Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Well, I have good news. I think I may have found a new agent. After months of pounding the pavement, doing mailings, and trying to get an appointment.. I finally got an interview. I go back next Monday to see them for the second time, so hopefully all will go well. I am very excited about it, and it looks promising.

It also looks like I will be helping out with The Blank Theatre's Living Room Series in September. I am scheduled to help produce a Staged Reading at the end of September. I haven't ever done anything like this before, so it will be a new learning experience for me. And I just finished a Scene Study Class over at the Blank. So the last few months have been busy ....and the next month will be busy too!

Movie Review We Don't Live Here Anymore

Serious Drama about Married Life

We Don't Live Here Anymore is a serious drama about 2 married couples who are friends. They each end up cheating on the other.
Its an interesting story about what happens when marriage gets rough and people look outside their marriage for the answers.

The acting performances are wonderful in this movie. Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, and Naomi Watts are all outstanding.
Also, the direction is great. Just the way the scenes are filmed adds so much to the movie.

The film is very serious and intense, and deals with the topic in a very adult manner.

Mark Ruffalo- on Ebay
Laura Dern - on Ebay
Naomi Watts - on Ebay

Book Review - Acting: The First Six Lessons. (Theatre Arts Book) by R. Boleslavsky, Richard Boleslavski

Great Book for the Acting Student

I recently took a scene study class, and the teacher used this book as our reading material for the course. This is a great book to get if you want to find out what it takes to be a serious actor. The book teaches the basic foundations of acting, for example Concentration and Characterization and more.

It is told in a story type format with the Teacher meeting "The Creature" and her aunt and other people in her life. The characters in the book talk about the fundementals of what it takes to act. Because it is told in this format, the ideas in the book are very easy to follow.

I did find that the Teacher refering to his student as "The Creature" was somewhat demeaning. But then you have to consider how long ago this book was written and the time period it was written in. This was probably typical of the period. Even though the actual book was written so long ago, it is a classic for the acting student. And the techniques and methods the Teacher speaks about are things even modern day actors must learn.

If you are interested in the Craft of Acting, this is definately a book you should read.

Richard Boleslavski - on Ebay
Richard Boleslavsky - on Ebay

Book Review - Way of the lancer by Richard Boleslavski, jt. author Helen Rosen Woodward

First Hand Account of Russian History

I decided to read "Way of the Lancer" after reading Boleslavski's classic acting book "Acting the First Six Lessons".

Way of the Lancer is Boleslavski's account of when he served in the 1917 Russian war that saw Tsar Nicholas abdicate. It was published in 1932. The stories are still amazing and interesting. The book almost reads like a collection of short stories about the war. These are stories about young soldiers interacting with townspeople in ways that sometimes seem very unjust. It is a glimpse into a very different world, time period and mind-set. It is amazing to see how harsh the circumstances back in 1917 Russia were.

I normally don't read books about war or politics. But since Boleslavski is a noted acting instructor, I wanted to learn more about his life. I found this book very easy to read and understand. The stories of what happened to him and his fellow comrads during the war are amazing, and still fascinating.

I think this book is out of Print. I checked it out from the Los Angeles Public Library. I suggest you check it out at your local library.

Book Review - Q Is for Quarry by Sue Grafton

Very Interesting Mystery

I got the book-on-tape of Q is for Quarry. And I really enjoyed it. This is the first Sue Grafton novel I have listened to or read.

I really liked the fact that the story if built on a real unsolved murder mystery. For me that makes the story all the more interesting. And it is wonderful to think that a novel would do a good deed by helping to solve a murder.

I totally enjoyed the character of Kinsey. She is an interesting character as she goes about investigating her leads. I enjoyed how she shows concern for the people she interviews about the musrder. And how she shows a caring attitude toward the murder victim. The two grouchy older cops she works with, Dolan and Oliphant make for interesting characters. The humor tidbits added in about all the fast food they eat really add alot to the story. All in all, I find Sue Grafton's characters very true to life.

I really enjoyed this novel, and will be reading more of Sue Grafton's writings.

Sue Grafton - on Ebay

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Movie Review - The Manchurian Candidate

Dramatic and Powerful

The Manchurian Candidate had me on the edge of my seat through out the entire movie. During one of the scenes I actually jumped and my candy fell on the floor. That how intense the movie was.

Just watching the scenes where the military are brainwashing the soldiers - is so frightening and scary. When I left the movie, I was saying to myself "Now that was scary". Just the Sci-fi elements added to the brainwashing techniques were amazing.

