Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hi all!

So, I had an incredible adventure last week. Let's just say something was telling me it was time to stretch...my boundaries, my life, my learning...and I thought, what is something in the acting world that is intimidating to me? Improv!

Off I went to an Improv 101 intensive at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC. And what a week. I get into the city Sunday evening (so lucky to have my wonderful and generous brother-in-law and family living there with an extra bed), ready to start class Monday morning. Most folks take this class once per week for 3 hours per week. This intensive was all 8 classes in 1 week. Plus the "graduation" prerequisite of seeing 2 improv shows at a UCB theatre prior to the end of the class run. I was bracing myself.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday classes were from 9-12 and 1-4...I went in Monday morning with slight nerves, but overall calm and ready for whatever was coming my way...open to all. Monday felt great! I didn't feel overwhelmed or intimidated by others at all. Yay! There were folks in the class from all over...I did not win the furthest travelled award this time! Virginia, DC, Nashville all represented...as well as one woman from Hamburg, Germany, and one from the Shetland Islands, Scotland!

[However, after mapping out the kid logistics at home, that didn't go quite as smoothly as planned, so I was getting texts questioning who was going where and when...a bit distracting, I must say. I have now joined care.com to work on finding a solution of consistency when I am gone...because I have a strong feeling I will be going for more training sooner rather than later...]

As the week went on, and more content/rules of improv covered, I started feeling less confident. Went to two shows Tuesday night, and was impressed with how easy the improv teams made it look. Wednesday I went to the 2 UCB classes, plus I squeezed in a CD workshop where I did my prepared scene, and managed to race to the UCB theatre on the lower east side to see 2 more shows. Hey, if I am in NY for this, I may as well immerse completely...!

Thursday class didn't start until 1...but of course, my body wouldn't allow me to sleep in, and some of my class was meeting early to practice. We had a show coming up ourselves, on Saturday! At this point in class...and maybe it was from being so tired...I was starting to question and second guess myself more and more. It was taking a lot of my energy to just try to stay in the moment.

Friday was the same...class at 1, though most of my class that day hired a coach to help us practice...which was fantastic and immensely helpful. Class that day? Still questioning myself, I am afraid.

Friday night was a Ladies' Jam at the UCB Chelsea theatre...you can choose to participate. This didn't even start until midnight (!) I ended up (as I was staying in Brooklyn) meeting my classmate from Shetland, Scotland out at a bar in Williamsburg where we danced to a great rock & roll/blues band, and then we went back into Manhattan together to Ladies' Jam. Once there, if you want to participate, you put your name into the box (ladies only, though anyone was welcome in the audience), stick on a nametag, and have a seat. I didn't even have my butt in the seat when my name was called!

As it turned out, not having time to think was the best thing to happen to me...someone got a suggestion from the audience, one of the Jam leaders initiated a scene, and I found myself facing her and finding lots to say, when I was beginning to be convinced that I was destined to freeze and stutter! It was a BLAST!!! And I am so glad I went up and did that...it was like something clicked inside me and I knew I was okay...and having fun! Plus, there was a dance party between each set. Perfection.

Saturday was our big class show! There were only 14 of us in the class, so we were divided into 2 teams. My team, Mollywood, was up first. One of us went out to receive the suggestion from the audience, then one of us told a real story/personal monologue based on that suggestion. From that monologue, we needed to come up with an idea for a scene. I amazed myself again, by not only thinking of something to say, but initiating the first scene in that set! Initiating was the most intimidating thing to me that entire week. An idea popped into my head, and I just went with it...!
After 3 scenes, another teammate did another monologue, and then we had 3 more scenes based off ideas from that one...and boom! Our team was done!

I have to say, it was an amazing group of people to meet and work with...and the support of each other was phenomenal. I am proud of myself for leaping off the edge, and hey...I am pretty damned tickled to say I performed on stage in NYC.

Now to figure out the logistics of Improv 201...hmmm...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I am not what you would call a great housekeeper. I mean, things are (relatively) clean, but often lean toward cluttered...


The kids are back in school, and it's a time that feels like a new beginning. For me, anyway...even more than the new year.

This time, I decided to tackle my computer.

I have decided my computer is a lot like my house. Relatively clean, but quite truly cluttered. Even more cluttered than the house. This is more of a project than I thought! Open a folder and there are files and files...of what? And who thought of putting that there? I might qualify for an episode of Hoarders: The Desktop.

It's embarrassing to myself...not to mention it's taking FOREVER! In fact, it's leading to a bit of procrastination...as in, I was planning on finishing the computer clean up before finishing this blog, all of which was "supposed" to happen (in my mind, anyway), before the last day of the month.

Oh well!

