Donna in Hollywoodland

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

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Acting and Movies on Saturday

I started off the day by attending Creative Actors Monthly Brunch at Frankie's restaurant on Melrose.

And I have to admit - I was the flakey actress.
I arrived late and left early. And I sat in the very back.

I still got alot out of being there. Seminars and speaker events where you can hear someone talk from their experience in the entertainment industry, are always good learning experiences.

Director, Adrian Carr , was the speaker for the event.
He made a point of going over actors 8X10s. Walking around the room and showing us pictures that were good, and not so good. His main thing was how the picture was centered on the page, to best show the actor.

Then he had a bunch of people who were there, do a brief scene.
And it was interesting to watch how everyone did it differently.

I ordered from Frankie's menu. The chicken sandwich - with roasted bell peppers. It was very yummy.

Then, I had to leave early. I was meeting a friend over at The Arclight .
We caught a matinee show of Brokeback Mountain.

The acting performances of both Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger were outstanding.
And the Cinematography and Scenery was just beautiful.
Its a slow movie. But its meant to be that way. That is the life they are living out in cowboy country. Things are really laid back. Its the country life.
So the movie is a completely different pace than most movies you see these days.

My friend and I had a funny chat about a gay friend of ours who actually hated Brokeback Mountain. He said it was too slow. I can understand his point, but it really wouldn't work as a fast paced movie.

I think the strong point of the movie is the plot. It works with the situation they are in, two cowboys in love back in the 1960's - one of them married with kids. I think if you had made the one character the "other woman" instead of the "other man", the story would still be strong and emotional.
Its the suffering over a forbidden love that gives the movie a universal theme that everyone can relate to.

Then we were trying to grab a bite to eat.

The Arclight Restaurant was about a half hour wait.
Fabiolus was a half hour wait.
We walked over to the new restaurants on the block, Magnolia and The Bowery - Which are next to Fabiolus.
They were all crowded too.
We even tried to check out The Well, and it opens too late - I guess its not really a restaurant, more of a bar.

We walked across the street.
Schwabs has closed down !
Its hard to believe they closed it, after it hasn't even been opened that long.
The services was really bad. Alot of people I knew complained about the service there. It was pretty impossible for anyone to have a work-day lunch there, it took too long.

So we ended up eating at Kabuki's Japanese restaurant .
I got a combo plate. One that included steak.
Very yummy.
Then, as we left, Kabuki's was filled with people too.

The corner of Sunset and Vine could use at least two more large restaurants.
That corner of the city is really busy on a Saturday night.

Pics around The Arclight:

Fountain at The Arclight

Arclight Courtyard

Arclight Parking Lot

Arclight - from the Parking Lot

Friday, January 06, 2006

Back to The Acting

Hey, I spoke to my Agent today ! I am off of "Hold" or "Booked Out" or whatever they call it.
They are starting to submit me for auditions again !

Dealing with Breast Cancer and Radiation - its been a good 6 months since I have been able to have a regular schedule.

I got the good report from the Breast Surgeon at my last appointment .
Then, over the holidays, the Entertainment Business is really on a long break.
So Casting doesn't get busy again until after New Years.

The beginning of this week, I sent my Agent an email telling him I was done with my treatments. I still looked like my pictures. And I was ready to go again. And I told him I would call him this week.
He emailed me an enthusiastic "Welcome Back!"

I called today, mainly so they would hear my voice and know for sure that I was totally serious.
I asked if they needed any hard copies of my pictures. Since they mainly do most of their submissions via the internet Actors Access and LA casting , they were ready to go.

I am so happy ! Back to auditioning !
Anything to get back to a Normal Life - the way it was back in "BC" - Before Cancer.

Here are a few of the "Hollywood" type pictures I have take lately.
The billboards in Hollywood, get very Entertainment-Industry Specific. Click to see Larger.

In honor of : "Going Out on Future Auditions".

Agent Billboard #1

Agent Billboard #2

Hollywood Billboard

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Walking and Clicking

Sometimes it takes a while for me to get the Blog updated.
If you check for updates, and you don't see I made any, you can usually find me over on on My Flickr Page .
I usually update over there once a day, or once every other day.

Walking around Hollywood has been a trip. I mainly need to walk for exercise.
All my hobbies - reading, the internet, movies - well, I sit on my butt.
And my job - doing Accounting - I sit on my butt.

Photography is a good hobby to get me out and moving around.
I actually end up walking more and farther and faster with a camera in my hand.
"Oh, look at That - two blocks away - I need a picture of That so I can post it on Flickr !" and off I go.

Without the camera, I'd look at the two blocks and say "Two more blocks, you've got to be joking."

There's been a few times I come back from my walks, and my legs are actually sore the next day because I walked so much.
And I didn't even realize I was doing it, I was having fun.

