I have had a busy couple of weeks! I am now working with two new agencies, Abbey Lynn Models (for print) and CESD (for print and parts). I had my first parts casting for CESD this morning at Donna Grossman (Donna seems to always have the best vibe! Love going there..). Lots of people were there but that's how it goes!! We had to make a heart with our hands and as hearts go, mine was looking pretty good. Job done. :)
I have my first casting for Abbey on Monday so things are moving along!
On the acting front I am feeling a little antsy. I have a great new agent, Susan Wright at Ann Wright Reps but we haven't gotten going... YET. I suspect great things are to come.. I am just ready for them to get here! :)
On a more practical front I am finishing up the last couple weeks of the weekly writing group I attend at The Torn Page in Chelsea. It has been my lifeline to artists in New York. Led by the incomparable
José Rivera, the group features talented writers and actors who read and speak to each other's work. I have met some of my favorite New York people there and am sad we are about to go on hiatus but.. I will have it to look forward to for Spring.
Monday I got to experience something really fantastic. I was (AM!) part of an Ad campaign for the new 1WTC observatory opening May 29th.
As I walked to the site, my first time going in to one of the new WTC structures, I couldn't help but remember when my room-mate Alene came banging on my door in LA to tell me what was happening. I'd moved out of NYC the year before and felt like most of us I suspect, like the world was crumbling. I suspect the towers falling was the JFK moment of my generation. The super 8 in slow motion moment where you know nothing will ever be the same.
So flash forward all these years. I have been in a film about 9/11 called 8:46 (available on Netflix) and I am now about to be a part of a campaign designed in part to show the world how far we have come. Spectacularly meaningful for me.
The observatory is nothing short of magical. I wish I could describe it in full detail but the press is being given in a purposeful manner. What I CAN say is that the elevator alone will blow your mind. It goes from zero to the 102nd floor in 47 seconds but to give you a hint, the best thing about it will appeal most to the people who love New York. It is an EXPERIENCE.
The other thing I suspect I am allowed to speak to is that the views are fabulous. I kept commenting to my fellow models that it felt like being in an airplane. You know what you are looking at is real yet you just can't believe it.
The One World Observatory opens May 29th. In lieu of a photo of the venue (not allowed!) I am incl. a photo of myself with my fellow model and new friend Kimberley Scott :).
We definitely had a good day. Didn't escape us how lucky we were to be amongst the first to experience the top of One World Trade!
Really excited to announce that I am playing a femme fatale a la 1940's in a new media SAG project. I have played starlets from the 40's and 50's in re-enactments on AMC and TLC and later this month will be doing a still shoot of a similar nature for a new project called Ackerman & Associated in NYC... so I am well versed in the genre. :)
What is awesome about this particular project is that it is not just stills but also VO and dialogue- I get to experience my inner femme fatale in a whole new way.
The audition process was quite fun. I was going in as a model for a test shoot while they were looking for "THE" girl but the CD said they might have me run a few lines. I didn't know the scope of the project but understood she was stylized so I went in with my best Lauren Bacall in the back of my mind. There turned out to be three pages of dialogue. I read them completely cold with a little Bacall swag and got the part!
More on the project to come..
It was a cool shoot in that we got to walk through the tunnels underground that brought us from hair and make-up on 82nd to where we were shooting around 84th!
The tunnels connect you to office spaces and employee lockers but the halls are lined with dozens of cool photos from yesteryear and an occasional sculpture with a piece missing! Very cool stuff.
Here is one of the pics from the tunnels...!
I am back from my sabbatical and back to work!!
Just before going abroad I went in for the fabulous Judy Keller of Judy Keller Casting. Judy was incredibly supportive and separated herself from the pack of casting directors I've met prior who say I need to do comedy, name shows I should be on and then as they themselves are not working on those projects, that's where the conversation ends.
Judy became my first real champion. She made calls on my behalf and now that I am back I have started to meet with the representation she referred me to!
I am now with Media Artists Group for management and I meet with a great commercial agent next week (who I have now been referred to by two casting directors- the second of which is with one of the biggest commercial casting houses in the country).. I will name the name once I am officially working with them:). AND I have a legit meeting at the end of the month. I couldn't be more excited.
It feels REALLY good to have someone championing me.
However far I go I will always remember the first person who said - you know what? Let me make some calls.
Moving on I have already gone in for a casting director I had never met, Brette Goldstein and the audition was fun. It was all dramatic improv, something I love love love. One more CD who knows my name is one more step in the right direction. 2015 feels great already.
On Friday I leave for a short three week trip to Kenya. I love Kenya for it's people, for it's energy and for it's LIFE. This will be my third trip and I am SO looking forward to it!
I will be working on a photo project, volunteering for a couple children's homes that I love and perhaps most importantly, blogging for We Want Peace.
From the We Want Peace website:
Follow me!! @LelaWeWantPeace!!
