Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Ahhh... Indie Movies

This week I kinda over-did it and volunteered at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on two separate nights. And ya know, when one is working a full-time job, doing a volunteer gig twice in one week can be alot alot alot... even if it is only doing mailing list sign-ups or marketing survey.

The first night, the screening was of Dot The I . Which I absolutely LOVED. This is a smaller indie movie that is being release on March 11, 2005.
And if it is playing in your area... take my recommendation and go see it ! There are so many twists and turns and the characters are so Interesting. Especially Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal and James D'Arcy.
Wow ! What great acting performances ! And Great characters and a great plot - one of the best Plots I have seen in a long time. I was completely absorbed in the film the entire time it was on the screen.

The second night, I saw Say Yes Quickly . Which is a film directed by Gregg Hale who also produced the Blair Witch Project.
I was very interested in this, because the main female character starts a BLOG, and thats where the story starts. (Her bedroom looked the same way my apartment looks sometimes - yikes!)
Well, I don't want to spoil this for you.. but I really think its a story about what you think is choosing between a spiritual path and a worldly path. She has to make a decision to meet @lien, whom she has been conversing on the computer with, or follow her heart. This was a very moving film, with alot of spiritual and emotional depth.

So as you can see, my movie-going this week was very much The Experience. Its so fulfilling to see two great independent films.
I hope they are both huge successes, because I enjoyed them both.

posted by Donna Grayson  # 12:37 AM (0) comments

Quote for the Day

"Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent." - Sophia Loren

posted by Donna Grayson  # 12:16 AM (0) comments

Friday, March 11, 2005

Update from March 8th

When I posted my note on March 8th with a link to The Movie Version of Who's On First ..... I didn't realize there would be people who weren't familar with the great comedy sketch by Abbott & Costello in history.

The website Who's On First has video and audio clips of the original "Who's On First".
There is also a official website for Abbott and Costello.

If you don't know this famous sketch, I recommend you check out the above links and listen to the greatest comedy from years past.

posted by Donna Grayson  # 9:44 PM (0) comments

Hollywood Map
Have you ever seen this Hollywood Map ?
I wonder if it is still accurate ? I mean, so much has changed recently especially Sunset and Vine... and Hollywood and Highland...

The Hollywood Map

posted by Donna Grayson  # 12:38 AM (0) comments

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Funny Stuff

Okay ... usually I don't post adult-themed items on my website. But this is just way to cute ... its about sex .... but its still way to cute ... and there is a bunny..

Everyone else Has More

Yeah... yeah ... but this is the most risque my site will ever get...

Okay... I can hear you giggling !

posted by Donna Grayson  # 11:53 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Marathon and The Audition
I knew Sunday would be a busy day. After being out so late last night, I still got up in time for church this morning. After church, I had to skip the Bible Study I had just started to go to.
I had an audition for an indie film in Redondo Beach.

Now, five years ago I lived in Redondo Beach. In a house that I shared with a revolving-door of roommates from all walks of life. It was strange, but I had the hardest time keeping people. And the one person who lived with me for two years, I kept asking to move and she wouldn't. Finally, my landlord decided he wanted to sell the house, and I decided to fulfill my dream of living in Hollywood. Oh boy...

Living in the South Bay of Los Angeles had its plus side and its minus side. First, the air is clear and sunny, and there is always a nice breeze and the beach. But there is no art or entertainment business, and if you want to be where it is all happening, you need to be in Hollywood, where the air is filthy and smoggy - but there's plenty of exciting stuff to do.
When I lived in Redondo Beach, I drove an hour each way into work in West Los Angeles. It was more than that to come up to Hollywood. And I didn't even know what Studio City or The Valley was.
Here in Hollywood it is a ten minute drive into work each day, 5 minutes to church on Sunday. And nearly everything else I do is less than 20 minutes away.

So my plan was for a nice drive to my old stomping grounds. But I had forgotten one BIG thing....
Sunday was the Los Angeles Marathon !!!!

