Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Troubadour Theater Company in "Oeidpus" at the Getty

What do you get when you cross a motley crew of rag-tag theater people, Elvis music, a vat of fake blood and a Greek tragedy?  "Oeidpus the King Mama!"  That's right.  We invaded the high falutin' Getty Villa in Malibu this spring for a one-weekend-only performance of this new show. Didn't get to see it?  Well shame on you.  Although to be fair, we did sell out in 30 minutes...toot toot! (that was my own horn)  You'll have your shot this August when we bring it back to the Falcon theater.  People always ask me... "Lakin.  How does a Troubie show come to be?"  Good question grasshopper.  Let me try and explain...

First you hug the director.  This is what all actresses in LA do.  Whether it's a man or woman... you get your arms around them and hug.  Sometimes they'll pick you up.  While you are in the air hugging away, whisper what role you want.  For example, I said "I need a bloody good part Matty.  Something with real heart".  Directors are very intuitive.  They have good ears like dogs.  So they can hear your internal thoughts usually.  But just in case, you should whisper it too.
Then try on some outfits.  You know, just to show the producers you can look the part.  For instance, here, Joe Bwarie and I show everyone that we aren't just Joanie and Chachi (which we once played together) but that we can grow as performers.  He is a greek Zach Efron and I look like a stage manager.  Which I wasn't.  But I wanted to show I could be team player.  One with the crew.
Then go get a coffee.  Ask everyone if they want one.  Pretend to remember what they want.  Then come back with your own and say it spilled in the car if they ask.  People will feel bad you ruined your car for them and forget about the coffee.  
Next, go to a fitting with the costumer.  Here Rachael Lawrence proves she can eat Cheez-Its and still look great.  Then eat more Cheez-its.  Then go back to the costumer for alterations.  And so on and so forth.
While on a break, try and get some work done.  Because let's be honest, theater pays crap.  Here, Lisa demonstrates this very fact as she multi-tasks on the communal phone and communal computer.  That's right.  Don't let anyone else use them if you get there first because really all anyone was going to check was Facebook anyway.  No people, we don't need a status update.  
While everyone else goes on a break, Anna White will still be tapping.  Shes by far the most professional person in the show, having done The Broadway so if you want to learn a thing or two, take a cue from her and practice.  Or go eat Cheez-Its with me and Rachael.  Flap, Flap ball-cheeesse! 
Next work on your characters.  Beth Kennedy is the master of this.  She tries 5, 6, maybe 7 characters out before she picks one.  Here she and Matt Morgan work on a shepard routine.  She's a shepard and she's been out tending the flock by night so she's tired and needs to rest on her young stable boy's shoulder.  Oooh.  He's so sweaty.  It's hot in the barn... maybe she should just take off her.. wait.  I think I have this story mixed up with something else.
Make up time.  It's chaos.  If you have hairspray or a brush you may have to use them as weapons too.  "We'll never be ready in time!" is a common statement yelled in anguish at our poor stage manager.  Remember that nature documentary when the lions all gathered together and the zebra came in and told them "5 minutes" and the lions ate her?  Mmmm.  She was delicious.
Before the show, make the new person wear something that accentuates their figure.  And their sexuality.  James Snyder does just this.  I can't vouch for everyone, but I love a guy in a skirt and a bandana.  
Before the show, Rory O'Malley and Anna warm up their wigs.  Wigs are really more the character than you can ever be.  And that's an important acting lesson from me to you.  For free.  Just look at him. Garth from Waynes World and Willow meet.

Strike poses and work it.  As you can see, Jen Seifert has this down.  Matt Morgan should really work on that.  And work on his pants situation.  Actually I don't know what is happening in this photo.  I probably shouldn't have included this one.  Hmm..  pretend you aren't looking at that.
After the show, pose with the girls outside and make sexy faces.  Then scream "Facebook"!  Then look at the picture and decide to retake it.  Scream "Facebook" again.  Then look and review.  One person will protest, "Eww, I hate that! I look stupid"  You will tag them anyway and they will de-tag themselves.  Repeat.

Ask for a "bloody good role" and you shall receive.  Not really what I was talking about but... you'll just have to come see it to understand.  Make a sexy face.  Yell "Facebook" again and then realize your lashes are stuck together with Karo syrup.  Forget why you decided to take this picture of yourself.  Regret putting it on your blog.

After the show go to Lakins and party until the wee hours!!!  Here Lisa and BK show everyone how its done.   If the cops show up, have BK open the door and do a comedic bit.  They are likely to forget why they came.

