Gary Oldman is the bomb

Aside

d5d2ecf381089cdf81634fa8c8f74021Loved this interview with Gary Oldman.  A excerpt:

Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. An acting teacher told me that.

You choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color.

“Fuck ’em.” Shortest prayer in the world.

A lazy man works twice as hard. My mother told that to me, and now I say it to my kids. If you’re writing an essay, keep it in the lines and in the margins so you don’t have to do it over.

I wanted to play Dracula because I wanted to say: “I’ve crossed oceans of time to find you.” It was worth playing the role just to say that line.

…..

Read more: Gary Oldman Quotes – What I’ve Learned Gary Oldman Interview – Esquire

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Bits & Bobs

Some bits of wisdom I felt like sharing:
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According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary the word “amateur” comes to us from the Latin word amator”meaning “lover” or amare”which means “to love.” “To love,” when you are young and relatively innocent is, of course, quite easy. You are filled with nothing but great expectations and very little real experience to temper those dreams. Grown-up love (the kind that lasts, anyway) involves loving not just the dream, but also the reality. I try to instill in my students that most careers are a wonderful mash-up of the good, the bad and the ugly. Glorious victories. Shitty disappointments. Rapturous praise. Rotten tomatoes. Enduring friendships. Freaks and Fiends. Lavish attention. Followed by periods of complete and utter invisibility. During my first “professional” gig, I stupidly asked an elderly character actor why we had to do eight shows a week. To me, it seemed like a lot to ask. He smiled thinly and replied, “We do eight shows a week, my boy, on the off-chance that we might get one of them right.” Turns out he was correct about that. More often than not, that “one” – that happy attempt that goes well – does seem to make up for everything that proceeded it. Whenever we did a performance that went better than expected, I remember the old character actor used to clap his hands together and exclaim, “All is forgiven!” Being young, I had no clue what he meant by that, but it now strikes me the most elegant and concise definition of love I have ever heard.
     – From the hilarious and brilliant David Dean Bottrell http://partsandlabor.blogspot.com/2009/03/amateur-night.html

“An actor knows that this thing we call life is nothing more than a series of moments strung together in a mystical chain…. The actor therefore trains himself to pay attention to ALL moments… to live mindfully, beholden only to his sense of truth, without anticipation, without fear. The moments bind together, forming an endless wave which the actor rides like a tiger, never knowing where the tiger will turn next– never caring, if the truth be told. For the actor knows that there is never an outcome and never an ending. There is only the ride.” -William Esper

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The Girl With The Tattoo Of My Face On Her Vaj

Fans.

What a luxury.  Having support (of any kind) in your life is such a privilege. Having support for your work from virtual strangers is like having a secret weapon.  It can be mind-blowing.   My experience of fans has run the gamut from spectacular to scary and sometimes, outright looney-tunes.  It is always a bit surreal.

One of the complicated realizations is despite how great your work may have been…the reason a fan becomes a fan may have nearly nothing to do with you.   It’s about how you made them feel about themselves.   How the story you helped tell affected their life.  How the character you played resonated with them, represented them, inspired them and supported them at a tough time.    It is both an incredibly intimate relationship, and entirely outside of you.

When I meet fans, they sometimes shake and cry and are unable to speak.  Sometimes they are enthusiastic, funny, sweet and are fantastic to talk to.  Sometimes they treat me like crap in what seems to be an effort to appear very cool.  (“ya, I want your autograph, but its not like I care, its for a friend, I’ve never seen your work, I actually think that show was stupid.” Did they also wear that Xena t-shirt and chakram necklace because of how much they hate the show??)

Sometimes they are insanely inappropriate:

Them:  Hey, can I take a picture with you?
Me: Sure
Them:  (being completely serious) Can you lift your shirt up and flash the camera?
Me:  Haha, no.
Them:  Uh.Ok, fine.
Photo is taken…they start walking away, I overhear them say ‘What a bitch’.

Yep. That’s me. The bitch who won’t flash her ta-ta’s for your cell phone cam shot.      Also the bitch that won’t kiss you, won’t give you her phone number/hotel room number or and won’t meet you later for a drink. Sorry, creepy dude. But I admire you had the guts to ask.

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Sometimes they transcend fan and become a personal lifelong friend.

Sometimes they are stalkers (Don’t even want to go into details, other than it SUCKS and is very scary.)

Sometimes they bring you super sweet gifts or make you amazing (or hilarious) art:

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Sometimes they stick their camera underneath the bathroom stall door to try to get a picture of you.   AAAAaaaaahhhhh.

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Sometimes when you are at your lowest point, and nearly ready to give up – they remind you that you are GOOD at what you are trying to do.   Or when you feel like your work is silly – they remind you what an impact it can have.

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Sometimes they send mail.  It comes in all shapes and sizes from sweet notes, to icky propositions to completely mistaking who you are and what you do.  (“Hi, I LOOOOOVED you as  Jenny on The L Word.”  Umm, I was never on The L Word.)

The relationship is a mystery. Amazing, and also completely strange.  Validating.  Disconcerting. A blessing.  I’d say 98% of the time its great.  I am appreciative of my fans every day.   I know it could all stop at any moment.  And in this new day and age where the industry is changing so fast – fans have more power than they’ve ever had before.   Power to get projects funded, get them on the air, get them publicity and attention they would otherwise miss.   The importance of the relationship can’t be denied.  {speaking of which, y’all feel free to pimp out my blog!}

It’s also a great lesson: Never underestimate the role you play for someone else.  Be careful with your words.   Be present with the people you are in the presence of.  Some of the smallest moments between people can be the most profound.  Even when your interaction seems small, it can have a remarkable effect on someone’s life.

