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November 30, 2007

Just Perfect!

A super-busy week, filled with meetings and events and go, go, go. Loads of wonderful news and lovely people.

Followed by a 36-hour stretch of time when I don't have to leave my frickin' house.

...and it's raining.

...and I can play with Sid and Nancy all the live-long day.

Meet Sid.

Meet Nancy.

(Thanks, Honey. I love you too. And congratulations.)

Posted by bonnie at 3:55 PM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2007

I'm Huge in Ireland

So, this was a nice treat.

A couple of months back, I shot a segment with Gerry Kelly of UTV (that's Ulster Television, for those--like me--who don't really keep up with Irish television).

The "doing of it" was fun and funny and cute and I hoped the finished product would be too.

And it was. I just finished watching the DVD they sent and it is just so dang cute!

Click me and Gerry to watch a little snippet.

I love that Jackie Collins warns him not to trust anyone who says she wants to "do lunch" with you... and then I say, "We'll do lunch" to Gerry.

Love it. Love it, love it, love it.

The whole thing is just so cute. The hour includes bits with me--Bonnie Gillespie, y'all, Judy Kerr, Geraldine Hughes (who, in the smallest of small world senses, I cast in a play I directed seven years ago), Roma Downey, Lily Tomlin, Mary Kay Place, John Amos, and of course Gerry Kelly and Jackie Collins.

Kelly Goes to Hollywood Friday 9 November

Gerry heads off to Hollywood. At a time when everyone wants to be famous, Gerry decides to try his hand at making it as an actor in La-La land!

Along the way he attends an acting class and meets with a casting director to try and work out what type of character he could play.

Gerry also gets some top acting tips from a couple of Northern Irish actresses and a certain British born novelist who have all achieved huge success in America.

So, there you have it. 2007 included an appearance on BBC Breakfast (and I totally need to dig that DVD out. I was so busy when it arrived that I haven't even watched it, much less done any screen caps) and UTV's Kelly Goes to Hollywood. What fun!

Posted by bonnie at 1:29 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2007

The Ghost of Brenda Future

Okay, so I'm a huge 90210 fan. Huge.


So, this weekend, while I'm watching the best of the best show (ie: 90210--The Brenda Years), there's a commercial for a MOW starring none other than the lovely Shannen Doherty... as someone obviously wearing "age makeup." I mean, she has to have been cast as a ghost of her future or something, right?

Don't believe how bad it is? Click the above photo to see a little movie file I nabbed from the TV (excuse the audio--it's a digital still camera that, surprise, can shoot short little movies. Something I discovered just that moment. Hee!).

Did she piss off hair and makeup? The lighting guys? Everyone? I mean, the MOW looks bad enough... but WOW. She is looking way more than her 36 years (um... I'm 37. I don't have that many wrinkles. Egad! Do I?!? You'd tell me, right?) now.

I'll just focus on the "good ol' days." The Brenda Years. *sigh*

Posted by bonnie at 5:18 PM | Comments (2)

November 27, 2007

Your Chance To See "Broken Windows"

Are you free Thursday night? Would you like to come see this movie I cast? (The Broken Windows' IMDB page is here.)

(Click the image to watch the trailer.)

Please send an email to the amazing film's amazing writer/director Tony Hickman at tonhickman [at] hotmail [dot] com (spelling that email address out to keep the spam-bots away) and let him know the following:

1. Your name.
2. Number in your party.
3. How much you love the casting already. ;) Hee!

The screening is at 7pm on Thursday at AFI (Mark Goodson Screening Room) and space is limited, so you *must* RSVP.

Hope to schmooze with you fine people after the screening! Thanks in advance for your rockstar support.


Posted by bonnie at 9:05 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2007

The Actors Voice, 11/26/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.


The Human Element

As I write this, I'm watching Cars on Thanksgiving morning. I've seen this movie at least three times before, yet I'm crying--again--because the car learned a lesson and took care of his friends, respected his elders, stayed true to his sponsors, and got the girl. Hang on. Let's get it straight. I'm crying because the artists who drew the cars and the actors who voiced the cars and the music supervisor who chose the particular sound that I would hear during the precise moment that the cars were drawn and voiced to elicit this emotional response got it right.