What has really been an eye-opener around Hollywood is that about 3 or 4 times, men have actually drove up trying to see if I was a Hooker.
You have got to be kidding me.
I am an Plus-Size woman in her late 40s. In sweats and sneakers. With a camera in her hand.
And its usually the middle of a sunny day.

"Hey, baby where you from ?"
Well, aren't you the idiot, I want to say.
But I just keep walking. And they drive away.

Usually they just drive by and look. And the brighter bulbs must figure it out somehow.
So I try to walk on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic - it makes it harder for them to pull over.
But it really is a sad commentary on society in the city that things like this have to happen.

Anyway, here are a few pics. Click on them for a larger view.

Dentist's Mural

Blue Bricks


Cordons Market

Palm Trees & Sky

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Poetry Tonight

I'm not a big Nightclub person. But once in a while, its fun.

Tonight, FlyPoet was having a Spoken Word and Music showcase at The Conga Room .

And LA People Connection got a group together.
Because they had such a large group, about 20 of us, we had preferred seating.
And we got to go into the show before the mad rush of the crowds.

I was running alittle late.
When I got to the door, the doorman asked for my ID.
At first, I could not tell what he had asked me for.

"My ID?" - oh, yeah,, this is a nightclub and they do need IDS. Its been a long time.
I started rummaging around in my purse.
"Oh, my ID ... hmmm, my drivers license."

Finally the doorman said "Thats okay, you can go in."
I laughed and said "Thanks".
I mean, its pretty obvious that I am of legal age - I am in my late 40s.
Still, it makes me feel young to be asked for my ID. Ha Ha !

I paid my cover charge, and they gave me a wrist band.
I held out my right arm, in case they made it too tight for the left arm.
Hey, I'm getting pretty good at the "watch out for the left arm" thing that my doctors have been telling me to do.

We had a special wrist band that let us go right into the club.
Everyone from LA People Connection were right in the 3rd row. So we had great seats.

Its kind of funny, being Caucasian in Los Angeles.
For most of my life I have lived in the beach cities of Santa Monica and Venice, then down in the LA South Bay city of Redondo Beach. So I always thought of myself as really White.
For a long time I really didn't "get" ethnic stuff or ethnic culture.
As far as Art went, it was more the typical artsy-fartsy culture from Europe that I gravitated to. Museums and Classical music were the "Art" I understood.

Now that I have been living in East Hollywood for Six years, I find myself appreciating more and more Ethnic culture and Ethnic Art. I find I actually enjoy it just as much as the European Artsy-Fartsy stuff that I am used to.
Living in the City has really expanded my view of Art and Culture, and I find there is more to enjoy and appreciate.

The "Flypoet" event was absolutely amazing. I love Poetry, and this was the first time I've attended a Spoken Word event. So to see so many outstanding performances in one evening was just incredible.

My favorites of the evening were Jaha Zainabu and Amanda Dumas .
Jaha Zainabu did a spoken word that was half Comedian, half Preacher. I am paraphrasing, but she went into a thing about how big God is, "Whatever you are going through, God is bigger. Whatever the Doctors tell you, God is bigger."
Yikes. That sounded like it was meant right for me.

Physical Therapy

Another appointment with the physical therapist. She wanted to personally take the bandages off, so she could check the swelling for herself.

As I am in the waiting room, I start paging through the magazines.
I happen on an advertisement for a Breast Cancer Organization.
The ad is all pink. And it shows a bald woman wearing nice earrings.

It says "We can live without our hair. We can live without our breasts. But we can't live without Hope for a Cure."

Okay ... who decided THAT ?

Maybe the woman in the Ad decided it for herself. Okay, well then fine for her.

But I didn't decide that. And I am sure many other women who go through breast cancer don't decide that.

Woman who live without hair, and who live without breasts - do so because modern medicine gives them no other choice.
Its their only option.

Then there are other Breast Cancer survivors who say "Forget that. I'll keep both my hair and my breasts, thank you very much."
Lumpectomy with radiation, and the breast stays right there.
Organic Foods, Holistic Supplements and no chemotherapy - the hair stays right there.
Maybe those decisions are alittle too "cutting edge" for some people - but they are still a decision made by the individual person.
Not the American Medical Association.

So don't stick an glossy magazine advertisement in my face telling me that I can live without Hair, or without my Breasts.
Because I can't.

Give me some other options. Please.


The Physical Therapist unwrapped my hand, and I was pleased with the results.
She said "Can I wrap it again for this evening?"

I said "No, I am going out to a Nightclub. And I don't want my hand wrapped when I go out. Besides, its just going to swell back up again."

"Don't say that. Think positive" said the Therapist.

I said "Until I get the glove, and keep it compressed .... it doesn't make any sense to me to wrap it again, because the swelling will come back in a few days."

