Day 2 of Whole 3. And Other Updates.

I just got back from my first film festival where my comedy short was shown! After a weekend of grilled cheese slash beer festivals with some cookie dough stuffed cookies thrown in the mix, I decided to do the Whole 30 challenge. However, I'm dropping the zero. I can't wait for Wenesday.

I recently saw an article from the American Heart Association that says coconut oil actually isn't that great for you. Oh this is hilarious. The paleo gods are rolling in their graves. Or holes in a cave. Or belly of a wooly mammoth. Not sure. 
Meat every day isn't good for you either, but I'm gonna see what the fuss is about for these 3 days. 

I saw Wonder Woman last week. Gal Godot is stunning. Chris Pine makes my heart skip beats. The absence of male gaze and a strong female message is inspiring. Female director. Rock on!
But did I enjoy the movie? 
My ears hurt. I can only handle so many slow-mo round-house kicks. I'm confused by the various accents from the Amazon women.
At least there was some comedy. The poison lady made me laugh. 
In my defense, this might be the second Marvel movie I've ever seen. So... no, I did not enjoy it.

Let's see. What else? The film fest this last weekend was great! I miss Colorado like crazy. As I watched my first short and was picking it apart in my brain, I had to remind myself how far I've come. I find myself wanting to write and direct more and more. Acting will always be my first love, but dipping my toes in every pool seems to suit me right now. 

Today, I am trying to edit my comedy reel in iMovie. At this pace, I should be releasing the vid to y'all by September!
I also have a sketch written by myself and Anthony DiMieri and directed by Jason Klein that will be dropping this afternoon! Stay tuned for many videos coming from "Cinematic Wonder Kids". That's our name. 

My Director Bio

I have to write my director bio for a film festival my first short got into. I have been Googling for help. Smallbusiness.chron.com suggests these 4 steps:

1. Introduce yourself. 
Hi, I'm Raleigh. 
2. Education and Credentials
Raleigh received her B.A. in Elementary Education. Despite a lack of formal film training, she has glossed over, The Filmmakers Handbook.
3. Notable Achievements
See above. And this youtube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PINGJtEW_xo
4. Closing Statements
Raleigh lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two plants. 

It's going well. 
Hobbies will be shown June 24th at Copper Mountain for Attack of the Big Beers Festival. It is my directorial debut and, well, I like it. Join me! 

Brows Update #3

I have already lost my fancy eyebrow pencil. An "Anastasia" pencil none the less. 
After the taste of new brows, I now feel barren. Vulnerable. Patchy. 

I remind myself that one cannot be funny with expensive eyebrows. I recite this repeatedly as I tear apart my bathroom in search of this face crayon. 

I'm sure I'll find it. Yeah. It will be fine. I'll build character in the mean time. 

If you've hung out with me in the last week and see a foreign pencil-looking object amongst your possessions, please do give me a call. But seriously, I'll be fine. 

Tribeca, Comfort Food, and Prop Guns

A Jack Daniels, neat, and empty packet of Honey-Roasted peanuts sit atop my tray table. They didn’t charge me for my drink. I live for free things. 
I am reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and I am quite enjoying it. 
I never understand how people close their shades when flying. People, we’re flying above the world right now. It looks kinda cool. Can’t you see?! (Unless they’re blind. If so, I apologize.)

2.7 years ago I started writing a story with Dani Payne. It’s a cute story. You laugh. You cry. If you know me, you have at least heard me talk about this story. If you don’t know me, thanks for reading a stranger’s blog! Anyways. The Tribeca Film Festival is happening this week and we figured, “Hey, why not go and learn some things?” My dad always taught me the best business you can do is in a bar. You know where to find me, J Hamm. 

Since I am not what you’d call “famous”, but I did write myself into this movie, getting it made AND playing the part is a tough sell. I’ve thought about letting my mother call and tell them how talented she knows I am, but I’ll save that for a last resort deal. Against many higher-ups’ opinions, we decided to shoot a couple scenes for a mood reel. One involves a gun. Since I don’t own any guns and I believe in safety, I borrowed a prop fun from a friend’s friend. Walking to my car with the lone gun bore resemblance to McLovin buying underage booze in Superbad. You can imagine how cool I looked. 

