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December 31, 2009

Welcome 2010

It's funny, I wasn't going to do a year-end post today. And really, the only reason I feel the need to, now is that I keep seeing all of these status updates on Twitter and Facebook today with people grousing about "what a shitty year 2009 was" and I keep thinking, "Huh? Yeah, I mean, I know it wasn't the BEST year ever, but it sure as shit was one of MY best years."

I'm in awe of the good people I'm surrounded with, and I met (and surpassed) so many goals in 2009, professionally and personally. I never felt alone, I never felt lost, I never felt so down that a look or a word or a THOUGHT from a friend couldn't fix it.

I have NO complaints. :) I am SO excited about all that 2010 will bring.

And even if 2009 was a year you can't wait to see gone, why focus on THAT? I don't get it. It's like folks whose Twitter streams and Facebook pages are shrines to all the things they want to criticize. Dude? What's the POINT? How's about we focus on what we want and not what we don't want? I'm so filled with love and hope and excitement over where we're headed, I can't even remember what was "wrong" with 2009. It's like a fight with a loved one. The next day, who can even remember what seemed so important during that fight? It's just not worth it. (And even if you can remember vividly, why do you want to dwell on that?)

It's like one of my favorite new mantras of the year, "I can feel better or I can keep thinking about THAT."

So, let's feel better. Let's be so freakin' excited about what's ahead for 2010 that we can't even remember what might have been less-than-awesome about 2009. Cool? Well, whether it's cool with y'all or not, that's how I'm gonna do it.

I'm in love with my life and ain't nevah gonna apologize for that!

Welcome, 2010! I love ya' already. :)

Posted by bonnie at 3:44 PM | Comments (3)

December 23, 2009

2009 in Questions

(See also 2008 in Questions, 2007 in Questions, 2006 in Questions, 2005 in Questions, and 2004 in Questions.)

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

Attend the world premiere of a film I cast at a festival across the country. Travel to Australia.

2. Did you keep your 2009 resolutions? Will you make more for 2010?

I actually don't make resolutions (I know, I always say that), but in 2009, I actually pledged a couple of things: "Say yes more," and, "More funny, more money." Absolutely, I said yes to lots of things I had become accustomed to saying NO to (in fear of over-committing, usually) and that opened up all sorts of worlds I'd not previously entered to such a degree. As for "more funny," no doubt. I laughed more in 2009 than I probably ever have. My friends--my family of choice--fill my days and nights with so much bliss and fun and memories that will last a lifetime (and we've only just begun). And regarding the "more money" part of things, surely, there was more of that. I need to get more specific in 2010, though. I want lots more. Like, I'm ready to build a sofa made of money. Let's do it Oprah-style, baby.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

This is weird, because this time last year, I mentioned a "bunch of pregnant friends," yet only a couple--and no one in the "inner circle"--gave birth this year, so I'm wondering who the heck I was thinking about last year when I answered these questions. Heh. Anyway. Two very dear friends are about to pop right now, so there will be babies in 2010 for sure! (And if Keith has it his way, there will be one here too.)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yeah. An elderly great-uncle I hadn't seen in 15 years, the last director I worked under as an actor before I retired nearly a decade ago, and a fellow casting director who ended her own life. Not good. But, as they say, that's life, y'know?

5. What countries did you visit?

Woo hoo! I visited Australia, baby! That was awesome!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Same answer as last year: a mortgage! But, I trust that we will buy our house when everything lines up for that to be our right and perfect house. I needn't stress about the timing, as it's not up to me anyway.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

