Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another Month is Coming to an End.

Two days have gone by and I haven’t heard anything about ER. My hope is that the same thing that happened the last couple of times, will happen this time, in that for some reason there was a delay in production, and it took them longer than usual to get around to calling folks. I guess another good scenario would be that they’re saving me for a larger role, which would REALLY be cool. This waiting game, I know it all too well.

As for the Student Film I auditioned for last week, it doesn’t seem like anything is going to materialize from that. I guess that should have been expected. It’s very weird, I’ve ALWAYS kept myself in the talent books that they use at the Universities. I’ve gone in and auditioned for the directing classes at USC on several occasions. I was a member of the American Film Institute (AFI) for quite some time. I submit myself for all of the Indie Projects (little pay or no pay) that I think I’m right for, and for the life of me nothing ever happens from these. I can honestly say that I can count on two hands how many times I’ve actually auditioned for a Student Film, and on one hand how many times I’ve actually worked on one. I’ve NEVER auditioned for an AFI film, and as for Indie Projects, I've worked on just a couple. I don’t know what it is. I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad though. I would feel worse if it were the other way around, if I couldn’t get auditions for paying gigs!

Tomorrow night, my husband and I will be going to opening night of FOR COLORED GIRLS in Hollywood, the play that my friend Tann is in, and the play that is also being produced and directed by the Talent Manager I’ve been wooing as of late. It should be fun. It has been years since I’ve been to stage production. (Sad huh?)

So it's official, May 15th is the date that I’ve set for myself. It is the day that I will go on Maternity Leave from my day job, the day I will shut down my web design services (not sure if I ever mentioned that, in addition to everything else, I ALSO design websites in my spare time:, and the day I’m booking myself out with my agents. In all honesty, I can’t wait. I’m tired. I need to rest, regroup, and just take care of my family and myself for a minute. I’ll still be doing some odds and ends, so you’ll see my face, but the pace I’m going at right now, will most definitely change. I'm hoping to resurface around July 1st.

Last, but most certainly not least, my girl Tanika booked an AFI gig yesterday! Woo-who. Gwone Girl! I’m so happy for her. I get really amped when I see fellow actors doing well. I’m one of those people that makes an effort to be as supportive as I can for all that are in this struggle. I’ve seen it from so many angles: as an actor, as an agent, as an agent’s assistant, as a manager’s assistant, and as a stage mom, so I have so much support for those who wake up each and every day and continue to pursue this dream. Just ask those actor friends of mine who are on my e-mail list...:)...If I get it, they get it. I’ve gotten so much feedback from people who’ve had great opportunities and experiences from something that I sent to them. It makes me feel really good. Anyway, enough with the stroking of my own ego, check out Tanika’s Blog for more information about her booking. She can tell the story much better than I can...:)...

I’m out...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

VO Audition - 3/29/06 - KFC & TOYOTA & ANT BULLY (Animated Film)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

March IS Madness!

Producers Session (Straight to Callbacks) - 3/28/06 - ER

Excellent! Very cool. After 8.5 years in the City of Angels, I finally get to audition for John Levey Casting. Who knew that March would be such a great month for me?


The power of the internet! Okay, so I decided last week that I would track down my High School Drama Teacher, and send him an e-mail letting him now how much his influence meant to me in the first stages of my “acting career” back in 1990 (*gasp*), and to let him know that I’m still in pursuit of that dream. Low and behold, with just a few clicks of a button (and one click of my mouse), I had an e-mail address for him. I sent him my e-mail, and over the weekend, he replied back with some very encouraging words. He informed me that of the many things he does now, most non-acting related, he’s a participant in the Florida Thespian Festival, in which he said he thought I’d be a “great workshop leader.” (I guess he read about my recent festival experience, which could be why he mentioned it.) He went on to say that “plans for 2006 have been finalized, but he will try to get me and the state director in touch to see if something would develop for 2007.” That would be really cool. It looks like this festival thing might be something I could do in between acting gigs to make some cash, should I decide to leave the day job.

