Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Yesterday, I was pissed about getting bumped out of the AFS UT Masters Class.

Today, I just got off a call where I was re-added to the class (after paying my fee, of course).

I am so stoked -- and feeling drunk on the power of my blog (or it could just be that there was a cancellation and I ended up being the only person on the waiting list).

The only person on the waiting list? I'm feeling giddy, but need I remind you of the possible guest speaker list?

Suh-weet ...

Monday, January 30, 2006


That was the title of an Email thread last week between me and a more talented friend.

Last week, for whatever reason, it made me smirk every time I saw the castrated expletive in the subject line.

This week, the word summarizes how I feel.

As a member of the Austin Film Society, I was going to sign up for their members-only University of Texas Radio-TV-Film Department's special offer Master Class.

The Email invite told me "SEATING IS EXTREMELY LIMITED", registration would open at 10 a.m. today, and I had to be logged in to register.

I logged in this morning, went to the registration screen, and refreshed the page constantly until 10 a.m., when registration went live.

My browser session took 10 minutes to connect, after which I was forwarded to a page that said, "The event is now full."

Makes me wonder if a bunch of AFS insiders did early registration. But, admittedly, I'm feeling pissy.

Why am I so upset?

How's this for a list of possible guest speakers? I'm on the waiting list, but I don't hold out much hope that I'll get in.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

While looking for new monologue, I ran across Stud Terkel's "Working", in particular the actor interview.

Crap. Now I'm all fired up and knotted up and dissatisfied.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

"You make people realize that there exist other beauties in the world."

Such was the "fortune" in my fortune cookie last night.

To reveal a little about myself, one of my pet peeves is "non-fortune fortune cookie messages". It's a fortune cookie. Give me a damn fortune.

That said, I liked last night's message, maybe because I've been feeling in need of validation lately.

Besides, I can choose to read this as a fortune. Which maybe carries with it a decently hefty responsibility ...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I got a McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese for lunch.

Ignoring my poor dietary habits for a moment, check out the receipt, since I ordered it without onions (voice actors gotta talk lots):


Seems significant, somehow, and I'm sure there's a life lesson in there somewhere.

Now I have a visual...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Go see Irene is a Cactus!

I caught Saturday's afternoon matinee, and I am impressed.

Part of Fronterafest 2006, the play showcases talented folks. The play is well written and acted, and a solid part of the Long Fringe program for Fronterafest. Devin S. Moss does a great job supporting and exemplifying the character traits introduced early in the play throughout (and he dances). Drew Whelpley (my second favorite Whataburger dude) and my buddy Aaron Hallaway have powerful, impressive (and slickly orchestrated) intersecting character arcs.

And speaking of Aaron, yes he's a friend, but I am seriously impressed with his acting chops. Aaron plays mild Tourettes Syndrome mannerisms so well, so believably, and so empathy grabbing -- just go see the play. I don't say my friends are talented just because they're my friends.

I'm inspired.

Remaining Schedule:

  • Thursday 1/26 @ 7:00pm
  • Sunday 1/29 @ 5:45pm
Tickets are only $10. Call 479-PLAY (479-7529). For the Sunday show, if you call after 6 p.m. on Friday call the Blue Theater directly at (512) 927-1118.

More info:

RoHo Productions and Fronterafest 2006.


Irene is a Cactus

By Rocky Hopson

Susan Mara Stith
Diana Reddish
Devin S. Moss
Aaron Hallaway
Drew Whelpley

At the Blue Theatre 916 Springdale Road.

Irene is a Cactus is a comedy/drama based on a true story about Gwen, a 29-year-old, whose severe allergies left her isolated in her home her whole life. When her mother has a debilitating stroke and can't take care of her any longer Gwen is forced to prove she is capable of independence.

"Irene is a touching story of family and friends, with each character clearly delineated, clearly motivated, and clearly executed." Carl Gauze, Ink19.com

Friday, January 20, 2006

In-house industrial audition ...

I had a really good audition Thursday for a one-time use in-house industrial.

It was good for a number of reasons (no priority implied): I really enjoy improv auditions, because though acting for me is play, improv is really permission for me to let my luscious locks down. Though, to be honest, this afternoon's improv may have been less improv and more reliving my morning at home.

Oh, and my Swiss Army Knife of a courier bag that holds all things acting? Saved me yet again with my little cordless electric razor when I found one savage (and angry) mutant hair that had somehow avoided my mirror scrutiny until right before the audition (we're talking facial hair, ladies). But it was no match for vibrating blades and elbow grease.

I really like auditioning ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Irene is a Cactus.

Yeah, it got my attention, too.