And I know how this works. I understand storytelling. I spend my days breaking down scripts, auditioning actors to interpret scripts, dealing with the negotiations required to attach actors to projects, and--when I'm not casting--demystifying the casting process for actors everywhere. So, why is it that I can--even while noting the inciting incident, a non-traditional casting choice, the transition into act two, the decision to edit a scene away from its originally-scripted destination, an actor's inflection on a particular word--fall for it and end up weeping?

Because storytelling is powerful. So powerful that we all love it, when it's done right. (And, seeing as we don't all agree on what makes "good" storytelling, we are lucky to have seemingly infinite choices and all find something satisfying to consume.) Here I am watching the end-credits roll. Hundreds upon hundreds of people brought this film together, and I believe they all contributed to the film's overall ability to move me. Ah, and then there's the Walt Disney card. And the Pixar card. And I'm thinking about the strike and how I'm supposed to be mad at The Man. How corporate greed is bad and the individual artist is good.

But The Man--with all its flaws--also employs creative artists. Hires individuals to bring our art to these "big" projects. And the reason there is art at such a large scale available to most occupants of this planet is because the suits at the corporations know there is money to be made in the mass production of stories. So, they commission our voices and we are suddenly able to reach a broader audience than with which we could connect on our own. But the bottom line remains: They need us. The world needs storytellers.


Continue reading this column in the morning, along with a Your Turn request for help on an upcoming series about kid actors at Showfax.com.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Woo hoo!

Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 5:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2007

My First Los Angeles Thanksgiving

No. Not today. Today is my... um... what... tenth Los Angeles Thanksgiving? Yes. That's it. Nine Thanksgivings "this time" I've been living out here (Yowza. My tenth anniversary in LA is next year? Eep!) and the one from "my first time" living in Los Angeles--you know, before the Northridge Quake. Before OJ. Before the area code called "323."

Okay, so once upon a time, I was a vegetarian. I'm not sure why. Oh, wait, I remember. I'd had my wisdom teeth extracted and I ended up not eating for the entire summer I turned 15. I got blissfully anorexic. Like 108 pounds. And I'm tall. So that was killer-cool. Eventually, I would have to eat again, though. (And how! Hah!) And when I did start eating again, I never added meat back in.

Well, not never. Obviously. I think I went about three years without eating meat. I ate seafood, since that didn't walk around or get milked or anything, but I was a pretty dang good vegetarian, I think. I wasn't militant. I wasn't doing it for "animal rights" or anything.

No one ever really noticed that I didn't eat turkey at Thanksgiving. I would eat dressing and gravy, so why should anyone expect that I would end up hiding that little wedge of white meat under my cranberry sauce? I guess I wasn't a great vegetarian after all. There's turkey broth in the gravy, right?

Oh well.

So, back to My First Los Angeles Thanksgiving.

This dinner took place in Calabassas in 1993. I was away from home for the first Thanksgiving of my young life. My boss, president of the musical artist management firm where I worked, fancied himself my LA-based father figure, and called my mother from the office to tell her I'd be having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at his home.

Awesome. I couldn't wait. Mom was thrilled. Ended up mailing Jeff a thank you note, saying it meant the world to her that her baby was being taken care of so far away from home.

I asked if I could bring anything, as good southern girls do, and was told just to bring myself; his wife would have everything prepared. Truth be told, his wife was more of a supervisor in that kitchen; directing traffic made up of four non-English-speaking employees. I chose to hang out in the study with my boss, a record label exec, and Meat Loaf's business manager. I had more in common with them, somehow.

Dinner is served. Yay!

Oh... wait...

Why are there raisins and walnuts in my cranberry sauce? How is oyster stuffing considered a complementary dressing for turkey? And where are the mashed potatoes? Where is the candied marshmallow glaze across the sweet potatoes? Where is The Parade of Casseroles? And why are we drinking wine? I'm expecting iced tea so sweet that a spoon stands up in the glass.

Suddenly, I miss home.

Give me over-cooked green beans, five different forms of starch, and cranberry sauce with rings on it, fresh from the can. Then, I'll be able to pass out after Thanksgiving dinner like every other loyal American former vegetarian: properly stuffed, in front of the television, hoping to be woken up for pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and banana pudding with Nilla Wafers.

