Monday, March 17, 2014

Raleigh, NC!

I have moved!  Click here to check out my new website: Laura R Shank

Well, clearly I have been busy.

In the past six months I have... left NYC, lived at home for a month, moved to Raleigh, been to Seattle, Austin, Toronto, Charlotte, and Boston.  It has been quite the adventure.

Raleigh is amazing, I didn't know how stifled I felt in NYC until I left.  I love it here so much and I can see myself staying here for awhile.

To follow me on this new adventure check out my website here!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer in the City

It's been a few months since my last post, but the longer I wait the bigger this monster task becomes.  I started the draft of this post on June 2nd and now it's almost July... wah wah wah.


I had an adventure day where I took myself to the Museum of Natural History for a few hours, which is all that is bearable when you're surrounded by tourists.  Afterwards, had some drinks with Jordy and her friend Aaron.  I worked at my internship and spent the weekends clowning.  I went on a few dates with a few different guys but none of them stuck.  On April 26, Jordan threw Dylan an amazing surprise birthday party.  During the day she surprised him by having a singing telegram come serenade him at work and then when we were at their apartment getting ready to go to his birthday dinner his two best friends from home showed up! And twenty minutes later his parents showed up as well!  It was so great, we all went to dinner and it was delicious, then we took Dylan to a bar down the street where- surprise! - Jordan had rented the entire upper floor and 30 of his friends were waiting for us.  It was a super fun night and so great to be part of the festivities... also I met a cute guy on my way home, so overall very awesome times were had.

At the surprise party

May started off with a bang with karaoke idol!  Ashley sang at New World Stages at a karaoke competition and she rocked it!  Me, James, Jess (our amazing new roommate) and the guy I was seeing had a great time having drinks and watching her do her thang.  Speaking of Jess, we officially have a NEW ROOMMATE WHO IS NOT AN OLD ALCOHOLIC MAN!  She's our age and works editing menus and books and she is totally awesome.  She cook a lot of fancy food and likes to sit on the couch and shoot the shit with us.  It's so terrific to have another girl in the apartment and has turned it into such a fun place.  I'm so lucky to finally live with people who don't suck.

Then, I hopped on a bus to Washington DC to visit my amazing best friends Amber and Taylor.   They are such a great couple and I love spending time with them, especially since we've known each other for a decade now.  Amber and I spent the days watching TV, organizing her apartment, and drinking wine, which is our idea of fun.  We'd hang out in the apartment, go for walks, maybe go shopping, and cooked dinner at their place.  It was so great to have a relaxing weekend (I've been to DC twice already) because there was nothing pressing to do.  We walked to the reflecting pool once and then went to a free screening of "The Internship" which was hilarious.  I did NOT want to leave but what can you do.  Amber and Taylor are trying to convince me to move to DC, which I wouldn't be against... it's such a beautiful city!

Later in the month I went to book club and then went out for Jordan's birthday.  Ashley and James and I went to see Star Trek on opening day (which was awesome, just like Iron Man 3 was) and the next day our sorority sister Liz came to visit.  I worked all weekend and Liz and I tore up the town on Monday.  Liz is a fire cracker and our apartment was in shambles after she left, we were so busy going out and seeing the city that we made a huge mess.  After she left I needed a day to recover!  And then I had to clean because AMY WAS COMING!

I learned how to make a balloon monkey at work.  Yes, it is as hard as it looks.
Amy got in on Friday of Memorial Day weekend and our reunion was completely amazing.  We have such a great friendship and just spent the night catching up.  I worked during the weekend and on Monday we had an adventure day where we dressed up in red, white, and blue, took some shots of whiskey (because, America) got off at Times Square and wandered through midtown on our way to the frying pan, getting drinks along the way.  I saw Nev from Catfish riding his bike and when I screamed at him he wasn't amused.  We ended up at the frying pan which is this amazing boat and pier with a bar and restaurant on it.  We ordered a bucket (yes, bucket) of Corona's and proceeded to drink (because, America).  I met up with Jordan and Dylan and said good-bye to Amy, which was sad.  We walked to Subway where I got a free drink for dancing in the sandwich line and then I fell asleep watching TV at Jordy's apartment.  Pretty good holiday weekend.

Memorial Day
Corona bucket!
That week Jordy took me to an elite Yelp event.  For those of you who don't know what Yelp is, it's a website where you can rate and review businesses.  So if you go to a store or restaurant in NYC you can get on Yelp and rate it, or look to see the reviews and if the place is any good.  Anyway, if you rate over 60 places and also get invited or make a petition you get invited to be an elite Yelper.  Elite Yelpers are part of a special group that get invited to all these cool events essentially with the hope that they'll give the places good reviews on Yelp.  Jordy's been to some cool stuff with them and gotten tickets to shows even.  She brought me to an event sponsored by Capital One 360 which had food, an open bar, gifts, and prizes.  We had some drinks, ate some sushi, took a bunch of free stuff and had a great time.  NYC has so much random stuff to do sometimes.