Speaking of Festivals, I just turned down another one for late next month, this time for middle schoolers. Shakespeare again. Drats! That would have been cool to see their interpretation of his words. I remember I was around their age (12 or 13) when I had my first experience with Shakespeare. The summer acting school I begged my parents to send me to, held a Shakespeare in the Park Festival, in which all of us kids dressed up in smelly leotards, scratchy cloaks, and old itchy wigs. We pranced around a park on probably one of the hottest summer days Albuquerque has ever seen, spewing words that we, for the most part, had no clue what they meant. But, through the sweat and dehydration, I think we were able to do a darn good job. Well, at least our parents thought so.

This past Saturday I attended another CD Seminar. This time sponsored by AIA Studios and The Academy Players Directory. I usually don’t go to things like this because they seem like yet another ploy to take more money from “us”. However, surprisingly enough, this event was FREE, and they were to have some big CD’s there, so I decided to take my chances. The event was at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences/Pickford Center in Hollywood. Let me tell you, they don’t play there. I felt like I was at the airport. They screened us all, searched our purses and bags. We were told no food or drink while we were waiting outside, but I figured things would be cool, so I didn’t make any attempt to trash a clementine I had stashed in my purse. The security guy tripped when he saw it. He was like, “You can take it back to your car, or you can trash it!” I’m thinking, dude, I’m like 7 ½ months pregnant, is there no way I can take a baby orange inside with me in case my sugar drops or something?!? I mean, we were going to be inside for three hours. Crazy! Anyway, I didn’t fight it, I just told him to throw it away, and I continued on inside. Once inside, I met up with Tasia, and a friend of hers. We shot the breeze while we waited for the panel to get started.

The lineup consisted of:

Katy Wallin, CSA (She was the moderator, and is the President and Founder of AIA Studios.
April Webster, CSA (Lost/Alias)
Chemin Bernard, CSA (Martin/Moesha)
Mindy Marin, CSA (Face Off/The Family Stone)
Pamela Rack Guest, CSA (Big Trouble in Little China/Heaven or Vegas)
Wendy O’brien, CSA (Lackawanna Blues/The Longest Yard)
Peggy Kennedy (24/Chicago Hope)

So, all in all, some pretty good people to hear from. It was the usual. They talked about their past, present, and future in the business. They answered the standard, “How do actors get to know you as CD’s?” and “Do you use online services?” questions. They shared heartfelt stories from their life experiences, provided some advice for us, and then we were done. No mingling with them (at least none that I saw), and no collecting of our headshots and resumes.

Later that night, I had every intention of driving back out to Hollywood for a screening of Tasia’s new short film called “LET'S TALK,” (Remember the one I auditioned for last year, and failed miserably?) but my body was saying something completely different.

So that brings me to today. The ER audition. I’m hyped. I was told the scene would be with Sally Field. I have not watched that show in years, so last night I did a little research about her character so I could find out who she is in relation to the rest of the cast. I mean it’s a co-starring role, and maybe I go a little bit overboard with these things sometimes, but I strongly believe that it’s beneficial for me as an actor to know who I’m speaking to and why. It allows me to play with various levels of my voice and inflection as I recite the line or line(s) a bazillion times. As a result, when I go in I’m usually off book, and comfortable with what I need to say. I trip out on those actors who have the ability, or in most cases THINK they have the ability, to come in, grab the sides, scan over them, then proclaim, “Okay, I’m ready!” (I tried that once, and it backfired. See above.) I mean if that works for some people cool, but for me, if I have the time to prepare, I make sure that I do.

With that being said, wish me luck today!

Signing off...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I'm sure you think I'm writing this on my laptop from my trailer on the set of JERICHO right?

Well, unfortunately the answer to that question is double no, because they released me last evening, and because I don't own a laptop!

The call came in at around 6:00pm. From what my agent says, at the last minute they couldn't find anything for me, but they'd definitely try to get me in to tape something before I have my baby.

That's still fantabulous news, so I'll be keeping my fingers, arms, legs, and eyes crossed! And I hope you'll do the same on my behalf...:)...