Tiramisu is for communists.

Posted by bonnie at 3:39 AM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2007

The Actors Voice, 11/19/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how tomorrow's The Actors Voice starts out.


Audition Ad-Libs

Last month, I spoke to a group of actors down at UC Irvine. (Have I mentioned that this most recent graduating MFA class blew me away at the April showcase they put on with Harvard/ART? Just, wow. There's some major talent, there. So, when Richard Brestoff asked me to come chat to the current crop of students, I was happy to do so). After a little Q&A, I watched the actors do some sides I brought with me, then gave feedback to each actor, plus advised them on how I saw their "primary type" based on the work they'd just done. (Believe me, this last thing is something I could build an entire career around doing, if I wanted to. Actors really crave knowing how "their type" comes across to casting directors.)

Okay, so one pair of actors deviated from the script during the read. Actually, two pairs of actors did this. One pair did it to great success. The other pair, I had to redirect back to what was on the page, as their deviations didn't work.

So, the question came: "During auditions, when can we stray from what is written on the page and when should we stay married to the text?"


Continue reading this column shortly, along with a Your Turn follow-up on last week's "The Strike" piece at Showfax.com.


Be sure to visit The Actors Voice: POV for a POV from Philly-based CD Susan Gish.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Woo hoo!

Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2007

A Story I've Never Told

No... this isn't the "how I almost didn't graduate from high school" story. That's comin'. Not today. ;)

This is the "why Con Air is one of my favorite movies" story.


I know I know... WTF, right? I mean, it's Con Air. It starred Nicholas Cage doing the worst southern accent ever and--of course--the future Mr. Bonnie Gillespie, AKA John Cusack, as a sandal-wearing federal marshal. And, well, it was just BAD, as movies go.

Okay, I grant you all of that. It was a total dick flick. BUT... I happened to go see this movie at the dollar cinema on Alps in Athens after having had, well, the most non-boy day ever.

See, I have a cousin who is a midwife. (By the way, if I should ever choose to have a child, the midwife thing is about the coolest thing EVER. And I now know this for a fact.) And for a few years between Tracy's life in the ATL and Tracy's life in Hawaii, there was Tracy's life in Athens. And that was some of my favorite time, as a grad student at UGA.

(PS--Go, DAWGS!)

Anyway, Tracy used to come home from work and talk about the various issues she faced as a midwife at county. The phrase: "It was an exploding vagina day" rings in my memory. Egad!

But, I learned a lot, listening to my health-care-giver family member. A friend I trusted (and continue to trust). Someone who is adjacent to coochies every day. I mean, damn. Right?

Okay, so something I had never experienced, being "an only child" (who wasn't really an only child, but who was born a full 16 and 18 years, respectively, after her *planned* male siblings), was the whole "sister having a baby" thing. I mean, sure, each of my sisters-in-law had babies, but I wasn't invited in for that show (and why would I be, not even being old enough to babysit said kids, right?).


So, when my cousin Tracy invited me to shadow her for a day's work at Athens Regional Medical Center, I figured, "What the Hell!"

I put on scrubs. I signed in. I waited for hours and hours and hours. And nothing happened. Nothing.

Tracy assured me that there would be babies. There would be emergencies. But it was like life... you couldn't really predict when and what.

So, I hung out. Got to know the other midwives (girly-boys and girls). Began to understand these people who spent years of schooling--at great expense--only to basically give their time away at county and go home at the end of the day, needing hooch and good friends like me on the porch (another-another story to come later) to toast them for their thankless life-saving or--at bare minimum--coochie-healing.

And then, after ten hours of hanging out (and as a gal who don' sleep much, that's never an issue), I was called to emergency--thrice--and there were three "may not make it" babies delivered in 50 minutes. And I was there for all of 'em. One didn't make it. One made it just fine. Another made it with special help. And I learned something from all of it.

There was the 17-year-old with her boyfriend and his family. Balloons. A party.
There was the Hindi woman who would only allow me to be there because I was "a female teacher" and that was sacred to her.
There was the 40-something woman whose 13th child would be born prematurely. And dead.

I got to see an episiotomy. An epidural. A natural childbirth.

