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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time Wasting 101: Adventures in Photoshop

My new apartment is borderline monastic and has a ton of white wall space. My boyfriend Marshall and I are highly economical (instead of going to the laundromat I wash my clothes on his abs (quit groaning, you love my jokes)) so instead of buying overpriced faux-silk screens of weird monochromatic abstractions at Ikea, I've decided to design some of our wall decor using my favoritest of computer programs, Adobe Photoshop.

Marshall has a special fondness for Alton Brown, the host of Good Eats on the Food Network, and it's totally okay, because my boyfriend's metro like that. The following image is inspired by that iconic Barack Obama Hope Poster (you know the one), and supplants "hope" with Brown's catchphrase:
The only kink in the plan is apparently it costs upwards of $50 to actually have the darn thing printed, so our new and improved plan is to change "patience" to "utilitarianism," translate everything into Swedish, turn every color cobalt blue, and sell it to Ikea as a monochromatic abstraction.

Hey, wanna see some other Photoshop projects I've completed in the recent past? Too bad, I'm showing you.

Most of them were made as gifts for my boyfriend's brother Dave, because, as I said, Marshall and I are cheap. I mean economical. The first one is not that exciting, it's just Dave's face on Indiana Jones:
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Clearly, when someone graduates, the obvious conclusion to draw is that they are like Iron Man:
And my personal favorite, albeit the least successful:
The lesson today, boys and girls, is that even if you're unemployed in your chosen profession, it doesn't hurt to fine-tune other peripheral skill-sets, even if those skill-sets are absolutely worthless, because then you won't have to buy presents for anyone.

In other news, today I wore a purple dress with fringe on the bottom and then saw the exact same dress featured on That 70s Show during a roller disco scene. It was bracing reality check that made me realize I seriously need to redo my wardrobe. To do so, I'm going to enlist the help of my journalist/fashionista best friend from growing up, and you guessed it, I'm going to blog about the whole experience. It's going to be like an episode of "What Not To Wear" except no one is going to be a terrible human. Stay tuned, mis amigos pequeños.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Hey, look, I'm more organized than you, want to cry about it?

Unless you're actually living the life of Adrien Grenier on Entourage and have someone named Turtle to drive you places and order New York pizza for delivery to Los Angeles via private jet (I'm pretty sure this actually happened in one of the episodes I saw during one of my bouts of extreme masochism), as an actor you are your own CEO, marketing team, fitness and lifestyle coach, secretary, bookkeeper, wardrobe consultant, and everything else under the sun.

But, let's face it -- and I'm totally going to stereotype here -- nine times out of ten, telling an actor to run his/her own business is like asking a fish to fly, a bird to swim, an ivy league student not to be antisocial, Glenn Beck to be reasonable (I could go on, but let's try and keep it on topic, Felicia, alright? Alright.). 

The point is: we actors -- we're sensitive, alright? We live the art! How do you expect us to keep our real-life affairs in order? To cross our Ts and dot our Is when we are too busy working to embody their alphanumeric spirits?

Two words: FILING CABINET. Get one. It will change your life. 

I don't want to brag here, but I will. I am awesome at filing stuff. When you're an unemployed actor questioning the meaning of her existence and finding even the most inconsequential setbacks totally life-altering in the most devastating sense imaginable (and I'm just speaking hypothetically here), what could be a better way to stay grounded than by putting things in alphabetical order? Answer: Nothing.

More specifically, I use my filing cabinet to hold all of my sheet music photocopies. Over the years I've amassed a butt-ton of sheet music, and when I'm not using it to kindle trash-can fires on the breadline, I'm doing my best to assemble a pleasing variety of songs and excerpts for my Audition Book -- or, as I like to call it, my Diti Boo. What's a Diti Boo? Well, for starters, it's the weirdest and most misleading truncation possible for "Audition Book." More concretely, it is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of songs and excerpts that you bring to auditions, all of which you should be able to sing at the drop of a hat, or, better, after you've pick up that person's hat and handed it to them out of common courtesy.

Behold! Photos of my filing cabinet! Songs arranged alphabetically by show! AAAH IT'S SO MUCH FUN! EVERYBODY WHO WANTS TO BE COOL START DOING THIS NOW.

In short, I feel better about my future because I have a filing cabinet.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yep, it happened. I moved to Blogger.

Hi, again, friends. It’s been a busy first 24 hours for Five-Trick Pony (or as I’ve nicknamed it: “Blog 2: Hyperblog”) and already she’s found herself a new home (that’s right, my blog is female). As you could have probably guessed based on my thinly veiled hostility, I just wasn’t digging Tumblr. Blogger is better. The end.

So, let it be here writ: Five-Trick Pony’s new web address is Sorry for the confusion! But, hey, I told you this blog was unpredictable.


Presenting: Stupid Texts With My Male Friend, Episode 1

Me: Happy birthday? If I'm right, I didn't even need facebook to remind me 

Male Friend: You're right!!! Thanks! Where u at now? 

Me: I'm in brooklyn eating a bagel. You?? 

Male Friend: Amazing. I'm starving myself so I look good for birthday pictures tonight. That, and I think I have a hernia. 

Me: Omg I love hernias 

Male Friend: I think I might just grab some icy hot and lather it up with one of my $100 bills and rub it all over me. That should totally cure my ails. 

Me: That is what I do! And what my mother does, and her mother did before her. 

Male Friend: Well, clearly your story goes on. 

Me: H8 that song. So are you 40 years-old today 

Male Friend: Basically 

Me: You've got a few more years in you I'm sure 

Male Friend: Yeah. 52 today. 

