Indie Series Award Win

The day started out a winner because I got to spend it with my best friend Emily Oliver. We’re both so busy, it is special when we get to have a girl’s day together. Oh, and did I mention she is a celebrity makeup artist? She is. We had a great time getting ready and she worked her magic on my face. Then we met the Wrecked crew for the best pre-ceremony meal: Pizza!

I started the show backstage because fellow Washingtonian, Jonathan Holbrook, and I introduced the clips for our respective web series. I was nervous, but we made it across the stage without me JLawing (yes that is a verb). We quickly sat down after our clips and then something crazy happened.

I won an award.

I was seriously not expecting it. At. All.

There were so many wonderful performances in my category (Jessica DiGiovanni for 25, Swati Kapila for Bloomers, Darcie Siciliano for He’s With Me, Deidre Hall for Dating in the Middle Ages, and Katie Gill for My Synthesized Life). At first I thought they called someone else’s name. Then I realized they called my name and got really confused. Did they make a mistake? Emily was sitting next to me and grabbed my purse and gestured for me to get on the stage.  I have never won or been nominated for my work for anything, and here I was winning and ISA! I was very happy with my performance as Maggie and proud of Wrecked, so it was a sweet sweet surprise.

I managed to sound somewhat coherent while accepting my award then I was swept backstage for photos and an interview. The rest of the evening was like I was in a dream and the after party was amazing. How was it amazing you ask? There were cupcakes. Delicious, chocolatey, plentiful cupcakes. You know I have a chocolate problem so that was my first stop. Oh and I also got to meet some amazing people. But really. Those cupcakes were unreal.

Em's toolbox

Em’s toolbox

Besties

Besties

Doing the press line

Doing the press line

Presenting with Jonathan Holbrook

Presenting with Jonathan Holbrook

Post win

Post win

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am still checking the award to see if my name is really on it (it always seems to be), and it is fun seeing all of the photos from the evening. I have to say, the fine folks at the ISAs know how to do it up right. From the press line to the after party, everything was organized and flowed smoothly. Everyone looked amazing in their red carpet best and it was inspiring to see the leaders in web programming being recognized.

 

Still coming off my cloud,

Signature

 

 

 

 

Stop Doing List

I love getting emails from entrepreneur, life-coach, and general High Priestess Danielle LaPorte. Today she sent one that hit me in the feels. It was about a Stop Doing list. As she said,

“What you stop doing is just as important as the things you start doing.”

I have been so focused these last couple months on the things I can start doing, or continue doing, that I haven’t taken time to prune away the things I do that aren’t serving me. As I haven’t been able to see the forest for the trees lately, I promptly sat down and made my list. Here she be:

Stop Doing List

 

(Forgive me changing from first to third person, that just seems to be the way I refer to myself…)  I have been taking other people’s opinions and perceptions of me and my talent as gospel. As you can imagine, I haven’t been feeling that great about myself and my skill as an actor.

But what if I just stopped doing that? Something tells me I would feel a lot better.

What would be on your Stop Doing List? I’m gonna try mine out for a while.

xo,

Signature

Peter O’Toole

It really is the little things in life that can make your day. I have been loving my new place in California, but one of the pleasantly surprising things about it is the mysterious little visitor we get.

I have named him/her Peter O’Toole because of the wonderful blue eyes possessed by this kitty. Sometimes Peter hides in the plants under the stairs and I just see a little face poking out. Sometimes Peter lounges in the flower bed. Or sits by the mailboxes.

Peter O'Toole

 

My building doesn’t allow pets, so I’m not sure who Peter belongs to, but I’m always glad for a visit!

xo,

Signature

Indie Series Award Nomination!

 

 

website-isa

A couple weeks ago, I had the great surprise and pleasure of learning I have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for the Indie Series Awards! I knew our series, Wrecked, had gotten some noms (and a couple wins last year) but I had no idea I was one of them until the director texted me. What a wonderful surprise! As an actor, you just try to do the best work you can, not having any thought of it ever being recognized. I’ve also never been nominated for anything so this has been pretty special for me.

The awards are April 2nd in North Hollywood. It’s totally cliche, but I feel like I’ve already won!

 

Here are my performances that garnered the nomination:

WARNING: Adult language and themes!

Roomies: 2:21-3:49, 4:46-9:19

Kitchen Sink: 0:50-3:09, 6:41-7:49, 9:21-10:12

The Science of Acting

I know. Math is hard. Which is why we become actors.

However, as I have come to learn, math is a big part of being an actor. What your salary is going to be. The budget breakdown for your short film. How many roles of a new pilot are given to name actors and how many to the masses. Box office reports. IMDB Star Meters. Yup. Lots of numbers.

One way to deal with all of these numbers is to organize them. There is so much information to understand as an actor, that you need to make it easy on yourself. This is where the spreadsheet comes in. Spreadsheets aren’t just for boring 9-5 jobs or school assignments. They are the foundation of any successful and organized enterprise.

Let’s take a look at my spreadsheet arsenal:

1. Pilots

I have a whole spreadsheet dedicated to the current pilot orders. Here is how I organize it:

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 10.46.58 AMNow I know all of the pertinent information about any given show. I highlight my favorites, and lowlight my not-so-favorites. Check Deadline daily for new pilot orders, and then update the spreadsheet!

2. Film Festivals

I have started a list of film festivals for future project submissions. Here is how that breaks down:

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 10.50.25 AM

 

I will be able to plan a submission schedule and budget when the time comes.