Probably the day after my birthday, which is weird, because I usually don't do much "holiday association" as far as sentimentality goes. But July 12th, the day after my 39th birthday, was the day we gathered our dearest friends together for a blissful night filled with laughs, song, food and drink, and just pure LOVE. I realized how rich I am, as I sat up on stage, being serenaded by some of the best-looking men in this town, while a gaggle of the best-looking women--and non-singing men--danced on the dance floor below us. I've always known it's the simple things that make us truly happy people. And cultivating lasting, beautiful, lifelong friendships is a simple thing. You just constantly surround yourself with the best people on the planet and have no apologies for letting the negative nellies and poison playmates GO. That's a rich life, right there. I am so lucky.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Staring fear in the face (Does fear have a face?) and doing scary stuff anyway. Launching new ventures, building new partnerships, cutting off successful things at "easy tiers" in order to jump up to successful things at the bigger tiers, and trusting that my team is so fucking rockstar that there is no way these irons we have in the proverbial fire can't work. This is pretty dang amazing stuff we're doing. And I know we're going to look back on this year and say, "A-ha! This is when it all came together." I know that because I felt it as it happened. I continue to feel it as it's happening. I am so grateful for feeling the feelings. I've done that a lot this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I'm not big into calling "life lessons" "failures," because I truly believe we get so much benefit from the stuff that looks failure-like, in life. But, as with 2008, in 2009 I continued to be offered an opportunity to refine my picker. I s'pose I have to see this as a grand compliment to how enticing I make my world look, to the non-pro wannabes and high-end haters out there. Luckily, they are quicker and quicker to scurry away under the "discomfort" of living with transparency, which I provide a constant way to do. And the lessons cost me less and less, each time. The best benefit to all of this is the fact that I am rewarded with a monumentally more significantly important business partner, co-conspirator, and/or true friend at every turn. So, the "toll" for crossing the bridge into a higher tier is worth it. The rewards over here are much, much better. Cutting to the chase: No failure. Only lessons. And gratitude for them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Heh. Twisted my ankle on Thanksgiving while in Australia. First full day there, and I became Gimpy McGee for the duration of my time with the Australian Institute for Performing Arts. It was hilarious. And I stayed in good spirits about it all. I mean, what choice did I have?

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Y'know, I'm not sure I have a good answer for this. I celebrated with so many who behaved in beautiful, grace-filled ways this year. It's like the folks I used to look up to are more within my line of sight these days. I'm celebrating with the people who inspire me, more than ever before. That's pretty badass.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Eh, if I have to answer this, I'd have to say--in general--folks who live without integrity. Those who talk out of both sides of their mouths. People who promise what they can never deliver and expect to get away with it, because their excuses sound so good to them. But really, I'm less appalled or depressed by anyone, these days, as I begin to realize that no one outside of ME is responsible for how I FEEL about anything that anyone else does.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Producing the 2009 Cricket Feet Showcase. It was pretty amazing. We reached our five-year goal--in many ways--in just over two years. But what we didn't reach was our financial goal for the showcase, which meant we went out of pocket several thousand dollars and were set to have to do that again--plus raise the price--in 2010 in order to do it at all. So, the showcase is now on hiatus. We know how to do it. We changed the game. And when Cricket Feet is in a place to need to lose 30 grand a year, we'll produce totally free showcases (which was always our goal) and rock this town again.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Again, I'll say Hacienda Hot Springs, because as I this post goes live, we're either just about to head off for--or are enjoying--another of our quickie private spa getaways. There is nothing so relaxing as this place and how I am while I'm there. And that's worth getting very excited about. So I do! At least twice a year. ;)

15. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Black-Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling. Especially the "lipdub" version of it. Awesome. Inspiring. A never-disappoint watch, for me.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Happier. Always so much happier.

b) thinner or fatter?

Thinner, thinner, thinner. It's so exciting, being this close to goal. I set out, in December of 2007, to be the healthiest 40-year-old I could possibly be. I'll be 40 in just under seven months. I am going to reach my goal. That's phenomenal. I'm so proud of me!

c) richer or poorer?

Richer. Our money guy even told us we need to watch out for managing our net operating loss. I have no idea what that means. (Kidding. Of course I do. It's just funnier if I'm bumping into making more money these days.)

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Relax. Take breaks. Play. (And I played quite a bit, so I do honor and treasure that.) It's just because I work so damn hard that I'd like to add in a bit more downtime to the equation. I've earned it, and I'm reaching the age where I'd like to take a little of it. ;)

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Hurt. I had some back pain I could've lived without. My ankle too. A gut-wrenching gut ache that got really painful. That stuff is not so fun, and I'm finding ways to get in better balance so that my body doesn't have to scream at me in order to get me to take a break, once in a while. (See how this ties in with # 17?)

19. How will you be spending Christmas?

Basking in the afterglow of days filled with massages, hottubbing, saunaing, steaming, sexing, eating well, drinking well, and making our year-end list of things to welcome into our new year at the above-mentioned Hacienda Hot Springs. Our year-end getaway. So frickin' well-earned. Once we return to LA-LA Land, we'll celebrate Jewish Christmas by seeing movies and eating Chinese food with our orthodox friends. And then it's time to prep the breakdown for another casting gig. Yes. During the "break." I love it.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

I am constantly falling in love. With people, with things, with places, with my life. I have it so good.