Yesterday, we shot the scene involving the gun. We also used the extra couple hours we had with it to shoot a ridiculous sketch about a man jumping on his friend’s back like a horse and then his friend sprains his ankle so he has to “put him down”, but that’s a story for another time. 

Gabe Greenspan plays my brother in the film and the gun scene was an easy pick up. I figured bada bing, bada boom, simple. As I lay next to the monitor calling action in my big director voice, the “kids playing make believe” tone shifted. Gabe was immediately all in and on another playing field. He took a scene where I asked very little and instead gave it life. In the 10 minutes it took to shoot, he taught me a lesson in why I do this. He called attention to the necessity of our commitment to the craft. Just because it’s fun, doesn’t mean half-assing our art will make the “no’s” hurt less. It gave me another burst of energy into making this film. It reminded me why I wrote the story in the first place. Thank you, Gabe. 

I’m gonna get back to this book. I land in NYC in 42 minutes. Hopefully, between pizza breaks, I can do some solid networking this week. 
(Thank you Carson and Jordan for letting me help with your weird horse sketch. I love your insanity.)

New Brows Pt. 2

I've had a reaction to the brow procedure. My forehead and middle-brow region are now dotted with the most head-turning zits you've seen since puberty. I look like a 13 year old before the Spring Fling. Coupled with the suggestion for adult braces from my dentist, I could be playing a teen well into my late 30s! The dream? I think so. 

Well, that's all for now. We shall see how they develop. I tried taking a photo of my pimply brow (for the story), but my phone never has space. I'm a hoarder of old food photos. And of this dog picture. 

The Los Angeles Look

Somehow I found myself in Beverly Hills today getting a new set of eyebrows. Uh, what? Yeah, I asked the same thing.

After being told I need to get my eyebrows fixed and learn how to do "Kendell Jenner" type "fresh face" makeup, I had a bit of a reevaluation-slash-freakout. 1. I'm a girl who hasn't shaved above the knee since that mini skirt I wore to Vegas. 2. I'm lucky if I remember to bleach my mustache. We all have them. I'm going to add to the Everybody Poops franchise with "Everybody Movembers". 

Despite seeing me daily in the same jeans and converse, you might not know that I stubbornly avoid changing anything about my appearance. I steer clear of a heel like the black death and apply the same Maybelline charcoal eyeliner I've been using since the 7th grade. When I was asked to "tidy up" bits of my look, I didn't take it so well. I don't want to be a carbon copy of every LA girl! "I am me!", I screamed in my dented Prius adorned with duct-tape holding the bumper in place. I will not give in to the pressures of Hollywood or indulge in my image. I can't let them turn me! 

Well, here I sit with new eyebrows. Do I look like Kendell Jenner? I'm going to say no. I luckily still look like Raleigh Cain. I'm not sure what caused the 180. I left my commercial audition this morning and found myself driving towards Rodeo Drive. Suddenly, I was laying under the tweezers of Elaina as she whole-heartedly agreed I needed to clean up those brows. Thankfully, I think my personality is still in tact and I am not out purchasing Botox (yet). Will this get me more auditions? We shall see. Will it change my beauty beliefs and shaving routines? Not a chance. 

I feared a simple little waxing appointment would shatter who I am. It's really silly. All of this is really silly. 

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Here I sit in a dress shirt and pajama pants drinking a glass of complimentary Greek wine. I just had a wonderful dinner that was 50% spiced and fried meats, 50% free bread and olive oil. Artists know how to find the affordable balance. There was some salad in the mix for roughage. That word looks really weird. 

I am currently on a trip to Greece with my photographer husband as he shoots a cover story for En Route magazine. I'm a spoiled brat for sure. On my journey over, I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. It was nothing necessarily profound, but I did enjoy the reminder of dos and don'ts for life. As a whole, I agree with the book's message. Even if the author is a white-straight-male not much older than myself. I guess I can write a book. But I digress. I was lucky enough to have two dads that lived this principle and lead by example. My bio-dad wore the same jeans and 20 yr old Patagonia pullover every time he skied. Yet, he could kick anyone's ass skiing and didn't care how he looked as he left you in the pow. I found myself giving too many cares today as I was the only person in shorts and a non-leather jacket hiking the Acropolis. Then I remembered, who freakin' cares?! No one. If they do. Sad (bad) guy. The book reminds us to reserve our cares for what really matters. Our passions. Our family. Our relationships. We have a choice in how we react to moments in our life. Obviously, we don't choose the shit that happens, but how we choose to care is up to us. 