Back to the headline.   So there I was at a personal appearance – making the rounds at a meet and greet.   I’m approaching a table of boisterous ladies when I spy a one of them with several sci-fi and fantasy characters prominently tattooed on her back and arms.   When I comment on them, several people at the table start egging her on to show me ‘the other one’.  After hemming and hawing bashfully for a minute, she decides to be brave and go for it.   I have no idea what to expect…maybe she has the Xena logo?  Maybe I ❤ Livia?   No….I wasn’t in the ballpark of what was about to happen.   She stands and to my horror and amusement starts unzipping her pants.  I start to look around nervously….umm, what is happening?   She pulled her pants down a few inches, then starts to also pull her undies down as well (wait, what!?) she pull them down far enough for me to see the top of the tattoo – my character Livia, MY eyes staring back at me from her crotch.  Yes, my face on her va-jay-jay, her kitty, her holy grail.   This is where I stopped her.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to know exactly what I/Livia was doing to her most delicate lady bits below the belt.   I didn’t want that image burned into my brain for all eternity.   Though for the record I’m sure Livia was thorough and talented 🙂  So… somewhere out there is a lovely girl walking this world with my face permanently stationed between her thighs…how supremely odd that I’m so intimately and forever connected to a virtual stranger.   Gotta love commitment like that!

No idea how you could top that one.   Fans…you are the bomb!

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Sidekick Envy

Thinking today about fantastic duos of the past.  What happened to the teams of stars who would co-mingle throughout their careers?  Dance partners, comedic twosomes, romantic counterparts falling in love (on screen) again and again.   When did that go out of favor?

While at moments it may have been exasperating to be dependent on the strengths and weaknesses of someone else, I bet it was also comforting going through the nonsensical rise and fall of fame with a partner.  Sharing the experience with someone who truly gets what you are going through.

It’s not something you can completely explain to someone who isn’t along for the ride.  It’s far too Seussian, fall-down-the-rabbit-hole, Narnian-otherworldly to fully convey.  I’m envious of those partnerships from the golden era who could lean on each other to fend off the surprising loneliness, exhaustion or chaos the limelight can bring.   Or to push each other to shine even in the most challenging days in your search for the spotlight.

I’m not blind to the jealousy, infighting, or drama that must have been there too…but you look at gorgeous old photos and can’t help but think having a shoulder to lean on (or arms to dip you) looks divine.

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Being a Hepburn in a Hilton World

This is the title of a book I haven’t read, but fully assume I would love….because I instantly adore the title.    It resonates with me completely.

I love being an actress….but I sometimes hesitate to say I’m an actress.   It often opens up a somewhat awkward situation.   If the person I’m talking to doesn’t already know my work then I am usually asked to run down a list of some of my most popular projects and they may not have seen any of them, or worse don’t remember me… and it just sort of bites – and is awkward and anticlimactic for all involved.  Many people are instantly charmed by the idea of meeting someone ‘famous’ (to whatever degree) but that can quickly turn to disappointment if you haven’t worked on their favorite show or are unwilling to spill any gossip.   But the bigger reason I often refrain from chatting up my profession is that if people aren’t already familiar with your work they think either ‘oh, she’s a wannabe actress’ – Cue the old joke:

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or many people hear the word  actress and  they picture this:

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or this:

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or (insert tabloid cover of some wannabe starlets life mid-meltdown, here: _______________).

And its true those “actresses” exist…..but I’m happy to report that I don’t really know any of these women… and it makes my skin crawl to think of being potentially perceived that way.  That is not who I am drawn to or who I draw to me.  And doesn’t represent my LA experience at all.  Though I know those ‘actresses’ exists – probably in the tens of thousands in LA, truthfully, I have almost no experience with these women. I hate being lumped into that category…and until you ‘make it big’ there is always a segment of the population that may choose to see you this way.

Who I do know…. are fiercely talented, creative, inspiring women that bring it!  Some are famous, some have been famous, some are on the upswing and some coming back down, some just digging in their heels, trying to get established….but they are all driven, determined and focused on the prize…which is the work.    They force me to get up and be creative and get stuff done…because that’s what they are doing.

They aren’t slyly marketing a sex tape or dating some disaster in the calculated risk that the benefits would out-weigh the horror of such a decision.   No, they are writing films, creating shows, putting on plays, directing their own projects, and thinking outside of the box.  They are doing what has to be done to continue to pursue their art and passion.  They are COORDINATING with each other instead of attempting to step on each other.

And I Love that.  Love with a capitol L and in bold and underlined.  I don’t want to ‘win’ in this career by being good at something where most people are lazy or boring or predictable.  No.  I want to excel in a field where the cream is rising to the top and we are all putting out our best – pushing each other to be more innovative, passionate, focused and brazen in our willingness to do it ourselves if the opportunities aren’t being given to us.  To be more than we even thought possible.  Each day, to be better and stronger and braver than we were the day before.

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When I think of an actress, I think of this:

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or this:

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or  (insert Oscar winning, humanitarian, philanthropic, witty creative genius here_______________)   and it makes me dizzy with the esteemed company I keep within my chosen field.

I strive to be a Hepburn  (or a Garbo, Baker, Lupino, Kelly, Hayworth, Horne, Maclaine, Davis, Loy, Colbert, Leigh, Taylor, Pickford, Dandridge, etc…you get my drift)….. constantly aiming for that level of grace and class, talent and PRESENCE.

They say luck is opportunity meeting preparedness.   Without a doubt the ladies in my circle are prepared…here’s hoping many delicious opportunities to shine are just around the corner for all of us.