Meryl Streep gives an outstanding performance as the over-bearing political mother who will do anything to get her son elected to office. But I think at Oscar time Liev Schreiber will be on everyone's list. He certainley does an excellant job portraying the brainwashed political candidate. Denzel is also great as the military man who is the one that figures out the truth of what is going on.

One of the best and most suspenseful movies of the Summer.

Denzel Washington - on Ebay

Meryl Streep - on Ebay

Liev Schreiber - on Ebay

Movie Review - The Village

Scary and Different

I think alot of people thought The Village was going to be a horror movie with scary monsters. The trailers are somewhat misleading. I don't want to give the story away, but it really is more of a psycological thriller with twists and turns that have to deal with the villagers in the movie.

I found it very interesting and very depressing at the same time. But the twist at the end did catch me by surprise, I couldn't tell it was coming.
So once I got over the fact that this wasn't your typical horror movie.. I could sit back and enjoy the plot twists.

Joaquin Phoenix - on Ebay

Adrien Brody - on Ebay

William Hurt - on Ebay

Sigourney Weaver - on Ebay

M. Night Shyamalan - on Ebay

Book Review - Conversations in the Wings by Roy Harris

Interesting Interviews with Actors

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was great to hear the Actors tell their stories about acting in plays and film. The book is done in a Q&A conversational format. My favorite interviews with Stockard Channing, Charles Durning, Victor Garber, Madeline Kahn and Cynthia Nixon. It was very informative to hear about their experiences.

Stockard Channing - on Ebay

Charles Durning - on Ebay

Madeline Kahn - on Ebay

Cynthia Nixon- on Ebay

Music Review - Be Not Nobody - Vanessa Carlton

Very Enjoyable CD

I enjoyed the Vanessa Carlton CD. Of course her hit A Thousand Miles is great. But there were many other songs on the CD that were great including Rinse and Paradise. I was realy amazed at how great her cover of Paint It Black sounded - she really made the song her own. This is a very good debut CD.

Vanessa Carlton - on Ebay

Donna Recommends:

The Los Angeles Public Library Website at :
If you have a Los Angeles Library card, you can reserve books on-line and have them delivered to a library in your area for pick-up. You can also renew on-line.
Another great feature is you can see what CDs, DVDs and VHSs are available, but you still have to call that particular library to have them sent to the library of your choice.
This is a great resource for people who love books, music and movies...

posted by Donna Grayson  # 2:06 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Movie Review - Little Black Book

Really Cute Movie ! I loved it !

Brittany Murphy plays a young women beginning her career in television. She works with Holly Hunter at the tv studio. While coming up with ideas for the talk show they work for, one of the ideas are Boyfriends Little Black Books. Brittany's character then proceeds to investigate her boyfriend.

This really is a fun movie. Brittany Murphy is great in her role as the young career women just starting out. Holly Hunter is great as the ruthless employee willing to do anything no matter how unethical to get the story. And Kathy Bates is perfect in her role as the tv talk show host.

All in all, a really fun movie. Perfect for date night, or a matinee with friends. I really enjoyed it.

Brittany Murphy - Ebay
Holly Hunter - Ebay
Kathy Bates - Ebay

Movie Review - I, Robot

Will Smith Does It Again

I Robot is a very entertaining Science Fiction movie. The special effects are great, especially the car chase scenes. I loved the scenes where the Robot starts showing his emotion and how human he is becoming. The movie really keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Will Smith is the perfect Sci-Fi Movie star. He is such an entertaining actor, and is great in this movie.

Will Smith - on Ebay

Book Review - The Elements of Playwriting by Louis E. Catron

A Great Book for Understanding the Playwriting Process

The Elements of Playwriting is a great book for anyone who wants to understand what it takes to write a play. Catron goes over everything a person needs to know including creating characters, building a plot, and constructing dialogue. I really liked the chapter on What Makes a Play.

Even if you are not a Playwright, but you are involved in the theatre in another capacity, such as an actor or stage manager - you would still benefit greatly by reading this book. It will give you a great understanding of what a Playwright must accomplish in order to get his play to the stage.