One chapter was titled, "You Are Not Special." I really loved it. We are all pretty average no matter what our Twitter states. This exceptionalism leads to a very entitled behavior. I will admit, I sometimes live with a fear that I will never do anything spectacular. The brevity of life has been all around me and my desire to do something really freakin' cool has been at an all time high. Yet, when I take that pressure off and just try to be my best self (is Oprah speaking through me?) I do feel much happier and more relaxed. If we were all "extraordinary" it kinda/definitely changes the definition. Other chapters in the book include "The Value of Suffering" and "Happiness Comes From Solving Problems". All great reminders.  -- I still know deep down I'm the next Meryl Streep and my vision boards are in fact working, but that's different. 

Pablo Picasso stated all he wanted was to create honest expression. The book told me this. That's all I care to do as well. Duh, I'd love to make a decent living doing it. Duh, I'd love for people to recognize that "honest expression" and say, "Gee, she's good at that." However, if I am living up to that one goal, then I am succeeding and that's the f*ck I choose to give. (I had one actual spelling of the f-word, which makes this blog a pg-13 rating.) 

I'll leave you with two semi non-related bits. The book quoted Aristotle, and I am in Greece. He said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." That's exactly how I feel about both sides of our recent political situation. Ok, I'm done there. Second, here is my peach and pit today. Pit: I didn't dress appropriately and I froze my buns off. Peach: While, seeing a 2,500 yr old structure was insane, my favorite moment was walking around the meat market seeing lamb heads with fake eye balls and getting haggled to buy stuff in Greek because they thought I was Greek. Win for not looking like a tourist. 

I hope you give a few less f*cks today :) 

 

The Middle Years

I feel old for the first time. I just bought life insurance. I guess that lends to my recent sentiment. Coupled with a tightening of the pants due to a steady diet of PBJs and beer, you could say it's catching up with me.

Recently, while listening to a podcast of a famous actress blabbing about her constant work, I got annoyed and thought, "Why can't I hear about the middle years?" I love that you decided mid-way through your junior year performance of Maria in West Side Story that you just had to be an actress. I love how that planted seed brought you to your first Oscar 10 years later. I love that now you don't have to audition anymore and you'd be horrible if you had to. But you know what I'd really love to hear? I'd love to hear about year 2-9. Those middle years. The series of times when you'd go a whole year or more without booking something. Those years when you fought each day sitting down to work on your art even though it'd probably never see the light of day.

I don't write this blog to give advice of any kind. It's really for my own sanity and my mom's enjoyment. So take the following with a grain of salt. However, if you'd like to hear about some middle years from someone that's not at all near the goal, here goes!

I experience a daily battle of trying to write. It falls between searching for the source of the secret hole where all the dust and dirt enter my home and stick to my feet, and hoping Scorsese calls. Often times, my only writing for the day is the 3 morning pages Julia Cameron suggested I try. I complain, count little joys, and write about what I want for breakfast. Artistry at it's finest. Sometimes, I do get inspiration. I have a nice little folder of sketches and shorts that most people will never read. Maybe i'll compile them into a book for my mom. She won't understand the humor, but she'll be proud all the same. 

I experience a daily self-deprecation where I berate myself for not doing enough. I get a million different opinions on my headshots. I'll never understand those freakin' photos. I also sometimes take a look at my accomplishments and think, "That'll do, pig". It's a psychotic balance that I try to maintain just enough on the positive spectrum so that I may keep going.

Tonight, while sitting in acting class and listening to people improvise about dog adoption, I briefly missed my life as a teacher. I felt like I had a purpose then. I had a routine. A schedule. A constant paycheck. I was shaping children's minds! Now my days are spent practicing how well I can mime spying on my boyfriend Omar over an imaginary gate (improv scene from the other night). 