When I left the Physical Therapists office, my hand was not wrapped. I was fine to go out to the Club.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Physical Therapy Day One

First I had to stop off at a Medical Supply Store. It was for the bandages to wrap around my hand.
Once we can get the insurance straightened out, I will get a custom made compression glove.
But my hand and fingers have to be un-swollen in order to be fitted.

I drive out alittle farther in Glendale. The Medical Supply store is in an old building that looks like it was built in the 1950s. Maybe the 1940s.
As I am there I am saying to myself "I've been here before. What was I here for?"
I am racking my brain.

As I leave, I remember.
It was for a Gastro-Intestinal doctor.

Years back when I lost about 30% of my hearing in my right ear.
None of the tests came back showing that I had anything - no virus, no auto-immune problem, nothing.

So I went to the Gastro-intestinal doctor, to see if any of the acid from my constant heartburn was dripping into my ear canal. (That can really happen.)
But I guess the damage in my inner ear, was not the area of the ear that the acid could leak in to.
Nonetheless, I went to a specialist about my heartburn.

This is the guy that got me hooked on my first Drug Addiction - The Purple Pill.
Those acid pump inhibitors.
If you have heartburn, once you take these you are Hooked. They are like a miracle drug.
You can drink orange juice, eat tomato sauce - anything. And there is no more heartburn.

Take the pills, get rid of the Acid.
Oh, wait .... you NEED acid.
The Acid in your stomach - kills bacteria.
No Acid ... lots of bacteria.

And all that crazy bacteria in your tummy - with no acid to kill it - well, those crazy bacteria throw a party in your intestinal track.
And they can crawl up into your lungs.
And you can get pneumonia.

And I had pneumonia over the Christmas Holidays last year.
I was on serious antibiotics.

Then, one day I am reading The Los Angeles Times - and there is an entire article on how those Acid Pump Inhibitors can give you pneumonia.
I brought a copy to my Doctor. And I never took those pills every again.

See? Some things can be to good to be true.


Anyway.... Today I picked up the $26 dollars of bandages, and I headed over to the Physical therapist.

She gave me the lymph node massage. And was showing me how to do it.
Well, I was supposed to be paying attention. But I kind of started to fall asleep.
I think she noticed, and the massage session was over.

I sat up and got dressed. She brought me a diagram on how to do the lymp massage.
Then I was off for five minutes on the "Arm Bicycle".

The Rain In Los Angeles

From Jay Leno's opening monoloque tonight:

"Beverly Hills had six inches of water yesterday... three of which were Sparkling."

"Its the first time that the Rose Parade had Floats that really did float."


Age is of no importance,
unless you are a cheese.
- Billie Burke (Glinda the Good Witch, in the Wizard of Oz)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cinnamon Plays With Her Toys

New Years Toys

Hey, she's happy I'm home for the rest of the day.

Leaking Walls

The rain is coming in through the windows. And its leaking around my air conditioner.
My carpet is all wet.

Its been pouring in Los Angeles all morning.



The Silliest Thing I Have Ever Done

So I made my lunch last night.
Set my alarm clock.
Got up, got dressed and hurried out the door.

I drove to the office in the pouring down rain.

I got to the high rise building where I work ... and there was no one else there !

We have the day off !

And I went in to work !

Even in the parking lot, looking at the empty parking spaces - I could not believe what I had done.
I tried to call a coworker from my cell phone. I tried to call my boss. No one answered.
I took the elevator up to our office floor.

Totally dark. Empty. No one there.

I put my lunch in the refrigerator.
And left.

Ran into some people in the elevator. They work for another company in the building.
I laughed and told them what I had done.
They didn't laugh, because they really had to work.

Drove home in the pouring down rain.

Right before we left for the Christmas holiday, I had a conversation with a coworker about coming back to work.
We were saying how the Rose Parade is taking place on Monday, and we will miss it on TV because we have to work that day.
(I wonder if she came in too.)

Then over the weekend, I heard once or twice on the Television that Monday was the official legal holiday.
I thought ... well, thats strange, why would we have to work on a legal holiday.

So there's my answer ... we don't have to work.
I could have got another 2 hours sleep.

I arrived back home just in time to run into my landlord checking on which apartments are flooding.
And our courtyard area was totally flooded.

I'm updating my website. And my Fickr page .
And I am going back to bed.

Okay... you can laugh at me know.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Cold And Rainy Day

Cinnamon Blankets

Its pouring rain in California.
Cinnamon spent all day curled up in the blankets and sleeping.
That was a good place to be.

Happy New Year !

My first photo of 2006.
Taken at 12:02 am

Happy New Year !!!

Cinnamon is listening to the firecrackers outside.
And the people screaming and yelling.

She looks to me for reassurance.
"Its okay sweetie", I say. "Go back to sleep."

From Cinnamon and I, a wish for a Wonderful New Year to you !


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Donna's Music, Poetry, Acting Resume, and More ...

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