Book Review - The Playwright's Art: Conversations With Contemporary American Dramatists by Jackson R. Bryer

Interesting Interviews with Playwrights

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very interesting to read the Q&A's with some of Americas greatest playwrights. I especially enjoyed the interviews with Edward Albee, Neil Simon and Wendy Wasserstein.
These playwrights answered a variety of questions. Everything from working with actors and directors, to how to handle the critics. Even giving background on how these playwrights got into writing in the first place. There are a variety of topics covered.
A very informative book for anyone interested in the art and business of writing plays. You will learn directly from the playwrights experiences and stories.

Playwrights - Memorabilia on Ebay

Music Review - Bette - Bette Midler

Wonderful Bette CD

I loved this Bette Midler CD. My favorite songs were Moses and In These Shoes. The lyrics in both of these songs are great.
God Give Me Strength and Color of Roses are beautiful songs.
Bette sounds wonderful on this CD. It is one of her best. This is really a beautiful recording.

Bette Midler - Concert Tickets & More on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 10:42 PM (0) comments

The Notebook Double-Sided Poster

Movie Review - The Notebook

Wonderful, Romantic and Touching

This has to be the most emotionally beautiful movie of the year.
James Garner and Gena Rowlands are outstanding as the romatic leads in their elderly years dealing with the wife's senile dementia. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are perfect playing the romantic couple in their younger years, as they first meet and are torn apart.
I went through nearly an entire travel-sized package of tissues during this movie. I just cried and cried. It is wonderfully romantic and touching. Just the story of Garner's character dealing with his wife's illness is moving enough. But then add in the story of their life together, and it is brilliant.
Everything in this movie is high quality - the acting, direction and script. I would give it ten stars if the rating here went that high. A definate "must see".

Nicholas Sparks - Collectibles on Ebay

Movie & DVD Review - Pennies From Heaven DVD - Steve Martin

Good Steve Martin Movie

I really enjoyed Steve Martin's "Pennies From Heaven". It is a sad story line. But the songs and dance numbers keep the film moving. Steve Martin is great as the traveling salesman who is having a hard time getting his life together.
Bernadette Peters is fantastic as a women he meets and seduces. It was interesting seeing the choices her character makes. And I think Bernadette Peters did a good job here as an actress.
Also, outstanding was Christopher Walken's performance. Its amazing watching him dance.
The film is very interesting. And it is interesting watching Steven Martin perform in this dramatic role.

Steve Martin - Ebay

Christopher Walken- Ebay

Bernadette Peters - Ebay

Book Review - The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up (New Millennium Audio) by David Rensin, Dan Cashman

Wild Amazing Real Stories of working for the Agents

I listened to the book on tape of The Mailrooom. Different mailroom employees from different Hollywood & New York Agencies give their stories of what it was like to work in the Mailroom and learn to be an Agent. The book starts with some of the older Agents who began way back when Agencies were first formed. Interesting stories about the stars of the 1950s all the way up to present times.
I really liked the stories of the pranks some of the mailroom employees would play on eachother. And some of the horror stories when they made mistakes on the job are really amazing.
The Mailroom is an interesting and amusing book about the inner workings of the Entertainment Business. The stories of how the mailroom employees make it to the top to become Agents are a real lesson in how the industry works.

Hollywood Memorabilia on Ebay

Music Review - Movin' Out (Based on the Songs and Music of Billy Joel) (2002 Original Broadway Cast) ~ Billy Joel

Fantastic Rock Musical Soundtrack

I loved the soundtrack to Movin Out. If you are a Billy Joel fan you need to listen to this CD. It was great listening to the Broadway musical version of all of Billy Joels songs. Some of them are done in the original style. And other such as "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "Pressure" are performed even in a heavier rock style than originally done. I also really likes "Innocent Man" and "Uptown Girl" on this CD, they both sound great being done in this Broadway version. I am planning on seeing Movin Out when it comes to Los Angeles in the Fall, and I can hardely wait. Based on this CD, it will be a fantastic musical.

Billy Joel - Concert Tickets & More on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 12:32 AM (0) comments

Monday, August 23, 2004

Book Review - Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg

Great Stories About A Great Star

Kate Remembered is not a traditional biography. It is told from the author's point of view about his friendship with the aging star. I personally found Scott Berg's unconventional format very refreshing. So many times I have read a biography only to find them filled with dates and boring details. I enjoyed the way Scott Berg brought Hepburn's biography to life. It was interesting to hear his first hand account of how he watched the last phases of Kate's life unfold, as she told him stories of her early life. Instead of reading just another cold biography, we were treated to glipses of Hepburn as a real person, with a real friend who was able to tell her story.
If you love to read biographies, this is one of the best ones out there. A great story about one of our greatest stars.

