Donna in Hollywoodland

Life in and around Hollywood and Los Angeles as told by Donna Grayson

Saturday, February 12, 2005

A Rainy Friday Evening

On Friday it was raining in Sunny California again. Total downpour as I was on my lunch break checking out the cell phones at Verizon, and picking up lunch at Baja Fresh .
Whenever its wet out, my cough from that stupid walking pnuemonia comes back.

There were all these tents set up in the Hollywood Palladium parking lot.
I asked my friend "So I wonder what those are for?" "Some big party?" "Maybe the Grammys?" "I don't know, when are the Grammys?" "I don't know, sometime soon."
And ... we work for a music company. oh..kay....

Well, at least I know when the Oscars are. I have that written in my day planner.

So as I am leaving for the day, heading down to the parking structure. The elevator stops at another parking level. All these fancy people in fancy evening gowns and tuxedos get on the elevator. There I am in my jeans and tshirt, all exhausted on a Friday night, heading out to the grocery store since its payday.

Turns out our parking structure was being used for parking for the event. I looked it up on the website, and it was a tribute to Brian Wilson as
MusicCares 2005 Person of the Year

So thats were all those fancy people were going.

After I was done with the grocery store run, I surfed around some Blogs and found some that caught my interest. As the rain poured down outside my window, a glass of Red Wine and a good internet Blog.
Will blogs replace books ?
Whil Wheaon dot net
6767 ... Dave Navarro
Blogging LA
LA Blogs
Avary's Domain

Okay, I guess "Books are Still In" because before I fell asleep... I did finish :
It Seemed Important at the Time : A Romance Memoir .... by Gloria Vanderbilt
A memoir of the life and loves of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. A light read, small book. Filled with interesting tidbits about the men she loved and married. Very interesting accounts of some of the celebrities she was involved with... Frank Sinatra,
Marlon Brando, Howard Hughes and more.

And I tried this week to read:
I'm Losing You ... by Bruce Wagner
He has received such great reviews as an author.. so I tried, I tried, I really did. But after the first section, I had to put it away. When the people
who post reviews on Amazon say that this repellent and scary - believe them. There alot of dark black humor, they are right. This is not the life-style in Hollywood I know. I am sure it exists, but I want to stay as far away from it as possible.

posted by Donna Grayson  # 12:12 PM (0) comments

Friday, February 11, 2005

Do you like cute kitty cats ?

Check out this cute adorable Screen Cleaner
Just click here:

posted by Donna Grayson  # 6:15 PM (0) comments

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Auditions and Lost, the TV Show

I had another audition. This time it was for an independant film. And it was a small role of a waitress.
Only one scene, about 7 lines. I left to take a late lunch about 2.

The audition location was in a home/business. With a nice little patio with a shady tree overhead. I found parking just one block away. Sitting out on the patio while waiting for my turn was really nice. I looked up and saw this huge tree covering us, and it was great. Its so nice to be out on a sunny mid-afternoon, and I so seldom get the chance.

The Casting Director had a Cat, which I will take as a good sign. I was the third person to audition. And she just filmed us doing the scene. Since I got the Sides (my part of the script) last week, I had most of it memorized.
But ya know... There was one line that was kind of a mouth-ful. So I had to look at the script to say it. But all in all I thought I gave a good reading. The Casting Director was very nice, and left me with a favorable impression.

As I left one of the actresss who had auditioned before me was still hanging out. I guess she wanted to talk to someone. She felt she hadn't done very well.
She had misinterpreted one of the lines, and read it as if saying it to the son instead of the boys father. She said the Casting Director had asked her do it over.
I said "Well thats good, it will show that you can take direction and change your reading of the line". I guess she was so upset because she had gone over the scene with an Acting Coach and he told her to say it as if it were to the Son, which was wrong. Well, I hope she didn't pay for that acting coach.

And managed to make it back to the office by 3:15. That in itself is a miracle considering the Los Angeles traffic.

I had to be home from work in time for Lost on Wednesdays on ABC - TV.
I am totally addicted to Lost. I love trying to figure out what is really going on. Its so scary.
As I was watching I was addressing Post Cards to mail to casting directors. Its about time to do another mailing.

I have read some of the stories of the actors on Lost, and they are really amazing.
Evangeline Lilly was on a missionary trip when she found out she was cast in the role.
And Jorge Garcia was working at a Book Store as a sales clerk just over a year ago. There was a very interesting interview with him in Back Stage West not to long ago.
Those stories sure do give me hope.....

Oh, and check it out... there is a "My Favorite Weekend" interview in today's Los Angeles Times Calendar Section (last page) with Josh Holloway.

posted by Donna Grayson  # 9:32 PM (0) comments

Thought for the Day

Your job now isn't to become happy
Your job is to become Real

- The Book of Secrets - by Deepak Chopra

posted by Donna Grayson  # 6:53 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Call Backs and Used-To-Be Celebrities

#1. Ugh... a Call Back
Okay ... I should have stayed out late at the Egyptain Monday night, and seen Steamboy and had a good time. Because even though I went home, was well-rested and ready for Tuesdays audition call-back - personally, I think my second audition sucked. But maybe I am just being to hard on myself. I have a tendancy to do that.

Who knows about these things. I think my first audition for them was way better. But I always try to do the call-back audition just like I did it the first time. The first time they tape it, and the powers-that-be watch the tape. Then they decide to call you in for a second try in person.

So this second time I did what I did the first time. But I got the impression that they didn't like that. One person, I guess the director said it was to "cry-y". I guess meaning I was whining, and he didn't want that. So for the second run I took his direction and I toned down the anquished cry in my voice. Which puzzles me, because I whined during my lines in the first audition, which they saw on tape - and they still ask me to come in....
The good thing is that by adjusting my performance, I am showing the Director that I can take direction... and that is a good thing.
Then they wanted the guy next to me to read ALL the lines in the script (both mine and his), so they could hear his accent.