21. What was your favorite TV program?

This was the year I got hooked on So You Think You Can Dance (thank you, Kathi). Still loved Big Bang Theory and The Mentalist. Go, CBS. Yes. I'm old.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don't hate. I've got no time for that nonsense.

23. What was the best book you read?

Without a doubt, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I even did a vid about it, in January, calling it the best book of the year. It has had a profound impact on me. (And I've read a LOT of good books this year. Still finishing a few. Awesome book year. Thank you, so many wonderful friends, for recommending a year of great reads. This has been very good for me!)

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hmm... I'm not sure I made one this year. Well... let's say Glee, although that's really a cheat, since it's a show. But I found myself wanting random people in public places to break into song, constantly, this year. And I think that's got to be the effect of watching Glee and believing every moment calls for a good musical number.

25. What did you want and get?

Happiness. Peace. Love. Fun. Respect. Career advancement. Time with Quinn. Just good ol' goodness.

26. What did you want and not get?

That dang sofa made of money. Our first house. The shiba inu and puggle pups that come with our first house. Absolute financial security (heh, like anyone truly ever has that) so that we can produce our friends' great films, shoot the pilot of our great series, launch our great web distribution channel, and basically supply the world with awesomeosity on our dime, constantly.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Ooh, Good Hair. I loved it. I loved seeing it with Tanya and Ryan. I can't wait to see it again. Brilliant. I'm a big fan of documentaries anyway, but this one was remarkably funny and well-structured. Loved it. (And of course, I'll say Another Harvest Moon is right up there behind that one, as I attended its premieres in Rhode Island and in Hollywood. And I had my moment. It was awesome.)

28. What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?

Hmm. On my birthday? Remember what I said about not being terribly tied to the actual days, in any way? Um... let's see. We saw Louis & Keely the night before (my third time, I think) and hung out with Diva Zappa and her mom a bit. Ate some cheese. Shopped at the market near UCLA after the play like a couple of old folks headed home after a play. So, probably my actual birthday was spent sleeping, writing (getting prepped for having my column turned in early, as is typical when I have anything planned on a Sunday, since that's my writing day), and hanging out in deep appreciation for all I've got in the world. As Sunday, the day after my birthday, was the above-mentioned "etched in my memory" day, spent with my family of choice, celebrating my existence--and the beginning of the end of my 30s.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Have I mentioned the sofa made of money? Yeah. As usual, I have everything I could ever need or want in my life (love, friendship, fitness, health, happiness, fulfilling work, laughter, peace) and even the money thing is just a bonus. I'd really like to be able to finance not only my dreams but the dreams of others whose work I believe in. That'd be awesome. Sorry... that will be awesome. Just wait.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Ah! 2009 was the year I got hip to color! (Thank you, Jill Kirsh!) I wore more red, more blue, more purple, and less less less black. But still wore jeans and chunky sandals and cool-ass, square-toed boots. I branched out with some of my jewelry (thanks to my beautiful friends who paid attention to my attempts to branch out and bought me things just at the edge of my comfort zone) and even put more drastic layers in my hair. I'm cute. Yay, me!

31. What kept you sane?

Laughter. My friends. (Both of which are connected, deeply.) Weekly meetings with the best people on the planet, who agreed to gather with me in an effort to work out career goals, remove personal and professional blocks, and co-conspire for our collective success.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Hello Kitty! I even went to her 35th birthday celebration exhibit when it made it to Los Angeles. I know, it's corny. Still... that girl is awesome!

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Prop 8. I know it was last year, but this was the year that I got motivated to put my face behind the cause. I joined the silent protest and added myself to the thousand or so others who have gone in front of Adam Bouska to do the same. To the many thousands who have submitted their own photos. Let's end this discrimination and let us all get gay married if we want to!

34. Who did you miss?

My mom, as always. But what I miss is that I could hear her saying back to me what I still feel her sharing with me. What I miss is the knowing that I get what she's guiding me to do. But if I get quiet enough, I already have all that. And I know she's not missing me, as she gets to be in on so much more of what my day-to-day is like, now.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Ryan Basham. Hands down. I've been the fairy godmother to a good many people for most of my life. It's my turn to have someone bring some magic and manifesting into my life. That's Ryan. And he happens to be one of the bestest male girlfriends a gal could ever have. I am very pleased to have welcomed him into my world, and onto Team Cricket Feet. World domination begins in 3... 2... 1...!