It will happen. I will get there. I would like a more comfortable desk chair.

Friday, September 4, 2015

One day only! (Thank goodness)

So...going to try to make a long story short (though the day seemed to last forever).

Up at 1:45am to be on set by 3am. Meanwhile, we are renting a house that is for sale, and hopeful buyers want to see it at 8am. Jim (husband) leaves for work by 8:30, leaving a crowd of people in the house, plus our real estate agent friend (the selling agent), plus our kids. Unbeknownst (love that word) to me, our real estate friend's car breaks down in our driveway.
Sitter shows up at 9, so kids aren't stuck in house all day. They go bowling, and via texts, I learn they are dropped at the house so sitter can go to her dr. appt, after which she returns (which I didn't know...I thought the kids were still home on their own).

I get home around 2:30pm (the whole way remembering I hadn't eaten since 9am, and was craving an omelette) to find real estate friend's here, car in driveway...she's waiting for the tow truck. I have a cup of tea, stomach growling, and catch up with her, talking about plumbing issues in the rental house (her selling clients). Oh, I am also at this time selling an old bicycle of mine, and the buyer for my bike shows up, gives money, takes bike. Just as she is about to leave the tow truck shows up, blocking us all in the driveway. She has to go, I have to go...I have to get to a walk through of our home (under renovation) with the electrician. Tow truck man is now ticked off, pulls across the street to let us leave.
I grab daughter, bring her to play with a friend so I can do the electrical walkthrough, only to be waiting at the house by myself and calling the builder...and no, the walkthrough is at 3:30 tomorrow. Awesome.
As I am waiting for my non-meeting, I check the selectmen board's agenda for tonight's meeting. Skatepark funding is on the agenda. Call Jim, let him know. I thought I was going to be off the hook for dinner tonight. Ugh. I leave Mia to play, go home to eat (an omelette has never tasted so good), and tow truck is still in driveway. I pull into the house's second driveway, go in and eat. Real estate friend now has to wait for a second truck, as this one is not equipped for her problem of locked wheels. I go pick up Mia, chat to mom friend, we take a peek inside work site house, head back home.
Second tow truck is now blocking driveway. Pull into extra driveway, real estate friend now too late for window for getting a rental at the dealer (where the car is going) and needs a ride home. Kids stay home, I go bring her home, drop off money to sitter's house. Back into driveway, forgot about returning friend's lobster cooker. Get kids to bring in trash and recycling barrels from this morning, return lobster cooker, and it's scrambled eggs or cereal for dinner tonight. Good night.

I take solace in the fact that this is not my every day. Phew!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jumping (back) in....

So...as I have been a rather infrequent, inconsistent blogger, and I intend to step it up a bit, allow me to introduce myself...

It's not everyone who will leave their driveway in Maine at 4:30 in the morning to drive 4.5hrs to Stamford, CT, take the train into NYC, go to a 5 minute audition, turn around and retrace your trip back to your driveway by 7:45pm. While managing childcare logistics, the arrival of the piano teacher, and suggestions on what to do for dinner along the way.

That's what I do...

I guess you could say it started a couple of years after we moved here. Our second child had entered the world, we had opened my husband's dental practice, and something for me was missing. I decided it was time to see if I still had some oomph with acting, as it had been since (gulp) high school.

I answered an ad in the local paper, looking for actors for a murder mystery dinner theatre. I called, and was told by a nice woman to come and read for the part available at her apartment in the next town. Now, the next town is not always known as the nicest, but hey...it's an adventure, right? I find myself driving through a fairly quiet residential neighborhood, down a steep hill into this rather secluded apartment complex. Did I mention it's dark out?

I buzz the apartment number she gave, and get let in to the building...knock on the door, and this older man answers and I swear he has one tooth (ok, maybe 3) left in his mouth! I didn't know if I should stay, run away, or give him a card for my husband's office!!!

Well, I stayed, read, and then was pretty much absorbed into the show on the spot. And now? That show is referred to "the show that shall not be named." It was...wow, just wow. Very few of the cast knew their lines, there was certainly more than one director, and it was to the point where the character who was killed off during the first act was on stage hiding behind the couch with a script to prompt those around him! Ugh.

There had to be better than this in Maine.

So, after a couple of more rough patches, Leslie got her groove back. Well, in acting anyway. The bug bit again...hard. It hasn't let go...more stage led to film (another story), and here I am today. I have a career coach, a talent manager...oh, and a husband, two kids and a cat. There were some chickens as well, but then we had a stalker fox who kept eating them and...oh, never mind.

There have also been acting classes, workshops, headshots, resumes, a website, facebook, twitter (still figuring that one out), etc etc etc...