I also spent some time with my clown friends.  Since I started working for the entertainment company my social circle has expanded immensely.  I have hit it off with so many people, but I guess you have to be a certain person to be a clown.  We went to the bar and had $4 margaritas.  While we were leaving the owner said hello, and we kept walking.  Two streets and an avenue over and I saw the same owner at another bar. He had made it before us by riding his motorcycle and since I shouted at him he invited us in and gave all 6 of us a free round of shots of Patron.  Well, when he was picking up the glasses one dropped and shattered and somehow cut my toe.  I was bleeding all over but I couldn't feel it so I wiped it off, stuck a band-aid on it, and put my heel back on.  We went to a gay club and watched a drag show and then danced.  The next morning I definitely felt my poor toe, whoops!  So I just laid around and then went to see the Hangover because I had a free movie pass, and had a great casual night with Ashley and James.

This is before I cut my foot


Almost caught up, whoo hoo!

The first thing I did in June was go with one of my favorite clowns to Coney Island.  Frank and I took some whiskey and our bathing suits and rode the train all the way to the beach.  The first thing we did was get hot dogs and chili cheese fries from Nathan's and pour our booze into big soda cups to walk with on the beach.  We laid on the sand and finally got the courage to run into the ocean.  We literally ran and dove in and turned around and ran back out because it was so cold!  Ew, the ocean is super disgusting and salty and leaves you feeling sticky and gross when you get out.  We rinsed off and then went to sit outside at the bar and work on a bucket of Corona's (yes, another bucket).  After we had some more drinks we each paid $9 (!!!!) to ride the wooden rollercoaster.  It was super fun, but definitely not worth $9.  Really glad I'm not a tourist here. We proceeded to walk the boardwalk where we convinced a man to give us our beer in two to-go coffee cups (because, America) and when it was twilight we decided to head back home.  On the long ride back to Queens we made friends with the kids across from us and spent the entire ride making faces with them and then transitioned to fart noises.  You know you just don't care what people think when you're 24 years old trying to compete with your friend and the 6 year old across from you to see who can make the loudest, wettest, fart noise on a train full of people.
When we got back to my place we ordered a ridiculous amount of chinese food and watched Doctor Who and fell asleep.  Just a typical Tuesday.

Clown game at Coney Island

Later that week I got Jess and I tickets to go see "Fucking Up Everything" which was an off Broadway playing at Times Scare.  Our manager offered all the employees free tickets which was awesome.  The show was good, not great, but the lead was amazing.  He played Danny in the Broadway revival of Grease and definitely stole the show.  Afterward my manager and assistant manager saw us and we all walked through the haunted house, poor Jess, she was the only one who was scared.  It's hard to be scared at your place of employment!

The next week Ashley sang at a cabaret competition at 54 Below.  She is amazing and was clearly the best singer, but some of the other people had better developed stories and more friends.  The voting was based on how many tickets you had in your bucket and to get tickets you had to buy food and drinks, so essentially the more people you had there the more chance you had of winning.  Well, we did our best but the kitchen was shut down and six people can only buy so many drinks!  After the singing was over everyone was heading home but it was Monday night and I decided to go out.  I took a cab downtown to Avenue and met up with my old friend Jose.  I had another drink and danced and talked to some of the security guards I recognized.  I got in an argument with a girl who cut the line for the bathrooms and made friends with a pretty blonde girl and finally took a cab home.

The next day my friend Sig was in town for work so I went to meet him in midtown.  His coworker was with him and we went out to eat where we had some delicious alligator sausage and amazing corn muffins and terrible burgers.  We wandered through the city because his friend hadn't ever been and ended up down in the Village at a bar that had $3 bombs.  It was amazing to buy a round for everyone that ended up in our group for only $15!  We spend the night in the village shooting the shit and drinking and just hanging out.

Night out with Sig

The rest of the month was spent clowning and working in the haunt.  I went to the gym and worked out. We saw "This is the End" which was hilarious, as I knew it would be.  Salvation Army came and picked up a ton of stuff we had sitting in the apartment which was amazing, did you know they come and take it from your place for you?  Wondrous.