I got to experience all of the sounds and smells of this world. And I still own the scrubs I wore.

But the point of this blog post is this: I left the hospital, after having experienced more estrogen in 50 minutes than I've probably felt course through me before or since, and felt the need to reboot.

Not to have a drink.
Not to get laid.
Not to meet my posse at the Engine Room and throw darts 'til dawn.

I needed more testosterone than I had ever experienced.

And Con Air was showing at the dollar movie.


So, I paid my buck, sat there amongst the frat boys and their dutiful girlfriends, and--in my scrubs--watched Con Air and decided it was one of the best movies I had ever seen.

And tonight, I watch it rerunning on some local channel--even with the "bad words" edited out--and I love it exactly the same.

It reminds me that there is such a thing as hormonal balance in life. And isn't it weird that I still value that? I mean, aren't I knockin' around at the expiration date on my ability to have chillens?

Eh, it makes me ever-grateful that I married a man who has a son. Therefore, I have a stepson. And that kid loves me like crazy and I'm thrilled that that is true. Yeah, even Quinn wants me to be knocked up when he comes to live with us in a couple of years (a seed I'm sure his dad planted in him, but whatevz), but I'm just so very happy that I appreciate the reproduction that happens because it's s'posed'ta.

If it's gonna, it will.

And I'll get to any of mine when/if the time is right. Put the bunny back, the bad-southern-accented boy said. ;) Ah, the irony!

And that's the story of one of my favorite movies ever.

I know. Right?

Posted by bonnie at 4:30 AM | Comments (5)

November 15, 2007

Look at this GORGEOUS movie I cast!

Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow.

Click the image to watch the trailer.

Seriously. Wow.

Posted by bonnie at 2:38 AM | Comments (2)

Send in your pencils!

This is a repost from Devin the Great. Love that it includes the addresses. Very handy!

I've done a little editing based on what I've read/heard about the types of write-in campaigns that work, plus a bit more of mailing you can do, at the end.



Support The WGA? Here’s How To Help...

Below, you will find the names and address of the major companies we are asking a fair deal from. If everyone would simply put an unsharpened pencil into an envelope and add this note: "UNLESS YOU CAN WRITE IT -- GIVE THE WRITERS A FAIR DEAL!" and send one to each name on the list, can you imagine the impact that would have?

Once again, know that the writers are deeply appreciative of you efforts and love you madly!

Steven Paul Leiva
Strike Captain
Community Outreach committee

Heads of Companies

Jeffrey Zucker
NBC Universal
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Ben Silverman
NBC Entertainment
3000 W. Alameda Ave
Burbank, CA 91523

Les Moonves
CBS Entertainment
7800 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Stephen McPherson
ABC Entertainment
500 South Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521

Robert Iger
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521

Peter Chernin
News Corporation
10201 Pico Blvd., Bldg. 128
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Phillipe Dauman
President/CEO Viacom
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

Warner Bros.
Barry M. Meyer
Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

And for good measure, let's add the AMPTP too. I especially like what Fans4Writers.com had to say about the effectiveness of using a simple postcard.

Postcard Protest

We have seen many suggestions to send things to the studios, from nuts to pennies. One thing we have learned over years of fan campaigning is that these things get you noticed -- but often for the wrong reason.

We need the networks to take us seriously, because this is a serious issue. For that to happen, we cannot risk being seen as odd, quirky or easily dismissed.

The Fans4Writers Postcard Protest is an inexpensive way of showing the network in a tangible way that we support the writers.

Fans4Writers postcards are available here. Please be sure to include your full name, city, state and demographic age range. And don't forget to personalize it with a note about why you are supporting the strike -- you may even want to mention your favorite show. Just remember to keep it polite.

Send your postcard to:

Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
15503 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436

Kick ass, y'all!

Posted by bonnie at 12:01 AM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2007

12 of 12 (finally) for November 2007

Okay, so I'm emotional, sick, and generally in a craptastic mood, but I wanted to put up my 12 of 12 (finally) for November 2007. So, here 'tis.

(New to 12 of 12? Visit birthday boy Chad Darnell--happy belated birthday, Chad--for the details, rules, and links to all of the other 12 of 12ers out there participating.)

2:06am: Enjoying a bit of Bailey's (gift from the cast) after turning in my most exhausting and emotional column.