Starting tonight, be sure to check out this play as part of Fronterafest 2006.

The play'll be showcasing acting buddy Aaron Hallaway (really talented dude), agency compatriot and funnyman Drew Whelpley, and Devin S. Moss (who wrote and directed the 2nd film I did, SAK-600).


  • Wednesday 1/18 @ 7:00pm
  • Saturday 1/21 @ 4:15pm
  • Thursday 1/26 @ 7:00pm
  • Sunday 1/29 @ 5:45pm
Tickets are only $10 and available by reservation only. Call 479-PLAY (479-7529).

More info:

RoHo Productions and Fronterafest 2006.


Irene is a Cactus

By Rocky Hopson

Susan Mara Stith
Diana Reddish
Devin S. Moss
Aaron Hallaway
Drew Whelpley

At the Blue Theatre 916 Springdale Road.

Irene is a Cactus is a comedy/drama based on a true story about Gwen, a 29-year-old, whose severe allergies left her isolated in her home her whole life. When her mother has a debilitating stroke and can't take care of her any longer Gwen is forced to prove she is capable of independence.

"Irene is a touching story of family and friends, with each character clearly delineated, clearly motivated, and clearly executed." Carl Gauze, Ink19.com
I'm on IMDb.com!

A friend let me know he ran across me on the #1 online movie database -- check it out!Looks like the Modified SAG Experimental I did is still paying dividends (of a sort ;-).

I'm putting this up there with the first time I was Googled.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Microphone technique -- another area for lifetime improvement in my voice acting.

I'm pretty stoked that I dug out an old Labtec USB microphone that I'd bought for some other purpose way back when, and decided to use it for voice work.

Since it's a directional mic, and the mic itself is set kind of far back in a funnel, it has a narrow cone for reception. By putting it in front of but slightly to the side of my mouth, I get a solid recording, and by using various mic techniques, I'm able to keep it pretty clean from plosive (ps, ks, etc.) sounds.

I'm not able to detach it from its desktop stand (which has the power/mute button), so I'm going to have to jury-rig a stand for it. But I'm the mother of invention, so I'll willingly tackle that one ...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another day, another emergency vet trip.

Now Loki has a full-body pressure bandage. The nurses stuck stickers on it, and this is one of them. If the costs of this whole ordeal weren't now nixing me from moving into a new house, I might find this bit of animal ER humor more entertaining.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I took my dog to another specialist today, and I saw something I can't get out of my head. It was so startling and representative and important, I've gpt to put it in a film of mine someday.

There was this young mom and dad, and their 4-year-old, little blond daughter. As I walked in, the three were evidently just walking out of an exam room where they'd lost the family dog.

Mom and Dad were emotional. Their eyes were red and puffy, and they were obviously trying not to break down.

In both hands, the little girl was holding the dog's collar with its ID and rabies tags hanging limply, and it was weird, but the jingling of the metal sounded ... sad.

The little girl was stone faced. No emotion whatsoever. Her parents were obviously trying to keep from sobbing, and their was no emotion from this girl, other than maybe a little bit of confusion and irritation.

I realized the little girl was deaf. The parents were signing to her, trying to explain what was happening, and weren't getting through. It was as if (thankfully), they hadn't had to communicate concepts like "death", and "never coming home."

The family walked out of the clinic's doors, with the little girl trailing behind.

As she stepped off the curb, she dropped the collar. I had this roaring in my ears and then no sound whatsoever, as I watched the collar drop, and it seemed to take forever. It hit the ground, and the metal tags bounced, flashing light that stung my eyes, and the little girl stared, not moving.

Then it was like time started again, and everything that had just happened hit the little girl, and she broke down, fell down, clutched the collar.

Her parents were there, but I wanted to run out of those doors and scoop her up and tell her I'm sorry the world is such a broken place and I'm sorry he's never coming home.

I feel like that little girl.

And I don't want to drop the collar.
I want lasers.

this is an audio post - click to play
I went to the Austin Film Society 20th Anniversary party tonight.

Held out at the Austin Studios (what was the Austin Airport), they freaking filled an aircraft hanger with film folk, cinephiles, and "friends of Austin film."

In all seriousness, kudos to AFS for this slick marketing move -- throw a free public party, combine it with a soft-sell membership drive, and drive up members, revenue, and support for all things Austin film.

Richard Linklater was on hand, as were a billion people (give or take) I don't know. Fortunately, there were a number of people I did know, because even though I'm a good networker, I didn't have the energy or the emotional wherewithal to do it tonight.

I got to hang out with Brad Koester, who I haven't seen for a while, and to whom this town owes a big "thank you" for the service AustinActors.net gives.

