My Working Weekend [Nerd in Transition]
Looking back on it, last year felt like I went through a divorce from the Derby Dolls. My reasons for retiring were simple; let my body heal from 6 years of solid physical abuse and really attack my acting career. Well I did heal, I also gained 50pds, and I started making career moves such as classes and ramping up networking. I also took on a whole host of negative behaviors holding me back from a good life and good friendships. It was a difficult year, but now it is starting to pay off.
First a little bragging, I have been dieting and exercising and am down 20pds, with 5 inches missing from my hips. I’m starting to look like an athlete again, which makes me feel gorgeous. That extra bit of confidence is making it much easier to walk into casting workshops filled with the scary skinny 20 year olds. Though we no longer compete for the same roles, sitting in those rooms while being scanned up and down as the “fat girl” by ignorant judgemental eyes is never easy. It does help to know that I could break any of them with a swift swing from my Ass of Doom.
This weight loss comes at the perfect time. With all the networking and class taking, people in the industry are starting to know of Kelly’s existence, which is great because previously only ka-BOOM had made a name for herself and it was “Roller Derby Bad Ass Who’s Also Kind of a Pain in the Ass”. That’s a terrible name and not who I am as an actor.
This weekend I was busy running from one actor-related activity after another. Some were te mundane like getting ink to print photo’s and an audition script. Others were relaxing like getting a mani/pedi with an eyebrow wax. And one was just plain exciting!
Back in February I met a guy at a bar who told me he was a director and photographer with an important show opening the next day. Yep. Ok. Sure buddy, sure you are. I’ve met lots of “producers” and “directors” and “casting agents” at bars in this town so forgive me for being skeptical but I’m gonna need to google you. Well I did and guess what? He really is a respected director and photographer. Oh and he wants to photograph me. After a lengthy game of email tag we finally had a date set for this Sunday.
To go along with this long awaited and highly anticipated shoot, Friday I received a script for a spokesperson role. Not only would this be a steady paycheck, but each month when they fly me out to Oklahoma to record new spots I would get to stay with a very good friend and her husband. It’s an all around win. Of course first I have to get the role, which means creating and sending in an audition reel. And that means getting together with a friend capable of filming it while giving me some coaching. Like the photog, my actor friend is impossibly busy most of the time including this weekend. Somehow I had to get together with both of them to make magic happen and they both wanted Sunday.
Sunday morning came. I looked good, pampered and 20pds lighter. Yet I still had a time crunch issue, one of these two important things was not happening today. While baking thank you cookies for the photog and my buddy, mother nature stepped in and put a stop to the photo shoot. So that afternoon Aunt Flo and I headed over to the photog’s house with a box of homemade oatmeal cookies. Photog was charmed by the thoughtful gift and completely understanding as to why I couldn’t do a nude shoot that day. Oh yeah, SURPRISE! But folks trust me he IS an artist and it IS an honor to work with him, it ain’t Playboy or a casting couch.
We chatted and he offered to give me a lift to the subway station. Of course I took him up on the offer, so we hopped into his rather expensive automobile and took off. If you ever have to pick up the red line train right on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Kodak Theatre and Graumans Chinese Theatre, I highly recommend being dropped off by your friend with a Ferrari. Watching people’s faces go from excitement to anticipation to disappointment to jealousy and finally anger in under a minute is awesome!
After I got to my buddy’s house we did work on the reel. He was all too willing to give helpful coaching tips. which I was very willing to take. This guy gets work and really his whole life is about acting, so I greatly value his input. We are filming the final reel on Tuesday, giving me time to memorize and put those valued notes to use.
So it’s happening. All the time and effort is starting to pay off. And Night Mother is back on for September, we’re auditioning the Mother role this upcoming weekend. You can expect to see a fundraising blog next time around, so get those wallets out now.
featured image credit: Jillian Anne Photography