Just a little announcement that I am going to Kenya the first three weeks of December!!
i will be doing a variety of things perhaps most notably of which is blogging for We Want Peace. We Want Peace is an organization started by Emmanuel Jal, a former Sudanese child soldier who has dedicated his life to the mission of spreading peace. Emmanuel can be seen actually in "The Good Lie" which is currently in select theaters co-starring with Reese Witherspoon. I will be photographing/interviewing one person per week who is doing good work on the ground and the result will be on the WWP website and pushed out thru various social media sources. Very excited about it as there is little better than getting a forum to speak to good work done being done!!
I will be doing a few other things all of which are in development but I will leave you with some photos of me and a wee one I fell in love with in 2008. I just found out I will be seeing her on the 1st and photographing the children's home she lives in. They are a very small non-profit and can use photographs for their website and Facebook etc. In addition to the photographs I will of course also be bringing toys!! Toys and educational supplies. Can't wait.
Today I have to say was a good day. I booked a print gig for Toys R' Us for Friday and I got a callback on a SAG commercial audition (from yesterday) for tomorrow. Good things.. good things..
I have my eye on the prize of consistently working in all the fields that inspire me.. film, television, print and photography.. and possibly news. I tested for a job I want more than most anything about two weeks ago that is news related. It is a dream job for me. That's all I think I will say on it until I find out what's what.
Regardless of how that turns out though (crossing fingers.. crossing fingers) the Editor-In-Chief of Blackbook magazine and I have discussed collaborating on their news section for a new layout he is in the process of creating which is really exciting. If anyone is curious to see some of my photographic work you can go to THIS LINK or to see my latest Blackbook piece click HERE!
Sometimes New York can be a grind for me. I miss the trees and mountains and ocean in LA. But I have to admit New York is ripe with opportunity and creative outlets and inspiration. In the last month I have attended a ball to benefit the GMHC, attended the opera by accident whilst walking through Lincoln Center (it was FANTASTIC), I have seen great film, gone to the Museum of the City of New York and worked on some great projects not to mention have been surrounded by the most prolific talented artists. It can be pretty great:)
Now if we could only get the temperature to cool down..!
.. wearing this outfit!! A classic beer garden frock.
We were recreating an Oktoberfest celebration- was SO MUCH fun!!
And it's going to enable me to check off one of the genres I have always wanted to work in! I've always thought it would be fun to work on the set of a horror movie and a Christmas movie. Yes I said it.
This is the former.
I originally auditioned for a key character in the piece and I wanted the part bad. There was something about the energy in the room when I auditioned. There were two actors from the previous installment of the series who had shown up to rehearse and my audition was mostly improv. There was a feeling of collaboration and comraderie I really liked so when the director said the part was mine to lose I was like, YES!! Then.. I lost it. He said through the camera I read too young to play the mom of the girl already cast as my daughter. He wanted to offer me something so I was set to play the part of a reporter.
This last week I was asked my availability for this coming weekend and was psyched to get working. Hadn't seen the sides so followed up and followed up and today found out the Director is replacing the actress who got that original part.. with me!
Great news except I don't know if I will be playing one scene, two, three.. if all the scenes will be shot this weekend, etc. Sides are set to come tomorrow and I will be off the to races!
I am happy to be working. Happy to get to work on a horror flick. Happy to be getting out of town (we shoot in PA).
Now if I could only stop eating the cookie dough I've been consuming at an alarming rate since returning from LA. I'd like to fit into my wardrobe:)!!
I have been getting more print than anything as of late. I played a mom to an eight year old last week and next week I have a couple castings for my hands (I am an occasional hand model). The great thing about this kind of work.. is that it keeps you working.
Tomorrow I am working on a comedic short "Talking Heads", that centers around the filming of a reality show or as Oprah would say a docuseries (I have been watching the Lindsay Lohan show on OWN;). My scenes involve dealing with a high maintenance participant. Can't wait to get on set!
I'd assumed I didn't book the VO audition I posted about earlier this month as I hadn't heard. Happy to report I see producers on Monday! Really happy about this one as I had a particularly good time with the material. I left thinking I liked the material, I liked the vibe in the room and it reaffirmed for me my interest in pursuing VO work. Great to have the affirmation. YAY:)
I miss LA desperately and wouldn't be surprised if I ended up back at some point but... New York is so rich with opportunities to be inspired! Last night I went to the SAG shorts showcase. There was a wonderful showing of support for the artists and some really interesting work.
This weekend I go to a screening at MOMA of a documentary a friend produced Purgatorio and Monday I go to a reading of Jose Rivera's "The Last Book of Homer" which is at a great creative space called the Torn Page that another friend co-founded. It seems there are endless plays, readings, screenings, talks to go to in New York at any time. I keep intending to do a month at Actors Access but my schedule has been filled with going out to see amazing work. It's a good problem to have.