Elijah Wood came through the haunt and we got to meet him after

Jordy threw an Etsy craft party where we made crafts, painted our nails, chalked our hair different colors, and at a lot of cheese and drank a lot of wine.  I went to the dentist and it sucked, of course, so I got my hair cut.  The place I go to, literally only one lady speaks english and she is in charge of translating for everyone.  It's a tiny, broken down hole in the wall and they give the BEST hair cuts for only $15.  Amazing.

The end of June I was working on a huge audition that I had to submit by video and that took up a lot of my focus.  I finally submitted it and that night I went to Jordy's to celebrate, which we did by eating leftover cheese and watching TV and drinking Bud Light.  The next day we slept til 2pm and watched a bunch more movies.  It was just the day I needed because I had been working so hard on my audition and finally got to fully relax.  I went to the haunt that night and had fun scaring some tourists and slept in the next day but poor Ashley came down with a crazy stomach flu and was in the hospital!  So I packed up my overnight bag and some supplies for her and went to meet her and James down at his apartment in Brooklyn.  I made her soup and watched over her while she slept and spent the day surfing Pinterest and watching movies.  We camped out and finally came home last night and hung out altogether with Jess, me, Ashley, and James.

Haunt make-up


I'm caught up!  Ashley's little brother and his girlfriend are here for the weekend.  I have one more week and then I'm going HOME TO MICHIGAN YAY!  And after that Marcus is coming to visit, and a week after that Beth is back in the states and staying with me for a week in the city.  July is going to be so busy!

Hope everyone is having a great summer and staying cool!  Thank god for AC!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Bloody Internship.

I am really proud of myself for posting about once a month.  Although when you live in NYC it feels like five years happen in the span of one month, and this past month is no different.
New York and I have had quite an up and down relationship, but this past month has got me really feeling at home here.  Everyone said the first year is the hardest but I think the first year and a HALF is hardest.  My last post I was ready to count down to leaving, but I just got a year long gym membership so I know I'll be here at least until next March.  Thank goodness for amazing friends, roommates, and good jobs.  Also, I think the warm weather is really helping.  You don't realize how depressing winter is until it's warm and you just feel even happier.  I can hear birds chirping right now and it's the best sound ever.

After my last post I had a friend from Adrian come visit me and Ashley.  Our first night Kevin and I decided to investigate the karaoke that was happening at this tiny bar on my street.  We were the only white people in the place, but as soon as we sang "You're the One that I Want" from Grease we had made a bunch of new friends.  Right after the whole bar sang "Summer Nights" together.  Who would have thought I could have so much fun in QUEENS right?  (For the non-New Yorkers, people don't like Queens.  They want to be in Manhattan or maybe in Brooklyn.  But then they come to my large, cheap [for NYC] apartment and they are amazed.)
Karaoke Time
We spent a few days sightseeing, which is exhausting, had some sushi, and also went to see "Avenue Q."  It was hilarious!  There is a part where the puppets come down into the audience and I was laughing and the main guy hit me in the face.  What a cool show!

The next week I had an interview with a production company to work for them on set in the art department for a reenactment show on Investigation Discovery.  I've done a lot of backstage work but never anything behind the scenes in TV or film.  This was a flexible internship (yes, not paid) that I could get some experience and see if I liked it.  And since I live mostly off of clowning, I have some time during the week to be an intern.  Luckily, I got the job and was super excited when they asked me to help with the casting that week.  I helped set up the camera and got to meet the director and producer, who I would be working closely with during the rest of shooting.  Seeing the audition process from the other side is way awesome and a great learning experience.  But I think the best part was when the director wanted to work the camera so I sat at the casting table and all the actors thought I was someone important.  Haha.  Although I was part of the discussions about who was best and they asked me my opinion so I guess I was part of the process!

Clown Outfit
I spent my St. Patrick's day weekend as a clown, but one of our team members threw a party for all of us who could not participate in the festivities.  I love my job, especially the people I work with.  It has given me some awesome friends AND some friends who live in Queens which is great because I don't have to travel for hours to go see them.  And there is nothing worse than having to travel home late at night cause you want to sleep in your own bed after a party.

Princess Belle
The Little Mermaid!
The week after St. Patrick's Day my internship started.  The show is on Investigation Discovery, it's a reenactment show which means half the show is interviewing the victims and people involved in the crime and the other half is actors portraying what happened by reenacting it.  There is a lot of attacks, beatings, and blood on my show.  For some reason I can't escape it!  And I got real lucky because the haunted house let me take the whole month off to work on this project.  I got hired to assist in the art department which means I'm helping with set dressing, which means I'm part of the team that moves furniture, hangs pictures, and hides any product labels.  We also are in charge of props such as burgers, drinks at bars, and for this show... meat cleavers, guns and knives.