2:07am: Look at the pretty roses from the showcase cast. I love these kids. So sweet.

3:11am: Badass Salema. She'd like me to go to sleep soon. Not likely.

4:11am: BONUS PIC! Y'know, I have no idea if there's even a bonus pic this month, but I've decided that there is one and the theme is STRIKE and this is the bonus photo, because I'm sitting here checking the many, many links in my most exhausting and emotional column about the strike...

4:14am: ...and finding more than a few typos in the URLs. Dammit. Is it exhaustion, emotion, eeee... what?

4:52am: Time to turn off the computer... but not the BlackBerry. Still gotta check my email. Good Lord, I have an addiction. (Oh, and I sooooo plan to have an iPhone soon. To go with the new 'puter soon. Plans, plans, plans.)

5:26am: Look at these gorgeous earrings from Crow-Fo', Fo-Show! I wish I wore earrings. I really do.

4:22pm: Oh, I've slept. Not as much as I'd like. And then I'm up and prepping industry kits for drop-offs (thank you, Keith) and answering emails about why I haven't replied about scripts I'm supposed to write up bids to cast. I'm seriously exhausted. Look at all this!

5:55pm: Dinnertime! It's a playdate with double-fisted AnnaVo! Yay! (Note: AnnaVo likes to pretend she's not my assistant. So let's keep that on the DL, okay?) (Note: AnnaVo isn't really my assistant. Really!)

8:14pm: Awesome El Cholo Rachael is LA's newest hand model! Yay! She's also a great photographer. Not sure how much longer we'll be able to visit her at El Cholo with all this cool stuff going on!!

8:22pm: This is one ambitious snail. (The joys of patio dining at El Cholo. Hee!)

8:23pm: Perspective. This thing climbed up from the knot at the bottom of this photo (left side of the column thingy) and into the mouth of the fountain during the span of our playdate. Rock on.

8:26pm: A final coat of lipgloss then it's time to head home. Anna and I hang out for another couple of hours there (holy crap, the stuff she's working on lately is SO DAMN OUTSTANDING... I'm just sayin'). Turns out the two of us were each in bed before midnight. That's what virgins we've turned into. Ha! (We can make up for that, come T'giving, right?)

Okay, so that's it for this month's 12 of 12. Sorry it's so blah (what I mean is, sorry I am so blah). I need a little reboot of energy and I'm counting on that coming up here in the next little bit. I'm just BEAT.

Love y'all!

Posted by bonnie at 9:04 PM | Comments (1)

November 12, 2007

The Actors Voice, 11/12/07

Hi Everyone!

Here's how today's The Actors Voice starts out.


The Strike

I wasn't going to write about the strike. I really wanted to write about anything else. So much so that I had scribbled a list of a half-dozen perfectly good topics (and another dozen decent ones, perhaps three rockstar great ones too) and convinced myself that I would--that I could--write about anything other than the strike this week.

But when it came right down to it, I had to face the fact that I couldn't not write about the strike this week. Hell, it's been the better part of my blogging for the week. It's certainly been the focus of nearly every conversation I've had since Halloween. And reading about, discussing, viewing, participating in, and crying about the strike has become such a way of life this month that I guess I need to expect that spillover into my column was an inevitability.

I think the final nudge came in the form of an email I received this weekend, thanking me for my personal, emotional blog posts about the strike. I had already been receiving comments at both the "real" and MySpace version of my blog that were encouraging, then the Google Alerts started up, letting me know I was getting linked quite a bit lately. But the email thanking me for spelling out how very conflicted a hyphenate like me feels at a time like this caused me to realize that maybe this is a good column topic after all. Certainly, my wonderful readers must be feeling somewhat conflicted too, right?


Continue reading this column shortly, along with a Your Turn follow-up on the "Jingle Singing" piece at Showfax.com.

As always, THANK YOU for reading!

Woo hoo!

Live your dreams! If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by bonnie at 2:08 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2007

Oh, and this...

As I picketed "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" today it occurred to me that Ellen was on strike longer for "Iggy the Dog" than she was for her own writers. -- Greg Fitzsimmons

Posted by bonnie at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

Virtual Picket Line

Walk the Virtual Picket line for the WGA

A lot of you have asked how you can help the WGA during the strike.