3. Target List

This is for representation. Though I’m not actively seeking an agent in LA, I will be soon enough.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 10.53.12 AM

 

I take an actor I like in a role category (co-star, guest-star, etc.) in which I could be cast. Go to your trusty IMDBpro and look them up. Who is their rep? Write that sh*t down! See how you could fit into the roster: how does your Star Meter compare, is there someone exactly like you, etc.? Make notes and adjust the rank accordingly. When you are ready to seek representation, you have a pretty good place to start.

4. Fall TV Directory

Much like the Pilot Spreadsheet, I have a Fall TV one as well. When the new fall tv schedule comes out: write that sh*t down! This one is based on a color code for me. Sort them by network and then show, then color them in:

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.04.09 AM

 

I watch at least one episode of every new show. That way I know if it is a good fit for me. Or if I get an audition, I will know what to expect.

5. Show Bible

Ms. Bonnie Gillespie ain’t messin around. If she says to make a Show Bible, you make a damn Show Bible. Trust me, I wish I had done this sooner. Mine is a list of all the people I have met or worked with (save those call sheets!) That way you have a reference in case you forget a name or need contact info.

Evernote is another great program to use for this. You can make, as I like to call them, “trading cards” for people. Add a picture, name, company and credits, and contact info. Like a souped up rolodex.

These are my main spreadsheets. I have more and update them regularly. The last time I was in LA, a manager I met was so impressed with my industry knowledge, she said I should be an agent. Bam! Know the game so you can play it.

Smart actors know there is a science to the business. It is worth the effort to figure it out.

xo,

Signature

 

 

Venus

I was lucky enough to go to the Louvre last summer. Of course you must see the main attractions: The Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and the Venus de Milo. They are considered some of the most beautiful works of art of all time. Having seen them, I have to agree.

But something that has recently struck me, as I reminisce, is that here are these famous depictions of women- supposedly the most beautiful of all time, yet they are all imperfect. Granted, the Mona Lisa is perfect in it’s execution (I swear that thing has some sort of black magic in it), the woman herself is not perfect. She has no eyebrows! She is not classically beautiful. But she is renowned the world over. Winged Victory has no head or arms! She is a veteran of war, yet her strength moves us to this day.

Venus de Milo

Lastly, there is the Venus de Milo. I was struck by how technically sophomoric she was compared to so many other works of art in the museum. The proportions are off; the craftsmanship is not masterful; the marble slabs don’t always blend well. However, there were hoards of people around her.

All three of these women that make up these famous works of art would probably not be considered beautiful in today’s society. They are amputees, masculine, full figured, damaged. Yet we value them so highly. It makes me wonder how the appreciation of our women in classical art and the living, breathing women of today became so discrepant.

When I see women of all sorts today (and even when looking at my own body), I see a story. Every story has beauty in it. Every woman has magic in her like the Mona Lisa. Every woman has strength like Winged Victory. And every woman has imperfections like the Venus de Milo. Let us celebrate our women like the works of art they are.

The Last Time

I’ve been pretty absent from the blog and newsletter recently, and it’s not just because I have been totally absorbed in my new short film. On November 16th, I said goodbye to my best friend of nineteen years. My little kitty, Coco, went to rest after a long and eventful life. As Christmas was her favorite time of year, it’s been a little hard this season.

IMG_1226

My pretty girl a couple months before she passed.

She had been coughing for about a week. In her long life she had rarely had a cold, and if she did there was usually some mucous involved. It was a dry cough so I made an appointment for the vet. One look at the x-ray and I knew it was time to let her go: her lungs were filling with fluid, her heart was twice its normal size, and her kidneys failing. There was a good chance she had a brain tumor as well due to her intermittent seizures. I was able to take her home for one more night and cover her with kisses and love. She had a seizure at the vet, and I think it led to a stroke as she never really recovered the use of her hind end. We were up every two hours so I could take her to the litter box, but she seemed so happy and peaceful. The next day I said goodbye, my hand on her chest as it came to stillness.

When I came home, I was overcome by the remaining signs of her: the litter boxes surrounded by potty pads because her arthritis and bad eyesight made her miss, the food dishes, the sheets covered in cat hair and soiled from her last night. I found them so beautiful: signs of a life so robust and long, and evidence of the beauty of  natural processes.

I got a roll of black and white film, dusted off the old 35mm, and documented these last signs of her.

65080013

The laundry closet door she always insisted that I keep open.

65080004

Her water and the pan needed to elevate it because she couldn’t crouch down.

65080005

She sure was.

65080018

The brush she had her whole life.

65080023

The bed stripped for cleaning.

65080001

Two litter boxes cleaned twice each day. Now there’s just a fireplace.

Coco was my first pet and was with me since I was eight years old. I miss her every day, but feel so lucky that she came into my life.

xoxo,

Signature

 

Lisa Squared Headshots

It was time for me to get some new head shots. Though my hair was relatively the same length, my shots from three years ago didn’t show all the life I had lived behind my eyes. As serendipity would have it, two of my favorite lady friends started taking some pretty stellar head shots. Here are my new photos from our fun (but chilly) session.

For more info, visit Lisa and Lisa here.

DSC_5480 DSC_5845 DSC_6040 DSC_6020 DSC_6063

Yay! Which one is your favorite?

xo,

Picture 2

Go For Rainbow podcast

The nice folks at Go for Rainbow podcast interviewed me for their Thanksgiving episode. We talked about filmmaking in Seattle, Gamers: Hands of Fate, Metroid: Other M, and I spoke a little Wookie.

mza_3138745158069371396.170x170-75

Here is where you can find the interview:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/go-for-rainbow!/id643359086

http://go4rainbow.libsyn.com/jessica-martin-on-acting-in-games-directing-and-speaking-wookie

I come in at the 44 minute mark.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by family and good food. I sure did!

xo,

Picture 2