Because the show is small I got assigned to help with wardrobe as well.  My first two days were just prepping for the show by gathering wardrobe together.  Our actors bring their own clothes to work in but we buy three sets of the clothes that attacks happen in because they're going to get covered in blood.  Wardrobe shopping is horrific.  You may think it would be fun to pick out outfits for everyone but in reality it is a nightmare.  There are a lot of rules, no black or white because they're too harsh on camera.  No red because they blood has to show up.  No stripes, weird patterns or logos.  Nothing sheer.  Then you have to try and find something according to what the producer and director want, specific colors and styles.  I hunted all around Manhattan for a dark hooded sweatshirt that wasn't black but wasn't light grey.  And if we have night shoots we try to keep the actors comfortable by not placing them in shorts when it's 30 degrees out.  So after you've taken all this into account (while shopping in the busiest city in the world, full of tourists ugh) and you find something that works, you have to find three of the same shirt/pants/dress in the same size!  You'd be surprised how often this doesn't happen.  Especially since all the actresses are tiny... I'll find one small and the rest are mediums and larges and I have to ask an employee to check in the back or start over.  And this is just ONE outfit.  I can't imagine doing wardrobe on a large show.  Clearly this is not my forte.

So we started shooting and I got to do what I signed up to do, which was work in art.  Although I was doing a million other things as well because I was extra hands on set.  I was also making coffee, pulling wardrobe, loading the G&E truck (grip and electric) and evening holding the boom once, which was terrifying.  (Boom is essentially a stick with a mic on it that you have to point at the actors to pick up their sound).  So far we've turned a gutted fast food place into a "working" restaurant.  We've also taken everything out of an apartment and stuck our stuff back in, then proceeded to get blood all over the walls, floor, and couch.  I really love being on set and it's so fun to work in a place that uses all my skills from acting, theater, and interior design.  I'm also meeting a ton of people including directors and producers so it's a way to get into the business from the other side.  I make sure they all know I'm an actress as well as an art girl.  The people on the crew are great as well and I feel very lucky to have such a great team to work with for my first time behind the scenes.  It's not often that you meet a main production assistant or director that hugs you every time you wrap!  Sometimes there is a lot more ego going around.

Most of this month has been taken over by the internship.  Days of prep are about 10 hours and days of filming are usually 12-14 hours long.  I'm gaining so much great experience and get free food so it's not too bad, although I am looking forward to my vacation to Washington DC when this is all over.
At home, Ashley and I have been doing some spring cleaning and trying to get into a routine.  We joined a gym that is a few blocks down from our apartment and are loving it so far.  It's only $20 a month and is surprisingly clean.  We even have a workout calendar on our wall outside the front door as motivation.  We went to Costco to get groceries thanks to Ashley's new membership and it was amazing.  Why doesn't everyone shop there?!?!  Maybe it's only a huge difference in New York City but the amount you get for how cheap it is is mind blowing.  When we go to our local grocery store it's about $5 for a 12 oz thing of peanut butter.  At Costco it's $9 for two 24 oz jars.  I mean, it's a no brainer.  We just hop on the train a few stops and are in the land of cheap and bulk.  That Costco tripped changed my life hahaha.

I also got to go see the Game of Thrones exhibit.  New York City was one of five locations around the world they brought it!  Sometimes I forget I live in such a major city.  It was super cool, had a spotlight on each of the major families including costumes and props from the show.  There was also a simulated archery game where you got to shoot arrows in the Battle of the Blackwater and a place where you could sit on the iron throne and get your picture taken complete with a crown!
Dany's dragon
Bow down!
Afterward, I participated in a play reading from someone I had met last year when I worked in the New Media Repertory Theatre.  He had met me and gave me the part, which is my favorite kind.  Not having to audition cuts so much hassle from acting.  I had a really great time with the reading and ended up reuniting with a fellow actor so we decided to go have drinks and sing karaoke.  Somehow we stumbled into the same karaoke place that Sarah and I went to sooooo long ago, over a year ago when I first moved here.  New York is really... so freaking small.
So that's it!  The weather has been gorgeous here.  Ashley and I did some chores in sundresses yesterday.  We went to Michael's which is always a bad idea because there's so much amazing craft stuff there.  Then we went to Chelsea for margaritas and tacos because it's WARM YAY!  And now I'm spending the day relaxing and getting ready for another weekend of filming and clowning.  So far nothing is planned for the month ahead, although I am working on my acting reel and hoping that will get me some more auditions and maybe an agent.  Also, I'm going to Washington DC because tickets are cheap and I only work on the weekends and two of my favorite people live there!
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day!  :D