1) Inform yourself and your friends why the WGA is striking by sharing the video WGA: Why We Fight

2) Sign the petition. United Hollywood has created a Petition for you to be able to voice your support of the WGA! Go sign it, then pass the word around to everyone you know.

3) Change your profile picture into a virtual picket sign. This is going to take all of us showing support to critical mass.

1) Right Click on the image above.
2) Save to your desktop.
3) Upload the photo to MySpace
4) Make it your default picture on Monday.

And then send an email blast, a bulletin, announce in a blog/or post on your page that MySpace is going to illustrate the force of the internet by asking all those who support the WGA to please turn their profile page image into a virtual picket sign for the duration of the strike.

Imagine for just a second what a great visual it would be for studio execs and multi media congloms to see the images on the news in the papers... and on their computers of all those MySpace faces picketing in the virtual world in solidarity. Pretty darn powerful stuff, right?!

Various news outlets will be running stories on WGA members utilizing viral marketing techniques in the next several days. World News Tonight already featured such a story on Thursday evening.

Let's make the most of this future coverage!

The communities at Facebook will also be helping in this effort through the virtual horn honking application that is presently being programmed. They are also being asked to replace their pictures with picket signs!

The multi media congloms say the internet is experimental.

Posted by bonnie at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

One of these days, I'll blog about something other than the strike.

But that day ain't today.

My goodness, it's just all that's on my mind when I show up to blog lately. And that's not to say that it's all that's on my mind in my daily life (HELLO--I received TWO feature film scripts within three hours of one another on Thursday. Time to write up more bids. Getting offers to cast films based on casts of previous films I've been able to bring together... and that's only gonna get more common, as these latest films hit the festival circuit or even *gulp* distribution). But even when I'm thinking about my potential and current casting gigs, I'm thinking about the strike because I'm thinking about the writers of this material... and how the hell do you cast anything, film anything, continue forward with anything when there are tens of thousands of people losing jobs right and left while the producers refuse to come back to the table and negotiate anything?

(And then of course I think about the concept that the producers don't want to negotiate anything right now because they're absolutely thrilled with the idea of letting the writers be the bad guys who shut down Hollywood right now, knowing that if the strike continues for months as it's predicted it will, they'll then come right up against DGA and SAG contract ends and, welp, let's let them strike too and make everyone living outside of Hollywood believe that creatives are a bunch of spoiled brats who don't care if you--the viewer--is subjected to an overdose of reruns and reality TV.)


Just hurts my heart.

And I feel worst for people like my friends on shows that are heavily improvised or at least punched up on the spot (which is anything comedic, basically) because even if they can continue to "honor their contract" as actors by showing up for work, they can't "do their jobs" because if they change a word, they've crossed a picket line for the part of themselves that wears the writer hat.

As a hyphenate, I feel bad for these friends.

And as an observer, I have to say I'm learning a fuckload about character. There are those who will say it's business as usual because dammit, they need to pay their rent, and then there are those who have enormous balls and get themselves fired from their non-union jobs because they want to stand alongside their writer coworkers. I'm a non-union worker from a union family (ask me about my grandfather's federal imprisonment for blowing up powerlines in protest of union busting activity in the copper mines of Tennessee someday--yes, I'm a descendant of a member of The Ducktown 8) and most of my friends in casting--most of them, Teamsters--have had to move away from their regular offices so that actors can come audition without crossing picket lines. I, of course, am married to a SAG member and was not accepted into the CSA when I applied two years ago. And I earn a good living as... a writer.

How conflicted can ya get, right?

But I'm not conflicted. I support this strike.

This strike cut into our showcase attendance (yet we still packed the house each of FOUR performance nights) because agents and managers can't really "shop" for new clients when they can't be sure there's anything on which to send out their current roster. Casting offices are closing up because there are no new scripts to shoot, but why would a CD want to go out and scout when she's trying to figure out how she's gonna meet her staff's payroll next week? Unsure of when she'll be hired to come back and cast the rest of the season?