Have a Happy Hump Day!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Let's Spring Forward!...

USC Student Film Audition – 3/20/06 - A FISTFUL OF SUSHI

A lot has happened since last I wrote!

Last Wednesday wound up being a 13 hour day for me, and it took me days to recover from it.

I went to work and got started on a couple of projects before heading out to my first audition of the day. It was for a co-starring role in a pilot called JERICHO. I was first up, and everything went very well. The CD, Sherry Thomas (1/2 of the Bialy/Thomas duo), and her assistant Tiffany, were really sweet and seemed to enjoy my read. Sherry told me that they’d be booking from tape, and the role would shoot on Friday OR Saturday. The weekend came and went, so of course I assumed the project had went on without me, that is until about an hour ago. My theatrical agent called to say that I had been placed on AVAIL for this Wednesday (3/22) to work on the show. The role I had auditioned for had been written out, but they were looking for another role for me. Okay, now this is the first time this has EVER happened to me. I feel like I’ve won the lottery. I am sooo happy right now!...I’ll post more news about this as I get details.

So, going back to last Wednesday, after the JERICHO audition, I stopped off at a mailbox to send out my postcards for the GREY’S ANATOMY airing, and then headed back to work. (By the way, I take back my previous endorsement of STAPLES printing. I will only go back there IF I’m in complete desperation.)

After work, I went to my VO AUDITION in West Hollywood, which went well, and then headed downtown. Downtown, you might ask? Early Wednesday morning I’d gotten an e-mail from the Talent Manager I’ve been trying to meet with forever, asking me to come downtown to her rehearsal space so that we could have a general meeting. Of course, even though I was exhausted, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity. She is currently producing and directing FOR COLORED GIRLS (a play I did in Albuquerque 10 years ago) at the Stella Adler in Hollywood. The rehearsal space, however, is downtown. I arrived at around 5pm, met her, and much of the cast, and just hung out for two hours. It was a really cool experience. I got to see her work, and we were able to get a “feel” for each others personality. As I left she had me promise to contact her soon (before, or just after, the baby) to set up a real audition. I promised, and then headed home.

I spent the rest of the week promoting my appearance on GREY’S ANATOMY, and taking care of personal stuff.

So last night rolled around, and I was very nervous! The last time I’d taped an episode of GREY’S ANATOMY, I was cut out. Just after 7:00pm I got a call from my mom (who lives on the East Coast) telling me she’d just seen me. Whew!...

My scene was one of the first one’s, right before the first commercial break and credits. I thought I looked good, which is another relief. I was nervous about that too. (Remember my trepidation about the small scrubs?) Unfortunately though they cut out most of what I said, but it’s all good, because I’m on the list for residuals should it re-air this summer!...:)...

Today I stayed at home from my day job because my hip has been bothering me the last couple of days. I know it has something to do with the baby, and the weight I’ve gained, so I just gotta take some Tylenol (the only drug a pregnant woman can take) and try to get through the pain.

This afternoon, I drove out to USC to audition for a Student Film. It went well, we did some improv, and I talked to them about an idea my husband and I had in mind for the character they had me auditioning for. It would tape next weekend (4/1 & 4/2) should I get it.

I remember saying a couple of posts ago, that I was going to start slowing down this month.
Okay, maybe next month…

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I honestly can not REMEMBER...

The last time I had two auditions in one day! Well, it's happening tomorrow, and boy am I glad. Overwhelmed, to say the least, but very glad! I gotta do some juggling with my schedule, but it's all good. I'll be at both of them with bells on!!

Pilot Audition - 3/15/06 - JERICHO (My first pilot of the year AND my first time in this casting office.)

VO Audition - 3/15/06 - HOME DEPOT & DEF JAM 3 (vg)


Monday, March 13, 2006

And the winner is...

Friday morning I was up unusually early again. 5:00am to be exact! I had to drive out to Ontario from the West Side (which is where I live) to judge the International Theatre Honor Society Festival. All judges had to check in by 7:00am, which meant I couldn’t leave my house any later than 6:00am!...