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

We Got More Bounce in California

Wow have I had a crazy month.  I feel like I have been going, going, going since I started my new job.  Right after my last post I jetted off to Portland, Oregon where I visited the amazing family of Ella, Abby and Ben.  I was a nanny for Ella since she was 2 years old and they flew me in as a surprise for her 7th birthday!  I was so excited to see her and nothing compares to her face when I walked in the door.  I spent the week hanging with that awesome family and seeing some of Oregon, which is a gorgeous and green state.  We had Ella's birthday party at an art studio and got to paint and play with clay.  We went out to dinner and Ella and I danced a lot, and also got in the Jacuzzi overlooking the foothills of Portland.  She tried to teach me how to whistle (I still can't!) and it was so fun to visit her.  She's getting so big!  And I feel amazingly lucky to have such a wonderful second family to hang out with.

I can't believe she is 7!
Two Princesses on party day
Amazing view from the deck and jacuzzi
BFF's for LIFE
I just had such a wonderful time and I feel so blessed to have such a great connection with the Rogoway's and their daughter.  I can't WAIT to go on another trip and visit, although I wish Ella would stop growing up so fast!

After a nice long week in Oregon I flew back and went to training and worked my first day as a clown and LOVED it.  Don't get me wrong, the job is pretty exhausting because you spend your whole day trying to herd children and be super energetic but it's a thousand times better than any job I've had before.  Waitressing is exhausting and makes you want to die.  Never.  Again.

I spent a low key night on Sunday, had some dinner and watched the Superbowl.  The rest of the week was consumed by an intense sinus infection that caused me to call out of work twice and eventually drove me to the doctor.  That week I tried to get better but the weekend was miserable anyway.  I didn't want to call out on my second weekend of working and being happy, bubbly, and energetic when you're swimming in a head cold is ridiculously not fun.

That next week, although I was still feeling kinda gross, I made it out to book club with the Chi Omega's.  Our host was arriving late so I ended up opening the champagne which made me smile because no matter where you go, you're always at home in a Chi O's house.  The book we read (The Paris Wife) was a historical fiction based on Ernest Hemingway's first wife and was totally amazing.  After way too many chocolate brownies I headed home and passed out.

The biggest news from that week was that I took a professional organizer out to lunch.  Some of you may not know that I've always had a passion for organizing other people's stuff, which is part of the reason I loved earning my interior design degree.  While I LOVE acting, part of me really hates the grind that is required if you live in NYC.  Or maybe I just hate NYC.  Still working on that part.  But what I'm saying is I'm also interested in organizing and even have some experience here in the city.  I took Lilli out to lunch and picked her brain for how she got up and running.  Basically, she said to just start doing it, which was awesome advice.  So if any of you in the NYC area need something organized, let me know!

I spent the rest of the weekend working and attempting to get better because on Monday morning I flew to California!

California was AMAZING.  Our only complaint was that we somehow managed to get a coldish, rainy week squeezed between two gorgeous weeks, but whatever it was warmer than the east coast.

I got on the Hertz bus to go to the rental place and magically ended up on the same one as Amy.  We  had an amazing reunion on the bus which I'm sure freaked out some other patrons and then picked up our Mustang convertible, which we drove with the top down even though it was overcast and 60 degrees.
California Girls
We were crashing in Long Beach with a guy I met through Couch Surfing which is a website for traveler's to host and surf around the world.  Now, at this point I was totally exhausted from working all weekend, being sick, and flying.  I managed to convince Amy that I was on the brink of dying and she left me to take a nap while she explored the beach.  I woke up three hours later with no more headache and totally pumped for the movie premiere that night.
We got dressed and headed to West Hollywood to Grauman's Chinese Theater.  Before we went in the theater we met up with a bunch of cast mates and the director.  Our director had a camera and was taking footage and interviews to put on the extras on the DVD.  You can see the video here.  Notice what special actress gets to talk ;) Haha.  Amy walked the red carpet and also was the BEST boyfriend, holding coats, purses, and taking pictures.
My name on the poster!
BFF's in front of the poster
Cast and the director
We went in to see the movie and the theater was HUGE.  The movie was hilarious and very good.  Amy and I were dying every time I came on screen.  I am ridiculously mean in the movie and a totally cliche cheerleading bitch.  It's awesome.
After the movie Amy and I headed out to Santa Monica to meet up with Eric, one of my friends I met while living in Europe.  It was so good to see him again especially since it has been about four years!  Travel buddy bonds don't break though and Amy and I enjoyed having a chill bar night with him and shooting the shit.  We got home late and woke up early because our schedules were so messed up from the time change.  We got dressed in hiking clothes and headed out to Runyon Canyon.
We parked the car and ended up at a little cafe where we got a breakfast sandwich.  We drove around looking for a tourist trappy store to buy junky hats in because it was going to rain and were surprised how hard it was to find one!  We finally did and bought some awesome, tacky, rhinestone L.A. hats.
Sometimes it's hard to be this cool
We walked around Runyon Canyon and it was beautiful even if it was a bit overcast.  There was some awesome bird watching and great views.  It did end up raining on us a bit but we didn't care.