36. What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2009?

Say yes more. You can always pull back. Be open. Invite blessings in, and in they come.

37. What song lyrics sum up your year?

525,600 minutes
525,000 moments so dear
525,600 minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In 525,600 minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love. Seasons of love

It's time now to sing out, tho the story never ends
Let's celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love...

Posted by bonnie at 6:02 PM | Comments (2)

December 22, 2009

The Year in Review

(See also 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004.)

Take the first line (or so) from the first post of each month of 2009. That's your Year In Review.

January 2009:
Is it possible that it's January 11th and I'm posting my first blog entry of the year? Truly, Facebook and video blogging and Twitter have collectively taken over my blogging energy.

February 2009:
Then and Now
So, last night was the book party for the 3rd edition of Self-Management for Actors.

March 2009:
Mar09 12 of 12
Oh, my lordy, what a looooooong day. I really need to get to sleep, because tomorrow (er, later today) is an even loooooooonger day and with even more meetings than the three I had today. Ack! And eep! And yay! :)

April 2009:
12 of 12 April 09
Hello the end of April 12th. :) I'm sooo ready to sleep. Today's 12 of 12 is an all in-house version, but a busy day, nonetheless. Not sure what 12 of 12 might be? Please stop by Chad Darnell's site for all the info. He created it and he's a badass. Please consider joining us next month! It's ever so much fun to see what's going on all over the world on a single day. :)

May 2009:
12 of 12 for May 2009
Well all right! This day was CRAZY busy and I'm typing up this blog entry using the 'puter we call The Chicklet (and she was bought after I got hired on my first casting gig, well over six years ago) b/c Keith decided to work on my 'puter (called Sid, bought 18 months ago, and apparently in BIG need of a defrag) and the most fun part of all of this is the fact that three keys are missing or misplaced on this 'puter, and I'm having to *really* watch myself to be sure I'm getting my letters right.

June 2009:
Worst Two Days
Today is one of the worst two days of the year (the other one is a month from now). Today is when it's been the longest since we've had Quinn with us. And a month from now is when it'll be the longest 'til we see him again.

July 2009:
"Another Harvest Moon" TRAILER
So, I mentioned before that I was thrilled that the trailer for Another Harvest Moon went live on the film's website.

August 2009:
Awesomeosity in a Bottle
You know that feeling you sometimes have? That feeling of, "I freakin' ROCK!"

September 2009:
Snow Leopard/MS Entourage/Address Book NIGHTMARE
Bear with me. I'm posting this at my blog, in a note at Facebook, in the tech forum at Apple's site, and that means it's going to be a nice, long read to get everyone up to speed in case there's a kind soul out there who can help with this ridiculousity. Keith is also taking a print-out of this whole thing to the Genius Bar tomorrow. Our last hope.

October 2009:
Not sure I'll ever understand suicide. I mean, of course I understand the emotional heaviness, the absolute despair, the certainty that nothing will ever get better and that there is no hope. I've been there. I know.

November 2009:
Eeeeeeee! Australia!
Okay, so in just over a week, I board a big-ass plane for a long-ass time and travel into the future to arrive a day earlier in Sydney Australia.

December 2009:
12 'o 12 'o the last month 'o the '09, y'all!
I know, I know... it's getting down to the fact that the only blog posts I make are about the 12. Well, thank you, Chadtastic, for that. :) At least there's somethin'. :) And such.


I have to say, this has been a pretty ridiculously good year. There were several times during the year when Keith and I talked about how very hard things are for everyone, but still we were able to find so much about which we could be grateful. We've got it so good. Sooo good.

Thank you, everyone, for being a part of our awesomeosity. Here's to a 2010 filled with greenlit projects, green money, green leafy vegetables, and all other good green things! It's a Kermit, Keriopi, Cricket Feet year!

Posted by bonnie at 2:04 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2009

2009 in Photos

One of the best parts about doing 12 of 12 is the year-end wrap-up it provides! Thanks again, Chad, for a lovely project allowing us to look back on how filled with gifts the year truly was.

January: Working out, working out, working out.

February: Class Rules!

March: Another pre-class Team Cricket Feet meeting at Gloria's.

April: Our last Cricket Feet Showcase.

May: Ten pounds away from goal weight! Yay, Wii Fit! Yay, Bon!