I had already arranged with the Director to be the last audition of the day at 2pm. I figured that this would allow me plenty of time after church got out at
12:30, to drive down using my short cuts.
Usually I take Highland down to La Brea, going west on Venice, down Sepulveda where it crosses with Lincoln to become PCH. Or I will take La Cienega straight down the same way. The nicest scenic route is going east on Culver Blvd, along the Ocean
in Playa del Rey and then through Manhattan Beach .
The route with the least scenery involves Aviation Blvd in Redondo Beach.

But none of this was going to happen. I got stopped at Highland. I had
to turn right and go west along 4th street - me and everyone else in the entire world. Bumper to bumper. I finally got on La Cienega and we were allowed to turn right on Olympic. Traffic finally opened up.
I ended up taking Sepulveda through Culver City , then past LAX airport. I called when I was in Manahattan Beach, and got the directors cell phone.

I managed to arrive at the location in Redondo Beach at 2:10 ... only 10 minutes late which was pretty good considering the circumstances. They were just getting ready to pack up their cameras. But I made it in time to be able to audition for them. It went fairly quicky, and it was fun to do the cold reading in front of the camera.

Then it was time to head home. I made a pit stop at the Manhattan Beach Village Mall. And I figured since it was close to 3 pm, I would have smooth sailing back. Not so... the Marathon still had all the streets blocked off.
I took Lincoln all the way up to Venice. I went past the old area of Mar Vista, where I lived when I was in my 20s.
I took Wilshire straight east, and everything was fine until I got around La Cienega.
It would be impossible to turn left on La Cienega. It was the first major street going north, and it was bumper cars all the way back to Wilshire.
I made the bad decision to stay on Wilshire. And got stuck around Van Ness and 6th street - beautiful houses there - me and everyone else in the world trying to go north. All we met were police blocades to the north.
I finally double-backed and by that time Highland had opened up, and I could move north.

It took me twice as long to get back home to Hollywood than it
should have.
Stuck in traffic on a Sunday afternoon.....

posted by Donna Grayson  # 1:43 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

You Have To Check This Out

Who's On First - The Movie Version

What a Giggle !

posted by Donna Grayson  # 4:05 PM (0) comments

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Late Movies on Saturday

Did you ever decide to sleep in on your day off - and then sleep way, way to late ?
Well, thats what I did. I figured Saturday morning would be my only day to rest, so I turned off the alarm. I had told my boss I would be in for 4 hours, so I wasn't to worried. But when I woke up it was quarter past noon ! Oh, man....
I had to dash to the Library to return books and pick-up the books I had requested on-line, and to pay my .80 cent fine for two over-dues. Then after that, I ran to the office, but I didn't get there till around 3 pm. So I had to work until 7pm. But I must say, I got more done in that 4 hours with no phone calls or interruptions, than I would have gotten done in a full 8 hour regular work day.

After that, I still had to run to the bank to deposit a check I received from my flexible-spending account. Wow, $50 dollars ! What should I do with it ? I know - Go to the movies !
Once at Church, they were talking about Giving to the church. The minister said, look into your checkbook and see what you spend the most money on - and that is where your heart is. He meant our money and our hearts should belong to God. Well, I looked and I saw that I guess my heart is in the movies. It could be a non-payday weekend, and I could be down to my last few dollars, with nothing but Raman noodles in the kitchen cabinet - and I will be trying to figure out how I can scrounge up enough cash to go see a movie. Well, maybe thats not the most Spiritual answer - but at least I admit to it.

Well, I figured since I slept in so late, I wasn't going to be falling asleep anytime soon. So I did what I never do - I went to a really late show. The 10:20 pm show of Hitch over at the Grove.
I was trying to find a 9pm show to see, but those don't seem to exist.
So I figured I could stop at the Farmers Market and grab a bite before the movie. Pretty much all of the markets and food stands were shut down. Whats the deal ? The parking lot was so full, we had to park in the employee parking. But at the same time all the food marts are shut down. 9 pm on a Saturday. I guess they don't need the business.
I managed to find one place and get a chicken Caesar salad, with the hopes that it would stop me from getting the junky movie food.

No such luck. I still got Red Vines . And water. I only ate half the box. The rest is now in my fridge. So I guess thats not to bad.