Runyon Canyon
After hiking all morning we were starving so we decided to head to Roscoe's Chicken n Waffles because EVERYONE said we had too!  We decided to split the traditional chicken n waffles and some mac n cheese.  It was super delicious and just what we needed after hiking out in the overcast, chilly weather.  Then we went to the observatory to check out the Hollywood sign.  It was far away, and getting colder, so we took a picture and headed back to our room and then passed out for about 3 hours.  We were going to get ready and go out except it was rainy and cold and we were tired so we just decided to go to bed.

Tiny Hollywood sign in the background
The next morning we got up super early and went to Starbucks for Amy's birthday.  After coffee we drove to Palos Verdes and went hiking along the Pacific Ocean up on a trail about 50 feet above the coastline.  It was really beautiful and we could see a ton of hawks and pelicans flying all over.

After our hike we drove to Venice and Amy dropped me at the beach while she got her hair cut.  I waded in to the water because I'm obsessed with swimming and wished I had a wet suit and a surfboard.  When I got bored of watching surfers I headed to the boardwalk and when I got bored of homeless people I walked to In 'n Out burger.  Yes, the burger was good.  The fries were terrible though.

Venice Beach
Amy picked me up and we got back to the house where we got dressed up, packed up our stuff, and headed out to West Hollywood.  We met up with her friends Hillary and Castro for sushi.  We sat at our table for awhile and the waiter gave us free birthday shots and we had some delicious food and conversation.  Afterward we headed to the club where we met up with our hosts Ken and Robert and danced to this weird European DJ.

Birthday girl!
Bottle service from the ceiling
We crashed at Hillary's house that night and in the morning got up and went to the Griddle House and had an amazing breakfast.  Amy got a red velvet pancake and I got Nutella french toast.  It was to die for.  I also got the number of a cute waiter who was from Michigan, he had a Detroit hat on... now I have a great excuse to go back to L.A. ;)
We took the rest of the day to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and go to Malibu where we went hiking at Point Dume.  The point overlooks the ocean and was super gorgeous.  I hiked back down to the beach and went climbing through tide pools like a child, poking starfish and sticking my nose almost in the water.  The best part was when I saw two sea lions swimming in the surf right off the beach!  So amazing.

We drove back to Santa Monica and met up with my friend Sig.  He was nice enough to let us take showers and then pass out in his living room with the lights on for two hours.  We woke up, got some Red Bull, and went out for our last  night.  We bar hopped, drank tequila, met up with some more of Sig's friends, and had a great time.  Except when the photo booth wouldn't print us pictures, what a bummer!  After passing out we  woke up at 7am to get the car back to the rental place.  It was super sad to leave California, but I loved it and I'll definitely go back and visit.  Maybe this summer?

The rest of the time I've been home I've been watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch and clowning and working in the haunt.  I got moved to a new position in the haunted house which I love!  I'm working in the lobby which means I take tickets and give the rules to the guests before they enter the haunt.  I like it because it's more of a show and has a lot more customer interaction.  Also, people think I'm totally creepy and it's awesome.  Maybe because I stare at them, and don't answer their questions, and have blood running down my face.

On Friday it was Ashley's birthday!  I got her some sweet balloons and her mom got her an edible arrangement which was surprisingly delicious.  Maybe we should eat more fruit here.  We went to 16 Handles for birthday FroYo and when we told the cashier it was Ashley's birthday he gave us both of ours for free!  How awesome!  We headed back to our apartment and were super excited when our friends from Adrian Rob and Mike came over to celebrate with us.  It was an awesome reunion and we drank some beers and just hung out.

The rest of the weekend I worked and have been just laying around.  I decided to be a person today and maybe actually do my dishes.  We'll see.

So overall life in New York is pretty good.  I really enjoy both my jobs, I love my good friends, and having Ashley as a roommate.  But I definitely do not see myself living here forever.  New York is a great city but not the right place for me.  So I've decided to start my countdown by doing all my adventure cards.  Adventure cards are this pack of 52 cards I got from Sarah before she left.  Originally, I started doing them with Amy but she moved away, wah.  I figured this will get me out seeing the city and that way I'll feel like I've really seen it all before I go.  Now, I've thought a bit about when I'm leaving and I don't think it will be for awhile but knowing that it's happening already makes me feel better.