Katherine Hepburn - Memorabilia on Ebay

Music Review - The Boy from Oz (2003 Original Broadway Cast)

Great Musical Performances

I have not seen the stage version of The Boy from Oz. But I had to get the CD after I heard how great Hugh Jackman is in the musical. And everything I heard is right, Hugh Jackman is really great singing in this musical. I really enjoyed his voice. And I really enjoyed the songs. My favorites were "Continental American". "Bi-coastal" and the finale "I Go To Rio".
I also enjoyed listening to the new versions of "Everything old is new again", "I Honestly Love You" and "Don't Cry Out Loud".
The musical numbers on this CD are really great. Anyone who is a fan of musical theatre, would enjoy listening to the CD.

Hugh Jackman - on Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 11:59 PM (0) comments

Spiderman - Spiderman - Part 2, Wall Edge  ( Poster )

Movie Review - Spiderman

Best Movie of the Summer

Spiderman 2 is the best movie this summer.The special effects are amazing. Tobey Maguire is fantastic as Spiderman. Kirsten Dunst is great as his romantic interest. The director really shows you how great Spiderman is, but when he goes back to being Peter Parker his whole life becomes a mess.
In addition to the special effects and romance in the movie, there are also may comedic scenes. Very funny scenes showing you how helpless Peter is. The comedy that is inter-woven into Spiderman makes the movie even more enjoyable.

See it for the Special Effects, the Romance, the Comedy - or all three... its a great summer movie !
DVD Released November 30, 2004
Spiderman - Collectibles on Ebay
Tobey McGuire - Ebay
Kirsten Dunst - Ebay

posted by Donna Grayson  # 11:49 PM (0) comments


08/26/1990 - 09/02/1990   12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003   12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003   12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003   12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004   01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004   01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004   02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004   02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004   03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004   04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004   05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004   05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004   06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004   06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004   08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004   09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004   09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004   10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004   11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004   12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005   01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005   01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005   01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005   02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005   02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005   02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005   02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005   03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005   03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005   03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005   03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005   04/03/2005 - 04/10/2005   04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005   04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005   04/24/2005 - 05/01/2005   05/01/2005 - 05/08/2005   05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005   05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005   05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005   05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005   06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005   06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005   06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005   06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005   07/03/2005 - 07/10/2005   07/10/2005 - 07/17/2005   07/17/2005 - 07/24/2005   07/24/2005 - 07/31/2005   07/31/2005 - 08/07/2005   08/07/2005 - 08/14/2005   08/14/2005 - 08/21/2005   08/21/2005 - 08/28/2005   08/28/2005 - 09/04/2005   09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005   09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005   09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005   09/25/2005 - 10/02/2005   10/02/2005 - 10/09/2005   10/09/2005 - 10/16/2005   10/16/2005 - 10/23/2005   10/23/2005 - 10/30/2005   10/30/2005 - 11/06/2005   11/06/2005 - 11/13/2005   11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005   11/20/2005 - 11/27/2005   11/27/2005 - 12/04/2005   12/04/2005 - 12/11/2005   12/11/2005 - 12/18/2005   12/18/2005 - 12/25/2005   12/25/2005 - 01/01/2006   01/01/2006 - 01/08/2006   01/08/2006 - 01/15/2006   01/15/2006 - 01/22/2006   01/22/2006 - 01/29/2006   01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006   02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006   02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006   02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006   02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006   03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006   03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006   03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006   03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006   04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006   04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006   04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006   04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006   04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006   05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006   05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006   05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006   05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006   06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006   06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006   06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006   06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006   07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006   07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006   07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006   07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006   07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006   08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006   08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006   08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006   08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006   09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006   09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006   09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006   09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006   10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006   10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006   10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006   10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006   10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006   11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006   11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006   11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006   11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006   12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006   12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006   12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006   12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006   12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007   01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007   01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007   01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007   01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007   02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007   02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007   02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007   02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007   03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007   03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007   03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007   03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007   04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007   04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007   04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007   04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007   04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007   05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007   05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007   05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007   05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007   06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007   06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007   06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007   06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007   07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007   07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007   07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007   07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007   07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007   08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007   08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007   08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007   08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007   09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007   09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007   09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007   09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007   09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007   10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007   10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007   10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007   10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007 Main Page
Donna's Music, Poetry, Acting Resume, and More ...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?