The Death of the Website Blogpost

Oh, I had such high hopes of updating this website every month – heck, every week or every day with new news!! But instead, it seems to have become once a year. Wow, wait to stick to your goals, Elaine.

So, I’ve decided to just own the fact that I will not be doing this anymore. Or rather, I will not be pretending to do this anymore. Instead, I will update this site when I send out my Bi-annual~ish Newsletter. The newsletter contains all my relevant news and happens 1-3 times a year. And then I can just copy and paste like the true lazy procrastinator I am!! Hooray!!

Thank you for reading this. And if you’re reading this, why? There hasn’t been any new news here for almost a year!! 🙂

Film Festivals Galore

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since 2015. Shame, shame on Internet Elaine. The good news is that Real Life Elaine has been fairly busy and that’s why she forgot to post. That and laziness, procrastination, depression, and apathy. So, yay!

Here’s some good news that came out of this past year. My film, “Gratuitous Violence”, was accepted to FOUR festivals since the start of 2016. Pretty baller if you ask me. I love the validation, the celebration, all of it. But it’s so frightening to me that the topic (gun violence and the media) remains strikingly relevant. I feel like every time I turn on the news, there’s another mass shooting. (Or a bigot/racist/opportunist who wants to be President spewing hatred and xenophobia. Think there’s a connection?)

Anyway, here’s a list of our upcoming screenings. Please come support me, my film, independent film in general, or popcorn in particular. Thank you!!!! This film was only possible because of the hundreds of backers who helped fund it. Pretty special.

 

LA Indie Film Festival

Friday, March 4, 9:30pm
Let Live Theatre
916 N. Formosa Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

 

Pasadena International Film Festival

Sunday, March 6, 4pm
Laemmle Playhouse 7 Movie Theatre
673 East Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101

 

NoHo Cinefest

Sunday, March 20, 1pm
Laemmle NoHo 7
5420 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

 

First Glance Film Festival

April 15-17 – exact screening time not set yet – please check website
for more details
Regal Cinemas
1000 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Now THAT’S how you start the year!

I booked two jobs back to back and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. Seriously. This business is so competitive, demoralizing, and tough. But then you book two jobs and you think, “You know, I could actually do this. I could be a SUPERSTAR!!!!!”. Wait, ego check needed.

The only way to survive being an actor is to try to find some way to live between the utter demoralization and the delusions of grandeur. Finding the middle ground is the name of the game. But until I find that middle ground, I’m going to coast on the joy before I have my next shitty audition!! Yay!!

On the set of “Jane the Virgin”, just a few days after Gina Rodriguez won the Golden Globe!! The lovely Jane Seymour (aka Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) was a fellow guest cast member. And, to top it off, my former TV mom, Joanna Kerns of Growing Pains fame, was the director of the episode!

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A quick photo with David Walton, star of “About a Boy” and fellow Brown alum!

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Vacation Pants Needed

I can’t believe it’s the end of 2014. Where did the year go? How did I get so old? How did I get so fat? Ugh, Christmas eating!!!

The great thing about being home in Massachusetts for two weeks is getting away from the bustle of Los Angeles and getting into the bustle of family and friends. I’m more exhausted than when I’m working!! But, I’m also incredibly happy to spend time with people who love me that I don’t get to see nearly often enough. I helped my grandparents make a donation to their church online. The look of amazement on their faces that you can do anything on “that computer” was priceless. In LA, everyone else is smarter than me at technology. Here, I am a wizard.

But I’ve still found time to be a little bit Hollywood. Today, I did my annual “Year End Wrap Up”. Each year, I sit down and make a list of all of my actor activity. It helps me suss out why I felt so busy, reminds me that I actually was productive, and helps me think about my goals for the next year. I thought I’d share some of the milestones:

  • 39 theatrical (TV/Film) auditions
  • 14 commercial auditions
  • 19 acting class meetings
  • 22 production/writing meetings
  • 12 actor accountability group meetings
  • 47 coachings (that’s me coaching other people)
  • 15 casting director workshops
  • BOOKINGS: 4 television shows, 2 web series, 2 commercials, 1 theater show, 2 readings
  • SELF CREATED PROJECTS: Real Make Believe, Gratuitous Violence (in progress), Accents for Actors, and 2 scenes for my new reel (in progress)
  • Total hours spent on just the above listed activities: 761 hours! (Which is the equivalent of 19 weeks of working a full-time job)
  • Money spent on acting career and projects: $13,642!!!!!
  • Money made on acting career and projects: Um…. 🙂

Just wanted to break it down and share the honest truth with you. Hope you enjoyed. Now, back to pigging out. Mmm, caramel apple pie. It’s good to be home.

The good and the bad… but really, it’s all good.

It’s amazing to me how much can change in a few short months. And really, nothing on the outside has changed, it’s just my mindset. Let me explain.