June: Quinn learns the power of production with The Quinn Show.

July: ¡Mi familia! Celebrating my birthday at Boardwalk 11.

August: "Ensemble cast from heaven," in two editions of Variety. Another Harvest Moon is a casting dream come true.

September: AnnaVo and I have played The Prosperity Game daily since September 5th. As of December 18th, we've spent $5,565,000 each. I love this game.

October: Keith's hoya has taught me PATIENCE, and I celebrate that on our seventh nonaversary.

November: Promo posts for my Australian Institute for Performing Arts' sponsored trip to Sydney.

December: Spent a lot of time with my WriteGirl mentee Alejandra this year.

Another amazing year! More year-end reviews to come. :) Ah... love the reflecting. So many lessons, so many discoveries, so much love!

Posted by bonnie at 8:31 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2009

A love letter to writing.

I read Colleen Wainwright's post about Sundays. And I realized I owed my blog a few things. Year-end round-up posts (always some of my favorite to write), more posts in general (this has become a home for 12 of 12 and little else, it seems), and a love letter to my writing ritual.

Why the latter?

Because with all the talk I've done about feeling the feelings this year, I realize I've spent the better part of a decade writing something every freakin' week for actors, and haven't really written about what that feels like.

Colleen's post, plus something that happened several times in Sydney, tells me it's time to put this into words.

I love writing for actors. Almost every week for ten years, I've shown up at a blank Word doc on a Mac laptop (first an unnamed tangerine clamshell iBook; then the Chicklet, a silver G4 PowerBook; then Zed, a white G4 iBook Pro; now Sid, a black 2.16GHz MacBook) and asked myself, "How do I start this?" and the answer takes shape in words click-clacked out at 83WPM or so in response. It's like a ouija board. I just put my fingers out there, and it comes.

First there was "Casting Qs" a biweekly, then weekly (this happened very quickly, as the column was a popular one) column Rob Kendt (then editor-in-chief, later associate publisher) of Back Stage West asked me to create. It was 1999. I was an actor. I was doing in-house temp work at BSW and came in once or twice every week or so, to cover a desk when someone was out sick or on leave. I was given some assignments here and there, mostly transcription work from other reporters with stacks of tapes to get through. And then one day Rob asked me to write "Casting Ouch," a 200-word blurb about a casting notice that ran previously in BSW that turned out to be skeevy, when actors showed up for the audition.

Within ten minutes, I emailed him the blurb, based on the bullet-point list of facts I'd been given, and suddenly he was standing over me at my cubicle-for-the-day, an eyebrow raised. "Who are you?" he asked.

"What do you mean? I'm Bonnie Gillespie," I flirtatiously answered.

"No," he clarified, holding a print-out of the words I had emailed to him, "What's your background? How did you do this?"

I said, "Oh! I have a masters degree in journalism."

He quickly escorted me to his office and offered me a job. I declined. He offered a different job. I declined. (Dammit, I was an actor and no flexible survival job was going to turn into a real job with benefits and a regular paycheck. No thank you!)

The third offering was an actor-slash-writer's dream come true.

"How about a freelance column? You interview casting directors. Ten cents a word. Basically, a hundred bucks a pop. Is that flexible enough for you?"

I'm thinking to myself, "So I get to go into the offices of casting people who won't invite me in when I want to show up with a headshot and resumé, but because I show up with a notepad and a microcassette recorder, they'll give me access? And I'll get them talking about themselves for an hour or so, write it all up, turn it in, and you'll print it in a publication read by tens of thousands of actors per week? And you'll pay me?"

"Do I own the rights to my work?" I asked.


And a deal was made.

Over 250 casting directors interviewed in three years. Some of my best friendships in this industry started over coffee or lunch or cocktails with a casting director willing to have this chick from Back Stage West ask some questions, to demystify the process for actors everywhere. A life-changing turn on a path that would lead me to become a casting director (or as Colleen said last night, "A writer who works in casting." I like that), leaving acting behind, yet causing me to write about it every freakin' week.

Three books for actors: Casting Qs, which is of course a collection of the first hundred or so interviews I did for Back Stage West; Acting Qs, which is a collection of interviews with working actors, conceived and co-written by rockstar actor-writer Blake Robbins; and "my baby," Self-Management for Actors, which is in its third top-selling edition, and pretty much what I'm known for creating, based on those interviews and the map I drew out for my then-boyfriend Keith Johnson, as I advised him on how to navigate a professional acting career without hitting the many potholes so many actors seem to land in, as they go.