Why would someone bring alittle bitty infant baby in a stroller to the movies ? Ugh ! I know babysitters are expensive, but then rent a movie and stay at home. Or go to the Mommy and Me screenings that they have at the Grove on Mondays.
Well, the baby did make noise twice, and the woman had to crawl over us to go out with the baby twice. But that wasn't as bad as the women and child who came in right at the end to wave at their friends way at the back of the theatre. I guess their movie let out, and they walked right in. Right at the end with Will Smith's big romantic ending ... Waving and making noise and talking while standing by the door. I just don't get some people.

Oh, and I really liked Hitch.
Will Smith was very funny - his allergy scene was hysterical. But I really really liked all the supporting actors and actresses too.
As you can tell, I am really into the supporting actors... I always watch the smaller roles.
First, I really really liked Eva Mendes as Sara, Will Smith's girlfriend. I really like her as an actress. I like to see actors show emotion with their faces, and I really liked her performance in Hitch.
Kevin James, of the TV Show King of Queens, is also very funny as Will Smith's client who is looking for love. He is great as the bumbling stuttering geeky guy in love.
Amber Valetta, who plays Allegra Cole, Kevin James' love interest was also very well cast in this movie. I really liked her performance. Hmmmm... I wonder if there is a link between Will Smith getting hives, and the fact that one of the characters is named after an allergy medicine ...... Thats a weird product placement.
Not only did Hitch have a great cast ... it had a great soundtrack to !

posted by Donna Grayson  # 8:58 PM (0) comments

Far, Far Away - The Land of More Auditions

During the week, after work, I had a indie film audition. Had to drive the 101 freeway north to Westlake Village. In Rush hour Traffic. Of course, Yahoo Maps Driving Directions said it would only take 40 minutes. But I always double that. And I was right. It was closer to an hour and a half. Not to mention that Westlake Village is much more rural than the city of Los Angeles . And by "rural" I mean dark, not alot of street lights, not large numbers on the buildings. And for someone like me who is used to the city street lights with the fire-code-enforced street numbers, it can be hard to navigate around a rural area like that.

I was running so late because of traffic and not being able to read the street numbers (maybe I'm just getting old), that I called them from my cell phone. When I got to the building, I still couldn't find them and I had to call again from my cell phone to find out which building they were in.
What did we ever do before Cell phones ? I mean here I am, in a dark area, an apartment complex type of a place, with no clue as to how to get to where I need to go ... and thank heavens, all I have to do is dial the cell phone to get more info. Modern technology is amazing - and makes for Safer living.

A little skinny 20-something ingenue actress saw me calling from my cell phone. She couldn't find the building either. She stood next to me while I called. When I said "Oh, they are in a community room by the pool" - she dashed off with a mumbled off-handed "thanks". She ran quickly ahead of me, a little chubby 40-something character actress, and she got to the audition a good 5 minutes before me. Once I was in the room, I was sitting a seat away from her, she didn't even look my way once. So I was somewhat pleased to hear that she had accidentally left her picture and resume in the car and had to run all the way back to get it.

The audition was for an indie film. And the good news was that the people auditioning me were very well organized. So we had the Sign-in sheet and everything. I felt I did pretty well. We did a cold reading, and a monologue. I think I always do better with my Cold Reading. I did a short monologue from a play called Darkside by Ken Jones - which I had actually memorized in the car on the way over. (All that stopping on the freeway.) I had yanked it out of a Monologue book I have from the 1980s. I am so seldomly asked to do a monologue, that I needed to prepare one quick. I like this monologue because it talks about Astronauts and walking on the moon, which seems somewhat impressive to me. Also the actual monologue is short and goes through about three emotions - bitter, then playful, then angry.

On the drive back, I thought of a few things. First, I should try to get a monologue from a Film memorized. If I am going to be auditioning for indie films, it might be more appropriate to actually do a monologue from a film. And then the second thing was, why didn't I bring a Book On Tape along with me to listen to on the long ride back home .....

posted by Donna Grayson  # 7:10 PM (0) comments


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