Ah. I'm so over writing about this because it's all just so frustrating. And others say it so much better, elsewhere. Watch the videos. Read the posts. Read the least producer-funded strike coverage. Join the MySpace. Sign the petition (I'm number 1841, y'all). Walk the line with your fellow creatives and feel that powerful surge of solidarity intersecting with that desperate fear of "How long will this last?" to really get it.

The showcase was outstanding. I have a LOT to blog about the showcase (this whole year of showcasing) here before too long, but not tonight. I also need to blog about our nonaversary, the third edition of Self-Management for Actors, and the next half-dozen films I'm casting.

I can't believe it's November. I can't believe it's double-digits in November already. Good lord, this year... and thank god, y'know? Those of y'nz who follow numerology will enjoy knowing I'm in my "9 year" and that means endings, closing off things, weeding out what's not working to launch into the next nine year cycle with a new perspective and focus. Hell, these past nine years? Wow. Just wow. I had The Age 28 Epiphany, sold everything I owned on eBay, dropped out of my PhD program, and moved to LA to give acting "one last try." That "one last try" lasted 18 months and then Mom was dying and I was writing for a living. "My daughter, the writer," finally came true for her. And I never went back to acting, after having gone home to help her pass away in peace.

That's another blog post for another day.

Tonight, I'm sipping the Bailey's the wonderful showcase cast presented me with last night. It's sweet and warm as it goes down and I guess I need that hug from the inside right now.

When darkness turns to light
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
Just a little insight won't make this right
It’s too late to fight
It ends tonight,
It ends when darkness turns to light
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
Just a little insight won't make this right
It’s too late to fight
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
When darkness turns to light,
It ends tonight.

PS--Not trying to be cryptic or deep, this is just the song that's on my mind right now.

Posted by bonnie at 3:15 AM | Comments (1)

November 8, 2007

My Nightly Routine

It's quite simple.

Sunday: Showcase dress/tech and preview performance. Come home, read up on the strike, cry.

Monday: Tisch Arts West monologue slam. Come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, cry.

Tuesday: Showcase opening night. Come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, cry.

Wednesday: Showcase. Come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, cry.

And tonight we'll close the showcase. I'll come home, read up on the strike, watch strike footage, and cry.

I can't not cry.

I watch this footage, I read this coverage, and no matter how funny those writers are, no matter how much solidarity I see among actors and writers and show runners, no matter how much pride swells up in me when I see people fighting for something so damn simple as a tiny percentage of profits (so no one is being asked to give up a slice of something without that "something" already equaling a healthy studio and network paycheck), I am left feeling so very sad for how long I fear this thing is going to last.

I hear that outside of Hollywood this is being spun in such an ugly way. Writers are selfish. Writers don't care about their audiences. Writers are greedy.

Dear GAWD, with as much time as I've spent around creative, brilliant people in the past few days alone, I can assure you that writers want to write. We want to create. We love to create. We absolutely would do it for free (and usually do) simply for the joy of it all.

So, the fact that members of the WGA want to protect themselves and future WGA members by having protections put in place for new media that were skimped upon during negotiations for video delivery systems 20 years ago (because it was all "too new" and producers "needed every advantage" to help VHS and then DVD technology launch without being "hobbled" by paying pennies to writers on each sale or rental) to such a great extent that they'll NOT WRITE right now should tell you something.

This is a big deal.

Oh, and starting Friday my schedule will change. The showcase will be over and Keith and I will join the picket lines.

It's just the right thing to do.

Maybe I'll feel less like crying, being out there "doing something." Because right now, even with all of the amazingly brilliant creativity swirling around me each day, I feel completely powerless over what's happening in Hollywood. Two filmmakers for whom I'm casting feature films were at the showcase and our conversations turned to rewrites and new shoot dates. Even casting has to stop when scripts are in limbo. (At least when the filmmakers are also writers... and they wouldn't dare shoot a frame without the ability to tweak a line during the filming process. And since that's the kind of filmmaker with whom I work, well, you get the picture.)

I guess my optimism was short-lived.

Posted by bonnie at 4:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 6, 2007

The Strike Is Where You Pick-It

Goodness at the emotions that have flown all over me in the past few days! Just... goodness.

There's the showcase. Which is beautiful. Beautiful actors. Beautiful scenes. Beautiful experience. Again. And that's just based on the rockstar, standing-room-only preview. Goodness, what a delightful ride producing a showcase has been!