As I head out the door, one of the assistants asks me if I can stay and read one more time. I said yes I could. Turns out they were short on actresses to match up with the actors. So I went in again, with the assistant explaining that they didn't
have any more actresses in the waiting area. The Important Person in the Room said.. no, he just wanted the man to read all the lines, and I didn't need to go again because they already saw me. So the second actor read all the lines, mine and his and I just stood there, which was really strange. Then they said they wanted to hear HIS accent.

Well, I wasn't asked to do an accent ever so that somewhat confused me. The whole Call Back confused me. I mean if they asked me to read twice for them (even tho I ended up not reading twice after all), that must mean I didn't totally suck, right ?

I have always heard that once you leave the audition room, you should just forget about it - you might think you did lousy, but it will turn out that they really did like it - so you never know. And they must have liked something about me and my audition that it made them call me back. I guess I need to just get rid of my need to understand the process and "let it go".

#2. Semi-Celebrity Life
But interesting event while I was waiting in the waiting room area before my audition:
I was only waiting for about 20 mintues. But sitting in the waiting room area was a semi-well-known actress. She was auditioning for a different commerical in an a different audition room. She was very well-known quite a few years ago, maybe a few decades ago. If you are a Film Buff, and I said her name you would know who she was.
Okay, well, she is sitting relatively close to me for about 15 minutes. And in that amount of time, she made like 4 phone calls on her cell phone. And she was talking really really loud.

The conversations are all about how she is filming something at a really really Big movie studio tomorrow. And they called her for a costume fitting today, and she just couldn't make it because she is in such demand right now that her day is booked full without a moment to spare. And the fitting would just have to take place in the morning before they filmed. She said the name of the Big Big Movie studio really loud like 4 times - to make sure everyone in the room heard it.

So then, I guess someone had to mail something to her. And this used-to-be-movie star, gives out what I think was her home address and phone number within ear shot of 20 other actors whom are complete strangers. By this time, I don't think she realized how loud she was speaking, she was so lost in her self-absorbed behavior, that she never realized everyone in the room heard her private information.

Well, I know she was doing all this for effect. Because they called her name for her audition, and she jumped up and then gave me a smug grin like she knew I was listening, and - la-de-da - wasn't she really something.

Funny thing is, we weren't up for the same role. I was in another room auditioning for another commercial. So were about half of the other actors in the waiting area. But all of this was a little trick that actors will play on their competition to try to freak them out. She was trying to make it sound like she was really in demand and popular so that the other actresses who were up for the same role would be intimidated by her when they auditioned. But in reality, what it is: This is a Used-to-be-Movie-Star who has to use manipulation and negativity to make herself feel better about her own audition chances.
What a step down from where she used to be. And very sad indeed.

posted by Donna Grayson  # 11:58 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Monday Monday
Yippee ! My Agent called today, and I got a "Call Back" tomorrow for one of the commercials that I auditioned for.
A Call Back mainly means there was something about you and/or your first audition that they liked, and they want to see you and the few other people they liked again... so they can narrow it down to the person who gets to be cast in the commercial.

After work on Monday, I ran over to The Egyptian Theatre to volunteer there during the Aint It Cool News Screening of Steamboy.
I was assigned to do the mailing list sign-ups. But Paramount Studios had given the Egyptian a supply of War of the Worlds Promotional T-shirts and Hats to hand out. Its coming out in the summer of 2005. So we were busy dealing more with the free stuff than anything.
Yes, I got a WOW T-shirt, and I am wearing it the first chance that I get. I can't wait to see the movie, and Tom Cruise is one of my favorite actors.

As much as I had planned to stay and see Steamboy... I have an audition Tuesday. So I really needed to go home and get some rest. So after I was finished with my volunteer job for the night, I passed on the free movie that I get for volunteering, and headed home.

posted by Donna Grayson  # 11:23 PM (0) comments

God and My Heart

My entire weekend was very beneficial. As I said before, I attended a class to become a member of Hollywood Presbyterian Church. It was Friday night, most of the day Saturday and most of the day Sunday. So it was somewhat of a big committment.
But now that the mold is gone, and my apartment is painted .. I had less worries on my mind, and could consontrate on more spiritual matters.

The new symbol for my life is a heart.
Why ? Well, during one of the classes this weekend, the teacher pulled out a jar. And it was obvious that she was going to give something to each of the 30 students. I like free stuff, so I was pretty happy.

Then, when as she passed them out she said they were little glass hearts. I got a yellow-ish clear glass heart.
When I first looked at it, I thought "Oh, crap - A Heart. I hate these things, they are stupid and gushy and silly. The last thing I want is a damn heart."
Then as I thought, I remembered all those self-help, new-agey books I have been reading. That say the Universe will give you back what you put out. And to think of things as if you already have it. And to remain positive.
And I thought "Wow, I really have strong negative feelings towards the heart shape. And pretty much every thing it stands for." Shoot... no wonder I'm still single.
And I can't even be open to receiving a cute little glass heart as a gift ?

Then the teacher talked about how God created us and gave us our hearts, He put our desires in our hearts. And as we pray we should hold the little glass heart, and think how much God loves us, and he wants to give us the desires of our hearts.

I went home and put Heart Wallpaper on my computer desktop, and on the one at the office to.... So when I turn on my computers I will be reminded of God and the desires of my Heart.
Well, now I really like Hearts.....

posted by Donna Grayson  # 10:54 PM (0) comments


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