I knew when I was a little girl carrying a blue book and wearing a scarf around my head playing Belle, I was going to do this the rest of my life. It's been a weird thing I've always known. It doesn't make it any easier, but hey, it helps. It helps during all the no's. It helps when I can't even get an audition let alone book a role. It helps when I have writer's block and choose instead to Instagram my empty jar of peanut butter. 

I am constantly working on living up to how I saw myself when I was 3. I am constantly trying to live up to my purpose. It's a real BIT of work, but what do they say?  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That's all we can do, right? That and enjoy the crap out of some dark chocolate and a rerun of The Office. Speaking of which... 

"Fun Thoughts" by Raleigh Cain

It's been raining this week. Like really hard. And then the inauguration. Coincidence? I think not. 

1. I'm an asshole and am eating Life Cereal in my pjs instead of marching for women. I didn't plan for it to go this way.  

This afternoon marks the first full week I've been home in LA since June 10th. That's over 7 months, y'all. I've taken 28 flights, 5 Greyhound bus rides, and 1 road trip from Reno to Albuquerque with Denver in the middle. I've learned to sleep just about anywhere and the addition of Oreo cookies on Southwest airlines has made my life all the better. Also, those flight attendants are hitting the stand up routine game hard. If I leave LA before 4 pm today, the week doesn't count. We shall see.

To sound morbid, I've been thinking about life and death a hell of a lot more these past 5 months. It's such a weird burst of a brief existence we get. To circle back, it makes me feel all the more awful for not attending the women's march. But I digress. 

Fun Fact: The more donut emojis per Insta caption, the less body fat a person has. 

Well, that's all I got. This has been another round of fun thoughts by me, Raleigh Cain. 

New Year, New You?

Well, it's been a hot minute since I've written anything! Beautiful 2017 started off with a stomach bug, so the only way to go is up?

Everyone can agree 2016 was a hot mess. But was it? (yes). Moving on. Let's list the good things. 

1. Leo won the Oscar. I repeat, dreamboat Leo DiCaprio finally won that gold man. I also saw him in NYC this summer and he was skinny, so you know another movie is coming out!!!  

2. Harriet Tubman is on the $20.

3. New Harry Potter book AND movie.

4. Zootopia. Tackling racism with cartoon animals making me laugh and cry? Uh, cha, great film.

5. Child mortality is down. Also, there is a rise in tigers. I don't understand that correlation, but maybe the Jungle Book got it all wrong? 

6. California can now power 6 million homes by solar power.

7. If that doesn't make you happy, chocolate and puppies still exist.

I'm gonna get all preachy and say there are many more positives to 2016, it's just how you look at it.  Find those little joys and hold on to em! Now, I'm gonna go chug some pepto and start off this 2017 in my Christmas jammies. New Year, Same Me. Full Circle. 

No Excuses

One of my favorite SNL sketches is from a Louis C.K. episode where he is part of a police line up with other actors. The crime happened outside a theater, and all the suspects must say the line the victim heard. Since they are actors, they obviously don't simply say the line. My favorite moment is when the actors give each other compliments for how they "delivered" the line and they decide since they have a camera and tons of free time, they should make their own stuff, "no excuses!" It's brilliant because we say this stuff all the time. Every actor I know has their own webseries or short film or screenplay. 

Well, here is my first. I wrote this 2 years ago in Denver and last summer, with the help of my amazing friends, we shot it in Denver. This was also my first time directing. Making all the decisions and telling everyone what to do was exhilarating. I now understand dictatorships. Just kidding... I have written many shorts and a feature since, but this one is my baby. It's weird and I love it so much. I hope you enjoy it too. If not, you're fired. 

Leaving the Concrete Jungle

Whoa. It feels like yesterday I was that crazy girl crying in the airport trying to decide if I was going to move to NYC for 3 months. Life isn’t schooled in etiquette when it shows you what’s important. That airport moment clearly wasn’t worth being dramatic over. But what can I say, I’m an actress. 

Well, now I’m on my flight back home. It’s all over. In the blink of an eye. Sarah McClaughclin won’t shut up in my head. 