And now I'm coming up on six years of weekly columns with Showfax at a place they named "The Actors Voice." (I lost the fight over the apostrophe.)

While I was in Sydney recently, I did day-long casting workshops with some of the top casting directors on the planet. People with decades more experience than I have, and certainly with films under their casting belts that have grossed more money than anything I've ever cast would ever aspire to bring in. Let's face it, I specialize in micro-budget indies. And I have no complaints. I love the niche I've built for myself in casting, and I'm very good at what I do: Working with amazing scripts, brought to me by rockstar teams, and going after actors who aren't in it for the money. That's a perfect business model for Cricket Feet Casting, and as we come up on seven years of my life in casting, it's working really well.

But I knew, as I was doing these workshops with these awesome casting directors, that theirs were filling up due to their IMDb pages. The films they are known for casting are the reason actors want to be in front of them; they want to be seen by someone who has cast such high-profile stuff. Because they'll continue to cast high-profile stuff. Because they could be the person who helps facilitate a big break.

Not me. My IMDb impresses no one at first glance. It's only after clicking around and realizing what I've been able to do at micro-budget levels with first-time directors, often, that you begin to understand there's something cool going on. To even get a script in front of some of the legends I have cast speaks to the years of relationship-building and the amount of trust agents and managers put in my word, when I tell them that reading the script will not be a waste of their time. My picker is good. My word is even better.

So, when my workshops were low in the numbers, I wasn't surprised.

And then something happened in the very first workshop of the eight I was hired to conduct for the Australian Institute for Performing Arts. An actor who had driven in from across the country (sorry, continent) to be there said, "I got into acting because I knew I could do it, having read your columns and your book." She excitedly bought the third edition to replace her well-worn copy of the first edition and asked me to autograph it. She asked someone else in the class to take a photo of us together, while I signed the book.

I was in awe.

And then it happened again, in another workshop. And again, in another. And then I had brunch with a manager who told me she structured her business model "LA-style" based on what she learned about self-management from reading my book, and that's allowed her to tier-jump significantly faster than anyone predicted she would (and a Sydney-based casting director friend of mine verified that was absolutely true of this manager and her rise through the ranks).

That's when it hit me. I'm never going to be the kind of casting director that actors rush out to get face time with based on the "hit" I just cast. It's not about the opportunities that I can provide anyone, that they care to meet with me, in general. It's that they know they're going to learn something. It's that I've shown through my words to them, for decades, that there is a way to keep your sanity while in this show business pursuit. And they value that.

That's awesome.

So, this is a love letter to the opportunity Rob Kendt gave me in 1999 and the one Bob Brody and Gary Marsh gave me in 2004: To write, weekly, for tens of thousands of actors, worldwide.

I am so completely humbled and blessed and honored to have the venue at which we all meet up and get to work.

As I mentioned to Colleen last night, I was very late to self-identify as a writer. I don't know why, but I was hesitant to claim it, even though writing generated (and continues to generate) the greatest chunk of my income each year. I guess I saw writing as high art, and I saw what I was doing as just journaling in public. Sharing my shit with anyone who cared to read it. Opining.

But dammit, if the 112 Twitter "lists" I'm on have taught me something, it's this: Y'all tell me I'm a writer. (Sure, a few of those lists call me a casting director--and one even calls me an agent, which I'm not--and a few more call me "fun to read" or "funny" or "smart," but it's the bulk of them that call me a writer. So, I claim it. I started claiming it a few years ago. Now I really do.)

Keith and I had dinner last week during which our conversation turned to "my next book." And we're debating a couple pretty awesome options, while wondering when there will be time to work on any books during production on the series; launch of the web distribution channel; touring to teach actors in other cities, states, and countries; and casting and producing several films in 2010. And we want to buy our house. And Keith wants to knock me up. And there's just so much going on.

But that I know there is a "next book" (or rather, several more) is pretty dang cool.

I love the blank page and the promise it provides.

I love filling that page, week after week.

And I love that you fine folks love the order in which I sometimes arrange words. That's pretty dang awesome. And I'm feeling that.

I remember fighting with my mom, as she would say (when I was a pre-teen, writing some script or short story or poem or song or whatever), "My daughter, the writer." I would fire back, "MUH-THUR! I AM AN ACT-TRESS!" and stomp a foot and leave the room.

