Sunday, March 9, 2014

Beyond 37

Shared on
January 24, 2014

Today 20 years ago I was flying out to Utah.  My first time ever west of New Jersey and I think my first time ever flying on my own.  And packing for extreme cold weather and still look cute, was not something that was easy to do.  And to pack it in one suitcase?  Sweaters take up a lot of room, boots to keep the feet warm but be snow worthy and figure out what shoes and dress to wear for a party you don’t know what to expect for.  In fact, didn’t know what to expect on any of it.  But I was so excited.  For so many reasons.  It was my first time really of knowing about the festival.  First time traveling by myself to unknown territory, first time film would be seen with more than 10 people, because the screening at IFFM in New York that luckily was seen by the wonderful Bob Hawk to recommend it for Sundance, didn’t have very many people in those seats.  I don’t recall how many, but it wasn’t much more than those of us in the film and crew that made it there.  Sundance is definitely a very different experience when it comes to film festivals.  Actually, I think that film festivals today are very different then they were 20 years ago.  But maybe it’s because the film festivals that I’ve gone to since then have been here in LA.

I found a corner where to put my luggage and probably refreshed myself a bit while checking out the surroundings before heading out to the wilderness of Sundance.  I think I asked the front desk for directions on where everything was.  I knew I had to go to the main to the Festival headquarters to pick up my package with tickets to screening what I would be attending.  Thankfully it wasn’t too cold as I walked around, trying to figure out my surroundings.  And then it happened.  Something that just takes you by surprise, but is so hard to put into words.  You realize what you’re specifically there for.   That many are going to see you in the film you’re there to represent.  But what you don’t anticipate is the reaction and you certainly don’t expect to be in the middle of the street just walking around when all of a sudden you’re stopped and appreciated for the work that you’ve done in the film and how much they enjoyed you and the film.  Can we say surreal!  

Now most people who know me, know that I grew up quite the shy person.  People who know me, I know were shocked to even hear that I had become an actress.  I wasn’t one to make myself known or heard.  But then again as I mentioned, I didn’t feel heard anyway.  Many were shocked to hear some of the words coming out of my mouth as they had never heard me curse.  So to all of a sudden be seen and then figure out what to say to these people was a very shock to my system, but definitely was something to put a smile on my face and feel a sense of accomplishment.  

I don’t recall how many more times I got approached on my way to headquarters to pick up my package, but Sundance was definitely turning out to be a great experience.  I picked up my package and was scheduled to see a film, so I made my way to the theater and was waiting inside the lobby before being let in.  That’s when I got to see the one person that basically is Sundance.  Mr. Robert Redford had walked in the door and was walking through the lobby and walked right past me.   That was my first real celebrity sighting.  But the first thing that went through my mind….wow, he’s really wrinkled.  But yes ladies, still handsome.  

So continued the day, I went back to the condo to meet up with the guys but honestly a lot of it is all fuzzy to me at this point.  I remember many of us going to breakfast.  Doing some interview and publicity moments.  Gathering at the condo where we were staying to shoot a little interview promo piece of us Gen- Xr’s walking down the court yard of the condo and then seeing when it posted of us all walking in slow motion.  Everyone on in the condo all talking about what was happening.  Most of them being night owls and me wanting to get some sleep.  lol  

Memories that are still there is once Brian got into town and we would be walking around, people would immediately recognize me and then I would have to introduce them to Brian because he had shaved off that famous goatee that no one knew it was him.  The first screening that we all got to experience with a packed theater was wonderful to experience, because they were all laughing in the places you wanted them to be laughing and you can feel that they were enjoying the film.  Some changes had been made to the film at this point I think, can’t remember for sure if it was for Sundance or for later in the year before the movie was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, but I do know that when finally it was edited down, some of my scenes were cut from the original, but I couldn’t have been happier as I felt they were my weakest scenes and would have done delivery different.  By far the most memorable and most anticipated night was after the final screening of the film where Brian and I went out while the big wigs got together and see if Clerks would be bought by Miramax or not.  Brian and I talked about what it would mean wondering what was taking place and what the outcome would be.  And then we got word that it was bought.  Back at the Condo, it seemed forever before Brian and I could go to sleep and talking and wondering what the future would hold for us and how and if it would change big or small.  