I could list the million life lessons I learned, but there are loads of books by better authors on those matters. 

 Instead, here’s my summed up NYC take-away list:                                                                                  Pizza is a beautiful thing. Especially if eaten at 3 am and/or while sitting on a stranger’s walk-up  near the  dirty street.                                                                                                                                              Subways without AC are one of the layers of hell. Add in armpits and you’re in for a real treat.              Which brings me to...                                                                                                                                    Bad smells punch you in the face here.                                                                                                        New and truly amazing friends will teach you to step out of your routine.                                                    The less you sleep, the more comfortable a blow-up mattress is.                                                                  Go to Boston. Go anywhere. Don’t wait until you’re retired. You might not make it to retirement.          Overalls are really cool again. So is anything you wore in the 7th grade.                                              Harvard looks like Hogwarts meets Hocus Pocus meets London.                                                                  It’s ok to disagree with famous people sometimes. Just maybe keep the disagreement inside your head.        Leo Dicaprio is beautiful. Yes. I saw him. I SAW HIM!

This was the best and worst summer of my life. Literally all the feelings. I’m extremely grateful.  Now I’m gonna go get married :) 

Time to Celebrate

Today is my dad’s 55th birthday. 

The weather is that perfect no temperature feeling with a comforting, hazy blanket of clouds. My coffee has a grainy bite in each sip due to the shitty filter.

Today, I am going to to stare at the sky a little longer. 

I’ve been thrust into the present, and it is all wonderful and horrible at the same time. 

Death is funny and beautiful in how it shows you to live. 

It hurts more than I could ever know you could hurt. 

Feeling nothing happens too. 

 

Today, I am going to make someone laugh. 

I am going to make myself laugh. 

I will call my 22 year old sister and fall into tears of laughter over her awkward encounters. 

I will call my 19 year old brother and hear him speak with a maturity of his goals and dreams that is far beyond his years.

I will call my 16 year old brother and try to decipher the lost Hulu account password. 

 

This sucks.

 

Today, I am going to take myself on a quest to find the world’s best pumpkin pie. 

I am going to cry.

I am going to fill my lungs with the city air and smile thinking of all the cities I’ve been lucky to breathe in. 

 

Time to celebrate life. 

 

Happy birthday, dad. 

Running, You Complete Me

4 years ago I ran my first marathon at 8,000 ft in the mountains of Ouray, Colorado. Thanks to Facebook for reminding me this morning. Spending 4 hours mostly alone on that winding dirt path was one of the most challenging and freeing things I've ever done. I ran 1 year after the ski accident that shattered my skull and resulted in 80% hearing loss in my right ear. I ran 1 month after my step mom passed away. I ran 3 years after my battle with an eating disorder.

For obvious reasons, we don't share our private struggles with the outside world. Facebook gets our greatest hits. I am not sure why I chose to write about this today. I don't know if it will do any good, but my hope is it might. When I saw that it had been 4 years since my first marathon, I thought about my love for running and how it truly has saved me. I can get into the entire story, but it's pretty simple. I developed an eating disorder in college. It was when my insanely fast metabolism started to finally slow to a normal human pace. That paired with the Natty Lights started to change my body. It freaked me out. I would wonder why other girls seemed much happier and thinner than me. They probably weren't, but on the outside it appeared so. I devised a plan. "I am just being weak! I need to step it up!" i'd tell myself as I forced myself to only eat vegetables some days. With no surprise, the next day someone would have made cupcakes and I'd "cave in" and eat one. It usually wasn't just one. The failure of going off my diet devastated me. It lead me into a spiral I couldn't control. I would eat until I was sick and then I would cry feeling so ashamed. I felt like I was the only one that struggled with this, and that all the other girls had it together. I didn't understand why other girls could eat pizza and still seem happy. 

During this time I also didn't exercise. Even going for a walk seemed difficult. I was failing already, so why add that in? I don't really remember how I got the idea, but one morning I woke up and saw that there was a half-marathon in Kansas City coming up. I had loved cross country in high school and figured why not give it a shot? Let me tell you, when you make minimum wage and pay for a race, you train for that race damnit because you are not letting that money go to waste! I didn't train as much as I should have, but come race day, I somehow made it through! 