I arrived just after 7:00am, got checked in, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and raced to my assigned room just as they were about to get started. (Actually, I think they were waiting for me. Oops!)

Anyway, I had signed up to judge the callbacks for DUET ACTING (two person scenes). As the first scene started, I scrambled to get my bearings, and began jotting down notes. The pacing was really fast! Each scene was at most 5 minutes long, and during that time, we had to WATCH the scene, jot down notes (keeping in mind that the kids WILL BE reading these), score them overall, and then be ready to move onto the next scene. It sounds easy, but somewhere between the second and third scene, I began to wonder what I’d gotten myself into!

I pulled it together though. We got through all 13 scenes, and I actually ended up having a lot of fun. I couldn’t believe how many of the scenes I recognized, either as ones I’d done before, or ones I’ve SEEN done before. At any rate, the kids were really good. So good in fact, it was hard for us judges to decide on the top 3 once the room was cleared. After about 20 minutes of deliberation, we did, and I was outta there, headed back to Los Angeles where my day job awaited me.

NOTE TO SELF: Although I had a lot of fun on Friday, DO NOT except invitations to judge festivals if they are more than ½ hour away from my home, and/or if I have to get up as early as 5:00am!

It has finally sunk in for me that I’m pushing myself too hard in these last couple of months, after my day of ripping and running on Friday, I had to make an emergency stop at my Dr’s office because I was feeling a lot of pressure, and was worried about the baby. Everything checked out well, and I was ordered to get some bed rest over the weekend. I scaled back for the rest of the day Friday, and tried to limit my activity on Saturday and Sunday. (I’m one of those “Church/Family-all-day-on-Sunday-Christians” so it was hard for me to get as much rest as I should have.)

In other news over the weekend, I e-mailed a girl in production about the possible air date for the GREY’S ANATOMY episode I just did. She told me the episode will air this coming Sunday, March 19th. Wow that was fast! So, last night, I designed two postcards, one for the CD’s here in Los Angeles, and one for the CD’s in New Mexico.

For the past few weeks I’d been doing some research on who could print my postcards for me. While I was out and about with my daughter on Saturday, I dropped by Staples, and they gave me an awesome price quote. I’m going to place my order today, and should get them back some time tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll turn out good. I plan to label, stamp, and mail them out the same day.

Man, ya’ll pray for me, I’ve got A LOT of stuff going on this week, in all areas of my life, and I just don’t know how I’m going to get it all done!...

Peace ‘n Blessings.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thought this tidbit was interesting...

Only because I'd mentioned GREY'S ANATOMY and Natalie Cole in the past week...


Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole fractured her right arm the other day when she slipped and fell on the set of the ABC hit 'GREY'S ANATOMY.' Cole, who will guest-star as a surgical patient, was rushed from the pretend medical hospital to a real one in Encino, Calif. The diagnosis was a break in the radius bone between the wrist and the elbow. Cole returned to the set with her arm in a sling and did her scenes from a bed.

- Excerpt taken from AOL Black Voices: The BV Buzz with Jawn Murray

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Heading into the Home Stretch....

...and I’m oh so TIRED.

I’m almost 7 months pregnant now, and my daily routine is starting to kick my butt. Coming into this week, my energy level has been LOW, LOW, LOW. But before I doze off at my desk, let me tell you how I wrapped things up last week.

On Friday night, I attended the panel discussion with Tann. I am so glad we went. We both kind of had to talk each other into going, because it’d been such a long, exhausting week.

Not only was the discussion really informative, and right on time, I got to meet up with tons of friends. Some old and some new. When we first got there, I was a little unnerved because the panel discussion started an hour late, which reeked havoc on my already swollen ankles. The event was to start at 7:00pm, but they had us stand in the lobby until around 8:00pm or so. Once everyone was ushered in, we were greeted by a couple of film clips, and brief introductions of the 4 panelists. The evening was moderated by this tall light-skinned comedian wannabe, who said that we (as an audience) were certainly as happy as “Robert Deniro would be at an Ebony Fashion Fair Show,” because these ladies had graced us with their presence. It was funny, because it was somewhat true, but he was kinda corny. At any rate, the panelists talked about their past, present, and future, and provided great motivation for actors, writers, and producers alike. It was also great to put faces with names I’ve seen over and over in credits for years.