The women will stand around and drink some beers while the guys get in the kitchen and make some damn cookies.  
Then you have a show.  And that folks, is basically how it's done.  Well, sorta.  I might have forgotten a few pieces.  But essentially, when you have a group of your super talented friends that you love playing with, it seems that simple anyway ;)  Come check us out at the Falcon Theater this summer as we once again destroy great literary fiction.   www.troubie.org

Saturday, May 16, 2009

LA Weekly Awards/LA Drama Critics Circle

Every year in Los Angeles the LA Weekly awards descend.  And people roll out the red carpets and pop the Cristal for such an occasion.  Ok... well they throw down a bath mat and set up a cash bar- details, details.  This year I was nominated for a great play I had the chance to do, "Dog Sees God; Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead".  Its a fun night because many of my castmates were there and friends who won for other shows too.  The uber talented Whitney Allen and I hug it out.

Of course, the awards wouldn't be complete without a theme.  As you know my penache for themes.... I of course embrace this.  1950's was the theme this year and Nick Nick and his girl went all out with a Tbirds Grease ensemble.  Love the leggings.
Oh yeah.. and I won for Best Comedic Female, which was pretty cool too.  I will take this piece of hard lucite and I will go straight to the top!!!
The LA Drama Critics Circle awards were a bit more subdued... but us Troubies got to perform.. and were highly entertained by our dates.
The Dog Sees God cast nominated again at the LADCC's.  Great times.  Love yall!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Race to Witch Mountain... US and beyond!

Disney's "Race to Witch Mountain" is still climbing in box office totals around the world and the premieres in Los Angeles and London were spectacular!  London's West End was always a dream for me... but to walk a red carpet there was pretty terrific.  Even if most people wanted me to sign Hottie and Nottie posters and told me "I looked better in real life".  Thank you?

My great friends Alex and Stella were on hand for the event and made my trip so lovely.  They took me to a great brunch in Oxfordshire, out on the town to a show and of course to the Ivy Club, which was as delicious as it was posh.  Watch out Victoria.  I'm on the heels of your Louboutins....

Mingling with some of the UK crowd out to see the show...!  Cherrio mates!

After the premiere, Carla Gugino and I cheers to her success in both "Watchman" and "RTWM"- not to mention the big Broadway show she is in now, Eugene O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms".  She left that night to start tech on the show.  I mean... she's so lazy.  

Out in the country for a Pimm's and some delicious food.  Alex wonders, "where's that blanket?"  It was chilly and thankfully Stella had the foresight to bring one.  Well done Stella.  Well done.

Nothing says The English Countryside more than drinking a strange alcoholic drink that is supposedly good for you, while wrapped in a blanket in the sunshine.  Who's from California?  Uh, that would be table 3.

My trip was much too short... Farewell Hazlebury road.... until next time.

Back in LA, things were heating up!   Omg, that sounds so ridiculous.  I get why people think it sounds glamorous but trust me... it's not.  I was literally in my Gap sweats wondering if a skirt from 9th grade would cut it when thankfully my friend Scott Allgauer lent me a dress from a killer line called Rag and Bone.  I did not want to give it back.  Thank you Scott!  And thank you Marcus Wainwright and David Neville for creating such fabulous clothes.  You helped avoid a paisley print disaster in the "what were they thinking?" column.    

Garry Marshall and I kick it on the carpet.  He dressed up and sported a stylin' hair cut on the carpet before stealing all the comedic scenes in the movie.  Love him.

Work it, work it, own it, own it- FIERCE - Tyra Mail!  .... then someone yells out, "who are you???"  (see recent statement about "glamour")

Brokedown Cadillac gets busy on the carpet singing some tunes...

AnnaSophia Robb.  The prettiest alien girl I know.  I literally look like an aboriginee in this photo.  Can someone tone down the spray tan please?  Good lord...

Tom Everett Scott and I mingle.  Im still too tan for the indoors but it was sort of dark in there and I don't think he noticed.  See , here's one the the greatest publicity mysteries revealed.  Too tan inside = perfect red carpet color.  This is valuable information that most Hollywood types would not admit to.  But I'm doing it.  For you.  So the moral of the story is, you have to choose folks.  You either look great in an online photo... or like Spray Tan Barbie to handsome actors inside the event.  Clearly I made my decision.  And I think I should apologize to Tom.  
Ahh.  Nothing says love like the actor/director relationship.  I am currently in film school for this very reason....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Hey Goose, you big stud!"

 "Take me to bed or loose me forever!"
Some more pictures from an amazing trip all around... black and white and men uniform never hurt a shot.
I got creative with my new camera, bought on base.  Luckily I had willing subjects.