My eating disorder didn't suddenly vanish. It took a couple years for it to completely go away. Ignoring negative body image thoughts wasn't and sometimes still isn't easy. Reading those stupid "What I Eat in a Day" blurbs at the end of magazines when they only eat an apple and 5 almonds didn't help either. 

Today I can truly say I am proud of the person I am. I worked really hard to get to this place in my life. I am essentially the same size I was in college. The only difference is I learned to love myself. This week I had pizza, ribs, and ice cream. I also had lots of salad and fruit. I also ran 6 miles, did a workout each day, and walked for miles. Oh and I also love to cook, so come over for pasta sometime :). 

Like I said, this isn't something I've really shared with anyone but close friends. This morning that stupid Facebook memory inspired me to write. We should never feel ashamed of the struggles we go through. I hope that sharing can help at least one person. 

Call me Viktor Navorski. I Live at the Airport.

My current address? Depends on the day. Depends on the time. Last night, I was in Kansas. I ate my mom’s fried chicken and watched the sunset. For lunch that day, I dined on airport soup out of a plastic bowl in Dallas. Breakfast? A smoothie in Los Angeles. Tonight, I will be back in New York and I am sure pizza will be involved. 

When do I sleep? Sometimes it’s on planes in the middle of the day. Sometimes it’s on my blow up mattress in New York in the early morning hours after late night classes and long subway trips home. Every now and then I am lucky to be home in LA and sleep on my actual bed in a time zone I am familiar with. 

On one of my recent plane rides, I was listening to a podcast with Mike Birbiglia. He had many great insights throughout including, “If you go to a nice restaurant and they have a PB&J on the menu, order the PB&J because they’re not fucking around.” After listening to how he went through chemo at a young age, and how coming close to death pushed him to work harder in his comedy career, I gained a new perspective on what it takes to succeed. It reminded me to ask how I can be of service during my time on Earth. It empowered me to take control of how I want to live my life.  

Yes, this summer has been physically and emotionally draining. Some flights take it out of me like when I took 1 cross country trip simply to audition for a role I really loved only to get turned down and head right back to NYC. Then great things happen like how I will be heading to Denver soon for a role I booked in a feature film shot in the mountains.

It’s easy to get caught up in the little daily stressors of life, but remembering to practice gratitude is the only way to cancel out the fears. I hate to sound preachy like I know what the hell I'm doing in life, but I bet only 2 people read all of this, so you know :). When I taught 4th grade, we would talk about our peach and pit of the day. It's something I still try to do daily, and I recommend it. Today only just started, but my pit would be this wifi on the plane is horrible (if thats my pit, today is really good). My peach is that I got to spend another morning with my mom and that wouldn't have happened unless the airlines canceled my flights this week :).

To end my scattered thoughts, I will finish with my favorite bit from the podcast interview. It has nothing to do with gratitude, but it’s a nice kick in the pants for motivation! 

“It’s not about being good, it’s about being great. A lot of people are good. A lot of people are smart. A lot of people are clever. Not a lot of people give you their soul when they perform.”         -Mike Birbiglia

A Summer of NYC Activities!

Now that my blow up mattress and 1 suitcase are all moved in, I decided it's time I start exploring NYC! 

Today I was signed up to run the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. I had to turn it down when I signed up for the Franco Masterclass. I decided to still run my 13.1 miles in Central Park, and you know what, it was pretty damn amazing! That park is HUGE!! 

I only have 2ish months left in this city and I've started my to do list. Next will be kayaking the Hudson. If you have ideas for things I must do in this city, let me know! If you live here, join me! There are endless pizza joints to explore and history to see. LA may still have my heart, but I am going to give NYC 100% :). So far, NYC running trails: 1, LA "trails": 0. 

From the Little Apple to the Big Apple

In Kansas we have a town called Manhattan, aka, the Little Apple. No joke.

Anyways... 

About two months ago I went for a run in my neighborhood like I usually do. However, on this day, I ran into my friend Anthony from my improv team. We got to chatting and he told me he was headed home to apply for a filmmaking master class taught by James Franco. “Sweet!” I figured I would apply because why not? It was like buying a lottery ticket I figured. 