I am hoping to get to this more often. I have to admit, I have some silly stories to share...

Just me, a full time mom making the transition to full time actor...want to join my journey?

Friday, January 9, 2015

It's about freakin' time!

So...it's been a while, huh? I have no real excuses for that, except that sometimes, with all that comes through in email boxes, etc...I just don't want to bore you with, well, me! But, I guess I am over it, because here I am!

It's the start of a new year. A fresh start. A clean slate. Ambition. Excitement. Resolutions.


Also...at least for me...slow to get going, to "recover" from the holiday expectations and chaos. A time to wonder how to get where I want to go, and not finding the answers as immediately as I want. Not to mention, it's freakin' cold out, at least where I am, and there's a large part of me that just wants to hibernate. As if I am part bear.

Rather than the normal feelings of guilt and beating myself up over the lack of constant high-energy, I am letting myself be OK with it. Well, that's taking some energy as well. I am right now constantly on alert for the negative feelings, beating them back with an internal broomstick. I like to think it's working...

I am taking a class right now that is going to culminate into a feature film. The class is not large in size, only 7 students, and the script is written around us. In other words, my character in the film is written for me. Highlighting my strengths and weaknesses as a human being, and my abilities as an actress to translate those on screen to the audience.

Do you have any idea how incredibly exciting this is? Not only that, but the whole storyline of the film is so flippin' relevant to life today...it may be one of those films that's hard NOT to see. I can't wait to be able to share more as we move forward.

Just wait. It'll be worth it.

I've got feelers out for other projects as well...so we'll see. Patience. That's another thing I'm working on. It seems one needs a lot of that in this industry, so I will continue to work on that too...

I think that's all from me for today. Happy New Year...no matter what your energy level...


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


It's been waaaaay too long. Sorry. Winter is…busy and not busy, so a little confusing for me to deal with.
Busy with skiing, sledding, family stuff, which is great, but not busy with the work stuff, which is…isolating. I have to admit I have been a little lost in self-pity world.

I started off strong, I really did…thinking positively, sending great messages out to the Universe, really starting to "get" the meditation thing, finally…filming a couple of regional commercials in between.
Then, nothing. Nada. Zilch. ugh.

This winter has felt a bit isolating. I haven't been traveling to NY as much, because the weather and timing has not allowed for it, and it's leaving me feeling like I am missing out on so much. I have been submitting online, have established free-lance relationships with a couple of agencies, and have a one night only staged reading next week in Portland, and a great class starting in the near future…which are all good, right?

It is always in these "work ruts" that I start to feel lost. Like if I don't have some kind of something related to acting, and soon, that I will forget how, or lose my spark.

This is the hardest part of the industry for me. The not knowing my schedule from one week to the next. The not having something to schedule from one week to the next. Putting stage on a bit of a back burner to make more room for film opportunities has been both an empowering career choice, and very difficult, as it has been leaving my schedule a bit too open. This is where the dragons, or gremlins, or negative thoughts (or whatever you want to call them) come knocking and letting themselves in. Where the doubt hits. Hard.

My career coach Jenn has a blog and this week her subject matter is so timely and I can't wait to get it and read it…"Comparitivitis." Yep, guilty. When looking at others' FB posts, tweets, etc and seeing how busy they are, doing this, doing that, going here and there, blah blah blah…every day…and you start comparing yourself and wondering why you aren't as busy…sigh. I can't wait to read what she has to say about this one…you can sign up to receive her blog too…www.Jennlederer.com

Hopefully not too whiney today…I will sign off now, so thank you for your patience. I will keep plugging along and try my hardest not to get sucked into the void of monotony.

Til next time…! Cheers...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hey there!

Have you ever felt as though you were on the cusp of something but not sure what? Something big? Something positive?

That's where I am right now.

And there are many doubts, or gremlins, haunting me. Have you ever read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown? You should. I am fighting those gremlins back, and it's taking some strength. You know the ones…the ones that tell you you're imagining things, that you're being delusional, to hold on…brace yourself for the disappointment.

I have been fighting them off. It's hard work. Exhausting, really. But listening to them is useless.

Anyway…I stepped out of my comfort zone…by going to a networking event the other night. It turned out to be a positive experience, which was great. I met some great folks on the ride down, and a couple of new faces while there. And, I won a raffle prize! I won a tour of the new New England Studios. Yay me!

In between "jobs" right now, and I am not feeling the usual restlessness and "rut" I often find myself in when not actively working on a specific role. Again, back to that feeling of being on the cusp of something big. It's as though this is the calm before the storm. So, I am buckling down and working to tie up loose ends. And maybe actually stay ahead of the laundry situation in my house.

Have a great day! And don't let those gremlins get to you, okay?