Melted Cheese Tastes Like Rubber

One of my favorite clown teachers (my favorite way to start a sentence), told us that you should be constantly questioning the “why” of what you’re doing- whether it’s being a business man, a magician or a girl who lives in Venice Beach who has a blog and a kitten named Elvis.

This is something I’ve always done, but didn’t super realize it until he said it out loud and I was like “Oh, sh*t, that’s me!” TBF, I had the same reaction when someone told me that melted cheese tastes like rubber. right?

The why prevents me from being stagnant and accepting my current every day situations and skills as a permanent reality instead of a level of progress on an ongoing journey. I’ve surpassed my expectations in my 2-year Hollywood grind. I think it also helps that I have kept myself open to things I never saw being part of my life, mostly clown.

Signs of a Successful Halloween

  • My car did not get egged
  • Impulsed bought onesie pajamas with monkeys for feet at Target
  • Lots of leftover candy (successful in joy, but not diet)
  • Decided which commercial agent to go with and I think she is way cool!
  • My commercial acting class didn’t get cancelled, so I did not go to any parties on Halloween (successful in diet)

Anyone do anything interesting? What did you dress up as? What was the coolest costume you saw?

The coolest one I saw involved eight people! It was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, except the Dwarves were all regular height and snow weight was a little person. How empowered!

Onto my favorite month, November (AKA my birthday month), and one of the few months where I can get away with wearing long sleeve shirts in Los Angeles.

Hugs///

AJ

Being My Own Hero

Perhaps it is my fear of boredom that has lead me here.

In my notebook, I have a quote of indeterminate origin that I probably wrote down months ago because it struck me as a wordification of a thought I often have.

“To be a hero, hang on for a minute longer”

I could Google it, but heck, I am enjoying the mystery of it so DON’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME.

I will confess that I’ve spent a long time thinking that people who posted inspirational quotes on Facebook were depressed, lacking on internal motivation and/or were lame. But as I continue to pursue acting I think I finally get it, or maybe I’ve become incredibly lame. Both?

I’ve started living my life with the motto “I am going to do it because it terrifies me.” Similarly, I also dig what winner season five winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jinkz Monsoon, would say after getting feedback on challenges out of any sane person’s comfort zone “water off a duck’s back.”

Sometimes a mantra or a quote is what we need to convince ourselves that we can do something anxiety-ridden and not only live through it, but that it will help us develop skills and relationships. It’s a great way to shun the devil on your shoulder that is self-doubt.

So far, pushing myself out of my comfort zone has really helped me lead a very entertaining, fulfilling and awkward life ultimately culminating in things like a slow motion bar fight with Dave Koechner (no injuries), seeing my role models perform all the time and being in  television pilot. If you change your frame of thinking from idol to role model, a whole lot is possible.

p.s. named the kitten Elvis <3 <3 <3

I got a bone!

Because G-d threw one my way! I hope that didn’t sound too dirty :/

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I’ve been keeping busy lately. I started studying Stanislavski and I love it, I booked and shot my first TV Pilot and one of my  biggest comedic influences started following me on Twitter (!!). But now I am feeling all this pressure to tweet well, but I could have worse problems — like starvation or a flat tire on the way to a job interview or sneezing during a make out scene or something. Above is a picture with way bad lighting of me and the pilot’s lead. She’s rad! I’ve also started reading some plays by Steve Martin and they are terrific. I would love love love to put one on someday. Now time to keep on working. Happy July 4th everyone! Try to do one thing this week that is out of your comfort zone (but in a positive way, mooning people ain’t cute)

Also, anyone have any good July 4th recipes? My mom’s birthday is the 5th, so I want to make something special

Hugs///

At

Crushing It: Learning to Love The Grind

Crushing It: Learning to Love The Grind

I am two months shy of two years pursuing being an actor and all I got was this lousy picture of me crushing Jim Rash’s head at the coffee shop by my apartment. Strangely enough, he is sitting at the exact table where, in a moment of absolute grace, my computer received an Americano to the keys. I’ve come a long way since then — I now use a desktop that I cannot take to coffee shops and drop and/or spill things on. You guys, prevention.

This past month since I graduated iO (Formerly known as Improv Olympic), has been intense, and weird and a total beginning of another act in my journey. I had this clarity moment the morning of house team auditions where I ended up at the farmer’s market by my house, which I never go to, and I saw someone with a delicious looking burger, which I never eat. It was one of those places that gives you a sheet and you check off what toppings (condiments? what’s the right word for burger accessories? Burgessories, let’s go with that) and the very Venice, very hippie guy interrupted his conversation with someone about how purple potatoes are the only non-genetically modified potatoes to tell me that they also had Strawberry BBQ Sauce.

My immediate response was “I’ll make my own box, why spend life living in other people’s boxes?”

I got a lol and a right on, but all I was thinking about was how auditioning for a house team was auditioning to be in someone else’s, albeit a great, beautiful and tasty, box. iO is like the caramelized onions of burgessories and I think I am more of the quirky and maybe a little less universally pleasing Strawberry BBQ sauce. I also have red hair, so …

I am sort of in that “what next?” period of my comedic life. I moved out here wanting to be a writer and a performer, like IDK, Jim Rash. Or Mindy Kaling or Lena Dunham. I’d also like to be like Peter O’Toole. Peter O’Toole meets Mindy Kaling. Peter O’Toole meets Mindy Kaling in Venice Beach, CA and they decide to take up contemporary jazz dancing together — the buddy comedy. I’d like to write/act on/for TV, because sitcoms are the short stories of the silver screen.

Eventually, I would like a stranger to take a picture of themselves crushing my head, if only because one of the main points of being an artist is trying to tell as many people as you possibly can that you’re weird. And if I am going to expose my weird in a big way, I want to do it in my own box. It’s uncomfortable to write about wanting big things, but I work really hard, and that’s the best that I can do to get there. My goal for the next year is to finish my 100ish-page work and get more experience with scripted acting in addition to keeping up the auditions. Push forward in an effort to be propelled up.

James Franco, Director’s Notes

I saw a play James Franco directed. Below is an excerpt from his director’s note:

I wanted to do a multi-media piece that simultaneously used live actors and cameras with closed circuit projections. We live on screens, we think within screens, our lives are videos, movies and images: how better to capture this phenomenon than showing the apparatus alongside the players. … We cast almost entirely from the School of Theatre so that the actors were not age appropriate for the parts, in this way we could foreground the performative aspect of the project while at the same time utilizing and framing the passion and energy that is unique to youth. This approach strips away character so that we are interacting with the actors as people rather than the facades of their characters.

This show is all about artifice and about stripping away artifice at the same time. Young (Tennessee) Williams filled his play with dreamers, artists and lovers propelled and often destroyed by their relationships with reality: they want to love and be loved on earth and they also want to disappear into their dreams. And this is a description of acting: functioning in imaginary worlds in order to connect with audiences in the real world.

This is my favorite kind of project: a clusterfuck of different artists, personalities, and mediums. Everyone played their role (actors and non-actors) perfectly.

- James Franco, December 2012