There's the feature film casting job on which I passed. Eesh. That's a toughie. I want to work; of course. But I want to work on projects about which I am passionate (and, if I'm not passionate about 'em, I'd better damn well be getting paid well enough to make it balance out somehow).

There's the strike. Oy, there's the strike. And as a working writer who has never been eligible to join the WGA (but who certainly hopes to do so, someday), I am both relieved and distressed. I want to believe there can be a quick resolution to this work stoppage. I want to believe the producers will relent, will walk toward the writers in the same way the writers were walking toward the producers by late Sunday night. But I also know that these are the same people who would have you think that no movie has ever made back its investment ever, thereby never requiring a full payout of back-end to talent who agreed to work for low-budget scale plus points.

Then there's the amazing small-group collectives like Naked Angels' Tuesdays @9 and Tisch Actors' West Monologue Slam. There are groups of writers and actors coming together to produce something--anything--because they simply must do so. It feeds their souls. It feeds mine too.

That makes me forget about the new wave of Bonnie-haters in this town (and yes, if I shared with you some of the Bon-Backlash that's out there now, many of you would prickle like Keith does when he wants to beat someone to within an inch of his life--and you know he could and would if I would let him--and you would be very protective of me. And I appreciate that. But it's exactly what this year has been about, in large part: Going from A Mom and Pop Shop to A Serious Force comes with both loads of good and a bit of bad. Haters are coming out of the woodwork. And they're good at what they do. Luckily... so am I. Even luckier, I am not afuckingfraid. Not even a little bit. Bring it, bitches. I'll go chest-out to you any day. And my tits are damn fine).

If I let my emotions run my life, I'd be all over the map these past few weeks. Instead, I've been doing a lot of observing (hence the lack of blogging). My rockstar intern left here Sunday night--after a conversation in which I revealed the reason I couldn't make eye contact with her was because it would make me cry--and said, "Blog, okay?"

So here it is.

The blog post in which I say that I am at once proud, aware that I'm growing, filled with complex and conflicting professional and personal emotions, inspired and motivated, and so completely ready to kick ass that I wish I had more feet.

Posted by bonnie at 1:39 AM | Comments (4)

November 1, 2007

Call Me a Cockeyed Optimist

I really thought we could make it through. No WGA strike. No work stoppage in Hollywood. I had hope. I had optimism. I had delusions.

Man. What a bummer!

Here are some really good predictions and tips for actors from Jack at ActorSite:

Thriving During Chaos... a primer...

It looks like the WGA will be going on strike as soon as next Monday, November 5.

Here's what it means for you:

Commercials won't be affected, so PUSH FOR MORE COMMERCIAL WORK!

Voiceovers won't be affected so PUSH FOR MORE VOICE OVER WORK!

Feature films will be less affected so PUSH FOR MORE FEATURE FILM WORK! There are over 500 completed scripts for films that must be finished by April 30 or so, so post-production can be completed by June 30, when the SAG contract expires.

Pilots are less likely to be affected, depending on whether it is half-hour or hour. Most pilot scripts have already been written and there are about 25 pilots out there now for an early pilot season. FOCUS ON auditioning and BOOKING A PILOT! It's great for your career!

TV drama is unlikely to be affected for about two to six weeks, so KEEP PUSHING for bookings on TV DRAMA shows. This will vary from show to show. Most have one to five scripts already written, so they will continue filming until they run out of scripts.

TV comedy is the most likely to be immediately affected! Comedies need tweaking on a daily basis and comedy shows may shut down first.

I've already addressed how you can help the WGA during this work stoppage. In other words, If you book a role, then arrive early and walk the picket line to show your support before you honor your booking contract and go to work!

I don't know about you, but I'm going to remain optimistic.

Got a call from a pretty big deal production company wanting to talk with me about casting some of their next films. (Yes, that's on top of the now NINE feature film scripts I've yet to get back to anyone about, with bids. Between that backlog and my goal to get Self-Management for Actors, 3rd ed. started, I would kind of like things to slow down a little bit in Hollywood.)

But I don't see that happening. Everyone likes to work. That's for damn sure.

Posted by bonnie at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)