Beyond 37

Started on
January 22, 2014

It’s hard to believe today marks 20 years since Clerks screening at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994.  That it’s been 20 years of making my mark in the cult world and creating a legacy as I see, along with the others in the cast and crew, especially Kevin as inspiration for others to pursue whatever it is they dream for themselves in their life.  

Maybe some may see me as a one hit wonder, or a has been.  Some, as someone who didn’t really have talent and others, who’s life was impacted in a way you can only hope with the performance you gave.  Love me or hate me, I’m so honored to have been part of this wonderful film and experience that I feel spoke to so many.  Also to have shared it with an actor, Brian O’Halloran, whom when I first saw on stage, I was impressed with on his performance as Renfield in Dracula.  And then had the honor and opportunity to work with several times on the stage.  And looking so forward to having that experience again  with the crew that will be there from the first film as well as anyone new that is there for Clerks III.   

It’s times like these that I wish I kept a diary so that I can remember the details that too often get lost in my memories and become like a foggy mist in my mind.  I’m hoping that as I go down memory lane, my mind will get triggered to best remember everything.

Since realizing that it’s been 20 years, I often thought about all the memories and everything that has happened since hearing about and going to the audition at the First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Highlands, NJ.  The community theater where I first saw Brian and had some of my fondest memories at as well with some productions I’ve appeared in.  I was in a production in Red Bank, NJ of Same Time Next Year with another Clerks cast member Ken Clark, and the news through the grapevine there was a kid, as it was said, making a movie and they’re holding auditions.  I just remember some people seemed to make a joke of the situation.  But to me it was a chance to take what I’ve learned on the stage and see if I get the chance to do it in a film.  

I made sure to brush up on the monologue that every actor is supposed to have in case of an audition where monologue is needed.  I loved my monologue as I feel it’s everything I completely felt.  It was a monologue I got out of one of many monologue books out on the market by Laura Harrington titled Night Luster.  It was about a young women who felt like she was invisible but had so much to say and no one could hear her.  Being a middle child, it’s exactly how I’ve felt, all my life.  Not just within my family, but in life as well.  And it wasn’t till I had my first taste on the stage did I feel what it was like to actually have people listen to what it was that you were saying.  To feel like you have a voice, and be heard and not interrupted by what was most important to them about their own life.  But as great as I would do that monologue when by myself, I don’t feel I did the best that night.  And after seeing it on the 10th anniversary DVD, yea, how I felt I did was validated.  Sure it was fine, at least it got me the job, but while doing it I felt I was forcing the emotions that normally came easily to me with it because as I said they were emotions that I have felt.  Did I get some of the tears, sure, but not how I would have liked.  But impressive enough that I heard Kevin was awed at the fact that I could cry.  

I don’t know maybe it was the fact that although there were a decent amount of people there, but there didn’t seem to be all that many people auditioning.  Back then the audition process wasn’t something that I excelled in.  It’s most beginning actors curse.  But something that I’ve learned to at least work through and not let it sabotage me.  The beginning actor holds so much onto that audition, that it shows the nervousness, and want to impress and do well, that it will ultimately be the downfall.  And I’m not the delusional actor that doesn’t know when I haven’t or have done well.  I’m glad that I’m able to be critical of my own work and know that I’ve either done what I was supposed to do, I missed the mark or fell somewhere in between.  But perception is different for all and what might have been terrible for me may have been great for someone else.  So I’ve learned don’t ever judge your performance, even if it’s an audition, right there in front of those your auditioning for, because they could have loved what you did and you just planted the negative seed in their head with your own judgements of yourself and cost yourself the job.  And your delivery isn’t necessarily what’s going to get you the job, because as I’ve learned through the years, that alone will not get you the job, or cost you the job.  So many other factors come into play that have nothing to do with you or how well or bad you did.  

Once I was done, I have a vague recollection of just looking down at Kevin, Ed Hapstak, and a couple of others, but don’t exactly remember who, but they seemed to have liked it.  Ok, good.  Now get off the stage.  Don’t remember quite how long I stayed afterwards, if I did at all.  But I didn’t really see anyone else that I might have stayed for that I knew.  A couple or few days went by and I got a call from Kevin….