Long story short and 2 auditions later, I got in! I woke up that morning not planning on accepting the spot. This would mean moving to New York for 3 months and I had 12 hours to decide. I had too much on my plate. It was too crazy. I’m getting married 2 weeks after it ends!

Tuesday, June 21st was quite the emotional day. I was going to do it, then no, then yes, then maybe. I was that crazy girl crying at the airport. 

It hasn’t been the easiest transition. I’ve slept on many couches, had many flights across country, been very lonely in a new city. I got to my first class on Sunday, and flew back to LA for a big audition on Monday, and then took the red eye back to NY for class on Wednesday. I had my blow up mattress stolen. I canceled my half marathon trip and wedding shower. I left an awesome improv team I just got accepted on that performs on Fridays. It was a whirlwind. As I sat and complained to a friend, she said, “Raleigh, you’re living the dream.”

I always say as long as I can afford to make a living being an artist, that’s all I really want. Well, it’s not always easy or comfortable, but I really am living my dream. By the way, Franco is cool. I am excited to see where this summer goes!  

Pay to Play

As many of you are aware, Scott David has been fired from casting Criminal Minds. I am not sure why he is singled out as any different than the other casting directors that hold workshops, so I am still confused about the grounds on which they terminated his position. Either way, I am not excited about it. 

This is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, obviously it sucks to pay to be seen for the chance to maybe one day be called in for an audition for "waitress #2". However, when you're a new actor to L.A., you have to increase your chances somehow! There are literally thousands of girls that have been here longer and look just like you being submitted for waitress #2 within hours. 

I have been in to see Scott 3 times in the past year. I have never been called in for an audition, but I knew it was a gamble going in. Each time, I received wonderful feedback and I truly felt like he was rooting for actors. 

I was signed up for a casting director workshop tonight that suddenly canceled after this news came out. I not only spent the week working on my scene, but I also paid to have it privately coached at my acting school. If I went in tonight, I would have made a great impression and hopefully it would have stuck with her past the evening. Like I said, it's a gamble and I am happy to take that chance. I just want the chance.

Maybe this will be a good thing. Maybe casting directors will find free ways to see new talent and I will finally afford to go see the dentist again.  That's all we ever want is the chance to show what we work so hard for. If I have to pay for that, fine by me! Sorry, teeth. If actors don't like it, they don't have to do it. No one said this was easy or cheap. I will gladly pay to play because that's why I'm here. I didn't quit my secure job as a teacher to sit and complain about no one auditioning me. 

I also didn't quit my job to spend my savings to say "would you like cream or sugar with your coffee". Ugh, I don't know what the answer is here! And so it goes... 

In the mean time, I am not too concerned because I have an awesome show in the works with Lucy Drew and Paul Hauser as our first guest! Details to come. (Gotta get the plugs in somehwere.)

Two Thumbs Up!

I finally got a job! I work at the cutest french bistro, La Poubelle. It’s right by the UCB theater. Last week I served Patricia Arquette and she was the sweetest, most down-to -earth person. Plus, she tipped very well :). 

Side-note: Men, don’t order for your wives or girlfriends. It’s weird. Ladies, I’m a human. Look me in the eye and use your words. 

As I was saying, I finally have this job and I am so grateful because it is allowing me to continue pursuing my art. The funds were dwindling rapidly! 

Last night after work, I had two friends over for Easter dinner and amidst the singing and SNL videos, we got to talking about the joys and drawbacks of what we do. We each left comfortable careers to live a very uncertain lifestyle. Having a family and a steady income is something we hope may happen some day, but the certainty of that outcome is not clear. Planning is not harmonious with the artist lifestyle. However, after those moments of day dreaming about home pass, we know we don’t really want it, because we get to do what we love. And there’s my sappy sentence for the day. 

Speaking of the spontaneity of my career, I type this from an airplane bound for a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful men instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called... Denver! I am headed there to shoot a commercial tomorrow and see old friends :). 

Always a new adventure! Until next time, prost!

P.S. If you you're flying Southwest, I left 8 Save the Date postcards in my seat pocket... let me know, thanks. If you're a stranger and find them, I guess you can come.