It's too late (and meetings start too early) for my normal rundown of folks, but it was great to see José Mata, Ms. Mars, David Blackwell, Richard Ricks, Christine Wolf, former classmate Karrie Hamilton, Leigh Green ... crap, I'm sure I'm forgetting someone(s).

I also met some new people, and Melissa Holmes, my creative/event hang out buddy? Makes these events all the more tolerable -- heck, even enjoyable.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Loki Girl is home.

After a consultation with a surgical opthamologist (yes, a surgical opthamologist), I brought Loki home last night and put her in a large open wire crate in the living room. She's around the flow of traffic, out of harm's way, and I can get her out the back door quickly if necessary.

She's got more medications than a senior citizen (seriously). With various internal and eye medications due every 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours. Me being a borderline Type A, I'm going to build the mother of all medication charts.

Loki's still blind, and acting almost depressed through all of this.

I slept on the couch last night so I could get to her quickly if needed, so it was a pretty sleepless night as I woke up with every sound or perceived missed breath she made.

She's doing worse off today, so we'll just take it a bit at a time. If she can get better, I'm in it for the long haul. If she starts degrading too much or seems to be suffering, I need to help her there, too.

I don't even have a surgical opthamologist ...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I had a great audition Monday night for Subway.

Not that the audition itself was that good, but the overall thing was fun. I got to interview with a buddy of mine, Richard Ricks, friend and really talented actor.

We were scheduled within 10 minutes of each other and got to audition on camera for each other's scenes, each other's roles, and we both got to read for the male role with an actress that came in for her read. So I got to do a lot of auditioning with a good guy.

After that, I was off to the rescheduled Reel Women monthly "Monday Mix". It was at a different venue (clothing boutique) than normal, and ... not a lot of fun.

I had some OK conversations (really enjoyed chatting with both José Mata ("Mata" backwards is "ataM", and "Adam" backwards is "madA"; etc.) and Gary Chason), but the venue was wonkey, there were racks of clothes cutting off groups of people, and the vibe was just ... off.

After touching base with other people like Rommel Sulit, Elizabeth Mason, Michael Morlan, and Arnie Reyes, I ducked out with Richard and Melissa Holmes (again, probably one of the most talented people you don’t yet know) to Cedar Door (waffle fries, suds, and easy conversation). Now that was a good time.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Loki update.

this is an audio post - click to play
I'm off to a commercial audition for Subway (the sandwiches, not the mass transit system).

Houston market only, but that's a huge market with a bunch of units, so not bad.

After that, I'm hopefully off to the Reel Women monthly mixer. More info on that at ReelWomen.org.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Agency party ...

I went to an agency party last night ("Kick the Holiday Blues") for folks represented by Collier Talent Agency, their family, and friends in the Biz.

The thing was a great networking opportunity. I'm great at networking, but I work hard not to network. Don't get me wrong -- networking is extremely important, and you’ve gotta do it to make it in the Biz. What I try not to do at things like this is be a user of people or be disingenuous (“I’ll call you” (when I don’t intend to call); or “I’m writing a part for you in my screenplay”; or whatever).

What I do like is connecting with people – getting back together with people I know and like, seeing what’s big in their world, hearing about their successes and being able to encourage them in their challenges. I enjoy meeting new people, and learning about them and what makes them tick.

I wasn’t really looking forward to last night, and was understandably distracted, but I ended up having a great time.

At risk of leaving some people out (and misspelling names of folks for whom I don’t have business cards), here’s a quick spin through who I met and with whom I reconnected.

I drove down to new bar and scene of the event The Peacock with acting buddy Aaron Hallaway (check him out in the play Irene is a Cactus starting January 18). And after letting our agent Heather Collier know we’d arrived, I first hooked up with a friend I’d invited, Melissa Holmes (probably one of the most talented people you don’t know) before she had to duck out for the rest of her super packed night on the town. I then bumped into Deana Ricks, who I’d met at a marketing and branding session I taught, and though somewhat new to the Biz, is doing a great job on the business and networking side of things.

I then I said hi to Mona Lee, the acting coach with whom I did some of my first film training. (If you’re an actor in Texas and don’t own The Biz Directory, stop reading, go here, and order it. Then in your thank you note to Mona, you can ask her forgiveness for not having bought it earlier.) Mona also introduced me to Lee Peterson, who I understand is a talent manager/coach.

I hugged Richard Ricks, long-time acting pal (since The Mastery days), who I really like, and not just because he bought my beers last night.