After the discussion, we were ushered back into the lobby were food, drink, and a DJ had been setup so that we could all mingle. It was great to see all of those black faces, most of which I recognized from one audition or another. I ran into some friends I hadn’t seen in years. Del Hunter-White, if you remember her, I mentioned her back at the start of my blog days, she was the mastermind behind a magnificent short film I was in several years ago called CORNBREAD. (A clip from CORNBREAD is on my demo reel.) She brought with her Nadege Auguste, another friend from long ago, who played my older sister in CORNBREAD. We were able to catch up about life and the other cast members, which was really great.

DJ DeVoe, wow, I may forget a name, but I’ll never forget a face. DeVoe is from the Doughboys Dozens days, way down deep in Leimert Park. Maybe 98 or 99. A young aspiring filmmaker (I’m sorry I can’t remember his name - he has since passed on) used to host a monthly Short Film Festival in which all of these unknown filmmakers and actors would come together to network, screen the films, have a few drinks, and listen to DeVoe spinning records. It was mad cool. On some nights after the Festival, we’d scurry across Crenshaw to Doughboys CafĂ© for late night tea and muffins. I remember going to this event sometimes with Jamie Burton-Oare, another person who I ran into Friday night. It was so good to see her. Jamie and I have known each other since our Bennet Guillory days. He was our acting coach. Among other things, Jamie and I did VOICES OF SHE together in early 2003 right after I had my first daughter, along with Adetoro Makinde who was also there on Friday night. It's because of them I got to work with the ever sensational Ella Joyce, and the remarkable Michael Ealy. I tell you boy, the intricate web Hollywood weaves. If you stay here long enough, you’re sure to meet everyone. I'm fast approaching 9 years this August!

As for my new batch of friends, I ran into Tanika, Tasia, and Frances. All of which looked 100% Hollywood! Gwone Girls!...(I told them I was jealous of the mojitos they were enjoying…:)…I’m not really much of a drinker anymore, because my husband doesn’t drink, but for the last several months, I’ve been craving a margarita something fierce! I’m sure it’s only because I can’t have one.) Anyway, they all had with them a slew of friends, whom I got to meet as well.

Tann and I hit the ladies room just before we jetted for the evening. The bathroom was empty. I'd only gone in to scope myself in the mirror, and just as I was checking my hair, Mara Brok Akil, and I’m going to assume, her assistant, dashed in. “Hi”…she said. “Hi”…I said. And that was it. I know the last place anyone who’s anyone wants to be accosted is in the ladies room, so I left it at that. We’ll meet on a level playing field. Somewhere. Someday. I’m sure.

Still haven’t meet with the manager. We need to reschedule. I found out she manages my dear friend, Tann. Umm, how and why did I not know that?!? Weird. Anyway, Tann was able to give me some inside information about her, which will be nice to know going in.

Yesterday I got a call from my VO agent, she wanted to submit me for a Natalie Cole sound-a-like, but she only had my old VO reel to send out. “Did you ever get your new VO reel done?” she asked. “No, I’m still working on it.” I reply. “Okay, well you need to get that to me ASAP Shenita, I don’t want you to miss out on things.” DOGGONE IT!!!! See, I knew my complacency with that issue was going to come back and bite me in the rear. I was supposed to have the new reel to her last summer, and I’ve been twiddling my thumbs. My old VO reel is like 5 or 6 years old. I sound like a little girl on it. I HAVE to get my new VO reel done immediately!

I’ll be pretty low key this week on the acting front, with the exception of Friday. On Friday morning, I’ll be driving out to judge the Honor Society Festival. I was sent an e-mail yesterday asking if I wanted to judge a Shakespeare Festival late next month. I have until the end of the month to decide. At the rate my body’s going, probably not. It’s a shame too. I miss seeing (and doing) Shakespeare.

To be or not to be, is that REALLY the question?…