So here are the adventure cards I've already done.  The Upper East Side, Meatpacking, Staten Island, Taking the Tram, the East Village, South Street Seaport, Rockefeller Center, 34th Street, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Culture (Botanical Gardens) and Brooklyn Bridge.  Throughout the rest of my writing I will keep you updated on where the cards take me and the adventures I have along the way!

And I'm taking ideas on where to go... Michigan?  L.A?  Nashville?  Asia?  The possibilities are endless...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Princess in Training

 Happy new year!
I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  I know I did!

Before I left I had a great headshot session with Lee Kazimir who is a friend of a friend.  He was really awesome to work with, which makes such a difference in a photoshoot.  Having a photographer who you're comfortable with and who can bring out your personality really shows in the pictures.  We spend the day at his apartment shooting inside, outside, and on the roof.  I changed outfits a couple of times and got some great pictures of me not smiling which doesn't happen often.  After the main headshot session I put on a dress and we took some shots just for fun.  They're not all edited yet, but I do have some to show you, and will post more as soon as I have them!
Photo by Lee Kazimir
Photo by Lee Kazimir
Photo by Lee Kazimir
With the infamous Spiderman hat!
Afterward I was totally exhausted.  People think modeling is an easy job but I promise you it is not!  I don't  think I'd ever want to model professionally, there is so much to think about.  I came home after a 7 hour shoot and fell asleep by 8pm.  Then Ashley and I sat in her bed and watched the Katy Perry documentary and worked on my resume which looks awesome now thanks to her!  It is so great having a roommate who is in the 'biz' we can motivate and support each other.
The rest of the week before I left I volunteered at my favorite charity project, Granny Squares, cleaned the apartment, worked on decorating with Ashley, did a ton of laundry, and on the last night headed to Jordan and Dylan's to trade Christmas presents and hang out before I left for Michigan. I gave them a cookbook with recipes for sriracha because they love that shit.  And I got the most delicious cookies ever and an awesome picture for my apartment.
Me with my presents
The next day it was time to go HOME!  I was on the plane and started tearing up as we descended to land.  When I saw my Mom I just started crying in her arms.  It was so ridiculously comforting being back with my family after all the emotional ups and downs I had gone through during the months before, and wondering if I was going to be with them or not over Christmas.
Being home was amazing, as I thought it would be.  It was exactly what I needed... getting a break from the city, having the comforts of home, a vacation, and finally seeing my family.
At Darcy's band concert with Dad
Getting some puppy love
Christmas Cookies
I saw seven movies in theaters with my Dad (and sometimes the rest of the family) Monsters Inc 3D (amazing), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (amazing), Skyfall (great), Looper (great), The Hobbit (completely boring), Silver Linings Playbook (amazing), and Life of Pi (amazing and a beautiful movie).  I spent some time with Andy and his family, they took me to a Griffin's game on dollar beer night which was really fun and then I saw some of my GR friends after.  On Saturday Andy took me to Beauty and the Beast for my Christmas present and it was amazing!  I'm always a sucker for when they shoot confetti into the audience, what can I say.
Trying to find Dad's present at the hardware store
Roxy in her Christmas shirt

Griffin's Game

Most of the time I was at home I hung out with my family.  Even going on basic chores made me happy because it was just so great to be with them.  On New Years Eve I got to go to Ann Arbor and see some of my friends from college.  And on my last weekend in Michigan I shot a music video with my good friend Kris Hitchcock.
My BFF Marcus
We shot a video for his song "Roll Storm Roll" at a farmhouse in Cedar Springs.  I got on set around noon and was given a great bathroom upstairs for my dressing room that had a vanity with a big mirror for makeup.  The house was beautiful and I was shooting with a director I had worked with before (and hand picked for this project) Dennis.  He is great and also had his wife helping him and his son was there as well as our Nerf gun handler.  I had my Mom with me as a PA and assistant and to check my makeup of course! Since the video was just me, Kris, and his dog Fender the shoot went pretty quickly.  We had a great time on set and it was fun to hang out and shoot with Kris, even during our down time he just played guitar and I sang along.  I'm super excited to see the final product and add it to another awesome video with Kris!  After we wrapped we all headed to a terrible bar for a few drinks and chatting.  The video was a great reminder of why I act in the first place, to make great pieces with people that I love.  It was so fun and I can't wait to shoot another one!  Haha.