Me: Soon you can collect social security and wear hawaiian shirts in earnest 

Male Friend: Fo shizzle

Back to Square Two: An Unceremonious Start

[Originally posted on "Five-Trick Pony," my sequel blog, before I came to my senses and merged them to their current home here, on Unnaturally Green: the Blog]

Going to squeak out my first post here and keep expectations low. Mostly because I’m exhausted from spending the last million days trying to understand how in the heck Tumblr works and why it is missng its secnd vowl.

If you’re like 99.52% of the population, you probably don’t know who I am, which is good and bad. Good if you’re the type who hates to get involved, because you can X out of this page right now, and neither of us will be any the wiser. Bad if you’d like to keep reading and know some preliminary context. In the case of the latter, it might behoove you to read some posts from my last blog, Unnaturally Green, and learn about where I was before my lapse into New York City obscurity.

In short: I just got done standing by for the role of Elphaba in the San Francisco company of Wicked. I laughed, I cried, I looked like this:

But now that’s all kaput. I’m back in New York City, “back to square two,” as it were: I’ve got to figure out how to be a job-seeking actress again. Because if playing the lead in Wicked is one side of the acting coin, unemployment is the other.

Why on earth should you read my blog? You probably shouldn’t. You probably should concern yourself with more pressing matters, like making paper from oatmeal or building ships in bottles. But, if you’re the type who has always wanted to know the nitty-gritty of what it’s like to build a career in the entertainment industry, from someone (me) who has just gotten her feet wet, this blog is for you. Content will (hopefully) be farther-reaching than the more clichéd actorly musings (“OMG I hate auditioning OMG!” “I sang my Face off today, gtg”), sprinkled with reflections on the art, the hardships, the triumph, and the irony of Showbiz. And other stuff.

I am, after all, full of tricks. At least five.

Now, being unemployed, and after having done something as huge as Wicked, I kind of feel like one of those genius twelve year-old kids with a PhD — you know those kids? They can solve the riddles of the universe but they can’t, like, use an ATM or drive. Except I’m not a genius and we’re not talking about grad school, we’re talking about Wicked, which I guess I’ve graduated from, and now I have no use for an ATM because I’m unemployed, plus I take the subway. Okay, bad analogy.

I do expect that many adventures await, but I can’t make any promises. I always think it’s a bit quixotic to begin a blog, because the assumption is that some fascinating storyline will develop that will be worth reading, and that doesn’t always happen. But what I can promise you is that if my plot lines get too mundane or depressing I’ll just make something up, like that I found my long-lost twin or that I’m David Blaine’s intern.

Thanks for reading so far! If you become my follower I’ll give you a virtual hug, which I decided is me thinking that I’m hugging you and you sensing this thought remotely. Bye!

Friday, September 10, 2010

That's all, folks!

Here it is: my last Unnaturally Green post EVER. Like most endings, especially those conceived by M. Night Shyamalan, mine will be, at best, mildly entertaining, at worst complete drivel, but, prevailingly, just kind of strange, disappointing, and self-referential.

I was reluctant to embrace a Blogberry send-off, and so I promised a Final Days Retrospective. After further inspection, however, I realized that my penultimate post ("I Am Not A Sentimental Man") rather did the Time-To-Wrap-It-Up trick, didn't it? Adding more to that would be like adding, I don't know, extra grated cheese to macaroni and cheese (which I do, by the way, but that doesn't make it dignified or healthy).

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Am Not A Sentimental Man

But I have occasionally been known to be a sentimental woman. Unfortunately, I no longer have internet in my apartment and therefore have no way to thrust my inner thoughts and agenda onto the general internet public, except through Twitter, which simply will not suffice for a verbose madamoiselle like myself. But this morning, lo and behold, I remembered: I can blog via Blackberry! I can Blogberry!

But I refuse to deem a post that was typed by my weary thumbs on the unfurnished floor my very last, so I've decided that either later today or, more realistically, later this week, I will sit down and do a Final Days Retrospective. It might be really blubbering, or I might try to repress my feelings and just list facts like a court affidavit (yeah, I used to do Mock Trial, no I never had dates to school dances. JK! I had dates! If you count my gay best guy friends. But whatever, now my boyfriend is the ubermensch. High school dating scene retribution lemme hear you say HEYO! (Blogberrying is dangerous, as under normal computer-based circumstances I would edit out everything I just wrote, but on a tiny screen/keyboard, this is far too much effort.)).

So, anyway: WICKED closed last night, and it do I describe my feelings? Some folks asked me if I was sad, and I'd have to say no, but with a giant, multifaceted asterisk. I am sad insofar as something beautiful that was no longer is, and that's a huge loss to deal with. But WICKED closing also evokes so much positive emotion, as I think of all the lives it's touched here in SF. I know, from your letters and kind words at the stage door, to my own personal experience, that the story of WICKED is timeless, inspirational, cathartic, and quite universal, and I think I would be much sadder if its message had never been disseminated. But I'm thrilled to see firsthand how it has worked its magic on literally hundreds of thousands of people -- and I'm thrilled to have been a part of it.

Huh, I guess it is possible to be sentimental on a Blogberry.

More soon from me. Bottom line of this post? Thank you! Thank you, WICKED, thank you, amazing fans, thank you, universe, thank you, Mom and Dad, thank you everybody who came together to make this life-changing experience possible.

On the bright side: now I get to paint my nails any color I want. Today, I choose purple!

On another bright side: I will be releasing info about my sequel Blog (title, content summary, work-in-progress header) in the super-near future.

Okay. Sigh. See you soon, my friends. Same Unnatural time, same Unnaturally Green place. We've got a few more in us, right? Of course we do.


Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T