1) I finished production of the film I wrote with my partner and we are now in the editing process. The four days of filming were so long and hard – but also so rewarding. Our DP was awesome, our actors were phenomenal, and everything went according to schedule. Simply amazing. But, when you put a bunch of high achievers together for four 12 hour days, a lot of egos come into play and some of them get bruised. Without going into too much detail of who did what, let’s just say that there were some disagreements on set. Some were about how things should be done and some were simply because we were all cranky after working all day. But you know what – I kept it together. I did my best to ensure that people felt treated well, that their contributions were important to us, and that their opinions were heard. The more that I focused on other people, the less I focused on myself, and thus the happier I actually felt. It is so good to be in my 30’s and have a little perspective. And yes, an actress admits to being over 30 years old!! You may now call me Zen Master Elaine.

2) I booked a commercial job that should begin airing nationally any day now. I expected it to be a super easy day on set. There was only a little dialogue, I was the star of the spot, and the director seemed to really like me at the audition. OH BOY, NO. Nothing I did was right or good enough. We went about an hour over at our location because they didn’t think I was doing a good job. In all honesty, if they had more money and time to reshoot, I think they would have fired me. So, there was some crying, some griping, some trying to figure out how it all went wrong, and definitely some thoughts of quitting acting all together. But then the sadness passed. And I’m still here to fight it out in this crazy industry we call “entertainment”. Zen Master Elaine says, “It doesn’t really matter why it happened. It just did. And now it’s over. Move on.” Yup. And be grateful that it didn’t happen on a bigger set, on a bigger job, with bigger stars… because then I might have cried in front of everyone and that’s way worse than crying in my car on the drive home. Why do I share this? Because too often I think we only see the posts that emphasize the spectacular things in our lives. Bad things happen too. So, honesty.

3) I booked a guest star on the Dreamworks series “Richie Rich”. I couldn’t do it because I was shooting my movie. Again, bad and good.

4) I booked a co-star on the new show starring Kate Walsh, “Bad Judge”. I shoot tomorrow!! Some of my lines have been cut since the audition. Good then bad. But mostly good (see blog post title).

Gratuitous Violence – my new film

Well, I’m at it again. This creativity thing is pretty cool, I gotta say. I feel happy all the time. OK, my neck still hurts, traffic drives me insane, and the fly that snuck inside when my screen door was open might make my head explode… BUT, I still feel happy all the time. I know that the change in my life is in large part attributed to taking some power in my own hands and creating the projects that I not only WANT to act in, but that are also incredibly important to me. The latest project that I’ll be filming in mid-July is Gratuitous Violence. I’m in the middle of a fundraising campaign for it, and this is the part that I love/hate the most. I love it because the outpouring of support truly lifts my heart in a way that is indescribable. I hate it because every unsubscribe from my newsletter feels like a little icicle in my heart. I know it’s not personal. Hell, I hate emails too! But sometimes it’s hard to remember that people take action from what they are thinking, not from what I am thinking.

Anyway, this is the video that is going out today to help fund my campaign.

Setting up my own screening

So, I submitted my short film, “YAWN – It’s Catching!” to a bunch of film festivals and I don’t find out if I got in until July. But why wait until then for someone else to tell me whether or not my film is good enough? I’m having pre-emptive self-righteousness!!! And that’s why I decided to set up my own screening. But it seemed a little self-indulgent (and quite honestly, expensive) to get everyone out for a 5 and a half minute film. And thus, the “We Made This” Underground Not-Festival was born. I gotta say, I’m pretty proud of it. I recruited seven other filmmakers to participate, I found the location, I handled the finances, and I even made this gorgeous flyer. Why did it take me over two hours to design this little beauty? Because I’m dumb. Productive, but kinda dumb!

 

"We Made This" Underground Not-Festival
“We Made This” Underground Not-Festival

Show me the money!!

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Jeez, it is hard to figure out how to get funding for your film. Just spent the last few hours researching grants and getting nowhere. And when I say researching grants, I am using that term lightly. What I mean is that it is difficult to do an internet search that leads you to any useful information. Many of the sites I found take you to some sort of organization that says they will give you access to grants, and grant history, and advice, and… (ad nauseam here)… but they will charge you a FEE. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of trying to find funding?

I decided to write this post to share my difficulty, just in case there are other filmmakers out there who are feeling similarly frustrated. I will update this with hopefully positive information as it unfolds.

But, to end on a happy note, I will say that I am so excited to be writing and producing my second film, working title, “Gratuitous Violence”. My writing partner and I finished our first complete draft last week, and I gotta say, it was thrilling. I’ve had a lot of runaround in my brain, trying to figure out if I’m “successful”, if I’m living the life I want, if I’m good enough. Well, in recent months, I feel like I’ve figured out what makes me happy – and in a nutshell, it’s being creative. So, if I’m not getting enough auditions, or enough bookings, or what-have-you, I can still feel successful simply by creating a product that fulfills ME. Now somebody fund THAT!!