Here I am in a bomb suit.  This space type thing is what they wear to dimantle bombs.  It weighs 90 lbs., which lets just say is a good portion of my weight.  I felt like I was in one of those sumo suits and I fell down Id never be able to get up.  Imagine wearing that thing in 130 degree weather.  Cuz they do.. the helmets have air conditioning built in!
WOAH Rach!  Who let her have a canon...!!??
Calm down there Private Benjamin....  great pic. :)
While at the palace, enjoy such activities as golf!  There was a driving range devised by the gentlemen who worked there and we did pretty well!  If you need to know what to send the troops stationed at Camp Victory, send range balls.  That's all I'm saying.
So, for this shoot I'm thinking us, the desert, and a military man with a plaque.  Genius!  It's genius!  right there!  That's it... I'm not even shooting you darlings!  Yes!  That's it!  Smile with your eyes... yes! 
Loving on America.
Ok.. So here we are shooting some rifles.  well... some M240 Bravos and such, but potato/potato.  Now, Ive really only shot blanks before, having been in the movie biz most of my life (and having, strangely enough played characters who shoot their fathers and whatnot on the Hallmark channel) but when in Rome as the saying goes... This was very cool.  We are not shooting at people but targets- to be clear.  We were given specific safety instructions and gear.  As you can see my trusty teacher is actually holding my helmet up for me because it was too big and when I laid down I couldn't see a damn thing.  I felt very manly afterwards.  Didn't do too bad either.
After a long day of shooting machine guns and singing pictures you just want to cut loose.  Tie one on with some non-alcoholic beer and really get in with the locals, right?  So we went to Tuesday night line dancing.  Electric slide and all.  But of course, DeAnna had to step it up a notch.  Blindfolded line dancing after being spun around 10 times.  The girl is a masochist for fun.  And I looked redonkulous par usual.  And sort of like the chick from Watcher in the Woods, that scary Disney movie from the 80's... uh..  anyone?  Bueller?
Rachel, DeAnna, Brian (our tour manager, guide, mentor, and personal Creeper) and me on the Iran border.  Ahh.. the sights!  The smells!  Were no different than everywhere else we've been!  But it makes for a nice picture anyway.
I mentioned in an earlier post about the cards and letters sent by kids... most of which make you want to tear your heart out and have an emotional breakdown... occasionally there are funny ones too like this one below.  Genius.
The three of us came to meet the General but to our dismay he was out.  So we decided to take some pics in his office to leave for him.  Seriously, I think DeAnna accidently called Japan.  Shh.  That phone bill is gonna be high.  Someone should have gotten a 5 for 5 plan Sir.
Dad, seriously.  Smile!
Deanna and I on the Blackhawk creeping it out and posing.  oh , by the way... another term- Creeper.  Its a noun, verb, adjective or adverb.  Thats the beauty of it.  It can mean moving in close... feeling out a situation... getting involved or psyched up.. or it can mean general creepy-ness.  Feel free to try it out in your own personal situations.  I'll go first.  "Man, I love these Blackhawk rides!  I could creep up in these all day!"  or... "DeAnna, why are you being such a creeper this morning? You're creepin out!"  also a personal fave, adding the word into popular lexicon such as,  "Hey! Creep it real!", "Creep it down" and my personal fave, "If you like then you shoulda put a creep on it!"  Just because.  Try it.  You'll like it.
Speaking of creepy... we stayed in Saddam's hunting lodge for 4 nights and this was the living room right outside of our door.. if you look at it you might remember this is where he did his final television interview.  Thats the creepy part.  Not the dudes in the chairs.  They were just there and very accommodating to my documentary picture taking.  And not creepy for the record.
We got to take a tour of the palace, which was really cool.  This was on the same property where we stayed and was a large mansion build by Saddam after the Iran/Iraq war.  the money the US government gave him as food money for his people was used instead to build this opulent palace. Nice right?  Anyway, he was so impatient that he killed many architects who wouldn't get the job done fast enough so they started building it with shoddy craftsmanship to literally keep their heads.  Going through it now, there are many panels falling off.. the heavy chandeliers are sometimes hanging by chicken wire (like the large one behind us)... its insane.  Now the US government uses it for a headquarters.
This is very famous chair given to Saddam by Yasir Arafat.  The black and white checks in the small area under the arabic lettering are to represent his headdress.  Many soldiers have sat on this chair and taken pictures, just like me.  It's truly a historical symbol.
I had an amazing time and I thank everyone that made it possible from Pro Sports MVP, Brian Lee, and my comrades, Rachel and DeAnna.  The best part was saying hello to all our servicemen and women and thanking them for all they do.  They bust their butts everyday in harsh environments around the world to look out for our best interests.  Whatever your beliefs about war or our political climate, the reality is we live in an imperfect and chaotic world, and the lives our men and women live over there away from their own families indirectly and directly benefit us and our quality of life here in America.  It's very difficult to judge or form a belief about a situation you haven't seen with your own eyes, and certainly about the people who give their lives to be there.  So I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It was incredible, rewarding and enlightening.  I can't wait to go back.