Aaron then introduced me to Chris Kreager and his wife Julie, friends he’s been wanting me to meet for some time. Chris is involved in the production side of the biz and Julie’s over at Dell. They seemed like a neat couple, and it was fun to talk to them about marriage and relationship stuff.

I then chatted for a while with Leigh Green, who I hadn’t seen much since she moved on from CastingWorks LA to pursue production stuff.

Then my current film coach (and The Mastery mentor), Van Brooks showed up, and I made sure to get caught up on him. I also spent a bunch of time with the wonderful Emma Little, a mainstay in the Austin music scene. We had a great, long chat about everything from ZZ Top and Jimmy Vaughan to the Austin Independent School District and the Foster Home system. Emma’s a neat, gracious woman, and I really enjoyed the chat.

I got to talk with former classmate Tom Procida (check him out in the local Shades of Life soap opera starting tonight – probably Cable Access 10).

I also got to chat with Doran Ingrham, who’s look I just love, and has done a ton (with a few other folks) to meet the film networking/social need in this town with the now bi-weekly Film Social Mixer. Plus, the guy’s just a pleasant conversation, and I’d love the chance to see some of his work, and work with him. I think I could learn a ton.

I saw Devin Moss (also in Irene is a Cactus starting January 18), who wrote and directed the second film I was in, SAK-600.

I hung out for a few with one-time classmates Rommel Sulit and Elizabeth Mason. Rommel is joy to watch work (and the dude works hard, and recently came back from Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago), and Elizabeth brings new meaning to the word “commitment” in her performances.

I got to hug on Erin Fallon (who is so sweet and gorgeous) and Charissa Allen (who was in the first film I ever did), classmates Chris Osborn, Anika Kunik (look for her next film hopefully at SxSW and other festivals), and audition partner Katherine Willis (“chiffon wrapped around a crowbar”).

I also finally got meet fellow Collier talents Andrew Ruth and Jett Garner.

And I met Michelle Taylor and Bryan Rice, a couple of folks (along with Doran) who are working to expand the Film Social Mixer into something even more cool and useful.

I even touched base with Gary Chason, who I’d really like to do a bunch more with.

And casting director Beth Sepko said she liked my Christmas gift.

So, overall, the evening was really enjoyable, with a few setbacks. There are definitely a superficial folks in this world, but I did a good job of avoiding the wonderfully few of them in attendance last night. Also, I try to keep my Biz and private life very separate, but there were some details of the latter that came out with a few folks last night, and were evidently startling enough to work through several conversational circles like a little wildfire. Ah, well, it is what it is.

Overall, a good night.
I just got back from visiting my dog at the emergency clinic.
It was rough to see her today; really rough. I wasn't expecting that.

Loki had emergency surgery yesterday, the end result being her spleen was removed (evidently, dogs don't need it like we do), because it was "Sequestoring" red blood cells -- basically thinking they were bad, holding on to them, swelling in size and filling the abdomenal cavity, and making Loki severely anemic.

Her tail started going like mad when she heard my voice (she still can't see), but she wasn't strong enough to get up. She had lot of tubes and wires and staples for plasma and fluids and antibiotics and steroids and monitors.

At the vet's advice, I'd brought some deli turkey to see if she'd eat, and try to get her dangerously low protein levels up. She was able to eat a few bites, but even gave that up after a while. It's a sick dog that won't eat people food.

I had to stop petting her after a while, because she'd wag her tail every time I touched her or talked to her, and even that little effort was getting weaker and weaker, and dragging her pulse and heart rate down, too.

I'm still really struggling with all of this. This is a phenomenal amount of money to spend, let alone on an animal, and arguably could be better spent on helping human beings. On the flip side, I feel I have a stewardship obligation to take care of an animal I chose to make part of my life. But I don't want her to suffer.

And there's that whole thing with the heart and logic and the pocketbook not mixing real well.

I had to drive around for a while after visiting Loki, because I wasn't in shape to be around people. I wasn't expecting that.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My dog is sick

My poor dog is so sick.

She's had some general malaise and loss of appetite over the last couple of
months, then seemed to take a turn for the better.

Yesterday, though, she woke up and couldn't see. It's sad enough when a dog
needs a seeing-eye person, but sudden onset blindness can generally
indicate something much more serious.

Now it's out and about to friends and specialists to try to find out what's
wrong, and, God willing, get her on the mend ...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One more important thing to do.

I've been able to accomplish a lot for a lot of people at my current toy job.

In the Big Picture, I've got one more important thing I'm trying to do. I hope I get there, because it's worth fighting for, but it's also time to see from where my next set of massive goals and challenges is going to come.

I play big. I might fail big, but I tend to succeed big. Plus, in either case, I also tend to learn big.