Okay, Momma. You--as always--were right. And thank you for having nurtured that in me. It's a gift and I treasure it. You taught me the beauty of the analogy, and I never seem to run out of 'em.

Let's hope not, anyway.

Posted by bonnie at 1:45 PM | Comments (14)

December 13, 2009

12 'o 12 'o the last month 'o the '09, y'all!

I know, I know... it's getting down to the fact that the only blog posts I make are about the 12. Well, thank you, Chadtastic, for that. :) At least there's somethin'. :) And such.

And if the Facebook keeps up its craptastic ways, I'll be back here more often than ever. And then some. :\ I know, what a badass, threatening some mega complex of people-moving with my gone-ness. Whatevs.


1:47am: Up after a ridiculous three-hour nap at the end of Friday, putting the finishing touches on the TOS and submission release form for the new distribution venture Cricket Feet will be launching totally on the downlow during the holiday season. Yes! All early birds FTW! I can't even get into how awesome this is. :) Stay tuned!

2:53am: Yes, I'm heading for the sleep, but first I'm posting a tribute to my lovely stepson, who is 11 today. What a great kid! (Photo from our last dinner together, July 2009.) Loves you, Quinn! Enjoy the snow. :) We'll see you in 5.5 months. :)

10:47am: Some random Alvarado Street market, on the way--in the rain--to the first WriteGirl event of the new season! Love the umbrellas, things for sale, and wilingness to make it happen, even the rain. That's America, people. :)

12:22pm: Realizing she's been my mentee for nearly a year, and we've not yet had an official photo together... this is my rockstar Alejandra. She's now a junior, and I've been working with her every couple of weeks since early in her sophomore year. Ah, I so enjoy our time together! Like I've said, WriteGirl does more for me than for her, every day. :) I'm so grateful she lets me share HER with me. :)

2:36pm: Write, WriteGirl, write! I love this organization and I am so grateful to be a part of it! Thank you, Annie Wood, for the hookup. :) See you tomorrow at YOUR partay!

5:15pm: Heading out to Tegan's holiday party. Prepped with chocolate dreamwhip pie (Keith's speciality), spinach dip (the only thing I know how to make), and wine. We've just had a HUGE conversation about the tech specifics behind our new distribution venture, and it's kind of intense. But in the end, there's party hopping to do, so we'll work out these specifics shortly. :) Stay tuned! It's gonna be... well, awesome. :)

6:40pm: This is one of the MANY reasons that Tegan's parties are so fantastic. Detail. Decorating apples for the wassail (with cloves). Aweseomesauce!

6:49pm: Dude. Kara Lipson's spicy candied bacon is not photographed, but it totally changed my world. Totes. Cannot wait to have it again. :) There has been recipe Googling. Seriously. Meanwhile, this is the spread at Tegan's, for round one. Believe me, there was a fuck-ton more, shortly! :) Tegan's is all about the kitchen!

7:36pm: I can't EVEN get through to you about how this sounds. Seriously. You don't get it. Even if you love four-part harmony and think you understand, you don't get it. It was amazing. I teared up and, I'm told, I didn't even hear the show-stopper. Amazing. Beautiful. It's like why I love Glee. Show up and sing in harmony for no reason and I swoon. Thank you, friends, for the celebration.

8:12pm: Well, time to show up at party number two of the night, after another big-ass drive through the rain. This is Lisa's early spread. I think she kind of has the same deal as at Tegan's: Show up with a shareable app. And then, no matter when you're in the mix, there's something you've made that makes someone happy! :) And dig in! :)

9:23pm: I have lots of reasons for loving Lisa Soltau. Lots. One is, she let me cast her in one of the last plays we both did before we stopped acting. Two, she says I'm the reason she got into casting, as she had left town and I sent her a copy of Casting Qs. It gave her ideas. And hope. And now, she's a famous rockstar casting director. And one of my besties for seriously nearly a decade, at this point. Small freakin' world!

10:38pm: It's getting interesting, as all parties do. But Keith and I have been really good (read: virgins) and it's time to go home. Damnit. We owe all y'all a ridiculous amount of inappropriate behavior. Eep! Three parties tomorrow? Really? Ack! Well... if you say so! G'nite!

As always, thank you, Chad, for another lovely 12 of 12. :) Keep on rockin', good folks! LYMI!

Posted by bonnie at 2:11 AM | Comments (5)