Thursday, July 8, 2010
LA: city of angels and dreamers
Today was a busy day! First, was the second improv class at the Groundlings. Today we took a few notes and we went over all the things we would need to master or at least be comfortable with before the instructor will move us on to the next level of classes. Honestly this is the hardest improv has been for a long time. I've performed for years using a system that has worked for me and worked for UNH's Improv Anonymous. Now I have to reprogram myself to practice the method of improv that the Groundlings uses and has worked for their school for years. I'm not bitter about this, but it does make things a bit more difficult than I expected.
Then I had some good fortune. Lacey from http://laceyinthecity.blogspot.com/ who I met at a graduation party this summer was reading my blog and noticed that I was having some trouble looking for a job. Being from LA herself she made a few phone calls to some family members. Long story short I now have two leads for jobs! This is a nice change from sending in dozens of resumes and applications and hearing nothing back at all. Lacey is an amazing nice person and you should all give her blog a read.
After I spoke to the first of Lacey's leads I headed to Hollywood to a casting call for extras for a new movie or TV show. Honestly I don't really know what it was for, all I know is that there was a casting call and I had nothing else to do this afternoon so there I was. There must have been 20 people there and given how quickly people were coming and going and the fact that they had been going since 1 I can only imagine the sheer numbers that they had coming in and out. They were taking people in one at a time for a 5 minute mini-interview and a reading of a short monologue. I think I did really well, I only think this because the woman gave me a card and told me to call back tomorrow; something I don't think they would do if they didn't want you. But who knows. It was certainly an experience. It also was a good highlight of how many starving artists there are in LA. There were so many people there trying to be all cool and hip in clothes they probably couldn't afford, dropping headshots like they were on fire, and acting like they were all big shots. This was a casting call for extras mind you. I guess it just made me glad that I wasn't moving out west to be a movie star, because that is a long and lonely road paved with broken dreams. But then again, someone needs to be famous and you'll never know unless you try. Here I was thinking I was taking the risk, but these people must have a lot of confidence, good for them, even if they don't get famous. If worst comes to worst at least they can enjoy the beautiful weather.
I did learn something from the audition though. I think that these classes at the Groundlings might wind up being more of an investment than anything else. When I introduced myself to the woman at the casting call and she asked what brought me to LA I told her I was taking classes with the Groundlings. She commented how impressive this was and that they had a great program. The more people I talk to the more I realize that the Groundlings if nothing else provides some great training. There are a lot of people who have taken improv classes all over LA and aren't on SNL, but they are on writing staffs and working in comedy. If that's the best I can do, using the training I'm getting to help get another job in comedy then that's perfectly fine with me.
A note on the pic: those farm animals were photographed from our motel in Clinton, Oklahoma. That's right, they built an Econologe on a ranch. God bless America.