I started my birthday weekend by giving back - donated a sack of groceries for the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive --

Then I threw a party! I received the best birthday gift imaginable - a home filled with friends, laughter, and cake --

Next up, another storytelling event tomorrow night --

And hopefully a return to semi-regular blogging along with more writing, writing, writing...