Unfortunately, after three weeks of vacation I had to head back to the city.  I was pretty sad the night before because I had to say goodbye to my Dad and sister, but by the time I was on the plane I was happy to be heading back.  And I ended up sitting next to a doctor who knew my old boss and now close friend Ben.  I was his nanny for years and am actually flying out for his daughter's birthday in Portland on Saturday.  What a small world.
Going to Michigan was just what I needed and I feel like I have been back with energy and drive since I got back.  The weekend I got back I had a meeting with a management company that lets you intern for them for 6 months and in turn they represent you for 6 months.  They manage one of my great friends here in the city and the meeting went great, so I'm hoping to work for them as soon as they have an opening.  I also met up with my friend Bill and helped him set up a blog for his journalism and writing.  Luckily, I have a lot of experience with Blogger!  And it is fairly easy to use.  I also went back to Granny Squares that weekend and caught up with everyone there.  That night I worked at the haunted house and was pretty happy to be there after not seeing everyone for almost a month.
The next week I went to Ashley's first gig, a cabaret.  Let me just say this... my roommate is fucking amazing.  She was hands down the best singer in the group (okay I am biased but she WAS!) and I literally cried when she sang "I'm a Star."  Afterward we went and sang Broadway songs at Marie's Crisis, a piano bar where people sit around the piano and request songs and sing along, courtesy of my great friend DGR.
The next day I had an interview in Long Island with an children's entertainment company.  They do parties for kids.  I was hired on the spot!  I celebrated by eating a ton of McDonald's with Jordan and Dylan while we watched Zero Dark Thirty (boring, not good, don't understand the fuss).
The next day I hung out with a guy that I met on set of my commercial.  We had a chill day since he was shooting til 8am and went out for margaritas and Mexican that evening.  It was fun and I like him and that's all I'm gonna say :)

On Friday I headed out for my first day of training (paid, oh ya) and had a great time.  There were two other new girls and two that were brushing up on their skills.  We started out with facepainting and I was happy to find that I was a total natural, probably from my extensive art experience drawing and painting throughout school.  Afterward we went though singalongs.  The next day I had my first day of training, I was picked up by Jose, another entertainer and carpooled to work.  I shadowed with Amanda and did four parties with her and Kyle.  We wear bright colored dresses, striped socks, and pigtails.  Technically I'm a clown by we don't have wigs or makeup.  I had SUCH a great time and it is clear I finally found a job perfect for me.  You can get a different length of party and we do activities like facepainting, balloons, cotton candy, popcorn, bubbles, singalongs and dancing, and at the end there is a magic show.  I have another day of training tomorrow and next weekend I'm going out to do parties with my teammate.  It is so fun and also it is great money.  Most of the clowns live off what they make on Saturdays and Sundays!  So that is great, it means we can all audition and work on acting during the week.  NO MORE WAITRESSING HALLELUJAH!
Face Paint Practice Arrr!
On Sunday I went to church!  It had been so long that I had actually gone to service and I was so glad to see everyone.  The sermon was okay (ugh it was Martin Luther King Jr. weekend) and after I chatted with everyone at the Young Adults bagel brunch.  We're hoping to plan another prom (yay) and I made a new friend named Becca.  We went shopping at Victoria's Secret after and then I headed home and made stir fry dinner for myself and Ashley and we ended the night playing some Super Nintendo Mariokart.
The next night I went to a magic show with one of my friends Noah who was ushering and got me a free ticket.  The show was great even though I was annoyed that I couldn't find anyone to go with me!  NYC is such a pain sometimes.  After I went out with all the magicians to a diner and had even more fun while they joked around with me and tried all their tricks out.
The past couple of day Ashley and I have been working on the apartment.  We finally took our Christmas tree down (on January 23rd) and it was ridiculously dead.  We decided the best thing to do was drag it through the sliding glass doors and drop it off the balcony.  It still made a gigantic mess but was much easier to clean up than if we had taken it down the stairs.
We put up our curtains, I painted our chairs, we hung pictures, took all our junk to the thrift store and put together a picture frame.  I did the dishes and made chicken and rice which was so good we ate the entire dish before the night was over.  Last night Ashley made chicken, chickpeas, and quinoa.  It is so clean in her and starting to look so nice I hardly ever want to leave!
Chicken and Rice YUM

Today I went to a meeting for Central Casting, a company that places background actors in TV, film, and commercials.  It is usually a good way to make some extra money while being on set and maybe make a connection or two (or meet a guy! Hah.)  And now I'm killing time until I go to the haunt tonight.

And I almost forgot my BIG news... All You Can Dream is FINALLY premiering next month at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood!  Amazing!  So the first time I go to LA will be to see my movie :) and I can't wait.
Thanks for reading!  Hope you're all having a fabulous day!  Check again next month for pictures of Portland, and Hollywood!